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eignty of the Federal Union; that although the Government was obliged to employ force to execute its laws, that fact did not justify other powers in intervening or acting as neutrals between the loyal and disobedient citizens. Earl Russell, on the other hand, observed, in conversation with Mr. Adams, that the great fact of a war of two sides existed. A number of States and several millions of people were in a state of actual war, their cruisers were on the sea, and their agents abroad. The fact was undeniable, and the embarrassment unavoidable. The only duty of the British Government in this, as in all preceding cases, he said, was to remain entirely neutral, and that was all that was contemplated by the Queen's proclamation.
On the 17th of June, Mr. Seward addressed Mr. Dayton on the subject of the visit of the French and English ministers, to lay before him the views of their respective Governments, giving his reasons for not receiving the document, and trusting that fact need not disturb the good relations between the two countries. Mr. Seward said: "It is erroneous, so far as foreign nations are concerned, to suppose any war exists in the United States. Certainly there cannot be two belligerent powers where there is no war. . . . There is, indeed, an armed sedition seeking to overthrow the Government, and the Government employs military and naval force to repress it. But these facts do not constitute a war presenting two belligerent powers, and modifying the national character, rights, and responsibilities, or the character, rights, and responsibilities of foreign nations. The American people will consent to no intervention. Down deep in the heart of the American people-deeper than the love of trade, or of freedom-deeper than the attachments to any local or sectional interest, or partisan pride, or individual ambition-deeper than any other sentiment, is that one out of which the Constitution of this Union arose, namely, independence of all foreign control, alliance, or influence." Mr. Wright continued to represent the Government at the court of Prussia, until the arrival of his successor, Mr. Judd. Mr. Seward, in his letter of instructions to Mr. Judd, called his attention to the general circular, and stated:
"This Government not only wisely, but necessarily, hesitates to resort to coercion and compulsion to secure a return of the disaffected portion of the people to their accustomed allegiance. The Union was formed upon the popular consent, and must always practically stand upon the same basis. The temporary causes of alienation must pass away. But to this end. it is of the greatest importance that the disaffected States shall not succeed in obtaining favor or recognition from foreign nations."
Mr. Wright wrote, May 8th, that Baron Von Schleinitz gave the most positive assurances that the Prussian Government, from the principle of unrelenting opposition to all revolutionary movements, would be one of the last to recognize any de facto government of the disaffected States of the American Union.
Mr. Sanford, who represented the Government at Belgium, wrote, May 26th, that the foreign minister had assured him that no application from the Southern commissioners would be entertained if made, but complained bitterly of the new United States tariff as very prejudicial to Belgian interests.
The interview of the United States ambassador with the Russian Government produced a very remarkable letter from Prince Gortchakoff to the Minister De Stoeckl, at Washington, which he was directed to read to Mr. Seward. In it the Emperor's Government deplored the dangers that threatened the Union, and earnestly advised its maintenance.
"In any event, the sacrifices which they might impose upon themselves to maintain it are beyond comparison with those which dissolution would bring after it. United, they perfect themselves. Isolated, they are paralyzed. The struggle which unhappily has just arisen can neither be indefinitely prolonged, nor lead to the total destruction of one of the parties; sooner or later, it will be necessary to come to some settlement, whatever it may be, which may cause the divergent interests now actually in conflict to coexist."
On the 14th of August, after the news of the battle of Bull Run had arrived in Europe, the Southern Commissioners addressed a lengthy document to Earl Russell, in which, recurring to their interview of the 4th of May, they endeavored to give satisfactory evidence of the justice of their cause, and to show that the people of the South had violated no principle of allegiance in the act of secession. They then discussed the neutrality of the British Government, regretting that prizes were not allowed to be carried into British ports. They set forth the productive powers of the South, its great wealth, and the advantages of commerce that they offer. They stated that the object of the war was "to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity; that the party in power had proposed to guarantee slavery forever, if the South would submit to the will of the majority-in other words, to the will of the North." They further stated, that it was the design of the North to resort to servile war by arming the negroes. Earl Russell replied, August 24th, simply reiterating the neutral position of Great Britain, stating that Her Majesty could not undertake to determine by anticipation the issue of the civil war, "nor can she acknowledge the independence of the nine States which are now combined against the President and Congress of the United States, until the fortune of arms, or the more peaceful mode of negotiation, shall more clearly determine the respective positions of the two belligerents."
The Spanish Government seemed inclined to favor the Southern cause, but was apparently held in check by the attitude of France and England. The following proclamation, issued in August, by the Captain-General of Cuba, in some degree indicates her policy:
“In virtue of the proclamation by Her Majesty the Queen, I have determined, under date of August 7th, that all vessels occupied in legitimate commerce, proceeding from ports in the Confederate States, shall be entered and cleared under the Confederate flag, and shall be duly protected by the authority of the island. Foreign consuls will be notified that no interference on their part will be tolerated."
This disposition on the part of Spain grew, to some extent, out of her relations with Mexico, which were becoming daily more compli cated, and which, if the United States should adhere to their established policy in relation to the intrigues of foreign nations on this continent, would be likely to involve the two powers.
The Government of Mexico had been, since 1860, in the hands of
President Juarez, representing the Constitutional party, as opposed to the Church party, so called, because it included most of the priests, in whose hands was the greater part of the property of the nation, and who bitterly opposed all progress and freedom. To this Government Thomas Corwin was by the new Administration sent as minister, in 1861. In his letter of instructions to Mr. Corwin, Mr. Seward enjoined him to impress upon the Mexican Government that Mexico could not be benefited by the prostration of the Federal Union.
"On the other hand, a condition of anarchy in Mexico must necessarily operate as a seduction to those who are conspiring against the integrity of the Union to seek aggrandizement for themselves by conquests in Mexico and other parts of Spanish America." . . "You may possibly meet agents of this projected Confederacy busy in preparing some further revolution in Mexico. You will not fail to assure the Government of Mexico that the President never has, nor can ever have, any sympathy with such designs, in whatever quarter they may arise, or whatever character they may take on."
Mr. Corwin wrote, May 29th, "that Mexico was unwilling to enter into engagements that might result in war with the South, unless protected by aid from the United States." Again, "Mexico regards the United States as its only true and reliable friend in any war which may involve her national existence."
Meantime, General Miramon, the leader of the Church party, was at Madrid, seeking Spanish aid to restore his party to power in Mexico. These efforts ripened into the convention between France, Great Britain, and Spain, entered into October 31st, 1861, for intervention in the affairs of Mexico, and to claim redress of wrongs. The fourth article of the convention provided that a copy of it should be laid before the United States Government, which should be invited to accede to it. This was done, and Mr. Lincoln objected to the measures of the convention; but owing to the existence of civil war the United States Government was unable to make, with effect, such an energetic protest as the occasion would otherwise have demanded. The Monroe doctrine, which had proclaimed that the United States would not view any European intervention, seeking to control the destinies of any American nation, otherwise than as dangerous to its own peace and safety, was still the sentiment of the American people. Mr. Seward, in a letter on the subject, remarked that the President relied upon the good faith of the allies in respect to their not seeking any permanent aggrandizement in that country, and argued that the establishment of a monarchy in Mexico could not be permanently successful or prevent continued revolutions.
The results of the national diplomacy thus far were, that the foreign nations, while expressing hopes for a restoration of the Union, had first acknowledged the belligerent rights of the South; secondly, had refused to accede to the United States' proposition to consider their privateers as pirates; thirdly, had intimated that the recognition of the South, as a nation, was only a question of time, and of proof of a certain degree of consistency on the part of the Southern Government; fourthly, they perfected against Mexico a coalition, which many years before had failed through respect to the United States. These facts became apparent and fixed towards the close of September, when
negotiations in relation to them were suspended. It was then that, under date of October 14th, Mr. Seward issued a circular to the Governors of all the States, stating that the disloyal citizens were making every effort to involve the country in a foreign war, and that every precaution was necessary to guard against it, and appealing to the individual States to perfect their defences with their own resources, the expenses to be a subject of future consideration with the Federal Government. This was speedily followed by an occurrence which renewed in the most earnest and threatening manner the correspondence with foreign governments.
The appointment of Messrs. Mason and Slidell by the Confederate States as ambassadors, the first to England, and the second to France, had been a source of some anxiety to the Federal Government. It was rumored that they had sailed in the ship Nashville, which ran the blockade from Charleston October 11th, and vessels were sent in pursuit. It seems, however, that the rumor was a feint, since the commissioners, with their families, embarked on board the Theodora, which left Charleston at nearly the same time as the Nashville, bound for Cardenas, it being their intention to take the British mail steamer from Havana. Accordingly, on the morning of the 7th of November, they went on board the steamer Trent, which runs between Vera Cruz and St. Thomas vid Havana. On the morning of the 8th, when the Trent was in the old Bahama Channel, the United States steamer San Jacinto, Captain Wilkes, approached, and when within a furlong's length, fired a shot across her bow, at the same time hoisting the American flag. The Trent continued her route, when the San Jacinto, with her men at quarters and guns run out, fired a shell, which, bursting within one hundred yards of the Trent, brought her to. Captain Wilkes, on his own responsibility, then sent a boat on board with two officers and twenty armed men, and demanded the surrender of Messrs. Mason and Slidell, with Messrs. Eustis and McFarland, their secretaries. Captain Moir, of the Trent, and the navy agent, Commander Williams, R. N., protested against the capture. The commissioners claimed the protection of the British flag, but the officer of the San Jacinto said they were the men he sought, and he would take them at all hazards. Commander Williams denounced the proceeding as an act of "wanton piracy." Three other boats then came up from the San Jacinto, with thirty marines and sixty sailors, who leaped on deck, sword in hand. The commissioners were then taken into the boats with as much show of force as was necessary, their families being left on board, and the Trent proceeded on her way. When the commissioners were on board the San Jacinto they drew up a protest against the proceedings of Captain Wilkes. The San Jacinto arrived at Boston a few days afterwards with the prisoners, who were transferred to Fort Warren. The public mind was greatly excited by the event. Congress voted thanks to Captain Wilkes, the Secretary of the Navy indorsed the proceeding, with the qualification that Captain Wilkes had not gone far enough, but should have captured the Trent, and a banquet was given to him in Boston. The capture caused the most earnest discussion in the United States,
and a number of the leading authorities, Theophilus Parsons, professor of law in Harvard University, Edward Everett, and many others, volunteered opinions publicly upon the right of the United States to make the capture, urging, however, that the Trent should have been brought into port in order that the case might be adjudicated by the proper authorities. In England the news was received with the most intense excitement. Immediate preparations for war were undertaken on a large scale, and a demand for the release of the prisoners was made through the British minister, Lord Lyons. The event caused as much excitement in Europe as in England, and the French minister, M. Thouvenel, immediately addressed a letter to this Government, in which he strongly advised the prompt restoration of the men to British protection, and added:
"If to our deep regret the cabinet at Washington approve the conduct of the com. mander of the San Jacinto, there would be a forgetfulness, extremely annoying, of principles upon which we have always found the United States in agreement with us."
On the presentation by Lord Lyons of the British demand to the Government at Washington, it was assented to, for the reason, as stated in a communication from Mr. Seward, that Captain Wilkes's proceedings were irregular, in not capturing the vessel and bringing her into port for adjudication; and instructions were sent to Boston to deliver the prisoners to the representatives of the British Government. They were consequently sent on board an English steamer lying off Cape Cod, and in her conveyed to St. Thomas, whence they went to England, by the mail steamer, and arrived at Southampton January 30th. Thus passed away a danger, which at one time threatened the most serious consequences, and the effect of which had been heightened in England by the circular of Mr. Seward, before mentioned, addressed to the Governors of all the States, urging the importance of perfecting the defences of the States, in view of the possibility of a foreign war. This result of the affair produced the greatest disappointment in the Southern States, since it had been supposed that war would inevitably grow out of the capture between the United States and Great Britain; the more so, that Congress, and one member of the cabinet, in his official report, had fully indorsed the capture. When, therefore, the men were promptly surrendered, and the chance of war ceased, great despondency overtook the Confederates, which was increased by the fact that this occurred at a time when the victorious armies of the North were in motion to drive them out of the Border States.
The year 1862 thus set in most auspiciously for the Federal arms and prospects.
Age of Invention.-Change in Arms.-Springfield Rifle.-Enfield Rifle.-Repeating Arms.-The Rodman Gun.-Columbiads.--Parrott Gun.-Dahlgrens.-Table of Guns in Service.-Projectiles.-Batteries.
In this age of invention the science of arms has made great progress. In fact, the most remarkable inventions have been made since the pro