Page images



a better cause, and by using the power a step which, if wrongly taken, would of the press, a considerable portion of be direful indeed in its consequences which was hostile to the Union, they France, also, under the despotism of had been able to produce a decided im- Louis Napoleon, was not altogether pression upon the public mind, and to pleased at being called upon to witness excite hopes of the speedy intervention our rapid strides in national wealth of European powers in American affairs. and power. France, too, was more or

But governments move slowly, as less jealous of the United States, and becomes the gravity of their position, was quite willing to stand by, and see and in modern times at least, they re- the Union broken up, and its power and quire to be well assured that the peo- pride humbled; but there were friends ple will sustain them, before they take of America in France, friends who did any step of great importance. England, good service by their pens as well as in for various reasons, had no special re- other ways, in behalf of our country's gard or affection for the United States. honor and good name; and more than England was rather annoyed and dis- this, France was ruled by a man who, pleased that so powerful a rival should however unscrupulous as a rolitician, have taken the position in wealth and was far too sagacious to commit himself rank which our country holds after so hastily to an undertaking whose sucbrief a period of national life. England cess was by no means assured; he had was and is, from the nature of the case, had too large experience in the uncer. not in love with republican institutions, tainty of political scheming to give aid and was and is willing to see them to experiments which, so far as he could broken up and perish. Yet not all of see, were as likely to be failures as any. England, by any means. There were thing else. Consequently, France was ardent philanthropists and able states- not willing, or prepared, to go to the men, who were as capable as they were lengths which the secessionists wished willing to cast aside foolish prejudices or expected; and France, like England, and jealousies, and to do their share preferred to wait awhile, and see what towards enlightening others, towards the future might bring forth. battling for the right, and towards Doubtless, we think, the general disextending their sympathy and good position in Europe was, to consider sewill to the United States. And these cession and disintegration of the Union could not be ignored; they made their

* Mr. C. M. Clay, at the time en route for his em voices heard ; and with the help of bassy at St. Petersburg, wrote a spirited letter to the several influential journals, they proved London Times, May 17th, setting forth the views and

determination of Union men on the subject of rebellion that the present fratricidal attempt of and treason. Mr. Motley, also, our minister to Austria, the secessionists was as wicked as it published in the same journal, a week later, a calm,

clear, convincing statement as to “The Causes of the was unprecedented in the history of American Civil War.” Mr. John Stuart Mill

, the well mankind. The English government, known and able advocate of freedom, published, some therefore, whatever its inclinations may Contest in America.” He was also seconded by men of

months later, an article in Fraser's Magazine on have been, hesitated to venture upon the stamp of Richard Cobden, John Bright, etc.

[ocr errors]


[graphic][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]

Сп. у.)




as necessary results of progress in our ment of a determination to be entirely

The people had heard so fre- neutral between the secessionists and quently of this view of the subject from the United States government, the advocates of state sovereignty, as well queen said: “And we do hereby strict. as haters of American constitutional ly charge and command all our loving government and liberty, that, at first, subjects to observe a strict neutrality and for a long time, they were ready to in and during the aforesaid hostilities, acquiesce in disunion, and rather to re- and to abstain from violating or contrajoice in view of its beneficial results to vening either the laws and statutes of themselves. To counteract this unfriend the realm in this behalf, or the law of ly feeling and hostile judgment of affairs, nations in relation thereto, as they will if it should exhibit itself in diplomacy, answer to the contrary at their peril.” and prevent, if possible, its adoption The provisions of the Foreign Enlistand incorporation in the public policy ment Act, 59 George III., having been of leading European nations, was the recited, the proclamation was concluded arduous work before the secretary of in the following terms: “ And we do state at Washington. Mr. Seward de hereby declare, that all our subjects voted himself to the task with indefati. and persons entitled to our protection, gable zeal and earnestness; and his who may misconduct themselves in the successful efforts in behalf of his coun- premises, will do it at their peril, and of try deserve and have received the high- their own wrong, and that they will, est praise.

in nowise, obtain any protection from The British government, influenced us against any liabilities or penal by mixed motives probably, acted in a consequences, but will, on the contrary, manner that could hardly be called incur our displeasure by such misconfriendly. With unusual haste, within duct." less than a month after the news had

This action of the British governarrived of Fort Sumter's bombardment, ment, while it accorded entirely with and before the arrival of our minister, the plans and purposes of Louis Napo

Mr. C. F. Adams, Her Majesty's leon, was felt in the United States to

advisers, Lord John Russell at be very unhandsome, to say the least, the head, had determined that “the and to indicate a hostile spirit, which Southern Confederacy of America, ac. it was not easy to forget or forgive. cording to those principles which seem The necessity of any such action could to them to be just principles, must be hardly be pretended, seeing that the treated as a belligerent.” The queen's “ confederacy” had thus far done noth- . proclamation, agreed upon in Privy ing but make loud and arrogant asCouncil, was issued on the 13th of May, sumptions, and had not a single port of the day of Mr. Adams's arrival at Liver- entry at its command, free from blockpool, and before he had any opportuni. ade; the real effect was, and was meant ty of speech or action on the subject. to be, to open the door for the rebels After the usual preamble and state to get privateers, and prey upon Ameri. |



VOL. IV.--9.



commerce. As it turned out, question “ between the United States England furnished largely the means and their adversaries in North Ameri. by which the rebellion was able to ca;" but that, regarding the lengthen its existence, and to do im. contest as constituting a civil mense injury to our commerce.

war, the policy of neutrality would be On the 1st of June, a royal order strictly adhered to. “Her Majesty was issued, interdicting the armed ves- cannot undertake to determine, by an. sels and privateers of both parties from ticipation, what may be the issue of the carrying prizes made by them to ports, contest, nor can she acknowledge the harbors, roadsteads or waters of the independence of the nine states which United Kingdom or any of Her Ma- are now combined against the Presi jesty's colonies or possessions abroad. dent and Congress of the United States, At the same time it was announced, until the fortune of arms, or the more that the government wished and meant peaceful mode of negotiation shall have to observe the strictest neutrality in more clearly determined the respective the contest; the further question of positions of the two belligerents.” Thus direct recognition was postponed, far, the rebels had accomplished but a neither England nor France caring small part of their purpose, and they just then to engage in a war with the were deeply chagrined at their want United States, which would certainly of success. have resulted from recognition of the France having, by agreement, adopt. “ Confederacy."

ed the same line of policy with England, The rebel agents, Messrs. Yancey, a decree was published in the Moniteur, Rost, and Mann, at the beginning of June 11th, proclaiming that “ His MaMay, urged Lord John Russell to re- jesty, the Emperor of the French, taking cognize their so-called government at into consideration the state of peace once, and presented various reasons of which now exists between France and policy and interest to England therefor, the United States of America, has reespecially that of free trade, without solved to maintain a strict neutrality in the offensive tariffs of the North. But the struggle between the government the British prime minister could not of the Union and the states which be persuaded to go further than the propose to form a separate confederaproclamation of entire neutrality. To tion.” In addition, it was stated, that their remarkable perversions of the the same restrictions were in force truth on the subject of the war, charg- which had been imposed by the Briing Mr. Lincoln with fighting in order tish government as to fitting out privato keep the slaves in slavery, and with teers, violations of neutrality, etc.* a purpose by and by of exciting a slave Intercourse with the French govern. insurrection, Lord John Russell rather

* Spain and Portugal also issued royal decrees, proquietly answered, August 24th, that hibiting all their subjects from taking service on the British government did not pre with their prizes into any of their ports, the acceptance

either side, the entrance of privateers or armed ships tend to enter into the merits of the by their subjects of letters of marque, the fitting out

« PreviousContinue »