|Leaders of diplomacy in 1863: secretary Seward and nine foreign diplomats at the time when Confederate cruisers abroad were an international problem No military picture of moving troops, no group of distinguished generals, could possibly hold the interest for students of the history of the Civil War that this photograph possesses. It is the summer of 1863. Gathered at the foot of this beautiful waterfall, as if at the end of a day's outing for pleasure, are ten men of mark and great importance. Here are William H. Seward, American Secretary of State, standing bareheaded, to the right. With him, numbered so that the reader can easily identify them, are (2) Baron De Stoeckel, Russian Minister; (3) M. Molena, Nicaraguan Minister; (4) Lord Lyons, British Minister; (5) M. Mercier, French Minister; (6) M. Schleiden, Hanseatic Minister; (7) M. Bertenatti, Italian Minister; (8) Count Piper, Swedish Minister; (9) M. Bodisco, Secretary Russian Legation; (10) Mr. Sheffield, Attache British Legation; (11) Mr. Donaldson, a messenger in the State Department. These were ticklish times in diplomatic circles. Outwardly polite to one another, and on an occasion such as this probably lowering the bars of prescribed convention, many of these men would have liked to know what was going on in the brains of their associates, for diplomacy is but a game of mental hide-and-seek. More than any one else would Mr. Seward have desired at this moment to be gifted in the art of mind-reading. He would have liked to hear from Lord Lyons exactly what stand the British Government was going to take in relation to the Confederate cruisers that had been outfitted in Great Britain. He would have liked to hear also from Minister Mercier more on the subject of the vessels building in France that he had been in correspondence with John Bigelow about, and he would have liked to know exactly what Napoleon III was trying to do in Mexico, in the ambitious game of which Maximilian was a pawn. The Nicaraguan Minister would have appreciated a word himself on the latter subject; and Lord Lyons, in view of the presence of the Russian fleet, would have liked to pick the brain of Baron De Stoeckel, whose royal master, the Czar, had made such firm offers of friendship to the United States at just this hour. Mr. Schleiden, in view of what was to happen in the next few years, would have welcomed an outburst of confidence from M. Mercier, and for that matter, so would M. Bertenatti. But here they are, sinking all questions of statecraft and posing for the photographer as if the game of diplomacy was far from their minds and they were ordinary “trippers” seeing the sights|
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