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completely demoralize the rebellion. No expense or care should be spared to achieve this result. The appreciation of our stocks would reimburse the most lavish outlay for this purpose.
You should give no thought for the commander and his comrades in this enterprise. They willingly take the hazard for the sake of the country, and the honor, which, successful or not, they will receive from you and the lovers of free government in all lands.'
Seward, in the negative, argued the political issue at great length. To attempt to provision Sumter would provoke combat and open civil war. A desperate and defeated majority in the South have organized revolutionary government in seven States. The other slave States are balancing between sympathy for the seceders and loyalty to the Union, but indicate a disposition to adhere to the latter. The Union must be maintained, peaceably if it can, forcibly if it must, to every extremity. But civil war is the most uncertain and fear ful of all remedies for political disorders. He would save the Union by peaceful policy without civil war. Disunion is without justification. Devotion to the Union is a profound and permanent national sentiment. Silenced by terror it would, if encouraged, rally, and reverse the popular action of the seceding States. The policy of the time is conciliation. Sumter is practically useless.
"I would not provoke war in any way now. I would resort to force to protect the collection of the revenue, because this is a necessary as well as a legitimate Union object. Even then it should be only a naval force that I would employ for that necessary purpose, while I would defer military action on land until a
case should arise when we would hold the defense.
In that case, we should have the spirit of the country
and the approval of mankind on our side."†
Cameron followed the reasoning of the army officers. Captain Fox, he said, did not propose to supply provisions for more than one or two months. The abandonment of Sumter seemed an inevitable necessity, and therefore the sooner the better. Welles thought the public mind was becoming reconciled to the idea of evacuation as a necessity. The strength, dignity, and character of the Government would not be promoted by a successful attempt, while a failure would be disastrous.§ Smith argued that Sumter is not essential to any of the duties imposed on the Government. There are other and more
*Blair to Lincoln, March 15,1861. Unpublished MS. Seward to Lincoln, March 15th, 1861. Cameron to Lincoln, March 15th, 1861. Welles to Lincoln, March 15th, 1861. lished MS.
effective means to vindicate its honor, and compel South Carolina to obey the laws.|| Bates believed the hazard greater than the gain. "True," wrote he, "war already exists by the act of South Carolina—but this Government has thus far magnanimously forborne to retort the outrage. And I am willing to forbear yet longer in the hope of a peaceful solution of our present difficulties." Pickens, Key West, etc., should, on the contrary, be strongly defended, and the whole coast from South Carolina to Texas be guarded by the entire power of the navy.¶
Against the advice of so decided a majority, Lincoln did not deem it prudent to order the proposed expedition. Neither did his own sense of duty permit him entirely to abandon it. Postponing, therefore, a present final decision of the point, he turned his attention to the investigation of the question immediately and vitally connected with it, the collection of the revenue. On the 18th of March he once more directed written inquiries to three of his Cabinet officers. To the Attorney-General, whether under the Constitution and laws the board off shore?** To the Secretary of the Executive has power to collect duties on shipTreasury, whether, and where, and for what cause any importations are taking place without payment of duties? Whether vessels off shore could prevent such importations or enforce payment? and what number and description of vessels besides those already in the revenue service? To the Secretary of the Navy, what amount of naval force he could place at the control of the revenue service, and how much additional in the future?‡‡
Pending the receipt of replies to these inquiries, Lincoln determined to obtain information on two other points,- the first, as to the present actual condition and feeling of Major Anderson; the second, as to the real temper and intentions of the people of Charleston. Captain Fox had suggested the possibility of obtaining leave to visit Sumter through the influence of Captain Hartstene, then in the rebel service at Charleston, but who had in former years been his intimate friend, and comrade in command of a companion steamer of the California line. By order of the President, General Scott therefore sent him to obtain "accurate information in regard to the command of Major Anderson in Fort Sumter."§§ As he an
** Lincoln to Bates, March 18th, 1861. Unpublished MS.
tt Lincoln to Chase, March 18th, 1861. Unpub Unpublished MS.
Lincoln to Welles, March 18th, 1861. Unpublished MS.
go Cameron to Scott, March 19th, 1861. War Records.
ticipated, Hartstene introduced him to Governor Pickens, to whom he showed his order, and was, after some delay, permitted to go to the fort under Hartstene's escort, having meanwhile had an interview with General Beauregard.
"We reached Fort Sumter after dark" (March 21st), writes Captain Fox, "and remained about two hours. Major Anderson seemed to think it was too late to relieve the fort by any other means than by landing an army on Morris Island. He agreed with General Scott that an entrance from the sea was impossible; but as we looked out upon the water from the parapet, it seemed very feasible, more especially as we heard the oars of a boat near the fort, which the sentry hailed, but we could not see her through the darkness until she almost touched the landing. I found the garrison getting short of supplies, and it was agreed that I might report that the 15th of April, at noon, would be the period beyond which the fort could not be held unless supplies were furnished. I made no arrangements with Major Anderson for reënforcing or supplying the fort, nor did I inform him of my plan.'
Unlike Fox, Anderson was in no wise encouraged by the conversation.
"I have examined the point," wrote he, " alluded to by Captain Fox last night. A vessel lying there will be under the fire of thirteen guns from Fort Moultrie, and Captain Foster says that at the pan-coupé or immediately on its right,- the best place for her to land, she would require, even at high tide, if drawing ten feet, a staging of forty feet. The department can decide what the chances will be of a safe debarkation and unloading at that point under these circumstances."
The other point on which the President sought information revealed equally decisive features. It so happened that S. A. Hurlbut of Illinois (afterwards General), an intimate friend of Lincoln, was at the moment in Washington. This gentleman was of Charleston birth, four years a law student of the foremost citizen and jurist of South Carolina, James L. Petigru, and then in frequent correspondence with him. On March 21st the President called Mr. Hurlbut to him, and explaining that Mr. Seward insisted that there was a strong Union party in the South,—even in South Carolina,asked him to go personally and ascertain the facts. Mr. Hurlbut telegraphed his sister in Charleston that he was coming on a visit, which, in the threatening aspect of affairs, he might not soon be able to repeat. He trayeled as a private citizen, though purposely with some show of publicity. Public curiosity, however, centered itself upon his traveling companion, Colonel Ward H. Lamon, who, coming with an ostensible Government mission to examine some post-office matters, was looked upon as the real presidential messenger, was treated to a formal audience with the governor, and permitted to make a visit to Fort Sumter. While Lamon was hobnobbing with the young secessionists at the Charleston Hotel, Hurlbut, quartered at the house of his
sister, and thus free from the inquisitive scrutiny of newspaper reporters, was quietly visiting and being visited by his former neighbors and friends,-politicians, lawyers, merchants, and representative citizens in various walks of life. Of greater value than all was his confidential interview with his former legal preceptor. Mr. Petigru was at that time the best lawyer in the South, and the strongest man in the State of South Carolina so far as charac
ter, ability, and purity went, and never surrendered nor disguised his Union convictions. Mr. Hurlbut was himself an able lawyer, a man of experience and force in politics, and a shrewd and sagacious judge of human nature. His mission remained entirely unsuspected; and after two days' sojourn, he returned to Washington and made a long written report to the President.
"By appointment," he writes, "I met Mr. Petigru at one P. M. and had a private conversation with him for more than two hours. I was at liberty to state to him that my object was to ascertain and report the actual state of feeling in the city and State. Our conversation was entirely free and confidential. He is now the only man in the city of Charleston who avowedly adheres to the Union. . . . From these sources I have no hesitation in reporting as unquestionable that separate nationality is a fixed fact, that there is an una nimity of sentiment which is to my mind astonishing, that there is no attachment to the Union. . . . There is positively nothing to appeal to. The sentiment of national patriotism, always feeble in Carolina, has been trine of the paramount allegiance to the State. False extinguished and overridden by the acknowledged docpolitical economy diligently taught for years has now become an axiom, and merchants and business men believe, and act upon the belief, that great growth of follow the establishment of a Southern republic. They trade and expansion of material prosperity will and must expect a golden era, when Charleston shall be a great commercial emporium and control for the South, as New York does for the North."‡
These visits to Charleston added two very important factors or known quantities to the problem from which the Cabinet, and chiefly the President, were to deduce the unknown. Very unexpectedly to the latter, and no doubt to all the former as well, a new light, of yet deeper influence, was now suddenly thrown upon the complicated question. The fate of Sumter had been under general discussion nearly three weeks. The Cabinet and the high military and naval officers had divided in opinion and separated into opposing camps. As always happens in such cases, suspicion and criticism of personal motives began to develop themselves, though, at this very beginning, as throughout his whole after-administration, they
were held in check by the generous faith and unvarying impartiality of the President. Hitherto the sole issue was the relief or abandonment of Sumter; but now, by an apparent change of advice and attitude on the part of General Scott, the fate of Fort Pickens was also drawn into discussion.
So far as is known, the loyalty and devotion of General Scott never wavered for an instant; but his proneness to mingle political with military considerations had already been twice manifested. The first was when in his memorial entitled "Views," etc., addressed to President Buchanan, October 29th, 1860, he suggested the formation of four new American Unions if the old should be dismembered. The second was more recent. On the day preceding Lincoln's inauguration, the General had written a letter to Seward. In this he advanced the opinion that the new President would have to choose one of four plans or policies: 1st. To adopt the Crittenden compromise, and change the Republican to a Union party; 2d. By closing or blockading rebel ports or collecting the duties on shipboard outside; 3d. Conquer the States by invading armies, which he deprecated; and 4th, Say to the seceded States: "Wayward sisters, depart in peace!"* It must be noted that between three of these alternatives he gives no intimation of preference. The letter was simply a sign of the prevailing political unrest, and therefore remained unnoticed by the President, to whom it was referred.
When Lincoln assumed the duties of government, Scott had among other things briefly pointed out the existing danger at Fort Pickens, and the President by his verbal order of March 5th, directing "all possible vigilance for the maintenance of all the places," had intended that that stronghold should be promptly reënforced. He made inquiries on this head four days later, and to his surprise found nothing yet done. Hence he put his order in writing, and had it duly sent to the War Department for record March 11th, and once more gave special directions in regard to Pickens, assuming the omission had occurred through preoccupation about Sumter. Upon this reminder, Scott bestirred himself, and at his instance the war steamer Mohawk was dispatched March 12th, carrying a messenger with orders to Captain Vogdes to land his company at Fort Pickens and increase the garrison.
* Scott to Seward, March 3d, 1861. Scott," Autobiography," Vol. II., pp. 625-628.
Meigs, diary, March 31st, 1861. Unpublished MS. t Scott, memorandum, War Records.
Both President and Cabinet had since then considered that port disposed of for the moment.
On the evening of March 28th, the first State dinner was given by the new occupants of the Executive Mansion. Just before the hour of leave-taking, Lincoln invited the members of his Cabinet into an adjoining room for an instant's consultation; and when they were alone, he informed them, with evident deep emotion, that General Scott had that day advised the evacuation of Fort Pickens as well as Fort Sumter. The General's recommendation is formulated as follows, in his written memorandum to the Secretary of War:
mation from the South, whether the voluntary evacua"It is doubtful, however, according to recent infortion of Fort Sumter alone would have a decisive effect upon the States now wavering between adherence to the Union and secession. It is known, indeed, that it would be charged to necessity, and the holding of Fort Pickens would be adduced in support of that view. Our Southern friends, however, are clear that the evacuation of both the forts would instantly soothe and give confidence to the eight remaining slave-holding States, and render their cordial adherence to this Union per petual. The holding of Forts Jefferson and Taylor on the ocean keys depends on entirely different principles, and should never be abandoned; and indeed the giving up of Forts Sumter and Pickens may be best justified by the hope that we should thereby recover the State to which they geographically belong by the liberality of the act, besides retaining the eight doubtful States."
A long pause of blank amazement followed the President's recital, § broken at length by Blair in strong denunciation, not only of this advice, but of Scott's general course regarding Sumter. He charged that Scott was transcending his professional duties and "playing politician." Blair's gestures and remarks, moreover, were understood by those present as being aimed specially at Seward, whose peace policy he had, with his usual impulsive aggressiveness, freely criticised. Without any formal vote, there was a unanimous expression of dissent from Scott's suggestion, and under the President's request to meet in formal council next day, the Cabinet retired. That night Lincoln's eyes did not close in sleep. || It was apparent that the time had come when he must meet the nation's crisis. His judgment alone must guide, his sole will determine, his own lips utter the word that should save or lose the most precious inheritance of humanity, the last hope of free government on the earth. Only the imagination may picture that intense and weary vigil.
§ Blair to Welles, May 17th, 1873. Welles, "Lincoln and Seward," p. 65.
|| Meigs, diary. Unpublished MS.
PECUNIARY ECONOMY OF FOOD.
THE CHEMISTRY OF FOODS AND NUTRITION. V.
"No one can say that I do not give my family the best of flour, the finest sugar, the very best quality of meat."
HE above is the boast of a coal laborer earning seven dollars a week. It illustrates a phenomenon which I would commend to the consideration of either psychologists or students of social science, or both. I refer to the conceit, let us call it, that there is some mysterious virtue in those kinds of foods that have the most delicate appearance and flavor and the highest price; that whatever else one has or does not have he must, if possible, have this sort of food; and that to economize by using anything inferior would be a sacrifice of both dignity and principle.
The quotation, from a description of the life of factory operatives in New England, in an article by Mr. Lee Meriwether, in "Harper's Magazine" for April, 1887, illustrates what I
The cheapest food is that which supplies the most nutriment for the least money. The most economical food is that which is cheapest and best adapted to the wants of the user. But the maxim that "the best is the cheapest" does not apply to food. The best food, in the sense of that which has the finest appearance and flavor and is sold at the highest price, is not generally the cheapest nor the most economical, nor is it always the most healthful. The coal laborer who made it so much an article of faith to give his family "the best of flour, the finest sugar, the very best quality of meat"; who, as Mr. Meri
wether tells us, at a time when excellent butter was selling at 25 cents a pound paid 29 cents for an extra quality; who spent $156 a year for the nicest cuts of meat, which his wife had to cook before six in the morning or after half-past six at night because she worked all day in the factory; who spent only $108 for clothing for his family of nine, and only $72 a year for rent in a crowded tenementhouse where they slept in rooms without windows or closets; who indulged in this extravagance in food when much cheaper meat and in all probability much less of it, cheaper butter, cheaper flour, and other less costly materials such as come regularly upon the table of many a man of wealth would have been just as wholesome, just as nutritious, and in every way just as good save in its gratification to pride and palate,-this man was innocently committing an immense economical and hygienic blunder. He was doing this because, like the very large class of people of whom he is a type, he was laboring under this conceit of which I speak.
One great difficulty here is the lack of information. Even those who wish and try to economize in the purchase and use of food very often do not understand how. They consult carefully the prices they pay, but have in general very vague ideas about the nutritive values. It is an interesting fact that although the cost of food is the principal item of the living expenses of the large majority of people,- of all, indeed, but a few of the especially well-to-do,*-and although the health and strength of all are so intimately dependent
PERCENTAGE OF INCOME EXPENDED FOR SUBSISTENCE.
Intermediate class, "Mittelstand
In his Report of the Bureau of Statistics of Labor of Massachusetts for 1884, Mr. Carroll D. Wright summarizes the results of investigations into the cost of living of people with different incomes, especially of workingmen's families, in Massachusetts and in Great Britain, and quotes similar results obtained by Dr. Engel in Germany. Dividing expenses into those for subsistence (food), clothing, rent, fuel, and sundries, the percentage of the whole income expended for subsistence averages as in the tabular statement herewith. As incomes increase the relative percentage Workingmen of outlay for food becomes less and that for "sundries" greater. In the Massachusetts and Great Britain figures (I do not know how it is with the German, but presume that the case is the same) no outlay for intoxicating liquors is included in the allowance for subsistence.
upon their diet, yet even the most intelligent know less of the actual uses and value of their food for fulfilling its purposes than of those of almost any other of the staple necessities of life.
RATIOS OF NUTRITIVE VALUES TO COST.
THE large majority of the families in this country have, I understand, not over $500 a year to live upon. More than half of this goes, and must go, for food. Rent, clothing, the cost of preparing the food for the table, and all other expenses must be provided from the rest. Perhaps these statements apply less accurately to farmers, but of wage-workers in towns statisticians tell me they are correct.
To the man with an income of $5000 a year, it may seem to make little difference whether he pays 20 cents or $2 a pound for the protein of his food; but to the one who can earn only $500 or less a year for the support of his family, the difference is an important one. His wife goes to the dry-goods store to buy a dress for her daughter, and hesitates between a piece of cloth at 40 cents a yard that would please her better and one at 35 that is not so pretty but just as durable, and is very apt to take the cheaper one because she feels that she must. She does not fall into the error of getting more cloth than is needed and using part of the excess for lining and throw ing the rest away, nor, if she is wise, does she try to economize by getting poor trimmings and cheap thread. But when she goes to the grocer or to the butcher or to the fish-market for food to build up her children's bodies and give her husband and herself strength to work, she often pays one or two dollars a pound for protein to make muscle when she might obtain it in forms equally wholesome and nutritious for from 15 to 50 cents. The food she buys is apt to supply some of the nutrients in excessive amount as well as at needlessly high cost, while it furnishes others in insufficient quantity or in unfitting forms and in uneconomical ways; and only too often a part of it finds its way into the drain or the garbage barrel instead of being utilized for nourish
Of course the good wife and mother does not understand about protein and potential energy and the connection between the nutritive value of food and the price she pays for it, and doubtless she never will. But if the knowledge is obtained and put in print, and diffused among those who have the time and training to get hold of it, the main facts will gradually work their way to the masses, who most need its benefit.
A subject that has received but little attention in this country, though it is one of the
many special problems that are being carefully considered by students of social economy in Europe, is the relation of the nutritive value of food to its cost. We purchase our food by gross weight or measure. Part of it consists of nutritive substances, the rest is made up of water and various materials which serve only as ballast. In comparing different foodmaterials with respect to their cheapness or dearness we are apt to judge them by the prices per pound, quart, or bushel, without much regard to the amounts or kinds of actual nutrients which they contain. Of the different food-materials which the market affords and which are palatable, nutritious, and otherwise fit for nourishment, what ones are pecuniarily the most economical?
In a series of studies, undertaken at the instance of the Smithsonian Institution, I have had occasion to examine into some of these problems. A few of the results of the inquiry are summarized in Diagrams VI. and VII.
There are various ways of comparing foodmaterials with respect to the relative cheapness or dearness of their nutritive ingredients. The best, perhaps, consists in simply comparing the quantities of nutrients obtained for a given sum, 25 cents for instance, in the food when purchased at market prices. Diagram VI. gives a series of such comparisons. They are based upon the analyses of materials, obtained mostly in markets in New York City and in Middletown, Conn., and upon the retail prices paid for them. Along with the quantities of nutrients which 25 cents will buy are shown the quantities estimated to be appropriate for a day's diet for an ordinary man doing a moderate amount of muscular labor. Two such standards are given,- one proposed by Professor Voit in Germany, and based mainly upon experiments and observations in that country; the other proposed by myself. The diagram shows the quantities of different food-materials which one would get for a quarter of a dollar; the quantities of protein and fats and carbohydrates contained in them; and how these amounts of nutrients compare with what an average man, engaged in moderately hard muscular work, might be expected to need to maintain his body in vigorous condition and supply strength for the work he has to do. Another way of comparing the nutritive value of the food-materials with the cost is by the quantities of potential energy they contain. Diagram VII. shows the estimated quantities of energy in the nutritive ingredients of the materials in Diagram VI.,—that is, the amount which 25 cents would pay for. Still another method of comparing the actual expensiveness of different foods at the prices at which people buy them consists in comparing the cost of