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substance of it had been anticipated by the publication in the parliamentary papers of the account given by the governor of Bermuda to the secretary of state for the colonies of his reception of the Nashville. As it was there aflirined that this steamer had not been supplied from the government stores, I presume that Williams had been mistaken. The second is in answer to my note of the 24th of February, respecting the treatment of the Flambeau at Nassau. The report is quite in keeping with all that we hear is done in that nest of illicit trade with the rebels. I have not deemed it advisable to pursue the subject.
I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS. Hon. William H. SEWARD,
Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.
Earl Russell to Mr. Adams.
Foreign OFFICE, March 24, 1862. Sir: In my note of the 1st of January, in which I acknowledged the receipt of your note of the 28th of December, enclosing the deposition of Frederick Williams, one of the crew of the Nashville, I had the honor to inform you that I should communicate with the secretary of state for the colonies with the view of obtaining from the governor of Bermuda a correct account of the representations as to the character of that vessel made to him by her commander.
The statement of Frederick Williams, it should be remembered, was, that on the arrival of the Nashville at Bermuda the governor had gone on board, and that Captain Peagram had then informed him that the Nashville was not a navy vessel, but was strictly a merchant vessel. I have now the honor to inform you that the governor of Bermuda has assured her Majesty's government that that statement is in every respect untrue; that he never was on board the Nashville, and that the only persons belonging to that vessel with whom he had any communication were Captain Peagram and Colonel Peyton, who called upon him at the government house; that on the occasion of that interview no other person was present, and that no such remark was made to him by either of those gentlemen, nor indeed by any other person at any other time whatever.
The governor has further stated that, being aware that Captain Hutton, royal navy, the superintendent of the dock yard, had been on board the Nashville, and thinking it possible that Frederick Williams might havo mistaken that officer for the governor, and that some conversation which had passed between Captain Hutton and the officers of the Nashville had given rise to the statement Williams had made, the governor had referred to Captain Hutton, and had ascertained from him that he had been on board the Nashville in order to return Captain Peagram's visit, but that Captain Hutton had disclaimed any conversation such as that related by Williams, and had added that he was particularly cautious that nothing but commonplace civilities should pass between himself and the commander of the Nashville.
I have the honor to be, with the highest consideration, sir, your obedient, humble servant,
RUSSELL. CHARLES Francis Adaus, Esq., fr., fc., fr.
Earl Russell to Mr. Adams.
Foreign OFFICE, March 25, 1862. Sir: I had the honor, on the 1st instant, to state to you that I had applied to the proper department of her Majesty's government for information as to the circumstances under which the authorities at Nassau had interdicted to the United States steamer Flambeau the use of a deposit of coal, the property of the United States government, existing at that place.
In now communicating to you the result of the inquiries which have been instituted, I assume that the case which you had in view, when you formed your representation, was that of some coal which arrived at Nassau in December last in the United States schooners Caleb Stetson and W. S. Perry.
It might perhaps be questioned whether the coal on board those vessels could in strictness be described as a deposit of coal existing at Nassau, but there seems no reason to doubt that it is to that coal that your letter refers. The facts in relation thereto are as follows:
In the early part of December the Caleb Stetson arrived at Nassau with a cargo of three hundred tons of coal consigned to the United States consul at that port, and by the report and manifest, delivered at the revenue department, and signed officially by the United States consul as consignee, it appeared that such cargo had been shipped at Philadelphia for that port by “order of the United States Navy Department.” The receiver general, having doubts as to the propriety of admitting this coal to entry, applied to the governor for instructions, and the governor, acting under legal advice, gave directions that the coal should be admitted to an entry and landing. but that the United States consul should be informed that it could not be permitted to be used in any manner which might involve a breach of the Queen's proclamation of the 13th of May last, and particularly that the coaling at Nassau of vessels of war of either of the belligerent powers could not be allowed without the express sanction of her Majesty's government having been first obtained. A letter to that effect was addressed by the colonial secretary to the United States consul.
While this question was pending, another vessel, the W. S. Perry, laden with coal similarly consigned, had arrived at Nassau, and the United States consul, on receiving the above intimation, declined to have the coal landed, and expressed his determination to keep the same on board of the respective vessels in which it had been imported, until he should receive advices from his government in relation thereto.
On the 11th of December the United States vessel Flambeau arrived at Nassau, and on the following day the United States consul addressed to the governor a letter, in which he stated that the Caleb Stetson was leaking badly, and requested permission to land the coal then on board of her, or to discharge a part of it on board of the Flambeau; in answer to which he was informed that, under the decision already arrived at, the coal could not be allowed to be transhipped to the Flambeau, but that there was no objection to its being landed. This privilege, although expressly asked for by the United States consul in his letter, he did not avail himself of.
On the 13th of December the United States consul addressed to the acting colonial secretary a letter complaining of coal having been supplied by a merchant to the secessionist vessel Theodora, and asking whether such an act did not constitute a breach of the neutrality adduced in the case of the Flainbeau, which vessel, he adds, “I begged permission to furnish with coal yesterday.”
To this letter the governor caused an answer to be sent, in which the distinction between the two cases was pointed out, and the decision not to supply coal to an armed vessel was adhered to. It was observed that the Theodora was a merchant vessel trading to the port of Nassau, and that being propelled by steam it was necessary, to enable her to pursue her occupation as a trader, that she should be supplied with coal. The furnishing this necessary article, therefore, for her use by a merchant in the way of trade was perfectly lawful, and could not be construed into a breach of Deutrality.
On the other hand, the Flambeau was avowedly an armed vessel in the service of the federal government. She had entered the port of Nassau and had remained there for some days without any apparent necessity for her doing so, and the authorities had not been informed of the object of her visit. To supply her with coal might, therefore, be to facilitate her belligerent operations, and this would constitute an infraction of the neutrality prescribed by the Queen's proclamation of the 13th of May last..
It was also pointed out that the cases of the James Adger and the Nashville, at Southampton, were not parallel cases. Those vessels were some thousands of miles distant from their respective homes, and to them consequently coal was an article of real necessity; whereas the Flambeau was within a very short distance of the ports of her own nation-Key West, for instance, where her necessities could readily be supplied.
Moreover, it was incorrect to say that the application of the United States consul had been founded on the necessities of the Flambeau; his application was founded on the alleged necessities of the Caleb Stetson.
I trust it will be apparent to you, from the foregoing statement, that the only object which the authorities at Nassau had in view was to preserve a strict neutrality. The obligation to do so was imposed by the Queen's proclamation above referred to, and the contiguity of the port of Nassau to the American coast was an additional reason for adhering strictly to its provisions.
In these circumstances her Majesty's government could not withhold from the governor the approval to which he was entitled for the course which he had pursued. The ultimate decision of her Majesty's government on this question is contained in the rules and regulations laid down in my letter to the lord commissioners of the admiralty of the 21st of January last. I take it for granted that that letter has already been brought to your notice, but you will find it at the end of the printed papers lately laid before Parliament, and in the London Gazette of the 31st of January last.
I have the honor to be, with the highest consideration, sir, your most obedient, humble servant,
RUSSELL. CHARLES FRANCIS Adaus, Esq., &c., fc., &c.
Mr. Seward to Mr. Adams.
DEPARTMENT OF State,
Washington, April 1, 1862. Sır: Your despatch of March 13, (No. 131,) has been submitted to the President.
I have the pleasure of approving the manner in which you have presented the case of the British steamer Miranon to the notice of her Majesty's government.
I am glad, also, to learn that you anticipated my instructions in asking of Earl Russell explanations of the license allowed to underwriters in Liverpool and London to insure British vessels engaged in violating the blockade. Your remarks in alluding to that subject are sagacious and just. It will, indeed, be well to have, in the end, a record of the unfriendly demonstrations and proceedings of the British government and people towards the United States during their present social disturbance.
I confess, however, that, for my own part, I have not even thought of connecting these unkindnesses into a series for ultimate review. Impertinence, injustice, dictation, and violence abroad are naturally provoked by divisions which produce imbecility at bome, and they are a part of the discipline by which generous, but erring nations, are brought back to unity, harmony, independence, and self-respect.
Besides, I have not failed to see that every wrong this country has been called to endure at the hands of any foreign power has been a natural, if · not a logical, consequence of the first grave error which that power committed in conceding to an insurrection, which would otherwise have been ephemeral, the rights of a public belligerent. It has seemed, therefore, to be wise, as well as more dignified, to urge the retrogression upon that false step, rather than to elaborate complaints of the injuries which have followed it.
I shall not, in any case, be willing to assume as true the public interpretation of the proceedings of the government which imputes their origin to a sentiment of hostility on the part of the British people. Such a sentiment would be so unworthy of a great nation, and so fatal to all hopes of concert between that nation and our own in advancing the interests of freedom, civilization, and humanity, that I prefer to find the cause of any injustice of which we have to complain in a failure of the British government itself to understand the true character and condition of the unhappy civil strife in which we are engaged.
Earl Russell, in the House of Lords, in the debate to which you have alluded, expressed the belief that this country is large enough for two independent nations, and the hope that this government will assent to a peaceful separation from the insurrectionary States. A very brief sojourn among us, with an observation of our mountains, rivers, and coasts, and some study of our social condition and habits, would be sufficient to satisfy him, on the contrary, that the country is not too large for one such people as this, and that it is and must always be too small for two distinct nations until the people shall have become so demoralized by faction that they are ready to enter the course which leads through continued subdivision to ultimate anarchy. All the British speculations assume that the political elements which have been brought into antagonism here are equal in vigor and endurance. Nothing, however, is more certain than that freedom and slavery are very unequal in these qualities, and that when these diverse elements are eliminated, the former from the cause of sedition, and the latter from the cause of the government, then the government must prevail, sustained as it is by the co-operating sentiments of loyalty, of national pride, interest, ambition, and the permanent love of peace.
These opinions were early communicated to the British government, so far as it was proper to express them in correspondence with a foreign state. That government seems to have acted upon different convictions. The time has probably come for the practical determination of the great issue which has thus been joined. Although the past seventy years of the life of the United States were years of prosperity, yet an unhappy alienation prevailed during all that time between them and Great Britain. I see the United States now resuming their accustomed career by a renewal of the principles
on which their existence depends. I doubt not that their future progress will be even more prosperous than the past. Let it be our endeavor to extirpate the seeds of animosity and cultivate relations of friendship with a nation that, however perversely it may seem to act for a time, can really have no interest or ambition permanently conflicting with our own. I am, sir, your obedient servant,
WILLIAM H. SEWARD. CHARLES Francis Adams, Esq., 8c., Sc., 8c..
Mr. Seward to Mr. Adams.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, April 2, 1862. SIR: The reports we receive from China show that the insurrection there is becoming very formidable, and they leave it doubtful whether the British and French forces now in China are adequate to secure the inviolability of the persons and property of the subjects and citizens of the western powers dwelling in the commercial cities of that Empire. It is a matter of deep regret to us that our troubles at home render it hazardous to withdraw a part of our great land and naval forces from operating here, and send them to China to co-operate with the forces of the allies there. As you are well aware, the continuance of the insurrection in the United States is due to the attitudes of Great Britain and France towards our country. It would seem to be desirable for those two states to have our co-operation in China in preserving a commerce of vast importance to them as well as to ourselves. That co-operation we could give if we were relieved from the necessity for maintaining a blockade and siege of our southern ports. Moreover, the question may well be asked, Where is this tendency to insurrection, which Great Britain and France seem to us to be practically, although unintentionally, fostering, to end? It breaks out in the Levant; it grows flagrant on the China coasts ; it even lifts up its head in France. Is it not the interest of all great maritime states to repress, or at least to discourage it? The President does not expect you to make any special or formal suggestion of these views to the British government, but it seems to him that you may properly use them, incidentally, with advantage in your intercourse with the British government and British society. I am, sir, your obedient servant,
WILLIAM H. SEWARD. Charles Francis Adams, Esq., sc., 80., Sc.
Mr. Adams to Mr. Seward.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
London, April 3, 1862. SiR : I have to acknowledge the reception of despatches from the department, numbered 209, 210, and 211. They make particular reference only to one subject, the revocation by Great Britain of her recognition of the insurgents as a belligerent. I have already in ny despatch, No. 135, of the 27th of March, submitted my views on the expediency of pressing the subject at this time. After consultation with some of our friends, I still adhere