of the Genesee list, wrote this in response to the following article
submitted to that list recently:
"Senator Doolittle was from Warsaw. This is
according to Andrew Young's "History of Warsaw".
He practiced law in Warsaw from 1841-1851. In
1851 he moved to Racine, Wisconsin was appointed as
a Judge. In Congress he befriend a man by the name of Abraham Lincoln."
Spirit of the Times - Batavia NY
Colored Soldiers - Cost of them and their Families.
Washington, Feb. 22.
The prolonged discussion on equalizing the pay of white and of negro
troops has elicited some facts worthy of notice.
Senator Grimes, of Iowa, asserted, (and no Senator is more careful about
the truth of his statements,) that the number of colored troops in public
employment today is not far from seventy thousand, and Senator Doolittle, of
Wisconsin, added that "in conversation with a person in great knowledge, in
the Commissary Department, on this very subject, it was estimated by him
that for every able bodied soldier put into our ranks in the States where
the insurrection exists, there will be about four persons, women and
children, or decrepit old men, upon our hands."
If these estimates be correct the General Government is now feeding and
clothing 280,000 colored women and children, in addition to the 70,000 men
in the public service.
Judge Doolittle, (who is a New Yorker by birth and education, and who
was a Democrat of the "Barnburner" school before he emigrated to Wisconsin,)
has taken the ground that if the pay of the 70,000 men is to be raised to
$13 per month, $4 per month of it should go into a fund for the support of
the 280,000 women and children. He argued thus:
"At the South, the able-bodied men, although they have women and
children, are not under any obligation to support them, and never have been.
Therefore those who have women and children enlist perfectly free from all
obligations to support them. The support of the women and children
heretofore devolved upon the masters who employed them, and now will devolve
on the Government; whereas, in the other section of the country, where the
institution of slavery does not exist, colored men have their wives and
their children, which they are bound legally to support just as much as
white men are.
"The white soldier who enlists in our armies has persons dependent upon
him for support, and whom he is bound to support, his wife and children and
his decrepit and old parents. If you give him but thirteen dollars a month
to pay him for his services, with all those legal and binding obligations
upon him to support during his absence from his wife and children, and yet
are not bound to support them, and give them the same pay, while their women
and children flock in crowds around our armies to be fed, from our
commissary stores and clothed from the clothing that comes from our
Quartermaster's Department - if you do that, I say you have forgotten that
white men are as good as negroes at least."
The cost of the colored troops and of maintaining their families, or
those noncombatant "contrabands" who enter our lines, should not be
forgotten at the present time, when almost every item of war expenditure is
larger than the estimate for it. Only yesterday Senator Fessenden had to ask
correction of an appropriation asked for to purchase cavalry and artillery
expenses of $17,500, so that it should read $17,500,000, and it is very
evident that the expenses of the next fiscal year will very, very far exceed
I think that articles such as this one will show that "the North" was not
always in the "right" in their way of thinking and handling situations [in
the Civil War time period].
There were many varied viewpoints - & not all Northerners were against
slavery, or for equal treatment of the races or genders.