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[105] published paragraphs and authors wrote bound volumes arguing for the South, members of Parliament from their seats prodded the ministry for its shirking policy toward the South. The Tories were as much our friends as if they had been of us, on the land.

While the Southern sympathizers in England were thus busy in practical ways at home, they did not fail to approach Napoleon III in their urgency of the Southern cause. The Emperor of France was a willing listener. He took up the cause of the South through formal channels of diplomacy with England. He held interviews with English members of Parliament, committing himself to the most advanced suggestions of co-operation with their own Government for the recognition and support of the independence of the Confederacy. He urged them to force the British ministry to favorable action.

Robert Barnwell Rhett, deputy from South Carolina, had given the subject of Government for the South the study of an acute and philosophic mind for more than the life of a generation. He took his seat at Montgomery well prepared with an outline of foreign policy for the young republic which he had done so much to make possible. Mr. Rhett's suggestion was founded upon certain accomplished facts of daily experience in the relations of the commerce of the slave States to European trade. The export commerce of the slave States in raw material was the richest in the world. The official report of the fiscal year ending June 30, 1859, gave the exports initiating in the slave States at $188,693,490 and the exports initiating in the free States at $5,281,091. England was both the chief ocean carrier and the chief manufacturer of the main subject of Southern commerce, cotton. The industries of France were also largely involved in the carrying trade and the manufacture of Southern raw material.

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Robert Barnwell Rhett (2)
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June 30th, 1859 AD (1)
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