has amused the English
people, in a recent number, with a trenchant review of the course of the Premier of the Lincoln Government
since the opening of the war. The following spirited passage refers to him in his prophetic character, and will be recognized by all who of yore enjoyed the satire and sense of "Old Ebony" as being in its best style.
On February 19d, 1862, Mr. Seward
writes to Mr. Adams
"I was just about instructing you how to answer the querulous complaints in Parliament which you have anticipated, the chief of which is the assumed incompetency of Government to suppress the insurrection.
But a very shrewd observer, a loyal and at present an exited Virginian, fell in at the moment and expressed to me the opinion that the end of the war is in eight, that there will be a short and rapid series of successive over a disheartened conspiracy, and then all will be over.
I give you these opinions as entitling us to what is sometimes granted by candid tribunals — viz.: a of judgment." It is a pity that the name of the shrewd observer has not been preserved.
So sagacious a man ought not to be anonymous.
On the 10th of February he tells as.
"The process of preparation has steadily gone on in the loyal States, while that of exhaustion has been going on in the disloyal. * * We have the most satisfactory evidence that the Union
will be hailed in every quarter just as fast as the army shall emancipate the people from the oppression of the insurgent leaders." March 15: "The financial and moral, as well as the physical elements of the insurrection, seem to be rapidly approaching exhaustion" On the 25th of March it seems impossible to the sanguine Secretary
that the organization of the insurgents can be longer maintained.
On the 28th day of April he asserts that "to day the country is assuming that the fate of this unnatural war is determined by the great event of the capture of New Orleans." On the 5th of May the fiscal system of the insurgents must, he calculates, have exploded and their military connections be every where broken.
On the 28th of May the Federal Government
is said to possess the Mississippi
and all the other great natural highways.
And on June 2d: "The war in the Mississippi Valley
may he deemed virtually ended"
"The army of Gen. McClellan
will be rapidly strengthened, although it is already deemed adequate to the capture of Richmond
. * * No American now indulges any doubt that the integrity of the Union
will be triumphantly maintained." 21st June "You tell me that in England
they still point to the delays at Richmond
, and they enlarge upon the absence of displays of Union feeling in New Orleans and Norfolk
Ah, well, skepticism must be expected in the world in regard to new political systems.
inasmuch as even Divine revelation needs the aid of miracles to make converts to a new religious faith. " On 7th July, after McClellan
's disaster, he says: "The military situation is clearly intelligible, and ought to be satisfactory to the cool and candid judgment of the country. * * * We have a rumor that Vicksburg
is actually taken.
But the report is premature, though we have no doubt but the capture has before this time occurred." And on the 10th of November just before the defeat at Fredericksburg
, we find him "apprehending no insurmountable obstacles to complete access." --Nor are his prophecies addressed only to England
On the 15th April he tells Mr. Dayton
: " A few days will probably complete the opening of the Mississippi River
, and restore to the country that national outlet of the great granary of America
, which disunion, in its madness, has temporarily attempted to obstruct in violation not more of political laws than of the ordinances of nature." 22d April: "We have reason to expect Savannah
to come into our possession within the next ten days." 5th of May: "We shall have peace and union in a very few months, let France
and Great Britain
do what they may. We should have them in one month if either the Emperor
or the Queen
should speak the word, and say — if the life of this unnatural insurrection hangs on an expectation of our favor — let it die. To bring the Emperor
to this conviction is your present urgent duty."
On the 10th May he has a vision of a Yankee millennium "Lees
than a year will witness the dissolution of all the armies; the ironclad navy will rest fully in our ports; taxes will immediately decrease; and new States will be coming laps the Confederacy
, bringing rich contributions to the relief and comfort of mankind.
On the 10th July he says:-- "The reduction of Vicksburg
, the possession of Chattanooga
, and the capture of Richmond
would close the civil war with complete success.
All these three enterprises are going forward.
The two former aid, we think, be effected within the next ten days." And in September he actually bites his thumb at the Emperor
: "We have not been misted," he says, "by any of the assemblance of impartiality or of neutrality, which unfriendly proceedings towards us in a perilous strife have put on. When any Government shall incline to a new and more unfriendly attitude, we shall then revise, with care, our existing relations towards that power, and shall act in the emergency as becomes a people who have never yet faltered in their duty to themselves while they were endeavoring to improve the condition of the human race." Compared with these prophecies the ravings of Mother Shinton became respectable oracles.
Yet on them was founded the entire foreign policy of the Federal Government
The complaints that foreign statesmen and other save persons would not confide for them were incessant, and they were the lights by which American envoys were expected to steer.