June 8, 1861

Macomb Eagle

Douglas is Dead.

“Words are but things,” sometimes; but these words are of no ordinary significance.  This event, although partially anticipated by the accounts of the prostrating illness, is yet so overwhelming, and carries such a load of sorrow and affliction, that nothing is heard but the voice of lamentation and mourning.  A nation mourns the loss of her first statesman; a loss that, in this hour of calamity and peril, will be doubly felt – a loss that it will be impossible to supply.  Millions of hearts are afflicted; for he who was the leader in the political field, and the foremost in the councils of the Republic, sleeps the sleep of death; the mighty heart, that beat only for his country, is stilled; the giant intellect, that was quick to perceive and untiring to defend constitutional and civil rights, has passed away! – Dumb is the tongue, whose eloquence has thrilled the country for these many years.

What can we say of Stephen A. Douglas, that is not already known?  What child even is there in the land, who is not familiar with his fame and his virtues, as with a “thrice-told tale?”  Every page of our history is blazoned with his name, and glows with a living light from the lustre of his transcendant intellect and the patriotism of his unsullied devotion to the best interests of the people.  As those who dwell upon the mountain tops are first to perceive the dawning light, and proclaim it to the dwellers in the shadows of the valleys below: so he stood, elevated by his God-given intellect far above all ordinary minds, and was quick to perceive the dawning of political light, and proclaim it to those who dwelt in shadows of error.  No man ever encountered so severe a partizan bitterness; but that is hushed and buried in his grave.  His enemies now strive with life-long friends to do homage to his memory; they too feel that no party can claim, no State can appropriate him; but that every son of freedom has an inheritance in his deathless fame – a birthright in the priceless legacy of his glorious statesmanship.

“How sleep the brave, who sink to rest,
With all his country’s wishes blest.”


Count the Cost.

            When the people of this country think about undertaking an enterprise – whether it be small or large – they generally count the cost for the purpose of ascertaining whether it will pay.  There are times, however, when men forget this pecuniary part of a project.  Such, we fear, was the case last fall when it was voted to install political republicanism into the place of the government.  The people did not count on the rebellion or secession of seven States, as the first cost of the election of a republican President.  Afterwards, when the States of North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Missouri, asked for equal and exact justice to be secured to them by amendment of the Constitution, the republican administration and Congress refused to grant the request; they did not count the cost of the secession of four of those States before the 1st of June, and the armed occupation of tow more to keep them in the Union.  The loss of fifteen or twenty millions by the people of the West, in consequence of the depreciation of a stock-secured currency, was not counted when “a change” was voted for.  The stagnation of business was not counted; the pouring out of the blood of thousands and tens of thousands of men was not counted; the expenditure of hundreds of millions of dollars was not counted; the low prices for all farm products were not counted; the heavy increase of taxes was not counted; the horrible spectacle of the freest and most enlightened people on the earth engaged in a disastrous and devastating civil war was not counted.  Did we say these things were not counted?  They were counted, and the people were warned of these consequences, if a sectional party should be triumphant.  But the majority had eyes and saw not; they had ears and heard not; they had understanding and believed not these things, lest they should be converted and save the Union in peace and friendship, with an everlasting salvation. – Had the warnings of the Democrats been heeded, the country would not now be convulsed by civil war, the people would not be suffering from a currency made worthless by the war, nor would they be disheartened at the low prices for work and products of the farm, as well as at the prospect of heavy taxes for the future.  Better had they counted the cost!


The Illustrious Dead. – Everywhere we hear of meetings of the people to testify their respect for the illustrious dead.  A nation has put on the habiliments of mourning, and the voice of lamentation is heard in the land. – Should not we of Macomb and McDonough county take some public steps to show our sense of the deep affliction of the country, in the death of so illustrious and noble a statesman?  The remains of Judge Douglas will be buried on Friday at Cottage Grove just south of Chicago.  What more fitting occasion than this to commemorate his obsequies?


  • All the business places of our town will be closed on Friday, from 8 to 3 o’ clock, as a mark of respect for the illustrious dead.


  • The seventeen –year locusts (cicada septemdecim) have made their appearance in great numbers in this country.  The air is full of their “music.”


  • Another Fort Reinforced. – We understand that a large stock of munitions for the trade have lately been received at J. W. Monfort’s headquarters for boots, shoes, hats, [illegible], etc., and that he rather invites an attempt to clear his shelves of their contents.  We rather think J.W. can give “fits” to any one who doubts our word in these premises.


  • Handy Book for the U.S. Soldier. – This is a small volume of 94 pages designed to give a complete system of instruction in the “school of the soldier.”  It will doubtless prove of great utility to all, officers and privates, engaged in the “pomp of war,” and to others who may desire to instruct themselves in this business.  Published by J. B. Lippincott & Co., Philadelphia.


  • Accident by Lightning. – The barn of Mr. John Friend, of Middletown, was struck by lightning during the rain on Saturday last and set on fire.  The fluid passed down the west end of the building, shivering one of the rafters and some of the other timbers and setting fire to the hay.  Some minutes elapsed before it was discovered to be on fire.  But by prompt and energetic actions of the citizens and others, and the advantage of a heavy shower of rain, the flames were soon extinguished.  Mr. Friend was absent at the time, but tenders his sincere thanks to the citizens and others for their timely aid in extinguishing the flames.


  • The Army Worm. – This destructive insect is doing immense damage to the growing crops in the southern and middle parts of the State.  While at Quincy on Tuesday, we learned that they are making their appearance in the south part of that county.  They appear in countless swarms, of all sizes, and make a clean work of every blade of grass, wheat, and corn.  Some farmers plowed furrows around their fields, but that was no obstacle to their march.  How far they will travel is uncertain, as young ones appear among them all the time.  It is not improbable that they will yet extend over all of the State.  Hogs are probably the best instrument for their destruction.

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