previous next

[321] that ‘this measure and that of the same character which had been adopted by France would probably prove a death-blow to Southern privateering’—a means, it will be remembered, which the United States had refused to abandon for themselves.

On June 12, 1861, the United States Minister in London informed Her Majesty's Minister for Foreign Affairs that the fact of his having held interviews with the commissioners of our government had given ‘great dissatisfaction, and that a protraction of this would be viewed by the United States as hostile in spirit, and to require some corresponding action accordingly.’ In response to this intimation Her Majesty's Minister gave assurance that ‘he had no expectation of seeing them any more.’

Further extracts will show the marked encouragement to the United States to persevere in its paper blockade, and unmistakable intimations that Her Majesty's government would not contest its validity.

On May 21, 1861, Earl Russell pointed out to the United States Minister in London that ‘the blockade might, no doubt, be made effective, considering the small number of harbors on the Southern coast, even though the extent of three thousand miles were comprehended in the terms of that blockade.’

On January 14, 1862, Her Majesty's minister in Washington communicated to his government that, in extenuation of the barbarous attempt to destroy the port of Charleston by sinking a stone fleet in the harbor, Seward had explained that ‘the Government of the United States had, last spring, with a navy very little prepared for so extensive an operation, undertaken to blockade upward of three thousand miles of coast. The Secretary of the Navy had reported that he could stop up the ‘large holes’ by means of his ships, but that he could not stop up the “small ones.” It has been found necessary, therefore, to close some of the numerous small inlets by sinking vessels in the channel.’

On May 6, 1862, so far from claiming the right of British subjects as neutrals to trade with us as belligerents, and to disregard the blockade on the ground of this explicit confession by our enemy of his inability to render it effective, Her Majesty's Minister for Foreign Affairs claimed credit with the United States for friendly action in respecting it. His lordship stated that—

The United States Government, on the allegation of a rebellion pervading from nine to eleven States of the Union, have now, for more than twelve months, endeavored to maintain a blockade of three thousand miles of coast. This blockade, kept up irregularly, but, when enforced severely, has seriously injured the trade and manufactures of the United Kingdom.

Thousands are now obliged to resort to the poor-rates for subsistence owing

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) (7)
London (United Kingdom) (2)
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.
William H. Seward (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.
May 6th, 1862 AD (1)
January 14th, 1862 AD (1)
June 12th, 1861 AD (1)
May 21st, 1861 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: