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[240] as to be unaffected by the chances of war, might not another interest of a greater and more world-wide importance claim at least so much consideration as to demand the benefit of every presumption in favor of its protection against all the chances of war, save those-which arise under the strictest rules of public law? This is a question of almost as much interest to the world at large as it is to the Confederate States. No belligerent can claim the right thus to injure innocent parties by such a blockade, except to the extent that it can be shown to furnish the legitimate, or perhaps we might go still further and say the necessary, means to prosecute the war successfully. If it has become obvious, as would now seem to be the case, that no blockade which they can maintain will enable the United States to subdue the Confederate States of America, upon what plea can its further continuance be justified to third parties, who are so deeply interested in a ready and easy access to the cheapest and most abundant sources of cotton supply. Perhaps we had the right to expect, inasmuch as by the proclamation of Her Britannic Majesty neutrality had been declared as between the belligerents, that one of the parties would not have been allowed to close the ports of the other by a mere proclamation of blockade without an adequate force to sustain it. In presenting the various views contained in this letter of instructions, you will say that they are offered as much in the general interests of mankind as in our own. We do not ask for assistance to enable us to maintain our independence against any power which has yet assailed us. The President of the Confederate States believes that he cannot be mistaken in supposing it to be the duty of the nations of the earth by a prompt recognition to throw the weight of their moral influence against the unnecessary prolongation of the war. Whether the case now presented be one for such action, he is perhaps not the most impartial judge. He has discharged his duty to other nations when he has presented to their knowledge the facts to which their only sure access is through himself, in such a manner as will enable them to acquit themselves of their responsibilities to the world according to their own sense of right. But whilst he neither feels nor affects an indifference to the decision of the world upon these questions which deeply concern the interests of the Confederate States, he does not present their claim to a recognized place amongst the nations of the earth from the belief that any such recognition is necessary to enable them to achieve and secure their independence. Such an act might diminish the


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