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From The Constitution, April 10, 1861 (volume 24, number 1215)

The Verdict of Wall Street

There can be no better test of the confidence of the people in any Government than their willingness to lend it their money.  Business men are eminently practical men.  They do not loan money usually for benevolent purposes or from patriotic motives.  When called upon for these objects they give what they have to give, and expect to see neither interest nor principal again.  But when called upon to loan money, they are very apt to look at securities and ask whether the investment is profitable and safe.  And money lenders are proverbially good judges in this matter.  They are not likely to be taken in by high flown recommendations, or by bombast of any kind.  They know accurately the ring of the true metal, and cannot be persuaded to take plated copper for silver.

When therefore the United States Government comes into the market with a loan of eight millions of dollars, it is interesting to know what the business men of Wall street think about it.  If they believe that the Government is broken up, weakened or demoralized, they will not accept the loan.  If they believe that the Government is likely to be destroyed by traitors or is in danger of going down from any cause whatever, they will not make a bid for the loan. But what is the fact?  On Monday of last week, the bid for the new United States loan of eight millions were opened, and in New York city alone they amounted to twenty millions !  A most significant fact !  And we want no better testimony than this of the actual and deep seated confidence of the business men of the commercial emporiums of the country in the stability and strength of the General Government.  A Government which can go into Wall street and in a few hours obtain a loan of twenty millions, has nothing weak, shaky, or dilapidated about it.

It will do very well for politicians to talk lugubriously about the future of the country and to prophecy general destruction because there have seceded seven of the poorest states in the Union—states which have been maintained hitherto by the generosity of the others.  It comes within the programme of political partizans [sic] to get up a panic and frighten nervous people out of their wits.  But when an appeal is made to the pockets of the men who knew the value of their money, it is a different affair altogether.  Partizanship and politics are thrown out of the account, and men then estimate a Government as is its true worth.  We have here the verdict of some of the most practical men in the world, of the business men in Wall street, that the Federal Government is as strong and worthy of credit as it ever was.  Their verdict is undoubtedly correct.

The State Out of Debt

Three years ago the State of Connecticut was in debt in the amount of $81,161.  Under the management of the republican administration, this debt has all been paid off, and the treasury has a surplus of $2000 !  It will be remembered that the democrats a year or two ago made quite a handle of the state debt, and called on the people to rescue our commonwealth from republicanism and ruin !  Look now at the result—the State is entirely out of debt and with a surplus on hand of $2000 !  What better financial condition could be desired than Connecticut is now in, with her school fund of two millions and her fund of near half a million in good bank stocks.

Trouble in Marlborough

On election day there was a fight around the polls in Marlborough.  The republicans came in escorting an old man who desired to vote their ticket.  The democrats tried to persuade him to vote theirs.  Hard words passed, when a democrat struck a republican, and a general melee followed.  The constables finally restored order.  Result of the whole—several bloody noses, black eyes, and sore heads.

Government Movements

Within the last few days those who have experience in such things think they discover unmistakeable [sic] signs of important naval and military movements, and the conclusion is at once reached that the Government is about entering upon some decided course of action towards the seceding states.  It is surmised that the revenue laws are to be enforced in southern ports as well as northern, and that New Orleans and every other port in the confederate states will be blockaded.

Capture of an Alleged Slaver

The schooner Wells, of Greenport, L. I., was seized at that place, on the morning of the 3d, by the custom-house authorities, on suspicion that she was bound upon a slave voyage to the coast of Africa.  The Wells is a new vessel, having been built in 1860, and belongs to C. Wells & Co., of Greenport.  She is 149 tons register.

Wesleyan University

An effort is being made by Prof. Johnston to raise means to purchase for the Wesleyan University the extensive collection of minerals, now in the keeping of the college, known as the Franckfort Cabinet.  It will cost about $1200, one quarter of which has already been subscribed.  An appeal is made to the friends of the college for subscriptions.


We, the undersigned, legal voters in Middletown, and in the employ of W. & B. Douglas, do hereby certify that we are the persons who tolled their factory bell on the day John Brown was hung, and were the only persons engaged in that affair.  And do further certify that Benjamin Douglas [newly-elected Lieutenant Governor] had nothing to do, directly or indirectly, with causing the same to be tolled ; that he was absent from the factory at the time it was done and knew nothing about it.  We tolled the bell entirely on our own responsibility.

M.V.B. Stillman,

Dayton Johnson,

Horace North,

Enoch Prout.

Middlesex County, Middletown, April 4, 1861.

Personally appeared,  Martin V. B. Stillman, Dayton Johnson, Horace North and Enoch Prout, and made solemn oath that the matters stated in the above affidavit by them subscribed are correct and true.

Before me,

Jos. E. Lathrop, Justice of the Peace.


We the undersigned do hereby certify that we were the persons who tolled the several church bells in Middletown, on the day John Brown was hung, viz.: the South Church, Baptist and Methodist, and that we were the only persons engaged in the same.  And further certify that Benjamin Douglas did not request or employ us, directly or indirectly, to toll said bells, and he had nothing to do with causing the same to be tolled.  Nor did he pay or cause to be paid to either of us any money for tolling the same, either before or since.

Signed, Robert Gibbons,

E. W. Gibbons,

F. I. Hackman, (Democrat)

Middlesex County, Middletown, April 4, 1861.

Personally appeared Robert Gibbons, E. W. Gibbons, and F. I. Hackman, subscribers to the foregoing affidavit, and made solemn oath that the statements contained in the said affidavit are correct and true.

Before me,

Jos. E. Lathrop, Justice of the Peace.


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April 2011

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Wordle: Middlesex County Historical Society - Civil War in Middletown, CT
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