Secession Era Editorials Project

The Millennium at Last.

Charleston, South Carolina, Mercury [Democratic]

(27 March 1857)

The grand millennium has at length, we are informed, come to the political world; and we, the chosen people of the great Western Republic, are the favored recipients of the Divine promise -- the earthly blessing. Regenerated man here walks free, in full contentment, happy in a universal concord of brotherhood and mutual love; "Peace" reigns supreme, immutable, eternal; and "Plenty" shakes her bounteous horn over a smiling land, flowing indeed with milk and honey.

The High Priests of Cincinnati officiated at the preparatory offering -- the laws of the Twelve Tables have been issued -- the political Magician of Peace has appeared; he has bid the troubled waters of the earth be stilled, and lo! they are stilled; the lion and the lamb are now to lie down together -- our swords are to be turned into ploughshares, "our stern alarms into merry meetings" -- wars are to be remembered no more, and the whole voice of the people is to rise up in one mighty hosannah to this glorious Union.

The Democratic party, overwhelmed in every State North of MASON and DIXON'S line, excepting three -- half-drowned, sinking, struggling in the boisterous, swelling tide of Abolitionism, clutching at and clinging to every passing piece of driftwood- finds its head still, for a little while, above water, by means of the staying power of the Southern Rights party, and shouts in its delirious joy -- eternal calm!

The Supreme Court, repudiated in politics by South Carolina in 1828, defied and scoffed in law by the North in 1857, delivers its opinion upon a matter about which there never has been any doubt, except in the minds of those very men who now laugh it to scorn, because they choose to doubt, and are hence determined to doubt, and forthwith the potent opinion is proclaimed, like PERRY DAVIS'S Painkiller and TOWNSEND'S Sarsaparilla, a universal panacea for all ills pertaining to the body politic, past, present, and to come.

Liberal Southern politicians, by their ingenious, if not altogether ingenious policy and politics, are to creep, some into a corner of the Executive Department -- some would like to go abroad, with Uncle Sam to pay expenses and give prestige to their entertainments -- others felicitate themselves in " a lively sense of favors to come" in Speakerships, Senatorial honors, &c.; while the party tools, political hacks, and underlings, from Maine to Texas, gorge, and snarl, and revel over the offals of Government patronage that are thrown to them in every nook and cranny of the United States. As a logical sequence in the minds of these worthies, and a matter of course, there reigns over the whole land the very harmony of the spheres; new life has been instilled into Southern institutions, and an enlarged prospects opened before her -- civilization itself has received a new impulse, a refreshened vigor by proxy and in their persons, and man is about to consummate the end of his earthly destiny in absolute perfection, freedom and happiness. In short, we repeat, the millennium is full flush upon us, with Federal gold in one hand to drug our reason into pleasing apathy of all impending evils, and Federal office in the other to drown all sense of shame.

The sources of our information upon this interesting subject, are most veritable and respectable. The scattered remnant of a dismembered clique at the North, once called the Democratic Party North, now beaten and crushed out in every State but three, chants to its broken and disheartened adherents, a desperately feeble song of victory. A faint cry comes to us, too, from the renowned hog country of the Northwest. But it is from the South that there arises the grand and full-voiced choir of party glorification. On every side we hear the ceaseless chime of the great advent -- "peace and good will towards all men." We are, it would seem, the peculiarly favored recipients of this blessing. Happy, happy, thrice happy people! In a like manner, upon occasions of general holidays (as the fourth of July), our streets may be heard to resound with the similarly noisy hilarity of our slaves. Is it that we have taken lessons from them in our habit of thought, and the method of expressing ourselves? Or is it rather that like causes produce like effects, and that we break out in an unrestrained exuberance of spirits at the temporary respite we are so fortunate as to be permitted to enjoy? The future will answer.

Is it true that, in opposition to the above authorities, there are, at the South, some sanguinary and half-witted fanatics, otherwise called "ultraists," who pronounce this Utopian dream to be the concoction of a disordered brain -- who deem this temporary lull but the ominous gathering of the storm before it bursts -- the pause before the death grapple; and who esteems such illusive fancies only a most striking instance of the power of the human mind, when influenced by strong passions, as fear, ambition, or avarice, to compel itself to belief, even against the plain dictates of its own reason. But who, indeed, would regard such men? Have they not been talking to us these twenty years of daily encroachments and growing dangers, and has not time shown them to be, at best, but vain dreamers, enthusiasts, and alarmists, if not designing rogues? Does not the past and present congressional legislation that we enjoy, to the benefit of our commerce and agriculture, and the strengthening and extension of our peculiar institutions, the general harmony and good feeling that pervades all sections of the country, and our daily improving general political condition, demonstrate the folly of these malcontents? And does it not, on the other hand, illustrate the wisdom of those far- sighted men, who, confining their observations of the world to the limits of their own immediate interests, usually extend their version to about the ends of their own noses -- who always see "a lion in the path," and who always cry peace- who, timid and short-sighted in counsel, dilatory and time-serving in action, withal never forget their own preferment in their counsels to others, even at the cost of ruin and debasement to their countrymen. If this be not wisdom, "ye shades of BARNUM rise and speak."

Then, besides these ultraists and "alarmists" at the South, there are at the North also some few half wild and altogether insignificant fanatics -- the offscouring of the Northern population, amounting to some ten or twelve millions of educated white people -- that is, the sovereign power in all the States north of MASON and DIXON'S line, with the bare exception of three, who smile grimly at the fantastic delusion of "peace"- who laugh to scorn the late decision of the Supreme Court, as only giving impetus to new organizations -- who boldly proclaim to us and to the world that they have dug up the hatchet and will war to the knife, let come what will. Hear their own words:

THE NEW HAMPSHIRE ELECTION.- The late New Hampshire State election has resulted in a clean sweep of the board by the Republicans from stem to stern. This old Democratic star in the East has thus, it appears, set upon that party, never to rise again. * * * Talk of the agitation of slavery! That which has been was all mere child's play compared with that which is to come. Mr. Buchanan is safe enough, for the course which he has adopted is clearly marked out before him as his true course. But what of the succession? Will the election of 1860 be an affair of law and order, or a fearful and calamitous political and financial convulsion? Who can tell? -- New York Herald.

Hear them again:

"Some of the journalists who support the cause of the Administration, are pleasing themselves with the fancy that the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States, in the Dred Scott case will, put an end to agitation of the slavery question. They WILL SOON FIND THEIR MISTAKE. One specific after another has been tried, with the same view, and with the same success. The Fugitive Slave law, we were told, was to quiet all agitation, but it did not; the Nebraska bill was to stop all controversy on the slavery question, but it proved to be oil poured on the flames. The election of Mr. Buchanan as President, in November, was to put an end to the dispute, but since November the dispute has waxed warmer and warmer. It will never end till the cause of liberty has finally triumphed. Heap statute upon statute, and judicial decision to judicial decision, the spirit against which they are all leveled is indestructible. As long as the press and speech are free, the warfare will be continued. N. Evening Post.

These are only the mild expressions of the settled determination of some ten millions of resolute people, flushed with victory and power in almost every Northern State, urged on by every consideration of interest, ambition, and fierce fanaticism, clothed in the fascinating garb of liberty -- that liberty, blood-stained, irresistible, terrible, when perverted -- such a fanaticism as desolated Europe in the Crusades, and horrified the world in the murderous "Reign of Terror."

But what care we, bold sons of chivalry, for this paltry Northern rabblement -- these insignificant bewildered fanatics? Nothing -- most surely, nothing! They are "as the idle wind that we regard not." What business they, between the wind and our nobility? Poor deluded mortals, they tell us, too, that we shall acquire, by the decision of the Supreme Court, not one right more than they granted to us before -- not one foot of slave territory more than we would have acquired without it. How much that will be, let the late history of our Government answer. They tell us, too, that we shall recover not one fugitive slave more than we have been recovering How many these are, and how easily it is done, let some one, who is curious to know, try it -- for ourselves, we shall only offer him the use our columns gratis, for the benefit of his experience.

But what care we, bold sons of chivalry, for this paltry Northern rabblement - these wretched fanatics! Nothing- most surely, nothing! They are "as the idle wind that we regard not." We have achieved a great victory, we are all powerful, we will have peace- because we want it- badly; so does the child clutch at the moon! The victory we have won may indeed be glorious -- more glorious because of the disaster of the engagement. But it is a victory more fatal perhaps than defeat, the forerunner of complete subjection. Like the soldiers of our Revolution, they rise up stronger from each struggle, with renewed vigor and more determined resolution. We, exhausted by every effort, stricken, intimidated, but beat back momentarily their fierce assaults that we may cover our next retreat and leave them in possession of our camp fires. This has been the history of our gallant contest with this insignificant rabble for the last fifty odd years. Again we have passed through a new struggle, more insignificant at each meeting -- again our colors are flying over our march, and again they are flying over our retreat. Back! Back! Our enemy is before us! In '60, when we meet again, let us see to it that we have a large swamp in our rear behind us -- it may be convenient to cool off and luxuriate in after our next triumph.


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