previous next

The British press of President Davis's message.

The English papers of the 7th, received by the Arabia, contain comments on President. Davis's message to Congress. The Daily News and Spectator are the most extreme Hall Abolition organs in England, and bowl over every reverse of the Federal as loudly as the Yankee of Connecticut.

[from the London Times, Sept. 5.]

Mr. Davis reserves all the vigor of his style to denounce the manner in which the war is carried on by his antagonist. The passion engendered by defeat have changed the character of hostilities — have introduced rapine and wanton destruction of property, war upon non combatant the murder of captives, bloody threats to avenge the death of an invading soldiery, orders of banishment against the peaceful cultivators of the soil. To the evils of which the President complaint — and it to be feared with only too much justice — he adds the Confiscation act, the forging of the of the Southern States and, last of all, the shameful proclamation of Gen. Butler. The is summed up by the statement that stern and exemplary punishment can and must be mated the murderers and fellows, who, disgracing the profession of .

Mr. Davis makes no setter of the hard necessities which the war imposes. He recommends a law to include in the conscription persons from 35 to 45 years of age. He does not apprehend that any forth will be necessary, but the very large purpose under 25 years of age is already in the field, and that there will be no reluctance to fill up the gaps which war may create in this body from the remainder of the community. This is not stated as a matter of threat or of boast, but simply of business. It is the language of a man who has colored upon an enterprise of which he has fully and deliberately counted the , and is willing to pay that cost to the very last drop of his blood.--When we consider that this is the language of the victory as party, and that it is in the very midst of their successes, in the of good , that they make their provision and anticipate this sacrifice, we are struck with the resolution which such a proposal copies and made than ever impressed with the madness of supposing that men by this spirit to be put down and destroyed by an inconstant army of different races; literally bribed into a service which they detest by bounties varying from sterling. Of unequally Spartan character is the announcement that fit such a there are in the Confederate army many officers for the service of whom it is absolutely necessary to get rid. Their people are evidently not afraid of washing their dirty hand in public." They confide in their own strength, and do not, apparently, wish to palm themselves upon the world for anything but what they ready are. In the midst of victory, they admit without hesitation that they have within their ranks many of the chosen which lead to defeat.

A glance is given with the main frankness to another of the dangers which surround the fortunes of the South. It is announced that the tribes notwithstanding the inducements offered by the enemy, remain firm in their fidelity to the Confederacy. This suggests a new ingredient to the dangers and trials of the South. They now subjected to a rigorous blockade. They have to take in addition by the armies with which the North began the war, 600,006 new soldiers, raised for their destruction. They have to provide from their exhausted resources all the material of war and must manufacture for themselves all the necessaries of life which they hitherto imported.

They have to keep down 1,600,000 and they now have on their frontiers large tribes of fierce and fickle Indians whom which cause might convert in a dangerous and bloodthirsty enemies. Their manhood is all in the field, and they are about to call out those of mere to supply the gaps which the cannon may make in it. Yet, in such a situation, they are able to speak and act with moderation and dignity. In the midst of their reverses they can look forward with confidence to success; in the midst of success they can contemplate and look forward to the possibility of loss and failure. Such men would seem worthy of a better destiny than to be dragged at the chariot-wheels of a conquering democracy, and to live under a perpetual reign of terror.

[from the Daily News, Sept. 5.]

The Southern President is a man of natural sagacity and considerable cultivation, combined with large political experience, and his official speeches are addressed to Europe as well as America. As a practiced speaker, he knows how to veil under vague and placable . of his position, as well as the darker side of this policy. The skill thus displayed has gained for his addresses the character of calmness, moderation, and dignity. There is an evident attempt to preserve this character in the recent address, but strong passion cannot be altogether suppressed; and the fierce and vindictive spirit that breaks through the Presidents habitual calmness and reserve, is a significant proof of the exasperated temper, if not also of the desperate prospects of the Southern Government. "Perfidy, " "madness," "malignity," are the epithets applied to the Government and people of the North. But these and like phrases, sprinkled through the address, are tame and spiritless compared with the savage policy the President inaugurates — the atrocious measures he formally recommends for the adoption of the Congress.

The barbarous policy inaugurated by the Confederate Government not only revolts every instinct of humanity, and mocks every sentiment of justice, but is an outrage against civilization itself. In the euphemistic phraseology of Mr. Jefferson Davis's address, the measures embodying this policy which he recommends for adoption are summed up as "retributive justice. " One specimen of the way in which this usurped function of avenging power is fulfilled will be sufficient. Among other measures of a similar character, the Confederate Government has introduced a bill providing "that Union armies incongruously composed of white and black shall not be held entitled to the privileges of war, or to be taken prisoners, and that of such as be captured, the negroes shall be returned to their masters or publicly sold, and their commanders to be hung or shot, as may be most convenient."

What this really amounts to that he stated in a few words. In the States of the North there are black citizens as well as white, and both may, of course, be enrolled in the regiments raised for the defence of the Union. This practice has not, indeed, been hitherto adopted to pay extent, but as the necessity of fresh recruits presses it will probably become more general, and soldiers of color will be found in greater numbers in the armies of the Union. There is obviously nothing in the very smallest degree objectionable or unusual in this. It is a simple proceeding, dictated by common sense and common justice — as good in principle as it is expedient in practice. Yet this proceeding the Southern Government under a blasphemous of what they call .

Those who scoundrel at its commission are to be deprived of the rights and privileges of civilized warfare, or in the verse words of the abhors to be of short, be most convenience. What in plain words, of the terrible offence for which this stern and exemplary punishment is to be inflicted on. It simply consists in recognizing the civil equality of the white and colored races. The Vice President of the Confederacy told the world at the outset, "The foundation of the Confederate Government were laid upon the great truth that the negro is not counting the white man, that slavery is his natural and moral condition," in a word, a Divine ordinance. But as the Confederacy was the first to make the brilliant truth, it might have been hoped that some toleration would been tended to those on which the fight dawned more slowly. The President, however, now proposes death as the penalty of doubting it. Those who in any shape recognize the equality of the two races will be henceforth dealt with as felons, "hung or shot, as may be most convenient," when they get within the power of the Confederation.

[from the Spectator, Sept. 6.]

Mr. Jefferson Davis has issued another of his able messages — in English, that contrasts strongly with the chequered grammar and laborious obscurity in which Mr. Lincoln shadows forth the travail of his soul, and far superior in composition to the ordinary Queen's speeches. He is, however, less self contained than usual, inveighs against the barbarities of the Union troops, and panegyrics the innate humanity and tenderness of his own in language that invites criticism to the practice known to have prevailed in the Confederate camp of turning the skulls and bones of slain Northerners into drinking-cups and play things. He touches lightly, with incidental congratulation, on the state of Confederate finance, which unlike the Federal, was never in a position to deteriorates.

He urges measures for enabling him to cashier incompetent officers without the awkward and painful machinery of a court-martial, and proposes to extend the conscript law to persons between 35 and 45. He denounces the appeal to the slaves with nervous emphasis; and a bill was brought into the Southern Congress on the first day proposing to enact that "armies incongruously composed of white and black, shall not be entitled to the privilege of war, or to be taken prisoners;" that the captured negroes should be "publicly add," and the "commanders hanged or shot as most convenient." We trust this measure will pass and that Mr. Lincoln will publish it thoroughly in the North, inviting at the same time the aid of the colored people. With this prospect before them in case of capture, they would make good soldiers.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Connecticut (Connecticut, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Jefferson Davis (6)
Abraham Lincoln (2)
English (1)
Butler (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
May, 9 AD (2)
June, 9 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: