The Richmond Daily Dispatch reports with relish that Europe isn’t taken in by Lincoln’s emancipation proclamation. As the editor argues somewhat incoherently, the move a) is going to cause an insurrection bloodbath and b) should have been done earlier. And c) they can’t afford to lose the cotton.
The emancipation proclamation Abroad.
The London Times and other European journals denounce in advance the emancipation policy which it was believed Abraham Lincoln would proclaim. This great card for enlisting the sympathies of Europe in behalf of the Washington despotism has already failed. Europeans are not to be humbugged by any such shallow and selfish simulation of humanity. Even the Abolitionists of the Exeter Hall stamp cannot fail to detect its palpable hypocrisy. For why was it not proclaimed at the beginning by a party which came into power upon an abolition programme? And even now it is put forth not as an end, but as the means to an end, and that end not the freedom of the slave, but the restoration of the Union, or, in other words, the restoration of Northern commerce and trade. That it means dollars and cents, and not philanthropy, that it seeks to deluge the South in the blood of a servile insurrection for the purpose of intimidating Southern customers into the patronage of the old shop, must be as plain as the noses on their faces, even to the craziest Abolitionist in the Old World.
But Abolitionism does not constitute the controlling element of English or French public opinion. They are a common-sense, practical people, having an intelligent perception of their own interests, and not permitting that perception to be clouded by any morbid sentiment of false philanthropy. They are also humane and enlightened men, and, from the experience of India and of San Francisco, the English and French must recoil with horror from a renewal of such scenes on the American continent.
Their common sense will at once detect the impracticability of Lincoln’s scheme, and their humanity will array them against it, even if it were possible to carry it out. They are well aware, moreover, that universal emancipation, if it could be effected, would be a death blow to their own interests. The prospect of an adequate English supply of cotton from India appears by the last advices to be gloomy enough, and her manufacturers cannot regard with complacency a programme which, if successful, will cut off the cotton culture from America altogether. Instead of strengthening the Lincoln cause in England, this Abolition proclamation of his will intensify the hatred and disgust which are already entertained towards the monster through the whole realm of civilization. It is evident that he is in his last flurry, striking wildly about him, and his death throes cannot be distant.