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Civil War Harper's Weekly, March 2, 1861

The March 2, 1861 edition of Harper's Weekly featured a cover illustration of president elect Abraham Lincoln.  The remainder of the newspaper includes incredible stories on the opening events of the Civil War.  We have posted the newspaper below.  Newspaper Thumbnails will take you to the page of interest.

 

President-Elect Abraham Lincoln

President Lincoln at Astor House

Cummings Point

Cumming's Point

Congressional Business

Jefferson Davis Inauguration Speech

Fort Taylor Description

Fort Johnson

Fort Johnson

Ft. Taylor

Fort Taylor

 

 

 

 

HARPER'S WEEKLY.

[MARCH 2, 1861.

134

use, it is not put further in than is necessary. It is scarcely worth mentioning, only it's as well to do as other people do. Also, the spoon is not generally used over-hand, but under. This has two advantages. You get at your mouth better (which after all is the object), and you save a good deal of the attitude of opening oysters, on the part of the right elbow."

He offered these friendly suggestions in such a lively way that we both laughed, and I scarcely blushed.

"Now," he pursued, " concerning Miss Havisham. Miss Havisham, you must know, was a spoiled child. Her mother died when she was a baby, and her father denied her nothing. Her father was a country gentleman down in your part of the world, and was a brewer. I don't know why it should be a crack thing to be a brewer; but it is indisputable that while you can not possibly be genteel and bake, you may be as genteel as never was and brew. You see it every day."

"Yet a gentleman may not keep a public-house ; may he ?" said I.

" Not on any account," returned Herbert; "but a public-house may keep a gentleman. Well ! Mr. Havisham was very rich and very proud. So was his daughter."

" Miss Havisham was an only child ?" I hazarded.

" Stop a moment, I am coming to that. No, she was not an only child ; she had a half-brother. Her father privately married again—his cook, I rather think."

" I thought he was proud," said I.

"My good Handel, so he was. He married his second wife privately, because he was proud, and in course of time she died. When she was dead, I apprehend he first told his daughter what he had done, and then the son became a part of the family, residing in the house you are acquainted with. As the son grew a young man he turned out riotous, extravagant, undutiful—altogether had. At last his father disinherited him ; but he softened when he was dying, and left him well off; though not nearly so well off as Miss Havisham. Take another glass of wine, and excuse my mentioning that society as a body does not expect one to be so strictly conscientious in emptying one's glass as to turn it bottom up-ward with the rim on one's nose."

I had been doing this, in an excess of attention to his recital. I thanked him and apologized. He said, "Not at all," and resumed.

"Miss Havisham was now an heiress, and you may suppose was looked after as a great match. Her half-brother had now ample means again, but what with debts and what with new madness wasted them most fearfully again. There were stronger differences between him and her than there had been between him and his father, and it is suspected that he cherished a deep and mortal grudge against her, as having influenced the father's anger. Now I come to the cruel part of the story—merely breaking off, my dear Handel, to remark that a dinner-napkin will not go into a tumbler."

Why I was trying to pack mine into my tumbler I am wholly unable to say. I only know that I found myself, with a perseverance worthy of a much better cause, making the most strenuous exertions to compress it within those limits. Again I thanked him and apologized, and again he said, in the cheerfulest manner, " Not at all, I am sure !" and resumed.

" There appeared upon the scene—say at the races, or the public balls, or any where else you like—a certain man, who made love to Miss Havisham. I never saw him, for this happened five-and-twenty years ago, before you and I were, Handel, but I have heard my father mention that he was a showy-man, and the kind of man for the purpose. But that he was not to be, without ignorance or prejudice, mistaken for a gentleman, my father most strongly asseverates ; because it is a principle of his that no man who was not a true gentleman at heart ever was, since the world began, a true gentleman in manner. He says no varnish can hide the grain of the wood ; and the more varnish you put on the more the grain will express itself. Well ! This man pursued Miss Havisham closely, and professed to be devoted to her. I believe she had not shown much susceptibility up to that time; but all she possessed certainly came out then, and she passionately loved him. There is no doubt that she perfectly idolized him. He practiced on her affection in that systematic way, that he got great sums of money from her, and he induced her to buy her brother out of a share in the brewery (which had been weakly left him by his father) at an immense price, on the plea that when he was her husband he must hold and manage it all. Your guardian was not at that time in Miss Havisham's councils, and she was too haughty and too much in love to be advised by any one. Her relations were poor and scheming, with the exception of my father ; he was poor enough, but not time-serving or jealous. The only independent one among them, he warned her that she was doing too much for this man, and was placing herself too unreservedly in his power. She took the first opportunity of angrily ordering my father out of the house, in his presence, and my father has never seen her since."

I thought of her having said, " Matthew will come and see me at last when I am laid dead upon that table ;" and I asked Herbert whether his father was so inveterate against her ?

"It's not that," said he, "but she charged him before her intended husband with being disappointed in the hope of fawning upon her for his own advancement, and, if he were to go to her now, it would look true—even to him—and even to her after all. To return to the man, and make an end of him. The marriage day was fixed, the wedding dresses were bought, the wedding tour was planned out, the wedding

guests were invited. The day came, but not the bridegroom. He wrote her a letter—"

"Which she received," I struck in, "when she was dressing for her marriage ? At twenty minutes to nine?"

"At the hour and minute," said Herbert, nodding, " at which she afterward stopped all the clocks. What was in it, further than that it most heartlessly broke the marriage off, I can't tell you, because I don't know. When she re-covered from a bad illness that she had, she laid the whole place waste, as you have seen it, and she has never since looked upon the light of day."

" Is that all the story ?" I asked, after considering it.

" All I know of it ; and indeed I only know so much through piecing it out for myself; for my father always avoids it, and, even when Miss Havisham invited me to go there, told me no more of it than it was absolutely requisite I should understand. But I have forgotten one thing. It has been supposed that the man to whom she gave her misplaced confidence acted throughout in concert with her half-brother ; that it was a conspiracy between them ; and that they shared the profits."

"I wonder he didn't marry her and get all the property," said I.

" He may have been married already, and her cruel mortification may have been a part of her half brother's scheme," said Herbert. "Mind! I don't know that."

"What became of the two men?" I asked, after again considering the subject.

" They fell into deeper shame and degradation —if there can be deeper—and ruin."

"Are they alive now?"

" I don't know."

"You said just now that Estella was not related to Miss Havisham, but adopted. When adopted ?"

Herbert shrugged his shoulders. " There has always been an Estella since I have heard of a Miss Havisham. I know no more. And now, Handel," said he, finally throwing off the story, as it were, " there is a perfectly open under-standing between us. All that I know about Miss Havisham you know."

"And all that I know," I retorted, "you know."

" I fully believe it. So there can be no competition or perplexity between you and me. And as to the condition on which you hold your advancement in life—namely, that you are not to inquire or discuss to whom you owe it—you may be very sure that it will never be encroached upon, or even approached by me, or by any one belonging to me."

In truth, he said this with so much delicacy, that I felt the subject done with, even though I should be under his father's roof for years and years to come. Yet he said it with so much meaning, too, that I felt he as perfectly under-stood Miss Havisham to be my benefactress as I understood the fact myself.

It had not occurred to me before that he had led up to the theme for the purpose of clearing it out of our way ; but we were so much the lighter and easier for having broached it, that I now perceived this to be the case. We were very gay and sociable, and I asked him, in the course of conversation, what he was? He replied, "A capitalist—an Insurer of Ships." I suppose he saw me glancing about the room in search of some tokens of Shipping, or capital, for he added, " In the City."

I had grand ideas of the wealth and importance of Insurers of Ships in the City, and I began to think with awe of having laid a young Insurer on his back, blackened his enterprising eye, and cut his responsible head open. But, again, there came upon me, for my relief, that odd impression that Herbert Pocket would never be very successful or rich.

"I shall not rest satisfied with merely employing my capital in insuring ships. I shall buy up some good Life Assurance shares, and cut into the Direction. I shall also do a little in the mining way. None of these things will interfere with my chartering a few thousand tons on my own account. I think I shall trade," said he, leaning back in his chair, "to the East Indies, for silks, shawls, spices, dyes, drugs, and precious woods. It's an interesting trade."

" And the profits are large ?" said I. "Tremendous !" said he.

I wavered again, and began to think here were greater expectations than my own. " I think I shall trade, also," said he, putting his thumbs in his waistcoat pockets, " to the West Indies, for sugar, tobacco, and rum. Also to Ceylon, specially for elephants' tusks."

"You will want a good many ships," said I. "A perfect fleet," said he.

Quite overpowered by the magnificence of these transactions, I asked him where the ships he insured mostly traded to at present?

"I haven't begun insuring yet," he replied. "I am looking about me."

Somehow, that pursuit seemed more in keeping with Barnard's Inn. I said (in a tone of conviction), "Ah-h!"

" Yes. I am in a counting-house, and looking about me."

"Is a counting-house profitable ?" I asked. "To—do you mean to the young fellow who's in it ?" he asked, in reply.

"Yes; to you."

" Why, n-no : not to me." He said this with the air of one carefully reckoning up and striking a balance. " Not directly profitable. That is, it doesn't pay me any thing, and I have to—keep myself."

This certainly had not a profitable appearance, and I shook my head as if I would imply that it would be difficult to lay by much accumulative capital from such a source of income.

"But the thing is," said Herbert Pocket, " that you look about. you. That's the grand thing.

You are in a counting-house, you know, and you look about you."

It struck me as a singular implication that you couldn't be out of a counting-house, you know, and look about you ; but I silently deferred to his experience.

"'Then the time comes," said Herbert, " when you see your opening. And you go in and you swoop upon it, and you make your capital, and then there you are ! When you have once made your capital, you have nothing to do but em-ploy it !"

This was very like his way of conducting that encounter in the garden ; very like. His manner of bearing his poverty, too, exactly corresponded to his manner of bearing that defeat. It seemed to me that he took all blows and buffets now with just the same air as he had taken mine then. It was evident that he had nothing around him but the simplest necessaries, for every thing that I remarked upon turned out to have been sent in on my account from the coffee-house or somewhere else.

Yet, having already made his fortune in his own mind, he was so unassuming with it that I felt quite grateful to him for not being puffed up. It was a pleasant addition to his naturally pleas-ant ways, and we got on famously. In the evening we went out for a walk in the streets, and went half-price to the Theatre ; and next day we went to church at Westminster Abbey, and in the afternoon we walked in the Parks; and I wondered who shod all the horses there, and wished Joe did.

On a moderate computation, it was many months, that Sunday, since I had left Joe and Biddy. The space interposed between myself and them partook of that expansion, and our marshes were any distance off. That I could have been at our old church in my old church-going clothes, on the very last Sunday that ever was, seemed a combination of impossibilities, geographical and social, solar and lunar. Yet in the London streets so crowded with people and so brilliantly lighted in the dusk of evening, there were depressing hints of reproaches for that I had put the poor old kitchen at home so far away; and in the dead of night, the footsteps of some incapable impostor of a porter mooning about Barnard's Inn, under pretense of watching it, fell hollow on my heart.

On the Monday morning at a quarter before nine, Herbert went to the counting-house to re-port himself—to look about him, too, I suppose —and I bore him company. He was to come away in an hour or two to attend me to Hammer-smith, and I was to wait about for him. It appeared to me that the eggs from which young Insurers were hatched were incubated in dust and heat, like the eggs of ostriches, judging from the places to which those incipient giants re-paired on a Monday morning. Nor did the counting-house where Herbert assisted show in my eyes as at all a good Observatory ; being a back second floor up a yard, of a grimy presence in all particulars, and with a look into another back second floor rather than a look out.

I waited about until it was noon, and I went upon 'Change, and I saw fluey men sitting there under the bills about shipping, whom I took to be great merchants, though I couldn't under-stand why they should all be out of spirits. When Herbert came, we went and had lunch at a celebrated house which I then quite venerated, but now believe to have been the most abject superstition in Europe, and where I could not help noticing, even then, that there was much more gravy on the table-cloths and knives and waiters' clothes than in the steaks. This collation disposed of at a moderate price (considering the grease, which was not charged for), we went back to Barnard's Inn and got my little portmanteau, and then took coach for Hammersmith. We arrived there at two or three o'clock in the after-noon, and had very little way to walk to Mr. Pocket's house. Lifting the latch of a gate, we passed direct into a little garden overlooking the river, where Mr. Pocket's children were playing about. And unless I deceive myself on a point where my interests or prepossessions are certainly not concerned, I saw at once that Mr. and Mrs. Pocket's children were not growing up or being brought up, but were tumbling up.

Mrs. Pocket was sitting on a garden chair under a tree, reading, with her legs upon an-other garden chair ; and Mrs. Pocket's two nursemaids were looking about them while the children played. " Mamma," said Herbert, " this is young Mr. Pip." Upon which Mrs. Pocket received me with an appearance of amiable dignity, and I thought her a sweet woman.

" Master Mick and Miss Jane," cried one of the nurses to two of the children, " if yon go a bouncing up against them bushes you'll fall over into the river and be drownded, and what'll your pa say then !"

At the same time this nurse picked up Mrs. Pocket's handkerchief, and said, "If that don't make six times you've dropped it, Mum !" Upon which Mrs. Pocket laughed, and said, "Thank you, Flopson ;" and settling herself in one chair only, resumed her book. Her countenance immediately assumed a knitted and intent expression, as if she had been reading for a week ; but before she could have read half a dozen lines she fixed her eyes upon me, and said, " I hope your mamma is quite well ?" This unexpected inquiry put me into such a difficulty that I began saying in the absurdest way that if there had been any such person I had no doubt she would have been quite well, and would have been very much obliged, and would have sent her compliments, when the nurse came to my rescue.

"Well!" she cried, picking up the pocket-handkerchief, " if that don't make seven times ! What ARE you a doing of this afternoon, Mum ?" Mrs. Pocket received her property at first with a look of unutterable surprise, as if she had never seen it before, and then with a laugh of recog

nition, and said, "Thank you, Flopson," and forgot me, and went on reading.

I found, now I had leisure to count them, that there were no fewer than six little Pockets present in various stages of tumbling up. I had scarcely arrived at the total when a seventh was heard, as in the region of air, wailing dolefully.

" If there ain't Baby !" said Flopson, appearing to think it most surprising. "Make haste up, Millers !"

Millers, who was the other nurse, retired into the house, and by degrees the child's wailing was hushed and stopped, as if it were a young ventriloquist with something in its mouth. Mrs. Pocket read all the time, and I was curious to know what the book could be.

We were waiting, I supposed, for Mr. Pocket to come out to us ; at any rate we waited there, and so I had an opportunity of observing the remarkable family phenomenon that whenever any of the children strayed near Mrs. Pocket in their play, they always tripped themselves up and tumbled over her—always very much to her momentary astonishment and their own more en-during lamentation. I was at a loss to account for this surprising circumstance, and could not help giving my mind to speculations about it, until by-and-by Millers came down with the baby, which baby was handed to Flopson, which Flopson was handing to Mrs. Pocket, when she too went fairly head-foremost over Mrs. Pocket, baby and all, and was caught by Herbert and myself.

" Gracious me, Flopson !" said Mrs. Pocket, "every body's tumbling !"

" Gracious you, indeed, Mum !" returned Flopson, very red in the face; " what have you got there ?"

"1 got here, Flopson ?" asked Mrs. Pocket.

" Why, if it ain't your footstool !" cried Flop-son. " And if you keep it under your skirts like that, who's to help tumbling ! Here ! Take the baby, Mum, and give me your book."

Mrs. Pocket acted on the advice, and danced the infant a little in her lap, while the other children played about it prettily. This had lasted but a very short time, when Mrs. Pocket issued summary orders that they were all to be taken into the house for a nap. Thus I made the second discovery on that first occasion, that the nurture of the little Pockets consisted of alternately tumbling up and lying down.

Under these circumstances, when Flopson and Millers had got the children into the house like a little flock of sheep, and Mr. Pocket came out of it to make my acquaintance, I was not much surprised to find that Mr. Pocket was a gentleman with a rather perplexed expression of face, and with his hair disordered on his head, as if he didn't quite see his way to putting any thing straight.

DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE.

CONGRESS,

ON Saturday, February 16, in the Senate, the Conference Committee on the Deficiency Bill reported that the Chiriqui appropriation had been stricken out. Discussion ensued on the Dacotah and Nevada Territorial Bills; then the Tariff was taken up. Senator Seward moved to strike out all relating to the warehousing system: agreed to by 25 to 18.   In the House, the Senate Bill to carry into effect the treaties with Granada and Costa Rica was carried. During the evening session speeches on the crisis were made by Messrs. Smiles, Burnham, and Waldron.

On Monday, 18th, in the Senate, an effort was made by Senator Seward to procure a reduction of the proposed duty on books, but it was unsuccessful. The principal debate was on the proposition of the Special Committee to lessen the duty on sugar, and place a duty of four cents per pound on tea and a half cent on coffee, which was adopted, 23 to 19. Previous to taking up the Tariff Bill, a resolution from the Committee on Claims, to repeal the joint resolution in favor of William H. Degroot, was adopted. This probably finally disposes of the famous Degroot claim.----In the House, a bill was reported from the Committee on Commerce, and referred to the Committee of the Whole, making an appropriation for a survey of the Northern Pacific regions, with a view to ascertaining the practicability of establishing telegraphic communication with Asia. A bill, supplemental to the acts of 1795 and 1817, providing for calling out the militia for the defense of the Union, was reported from the Military Committee by Mr. Stanton, of Ohio. The bill provoked considerable opposition, and an effort was made to procure its rejection; but the House refused to reject it—110 to 67. Mr. Stanton pressed for the previous question, but the expiration of the morning hour prevented its being taken. The Report of the Committee of Thirty-three was considered, and an anti-secession speech was made by Mr. Webster, of Maryland. The bill reported by Mr. Sherman, from the Committee of Ways and Means, authorizing the issue of bonds of the denomination of $50, in lieu of a portion of the loan already authorized, was passed. The Senate bill, organizing the Territorial Government of Colorado, was taken up under a suspension of the rules, and passed, after some debate. The House held an evening session, at which, as usual on such occasions, a number of speeches were made to empty benches.

On Tuesday, 19th, in the Senate, the Tariff Bill was taken up, and occupied attention until the adjournment—the special order being postponed. An amendment was adopted which places a duty of five per cent. on all wool under eighteen cents per pound. A variety of other amendments were acted upon, but none adopted excepting one to make the value of Treasury notes to be issued at $50 each. —In the House, Mr. Fenton, of New York, offered a preamble and resolution proposing to refer the National troubles to a National Convention, and moved this substitution for the report of the Committee of Thirty-three. They were laid over under the rule. The bill reported by Mr. Stanton, authorizing the President to call out militia in certain contingencies, was then taken up, and a long and excited debate took place upon it. Mr. Stanton insisted that there was a misapprehension in regard to the bill, and proceeded to explain its purposes, concluding with it move for the previous question. This was opposed by a number of members, Northern and Southern, who desired more time to examine its provisions, in order that they might vote understandingly. A motion to lay the bill on the table was negatived, 105 to 68; but the expiration of the morning hour finally stopped the debate, and the matter gave place to the report of the Committee of Thirty-three. Subsequently the joint resolution from the Senate, repealing the act f'or the relief of William H. Degroot, was taken up and passed. The day session was finished with a debate on the Senate's amendment to the Naval Appropriation Bill, which provides fat the building of seven additional steam sloops of war. A night session was held for general debate.

On Wednesday, 20th, in the Senate, the House bill authorizing the Postmaster-General to discontinue the mail-service in those States where it is liable to be interfered with was debated. It was opposed by Southern members as a direct attempt to strike at the seceding States, and as a declaration of insurrection on the part of those States, (Next Page)


 

 

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