Among the most striking of the many exemplifications which are daily coming to our knowledge of the almost utter demoralization that has overspread all the social and civil fabrics of the South since the commencement of her mad career of rebellion, is the general repudiation of the debts due from her merchants and others, to the North. Millions and tens of millions of dollars, due from Southern traders for goods of recent purchase, and now perhaps mostly on their shelves, or due on the most sacred of honorary obligations, have thus been, within the last three months, unblushingly repudiated, and irrecoverably lost to the mercantile classes of our cities. Applications for payment have been generally treated with scorn and insult, the debtors frequently declaring, with shameless exultation, that they had or should bestow the money intended for payment, to help on the cause of their infamous rebellion. And not only have the debtors, as individuals, resorted to this flagitious course of rank dishonesty and virtual robbery, but the Legislatures of the seceded States have nearly all, directly or indirectly, sanctioned the enormity, by throwing every possible obstacle in the way of the collection of the debts of non-residents, or of wiping out, as far as their own legislation could do it, all the rights of property represented in debt, of the foreign creditor, forever.

Does all history furnish examples of such robber-like depravity as this? In all the wars of Modern Europe, where do we find examples of such wholesale repudiation of honest debts by individuals of the different Countries, because their respective Nations were at war? And above all, what Nation of Christendom has ever shown itself so lost to commercial faith, to honor and common honesty, as to sanction such disgraceful breaches of the personal obligations of its subjects, by legislative enactment? Not one—no, for the honor of this age of Christianity and civilization, not one. And it has been left to the poor, ruined, demented and utterly demoralized South to furnish the first black and damning example.

Yes, all this has been done by the South with the mockery of right and justice on their lips; and the North are suffering their prodigious loss in silent amazement at the boldness of the unexpected perfidy. How are the robbed and defrauded people of the North ever to get their pay? There is one way to do this; and in the name of Heaven’s justice let it be done. Let the North take her pay for all her wronged citizens in real estate, to be taken with less gentle hands than those of a levying Sheriff, and to be settled by her free people, who will convert that land of treason and barbarism into one of law, order and civil liberty. Let those who would carp at this suggestion as too agrarian in the treatment of the South, bear in mind that it would be but a mild form of a just retribution, whether applied to right the plundered Government, or reimburse its plundered individual citizens.