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If by this it be understood that the date of issue of the proclamation in London is the rule applied to vessels happening to be at the most remote dependencies of Great Britain, I must admit that these two cases are not precisely parallel. My impression had been that that paper was not designed to have a retroactive operation, but that it went into effect, as is often the case in treaties, from the date of reception and notice by the local government of the distant colony to which it was to apply. In that view it would seem that the Saginaw had arrived at Hong Kong more than a forte night prior to the issue of the governor's proclamation.

In making the representation respecting the case of the Saginaw it was not, however, my desire to raise this question as one of primary importance. I rather wished to point out the exceptional nature of the China seas, in which all commercial nations seem to have a common interest in rendering to each other, so far as possible, a mutual support.

I pray your lordship to accept the assurance of the highest consideration with which I have the honor to be, my lord, your most obedient servant,

CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS. The Right Hon. Earl Russell.

Mr. Adams to Mr. Seward. No. 199.]


. London, July 31, 1862. Sir: You must long before this have received all the information respecting the Laird gunboat, No. 290, for which you ask in your despatch No. 299, of the 12th of July. It only remains for me to continue the narrative of that transaction down to this date. In spite of all my efforts and remonstrances, which as yet wait the opinion of the law officers of the crown, I received on the 29th instant from Mr. Dudley, the consul at Liverpool, the news that she sailed without register or clearance from that port on that day. I immediately communicated the intelligence by telegraph to Captain Craven, at Southampton. I learn from the consul at that place that the Tuscarora sailed from thence at 8 p. m, on the 29th instant. Should the captain be so fortunate as to encounter the vessel on the bigh seas, I have every reason to believe that he will attempt her capture. But I have given him no instructions how far to pursue her, or what to do in case of failure. In these respects he is left entirely to his own discretion. I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,


Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.

Mr. Adams to Mr. Seward.

[Extract.] No. 201.]


London, August 1, 1862. SIR : Yesterday I had a conference with Lord Russell at the foreign office, in the course of which I went over the various subjects whereupon I had received instructions in your late despatches. I propose to review them in the order in which they came up.

1. And first, I communicated to his lordship the substance of your despatch (No. 271) of the 7th of June, so far as it related to him and to your view of the action of the Spanish government towards Mexico. The reason why this has not been done before was, that it did not seem to make an object of itself sufficient to ask for it a special conference, and until now I had no others to join with it.

2. I read to his lordship the substance of your despatches Nos. 281 and 299 respecting the use made of the island of Nassau by the rebels, and the fitting out of the gunboats Oreto and 290. His lordship first took up the case of 290, and remarked that a delay in determining upon it had most unexpectedly been caused by the sudden development of a malady of the Queen's advocate, Sir John D. Harding, totally incapacitating him for the transaction of business. This had made it necessary to call in other parties, whose opinion had been at last given for the detention of the gunboat, but before the order got down to Liverpool the vessel was gone. He should, however, send directions to have her stopped if she went, as was probable, to Nassau. I said I was aware that the gunboat was off, but I did not say, wbat I myself have little doubt of, that her sudden departure was occasioned by a notion, obtained somehow or other, that such a proceeding was impending. I added an expression of satisfaction that the law officers of the crown had seen their way to give such an opinion, and that it was the disposition of her Majesty's government to do something to check this outrageous abuse. In this connexion I begged to ask if he had any information respecting the proceedings had at Nassau in the case of the Oreto. I had seen a statement in the newspapers, adaitional to the information contained in the despatch No, 281 which I had read to him, to the effect that the Oreto had been actually stopped and put under the guns of her Majesty's ship the Greyhound. I hoped this was true, for I thought the effect of such a proceeding would be very favorably viewed in America. His lordship replied that he had received no information on the subject beyond what I had referred to, which came from the American newspapers. With regard to the complaint against the island of Nassau, he could only say that he had received, a short time since, a letter, signed by many commercial people in Liverpool and elsewhere, remonstrating against the virtual blockade of that island by United States war vessels, and the subjection of many innocent British sbips to the inconveniences of detention and search as if engaged in illegitimate trade. To this representation be had written a reply, stating that bowever much the inconveniences mentioned were to be regretted, it was not the disposition of the government to afford protection to any parties that might be engaged in undertakings in violation of her Majesty's proclamation; and when there was reason to suppose that such adventures might be carried on, it was difficult to raise objections to the right of examination. His lordship added that he had expected both the letter and his answer would have been published before this by parties concerned, but they had not thought fit to do so. I replied that they knew too much to be caught doing that, but I should take pleasure in communicating this fact to my government. Any and all evidence which I could obtain of a disposition, on the part of her Majesty's ministers, to discountenance the notorious and flagrant abuses of neutrality, now every day committed by British subjects, . would be of great use to counteract the strong popular feeling in America growing up on account of them. We had every reason to believe that these war vessels were intended to prey directly upon our commerce, and most particularly to intercept the steamers bearing treasure to New York from California. Should one of those steamers be taken in consequence of the omission to stop these outfits in British ports, the excitement that it would create in America would be very great. Disposed, as I had always been,

to cultivate friendly relations between the two countries, I could not but look with much uneasiness upon all events which might tend to affect them unfavorably. His lordship said that he could not at once say whether it was proper to furnish copies of the correspondence alluded to or not, but I was welcome to mention the facts, and very probably he might send me the copies.

3. Next, I opened the matters of the proposed consulate at Salmon Bay, as presented in your despatch (No. 292) of the 9th of July. I read to his lordship the substance of that paper, and submitted the whole subject to his consideration without further remark. He took a note of the tenor of it, and promised that it should receive early consideration.

4. Lastly, I read to his lordship the despatch No. 296, relating to the claim of Mr. Herran for the fulfilment of the guarantee to New Granada to protect the transit on the Isthmus of Panama. I observed that it must be obvious that the government of the United States could not désire just at this time to enlarge the field of operation for its forces ; hence that its performance of this obligation would necessarily depend only upon a full conviction of its imperative character. On that point it would be glad to consult with other powers most interested in the transit, which it was the object to preserve. His lordship seemed already well informed of the facts in the case. He said that he did not yet perceive the contingency to have occurred which called for interposition. It was true that General Mosquera was in occupation of the territory in resistance to the Granadian government. Such things were happening all the time in South America. But there had been no attempt, so far as he knew, to obstruct the free transit across the isthmus, nor did he understand that any disposition had been shown to do so. Until there should be some manifestation of the sort, any demonstration might have the appearance of interposing to effect a different purpose. His lordship added that, on the happening of an actual derangement of the communication, the British goverment would readily co-operate with the United States in the measures that might be thought necessary to make good the privileges secured by the guarantee.

I believed this closed all the topics to which it had been made my duty especially to call his lordship's attention. I then took my leave of him, probably for the season, as he spoke of his departure from town next week, and mentioned that the under secretary would, in bis absence, attend to the transaction of any business that I might have occasion to propose.


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


Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.

Mr. Adams to Mr. Seward.

No. 202.]


London, August 1, 1862. Sir: I forgot, in my report of my conference with Lord Russell yesterday, to allude to an incidental matter to which he requested me to call your attention. He said that a bill for the further execution of the late treaty in suppression of the slave trade had been passed by Parliament, and the government was about to fill the places contemplated in the commission at New York. He wished to know if I had any information as to correspond. ing action taken in America. I replied in the negative, as from any official sources. But I had seen in the newspapers some reference tu a contemplated appointment under the same commission. His lordship said he should be glad to have me mention the subject to you. I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,


Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.

Mr. Seward to Mr. Adams.

(Extracts) No. 314.]


Washington, August 2, 1862. · SIR: * * It is indeed manifest in the tone of the speeches, as well as in the general tenor of popular discussions, that neither the responsible ministers, nor the House of Commons, nor the active portion of the people of Great Britain sympathize with this government, and hope, or even wish for its success in suppressing the insurrection ; and that, on the contrary, the whole British nation, speaking practically, desire and expect the dismemberment of the republic. I cannot deny that these sentiments must insensibly influence the administration, and give its policy a hostile direction. But these senti ments are, after all, in a great measure speculations ; and they may very well exist, and yet the government, and certainly the people of Great Britain, may be entirely unprepared by any responsible action to attempt to precipitate a change here whose consequences may be momentous, even to themselves. I well recollect that with what seemed to us far better motives, Great Britain recently wished and expected the separation of Hungary and of Venice from Austria ; and yet the government passively looked on, and saw the revolutions designed to effect those ends languish and perish. It is a proverb that the earth is full of good but unexecuted intentions. Happily for human society, the proportion of evil intentions unfulfilled is equally great. Indeed, we can hardly be surprised at the disposition and the tendencies upon which I am dwelling, unless we shall persist, after so much opposing evidence, in our early error of conceding to Great Britain a degree of magnanimity which she herself does not even affect to claim, and which, perhaps, has never yet been exhibited by any nation. We cannot forget that we are a younger branch of the British family; that we bave not been especially reverential of the senior branch, and have even been ambitious to surpass it in wealth, power, and influence among the nations. To these facts it is to be added that, in the very heat of competition, we have broken, have abandoned the course, and have divided ourselves into suicidal factions. The success of the insurgents would make it sure that the race could never be resumed, while the triumph of the government would probably reanimate the national ambition once more. At this moment we have encountered an unexpected reverse, which encourages our eager enemies, wherever they may be, to hope for our signal and complete overthrow. Did ever any nation, at once so presumptuous, yet so unwise, and so apparently unfortunate, secure the absolute forbearance of a rival it had boldly challenged ? Certainly not, and therefore I reckon not upon any sentimental forbearance of the British government. The American people understand, as well as their government does, that none is to be expected or even desired. Still the disfavor of Great Britain is inherently illiberal ; and happily the unwarrantable and too unreserved exhibition of it naturally rouses the American people to a sense of their danger, and tends to recall them from unworthy domestic strife to the necessity of regaining the national prestige they have so unwisely lost. Allowing now British prejudice and passion their full effect, the government of Great Britain must, nevertheless, be expected to act with a due regard to the safety, honor, and welfare of the British empire. Great Britain is at peace with the whole United States, and practically with the whole world. Manufactures and commerce do, indeed, suffer derangement and abatement in consequence of our civil war. This war, however, like every other, must come to an end in some way, and at some not distant time, if she continue to stand aloof; and when that end shall have come, whatever its nature may be, she will enjoy, at least, all the benefits that she could in any event obtain by intervention to compel & peace. Is it probable that her intervention would mitigate the war, or alleviate the embarrassment she is suffering from it? The question seems to involve a preliminary one, namely: what is to be the character of her intervention? Is it to be merely a moral one, or an act of recognition, with a declaration of neutrality, but not respecting our blockade, and not refraining and restraining her subjects from violating it? Shall we not, in that case, be justified in withdrawing the relaxation of the blockade we have already made, and in closing the ports we have opened to her commerce ? If we should do this, would her recognition of the insurgents shorten the war, or would it alleviate the embarrassment she suffers from it? But it may be answered that she would not consent to surrender these concessions, and would resort to force to save them. Then Great Britain would violate belligerent rights allowed us by the law of nations, and would be. come an ally of our domestic enemies ; and then she would be at war with us while, at least, some other commercial state would be maintaining towards us relations of neutrality and peace. Would Great Britain profit by a war with us ? Certainly neither nation could profit by the war while it should be in actual operation. But it is said she might divide and conquer us. What would she gain by that? Would the whole or any part of the United States accept her sovereignty and submit to her authority? The United States, under their present organization and Constitution, must always be a peaceful nation, practically friendly to Great Britain, as well as to all foreign states, and so they must always be conservative of the peace of nations. Let this organization be struck down by any foreign combinations, what guarantee could Great Britain then have of influence or favor, or even commercial advantage to be derived from this country? Even if this nation, after having lost its liberties and its independence, should remain practically passive, who is to restrain the ambitions of European states for influence and dominion on this side of the Atlantic ; and how long,' under the agitation of such ambitions, could Europe expect to remain in peace with itself? But what warrant have the British government for expecting to conquer the United States, and to subjugate and desolate them, or to dictate to them terms of peace. A war urged against us by Great Britain could not fail to reunite our people. Every sacrifice that their independence could require would be cheerfully and instantly made, and every force and every resource which has hitherto been held in reserve in a civil war, because the necessity for immediately using it has not been felt, would be brought into requisition. I shall not willingly believe that Great Britain deliberately desires such a war, as I am sure that every honorable and generous effort will be made by the United States to avoid it.

In the second place, I observe that apprehensions of a change of attitude by Great Britain are built in some degree upon the supposed probability

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