previous next
[112] recollect his saying to me that he thought the time had now come to move in the matter. “ But,” he said, “it is of great importance that, if the move is to be made, it should not assume a party character, and it is of equal importance that the initiative should come from our (i. e., the conservative) side. Now, Mr. Lindsay carries no weight. Lord Robert Cecil could handle the matter best, but he is an avowed partisan of the Confederacy and would arouse too much party feeling on the other side. If the thing is to be done, I must do it myself; and then, from all I hear and know, the resolution will be carried, Lord Palmerston being quite disposed to accept the declaration of Parliament in favor of a policy which he personally approves.”

“But,” he continued, “I cannot speak without more knowledge of the subject than I now possess, and I should be glad if you could give me a brief, furnishing the necessary statistics of the population, the institutions, the commercial and political prospects of the Southern States, in order that when the moment comes I may be fully armed.”

I procured the necessary information from the best authorities, and placed it in his hands. Every day seemed to bring the moment for its use nearer, and the general feeling in the House of Commons was perfectly ripe for the motion in favor of “recognition,” when the news of the battle of Gettysburg came like a thunder-clap upon the country. General Meade defeated Lee, and saved the Union, and from that day not another word was heard in Parliament about recognition. A few days afterward I saw Mr. Disraeli, and his exact words were: ‘We nearly put our foot in it.’

‘Now the leader of the Tory opposition may have been right or wrong in his judgment, but it was not he who controlled the Conservative party. The most powerful influences on the opposition side were undoubtedly the late Lord Derby, through his acquaintance with anti-slavery feeling in the manufacturing districts of the North, and the present Lord Derby, then Lord Stanley, whose sympathies were always and avowedly with the Northern side. But these two noblemen would have been powerless against the overwhelming feeling of the bulk of the Tory party, and Mr. Disraeli, had Lee been triumphant at Gettysburg, would undoubtedly have carried the House of Commons and the country with him.’

We believe that even after Gettysburg the Confederacy might and ought to have won; but we have not a shadow of doubt that we were ‘within a stone's throw of Independence’ on that great field.

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.

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.
Robert E. Lee (2)
Disraeli (2)
Meade (1)
Lindsay (1)
Robert Cecil (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: