Page images
PDF
EPUB

advantage of the United States, but for the benefit and advantage of all nations, and wbich is in the following words, contained in the 35th article of said treaty:

"And in order to secure to themselves the tranquil and constant enjoy. ment of these advantages, and as an especial compensation for the said advantages, and for the favors they have acquired by the 4th, 5th, and 6th articles of this treaty, the United States guarantee positively and efficaciously to New Granada, by the present stipulation, the perfect neutrality of the before-mentioned isthmus, with the view that the free transit from the one to the other sea may not be interrupted or embarrassed in any future time while this treaty exists; and, in consequence, the United States also guarantee, in the same manner, the rights of sovereignty and property which New Granada has and possesses over the said territory.”

On the 26th of June last Mr. P. A. Herran, minister plenipotentiary of the Granadian confederation near the government of the United States, transmitted to this department a note, of which a translation is hereto annexed, marked H.

In this note Mr. Herran gave information that Mosqnera, a revolutionary chief, who is engaged in subverting the Granadian confederation, had sent an armed force to occupy the Isthmus of Panama, which proceeding was opposed by an unavailing protest of the governor of Panama, and Mr. Herran therefore invoked the interposition of this government in accordance with the treaty obligation above set forth.

Simultaneously with the reception of this note of Mr. Herran's, substantially the same information which it gave was received from our consul residing at Panama; and the President therefore instructed our naval commander of that port to take care to protect and guarantee, at all bazards and at whatever cost, the safety of the railroad transit across the Isthmus of Panama. Mr. Herran now insists that, owing to the character of the population on the isthmus and the revolutionary condition of that region, the security of the transit across the isthmus cannot be adequately insured by the presence and activity of a mere naval force, and that the Granadian confederation is entitled, therefore, to the special aid of a land force to be sent from the United States, and suggests that it should be made to consist of three hundred cavalry.

This government has no interest in the matter different from that of other maritime powers. It is willing to interpose its aid in execution of its treaty and for the benefit of all nations. But if it should do so, it would incur some hazard of becoming involved in the revolutionary strife which is going on in that country. It would also incur danger of misapprehension of its objects by other maritime powers if it should act without previous consultation with them. The revolutionary disturbances existing in that quarter are doubtlessly as well known and understood by the governments of Great Britain and France as they are by this government, and they are probably also well informed of the proceeding of Mosquera, which has moved Mr. Herran's application to the President. He desires an understanding with these two governments upon the subject, and you are therefore instructed to submit

the matter to Earl Russell, as Mr. Dayton will likewise be instructed to confer with Mr. Thouvenel.

The points to be remembered are, first, whether any proceeding in the matter shall be adopted by the United States, with the assent and acquiescence of the British and French governments ?

Secondly, what should be the force and extent of the aid to be rendered to the Granadian confederation ?

Thirdly, whether these governments will unite with the United States in guaranteeing the safety of the transit under the authority of the Granadian confederation, or either of these objects, and the form and manner in which the parties shall carry out such agreement ?

I hardly need say that this government is not less anxious to avoid any buch independent or hasty action in the matter as would seem to indicate a desire for exclusive or especial advantages in New Granada than the British government can be that we shall abstain from such a course, I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD. CHARLES FRANCIS Adams, Esq., fr., f., fc. The same, mutatis mutandis, to Mr. Dayton, No. 180.

Mr. Adams to Mr. Seward.

No. 185.]

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,

London, July 11, 1862. Sır: The late cessation of our progress has had the effect of encouraging the hopes of the people here who sympathize with the rebellion. I think there can now be little doubt that they constitute much the greater part of the active classes of this kingdom. The efforts made by insurgent emmisbaries to stimulate the popular discontents have not, however, been thus far attended with much effect. A most

elaborate attempt of the kind at Blackburn, countenanced by a member of Parliament of some influence in the place, was signally defeated. Yet it is not to be disguised that the great rise that has occurred in the price of cotton will be attended by a diminution of the manufacture and a consequent enlargement of unemployed operatives. So long as Parliament remains in session, I am inclined to the belief that no particular consequences are to be apprehended. But, after the adjournment, should things appear to go on adversely with us, I shall not be surprised if some occasion be improved to plunge us into difficulty. It is at any rate my duty to prepare your mind for every such possibility. In this connexion I am constantly forced to observe how eagerly every act in the United States is caught up that may by possibility cast odium on the government. In this connexion it is not to be denied that General Butler is furnishing a good deal of material. Without desiring to express an opinion on the merits of bis proceedings, I cannot help regretting that they appear at this distance to wear an aspect of want of courtesy toward the agents of foreign nations, which tends at this precise moment to increase the distrust with which our policy is regarded. I cannot help thinking that some form of general instructions to military officers holding responsible commands, in regard to the regulation of their official language, might tend to put a stop to many of the difficulties which have been experienced in the present contest. I Cannot doubt that the reputation of the country abroad would be materially aided by such a measured

I learned yesterday, from a credible source, that it is the intention of some of the ministers this evening to take new ground on the subject of Amer ica, should Mr. Lindsay decide to press his motion Should such prove to be the case, I shall forward a report of the debate tomorrow, by mail, via Queenstown. I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,

CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS. Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD,

Secretary of Stale, Washingtor., D. C.

Mr. Seward to Mr. Adams.

[Extracts.] No. 298.]

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, July 12, 1862. Sır: Your despatch of June 26 (No. 180) has been submitted to the President.

You inform us that the anxiety arising from the reduction of the supply of cotton in Great Britain increases, while it is also very clear that at the time when your letter was written the government and people of that country had attained a more temperate condition, and were indulging somewhat a more hopeful view of the result of the civil war in this country.

The events which have occurred at Richmond have produced so much perturbation here that it is hardly to be expected that they will not seriously disturb the public mind in Europe. I shall endeavor, by the President's direction, to give you the information which, used at your discretion, may enable you to deal with this new agitation.

Since my last despatch no new military event of any significance has occurred. We have carefully ascertained the character and the results of the recent battles before Richmond, and have considerǝd and adopted such measures as the new exigencies have seemed to us to require. What I have before written to you is in the main confirmed. The seven days' battles were accepted by our army upon a compulsory change of base. Our losses were large, but much less than the first reports represented. They amount to about 12,000 men. The losses of the insurgents were greater. Each battle was, in fact, a victory of our army, although the flank movement from the field towards the new base gave the whole series the character of a retreat. The result is that the new base is a safer one, and the new position an impregnable one. The federal army, with General McClellan, now thus safely lodged on the north bank of the James river, twenty-five miles below Richmond, numbers eighty thousand to ninety thousand, and a force which is not very much disproportioned to the insurrectionary army which occupies that city. The federal army, however, has the co-operation of a very large naval force. The federal army in front of this city, adding those which will probably be consolidated with it, is nearly equal in numbers. This last force is now under command of Major General Pope, who has achieved great successes in the western States, and is esteemed an officer of great ability. A general military command over all the land forces of the United States will be given to Major General Halleck, who will come from the western department to this capital.

Great battles are said to demoralize armies; they certainly perplex the press, and the press for a time bewilders the people. These effects have been seen in the indecision and nervousness of our citizens since the affair at Richmond. But time restores equanimity and fixes popular determinations, based upon convictions of duty and patriotism. Our recruiting of the new levies has begun, and each day it is found easier and more successful. At the same time Congress indicates that it will not adjourn until it has armed the President with power to call out, at his discretion, any number of troops by draft, and to organize the militia of the seas by issuing letters of marque and reprisal. The devotion of the people to the Union increases in intensity, and the purpose to maintain it at whatever cost or sacrifice is now universally and resolutely manifested.

The disturbance of exchange does not seem to affect the prosperity of the country. We now have reduced cotton from its high place in exports; but the grain crops, especially in the north and in the west, are immense. These, together with our supplies of gold from California, are sufficient to

sustain the business of the country in its present prosperous commerce Europe will have the benefit of the grain and the gold. How much it is to be regretted that all our arguments and persuasions have failed to induce the maritime states of that continent to discourage and so to repress an insurrection that not only temporarily prevents the exportation of cotton, but madly forbids the planting of that staple, and sooner or later disengages both planter and laborer from all cultivation whatever. The escape of fugitive slaves from the plantations upon the Peninsula between York and James rivers during the recent battles was very large, and that one loss, perhaps, counterbalances all the advantages, if any, which the insurgents have gained. I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD. CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS, Esq., &c., dec., c.

No. 299.]

Mr. Seward to Mr. Adams.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, July 12, 1862. Sir: Your despatch of June 26 (No. 179) has been received.

You inform me that Mr. Dudley, our consul at Liverpool, has brought to your notice a new and flagrant violation of neutrality which is being

attempted in some British port, and that you have remonstrated against it with the British government, and also have called Captain Craven to Southampton to defeat the enterprise. You, however, do not inform me of the name of the vessel; her particular character or purpose, or any of the circumstances of the case. I have communicated the imperfect information thus received to the Navy Department, in the hope that it may be able to render it useful.

This transaction will furnish you a suitable occasion for informing Earl Rassell that since the Oreto and other gunboats are being received by the insurgents from Europe to renew demonstrations on our national commerce, Congress is about to authorize the issue of letters of marque and reprisal, and that if we find it necessary to suppress that piracy, we shall bring privateers into service for that purpose, and, of course, for that purpose only. I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD. CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS, Esq., &c., &c., f.

Mr. Seward to Mr. Adams.

CIRCULAR.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, July 14, 1862. Sir: I send you a copy of an important bill which the President this day submits to Congress, together with a copy of his message recommending the same. We trust that Congress may adopt the bill at once. But however that may be, there is no reasonable doubt that the policy involved cannot be long in winning the favor of the country, and in assuring the stability of the Union. I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD. Charles Francis Adams, Esq., 8c., 8c., &c. [Same to all the ministers of the United States in Europe.]

Fellow-citizens of the Senate and House of Representatives:

Herewith is the draft of a bill to compensate any State which may abolish slavery within its limits, the passage of which, substantially as presented, I respectfully and earnestly recommend.

ABRAHAM LINCOLX. JULY 14, 1862.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That whenever the President of the United States shall be satisfied that any State shall have lawfully abolished slavery within and throughout such State, either immediately or gradually, it shall be the duty of the President, assisted by the Secretary of the Treasury, to prepare and deliver to such State an amount of six per cent. interest-bearing bonds of the United States, equal to the aggregate value, at $ per head, of all the slaves within such State, as reported by the census of the year 1860 ; the whole amount for any one State to be delivered at once if the abolishment be immediate, or in equal annual instalments if it be gradual ; interest to begin, running on each bond, at the time of its delivery, and not before.

And be it further enacted, That if any State, having so received any such bonds, shall at any time afterwards by law reintroduce or tolerate slavery within its limits, contrary to the act of abolishment upon which such bonds shall have been received, said bonds so received by said State shall at once be null and void, in whosesoever hands they may be, and such State shall re fund to the United States all interest which may have been paid on such bonds.

Mr. Adams to Mr. Seward. No 186.)

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,

London, July 17, 1862. Sir: I have to acknowledge the reception of despatches from the department numbered from 277 to 284, both inclusive, with the single exception of No. 281, which has not come to hand.

The despatch No. 284, dated the 30th of June, was of service to me, as explaining the reasons of the movements of General McClellan, which would otherwise have been enveloped in mystery. But the speed of the telegraph now so far outstrips the progress of written communications that I had already received intelligence of the events down to the 7th instant, which more completely absorbed my attention. The conclusion which I draw from the whole is, that General McClellan has been thrown back in his work for an indefinite period, and that at the latest date he remained on the defensive rather than in the attitude of an assailant.

It is my duty to state that this impression is by no means the common one here. Generally regarded as decisive of the whole struggle, the news has had the effect, which you doubtless will have conjectured beforeband, of stimulating a manifestation of the feeling which has only been suppressed under the course of our preceding successes. I think last week I wrote to you mentioning the rumor that some demonstration might be made in Parliament on Friday night, and promising to send you a report of it should it take place. So slight seemed the promise of success at that instant that it turned out that Mr. Lindsay, the father of the original propo

« PreviousContinue »