July 18, 1863

Macomb Eagle

“A Justifier of the Unholy Rebellion.”

            An anonymous writer in a neighboring republican journal accuses us of publishing the Declaration of Independence, and setting a part of the type in italic letters, for the purpose of justifying the “unholy rebellion.”  The statement is so supremely and ridiculously false upon its face – so utterly absurd – that we could well afford to pass it by without a word of comment.  To suppose that putting words in italic letters, or small capital letters, or large capital letters, could pervert the meaning of sentences, or make the principle applicable to facts which in truth they are not applicable to, — would be height of presumption, and republican falsehood culminates and harmlessly explodes when it imputes so foolish an idea to any man.  We are not “a justifier of the rebellion” – never have been, and never expect to be.  We should just as soon attempt to justify Abraham Lincoln’s rebellion against the government of the United States, as to justify Jeff Davis’ rebellion against the same government. – But if we ever should become a justifier of the rebellion, we shall never go to the Declaration of Independence to obtain that justification.  We shall go to more modern documents – to the writings and speeches of modern politicians – to the declarations of modern congressmen and editors, and a modern President.  When we wish to justify the rebellion, we shall quote from the speech of Senator Sumner at Boston on the night after the presidential election in 1860.  He said:

“Administrations change often; governments change seldom.  This day a new government is inaugurated in the United State.”

We should also quote from the New York Tribune of Nov. 9, 1860, just one week after the election:

“If the cotton States shall become satisfied that they can do better out of the Union than in it, we insist on letting them go in peace.  The right to secede may be a revolutionary one, but it exists nevertheless. * * * We must ever resist the right of any State to remain in the Union and nullify or defy the laws thereof.  To withdraw from the Union is quite another matter; and whenever a considerable section of our Union shall deliberately resolve to go out, we shall resist all coercive measures designed to keep it in.  We hope never to live in a republic whereof one section is pinned to another by bayonets.”

And also the following from the New York Tribune, Dec. 17, 1860:

“If it (the Declaration of Independence) justified the secession from the British empire of three millions of Colonists in 1776, we do not see why it would not justify the secession of five millions of Southrons from the Union in 1861.  If we are not mistaken on this point, why does not some one attempt to show wherein and why?  For our own part, while we deny the right of slaveholders to hold slaves against the will of the latter, we cannot see how twenty millions of people can rightfully hold ten, or even five, in a detested Union with them by military force.

If even ‘seven or eight States’ sends agents to Washington to say, ‘We want to go out of the Union,’ we shall feel constrained, by our devotion to human liberty, to say, let them go!  And we do not see how we could take any other side without coming in direct conflict with those rights of man which we hold paramount to all political arrangements, however convenient and advantageous.”

And from the Chicago Tribune of October 1862, as follows:

“The Union as it was will never bless the vision of any pro-slavery fanatic, or secession sympathizer, and it never ought to.  It is a thing of the past, hated of every patriot, and destined never to curse an honest people, or blot the pages of history again.”

And from Thaddeus Stevens, the republican leader in the last House of Representatives:

“The Union shall never, with my consent, be restored under the Constitution as it is, with slavery to be protected by it.”

And from Cassius M. Clay, minister to Russia, Major General in the Federal army, etc., who said:

“Better recognize the Southern Confederacy at once, and stop this effusion of blood, than to continue in this ruinous policy, or have even a restoration of the Union as it was.”

And from Representative Conway, who said in a speech in Congress:

“For one, I shall not vote another dollar or man for the war until it assumes a different standing, and tends directly to an anti-slavery result.”

And from Ben. F. Wade of Ohio who said in a speech in the Senate, Dec.17, 1860:

“I acknowledge, to the fullest extent, the right of revolution, if you may call it a right, and the destruction of a Government under which we live, if we are discontented with it and on its ruins to erect another more in accordance with our wishes.”

And the following from Helper’s Book, endorsed by sixty-eight republican members of Congress in 1859, the author of which has endorsed by Lincoln in making him United States minister at Buenos Ayres:

“We are not only in favor of keeping slavery out of the Territories, but carrying our opposition to the institution a step further, we here unhesitatingly declare in favor of its immediate and unconditional abolition in every State in the Confederacy where it now exists.”

And last but not least, the following declaration of Abraham Lincoln, Esq. – a man not unknown to fame in this country:

“Any people, anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. – This is a most valuable, a most sacred right – a right which we hope and believe is to liberate the world.  Nor is this right confined to cases in which the whole people of an existing government may choose to exercise it.  ANY PORTION of such people that can, may revolutionize and make their own of so much of the territory as they inhabit.  More than that, a majority of any portion of such people may revolutionize, putting down a minority, intermingled with or near about them, who may oppose their movements.  Such minority was precisely the case of the tories of our own revolution.  It is the quality of revolutions not to go by old lines, or old laws, but to break up both and make new ones.”

These are a fair specimen of the authorities we shall quote, if we ever attempt to justify the rebellion.  We think the competency of the testimony will not be impeached by the republicans.


Loyal League Guerrillas.

            The Sucker State has been invaded by guerrillas, who threaten to destroy and burn all that stands in their way.  These guerrillas have not come across the Ohio or Mississippi, but they are native here.  They have organized in our midst, with secret signs and passwords, and they are now endeavoring to procure arms at the public expense.  In this county of McDonough they have appointed a committee to wait on the Governor and get guns from the State.  Should they fail in this, they may attempt to steal them from their neighbors.  They are a secret organization unknown to the laws and dangerous to the peace and good order of the country.  Gen. O. B. Wilcox, commanding the department of Indiana, thus speaks of them:

“They are a constant source of dread and mistrust – they divide and provoke hostility among neighbors, weaken the dignity and power of courts of justice, expose the country to martial law, and discourage the people from enlisting in defense of the nation.”

Will they obey this call from their “government,” and break up their guerrilla gangs?


A Mob in New York.

            The Telegraph reports an extensive and destructive riot in New York, growing out of the attempt to enforce the conscription act.  A number of persons have been wounded, and the conscription offices destroyed.  A number of buildings were also burned, and the printing material of the New York Tribune destroyed.  Unless the accounts are greatly exaggerated, the mob has assumed fearful proportions.

P.S.  The latest news states that the mob had almost entire possession of the city – that several regiments of troops had been sent for – the Gov. Seymour was using every effort to restore order and quiet – and that the administration had suspended the attempt to enforce the conscription act.


White Soldiers Whipped by Negroes.

            The fate intended for the white man, by the fanatical bigots who now control the government, is sufficiently evidenced by their fulsome adulation of the negro as a soldier. – Not content with insisting upon his equality they are contending he is superior.  He is a better soldier; he is a better citizen; he is qualified to become the dominant race. – Shall we ever be done with this shameful fanaticism, until the people take the matter in hands in a frenzy?  Do the bigots want a new edition of the Reign of Terror?  Read this:

Capt. Richard C. Kelley, company D, 10th Illinois cavalry, returned from his command near Vicksburg a few days ago.  He relates the following circumstance, which can relied upon as correct.  The first battalion of the 10th Illinois cavalry, commanded by Maj. L. P. Shaw, had been assigned to serve in a negro brigade.  This regiment was raised by Col. Barret, in Sangamon county, and was composed almost entirely of Democrats.  The placing of the first battalion with a negro brigade of course very much aroused the indignation of the brave Democratic boys, who had been used to better society.  Some of the boys openly expressed dissatisfaction, and some even showed a disposition to refuse to serve by the side of negroes.  The refractory spirits were arrested, tried, and two of them ordered to be whipped by negroes.  A squad of nigger soldiers accordingly took the two white soldiers out, tied them to trees, and proceeded to whip them in a most cruel manner.  While they were perpetrating this inhuman outrage, Captain Kelley and Lieut. Vredenburg (a son of Alderman Vredenburg of Springfield,) came up and ordered the negroes to desist.  They refused to do so at first; but Captain Kelley and Lieut. Vredenburg presented their revolvers, threatened to shoot the negroes if they persisted further and then cut the white soldiers loose and sent them safely to camp.


Henry Clay Dean in Macomb – Great Outpouring of the People. – Henry Clay Dean on last Monday spoke to the largest political meeting that has assembled in Macomb since 1860.  Although in the middle of harvest, the scythe was left in the swath and the sickle in the grain, that the husbandman might hear the things that pertain to his freedom and peace.  Mr. Dean spoke for nearly three hours, in vindication of the Union and peace of the country.  His expositions of the corruptions, the oppressions, the usurpations, and the logical tendencies of the present administration were most scathing and convincing. The immense audience testified their approbation by frequent and hearty applause.  No sketch of his speech that we could give would do justice to the speaker and his subject.  Happily the thousands who heard it render an attempt to do this entirely unnecessary.  Mr. Dean’s speech will do good.  It will have a tendency to quiet the excitement, to lull the anger, and to appease the bitterness that was unhappily springing up in our midst.


Weekly List of Letters. – The letters in the Macomb post office will be advertised in The Eagle every week hereafter.  This will be a great convenience to people in the country who get their mail matter at this city; they can watch the paper and learn from it when letters arrive to their address.


→ The present dry spell bests the oldest inhabitant.  On Sunday and Thursday mornings it was cold enough to render fires quite comfortable.  What are we coming to?


→ Two women of this city had a “mill” a few weeks ago, and the next day one of them was find $5 by justice Withrow, as the penalty for commencing the muss.


Why we should have a Peace.

To the Editor of The Macomb Eagle:

This is the most important question that could be propounded, and should have the attentive consideration of statesmen, warriors, civilians, and christian philosophers.  From time immemorial, the world has been deluged with blood – millions of human beings have fallen victims to the destroying ravages of war – and still the tide of infamy rises higher and higher, and the tornado of death sweeps wider and wider o’er the fair fields of Infinite Wisdom.  Man, the noblest form of organic life, fired by ambition, enticed by power, nurtured by superstition adds constantly to this destroying angel, all that opulence, usurpation, or tyranny would demand.  Instead of emulating the examples of the great and good, or obeying the mild maxims of the Great Lawgiver of mankind, viz: supreme love to God and love to all men, they rush with all the wildness of demons fresh from the confines of the infernal regions, and before their aggressive march, depopulated cities, wasted provinces, motionless machinery, deserted palaces, and the gloomy curtain of death alone remains as tokens of their triumphal invasions, or monuments of their destroying ravages.  With all the culminations of political glory, and the wide vortex of oblivion spread before them; with bankruptcy, dishonor, and wretchedness as the trio of their dark, deep, and irretrievable damnation; with jealousy, intriguing, duplicity, ambition, and embitterment as trophies of blood-bought battle fields; with the tears of orphans, the sighs of widows, the groans of the dying, and the shivering pangs of death, as constellations to embellish their suffering campaigns; while the sunny hillsides of America are whitened by the mangled skeletons, and her emerald waters purpled by the crimson current of life; — well may we say that war is the baptism of blood.

What have been the benefits of war?  No mental microscope of the highest magnifying power can discover.  War is the decaying and death even of warriors.  Like the infernal machine of the inquisition representing the Virgin Mary, and while a gilded glory beams around it, it crushes the fascinated victims which its arms extend to embrace.

“Tis thus Omnipotence his law fulfills,
And vengeance executes what justifies wills.”

War then is national murder, national ruin, national infamy.  In the language of the poet, its author

“Was conceived in sin,
Born unholy and unclean.”

Peace is the language of Christianity, of reason, of statesmen, of philosophers, of philanthropists, of Jehovah himself.  It is written in glorious characters o’er the fair provinces of creation, and burnished in imperishable lineaments in the rainbow of light.  Let a universal proclamation of peace be issued to all mankind, and you would behold the implements of industry multiply, the arts and sciences accelerated, commerce facilitated, education advanced; railroads, steamships, ocean telegraphs, and all their exhaustless sources of prosperity and affluence would pour their boundless treasures into the current of human happiness.  The earth would be deluged no more with blood; but, like the orb of day, whose rising attends a universal reign of light, would be accompanied with happiness, love, amiability, and the ushering in of the millennial morn, with “Peace on earth and good will to man.”                                    E. M.

            Naples, Ill.


Letter from Minnesota.

Correspondence of The Eagle.

Wastedo, July1, 1863.

            I would like to speak to some of my old friends, through your excellent paper, about Minnesota, and our trip hither.  We started from McDonough county on the 8th of April, and landed in Goodhue county on the 22nd.  We crossed the Mississippi at Rock Island, and steered up the Wapsipinicon toward Minnesota.  We passed through Manchester and Rochester, and thence to Wastedo, Goodhue county.

We traveled over some beautiful country, and some rough as an Illinoisan would wish to look at.  There were many beautiful water courses on the route; indeed, northern Iowa and southern Minnesota is famous for fine streams.

Minnesota is not so level a country in general as Illinois, but we have some as pretty prairie as “ever lay out doors.”  Timber is good, though not quite equal in these parts to Illinois timber.  As for water, I think it cannot be beat.  The creeks and small rivers run very swiftly, over gravel beds, and the water is as clear as crystal, and abounds with the best of fish.  It would do your eyes good, Mr. Editor, to go with us out to some of these beautiful streams, and draw out a few of those fine pike, bass, or pickerel, and then your stomach good to eat them.

At Cannon Falls, some eight miles from here, is a large flouring mill, which runs all the year by water; also a good woolen factory, that is hard to beat in carding, spinning, and weaving, either in quantity or quality.

We have the best well water I ever drank, — it is as “cold as ice water.”  Springs are numerous, and the water flowing from them abundant.  Imagine yourself descending a bluff, or as an Illinoisan would say, a hill – you are met by a stream crossing the road, “sparkling and bright,” two to six feet wide.  Then turn to the right or left and see it gushing from the limestone rock, and you have some idea of a Minnesota spring.

The weather during our stay here has been very dry, yet pleasant; the nights are cool, the best for sleeping I ever knew.

Crops. – Our crops look tolerably well, considering the drouth.  But we have had a fine rain in the last twenty-four hours, and everything has received new life.

The Product. – The products are mostly small grain – wheat, oats, rye, and barley. – Corn grows very well, if planted early.  I have seen some as nice, sound corn here as in Illinois, but it is not a general thing.  The small grain is the most profitable.

Now, Mr. Editor, as the clouds are blowing away, and the sun beginning to shine, I will close by saying, if this meets your approbation, I may at some future time tell you something more about the country, the people, the politics, and the religion.

Yours truly,                             John McGinnis.


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