The Richmond Daily Dispatch wasn’t pleased with the Emancipation Proclamation, as we’ve seen. Here the editor goes on to warn that it will divide the North, and ruin the economy of the nation. And of course result in the descent of the United States into savagery.
Emancipation and the war.
Unless the Conservative party of the North accept Lincoln’s proclamation as an empty menace, never intended to be carried into effect, they must recoil from the farther support of the war as from their own destruction. If it could be accomplished, the whole object for which the war has been begun and is carried on by the Northern capitalists, viz: Southern commerce and trade, would be utterly destroyed. Without slave labor, no cotton, rice, nor sugar, and very little tobacco, is a proposition which commands as universal assent among the money men of the North as the planters of the South. Without the staples raised by slave labor, what becomes of the commerce of the United States? Without the labor to cultivate the soil, how can the Federal Government make the South pay the cost of the war, even if it could reduce it to subjugation?
These are questions which must present themselves with fearful significance to all Northern men who have money embarked in the war, and to that large and influential class which is seeking to restore the trade and commerce of the Union. What the South would become, if the object of the proclamation could be accomplished, no one need be told.–We say nothing of the scene of horrors which would ensue, for such considerations as that have no effect upon the enemy with whom we have to deal. But the whole South would become a St. Domingo, overrun by a race of negro barbarians, who would in ten years blot out from the entire landscape every vestige of productive industry, and every sign of civilization. The wilderness would again encroach upon the abodes of man, and the wild beasts come forth and dispute the dominion of the negro inhabitant as they did in his native Africa.
If the North, or any part of it, except the ultra Abolitionists, is willing to prosecute the war for such a purpose, it must be given over to that madness that goeth before destruction. Every victory that it gains in such a crusade is a victory over itself as much as the South. Every mile that it advances to such a consummation is a mile nearer to its own destruction. Its defeat in such a war would be better for it than success. We say nothing of the wickedness of Lincoln’s incentives to slave insurrection. That is all in the line of him and his. We present the question only as one of profit and loss, and submit it to Northern calculation.