February 27, 1864

Macomb Eagle

The National Debt Thousands of
Millions of Dollars Larger
Than is Generally Supposed.

            Lavishness of expenditure, fraud, and concealment lead to but one end in public as in private affairs.  No State can live whose credit is subjected to all these destructive agencies.  We can repair the cost of extravagance by years of sacrifice and economy.  We can punish fraud; but we can not deal with concealment and falsehood.  They demoralize credit, and disorganize finance in such a way that there is no chance of reformation.  The very word credit implies confidence in truth. – Without this element of confidence there can be no faith on the part of the creditor; and without this base of truth there can be no superstructure of finance.

The very means taken by Mr. Chase to insure the success of his schemes must in the end destroy them.  The puffery and quackery by which the Five-twenties are got off; the pretenses that no more debt is to be created, the pretended oppugnation to paper money, and particularly the false statement of means and expenditure, are devices so shallow that they can last but a brief time.

The debt on the 1st of July, 1863, according to Mr. Secretary Chase, was $1,098, 793, 181, and the total debt in July, 1864, will only increase it to $1,635,956, 641; and it is upon this basis he is borrowing money and promising to pay interest in gold.  The public creditor accepts his statement of affairs, and makes it the basis of his advancement to Government.  But what are the facts?  Here are figures taken from the acts of Congress, compiled and published in the Yew York Journal of Commerce:

Appro’ns 1st sess. 37th Congress                                                     $279,071,500
2d           “              “                                                                         878,109,600
3d           “              “                                                                         971,128,100

Total                                                                                                      $2,128,309,200

Here are the appropriations of Congress up to March 4, 1863, since when nearly a year has passed – a year of increasing expenditures, in which all estimates have to bear the inflating influence of an expanded currency. – The Lincoln Administration found, when it came into power, a debt of $60,000,000.  It had demanded and received from Congress, up to March 4, 1863, $2,128,309,200.  There are deficiency bills now pending in Congress, which show that all this has been expended, and more too.  The only offset to this is the amount received from taxes, but we do not believe that this has been sufficient to meet the current interest on the debt.  This accumulated excess of interest must then be added to the debt, and if, in addition, we add the expenditures of the account to meet.

How does Mr. Chase accomplish this juggling feat?  How is it that two thousand millions were long ago expended, beyond the means of Government and yet without debt?  How is it that thousands of millions have been since expended and no debt? – How is it that an immense expenditure has been going on, in addition, for which no provision of payment is made, and no debt?

The appropriations up to July 17, 1862, exceed Mr. Chase’s statement of the debt.  That was the result of a year and a third of expenditure. – We have, since then, a year and a half of expenditure, at double rates. – In what form is that concealed? – What deception screens that from the eye of the public?

Will the people submit to this deception?  Will Congress?  Will the public creditor?  Congress is organized upon the basis of repressing inquiry.  It is bound to this system of deception, instead of being a check upon it.  It encourages this false estimate of our affairs because it finds in this falsehood an excuse for shirking its imperative duty of providing for the public credit by taxation.

It is a fearful thing to contemplate the destiny of a country in which falsehood like this predominates through every department.  The estimate of the Secretary of Finance is false; the Secretary of War presents a false statement of troops in the field; the Secretary of the Navy “follows suit” in his exhibit; Mr. Seward paraded his charlatanism before every Court in Europe.  And does this system of deception stop here?  No; the Paymaster follows the Secretary in his false roll of men; and the Quartermaster in the field juggles his accounts with all the dexterity of his superiors and models at Washington.  The underlings in the Custom-House are not slow in imitating.  They, too, have their false statements, their adroit deception and their system of turning public calamities into personal or political profit.  Thus, through every vein of the body politic, runs this poison, which demoralizes and destroys it.

When is all this end?  With the end of the bad men, who, chosen to govern the country, have conspired against it, who pretending to be wedded to it deceive it, blind it, and hand it helpless over to its enemies.


Let Farmers Read This.

            The high price of farming productions is a kind of ignis fatuus which lures the farmer to support the war policy of the administration, while the soil under their feet is imperceptibly sliding away, and carrying him to irretrievable ruin.  It may startle a farmer to tell him that half his farm now belongs to the Government, but it is nevertheless true.  Even admitting that the Southern States will be compelled to return to their allegiance, still the half of every farm in the Union, at the cash value according to the census of 1860, if sold, and the money paid over, would not pay the present national debt.

The cash value of all the farms in the United States, is sixty hundred millions of dollars.  Thirty goes into sixty twice.  If every farm in the thirty-four States was sold, and the money received, it would take one-half of it to pay the national debt.

But suppose the war goes on a year or two more, then it will take the full price of every farm to pay the debt – that is, the country put up at auction would pay the debt, provided the land brought its cash value.

Suppose, again, that the war will immediately close with the recognition of the Southern Confederacy, then the North would have to pay the debt, and it would take every farm at cash value to pay the debt incurred during the last three years.

But it is argued that the immense resources of the North are amply sufficient for the debt.  Well, where are the resources?  All the money arising from duties, income tax, and the sale of lands, will not pay half of the interest on this debt and defray the civil expenses of the General Government, while the other part of the interest will annually go to increase the debt.  How, then, will it be paid?

“Why,” the Abolitionists say, “let posterity pay the debt.”  But posterity cannot do it, as the resources of the entire Government are inadequate to pay half the interest.  Besides, posterity may have wars and expenses of its own, so that if left entirely unencumbered, it would require all the economy possible to keep out of debt.

Three years ago we were out of debt; now we owe thirty hundred millions, besides unliquidated damages for losses of steamboats, railroads, bridges, ships, goods and chattles.  Well, how will it be paid?

Another plan is to repudiate; but repudiation is bankruptcy.  So take it as you will the inevitable negro has upset the title of all our lands and involved us all in eternal bankruptcy and disgrace.  Here are the statistics:

No. of acres in the 34 states,                                             407,000,000
Cash value of the land                                                 $6,600,000,000
Present national debt                                                      3,300,000,000
Interest on the national debt                                             198,000,000

Assessment of interest per capita – six dollars per head for man, woman and child, black and white, every year.  [obscured] fifty cents per acre, there being two hundred millions of interest and four hundred millions of acres.

Now as our Government has never done more than barely sustain itself in the most prosperous periods it is fair to argue that it always takes its ordinary revenues to pay its ordinary expenses.  If this position be correct, the nation must resort to taxation to pay the interest on a debt it can never pay, and with the other enormous rates of tax, the burden becomes too great to bear.


A True Picture.

            Republican editors occasionally tell the truth.  The Joliet Republican of last week, in an article on national affairs, makes the following frank admission, which we need not tell our readers is a truthful rehearsal of the results that followed the election of Abraham Lincoln and the triumph of the Republican party:

“In a moment the bright sky was darkened with the fierce clouds of civil war, and our prosperity was driven away, like stubble before the wind.  Instead of peace, we have war.  Instead of the respect of nations, we are held in contempt.  Instead of freedom, our liberties are abridged.  Instead of less burdens and taxes, we are loaded down with them.”


            Agricultural Meeting. – There will be a meeting of the executive committee of the McDonough county agricultural society at Macomb, on Saturday 5th day of March next, for the purpose of making arrangements for the annual fair.  It is earnestly requested that there be a general attendance.  Every man in the county, who feels an interest in the success of our agricultural society, is invited to be present.  The meeting will be held in the office of Judge Chandler.

Jos. Burton, Prest.


            Advance in Medicines. – In consequence of the great advance in the price of patent medicines, the druggists of this city have unanimously agreed to advance the retail price of such articles on the first of March next.


            → Dr. Hebern, the physician who cures cancers, and the like, will be at Brown’s Hotel next Monday and Tuesday.


            → The old regiments who have re-enlisted have been ordered to the front, it being generally conceded that there will be sharp work with the enemy before many weeks pass.


            → The weather has been fine and warm again, affording farmers a good opportunity for sowing spring wheat – which, we suppose many have improved.


            → The Democracy, who are unconditionally for the Union of these States, oppose the present policies of the war against the South, because they are calculated and intended to prevent reunion; the abolitionists, to whom the Union is a curse, which they have been laboring to destroy for nineteen years, support these policies for the same reason.  And yet they have the insolent effrontery to call their party a “Union party.”


            → The Springfield Republican, a “loyal” paper, says the Democrats “are likely to take the moderate ground that slavery is not to be protected against the natural consequences of the war, while for the future each State is to decide that matter for itself heretofore.” – This has always been their ground, and so it always will be.  It is for the States to say whether they will have slaves or not, and when they have spoken then the Federal government is bound by their decision.


            → Under no circumstances would a Democrat consent to a permanent dissolution of the Union.  They say to the abolitionists, a Union with slavery is preferable to disunion, and to the rebels that a Union without slavery is preferable to disunion.  This is the only unconditional Unionism.  The abolitionists will have no Union unless slavery is first abolished, and the South made a desert.  This they call “unconditional Unionism.”


An Apologist for Lawless Violence.

For the Macomb Eagle.

An article appears in last week’s Macomb Journal, purporting to be editorial, but really from the pen of some violent partisan scribbler, which attacks and denounces the resolutions passed in Campbell Hall by a large and respectable number of our most worthy citizens for the purpose, and sole purpose, of maintaining law and order in our community.

The resolutions recite a number of outrages committed in our town and county, which no man not wholly destitute of moral principle can approve, and then ask all good men irrespective of party, to take a firm and decided stand for law – to check violence, save the effusion of blood, and maintain good order.  What is the response from the organ of the republican party in this county?  Does it come up with a true spirit of manly feeling, with a high-toned self-respect, and recommend the suppression of violence and the observance of law?  No!  But having smelt of blood it becomes obsequious to the mob, and while our citizens are lying in the agonies of death, with broken limbs, lacerated flesh, and bleeding wounds, it enters an apology for those committing the hellish outrage upon what it terms “suspected individuals.”  Suspected individuals! such was the language of Jeffries, who convicted without evidence and murdered without pity; of Baere and Robspiere, when no man could greet his neighbor, say his prayers, or dress his hair, without committing capital crime; when spies lurked in every corner, as they do now, and the guillotine did the bloody work of death.  “Suspected individuals!” the law presumes a man innocent until he is proven guilty.  Yet the writer for the Journal can apologize for mobocracy and mobocrats, under the influence of whisky at that, and by apologies justify lawless violence which endangers the life and liberty of our citizens, and murders the peace of society – all under the tyrant’s plea of punishing “suspected individuals!”  A fanatic suspects everybody who does not agree with his whims, as a maniac suspects all but himself of being mad.

What would the writer for the Journal have those “suspected individuals” do?  Lose their honor and self-respect, tamely submit to buffets and kicks, and like a whipt spaniel yelp, under duress and coercion, for Lincoln and emancipation?  “I’d sooner be a dog and bay the moon than such a Roman.”  Does he suppose that hurrahing for the Union would hurt a Democrat, whose every pulse beats for his country?  No.  But the whisper of the word under coercion would make him a slave.  This principle the true man will acknowledge.  Many of the soldiers do acknowledge it, and I am glad of an opportunity to do justice to those who, impelled by a high sense of honor, love of country, and a true sense of their duty to their fellow citizens, have respected the rights of citizens and aided to preserve quiet.  Among the number of such I am glad to record the name of Capt. Lane.

The writer for the Journal goes on to say that the meeting was a “preconcerted movement of the Democracy, gotten up through a secret organization – Knights of the Golden Circle, or Castle – attended by low cunning and hypocrisy.”  As to the first charge, pretty much all meetings are preconcerted.  I presume the attack upon the resolutions was preconcerted before he ever saw them.  That the meeting was gotten up through any secret organization is false – and as to the word “Castle,” I presume he coined that word to suit his purpose for the occasion.  I can’t see, however, why he jumps off of his old hobby-horse on to the Castle.  Rode him too hard or got sore, I reckon.  He will next have it, no doubt, “Knights Circle of the Copperhead Castle.”  And I presume no one will care particularly if he puts it, “Knights Copperhead Circle in a Castle.”  These are all invectives used to supply the place of argument, and to vary the argument they have only to change the form of the term.  But suppose we have a secret organization; it would much become the writer for the Journal, before he denounces the other, to renounce the secret order to which he belongs.  “Let him who is innocent cast the first stone.”  A union leaguer denouncing secret orders!  Satan rebuking sin!  Both patriots no doubt and very loyal.  But says the writer for the Journal, the meeting was attended by low cunning and hypocrisy.”  I think he could be convicted on an indictment for libel and slander before the bar of public opinion.  Such base calumny only needs to be mentioned that it may be despised, and the wretch is convicted is unworthy of execution.  So I pass on.

Says the Journal or the writer, and both are responsible: “There was really no substantial cause for this insulting array of the party.”  Insulting array!  Insulting to whom?  Only to outlaws and their apologists – and, truly the Democratic party that raised our country to the highest pinnacle of greatness, ought to be ashamed to insult such dignitaries.  We are surprised that the writer should have the brazen effrontery to assume that the meeting of Democrats is an insult; yet we tell him to his teeth that so long as the Constitution guarantees the right of the people to peaceably assemble, Democrats will meet in McDonough county and in Macomb, though mobs and mobocrats oppose.  The writer in sinuates that the meeting was in favor of Jeff Davis and only wanted a little more bad whisky to echo its real sentiments.  This was designed for the soldiers, who now have the authority of the Journal that when they pitch into Democrats as a party or as individuals, they are fighting traitors.  And when soldiers, thus encouraged by the Journal, commit excesses, they find a ready apologist who talks with ifs and ands of “suspected individuals”!  When any outrage, however flagrant, is committed on Democrats the Journal has in every instance either sanctioned it or printed the proceedings of mobs without comment, and thus tacitly approved it.  If an editor must needs be thus basely obsequious, God grant that I may never be an editor.

Democrats are opposed alike to secession and innovation, and regard both as revolutionary and unconstitutional, and no inducement, threat, or intimidation will induce them to sanction the one or support the other.

The writer for the Journal seems to think that an invidious distinction was attempted to be made between the police officers of Macomb, whereas the resolutions make no such distinction.  But it is a fact well known that some of our police officers gave as a reason for not making arrests when personal rights were outraged in our streets, that prominent civilians were encouraging the thing.

The uncalled for attack upon Sheriff Dixon was rather untimely.  I was unable to see what his having writ for Chrisman had to do with either the meeting or the resolutions; besides we learn that Dixon has used every exertion in his power to make the arrest and has finally arrested Chrisman and holds him in custody, to be dealt with according to law as his offenses merit.

The only way to preserve the peace in our community is for every man of every party and creed to give his whole influence in favor of maintaining the civil law and enforcing it against all offenders alike.  If our police force is so weak as to be intimidated either by mob violence or outside pressure, let us increase it.  Let the proper authorities invest our aldermen, who are conservators of the peace, with a star and a cane, and make it their duty on public occasions as well as all other officers to keep down tumult on our streets.  Then women can walk the streets without going into the mud to get around a squad of drunken men.  If these arrangements were made, tumult would cease, strangers would have a higher notion of our civility, and ladies would have greater cause for respecting us.



To Methodists.

Correspondence of The Macomb Eagle.

Onvi’le, Feb. 10, 1864.

            “5. Resolved, That the ‘Peace Party” in the North is almost as bad as the war party in the South.” – M. E. Quart. Conf.

I desire to address the following article to the members and preachers, local and traveling, of the M. E. Church, and hope that you in particular, and all others interested, will seriously consider the subject brought to your notice.

First, I point you to the resolution heading this article.  The Peace Party here is designated “as almost as bad as the war party” or rebels in the South.  This charge is tame in comparison to the declarations and denunciations hurled against the “Peace makers,” which teem without stint from the mouths of members and preachers, while you at the same time profess to be the most exemplary and steadfast followers of the “Prince of Peace.”  Now, I ask, are you not striving to “serve God and mammon?” or rather, are you not serving the devil, while you profess to serve God?  Is not Jesus Christ really the “Prince of Peace?”  Did not holy angels herald his birth to the shepherds with the announcement that “Unto you is born a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord?”  did not these angels shout, “Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace and good will toward men”?  Did not the Messiah, the Prince of Peace, say, “blessed are the peace makers, for they shall be called the children of God”? – Has he not commanded you, “That ye resist not evil, but whosoever shall smite you on the right cheek turn to him the other also”?  Does not Paul say, “if it be possible, be at peace with all men”?  In short, is not our religion one of peace?  Is it not “righteousness, peace, and joy?”  If this is its glorious mission, and you dare not deny it, how is that you , its professed followers, are the advocates of war – of cruel, desolating, domestic war?  How is it that you are the foremost in the strife of blood?  How is it that you evince a fierce desire to dip your hands in a brother’s blood, rebel though he be?  Mark me, I am not now speaking of the right or legality of “crushing” the rebellion; but of your christian obligations, of your duty to promote love, peace, and concord.  But instead of that you are vindictive, revengeful and provoking. – You pretend to be “loyal,” when in reality you are boldly seeking to overthrow the Constitution and laws of your country, in order that you may strike down your brethren of the Southern M. E. Church, that you may glut your vengeance, your hate – aye, dip your hands in their blood.  Is not this the secret, the main spring to your loyalty?  Is this the way to save souls, to carry out your character as messengers of peace and good will?  When did God command you to make war? to save souls by killing them on the bloody battle field?  When did he change your mission?

But you say in your fierce spirit of revenge that “the Peace Party of the North are almost as bad as the war party of the South,” or as bad as the rebels, whom you denounce as the worst creatures on the face of the earth.  Now what is the offense of this Peace Party of the North?  They want peace – honorable peace – based on the true principles of Christianity, of forgiveness and brotherly love. – They are tired of war, sick of blood flowing from the veins of their fathers, brothers, and sons; tired of a war waged solely in a spirit of revenge, of subjugation.  They are tired of cant and hypocrisy under the plea of benevolence and freedom, and such benevolence as would make angels weep and devils rejoice.  Freedom to the slaves! benevolence to the blacks!  Was ever a people cursed with such hypocritical cant?  Look at your “freedmen,” dying by hundreds and thousands, rotting with foul diseases, starving or freezing, or placed before the cannon’s mouth.  This, oh, my brother Methodists, is your boasted philanthropy.  The Peace Party are tired and sick of such a war, of such charity and philanthropy.  They are tired of a devastating war, waged to keep a corrupt party in power.  They are tired of seeing the Constitution violated; they are tired of tyranny and usurpation, of a systematic plundering of the people, of excessive taxation.  They are tired of party favoritism and persecution for opinion’s sake.  They are tired of the universal spirit of Jesuitism which pervades the land, and imprisons men and women in military bastiles for no crime.  Finally they are tired of the blasphemy of the clergy. – For all this, O ye preachers and laymen of the M. E. Church, you denounce them as “copperheads,” “traitors,” “secessionists,” etc.  Now I ask you in all sincerity, are you really serving “God and humanity,” or the devil and tyranny?  Is it pious to sing “Glory, Hallelujah” to the spirit of John Brown – the extol the death of a traitor and murderer as a martyr?  Is it right to denounce a Peace Party as traitors?  Is it right to sow the seeds of discord, to engender strife, to stir up hatred, animosity, and revenge in a peaceable community?  Is this preaching Christ and him crucified, or is it “keeping yourselves unspotted from the world”?  Now, in view of all this, am I not right in saying that the M. E. Church has degenerated and become degenerated and demoralized, and is it not about time, O ye preachers, to set about a reformation – to divorce yourselves from the sin of preaching politics and the nigger, and set about your real and legitimate calling of preaching Christ and Him crucified?

Hoping that you will really and earnestly set about your great calling, I am yours &C.,

J. M. Osborn.


An Iowa Farmer – Immense Profit.

            Eds. Prairie Farmer: — I have a farm here in Iowa, near Fulton Station, on the Mississippi and Missouri railroad, fifteen miles west of Davenport, containing sixty-two acres of land.  And although the past season in Iowa was extremely dry, I think the profits of this farm will compare favorably with any eastern or western farm of the same extent.

I will give you, Messrs. Editors, a statement of the products, and also the amount of gross receipts and net profits from the sale of the produce of 1862, which was sold in the Davenport and Chicago markets.

The farm is located on prairie land; was broken in July, 1862, at a cost of $2 50 per acre; a large portion of it was re-plowed before seeding.

Twenty acres were put in wheat and corn, the balance in onions, potatoes, sorghum; one half in onions to raise seed, and the fourth of an acre in vegetables for home consumption, which are not here enumerated.  The larger portion was seeded with onion seed, put in with a hand drill.

The gross receipts amounted to ten thousand one hundred and eleven dollars.

The net profits, after deducting three dollars per acre for interest, for rent of land, also cost of seed, all labor, transportation, commission, and all expenses, was seven thousand nine hundred and twenty-seven dollars per acre, net profit.

The land was thoroughly worked, and possessed railroad advantages to ship cheaply, and also the advantage of being located on what is considered the best or first quality of rolling prairie land; a vast body of which, in all its natural fertility, extends along the above mentioned railroad, in this vicinity, and sells at eight to fifteen dollars per acre, depending upon its location to the railroad or the depot.  Three to four dollars per acre, cash in advance, is the rent now paid by tenants in the vicinity, for lands broken and fenced without buildings, and the demand cannot be supplied.

I am now enlarging the above sixty two acre farm by adding and enclosing six hundred acres more, one hundred and thirty acres of which I broke last June and July, for the next years crop, and will report progress to you in December 1864.

A. C. Fulton,

Davenport, Dec. 29, 1863.


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