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ENGLISH BUILT CRUISERS.
feeling of mingled indignation and contempt; of indignation at the positive wide-spread injuries inflicted upon our commerce by the piratical cruisers built and fitted out in English ports; and of contempt for a government professing friendliness and neutrality, and at the same time conniving at palpable violations of law in order to favor the cause of the rebellion. Two flagrant instances of unhandsome conduct, which occurred during 1862, may here be noted.*
into Mobile in September, and, at the close of the year, she made her 1862. way out in safety, as a rebel privateer, under command of J. N. Maffit, formerly of the United States navy, to enter upon a series of depredations upon Northern commerce.
In the month of June, 1862, the American minister directed Earl Rus. sell's attention to another powerfu war steamer, then in progress of con struction in the ship-yard of a member of the House of Commons, and evidently intended for the rebel service. This vessel, known at first as the "290," and afterwards as the " Alabama," became the subject of correspondence be tween Mr. Adams and Earl Russell. The complaint went through the usual formalities, and was referred to the "Lords Commissioners of her Majesty's Treasury," who reported, in due time, that while it was apparent that the vessel was intended for a ship of war, there was not sufficient evidence of her destination to warrant detention. Further evidence was produced, which the British government could not ignore; but before the necessary formalities could be gone through with, and in consequence of delays caused, as Russell afterwards explained the matter, by the singularly mal
Early in February, 1862, our vigilant minister at London called the attention of Earl Russell to the fact that a steam gun boat, called the Oreto, and afterwards the Florida, was being built in a Liverpool ship-yard, under the supervision of agents from the rebel states, and evidently intended for the rebel service. The answer returned was, that the vessel was intended for the use of parties in Palermo, Sicily, and that there was no good reason to suppose that she was meant for any service hostile to the United States. Mr. Adams furnished evidence to show that the claim of being designed for Sicilian service was a mere pretext; but he did not succeed in inducing Earl Russell to take any steps for the vessel's detention. Her clearance being adroitly made out for the island of Si-a-propos and "sudden development of cily, she was permitted to leave the harbor without interruption, at the end of March. She succeeded in getting
* For some account of the injuries inflicted by rebel cruisers upon American commerce, the vessels destroy
ed, the extent to which the carrying trade of New
York suffered, etc., see Appleton's "American Annual
a malady of the Queen's advocate, to-
tlemen, ostensibly for a trial trip, dis missing her visitors and well-wishers on getting out of the Mersey,
Mr. Adams thereupon telegraphed to Captain Craven, in command of the United States steamer Tuscarora, at Southampton, to intercept the "290" at sea, a risk of capture which the rebel vessel avoided by taking the channel to the north of Ireland, while her pursuer lay in wait in St. George's channel. She then proceeded, undisturbed, to one of the Azores, where, according to a previous arrangement, she awaited the arrival of a bark from the Thames laden with her stores and armament. Soon after having obtained, in this way, the stores and supplies, the British screw steamer Bahama made her appearance, bringing the notorious Captain Semmes and the late officers of the Sumter, and an additional crew and armament. Being thus equipped, Semmes mustered the crew on deck and read his commission, together with the order from Jeff. Davis to take command of the sloop of war, which was now named the "Alabama." Thus, in defiance of law and of international obligation and comity, this piratical cruiser was launched upon her career of mischief and destruction. Before the close of the year 1862, twenty-eight vessels, mostly owned at New York and in New England, fell into the Alabama's hands, the greater part of which were burned to the water's edge. Plundering and burning marked her course, and though occasionally a vessel was allowed to depart on giving heavy bonds for the ship and cargo, yet the usual practice was rob bery and destruction.
A course of proceeding such as this naturally excited the vehement indig nation of the merchant sufferers of New York and elsewhere, who were loud in their remonstrances at the neglect or indifference of the British authorities in permitting the fitting out of such an enemy to civilization. The home gov ernment sent one vessel of war after another in fruitless search of the adroitly managed cruiser, while her successive depredations, and the advantages which she obtained as a recognized “belliger ent," were brought before the British cabinet, and a distinct warning was given, that England would be held responsible for the damage which this vessel had inflicted, or might hereafter inflict, on American commerce.
We have already alluded (see p. 64) to the general sentiment in Great Britain with regard to the rebellion and its probabilities of success. This sent ment continued to have sway during the present year, and men of eminence, like Mr. Gladstone, chancellor of the exchequer, ventured to speak of our affairs as if the matter was settled be yond doubt, and the Great Republic broken into fragments. "There is no doubt," Mr. G. said, in a speech at Newcastle, Oct. 7th, "that Jeff. Davis and the other leaders of the South have made an army; they are making, it appears, a navy; and they have made what is more than either, they have made a NATION. . . . We may antici pate with certainty the success of the southern states, so far as regards their departure from the North. I, for my own part, cannot but believe that that event is as certain as any event yet future and
ENGLISH AND FRENCH OPINIONS.
contingent can be." The London Times and other organs of public opinion in England reiterated similar views and expectations, affirming that ninety-nine Englishmen out of a hundred agreed with Mr. Gladstone's statement.
the stamp of Richard Cobden, John Bright, and others, spoke plainly and forcibly of the folly of intervention at the risk of war, and of the blindness of those who expected to see our country broken up by the existing rebellion. "It would be idle," said Mr. Cobden, Oct. 29th, "for England or France or both together to talk of intervention. The idea of employing force must be
Mr. Adams, to whose vigilance was committed the care of our interests at the court of St. James, was deeply im. pressed with the general unfriendly feeling existing in England towards abandoned. The cause is utterly unour country, in her efforts and determi- manageable by force; and six months nation to crush the rebellion; and under of war would cost more than would date of September 12th, wrote to that maintain the entire manufacturing dis effect to the secretary of state. "The tricts ten years." Mr. Bright also, in breaking out of the insurrection has December, denouncing slavery and all brought to light the existence of na- its adjuncts in the severest terms, drew tional feelings in England towards the an eloquent picture of the future prosUnited States, the strength of which pects of our country:-"I cannot be had scarcely been suspected in Amer- lieve that civilization in its journey ica. As the struggle has gone on, the with the sun will sink into endless nature and extent of them have become night to gratify the ambition of the so clear and unmistakable as to defy all leaders in this revolt, who seek to wade disavowal. Having their root in the through slaughter to a throne, and shut same apprehensions of the force of a the gates of mercy on mankind.' I foreign state which exist in the case have another and far brighter vision of France, they take the same direction before my gaze. It may be but a vistowards efforts to curtail, if not to ion, but I will cherish it. I see one neutralize, its energies. The popular people and one law and one language sentiment of Great Britain, as now de- and one faith, and over all that wide veloped, should be a warning to the continent the home of freedom and a statesmen of America by which to refuge for the oppressed of every race." regulate their action, at least for two generations. It dictates the necessity of union at home far more imperatively than even the wretchedness which now fills the country with grief from end to end."
It would be unfair, however, not to take note that more than one friendly voice made itself heard in England, in behalf of the United States. Men of
The attempt of Louis Napoleon to interfere in our affairs, jointly with the English and Russian governments, deserves notice in this connection. This astute politician, who held the opinion that secession was an accomplished fact, and therefore deserved a recognition of its belligerent rights, was anxious to do something in aid of the commercial wants of France He supposed that
he could help to bring the war to a close, if the other great powers would join with him. Accordingly a diplomatic dispatch was addressed, under date of Oct. 30th, by M. Drouyn de l'Huys, French minister of foreign af fairs, to the ministers of state of England and Russia, and the concurrence of those nations was solicited in an offer of mediation between the loyal states and the so-called "Confederate States of America." The idea was, to get the government at Washington and the rebel government to agree upon an armistice for six months or longer, and by means of commissioners from both sides to discuss the differences existing, and make arrangements for an amicable settlement of the same, on terms equally honorable and profitable to both par. ties. The French emperor, however, if he really supposed that any such plan as he suggested would be tolerated for a moment by the United States, did not know the people in whose affairs he wished to interfere. Russia and Eng. land likewise declined joining him in any such attempt. Early in November, they gave in their answer to M. de l'Huys' note, and expressed the sentiment that the time had not arrived as yet, in which it would be judicious or safe to propose intervention.
So the matter was dropped; until, at the beginning of the new year, 1863, a dispatch was sent to the French minister at Washington, offering, on Louis Napoleon's part, to do anything in his power which might tend towards the termination of the war. This offer was promptly and decisively declined; and, in an able dispatch from Mr. Seward,
under date of February 6th, 1863, the ground taken and held by the United States government was set forth in language which could not be misunder stood: "This government has not the least thought of relinquishing the trust which has been confided to it by the nation under the most solemn of all political sanctions; and if it had any such thought, it would still have abundant reason to know, that peace proposed at the cost of dissolution would be immediately, unreservedly, and indignantly rejected by the American people." * The effect of this dispatch was very marked, and it put an end to all further talk or offer of foreign intervention in any shape, or from any quarter. No nation was willing to incur the risk of war with the Great Republic by undertaking to recognize the rebellion.
Such, in substance, was the condition of affairs at the close of 1862. There was much to hope for, and also not a little to apprehend. The people gener ally had made up their minds that the rebellion must and should be crushed, no matter what sacrifice might be de manded; and though discouragements of various kinds stood in the way, though a speedy return of peace was to be hoped and prayed for, rather than expected; yet there was no shrinking from the contest, there was no hesi
* A few weeks later, Mr. Sumner introduced into
the Senate a body of resolutions, deprecating, in the strongest terms, all foreign intervention in our affairs, and distinctly asserting the ability of the United States
to quell the rebellion and re-establish the power of the government over the entire land. The resolutions were adopted, March 3rd, 1863, by a vote of 31 to 5 in
the Senate, and of 103 to 28 in the House.-See Duyc
kinck's " War for the Union," Vol. iii., pp. 100-103.
vailing testimony, be deemed conciusive evidence that such state, and the people thereof, are not then in rebellion against the United States.
"That attention is hereby called to an act of Con gress, entitled 'An Act to make an additional Article of War,' approved March 13th, 1862, and which act is in the words and figures following:
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Con
I. THE EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION. "I, ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President of the United States of America, and Commander-in-chief of the Army and Navy thereof, do hereby proclaim and declare that hereafter, as heretofore, the war will be prosecuted for the object of practically restoring the constitutional relation between the United States and each of the states, and the people thereof, in which that relation is, or may be, suspended or disturbed.gress assembled: That hereafter the following shall "That it is my purpose, upon the next meeting of Congress, to again recommend the adoption of a practical measure tendering pecuniary aid to the free acceptance or rejection of all slave states, so called, the people whereof may not then be in rebellion against the United States, and which states may then have voluntarily adopted, or thereafter may voluntarily adopt, the immediate or gradual abolishment of slavery within their respective limits; and that the effort to colonize persons of African descent, with their consent, upon this continent or elsewhere, with the previously obtained consent of the governments existing there, will be continued.
"That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixtythree, all persons held as slaves within any state, or any designated part of a state, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward and forever, free, and the executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.
be promulgated as an additional article of war, for the government of the army of the United States, and shall be obeyed and observed as such :-Section 1. All officers or persons in the military or naval. service of the United States are prohibited from employing any of the forces under their respective commands for the purpose of returning fugitives from service or labor who may have escaped from any persons to whom such service or labor is claimed to be duc; and any officer who shall be found guilty by a court-martial of violating this article, shall be dismissed from the service. Section 2. And be it further enacted: That this act shall take effect from and after its passage.
66 Also, to the ninth and tenth sections of an act entitled 'An Act to Suppress Insurrection, to Punish Treason and Rebellion, to Seize and Confiscate Property of Rebels, and for other purposes;' approved July 16th, 1862, and which sections are in the words and figures following:
Section 9. And be it further enacted: That all slaves of persons who shall hereafter be engaged in rebellion against the government of the United States, or who shall in any way give aid or comfort thereto, escaping from such persons and taking refuge within the lines of the army; and all slaves captured from such persons, or deserted by them and coming under the control of the government of the United States; and all slaves of such persons found or being within any place occupied by rebel forces, and afterwards occupied by forces of the United States, shall be deemed captives of war, and shall be forever free of their servitude, and not again held as slaves. Section 10. And be it further
“That the Executive will, on the first day of Janvary aforesaid, by proclamation, designate the states and parts of states, if any, in which the people thereof respectively shall then be in rebellion against the United States; and the fact that any state, or the people thereof, shall on that day be in good faith represented in the Congress of the United States, by members chosen thereto, at elections wherein a majority of the qualified voters of such state shall have participate 1, shall, in the absence of strong counter-enacted: That no slave escaping into any state, ter