Marx-Engels Correspondence 1862

Marx To Engels
In Manchester

Source: MECW Volume 41, p. 415;
First published: in Der Briefwechsel zwischen F. Engels und K. Marx, Stuttgart, 1913.

London, 10 September [1862]

Dear Engels,

My family has got back from Ramsgate; little Jenny is very much better.

Lassalle’s letter, containing a letter for Meyer Brothers with whom the bill is lodged in Berlin, and also his acceptance, didn’t arrive till yesterday. In the meantime, Borkheim had already gone away on holiday. Up till now he has paid 40 in driblets, the last 15 of the 40 thirteen days ago, when I was leaving. For I wanted to pester my uncle. But he, too, was travelling on the Continent. From there (passant par Cologne, etc.) I went to Trier to see my mater — fruitlessly, however, as I at once suspected when Monsieur l'oncle was not to be got hold of. On the 17th of this month, I have to pay a bill [of exchange] for 6 (six pounds) to my butcher, and Borkheim won’t have got back by then, his intention being to spend about 4 weeks bustling round Switzerland, etc.

As to the Yankees, I am firmly of the opinion, now as before, that the North will win in the end; true, the Civil War may pass through all kinds of episodes, perhaps even ceasefires, and be long-drawn-out. The South would or could conclude peace only on condition that it gained possession of the border slave states. In that case, California would also fall to it, the North-West would follow suit and the entire Federation, with the exception, perhaps, of the New England states, would again form one country, this time under the acknowledged supremacy of the slaveholders. It would be the reconstruction of the United States on the basis demanded by the South. But that is impossible and won’t happen.

The North, for its part, can conclude peace only if the Confederacy is restricted to the old slave states, and then only to those bounded by the Mississippi River and the Atlantic. In which case the Confederacy would soon come to a happy end. In the intervening period, ceasefires, etc., on the basis of a status quo could at most occasion pauses in the course of the war.

The way in which the North is waging the war is none other than might be expected of a bourgeois republic, where humbug has reigned supreme for so long. The South, an oligarchy, is better suited to the purpose, especially an oligarchy where all productive labour devolves on the niggers and where the 4 million ‘white trash’ are flibustiers by calling. For all that, I'm prepared to bet my life on it that these fellows will come off worst, ‘Stonewall. Jackson’ notwithstanding. It is, of course, possible that some sort of revolution will occur beforehand in the North itself.

Willich is a brigadier-general and Stephens, or so Kapp told me in Cologne, is also said to be on his way to the wars now.

It strikes me that you allow yourself to be influenced by the military aspect of things a little too much.

As to the economic stuff, I don’t propose to burden you with it on your journey.


K. M.

You might perhaps write and tell me where and when you will be passing through London on your journey. If at all feasible, I shall come and meet you.

It is possible (even though all manner of things still stand in the way) that I shall enter an English railway office at the beginning of next year.

What about Garibaldi?