previous next

[225] the last month of the war; a portion of their arms were of foreign manufacture, as well as the munitions of war; a large number of the sailors of her fleets came from the seaports of Great Britain and Germany; in a word, whatever could be of service to her in the conflict was unhesitatingly sought among neutrals, regardless of the law of nations. At the same time an effort was made on her part to make Great Britain responsible for the damage done by our cruisers, and for the warlike stores sold to our government.

Some statements of Lord Russell on this point, in a letter to Minister Adams dated December 19, 1862, deserve notice. He says:

It is right, however, to observe that the party which has profited by far the most by these unjustifiable practices, has been the Government of the United States, because that Government, having a superiority of force by sea, and having blockaded most of the Confederate ports, has been able, on the one hand, safely to receive all the warlike supplies which it has induced British manufacturers and merchants to send to the United States ports in violation of the Queen's proclamation; and, on the other hand, to intercept and capture a great part of the supplies of the same kind which were destined from this country to the Confederate States.

If it be sought to make her Majesty's Government responsible to that of the United States because arms and munitions of war have left this country on account of the Confederate Government, the Confederate Government, as the other belligerent, may very well maintain that it has a just cause of complaint against the British Government because the United States arsenals have been replenished from British sources. Nor would it be possible to deny that, in defiance of the Queen's proclamation, many subjects of her Majesty, owing allegiance to her crown, have enlisted in the armies of the United States. Of this fact you can not be ignorant. Her Majesty's Government, therefore, has just ground for complaint against both of the belligerent parties, but most especially against the Government of the United States, for having systematically, and in disregard of the comity of nations which it was their duty to observe, induced subjects of her Majesty to violate those orders which, in conformity with her neutral position, she has enjoined all her subjects to obey.

Perhaps it may be well to inquire what is, under international law, the duty of neutral nations with regard to the construction and equipment of cruisers for either belligerent, and the supply of warlike stores. Thus the groundlessness of the claims put forth by the government of the United States for damages to be paid by Great Britain will be more manifest, and the lawfulness of the acts of the Confederate government demonstrated.

After the outbreak of the French Revolution in 1789, the government of France, owing to the temporary inferiority of her naval force, openly and deliberately equipped privateers in our ports. These privateers captured British vessels in United States waters, and brought them as

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
United States (United States) (9)
England (United Kingdom) (3)
France (France) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Charles Francis Adams (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
December 19th, 1862 AD (1)
1789 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: