Our European correspondence.
a Distinguished citizen of Virginia Homeward Bound — movements of Southerners watched — public opinion in England favorable to the Southern cause — the Establishment of a Southern news paper contemplated, &c., &c.
[correspondence of the Richmond Dispatch.]
London, England, Oct. 1st, 1861.
The last one of a gang of friends starts tomorrow morning at daylight for the Confederate States
, and I improve the opportunity to send you a hurried note of things here.
I write doubtingly, however, of its speedy reception, for, excepting an occasional private note, and on rare occasions a newspaper, nothing comes to us from the new Confederation.
The bearer of this — a citizen of glorious old Virginia
, who has lately, represented the late United States
abroad with eminent distinction, and who, during his brief stay in London
, has warnily endeared himself to all our Southern friends — starts to-morrow by the Havana route, in the hope of running the Baboon
He is accompanies by a gentleman of Kentucky
, one or two from Louisiana
, a well known ex editor of Charleston, S. C.
, a few scions of the ‘"first families"’ of the same city, who have been spending some years in Europe
, and who now return in the hope of an opportunity of reaping some of the laurels before the crop is entirely exhausted.
Altogether, they form a splendid party, from whom those of us who remain a while longer part most reluctantly, and with many a heartfelt wish for prosperous voyages and safe arrivals.
I had expected to have gone with them, having with others nearly made up a party for the charter and purchase of a vessel, which was to be freighted with clothing, blankets, shoes, rubber goods, etc., for our brave fellows on the field.
The Ordnance Agents
of the Confederate Government seem to be actively engaged in sending arms and munitions forward, but very wisely pursue the strictest secrecy in their movements.
Their doors, as well as those of Col. Mann
and Mr. Yancey
, are watched, and their very steps dogged, and not a man can call upon either without having himself photographed by pen and ink for the edification of the powers that ‘"remain"’ in Washington
General public opinion here is very favorable to us. Every interest of John Bull
induces him to side with us in the contest.
His keen trade instincts have long since snuffed up the fact, that in the altered condition of matters in America
, a Southern demand for sixty or seventy million pounds sterling is about to drop like a ripened pear into the lap of his tradesman.
There is only one difficulty.
For the last thirty or forty years he has been howling repentance over his former misdeeds in forcing slavery upon the colonies, and afterwards in supplying them, and has been playing the role
of Abolitionism generally to a terrible extent.
He would now like all this to cease, perhaps because he thinks he has repented long enough to make full a tenement, or because it don't pay. No sinner was ever more ready to be converted than he — He simply wants the ‘"true word"’ on this subject preached to him to turn a willing ear. For this purpose a weekly paper will probably soon be started, in which the whole subject will be presented in its proper aspect.--This paper will take care to spread the same facts and arguments before the English
people, which, in our own country, changed all of us from weak apologists to confident advocates of slavery.
It must be recollected that the natural impulses of the world are against slavery.
It must be remembered, too, that the English
views of the institution are drawn from West India
, which exaggerated a hundred fold the worst features of slavery, and presented none of the humanizing and Christianizing features that distinguish it in America
If, with us, it was necessary for a few bold thinkers to take this anti slavery prejudice bull by the horns, how much more so does it seem necessary here ? The more reflecting and intelligent English and Frenchmen feel that they have held and promulgated erroneous views; but few dare assume the task of teaching the opposite.
When I first went to Paris
, at the end of July, it may be said that every newspaper was against us — some negatively — and others not only positively, but bitterly.
Soon after three brochures
--one by Hon. T. Butler King
, one by Judge Pequet
, whose charming lady, by-the-way, was from (Richmond
,) and a third by M Eruest Bellotdes Minieres
— made their appearance.
the tone of the press changed.
In a single day twelve of the journals of France
came out in long and very favorable criticisms upon M. Bellot
's pamphlet, I certainly never saw a more strongly marked revulsion upon any subject than that of the French
press upon this.
So much for pamphleteering in France
The same remedy is to be tried here.
Already the Mss. of ‘"Common Sense Views of the American War
and American Slavery"’ is ready for the printer and will soon make its appearance, either through the proposed ‘"Confederate,"’ or in an independent pamphlet.
A great difficulty, however, lies in the fact that the Confederate Government has strangely omitted to provide the Commissioners
a penny wherewithal to provide the means of thus reaching the English
ear, and the whole expense has to be borne by individuals.
In view of the fact that the English Government will not
act against public opinion, and that this opinion is not yet ripened for us, this omission certainly seems a strange one.
In the revolutionary struggle, Dr. Franklin
and his fellow-commissioners had $200,000 secret service money allowed them; but here, when the promised good is so much more manifest, and with resources so much superior to the ‘"colonies"’ at that time, our commissioners have nothing.
Had public opinion been properly worked up three months ago, England
's Government would have recognized ours.
A virtual opening of the blockade would have followed, which, coming immediately after the disaster of Bull Run
, would have disposed — as we think — the Federal Government
to a peaceable settlement.
If the effect of this effort had only been to have brought peace one day sooner, it would have at least saved us that one day's war expenses — say three quarters of a millions, or ten times more than the effort would have cost us — besides the millions every day of war costs the various industrial and commercial interests of the Confederation.
It might have saved us the expense, risks, and sufferings of a winter campaign, or at least would have opened the way for the introduction of those articles necessary to the energetic prosecution of the war, and others, the want of which I fear our poor soldiers will fell before the winter is over.
here often make cynical strictures upon the manner of American warfare upon both sides.
They cannot understand, for instance, why Beauregard
didn't seize upon Washington
after the battle of Bull Run
, when from this stand point it seems that a few regiments could have seized it, and with it attached Maryland
to the Southern Confederacy, and dictated peace as the price of salvation for. Philadelphia
and New York.
On the other side they cannot see why Butler
, when he had conquered the way into the vast inland seas of North Carolina
, hadn't followed up his advantages upon the country laid at his mercy.
They seem to think that both stopped at the very time when the way was open for going on — and I must confess myself equally thick-headed.
I might perhaps give you some interesting notes of this mighty ‘"heart of the universe,"’ but time forbids.
When there is so much to write about, it would fill a book to begin — for as I write to-night, within a circle of ten miles radians, exist something more than twice the population of the entire State of Virginia
, ‘"contraband"’ and all. I have taken notes of many things here and elsewhere, in Europe
, and some day may ‘" presidium."’ If i do not start on my return via the next available steamer, I may endeavor to let you hear from me again.
I am working,
and arm willing that work to be judged by its fruits H.