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the assent of the people seemed to be essential. Putting his finger upon a map, and pointing to the central parts of the southern cotton States, he said, that when beaten they would retire there; that it was a vast country, and consequently very difficult to foresee the future. I then recalled to him my former suggestion as to a withdrawal of the concession of belligerent rights as an act of justice to us, a friendly power, and a certain means of hastening the forthcoming of cotton to France. I pointed out to him on the large map received from your department the mode in which the insurrectionists were bemmed in without a port or outlet to the sea, with their cities taken, New Orleans and the Mississippi river in our possession, their feeble fleet in those waters destroyed, and with no ships or commerce anywhere. He said these things were true, and the concession of belligerent rights was therefore a nullity—mere waste paper; that it had been granted origially because it was supposed there would be an external as well as an internal war between the parties, and it would therefore be an essential to the commerce of France; that the concession was for a purpose external, not internal; but he repeated substantially what he had said on a prior occasion, that it would not be a handsome thing in a great government at once, upon the south being worsted, to withdraw a concession which had been made to them in their day of supposed strength; that, aside from all political reasons, he felt that such a proceeding would not be exactly worthy of France; or, in common parlance, if I understood him aright, the thing would not look well. Besides, he said again, they could do nothing upon this subject without England. That they had acted together, and although there had been no treaty to that effect, yet France considered herself bound by this understanding. The answers to these suggestions seemed very obvious, and I, of course, used them. I told him that so far from this concession being regarded as of no importance by the insurrectionists, their resolutions to destroy their cotton, and not to plant another crop, were predicated altogether upon the hope that, in that event, necessity would yet drive these governments into alliance with them; that so long as this concession stood it was a hand extended, encouraging them to hope for more; that its prompt withdrawal at this time would end the rebellion at once. I further stated that this concession of belligerent rights was made in derogation of the sovereign powers of a friendly state, and under a mistaken view of facts, and it was but just to us that, upon the true state of the case appearing, it should be promptly withdrawn; that the acknowledgment by a foreign power of another flag within our sovereignty and jurisdiction was (aside from any practical effects) a matter which, of necessity, touched the pride and wounded the sensibilities of our people; that we first appealed to France to set this matter right, because we believed that France had wished us well. As respects England, with whom he said France must act, I told him that we could scarcely hope, in view of facts stated in your recent despatches, that she would be willing to retrace her steps; that whatever might be the strictly official conduct of that government, we could scarcely forbear to see that it wilfully closed its eyes to matters which were constantly being carried on in its ports. He said, in reply, he did not think we could justly charge anything of this kind upon France or her public men. Mr. Thouvenel made no other answer to my remarks as to contraband goods going from here to the south than as heretofore stated. When, however, I told him of the subscriptions of £40,000 and £50,000 in Liverpool, and read to him a portion of your despatch No. 146, in which it is stated that you have notice that five steamers have been purchased, fitted, armed, and supplied with material of war in England to prosecute a naval war against us, which could be looked upon as nothing less than a piratical invasion of our country, he seemed, I thought, somewhat incredulous.


said it was very strange, and that nothing of that kind, as I understood him, could be justified. I submitted to him whether it would not be well for France, under the circumstances, to signalize her aversion to the designs of such conspirators. He said he would speak to Lord Cowley on the subject. I have thus given you the substance of another conference upon these matters. I do not think these general conversations amount to much, except as showing the general drift of mind and purpose of the government. They are too loose in their nature to be otherwise regarded. Inasmuch as I had learned that Mr. Adams, in the exercise of the discretion which was left to him, had submitted your recent long despatch giving a summary of our military position, in connexion with the map which accompanied it, to the British government, I have done the same here.

With you, I feel the great importance of a withdrawal by these powers of this concession of belligerent rights; but, as I have written you from the beginning, I am confident that it will not be done in France except in concert with England. This will remain true so long as the present cordial relations between these powers shall continue to exist. As you have access at Washington to the representatives of both, and may bring them into conference at your pleasure, cannot you obtain some suggestions from them favorable to such course of action? With aid from Mr. Mercier and Lord Lyons something may be done. Without such aid I fear it is not at present possible to accomplish anything in that direction. I am, sir, your very obedient servant,


Secretary of State, fr., fr., fc.

Mr. Dayton to Mr. Seward.

No. 151.]

Paris, May 26, 1862. Sir: I beg to enclose you the translation of a brief extract from a recent article in the Constitutionnel. You are aware that this paper, if not semiofficial, is often used to convey to the public mind of France the views of leading men in the government. That portion, particularly, of this article, which is in brackets, expresses very clearly views and opinions which I am quite sure are held by more than one of the present ministers, and I think by the Emperor. It seems impossible to make them understand that the interior of the southern country is penetrable by its navigable rivers, and upon and near which is the bulk of its population; that an army tbere surrounded, as they would be, and cut off from supplies, could not exist; and if it could, that the disposition and habits of the people would not lead them to a long stay in large numbers in the sparsely settled and remote districts of the interior. It is this wide space which constantly staggers the faith of the statesmen of France in our ability to govern the insurgents even if we conquer their armies in the field. This objection, as I have told Mr. Thouvenel, was one about which our own statesmen had no doubt, and it seemed to me eminently a question for home consideration. I have no doubt, however, that the supposed uncertainty of the future, arising from the above cause, has its influence, and weighty influence, in determining these governments not now to disturb belligerent rights.

Will you permit me, in this connexion, to suggest, that it seems to me quite important that your attempt to obtain from England and France a withdrawal of this concession to the insurgents, should not become public

except in the event of assured success. A knowledge of the denial of the application would very much encourage the rebels in their hopes. As the matter now stands I do not see that this concession affords serious pretext to the leaders of the rebellion to encourage their followers to look for more; especially after the tone of Mr. Yancey's address to the south.

Mr. Thouvenel informs me that the consuls of France, in southern ports, report to him that great dissatisfaction exists there with the conduct of this government; so great, indeed, that they have threatened to confiscate the property of Frenchmen and send them out of the country. These governments having stopped short of direct intervention or recognition, have so much disappointed the hopes of the rebels that they are rather disposed to ignore the value of that which has, in fact, been done for them. Respectfully, your obedient servant,


Secretary of State, Sc., 8c., fr.

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Paris, Friday, May 23, 7 a. m. The Constitutionnel devotes its first three columns to a consideration of the actual state of Affairs in America. The article, which is in very prominent type, is signed M. Paulin Limayrac. It does not deny that the capture of New Orleans is a great victory for the north, but adds:

[ What does this victory prove? Does it prove that the conquest of the south by force of arms is henceforth possible? Does it change the nature of things? Does it cancel distances ? And, in the hearts of men determined to make a desperate resistance, will it engender submission to the victor? Cast a glance upon the map of that immense country, and then tell us whether, after as before the capture of New Orleans, the north, advancing deep into the south, will not meet with the same insurmountable obstacles that England had to encounter at the time of the war of independence-distances, climate, impossibility of procuring provisions, and an energetic people defending their homes ? Such is, in fact, now the actual state of the question. The south defends its firesides. The most skilful paradoxes will not succeed in changing opinion upon this point, and the truth conveyed in the recent words of Mr. Gladstone: “The north is fighting for supremacy; the south is fighting for its independence.'

Nearly the whole of the Atlantic coast, the Gulf of Mexico, and the banks of the Mississippi are in the power of the federals.] Yet, considering everything, the confederation of the south has rather progressed than fallen off since the 4th of March, 1861, if we estimate only the power of the States in square miles. It is scarcely enclosed within its limits, and has under its flag the greater portion of the States which were neutral on the accession of Mr. Lincoln. Moreover, the army commanded by General Beauregard, far from being dispersed or weakened, is increasing, gaining strength, and preparing for proximate eventualities, according to plans which certainly exist, although they have not transpired. Thus the dénouement by war is further off than ever, and those who advise the north to fight to the last without mercy or consideration, those who urge it to establish its sway on sanguinary ruins and devastation, are not aware of the sad future they would prepare for the whole of America if their counsels were followed. We entertain other sentiments and other ideas. We never wished to see one of the belligerents crush the other. Inspired by that wise and gen


erous policy which, at the commencement of the war, offered its mediation, we never desired that, under the pretext of emancipating 4,000,000 of negroes, slavery should be imposed on 6,000,000 of whites. Certainly, like our adversaries, at least as much as they do, we aspire to the emancipation of the slaves, but we wish for that emancipation by the progress of ideas and by the conciliation of interests, pot by ruin and massacre!

" The occupation of New Orleans has not modified our sentiments and our ideas, no more than it has modified the nature of the struggle and advanced things in America."

Mr. Daylon to Mr. Seward.

No. 154.)

Paris, June 2, 1862. Sir: Your despatches Nos. 151, 152, 153, 154, 155, 156, 158, and 159 have been received.

No. 151, while acknowledging that France has faithfully practiced the neutrality she has proclaimed, again refers to the anxious desire felt for a withdrawal from the insurgents of the concession of belligerent rights, and despatch No. 154 indirectly refers to the same thing. I have already informed you to what extent this point has been pressed upon the attention of the French government, and scarcely suppose you desire me, under existing circumstances, to go further. Indeed, after what has been said here, I do not see how it is possible to do so at present. I shall await some encouraging intimation from Mr. Adams of a change of purpose in England, or something from Mr. Mercier, through you, before I shall venture upon the question again, unless, in the meantime, I am otherwise directed. I repeat that it is in vain to hope that France, so long as the entente cordiale between the two countries continues to exist, will in this matter separate her policy from that of England. I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WM. L. DAYTON. His Excellency William H. SEWARD,

Secretary of Stale, &c., &c., sc.


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Mr. Seward to Mr. Dayton.

No. 163.]


Washington, June 3, 1862, Sır: Your despatch of May 16 (No. 147) has been submitted to the President.

You were wise in deferring further discussion with Mr. Thouvenel concerning the attitude held by France, in regard to the civil war in this country, until the expectations which you had already submitted to him should have been measurably fulfilled. The discretion you thus exercised is approved, and you will exercise it again as to the time when you will submit what follows in this paper.

The capture of New Orleans, Yorktown, Norfolk, Pensacola, and Corinth, and the virtual removal of the blockade at Beaufort, Port Royal, and New Orleans, all which events have either occurred or become known at Paris since your last reported communications with the French minister, have not only fulfilled all the promises you had at that time nade, but they have also more than satisfied the desires which his government has, within the last eight months, so constantly but so courteously pressed upon the President's attention, while they are sufficient to dispel the last doubt of the preservation of the American Union which could be indulged by candid men.

Under such circumstances, the apprehension of any hostile intervention would be not less absurd on our part than unjust and ungenerous towards France. So, also, the attitude of neutrality, so solemnly proclaimed by the Emperor a year ago, is fast resolving itself into an abstraction, in view of the fact that, virtually, there is no longer a field, on land or water, where conflict with this government can be raised by the rebels in the presence of a foreign power.

The President, however, is not less anxious now than heretofore that the posture of the French government may be modified. The Emperor of France has not thought it unbecoming to expose to us the exigencies of his own country, resulting from this unbappy contest. It cannot be improper, on our part, to allude to the susceptibilities of the American people. Our prestige has been impaired by our divisions, and we have consequently encountered indifference, coldness, and, as we think, injustice and injury, in our foreign relations. When we remember that we are a democratic power, that for many years we were a leading democratic state, and that the security of the constitutional republican system in other countries where it has been established has been everywhere thought dependent on its success here, it is not to be wondered at if we think that whatever wrong it com. mitted against us, in the crisis through which we are passing, is a wrong suffered by us in the cause of freedom and humanity, with which we are always accustomed to identify republican institutions. We are, indeed, on the eve of domestic peace, but we have a deep interest in establishing that peace upon the firmest foundations and rendering it universal. The empire of France rests upon a democratic basis. The monarch himself has declared that that empire is peace. We think, therefore, that he will agree with us in the desire that whatever has anywhere occurred, during our present conflict, to produce feelings of distrust or alienation between the United States and foreign countries, shall be seasonably corrected, in order that no such sentiments shall survive.

It is a maxim of international intercourse that no government can rightfully recognize insurgents against another as lawful belligerents, except when the state of the contest is such as to raise the probability of a successful revolution. If a recognition based on the assumption of such a probability has at any time been made, it ought to be rescinded when the probability has failed. Does any one expect that a sovereign nation can be organized by the insurrectionary States of the south, while the United States possess the Mississippi river, its tributaries, and its mouths, and virtually possess, also, all the navigable lakes and rivers of the country, as well those of the coast as those which are inland, together with the political capital and all the centres of manufacturing industry and commercial exchange ? Does any one expect that the insurgents without a single shipof-war or a place in which to launch one, or funds with which to build it, with an army demoralized, a prostrate credit, and a country exhausted of its wealth and resources, will be able to change the military position I have described ?

It is a palpable fact that the movers of this insurrection never entertained any expectation of achieving a revolution. What they did desire and hope was to open a point for foreign intervention, upon which they have relied to effect the overthrow of the Union. They were shrewd men, and therefore could not have entirely miscalculated the conflicting forces. They began intrigues for interventien even before they ventured upon rebellion, and

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