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parties; or by carrying officers, soldiers, dispatches, arms, military stores or materials, or any article or articles considered and deemed to be contraband of war according to the law of modern usage of nations, for the use or service of either of the said contending parties, all persons so offending will incur and be liable to the several penalties and penal consequences by the said statute, or by the law of nations, in that behalf imposed or denounced.

"And we do hereby declare, that all our subjects and persons entitled to our protection who may misconduct themselves in the premises will do so at their peril and of their own wrong, and that they will in nowise obtain any protection from us against any liability or penal consequences, but will, on the contrary, incur our high displeasure by such misconduct.

"Given at our Court at the White Lodge, Richmond Park, this 13th day of May, in the year of our Lord 1861, and in the 24th year of our reign.




His Majesty the Emperor of the French, taking into consideration the state of peace which now exists between France and the United States of America, has resolved to maintain a strict neutrality in the struggle between the Government of the Union and the States which propose to form a separate confederation. In consequence, his majesty, considering article 14 of the naval law of August, 1681, the third article of the law of the 10th of April, 1825, articles 84 and 85 of the Penal Code, 65 and following of the decree of the 24th of March, 1852, 313 and following of the Code Penal Maritime, and article 21 of the Code Napoleon, declares:

1. No vessel of war or privateer of either of the belligerent parties will be allowed to enter or stay with prizes in our ports or roadsteads longer than twenty four hours, excepting in case of compulsory delay (relache forcee).

2. No sale of goods belonging to prizes is allowed in our ports and roadsteads.

3. Every Frenchman is prohibited from taking a commission under either of the two parties to arm vessels of war, or to accept letters of marque for privateering purposes, or to assist in any manner whatsoever the equipment or armament of a vessel of war or privateer of either party.

4. Every Frenchman, whether residing in France or abroad, is likewise prohibited from enlisting or taking service either in the land army or on board vessels of war or privateers of either of the two belligerent parties.

we have resolved to observe. All persons acting contrary to the prohibitions and recommendations contained in the present declaration will be prosecuted if required, conformably to the enactments of the law of the 10th April, 1825, and of articles 84 and 85 of the Penal Code, without prejudice to the application that might be made against such offenders of the enactments of the 21st article of the Code Napoleon, and of articles 65 and following of the decree of the 24th of March, 1852, on the merchant service, 313 and following of the Penal Code for the navy. His Majesty declares, moreover, that every Frenchman contravening the present enactments will have no claim to any protection from his Government against his acts or measures, whatever they may be, which the belligerents might exercise or deNAPOLEON.


THOUVENEL, Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The decree was afterwards explained and enforced by a note addressed by M. Rouher, Minister of Commerce, to the various Chambers of Commerce in France. From that note we quote the following: In guarding respect for the immunities which modern law has now, fortunately, consecrated in favor of neutrals, we cannot pretend to protect them from all the consequences which ordinarily follow to other nations from the armed strife of two peoples. From the moment that we find ourselves in the presence of two belligerents to whom we know not how to deny that character, we find ourselves obliged to recognise in them all the rights which, according to international rules, war confers on those who make it. Consequently we cannot contest with either of them the right to injure the other by all the legitimate and direct means which it pos sesses, such as that which consists in seizing upon its possession, besieging its towns, blockading its ports. The natural consequence of the exercise of the law of blockade is to interdict to other Powers access to the blockaded places. It is incontestable that those Powers have to suffer from the interruption thus put upon their usual commercial relations; but they would have no right to make any reclamation for it, because they are only indirectly affected, and because no obstruction is placed upon that freedom of navigation to which they are entitled, except where such freedom would render absolutely inefficacious the military operations between belligerents rendered legitimate by the law of nations.

The admission by all the Powers of this principle, that the blockade, to be obligatory, must be effective, has remedied the abuse which formerly sprung from the right of excluding neutrals from points that were declared blockaded.

5. Frenchmen residing in France or abroad must likewise abstain from any act which, committed in violation of the laws of the empire or of international law, might be considered as an act hostile to one of The effectiveness of the blockade is, to-day, for all the the two parties and contrary to the neutrality which | world, the essential condition of its validity. But so soon

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as there are,
at the places to which a belligerent wishes to | ed; and it is for the purpose of rendering these fic-
interdict access, forces sufficient to prevent their being ap- titious blockades entirely impossible that the agree-
proached without exposure to a certain danger, the neutral ment has been entered into at present not to con-
is compelled, no matter how prejudicial to him it may be, sider a neutral as entitled to notice of existence of
to respect the blockade. If he violates it he exposes him- a blockade except at the blockaded places them-
self to being treated as an enemy by the belligerent with selves. This practice, which leaves a belligerent
respect to whom he has deviated from the duties of neutrality. the faculty of acting with all the promptitude often
These principles, which have become the rule of required by operations of war, which permits a
all nations, appear to be completely ignored by the military chief to blockade, according to necessity,
claimants. They appear to think that their custom- places distant from his country before he has in-
ary relations of commerce should not be affected by
structed his Government of the fact, has this ad-
a state of hostility to which they are not parties, and vantage for the neutral, that it does not impose upon
to admit at farthest that there may be a right to
him obligations inevitably onerous, except, at least,
hold them accountable for their ulterior operations.
under circumstances where he must inevitably sub-
Unfortunately such is not the case. It is true that a
mit to them.
belligerent may not employ, to annoy his enemy,
any means that strike directly at peoples who have
remained strangers to the strife; but it is no less
true that these latter have always to endure the in-
direct consequences of the perturbation resulting
from the war from the moment that it breaks out.
Another error of the claimants is to believe that
the blockade does not exist until it is notified di-
plomatically, and that it does not apply to neutral
vessels that have quitted their country previously to
the notification. A blockade is obligatory from the mo-
ment that it is effectively established; being the material
result of a material fact, it commences with the real in-
vestment of the place, continues so long as that investment
remains, and ceases with it.

It matters little that neutrals are ignorant of the facts. If one of their vessels presents itself at the place, the belligerent has the right to forbid its


The general usage is, doubtless, for a Government to inform other Governments of the measures of blockade to which it has recourse; but this notification, which is not by an absolute rule, is of no value by itself; it is only the announcing of an existing fact, which would already produce its effects. It may sometimes serve, it is true, to diminish the losses which neutrals may have to sustain in consequence of the state of war, by preventing them. undertaking useless commercial expeditions for places really blockaded; but it is evident, on the other hand, that neutrals suspended or modified according to this notification, their commercial operations, they would be exposed to the danger of doing so inappropriately, in case the blockade did not actually exist, or in case it had already closed at the time their expeditions might have arrived.

It is by erroneously attributing to the diplomatic notices of blockade a value and a signification which they have not in themselves, that it might be pretended to exclude neutrals from an entire territory, the access to which could not in reality be interdict


Considering the relations which exist between Spain and the United States of America and the expediency of not changing the reciprocal feelings of friendly understanding on account of the grave events which have happened in that republic, I have resolved to maintain the strictest neutrality in the struggle engaged in between all the Federal States of the Union and the Confederate States of the South; and in order to avoid the losses which my subjects might suffer both in shipping and commerce, for want of definite rules to which their conduct might conform, in accordance with my Council of Ministers I decree as follows:

Article 1. It is forbidden in all the ports of the Spanish realm, to arm, supply and equip any privateer vessel, whatever may be the flag she carries.

Art. 2. It is in like manner forbidden to owners, masters or captains of merchant vessels to accept letters of marque or contribute in any way to the arming and equipping of vessels of war or privateers.

Art. 3. The entering and remaining for more than twenty-four hours in the ports of the realm is forbidden to vessels of war or privateers with prizes, unless in case of necessity through stress of weather.

When this latter happens the authorities shall watch the vessel and oblige her to go to sea as soon as possible, without permitting her to take any more supplies than for present necessity; but on no account either arms or munition of war.

Art 4. Effects taken from prizes shall not be sold in the ports of the realm.

Art. 5. Transportation, under the Spanish flag, of all articles of commerce is guaranteed, except when directed to blockaded ports.

The carrying of war material, papers or communications for the belligerents is forbidden. Trespassers shall be responsible for their acts, and shall have no right to the protection of my government.

Art. 6. All Spaniards are forbidden to enlist in the belligerent armies or to engage themselves to serve on board vessels of war or privateers.

Art. 7. My subjects shall refrain from every act which, by violating the laws of the kingdom, may be considered contrary to neutrality.

Art. 8. Transgressors of the foregoing regulations shall have no right to the protection of my Government, shall suffer the consequences of the measures which the belligerents may prescribe, and shall be punished as provided by the laws of Spain.

Given at the Palace, on the seventeenth of June, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one. Signed by the royal hand.

Minister of State.



ST. PETERSRURG, July 10th, 1861. Sir-From the beginning of the conflict which divides the United States of America, you have been desired to make known to the Federal Government the deep interest with which our august master was observing the developement of a crisis which puts in question the prosperity and even the existence

of the Union.


The Emperor profoundly regrets to see that the hope of a peaceful solution is not realized, and that American citizens already in arms are ready to let loose upon their country the most formidable of the scourges of political society-a civil war. more than eighty years that it has existed the American Union owes its independence, its towering rise and its progress to the concord of its members, consecrated under the auspices of its illustrious founder, by institutions which have been able to reconcile the Union with liberty. This Union has been faithful. It has exhibited to the world the spectacle of a prosperity without example in the annals of history. It would be deplorable that, after so conclusive an experience, the United States should be hurried into a breach of the solemn compact, which, up to this time, has made their power. In spite of the diversity of their constitutions and of their interests, and perhaps even because of their diversity, Providence seems to urge them to draw closer the traditional bond which is the basis of the very condition of their political existence. In any event, the sacrifices they might impose upon themselves to maintain it, are beyond comparison with those which dissolution would bring. United, they perfect themselves, isolated, they are paralyzed.

The struggle which unhappily has just arisen can neither be indefinitely prolonged nor lead to the total destruction of one of the parties. Sooner or

later it will be necessary to come to some settlement, whatsoever it may be, which may cause the divergent interests now actually in conflict to coexist. The American nation would then give a proof of high political wisdom in seeking in common such a settlement before a useless effusion of blood, a barren squandering of strength and of public riches, and acts of violence and reciprocal reprisals shell have come to deepen an abyss between the two parties of the Confederation, to end definitely in their mutual exhaustion, and in the ruin, perhaps ir reparable, of their commercial and political power.

Our august master cannot resign himself to admit such a deplorable anticipation. His Imperial Majesty still places his confidence in that practical good sense of the citizens of the Union who appreciate so judiciously their true interests. His Majesty is happy to believe that the members of the Federal Government, and the influential men of the two parties, will sieze all occasions and will unite all their efforts to calm the effervescence of the passions. There are no interests so divergent which may not be reconciled by laboring to that end with zeal and perseverance, in a spirit of justice and moderation.

If, within the limits of your friendly relations, your language and your counsels may contribute to this result, you will respond, sir, to the intentions of His Majesty the Emperor, in devoting to this the personal influence which you may have been able to acquire during your long residence at Washington, and the consideration which belongs to your character as the representative of a sovereign animated by the most friendly sentiments towards the American Union. This Union is not simply in our eyes an element essential to the universal political equilibrium; it constitutes, besides, a nation to which our august master and all Russia have pledged the most friendly interests for the two countries placed at the extremities of the two worlds; both in the ascending period of their developement appear called to a natural community of interests and of sympathies, of which they have already given mutual proofs to each other.

I do not wish here to approach any of the questions which divide the United States. We are not

called upon to express ourselves in this contest. The preceding considerations have no other object than to attest the lively solicitude of the Emperor in the presence of the dangers which menace the American Union, and the sincere wishes that his Majesty entertains for the maintenance of that great work, so laboriously raised, and which appeared so

rich in its future.

It is in this sense, sir, that I desire you to express yourself, as well to the members of the General Government as to the influential persons whom you




may meet, giving them the assurance that in every | the proposed treaty which it submitted to us in event the American nation may count upon the most 1854, taken the initiative in carrying out liberal cordial sympathy on the part of our august master principles, and insuring on a wider scale the rights during the important crisis which it is passing of which it treated. It is with great pleasure we through at present. GORTSCHAKOFF. have received at this time the proposals from North America, and if the negotiations conducted by you have not had the desired success, because there was a hesitation in deferring to our wishes for the abolition of letters of marque, yet, the generally felt necessity of seeing the rights of neutrals in time of war, mutually settled on a wide and unalterable basis, has been taken into serious consideration by the great maritime Powers of Europe.



BERLIN, June 13th, 1861.

The incontestable fact of the state of intestine war in which the Union is engaged at this moment, is for the royal government a subject of deep regret. The relations of profound friendship which bind Prussia to the Government of the United States have existed since the establishment of the Union. They have never been disturbed or troubled in any manner in the course of a century by the vicissitudes of events. By a series of treaties having especially in view the advantages of reciprocal commercial interests, those intimate relations between the two States have been happily consolidated. At no time has a collision of opposing interests taken place between both Powers. The scope which the internal prosperity of the Union has taken, the growing extent of the States held together by the bonds of harmony, and the power which North America has acquired abroad, far from being viewed with jealousy by Prussia, have ever been greeted with sincere sympathy.

Our regret is so much the more lively at seeing now the continuance of so happy a condition become a question, in consequence of the disturbance that internal harmony is experiencing, the existence of which has hitherto been the surest basis of the Union.

It is not the part of the royal government either to discuss the causes of that rupture or to pass judgment on litigious questions which regard exclusively the internal situation of the Union, All our efforts will tend to preserve, even under present circumstances, our position towards the United States. Yet the grave turn which the conflict has taken, and the measures which the Government of the Union itself has taken in relation to blockade and the treatment of neutral vessels, have a sensible and serious bearing on our interests, and the royal gov ernment believes it to be its duty to give to those interests the protection which is founded upon public law and upon treaties.

You are fully informed of the negotiations which have been carried on for many years between Prussia and the United States relative to the principles which should be applied in time of war touching the rights of neutral vessels. With the American Cabinet will ever rest the honor of having first, in

The declaration signed at Paris on the 6th of April, 1856, is a proof of it. All the European States, Spain alone excepted, have adhered to it. If the United States have, to our regret, in regard to the first proposition concerning the abolition of letters of marque, refused in their turn to adhere to the Paris declaration, we do not overlook the kindly and lib. eral intention which controlled the views of the Washington Cabinet. That intention was manifested in the counter proposition of President Pierce, according to which the principle of the inviolability of private property on the sea should be inscribed in the code of international law. Unfortunately, the President did not succeed in getting that propo sition adopted. You are perfectly aware of the justice we have done him.

In view of the doubts existing in regard to the treatment of which neutral shipping may be subjected in the course of the present war, I beg you to make this important question the object of a free and friendly explanation with the American Secre tary of State.

What we should most desire is that the American Government should seize this occasion to proclaim its accession to the Paris declaration. If that be not possible, we would be satisfied for the present that, while the war lasts, they would please to apply to neutral shipping generally, the second and third propositions of the Paris declaration. The application of the second proposition, providing that a neutral flag covers enemies' merchandise, unless contraband of war, is already guaranteed to Prussian shipping by article 12 of the treaty of September 10, 1785, reproduced in our treaty with the United States of May 1, 1828. However, we attach a particular importance to the application at this time, generally, of that principle to neutral shipping. We have the less doubt of it since, conformably to a dispatch, under date of June 27, 1859, addressed by Mr. Cass, Secretary of State, to the Minister of the United States at Paris, and which has been communicated to us; the President, without, however, adhering to the Paris declaration, expressly

demanded that the principle under which the neu- | OPINION OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL ON

tral flag covers neutral merchandise, unless contraband of war, should be applied everywhere and by every one to United States vessels.



WASHINGTON CITY, July 5th, 1861.

To the President:


SIR: You have required my opinion in writing upon the following questions:

"1. In the present time of a great and dangerous insur

Concerning the third proposition, in regard to the inviolability of private property on the high seas it is of urgent necessity for the great Powers that it be recognized by America. If doubts still exist as to that principle being carried out, the commercial enterprises of neutral States will be exposed to in-rection, has the President the discretionary power to cause evitable inconvenience, and we may have cause to fear collisions even of a very serious nature, and which we would desire might be prevented in time. I will experience a real satisfaction in receiving from you soon the news that the overtures and proposals with which I have just charged you have met with a promising reception. SCHLEINITZ.


The "memorandum" referred to on page 111, addressed by Mr. Clay to a Nashville editor-reciting the result of an interview held with the President, at the instigation of said editor-was as follows: "WASHINGTON, April 20th, 1861.

"The undersigned, on all the responsibilities of a Kentuckjan, a patriot, and a man, desiring the perpetuation of the Union and the liberties of the people-opposed always to aggressive war, believing that civilization cannot be advanced by arms, but that only pre-existing ideas can be so fixed-in favor of peaceful emancipation by the will of the sovereignties, and against servile war and insurrections-asserts upon his own responsibility the policy of the Administration to be peace, if consistent with honor.

"1. He reasserts the avowals of President Lincoln in his

inaugural address and late proclamation, to make war upon no State, much less upon Virginia or the Border States, whose Union men he would conciliate and save as friends. For this reason he retires from Harper's Ferry as he did from Sumter,

For the

acting clearly on the defensive, that he might stand before
mankind guiltless of this great fraternal suicide.
same reason he refuses to avenge the blood of American citi-
zens shed in Baltimore in the peaceful passage to the seat of
the common Government.

"2. But the President will not, when pressed to the wall,

fail to assert to his full ability the power and safety of the

National Government, unless the people, whose servant he is,

shall otherwise decree.

"3. Any attack on the National forces or property in the District of Columbia, will be regarded as a declaration of war and a fatal blow at all hope of peace.

"4. He will not deceive Maryland or Virginia, or any State, by false professions; he will continue to strengthen his position in this place of National exclusive jurisdiction at all hazards, and by all the defensive means in his power, and this ne feels abundantly able to do.

"5. Virginia and Maryland may keep the peace and give

to be arrested and hold in custody persons known to have criminal intercourse with the insurgents, or persons against whom there is probable cause for suspicion of such criminal complicity?

"2. In such cases of arrest is the President justified in refusing to obey a writ of habeus corpus issued by a court or a judge, requiring him or his agent to produce the body of the prisoner, and show the cause of his caption and detention, to be adjudged and disposed of by such court or judge?"

To make my answer to these questions at once consistent and plain, I find it convenient to advert to the great principle of government, as recognized and acted upon in most, if not all, the countries in Europe, and to mark the difference between that principle, and the great principle which lies at the bottom of our National Government.

Most European writers upon government assume, expressly or by implication, that every national gov ernment is, and must be, the full expression and representation of the nation which it governs, armed with all its powers and able to assert all its rights. In England, the form of whose government more nearly approximates our own, and where the rights, interests and powers of the people are more respected and cared for than in most of the nations of the European Continent, it has grown into an axiom that "the Parliament is omnipotent," that is, that it can do anything that is possible to be done by legis lation or by judgment. For all the ends of government the Parliament is the nation. Moreover, in Europe generally, the sovereignty is vested visibly in some designated man or set of men, so that the subject people can see their sovereign as well as feel the workings of his power. But in this country it has been carefully provided otherwise. In the

formation of our National Government our fathers were surrounded with peculiar difficulties, arising out of their novel, I may say unexampled, condition. In resolving to break the ties which had bound them to the British Empire, their complaints were levelled chiefly at the King, not the Parlia ment nor the people. They seem to have been actuated by a special dread of the unity of power, and

time for the passions of men to cool by avoiding the inva- hence, in framing the Constitution, they preferred to

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take the risk of leaving some good undone, for lack of power in the agent, rather than arm any govern. ment officer with such great powers for evil as are

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