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course would seem to be to condemn it as unworthy of the character for honor and independence to which it has ever endeavored to aspire.

In conclusion, the undersigned desires to express his personal obligations to Earl Russell for the friendly notice he has been pleased to take of his labors in the arduous and difficult mission with which he has been charged. It gives him great pleasure to be able on his part to testify to the uniform courtesy and good will with which he has been treated in all his relations with her Majesty's government.

The undersigued prays Earl Russell to receive the assurances of his most distinguished consideration.


Mr. Seward to Mr. Adams.

No. 143.]


Washington, December 13, 1861. Sir: Your despatch of November 22, No. 74, has been received.

Your note to her Britannic Majesty's principal secretary for foreign affairs on the subject of the withdrawal of the exequatur of the late consul at Charleston is approved. I am, sir, your obedient servant,


Mr. Seward to Mr. Adams.

No. 144.]


Washington, December 13, 1861. Sir: Your despatch of November 22, No. 75, was duly received.

We shall bear what Lord Lyons may have to say to us on the subject of the facilities for correspondence of British subjects residing in the insurrectionary parts of the country with pleasure, and with a sincere desire to do whatever may be possible consistently with the safety and welfare of the United States. I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD. Charles Francis Adams, Esq., &c., 8c., fc.

Mr. Adams to Mr. Seward,

[Extract] No. 95.]


London, December 27, 1861. Sir: Although many of the leading presses zealously continue their efforts to keep up the war feeling here against the United States, I think the signs

are clear of a considerable degree of reaction and a growing hope that the friendly relations between the two countries may be preserved. Of course everybody is waiting to hear of the issue of the demands transmitted by the Europa. Much gratification has been expressed at the publication of the despatch addressed by M. Thouvenel to the government through M. Mercier, as also the treatment of the question of the Trent by M. Hautefeuille. Indeed, the harmony of sentiment on this subject is so general throughout Europe as to have very much increased the confidence of the British ministry in their position. They are even disposed to put up, with unusual patience, with the severe reflections made on the past policy of Great Britain in consideration of the substantial advantage they gain in the immediate dispute. Unquestionably the view of all other countries is that the opportunity is most fortunate for obtaining new and large modifications of international law which will hereafter materially restrain the proverbial tendency of this country on the ocean. My own opinions to the same effect have been already 80 freely expressed that it is needless, if it were not also superfluous, to repeat them, especially now that the decision is probably complete.

But even if it should be possible to escape the immediate danger from the present difficulty, my confidence in the tendency of things towards peace in this country has been so much shaken as to make the prospects for the future quite doubtful. Parliament will probably assemble somewhat earlier than has been anticipated, perhaps by the 16th of January. It will then be impossible to avoid a general expression of opinion upon American affairs. Of what a character that will be, some idea may be formed from the various addresses made during the recess by members to their respective constituencies. As usual in all deliberative assemblies having freedom of speech, the popular tendency will be towards the most positive doctrines. The war party will in this particular enjoy the advantage, which they will not fail to use with effect against the ministry of Lord Palmerston, especially if there be the smallest opportunity of reproaching it for any concession on a point of honor. Even if in this particular they should find it difficult to make an issue, they will not fail to go on and urge the application of a limit to the law of blickade, as well as to the refusal to recognize a de facto government. In both these cases the ground has been already broken by the pablic press, and by particular members. So that although Lord Russell, in a portion of bis latest conversation with me, affirmed that we should have full opportunity given to us of trying our experiment of overcoming the rebellion before action on their part, it is not quite clear to my mind that he will very long retain the power to make his words good. I have felt it my duty at this time to enter into such speculations, solely because I think I ought to prepare your mind for the possibilities that may follow a settlement of the immediate difficulty. Neither do I wish to undervalue the amount of sympathy and good will that may be brought into play to avert the threatened danger. It is from the friends of our government that I gather most of my conclusions. And one of them is that nothing but very marked evidences of progress towards success will restrain for any length of time the hostile tendencies developed by the case of the Trent.

I am happy to say that I have seen and conferred repeatedly both with Bishop Mcllvain and Mr. Weed. I think their services have already been of material nse, and that they will be of still more hereafter if peaceful relations should be preserved. The industry of the confederate emissaries in poisoning the sources of opinion, as well as in disseminating wholly erroneous notions of the nature of the struggle in America, has been unvaried. And where the seed has fallen on favorable ground' it has germinated strongly and fructified well. But the effort to conceal the true issue and to substitute a false one has failed. The progress of affairs in America is daily more and more exposing its real character. Much as the commercial and manufactu. ring interests may be disposed to view the tariff as the source of all our evils, and much as the aristocratic classes may endeavor to make democracy responsible for them, the inexorable logic of events is contradicting each and every assertion based on these notions, and proving that the American struggle is, after all, the ever-recurring one in human affairs between right and wrong, between labor and capital, between liberty and absolutism. When such an issue comes to be presented to the people of Great Britain, stripped of all the disguises which have been thrown over it, it is not difficult to predict at least which side it will not consent to take.

* I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,


Washington, D. C.



Mr. Adams to Mr. Seward. No. 102.]


London, January 17, 1862. Sir: I have now received copies of all the papers connected with the affair of the Trent. The result is in the highest degree satisfactory.

I need not add my testimony to the general tribute of admiration of the skilful manner in which the various difficulties and complications attending this unfortunate business have been met or avoided. Thus far, in spite of all efforts sedulously made to the contrary, the effect on public opinion has been favorable.

The publication of the foreign correspondence during the past season, as well as of the latest despatches, has materially corrected the old notion of determined hostility on your part to Great Britain, which has been used so mischievously for months past. On the whole, I think, I may say with confidence that matters look better. Last Saturday I called, at the request of Lord Russell, at the foreign office, when his lordship read to me the despatch wbich he was then on the point of sending off to Lord Lyons. We there upon exchanged congratulations on the complete restoration of friendly relations between the two countries.

Since that time not only the correspondence already published in America has been printed by authority in the London Gazette, but the later papers written on this side, including the very last, being that which was read to me. You will doubtless notice with some curiosity the earlier one, being Lord Russell's note of the substance of the conversation held with me on the 19th ultimo, at the time I read to him your confidential despatch to me of the 30th of November. The circumstances attending that affair have given rise to so much speculation, both here and on the continent, and have led to such sharp controversy in the London newspapers, that it may be advisable that the government should understand them correctly. Considering the paper as confidential, of course I took good care that no knowledge of its substance or of the substance of the conference should be extended beyond the limits of this legation. Yet the fact is certain that on the strength of an impression of the occurrence of some such event the funds rose one per cent. on the very next day.

So general was the idea that the Morning Post, a paper considered here, and not without reason, as deriving information from high sources, thought proper to notice the rumor on the 21st December, and deliberately to affirm that though a despatch had indeed been communicated, yet that it had ref. erence to other unimportant matters, and in no way related to the difficulty about the Trent. Some days later, however, in a summary of the events relating to that case published in the Observer, a weekly paper published on Sunday morning, supposed also to be now and then supplied with authentic information, I noticed at the conclusion a tolerably correct version of the substance of that despatch. After the appearance of that, I had no hesitation in disclosing to persons with whom I conversed my knowledge of its correctness. It was, then, with no little surprise that they perceived last week, when intelligence was received from America of the existence of such a paper, a formal denial in the Post that any such paper had ever been communicated to the British government. No longer able to deny the existence of it, the next step was to affirm that I must have suppressed it. And, not satisfied with that, the same press went on to supply a motive for doing so, in the fact that certain American parties had about the same time appeared in the market buying up stock, which was the cause of the rise in the funds already alluded to. Of course the insinuation was that I was engaged in a heavy stockjobbing operation for my own benefit and that of my friends. The motive for this concoction of a series of falsehoods which were inevitably to be exposed in a very short space of time, seemed difficult to divine. The explanation came almost on the heels of the charge. Lord Russell's note to Lord Lyons of the 19th of December gave his version of the conFersation held on that day. The case was clear to all eyes. But to this day the Post has made no retraction of its statement, has not assigned the smallest justification for making them, neither has it disclaimed the authority upon which they are imputed to have been made. So great has been the effect of these disclosures in inspiring a belief that there was an intention somewhere to bring on a war, that it is not impossible it may be made the basis of some proceedings at the approaching session of Parliament.

You will doubtless also perceive that Lord Russell's note of our conversation on the 19th differs in some particulars from that which I had the honor to submit to you in my despatch of the 20th of December, No. 93. The reason of this is to be traced to the distinction which his lordship voluntarily drew between my official and unofficial character at the outset. I understood him as intending to answer my two questions only in my private capacity, as a person desirous of making my own arrangements in certain contingencies. For that reason I did not consider the part of the conversation relating to them as needing to be reported. The other portion of his note, touching the substance of your despatch, substantially agrees with mine. The casual opinions expressed about the policy of the respective countries were not regarded by me as part of the official language, though I have not the least objection to their publication. Whilst his lordship was about it he might as well have inserted his reply to my reference to the part taken by the government of Great Britain in the negotiation of 1804–09, which was in substance that there were many things said and done by them fifty or sixty years ago which he might not undertake to enter into a defence of now-all which was said pleasantly on both sides, without an idea that the official conference was not closed. Yet so difficult is it to retain in the memory a distinct line between formal and casual conversation that I have no disposition in any way to call in question his report, which, so far as it goes, is undeniably more accurate than my own. What I have here written about it is to account to you for what might otherwise appear an omission of duty on my part. I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,


Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.

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I have reason to believe that the removal of the casus belli in the Trent affair, has proved a most serious obstacle in the way of all the calculations made by the party disposed to sow dissension between the two countries. The expectations that have been raised of a pressure from the manufacturing classes to break the blockade in order to obtain cotton are likewise declining. The stock is yet quite large, and, taken in conjunction with what is known to be coming, it is believed to be sufficient to keep the mills going at the present rate for six months longer. The large manufacturers have become pretty well reconciled to the reduction of their product, from a conviction that the business had already been overdone, and must have ceased to yield any returns had it been continued longer on the former scale. Such being the ruined condition of the old programme, it has been found necessary to direct attention to the preparation of something new. The chief support of the latest schemes is to be traced to the supposed policy of the Emperor of the French. It is believed here that he has already made overtures to the British government to enter a protest against the blockade as in manner and substance too cruelly effective in some respects and very ineffective in others. It is also affirmed that he begins to consider it time to agitate the subject of recognition of the Confederate States. I cannot say that the evidence that has been furnished to me on these points is entirely satisfactory, but it is sufficiently so to make it my duty to mention it. Doubtless your sources of information in Paris will give you more precise knowledge of the truth than I can do bere. My main purpose in alluding to it is to call your attention to a singular development made of the policy adopted by the confederate emissaries here with a view to fortify the movement of their allies in this country. The substance of it has been disclosed by a publication in the Edinburgh Scotsman, a well-conducted paper, whose sources of information I have beretofore found to be good. I take from its issue on Saturday last, the 11th of January, the following extract:

“There exists in London an active and growing party, including many M. P.'s, having for its object an immediate recognition of the southern confederacy, on certain understood terms. This party is in communication with the quasi representatives of the south in London, and gives out that it sees its way to a desirable arrangement. Our information is that the south, acting through its London agents, is at least willing to have it understood that, in consideration of immediate recognition and the disregard of the 'paper blockade,' it would engage for these three things : a treaty of free trade, the prohibition of all import of slaves, and the freedom of all blacks born hereafter. It will easily be seen that if any such terms were offered (but we hesitate to believe the last of them) a pressure in favor of the south would come upon the British government from more than one formidable section of our public."

I have reason for believing that some such project as this has been actually entertained by the confederate emissaries. The pressure of the popular feeling against slavery is so great here that their friends feel it impossible to hope to stem it without some such plea in extenuation as can be made out of an offer to do something for ultimate emancipation. Of course no man

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