Friday, October 17, 2014

10.18.2014 Tennessee Civil War Notes

        19, "The Policy of Our Planters in the Future"

The great misfortune of the South, during her contaminating affiliation with North, has been an absolute dependence upon that section of many of the necessaries of life. The planters of the North, in other words, have been "cotton crazy" to such an extent as to drain all their energies and resources in the culture of that one staple, with the expectation of buying what corn and other cereal produce from the North, a farthing or two cheaper than they could be sold by themselves. The present war, and the happy result of our political and commercial independence (?) must now inaugurate a new era, and our planters will do well to make arrangements in the future looking to an order of things corresponding to the emergencies that will soon confront them. They must prepare to furnish the country abundantly with all the essential (?) elements of food that our people will want without calculating any fancied (?) loss that they may possibly incur by the cessation of hostilities or the breaking of blockades.

To achieve this end, they must first fix upon a positive determination not to plant more than a third or even a fourth of a cotton crop for the remaining year, they do not even limit the account (?) to as much as will required only for domestic consumption. Should the blockade of our coasts continue undisturbed until next spring, we will find ourselves with a full crop already on hand, commanding excellent prices, say an average of from twenty to twenty-five cents (?) per pound, in foreign markets, so soon as arrangements can be made. Another full crop for record (?) or even the prospect of it, would reduce the price of the staple, according the plainest principles of political economy, at least on third, and planters would thus get not a great deal more for both crops than they would for the time (?) being produced (?) perhaps with a want of meat, breadstuffs, and other necessaries of life(?). However this may be, the planter are the main stay of the Confederacy, and it is upon them that a credit (?)-we may say its very existence-depends in the prosecution of this present war. We cannot tell, in any possible way, how long before (?)we will be able to conquer a peace, but all agree that prudence and wisdom dictate preparation for a long conflict. It remains for the planting interest to direct their energies towards this purpose and it will speedily be time to commence(?).

No better beginning can be made than by sowing an abundance of wheat, oats, and rye, this fall in such quantities as to insure the cheapness of those products the coming year, without requiring a bushel of either from the North. Then a heavy crop of corn can be put in next spring-it to be (?) heavier by half than that of the season just past. This done, and we can raise our own beef cattle and hogs without the fear of a further scarcity. The State of Texas can furnish the former in numbers sufficiently large for raising purposes, and Kentucky, South Missouri and Tennessee the latter. Provided corn is abundant we need have no apprehensions of pork being scarce for the statistics of the old Union show that the slave States produced two-thirds of the hog crop of the whole country, or about twenty out of thirty million head produced. With Louisiana producing our sugar and molasses, and South Carolina our rice, we will be placed upon a footing more exclusively independent than any other nation on the wide face of the earth.

There are some objections that are urged against the adoption of this policy, which are more apparent upon proper consideration than otherwise. One of them is averred to our contemporary (?) of the New Orleans Bee, as follows:

Some persons may object to the plan that the cotton planter cannot pay his debts if he does not plant (?) cotton but this argument is more specious than solid, for it is clear that the same result must follow if the planter cannot sell his cotton. Now if he is unable to dispose of it, of what possible use is it to cultivate the plant, and, in fact, if the present crops of cotton is to remain unsold, how is the planter to make a crop for 1862, without provisions to nourish his slaves, or money to purchase them. Let him, then, instead of wasting his energies unprofitably in the effort to raise a second crop of cotton, direct them to the cultivation of bread and meat, and he will find that this pursuit will not only ensure his own interest, but to that of his creditors. Supply the essentials of life first-secure bread and mead, and with the surplus labor make an article which others will purchase when they will not or cannot buy your produce, and in this way your labor will not be lost.

We agree with the Bee in the opinion that if the present state of things shall exist at the second planting time next spring, it will, it will be a waste of time and toil to engage in the cultivation of cotton. This is rendered as palpable by the most cursory examination, that it would be to prolong the argument for its demonstration. The subject should be strenuously urged everywhere among our peoples, and the authorities should bring it prominently before the State Legislatures and the Confederate Congress. If this should prove a measure which legislation is incompetent to reach, then let the influence of an overwhelming public opinion be invoked in its behalf, and enforce its adoption. It is time that our people should begin to familiarize themselves with the view of our future actions, and it is none too soon to let the world see that a nation ready to consecrate their independence by a holocaust of their best blood will not overlook and neglect a civil remedy which will add immeasurably (?) in the attainment of the great object they have at heart. We trust that the subject will receive the serious consideration of all thinking men, and that the _____-that mighty lever (?)-will use its utmost power (?) in commending it at the proper period to the dispassionate attention of the cultural (?) communities of the South.

Memphis Appeal, October 19, 1861.

        19, News about Parson Brownlow's return to Knoxville


Brownlow Redivus.-This arrant knave has issued a prospectus of the "Knoxville Whig and Rebel Ventilator," the publication of which is to commence in October next. He says":

"It will commence with hell born and hell-bound rebellion, where the traitors forced me to leave off, and all who wish the paper would do well to begin with the first issue, as I intend a single paper to worth the subscription price to any unconditional Union man!

"In the rule of my editorial conduct, I shall abjure that servility which destroys the independence of the press, and cast from me that factious opposition which gives to party what is due to country. And whilst the name of my journal indicates, in unmistakable terms its politics, I shall, as a faithful sentinel, forget Whigs, Democrats, Know-Nothings and Republicans, and remember only my Government and the preservation of the Federal Union-as richly worth all the sacrifices of blood and treasure their preservation may cost-even to extermination of the present race of men, and the consumption of all the means of the present age!"


Tri-Weekly Telegraph, October 19, 1863.[1]


[1] See also: The Farmers' Cabinet, September 17, 1863


James B. Jones, Jr.

Public Historian

Tennessee Historical Commission

2941 Lebanon Road

Nashville, TN  37214

(615)-770-1090 ext. 123456

(615)-532-1549  FAX


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