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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Chapter 1 Page 1

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

Chapter 1 Page 2

May 15, 1862.]                  THE INDEX.                  41

refused, at least, so far as individuals are concerned,
for we believe that the intellect and intelligence of
the British nation does moat cordially and actively
sympathize with the South in its fearful struggle,
and that British commerce has dared more, and done
more, in its aid than the commerce of all the rest of
the world put together. But the South can only
weigh the value of this aid and sympathy by the
public acts of the Government. At the hands
of that Government it had a right to expect,
if not favours, at least justice. Has it re-
ceived it ? Have not solemn international
treaties received new constructions, that they might
not apply to the necessities of a suffering people ?
Have not palpable facts been stilled by misty
equivocations, lest the logic of those facts might
lead to conclusions more favourable than those in
power desired? When a foreign Government stands
ready to do what England refuses to do, is not the
whole machinery of state-craft set in motion to
interpose obstacles and delays? Has not every
effort been made from above to repress the ebullition
of sympathy which swells from the heart of this
nation, and to stave off the discussions by which
alone the voice of the nation can bo hoard, and its
will consulted ?
      The people of the South are conscious that they
have not an interest in conflict with any interest of
England. They produce all that England consumes,
they consume all that England produces. They are
conscious that they have fulfilled every condition
which can justly be required of a new nation claim-
ing admission into the family of nations — extent of
territory, sufficiency of population and resources,
unanimity of thought and action, resoluteness of
purpose, unflinching determination of will. They
have not wearied the ears of the world with appeals
and solicitations; they have trusted to God and
their own strong arms to work out their independ-
ence; they have achieved and maintained it for over
a year; amid alternate triumphs and humiliation they
have remained sober-minded, neither unduly elated by
victory nor discouraged by defeat; God-loving, God-
fearing, resolute, stedfast, self-reliant, and self-sacri-
ficing. Yet, so far as they can see from their point
of view, the world stands coldly looking on, refusing
to them what no other nation has ever yet been
refused; exacting from them tests that have never
been exacted before; applying to them — free citizens
of a Government of their own choice — rules that were
never dreamed of in the case of subjects to a ruler by
Divine Right.
      Can they be blamed for already smarting, bitterly
and keenly, under a sense of gross wrong and wanton
injustice; that this feeling should find vent in their
daily talk, and in their letters to distant friends;
that it eventually may colour their character and
governmental policy; and that when the war is
ended, as alone it can end, in their complete inde-
pendence, and the recognition by the world of the
righteousness of their cause, they should spurn
friendships which are tendered in the hour of pros-
perity, and which were wanting in the hour of need.
      England is great and powerful, but none can be
so great and powerful as not to need friends. If
friends she wants on the Western Hemisphere, she
will surely not find them among the States of the
North. Is it her interest, or her policy, that Worth
and South should have but one feeling in common,
but one motive-spring common to both, and that,
resentment and hatred to Great Britain ?


Transcription by: Megan Wren


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