Traders or Traitors: Northern Cotton Trading During the Civil War

Sir, not to quibble...but...that is also the official date of when the Federal Blockade ended. 'Hostilities' could be said to have been continued until that date 'officially'. Wasn't there a USSC ruling that used the start / end dates of the blockade as the dates for the ACW?

Cheers,
USS ALASKA

In the 1870 SCOTUS case, The Protector 79 U.S. 700, Chief Justice Chase used the date of Lincoln's first blockade Proclamation in certain ports as the start of the war and the date of Johnson's Proclamation of the ending of hostilities in most southern states as the end of the war only for the purpose of determining whether an appeal on a War Damage Claims application filed in the lower courts had been filed past a deadline or not:

"In the absence of more certain criteria of equally general application, we must take the dates of these proclamations as ascertaining the commencement and the close of the war in the states mentioned in them. Applying this rule to the case before us, we find that the war began in Alabama on the 19th of April, 1861, and ended on the 2d April, 1866. More than five years, therefore, had elapsed from the close of the war till the 17th of May, 1871, when this appeal was brought. The motion to dismiss, therefore, must be Granted."
 
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cash

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Location
Right here.
In the 1870 SCOTUS case, The Protector 79 U.S. 700, Chief Justice Chase used the date of Lincoln's first blockade Proclamation in certain ports as the start of the war and the date of Johnson's Proclamation of the ending of hostilities in most southern states as the end of the war only for the purpose of determining whether an appeal on a War Damage Claims application filed in the lower courts had been filed past a deadline or not:

"In the absence of more certain criteria of equally general application, we must take the dates of these proclamations as ascertaining the commencement and the close of the war in the states mentioned in them. Applying this rule to the case before us, we find that the war began in Alabama on the 19th of April, 1861, and ended on the 2d April, 1866. More than five years, therefore, had elapsed from the close of the war till the 17th of May, 1871, when this appeal was brought. The motion to dismiss, therefore, must be Granted."

Lincoln was long dead on April 2, 1866. The proclamation of that date declared the insurrection at an end in all states except Texas.
 
Lucius B. Northrop was appointed to the position of Commissary-General on March 27, 1861 by his friend Jefferson Davis. Northrop, whose nearly 4 year tenure as the head food gatherer and distributor of the Confederate army was marked by inaction and severe inefficiency, was one of the most disliked individuals in the Confederate military.
That being said, during October 1862, after reporting to Jefferson Davis that the Confederacy had only enough to feed 300,000 men for 25 days, he did make an attempt to procure 20,000 hogs from a supplier behind Union lines that agreed to exchange 1lb. of pork and bacon for 1 lb. of cotton and deliver it to a Confederate supplier in Memphis Tennessee. This exchange was fully supported by the Confederate Secretary of War but President Davis refused to depart from his policy of withholding cotton. The meat supply rapidly declined notably as the Confederacy lost hog and cattle producing areas to Union occupation and never recovered.
 

Rebforever

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Oct 26, 2012
"Cotton inventories were among the most valuable property confiscated. When Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox more than two million fungible cotton bales were scattered across the South. Given an average price of 43 cents per pound, each 400-pound bale was worth about $172. That put the value of the entire inventory at nearly $345 million, which was gigantic compared to the tiny amount of US currency then circulating in the South noted earlier. The cotton might have been an invaluable resource to prime the pump of Southern recovery but instead it was plundered.11

Union soldiers, US treasury officials, and Northern businessmen stole most of it under the pretext of legitimate confiscation – such as the seizure of cotton owned by the Confederate government – or often no pretext at all. A dismayed US Treasury Secretary Hugh McCulloch remarked, “I am sure that I sent some honest cotton agents South, but it sometimes seems very doubtful that any of them remained honest very long.”12"

http://discerninghistory.com/2015/11/the-politics-and-economics-of-reconstruction/
 

FedericoFCavada

First Sergeant
Joined
Jan 27, 2015
Location
San Antonio, Texas
Connecticut-born Charles Stillman of Brownsville TX:
https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fst57

Cotton grown in Texas went across the Rio Grande/ Rio Bravo del Norte to Matamoros. From there, it went to Bagdad at the river's mouth where it could legally sail right through the Union blockade in a Mexican or French flagged ship from a Mexican port to a U.S. port. Some went to the cotton mills in the UK, sure. Much of it went to New York and New England, since Charles Stillman was personally acquainted with a number of the "Lords of the loom." The link understates the amount of money he made "trading with the enemy" I think. I have it on the authority of Dr. J. M. Hart at the University of Houston that Stillman's proceeds, translated into today's values, would come to something like the equivalent of sixteen billion dollars! That's a lot of money. :sneaky::whistling::coffee:
 

USS ALASKA

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 16, 2016
A paper that @jgoodguy might like...

College of William and Mary
W&M ScholarWorks
Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects Theses, Dissertations, & Master Projects 1980

Trading with the enemy: Legal theory and the Civil War
by Carole Johnson Breitenbach

College of William & Mary - Arts & Sciences
This Thesis is brought to you for free and open access by the Theses, Dissertations, & Master Projects at W&M ScholarWorks. It has been accepted for inclusion in Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects by an authorized administrator of W&M ScholarWorks. For more information, please contact [email protected].

ABSTRACT; The purpose of this study is first to introduce the concept of trading with the enemy, as defined and governed by international law. The thesis then applies this definition, and the stipulations it embodies, to the statutory laws passed and the Supreme Court decisions rendered concerning interbelligerent trade during the Civil War. The study traces the efforts of Union lawmakers to control trade between the North and the South, and the extent to which those efforts reflected international legal theory. Discussion then turns to the Supreme Court cases dealing with the wartime trade, and the degree to which the Court’s decisions upheld the tenets of international law. Finally, the study briefly examines the application of international law to twentieth-century warfare.

https://scholarworks.wm.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4160&context=etd
891

Cheers,
USS ALASKA
 

Attachments

  • Trading with the enemy.pdf
    4.4 MB · Views: 49

USS ALASKA

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 16, 2016
College of William and Mary
W&M ScholarWorks
Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects Theses, Dissertations, & Master Projects
1965

The Evolution of Confederate Policy Regarding Interbelligerent Commerce in the Civil War
by Judith Baker Rutherford

College of William & Mary - Arts & Sciences
This Thesis is brought to you for free and open access by the Theses, Dissertations, & Master Projects at W&M ScholarWorks. It has been accepted for inclusion in Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects by an authorized administrator of W&M ScholarWorks. For more information, please contact [email protected].

ABSTRACT
The purpose of this study is to trace the evolution of Confederate policy regarding contraband trade during the Civil War, Trade policy was studied from three aspects: (1) official policy as manifested in Confederate statutes, (2) attitudes of high officials which affected trade policy and practices, and (3) actual trade practices.


Stringent anti-contraband trade laws were in effect in the Confederacy until February 1864, At that time the Confederate Congress passed two liberalizing trade laws, one allowing the President to authorize trade with the enemy and the other permitting the President or the department heads to authorize trading in northern paper currency. Then in February 1865, all restrictions on the exportation of governmental produce were removed, and the Secretary of the Treasury - subject to Presidential approval - was placed in complete command of governmental trade. The following month, the Secretary of the Treasury was empowered to trade tobacco and cotton for coin with which to purchase supplies.

While the Confederate Congress was slow in relaxing restrictions against trade with the Worth, high Confederate officials quickly came to favor trade with the enemy. Jefferson Davis never exerted effective leadership in this important area, instead, beginning with Commissary General Lucius S. Northrop in 1861, the various department heads began recommending reliance on contraband trade as the best source of supplies. These men not only recommended, but actually engaged in, trade with the North.

The volume of trade with the enemy increased as the Southern military effort deteriorated and as the Union blockade became increasingly effective. Seemingly, the Bureau of Subsistence and the War Department conducted the bulk of trade with the North during the first three years of the war. Transactions were usually completed through departmental agents. Then in August 1864 the President placed the responsibility for trading cotton for military supplies in the hands of the Secretary of the Treasury. Although the other departments never completely ceased their trade activities, the Treasury Department's control over governmental trade increased after
the liberal congressional delegation of authority to it in February 1865.


https://scholarworks.wm.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4636&context=etd
1261

Cheers,
USS ALASKA
 

Attachments

  • The Evolution of Confederate Policy Regarding Interbelligerent Commerce in the Civil War.pdf
    7.1 MB · Views: 17

jgoodguy

Banished Forever
-:- A Mime -:-
is a terrible thing...
Don’t feed the Mime
Joined
Aug 17, 2011
Location
Birmingham, Alabama
College of William and Mary
W&M ScholarWorks
Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects Theses, Dissertations, & Master Projects
1965

The Evolution of Confederate Policy Regarding Interbelligerent Commerce in the Civil War
by Judith Baker Rutherford

College of William & Mary - Arts & Sciences
This Thesis is brought to you for free and open access by the Theses, Dissertations, & Master Projects at W&M ScholarWorks. It has been accepted for inclusion in Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects by an authorized administrator of W&M ScholarWorks. For more information, please contact [email protected].

ABSTRACT
The purpose of this study is to trace the evolution of Confederate policy regarding contraband trade during the Civil War, Trade policy was studied from three aspects: (1) official policy as manifested in Confederate statutes, (2) attitudes of high officials which affected trade policy and practices, and (3) actual trade practices.


Stringent anti-contraband trade laws were in effect in the Confederacy until February 1864, At that time the Confederate Congress passed two liberalizing trade laws, one allowing the President to authorize trade with the enemy and the other permitting the President or the department heads to authorize trading in northern paper currency. Then in February 1865, all restrictions on the exportation of governmental produce were removed, and the Secretary of the Treasury - subject to Presidential approval - was placed in complete command of governmental trade. The following month, the Secretary of the Treasury was empowered to trade tobacco and cotton for coin with which to purchase supplies.

While the Confederate Congress was slow in relaxing restrictions against trade with the Worth, high Confederate officials quickly came to favor trade with the enemy. Jefferson Davis never exerted effective leadership in this important area, instead, beginning with Commissary General Lucius S. Northrop in 1861, the various department heads began recommending reliance on contraband trade as the best source of supplies. These men not only recommended, but actually engaged in, trade with the North.

The volume of trade with the enemy increased as the Southern military effort deteriorated and as the Union blockade became increasingly effective. Seemingly, the Bureau of Subsistence and the War Department conducted the bulk of trade with the North during the first three years of the war. Transactions were usually completed through departmental agents. Then in August 1864 the President placed the responsibility for trading cotton for military supplies in the hands of the Secretary of the Treasury. Although the other departments never completely ceased their trade activities, the Treasury Department's control over governmental trade increased after
the liberal congressional delegation of authority to it in February 1865.


https://scholarworks.wm.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4636&context=etd
1261

Cheers,
USS ALASKA
I hope you cross posted this in one of your lists.
 
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