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that very serious reverses to the national cause may occur. None such, however, have yet occurred. We cannot and do not pretend to reckon upon the chances of a single battle or a single campaign. Such chances arc, perhaps, happily beyond human control and even human foresight. But the general course of the war and its ultimate results are subjects of calculation, on a survey of forces and circumstances with the aid of experience. We cheerfully leave the study of the probabilities of this war, in this way, to all statesmen and governments whom it may concern, declaring for our selves that while we apprehend no immediate danger to the present military condition, the most serious reverses which can happen will not produce one moment's hesitation on the part of the government or the people of the United States in the purpose of maintaining the Union, or sensibly shake their confidence in a triumphant conclusion of the war.

* I shall not here add to the explanation which I have made on other occasions of our means and resources for meeting a final trial of the national strength and the national virtue. Rather than do this, I willingly turn away from the spectacle of servile war and war abroad-of military devastation on land, and of a carnival of public and private cupidity on the seas, which has been presented to me—to set down with calmness some reflections calculated to avert an issue so unnecessary and so fatal, which you may possibly find suitable occasion for suggesting to the rulers of Great Britain. For what was this great continent, brought up, as it were, from the depths of what before had been known as “the dark and stormy ocean ?” Did the European states which found and occupied it, almost without effort, then understand its real destiny and purposes? Have they ever yet fully understood and accepted them ? Has anything but disappointment upon disappointment, and disaster upon disaster, resulted from their misapprehensions ? After near four hundred years of such disappointments and disasters is the way of Providence in regard to America still so mysterious that it cannot be nnderstood and confessed. Columbus, it was said, had given a new world to the kingdoms of Castile and Leon. What has become of the sovereignty of Spain in America ? Richelieu occupied and fortified a large portion of the continent, extending from the Gulf of Mexico to the Straits of Belleisle. Does France yet retain that important appendage to the crown of her sovereign ? Great Britain acquired a dominion here surpassing, by an hundred fold in length and breadth, the native realm. Has not a large portion of it been already formally resigned ? To whom have these vast dominions with those founded by the Portuguese, the Dutch, and the Swedes, been resigned but to American nations, the growth of European colonists, and exiles who have come hither bringing with them the arts, the civilization, and the virtues of Europe? Has not the change been beneficial to society on this continent ? Has it not been more beneficial even to Europe itself than continued European domination, if it had been possible, could have been? The American nations which have grown up here are free and self-governing. They have made themselves so from inberent vigor and in obedience to an absolute necessity. Is it possible for European states to plunge them again into a colonial state and hold them there? Would it be desirable for them and for Europe, if it were possible ? The balance of power among the nations of Europe is maintained not without numerous strong armies and frequent conflicts, while the sphere of political ambition there is bounded by the ocean which surrounds that continent. Would it be possible to maintain it at all if this vast continent, with all its populations, their resources, and their forces, should once again be brought within that sphere. If we, who rightfully dwell on this continent, with all the inducements to peace, harmony, and good order which so fortunate a position creates, cannot remain at peace among ourselves, even when free from foreign interference, does Europe expect that we will be reduced and kept in the harmony which her interests require when the jealousies and ambitions of all Europe are engrafted upon the stock of our native dissensions? Again: Spain undertook to plant and establish here a system of Indian slavery, with what success I need not answer. Portugal, Spain, and Great Britain, with more labor, wealth, and consummate skill, undertook to establish African slavery. It has perished from the whole continent except Brazil and the United States. Now, when the social system of the United States is convulsed with the agony of slavery here, is it desirable that slavery should be revived and perpetuated, and the republic perish for refusing it unbounded expansion and duration? Is it wise for Europe to attempt to rescue slavery? Is it possible, if the attempt shall be made? On the contrary of all these suppositions, is it not manifest that these American nations were called into existence to be the home of freemen; that the states of Europe have been trusted by Providence with their tutelage, but that tutelage and all its responsibilities and powers are necessarily withdrawn to the relief and benefit of the parties and of mankind when these parties become able to choose their own system of government and to wake and administer their own laws? If they err in this choice, or in the conduct of their affairs, it will be found wise to leave them, like all other states, the privilege and responsibility of detecting and correcting the error by which they are, of course, the principal sufferers. I am, sir, your obedient servant,


Mr. Seward to Mr. Adams.


No. 316.]


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You will receive herewith a correspondence which has taken place between Major General Butler and Mr. Johnson, which is the fruit of the suggestions informally made to that officer and General Shepley, by the President's direction, through the commission which was sent to New Orleans on the opening of trade there. It may be well to communicate this correspondence to Earl Russell, and say that the policy of General Butler is approved.

I learn from Mr. Stuart that Earl Russell complained to him that the mission of Mr. seemed to his lordship an evasion of the suggestion he had made to me in regard to a declaration that cotton bought by neutrals should not be confiscated. This is unjust on the part of Earl Russell. Mr.

-'s mission was directed, and he was on his way before the earl's suggestion was received. It may be well to set this matter right also, but you will not make the explanation in any spirit of complaint.

I send you a note from General Halleck, showing how cotton is coming through Columbus. On the whole, I believe that the cotton trade will now revive quite as rapidly as has been at any time anticipated.

It will, I think, be well to communicate the matters contained in this despatch verbally and informally, but you may give copies of General Butler's and General Halleck's correspondence. I am, sir, your obedient servant,


Mr. Seward to Mr. Adams. No. 318.]


Washington, August 4, 1862. Sir: I have received your despatch (No. 187) of the 17th ultimo, and its accompaniments, relative to the repairing of the Tuscarora at Southampton, and to the gunboat, supposed to be intended for the insurgents, which is under construction at Liverpool. Your proceedings in these matters are entirely approved. I am, sir, your obedient servant,


Mr. Adams to Mr. Seward.

No. 2031


London, August 7, 1862. Sir: In my despatch (No. 199) of the 30th of July I brought down the narrative of the proceedings in the case of the gunboat No. 290 to the morning of the 29th. Later in the day I sent another telegram to Captain Craven, giving further intelligence from Liverpool, urging his departure from Southampton, also that he should let me know his next movements, and cautioning him about the line of British jurisdiction. To this message the captain immediately replied, announcing his departure at 8 o'clock, and his intention to touch at Queenstown for further information. On the 30th of July I wrote to Captain Craven, by mail to Queenstown, giving fuller details, received at half-past eleven o'clock from Mr. Dudley, touching the movements of the gunboat off Point Lynas on that day. Early on the morning of the 31st I sent a telegram to Captain Craven, at Queenstown, apprising him that 290 was said to be still off Point Lynas. At about 10 o'clock p. m. of that evening I received a telegram from Captain Craven, dated at Queenstown, announcing his reception of my despatch and bis intention to await further instructions. This was answered by me early the next morning in the following words, by telegram:

"At latest, yesterday, she was off Point Lynas; you must catch ber if you can, and, if necessary, follow her across the Atlantic."

On the same day I received by mail a note from Captain Craven, dated the 31st, announcing the receipt of my despatches and his decision to go to Point Lynas at noon on the 1st instant.

Captain Craven seems to have sailed up St. George's channel. This last movement must have been made in forgetfulness of my caution about British jurisdiction, for, even had he found No. 290 in that region, I had, in previous conversations with him, explained the reason why I should not consider it good policy to attempt her capture near the coast. In point of fact, this proceeding put an end to every chance of his success.

On the 5th instant I received a letter from him, dated the 4th, at Queenstown, enclosing a report of his doings, addressed to the Secretary of the Navy, left open for my inspection, which I forward by this steamer, and at the same time apprising me of his intention to go round to Dublin and await a letter from me prior to his return to his station at Gibraltar. To this I sent the following reply:


" London, August 6, 1862. “Sir: I will forward your letter to the Secretary of the Navy. Having in my hands sufficient evidence to justify the step, I was willing to assume the responsibility of advising you to follow the boat No. 290 and take ber wherever you could find her. But I cannot do the same with other vessels of which I have knowledge only from general report. I therefore think it best that you should resume your duties under the general instructions you have from the department, without further reference to me."

It may have been of use to the Tuscarora to have obtained repairs at Southampton to put her in seaworthy condition. But had I imagined that the captain did not intend to try the sea, I should not have taken the responsibility of calling him from his station. I can only say that I shall not attempt anything of the kind again. I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,


Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.

Mr. Adams to Mr. Seward.

No. 205.]


London, August 7, 1862. Sir: In my despatch (No. 201) of the 1st instant, it may be recollected that I reported Lord Russell as making a conditional promise to furnish me with a copy of his letter to the Liverpool merchants, about the uses made by them of the port of Nassau, On the evening of the 4th instant I received a note transmitting the copy, but with a restriction that it was given in confidence. The next day, however, I received a Liverpool newspaper, in which the letter seems to have been inserted by the parties to whom it was addressed. Since then it has appeared in all the London papers. I therefore feel myself at liberty to transmit a copy of Lord Russell's note and of its enclosure. I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,


Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.

Earl Russell to Mr. Adams.


FOREIGN OFFICE, August 4, 1862. Lord Russell presents his compliments to Mr. Adams, and has the honor to forward to him herewith, confidentially, for his information, a copy of a letter which Lord Russell caused to be addressed to Mr. Horsfall in reply to

a memorial forwarded by him from certain British merchants and ship-owners in Liverpool respecting the proceedings of the United States cruisers off the Bahamas.

Mr. Layard to Mr. Horsfall.

FOREIGN OFFICE, July 5, 1862. SIR: I am directed by Earl Russell to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 2d instant, enclosing a memorial from certain British merchants and ship-owners at Liverpool, in which they state that they view with considerable anxiety and apprehension the hostile attitude assumed by federal cruisers in the Bahama waters, and the memorialists pray that steps may be taken by her Majesty's government to protect British shipping in those waters, and to put a check on the seizures so repeatedly made by the federal cruisers.

1 am to state to you, in reply, that it is alleged on the other hand by Mr. Seward and Mr. Adams that ships have been sent from this country to America with a fixed purpose to run the blockade; that high premiums of insurance have been paid with this view, and that arms and ammunition have been thus conveyed to the southern States to enable them to carry on the war. Lord Russell was unable either to deny the truth of those allegations or to prosecute to conviction the parties engaged in those transactions. But he cannot be surprised that the cruisers of the United States should watch with vigilance à port which is said to be the great entrepot of this commerce.

Her Majesty's government have no reason to doubt the equity and adherence to legal requirements of the United States prize courts. But he is aware that many vessels are subject to harsh treatment, and that, if captured, the loss to the merchant is far from being compensated even by a favorable decision in a prize court.

The true remedy would be that the merchants and ship-owners of Liverpool should refrain from this species of trade. It exposes innocent commerce to vexatious detention and search by American cruisers; it produces irritation and ill-will on the part of the population of the northern States of America; it is contrary to the spirit of her Majesty's proclamation; and it exposes the British name to suspicions of bad faith, to which neither ber Blajesty's government nor the great body of the nation are justly obnoxious.

It is true, indeed, that supplies of arms and ammunition have been sent to the federals equally in contravention of that neutrality which her Majesty has proclaimed. "It is true, also, that the federals obtain more freely and more easily that of which they stand in need. But if the confederates had the command of the sea they would no doubt watch as vigilantly and capture as readily British vessels going to New York as the federals now watch Charleston and capture vessels seeking to break the blockade.

There can be no doubt that the watchfulness exercised by federal cruisers to prevent supplies reaching the confederates by sea will occasionally lead to vexatious visits of merchant ships not engaged in any pursuit to which the federals can properly object. This, however, is an evil to which war on the ocean is liable to expose neutral commerce, and her Majesty's government have done all they can fairly do, that is to say, they have urged the federal government to enjoin upon their naval officers greater caution in the exercise of their belligerent rights.

Her Majesty's government having represented to the United States government every case in which they were justified in interfering, have only further

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