xt7v6w967h8p https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7v6w967h8p/data/mets.xml Jacobs, J. A. 1864  books b92326j1534p2009 English Moore, Wilstach & Baldwin : Cincinnati, Ohio Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Slavery --United States --Controversial literature --1864 Kentucky --Politics and government --1861-1865. Danville quarterly review. The past course and present duty of Kentucky text Danville quarterly review. The past course and present duty of Kentucky 1864 2009 true xt7v6w967h8p section xt7v6w967h8p 


and _/

By  J.  A. JACOBS.

From the Danville Review, September, 1864.




1 864. 
   426 past course and present duty of kentucky. [Sept.,

Art. IV.   The Past Course and Present Duty of Kentucky.

We approve all the past course of Kentucky, in its principal points, since the beginning of our troubles. "We think it has been right and wise, and has saved her from the fate of some of her sister border States. Kentucky was originally in favor of the Crittenden Compromise. The hearty adoption and honest execution of that Compromise, by both the 2Torth and the South, would have averted the unhappy contest, and given us tranquillity, as long as it was faithfully observed. But extremism* prevailed on both sides   moderation was thrown away. We sowed to the wind, and have reaped the whirlwind. Kentucky was in favor of neutrality. For this she has been severely censured; but this position was all that her loyal people could take, and successfully maintain, at that time. It was all that was practicable.   Practicability is the measure of duty.

"Who does the best his circumstance allows, Does well, acts nobly; angels could no more." t

It is not only foolish, but it is wrong, to attempt what can not be done.   At that time, to have attempted more, would have been

* The emphatic weakness of human nature is to run to extremes. " Truth," said Ruskin, " is a noble column, with many sides." Men look, for the most part, upon but one side, and being deeply impressed with the aspect of truth thus seen, become extremists, if not fanatics, in its maintenance; if they would but take another step, and another, and another yet, until they have surveyed the golden shaft in all its aspects and in all its harmonious proportions, they would have the grand and glorious unity of truth in their intellects and their hearts, and would not be carried away into falsehood and fanaticism, by distorted and half-truths. A half-truth is almost as bad as a whole falsehood. These remarks apply equally to politics and religion. "Work out your salvation with fear and trembling," says Paul. That is the half-truth; but he adds, "for it is God who worketh in you to will and to do of His good pleasure." That is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. The States are sovereign, within certain limits; that's a half-truth. The General Government is sovereign, and exercises national sovereignty within certain limits   that makes the whole truth: Sovereign States composing a Nation with national sovereignty. Each sovereign within its own sphere.

t There is no more fatal curse to a country than abstractions in its politics pit into practice. Abstraction begets fanaticism. Statesmanship is altogether a practical art.   Not that we would sever it from moral principle.   Its measures 


to plunge the State into the secession movement. Our loyal statesmen wisely did what they could, and bided their time. They waited until it was evident the rebels would allow us to remain neutral no longer, and then raised the Union flag. The people were then prepared, which they were not at the beginning, to support the loyal movement, and have sustained the cause ever since. It is useless to say that this was temporizing   that Kentucky ought to have declared her loyalty at the first   that she ought to have been outspoken from the beginning   that she ought to have taken her loyal position at once. We repeat our answer, and it is sufficient. She could not do it. Kentucky has thenceforward, heartily and fully, supported the Government, as it was both her duty and interest to do. When the President issued his Proclamation of Freedom, her loyal citizens, for the most part, condemned and opposed it. Yet they still clung to the Government, and while condemning, sustained the Administration   that is, obeyed and submitted to all its requisitions. When the President determined on the employment of negro soldiers, she again condemned and opposed the measure. But her fidelity was unshaken. She threw the whole blame upon the South, which had inaugurated the rebellion and fiercely persisted in it, whose inevitable consequences    consequences we, of Kentucky, so clearly foresaw and foretold    were so fatal to all the interests of slavery. Her position was taken and manfully announced by her Chief Magistrate and Lieutenant Governor   that if slavery perished incidentally in the war, let it -perish. Kentucky, doubtless, wished to preserve the institution, but she wished to preserve the Union more. When, at last, the Administration has entered upon, and is prosecuting the enlistment of negro soldiers from our slaves, and forming negro camps in the State, what is our duty to the whole

should be founded on the highest morals   let its theories of abstract right be the loftiest, but it must be content with the attainable. Abstract and theoret ical right is the object of desire and effort, both in private and public morals, and should be kept steadily in the mind's eye and the heart's purpose; but practicability in public affairs is the necessary limit of action and conduct. To be satisfied with nothing less than abstract and theoretical right, degenerates into fanaticism, when the surrounding and modifying circumstances are not taken into the view; or, at least, is mere silly obstinacy. The country is now ground into powder between the abstractions of Northern and Southern fanaticism and impracticableness.


country, and to ourselves in particular, but to submit to what we can not help, as we have hitherto done ? Shall we madly enter into rebellion, too? Shall we resist? Grant that the whole course of the Administration is wrong touching the negro   is unconstitutional   shall we, therefore, bring ruin upon ourselves by forcible resistance? If the Administration has committed a wrong, it has been led to do it, and enabled to do it, by the rebellion and by the rebels." They are the party both first and last to blame. Shall we give aid and' comfort, then, to the rebellion and to the rebels, by a useless, armed opposition to the measures of the Government, even granting them to be wrong and injurious? Surely not, if we are wise. Let us exercise the same prudence and wisdom as hitherto ; let us submit to what we can not avoid; let us bide the time.

Resistance to the measures of the Government would inevitably result in a confederation with the rebels, whether intended or not, and however sincerely not intended. It would bring upon us, at once, all the armed power of the Government. The President's Emancipation Proclamation would be at once applied to us, and could be easily and at once executed, and certainly would be without hesitation. Every slave in the State would be instantly emancipated, and a sufficient force sent among us to enforce the decree. Nay, an army would be raised from among ourselves to enforce it, and we should, in a few months, exhibit the pitiful and contemptible condition of a people ruled over by their own slaves. This would be equality with a vengeance. This dreadful fate we can bring upon ourselves if we will, and we can successfully avoid it if we will,     The Government will not give up Kentucky   that is certain. She holds it, and can retain her hold. Resistance to any of its measures may bring to our aid a rebel army; but that would only the more certainly insure oar destruction. We should, then, become the common battle-ground; contending armies, like opposing .winds and waves, would rush in wild and furious destruction across our territory Every part and parcel of it should be repeatedly harried, until Kentucky became a desert. We should receive no favor from either party; and what is more, we would deserve none. Our folly would merit the chastisement we should receive. Both would regard us as just objects of rapine and vengeance. Our 

tardy confederation with the rebels would be regarded and treated with contempt, and would be visited by our own Government with just and exemplary punishment. Our just fate would be that of the bat in the fable of the battle of the birds and the beasts. Our folly and misery would make us conspicuous before the whole world. We should gain an unenviable niche in the temple of fame, to be remembered by all coming generations. Kentucky would be but another name for folly    a Kentuckian for a fool! It may be questioned whether a portion of the Northern people would not like to see us take this course, and come to this end. Shall we gratify them ? It would be a still greater gratification to the fanatical fire-eaters of. the South. They would revel, like demons damned, just loosed for a season from the pit, in the rich fields of Kentucky, and place their heels upon the necks of her citizens with a special zest. Kentucky can gain nothing by resistance to any proceedings of the Government   we mean armed resistance, for civil opposition she has a right to, and ought to, use when she deems it right; but utter ruin, and the gratification of her enemies, North and South, would follow armed opposition. Shall we submit, then, to unjust and tyrannical measures? Certainly ; when resistance would produce more evil than good    nay, when it would produce evil and no good.

And what would be the results of submission to the measures of the Government ? Why, present safety, and the loss of no other property than our slaves; and if the Government put down the rebellion, future safety also, and prosperity, and the conservation of every other right and liberty we ever possessed in full exercise. For the Government has exercised, and undeniably, by any candid loyal man, designs to exercise, no extraordinary power to which she has not been forced by the stoutness, fierce violence and enduring persistence of the rebels. If the Government is a tyranny, it is a paternal tyranny, temporarily assumed to snatch the State from destruction; if a despotism, it is one forced upon it, and which will be gladly abandoned at the earliest moment. But, in truth, these terms are falsely applied to the few extraordinary proceedings of the Government, especially in Kentucky. Never, since the world commenced, has such leniency been shown toward men as has been extended to the rebel sympathizers of this State.   By any 

other power now upon earth, or that ever was upon earth from the institution of government among men, they would have been made to pay, with their blood, the forfeit of their allegiance, and for the comfort and aid, as well as sympathy, they have given the rebellion. Instead of this course   a course which has been unrelentingly pursued toward every Union man, and woman and ehild in the rebel States   they, the rebels of Kentucky, have been, of all her citizens, during the war, the most happily situated. Tolerated and fully protected in all their rights by the Government, they have been safe in the presence of a Federal army   at least, have suffered little more than loyal men. When the rebel forces have entered the State, at least since Bragg was here, who, for special reasons, treated the people of the State with forbearance, they have been the only persons that were safe. They enjoyed, to the core of their sympathizing hearts, the presence and favor of their friends. When they have been driven out, they again have come under the protecting segis of the Union, and enjoyed as many, and claimed more rights than any other part of the population. No people, under similar circumstances, were ever so fortunate as the rebels of Kentucky. Well might they dispute the truth of the Scripture adage, " The way of the transgressor is hard." Nay, more : many of them have gone a soldiering South until they were tired, have returned, taken the easy oath of allegiance   easy, at least, for a traitor's conscience    enjoyed again the tolerance and protection of a paternal and too indulgent Government, until it suited some of them to try their fortunes again in the South. Rebels, men and women, by the hundreds, have fled hither from the avenger of their crimes in Missouri, and have here enjoyed this paradise of rebels to the full. Thousands of rebel men have left their wives and children behind, among us, to enjoy all the plenty and protection of the land, who are in constant intercourse by the public mails, as well as by the grapevine, with them, and publicly and secretly doing all they can to give aid to the rebel movements; welcoming raids into the State; rejoicing over rebel victories and Federal defeats with scarce any concealment; and yet complaining of intolerable and tyrannous oppression, if now and then, having overstepped the long forbearance of even this despotic Government, they are at last, 

and after ten thousand offenses overlooked, made to understand that the governmental patience is not inexhaustible.

But to return to our course of thought. If the Government fail, nothing can possibly happen to us, in the present or the future, as bad as armed resistance would bring upon us. Government success brings with it probably the removal of slavery. What then ? It is but the removal and end of an evil thing, which has long and grievously afflicted us; nay, which has brought upon us this great and destructive and deplorable conflict. Shall we grieve over its removal, even though it may be done somewhat forcibly and extra-constitutionally, in our estimation ? Somewhat contrary to our wishes and our shortsighted interests ? But we could and would submit to this result, and confess it a good thing, if the negroes were also removed out of the country. We acknowledge the benefit of a separation of the two races, if it could be accomplished, both to the negroes and to us. And it would not be an impracticable undertaking, if it were set about earnestly and perse-veringly. Kentucky, at least, might be rid of the footsteps of the black man, and he might be sent back to his native land, bearing with him all the precious fruits of civilization and Christianity. We are not without hope that this will be her Providential mission. Our negroes are further advanced in improvement in every direction, as a general thing, than those of any other slave State. They are better prepared to be the pioneers of a Christian civilization to Africa, on a large scale, than those of any other State, and perhaps than the free negroes of the free States; and we hope that a gracious Providence may so order it that they may be. But they can not be removed in a day, a year, nor perhaps in a generation. Let us look, then, for a moment, at this deep-seated opposition to even their temporary freedom on the soil. Has it a rational foundation? It is simply a prejudice against race. We can not bear the idea of this enslaved people moving among us free men and women. We are unwilling they should live even in the same land on any other terms than those of master and slave. In short, as a race to live free among us, we hate them. This is unreasonable and wicked. If it were a question of their introduction among us, a foreign population of a different color and a degraded race, it would be reasonable and right.   But they 

were born here; their ancestors did not come here voluntarily. Our ancestors brought them here, and by violence enslaved them. They are now a partially civilized and Christian people, with manifest capabilities of improvement. They would still be highly valuable as laborers. And if they could be all at once removed, we should feel their loss severely, and deplore it. The land would be stripped of the body of its best laborers. We could not supply their places for years. ~No; it will be better for us and them that their removal should be gradual. Indeed, nothing else is possibly practicable, and therefore unworthy of a moment's thought by a practical statesman.

But we should have the same, or at least similar antipathy, if they were of the same color with us, but of a different origin, and had been our slaves. This same inhuman and wicked feeling has existed toward oppressed races in all ages and countries. The polished and civilized Greeks and Romans regarded all the rest of the world, including our own ancestors, as barbarians, and only fit for slaves     nay, the haughty Norman conqueror looked upon the Saxon serf with proud contempt; and the name of Saxon, in which we now glory, was once, and, for long centuries, in England, a term of as much contempt as negro is now among us. The negro has to live among us nolens volens, and, if this war continue much longer, he will live here as a freeman. God intends, apparently, to make us drink this bitter cup, with whatever wry faces we may swallow it. Now, would it not be better that we should lay aside this unreasonable, unjust and inhuman prejudice, not against color merely, but against race   against condition and class, and endeavor to accommodate ourselves to this association, and look candidly and see what kind of an association it will be ? We say, then, that if managed with humanity and wisdom, it may be one largely beneficial to both parties, and bringing no peculiar evil to either. 1. It will not be a political and civil association and equality. The political and civil power will remain in our own hands. We can give the blacks just such a political and civil status as we please. Some persons strangely jump to the immediate conclusion, that freedom on the soil implies political, civil, and also social equality, and with this horrid result before their visions, passionately and shud-deringly oppose any sort of emancipation, and regard all the 


favorers even of gradual emancipation, as Abolitionists; and not only so, but as- promoters of civil and social equality, and even of amalgamation. Such views and fears are foolish, fanatical and absurd. The emancipation of every negro, old and young, in the State, to-morrow, would not advance their political position one inch, nor change their social status a single step. It would only separate the two races far wider apart than at present. Now they are in our houses, in the closest associations, brought up with our children, their nurses and playmates upon a perfect equality   sometimes exercising controlling influences over them, intellectually and morally, for many years, and that at an age when the character is rapidly forming. Now they are as near together as two races, which don't intermarry, can well be. In a condition of freedom, all this closeness of association would be broken up. Some would be employed as servants   the rest would live apart. Their children would no longer be brought up under the same dwelling with ours      would no longer play with them in the same yard, and often eat at the same table, and suck the same breast, and sleep in the same cradle. Even among free whites of different classes and professions, the intercourse is small; there is no social inter-visitation ; their children are brought up apart; the intercourse is confined to business chiefly. How much smaller would it be between two such races, of such antecedents! It would be confined to the single association of employer and employe*. 2. Freedom will never lead to social equality or social intercourse of any kind. The political and civil power being in our hands, the separation will be complete. As to amalgamation, freedom will break it up too. It flourishes only under slavery. It is emphatically and peculiarly an offshoot of slavery. To fear it under freedom, is absurd. When free, the black female will have a character to support; she will have no master to bring up her children for her ; she will no longer be exposed to the same temptations as now. Her associations will be exclusively of her own race. She will have parents and brothers to watch over her, and to be injured by her lapse from chastity and character. It is absolutely insulting to suppose there will be any amalgamation between white females, of any degree of respectability, and black men; and to suppose white men, above the lowest degree of moral degra- 
   434      past oourse and present duty of xentijoky, [Sept.,

dation, seeking in marriage black females, is almost as unreasonable. Indeed, we doubt if the blacks will not be as much opposed to amalgamation as the whites. But if there should be here and there a few intermarriages, it would be no lower a degradation than many white men now attain in this and many other directions. That white men, constantly moving in good society   at least in general male society   have now black concubines, is notoriously not unfrequent. As to marriage, it can be made illegal by law. Fears of political and social equality between the races in a state of freedom, are, then, the rawhead and bloody bones raised in the imaginations of weak-minded people.

But free negroes will not work. This is said without'sufficient reason. It is the slave who shirks work. A race who have been trained to labor, will work if paid for their work. Necessity will require and compel them to work; and, if necessary, the aid of law can be invoked to regulate and organize their labor. They will labor as much, at least, as they do now, and will waste a great deal less; while the whites will work a great deal more; so that the State, as a whole, will be the gainer. The present free negroes among us are not fair specimens of what the race would be, if freedom were universal. The most of the race being yet slaves, their improvement is impeded   their social and moral habits and status are fixed by those of the body of their people. They have opportunities of procuring the means of subsistence from the slaves, which would be cut off by general freedom. Yet, many free men are good workers, and almost all the free women. The latter are notable for their industry and good management, and often, nay, generally, with the assistance of their husbands, purchase, by their industry, a lot in the towns where they live, and erect comfortable dwellings, and live in them with their families in comfort    often in neatness and more elegance than was customary among laboring whites when the writer was a child.

Upon the attainment of freedom, it would become the immediate interest of the white race, as it would be their highest duty, to make efforts for the improvement of the black race, in every direction, that while they remain inhabitants of the country, they may be useful; and may be gradually prepared for emigration to their father land.    The negroes are an 
   1864.]     past course and present duty of kentucky.


improvable race.   Let it be admitted tbat at present they are inferior.   What a thousand years of training   through thirty generations   might do for them, as it has done for us, we know not.   The greatest hater of the negro race can hardly deny that it would do much, very much.   But, at present, they are inferior; yet they make good farmers, good mechanics, good cooks, good seamstresses.   They can learn to read and write. In short, there ought not to be a question of their making    if we would do our duty to them   a valuable class of free laborers.   They will need employment, and we shall need their labor.   Mutual wants ought to beget, and will beget, mutual kindliness.   If the President's measures, then, however unwarranted, shall remove slavery, it will remove an incubus under which Kentucky has been kept back in her advancement, while her sister border free States have shot ahead of her, and almost   to use the language of the race field   distanced her. Whatever may be the fate of the Southern States in rebellion       whether they are brought back to the Union or not   the duty and interest of Kentucky happily coincide in urging her to remain, under all circumstances, loyal to the Government. If her slaves are illegally taken from her, it is no more than the loss of any other species of property.   In war, countries are unavoidably desolated; happy shall we be if we get oft' with the loss of slavery only.   But there are many with whom that is every thing   it fills the whole horizon of their visions. It seems to be of the very substance of their souls.   The loss of other property is borne with reasonable patience.   A horse may be taken in a raid, cattle driven oif, forage seized   lands might be confiscated, and, it would seem, even children or wives killed   without producing spasms: but the loss of their negroes is an inconsolable privation   they are the jewels of their affections   the Constitution is violated   their liberties are invaded   nothing is left worth living for, and they declare they will die in the last ditch.   Alas ! poor Yorick.

With the loss of slavery and the restoration of peace, the State will bound forward in improvement, and wealth, and prosperity. Free white labor will soon be introduced, and with it the introduction of the mechanical arts, now in the course of rapid extinction, [or, more fashionably, which are now being 7 

rapidly extinguished^] and of manufactures, and the development of our great mineral productions. We have now no manufactures, and the simplest mechanic arts are dying out

* We do hereby, by virtue of our critical authority as Reviewers, pronounce and denounce this construction as an absurd solecism   an awkward construction and bad English, and do hereby, within the range of our literary bailiwick, forbid its further use, under the pains and penalties of our severest displeasure.

Marsh says: "I have spoken of the ignorance of grammarians as a frequent, cause of the corruption of language. An instance of this is the clumsy and unidi-omatic continuing present of the passive voice, which, originating not in the sound, common sense of the people, but in the brain of some grammatical pretender, has widely spread, and threatens to establish itself as another solecism, in addition to the many which our Syntax already presents. The phrase 'the house is being built,' for ' the house is building,' is an awkward neologism, which neither convenience, intelligibility, nor syntactical congruity demands, and the use of which ought, therefore, to be discountenanced, as an attempt at the artificial improvement of the language in a point which needed no amendment. The English active present, or rather aorist, participle in ing is not an Anglo-Saxon, but a modern form, and did not make its appearance as a participle until after the general characteristics which distinguish English from Saxon were fixed. The Saxon active participle terminated in ende, as lufigende, loving; but there was a verbal noun with the ending   ung, sometimes written ing, as claensung, or claensing, cleaning or cleansing. The final vowel of the participle was soon dropped, and the termination and, or end, became the sign of that part of speech. The nominal form in ung also disappeared, and ing became the uniform ending of verbal nouns. Between the verbal noun of action and the active participle, there is a close grammatical, as well as logical, analogy, which is exemplified in such phrases in French and English   Vappetit vicnt en mangeant, appetite comes tvith mting. Hence, the participle ending in and, or end, and the verbal noun ending ining, were confounded, and at last the old participial sign, though long continued in Scotland, was dropped altogether in England, and the sign of the verbal noun employed for both purposes. . . . The earliest, form in which the phrase we are considering occurs, is, 'the house is in building, or a building,' a contraction of the Saxon on, or the modern English in. Ben. Johnson, in his grammar, states expressly that, before the participle present, a, and if before a vowel, aw, gives the participle the force of a gerund; and he cites as an example, 'a great tempest was a brewing.' The obvious explanation of this form of speech, is that what grammarians choose to call a present participle, is really a verbal noun; and, if so, there is nothing more irregular or anomalous in the phrase, 'the ship is building,' than in saying, 'be industrious in working,' 'be moderate in drinking;' for the verbal noun may as well have a passive as an active or a neuter signification.

"The preposition on, or a, was dropped about the beginning of the eighteenth century, but it is still understood; and in this construction, though the form is the same as that of the participle, the verbal noun is still as much a noun as it was when the preposition was expressed.

" But if this explanation is rejected, and it is insisted that, in the phrase in question, building, making, etc., are true participles, active in form, but passive in 

among us, [or, to use another fashionable phrase, "in our midst."*]   Not a hat is manufactured in the State   hardly a

signification, the construction may be defended, both by long usage   which is the highest of all linguistic authorities   and by the analogy of num#rous established forms of speech, the propriety of which no man thinks of questioning. The active is passive in sense in the phrase ' he is to blame; I give you this picture to examine; he has books to sell; this fruit is good to eat.' The reformers who object to the phrase I am defending, must, in consistency,, employ the proposed substitute with all passive participles, and in other tenses, as well as the present. They must therefore say: 'The subscription paper is being missed, but I know that a considerable sum is being wanted to make up the amount; the great Victoria bridge has been being built more than two years; when I reach London, the ship Leviathan will be being built; if my orders had been followed, the coat would have been being made yesterday ; if the house had been being built, the mortar would have been being mixed.' "   [Marsh's Lectures on the English Language, pp. 649-654.

We have made this long and learned extract, that henceforth our readers in particular, and the public in general, may no longer be in ignorance that they are violating sense and the most ancient usage of the English language, in the use of this abominable construction, which is now in danger of working a radical change in the language, and turning it into a vile patois of awkward nonsense.

While in the critical mood, we will nail to the counter another recent American innovation upon the fundamental construction of the English language.. We allude to the foisting in the adverb between the sign of the infinitive mood to and the verb, as, to sorrowfully know; to hopefully conclude, etc. We first noticed this construction within two years past in the public prints ; it is now to be seen every day, and has even entered into official communications. If there is any thing fixed in English construction, it is the inseparable connection of the infinitive mood and its sign; and it is rarely, if ever, allowable that an adverb should be intruded between them. Such an insertion is mere affectation, and now, at its beginning, we stigmatize it an inelegant solecism. These innovations in our language are to be resisted, as only less atrocious than rebellion.. We are bound to hand down "the well of English undefiled " received from our ancestors, to our children. Simple Saxon English is now so overwhelmed with corrupt constructions, misty Germanisms, Anglicised Latin and Greekisms,. that Shakspeare, and Addison, and Goldsmith, and even Johnson himself, a; great corruptor of English style, could hardly read their mother tongue. They would not be able to understand a single page of some modern books without a glossary, so overloaded is the style, with affectations an