Southern Complaints


(a)        The Imperial North         Vicksburg Whig  January 18 1860


By mere supineness, the people of the South have permitted the Yankees to monopolize the carrying trade, with its immense profits. We have yielded them the manufacturing business, in all its departments, without an effort, until recently, to become manufacturers ourselves. We have acquiesced in the claims of the North to do all the importing, and most of the exporting business, for the whole Union. Thus, the North has been aggrandized, in a most astonishing degree, at the expense of the South. It is no wonder that their villages have grown into magnificent cities. It is not strange that they have “merchant princes”, dwelling in gorgeous palaces and reveling on luxuries transcending the luxurious appliances of the East! How could it be otherwise? New York city, like a mighty queen of commerce, sits proudly upon her island throne, sparkling in jewels and waving an undisputed commercial scepter over the South. By ways of her railways and navigable streams, she sends out her long arms to the extreme South; and, with avidity rarely equaled, grasps out gains and transfers them to herself – taxing us at every step – and depleting as extensively as possible without actually destroying us.



(b)        The Colonial South        Hinton R. Helper “The Impending Crisis of the South”


It is a fact well known to every intelligent Southerner that we are compelled to go to the North for almost every article of utility and adornment, from matches, shoe-pegs and paintings up to cotton mills, steamships and statuary; … that … the North becomes, in one way or another, the proprietor and dispenser of all our floating wealth, and that we are dependent on the Northern capitalists for the means necessary to build our railroads, canals and other public improvements … and that nearly all the profits arising from the exchange of commodities, from insurance and shipping offices, and from the thousand and one industrial pursuits of the country, accrue to the North …..


The North is the Mecca of our merchants, and to it they must and do make two pilgrimages per annum – one in the spring and one in the fall. All our commercial, mechanical, manufactural, and literary supplies come form there. We want Bibles, brooms, buckets and books, we go to the North; we want toys, primers, school books, fashionable apparel, machinery, medicines tombstones, and a thousand other things, and we go to the North for them all. Instead of keeping our money in circulation at home, by patronizing our own mechanics, manufacturers, and laborers, we send it all away to the North, and there it remains; it never falls in our hands again.


In one way or another we are more or less subservient to the North every day of our lives.