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dispose of them, if they are really contraband, so as to defeat their unlawful purposes, cannot reasonably be denied. What rule shall be applied in such a case? Clearly, the captor ought to be required to show that the failure of the judicial remedy results from circumstances beyond his control, and without his fault. Otherwise, he would be allowed to derive advantage from a wrongful act of his own.

In the present case, Captain Wilkes, after capturing the contraband persons and making prize of the Trent in what seems to be a perfectly lawful manner, instead of sending her into port, released her from the capture, and permitted her to proceed with her whole cargo upon her voyage. He thus effectually prevented the judicial examination which might otherwise have occurred.

If, now, the capture of the contraband persons and the capture of the contraband vessel are to be regarded, not as two separate or distinct transactions under the law of nations, ut as one transaction, one capture only, then it follows at the capture in this case was left unfinished, or was abandoned. Whether the United States have a right to retain the chief public benefits of it, namely, the custody of the captured persons on proving them to be contraband, will depend upon the preliminary question whether the leaving of the transaction unfinished was necessary, or whether it was unnecessary, and therefore voluntary. If it was necessary, Great Britain, as we suppose, must, of course, waive the defect, and the consequent failure of the judicial remedy. On the other hand, it is not seen how the United States can insist upon her waiver of that judicial remedy, if the defect of the capture resulted from an act of Captain Wilkes, which would be a fault on their own side.

Captain Wilkes has presented to this Government his reasons for releasing the Trent. "I forebore to seize her," he says, "in consequence of my being so reduced in officers and crew, and the derangement it would cause innocent persons, there being a large number of passengers who would have been put to great loss and inconvenience, as well as disappointment, from the interruption it would have Cansed them in not being able to join the steamer from St. Thomas to Europe. I therefore concluded to sacrifice the interest of my officers and crew in the prize, and suffered her to proceed after the detention necessary to effect the transfer of those commissioners, considering I had obtained the important end I had in view, and which affected the interest of our country and interrupted the action of that of the confederates."

I shall consider, first, how these reasons ought to affect the action of this Government; and secondly, how they ought to be expected to affect the action of Great Britain.

The reasons are satisfactory to this Government, so far as Captain Wilkes is concerned. It could not desire that the San Jacinto, her officers and crew, should be exposed to danger and loss by weakening their number to detach a prize crew to go on board the Trent. Still less could it disavow the humane motive of preventing inconveniences, losses, and perhaps disasters, to the several hundred innocent passengers found on board the prize vessel. Nor could this Government perceive any ground for questioning the fact that these reasons, though apparently incongruous, did operate in the mind of Captain Wilkes and determine him to release the Trent. Human actions generally proceed upon mingled, and sometimes conflicting motives. He measured the sacrifices which this decision would cost. It manifestly, however, did not occur to him that beyond the sacrifice of the private interests (as he calls them) of his officers and crew, there might also possibly be a sacrifice even of the chief and public object of his capture, namely, the right of his Government to the custody and disposition of the captured persons. This Government cannot censure him for this oversight. It confessess that the whole subject came unforeseen upon the Government, as doubtless it did upon him. Its present convictions on the point in question are the result of deliberate examination and deduction now made, and not of any impressions previously formed. Nevertheless, the question now is, not whether Captain Wilkes is justified to his Government in what he did, but what is the present view of the Government as to the effect of what he has done. Assuming now, for argument's sake only, that the release of the Trent, if voluntary, involved a waiver of the claim of the Government to hold the captured persons, the United States could in that case have no hesitation in saying that the act which has thus already been approved by the Government must be allowed to draw its legal consequence after it. It is of the very nature of a gift or a charity that the giver cannot, after the exercise of his benevolence is past, recall or modify its benefits.

We are thus brought directly to the question whether we are entitled to regard the release of the Trent as involuntary, or whether we are obliged to consider that it was voluntary. Clearly the release would have been involuntary had it been made solely upon the first ground assigned for it by Captain Wilkes, namely, a want of a sufficient force to send the prize vessel into port for adjudication. It is

not the duty of a captor to hazard his own vessel in or der to secure a judicial examination to the captured party. No large prize crew, however is legally necessary, for it is the duty of the captured party to acquiesce, and go willingly before the tribunal to whose jurisdiction it appeals. If the captured party indicate purposes to employ means of resistance which the captor cannot with probable safety to himself overcome, he may properly leave the vessel to go forward; and neither she nor the State she represents can ever afterwards justly object that the captor deprived her of the judicial remedy to which she was entitled. But the second reason assigned by Captain Wilkes for releasing the Trent differs from the first. At best, therefore, it must be held that Captain Wilkes, as he explains himself, acted from combined sentiments of prudence and generosity, and so that the release of the prize vessel was not strictly necessary or involuntary.

Secondly. How ought we to expect these explanations by Captain Wilkes of his reasons for leaving the capture incomplete to affect the action of the British government? The observation upon this point which first occurs is, that Captain Wilkes's explanations were not made to the authoritics of the captured vessel. If made known to them, they might have approved and taken the release upon the condition of waiving a judicial investigation of the whole transaction, or they might have refused to accept the release upon that condition.

But the case is one not with them, but with the British government. If we claim that Great Britain ought not to insist that a judicial trial has been lost because we voluntarily released the offending vessel out of consideration for her innocent passengers, I do not see how she is to be bound to acquiesce in the decision which was thus made by us without necessity on our part, and without knowledge of conditions or consent on her own. The question between Great Britain and ourselves thus stated would be a ques tion not of right and of law, but of favor to be conceded by her to us in return for favors shown by us to her, of the value of which favors on both sides we ourselves shall be the judge. Of course the United States could have no thought of raising such a question in any case.

I trust that I have shown to the satisfaction of the British Government, by a very simple and natural statement of the facts, and analysis of the law applicable to them, that this Government has neither meditated, nor practiced, nor approved any deliberate wrong in the transaction to which they have called its attention; and, on the contrary, that what has happened has been simply an inadvertency, consisting in a departure, by the naval officer, free from any wrongful motive, from a rule uncertainly established, and probably by the several parties concerned either iraperfectly understood or entirely unknown. For this error the British Government has a right to expect the same reparation that we, as an independent State, should expect from Great Britain or from any other friendly nation in a similar case. I have not been unaware that, in examining this question, I have fallen into an argument for what seems to be the British side of it against my own country. But I am relieved from all embarrassment on that subject. I had hardly fallen into that line of argument when I discovered that was really defending and maintaining, not an exclusively British interest, but an old, honored, and cherished American cause, not upon British authorities, but upon principles that constitute a large portion of the distinctive policy by which the United States have developed the resources of a continent, and thus becoming a considerable maritime power, have won the respect and confidence of many nations. These principles were laid down for us in 1804, by James Madison, when Secretary of State, in the administra tion of Thomas Jefferson, in instructions given to James Monroe, our Minister to England. Although the case before him concerned a description of persons different from those who are incidentally the subjects of the present discussion, the ground he assumed then was the same I now occupy, and the arguments by which he sustained himself upon it have been an inspiration to me in preparing this reply.

"Whenever," he says, "property found in a neutral vessel is supposed to be liable on any ground to capture and condemnation, the rule in all cases is, that the question shall not be decided by the captor, but be carried before a legal tribunal, where a regular trial may be had, and where the captor hitaself is liable to damages for an abuse of his power. Can it be reasonable, then, or just, that a belligerent commander who is thus restricted, and thus responsible in a case of mere property of trivial amount, should be permit ted, without recurring to any tribunal whatever, to examine the crew of a neutral vessel, to decide the important question of their respective allegiances, and to carry that decision into execution by forcing every individual he may choose into a service abhorrent to his feelings, cutting him off from his most tender connexions, exposing his mind and his person to the most humiliating discipline, and his life itself to the greatest danger. Reason, justice, and humanity unite in protesting against so extravagant a proceeding."

If I decide this case in favor of my own Government, I must disavow its most cherished principles, and reverse and forever abandon its essential policy. The country cannot afford the sacrifice. If I maintain those principles, and adhere to that policy, I must surrender the case itself. It will be seen, therefore, that this Government could not deny the justice of the claim presented to us in this respect upon its merits. We are asked to do the British nation just what we have always insisted all nations ought to do to us.

The claim of the British government is not made in a discourteous manner. This Government, since its first organization, has never used more guarded language in a similar case.

In coming to my conclusion I have not forgotten that, if the safety of this Union required the detention of the cap tured persons, it would be the right and duty of this Goverument to detain them. But the effectual check and waning proportions of the existing insurrection, as well as the comparative unimportance of the captured persons themselves, when dispassionately weighed, happily forbid me from resorting to that de ence.

Nor am I unaware that American citizens are not in any case to be unnecessarily surrendered for any purpose into the keeping of a foreign State Only the captured persons, however, or others who are interested in them, could justly raise a question on that ground.

Nor have I been tempted at all by the suggestions that cases might be found in history where Great Britian refused to yield to other natio..s, and even to ourselves, claims like that which is now before us. Those cases occurred when Great Britain, as well as the United States, was the home of generations, which, with all their peculiar interests and passions, bave passed away. She could in no other way so ellectually disavow any such injury as we think she does by assuming now as her own the ground upon which we then stood. It would tell little for our own claims to the charac ter of a just and magnanimous people if we should so far consent to be guided by the law of retaliation as to lift up buried injuries from their graves to oppose against what national consistency and the national conscience compel us to regard as a claim intrinsically right.

Putting behind me all suggestions of this kind, I prefer to express my satisfaction that, by the adjustment of the present case upon principles confessedly American, and yet, as I trust, mutually satisfactory to both of the nations concerned, a question is finally and rightly settled between them, which, heretofore exhausting not only all forms of peaceful discussion, but also the arbitrament of war itself, for more than a half a century alienated the two countries from each other, and perplexed with fears and apprehen

Bions all other nations.

The four persons in question are now held in military custody at Fort Warren, in the State of Massachusetts. They will be cheerfully liberated. Your lordship will please indicate a time and place for receiving them.


JANUARY 10, 1862.

MY LORD: In my despatch to you of the 30th of November, after informing you of the circumstances which had occurred in relation to the capture of the four persons taken from on board the Trent, I stated to you that it thus appeared that certain individuals had been forcibly taken from on board a British vessel, the ship of a neutral power, while such vessel was pursuing a lawful and innocent voyage; an act of violence which was an affront to the British flag, and a violation of international law. I concluded by directing you, in case the reparation which her Majesty's government expected to receive should not be offered by Mr. Seward, to propose to that minister to make such redress as alone would satisfy the British nation, namely: first, the liberation of the four gentlemen taken from on board the Trent, and their delivery to your lordship, in or der that they might again be placed under British protection; and, secondly, a suitable apology for the aggression which had been committed.

I received yesterday your lordship's despatch of the 27th ultimo, enclosing a note to you from Mr. Seward, which is in substance the answer to iny despatch of the 30th of November.

Proceeding at once to the main points in discussion between us, her Majesty's government have carefully examined how far Mr. Seward's note, and the conduct it announces, comply substantially with the two proposa.s I

have recited.

With regard to the first, viz: the liberation of the prisoners with a view to their being again placed under British protection, I find that the note concludes by stating that the prisoners will be cheerfully liberated, and by calling upon your lordship to indicate a time and place for receiving them. No condition of any kind is coupled with the liberation of the prisoners.

With regard to the suitable apology which the British government had a right to expect, I find that the Govern ment of the United States distinctly and unequivocally declares that no directions had been given to Captain Wilkes, or to any other naval officer, to arrest the four persons named or any of them, on the Trent, or on any other British vessel, or on any other neutral vessel, at the place where it occurred or elsewhere.

I find further that the Secretary of State expressly forbears to justify the particular act of which her Majesty's government complained. If the United States Government had alleged that, although Captain Wilkes had no previous instructions for that purpose, he was right in capturing the persons of the four prisoners, and in removing them from the Trent on board his own vessel, to be afterwards carried into a port of the United States, the Government which had thus sanctioned the proceeding of Captain Wilkes would have become responsible for the original violence and insults of the act. But Mr. Seward contents himself with stating that what has happened has been simply an inadvertency, consisting in a departure by a naval officer, free from any wrongful motive, from a rule uncertainly estab lished, and probably by the several parties concerned either imperfectly understood or entirely unknown. The Secre tary of State goes on to affirm that for this error the British government has a right to expect the same reparation which the United States as an independent State should expect from Great Britain or from any other friendly nation in a similar case.

Her Majesty's government having carefully taken into their consideration the liberation of the prisoners, the delivery of them into your hands, and the explanations to which I have just referred, have arrived at the conclusion that they constitute the reparation which her Majesty and the British nation has a right to expect.

It gives her Majesty's government great satisfaction to be enabled to arrive at a conclusion favorable to the maintenance of the most friendly relations between the two nations. I need not discuss the modifications in my statement of facts which Mr. Seward says he has derived from the reports of officers of his Government. I cannot conclude, however, without adverting shortly to the discussions which Mr. Seward has raised upon points not prominently brought into question in my despatch of the 30th of Nov. ember. I there objected, on the part of her Majesty's government, to that which Captain Wilkes had done. Mr. Seward, in his answer, points out what he conceives Captain Wilkes might have done without violating the law of nations.

It is not necessary that I should here discuss in detail the five questions ably argued by the Secretary of State. But it is necessary that I should say that her Majesty's govern ment differ from Mr. Seward in some of the conclusions at which he has arrived; and it may lead to a better understanding between the two nations on several points of international law which may, during the present contest, or at some future time be brought into question, that I should state to you, for communication to the Secretary of State, wherein those differences consist. I hope to do so in a few days.

In the meantime, it will be desirable that the commanders of the United States cruisers should be instructed not to repeat acts for which the British government will have to ask for redress, and which the United States Government cannot undertake to justify.

You will read and give a copy of this despatch to the Secretary of State.


The London Times of January 11, 1863, commenting on the proper reception to be given these visitors, remarked:

So we do sincerely hope that our countrymen will not give these fellows anything in the shape of an ovation. The civility that is due to a foe in distress is all that they can claim. We have returned them good for evil, and, sooth to say, we should be exceedingly sorry that they should ever be in a situation to choose what return they will make for the good we have now done them. They are here for their own interest, in order, if possible, to drag us into their own quarrel, and, but for the unpleasant contingencies of a prison, rather disappointed perhaps that their detention has not provoked a new war. When they stepped on board the Trent they did not trouble themselves with the thought of the mischief they might be doing an unef fending neutral; and if now, by any less perilous device, they could entangle us in the war, no doubt they would be only too happy. We trust there is no chance of their doing this, for, impartial as the British pul lic is in the matter, it certainly has no prejudice in favor of slavery, which, if any thing, these gentlemen represent. What they and their secretaries are to do here passes our conjecture. They are personally nothing to us. They must not suppose, because

we have gone to the very verge of a great war to rescue them, that therefore they are precious in our eyes. We should have done just as much to rescue two of their own negroes; and, had that been the object of the rescue, the swarthy Pompey and Cæsar would have had just the same right to triumphal arches and municipal addresses as Messrs. Mason and Slidell. So, please, British public, let's have none of these things. Let the commissioners come up quietly to town, and have their say with anybody who may have time to listen to them. For our part, we cannot see how anything they have to tell can turn the scale of British duty and deliberation. There have been so many cases of peoples and nations establishing an actual independence, and compelling the recognition of the world, that all we have to do is what we have done before, up to the very last year. This is now a simple matter of precedent. Our statesmen and lawyers know quite as much on the subject as Messrs. Mason and Slidell, and are in no need of their information or advice.

ACTION OF CONGRESS. Second Session, Thirty-Seventh Congress. IN HOUSE.

1861, December 2-Mr. LOVEJOY, by unanimous consent, offered this joint resolution:

That the thanks of Congess are due, and are hereby tendered, to Captain Wilkes of the United States Navy, for his brave, adroit, and patriotic conduct in the arrest and detention of the traitors James M. Mason and John Slidell.

Mr. EDGERTON moved this as a substitute: That the President of the United States be requested to present to Captain Charles Wilkes a gold medal, with suitable emblems and devices, in testimony of the high sense entertained by Congress of his good conduct in promptly arresting the rebel ambassadors James M. Mason and John


Which was agreed to; and the resolution passed.

1862, February 19-The Senate indefinitely postponed it.

1861, December 16-Mr. VALLANDIGHAM offered this resolution:

Whereas the Secretary of the Navy has reported to this House that Captain Charles Wilkes, in command of the San Jacinto, an armed public vessel of the United States, did, on the 8th of November, 1861, on the high seas, intercept the Trent, a British mail steamer, and forcibly remove therefrom James M. Mason and John Slidell-"disloyal citizens, leading conspirators, rebel enemies, and dangerous Incu"-who, with their suite, were on their way to Europe to promote the cause of the insurrection," claiming to be ambassadors from the so-called Confederate States; and

whereas the Secretary of the Navy has further reported to this House, that "the prompt and decisive action of Captain Wilkes on this occasion merited and received the emphatic approval of the Department," and moreover, in a public letter has thanked Captain Wilkes for the act; and whereas this House, on the first day of the session, did propose to tender the thanks of Congress to Captain Wilkes, for his brave, adroit, and patriotic conduct in the arrest and detention of the traitors James M. Mason and John Slidell;" and whereas further, on the same day, this House did request the President to confine the said James M. Mason and John Slidell in the cells of convicted felons until certain military officers of the United States, captured and held by the so-called Confederate States, should be treated as prísoners of war: Therefore,

Be it resolved, (as the sense of this House,) That it is the duty of the President to now firmly maintain the stand thas taken, approving and adopting the act of Captain Wilkes, in spite of any menace or demand of the British government; and that this House pledges its full support to hini in upholding now the honor and vindicating the cour age of the Government and people of the United States against a foreign power.

Which, on motion of Mr. FENTON, was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairsyeas 109, nays 16, as follows:

YEAS-Messrs. Aldrich, Alley, Arnold, Babbitt, Joseph Baily. Baker, Baxter, Beaman, Biddle, Bingham, Francis P. Blir, Jacob B. Blair, Samuel S. Blair, Blake, William G. Brown, Buffinton, Burnham, Calvert, Chamberlain, Clark, Cobb, Colfax, Roscoe Conking, Cooper, Covode, Davis, Delano, Diven, Duell, Dunlap, Dunn, Edwards, Eliot, English, Fenton, Fessenden, Franchot, Frank, Gooch, Granger,

Grider, Gurley, Hale, Harding, Harrison, Hickman, Hutchins, Julian, Francis W. Kellogg, William Kellogg, Knapp, Law, Lazear, Leary, Lehman, Loomis, Lovejoy, McKnight, McPherson, Mallory, Maynard, Menzies, Mitchell, Moorhead, Justin S. Morrill, Noell, Odell, Olin, Patton, Perry, T. G. Phelps, Pike, Pomeroy, Porter, Alexander H. Rice, John H. Kice, Richardson, Edward H. Rollins, Sargent, Sedg wick, Shanks, Sheffield, Shellabarger, Sherman, Smith, Spaulding, William G. Steele, Stevens, Benjamin F. Thomas, Francis Thomas, Train, Trimble, Trowbridge, Van Horn, Verree, Wadsworth, Wall, E. P. Walton, Ward, Washburne, Wheeler, Whaley, Albert 8. White, Wickliffe, Wilson, Windom, Woodruff, Worcester, Wright-109. NAYS-Messrs. Allen, George H. Browne, Frederick A. Conkling, Cox, Cravens, Haight, Holman, Morris, Noble, Nugen, Pendleton, Shiel, John B. Steele, Vallandigham, Vandever, Chilton A. White-16.

Monarchical Intrigues in Central and South America.

1864, March 15-Mr. McDOUGALL offered this resolution, which was adopted:

Resolved, That the President be requested to communicate to the Senate, if not incompatible with the public interest, any correspondence or other information in possession of the Government, relating to any plan or plans now projected or being projected with a view to the establishment of monarchical governments in Central and South America.

March 24-The PRESIDENT transmitted this paper from the Secretary of State, in reply:

The Secretary of State, to whom has been referred the resolution of the Senate of the 15th instant, requesting the President "to communicate to the Senate, if not incompatible with the public interest, any correspondence or other information in possession of the Government relating to any plan or plans now projected, or being projected, with a view to the establishment of monarchical governments in Central and South America," has the honor to report, that surmises and jealousies are constantly arising on the subject to which the resolution refers, which are brought to the notice of the Department by our representatives abroad. But there is no correspondence or other form of informa tion which furnishes any reliable facts showing the exist ence of "plans" for the accomplishment of the object mentioned.

Any correspondence which might be regarded as embraced in the resolution, besides being very vague, is, in its nature, confidential, and its publication at the present time would be incompatible with the public interest.

Alleged Foreign Enlistments. 1864, June 28-The PRESIDENT transmitted, in reply to a Senate resolution of 24th, these reports:


WASHINGTON, June 23, 1864. The Secretary of State, to whom has been referred the resolution of the Senate of the 24th instant, requesting the President to inform that body "if any authority has been given any one, either in this country or elsewhere, to obtain recruits in Ireland or Canada for our army and navy; and whether any such recruits have been obtained, or whether, to the knowledge of the Government, Irishmen or Canadians have been induced to emigrate to this country in order to be recruited; and if so, what measures, if any, have been adopted in order to arrest such conduct," has the honor, in reply to the inquiries thus submitted, to report, that no authority has been given by the Executive of this Government, or by any executive department, to any one, either in this country or elsewhere, to obtain recruits either in Ireland, or in Canada, or in any foreign country, for either the army or the navy of the United States; and on the contrary, that whenever application for such authority has been made, it has been refused and absolutely withheld. provinces named in the resolution, or in any foreign country, If any such recruits have been obtained, either in the they have been obtained by persons who are not even citizens of the United States, but subjects or citizens of the country where the recruits were obtained. The persons who obtained such recruits, if any were so obtained, were answerable to the laws of the foreign province or country where their offences were committed, and at the same time they were not within the reach of our own laws and tribunals; and such persons acted without any authority or consent, and even without the knowledge of this Government.. This Government has no knowledge that any such recruits

have leen obtained in the provinces named, or in any foreign country. In two or three instances it has been reported to this department that recruiting agents crossed the Canadian frontier, without authority, with a view to engage recruits or reclaim deserters. The complaints thus made were immediately investigated, the proceedings of such recruiting agents were promptly disavowed and condemned, the recruits or deserters, if any had been brought into the United States, were at once returned, and the offending agents were dismissed from the public service.

In the land and naval forces of the United States there are found not only some Canadians, some Englishmen, and some Irishmen, but also many subjects of continental European powers. All of these persons were voluntary immigrants into the United States. They enlisted after their arrival on our shores, of their own free accord, within our own limits and jurisdiction, and not in any foreign country. The executive government has no knowledge of the nature of the special inducements which led these volunteers to emigrate from their native countries, or of the purposes for which they emigrated. It has, however, neither directly nor indirectly invited their immigration by any offers of employment in the military or naval service. When such persons were found within the United States, exactly the same inducements to military service were open to them which by authority of law were offered at the same time to citizens of the United States.

Having thus answered the inquiries contained in the resolution of the Senate, the Secretary of State might here without impropriety close this report. Nevertheless, the occasion is a proper one for noticing complaints on the subject of recruitment in our army and navy which have recently found utterance in the British House of Lords. The Secretary of State has, therefore, further to report that the Government of the United States has practiced the most scrupulous care in preventing and avoiding in Great Britain, and in all other foreign countries, any violation of international or municipal laws in regard to the enlistment

of soldiers and seamen.

Moreover, when the British government, or any other foreign government, has complained of any alleged violation of the rights of its subjects within the United States, this Government has listened to the complaints patiently, investigated them promptly, and where redress was found due, and was practicable, has cheerfully accorded it. This Government, on the other hand, has been obliged to submit, in the ordinary way, grave complaints of the enlistment, equipment, and periodical payment in British ports of seamen and mariners employed in making unauthorized war from ench ports against the United States.


United States, first to bring African slavery to an end throughout the world, and secondly to strengthen the interest of free labor upon the American continent. It recog nized and entered into commercial relations with free States founded on African colonization. It refused a market for slaves, and it pursues the slave trader on the high seas, and denies to him an asylum on our own shores. On the contrary, it invites honest and industrious freemen hither from all parts of the world, and gives them free homes and ample fields, while it opens to them virgin mines and busy workshops, with all the privileges of perfect civil and religious liberty. So far as increase of immigration has resulted from the action of the Government during the present civil war, it is due exclusively to what has thus lawfully been done with those two ends of extinguishing slavery and fortifying freedom always in view. Nor has this Government any reason to be disappointed with the results. The country has sustained a very destructive war for the period of three years. Yet it is not here that national resources or credit fails. It is not here that patriots are wanting to defend the country of their birth or their choice, nor is it here that miners, farmers, merchants, artisans, and laborers lack either subsistence or employment, with abundant rewards. The number of slaves is rapidly diminishing, and the num ber of freemen continues to augment, even during the con vulsions of domestic war, more rapidly than ever a free population advanced in any other country, or even in our Respectfully submitted,




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Second. That no recruits have been obtained in Ireland or in Canada for the army of the United States with my knowledge or consent, and, to the best of my information and belief none have been obtained, nor any effort mado to obtain them.

Fourth. That no measures have been adopted by this de partment to arrest any such conduct, because no informa tion of any such conduct has reached the department, and I do not believe that it has been practiced in any instance.

Third. That neither Irishmen nor Canadians have, with my knowledge, approbation, or consent, or with the knowlIt is a notorious fact, manifest to all the world, that a vig-edge, approbation, or consent of any one in this department, orous and continual tide of emigration is flowing from Eu- been induced to emigrate to this country in order to enlist rope, and especially from portions of the British empire, into the army. and from Germany and Sweden, into the United States. This immigration, like the immigration which preceded it, results from the reciprocal conditions of industrial and social life in Europe and America. Of the mass of immigrants who arrive on our shores, far the largest number go immediately into the occupations of peaceful industry. Those, on the contrary, who are susceptible to the attractions of military life, voluntarily enter the national service with a similar class of our own native citizens, upon the same equal inducements, and with the same patriotic motives. There is no law of nations, and no principles of international comity, which requires us to refuse their aid in the cause of the country and of humanity.

This Government does not repudiate or discourage immigration. The Government frankly avows that it encourages immigration from all countries, but only by open, lawful, and honorable agencies and means. However statesmen in other countries may have at the beginning misunderstood the nature and direction of the present civil war, that nature and that direction were not misunderstood by the Government of the United States. It was foreseen here that the seditious attempt to divide the American Union, if not discouraged by other commercial and maritime powers, would not merely produce great commercial and social embarrassment in the United States, but that, if it should be persisted in and protracted, it must seriously disturb the commerce and industry of other nations. Upon this ground, among others, the Government of the United States earnestly remonstrated with foreign States against their award of unusual commercial and belligerent privileges to the insurgents, in derogation of the sovereignty of the United States. When, however, it was fully disclosed that the insurrection aimed at nothing less than to separate fifteen of these States from the rest, and to re-establish them within our own lawful territory as one single independent nation upon the foundation of African slavery, this Government did not hesitate, so far as authorized by law, to draw upon all the resources of the country, and to call into activity all the energies of the American people to prevent so great a crime. It further resolved to devote its best efforts within the limits of international law and the Constitution of the

I will add that no encouragement or inducement whatever has been extended by this department to any person or persons to obtain recruits for the army anywhere be yond the limits of the United States.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient
Secretary of War.


NAVY DEPARTMENT, June 27, 1864. SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the reference to this Department of a resolution passed in the Senate of the United States on the 24th instant, requesting the President of the United States "to inform the Senate if any authority has been given to any one, either in this country or else where, to obtain recruits in Ireland or in Canada for our army or navy; and whether any such recruits have been obtained, or whether, to the knowledge of the Government, Irishmen or Canadians have been induced to emigrate to this country in order to be so recruited; and if so what measures, if any, have been adopted to arrest such conduct;" and to state, in reply, that no such order as that indicated in the resolution has been given by the Navy De partment to any one, either in this country or elsewhere, nor is the Navy Department aware that any such recruits have been obtained, or that inducements have been offered to Irishmen or Canadians to emigrate to this country in or der to be so recruited.

On the occasion of a visit of the United States steamer Kearsarge to Queenstown, Ireland, in November last, sev eral Irishmen secreted themselves on board the vessel, were carried off in her, and when discovered were returned to that port and put ashore. This circumstance gave rise to a charge that the Kearsarge had violated the foreign onlistment act of Great Britain. Captain Winslow, com manding the Kearsarge, disavowed having violated this act

or any intention of permitting others under his command to do so. Explanations have been made to the British gov. ernment, and it is presumed the matter has been satisfactorily settled.

I am, sir, with very great respect, your obedient servant, GIDEON WELLES, Secretary of the Navy.

Foreign Mediation.


DEPARTMENT OF STATE, April 22, 1861. His Excellencу THOS. H. HICKS, Governor of Maryland: SIR: I have had the honor to receive your communication this morning, in which you inform me that you have felt it to be your duty to advise the President of the United States to order elsewhere the troops then off Annapolis, and also that no more may be sent through Maryland; and that you have further suggested that Lord Lyons be requested to act as mediator between the contending parties in our country to prevent the effusion of blood.

* *

If eighty years could have obliterated all the other noble sentiments of that age in Maryland, the President would be hopeful, nevertheless, that there is one that would forever remain there and everywhere. That sentiment is that no domestic contention whatever, that may arise among the parties of this Republic, ought in any case to be referred to any foreign arbitrament, least of all to the arbitrament of an European monarchy.

I have the honor to be, with distinguished consideration, your Excellency's most obedient servant.



During 1862, the French Government proposed to the Russian and English governments to join it in trying to bring about an armistice for six months between "the Federal Government and the Confederates of the South;" which they declined.

Jan. 9, 1863-M. Drouyn de l'Huys, Minister of Foreign Affairs, addressed M. Mercier, the French Minister at Washington, on this subject.

We add a few paragraphs:

Sma: In forming the purpose of assisting, by the proffer of our good offices, to shorten the period of those hostilities which are desolating the American continent, had we not been guided, beyond all, by the friendship which actuates the government of the Emperor in regard to the United States, the little success of our overtures might chill the interests with which we follow the fluctuations of this contest; but the sentiment to which we have yielded is too sin cere for indifference to find a place in our thoughts, and that we should cease to be painfully affected, whilst the war continues to rage.

We cannot regard without profound regret this war, worse than civil, comparable to the most terrible distractions of the ancient republics, and whose disasters multiply in proportion to the resources and the valor which each of the belligerent parties develop.

The government of his Majesty have therefore seriously examined the objections which have been made to us. Where we have suggested the idea of a friendly mediation, and we have asked ourselves whether they are truly of a nature to set aside as premature every tentative to a reconciliation, on one part has been opposed to us the repug nance of the United States to admit the intervention of foreign influence in the dispute, on the other, the hope, which the Federal Government has not abandoned, of attaining its solution by force of arms.

Assuredly, sir, recourse to the good offices of one or several neutral powers contains nothing incompatible with the pride so legitimate amidst a great nation, and wars purely international are not those alone which furnish examples of the useful character of mediation.

SECRETARY SEWARD'S LETTER TO MR. DAYTON. DEPARTMENT OF STATE, WASHINGTON, 6th Feb., 1863. Era: The Intimation given in your dispatch of January 15th, No. 255, that I might expect a special visit from M Mercier, has been realized. He called on the 3d instant, and gave me a copy of a dispatch which he had just then received from M. Drouyn de l'Huys under the date of the 21st of January. I have taken the President's instructions, and I now proceed to give you his views upon the subject in question..

It has been considered with seriousness resulting from the reflection that the people of France are known to be faultless sharers with the American nation in the misfor tunes and calamities of our unhappy civil war; nor do we on this, any more than on other occasions, forget the traditional friendship of the two countries, which we unhesita tingly believe has inspired the counsels that M. Drouyn de l'Huys has imparted."

He says, "the Federal Government does not despair, we know, of giving more active impulse to hostilities ;" and again he remarks, "the protraction of the struggle, in a word, has not shaken the confidence (of the Federal Gov. ernment) in the definite success of its efforts." These passages seem to me to do unintentional injustice to the language, whether confidential or public, in which this Government has constantly spoken on the subject.of the war. It certainly has had and avowed only one purpos&E--a determination to preserve the integrity of the country. So far from admitting any laxity of effort, or betraying any despondency, the Government, has on the contrary, borue itself cheerfully in all vicissitudes with unwavering confidence in an early and complete triumph of the national cause. Now, when we are, in a manner, invited by a friendly power to review the twenty-one months' history or the conflict, we find no occasion to abate that confidence. Through such an alternation of victories and defeats as is the appointed incident of every war, the land and naval forces of the United States have steadily advanced, reclaiming from the insurgents the ports, forts, and posts, which they had treacherously seized before the strife actually began, and even before it was seriously apprehended. So many of the States and districts which the insurgents included in the field of their projected exclusive slaveholding dominions, have already been re-established under the flag of the Union, that they now retain ouly the States of Georgia, Alabatna, and Texas, with half of Virginia, half of North Carolina, two thirds of South Carolina, half of Louisiana. The national forces hold even this small terriMississippi, and one third respectively of Arkansas and tory in close blockade and siege.

This Government, if required, does not hesitate to submit its achievements to the test of comparison; and it maintains that in no part of the world, and in no times, ancient or modern, has a nation, when rendered all unready for combat by the enjoyment of eighty years of almost unbroken peace, so quickly awakened at the alarm of sedition, put forth energles so vigorous, and achieved successes so signal and effective, as those which have marked the progress of this contest on the part of the Union.

M. Drouyn de l'Huys, I fear, has taken other light than the correspondence of this Government for his guidance, in ascertaining its temper and firmness. He has probably read of divisions of sentiment among those who hold themselves forth as organs of public opinion here, and has given to them an undue importance. It is to be remembered that this is a nation of thirty millions, civilly divided into forty-one States and Territories, which cover an expanse hardly less than Europe; that the people are a pure democ racy, exercising everywhere the utinost freedom of speech and suffrage; that a great crisis necessarily produces vehe ment as well as profound debate, with sharp collisions of individual, local, and sectional interests, sentiments and ambitions, and that this heat of controversy is increased by the intervention of speculations, interests, prejudices, and passions from every other part of the civilized world. It is, however, through such debates that the agreement of the nation upon any subject is habitually attained, its resolu tion formed, and its policy established. While there hat been much difference of popular opinion and favor con cerning the agents who shall carry on the war, the princi ples on which it shall be waged, and the means with which it shall be prosecuted, M. Drouyn de l'Huys has only to re fer to the statute book of Congress and the Executive ordinances, to learn that the national activity has hitherto been, and yet is, as efficient as that of any other nationwhatever its form of government-ever was, under circum stances of equally grave impert to its peace, safety and welfare. Not one voice has been raised anywhere, out of intervention, of mediation, of arbitration, or of compro the immediate field of the insurrection, in favor of foreign mise, with the relinquishment of one acre of the national domain, or the surrender of even one constitutional franchise. At the same time, it is manifest to the world that our resources are yet abundant, and our credit adequate to the existing emergency.

What M. Drouyn de l'Huys suggests is that this Govern. ment shall appoint commissioners to meet, on neutral ground, commissioners of the insurgents. He supposes that in the conferences to be thus held reciprocal complaints could be discussed, and in place of the accusations which the North and the South now mutually cast upon eack other, the conferees would be engaged with discussions of the interests which divide them. He assumes, further, 'hat

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