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C. Edwards Lester, Life and public services of Charles Sumner: Born Jan. 6, 1811. Died March 11, 1874., Section Fourth: orations and political speeches. (search)
rosecution of a cruel civil war, so little supported by justice, and so very fatal in its necessary consequences, as that which is now waging against our brethren and fellow-subjects in America. In the House of Commons, on the same Address, Mr. Wilkes said: I call the war with our brethren in America, an unjust felonious war. * * * I assert that it is a murderous war, because it is an effort to deprive men of their lives for standing up in the just cause of the defence of their properthe Lords, March 23d, 1778, the Duke of Richmond brought forward a motion for the withdrawal of the forces from America. In the Commons, Nov. 27th, 1780, on a motion to thank General Clinton and others, for their military services in America, Mr. Wilkes said: I think it my duty to oppose this motion, because in my idea every part of it conveys an approbation of the American war; a war unfounded in principle, and fatal in its consequences to this country. * * Sir, I will not thank for vic
rosecution of a cruel civil war, so little supported by justice, and so very fatal in its necessary consequences, as that which is now waging against our brethren and fellow-subjects in America. In the House of Commons, on the same Address, Mr. Wilkes said: I call the war with our brethren in America, an unjust felonious war. * * * I assert that it is a murderous war, because it is an effort to deprive men of their lives for standing up in the just cause of the defence of their properthe Lords, March 23d, 1778, the Duke of Richmond brought forward a motion for the withdrawal of the forces from America. In the Commons, Nov. 27th, 1780, on a motion to thank General Clinton and others, for their military services in America, Mr. Wilkes said: I think it my duty to oppose this motion, because in my idea every part of it conveys an approbation of the American war; a war unfounded in principle, and fatal in its consequences to this country. * * Sir, I will not thank for vic
C. Edwards Lester, Life and public services of Charles Sumner: Born Jan. 6, 1811. Died March 11, 1874., Section Eighth: the war of the Rebellion. (search)
the Trent was stopped and searched by the United States war vessel San Facinto, commanded by Captain Wilkes, who, without instructions, and entirely on his own responsibility, seized the two commissioen their praise. On the 30th of November, 1861, the Secretary of the Navy wrote a letter to Capt. Wilkes, congratulating the commander, the officers, and the crew on the act, applauding the intelligoffered by Owen Lovejoy in the House of Representatives, tendering the thanks of Congress to Captain Wilkes for his brave, adroit, and patriotic conduct in his arrest and detention of the traitors Jamwrote to Mr. Adams, our Minister at London, an account of what had occurred, and stated that Captain Wilkes acted without any instructions from the government, and he trusted that there would be no diailed in Mr. Lincoln's Cabinet. A very brief examination of the case showed that the act of Captain Wilkes could, under no circumstances, be sustained; and that the surrender of the prisoners, with o
ntic only by reaching Havana, where, under a neutral flag, they might get conveyance to Europe. They took passage in the Trent, bound from Havana to St. Thomas, from which island a regular line of British steamers ran to England. In Mr. Richard H. Dana's notes to Wheaton's Elements of International Law, he says of the envoys: Their character and destination were well known to the agent and master of the Trent, as well as the great interest felt by the Rebels that they should, and by the United States officials that they should not, reach their destination in safety. As passengers, they were now on the high seas. Within a few hours' sail of Nassau, the Trent was stopped and searched by the United States war vessel San Facinto, commanded by Captain Wilkes, who, without instructions, and entirely on his own responsibility, seized the two commissioners and their secretaries, and returned with them as prisoners to the United States, while the Trent was left to proceed on her voyage.
re was received with unbounded sympathy and approbation. The press, and the public men of the country generally, not only gave their approval, but even their praise. On the 30th of November, 1861, the Secretary of the Navy wrote a letter to Capt. Wilkes, congratulating the commander, the officers, and the crew on the act, applauding the intelligence, ability, decision and firmness of the commander, and alluding to his forbearance in omitting to capture the vessel itself. Two days later—the first day of its session—a joint Resolution was offered by Owen Lovejoy in the House of Representatives, tendering the thanks of Congress to Captain Wilkes for his brave, adroit, and patriotic conduct in his arrest and detention of the traitors James M. Mason and John Slidell. On reaching the Senate, the Resolution was referred to the Committee on Naval Affairs, although Mr. Sumner suggested its reference to the Committee on Foreign Relations. Mr. Hale, carried away by his own generous and pa
h was received in Washington, or any possibility of news of the state of feeling in England could have reached here, Mr. Seward, Secretary of State, wrote to Mr. Adams, our Minister at London, an account of what had occurred, and stated that Captain Wilkes acted without any instructions from the government, and he trusted that there would be no difficulty in adjusting the matter, if the British Government should be disposed to meet the case in the same pacific spirit which animated the Presidenct of the civilized world; for from the moment that England becomes only the ally of Slave-traders, she has abdicated. But the wisest council prevailed in Mr. Lincoln's Cabinet. A very brief examination of the case showed that the act of Captain Wilkes could, under no circumstances, be sustained; and that the surrender of the prisoners, with or without a demand from the British Government, would be only in strict conformity with the precedents which had been established by our own governmen