previous next

[322] to this blockade. Yet her Majesty's Government have never sought to take advantage of the obvious inperfections 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 toward a friendly state.

It is not necessary to pursue this subject further. Suffice it to say that the British government, when called upon to redeem its pledge made at Paris in 1856, and renewed to the Confederacy in 1861, replied that it could not regard the blockade of Southern ports as having been otherwise than ‘practically effective in February, 1862,’ and that ‘the manner in which it has since been enforced gives to neutral governments no excuse for asserting that the blockade had not been effectively maintained.’

The partiality of Her Majesty's government in favor of our enemies was further evinced in the marked difference of its conduct on the subject of the purchase of supplies by the two belligerents. This difference was conspicuous from the very commencement of the war. As early as May 1, 1861, the British minister in Washington was informed by the Secretary of State of the United States that he had sent agents to England, and that others would go to France, to purchase arms; this fact was communicated to the British Foreign Office, which interposed no objection. Yet, in October of the same year, Earl Russell entertained the complaint of the United States minister in London that the Confederate States were importing contraband of war from the island of Nassau, directed inquiry into the matter, and obtained a report from the authorities of the island denying the allegations, which report was enclosed to Adams, and received by him as satisfactory evidence to dissipate ‘the suspicion thrown upon the authorities by that unwarrantable act.’ So, too, when the Confederate government purchased in Great Britain, as a neutral country (with strict observance both of the law of nations and the municipal law of Great Britain), vessels which were subsequently armed and commissioned as vessels of war after they had been far removed from English waters, the British government, in violation of its own laws, and in deference to the importunate demands of the United States, made an ineffectual attempt to seize one vessel, and did actually seize and detain another which touched at the island of Nassau, on her way to a Confederate port, and subjected her to an unfounded prosecution, at the very time when cargoes of munitions of war were openly shipped from British ports to New York, to be used in warfare against us. Further instances need not be adduced to show how detrimental to us, and advantageous to our enemy, was the manner in which the leading European power observed its hollow profession of neutrality toward the belligerents.

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)
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.
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.
February, 1862 AD (1)
May 1st, 1861 AD (1)
1861 AD (1)
1856 AD (1)
October (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: