Spirit of the Northern Press.
A late Cincinnati Enquirer
is lying before us.--We find some very plain talk in its columns, editorial, and also in six Northwestern papers — articles from which are copied into the Enquirer
and headed--"Popular Movements for Peace — The Opinions of the Press in all Parts of the Country." We make an epitome of their contents.
The Detroit (Michigan) Free Press
say: ‘"Mr. Lincoln
's Administration have undertaken to do what no civilized Government ever succeeded in — what Great Britain
, even Louis Napoleon
or the Czar of Russia
, would not dare to attempt — to crush and exterminate ten millions of people, armed and united in the cause, which they esteem that of their liberty, their homes, and their honor."’
The Columbus (Ohio) Statesman
says: ‘"There can be no question as to the fact that at this moment at least 75 per cent. of the people of Ohio
desire peace — not that they have any sympathy with the rebellion, or that they would not make any and every sacrifice to restore the Union
--but because they are convinced that the imbecility and corruption which prevails in high places, the perversion of the war from the legitimate object for which it was commenced, the frequent and palpable violation of the Constitution
by those in power, the gross assaults upon the liberty of the citizen, and the hundred other flagrant abuses and despotic practices which prevail in all the departments of Government, have led them to believe that at the rate we are hurrying on, our Constitution and Union and the grand and glorious form of Government which our fathers gave us, will soon be lost, and the country be forever and irretrievably ruined."’
The Bayton (Ohio
says: ‘"It is hard to conceive of the great joy that will animate and enliven the hearts of the people when this cruel slaughter of Americans
is ended: when the martial music of the hateful fife and drum is superceded by the sweet song of pence; when the march of armies give way to the march of industry and civilization; when spears shall be turned into pruning hooks and swords into plowshares; and the Goddess of Liberty, folding away forever the blood stained banner of civil war, wears upon her wounded bosom the healing olive branch of peace."’
The Fort Warren
says: ‘"In view of the disasters which attend our arms on the Potomac
, the utter demoralization of our army, the dissections among our Generals
, and the determination of Lincoln
, and Halleck
, to prevent Gen. McClellan
or any of his friends — or, in fact, any Democratic General who designs carrying on the war for the salvation of the Union
rather than to build up the Abolition party--from successfully carrying on a campaign, is it not time to inquire if our national difficulties cannot be adjusted in some other way than by fighting ?"’
The Masillou (Ohio
says: ‘"War can never restore this Union, The time when force could have accomplished anything has passed.
As long as the people placed confidence in the integrity of the Administration, so long there was hope that the Government
would be able to maintain itself.
But that confidence is gone.
Not one man in ten in our entire army, or throughout the nonselected States, now believes that the war is being conducted for the preservation of the Union
.--Hardly any one, save those who are coining money out of the nation's calamity, has any confidence in Mr. Lincoln
or his advisers."’
The Hamilton (Ohio) Telegraph
says: "One universal cry for peace goes up from every home.--Four fifths of the brave men now in the field desire peace.
Those who love the Union
, and are
loyal to it, want this war stopped; those who desire separation clamor for its continuance.
The very life-blood of the nation has been sapped from it, and yet we hear the fanatics cry for war — war and extermination.
The real enemies of the Government
are those who have been loudest and most blatant for slaughter; they are those who have only a moneyed interest in the war, and have made no sacrifices of life, or property, or friends.
These men, having never felt the desolation incident to the loss of a son or brother on the battle-field, sneer at the weeping mother and friends and even accuse them of doubtful patriotism.
Men write long war articles for pay; and when we see a man inditing blood and thunder leaders for loyal newspapers, or some brainless fool clamoring louder than his fellow for more lives, we are sure there is some consideration, some pay at the bottom of it all.--Men in high places, drawing large salaries, can afford to damn the rebels and denounce traitors in the North
It is a pleasant thought for the soldier, tolling and bleeding through strife and storm, to hear of his neglected family; how the patriots promised protection and bread to the wife and child, and gave them none.
The brave man standing guard amid the sleet and snow of a winter night, or marching to the death, and all the while the loved ones at home dying from want.
Any one who reads the papers of New York, St. Louis
, and Cincinnati
, will know that this is no fabrication, no picture of poesy."
There is no doubt that a very great feeling of disaffection is diffusing itself among the people of the Northwest
The Northern papers, even do not attempt to disguise this, and a New York paper is frank enough to say that "the menace of another secession is equal to anything which preceded the rupture between the North and South." The following article from the New York Journal of Commerce
--one of the most staid and conservative papers of the North
--gives an interesting review of this feeling of popular reaction through the Northwest
There exists in several States in the Northwest
--particularly in Indiana
, and Wisconsin
--a condition of things which must soon cause alarm, unless the tendency of public sentiment there receives a sudden check.
Not only is there expressed a deep dissatisfaction with the General Government
, but the course of some of the loading newspapers is calculated to fan the embers of discord into a devouring flame.
It is already common to see in print such words as "civil war," "revolution," "secret arming of the population," etc., with an occasional suggestion that certain refractory members of the legislative bodies should be arrested, with other recommendations of extreme measures.
In fact, the violence of partisan strife is equal to anything which preceded the rupture between the North and South.
The Chicago Tribunes
is in every sense revolutionary.
A few days ago the following menace of another secession was thrown out in the leading columns of that paper:
"We assure them that the tics of the Northwest
to New England
are not indissoluble; but they are stronger than the bonds which unite us to New York, and if, in the changes and reorganizations that are possible as the consequences of the present revolt, it is necessary for the West
to make an election where she will go she will become an appendage to neither the Middle States
nor of the South
She will declare her independence of both, and right here, in the heart of the continent, the possessor of the best soil and the best climate in the hemisphere, with more than ten millions of people and the prospect of a rapid increase, will organize an empire that will dominate over all the other fractions of the Republic
, and which will have the power to compel the opening of half a dozen routes to the tide-water upon terms and conditions that we now plead for in vain."
The same journal, on the 23d instant, charged that a scheme was on foot in the Legislature of that State to take the control of the military out of the hands of the Governor
and vest it in the hands of a board of usurpers, accompanying this assertion with the remark that it may be in the power of the copperheads (Democrats) "to light the torch of civil war in Illinois
. " This is only an illustration of the spirit with which political controversies are conducted in the Northwestern States
.--That editor who, in this critical period when strong passions are easily excited, will deal so recklessly in fierce vituperation, partisan animosity, and embittering sectional jealousy, is either strangely blind to the consequences which may ensue, or is wholly indifferent to the public weal.
The Springfield (Ill.)
correspondent of the same journal, speaking of the designs of what he is pleased to call the "Secession movement" in the Legislature of that State, says:
Its object is the establishment of a great slaveholding Confederacy, to take in as many free and border slave States as possible, and extend its sway over the countries bordering on the Gulf of Mexico
and the islands of the same.
I tell the people of the State of Illinois
that, in the event of the recognition of the South
, which the leading and controlling Democrats consider un fait accompli,
they will have a desperate and perhaps bloody struggle to prevent this State from being attached there to.
The St. Louis Democrat
also discourses about "revolution in Illinois
," on account of a proposed amendment to the Constitution
, remarking as follows:
In view of these facts it is plain to be seen that a crisis of no little importance, if the conspirator do not pause in their work, is approaching in the affairs of our sister State of Illinois
Upon Governor and people alike will rest a fearful responsibility.
The Governor is pledged by his oath of office to defend and maintain the Constitution
— Such a direct and palpable assault upon its provisions as appears to be in contemplation by its enemies cannot fall to escape his notice and demand his interposition by all the power he possesses.
the Legislature is in like manner agitated by partisan delegates.
professes to have information that secret political organizations in that State are seeking the overthrow of the Government
, and with numbers sufficient to excite apprehensions on his part, not only in regard to Indiana
, but all the Northwestern States
The Indianapolis Sentinel
, among the most reliable journals in the State
, says no sane man can believe such a statement, but adds:
"There are creditable rumors afloat that the Republicans are organizing secret societies in different parts of the State
, and that the men here are being furnished with arms.
What can be the occasion and what the purpose of such organization ? Has the Governor
made any effort to ascertain the character, numbers, and objects of these Republican secret clubs ? In he favoring a policy the effect of which will be to organize opposing secret clubs throughout the State
, to create factions among the people, and which will result in bitter, and perhaps sanguinary, funds ?
"If the Governor
and these in authority would exercise their power and influence to protect the citizen in all his constitutional rights, to secure the liberty of the pross, the freedom of speech, and the purity of the ballot box, there will be no apology or justification for the people organizing in any way for the protection of the rights and privileges guaranteed by the organic law of the State
and the nation.
But it does excite alarm when arbitrary arrests are made, and citizens are dragged from home and imprisoned for political reasons alone, and it is a sufficient cause for those entertaining political sentiments obnoxious to the parties in power to organize, so that they may know each other and secure that protection to themselves which it should be the first duty of the representatives of the Government
We might quote from papers in Ohio
to show that in those States, also the current of political affairs runs very turbid.
The Cincinnati Gazette
, for example, under the head "Traitors in the North
," says the present universal toleration has demonstrated the necessity for holding a strong hand over sedition in the North
* * Enemies in war have no rights, etc.--This language is not restricted to those who are real offenders, but is so comprehensive in its application as to include all who are supposed to be heterodox in public faith.
As might be expected, public feeling is much exasperated; but there are some indications that it is the fettled determination of the radical party organs of the Northwest
to excite popular frenzy to the point of revolution.--In fact, private letters from the West
speak of revolution as actually in progress.
It is impossible to divine what may be the secret intentions as those who are fomenting discord at home while our armies are abroad in the field, though it is easy to see that unless wiser counsels prevail, tempered by more moderation, serious mischief may ensue.