January 30, 1864

Macomb Eagle

The Pay of the Soldiers.

            The proposition, now before Congress, says the Springfield Register, to increase the monthly pay of soldiers and non-commissioned officers of the army, by paying them the present rates in gold or its equivalent, is a Democratic measure, and one to which every Democrat will give a ready assent.  There is no dissent from the proposition that that present pay of the soldiers is totally inadequate to make suitable provision for the families many of our soldiers left behind them when responding to their country’s call.  Attempts are made to compensate, in part, for this deficiency, by organizing societies to seek out and relieve destitute families of soldiers in the field – by making town or county provision for soldiers’ families, and in many cases by individual donations.  All these things are humane and praiseworthy; but they do not meet the exigencies of the case.  To say nothing of the numberless instances of distress and suffering that are never discovered and relieved, the principle which underlies the entire system is wrong.  The American soldier ought not to feel that his wife and children are dependent, in whole or in part, upon the charities of the nieghborhood for support, as though they were beggars – the idea would be inexpressibly humiliating and degrading.  His pay ought to be such that while his own personal wants are amply provided for by his government, he is able to supply his family regularly with ample means to maintain themselves in comfort, independent of public or private charities.

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Better than Mass-Meetings.

            A cotemporary very truthfully says: Now is the time to make advances. – Flood your townships with Democratic newspapers.  What Democrat is it who can’t afford to spend three to ten dollars in spreading Democratic papers?  This is the way to insure the success of the Democracy this year.  A few dollars spent in this way will do more good that hundreds in getting up the best mass-meetings.  In this way, quietly and surely, the public mind may be disabused, and awakened to the awful condition of our country.  Papers circulated during the next four months will exert twice the influence that they will after the presidential nominations are made.  Will the Democrats of this county be wise in time?

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            → A republican paper says that Democrats should not object to political preaching, because “the pulpit at the South has for more than thirty years been prostituted to politics.”  If this be so, we cannot see how the “prostitution” of the pulpit in the South can justify or even palliate a similar “prostitution” at the North.

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            → General John A. Logan says he is not aware that a single negro has obtained his freedom in consequence of this proclamation.  Nor is anybody else.  But General John will lose his chance for the abolition nomination for Governor if he talks that way.

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Only a Change of Masters.

            That “the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel,” is being illustrated in a thousand ways, by the treatment of the negroes by abolitionism.  The worse than Neapolitan lazar-homes to which the negro has been consigned at Washington, at Island No. 10, at Vicksburg, Natchez, &c., &c., are but every day examples.  Of all the negroes that have fallen into our possession since the war began, it is estimated that at least one-fourth have perished from sheer brutality and neglect on the part of their kind “liberators.”  But not only are the negroes being thus killed by disease, cold, overfeeding, starvation, and neglect, but, according to Mr. Yeatman, an agent of the Government, a gigantic scheme has been concocted by Grandmother Thomas and the cotton speculators down the Mississippi to swindle the few remaining negroes in that region that are willing to live by honest toil.  This is what Mr. Yeatman says of Thomas’ cotton scheme:

A good negro man would hire for from $200 to $240 per annum, and a woman for from $160 to $180 per annum, and to be fed and clothed besides, and that too when cotton was only worth 10 cents per pound.  Now it is worth 70 cents.  Why should not the freedmen now get at least as much for his labor as the slave owner did for it when he was a slave.  The planter who formerly hired a negro slave obtained from $450 to $500 as the result of his labor; now he will obtain at least $1,500 while the laborer, if he should obtain his entire year’s wages, will only receive $[?]; $[?] per head being deducted to pay his medical attendance, which is never given.  But the poor freedman fares even worse than this.  He does not get his $7 per month, or $84 per annum, plus $2 for medical attendance.  He only gets paid at that rate for the actual number of days which he may work, that is 27c. per day, so that if the planter furnished but ten days labor in the month, the laborer received just $2,70 for his month’s labor.”

Grandmother Thomas affixed the tariff of wages and supplied the form of contracts with the lessees, who have taken advantage of her imbecility and the negroes.  Is there not here an explanation, in-part of the “President’s plan?”  The pious Puritans have diligently used “pressure” to produce such an opening “for the elevation of the oppressed.”

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            The ‘Soldiers’ Friend’. – Among the incidents attending the reception, in this city, of the 7th regiment, on Monday last, one of the most prominent and significant has not yet found its way into print.  We allude to the manner in which the ‘Soldiers’ Friend’ prepared himself to perform his part of the programme.  To the many hundreds who witnessed the exhibition he made of himself while attempting to speak his ‘piece,’ a recapitulation of the performance is wholly superfluous; but it is well enough for the people of the state, as well as the soldiers in the field, to know that after it had for days been advertised that the governor of Illinois would, in the name of the people, greet, upon its return, one of the first and noblest regiments which our state sent forth to battle against rebellion, deliberately prepared himself for the discharge of his duty, by getting shockingly, maudlin drunk!  The affair was an insult to the soldiers and a disgrace to the state.  Let it be remembered that the governor’s condition was no mild, excusable form of intoxication, but the last stage of drunkenness, prior to absolute unconsciousness.  It is thus this ‘friend of the soldier’ prepared himself to welcome our heroes. – State Register.

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Washington’s Body Guard.

To the Editor of the Macomb Eagle:

The following incident, related in “Peter Parley’s Tales,” shows how Washington was shielded from danger while holding the office of President.  What was true of him in this respect has been equally true of every Chief Magistrate except Abraham Lincoln.  Alas, my country! how sad the change!

Some years since an Englishman who was visiting Philadelphia was walking with a young American, and conversing upon our Government and officers.  At that time Washington was President, and the Englishman expressed a particular desire to see that extraordinary man.  Just at that moment a tall and dignified man was walking on the opposite side of the street.  “There he goes!” exclaimed the American.  Now perhaps my young friends do not know that in England the King never appears in public without a number of soldiers about him, called “the King’s guard,” whose duty it is to keep off all danger and disturbance from the Monarch.

“Is that General Washington?” said the Englishman, surprised to see him walking unattended.  “Does your President go in public without a guard?”

“A guard?” replied the American, striking his breast.  “Washington has a guard in the heart of every American.”

He meant by this that Washington was so much beloved and honored by all Americans, that no one would attempt to molest him in any way, and that he therefore needed no guard.

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            → We are making out and sending bills to those subscribers who are two years or more in arrears.  We must have a prompt response from these gentlemen, or we shall employ other means for the collection of the sums due us.  And, we don’t do that kind of credit business any longer.

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            → Owing to “circumstances beyond his control” the editor hereof has been unable to pay proper attention to all his duties.  He has therefore conscripted nearly all of what appears as editorial on the preceding page.

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            Shot Himself. – We learn that a man by the name of Earwig, living near Brooklyn, Schuyler county, was killed by the discharge of a gun in his own hands, on Monday last.  The gun had been loaned to a neighbor, and after its return Mr. E. pulled the hammer back with his foot and was in the act of blowing in the muzzle to see if the gun was loaded, when his foot slipped from the hammer and gun was discharged, the contents entering his mouth.  He died instantly.

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            → We learn from the Mt. Sterling Record that A. K. Lowry – formerly of this city, and lately of Brown county – has gone to California.

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            The Late Major Broaddus. – The remains of Major Wm. L. Broaddus of the 78th regiment, were buried in the cemetery near this city on Thursday 28th inst.  Maj. B. was killed in the battle of Chicamauga last fall and left on the field, his friends being unable to carry him off.  After the Federal success under Grant drove off the enemy beyond the battle ground, Major B. was found in the same spot where he had been left, unburied.  The body was immediately sent home for burial.  Major Broaddus was a worthy citizen and a brave officer, and few men have fallen in the war who possessed more of the respect of his acquaintances than he did.

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            → We are informed that a change will be made in the management of the abolition Journal in this town.  The fellow who has been managing the concern for a year or two drops out, very much as a rotten bottom drops out of a decayed swill tub.  Mr. T. S. Clarke will appear on the stage as “sole see.”  Whether he will discard the briefless attorneys and attenuated counter-hoppers who have heretofore aired their drivel in its columns, and in place of it establish some degree of decency and respectability, remains to be seen.  For the sake of his own prosperity – of which we wish Mr. Clarke an abundance – we hope he will be “boss in his own shop.”

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            Leap Year. – This is “Leap year,” and it is to be sincerely hoped that those ancient maidens who have been “watching and pr[?]-ing on the border,” as well as all fresh, blooming young ladies, will take advantage of the privilege accorded the ladies during Leap year and bring to their embrace the erratic, accentric and in fatuated young men who stand modestly back.  Give us an occasional item for our nook devoted to the chronicling of marriages!

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