NOTE: This poem contains offensive racist terms.
Though with the North we sympathise,
It must not be forgotten
That with the South we’ve stronger ties,
Which are composed of cotton,
Whereof our imports mount unto
A sum of many figures,
And where would be our calico
Without the toil of niggers?
The South enslaves those fellow-men
Whom we love all so dearly;
The North keeps commerce bound again,
Which touches us more nearly.
Thus a divided duty we
Perceive in this hard matter.
Free Trade, or sable brothers free?
Oh, wont [sic] we choose the latter?

Title:The Cream of Punch – 'Shop and Freedom'


Publication:Bury Guardian

Published in:Bury


Keywords:america, war


This Punch poem with its offensive racist terminology addresses British concerns relating to the dispute between the two sides in America just before the outbreak of the Civil War. This can be read as satirising the hypocrisy of Britain’s nominally abolitionist stance when it has relied for so long on slave-grown cotton from the Confederate states. – SR