Yankee Confiscations and Pillage.
lay in sight of Rome
the ground on which his army was encamped was sold at public auction and brought a fair price.
The purchaser and the people had no fear that he would ever take the city.
The city of Alexandria
has been held by the Yankees
for three years. They have sold of late a vast deal of confiscated rebel real estate
In no instance did it bring one- tenth part of its actual value.
The conclusion is irresistible.
entertain no hope of holding Alexandria
As a particular case, we would mention the sale of Freestone Point
, the residence of Colonel Fairfax
--a magnificent estate — the very fishery upon which rented before the war for the interest upon $100,000 in gold.
Of course it was worth greatly more than that sum, for the rente would expect to make out of the fishery at least as much (clear gain) as he gave in the shape of rent.
Well, the whole estate,
land, houses, and fishery, sold the other day for the sum of $5,000--less than one year's rent of the fishery alone.
We may very fairly presume that the intruder expects to be ousted in a short time, and that he hopes to save himself by working the fishery in the interval to its utmost capacity.
Such temporary occupation of the old mansions of Virginia
would scarcely give occasion for more than a transient pang of regret were the occupants any other than Yankees.
in the spirit of what they call improvement, never fail to vulgarize everything they touch.
Their's is a utilitarian spirit — a spirit which seeks the destruction of everything desirable or tasteful, provided, to use their own characteristic phrase, "it don't pay." They cut down the most ancient and venerable shade trees to plant a few acres of corn or potatoes; destroy an old orchard to make a potato patch; pull down a venerable out-house to make room for some vulgar Yankee money-making concern of their own — in a word, modernize and vulgarize everything so entirely that the place soon loses all the interest and respectability that result from antiquity and association of ideas.
We have no idea that Colonel Fairfax
will recognize his old home, endeared to him by a thousand memories of his ancestors, when they were almost princes in the land.
He will find his old furniture, some of it dating back to the reign of Charles II., carried off for "trophies"; his ancient mirrors, which might have thrown back the image of the colleague of Cromwell
himself, torn from their places, and frippery New York frame glasses, with gilt frames and pretentious hangings of the genuine Yankee type, sticking in their places; his massive old chairs, of the style of Anne or the first George, supplanted by the latest style of Yankee hair-bottoms; his old oaken tables, at which Washington
and Bryan Fairfax
may often have sat, sent to Coventry
, and a set of flashy vaniers supplying their place; his ancient wainscoting of solid mahogany, painted and glazed; the old brass knobs to the doors, that came over before Sir William Berkeley
, substituted by the silver-looking vulgarism that pass for knobs among shoddy aristocrats of New York; his old hall and his old dining-room, fitted up like the cabin of a North river steamboat or the reception room of a first class New York hotel.
In a word, all traces of the old house, of the old family, and of the old colonial days, gone forever.
Yet it will be a satisfaction — a glorious satisfaction — to him, and to others situated like him, to see the vandals compelled to leave forever the scenes which they have so long desecrated, and where their presence is so hateful and so uncongenial with everything around.
Yet, though the Yankees
are tasteless and vulgar, let it not be thought that they do not know how to appreciate memorials.
Far from it. They value them in their own peculiar manner, according to their idea of the money that can be made of them.
They took up all the headstones over the graves of the soldiers who fell at the siege of York
, designing, no doubt, to exhibit them for pay, as they would exhibit a monkey or a rhinoceros, or as the Boston
man exhibited the remains of old Parkman
, who was murdered some years ago by the amiable and philanthropic professor of chemistry in Harvard College because he presumed to ask payment of a debt which had been long justly due. They steal pictures, too, to sell; and the Yankees
buy, because they read that to have pictures is an evidence of taste, just as they think it an evidence of learning to have a large library, although the majority of the books be nothing more than wood, with the title of a book printed on the back.
utensils and ornaments, they, of course, know the value; and of carriages and horses no less, as General King
proved at Fredericksburg
when he bought Mr. Robb
's carriage and horses for fifty dollars from Mr. Robb
's servant, who had stolen them and run away, and when he not only rode in the carriage during the campaign, but sent it to New York for his wife and children to ride in also.