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Harper's Weekly


Among the most amusing of the late stories in the Richmond papers is that of the Dispatch, which quotes another paper's account of a conversation between General Sherman and "a perfectly reliable gentleman," in which the General declared his belief in the immortality of slavery, and his expectation of owning a thousand slaves after the war. The Dispatch thereupon proceeds to argue that the only result of the war is to be a change of masters for the slaves, by which the slaves, for whom its liveliest sympathies are excited, are to be the saddest sufferers. The hapless negroes are to fall "into the hands of men who do not understand them; who have no real sympathy with them." Unhappy bondmen! to be deprived of that perfect understanding of their natures which imbrutes them and steals their wages, and that real sympathy which whips their wives and sells their children!

It seems that there has been a curious misunderstanding of the war. It was not begun because "the Yankees" insisted upon keeping slavery out of the Territories; or refused to return fugitive slaves; or passed liberty bills; or threatened the perpetuity of the system; but only because of such a jealousy of the profits and pleasures of slavery that the Yankees were determined to appropriate to their own use slaves and plantations together! The truth is, thinks the Dispatch, that Mr. Lincoln, who declared that the Union could not permanently exist half slave and half free, was envious of Mr. Jefferson Davis's happiness and per-centages derived from his human cattle, and has therefore undertaken a vast crusade to compel the Union to be wholly and harmoniously slave-holding.

That, of course, explains General Sherman's remark. He has been signally successful in extending the area of slavery by force of arms. He has just marched through Georgia riveting chains, and, of course, branding his future property. But with characteristic moderation he only means to keep a thousand slaves for his own share. Doubtless he will prove at once that the poor fellows have fallen into the hands of one who "does not understand them," by seizing upon some of those who came with him to Savannah and insisting upon their being paid fair wages. He will now show them how a Yankee soldier keeps his word. He will teach his victims whom he has freed by his march to sigh for the picklings and paddlings and slow fires of those who have "real sympathy with them."

The Richmond Dispatch is an extremely sagacious journal. We proffer it a respectful expression of profound sympathy that the divine and humane "institution" has fallen into the sacrilegious hands of Sherman and his Yankees.

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