Monthly Record of Current Events, August 7.

OUR Record closes on the 7th of August. The topics of general interest during the month are the various steps toward reconstruction of the Governments of the seceding States; the attitude of prominent men in the South; the condition of the freedmen; the rapid diminution of the military and naval forces of the United States; and the financial position of the country.

Judge William Marvin was appointed July 16, as Provisional Governor of Florida, with tho same duties and powers as the other Provisional Governors appointed by the President, as noted in our Record for July. There are now Governors, regular or provisional, for all the seceding States.

Mr. Johnson, Provisional Governor of Georgia, has ordered an election to be held on the 4th of October for delegates to a State convention to assemble on the 25th of that month. In an address delivered at Savannah on the 1st of July, Governor Johnson set forth the condition of the State, and in effect that of the other seceding States. The people of the Confederate States, he said, find themselves overpowered by superior numbers and resources; they are now without a Government, Legislature, or Judges, deprived of civil government, yet held by the military authority of the United States, not as Territories or Provinces, but as revolted States. The President of the United states was doing all in his power to restore civil government to the Southern States, but his efforts would be futile without the aid of the Southern people. The oath of amnesty was so framed as to distinguish between the friends and foes of the United States. Every one, in order to be a voter, must take the oath. We are to consider whether we will continue in our present condition or return to the Union. If we return, we must take the oath, which was prescribed not for the purpose of annoyance or humiliation, but as a means of distinguishing between the friends and the foes of the Union. When a person, not excepted by the President's proclamation, took the oath he became again a citizen, and acquired all the benefits of loyalty; his property was free from confiscation, his person exempt from arrest, and he could go to the polls and cast his ballot. The exceptions made in the proclamation were not intended for the purpose of inflicting penalties upon all the individuals of the excepted classes. "Nine-tenths of these," the Governor was confident, "would be pardoned; the clemency of the Government is wide-sweeping, and awaits the return of nearly all with open arms." Mr. Johnson then proceeded to explain the duties which devolved upon him as Provisional Governor. It was not his province to make laws or to administer them, but simply to convene a convention of the people; when that should have been done, and the machinery of government put in motion, the functions of his office would have been discharged. He was clear in the expression of his views on the subject, of slavery. The prescribed oath included the support of the proclamations declaring freedom to the slaves in the revolted States. Probably


100,000 slaves had been enlisted in the armies of the United States: many others had abandoned their former owners, and were now within the control of the United States. It was idle to suppose that these people would ever be returned to their former condition of servitude. Moreover a resolution, proposed as an amendment to the Constitution, had passed Congress, declaring that slavery or involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, should not exist in the United States; this needed only to be ratified by three-fourths of the States in Legislature or Convention to become part and parcel of the Constitution. It had been adopted by twenty-five States, and the votes of only two more were required, which would doubtless be secured. It therefore made no difference how Georgia should act, for without her ratification the provision would become the fundamental law of the land. Again, under the war power, the President, as Commander-in-Chief of the armies, had the right to capture and hold the slaves, either as persons or as property; and now, in virtue of the emancipation proclamation, they were emancipated. The Provisional Governor could have wished that the change had not been thus violently and suddenly made; but, he adds, "Slavery, in any event, is gone, and gone forever, and I have no tears to shed or lamentations to make over its departure." Mr. Johnson passed on to urge the possibility of South and North coming together again in friendship within the Union. "I have lately been," he said, "among the people of the North, and saw no manifestation of unkind sentiments. The only adverse feeling I saw manifested was in regard to the treatment of the Federal prisoners at Andersonville; and mankind will join, and we will join them in denouncing that as the most atrocious of cruelties; but no such stigma should rest on the Southern people, for though they were on the outside, they were yet prisoners as much as those who were within." The summation of Mr. Johnson's speech was; "All your leaders are willing to give up their passions and prejudices, and go back to the Union under which we prospered, and in which we had no serious calamity, until we were tempted to forsake it. That same Government which gave us security, comfort at home, and respect abroad, will still continue to afford us protection and prosperity." — Of similar general purport is the farewell address of Mr. Brown, the rebel Ex-Governor of Georgia. He advises the people of the State to submit gracefully to the emancipation of their slaves, to take the oath of allegiance and qualify themselves for voters, to cheerfully join in the maintenance of the National Government, to acquiesce in the measures taken for the restoration of civil government in their Commonwealth, and to give the administration of President Johnson a cordial support.

Mr. Sharkey, Provisional Governor of Mississippi, has appointed the 7th of August as the day for the election of delegates, and the 17th as the time for the meeting of the State Convention. In his proclamation he says, "The negroes are now free — free by the fortunes of war, free by proclamation, free by common consent, free practically as well as theoretically; and it is too late to raise questions as to the means by which they became so." Governor Sharkey has reappointed many of the local officers who held their posts during the rebellion — requiring, however, all of them to take the oath of allegiance as prescribed by the President.

Mr. Parsons, Provisional Governor of Alabama, appoints August 31 as the day for the election of delegates to the Convention, which is to meet on the 10th of September. He has reappointed nearly all of the former incumbents of local offices who were willing to take the oath of allegiance and to give bonds for the performance of their duties. He comments in his address upon the ruin and suffering which the war has occasioned, but tells the people of Alabama that they still possess all their former political and civil rights, with the exception of that of holding slaves. Slavery, he says, is irrecoverably gone, and it is the part of wisdom to make the best of the new order of things. He estimates that Alabama sent to the field 122,000 men, of whom 70,000 are dead or disabled. The estimate of the number of men put into the field is probably exaggerated, as by the census of 1860 there were in the State a little less than 130,000 white males between the ages of fifteen and fifty, the only ages from whom soldiers could by any possibility have been drawn; and it can hardly be supposed that more than nine out of ten were actually in the field. The estimate of the dead and disabled is probably an approximation to the truth. According to it more than half of the population who were of military age in 1860, or who have since become so, are either dead or disabled. This estimate represents inadequately the absolute loss of the South in men, for very few under eighteen or over forty entered the ranks. The number between these ages was probably about 100,000; so that seven-tenths of those who in 1860 were the living able white population of Alabama are now either dead or disabled. That State is a fair representative of the entire South. And as Alabama contained almost one-tenth of the white population of the eleven seceding States, their entire loss in white males, dead or disabled, is fully 700,000. Adding to these the deaths and disabling of females, old men, and children, which may be traced directly to the rebellion, the loss of the South can not be less than a million — almost one-fifth of the entire white population.

Mr. W. W. Boyce, formerly Member of Congress from South Carolina, made a speech at Winnsboro, in which he said that he was confident the great majority of the people of that State desired the establishment of State authority in entire harmony with the Government of the United States. Slavery, he considered, was gone, and the best thing to be done was to recognize that fact, and to accept in perfect good faith, with all its logical consequences.

Mr. Perry, Provisional Governor of South Carolina, made a speech at Greenville, on the 3d of July, two days after his appointment, but before he had been informed of that fact. A hundred and fifty thousand of the best and bravest men of the South, he said, have fallen on the field of battle. But the Confederacy has fallen. "We have neither law nor order. There is no protection of life, liberty, or property. Every where there is demoralization, rapine, and murder. Hunger and starvation are upon us. Such are the bitter fruits of secession." After stating that he had from the first foreboded such a result, he proceeded to show that the South had no real ground for secession. Mr. Lincoln was elected in conformity with the Constitution, and had he been so disposed he could not have violated the rights of the South. For eight years there was not an act of the Federal Government of which the South could complain. To leave the Union for the


sake of preserving slavery was a fatal mistake. The Union was the sole safety and protection of the institution. The South had indeed been outnumbered, but, he added, "The great cause of our failure was that the heart of the Southern people never was in this revolution. There was not a State except South Carolina in which there was a majority in favor of secession. And even in South Carolina there were many districts in which one half of the voters did not go to the polls." The people, he said, not the President, were responsible for the failure of the Confederacy." They were unwilling to make the sacrifices necessary for its success. Many who were most prominent in the movement never did any thing for it after the war commenced. Instead of seeking their proper position in front of the battle, they sought bomb-proofs for themselves and their sons. There were others who got into soft places and official positions, where they could speculate and make fortunes on Government funds. Toward the latter part of the war it seemed that every one was trying to keep out of the army, and was willing to pay any thing and make any sacrifice to do so. At no time during the last three years of the war was there more than one-third of the army ready to march into battle." In the course of his speech Mr. Perry made the singular avowal that "while there was no one in the United States who more deeply regretted the secession of the Southern States than I did at the beginning of the revolution, there is not one now in the Southern States who feels more bitterly the humiliation and degradation of going back into the Union than I do. Still I know that we shall be more prosperous and happy in the Union than out of it." The prospects of the South were, he thought, not so gloomy as many believed. "I have," he said, "no doubt that in ten years the South will be happy and prosperous again, and we shall find that the loss of slavery will be no loss at all to our real comfort and satisfaction. The planter and farmer will find that his net profits are greater with hired labor than with slave labor. Every landholder can rent his farm or plantation for one-third of the gross products; this is more than he now makes net after subsisting his slaves." He gives the following picture of the economical working of the system of slavery in his own State: "Very few farmers in this section of country make any thing except by the increase of his slaves. These are divided out among his children at his death, and they pursue the same course of toiling and struggling through life to raise negroes for their children. The lands are worn out, and the country remains unimproved. If a planter or farmer is enabled to save any thing after supporting his establishment, it is invested in the purchase of more slaves. Hence increased wealth adds nothing to the enjoyment of life or to the improvement of the country." In conclusion he exhorted his hearers to "become loyal citizens and respect the national authorities of the Republic. Abandon once and forever all notions of secession, nullification, and disunion. Determine to live, and teach your children to live, as true American citizens. The Republic is destined to go on increasing in national power and greatness for centuries to come. As soon as the ferment of the revolution subsides we shall be restored to all our civil rights, and be as free and republican as we ever were. There is no reason why there should be any sectional jealousy or ill-feeling between the North and the South. Their interests are dependent, and not rival interests; and now that slavery is abolished, there will be no bone of contention between the two sections." The meeting at which this not altogether consistent speech was made was held for the purpose of petitioning the President to appoint a Provisional Governor and to restore the civil authorities. Having received the appointment of Provisional Governor, Mr. Perry on the 20th of July issued a proclamation directing all former civil officers, excepting those under prosecution for treason, to re sume their functions upon taking the oath of allegiance. An election for delegates to a State Convention is to be held on the first Monday in September, according to the laws of the State in force before the secession; the Convention to meet on the 13th of September. All the laws of the State which were in force previous to the secession, which are not inconsistent with the proclamation, to be in force. The former owners of freedmen must not turn off the children and aged to perish, and the freed men and women are exhorted to make just and fair contracts for remaining with their former owners.

It can not be denied that the political situation presents many grave difficulties. From various parts of the South there are reports that, on the one hand, the former masters are unwilling to make equitable engagements with the freedmen; and, on the other, that these are abandoning their former homes, and flocking to the towns and cities, expecting to live without work. These reports bear evident marks of exaggeration; but still there is abundant evidence that there will be no little difficulty in the practical working of the new order of things.

The first election in the States now under Provisional Governors took place in Richmond, on the 25th of July, by order of Governor Pierpont. The election was for municipal officers. The election was set aside by General Turner, the military commander of the district, on the ground that voters were excluded by reason of having lost their residence by their absence as soldiers of the United States, while no such exception was taken against soldiers absent in the rebel army; that the candidates elected had been, with a single exception, conspicuous in inaugurating and sustaining the rebellion; and the issue had been distinctly made at the election between men who had aided the war against the Union, and those who had defended the flag of the country.

Major-General O. O. Howard, Commissioner of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, on the 12th of July issued a circular of general instruction to his subordinate officers throughout the South. The State Commissioners are to appoint district agents to assist them in the protection of the freedmen, the adjustment of rates of wages to be paid them by the planters, the establishment and management of schools for the education of the colored people, and to make arrangements for supplying their medical needs.

The army of the United States which, five months ago, numbered a million strong has already been reduced to about 100,000, of whom more than half are in Sheridan's Division, near the Mexican frontier. The whole army is divided into five divisions 1. The Atlantic, General Meade, head-quarters Philadelphia. 2. The Mississippi, General Sherman, St. Louis. 3. The Gulf, General Sheridan, New Orleans. 4. The Tennessee, General Thomas, Nashville. 5. The Pacific, General Halleck, San Francisco. The Divisions are subdivided into eighteen


Departments, each under a Major-General. Their order, names, commanders, and head-quarters are as follows:
1. Department of the East, Hooker, New York.
2. Middle Department, Hancock, Baltimore.
3. Department of Washington, Augur, Washington.
4. Department of the Ohio, Ord, Detroit.
5. Department of the Tennessee, Stoneman, Knoxville.
6. Department of Kentucky, Palmer, Louisville.
7. Department of the Missouri, Pope, Fort Leavenworth.
8. Department of Virginia, Terry, Richmond.
9. Department of North Carolina, Schofield, Raleigh.
10. Department of South Carolina, Gillmore, Hilton Head.
11. Department of Georgia, Stedman, Augusta.
12. Department of Florida, Foster, Tallahassee.
13. Department of Mississippi, Slocum, Vicksburg.
14. Department of Alabama, Wood, Mobile.
15. Department of Louisiana and Texas, Canby, New Orleans.
16. Department of Arkansas, Reynolds, Little Rock.
17. Department of Columbia, Wright, Fort Vancouver.
18. Department of California, M'Dowell, San Francisco.

No financial statement was put forth by the Secretary of the Treasury on the last of June. This omission was supposed by many to indicate a large increase of the public debt. These apprehensions are mainly dissipated by the official statement on the 31st of July. According to this the total debt on that day was $2,757,253,275 — an increase in two months of $122,000,000; and this increase is apparent rather than real, for a large amount due in May was not audited. The details of this debt are as follows.

Debt bearing interest in coin$1,108,662,641 80 $64,521,837 50
Debt bearing interest in lawful money 1,289,150,515 05 74,740,630 78
Debt on which interest has censed1,527,12009 
Debt bearing no interest357,906,968 92 
Total $2,757,253,275 86 $139,262,408 28

The general result of the trial of the Washington conspirators was announced in our last Record. The details are as follows3 We now give the names as they appear in the sentence of the court, most of them have been written in different ways. David E. Herrold, George A. Atzeroth, Lewis Payne, Mary E. Suratt, were all found guilty of the charges against them noted in our Record for July, and of the main specifications under those charges. These persons were all hung on the 7th of July. — Michael O'Laughlin was found guilty of being engaged in the conspiracy, but not guilty of the design to murder General Grant. Samuel A. Mudd, guilty of complicity in the conspiracy, and of harboring Booth and Herrold after the assassination. Samuel Arnold, guilty of complicity in the assassination, These three were sentenced to imprisonment at hard labor for life. Edward Spangler of having aided Booth in making his escape, sentenced to imprisonment at hard labor for six years. The Penitentiary at Albany, New York, was originally designated as the place of confinement, but this was subsequently changed for Fort Jefferson, on the Tortugas. Mrs. Suratt protested her innocence of the crime of which she was convicted. Payne, Herrold, and Atzeroth acknowledged themselves guilty, in whole or in part. Mudd acknowledged that he knew Booth when he came to his house after the murder, having previously been acquainted with him. O'Laughlin and Arnold confessed that they had been engaged with Booth in a plot to capture, but not to murder the President. Spangler declared that he knew nothing of Booth's intention before it was executed, but owned that he had aided his escape. — During the trial of the conspirators 364 witnesses were examined — 201 for the prosecution, 163 for the defense. The testimony filled 4300 pages, the arguments 700 pages of manuscript, "legal cap" size. The depositions and reports taken before the trial employed five short-hand writers a fortnight, and required two clerks six weeks to brief and file away.

From Mexico the intelligence is so contradictory as to be wholly unworthy of credit. One report was that the authorities of Matamoras had been ordered to provide for 35,000 French troops, looking toward hostilities with the United States. Other rumors say that the Emperor Maximilian is preparing to return to Europe. Others still, which seem to be far more reliable, indicate that the Imperial Government is steadily securing the ascendency in almost every part of the country.

From Hayti later and more reliable accounts indicate that the revolt against President Geffrard is by no means suppressed, and that the probabilities are in favor of its success. It now appears to be a contest between the blacks, under Francois Jean Joseph, and the mulattoes, represented by Geffrard. But all representations from this country must for the present be regarded with suspicion.

The Confederate ram Stonewall has been formally given up to the United States by the Spanish authorities of Cuba. A sum of $16,000, which had been advanced to the commander for the purpose of paying his crew, has been refunded by the United States to the Cuban Government.

The British Parliament was dissolved on the 6th of July, and a new election ordered to take place about a fortnight later. The result has been decidedly favorable to the present "Whig" or "Liberal" ministry, led by Lord Palmerston, Earl Russell, and Mr. Gladstone, against the "Tory" or "Conservative" party, of which the Earl of Derby and Mr. Disraeli are leaders. Mr. Gladstone, the Chancellor of the Exehequer, was defeated of reelection for Oxford, but was elected from South Lancashire. The "Liberals" have gained 57 seats and lost 33 — a net gain of 24. Of the 658 members chosen 367 are claimed as Liberals, and 291 as Conservatives. — The work of laying the new Atlantic Telegraphic Cable has been fairly commenced. The laying of the heavy shore end of 25 miles at Valentia Bay, in Ireland, was completed on 22d of July, and this having been spliced to the sea cable on the 23d, the Great Eastern commenced the work of "paying out" on the 24th. On the 27th she had payed out 300 miles. At this rate it would take about twenty days to reach the American terminus at Heart's Content Bay, but it was supposed that as she lightened by parting with the cable and the consumption of coal her rate would in Before this Magazine reaches the reader the success or failure of the enterprise will have been established.

The Confederate cruiser Shenandoah has been at work among our whalers in the Western Artic Ocean. We have tidings of the destruction of eight whalers, and fears are entertained for our whole whaling fleet in those waters, numbering about 60 vessels. The Shenandoah appears to have coaled last at Melbourne in Australia, and was manned mainly by British sailors.