Lincoln's confiscation scheme.
Mr. Abraham Lincoln
's grand scheme for appropriating everybody's property in the Southern Confederacy is eminently suited to the traditions and genius of the Puritan Yankee
There is always method in the madness of that peculiar people.
Hobbies they have of different kinds, but the hobbies all ride in one direction.
Whether it be prelacy, or papacy, or slavery, the end is always the same — confiscating somebody's goods and chattels, and putting the same in their own pious pockets.
No sooner had they overturned the Church
and State in England
than they divided their lands and revenues among themselves, and no sooner had they settled among the red men in America
than they confiscated all their possessions, which they called reclaiming the wilderness to civilization and the true Gospel.
All the negroes in America
that were not stolen from Africa
by Old England were stolen by New England
, and having been sold for high prices to the benighted Southerners, were stolen back again as fast as circumstances permitted, under the solemn conviction that slavery was a great crime, and must be put an end to as soon as possible.
Carrying out the same philanthropic and pious purpose, they are now endeavoring to purge the South
of all its inhabitants and their possessions, looking upon it as a Canaan, delivered over to themselves, who, in their own modest opinion, are the chosen people, whose bounden duty it is to own and slay all the Amalekites, Philistines, and other uncircumcised heathen, and enter in and possess the land.
They conveniently forget that the territory of Canao belonged originally to the descendants of Abraham, that their patent to it was an express grant from the King
of Heaven, and that the crimes of the Canaanites were of so horrible and unnatural a character that their extermination was as much an act of Divine Justice as the visitation of the flood upon the earth.
Among those crimes, we have never heard enumerated the sin of slavery, which, however, existed among the Jews, where it was established and regulated by Divine Law.
But it is useless to discuss any question of right or justice with a people who never employ these terms except to cover some design of wrong and oppression.
We know what they would be at and what they always have been after, without palavering about philanthropy, abolition, Canaanites, chosen people, and other stereotyped gibberish of Puritanical pick pockets.
's confiscation programme discards all superfluous syllables, and comes to the point at once.
It is a slight modification of the high waymen's demands--"your money and your life." It has the merit, a rare merit in Yankeedom, of dispensing with all hypocritical circumlocution, and shewing us the teeth and claws of the ravenous beast in their unadorned beauty.
It exposes the Puritan
animal to us in his original and genuine shape, a creature that can whine disconsolately through his nose, and wall pathetically as a baby, but whose instincts are those of the tiger and the hyena, and who is never so happy as when he has his prey on his back, and is gorging himself with blood.
Nothing is so gratifying to a true son of the Pilgrims as that kind of acquisition of other people's property known among the carnally minded as highway robbery.
It expands his soul and invigorates his mind; it makes him think better of himself and his fellow men, when, under the form of law, he can plunder some of his fellow creatures.
That is the whole object of this war, and when they have got our houses and farms, and turned us out upon the commons to starve and die, they will congratulate themselves upon it as a highly praiseworthy transaction, which they will celebrate by an annual thanksgiving, never doubting that they do God service when they serve themselves.