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The Testimony
of
a Refugee from East Tennessee:

Electronic Edition

Bokum, Hermann, 1807-1878


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First edition, 1998
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Academic Affairs Library, UNC-CH
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,
1998.
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Library of Congress Subject Headings, 21st edition, 1998





THE TESTIMONY
OF
A Refugee from East Tennessee

BY

HERMANN BOKUM, Chaplain U. S. A.

PHILADELPHIA:
PRINTED FOR GRATUITOUS DISTRIBUTION. 1863.


Page 3


A REFUGEE'S TESTIMONY.

        IT may seem bold and self-confident, indeed, that in the face of the multitude of pamphlets, addresses, essays and treatises, which this war has called forth, I should add one or more to the number. And yet there are some facts connected with my past history and my present position, which may sufficiently account for my appearing before the public just at this time. Born and educated in Germany, I arrived in this country in my twenty-first year, and after having spent twenty-eight years in the North, under circumstances which were especially calculated to endear to me the historic life, and the institutions of the country I had adopted, I lived in East Tennessee till treason there overthrew, for a time at least, the Government of the United States. My attachment to the Union compelled me to leave my home and my family to avoid a dungeon. It was then, when for more than a year I had had to witness the effects of a military despotism, which exalted falsehood, fraud and robbery to the rank of virtues, and rode rough-shod over every one that was unwilling to adopt this creed, that I prayed God that the time might come when I, in some humble way, might bear witness to the fearfulness of the crime, which, by means the most foul, had in that region of country at least, placed at the mercy of villains, the most abandoned, the noble and devoted men of the country. Similar prayers have risen from other lips, but their testimony will only be heard in the day of judgment, for they have sealed their faithfulness with their death. Yet it is not only recollections like these which now impel me to write. When after having fled from my home I at last had reached the lines of our troops which were then stationed near Cumberland Gap, I saw myself surrounded by hundreds of men with whom for years I had mingled at their altars and their firesides, and who like myself had been compelled to leave their


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homes and families. Impressed with the fact, that my past life would give me an influence in the North, which they could not have, they asked me to do all in my power to induce the men of the North to come to their relief, that they might be enabled with their swords to make their way back to their homes. I promised it, and now while I am about to fulfil this promise, I pray God that He may prepare for my words a ready access to the hearts of my readers. To all this I may add that I am once more standing upon the ground on which first I stepped when I came to this country, that not a few of those with whom I became acquainted in early life are now, when far advanced in years, my honored friends, and that they have expressed a conviction that my extensive acquaintance in Pennsylvania, where for years I have labored as a preacher and a teacher, might enable me to impart information concerning the first workings and the gradual progress of treason in the South. Right or wrong I have acceded to their request, and I would have acceded sooner if my duties as chaplain of a hospital had not been of such a character as to claim the whole of my time.

        East Tennessee, which late events have brought into such general notice, is a portion of that elevated region of country which embraces Southern Kentucky, Northern Alabama, Northern Georgia and Western North Carolina. The Cumberland Mountains in East Tennessee reach occasionally the height of 2,000 feet, they are rich in minerals, from their sides leap innumerable springs, flowing through productive valleys and emptying finally into the Tennessee or Cumberland rivers, the climate is magnificent, the scenery grand and picturesque, the population of an agricultural character, having comparatively few slaves. To this region of country I had moved in 1855, I had purchased a farm, planted vineyards and had gathered a small congregation. I had indulged the hope that in the same measure as I was endeavoring to make this home beautiful and productive, my children would resist the temptation to change, and this farm would be an heirloom in my family for many years to come. Beyond my spiritual sphere and these agricultural labors my ambition did not extend, and with but a trifling


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change I could adopt with regard to myself and my family the beautiful lines of Barry Cornwall:

                        Touch us gently, Time!
                        Let us glide adown thy stream,
                        Gently as we sometimes glide
                        Through a quiet dream.

                        Humble voyagers are we,
                        Husband, wife and children three -
                        Two are lost - two angels fled
                        To the azure overhead.

        These humble hopes, however, were not to be realized. It is now two years ago when I no longer could resist the conviction that we were standing on the very threshold of a treasonable attempt to break up the Union. At that time I happened to be in the house of one of my neighbors. In the course of the conversation the Union was mentioned by me. "The Union," said he, with a contemptuous smile, "the Union is gone!" I could hardly trust my ears. Here stood a man before me, who was not like myself an adopted citizen, but a native of this country, yet who was ready to obliterate from the family of nations the land which for more than thirty years I had learnt to regard as my own, and which had conferred on me innumerable blessings. "Hear me," said I to him, there was a time when the disciples of the Lord had called blessings upon Him; - the Pharisees asked him to stop his disciples, but the Lord told them that if his disciples were to be silent, the very stones would cry out. "You," added I, "were born in this country, you have Washington and his time handed down to you as a direct inheritance, I am but an adopted citizen, I am but as one of the stones, but as one of the stones I cry out against you." It was at that time that a great Union meeting was held in the vicinity of Knoxville. Horace Maynard was occupied in another part of the State, but Andrew Johnson and other leading Union men were there, and the question was seriously debated whether East Tennessee should take up arms and destroy the bridges in order to prevent the sending of rebel troops from Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama to Virginia. Less extreme measures prevailed, the bridges were not burnt, the troops from the Southern States rushed into East Tennessee, and the Union men of East Tennessee were singly overpowered and disarmed. In the meantime Fort Sumter had fallen and some of the secessionists


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came to me and asked me to join the Southern Confederacy. "You remind me," said I, "of a good old bishop, when he was led to the stake he was advised to abjure the Savior and save his life. "Eighty and five years, was the answer of the bishop, has my Savior graciously protected me, and should I now forswear him?' So say I to you; thirty and five years has the flag of the Union with the help of God nobly protected me, and should I now forswear it?" The secessionists, however, became so violent in their measures that I found it necessary to go to Washington in order to consult the Hon. Andrew Johnson, who by that time had succeeded in taking his place in Congress, and to find out whether we soon would obtain help or whether I would be compelled to move with my family to the North. When I went to Washington, Tennessee was still in the Union, when I returned it had been taken out by force and by fraud, and I was compelled to find my way through the Cumberland Mountains as best I might. Governor Harris had in vain endeavored to get a convention sanctioned by the people, by the means of which he had hoped to carry the State out of the Union. He had then called an extra session of the Legislature, and that body in violation of the express will of the people had declared an ordinance of separation on the 6th of May, submitting the question of Separation from the Federal Government and of Representation in the Richmond Congress to be voted on by the people on the 8th day of June. Against Separation from the Federal Government and Representation in Richmond, East Tennessee gave a majority of 18,300. It would have been much larger if the votes of rebel troops had not been counted, though under the constitution they had no authority to vote at any election. In this way however the State was forced out of the Union when a majority of her people were utterly averse to any such separation.

        Having arrived at home after having past through many trying scenes, I found that my journey to the North had excited attention, and that threats had been made of hanging me as soon as I should return. I, however, had to visit Knoxville. When I entered the court house in that city, I


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found Judge Humphreys occupied in judging men, who had committed no crime, but in various ways had expressed their partiality for the Union. This is the same Judge Humphreys against whom others as well as myself were cited to bear testimony in Washington a few months ago, and who in consequence of that testimony was deposed from his office. When I had left the court house a friend took me aside, himself a secessionist, and told me that I would do well to leave the city, since in case the soldiers were to learn that I had just come from the North, I in a few minutes might be a dead man. Then came a time of darkness and oppression. The battle of Manassas had taken place, and for four months we were kept in the dark with regard to almost everything, which could have a favorable bearing on the preservation or restoration of the Union. It was during this time that Judge Humphreys held court again in Knoxville, and that he himself told the State's Attorney that he had no right to send Union men to Tuscaloosa unless they were taken with arms in their hands. The State's Attorney, a wretched drunkard, replied that they had only been sent to Tuscaloosa in order to make of them good Southern men. Shortly before this time some of the Union men had secretly combined and had burned certain bridges, in order to put a stop to the thousands of soldiers who were every day passing on to Virginia. Mr. Pickens who is now a Major in the U. S. Army, had taken part in this enterprise and had escaped. In consequence of it, his father, a Senator in the State's Legislature, had been seized and taken to Tuscaloosa. One of my neighbors returned at that time from Tuscaloosa, where he had been imprisoned, sick in body and in mind. He told me that he had left the aged Pickens in good health, but that he could not live, since he was confined with twenty- seven others in a small room, and in the night they were not permitted to open the windows. Pickens died. His wife when she heard it, lost her reason and died ; a daughter being thus suddenly deprived of her parents also cried of a broken heart! It was in this way that the State's Attorney in Knoxville made of Union men Good Southern Men! An acquaintance of mine, the Rev. Mr. Duggan, a highly respectable


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clergyman, was compelled on a hot day to walk twenty miles as a prisoner to Knoxville, because long before the State had been carried out of the Union he had prayed for the President of the United States. His horse was led behind him, and he, though old and very corpulent, was not permitted to mount it. When he had arrived in Knoxville, he was declared free, and free he soon was, for God took him to himself. That journey on foot had become the cause of his death. A man named Haun had been taken to prison, because he had taken part in the burning of the bridges. The names of the persons who tried him have never been made public. Not until he had arrived at the place of execution did the public learn why he was to be executed. He was asked whether he was sorry for what he had done, he replied, that if placed in similar circumstances he would do it again, and that he was prepared to die. Others beside him were hung, still others were shot down or otherwise murdered. Nor did this spirit of oppression extend to Union men alone. Shortly before I left East Tennessee, a wealthy secessionist named Jarnagan, who lived in my vicinity did not rest, till two companies were quartered in that town, in order to keep down the Union men. Three months afterwards he left his residence, because, as he himself declared, his own friends had robbed him of property worth $3,000, and would take his life if he would not give up all. It was as still worse with Daniel Yarnall, another secessionist, and also one of my neighbors. He had complained concerning the conduct of some soldiers in the Confederate army, and these soldiers had been punished; in consequence of it they went to his house and stripped him. He himself counted forty lashes, and then could count no more. When the workings of this treason first commenced, and I on my missionary tours was passing through the fruitful valleys and over the pleasant hill sides of East Tennessee, and beheld the fields ready for the harvests, and the industrious men and women engaged in their daily round of duties, I asked myself, whether indeed it was possible, that the mad ambition of men would go so far as to desolate these scenes of beauty. It has proved possible indeed! Where but two


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years ago there were all the elements calculated to make a community prosperous, there is now misery and wretchedness the most fearful, and the rule of an armed mob bent upon indiscriminate plunder. Do you see yonder wretch? He has been a drunkard and a vagabond all his life-time, yet he has thousands of dollars in his pocket now, and he rides the most beautiful horse in that whole region of country. I could take you to the industrious farmer from whom he took the horse, and whom he robbed of his money, and who now, together with his wife and children are left in penury! Do you see yonder girl? How beautiful she would be, if it were not for the loss of that eye! That eye she lost in successfully defending her honor against the assault of a Confederate soldier, until her father could come to her aid and slay him. Ah, my reader, you who live here so comfortable and so undisturbed, have little knowledge of what is going on but a few hundred miles from here. I have seen the man of eighty, the oldest and the wealthiest man of a loyal district, who at his age had joined the Home Guards, raise his trembling hands to heaven, and ask God whether there was no curse in store for deeds so cruel. I have heard the gentle woman exclaim that she must have the blood of one of these men, her spirit being maddened to desperation because they had fired a hundred shots at her husband. Who could remain cold at the sight of enormities like these? I have often been asked whether the representations made by Brownlow and others can be relied on. Neither Brownlow nor myself, nor any, nor all of us can give a full record of cruelties which have been perpetrated and are now being perpetrated in the recesses of the mountains and valleys of East Tennessee, or of the sufferings and the deaths through which East Tennesseeans have to pass in the prisons of the South from want of food, from filth, from absence of ventilation and from degrading work.

        After the defeat of the rebels near Mill Spring had taken place, I had to go secretly to Kentucky in order to attend to some private affairs of mine. After my return the battle of Pittsburg Landing had occurred, and Fort Henry, Fort Donelson and Nashville had fallen into the hands of the Federal


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troops. In consequence of these reverses the conscription law was enacted. There was a place of mustering near my house, where in former times generally some 800 men had mustered; that day only about 50 appeared. Two nights after, almost all the men able to bear arms disappeared, went to Kentucky, and entered the United Army. Then Churchwell, the Provost Marshal of Last Tennessee, a man who has since been called to the Judgment bar of God, issued a proclamation and declared that if these men would come back they should be permitted peacefully to pursue their avocations; at the same time, however, he attempted to seize some of the most influential Union men who had yet staid behind. I was to be one of the victims; by a most Providential combination of circumstances I received early notice of the fact that five men were sent out to apprehend me. I had made up my mind to go to prison. I could not bear the thought of leaving the atmosphere where my wife and my children were breathing, but my wife prevailed on me to go to our friends in the North. Her last words were: "Fear not for me, I trust in God;" I begged her to kiss our children, and I turned into the mountains. Never I trust, shall I cease to be thankful for the gracious manner in which I was shielded from harm in that perilous journey. Six months later my wife and my children arrived in Cincinnati, having crossed the Cumberland Mountains in the rear of the two contending armies, and having made more than 300 miles in an open buggy. We have since removed to this city, where I have been appointed Chaplain of the Turner's Lane Hospital.

        Now, after having made these statements, which in a great measure refer to myself, I wish to draw the attention of the reader to certain subjects which are of vital importance to all of us, and on which my past experience, such as I have just described it, may enable me to shed some light. In the first place, then, let me advise every one who reads these pages to turn away from the man, who attempts to persuade himself and others, that the South has been driven into her treasonable course in consequence of the wrong inflicted on her by the North. This, indeed, is one of the falsehoods by


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which the men of the South have attempted to excuse their treason, but it was not the cause of it. Do you think, I believed them, when they came to me about that time and told me that the men of the North were a set of cowards who would not fight, and that one Southerner could whip five of them at any time? Do you think I believed them when they spoke of drawing the line between the North and the South along the Ohio river, and of erecting an immense fortress opposite Cincinnati, and of battering down that city, whenever the North interfered with slavery? Or do you think I believed them, when they advised me to join the South, because, if the South succeeded, East Tennessee would be a great manufacturing country, and my little property would increase a hundred-fold in value? Of course I did not believe them. I knew too much about my friends in the North to doubt their bravery, and I had seen too much of the want of manufacturing enterprize in the South to indulge the hope that my property would be worth any thing, if the South should gain the ascendency. Just as little did I believe it, when they came to me and told me that they were compelled to rise in rebellion, because the North was resolved to rob the South of their slaves. Had not I listened to the Rev. Dr. Ross and many of the other leaders of the movement? Washington and Jefferson and the men of their time had, indeed, regarded slavery as an evil which would gradually give way under the influence of christianity; but not so these apostles of our own time or of the immediate past. According to them, slavery is the very foundation, on which christianity is resting, take it away and christianity crumbles to pieces; according to them on the existence of slavery depends the cause of freedom, touch that institution and freedom as well as christianity are crushed. Strange doctrines these, you say, yet these are the doctrines which have been taught in the South by divine and layman for more than twenty-five years, and taught for the very purpose, which they now attempt to realize by their treasonable movement, and into which they have been drawn for reasons very different from those which they have made public. It was indeed not abolition nor


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any other imaginary wrong inflicted on them by the North, which influenced their action, but a conviction of a very different character. With all their boasts concerning the divine character of the institution of slavery, and the spiritual and temporal blessings which resulted from it, they could not conceal from themselves, that in its practical workings slavery in many respects looked very much like a curse. Why was it that these vast multitudes of emigrants were peopling the North, while they kept away from the South? Why, that manufactures and commerce selected the North for their favored home? How did it happen that if you started from Pittsburg on your way to St. Louis, you would see on the right hand side of the Ohio river, flourishing towns and cultivated fields without number, while on the left, nature reigned beautiful but unproductive? It was slavery which was the cause of it, and the time was fast approaching when the South compared to the North would be in a lamentable minority and would lose that influence over the General Government which it had so long enjoyed. Hence the criminal resolve of breaking the Union to pieces, and of founding an aristocratic empire with slavery for its basis, and the prospect of having untold wealth, pouring into its bosom by re-opening the African slave trade. Ah what anguish have we Union men of the South suffered when one and another of these diabolical plans was developed to our view. How vain the hope of being benefitted by the resolutions of Crittenden, or by any other resolutions, when we had learnt that the Union was to be broken to pieces at every cost. Many an appeal reached the South at that time from the great conservative body of the people in the North, calling upon them to be but patient for a few days and they should receive every security for their rights which they possibly could desire. There were many hearts, which bounded with joy and with hope at these appeals, but they met no response in those Southern Senators, who had it in their power to pass the Crittenden resolutions, but who refused to vote, that they might break up the Union. Abolition no doubt has to answer for many things, but it never will have to answer for having brought about this


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rebellion. The power was rapidly escaping from the hands which had wielded it so long, and that power was to be preserved, though the country should be deluged in blood, and the recollections of a glorious past be given to the winds. Yet there are still those amongst us, who are sympathizing with the South, on account of the wrongs it has suffered at the hands of the North. I assure you that the slaveholders of East Tennessee, who are Union men, do not feel that they need such sympathy. They never have complained that they have lost any of their rights, and they look with utter abhorrence upon this attempt to obliterate from the family of nations, a country which surpassed every other in a spirit of justice and humanity. They are most decidedly of opinion that God would be altogether just, if He should sweep away the institution of slavery, which these men intend to make the foundation of their empire, and if they also in consequence of it have to suffer loss they are prepared for it. It is by the preservation of the Union alone, that they can have security not only for the property which may be left them, but for liberty and life. Shortly before I left East Tennessee, I was in the house of a wealthy slave owner, a devoted friend of the Union. He spoke with tears of this attempt to break up the Union, adding that there was a report that the Government of the United States intended to confiscate the slaves. He did not believe, he said, that the Government would deprive loyal slaveholders of their property, but in case it should be necessary, in order to preserve the Union, he would gladly give up the slaves. Another slaveholder, also one of my acquaintances, who had been robbed of a large portion of his property, and who had been in prison for months, at last reached his home again. "The last dollar," he said to his wife, "the last slave, if but the Union be preserved, and joyfully we will start anew in life." "Think you," said another distinguished slaveholder, a gee from East Tennessee, * the other day in the city of New York, in the same spirit, "that for the pleasure of enjoying the company of my wife and my babes whom I have not seen for the last two years, I would not have willingly given all

* The Rev. Mr. Carter.


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that my negroes are worth, or all that they ever will be worth to me?" Yet though the Union men of the South thank them so little for their sympathy, the sympathizers here are still going on in the same strain. "Pray, sir," said one of them to me but a few days ago, how would you like it, if you had owned two hundred negroes and they had been taken away from you?" "I would certainly feel satisfied," was my reply, "if at that price I had obtained security for the property I might still have, but most of all for my liberty and my life. I have not lost two hunderd slaves, but I have lost all the property I owned, and which I valued at six thousand dollars. Yet by giving it up and escaping to the North, I again enjoy the benefits resulting from the Union, and the means of supporting my family."

        By facts like these I am readily reminded of others, which it may be as well to mention in this connection. I have very frequently heard of late the assertion, that this is not a war for the Union but for the freeing of the negroes, and gentlemen have told me, that they, indeed, are as much for the Union as ever, but that they are constrained to oppose the administration, because it has now raised issues which are altogether foreign to the original objects of the war. Now in order to meet this objection in a satisfactory manner, I beg the reader to look at the beginning of this war. When the South was going on in taking one aggressive step after the other, and the United States Government still bore it patiently, a gentleman, who is now prominent in the ranks of secession, but who at that time had not made up his mind which way he would turn, expressed great astonishment at this conduct. "The United States," he said, "are a powerful nation, but even for a nation so powerful it seems strange to be so slow in punishing treason:" Ignorant as I then was of the extent of this treason, I gloried in this forbearance of the United States because it was so much in keeping with the spirit it had ever manifested to leave room for the loyalty that might still exist in the South to make itself felt. At a later period, however, the necessity of an energetic movement had become evident, and government and people unanimously declared that they were fighting, and would fight


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on for the Union and the Constitution. I became well acquainted with this state of feeling, for I was then in the North. But then, again, there came another phase of the struggle. The Federal arms had been sufficiently successful in taking possession of large portions of slave territory, and they had to meet the question, what they should do with the negroes of disloyal slaveholders. The question was finally solved by the proclamation of the President, a document, which is the result of the circumstances in which the disloyalists of the South have placed themselves by their treasonable course. Thus it has happened that thousands, and let me add, I am of the number, while they have at all times opposed abolitionism, and have been in favor of securing the South in all their rights, have now come to feel, that treason has no rights whatever, and that the negroes, if they furnish to traitors the means of support, and of carrying on this war against the Union, should be deprived of these means wherever an opportunity offers, and that they ought to sustain the Government to the utmost in their power, because it is acting in accordance with these views. To illustrate this subject from what may be called the common sense view of it, I beg leave to relate an incident related to me by a clergyman, whose name I shall be happy to give, as soon as he will permit me to do so. He had been invited to deliver a patriotic address in a neighborhood, which was not celebrated on account of its patriotism, and hints had been dropped, that if he did go there he might expect to be handled somewhat roughly. The clergyman however did go. He proposed to stop at the house of an acquaintance who was quite an excitable character. Before entering the house, he heard that one of the agitators on the other side of the question had been there in the morning. He of course then expected a scene of a good deal of excitement, and he was by no means disappointed. Hardly had he entered when his friend rushed up to him, and exclaimed: "Well, sir, it is all over now!" "What is over." "There is going to be a draft." "Well, what of that?" "We will not go !" "But you will be made to go." "What, make fifty thousand men go?" "Ah remember my friend, it is not every


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one thinks this way. It is only a little corner here of Pennsylvania." "But," exclaimed the other with great vehemence, "I will not fight for the nigger!" "Not fight for the nigger," said my friend. "Well, now, listen to me. Suppose I were a general of the Secessionists, and had fifty thousand troops under my command, and I were standing here, and you were a general of the Union troops, and you had fifty thousand men under your command, and you were standing over there. And now suppose that you had learnt that here back of my right wing I had stored a vast deal of ammunition, and that you knew a way how to get round there and take it away from me, you also knowing that if you did take it, I would have no powder to fire at you, would you take it?" "Certainly!" "And then suppose that you had learnt that back of my left wing I had stored a considerable amount of provisions, and that you had an opportunity of getting hold of it, you knowing that if you succeeded in taking it, I would have to do with half rations and might be very much disposed to give up the fight; would you go and take it?" "Surely I would!" "And then again suppose, that far in the rear of me, there were five thousand negroes constantly at work in order to supply me with the provisions I needed, and that you knew a way how to catch them, and that you knew that if you did catch them, I was sure to give up, for I would have nothing whatever to eat. Would you go and catch them?" "Surely I would." "Well, that is all the Government proposes to do." "Is that all?" "Yes." "Well I am for that!" So it is, my reader, those who declare that the Government is no longer fighting for the Union and the Constitution are far from the truth. We have to accustom ourselves to the thought, that as matters now stand in the South, traitors have no right under the Constitution, and that the safety and the perpetuity of the Union, demand that they should be deprived of every means by which they are aided in their treasonable course. He who opposes the Government in this respect, is aiding and abetting treason, and to arrest such and punish them is the duty which the Government owes to the safety of its loyal citizens and to itself.


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        And this brings me to another branch of my subject. I have been often asked, what is likely to be the final result of all this loss of treasure and of blood. A similar question, I understand, one of my friends addressed the other day to a prominent individual in Washington. The person thus addressed was silent for a time, and then said with deep earnestness: "Our prophets are dead and I cannot tell." By the prophets he meant those great statesmen Jefferson, Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, Clay, Webster and others, who in times gone by have been our political teachers, and who have pointed out to us the course we must take in order to enjoy peace and prosperity. But however interesting and touching this answer may appear, he could have given a better one. He could have said: "Our prophets are dead, and yet they speak." They speak by their example, and by the writings which they have bequeathed to us. Jefferson when he had been elected President said in his inaugural address: "We have called those who are our brothers, and who hold the same principles with ourselves by different names," referring thus mildly to the spirit of party which had been manifested previous to the election. Monroe when he had been President for four years, had so acted in the spirit of the words of Jefferson, that when his re-election was to take place, there was none to oppose him; the whole people formed a great American Union party. When Jackson, the democrat, had to contend against the doctrine of separation as promulgated by South Carolina, there stood by his side, Daniel Webster, the whig, and proved, particularly in his celebrated speech against Colonel Hayne of South Carolina, that the Constitution does not confer the right upon a single State, to cut loose from the Union at its pleasure. And when, on another occasion, again the safety of the Union was imperilled, it was Henry Clay, the whig, who expressed his gratitude to certain democratic members, because in the hour of danger they had set aside all considerations of party, and had aided him in preserving the Union. Nor would I forget John Quincy Adams, who, when he entered upon his presidential career, declared that no man who bore a good character and


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was fit for the office he held, should be deprived of it from considerations of party, and who acted in accordance with this declaration. Though dead, they speak. They tell us that now as in time of Jefferson there are those, who, though they are called by different names, are yet our brethren, who are holding the same principles with us; they admonish us, that when the existence of the Union is at stake, we for a time at least ought to keep up our party lines less strictly, taking for our platform the Union as our forefathers have done; they speak to those in power and tell them that in the choice of the men they employ, they ought to be guided by merit and not by party considerations, and they speak to those who hold responsible positions under the Government, and remind them that they are bound to carry out the policy of the Government, independent of the fact that their associations of party would lead them in a different direction. It is this ground which the Union men of East Tennessee desire to occupy. When one of our wealthy slaveholders, after months of imprisonment, had returned, he was one day near his house, sitting upon a fence. Some Confederate soldiers were passing by, and one of them called to him to shout for Jefferson Davis. My friend refused to do so. "Are you for Lincoln?" asked the other. "I am for the Union," answered my friend, "and if Lincoln is for the Union, then am I for Lincoln." The soldiers threatened to kill him, but at that time did not do it. The Union is with the Union men of East Tennessee the paramount question. Every other is secondary. They are willing to lose sight of all party distinctions for a time, if the safety of the Union should require it. In this connection, however, I must once more allude to the subject of slavery. As I have already had an opportunity of showing, they are willing to put up with slavery, if that should be most conducive to the welfare of the Union, and they are willing to do without it, if the good of the Union should require it. It was sentiments like these which I expressed the other day in a large Democratic meeting. "Ah," said one of my hearers, "then that is just as Mr. Lincoln says: 'The Union with slavery, if that be best, the Union partly with


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and partly without slavery if that be best, the Union without slavery, if that be best; the Union any way.' " And they all approved of the doctrine. I hope the time will come when sentiments like these, which were uttered by loyal men in Montgomery county in this State will be generally entertained, and when we all shall feel the importance of that spirit of forbearance, which in past times has guided us safely through so many dangers.

        Among the many means which are used to mislead and deceive men, few have been found more efficient than the declaration, which we hear so often repeated, that we want "the Constitution as it is, and the Union as it was." When these words are pronounced by certain individuals they are exceedingly significant. They mean nothing less than that this administration is an abolition administration, that it is the cause of the war, that from the beginning it has carried on the war to subjugate the South and to set the negroes free, that it is a tyrannical administration subverting the Constitution, and that there is no hope for this country unless this administration can be overturned, the war be stopped and the rights of the South be acknowledged. By it they mean to say that they look with approval upon every measure of the Southern leaders, while they have nothing but abuse for the administration and those who sustain it, that they deeply sympathize with Jefferson Davis and his followers, while the men who have been driven from their homes, they regard as traitors to the sacred cause of the South, upon whom they mean to heap public and private insults whenever an opportunity shall offer. Such is the meaning of the words: "The Constitution as it is and the Union as it was," when these words come from certain lips. It is the very essence of treason, busily engaged in stirring up civil war in the North, openly or secretly. When uttered by others it is done more thoughtlessly, and the principal idea connected with them seems the conviction, that we ought to make peace and go on as we did in former times. It would be well, however, if men who make use of these words would fairly determine what they ought to mean. I also say: Give me the Union as it was. "Give it to me, to


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use the language of a distinguished East Tennesseans, * as it was, when Washington to suppress rebellion, sent into Western Pennsylvania fifteen thousand men under the command of his neighbor and friend General Lee..... When Webster and Clay rallied to the support of Andrew Jackson, and sent treason whipped and abashed to its lair. When Millard Fillmore, called to account for the disposition of his fleets in the harbor of Charleston, replied, that he was not responsible for his official conduct to the Governor of South Carolina." Such "as it was" is the Union I desire. Do not speak to me of a Union, such as it was, when James Buchanan connived at the treason which the members of his Cabinet were plotting, or when John C. Breckinridge poured forth treason in the Senate of the United States. If it even were possible to restore such a Union, it would be utterly wanting in the elements necessary for its perpetuity. One of the leaders of Secession in East Tennessee, a young man full of self-conceit and a captain in the rebel army, visited the house of one of our aged Union men, a descendant of one of the revolutionary heroes. "Ah," said the military fop, strutting up and down the room, "you old men may indeed talk of Washington and of his time as you do, but we who are younger have been brought up under different influences, and we follow different teachers." It is even so, and it would be in vain to think of forming a Union with men, who utterly repudiate what to the American patriot are sentiments the most sacred and the most true. The South has to be taught that the falsehoods on which they attempt to erect their slavery empire are not strong enough to serve their purpose, and whenever they have been taught it, we may have a Union, as it was in the days of this country's glory, a Union, better fitted to bless the world than it ever has been before, because chastened and purified.

        And there is still another representation made by designing men, in order to mislead those who are little acquainted with the condition of affairs in the South. It is said that if in consequence of the war the negroes are set free they will

* Speech of tile Hon. Horace Maynard of Tennessee, delivered in the House of Representatives, January 31, 1863.


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come to the North and will bring down the free labor of the North to a ruinous extent. I have lived but six years in the South, and I have seen slavery but in Tennessee, in Georgia and in portions of South Carolina, Virginia and Alabama. As far as my knowledge extends I am fully persuaded that statements such as the one referred to are utterly void of foundation. Let me say to my readers emphatically, that the impressions which many have here in the North concerning the slaves of the South are extremely erroneous. The negroes are attached to the South by many bonds which are not easily broken. The South they regard as their home, they greatly prefer its climate; there many of them have families to whom they are attached, and church relations which they highly value; there they have an opportunity of making a good living, with but little labor, and though many desire to be free and daily pray for the success of the Northern arms, yet there is not one of them, I believe, who would think of coming North after he has obtained his freedom, and is placed in circumstances which will permit him quietly to enjoy it. "I care little," said a wealthy slaveholder to me, shortly before I left East Tennessee, "whether my slaves are set free or not. If they were set free they would not leave me. I would pay them what is right, and they would continue to work my plantation."

        Before concluding I may be permitted to make another brief reference to myself. I need not say that Germany is dear to me; in Germany rest the bones of my fathers; there have I lived the beautiful days of my childhood and early youth. In Germany there are now living those who are bound to me not only by the ties of blood, but by ties which reach far beyond the grave. Yet while Germany is dear to me, I have also learnt to love this country during the thirty-five years I have lived here. I love it because it has invited millions like myself to its hospitable shores; I love it because it has extended its protection not only in distant lands or on distant seas, but also in every humble valley and on every retired hillside. There the industrious farmer could quietly attend to his daily avocation, and in the evening return to the circle of his family, as I have done for years,


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and there under his own vine and fig-tree he could look forward to the time when he would peacefully close his life. When it seemed to be placed beyond a doubt that the Union had ceased to exist, the friends of the South came to me once more, and told me that I could have now no objection to unite with them. I replied, that when I came to this country, I swore allegiance to the Union, that in case the Union had indeed ceased to exist, I did not own allegiance either to the South or to the North, that I would return to my native land and there perhaps after many years, when far advanced in life, I would take my children's children upon my knees, and with streaming eyes I would tell them of a noble land, a powerful Union, of which at one time I was a citizen. Since I have come North and have once more met with old friends, who with the fire of youth are ready to battle for the Union, which has protected them for so many years, and since I have been brought in contact with so many youthful spirits who go to the field of battle with the same spirit which filled the heroes of the past, I am strongly impressed with the fact that this Union is by no means so near its dissolution as some of my Southern friends seemed to think it was, and with John Adams I am ready to say, "Sink or swim, live or die, survive or perish, the fortunes of this country shall be my fortunes!" I stood the other day on the spot where Melchoir Mühlenburg, the founder of the Lutheran church in the United States, had labored for many years. There at the time of the revolution and on a certain Sabbath he had stood in his pulpit and had preached Christ and Him crucified; he descends from the pulpit, he puts off his gown, and he stands there before his astonished congregation in full military costume. There is a time for preaching, he says, and there is a time for fighting, and my time for fighting has come." Many clergymen are now following his example. I know not what may be in store for me, but I am certain that I am in the path of duty in addressing these words of solemn warning to such as may choose to read them. In what I have written I have briefly traced the misrepresentations by which the leaders of the South have succeeded in deceiving the great mass of the


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people and the misery which has been the result of it. If the same spirit of deception should be successful here as it has been in the South, then the picture I have drawn of East Tennessee will be reflected in the valleys and on the hillsides of Pennsylvania, we shall have here indeed the constitution as it is, but as it is in the South with its armed mobs, its spirit of indiscriminate plunder and its deeds of violence, and we shall no longer worry about the danger of having the slaves coming North, for we shall be all slaves, ruled with an iron rod by our Southern masters, and by those few Northern sympathizers and demagogues whom anarchy will make masters instead of slaves.

        And now, in conclusion, I shall be permitted to make another brief reference to one of our "prophets." It is Daniel Webster, who in closing the speech, in which he proves that the constitution is not a compact between sovereign States, dwells in a strain of touching sadness on the possible future of the United States if the friends of nullification should be able to give practical effect to their opinions. "They would prove themselves in his judgment, the most skilful architects of ruin, the most effectual extinguishers of high raised expectations, the greatest blasters of human hopes that any age has produced. They would stand forth to proclaim in tones which would pierce the ears of half the human race, that the last experiment of representative government had failed .... Millions of eyes, of those who now feed their inherent love of liberty on the success of the American example, would turn away on beholding our dismemberment, and find no place on earth whereon to rest their gratified sight. Amidst the incantations and orgies of nullification, secession, disunion and revolution would be celebrated the funeral rites of constitutional and republican liberty!" I am thankful that it is not my task to trace in detail how much of the ruin which Daniel Webster thus anticipated has actually come to pass. Mine is a more cheerful task. However heart-rending the struggle may be through which we are passing, it is not a hopeless struggle to him who looks higher than the earth for a solution of it. If we see many things passing away which long familiarity


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has endeared to us, it is that they may be supplanted by higher and better ones. When the city of Geneva, threatened by the Duke of Savoy, the Pope and the Emperor, was reduced to the greatest weakness, its inhabitants still remained undismayed. "Geneva," they said, "is in danger of being destroyed, but God watches over us; better have war and liberty than peace and servitude; we do not put our trust in princes, and to God alone be the honor and glory!" How important the lesson which Geneva then was learning, and how well for us if we prove equally teachable, if we also learn to put our trust more fully in God than we have been disposed to do, fearful as the trials may be through which we may have to pass, we shall not be left without help. But in this respect also our prophets are our teachers. The sentiments with which Daniel Webster closed the speech, I have referred to, and which are conceived in this spirit we are fearlessly to put into action. "With my whole heart I pray for the continuance of the domestic peace and quiet of the country. I desire, most ardently, the restoration of affection and harmony to all its parts. I desire that every citizen of the whole country may look to this government with no other sentiments than those of grateful respect and attachment, but I cannot yield even to kind feelings the cause of the constitution, the true glory of the country, and the great trust which we hold in our hands for succeeding ages. If the constitution cannot be maintained without meeting these scenes of commotion and contest however unwelcome, they must come. We cannot, we must not, we dare not omit to do that which in our judgment, the safety of the Union requires.... I am ready to perform my own appropriate part, whenever and wherever the occasion may call on me, and to take my chance among those upon whom blows may fall first and fall thickest. I shall exert every faculty I possess in aiding to prevent the constitution from being nullified, destroyed or impaired; and even should I see it fall, I will still with a voice feeble, perhaps, but earnest as ever issued from human lips, and with fidelity and zeal which nothing shall extinguish, call on the PEOPLE to come to its rescue."