« PreviousContinue »
and fifty millions already, and need two hundred and fifty millions more for expenditure before the beginning of the new year. Their whole actual revenue from imposts and taxes gathered within the past year is nominally twelve millions, but this was received in a currency depreciated at least fifty per cent.; they have no resources for greater taxation. The spirit which has sustained them thus far cannot be maintained without the gain of military advantages far greater than they have hitherto obtained.
In view of these facts, it is probably safe to assume that the insurrection has reached its crisis.
As you are well aware, it has never been expected by the President that the insurgents should protract this war until it should exhaust not only themselves but the loyal States, and bring foreign armies or navies into th conflict, and still be allowed to retain in bondage, with the consent of this government, the slaves who constitute the laboring and producing masses of the insurrectionary States. At the same time, the emancipation of the slaves could be effected only by executive authority, and on the ground of military necessity. As a preliminary to the exercise of that great power, the President must have not only the exigency, but the general consent of the loyal people of the Union in the border slave States where the war was raging, as well as in the free States which have escaped the scourge,
which could only be obtained through a clear conviction on their part that the military exigency had actually occurred. It is thus seen that what has been discussed so earnestly at home and abroad as a question of morals or of humanity has all the while been practically only a military question, depending on time and circumstances. The order for emancipation, to take effect on the first of January, in the States then still remaining in rebellion against the Union, was issued upon due deliberation and conscientious consideration of the actual condition of the war, and the state of opinion in the whole country.
No one who knows how slavery was engrafted upon the nation when it was springing up into existence; how it has grown and gained strength as the nation itself has advanced in wealth and power; how fearful the people have hitherto been of any change which might disturb the parasite, will contend that the order comes too late. It is hoped and believed that after the painful experience we have had of the danger to which the federal connexion with slavery is exposing the republic there will be few indeed who will insist that the decree which brings the connexiou to an end either could or ought to have been further deferred.
The interests of humanity have now become identified with the cause of our country, and this bas resulted not from any infraction of constitutional restraints by the government, but from persistent unconstitutional and factious proceedings of the insurgents, who have opposed themselves to both. I am, sir, your obedient servant,
WILLIAM H. SEWARD. CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS, Esq., fe., &c., 8c.
Mr. Seward to Mr. Adams.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, September 30, 1862. SIR: Many free persons of African derivation residing within the United States have made known to the President their desires to emigrate to foreign countries if they could do so with the consent of the government and with
guarantees of its guardian care over them while arranging their departure > and pursuing their voyages, choosing their new homes and purchasing
lands, or otherwise contracting for their permanent location and settlement abroad, and especially securing them, in every event, against being hereafter reduced to slavery or bondage. It is believed that the number of this class of persons so disposed to emigrate is augmenting and will continue to increase.
On the other hand, some foreign governments situated within the tropics, and others having colonies or dependencies there, have intimated to the President a desire to receive such accessions to their population upon conditions favorable to the welfare, prosperity, and happiness of the emigrants.
In view of these facts, the President has authorized me to enter into negotiations upon the subject with the government of Great Britain, if it shall be inclined to such a course.
It is not within the purposes of this communication to present the project of a convention, but simply to state some of the general principles which this government supposes proper to be recognized in any treaties which may be contracted with reference to the objects which I have presented.
First. That all emigration of persons of African derivation to take place under the stipulations of the treaty shall be perfectly free and voluntary on the part of adults, and with the full and expressed consent of parents and guardians for minor children and wards.
Second. That agents of the government desiring to receive such emigrants shall be recognized by this government and authorized to solicit such emigration, but such agents shall be appointed by such government or with its sanction. Their names, with the dates of their appointments and the terms for which they are to continue, shall be made known to this government, which shall engage to protect them while peacefully and inoffensively pursuing their occupation, but shall have always a right to require the dismissal of any such agent whose conduct or deportment shall be found injurious to the peace, safety, or welfare of the United States.
When any government which shall have entered into the treaty shall have obtained the consent of a colony or party of emigrants, a record of their names, ages, sexes, and conditions shall be made up with their proposed place of embarcation and destination, duly attested and verified. Such government shall then cause them, with their personal effects, to be received with all convenient despatch on board of sea-worthy vessels, which shall afford them healthful and convenient accommodations of space, air, food, water, and other necessaries for their intended voyage, and shall, in all cases, suffer no cruelty, inhumanity, or unnecessary severity to be practiced upon them. And families so emigrating shall not be separated without their consent. Any party of such emigrants who may desire it may be attended by an agent, being a citizen of the United States, to be selected by them and approved by the government, who may remain with them during the voyage and after their arrival at their destination, until they shall have been established in their new settlement; but such agent shall be paid by them or by the United States, and he shall be liable to be removed or recalled by this government and may be replaced upon representation from the other contracting party that his proceedings or conduct are disloyal or offensive to the government receiving such emigrants.
On arriving at the place of debarkation such emigrants shall be furnished with plain but comfortable dwellings, one for each family, or with comfortable homes in the families of resident inhabitants of the country, and either with lands to be occupied and owned by themselves adeqnate to their support and maintenance, they practicing ordinary industry in cultivating the samnc, or else with employment on bire, with provision for their wants, and
compensation adequate to their support and maintenance, clothing and medicines and an education of the children in the simple elements of knowledge, which provision shall continue for the term of five years, minors and. infants being permitted to reside with their parents. and guardians during their minority, unless apprenticed with the consent of their parents and guardians. All such emigrants and their posterity shall forever remain free, and in no case be reduced to bondage, slavery, or involuntary servitude, except for crime; and they shall specially enjoy liberty of conscience and the right to acquire, hold, and transmit property, and all other privileges of person common to inhabitants of the country in which they reside. It should be further stipulated that in cases of indigence resulting from injury, sickness, or age, any of such emigrants who shall become paupers shall not thereupon be suffered to perish or to come to want, but shall be supported and cared for as is customary with similar inhabitants of the country in which they shall be residents.
You are authorized to bring this subject to the attention of Earl Russell, and to inquire whether the British government has a desire to enter into such a negotiation. Should an affirmative answer be given, you may transmit to this department any suggestions that Earl Russell may desire to make in the premises, and you will, upon due consideration of the same, be furnished with a draft of a convention.
It should be understood that it is not desired by the United States to give to any State a monopoly of the proposed emigration, but to open its benefits on equal terms to all States within the tropics, or having colonies there, which, maintaining free constitutional governments, shall desire those benefits. As it might be expedient to fix upon a definite period for the duration of the proposed treaty, you may suggest ten years as the term, with the privilege, after that time, of terminating it at the expiration of one year's notice to that effect. I am, sir, your obedient servant,
WILLIAM H. SEWARD. CHARLES FRANCIS Adams, Esq., 80, fc., $c.
Same, mutatis mutandis, addressed to ministers of the United States at Paris, the Hague, Copenhagen.
Mr. Moran to Mr. Seward.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
London, September 30, 1862. Sir: Under the direction of Mr. Adams, I have the honor to forward herewith the copy of a telegram received last evening from Mr. H. J. Sprague, the United States consul at Gibraltar, respecting the movements of ihe gunboat 290, and of the United States vessels-of-war in the vicinity of the Mediterranean. I have the bonor to be, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant,
Assistant Secretary of Lügation. Hon. William H. SEWARD,
Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.
[From Sprague, consul, 29th, 3.30 p. m.]
Inform our government Kearsarge leaves to-morrow for the Azores in pursuit of Semmes, who has destroyed ten whalers. Have recommended Tuscarora, now at Cadiz, to follow her at once, and the Constellation to come down the Mediterranean.
Mr. ADAMS, American Minister, London.
Mr. Adams to Mr. Seward.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
London, October 3, 1862. Sis: Since the date of my last I have received despatches from the department nurebered from 339 to 349, both inclusive.
The telegraph intelligence so far outstrips the ordinary course of communication that the accounts of the result of the invasion of Maryland and Pennsylvania followed close upon the mention in your No. 349 of General McClellan's first success. As yet we are not in possession of the details, but the effect upon the popular mind of what is known has been already very considerable. So strong had the impression become that all power of further resistance by the government was for the moment destroyed, that many people confidently counted upon the possession of the national capital by the rebels as an event actually past. The surprise at this manifestation of promptness and vigor has been quite in proportion. The great stroke which was to finish the war, that had been early announced here as about to take place in September, seems to have failed, and to have left its projectors in a worse condition than ever. The prevalent notion of the superiority of military energy and skill on the part of the insurgents in the field bas been weakened. As a consequence, less and less appears to be thought of mediation or intervention. All efforts to stir up popular discontent meet with little response. The newspapers of the day contain a report of a decided check just given to a movement of this kind at Staley Bridge, near Manchester. On the whole, I am inclined to believe that perhaps a majority of the poorer classes rather sympathize with us in our struggle, and it is only the aristocracy and the commercial body that are adverse. Perhaps it may be quite as well for us if this should be the case. For the present ministry sufficiently reflects the popular side to be in little danger of precipitation so long as no impulse from that quarter shall be manifested against us.
Great interest continues to be felt in the Italian question. There are symptoms of movement of some kind on the part of the Emperor of France, but nobody pretends to foretell what it will be. The position of Garibaldi rouses stronger interest now that he is in prison than it did whilst he was quietly at home. The difficulty of bringing him to trial, in the face of the popular sympathies of half of Europe, is very serious. On the other hand, religious feelings are strongly appealed to in behalf of the Pope. A serious riot took place in Hyde Park on Sunday last, where a meeting in favor of Garibaldi was attempted. All this contributes to divide the attention here tufi re so much concentrated on America.
The distress in the manufacturing region rather increases in severity, but I am inclined to believe that the further closing of the mills is no longer made imperative by the diminution of the material. Large supplies of cot
ton of the old crop were received from India last week, and three hundred thousand bales are announced as far on their way. The new crop will soon follow. What remains is to adjust the proper relation between the prices of the raw material and the manufactured product, which, owing to the great previous excess of the latter, is yet unsettled. In the meantime much attention is given to the invention of substitutes, and some resort had to other materials. More industry is enlisted in the making of commodities from wool as well as flax. There is also a quickening of the products of which silk is a component part. All these things will, I hope, combine to reduce from this time forward the amount of distress in the indigent classes. I judge that the cotton famine has passed its minimum, and that unless the governments of England and France should be so infatuated as to interrupt the natural progress of events, the great risk to the civilized world of future dependence upon an imperious and false organization of society in America will have been permanently averted. In the midst of all this, I wish I could see at home any prospect of a termination of this deplorable struggle. But the infatuation of the dominant class in the south seems to have reached its highest pitch when it dreams of dictating its own terms in our capital cities. There is no dealing with such persons excepting with their own weapons. Here is the conflict of two 'ideas which cannot be harmonized by reasoning. Much as it may cost, the struggle must go on, and modern civilization triumph, or America will forfeit all further claim to be designated as the land of the free. I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS. Hon. William H. SEWARD,
Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.
Mr. Adams to Mr. Seward.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
London, October 3, 1862. Sir: I regret to be obliged to state that accounts are coming in of the ravages committed by the gunboat 290, now called the Alabama, which has been cruising off the Azores. So long ago as the 5th of last month I felt it my duty to apprise the consul at Gibraltar of the position of that vessel, and to warn him, and through him the vessels on that station, to be on the alert. I now learn from him, as well as from Mr. Harvey, at Lisbon, that they have just sailed. The probability is that the Alabama will next turn up somewhere in the West Indies, or on the coast of South America.
There are rumors from Liverpool of the preparation of several steamers to sail as privateers. They find some corroboration from the report just received of the proceedings at Richmond in regard to letters of marque. There is no doubt that the presence of one or two fast United States steamers, commanded by efficient officers, would be of use in the European waters.
I transmit the copy of another note which I have addressed to Lord Rossell upon my receiving from Mr. Dudley a fresh and strong deposition to add to those already accumulated in the case of the gunboat 290. It will