From The Constitution, Wednesday, January 1, 1862 (volume 25, number 1253)
Nothing can exceed the madness and folly which England has manifested in her conduct towards the United States. It is now evident to the world that she as sought a pretext for a war with this country, and is animated by an extraordinary hatred towards us. No sooner had the rumor reached London of what had transpired than public meetings were held at which the strongest resentment was expressed towards the United States, and the leading journals took up the war cry and demanded that the most extreme and vigorous measures should be adopted. The English Government itself could not restrain its violent hostilities, but manifested a most indecorous haste in sending forth a challenge of war to America. It hastened to take the depositions of the officers of the Trent, depositions which are all on one side, and are highly colored by strong personal feelings and violent prejudices and making out its case from these depositions, has now demanded of our government a complete retraction in regard to the act of Captain Wilkes.
We can see in all this not a particle of generosity or even of common courtesy. At a moment when we are at a disadvantage, when a vast slave rebellion is seeking to overthrow our Government, and when all the energies of the nation are called forth to conquer its enemies at home, at such a moment what relation does England occupy to the United States. Does she show any of her pretended sympathy for the cause of human freedom? Not a syllable has she breathed of any such sympathy. Does she show any fraternal spirit towards a kindred nation in his time of danger? Not a particle. But all her sympathy has been for the south and the slave oligarchy in this unholy rebellion, and all her hatred has been reserved for the United States. At the beginning of the war, she acknowledged without delay the claims of Jefferson Davis as a belligerent. Her ships have repeatedly attempted to break the blockade. Her leading journals have demanded that the cotton ports should be opened by British guns. Repeated insults have been heaped upon our Government and wilful misrepresentations have been made of the national cause. An act which England herself would have done under similar circumstances is now made a ground for war.
But if the United States are not free to enter upon a foreign war, England herself could not enter untrammeled into a war with us. Ireland would be to England what the rebel states are to the Union. Public meetings have been held in Dublin expressing sympathy for the United States, and declaring that Irishmen would never wage war with Americans. The anti English feeling of Dublin will go through the Emerald Isle like wildfire, and will inspire a new hope in the breasts of the down trodden sons of that unfortunate country. It will be felt in Canada, and will tend to repress the haughty expressions of ill-will which English dependents might feel bound to make. Irishmen at home, in Canada and in the United States would joyfully welcome the opportunity when they might strike a blow at their ancient enemy. There are now in arms in this country not far from two hundred thousand Irishmen—an army by no means inconsiderable—and every one of these men would lay down his life sooner than see Britain triumph over the insulted honor of their adopted country. We apprehend that England, violent and arrogant as she has shown herself to be, will be somewhat considerate before she plunges into a war with America. Strongly as the English aristocracy may hate us republicans, we believe they would even forego the pleasure of a war for the overthrow of our institutions, rather than wake the national resentment of Ireland.
A prisoner who escaped from the rebel camp at Hermansville last Saturday, reports at Otterville, that when the news that Gen. Pope’s cavalry had driven in Gen. Rains’ pickets at Johnstown, was received by Gen. Price’s army, the greatest consternation prevailed in the rebel camp. The cavalry, artillery, infantry, and raw, ragged, unarmed recruits were mixed up in inextricable confusion, and many hours elapsed before anything like order was restored. The retreat of the whole army commenced as soon afterwards as possible, and so fearful were they of pursuit that they burned bridges and placed every obstruction in the way of the fancied pursuit; even the celebrated bridge built by Gen. Fremont across the Osage at Warsaw was not spared by the flying rebels. It is reported that one regiment was left on the Osage as a rear guard, and that several small bodies are scattered through the counties about Warrensburg, collecting supplies. A cavalry force has been out in pursuit of them, but our horses are so worn and weary by other long forced marches, that there is little prospect of capturing these rebel bands. The last report from Price is that he passed through Springfield, en route to Arkansas, and it is pretty certain that he will not attempt to return this winter.
The following resume of the recent military operations in Missouri is obtained from a reliable source : Within the last two weeks the Union army has captured 2500 rebels, including about 70 commissioned officers, 1200 horses and mules, 1100 stand of arms, two tons of powder, 100 wagons, and an immense amount of commissary stores and camp equipage, with a large foundry at Lexington, used by the rebels for casting cannon, shot and shells. Most of the rebel craft on the Missouri, including ferry boats, have been destroyed or captured. A pretty clean sweep has been made of the whole country between the Missouri and Osage rivers, and Gen. Price cut off from all supplies and recruits from north Missouri and is in full retreat for Arkansas with his army, having passed through Springfield on Monday last. Our loss in accomplishing these important results did not exceed 100 killed and wounded.
The damage done to the North Missouri and Hannibal and St. Joseph railroad, has been greatly exaggerated. Ten bridge burners have already been shot, and 50 are in close confinement to be summarily dealt with under Gen. Halleck’s stringent orders to shoot down every one making the attempt.
The rebel Jackson left Winchester on Tuesday with 5,700 men, and 100 boats, each calculated to carry twelve men, and marched to Martinsburg, where he was re-enforced by 2,100 men. He was re-enforced by upwards of 2,000 men from Charlestown yesterday.
He advanced on Williamsport and commenced to shell the town from a position three miles below it. The fire was returned by Best’s battery, and both fires ceased in the evening, after lasting several hours.
At the last accounts all was quite up there.
CONCLUSION OF THE TRENT AFFAIR
Mason and Slidell Released
The President has decided to surrender Messrs. Mason and Slidell and their two Secretaries to Lord Lyons, to disavow the act of Capt. Wilkes, and thus comply with every demand of the British Government. This decision has the approval of every member of the Cabinet. The official correspondence has been published. Earl Russell, in his letter to Lord Lyons, says Her Majesty’s government are willing to believe that the act was without authority, as the government of the United States must be fully aware that the British government will not allow such an affront to its honor to pass without full reparation, and the British government is unwilling to believe that the United States deliberately intended unnecessarily to force a discussion of so grave a question between the two governments.
Mr. Seward, in reply, discusses the subject at great length, says the act of Capt. Wilkes was an inadvertency and a “departure from a rule uncertainly established.” He says that in taking the ground he does, he is defending “an old, honored, and cherished American cause. We are asked to do to the British nation just what we have always insisted all nations ought to do to us.” Mr. Seward concludes his communication with a formal delivery to Lord Lyons of the four persons in question.
The Banks in the city of New York suspended specie payment on Monday. It was immediately followed by a suspension of the banks in Boston, Albany, and Hartford, and the banks of other cities will probably do the same. This step was rendered necessary on account of the large amounts paid by the New York, Boston and Philadelphia banks to the government. It is simply a precautionary measure, and does not affect their soundness.
On Tuesday, a bill passed both Houses of Congress levying the following taxes on these articles. Teas 20 cents per pound. Coffee of all kinds 5 cents per pound. On raw or brown sugar two cents and a half. On sugars refined eight cents a pound. Molasses six cents a gallon.
The news reached this country very unexpectedly last week of the death of Prince Albert, consort of the Queen of England. He died of gastric fever on Sunday, the 15th inst. It was not until the Friday preceding that he was thought to be in danger. Prince Albert was born at Rosenau, August 26, 1819 and was the second son of Earnest, Duke of Saxe Coburg Gotha. His marriage with the Queen took place on the 5th of February, 1840. He has never, since his residence in England, been allowed to take any part in political affairs, the English people looking with great jealousy upon anything which may look like German interference in their politics. He was suspected of favoring the German interest at one time during the Crimean war, and his popularity sunk down almost to zero in consequence. But it at once rose again on his speedy return to domestic matters, to agriculture, and to the usual pursuits of an accomplished gentleman of leisure. Prince Albert was a model husband and father, and the influence of his example all over England was most excellent. No prominent man in the kingdom has commanded greater respect for high personal character than he. His death must have cast a cloud over the Christmas festivities of “merrie England.”
The ladies of Middletown have already done much for the soldiers, and we are glad to see a disposition on their part to do still more in this patriotic cause. An appeal is now made to them for more help in the supply of articles necessary for the comfort of the noble men who have volunteered in their country’s service. It is utterly impossible for the Government to provide such things as are needed, and an appeal has gone forth to the benevolent women of America for their aid in this work. Many of the ladies of this city are anxious to respond to this appeal, and desire that some organized effort should be made. The cause is a good and a great one, and will we hope strongly enlist the sympathies of the ladies of this vicinity. We would suggest that a public meeting be called in one of the churches, that the subject be fairly presented, and an organization made which shall cover the whole town. We understand that mittens are very much needed. The articles most needed in the hospitals are : Canton flannel shirts ; Canton flannel and woolen drawers ; socks and slippers ; bed sacking, of ticking ; white or gray flannel hospital undershirts ; blankets for single beds ; quilts of cheap material ; knit woolen socks ; arrowroot ; farina ; sage ; whiskey ; brandy ; white wine, etc. …
The Late Jonathan Barnes, Esq.
Our readers are probably most of them aware of the death of Jonathan Barnes, Esq., which took place about noon on Tuesday of last week. We then stopped the press to insert the notice of his death, which appeared in a large part of our edition. The announcement did not take his friends by surprise. For several weeks past he had been in a very weak and failing condition, such that he might drop away at any time. Bur his native resolution and habits of unremitting industry seemed to sustain him and we believe he was in his office attending to business three days before he died.
Mr. Barnes was a native of Tolland, a graduate of Yale College of the class of 1810, studied law with his father, who was a prominent lawyer in Tolland county, afterwards studied with Chauncey Whittlesey, Esq., of this city, and in 1813 commenced here the practice of law. In certain departments of his profession, Mr. Barnes had no superior. He was a man of great legal acquirements, and of rare accuracy in everything which he did. Of unremitting industry, he was constantly attentive to business, and always to be found at his office during business hours through the day and evening. Few men have lived among us who have been so universally and highly respected. We are sure that he had not an enemy in the world, but that all who knew him regarded him as a remarkably conscientious and upright man. He always declined entering public life, and never would accept any public office. He was a man of remarkable literary attainments, and in former years furnished various articles on literary subjects for publication. A series of historical sketches were published in The Constitution some years ago from his pen. In social life he was genial and pleasant, of great kindness of heart which drew around him many warm friends. In losing Mr. Barnes the public have sustained a great and irreparable loss.
His funeral was attended from the North Church on Friday afternoon, when the pastor, Mr. Taylor, preached a sermon from the words, (Acts 5, 34)”A doctor of the law, had in reputation among all the people.” President Cummings assisted in the exercises. The Superior Court adjourned for the occasion, and the members of the court and of the bar were present. The members of the city government, the faculty and students of Wes. University, besides a large concourse of citizens attended the funeral. The remains were buried in the old cemetery at the head of Washington street.
New Year’s Calls
We presume the good old custom of making New Year’s calls will be observed this year. In fact, we have had intimations that such would be the case, and we advise the ladies to be prepared for visitors.
Good skating now on Pameacha pond—ice strong—grand chance for all who know how to use the steel—some good lady skaters—no charge for entering on the pond.
Now has the time come when men are bestowing their annual favors upon their fellow men, and asking them to pay up. It is a reasonable request ; and if every man will pay his bills when presented, his neighbor will do the same. If you set up a hundred bricks, you know you have to knock over one only in order to upset the whole. Let each man pay as bills come in, the money will be circulating and all will be accommodated.
We cut the above from the Hartford Daily Courant, and would remark that it is applicable to this latitude also. If all pay promptly much trouble will be saved, and all will be better off and easier in money matters.