London, Saturday, September 7, 1861.The Illustrated London News, vol.39, no. 1106, p. 236.
Had any one hinted some twelve months back at the possibility of the United States being the next arena for the display of the antiquated resources of martial law, suspension of habeas corpus, and the passport system, he would have been met with a shout of derisive laughter. We have lived, however, to see these things as living, tangible facts. They are excused and apologised for as political necessities belonging to the exigencies of the occasion. It is amusing, however—rather sadly amusing, by the way—to see the New Country driven to avail itself of the long-despised weapons of the Old World. Meanwhile, every one is anxiously inquiring "What next?"
The great cotton question is assuming a singular aspect. Reports give a good crop to the Southern States; they are elevated with their military successes; and there is an idea abroad that they mean to keep, instead of trying to find, a market. This view of the matter complicates the state of things explained by us last week. Of what use it is for British shipping to attempt to force the so-called blockade if the Southern men will not sell when they have done so? We venture, however, to think that the full facts are as yet but imperfectly understood in the South. They evidently rely on their superiority in quality. We have reason to think they are reckoning without their host.