North America

Part 7 out of 7

dignity. I know that they are men and women worthy to be so
called; I see that they are living as human beings in possession of
reasoning faculties; and I perceive that they owe this to the
progress that education has made among them.

After all, what is wanted in this world? Is it not that men should
eat and drink, and read and write, and say their prayers? Does not
that include everything, providing that they eat and drink enough,
read and write without restraint, and say their prayers without
hypocrisy? When we talk of the advances of civilization, do we
mean anything but this, that men who now eat and drink badly shall
eat and drink well, and that those who cannot read and write now
shall learn to do so--the prayers following, as prayers will follow
upon such learning? Civilization does not consist in the eschewing
of garlic or the keeping clean of a man's finger-nails. It may
lead to such delicacies, and probably will do so. But the man who
thinks that civilization cannot exist without them imagines that
the church cannot stand without the spire. In the States of
America men do eat and drink, and do read and write.

But as to saying their prayers? That, as far as I can see, has
come also, though perhaps not in a manner altogether satisfactory,
or to a degree which should be held to be sufficient. Englishmen
of strong religious feeling will often be startled in America by
the freedom with which religious subjects are discussed, and the
ease with which the matter is treated; but he will very rarely be
shocked by that utter absence of all knowledge on the subject--that
total darkness which is still so common among the lower orders in
our own country. It is not a common thing to meet an American who
belongs to no denomination of Christian worship, and who cannot
tell you why he belongs to that which he has chosen.

"But," it will be said, "all the intelligence and education of this
people have not saved them from falling out among themselves and
their friends, and running into troubles by which they will be
ruined. Their political arrangements have been so bad that, in
spite of all their reading and writing, they must go to the wall."
I venture to express an opinion that they will by no means go to
the wall, and that they will be saved from such a destiny, if in no
other way, then by their education. Of their political
arrangements, as I mean before long to rush into that perilous
subject, I will say nothing here. But no political convulsions,
should such arise--no revolution in the Constitution, should such
be necessary--will have any wide effect on the social position of
the people to their serious detriment. They have the great
qualities of the Anglo-Saxon race--industry, intelligence, and
self-confidence; and if these qualities will no longer suffice to
keep such a people on their legs, the world must be coming to an

I have said that it is not a common thing to meet an American who
belongs to no denomination of Christian worship. This I think is
so but I would not wish to be taken as saying that religion, on
that account, stands on a satisfactory footing in the States. Of
all subjects of discussion, this is the most difficult. It is one
as to which most of us feel that to some extent we must trust to
our prejudices rather than our judgments. It is a matter on which
we do not dare to rely implicitly on our own reasoning faculties,
and therefore throw ourselves on the opinions of those whom we
believe to have been better men and deeper thinkers than ourselves.
For myself, I love the name of State and Church, and believe that
much of our English well-being has depended on it. I have made up
my mind to think that union good, and am not to be turned away from
that conviction. Nevertheless I am not prepared to argue the
matter. One does not always carry one's proof at one's finger

But I feel very strongly that much of that which is evil in the
structure of American politics is owing to the absence of any
national religion, and that something also of social evil has
sprung from the same cause. It is not that men do not say their
prayers. For aught I know, they may do so as frequently and as
fervently, or more frequently and more fervently, than we do; but
there is a rowdiness, if I may be allowed to use such a word, in
their manner of doing so which robs religion of that reverence
which is, if not its essence, at any rate its chief protection. It
is a part of their system that religion shall be perfectly free,
and that no man shall be in any way constrained in that matter.
Consequently, the question of a man's religion is regarded in a
free-and-easy way. It is well, for instance, that a young lad
should go somewhere on a Sunday; but a sermon is a sermon, and it
does not much concern the lad's father whether his son hear the
discourse of a freethinker in the music-hall, or the eloquent but
lengthy outpouring of a preacher in a Methodist chapel. Everybody
is bound to have a religion, but it does not much matter what it

The difficulty in which the first fathers of the Revolution found
themselves on this question is shown by the constitutions of the
different States. There can be no doubt that the inhabitants of
the New England States were, as things went, a strictly religious
community. They had no idea of throwing over the worship of God,
as the French had attempted to do at their revolution. They
intended that the new nation should be pre-eminently composed of a
God-fearing people; but they intended also that they should be a
people free in everything--free to choose their own forms of
worship. They intended that the nation should be a Protestant
people; but they intended also that no man's conscience should be
coerced in the matter of his own religion. It was hard to
reconcile these two things, and to explain to the citizens that it
behooved them to worship God--even under penalties for omission;
but that it was at the same time open to them to select any form of
worship that they pleased, however that form might differ from the
practices of the majority. In Connecticut it is declared that it
is the duty of all men to worship the Supreme Being, the Creator
and Preserver of the universe, but that it is their right to render
that worship in the mode most consistent with the dictates of their
consciences. And then, a few lines further down, the article skips
the great difficulty in a manner somewhat disingenuous, and
declares that each and every society of Christians in the State
shall have and enjoy the same and equal privileges. But it does
not say whether a Jew shall be divested of those privileges, or, if
he be divested, how that treatment of him is to be reconciled with
the assurance that it is every man's right to worship the Supreme
Being in the mode most consistent with the dictates of his own

In Rhode Island they were more honest. It is there declared that
every man shall be free to worship God according to the dictates of
his own conscience, and to profess and by argument to maintain his
opinion in matters of religion; and that the same shall in no wise
diminish, enlarge, or affect his civil capacity. Here it is simply
presumed that every man will worship a God, and no allusion is made
even to Christianity.

In Massachusetts they are again hardly honest. "It is the right,"
says the constitution, "as well as the duty of all men in society
publicly and at stated seasons to worship the supreme Being, the
Great Creator and Preserver of the universe." And then it goes on
to say that every man may do so in what form he pleases; but
further down it declares that "every denomination of Christians,
demeaning themselves peaceably and as good subjects of the
commonwealth, shall be equally under the protection of the law."
But what about those who are not Christians? In New Hampshire it
is exactly the same. It is enacted that "every individual has a
natural and unalienable right to worship God according to the
dictates of his own conscience and reason." And that "every
denomination of Christians, demeaning themselves quietly and as
good citizens of the State, shall be equally under the protection
of the law." From all which it is, I think, manifest that the men
who framed these documents, desirous above all things of cutting
themselves and their people loose from every kind of trammel, still
felt the necessity of enforcing religion--of making it, to a
certain extent, a matter of State duty. In the first constitution
of North Carolina it is enjoined "that no person who shall deny the
being of God, or the truth of the Protestant religion, shall be
capable of holding any office or place of trust or profit." But
this was altered in the year 1836, and the words "Christian
religion" were substituted for "Protestant religion."

In New England the Congregationalists are, I think, the dominant
sect. In Massachusetts, and I believe in the other New England
States, a man is presumed to be a Congregationalist if he do not
declare himself to be anything else; as with us the Church of
England counts all who do not specially have themselves counted
elsewhere. The Congregationalist, as far as I can learn, is very
near to a Presbyterian. In New England I think the Unitarians
would rank next in number; but a Unitarian in America is not the
same as a Unitarian with us. Here, if I understand the nature of
his creed, a Unitarian does not recognize the divinity of our
Saviour. In America he does do so, but throws over the doctrine of
the Trinity. The Protestant Episcopalians muster strong in all the
great cities, and I fancy that they would be regarded as taking the
lead of the other religious denominations in New York. Their
tendency is to high-church doctrines. I wish they had not found it
necessary to alter the forms of our prayer-book in so many little
matters, as to which there was no national expediency for such
changes. But it was probably thought necessary that a new people
should show their independence in all things. The Roman Catholics
have a very strong party--as a matter of course--seeing how great
has been the emigration from Ireland; but here, as in Ireland--and
as indeed is the case all the world over--the Roman Catholics are
the hewers of wood and drawers of water. The Germans, who have
latterly flocked into the States in such swarms that they have
almost Germanized certain States, have, of course, their own
churches. In every town there are places of worship for Baptists,
Presbyterians, Methodists, Anabaptists, and every denomination of
Christianity; and the meeting-houses prepared for these sects are
not, as with us, hideous buildings, contrived to inspire disgust by
the enormity of their ugliness, nor are they called Salem,
Ebenezer, and Sion, nor do the ministers within them look in any
way like the Deputy-Shepherd. The churches belonging to those
sects are often handsome. This is especially the case in New York,
and the pastors are not unfrequently among the best educated and
most agreeable men whom the traveler will meet. They are for the
most part well paid, and are enabled by their outward position to
hold that place in the world's ranks which should always belong to
a clergyman. I have not been able to obtain information from which
I can state with anything like correctness what may be the average
income of ministers of the Gospel in the Northern States; but that
it is much higher than the average income of our parish clergymen,
admits, I think, of no doubt. The stipends of clergymen in the
American towns are higher than those paid in the country. The
opposite to this, I think, as a rule, is the case with us.

I have said that religion in the States is rowdy. By that I mean
to imply that it seems to me to be divested of that reverential
order and strictness of rule which, according to our ideas, should
be attached to matters of religion. One hardly knows where the
affairs of this world end, or where those of the next begin. When
the holy men were had in at the lecture, were they doing stage-work
or church-work? On hearing sermons, one is often driven to ask
one's self whether the discourse from the pulpit be in its nature
political or religious. I heard an Episcopalian Protestant
clergyman talk of the scoffing nations of Europe, because at that
moment he was angry with England and France about Slidell and
Mason. I have heard a chapter of the Bible read in Congress at the
desire of a member, and very badly read. After which the chapter
itself and the reading of it became a subject of debate, partly
jocose and partly acrimonious. It is a common thing for a
clergyman to change his profession and follow any other pursuit. I
know two or three gentlemen who were once in that line of life, but
have since gone into other trades. There is, I think, an
unexpressed determination on the part of the people to abandon all
reverence, and to regard religion from an altogether worldly point
of view. They are willing to have religion, as they are willing to
have laws; but they choose to make it for themselves. They do not
object to pay for it, but they like to have the handling of the
article for which they pay. As the descendants of Puritans and
other godly Protestants, they will submit to religious teaching,
but as republicans they will have no priestcraft. The French at
their revolution had the latter feeling without the former, and
were therefore consistent with themselves in abolishing all
worship. The Americans desire to do the same thing politically,
but infidelity has had no charms for them. They say their prayers,
and then seem to apologize for doing so, as though it were hardly
the act of a free and enlightened citizen, justified in ruling
himself as he pleases. All this to me is rowdy. I know no other
word by which I can so well describe it.

Nevertheless the nation is religious in its tendencies, and prone
to acknowledge the goodness of God in all things. A man there is
expected to belong to some church, and is not, I think, well looked
on if he profess that he belongs to none. He may be a
Swedenborgian, a Quaker, a Muggletonian,--anything will do, But it
is expected of him that he shall place himself under some flag, and
do his share in supporting the flag to which he belongs. This duty
is, I think, generally fulfilled.



From Boston, on the 27th of November, my wife returned to England,
leaving me to prosecute my journey southward to Washington by
myself. I shall never forget the political feeling which prevailed
in Boston at that time, or the discussions on the subject of
Slidell and Mason, in which I felt myself bound to take a part. Up
to that period I confess that my sympathies had been strongly with
the Northern side in the general question; and so they were still,
as far as I could divest the matter of its English bearings. I
have always thought, and do think, that a war for the suppression
of the Southern rebellion could not have been avoided by the North
without an absolute loss of its political prestige. Mr. Lincoln
was elected President of the United States in the autumn of 1860,
and any steps taken by him or his party toward a peaceable solution
of the difficulties which broke out immediately on his election
must have been taken before he entered upon his office. South
Carolina threatened secession as soon as Mr. Lincoln's election was
known, while yet there were four months left of Mr. Buchanan's
government. That Mr. Buchanan might, during those four months,
have prevented secession, few men, I think, will doubt when the
history of the time shall be written. But instead of doing so he
consummated secession. Mr. Buchanan is a Northern man, a
Pennsylvanian; but he was opposed to the party which had brought in
Mr. Lincoln, having thriven as a politician by his adherence to
Southern principles. Now, when the struggle came, he could not
forget his party in his duty as President. General Jackson's
position was much the same when Mr. Calhoun, on the question of the
tariff, endeavored to produce secession in South Carolina thirty
years ago, in 1832--excepting in this, that Jackson was himself a
Southern man. But Jackson had a strong conception of the position
which he held as President of the United States. He put his foot
on secession and crushed it, forcing Mr. Calhoun, as Senator from
South Carolina, to vote for that compromise as to the tariff which
the government of the day proposed. South Carolina was as eager in
1832 for secession as she was in 1859-60; but the government was in
the hands of a strong man and an honest one. Mr. Calhoun would
have been hung had he carried out his threats. But Mr. Buchanan
had neither the power nor the honesty of General Jackson, and thus
secession was in fact consummated during his Presidency.

But Mr. Lincoln's party, it is said--and I believe truly said--
might have prevented secession by making overtures to the South, or
accepting overtures from the South, before Mr. Lincoln himself had
been inaugurated. That is to say, if Mr. Lincoln and the band of
politicians who with him had pushed their way to the top of their
party, and were about to fill the offices of State, chose to throw
overboard the political convictions which had bound them together
and insured their success--if they could bring themselves to adopt
on the subject of slavery the ideas of their opponents--then the
war might have been avoided, and secession also avoided. I do
believe that had Mr. Lincoln at that time submitted himself to a
compromise in favor of the Democrats, promising the support of the
government to certain acts which would in fact have been in favor
of slavery, South Carolina would again have been foiled for the
time. For it must be understood, that though South Carolina and
the Gulf States might have accepted certain compromises, they would
not have been satisfied in so accepting them. The desired
secession, and nothing short of secession, would in truth have been
acceptable to them. But in doing so Mr. Lincoln would have been
the most dishonest politician even in America. The North would
have been in arms against him; and any true spirit of agreement
between the cotton-growing slave States and the manufacturing
States of the North, or the agricultural States of the West, would
have been as far off and as improbable as it is now. Mr.
Crittenden, who proffered his compromise to the Senate in December,
1860, was at that time one of the two Senators from Kentucky, a
slave State. He now sits in the Lower House of Congress as a
member from the same State. Kentucky is one of those border States
which has found it impossible to secede, and almost equally
impossible to remain in the Union. It is one of the States into
which it was most probable that the war would be carried--Virginia,
Kentucky, and Missouri being the three States which have suffered
the most in this way. Of Mr. Crittenden's own family, some have
gone with secession and some with the Union. His name had been
honorably connected with American politics for nearly forty years,
and it is not surprising that he should have desired a compromise.
His terms were in fact these--a return to the Missouri compromise,
under which the Union pledged itself that no slavery should exist
north of 36.30 degrees N. lat., unless where it had so existed
prior to the date of that compromise; a pledge that Congress would
not interfere with slavery in the individual States--which under
the Constitution it cannot do; and a pledge that the Fugitive Slave
Law should be carried out by the Northern States. Such a
compromise might seem to make very small demand on the forbearance
of the Republican party, which was now dominant. The repeal of the
Missouri compromise had been to them a loss, and it might be said
that its re-enactment would be a gain. But since that compromise
had been repealed, vast territories south of the line in question
had been added to the union, and the re-enactment of that
compromise would hand those vast regions over to absolute slavery,
as had been done with Texas. This might be all very well for Mr.
Crittenden in the slave State of Kentucky--for Mr. Crittenden,
although a slave owner, desired to perpetuate the Union; but it
would not have been well for New England or for the West. As for
the second proposition, it is well understood that under the
Constitution Congress cannot interfere in any way in the question
of slavery in the individual States. Congress has no more
constitutional power to abolish slavery in Maryland than she has to
introduce it into Massachusetts. No such pledge, therefore, was
necessary on either side. But such a pledge given by the North and
West would have acted as an additional tie upon them, binding them
to the finality of a constitutional enactment to which, as was of
course well known, they strongly object. There was no question of
Congress interfering with slavery, with the purport of extending
its area by special enactment, and therefore by such a pledge the
North and West could gain nothing; but the South would in prestige
have gained much.

But that third proposition as to the Fugitive Slave Law and the
faithful execution of that law by the Northern and Western States
would, if acceded to by Mr. Lincoln's party, have amounted to an
unconditional surrender of everything. What! Massachusetts and
Connecticut carry out the Fugitive Slave Law? Ohio carry out the
Fugitive Slave Law after the "Dred Scott" decision and all its
consequences? Mr. Crittenden might as well have asked Connecticut,
Massachusetts, and Ohio to introduce slavery within their own
lands. The Fugitive Slave Law was then, as it is now, the law of
the land; it was the law of the United States as voted by Congress,
and passed by the President, and acted on by the supreme judge of
the United States Court. But it was a law to which no free State
had submitted itself, or would submit itself. "What!" the English
reader will say, "sundry States in the Union refuse to obey the
laws of the Union--refuse to submit to the constitutional action of
their own Congress?" Yes. Such has been the position of this
country! To such a dead lock has it been brought by the attempted
but impossible amalgamation of North and South. Mr. Crittenden's
compromise was moonshine. It was utterly out of the question that
the free States should bind themselves to the rendition of escaped
slaves, or that Mr. Lincoln, who had just been brought in by their
voices, should agree to any compromise which should attempt so to
bind them. Lord Palmerston might as well attempt to reenact the
Corn Laws.

Then comes the question whether Mr. Lincoln or his government could
have prevented the war after he had entered upon his office in
March, 1861? I do not suppose that any one thinks that he could
have avoided secession and avoided the war also; that by any
ordinary effort of government he could have secured the adhesion of
the Gulf States to the Union after the first shot had been fired at
Fort Sumter. The general opinion in England is, I take it, this--
that secession then was manifestly necessary, and that all the
blood-shed and money-shed, and all this destruction of commerce and
of agriculture might have been prevented by a graceful adhesion to
an indisputable fact. But there are some facts, even some
indisputable facts, to which a graceful adherence is not possible.
Could King Bomba have welcomed Garibaldi to Naples? Can the Pope
shake hands with Victor Emmanuel? Could the English have
surrendered to their rebel colonists peaceable possession of the
colonies? The indisputability of a fact is not very easily settled
while the circumstances are in course of action by which the fact
is to be decided. The men of the Northern States have not believed
in the necessity of secession, but have believed it to be their
duty to enforce the adherence of these States to the Union. The
American governments have been much given to compromises, but had
Mr. Lincoln attempted any compromise by which any one Southern
State could have been let out of the Union, he would have been
impeached. In all probability the whole Constitution would have
gone to ruin, and the Presidency would have been at an end. At any
rate, his Presidency would have been at an end. When secession, or
in other words rebellion, was once commenced, he had no alternative
but the use of coercive measures for putting it down--that is, he
had no alternative but war. It is not to be supposed that he or
his ministry contemplated such a war as has existed--with 600,000
men in arms on one side, each man with his whole belongings
maintained at a cost of 150l. per annum, or ninety millions
sterling per annum for the army. Nor did we when we resolved to
put down the French revolution think of such a national debt as we
now owe. These things grow by degrees, and the mind also grows in
becoming used to them; but I cannot see that there was any moment
at which Mr. Lincoln could have stayed his hand and cried peace.
It is easy to say now that acquiescence in secession would have
been better than war, but there has been no moment when he could
have said so with any avail. It was incumbent on him to put down
rebellion, or to be put down by it. So it was with us in America
in 1776.

I do not think that we in England have quite sufficiently taken all
this into consideration. We have been in the habit of exclaiming
very loudly against the war, execrating its cruelty and
anathematizing its results, as though the cruelty were all
superfluous and the results unnecessary. But I do not remember to
have seen any statement as to what the Northern States should have
done--what they should have done, that is, as regards the South, or
when they should have done it. It seems to me that we have decided
as regards them that civil war is a very bad thing, and that
therefore civil war should be avoided. But bad things cannot
always be avoided. It is this feeling on our part that has
produced so much irritation in them against us--reproducing, of
course, irritation on our part against them. They cannot
understand that we should not wish them to be successful in putting
down a rebellion; nor can we understand why they should be
outrageous against us for standing aloof, and keeping our hands, if
it be only possible, out of the fire.

When Slidell and Mason were arrested, my opinions were not changed,
but my feelings were altered. I seemed to acknowledge to myself
that the treatment to which England had been subjected, and the
manner in which that treatment was discussed, made it necessary
that I should regard the question as it existed between England and
the States, rather than in its reference to the North and South. I
had always felt that as regarded the action of our government we
had been sans reproche; that in arranging our conduct we had
thought neither of money nor political influence, but simply of the
justice of the case--promising to abstain from all interference and
keeping that promise faithfully. It had been quite clear to me
that the men of the North, and the women also, had failed to
appreciate this, looking, as men in a quarrel always do look, for
special favor on their side. Everything that England did was
wrong. If a private merchant, at his own risk, took a cargo of
rifles to some Southern port, that act to Northern eyes was an act
of English interference--of favor shown to the South by England as
a nation; but twenty shiploads of rifles sent from England to the
North merely signified a brisk trade and a desire for profit. The
"James Adger," a Northern man-of-war, was refitted at Southampton
as a matter of course. There was no blame to England for that.
But the Nashville, belonging to the Confederates, should not have
been allowed into English waters. It was useless to speak of
neutrality. No Northerner would understand that a rebel could have
any mutual right. The South had no claim in his eyes as a
belligerent, though the North claimed all those rights which he
could only enjoy by the fact of there being a recognized war
between him and his enemy the South. The North was learning to
hate England, and day by day the feeling grew upon me that, much as
I wished to espouse the cause of the North, I should have to
espouse the cause of my own country. Then Slidell and Mason were
arrested, and I began to calculate how long I might remain in the
country. "There is no danger. We are quite right," the lawyers
said. "There are Vattel, and Puffendorff, and Stowell, and
Phillimore, and Wheaton," said the ladies. "Ambassadors are
contraband all the world over--more so than gunpowder; and if taken
in a neutral bottom," etc. I wonder why ships are always called
bottoms when spoken of with legal technicality? But neither the
lawyers nor the ladies convinced me. I know that there are matters
which will be read not in accordance with any written law, but in
accordance with the bias of the reader's mind. Such laws are made
to be strained any way. I knew how it would be. All the legal
acumen of New England declared the seizure of Slidell and Mason to
be right. The legal acumen of Old England has declared it to be
wrong; and I have no doubt that the ladies of Old England can prove
it to be wrong out of Yattel, Puffendorff, Stowell, Phillimore, and

"But there's Grotius," I said, to an elderly female at New York,
who had quoted to me some half dozen writers on international law,
thinking thereby that I should trump her last card. "I've looked
into Grotius too," said she, "and as far as I can see," etc. etc.
etc. So I had to fall back again on the convictions to which
instinct and common sense had brought me. I never doubted for a
moment that those convictions would be supported by English

I left Boston with a sad feeling at my heart that a quarrel was
imminent between England and the States, and that any such quarrel
must be destructive to the cause of the North. I had never
believed that the States of New England and the Gulf States would
again become parts of one nation, but I had thought that the terms
of separation would be dictated by the North, and not by the South.
I had felt assured that South Carolina and the Gulf States, across
from the Atlantic to Texas, would succeed in forming themselves
into a separate confederation; but I had still hoped that Maryland,
Virginia, Kentucky, and Missouri might be saved to the grander
empire of the North, and that thus a great blow to slavery might be
the consequence of this civil war. But such ascendency could only
fall to the North by reason of their command of the sea. The
Northern ports were all open, and the Southern ports were all
closed. But if this should be reversed. If by England's action
the Southern ports should be opened, and the Northern ports closed,
the North could have no fair expectation of success. The
ascendency in that case would all be with the South. Up to that
moment--the Christmas of 1861--Maryland was kept in subjection by
the guns which General Dix had planted over the City of Baltimore.
Two-thirds of Virginia were in active rebellion, coerced originally
into that position by her dependence for the sale of her slaves on
the cotton States. Kentucky was doubtful, and divided. When the
Federal troops prevailed, Kentucky was loyal; when the Confederate
troops prevailed, Kentucky was rebellious. The condition in
Missouri was much the same. These four States, by two of which the
capital, with its District of Columbia, is surrounded, might be
gained or might be lost. And these four States are susceptible of
white labor--as much so as Ohio and Illinois--are rich in
fertility, and rich also in all associations which must be dear to
Americans. Without Virginia, Maryland, and Kentucky, without the
Potomac, the Chesapeake, and Mount Vernon, the North would indeed
be shorn of its glory! But it seemed to be in the power of the
North to say under what terms secession should take place, and
where should be the line. A Senator from South Carolina could
never again sit in the same chamber with one from Massachusetts;
but there need be no such bar against the border States. So much
might at any rate be gained, and might stand hereafter as the
product of all that money spent on 600,000 soldiers. But if the
Northerners should now elect to throw themselves into a quarrel
with England, if in the gratification of a shameless braggadocio
they should insist on doing what they liked, not only with their
own, but with the property of all others also, it certainly did
seem as though utter ruin must await their cause. With England, or
one might say with Europe, against them, secession must be
accomplished, not on Northern terms, but on terms dictated by the
South. The choice was then for them to make; and just at that time
it seemed as though they were resolved to throw away every good
card out of their hand. Such had been the ministerial wisdom of
Mr. Seward. I remember hearing the matter discussed in easy terms
by one of the United States Senators. "Remember, Mr. Trollope," he
said to me, "we don't want a war with England. If the choice is
given to us, we had rather not fight England. Fighting is a bad
thing. But remember this also, Mr. Trollope, that if the matter is
pressed on us, we have no great objection. We had rather not, but
we don't care much one way or the other." What one individual may
say to another is not of much moment, but this Senator was
expressing the feelings of his constituents, who were the
legislature of the State from whence he came. He was expressing
the general idea on the subject of a large body of Americans. It
was not that he and his State had really no objection to the war.
Such a war loomed terribly large before the minds of them all.
They know it to be fraught with the saddest consequences. It was
so regarded in the mind of that Senator. But the braggadocio could
not be omitted. Had be omitted it, he would have been untrue to
his constituency.

When I left Boston for Washington, nothing was as yet known of what
the English government or the English lawyers might say. This was
in the first week in December, and the expected voice from England
could not be heard till the end of the second week. It was a
period of great suspense, and of great sorrow also to the more
sober-minded Americans. To me the idea of such a war was terrible.
It seemed that in these days all the hopes of our youth were being
shattered. That poetic turning of the sword into a sickle, which
gladdened our hearts ten or twelve years since, had been clean
banished from men's minds. To belong to a peace party was to be
either a fanatic, an idiot, or a driveler. The arts of war had
become everything. Armstrong guns, themselves indestructible but
capable of destroying everything within sight, and most things out
of sight, were the only recognized results of man's inventive
faculties. To build bigger, stronger, and more ships than the
French was England's glory. To hit a speck with a rifle bullet at
800 yards distance was an Englishman's first duty. The proper use
for a young man's leisure hours was the practice of drilling. All
this had come upon us with very quick steps since the beginning of
the Russian war. But if fighting must needs be done, one did not
feel special grief at fighting a Russian. That the Indian mutiny
should be put down was a matter of course. That those Chinese
rascals should be forced into the harness of civilization was a
good thing. That England should be as strong as France--or,
perhaps, if possible a little stronger--recommended itself to an
Englishman's mind as a State necessity. But a war with the States
of America! In thinking of it I began to believe that the world
was going backward. Over sixty millions sterling of stock--railway
stock and such like--are held in America by Englishmen, and the
chances would be that before such a war could be finished the whole
of that would be confiscated. Family connections between the
States and the British isles are almost as close as between one of
those islands and another. The commercial intercourse between the
two countries has given bread to millions of Englishmen, and a
break in it would rob millions of their bread. These people speak
our language, use our prayers, read our books, are ruled by our
laws, dress themselves in our image, are warm with our blood. They
have all our virtues; and their vices are our own too, loudly as we
call out against them. They are our sons and our daughters, the
source of our greatest pride, and as we grow old they should be the
staff of our age. Such a war as we should now wage with the States
would be an unloosing of hell upon all that is best upon the
world's surface. If in such a war we beat the Americans, they with
their proud stomachs would never forgive us. If they should be
victors, we should never forgive ourselves. I certainly could not
bring myself to speak of it with the equanimity of my friend the

I went through New York to Philadelphia, and made a short visit to
the latter town. Philadelphia seems to me to have thrown off its
Quaker garb, and to present itself to the world in the garments
ordinarily assumed by large cities--by which I intend to express my
opinion that the Philadelphians are not, in these latter days, any
better than their neighbors. I am not sure whether in some
respects they may not perhaps be worse. Quakers--Quakers
absolutely in the very flesh of close bonnets and brown knee-
breeches--are still to be seen there; but they are not numerous,
and would not strike the eye if one did not specially look for a
Quaker at Philadelphia. It is a large town, with a very large
hotel--there are no doubt half a dozen large hotels, but one of
them is specially great--with long, straight streets, good shops
and markets, and decent, comfortable-looking houses. The houses of
Philadelphia generally are not so large as those of other great
cities in the States. They are more modest than those of New York,
and less commodious than those of Boston. Their most striking
appendage is the marble steps at the front doors. Two doors, as a
rule, enjoy one set of steps, on the outer edges of which there is
generally no parapet or raised curb-stone. This, to my eye, gave
the houses an unfinished appearance--as though the marble ran
short, and no further expenditure could be made. The frost came
when I was there, and then all these steps were covered up in
wooden cases.

The City of Philadelphia lies between the two rivers, the Delaware
and the Schuylkill. Eight chief streets run from river to river,
and twenty-four principal cross-streets bisect the eight at right
angles. The cross-streets are all called by their numbers. In the
long streets the numbers of the houses are not consecutive, but
follow the numbers of the cross-streets; so that a person living on
Chestnut Street between Tenth Street and Eleventh Street, and ten
doors from Tenth Street, would live at No. 1010. The opposite
house would be No. 1011. It thus follows that the number of the
house indicates the exact block of houses in which it is situated.
I do not like the right-angled building of these towns, nor do I
like the sound of Twentieth Street and Thirtieth Street; but I must
acknowledge that the arrangement in Philadelphia has its
convenience. In New York I found it by no means an easy thing to
arrive at the desired locality.

They boast in Philadelphia that they have half a million
inhabitants. If this be taken as a true calculation, Philadelphia
is in size the fourth city in the world--putting out of the
question the cities of China, as to which we have heard so much and
believe so little. But in making this calculation the citizens
include the population of a district on some sides ten miles
distant from Philadelphia. It takes in other towns, connected with
it by railway but separated by large spaces of open country.
American cities are very proud of their population; but if they all
counted in this way, there would soon be no rural population left
at all. There is a very fine bank at Philadelphia, and
Philadelphia is a town somewhat celebrated in its banking history.
My remarks here, however, apply simply to the external building,
and not to its internal honesty and wisdom, or to its commercial

In Philadelphia also stands the old house of Congress--the house in
which the Congress of the United States was held previous to 1800,
when the government and the Congress with it were moved to the new
City of Washington. I believe, however, that the first Congress,
properly so called, was assembled at New York in 1789, the date of
the inauguration of the first President. It was, however, here in
this building at Philadelphia that the independence of the Union
was declared in 1776, and that the Constitution of the United
States was framed.

Pennsylvania, with Philadelphia for its capital, was once the
leading State of the Union, leading by a long distance. At the end
of the last century it beat all the other States in population, but
has since been surpassed by New York in all respects--in
population, commerce, wealth, and general activity. Of course it
is known that Pennsylvania was granted to William Penn, the Quaker,
by Charles II. I cannot completely understand what was the meaning
of such grants--how far they implied absolute possession in the
territory, or how far they confirmed simply the power of settling
and governing a colony. In this case a very considerable property
was confirmed; as the claim made by Penn's children, after Penn's
death, was bought up by the commonwealth of Pennsylvania for
130,000l., which, in those days, was a large price for almost any
landed estate on the other side of the Atlantic.

Pennsylvania lies directly on the borders of slave land, being
immediately north of Maryland. Mason and Dixon's line, of which we
hear so often, and which was first established as the division
between slave soil and free soil, runs between Pennsylvania and
Maryland. The little State of Delaware, which lies between
Maryland and the Atlantic, is also tainted with slavery, but the
stain is not heavy nor indelible. In a population of a hundred and
twelve thousand, there are not two thousand slaves, and of these
the owners generally would willingly rid themselves if they could.
It is, however, a point of honor with these owners, as it is also
in Maryland, not to sell their slaves; and a man who cannot sell
his slaves must keep them. Were he to enfranchise them and send
them about their business, they would come back upon his hands.
Were he to enfranchise them and pay them wages for work, they would
get the wages, but he would not get the work. They would get the
wages; but at the end of three months they would still fall back
upon his hands in debt and distress, looking to him for aid and
comfort as a child looks for it. It is not easy to get rid of a
slave in a slave State. That question of enfranchising slaves is
not one to be very readily solved.

In Pennsylvania the right of voting is confined to free white men.
In New York the colored free men have the right to vote, providing
they have a certain small property qualification, and have been
citizens for three years in the State, whereas a white man need
have been a citizen but for ten days, and need have no property
qualification--from which it is seen that the position of the negro
becomes worse, or less like that of a white man, as the border of
slave land is more nearly reached. But, in the teeth of this
embargo on colored men, the constitution of Pennsylvania asserts
broadly that all men are born equally free and independent. One
cannot conceive how two clauses can have found their way into the
same document so absolutely contradictory to each other. The first
clause says that white men shall vote, and that black men shall
not--which means that all political action shall be confined to
white men. The second clause says that all men are born equally
free and independent.

In Philadelphia I for the first time came across live
secessionists--secessionists who pronounced themselves to be such.
I will not say that I had met in other cities men who falsely
declared themselves true to the Union; but I had fancied, in regard
to some, that their words were a little stronger than their
feelings. When a man's bread--and, much more, when the bread of
his wife and children--depends on his professing a certain line of
political conviction, it is very hard for him to deny his assent to
the truth of the argument. One feels that a man, under such
circumstances, is bound to be convinced, unless he be in a position
which may make a stanch adherence to opposite politics a matter of
grave public importance. In the North I had fancied that I could
sometimes read a secessionist tendency under a cloud of Unionist
protestations. But in Philadelphia men did not seem to think it
necessary to have recourse to such a cloud. I generally found, in
mixed society, that even there the discussion of secession was not
permitted; but in society that was not mixed I heard very strong
opinions expressed on each side. With the Unionists nothing was so
strong as the necessity of keeping of Slidell and Mason; when I
suggested that the English government would probably require their
surrender, I was talked down and ridiculed. "Never that--come what
may." Then, within half an hour, I would be told by a secessionist
that England must demand reparation if she meant to retain any
place among the great nations of the world; but he also would
declare that the men would not be surrendered. "She must make the
demand," the secessionists would say, "and then there will be war;
and after that we shall see whose ports will be blockaded!" The
Southerner has ever looked to England for some breach of the
blockade quite as strongly as the North has looked to England for
sympathy and aid in keeping it.

The railway from Philadelphia to Baltimore passes along the top of
Chesapeake Bay and across the Susquehanna River; at least the
railway cars do so. On one side of that river they are run on to a
huge ferry-boat, and are again run off at the other side. Such an
operation would seem to be one of difficulty to us under any
circumstances; but as the Susquehanna is a tidal river, rising and
falling a considerable number of feet, the natural impediment in
the way of such an enterprise would, I think, have staggered us.
We should have built a bridge costing two or three millions
sterling, on which no conceivable amount of traffic would pay a
fair dividend. Here, in crossing the Susquehanna, the boat is so
constructed that its deck shall be level with the line of the
railway at half tide, so that the inclined plane from the shore
down to the boat, or from the shore up to the boat, shall never
exceed half the amount of the rise or fall. One would suppose that
the most intricate machinery would have been necessary for such an
arrangement; but it was all rough and simple, and apparently
managed by two negroes. We would employ a small corps of engineers
to conduct such an operation, and men and women would be detained
in their carriages under all manner of threats as to the peril of
life and limb; but here everybody was expected to look out for
himself. The cars were dragged up the inclined plane by a hawser
attached to an engine, which hawser, had the stress broken it, as I
could not but fancy probable, would have flown back and cut to
pieces a lot of us who were standing in front of the car. But I do
not think that any such accident would have caused very much
attention. Life and limbs are not held to be so precious here as
they are in England. It may be a question whether with us they are
not almost too precious. Regarding railways in America generally,
as to the relative safety of which, when compared with our own, we
have not in England a high opinion, I must say that I never saw any
accident or in any way became conversant with one. It is said that
large numbers of men and women are slaughtered from time to time on
different lines; but if it be so, the newspapers make very light of
such cases. I myself have seen no such slaughter, nor have I even
found myself in the vicinity of a broken bone. Beyond the
Susquehanna we passed over a creek of Chesapeake Bay on a long
bridge. The whole scenery here is very pretty, and the view up the
Susquehanna is fine. This is the bay which divides the State of
Maryland into two parts, and which is blessed beyond all other bays
by the possession of canvas-back ducks. Nature has done a great
deal for the State of Maryland, but in nothing more than in sending
thither these webfooted birds of Paradise.

Nature has done a great deal for Maryland; and Fortune also has
done much for it in these latter days in directing the war from its
territory. But for the peculiar position of Washington as the
capital, all that is now being done in Virginia would have been
done in Maryland, and I must say that the Marylanders did their
best to bring about such a result. Had the presence of the war
been regarded by the men of Baltimore as an unalloyed benefit, they
could not have made a greater struggle to bring it close to them.
Nevertheless fate has so far spared them.

As the position of Maryland and the course of events as they took
place in Baltimore on the commencement of secession had
considerable influence both in the North and in the South, I will
endeavor to explain how that State was affected, and how the
question was affected by that State. Maryland, as I have said
before, is a slave State lying immediately south of Mason and
Dixon's line. Small portions both of Virginia and of Delaware do
run north of Maryland, but practically Maryland is the frontier
State of the slave States. It was therefore of much importance to
know which way Maryland would go in the event of secession among
the slave States becoming general; and of much also to ascertain
whether it could secede if desirous of doing so. I am inclined to
think that as a State it was desirous of following Virginia, though
there are many in Maryland who deny this very stoutly. But it was
at once evident that if loyalty to the North could not be had in
Maryland of its own free will, adherence to the North must be
enforced upon Maryland. Otherwise the City of Washington could not
be maintained as the existing capital of the nation.

The question of the fidelity of the State to the Union was first
tried by the arrival at Baltimore of a certain Commissioner from
the State of Mississippi, who visited that city with the object of
inducing secession. It must be understood that Baltimore is the
commercial capital of Maryland, whereas Annapolis is the seat of
government and the legislature--or is, in other terms, the
political capital. Baltimore is a city containing 230,000
inhabitants, and is considered to have as strong and perhaps as
violent a mob as any city in the Union. Of the above number 30,000
are negroes and 2000 are slaves. The Commissioner made his appeal,
telling his tale of Southern grievances, declaring, among other
things, that secession was not intended to break up the government
but to perpetuate it, and asked for the assistance and sympathy of
Maryland. This was in December, 1860. The Commissioner was
answered by Governor Hicks, who was placed in a somewhat difficult
position. The existing legislature of the State was presumed to be
secessionist, but the legislature was not sitting, nor in the
ordinary course of things would that legislature have been called
on to sit again. The legislature of Maryland is elected every
other year, and in the ordinary course sits only once in the two
years. That session had been held, and the existing legislature
was therefore exempt from further work--unless specially summoned
for an extraordinary session. To do this is within the power of
the Governor. But Governor Hicks, who seems to have been mainly
anxious to keep things quiet, and whose individual politics did not
come out strongly, was not inclined to issue the summons. "Let us
show moderation as well as firmness," he said; and that was about
all he did say to the Commissioner from Mississippi. The Governor
after that was directly called on to convene the legislature; but
this he refused to do, alleging that it would not be safe to trust
the discussion of such a subject as secession to "excited
politicians, many of whom, having nothing to lose from the
destruction of the government, may hope to derive some gain from
the ruin of the State!" I quote these words, coming from the head
of the executive of the State and spoken with reference to the
legislature of the State, with the object of showing in what light
the political leaders of a State may be held in that very State to
which they belong. If we are to judge of these legislators from
the opinion expressed by Governor Hicks, they could hardly have
been fit for their places. That plan of governing by the little
men has certainly not answered. It need hardly be said that
Governor Hicks, having expressed such an opinion of his State's
legislature, refused to call them to an extraordinary session.

On the 18th of April, 1860, Governor Hicks issued a proclamation to
the people of Maryland, begging them to be quiet, the chief object
of which, however, was that of promising that no troops should be
sent from their State, unless with the object of guarding the
neighboring City of Washington--a promise which he had no means of
fulfilling, seeing that the President of the United States is the
commander-in-chief of the army of the nation, and can summon the
militia of the several States. This proclamation by the Governor
to the State was immediately backed up by one from the Mayor of
Baltimore to the city, in which he congratulates the citizens on
the Governor's promise that none of their troops are to be sent to
another State; and then he tells them that they shall be preserved
from the horrors of civil war.

But on the very next day the horrors of civil war began in
Baltimore. By this time President Lincoln was collecting troops at
Washington for the protection of the capital; and that army of the
Potomac, which has ever since occupied the Virginian side of the
river, was in course of construction. To join this, certain troops
from Massachusetts were sent down by the usual route, via New York,
Philadelphia, and Baltimore; but on their reaching Baltimore by
railway, the mob of that town refused to allow them to pass
through,--and a fight began. Nine citizens were killed and two
soldiers, and as many more were wounded. This, I think, was the
first blood spilt in the civil war; and the attack was first made
by the mob of the first slave city reached by the Northern
soldiers. This goes far to show, not that the border States
desired secession, but that, when compelled to choose between
secession and Union, when not allowed by circumstances to remain
neutral, their sympathies were with their sister slave States
rather than with the North.

Then there was a great running about of official men between
Baltimore and Washington, and the President was besieged with
entreaties that no troops should be sent through Baltimore. Now
this was hard enough upon President Lincoln, seeing that he was
bound to defend his capital, that he could get no troops from the
South, and that Baltimore is on the high-road from Washington both
to the West and to the North; but, nevertheless, he gave way. Had
he not done so, all Baltimore would have been in a blaze of
rebellion, and the scene of the coming contest must have been
removed from Virginia to Maryland, and Congress and the government
must have traveled from Washington north to Philadelphia. "They
shall not come through Baltimore," said Mr. Lincoln. "But they
shall come through the State of Maryland. They shall be passed
over Chesapeake Bay by water to Annapolis, and shall come up by
rail from thence." This arrangement was as distasteful to the
State of Maryland as the other; but Annapolis is a small town
without a mob, and the Marylanders had no means of preventing the
passage of the troops. Attempts were made to refuse the use of the
Annapolis branch railway, but General Butler had the arranging of
that. General Butler was a lawyer from Boston, and by no means
inclined to indulge the scruples of the Marylanders who had so
roughly treated his fellow-citizens from Massachusetts. The troops
did therefore pass by Annapolis, much to the disgust of the State.
On the 27th of April, Governor Hicks, having now had a sufficiency
of individual responsibility, summoned the legislature of which he
had expressed so bad an opinion; but on this occasion he omitted to
repeat that opinion, and submitted his views in very proper terms
to the wisdom of the senators and representatives. He entertains,
as he says, an honest conviction that the safety of Maryland lies
in preserving a neutral position between the North and the South.
Certainly, Governor Hicks, if it were only possible! The
legislature again went to work to prevent, if it might be
prevented, the passage of troops through their State; but luckily
for them, they failed. The President was bound to defend
Washington, and the Marylanders were denied their wish of having
their own fields made the fighting ground of the civil war.

That which appears to me to be the most remarkable feature in all
this is the antagonism between United States law and individual
State feeling. Through the whole proceeding the Governor and the
State of Maryland seemed to have considered it quite reasonable to
oppose the constitutional power of the President and his
government. It is argued in all the speeches and written documents
that were produced in Maryland at the time, that Maryland was true
to the Union; and yet she put herself in opposition to the
constitutional military power of the President. Certain
Commissioners went from the State legislature to Washington in May,
and from their report it appears that the President had expressed
himself of opinion that Maryland might do this or that "as long as
she had not taken and was not about to take a hostile attitude to
the Federal government!" From which we are to gather that a denial
of that military power given to the President by the Constitution
was not considered as an attitude hostile to the Federal
government. At any rate, it was direct disobedience to Federal
law. I cannot but revert from this to the condition of the
Fugitive Slave Law. Federal law, and indeed the original
constitution, plainly declare that fugitive slaves shall be given
up by the free-soil States. Massachusetts proclaims herself to be
specially a Federal law-loving State. But every man in
Massachusetts knows that no judge, no sheriff, no magistrate, no
policeman in that State would at this time, or then, when that
civil war was beginning, have lent a hand in any way to the
rendition of a fugitive slave. The Federal law requires the State
to give up the fugitive, but the State law does not require judge,
sheriff, magistrate, or policeman to engage in such work, and no
judge, sheriff or magistrate will do so; consequently that Federal
law is dead in Massachusetts, as it is also in every free-soil
State,--dead, except in as much as there was life in it to create
ill blood as long as the North and South remained together, and
would be life in it for the same effect if they should again be
brought under the same flag.

On the 10th of May, the Maryland legislature, having received the
report of their Commissioners above mentioned, passed the following

"Whereas, the war against the Confederate States is
unconstitutional and repugnant to civilization, and will result in
a bloody and shameful overthrow of our constitution, and while
recognizing the obligations of Maryland to the Union, we sympathize
with the South in the struggle for their rights; for the sake of
humanity we are for peace and reconciliation, and solemnly protest
against this war, and will take no part in it.

"RESOLVED, That Maryland implores the President, in the name of
God, to cease this unholy war, at least until Congress assembles"--
a period of above six months. "That Maryland desires and consents
to the recognition of the independence of the Confederate States.
The military occupation of Maryland is unconstitutional, and she
protests against it, though the violent interference with the
transit of the Federal troops is discountenanced. That the
vindication of her rights be left to time and reason, and that a
convention under existing circumstances is inexpedient." From
which it is plain that Maryland would have seceded as effectually
as Georgia seceded, had she not been prevented by the interposition
of Washington between her and the Confederate States--the happy
intervention, seeing that she has thus been saved from becoming the
battle-ground of the contest. But the legislature had to pay for
its rashness. On the 13th of September thirteen of its members
were arrested, as were also two editors of newspapers presumed to
be secessionists. A member of Congress was also arrested at the
same time, and a candidate for Governor Hicks's place, who belonged
to the secessionist party. Previously, in the last days of June
and beginning of July, the chief of the police at Baltimore and the
members of the Board of Police had been arrested by General Banks,
who then held Baltimore in his power.

I should be sorry to be construed as saying that republican
institutions, or what may more properly be called democratic
institutions, have been broken down in the States of America. I am
far from thinking that they have broken down. Taking them and
their work as a whole, I think that they have shown and still show
vitality of the best order. But the written Constitution of the
United States and of the several States, as bearing upon each
other, are not equal to the requirements made upon them. That, I
think, is the conclusion to which a spectator should come. It is
in that doctrine of finality that our friends have broken down--a
doctrine not expressed in their constitutions, and indeed expressly
denied in the Constitution of the United States, which provides the
mode in which amendments shall be made--but appearing plainly
enough in every word of self-gratulation which comes from them.
Political finality has ever proved a delusion--as has the idea of
finality in all human institutions. I do not doubt but that the
republican form of government will remain and make progress in
North America, but such prolonged existence and progress must be
based on an acknowledgment of the necessity for change, and must
much depend on the facilities for change which shall be afforded.

I have described the condition of Baltimore as it was early in May,
1861. I reached that city just seven months later, and its
condition was considerably altered. There was no question then
whether troops should pass through Baltimore, or by an awkward
round through Annapolis, or not pass at all through Maryland.
General Dix, who had succeeded General Banks, was holding the city
in his grip, and martial law prevailed. In such times as those, it
was bootless to inquire as to that promise that no troops should
pass southward through Baltimore. What have such assurances ever
been worth in such days? Baltimore was now a military depot in the
hands of the Northern army, and General Dix was not a man to stand
any trifling. He did me the honor to take me to the top of Federal
Hill, a suburb of the city, on which he had raised great earthworks
and planted mighty cannons, and built tents and barracks for his
soldiery, and to show me how instantaneously he could destroy the
town from his exalted position. "This hill was made for the very
purpose," said General Dix; and no doubt he thought so. Generals,
when they have fine positions and big guns and prostrate people
lying under their thumbs, are inclined to think that God's
providence has specially ordained them and their points of vantage.
It is a good thing in the mind of a general so circumstanced that
200,000 men should be made subject to a dozen big guns. I confess
that to me, having had no military education, the matter appeared
in a different light, and I could not work up my enthusiasm to a
pitch which would have been suitable to the general's courtesy.
That hill, on which many of the poor of Baltimore had lived, was
desecrated in my eyes by those columbiads. The neat earth-works
were ugly, as looked upon by me; and though I regarded General Dix
as energetic, and no doubt skillful in the work assigned to him, I
could not sympathize with his exultation.

Previously to the days of secession Baltimore had been guarded by
Fort McHenry, which lies on a spit of land running out into the bay
just below the town. Hither I went with General Dix, and he
explained to me how the cannon had heretofore been pointed solely
toward the sea; that, however, now was all changed, and the mouths
of his bombs and great artillery were turned all the other way.
The commandant of the fort was with us, and other officers, and
they all spoke of this martial tenure as a great blessing. Hearing
them, one could hardly fail to suppose that they had lived their
forty, fifty, or sixty years of life in full reliance on the powers
of a military despotism. But not the less were they American
republicans, who, twelve months since, would have dilated on the
all-sufficiency of their republican institutions, and on the
absence of any military restraint in their country, with that
peculiar pride which characterizes the citizens of the States.
There are, however, some lessons which may be learned with singular

Such was the state of Baltimore when I visited that city. I found,
nevertheless, that cakes and ale still prevailed there. I am
inclined to think that cakes and ale prevail most freely in times
that are perilous, and when sources of sorrow abound. I have seen
more reckless joviality in a town stricken by pestilence than I
ever encountered elsewhere. There was General Dix seated on
Federal Hill with his cannon; and there, beneath his artillery,
were gentlemen hotly professing themselves to be secessionists, men
whose sons and brothers were in the Southern army, and women, alas!
whose brothers would be in one army, and their sons in another.
That was the part of it which was most heartrending in this border
land. In New England and New York men's minds at any rate were
bent all in the same direction--as doubtless they were also in
Georgia and Alabama. But here fathers were divided from sons, and
mothers from daughters. Terrible tales were told of threats
uttered by one member of a family against another. Old ties of
friendship were broken up. Society had so divided itself that one
side could hold no terms of courtesy with the other. "When this is
over," one gentleman said to me, "every man in Baltimore will have
a quarrel to the death on his hands with some friend whom he used
to love." The complaints made on both sides were eager and open-
mouthed against the other.

Late in the autumn an election for a new legislature of the State
had taken place, and the members returned were all supposed to be
Unionists. That they were prepared to support the government is
certain. But no known or presumed secessionist was allowed to vote
without first taking the oath of allegiance. The election,
therefore, even if the numbers were true, cannot be looked upon as
a free election. Voters were stopped at the poll and not allowed
to vote unless they would take an oath which would, on their parts,
undoubtedly have been false. It was also declared in Baltimore
that men engaged to promote the Northern party were permitted to
vote five or six times over, and the enormous number of votes
polled on the government side gave some coloring to the statement.
At any rate, an election carried under General Dix's guns cannot be
regarded as an open election. It was out of the question that any
election taken under such circumstances should be worth anything as
expressing the minds of the people. Red and white had been
declared to be the colors of the Confederates, and red and white
had of course become the favorite colors of the Baltimore ladies.
Then it was given out that red and white would not be allowed in
the streets. Ladies wearing red and white were requested to return
home. Children decorated with red and white ribbons were stripped
of their bits of finery--much to their infantile disgust and
dismay. Ladies would put red and white ornaments in their windows,
and the police would insist on the withdrawal of the colors. Such
was the condition of Baltimore during the past winter.
Nevertheless cakes and ale abounded; and though there was deep
grief in the city, and wailing in the recesses of many houses, and
a feeling that the good times were gone, never to return within the
days of many of them, still there existed an excitement and a
consciousness of the importance of the crisis which was not
altogether unsatisfactory. Men and women can endure to be ruined,
to be torn from their friends, to be overwhelmed with avalanches of
misfortune, better than they can endure to be dull.

Baltimore is, or at any rate was, an aspiring city, proud of its
commerce and proud of its society. It has regarded itself as the
New York of the South, and to some extent has forced others so to
regard it also. In many respects it is more like an English town
than most of its Transatlantic brethren, and the ways of its
inhabitants are English. In old days a pack of fox hounds was kept
here--or indeed in days that are not yet very old, for I was told
of their doings by a gentleman who had long been a member of the
hunt. The country looks as a hunting country should look, whereas
no man that ever crossed a field after a pack of hounds would feel
the slightest wish to attempt that process in New England or New
York. There is in Baltimore an old inn with an old sign, standing
at the corner of Eutaw and Franklin Streets, just such as may still
be seen in the towns of Somersetshire, and before it there are to
be seen old wagons, covered and soiled and battered, about to
return from the city to the country, just as the wagons do in our
own agricultural counties. I have seen nothing so thoroughly
English in any other part of the Union.

But canvas-back ducks and terrapins are the great glories of
Baltimore. Of the nature of the former bird I believe all the
world knows something. It is a wild duck which obtains the
peculiarity of its flavor from the wild celery on which it feeds.
This celery grows on the Chesapeake Bay, and I believe on the
Chesapeake Bay only. At any rate, Baltimore is the headquarters of
the canvas-backs, and it is on the Chesapeake Bay that they are
shot. I was kindly invited to go down on a shooting-party; but
when I learned that I should have to ensconce myself alone for
hours in a wet wooden box on the water's edge, waiting there for
the chance of a duck to come to me, I declined. The fact of my
never having as yet been successful in shooting a bird of any kind
conduced somewhat, perhaps, to my decision. I must acknowledge that
the canvas-back duck fully deserves all the reputation it has
acquired. As to the terrapin, I have not so much to say. The
terrapin is a small turtle, found on the shores of Maryland and
Virginia, out of which a very rich soup is made. It is cooked with
wines and spices, and is served in the shape of a hash, with heaps
of little bones mixed through it. It is held in great repute, and
the guest is expected as a matter of course to be helped twice.
The man who did not eat twice of terrapin would be held in small
repute, as the Londoner is held who at a city banquet does not
partake of both thick and thin turtle. I must, however, confess
that the terrapin for me had no surpassing charms.

Maryland was so called from Henrietta Maria, the wife of Charles
I., by which king, in 1632, the territory was conceded to the Roman
Catholic Lord Baltimore. It was chiefly peopled by Roman
Catholics, but I do not think that there is now any such specialty
attaching to the State. There are in it two or three old Roman
Catholic families, but the people have come down from the North,
and have no peculiar religious tendencies. Some of Lord
Baltimore's descendants remained in the State up to the time of the
Revolution. From Baltimore I went on to Washington.



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