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promise by this Government, under foreign auspices, with its discontented citizens. If, as the President does not at all apprehend, you shall unhappily find her Majesty's Government tolerating the application of the so-called seceding States, or wavering about it, you will not leave them to suppose for a moment that they can grant that application and remain the friends of the United States. You may even assure them promptly, in that case, that if they determine to recognize, they may at the same time prepare to enter into alliance with the enemies of this republic. You alone will represent your country at London, and you will represent the whole of it there. When you are asked to divide that duty with others, diplomatic relations between the Government of Great Britain and this Government will be suspended, and will remain so until it shall be seen which of the two is most strongly intrenched in the confidence of their respective nations and of mankind.
You will not be allowed, however, even if you were disposed, as the President is sure you will not be, to rest your opposition to the application of the Confederate States on the ground of any favor this Administration, or the party which chiefly called it into existente, proposes to show to Great Britain, or claims that Great Britain ought to show them. You will not consent to draw into debate before the British Government any opposing moral principles which may be supposed to lie at the foundation of the controversy between those States and the Federal Union.
You will indulge in no expressions of harshness or disrespect, or even impatience, concerning the seceding States, their agents, or their people. But you will, on the contrary, all the while remember that those States are now, as they always heretofore have been, and, notwithstanding their temporary self-delusion, they must always continue to be, equal and honored members of this Federal Union, and that their citizens throughout all political misunderstandings and alienations still are and always must be our kindred and countrymen. In short, all your arguments must belong to one of three classes, namely: First. Arguments drawn from the principles of public law and natural justice, which regulate the intercourse of equal States. Secondly. Arguments which concern equally the honor, welfare, and happiness of the discontented States, and the honor, welfare, and happiness of the whole Union. Thirdly. Arguments which are equally conservative of the rights and interests, and even sentiments of the United States, and just in their bearing upon the rights, interests, and sentiments of Great Britain and all other nations.
Just previous to the arrival of Mr. Adams at his post, the British Government determined, acting in concert with that of France, to recognize the rebels as a belligerent power. Against this recognition our Government directed Mr. Adams
RECOGNITION OF THE REBELS AS BELLIGERENTS. 135
to make a decided and energetic protest. On the 15th of June the British and French ministers at Washington requested an interview with the Secretary of State for the purpose of reading to him certain instructions they had received on this subject from their respective governments. Mr. Seward declined to hear them officially until he knew the nature of the document, which was accordingly left with him for perusal, and he afterwards declined altogether to hear it read, or receive official notice of it. In a letter to Mr. Adams, on the 19th, he thus states its character and contents:
That paper purports to contain a decision at which the British Government has arrived, to the effect that this country is divided into two belligerent parties, of which this Government represents one, and that Great Britain assumes the attitude of a neutral between them.
This Government could not, consistently with a just regard for the sovereignty of the United States, permit itself to debate these novel and extraordinary positions with the Government of her Britannic Majesty; much less can we consent that that Government shall announce to us a decision derogating from that sovereignty, at which it has arrived without previously conferring with us upon the question. The United States are still solely and exclusively sovereign within the territories they have lawfully acquired and long possessed, as they have always been. They are at peace with all the world, as, with unimportant exceptions, they have always been. They are living under the obligations of the law of nations, and of treaties with Great Britain, just the same now as heretofore; they are, of course, the friend of Great Britain, and they insist that Great Britain shall remain their friend now, just as she has hitherto been. Great Britain, by virtue of these relations, is a stranger to parties and sections in this country, whether they are loyal to the United States or not, and Great Britain can neither rightfully qualify the sovereignty of the United States, nor concede, nor recognize any rights or interests or power of any party, State, . or section, in contravention to the unbroken sovereignty of the Federal Union. What is now seen in this country is the occurrence, by no means peculiar, but frequent in all countries, more frequent even in Great Britain than here, of an armed insurrection engaged in attempting to overthrow the regularly constituted and established Government. There is, of course, the employment of force by the Government to suppress the insurrection, as every other government necessarily employs force in such cases. But these incidents by no means constitute a state of war impairing the sovereignty of the Government, creating belligerent sections, and entitling foreign States to intervene, or to act as neutrals
between them, or in any other way to cast off their lawful obligations to the nation thus for the moment disturbed. Any other principle than this would be to resolve government everywhere into a thing of accident and caprice, and ultimately all human society into a state of perpetual
We do not go into any argument of fact or of law in support of the positions we have thus assumed. They are simply the suggestions of the instinct of self-defence, the primary law of human action-not more the law of individual than of national life.
Similar views were presented for the consideration of the French Emperor, and, indeed, of all the foreign governments with which we held diplomatic intercourse. The action of the seceding States was treated as rebellion, purely domestic in its character, upon the nature or merits of which it would be unbecoming in us to hold any discussion with any foreign power. The President pressed upon, all those governments the duty of accepting this view of the question, and of abstaining, consequently, from every act which could be construed into any recognition of the rebel Confederacy, or which could embarrass the Government of the United States in its endeavors to re-establish its rightful authority. Especial pains were taken, by the most emphatic declarations, to leave no doubt in the mind of any foreign statesman as to the purpose of the people of the United States to accomplish that result. "You cannot be too decided or explicit," was the uniform language of the Secretary, "in making known to the government that there is not now, nor has there been, nor will there be, any the least idea existing in this Government of suffering a dissolution of this Union to take place in any way whatever." Efforts were also made by our Government to define, with the precision which the novel features of the case required, the law of nations in regard to neutral rights, and also to secure a general concurrence of the maritime powers in the principles of the Paris Convention of 1859: the latter object was, however, thwarted by the demand made by both
RIGHTS OF NEUTRALS.
France and England, that they should not be required to abide by these principles in their application to the internal conflict. which was going on in the United States. This demand the President pronounced inadmissible.
THE EXTRA SESSION OF CONGRESS, AND THE MILITARY EVENTS
In pursuance of the President's proclamation of the 15th of April, Congress met in extra session on the 4th of July, 1861. The Republicans had control of both houses, counting 31 votes out of 48 in the Senate, and 106 out of 178 in the House, there being, moreover, 5 in the Senate and 28 in the House who, without belonging to the Republican party, supported the Administration in its efforts to preserve the Union. Hon. G. A. GROW was elected Speaker of the House; and, on the 5th, the President communicated to Congress his first annual message as follows:
Fellow-Citizens of the Senate and
House of Representatives:
Having been convened on an extraordinary occasion, as authorized by the Constitution, your attention is not called to any ordinary subject of legislation.
At the beginning of the present presidential term, four months ago, the functions of the Federal Government were found to be generally sus pended within the several States of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Florida, excepting only those of the PostOffice Department.
Within these States all the forts, arsenals, dock-yards, custom-houses and the like, including the movable and stationary property in and about them, had been seized, and were held in open hostility to this Government, excepting only Forts Pickens, Taylor, and Jefferson, on and near the Florida coast, and Fort Sumter, in Charleston harbor, South Carolina. The forts thus seized had been put in improved condition, new ones had been built, and armed forces had been organized and were organizing, all avowedly with the same hostile purpose.