Southern Feeling, London (1862)

Source: The University of Texas Perry-Castaneda Library: 'Southern Feeling towards England,' Index, May 15, 1862, 40.

Southern Feeling, London (1862), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,

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40                  THE INDEX.                  [May 15, 1862.


      Our friends in the United Kingdom and on the continent are
earnestly requested to forward to us at their earliest convenience
such information relative to the military movements and conditions of
affairs in Americas they may receive through private letters either
from the United States, or from the Confederate States. They may
rely upon the most scrupulous precautions being observed; that no
names or fact leading to identification will, under any circumstances,
be revealed. No communications, However, will be noticed unless
authenticated by a responsible name. Southern newspapers, of any
date, will be useful and acceptable presents.
      For the convenience of our distant subscribers, all the receipts for
subscriptions signed by any of the official representatives, or com-
missioned officers of the Confederate States, will be recognized at this
      Our subscribers in the South will have their paper supplied through
HENRY HOTZS, Esq., the Confederate States' Commercial Agent in
London, who has kindly offered his services in this respect
during the continuance of the blockade.
      Subscription, 26 s. per annum - post paid, :30 s., payable in advance.
Advertisements to be forwarded to the publisher at 101, Fleet Street..

THURSDAY, MAY 15, 1862.


[2nd column:]

Southern Feeling towards England

      One fact impresses us painfully, in the many pri-
vate letters from the South, from which we publish
extracts elsewhere. Written, as they are, by persons
living remote from each other, and widely differing
in temperament and mental habits, not a few of
them by natives of this country, who cannot be
willing witnesses against the land of their birth, they
all reveal traces of a growing estrangement between
the people of the Confederate States and those who
should be, and in truth are, their natural allies and
best friends. We sincerely deplore even the faintest

[3rd column:]

symptoms of a feeling, which, if allowed to take.
root, and fix itself permanently upon the Southern
character, must be fatal to the true mutual interests
of both countries; but it would be uncandid, as well
as unwise, to conceal its existence.
      Making due allowance for the excited passions of
men who write amid the tumult of a war which has
seldom, if ever, been paralleled in magnitude or in
ferocity, let us calmly consider whether, indeed, the
South has just causes of complaint and ill-will against
the country which it has heretofore delighted to
honour and love. To judge equitably in this matter,
we must place ourselves in the position from which
they view the attitude of Great Britain towards
them. The South, for generations back, has been
proud of its closer afinity of blood to the British
parent stock, than the North, with its mongrel com-
pound of the surplus population of all the world,
could boast of. The South has always claimed,
though, perhaps, not always logically, a more aristo-
cratic, or at least, a more honourable descent, looking
upon itself as the lawful offspring of the common
mother; while it was disposed to treat the North, if
not as a bastard, at least, as a relative of doubtful
legitimacy. Long before the political rivalries con-
verted the Federal legislative halls into a vulgar
prize ring, a social feud, scarcely less bitter and un-
relenting, was raging between the ill-cemented
fractions of the great Republic. In this land the
South always sought the alliance of England and if
she sometimes caricatured, she always honestly
strove to copy even the affectations of English
manners. In the very forms of speech, or the
enunciation of a vowel, the Southerner sought
to establish a distinction between himself and
the man of the North or West, and claimed
a nearer approximation to the English standard.
What of English books the wholesale piracy of
Northern publishers permitted to find their way
across the Atlantic, took their places, without
scarcely any noticeable exception, on the shelves of
Southern libraries; and the Southern gentleman
prided himself upon paying five times the price for
an English edition, than the same book would have
cost in a "Yankee" dress. These are but trifles,
it is true, but they show the current of a nation's
affections, and whence it most expects, or would
most gratefully receive, praise or favours.
      The political institutions of Great Britain always
had their warmest and most sincere admirers among
the people of the South. The North, more arrogant
and self-conceited, fond of change, with a population
largely composed of the proletarian elements of
Europe, could see in the governmental fabrics of the
Old World only "rotten monarchies," and "political
corpses," and fancied itself the chosen reformer and
apostle of a new social and political system. The
South, conservative by instinct, and from necessity.
feeling humbled instead of elated, by the "glories"
and "grandeur" of the vaunted Union, clung to the
past and its traditions, rather than to the future and
its promises. Of this Janus-faced Republic, which
never was, and never could have been, a unit, one
face looked forward, and the other back, each, per-
haps, too steadily and exclusively in its chosen
direction, but each reading in that direction its desti-
nies and its hopes. Where the North despised, the
South revered; while the North had only lessons to
give for the formation of a world-wide Utopia, the
South, less sanguinely, sought them in the dear,
bought experience of mankind. If a comparison
could fairly be instituted between countries placed
under conditions so dissimilar, it might be said that
Southern America, in manners, forms of speech, and
habits of thought and business, resembled more Old
England, while Young England resembled more
Northern America.
      Can it be wondered at, then, that a people like those
of the Confederate Stales, should, in their great hour
of trial, look to the country which they had chosen
for their model, for a degree of sympathy and aid
which no other country would afford them, and that
the reaction of feeling, when that sympathy and aid
were refused, should be correspondingly greater than
against any other country. We do not mean to
say that either sympathy or aid has been absolutely


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