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[410] to England, to which I replied that I should make no “claim” or “demand” for the present, nor was I disposed to speak of “claim or demand.”

Again, June 15:—

I had at dinner here last evening the attorney-general (E. R. Hoar), Cushing, and Mr. Hunter, etc. There was but one opinion among them expressed,—most kindly to you. I mention this now for your information, and as a guide in the future. . . . All feel that your position is as historic as any described by your pen. England must listen, and at last yield. I do not despair seeing the debate end—(1) In the withdrawal of England from this hemisphere; (2) In remodelling maritime international law. Such a consummation would place our republic at the head of the civilized world.

Again, June 20—

The late statements from Washington that there was no difference between Fish and myself have had a tranquillizing effect. With more experience at Washington, our front would have been more perfect.

P. S. Paul Forbes arrived here three days ago, directly from Madrid, with overtures from Prim about Cuba. The language of the latter was, “When a family is in distress, it sells its jewels.” The idea seemed to be that the United States should mediate between Spain and the insurgents, the latter paying for their independence. The President is disposed to undertake the mediation if any representative of the insurgents can give assurances that the idea can be carried through. The President told me that he was entirely satisfied that England made the concession of belligerency “to injure us.”

Sumner wrote to Bemis, July 7:—

The President, Secretary of State, minister to England, and chairman of Senate committee, are all of one mind;1 and you will see that Reverdy Johnson in his despatch vindicating his treaty has taken our ground on belligerency.

The general discussion of the question of the ‘Alabama’ claims was withdrawn from Motley, to be resumed only in Washington. Mr. Fish gave as the reason of the withdrawal, at the time of Sumner's visit to him in the summer, that the Senate was accessible for advice at Washington; and in a letter, Oct. 9, 1869, ‘because [the italics being Mr. Fish's] we think that when reversed it can be carried on here with a better prospect of settlement than where the late attempt at a convention resulted so disastrously.’ Mr. Fish, however, in his letter to Mr. Moran, Dec. 30, 1870, gave a different and inconsistent reason for the withdrawal, putting it then on the ground of the minister's disobedience to instructions,—manifestly an afterthought.

1 Sumner gave the same assurance to Longfellow, then in Europe, by letter, July 8.

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