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Chapter 55:

  • The Federal Government and the British Steamyacht Deerhound
  • -- Mr. Seward's despatch, and Mr. Lancaster's letter to the ‘daily news’ -- Lord Russell's reply to Mr. Adams on the subject of his complaint against Mr. Lancaster -- presentation of a sword to the author, by the clubs in England -- presentation of a flag by a lady.

The howl that went up against Mr. Lancaster, the owner of the Deerhound, for his humane exertions in saving my crew and myself from drowning, was almost as rabid as that which had been raised against myself. Statesmen, or those who should have been such, descended into the arena of coarse and vulgar abuse of a private English citizen, who had no connection with them or their war, and no sympathies that I know of, on the one side or the other. Mr. Welles, in one of those patriotic effusions, by which he sought to recommend himself to the extreme party of the North, declared among other things, that he was ‘not a gentleman!’ Poor Mr. Lancaster, to have thy gentility questioned by so competent a judge, as Mr. Gideon Welles! If these gentlemen had confined themselves to mere abuse, the thing would not have been so bad, but they gave currency to malicious falsehoods concerning Mr. Lancaster, as truths. Paid spies in England reported these falsehoods at Washington, and the too eager Secretary of State embodied them in his despatches. Mr. Adams and Mr. Seward have, both, since ascertained that they were imposed upon, and yet no honorable retraxit has ever been made. The following is a portion of one of Mr. Seward's characteristic despatches on this subject. It is addressed to Mr. Adams:—

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