The Richmond Daily Dispatch reproduces with some satisfaction an article from the New York Daily News in opposition to the continuation of the war.
A Voice from the North.
“Popularity of the War”–a Seething Article from the New York Daily News–Lincoln and his crew Unmasked.
We find in the editorial columns of the New York Daily News, of the 9th inst. an article entitled “Popularity of the War,” which sets forth in forcible and graphic terms, the fast waning war spirit of the Northern people, and tears from the face of Lincoln and his crew, the veil of deceit and hypocrisy, with which they have to long gulled the Northern people. It is a bold paper for a New York latitude, and the fact that its publication is tolerated by the Washington tyrant, shows that a wonderful revolution is taking place in Northern sentiment. It is as follows:
There has been no bugbear more alarming to the limit and unorganized friends of peace than the pretended “popularity” of the war. The negro worshippers and their allies of the “War Democracy” know this so well that they have spared no efforts or appliances to spread and heighten the delusion. Nothing could illustrate more fully the madness, which is now waning so fast, than the facility with which they have been able, hitherto, to impose it on the public credulity.
We presume that no one who knows anything of the American character, or has read the history of the American people, can honestly believe the latter to be either cowards or mercenaries. With the sad exception of a portion of the population of New England, in the struggle from 1819, there is no record of their having ever shrunk from any of the duties or sacrifices imposed on them by patriotism in time of war. On the contrary, they have been so ready, always to answer to the call of country, that they have more than once mistaken for it the false appeals of demagoguism and passion. They have always been so willing, and often so anxious to fight, that European diplomacy has long characterized them, proverbially, as disturbers of the peace of nations. It was this hasty and pugnacious impulse, so peculiar to them that it could be counted on with absolute certainly, which the unprincipled contrivers of our present suffering abused and tempted for their own unholy ends at the beginning of the war. To the enthusiasm with which the first calls of Mr. Lincoln were responded to, thousands of desolate households — tens of thousands of brave hearts now cold — bear mute and fearful witness. Then, indeed, the war was popular. Right or wrong, it appealed to the popular heart, and was answered with its best blood.
Let us look, now, at the contrast. To do so, we must not go to the columns of the pensioned press of the dynasty at Washington; nor to the manufacturers of New England or New York, or elsewhere, who have grown fat on the carnage of better men; nor to the traders, or jobbers, or contractors, or placement, or parasites — the myriad of jackals who feed on the bloody offal of the strife. We have only to contemplate the simple and naked facts, that with a population three times that of the States at war with us, and a fighting population proportionately much larger — with bounties proffered such as never tempted cupidity in any war before — we are compelled to seduce foreigners from their homes to fight our battles for pay, and are driven to the still more degrading necessity of committing the honor of our flag and the vindication of our manhood to the hands of negroes, bond and free. Not the relentless grasp of a most merciless and unconstitutional conscription nor the seduction of bounties large enough to make a poor man’s fortune, can now drag or entice American citizens, except in numbers absolutely insignificant, to fight the battles of this war. It is insolent, as well as idle and absurd, to talk of the “popularity” of any war that can command no warmer support than this from a brave and impulsive people. If the hearts of the people were in the war, they themselves would be in the field to fight to the death. If they sincerely believed it to be a war in which they ought to offer themselves as a sacrifice they would crowd to the very horns of the altar without threat or bribe. That they shrink from the contest, that they will devote all the little earnings of their lives to purchase exemption, that they cannot be tempted or forced into the ranks while there is any escape all these things tell the story. The people do not feel any longer that the war is their war. They may support it for a little while because the Government is waging it and the flag is waved over it. Some of them may be willing it should continue, because it pays themselves or their friends large profits, or keeps up their influence, or advances their party, or flatters their vanity, or gratifies their rancor. But the great current of public feeling and opinion runs in its favor no longer. It has no hold on public enthusiasm. Its popularity is dead.
If the Administration is false — if it is persuaded that the popularity of the war continues, let it abandon the conscription and the bounty system and make the experiment of volunteer enlistments for a single week. That brief space of time would suffice for the entire solution of the problem. If such an experiment, however, be deemed too hazardous, let Mr. Lincoln and his counsellors make a still simpler one. Let them tell the people the truth for a single month, if the thing be possible, if not let them endeavor to do it for a fortnight. Let Mr. Chase give us the real amount of the public debt and of his means and provisions for its payment. Let him inform us of the amount of taxes which we must endure to avert the shame of repudiation, now, without increasing the debt a single dollar. Instead of see-sawing between greenbacks and bonds, which appears to be the substance of his financial policy, and concocting paltry schemes for jabbing in gold on Wall street, let him trust the people, if he dare, with the facts from which they may know their own solvency or insolvency, and appeal to them to meet the issue, face to face. Let Mr Seward try if he can write one solitary dispatch without some intentional perversion of the truth, and confine himself to the legitimate purposes of diplomatic correspondence abroad. Instead of loading the files of the State Department with clap-trap and misrepresentation for home consumption and deception. Let Mr. Stanton, instead of flooding the country with false bulletins from irresponsible or fictitious sources, undervaluing the strength and resources of the enemy, exaggerating their wants and sufferings, multiplying their reverses and our triumphs, give himself up, for ever so brief a space, to the dissemination of the truth, which the people are entitled to have in regard to a struggle for which they are taxed to the utmost in treasure and blood.
With what face can he assert the war to be the people’s war, when, after having caused the press to teem with telegrams announcing the almost universal and enthusiastic re-enlistment of the veterans of the army, he has caused the President to refuse to give the House of Representatives any information on the subject, on the ground that it would be “prejudicial to the public interest?” If the Administration will not venture to pursue the plain, straightforward course we indicate, let it cease to prate of its war policy as rooted in the confidence of the people. If the people uphold it, why conceal from the people what they uphold? Or is it that the war can be maintained in its pretended popularity only so long as the people are kept from knowing what it is and what it promises.
We are rejoiced to see that these considerations and others akin to them are opening so many long blinded eyes. The people have begun to think for themselves at last, and there can be but one result of their so doing, if they will but speak out fearlessly what they think. The war cannot bear probing in its causes, its conduct, its purposes, or its prospects. It cannot survive the touch of free thought and free speech. The friends of peace, heretofore, have lacked boldness and confidence in themselves and their cause. Deserted at the outset by those in whom they trusted as leaders, it is scarcely to be wondered that they should have despaired, and have permitted themselves to be battled out of the expression of their conviction, nay, almost out of these convictions themselves. But times have changed. The tide is now setting in the right direction, and they must take it at the flood. The people must not a wait for men to lead them now. Humanity, civilization, the blessed teachings of Christianity, are leaders enough. The renegade of to-day will be only too happy to return as the cause of peace develops its grand proportions and its strength. Let, then, every man who wants peace, cry peace! Let there be no disguise, no catering for popularity, or for this influence or that, no putting on of the devil’s livery. The cause can and will take care of itself and its advocates, if they are not afraid to proclaim their allegiance to it. Let no man be fooled or frightened by the suggestion that he is bound to “support the Government,” or that by crying out for peace, he is “embarrassing the Government.”
Every citizen who has to uphold the Government with his money and his blood, has the right, nay is bound in duty, to influence its policy, by the public expression of his honest opinions. He is bound to obey the laws, but not to smother or belie his convictions. The talk of “embarrassing the Government,” is but the stereotyped jargon of despotism and servility. Free Governments were made to be ’embarrassed’ by free speech and free suffrage. It is precisely what distinguishes them from Governments which are not free. Such “embarrassments” may be inconvenient sometimes, to both the people and their servants, but all inconveniences of the sort are involved in the fact, that our chief servant is a President and not an autocrat. Let him and his Cabinet and his Congress be dealt with as servants and not bowed down to as masters. Let them bear the truth, from those to whom they will not tell it from those who made them and can and will unmake them. Unless we greatly the seemingly small voices to-day will be loud enough for them ere many morrows.
The people yearn for peace and they will have it. They are tired of “military necessity” and military rate.–They prefer the Government erected by the Constitution to a war despotic, supported by black janissaries . They do not desire to exterminate the “slave aristocracy” at the South, in order to establish at the North an aristocracy of shoulder straps and cavalry boots. They believe that the mission of this Republic is something better than “miscegenation” and the establishment of negro equality or superiority. They will endure taxation, privations, and sacrifices no longer, in deify the idols of New England’s hypocrisy, cupidity, and fanaticism. They yearn for peace, we repeat, and