previous next

[252] what he is going to do. And here, again, as Governments do not usually publish the plans of their campaigns, the argument from ignorance appears to great advantage. For our parts, we prefer to notice from day to day the success which attends Mr. Lincoln's action. The progress of disintegration has been stopped with a strong hand, and in States which, like Maryland and Virginia, were falling under the tyranny of the lawless and violent, enlightened and peaceable citizens are recovering their due influence. From the Ohio to the Gulf of Mexico men talk more reasonably, and if the voice of patriotism gains a hearing there, it will be because Mr. Lincoln has so ordered it. If the destinies of the Union are to be submitted to the arbitrament of war, he has acted wisely. If a peaceful separation, with all the difficulties attendant upon such questions as tariffs, extradition treaties, division of territories, and the like, is to be attempted, we say again he has taken the only prudent course, for no settlement could be lasting if made under the menace of a Slave Power.

All the facts that come to hand only place in a stronger light the duty which lies upon neutral Powers, and above all upon England, of leaving the people of the United and Confederate States to settle this quarrel in their own way. The English Government has done its duty in issuing the Proclamation which lately appeared in our columns, and which was the subject of an important discussion on Thursday evening in the House of Lords. The manifold relations between this country and the American States, the probability that one of the parties now engaged in civil war will apply to British subjects for aid, and importance to the North of being able to close up the Southern ports, made it desirable that the law upon the various legal questions which may arise should be clearly defined. After perusing the speeches of the various eminent lawyers who delivered their opinions upon the points mooted by Lord Ellenborough, it must be confessed that the unanimity of opinion is not so striking as might be desired. It is necessary to bear in mind continually that ministers have determined to grant to both parties in America — the North and the South--belligerent rights. The meaning of this is, that England is prepared to treat the United States and the Confederate States as two Powers, not, indeed, independent, but at war with each other, and entitled to belligerent rights. England, therefore, occupies towards each of them the position of a neutral, and is bound to conduct herself with perfect impartiality to both parties. The fact, however, that to us these parties occupy such a position as entitles them to belligerent rights, does not alter the relations of the North and South to each other. President Lincoln may still regard himself as President of the thirty-three United States and may treat Jefferson Davis and his followers as traitors and rebels. In strict law it must be admitted that the South cannot claim to be at war with the North, for in the eyes of the Northern constitutionalists the South has no independent existence. As Lord Kingsdown said, whether President Lincoln chooses to treat the Southern seceders literally as rebels must be matter for his own consideration, but he could not help thinking that to act upon such a view would be to have recourse to a piece of barbarity which would raise an outcry throughout the whole civilized world. If, then, President Lincoln and his Cabinet adopt the opinion of Lord Kingsdown, there can be no doubt that any citizen of a Southern State--although a rebel — will be entitled, if taken by the North, to all the rights of an enemy.--London News.

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) (4)
England (United Kingdom) (3)
Maryland (Maryland, United States) (1)
Gulf of Mexico (1)
America (Illinois, United States) (1)

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

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.
Abraham Lincoln (5)
Jefferson Davis (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: