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REBELS ACKNOWLEDGED AS BELLIGERENTS.
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 itselt 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 mert 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, cst 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 nionth 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 nothproclamation, 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
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 rejesty, 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 governinsurrection, 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
FRIENDLY SPIRIT OF RUSSIA.
ment was very friendly, and in the will and earnest desire for our prospermain satisfactory. Mr. Dayton, ourity and national honor. A passage or minister, was received with cordiality, two from Prince Gortchacow's disand M. Thouvenel, the foreign minis. patch to the Russian minister, July ter, expressed himself with especial 10th, 1861, may be quoted as illustratfrankness and good feeling. In allusion ing the Emperor's regard :—“For more to some opinions uttered by Mr. Day. than eighty years that it has existed, ton's predecessor, Mr. Seward wrote very the American Union owes its independdecidedly:—“The United States wait- ence, its towering rise, and its progress, ed patiently while their authority was to the concord of its members, consedefied in turbulent assemblies and in crated, under the auspices of its illusseditious preparations, willing to hope trious founder, by institutions which that mediation, offered on all sides, have been able to reconcile union with would conciliate and induce the dis- liberty. This union has been fruitful. affected parties to return to a better It has exhibited to the world the specmind. But the case is now altogether tacle of a prosperity without example changed. The insurgents have institu- in the annals of history. .. Give ted revolution with open, flagrant, them (the government and others) the deadly war, to compel the United assurance that, in every event the States to acquiesce in the dismember- American nation may count upon the ment of the Union.. Tell M. most cordial sympathy on the part of Thourenel, with the bighest considera- our august master during the impor tion and good feeling, that the thought tant crisis which it is passing through of a dissolution of this Union, peace- at present.” ably or by force, has nerer entered into We need not enlarge upon the efforts the mind of any candid statesman here, of our ministers abroad, as well to dis and it is high time that it be dismissed abuse the public mind of ignorant pre by statesmen in Europe.”
possessions and incorrect views, as t: It is interesting, and for a time was express clearly the position and deter surprising to our people, to note the mination of the government. outspoken, hearty sympathy of Russia were as successful as could be expectid in our affairs. We thought we had a under the circumstances, and their zeal right to expect offices of friendship and ability were highly approved at from England and France, but had home. One point, however, deserves hardly counted on any special regard notice in this connection. Certain from Russia. In both cases we were articles were agreed upon at Paris, in disappointed; the former adopted a 1856, by the principal powers of course as letrimental to our interests Europe. The understanding between as was possible, short of open war; the the contracting parties, Great Britain, latter gave us every assurance of good Austria, France, Russia, Prussia, Sar
dinia and Turkey, was :—1st, that of vessels with a hostile purpose in their harbors, and generally enjoining complete neutrality.
privateering is abolished ; 2d, that the
neutral flag covers enemy's goods, ex- for persons to do this kind of work; cept contraband of war; 3d, that neut- and in a few months a large amount ral goods, with the same exception, are of property was destroyed.* At not liable to capture under an enemy's the beginning of June, the flag ; 4th, that blockades, to be binding, Savannah, a schooner of 54 tons, was must be effective. The United States, fitted out as a privateer, having a single Mr. Pierce then being president, did 18-pound pivot gun and a crew of 22 not accede to the propositions, desiring men. She managed to slip out of the to have added a provision exempting harbor of Charleston, and started on a the private property of belligerents from cruise after merchant vessels trafficking seizure on the high seas. On Mr. Lin. between Northern ports and Cuba, . coln becoming president, and in view The next morning, she fell in with the of the importance of the matter at the brig Joseph, of Rockland, Maine, which present juncture, Mr. Seward opened was immediately taken possession of; the subject again, and offered to accept in the afternoon, she fell in with the the original articles without the desired United States brig Perry, Lieutenant E. addition just named. Eugland and G. Parrott commanding. All attempts France favored the settlement of the at escape proved useless, and about subject; but it was kept in abeyance eight P.m. she was captured Lieut. some two months, when, with great Parrott reported bis success to Flag.
coolness, these governments Officer Stringham in the Minnesota,
declared, that whatever they which was then blockading Charleston might now do must be prospective, and harbor. The Savannah was sent with not invalidate anything already done. a prize crew to New York, and her That is, having recognized the belliger- officers and crew were taken by the ent position of the rebels, they were not Minnesota to Hampton Roads, whence going to do anything which might pos- they were brought in the Harriet Lane sibly interfere with the business of to New York, and there placed in keepprivateering, which Jefferson Davis ing of the United States marshal in was already engaged in. Mr. Seward, close confinement in the city prison.f in calm but unmistakeable tone, put a A bill of indictment for robbery on the quietus upon the whole matter, and high seas was promptly found by the gave foreign powers to understand, that grand jury, and on the 23d of July, the he both knew and was prepared to prisoners, thirteen in number, were armaintain the rights and dignity of the raigned for trial, which was set down United States.
for the October term. Privateering, in the existing condi. As Jefferson Davis had threatened, tion of affairs, was of course a matter early in July, and had taken steps to of great moment to the rebels, as it
* The report of seizures of vessels, made by the afforded them the opportun’ty of doing the rebels, at the close of 1861, was :-off the different immense mischief to our commerce. ports, 13; in port, 30; steamers captured on the Mis
sissippi, 16 ; total, 58. Davis, as we have seen (p 21), called + Under date of July 6th 1861, Davis wrote a