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within another State, to define its own patch did not admit of a complete reply. relations and those of its citizens, had I requested that he would have the been conveyed in precise conformity to goodness to give me a copy of the that view, as the Secretary of State de. despatch, as I could not undertake from sired to present it to me, and as it doubt. memory accurately to report to my col. less would have been conveyed by me leagues the contents of the long and im. had my communication been made in portant document he had just rapidly writing
read to me. I would, therefore, request your Lord- Mr. Motley agreed to do so if I would ship to consider the despatch of the ask him for it officially, and I accordingly United States' Secretary of State, which addressed to him, the same afternoon, I read to you on the 15th inst., and a the letter of which I enclose a copy, and copy of which I have had the honour of received from him on the afternoon of sending to your Lordship, as containing the 18th a copy of Mr. Fish's despatch, the exact and authoritative statement of which I now also enclose you a copy. of the President's views on this subject This despatch, as you will see, recapi. as laid down in all the instructions given tulates at great length the causes of disunder his directions by the Secretary of satisfaction which the Government of State.
the United States considers itself enI pray your Lordship to accept the titled to feel with the conduct of the assurance of the highest consideration British Government during the late civil with which
war; but it does not make any proposiI have, &c.,
tion as to the manner in which that dis. (Signed) John LOTHROP MOTLEY. satisfaction may be removed, or offer any
solution of the difficulty. (No. 5.)
On the contrary, Mr. Fish distinctly THE EARL OF CLARENDON TO MR. MOTLEY.
says that the President is not yet pre
pared to pronounce on the question of Foreign Office, November 5, 1869.
the indemnities which he thinks due by Sir, I have the honour to acknow. Great Britain to individual citizens of ledge the receipt of your letter of the the United States for the destruction of 23rd ult., requesting that the despatch their property by rebel cruisers fitted from the United States' Secretary of out in the ports of Great Britain ; neither State, which you read to me on the 15th is he prepared to speak of the reparation ult., and of which you have been good which he thinks is due by the British enough to furnish me with a copy, should Government for the larger account of be considered as containing the exact the vast national injuries it has inflicted and authoritative statement of the Pre- on the United States ; neither does he sident's views, as laid down in the in. attempt now to measure the relative structions given under his direction on causes of injury, as, whether by untimely the subjects to which it relates, and I recognition of belligerency, by suffering have to state to you that your communi. of the fitting out of rebel cruisers, or by cation shall receive due attention.
the supply of ships, arms, and munitions I have at the same time to express to of war to the Confederates or otherwise ; you my regret at the delay which has neither does it fall within the scope of occurred in acknowledging the receipt of his despatch to discuss the important your letter.
changes in the rules of public law, the CLARENDON. desirableness of which has been demon
strated by the incidents of the last few (No. 6.)
years now under consideration, and which THE EARL OF CLARENDON TO MR.
in view of the maritime prominence of THORNTON.
Great Britain and the United States, it
would befit them to mature and propose Foreign Office, November 6, 1869.
to the other States of Christendom. Sir,--Mr. Motley called upon me at All these subjects the President, Mr. the Foreign Office on Friday, the 15th Fish says, will be prepared to consider of October, and read to me a despatch hereafter, with a sincere and earnest from Mr. Fish on the "Alabama" claims. desire that all differences between the
When he bad concluded I said that two nations may be adjusted amicably although I had not interposed any ob. and compatibly with the honour of each, servations, and should not then, in com. and to the promotion of future concord pliance with the wish he had expressed, between them; to which end he will enter into any discussion on the subject, spare no efforts within the range of his yet I hoped that my silence would not supreme duty to the right and interest be considered to indicate that the des. of the United States.
The object of his despatch, Mr. Fish Her Majesty's Government had indeed goes on to say, is to state calmly and hoped that by the Convention which, dispassionately what the Government of under the instructions of his Govern. the United States seriously consider to ment, and with their full and deliberate be the injuries it has suffered ; it is not concurrence, Mr. Reverdy Johnson signed written in the nature of a claim, for the with me on the 14th of January of the United States now make no demand
present year all correspondence between against Her Majesty's Government on the two Governments had been brought account of the injuries they feel they to an end, and that all matters in dis. have sustained. Although the United pute would be referred for settlement to States are anxious for a settlement on a a dispassionate tribunal. With view liberal and comprehensive basis of all to that result, Her Majesty's Government the questions which now interfere with had in some degree departed from their the entirely cordial relations which they deliberate convictions and declared re. desire should exist between the two Go. solves; they agreed to the mode of setvernments, yet they do not now propose tlement proposed by the United States' or desire to fix any time for this settle- Government, which was more than once ment. They prefer to leave that and in the course of that negotiation modi. the more important question of the fied to meet the wishes of that Govern. means and method of removing the ment; but they did so willingly, because causes of complaint, of restoring the they thought the restoration of a good much-desired relations of perfect cor- understanding between Great Britain diality, and the prevention of the proba- and the United States might well be purbility of like questions in future, to the chased by concessions kept within bounds, consideration of Her Majesty's Govern. and not inconsistent with the honour of ment; but they will be ready, whenever
this country. Her Majesty's Government shall think Her Majesty's Government learnt with the proper time has come for a renewed deep concern that the Senate of the negotiation, to entertain any propositions United States, in the exercise of the which that Government shall think powers unquestionably conferred upon it proper to present, and to apply to such by the Constitution, repudiated the acts propositions their earnest and sincere of the Government under whose authority wishes and endeavours for a solution that Convention was concluded, and by honourable and satisfactory to both rejecting it had left open the whole con. countries.
troversy between the two countries, and I have recited at length the conclud. had indefinitely prolonged the uncer. ing passages of Mr. Fish's despatch be- tainty attendant on such a state of cause they express many sentiments things. which Her Majesty's Government most Her Majesty's Government regret no cordially and sincerely reciprocate. The less sincerely that the President of the Government of Her Majesty equally with United States concurs with the Senate the Government of the United States in disapproving that treaty; but their earnestly desire that all differences be- regret would in some degree be dimi. tween the two nations may be adjusted nished if Mr. Fish had been authorized amicably and compatibly with the honour to indicate some other means of adjust. of each, and that all causes of future ing the questions between the two coun. difference between em may be pre- tries, which, as long as they remain vented; and they would heartily co-ope. open, cannot be favourable to a cordial rate with the Government of the United good understanding between them. This, States in laying down, as between them. however, Mr. Fish has not been em. selves, and in recommending for adoption powered to do; but he expresses the by other maritime nations such principles readiness of the President to consider of maritime law as might obviate the any proposal emanating from this coun. recurrence of similar causes of difference try. It is obvious, however—and Mr. between them.
Fish will probably on reflection admitAnd it is because they earnestly desire that Her Majesty's Government cannot to hasten the period at which these im. make any new proposition or run the portant objects may be accomplished risk of another unsuccessful negotiation that Her Majesty's Government have de. until they have information more clear termined not to follow Mr. Fish through than that which is contained in Mr. the long recapitulation of the various Fish's despatch respecting the basis upon points that have been discussed in the which the Government of the United voluminous correspondence that has States would be disposed to negotiate. taken place between the two Govern. But Her Majesty's Government fully ments for several years.
agree with Mr. Fish in considering that
it would be desirable to turn the difficul. OBSERVATIONS ON MR. Fish's DESPATCH ties which have arisen between the two TO MR. MOTLEY OF TAE 25TH Governments to good account, by making SEPTEMBER, 1869, RESPECTING the solution of them subservient to the “ ALABAMA,” &c., CLAIMS. adoption, as between themselves in the first instance, of such changes in the
1. THE QUEEN'S PROCLAMATION
NEUTRALITY. rules of public law as may prevent the recurrence between nations that may Mr. Fish recapitulates the arguments concur in them of similar difficulties previously used by Mr. Seward, as to the hereafter.
"precipitate recognition " of belligerent You may assure Mr. Fish that Her rights, which, he says, “ appears in its Majesty's Government will be ready to having been determined on the 6th of co-operate with the Government of the May, four days prior to the arrival in United States for so salutary a result, London of any official knowledge of the which would redound to the mutual President's proclamation of the 19th of honour of both countries, and, if accepted April, 1861," and " signed on the by other maritime nations, have an im. 13th of May, the very day of the arrival portant influence towards maintaining of Mr. Adams, the new American Minis. the peace of the world.
ter ; as if in the particular aim of foreYou will read this despatch to Mr. stalling and preventing explanations on Fish, and give him a copy of it if he the part of the United States." should desire to have one.
The facts are,
The President's proclamation of block-
gence of its issue was received by tele(No. 7.)
graph (see the Times) on the 2nd of THE EARL OF CLARENDON TO MR.
It was published in the Daily News
and other papers on the 3rd of May. Foreign Office, November 6, 1869. Mr. Seward in his despatch to Mr. Adams Sir,--With reference to that passage
of the 12th of January, 1867, says it of Mr. Fish's despatch of the 25th of “ reached London on the 3rd of May." September in which he says that the A copy was received officially from Her object of his despatch, which Mr. Motley Majesty's Consul at New York on the is at liberty to read to me, is to state 5th; another copy from Lord Lyons on calmly and dispassionately, with a more the 10th. It was communicated offiunreserved freedom than might be used cially by Mr. Dallas to Lord Russell on in one addressed directly to the Queen's the ilth, with a copy of a circular from Government, what the Government of Mr. Seward to the United States Ministhe United States considers the injuries ters abroad, dated the 20th of April, it has suffered, I have to say that, look- calling attention to it, and stating the ing upon this despatch as not being of probability that attempts would be made a strictly official character, and as being to “fit out privateers in the ports of communicated to me personally rather England for the purpose of aggression than as the representative of the Queen's on the commerce of the United States." Government, I have not thought it neces- The reason of the delay in receiving sary, in my official reply to the commu- the copy from Washington was in itself nication made by Mr. Motley, to express a proof of the existence of civil war, arismy dissent from those statements. ing, as it did, from the communication
I desire, however, to place before Mr. between Washington and Baltimore being Fish, in the same manner as Mr. Motley cut offin consequence of the Confederate was instructed to place before me, some troops threatening the capital. observations that have occurred to me to “The prematureness of the measure is make on the statements in his despatch; further shown by the very tenour of the and I accordingly transmit to you a paper proclamation ” — “Whereas hostilities to that effect, which you will read to Mr. have unhappily commenced between the Fish, giving him a copy if he should Government of the United States of Amedesire to have one ; and you will explain rica and certain States styling themselves to him the reasons, as stated in his des- the Confederate States of America." Ex. patch, which have induced me to adopt ception is also taken to the use of the this course.
word "contest” as distinct from “war." I am, &c.,
It will be seen on referring to the (Signed) CLARENDON. Report of the Royal Commission for in
quiring into the Neutrality Laws (Appendix) that the form of words used is
taken from previous proclamations- coast; with the exception of Forts Pickens “Whereas hostilities at this time exist” and Munroe, all the Federal posts and (June 6, 1823); “Engaged in a con- forts had been evacuated, including test" (September 30, 1825, Turkey and Harper's Ferry, the arsenal of the Poto. Greece); " Whereas hostilities have un- mac valley. Fort Sumter, the only one happily commenced” (May 13, 1859, which had offered resistance, had fallen Austria, France, and Italy). The same a month previously, April 13. The Con. form was used in the case of Spain and federate troops were in occupation of Chili (February 6, 1866), and Spain and the Shenandoah lines, and threatening Peru (March 13, 1866); “Hostilities have Washington. The Confederate President unhappily commenced" (Austria, Prussia, had declared war, and called for a levy Italy, Germany, June 27, 1866).
of 32,000 troops, to which all the seceded The order prohibiting prizes from being States had responded promptly. On the brought into British ports, for which the other hand, the Federal President had United States' Government thanked the called for 75,000 volunteers on the 15th British Government, as being likely to of April, and for 42,000 more on the 3rd give a death-blow to privateering, speaks of May, and as fast as the regiments of “observing the strictest neutrality in could be armed they were hurrying to the contest which appears to be immi- the defence of Washington. The connent” (June 1, 1861).
tending armies were, indeed, face to It is remarkable that, in the case of face. Turkey and Greece, British subjects were So much for the hostilities on land. warned to respect “the exercise of belli- The operations at sea, in which British gerent rights." This is omitted in the interests were more directly affected, had United States' case, the belligerents been carried on with equal vigour. On being spoken of as the “ contending the 17th of April the Confederate Pre. parties."
sident issued his Proclamation offering The expression “States styling them. to grant letters of marque, which was selves the Confederate States of Ame- followed, two days afterwards, by the
was purposely adopted to avoid Federal Proclamation of blockade. At the recognition of their existence as inde- the date of the Queen's Proclamation of pendent States, and gave them great neutrality both these had been carried, offence.
or were being carried, into effect. The The French proclamation of the 10th Federal Government had instituted the June has " la lutte engagée entre le blockade of Virginia and North Carolina, Gouvernement de l'Union et les Etats which was declared to be effective on the qui prétendent former une Confédération 30th of April, and were rapidly despatchparticulière."
ing all the merchant vessels which they The Spanish proclamation, which the could procure, and which they were able United States Minister at Madrid (see to convert into ships-of-war, to the Diplomatic Correspondence laid before blockade of the other ports. The“ Gene. Congress, 1861, p. 224) informed the ral Parkhill," of Liverpool, was captured Spanish Government “ the President had by the United States' ship “Niagara' read with the greatest satisfaction,” while attempting to run the blockade of issued on the 17th of June, 1861, has Charlestown on the 12th of May; and “ Confederate States of the South,” and the British vessels “Hilja" and Mon. uses the term “ belligerents” three times mouth” warned off on the same day.
Confederate privateers were already at Mr. Fish's despatch states that the One was captured at the mouth of "assumed belligerency" was a "fiction," the Chesapeake river on the 8th of May the “anticipation of supposed bellige. by the United States' ship “ Harriet rency to come, but which might never Lane.” On the 15th the Federal barque have come if not thus anticipated and “Ocean Eagle," of Rockhead, Maine, was encouraged by the Queen's Govern. taken by the Confederate privateer“ Cal. ment.
houn" off New Orleans. At the same What are the facts ? A large group port Captain Semmes had already reof States, containing a population of
ceived his commission and was engaged several millions, and comprising a com
in the outfit of the “Sumter." pact geographical area enabling them to Could any explanations which Mr. act readily in concert, had established a Adams might have bad to offer alter de facto Government, with a President, such a state of things as this? Can any Congress, Constitution, Courts of Justice, other name be given to it than that of Army, and all the machinery of military civil war? and civil power. They possessed the It is stated that there was no fact of ports along upwards of 2000 miles of continued and flagrant "hostilities” to
justify the action of Great Britain in British vessels having been captured be. issuing a Proclamation of neutrality. fore there was time for the intelligence of
Mr. Seward, writing at the time, and the Proclamation of Neutrality to reach previously to the Queen's Proclamation America. As to the arrival of Con. (May 4), characterized the proceedings federate ships in British ports, such of the Confederates as “open, flagrant, ships were afloat and might at any time deadly war," and as “civil war” (“Con- be expected. As Mr. Dana, in the notes gress Papers, 1861," p. 165), and in a to the eighth edition of "Wheaton," ex. communication to M. de Tassara, the presses it (p. 35), “it is not fit that cases Spanish Minister, referred to the opera- should be left to be decided as they may tions of the Federal blockade as belli. arise by private citizens or naval or gerent operations which would be carried judicial officers, at home or abroad, by on with due respect to the rights of sea or land." neutrals.
The British Government were com. Judge Betts, in the case of the “ Hia. pelled to take action of some sort; was watha,” &c., said, “I consider that the that action really unfriendly? Was it outbreak in particular States, as also in intended to be unfriendly? the Confederated States, was an open and No one who recollects what actually flagrant civil war."
passed, or will consult “ Hansard,” can It was also judicially decided by the suppose that the Proclamation was in. Supreme Court of the United States in tended to be unfriendly. On the conthe case of the “ Amy Warwick” and trary, as was stated by Mr. Forster in other prizes, that "the Proclamation of his speech at Bradford, it was absolutely blockade is itself official and conclusive pressed upon the Government by the evidence that a state of war existed friends of the Northern States, who were which demanded and authorized such a afraid lest Confederate privateers should measure.” Moreover, the joint resolu- be fitted out in British ports. tion of Congress in July, 1861, approving Nor was its immediate result injurious and confirming the acts of the President to the Federal States. Far from being (“North America, No. 1, 1862," p. 57), so, it legitimatized the captures of the commences, Whereas, since the ad. blockading squadron, and, in the lanjournment of Congress on the 4th of guage of the Prize Court, “estopped " March last, a formidable insurrection in the British merchants, whose vessels were certain States of this Union has arrayed seized, from making reclamation. itself in armed hostility ;" and a resolu. While the intelligence of the issue of tion of the House of Representatives of the Queen's Proclamation was still fresh, the 22nd of July, 1861, speaks of the and almost immediately after hearing of "present deplorable civil war,” and of the French and Spanish Proclamations “this war."
of Neutrality, the President, in his Mes. The date at which the civil war actively sage of the 4th of July, 1861, stated that commenced has, therefore, been fixed by he was "happy to say that the sove. the published despatches of the Secre. reignty and rights of the United States tary of State, by proceedings in Con. are now practically respected by foreign gress, by the formal judgment of the Powers, and a general sympathy with United States' Prize Courts, as well as the country is manifested throughout the by the universal assent of all the neutral world.” Powers concerned ; but it is urged that, Does any one really believe that the nevertheless, there was no necessity for Queen's Proclamation in the very least Great Britain to take notice of it, as no influenced the movements of the Con. ship of the insurgents had appeared in federate armies ? All the preparations British ports, no collision occurred at for war had been made long before, sea, nor did the nearness of Great Britain munitions collected, troops levied, and to the seat of hostilities compel her generals appointed. The proclamation to act.
reached America at the end of May, by With regard to the latter point, it is which time the Confederates had taken difficult to see how one nation can be up their position on the Upper Potomac, much nearer to another than England to and the Federals had occupied Alexan. the United States, seeing that the British dria, in Virginia, with a force of 13,000 dominions touch the United States on two men (May 24). sides, while the British islands of New The armies on both sides were in Providence, &c., lie immediately in front. motion; skirmishes were daily occurring; As to a collision at sea, it was apparent engagements took place at Little Bethel that British commerce must be interfered on the 10th of June, at Carthage, Miswith the moment the blockade came into souri, on the 6th of July, and at Centreoperation, as indeed was the case, several ville on the 18th, followed by the great