Interesting diplomatic Letters.
The Northern papers contain the diplomatic correspondence of Secretary Seward
with Mr. Adams
, the U. S. Minister
at the Court of St. James, as well as the officials of the English Government
, in reference to the numerous questions that have arisen between the two Governments during the past year.
We extract the following:
Reward's opinion of emancipation.
Department of State, Washington, Feb. 17, 1862.
--It is represented to us that equally in Great Britain
and in France
the cause of the Union
is prediced by the assumption that the Government
which maintains it is favorable — or, at least, not unfavorable — to the perpetuation of slavery. --This incident is one of the most curious and instructive once which has occurred in the course of this controversy.
The Administration was elected and came into its trust upon the ground of its declared opposition so the extension of slavery.
The party of anagogy, for this reason, arrayed itself against, not only the Administration, but the Union
itself, and man a civil war for the overthrow of the Union
and the establishment of an exclusive slaveholding Confederate,.
Without surrendering the political principle, we most them in the battle-field, and in defence of the Union
The contest for life absorbs all the interest she had existed, growing out of the previous contest of ideas.
But what to the effect?
If the Confederacy
prevails, slavery have a constitutional, legitimate, and State devoted to it self as the p ramo of the ional existence, if the Union
preva the Government
will be administered by a majority to the fortification and perpetuation of slavery.
Slavery in the slaveholding States will there be left in the care of the people of those States, just as it was left at the organization of the Government
in all of the States Massachusetts
It might admit of doubt whether it would not have been able to recover its former strength, had the slaveholding States acqui in the election and avoided civil war. But what ground is there to fear such a renewal of strength after having been defeated in arms against the Union
Weat is operation of the war?
We have entered Virginia
and already five thousand slaves emancipated simply by the appearance of our forces, upon the hands of the Federal Government
We have landed on the coast of South Carolina
, and already nine thousand similarly emancipated slaves hang upon our camp.
Although the war has not been waged against slavery yet the army acts immediately as an emancipating crusade.
To proclaim the crusade is unnecessary, and it would even he inexpedient, because it would deprive us of the need of an legitimate support of the friends of the Union
who are not opposed to slavery, but who prefer Union without slavery to Disunion with slavery.
or does Great Britain
want to see a revolution here, with all its horrors, like the slave revolution in St. Domingo
Are these Powers sure that the country or the world is ripe for such a revolution, so that is most certainly be successful?
What, if inaugurating such a revolution, slavery, protesting against its ferocity and inhumanity, should prove the victor?
Who says this Administration is fairs to human freedom?
Does it got acknowledge the citizenship as as the manhood of men without respect to enter?
it not made effective arrangements with Britain to suppress the slave trade on the of Africa
Has it not brought into life the Federal
laws against the African slave trade, and is it not executing their severest penalties?
Besides, is it not an object worthy of practical men to slavery existing bounds, instead of suffering it to be spread over the whole unoccupied portion of this vast continent?
Is it not favoring emancipation in the Federal district, to be accomplished at the Government
's and without individual injustice or oppression!
Does it not receive all who come into the Federal
camps, to offer their services to the Union
, and hold and protect them against disloyal claimants.
Does it not favor the recognition of Hayti and Liberia
The that Mr.
was required to give
up his place because of his decided opposition to slavery is without foundation; that distinguished gentleman resigned his place only because his could be useful in a diplomatic situation, while the gentleman appointed his successor, it was expected, would be more efficient in administration.
His successor has no more sympathy with slavery than Mr. Cameron
These and thoughts are a mun to you confidentially for such use in detail may be practicable but not to be formally prevented in the usual way to the Government
to which you are accredited.
Reward to Adams — the humanity of England,
Department of State Washington, July 23, 1861
-- * * What are the re urged upon those Governments by shortsighted politicians for such a proceeding?
They are various, but none of them will bear examination.
First it was said that civil war among us endangers the commerce of foreign nations, and that they have a right to practice neutrality.
So, indeed, they have if their commerce is endangered, and if pronounced neutrality will gave their commerce.
But no slaveholding cruiser from this country ever attacked, or even menaced, the commerce of Europe
before the attitude of neutrality was adopted.
Then it was said that the United States
resorted to a blockade; but the blockade is an application of force allowed by the laws of nations to all belligerents. --Then the blockade was represented as being imperfect, but if it had been so, it was therefore the less injurious.
Then it was too rigorous, and prevented the export of cotton and the import of fabrics.
Is not this the lawful object of a blockade?
Then it was that the closing of the cotton ports by the blockade was continued too long.
We opened them to and invited it; the insurgents refuse to cotton be sent forward to market.
We apply all our means and energies, dly greater than any nation ever before applied, to suppress insurrection and restore the freedom of our inland and foreign commerce and we gain victory after victory; yet this does not satisfy our enemies abroad.
Defeats in their eyes prove our national incapacity.
Victories won in conformity with the most humans practices of war are attended with such destruction of life as to shock and confound their sensibilities.--Complaints against an increase of duties on foreign merchandize, and against the rigor of our taxation, come upon us in the very same breath with representations that our engagements will never be fulfilled and our bonds not yet matured are advised to be forced back upon our newly filled money market for sale.
The same voices which are proclaiming to the world that the preservation of the Union
is a task too expensive for the Government
denounce the revenue measures adopted to secure the accomplishment of that task as hostile to foreign nations.
At first the Government
was considered as unfaithful to humanity in not proclaiming emancipation, and when it appeared that slavery by being thus forced into the contest, must suffer, and perhaps perish in the conflict then the war had become an intolerable propagandism of emancipation by the sword. * * * * *
Purpose of the Government.
Having done this, it remains for me only to say, further, that the purpose of the American Government
and people to maintain and preserve the Union
and their Constitution remains unchanged; that the war in which they have been engaged, though it has been opposed by agencies and influences abroad which we had not foreseen, has been crowned with successes when are satisfactory to our calmer reason and judgment; that temporary disappointment of our expectations, with our grief over losses of valuable lives, unavoidable among a humane, affectionate, Christian people, has already culminated, and it is now declining; that our armies remaining in the field with their appointments, excel by far all the forces which the insurgents have now, with any augmentation they can make; that, in addition to the present forces, the orders are issued, the machinery is in motion, for the immediate addition of three hundred thousand men, all of whom will come into camps with an alacrity equal to that which has heretofore been exhibited by the people; that inactivity is already giving place to new and effective exertions which will be sufficient for the termination of the war; that below these new ranker of volunteers there still remains a mass yet sedentary and which is daily increased by immigration, which is equal to all that has been called forth, which will be prepared as a reserve, and if necessary, will be brought up to decide the contest Neither the Government
nor the country has experienced exhaustion, nor even financial pressure, but, in the midst of wars and campaigns, the fiscal condition of both is satisfactory, and superior to that of any other Government and people.
We are a nation not chiefly of cotton-growers, but of farmers, manufacturers, and miners.
We will induce or oblige our slaveholding citizens to supply Europe
with cotton if we can.
So far as we fail we fill up the deficiency promptly by sending bread and gold.
We invite foreign products such as we need at prices which we can afford to pay, and we invite a premature return of all our bonds and stocks, and will promptly pay and redeem in gold, with which cotton may be bought wherever freemen can, with gold, be induced to raise it. Let the world judge whether more can be required of us. If we are not met by serious obstacles raised by foreign Powers, we shall speedily open all the channels of commerce, and free them from military embarrassments, and cotton, so much desired by all nations, will flow forth as freely as heretofore.
We have ascertained that there are three and a half millions of bales yet remaining in the region where it was produced, although large quantities of it are yet unginned and otherwise unprepared for the market.
We have instructed the military authorities to favor, so far as they can consistently with the public safety, its preparation for and dispatch to the markets, where it is to much wanted; and now, notwithstanding the obstructions which have necessarily attended the re-establishment of the Federal
authority in that region against watchful and desperate public enemies, in whose hands the suppression of the cotton trade by fire and force is a lever with which they expect to raise up allies throughout Europe
, that trade has already begun to revive and we are assured by our civil and military agents that it may be expected to increase fast enough to relieve the painful anxieties expressed to us by friendly nations.
The President has given respectful consideration to the desire informally expressed to me by the Governments of Great Britain
for some further relaxation of the blockade in favor of that trade.--They are not rejected, but are yet held under consideration, with a view to ascertain more satisfactorily whether they are really necessary and whether they can be adopted without such serious detriment to our military operations as would render them injurious rather than beneficial to the interest of all concerned.
An answer will be seasonably given, which will leave foreign Powers in no uncertainty about our course.
Such are the expectations of this Government.
They involve a continued reliance upon the practice of justice and respect of our sovereignty by foreign Powers.
It is not necessary for me to say that, if this reliance falls, this civil war will, without our fault, become a war of continents — a war of the world; and whatever else may revive, the labor in this country, will be irredeemably wrecked in the abrupt cessation of human bondage within the territories of the United States
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
William H. Seward
Charles Francis Adams, Esq.
Seward's second opinion of emancipation.
Department of State Washington, Sept. 26, 1862.
-- * * * As you are well aware, it has never been expected by the President
that the insurgents should protract this war until it should not only themselves but the loyal States, and bring foreign armies or navies into the conflict, and still be allowed to retain in bondage with the consent of this Government, the slaves who constitute the laboring and producing masses of the insurrectionary States.
At the same time, the emancipation of the slaves could be effected only by Executive authority, and on the ground of military necessity.
As a preliminary to the exercise of that great power, the President
must have not only the exigency, but the general consent of the loyal people of the Union
in the border slave States where the war was raging, as well as in the free States which have escaped the scourge, which could only be obtained through a clear conviction on their part that the military exigency had actually occurred.
It is thus seen that what has been discussed so earnestly at home and abroad, as a question of morals or of humanity, has all the while been practically only a military question, depending on circumstances.
The order for emancipation, to take effect on the 1st of January in the States then still remaining in rebellion against the Union
, was issued upon due deliberation and conscientious consideration of the actual condition of the war and the state of opinion in the whole country.
No one who known how slavery was engrafted upon the nation when it was springing up into existence; how it has grown and gained strength as the nation itself has advanced in wealth and power; how fearful the people have been of any charge which might the parasites, will contend that the order comes too late.
It is hoped and believed that after the painful experience we have had of the danger to which the Federal
connection with slavery is exposing the Republic
there will be few indeed who will insist that the decree which brings the connection to an end either could or ought to have been further deferred.
The interests of humanity have now become identified with the of our country, and this has reunited not from any infraction of constitutional restraints by the Government
, but from persistent unconstitutional and factions proceedings of the insurgents who have opposed themselves to both.
I am, sir, your obed
William H. Seward
Charles Francis Adam, Esq, &c.
Seward's Philosophy on the New York election.
Department of State. Washington Nov. 19.
--It is probable that the ground which the enemies of the Union
will next assume, in prosecuting their war against it, will be an alleged defection of popular support of the Government
at the elections recently held in the loyal States.
The reports of the results of these elections, in the forms adopted by the press, are calculated, though not designed to give plausibility to this position.
I observe that these reports the members of Congress chosen as Union and Democratic, or Union and Opposition.
Such class fractions, though unfortunate, do less harm here, where all the circumstances of the case are known, than abroad, where are understood to mean what they express.
Last year, when the war began, the Republicans, who were the plurality or electors, gave up their party name, and, joining with loyal Demo
crats put in nomination candidates of their party under the designation of a Union party.
The Democratic party made but a spiritless resistance in the canvass.
From whatever cause it has happened political debates during the present year have resumed in a considerable degree, their normal character, and while loyal Republicans have adhered to the new banner of the Union party, the Democratic party has rallied and made a vigorous canvass with a view to the recovery of its former political ascendent, Loyal Democrats in considerable number retaining the name of Democracy from habit, and not because they opposed the Union
, are classified by the other party as ‘"opposition"’ It is not necessary for the information of our representatives abroad that I should descend into any examination of the relative principles or policies of the two parties.
It will suffice to say that while there may be men of doubtful political wisdom and virtue in each party, and while there may be differences of opinion between the two parties, as to the measures best calculated to preserve the Union
and restore its authority, yet it is not to be inferred that either party, or any considerable portion of the people of the loyal States, is disposed to receipt disunion under any circumstances or upon any terms.
It is rather to be understood that the people have become so confident of the stability of the Union
that partisan combinations are resuming their away here, as they do in such cases in all free countries.
In this country, especially, it is a habit not only entirely consistent with the Constitution
, but even essential to the stability, to regard the Administration at any time existing as distinct and separable from the Government
itself, and to convert the proceedings of the one without the thought of disloyalty to the other.
We might possibly have had quicker success in suppressing the insurrection if this habit could have rested a little longer in abeyance; but, on the other hand we are under obligations to save not only the integrity or unity of the country, but also its inestimable and preclude Constitution No one can safely say that the resumption of the previous popular habit does not tend to this last and most important consummation if at the same time, as we confidently expect, the Union
itself shall be saved.