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in prolonging or terminating the contest by which America is convulsed and Europe shocked. We have no doubt that in the interests of humanity and civilization the government of Great Britain would be glad to take any steps and assume any responsibility if there were a prospect of their being able to change this vast scene of fratricide into one of peace. But suggestions, still less interference, should only be offered where the circumstances render it probable that they would be effectnal. In the present instance they would be met with difficulties at the very threshold, and might defeat their own object. While we all deplore the continuance of this struggle—while we would all make sacrifices to bring it to a termination-we must not forget the dictates of wisdom and avoid interference, at least until we have good reason to think it will not be useless or mischievous.

Mr. Adams to Mr. Seward.

No. 253.]


London, October 30, 1862. Sir: I have now received the missing despatches of last week (No. 360 and 361) and likewise despatches numbered from 365 to 368, inclusive.

The books referred to in No. 365, of the 7th of October, have likewise arrived in safety.

Immediately after the reception of your No. 360, of the 30th of September, I applied to Lord Russell for an interview, which I obtained this morning at halfpast ten o'clock. I then stated to his lordship the substance of your communication so far as was necessary to put him in a position to reply to the preliminary inquiry whether his government was disposed to negotiate about it at all. He replied in the negative. I gathered from what he said that the whole matter had been under consideration with the ministers for some time back, and that the Duke of Newcastle had had much correspondenee with the authorities in the West India colonies about it. The conclusion had been that on the whole it might be the means of entangling them in some way or other with the difficulties in the United States by possible reclamations of fugitives or in some other way, or danger which they were most desirous to avoid. Hence they should not be inclined to enter upon negotiations, and least of all to adopt the form of a convention.

I explained the reasons why we had wished to take this course, our object simply being to secure for those persons voluntarily disposed to emigrate (and we did not mean to include any others) the enjoyment of the rights to which they would be justly entitled as colonists. His lordship seemed so to understand it. But he remarked that some time ago an agent had been sent from the West Indies to the United States to see if sufficient inducements could be held out to the free negroes to emigrate, but he had found them eo comfortable and earning so mach higher a rate of wages than could be obtained at the place he came from that any transfer of them seemed out of the question.

I then referred to an application that had been made to me by a private individual here by the name of Davis, styling himself the representative of much landed property in the island of Jamaica, to obtain as many as five thousand families, to whom he would be ready to assign lands if the expense of transportation could be paid for. I had answered the gentleman by referring him to my own government, and that only after he should have made his own aware of his object and ready to approve it. His lordship said he supposed that the grant of land would be only in consideration of labor. He thought it very likely that many of these people might ultimately find their way over from the United States, but he did not consider it expedient just now to make any provision

about it. He expressed a little surprise that Hayti had not been preferred. I observed that efforts had been made in that direction, and some emigrants had actually gone, but the negroes were sluggish to move, and they were deterred by the difference of language and habits. I had always thought that fewer obstacles would be found to removal to the English islands than to any other after it should once be set agoing. His lordship admitted it as very possible, at least to those of them where there was a sensible deficiency of labor. But the rate of wages, though rising, was still quite low.

Under these circumstances, I remarked that it seemed of no use for me to press the point further. I should, accordingly, make report of his lordship's answer as definitively closing the matter. I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,


Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.

Mr. Seward to Mr. Adams. No. 384.)


Washington, October 30, 1862. Sir: I send herewith a communication which has been received at this department from the Secretary of the Navy, giving information of a breach of international obligations by the commander of her Britannic Majesty's gunboat Bull Dog, in July last, by transporting from Nassau to Bermuda one Pegram and seven other persons, who were proceeding from this country to England to take commands in the gunboat 290, a steam war vessel then being built, manned, and equipped in, and since despatched from, a British port, and since engaged in committing depredations on American commerce on the high seas, equally in violation of the treaties existing between Great Britain and the United States, the law of nations, and the laws of Great Britain.

The President desires that you will bring the subject to the notice of Earl Russell, and ask that an examination of the case may be instituted, and that such redress may be thereafter afforded to the United States as the result of the investigation shall give them a right to expect. I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD. CHARLES FRANCIS Adams, Esq., 8c., 8c., fr.

Mr. Welles to Mr. Scward.

Navy Department, October 29, 1862. Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith a copy of a communication received from Rear Admiral Charles Wilkes, commanding the West India squadron, reporting the infraction of the neutrality regulations by the commander of her Britannic Majesty's gunboat Bull Dog, in transporting officers from Nassau to Bermuda, in July last, on their way to England to take charge of vessels about to fit out there under the rebel flag. . Very respectfully,


Secretary of the Navy. Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD,

Secretury of State.

Rear Admiral Wilkes to Mr. Welles.

No. 4.]


Havana, October 11, 1862. Sir: I have to communicate to the department the infraction of the neutrality regulations by the commander of her Britannic Majesty's gunboat Bull Dog, in transporting Captain Pegram and seven officers from Nassau to Bermuda, in July last, on their way to England to take charge of the 290, or other vessels about to fit out there under the secesh flag, and that I have but little doubt that the officials, both at Nassau and Bermuda, were aware of and assented to the violation. This information I have from most reliable authority—those who knew Captain Pegram and Lieutenant Bennett well, and witnessed their arrival at Bermuda and embarcation on board the mail packet for Halifax. They staid but a few hours at Bermuda. I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

CHARLES WILKES, Rear Admiral, Commanding West India Squadron. Hon. Gideon Welles,

.. Secretary of the Nary, Washington, D. C.

Mr. Seward to Mr. Adams.

No. 385.


Washington, November 3, 1862. Sir: The Arabia has not yet arrived at her destination, and her mails can hardly be expected before the hour appointed for the departure of this communication.

The military transactions which I have to relate are not striking, although they are not unimportant. The navy have reduced to occupation two new positions ou the southern coast–Sabine Pass and Galveston. The blockading fleet has captured three of the steamers which were fitted out in England and despatched from British ports with arms and other supplies from the insurgents.

The Spanish authorities in Cuba make reclamation (justly if the facts sustain it) for a violation of their sovereignty in the driving ashore of and destruction of a British steamer, the Blanche, upon that island loaded with cotton. But on the other hand statements are made which show that the so-called Blanche was none other than the insurgent steamer General Rusk, freighted with four hundred slaves carried from Texas to Mulata, and that her loss was an act of selfdestruction.

General McClellan's army has crossed into Virginia, and its advance has already had some skirmishing with the insurgents in the rear of Leesburg, which is again reoccupied by the national forces.

You will notice the statements of the press concerning an emeute of the colored population in the island of Saint Vincent. It is now said to have not merely a social but even a political signification. There are rumors, I know not how accurate, of uneasiness among the slaves in Cuba. The question becomes a serious one whether the political sympathies with slavery in the United States, which have been so universally cherished in Great Britain, are producing discontents among the whole African population, the free as well as the enslaved, in the West Indies. It is always dangerous for any people to abet treason in another country, and especially dangerous to force revolution in opposition to the progress of humanity.

The telegraph announces the destruction of another half dozen American vessels on the ħigh seas by the steamer 290. The President is obliged to regard these destructions as being made by British subjects in violation of the law of nations after repeated and ample notice, warning, and remonstrances had been given by you to the British government. It is presumed that you have already brought the subject in that light to the notice of her Majesty's government.

The legal proofs in support of a claim for indemnity will be collected and transmitted to you as speedily as possible.

It is hardly necessary to advise one so well acquainted as you are with the working of our system of popular elections against being disturbed by the exaggerations of the political canvass which closes to-day. No apprehensions of any change of the policy of the country in regard to the suppression of the insurrection are indulged here. I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD. CHARLES FRANCIS Adams, Esq., fc., fc., fc.

['opy of an excerpt from newspaper.] NEW YORK, November 2.—Port Royal dates to the 29th ultimo have been received.

Two British rebel steamers, the Anglia and Scotia, were captured on the 27th ultimo and taken to Port Royal. The two steamers, with their contraband cargoes, are valued at one million of dollars.

Another British steamer, the Minaho, was run ashore and destroyed.

It was reported at Port Royal that the rebel ram was coming down the river from Savannah.

Mr. Seward to Mr. Adams. No. 386.1


Washington, November 3, 1862. Sir: Mr. Dudley,our consul at Liverpool, informs us that two war vessels which are on the stays at Birkenhead are announced by the press as being built ostensibly for the Chinese government, but really to depredate on American commerce, as the 290 is doing. The President hopes that you will make such representations concerning them and all similar enterprises to her Majesty's government, as may induce them to consider whether it can be claimed that a nation is really neutral when vessels-of-war, without restraint and with impunity, are built, armed, manned, equipped, and sent out from its ports to make war on a peaceful and friendly nation. I am, sir, your obedient servant,


Mr. Scward to Mr. Adams. No. 387.]


Washington, November 4, 1862. Sir: Your despatches by the Arabia are received, but there is not time for special notice of them before the closing of the mail.

All our land and naval operations are going on with vigor. Those who in Europe have supposed that this government is either idle or ineffective will be undeceived in time, I trust, to abate their desires for measures which would bring the two continents into collision upon a question which belongs chiefly to America, but on which both continents ought to be agreed. I am, sir, your obedient servant,


Mr Seward to Mr. Adams.

No. 389.]

Department OF STATE,

Washington, November 4, 1862. SIR: Your despatch of October 17 has been submitted to the President. It is not pleasant to a loyal American to see a European cabinet discussing before a European people the question whether they will continue to recognize the existence of this republic. But this is a part of the painful experience of the evil times upon which we have fallen. While treason goes abroad from among ourselves to invite foreign nations to intervene, we have no right to expect those nations to judge us candidly, much less to judge us kindly or wisely. It would be, above all things, unreasonable to expect such charitable judgments from political parties in foreign countries, intent only on the objects of their own ambition. Fortunately we have the right to be free, independent, and at peace, whether European political parties wish us to be so or not. I think, also, we have the power to be so. While European parties, according to your representation, are even more hostile to our country now than ever before, it is, on the other hand, a source of much satisfaction to know that this same country of ours not only is but also feels itself to be stronger and in better condition and position to encounter dangers of foreign intervention than it has been at any former period; and that if any additional motive were necessary to sustain its resolu tion to remain united, independent, and sovereign, that motive would be found in the intervention by a foreign state in the great and painful domestic transactions in which it is engaged.

The wheel of political fortune makes rapid revolutions. It is less than three years since all Great Britain manifested itself desirous of the friendship of the United States. A similar desire may, before the lapse of a long period, occur again. Neither politicians nor statesmen control events. They can moderate them and accommodate their ambitions to them, but they can do no more. I am, sir, your obedient servant,


Mr. Seward to Mr. Adams.

No. 390.]


Washington, November 4, 1862. Sir: Your despatch of October 16 (No. 242) has been received. The President regrets that he is unable to find in the proceedings of her Majesty's governThent satisfactory evidence that it proposes to render redress to the United States for the injuries sustained by their citizens in the arming, fitting out, and despatch

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