[from the New Orleans Picayune]
Battle' the Spoiler.
The cry, which comes up most profoundly from the bottom of the hearts of the people of the North
, at this crisis, is, that the South
, which they fancy to be on the verge of being subjugated, must be made to pay the costs of the war. It is not so much a question of Government, or authority, or tenure, as indemnification, which they think is only left to be settled by acts of Congress, and enforced by armies of occupation.
They are, accordingly, seizing the lands and the cotton as fast as their troops advance divesting owners of their property, and carrying it off for the benefit of Government; and are entertaining such laws of confiscation as will subject everything within the territory of the Southern States
, movable or immovable, to which they can make title by they robber plan of seizing it by force to the disposal of the Federal Government
We have more than once described in various ways the burden of Federal indebtedness.
A very distinct idea of the weight of that burden, and the ruin which it is to bring upon somebody hereafter, may be gathered from a reference to the takable capacity which the United States
have exhibited in their former history during their career as a Government and in times of national difficulty.
A few figures will expound more clearly than column of speculation how largely this Southern war transcends in its costliness all the undertakings of the Government
since its foundation, even including all its expenditures for its own support from the first day of its existence, and how more desperate the necessity for further expedients for relief.
We take for a basis of exhibit the statement of Mr. Spalding
, of New York, a member of the Committee of Ways and Means in the Federal
House of Representatives, in a late speech on the finances, he computed the eventual debt entailed on the Federal Government
by the war, in the most favorable event, and by the strictest conclusion, at $1, 800,000,000-- eighteen hundred millions of dollars.
Turning to the official tables made up at the U. S. Treasury, to the 30th June, 1860, the last year of the undivided Union, we find that the total expenditures of the Federal Government
, from its beginning in March, 1789, to that day, amounting to $2,151 8,828 twenty-one hundred and fifty millions of dollars.
So, the attempt to enslave the Southern States
will have cost, for the beginning of the war, as we esteem it from the most invariable estimate of its completion, as the invaders count it, six- sevenths of the whole amount which served to support the whole Federal Government
, in all its branches, for seventy-one years, during which it carried on the war with Great Britain
and the war with Mexico
, and sundry small, but not inexpensive Indian wars in Florida
, in the Northwest
, in Utah
and upon the Pacific coast
The war is, however, but just begun in an interminable career of cost.
There are but the first expenses of the experiment and they have already, by contestant, reached an amount which must rapidly transcend the whole expenditure of the Government
of the United States
when the Union
was entire, for three quarters of a century.
How these sums were raised is rather interesting item of the . Nearly four hundred millions were raised by loans and treasury notes.
The actual direct contributions from all other counties, from 1789 to 1860, were as follows.
All the receipts of the Federal Government
, during its whole existence to the beginning of this war, and, therefore, just about equal to Mr. Spalding
's estimate of what the war will have cost if it stops soon.
It must be noted that this eighteen hundred millions of dollars is only the debt which the Federal Government
will have contracted beyond its available means.
The cost of the experience is therefore still greater.
This is what computed will remain to be paid by somebody, and the Federate are assuming to decide that it is to be paid by us.
But this sum of eighteen hundred millions is to be first borrowed somewhere.
The robbery of the South
is to come afterward, in order to make a fund for redemption.
They will have to wait a good while before they realize much out of that sort of success, but such is their calculation.
The comparative magnitude of the borrowing to be done, may be estimated by reference to these tables.
The aggregate amount which the Government
of the United States
raised by loans and the issue of treasury notes during its entire term, from 1789 to 1860, was $380,621,170.72. This includes large amounts negotiated for the extension of bonds already due, and the re-issue of treasury notice.
The largest amount in any one year, $35,000,000, was raised in 1815, under the impulses of peace, but the distresses of the Government
for money, and the extreme difficulty in borrowing during the war, are matters upon which historians have dilated, in order to expose the trouble with which money is raised without an adequate system of finance and taxation to secure punctual repayment.
All the money which the Government
obtained during the four years of the war by loans, &c., were less than a hundred millions of dollars.
The wholesome of $380,000,000, for fluctuating debts renewing and repaying, was spread over the seventy one years. Now a new debt is run up by a portion of the disjointed Union in less than two years, which, by confession, cannot be less than five times the whole aggregate of all the sums borrowed and paid, and reborrowed and repaid again, for its entire existence of seventy-one years.
To get rid of this mountain of debt is now the general object of the war of the North
They are adding to it with a spendthrift recklessness, because they know that they can never carry it by their own resources, that it must bankrupt them inevitably and speedily, and that their only chance for relief join the whole sale plunder of the Southern
people, the assure not only of the products of their farms, their annual crops, and all the profits of their future industry, but their whole capital of lands and labor to be the spoils of conquest, to help their enemies pay for the expenses or destroying their liberties.
This plan of warfare is the resource of a condition of finances confessedly desperate.
There is no object for the war but that of plunder.
The spoliation of the South
is the only refuge of the North
from utter ruin.--The fury which prompts it gives rise to desperate exertions, but it produces, on the other hand a corresponding energy of resolve, and a fixed purpose to make the desperation of the assault with unflinching — and if the extremity should require it, of desperate resistance.
Every man who has anything, or expects to have anything, in the South
, feels an additional incentive to make his a life-time struggle, against the enemy who comes to rob his family of their homes, or his country of its liberties.
A whole people will keep their lands for themselves with their swords, or they will make those into which the robber forces his way a burden, which his sword must be always drawn to keep — and in which the bullet of the rightful heir, or his avenger, may find him, in the midst of his entrenchments.