January 27, 1865

Macomb Journal

The Copperheads of McDonough County at their Old Tricks.

            It is ascertained that our copperhead Board of Supervisors are playing at their old tricks. They are said to have a law nearly matured at Springfield, to tax the people of this county to furnish substitutes for all who may be drafted in this county. Few men see the secret iniquity of this scheme in its blackness. No man with a grain of observation will fail to remember that when a very small sum was requested to help the families of volunteers, these scaly dogs invariably opposed it. But now we are told they wish to furnish substitutes for all who may be drafted. The real Union men of both parties, who could at all conveniently enter the army, have long ago went to the war like men, and are doing service to the country. Now when these sneaks find they must go, they seek exemption at other men’s expense.

At the last draft, substitutes cost $1,000 each, and our quota was over two hundred. The coming draft, and the price of substitutes will not be much unlike the past, both as to price and numbers of men. This would make the cost to McDonough county $200,000, if the whole amount of substitutes pay be raised by the county; and in proportion, if a part only be raised, even the one tenth of it, a pretty sum to pay for the cowardice and meanness of the men who manage county matters, for the enrollment of their friends alone. Ask the Solons to make this equal by paying the two thousand men who have already gone alike share, making the amount $4,000,000 for whole substitutes, and in proportion for a less bounty, and they meanly refuse. But when the draft in turn takes these stay at home dogs, they want the people indiscriminately to bear the tax and save their precious bodies.

Now consider the extreme inequality of this measure. A. B. goes to war and spends three years of the prime of his life, and perhaps comes home with a broken constitution, or looses a limb, or perhaps dies or is killed; he receives nothing but the $100 bounty from the government and his monthly pay. But after serving out his time or loosing his life, he or his friends perhaps, as long as they live, pay a county tax to keep C. D. and others from going at all. Or still another case: A, is the father of a family, two of his sons volunteer and go to the war or are drafted. The third one, or he himself is again drafted, and he pays $1,000 to get a substitute; but after all of this, he has to pay to accommodate this copperhead tribe, a burdensome, if not a crushing tax, as long as he lives, to prevent B, a worthless traitor to his country at heart, from going at all. Such scandalous legislation would disgrace the Feegees. And then the enormity of the taxes we now pay, renders the measure still more serious. It would quadruple our present taxes.

The pitiful and cowardly argument which is used to gull the ignorant is this: are not the lives of our citizens worth more than money, and is it not better that every citizen should bear this burden equally, than that one, or a few men bear it all? Now this is specious, but in the mouths of those who now use it, it is as mean as it is specious. It is not true that one man’s life or several men’s lives in defence of the very country that gives them a home and protection, are better than the money of widows and orphans, or old men or women, or soldiers who have already honorably defended their country in person, so that we boldly deny the proposition, and every high minded honorable man would scorn to tax this large class who compose so much of any community, to save his own head.

In every nation there are some who must fight. We have no royal or aristocratic exempts in this free land; but in his turn, and at a certain age, every man owes military service to the government, which reared and defends him. In this duty high minded men wish not to evade their turn, but fight or hire a substitute. In all governments from the old Roman down to our own, the doctrine “Dulcis est pro patria moriri,” (it is sweet to die for one ones country,) has been deemed a true and honorable saying. But the skulking set we are now attempting to expose would tax their grand-mothers of the revolutionary period, rather than expose their sickly manhood. There are some duties in society, that require men, not money, and the vain attempt to substitute money for men in any government must lead to national bankruptcy. Furnishing substitutes is only right in theory, when the drafted man has either a good domestic excuse, or is constitutionally infirm. If this war tax this county $200,000, why may not another one with France tax us in 1868, with as much more, and one with some other country as much more, in 1870, and so without end.

We trust the people will ventilate this mean copperhead measure, and not let the whelps who were so lately arming themselves and their neighbors against the government, now skulk out of their liabilities, by using the people’s money, to purchase their exemption. That a lot of skulks should climb into power and then use their neighbor’s money to purchase their own exemption at such a time is supreme infamy.

And withal, Nelson Abbott of the Eagel, that brid which has croaked rebellion all day long, and every day since the rebellion commenced; who has cried out taxation; been for and against drafting, as it would favor the south; who counselled resistance, when he hoped Democracy would win – even he, now that his party has sank into infamy, wishes the men he has traduced to pay his war tax, and the widows of the men, whose husbands he has scarce even noticed, to contribute to find him a substitute. Oh! shame.


The Peace Movement!

            We have nothing very late to record about the peace movements that are now agitating the country, both north and south. Blair has gone on a second mission to Richmond, but what it will amount to is hard to tell. One thing is certain – the public mind appears ready to receive the news of peace at any time. Everybody is anxious for peace, and we have no doubt but our authorities are doing all they can to secure it. With a few more such peace bulletins as Grant, Sherman, Sheridan, Terry, Thomas and Porter have been sending to the rebels lately, we believe the thing will be accomplished. We must possess our souls with patience for a short time, and we will come out all right.


A “Jolly Time.”

            We see by our Fulton county exchanges that the inhabitants thereof are having a good old time of it there this Winter – bushwhacking, knocking down, dragging out, gouging, pummeling one another freely. Dickens’ “Micawber,” or some other man was continually on the hunt of some place where he could be “jolly under depressing circumstances.” If he, “or any other man” will go to Fulton county, we will guarantee that the “depressing circumstances” can be found there in glorious profusion. Go it Fultonians, we admire your taste in getting up little, exciting by plays of the big fight. If you enjoy it, nobody should object.


            Supervisors’ Meeting. – We insert, in another column, a call for a meeting of the Board of Supervisors for the purpose of taking into consideration the propriety of levying a tax to raise money to pay bounties and hire substitutes for those who shall be drafted next month.

We hope the Board will have the good sense to see that it will be wrong to do anything of the king and act accordingly.


            Proposed Celebration.

The Odd Fellows of this city propose celebrating the anniversary of Washington’s birthday – the 22nd of February – by a procession and supper. A good idea. We will have further to say on the subject as the time approaches.


            Police Court.

It is not often that our small city can afford enough police items to make it interesting to our readers to have them reported in the papers, but this week appears to be an exception. It seems that the cold weather that we have had for the last week has had the effect of causing the people to “crook their elbow” oftener than usual, and our city fathers, instead of following the example of other cities, have the sellers of the ardent arrested, instead of the consumers. The following are the cases for the first three days of this week.

Peter Hirsh was up before his honor Judge Chandler, on Wednesday, for violating the liquor ordinance, and after a hearing before twelve “good and true” men, was acquitted. Lucky Peter.

Jim Haley, a person with whom ‘Squire Withrow is quite intimate, at least they are often together at the ‘Squire’s office, appeared at the aforesaid office at the instigation of the Marshal, and after the usual interesting ceremonies, loaned the city thirty dollars. Unlucky “Jim.”

G. F. Clark was brought up under three different charges for the same offense selling liquor – and confessed to the same. He was let off by paying the sum of ninety dollars into the city treasury. Not very good on Clark.

The next was a gentleman of the German persuasion, August J. Brawl by name, same offense. His coffers were depleted to the tune of thirty dollars and costs.

August J. Brawl, spoken of above, was again brought up shortly after the former ceremony, for the grievous offense of an assault on the person of Thomas Johnson, and [?] in the sum of three dollars and costs. Very unlucky Brawl.


Hay Business in Macomb.

It will be three years this coming spring since Messrs. Watkins & Co., erected their hay press in this city and in that time it has become one of the institutions of the city. There are but few citizens, who are aware of the extent of the business at the present time, and we propose, in this article, to give a few items concerning it. Before the time spoken of, there was but very little hay raised in this county – hardly enough for home consumption, and the price was so low that farmers did not care to raise it for sale. For a number of years the average price per ton was $5, and at that rate it scarcely paid the farmer to secure it. Since the hay press has been in operation here, our farmers are turning their attention to the raising of more hay, and at the present time our county raises as much hay as any county of the same extent in the State. Watkins & Co’s press has a capacity of turning out fifty bales per day ten hours each, averaging 400 lbs. to the bale. They employ ten hands and five teams this winter, but are going to increase this force in the spring. They buy most of the hay they press on the farms of the producers, paying an average price of $10 per ton. They have shipped the since the 1st of last September over 1000 tons, which gives the nice little sum of $10,000 to the farmers, in the immediate neighborhood of the city. The coming month is the time, we believe, to sow timothy, and we would advise our farmers to put it in, not that they can be sure of a ready sale at a largely remunerative price.


            Exciting Trial. – Quite an exciting trial was held before Judge Chandler on Monday last, about the ownership of a colt. Messrs. Hunter and Crabb, each claimed to be the rightful owner of the colt, and they brought witnesses to prove the justice of their claim. The witnesses of each side swore, most of them positively, that they were well acquainted with the colt in question, all the peculiar marks about it, & C., and that Mr. Crabb, or Mr. Hunter, was the owner thereof.

The jury decided, as Mr. Hunter had the majority of the witnesses, that the colt was his, and rendered their verdict accordingly.



A singing school, under the direction of Prof. G. K. Hall, is in progress in this city.


The Hay Scales.

The hay scales of this city are situated on the south side of the square, some little west of directly opposite the celebrated photograph gallery of Hawkins & Philpot, who take pictures in all sorts of weather, and never fail to give satisfaction. As soon as Messrs. H. & P. gets into their new rooms you all can enjoy the sight a “Western rush.” Better go and get your photographs before they are crowded too much.


The Business of Macomb.

For some time past we have had it in contemplation to write an article on the business prospects of Macomb, but have not been enabled to obtain the necessary statistics, and at present we will merely glance at that which can readily be seen by strangers and citizens, and which cannot be gainsaid by anyone. We have a set of very enterprising, energetic business men, as will be acknowledged by glancing at our advertising columns, who attract a very large trade here. Since the war our trade has more than doubled, and with a fair prospect of a still further increase the coming season. We have twelve dry goods store, two woolen stores, three clothing stores, ten grocery stores, two hard and tinware and stove stores, two bakeries and confectionaries, three oyster saloons, two exclusive confectioneries, two banks of exchange, two silver smiths and watch makers, two book and stationery store, one [?] store, one marble tomb-stone factory, three drug houses, three lumber yards, three livery stables, two steam flouring mills, two steam saw mills, two large and commodious hotels, five or six private boarding houses, two flour and feed depots, two printing offices, three photograph galleries, one steam woolen factory and carding machine, two furniture stores, five millinery and dress making establishments, two cabinet shops, five carpenter shops, one steam plow factory, one iron foundry, three agricultural warehouses, three boot, shoe, hat and cap stores, one tobacconist and cigar factory, seven boot and shoe shops, two saddle and harness shops, three wagon and carriage shops, seven blacksmith shops, one gunsmith, three meat markets, one extensive pump factory, two paint shops, one broom factory, and two sewing machine agencies. Of the professionals, we have five pastors of churches, eight lawyers, twelve physicians, three dentists, four male and seven female teachers. We have seven organized churches – to-wit: – Methodist, Baptist, Christian, Presbyterian (old school) Cumberland Presbyterian, Catholic and Universalist. – The pastors of which are, in the order names, Revs. J. H. Rhea, J. O. Metcalf, J. C. Reynolds, J. H. Nesbitt, J. Stapp, P. Albright and I. M. Westfall.

If we have omitted any branch of business we would thank our friends to inform us, and will gladly make the correction.


Going to Remove.

The enterprising firm of Watkins & Co., grocers, announce, that they will remove into their large, new brick building about the first of February. – Do not wait, though, for them to move before purchasing your groceries, as they have a large stock still on hand at their old stand in the Randolph block.


Bobbing Around.

While “bobbing around” the other day, in search of items, we casually dropped into the dry goods store of Geo. W. Bailey, on the east side of the square, and while there, talking of the prospect for peace, the fall in the price of gold, &c., George informed us that dry goods were falling also – that he was selling good prints for 33 1/3 cts per yard, and the best heavy sheetings at 60 cts., and other gods in proportion. We are perfectly satisfied that George is selling cheaper than any other house in town, and with “Uncle Billy” and “Wash.” as assistants, he is bound to have a large share of the trade.



Capt. Alex. Chapman, late of Co. B 16th Ill. V. V. Inft., has resigned his commission in the army, and is now at home.


Come at Last.

The cold weather that we have been looking for so long has eventually come, and we are now having “weather as it weather,” in other words, it is as cold as “Greenland’s icy mountains and India’s coral strand.”


            Runaway. – On Tuesday last, a team composed of a horse and a mule, started from somewhere near Tinsley’s mill, and made good time through our streets. In the run they dropped the wagon bed and the hind wheels between the top of the hill and the square, where they finally brought up without further damage.


            → Although the holidays are said to be over, yet a nice present to wife or friend will not come amiss even at the present time. A few more nice books and Albums left at Clarke’s Book store, and new ones received nearly every day.


            Valentines. – S. J. Clarke & Co. have just received a large stock of comic and sentimental valentines, which they will dispose of cheap. They have them ranging in price from 5 cts to $12 and nice enough to tempt the heart of the most obdurate young lady living – Squibbob says he is going to buy one, and we would advise all other young men to do likewise.


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