previous next


Foreign Consulates.
[from the Mobile Tribune]

This question of consuls and other foreign public functionaries, being recognized as such in the Confederacy, in very justly invoking criticism and censure. These foreign representatives were not accredited as such to the Confederate States. We have sent representatives to England and France, proffering to treat with them, and asking the rights and immunities of nations; our proffers have been refused, and that in a manner which should justly challenge the displeasure of our Government and people. They are allowing the plainest terms of the Paris treaty to be violated by the United States--a party to said treaty — in allowing the blockade of our ports, which said blockade in no wise meets the demands of said treaty.

They are thus stultifying themselves before the civilized world, and doing us the grossest injustice as a nation and as a people.

Our magnanimity has been quite beyond that spirit of national honor and independence, which every nation must exhibit to be respected.

At all our seaport cities are to be found consuls and other public functionaries, representing different European Governments.--The people will demand that we exhibit some self respect, and that these cease their functions. England and France have not chosen to know such a Government as the Confederates States, in which they have many public functionaries.

We demand as a right that these functionaries be informed that we know no such powers as they purport to represent, and that none of their acts as such will be recognized. The plainest rules of common sense will at once endorse this position as the only one that we, as a nation, can adopt.

We hear of the English Consul, the French Consul, the Spanish Consul, and many others, doing this and that at different points of the Confederate States; issuing passports, protecting property etc., etc.

How came they to be appointed to the discharge of these functions within these Confederate States? We answer that they were never so appointed. They were accredited as such to those posts and localities whilst we were a part of the United States.

We have absolved ourselves from the United States Government, but still we allow a portion of her machinery to perform her functions within our borders.

It may be answered that these are not functionaries of the United States, but of European powers.

This does not change the obligation. We have sent to the powers thus represented among us, or the most of them, and proposed to treat with them as a nation. They have rejected our proffer; therefore, the instincts of honor, year, even of the commonest principles of right, demand of us enough self-respect to say to these functionaries that you cannot longs be recognized as such — This will induce those Governments at once to discover what is at least their interest, if not duty, and that will be to recognize our Government by sending ministers and consuls to represent them and their subjects upon our soil.

Complications are already arising which is an argument in support of the views advanced. Questions have arisen between our military authorities and some of these foreign representatives, and in one case, if not more, one of these representatives has said he must appeal to the Minister at Washington for a decision in the premises.

We call upon our Congress to take hold of this question, and place our country and people upon terms just and honorable to them, by knowing no Government or representative of a Government which does not reciprocate this knowledge and representation.

Confederacy

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) (6)
France (France) (2)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: