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of the 290 on her errand of commercial devastation, or to prevent injurious en. terprises of the same character from being carried into execution. Nevertheless, still trusting that the government of Great Britain may come, after careful consideration, to think the subject worthy of a review, the evidence in the case of the 290, as it shall be received, will be transmitted to you to be laid before Earl Russell. You will, in the meantime, communicate the effect of this despatch to his lordship I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD. Charles Francis ADAMS, Esq., &c., dc., &c.

Mr. Seward to Mr. Adams.


No. 392.)

DeparTMENT OF State,

Washington, November 10, 1862. Sir: Your despatch of October 24 (No.248) has been received. It is a source of satisfaction to know that the expectations that Great Britain would speedily give her aid to sustain the failing insurrection here, which disloyal citizens at home and abroad had built upon the extra-official speeches of the British chancellor of the exchequer, were unreal and purely imaginary. The President trusts that the day is far distant, indeed he hopes a day may never come, when two kindred nations shall consent to apply to purposes of mutual destruction energies which, if combined, are capable of carrying forward to a pitch never yet fully contemplated the improvement in the condition and character of mankind. . Such an apprehension could never have entered the American mind if it had not been schooled by the experiences of our unnatural civil war to fear that popular but ephemeral passion and prejudice may sometimes, in any country, over-master all sentiments of national prudence, truth, justice, and humanity.

This government does not fail to see what Europe wants, and to see that it is just what the United States want, namely, a speedy and absolute conclusion of the war. Nor does the government fail to see that it is demanded with equal impatience on both continents. It may be possible that greater activity and en ergy than have been exhibited could have been put forth to secure that end. But it is believed that on a calm and critical examination it will appear that, considering the situation of the country, the very popular character, and the very complex republican form of the constitution, the magnitude of the insurrection, the peculiarity of the moral and dynastic principles which are involved, and the foreign influences which have intervened, the progress which the gove ernment has made in suppressing the insurrection is an achievement which has never been surpassed.

At the present we are apprehending no insurmountable obstacles to complete success. Our

army in Virginia, as you will learn from the newspapers, is already approaching the Rapidan, without having encountered serious opposition. General Grant is advancing into the heart of Mississippi. General Rosecrans is moving forward in Tennessee. Expeditions by land and water, greater in force than any preceding one, will soon be on its way to the southern coast.

The conviction which I have so confidently expressed to you during the last six weeks, that the insurrection is becoming exhausted, and which event seemed 80 strange at the time and under the circumstances when it was expressed, is now becoming generally accepted, and I see with pleasure that it begins to find favor in England. You did not exaggerate, in your conversation with Earl Russell, the injurious influences here of the speech of the chancellor of the ex


chequer. Indeed, no one can even fully appreciate the importance which nations, when excited, attach to the conventional utterances of persons in authority. When it is remembered that a year ago the public mind in Great Britain, and even that of her Majesty's government, was affected by the representation of alleged speeches and conversations of my own, delivered before

my coming into my present position, it seems strange that a British minister should be willing to speak, extra-officially and without a government purpose, upon an American question in a sense which might be interpreted as one of intervention, if not of menace. It was to prevent all such unfortunate proceedings on the part of the representatives of the United States that the new restraints upon our ministers and consuls, of which you have already been advised, were imposed. I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD. CHARLES Francis Adams, Esq., 8c., 8c., fr.

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Mr. Seward to Mr. Adams.

No. 394.


Washington, November 10, 1862. Sir: It is probable that the ground which the enemies of the Union in Europe will next assume, in prosecuting their war against it, will be an alleged defection of popular support of the government at the elections recently held in the loyal States. The reports of the results of these elections in the forms adopted by the press are calculated, though not designed, to give plausibility to this position.

I observe that these reports classify the members of Congress chosen as union and democratic, or union and opposition. Such classifications, though unfortunate, do less harm here, where all the circumstances of the case are known, than abroad, where names are understood to mean what they express. Last year, when the war began, the republicans, who were a plurality of the electors, gave up their party name, and, joining with loyal democrats, put in nomination candidates of either party under the designation of a union party. The democratic party made but a spiritless resistance in the canvass. From whatever cause it has happened, political debates during the present year have resumed, in a considerable degree, their normal character, and while loyal republicans have adhered to the new banner of the union party, the democratic party has rallied and made a vigorous canvass with a view to the recovery of its former political ascendency. Loyal democrats in considerable number retaining the name of democracy from habit, and not because they oppose the Union, are classified by the other party as “ opposition.” It is not necessary for the information of our representatives abroad that I should descend into any examination of the relative principles or policies of the two parties. It will suffice to say that while there may be men of doubtful political wisdom and virtue in each party, and while there may be differences of opinion between the two parties as to the measures best calculated to preserve the Union and restore its authority, yet it is not to be inferred that either party, or any considerable portion of the people of the loyal States, is disposed to accept disunion under any circumstances, or upon any terms. It is rather to be understood that the people have become so confident of the stability of the Union that partisan combinations are resuming their sway here, as they do in such cases in all free countries. In this country, especially, it is a habit not only entirely consistent with the Constitution, but even essential to its stability, to regard the adminis


tration at any time existing as distinct and separable from the government itself, and to canvass the proceedings of the one without the thought of disloyalty to the other. We might possibly have had quicker success in suppressing the insurrection if this habit could have rested a little longer in abeyance; but, on the other hand, we are under obligations to save not only the integrity or unity of the country, but also its inestimable and precious Constitution. No one can safely say that the resumption of the previous popular habit does not tend to this last and most important consummation, if at the same time, as we confidently expect, the Union itself shall be saved. I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD. CHARLES FRANCIS Adams, fr., 8c., fr., London.

Mr. Seward to Mr. Adams.

No. 395.]


Washington, November 10, 1862. Sir: Your despatch of the 24th of October (No. 249) has been received. I have lost no time in communicating the information it contains to the Secretary of the Navy, and he will doubtlessly direct an inquiry to be made upon the subject. In the meantime I am authorized to say that the President, while he thinks that possibly some of our naval officers might, in some cases, have practiced greater energy in enforcing the blockade, has had no reason to question either the integrity or the loyalty of any one intrusted with that honorable command. When we consider the number of contraband vessels recently captured or destroyed, it seems probable that the communications which we shall next receive from Europe will be of a character very different from the one now before me. Instead of suggestions for explaining too great laxity, I expect that we shall

I soon again hear complaints of too great rigor. I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD. Charles FRANCIS Adams, Esq., fr., fr., fr.

Mr. Seward to Mr. Adams.

No. 396.)


Washington, November 10, 1862. Sır: Your despatch of the 23d of October (No. 244) has been received. The President regrets that her Majesty's government has not more favorably considered our complaints against the violations of municipal and international law, committed by British subjects under the British flag, in the case of the

steamer “ 290,” or Alabama.” It is to be apprehended that attempts by the same and similar vessels to repeat the same injuries will ultimately require a more deliberate consideration of the subject than the government now seems willing to accord. I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD. CHARLES FRANCIS Adams, Esq., fr., 8c., fc.

Mr. Seward to Mr. Adams.

No. 399.]


Washington, November 14, 1862. SIR: Your despatch of October 28 (No. 250) has been received. The President is gratified with the indications of the appearances of a less intolerant opinion in the political circles of Great Britain, to which you have directed his attention. It is surely quite time that there should be a change. Think, for a moment, of the singular transaction in which this government is now actually engaged, namely, the fortifying of New York harbor to resist a piratical expedition coming from Liverpool Liverpool, a chief port of a great nation with whom we are at peace, to whose capitalists we are sending gold, and whose sufferings we are supplying with bread. It seems too strange to believe, and yet what menace of this kind can we discredit after the experience of our merchantmen destroyed on the high seas by the Alabama.

Lord Lyons has arrived and he has been received as he deserves, with a friendly and cordial welcome. I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD. Charles FRANCIS ADAMS, Esq., fr., fr., &c.

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No. 403.)


Washington, November 18, 1862. SIR: The European mail comes in at the moment of the sealing the outgoing despatches.

The military movements, though important, are not striking. Major General Burnside, now in command of the army of the Potomac, has put it in motion, and events of some significance may be expected within a few days. A part of Major General Banks' expedition is already afloat, and the whole will probably reach the important destination within a week. Some successful movements have been made in North Carolina and in Louisiana. Major General Grant is advancing with apparent success in Mississippi, and additional columns to move by land and water are proceeding towards the Gulf from Cairo and St. Louis. General Roseerans is advancing towards the enemy in East Tennessee. A general conviction that the war is moving on towards an early and successful conclusion is taking possession of the popular mind. It is based as much upon the evidences of exhaustion of the insurgents as upon our own military movements. Mr. Ericsson seems to be successful in giving new and wonderful efficiency to the iron-clad steamer, and we begin to expect that the power which we have been so long preparing in that form will be in readiness for the piratical navy which, we are warned, is coming from the British shore to the rescue of the insurrection. The blockading squadron seems to have of late been very effective. Its captures have been so many and important as to excite a hope that the contraband trade will fall into discouragement. I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD. Charles FRANCIS ADAMS, Esq., fr., fr., fr.

Mr. Seward to Mr. Adams.

No. 404.]


Washington, November 18, 1862. SIR: Your despatch of October 30th (No. 253) has been received.

Your proceedings in submitting to Earl Russell the proposition of this government in regard to the voluntary colonization of Americans of African descent in the British colonies are approved. The question of an ultimate disposition of this portion of our population has been abruptly forced into discussion by the civil war.

If events occurring at home had left us at liberty to overlook it, the suggestions which have been made to us on the subject, directly as well as indirectly, from foreign countries, could not wisely be treated with neglect. Under these circumstances the President has thought it judicious to hear and to consider carefully the various projects which are offered, and to afford facilities for experimental trial of these projects, so far as can be done consistently with sound policy and with the promotion of justice and humanity. While some of them are thus ascertained to be impracticable, it may be hoped, nevertheless, that we are drawing near to the discovery of a feasible policy which will solve, perhaps, the most difficult political problem that has occurred in the progress of civilization on the American continent. It may be well for you to state to Earl Russell that this government entertains no sentiment of dissatisfaction with his declination of our proposition. I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.' Charles FRANCIS ADAMS, Esq., Sc., 80., 80.

Mr. Adams to Mr. Seward.

No. 257.]


London, November 6, 1862. Sir: From representations made by Mr. Dudley, the consul at Liverpool, which lead to the belief that the pirate 290 is about to return to its old cruising ground off the western islands, I have been induced once more to call the attention of the officers of the Tuscarora and Kearsarge to the necessity of protect

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