Diary Entry by Edmund Ruffin, August 26, 1857

Source citation
Scarborough, William Kauffman, ed. The Diary of Edmund Ruffin. Vol. 1. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1972, p. 96-97.
Author (from)
Edmund Ruffin
Date Certainty
Meghan Fralinger
Transcription date
The following text is presented here in complete form, as it originally appeared in print.  Spelling and typographical errors have been preserved as in the original. 
Aug. 10. Writing a little, in additions & corrections-reading Irving’s Washington-with the periodicals & newspapers received by mail. There is a general lull or cessation of political news-& yet great events have not long occurred & are unfinished, & which must lead to others of not less importance. Gen. walker has been driven out of Nicaragua, by the crusade against him of the adjacent states. But already such differences and animosities have been arisen that Walker is called for by some of his former enemies. If he or other freebooters, do not take possession, I think it will be necessary, & also justifiable for the U.S. to seize & hold all Central America & the Isthmus of Panama, opening the routes across to the free passage of the commerce of the world. I would wish this measure delayed, if possible, until the southern United States had seceded & made a separate political community. [154] But the route across the isthmus of Panama ought to be taken possession of forthwith, as only means of settling the just claims of this government against New Granada. The conquest of any of these mongrel & semi-barbarous communities, by any civilized power, would be a benefit to the conquered, & to the world. In this view, I heartily wish the most complete success to the British arms in the present war with China-which, after sharp & bloody action at first, has now, for months, been quiet as a truce. And since, another event has occurred, of awful threatening to the power of England. The native soldiers of the East India Company, which under English officers, made nearly the whole great army of Hindostan, have generally mutinied, & in sundry cases killed their officers, & all the English in their power. The revolted troops have possession of Delhi-& almost everywhere the native regiments have either mutinied, or elsewhere have been disarmed and disbanded by the English authorities, to prevent revolt. So far, except in seizing & holding Delhi, there seems to be nothing like concerted action by the revolters. But if that is brought about, under a competent leader, the native soldiers, well trained to arms by England, will themselves make a force that all England’s power cannot put down. The probable consequences are most awful to England, & will be greatly injurious to the progress of improvement & civilization in Hindostan, & to the commerce & well-being of the civilized world. Unjust, cruel, & altogether unjustifiable, as has been the British rule & dominion in Hindostan, that government [155] has been far better than the previous, or would be any future government of the native despots, or of their Asiatic conquerors. Except in Southern America, where our safety or progress would be endangered, I wish success to the British arms & policy throughout the uncivilized world.
How to Cite This Page: "Diary Entry by Edmund Ruffin, August 26, 1857," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, https://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/127.