previous next


Chapter 36:

  • Efforts of the enemy to obtain our cotton
  • -- demands of European manufacturers -- thousands of Operatives resorting to the poor rates -- complaint of her Majesty's Secretary of state -- letter of Seward -- promise to open all channels of commerce -- series of measures adopted by the United States -- act of Congress -- unconstitutional measures -- President Lincoln an accomplice -- not authorized by a state of war -- case before Chief Justice Taney -- expeditions sent by the United States government to seize localities -- act providing for the appointment of special agents to seize abandoned or captured property -- views of General Grant -- Weakening his strength one third -- our country divided into districts, and Federal agents appointed.

A class of measures was adopted by the government of the United States, the object of which was practically and effectually to plunder us of a large portion of our crop of cotton, and secure its transportation to the manufacturers of Europe. The foreign necessity for our cotton is represented in these words of Her Majesty's Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, on May 6, 1862, when speaking of the blockade of our ports:
Thousands are now obliged to resort to the poor-rates for subsistence, owing to this blockade, yet her Majesty's Government have not sought to take advantage of the obvious imperfections of this blockade, in order to declare it ineffective. They have, to the loss and detriment of the British nation, scrupulously observed the duties of Great Britain to a friendly state.

The severity of the distress thus alluded to was such, both in Great Britain and France, as to produce an intervention of the governments of those countries to alleviate it. Instead, however, of adopting those measures required in the exercise of justice to the Confederacy, and which would have been sustained by the law of nations, by declaring the blockade ‘ineffective,’ as it really was, they sought, through informal applications to Seward, the Secretary of State for the United States, to obtain opportunities for an increased exportation of cotton from the Confederacy. This is explained by Seward in a letter to Adams, the Minister at London, dated July 28, 1862, in which he writes as follows:

The President has given respectful consideration to the desire informally expressed to me by the Governments of Great Britain and France for some further relaxation of the blockade in favor of that trade. They are not rejected, but are

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) (3)
England (United Kingdom) (3)
France (France) (2)
Europe (2)
London (United Kingdom) (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.
William H. Seward (3)
— Taney (1)
Abraham Lincoln (1)
Ulysses S. Grant (1)
John Quincy 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.
July 28th, 1862 AD (1)
May 6th, 1862 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: