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ernment of September, 1861, which conceded belligerent rights to the insurgents, has proved a source of serious political inconvenience and of no little popular irritation. Without discussing the original necessity or propriety of that step, in regard to which, as your excellency is aware, my government has never entertained but one opinion, I esteem it my duty to sub
I mit to your excellency whether that declaration has not ceased to serve any of the useful ends for which it may have been designed; whether the time has not come when it is unfriendly, on the part of France, to deny to the navy of the United States that hospitality which the French navy has always received in the ports of the United States, and whether the insurgents have not forfeited whatever right they ever pretended to have to the privileges of belligerents accorded them by the imperial government.
Your excellency must be already aware that the insurrectionary district of the United States has not a single port left open to the sea; it has no fixed seat for its pretended govern. ment; no coherent civil administration; no army that is not rapidly dissolving into fragments in consequence of repeated defeats. The only ships that assume to carry its flag were built in foreign lands; and from the day their keels were laid have never ventured to approach within hundreds of miles of the scene of the insurrection, while they have derived all their ability to rob and plunder our innocent commerce from the concession to them of belligerent privileges by powers which have repeatedly assured my government of their disposition to be neutral in the strife.
To show your excellency how difficult it must be to maintain friendly relations, howerer desirable, with powers which countenance this state of things, I invite your excellency's attention to a single aspect of this grievance which is offici authenticated.
Of the American merchant ships built and owned in the United States in 1858, 33, representing 12,684 tons capacity, were transferred to a British registry. The number of the same class similarly transferred in 1859 was 49, and their tonnage 21,308. The number in 1860 was 41, and their tonnage 13,683. In 1861 the number rose to 126, and the tonnage to 71,673. In 1862 the number reached 135, and their tonnage to 64,578. In 1863 the number was no less than 348, and their tonnage 252,379. In 1864 the number fell to 106, and the tonnage to 92,052.
It thus appears that from the beginning of our civil war until the first of January last the number of our merchant ships which assumed a British registry was 715, or thereabouts. I do not know what number of our merchant ships sought safety by acquiring other registry than that of Great Britain, and I have no occasion to indulge in conjectures upon the subject. The statement I have made is sufficient to illustrate the great disturbance and derangement of our commerce resulting necessarily and legitimately, not from our domestic strife, but from the intervention in it of piratical cruisers built in British ports and issuing from them to devastate our trade on the high seas, in violation of municipal laws, treaties, and the law of nations.
The government of France has concurred with that of Great Britain in attributing a bel. ligerent character to these piratical vessels, whence they have derived, in a great degree, their capacity for mischief, and in so doing she has given countenance to a moue of warfare unexampled in modern times for its wanton destructiveness, and appalling, whe'n contemplated as a precedent consecrated by such authorities for the future.
I beg now to ask your excellency whether France wishes to persist in recognkzing the scat. tered fragments of the insurrectionary organization, now fleeing before our arknies, as bel. ligerents, or the two or three ships now preying upon our commerce, constructed and equipped in neutral territory, sailing under no national flag, and therefore pirates by the law of nations, as entitled to the same rights and hospitalities in the ports of this empirt, as res. sels of war bearing the flag of the Uuited States ?
I would ask your excellency whether any possible advantage can result from this toleration of our enemies that will compensate for the irritation which must inevitably result frożn the continuance of a policy so prejudicial to our national interests, so irritating to our national pride, and so unfavorable to the culture of those friendly relations which my country-people have been educated to value very highly. If not, permit me to assure your excellency of my conviction that a more auspicious moment is not likely to occur than the present for France to withdraw every recognition, however qualified or conditional, which she may have ma de to any government or authority on the territory of the United States, save that which I have the honor to represent near his imperial Majesty. Permit me, also, to express the hope that your excellency will lend your powerful support to such a policy, involving, as it does, results about which neither of our countries can afford to be indifferent.
I have the honor to renew to your excellency assurances of the very high consideration with which I am your very obedient and very humble servant,
JOHN BIGELOW. His Excellency Mr. DROUYN DE LHUYS,
Minister of Foreign Affairs, &c., &c., &c.
Mr. Bigelow to Mr. Seward.
[Extract. ] No. 92.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Paris, May 12, 1865. SIR:
The proclamations accompanying despatch No. 112* were transmitted to the minister of foreign affairs, with a despatch, of which enclosure No. 1 is a copy. I am, sir, with great respect, your very obedient servant,
JOHN BIGELOW. Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD,
Secretary of State, Sc., fr., .
(Enclosure No. 1.]
Paris, May 4, 1865. SIR: I have the honor to transmit herewith, to your excellency, a printed copy of three proclamations issued by the President of the United States on the 11th ultimo: one relating to the closing of certain ports of entry, another supplementary, thereto, and relating to the port of Key West, Florida; and a third, relating to reciprocal hospitality to the vessels of foreign navies in the ports of the United States, and to vessels of the navy of the United States in foreign ports. Your excellency will perceive, by these proclamations, that it is believed that the time has arrived when the United States, whatever claim or pretence may have existed heretofore for denying them, are now entitled to claim the same friendly rights and hospitalities which they are willing to concede to the marine of all other nations.
I have the honor to renew to your excellency the assurances of my highest consideration, and remain your very humble and very obedient servant,
JOHN BIGELOW. His Excellency Monsieur DROUYN DE LHUYS,
Minister of Foreign Affairs, &c., &c., &c.
Mr. Hunter to Mr. Bigelow.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, May 16, 1865. Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your despatch No. 86, and its enclosures, informing me of the unanimous expressions of sympathy which have emanated from the government and people of France with the victims of the horrible crime which deprived us of our President, and maliciously injured the Secretary and Assistant Secretary of State. I will thank you to convey to the Prince Napoleon Bonaparte, Mr. Drouyn de Lhuys, and others, the grateful acknowledgments of this government for the words of condolence which they have addressed to us in the hour of mourning. I am happy to be able to inform
you of the improved health of Mr. Seward and his son Mr. Frederick. I am, sir, your obedient servant,
W. HUNTER, Acting Secretary. JOHN BIGELOW, Esq., 4., 8., 8c.
*Same as accompaniments to instruction No. 1,350 to Mr. Adams.
Mr. Hunter to Mr. Bigelow. No. 150.]
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, May 19, 1865. Sir: Your despatch of the 3d instant, No. 87, announcing the proceedings of the minister of foreign affairs and of the French legislative bodies in regard to the assassination of President Lincoln, and transmitting translations of the report of proceedings of the legislative bodies, embracing the substance of the despatch to the chargé d'affaires of France here on the subject, has been received
The Marquis de Montholon has promptly presented at this department the original of the despatch referred to, a reply to which will be made the occasion of a special communication; but I will take this occasion for saying that the earnestness and sincerity with which these branches of the French government have expressed their horror of the atrocious crime, their sympathy with the people of the United States, and their high tribute to the virtue and greatness of the illustrious dead, are regarded as honorable evidences of their justice and humanity, and of their friendly disposition towards this nation. I am, sir, your obedient servant,
W. HUNTER, Acting Secretary. John Bigelow, Esq., 80., 8c., c.
Mr. Bigelow to Mr. Seward.
LIVERPOOL, May 19, 1865. SIR: Just as I was leaving Paris last evening, on my way to this city, I received a note from Mr. Augusté Cochin, with an address to the President of the United States, of which enclosures Nos. 1 and 2 are copies.
This address, as you will observe, is the first public act of a body of gentlemen, all eminent as directors of public opinion in France, who have organized themselves under the title of “The French Committee of Emancipation,” to correspond with societies founded in America, England, and elsewhere, for seconding the utter abolition of slavery, the education and assistance of the families of freedmen, and the publication of all information that relates to this great cause of humanity.
In acknowledging the receipt of this address I shall promise Mr. Cochin and his illustrious associates my cordial co-operation in their efforts to enable the world to share the benefits of our experience of slavery and of emancipation. I am, sir, with great respect, your very obedient servant,
JOHN BIGELOW. Hon. William H. SEWARD, Sc., sc., fr.
[Enclosure No. 1.- Translation.]
Mr. Cochin to Mr. Bigelow.
PARIS, May 17, 1865. DEAR SIR: I have the honor to send you, in the name of the French Committee of Emancipation,” an address which we beg you will communicate to the President of the United States.
You will remark that this committee is formed to follow and second, whether by testimonials of sympathy or by the agency of the press, the great social transformation which is taking place in your country. It is important that Europe be not badly informed about nor remain indifferent to the liberation of many thousands of slaves.
Our design, our ambition, is to publish, explain, all the details of this great moral victory by exposing facts to all the calumnies which the rancor of private interests temporarily compromised is able to invent. Such was our motive for organizing ourselves into a permanent committee.
Our first act has been to draught the address which I send to you. We shall endeavor to add to our numbers new members, especially from the press. I shall keep you advised of our efforts, and beg you will believe us all at your disposition.
I ask of you the prompt transmission of our address, an acknowledgment of its reception for the committee, and a communication of all documents that may appear from time to time of a nature to render our good wishes available.
I shall have the honor to see you again; but without waiting for the opportunity, I wish to congratulate you upon this discourse, so noble, so Christian, so useful, which you have pronounced, and which the Moniteur has reproduced. Receive, dear sir, my very devoted respects.
A. COCHIN, 25 Rue St. Guillaume. Mr. BIGELOW, &c., &C., &c.
It would be kind of you to give me confidentially a list of the principal public men of the United States to whom it would be well to send the address.
[Enclosure No. 2.-Translation. ] Address of the French Committee of Emancipation to the President of the United States,
PARIS, May 1, 1865. A committee is formed in Paris, under the title of the French Committee of Emancipation, for the purpose of corresponding with the societies founded in America, England, and other countries, to aid the entire abolition of slavery, the education and assistance of the freed families, and the publication of all facts connected with that great cause of humanity.
The committee is provisionally composed of the Duke de Broglie, former president of the committee of 1843 for the abolition of slavery; Guizot, of the French Academy, honorary presidents ; Laboulaye, of the institute, president; igustin Cochin, of the institute, secre tary; Audley, Prince de Broglie, of the French Academy; Leopold de Gaillard ; Charles Gaumont, former member of the committee of 1848; Leon Lavedan, Henry Martin, Guillaume Monod, Count de Montalembert, of the French Academy; Henry Moreau, E. De Pressensé, H. Wallon, of the institute; Cornelis De Witt.
The first act of this committee was the presentation of the following address : To Andrew Johnson, President of the United States of America:
MR. PRESIDENT: The undersigned, faithful friends of the United States, sons of the French nation who fought for the independence of your nation, permit themselves to address to you the expression of the sentiments produced in their soul by the horrid crime that has placed in your hands the functions of Abraham Lincoln and the care of his memory.
He did not die in battle among the soldiers of the Union; he perished by the hand of an assassin. He is dead, but his country still lives, and his death may be beneficial to it if the United States, suppressing the horrors of the first emotion, will lament their President, imitate him, and listen to him still, instead of avenging him.
We French have also experienced civil war; more than once have we seen the most noble and innocent victims sink under unexpected blows in the midst of sanguinary struggles. The hand of a murderer has always perpetrated these acts. Crimes are isolated, glories are national. The guilty man seals his own fate as well as that of his victim. Leaving the Assassin in the shade of his ignominy, let us think only of the dead, and let us repeat the sentence that must have been the supreme wish of his soul, “May my blood be the last that is shed.”
Punish the guilty, punish those monsters, hateful alike to all parties, who murder men by the side of their wives and attack the sick in their beds, but do not suffer indignation to seek revenge afar.
The only vengeance worthy of Abraham Lincoln is the purification of conscience, the return of opinion, the melancholy glory shed upon his name, and especially the energetic union of his successor with his ministers, his generals, and the representatives of the people to finish the work that he began so nobly.
History will perform its part. We will show his soul in no pompous language, but in the simple praise of his life and of his words, or rather by his acts and by his language.
A simple smile pervaded Europe in the autumn of 1860 when it was heard that an obscure lawyer from the little town of Springfield, in the State of Illinois, was seated in the place of the great Washington, and that he had left his modest mansion to advocate three causes: the integrity of the national territory, the supremacy of the Constitution, the limitation and perhaps the suppression of slavery. The smile was broader when we learned that this President,
once a carpenter, a boatman, and a clerk, had to carry on war, to triumph over the evil designs of Europe, to quell domestic dissensions, and to contend with inilitary, financial, aud political difficulties all at the same time.
In fact, he was neither financier, nor general, nor director, nor diplomatist, nor seaman; he was only a man of the people, honest, religious, modest, and determined; who had read nothing but the Bible and the Life of Washington before he was twenty-five years of age; who had known no other school than that of life; had no instructor but labor, no protector but liberty.
It is hard to comprehend in Europe, in spite of our love of equality, how a man can reach the highest rank without protection, and how he can sustain himself without pride. We cannot see the power an honest man finds in the two great weapons-conscience and patience. These qualities formed the whole strength of Mr. Lincoln.. It was his secret.
On the morning of the 11th of February, 1861, a few friends attended him to the railway station in Springfield. He started after his election, alone and without an escort, to be inaugurated as President.
“İly friends,” said he, “no one not in my position can appreciate the sadness I feel at this parting. To this people I owe all that I am. Here I have lived more than a quarter of a century. Here my children were born, and here one of them lies buried. A duty devolves upon me which is greater perhaps than that which has devolved upon any other man since the days of Washington. He never would have succeeded except for the aid of Divine Providence, upon which he at all times relied. I feel that I cannot succeed without the same divine aid which sustained him, and on the same Almighty Being I place my reliance for support; and I hope you, my friends, will pray that I may receive that divine assistance without which I cannot succeed, but with which success is certain."
He who pronounced this touching farewell had not yet been inaugurated, and the south was already in arms.
Federal electors were chosen on the 6th of November, 1860, and the majority (180 ont of 303) were favorable to Lincoln. South Carolina raised the standard of revolt on the 20th of December. On the 11th of January, 1861, the governor of that State ordered the commander of Fort Sumter, near Charleston, to surrender. Major Anderson, commander of the fort, consulted the new President on the 6th of February, and answered, “If you besiege me, if you begin the civil war, the responsibility will rest upon you."
Calm and firm, in spite of these provocations, the President in his first message (4th of March, 1861) addressed to the insurgents these words, which clearly show the origin and true causes of the war.
“In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The government will not assail you; you can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the government; wbile I shall have the most solemn one to preserve, protect, and defend it.
“One section of our country believes slavery'is right and ought to be extended, while the other believes it is wrong and ought not to be extended; and this is the only substantial dispute.
Physically speaking, we cannot separate; we cannot remove our respective sections from each other, nor build an impassable wall between them. If the minority will not acquiesce, the majority must; there must be submission on the one side or the other. If a minority secede, another minority will secede from them, and thus cause ruin. Plainly the central idea of secession is the essence of anarchy."
These words were uttered on the 4th of March, and on the 12th of April, at four o'clock in the morning, the first cannon was fired by the south. President Lincoln believed so little in the long continuation of the war, that on the 15th of April he only called out seventy-five thousand men to arms; but he was so firmly resolved to maintain the constitution, and to juterpret it in favor of human liberty, that in passing through Philadelphia a short time before his inauguration, even in the hall where the declaration of independence was signed in 1776, he said:
“I have often inquired what great principle or idea it was that kept this confederacy so long together. It was not the mere matter of the separation of the colonies from the motherland, but that sentiment in the declaration of independence which gave liberty, not alone to the people of this country, but I hope to the world for all future time. It was that which gave promise that in due time the weight would be lifted from the shoulders of all men. Can the country be saved on this basis? If it can, I will consider myself one of the happiest men in the world if I can help to save it; but if it cannot be saved without giving up that principle, I would rather be assassinated on this spot than surrender it. I am ready to live for this principle, or, if God so ordains it, to die for it."
He was assassinated; but the war is over, the Union exists, slavery is destroyed; and before he fell, Mr. Lincoln entered the rebel capital, and on the moruing of his death he publicly qulogized the brave adversary, Robert Lee, whom his brave generals had just conquered, thus honoring him who had surrendered his arms.
He lived to raise the national Union colors in Richmond just four years from the day when, invited to raise the national standard on Independence Hall, he said:
“Besides this, our friends had provided a magnificent flag. I had to raise it; and when