the beginning of Grant
's intercourse with Motley
was brought about through me. Mr. Motley
made my acquaintance at Newport
He was visiting a man whom I did not know, but who was good enough to call on me and invite me to dinner; and I, like every one else, was charmed with the manner and conversation of the famous historian.
was at that time a candidate for the Presidency, and Motley had recently returned from Vienna
, after his quarrel with Johnson
He was an enthusiastic admirer of Grant
, and took a lively interest in my history of the General
's campaigns, the first volume of which had lately appeared.
During the canvass he made an eloquent speech for Grant
, and sent a copy to me at Galena
, where I was spending the autumn with the General
We corresponded regularly after this, and Motley
sent frequent messages through me to the President-elect
, whom he did not meet until December.
After the election he passed some months in Washington
, the guest of Samuel Hooper
, of Boston
, at whose house I met him frequently, as well as at that of Charles Sumner
, with whom he was extremely intimate.
During this period he read and revised several manuscript chapters of my History of Grant
At the time of the inauguration it was understood that he was a candidate for the Austrian Mission
, but afterward he was pressed by Sumner
for the mission to England
, of New York, was a prominent rival, but Sumner
influence prevailed, and Motley
received the appointment to London
I had done my best to speak well of him to the President
, and General Grant
informed me of his decision immediately after it was made, and allowed me to announce it to Motley
This was a great gratification to me, and of course Motley
He at once, however, begged me to remember that despite our intimacy and my known relations with General Grant
he had never mentioned the subject of his appointment to me, nor had one of his family.
I took care to say this to the President
, who was peculiarly sensitive on such points.
He had never urged his own qualifications or claims for any promotion, and he liked better the men who followed the same course with himself.
A few days afterward I got a note from Motley
asking me to call on him. During the interview he asked if I would be willing to take the position of Assistant Secretary
of Legation under him. He said he thought me entitled to a much higher place and would not have dreamed of offering me this if it had not been suggested to him, but that it would be a great pleasure to have me accompany him. I thanked him, but said the proposition was entirely unexpected and I could make no answer without consulting the President
I was at that time, as I have before stated, on duty at the Executive Mansion
, in charge of a portion of General Grant
's unofficial correspondence, and also engaged on my History of his Campaigns.
I went direct to the President
, who said the suggestion had come from himself.
He had already told me that he meant before long to appoint me to one of the smaller European
missions, but he preferred not to do this at once; and he had thought as I was so warm a friend of Motley
, it might be pleasant for me to accompany him and learn something of diplomatic duty in advance, as well as obtain an agreeable introduction to English society.
At any rate I could pass the summer in Europe
and return whenever I chose and resume my place at the White House
I was also
told that though I was now offered the position of Assistant Secretary
, I should be promoted to that of First Secretary
as soon as I had familiarized myself with the duties.
Of this last arrangement Mr. Motley
was not informed.
I accepted the appointment.
Before the new Minister sailed he submitted an elaborate paper to the State Department which was doubtless in part drawn up by Mr. Sumner
This was proposed as the draft or basis of Motley
's instructions as envoy to England
The document was written in a spirit and tone that would have been highly offensive to England
; it was entirely unacceptable to Mr. Fish
and to General Grant
, both of whom had conceived the idea of a pacific policy looking to an adjustment of our differences with England
that might be agreeable to both nations.
had just come into power at the head of a liberal government, including such friends of the Union
as Bright, Forster
, and the Duke
; and the American Administration
thought it might make terms with these without assuming an offensive attitude.
The ‘memoir’ which Mr. Motley
presented was therefore rejected.
At this Mr. Sumner
was very indignant.
of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs he supposed himself entitled to dictate, or at least control, the foreign policy of the Government
, and he would indeed be able to thwart or advance it in an unusual degree.
He had been a life-long intimate and personal friend of the Secretary of State
, and Mr. Fish
was inclined to strain a point to meet his views, or at least to preserve kindly relations with him. But Sumner
was intolerant in temper, arbitrary in will, egotistical and conceited in sentiment, and domineering in manner.
, on the other hand, was stubborn, and possessed a will as determined as Sumner
's; he knew his rights, and though always ready to accord those of his compeers or subordinates, was equally resolute in maintaining his own.
Nevertheless, for the sake of old friendship and because of the important political and international interests at issue, he was far from intolerant at this crisis.
was more inflexible.
He had been used to finding subordinates obedient and others deferential; and though Motley
was not as yet at fault, Sumner
's course both surprised and angered Grant
In a conversation with Fish
declared that if his wishes could not be carried out, he would tell Motley
This assumption of a right to dictate to the subordinates of the State Department almost provoked a rupture on the spot, and was received in a manner that did not encourage Sumner
to renew or to carry out the threat.
The deferred instructions to Mr. Motley
were sent to the Minister
in New York just before he sailed.
He first read them on the voyage.
I was to take the same steamer with Motley
, and a few days before we started I asked the President
if he had any particular or personal injunctions for me. I said I should be known to come direct from his side, and doubtless would be supposed to reflect his views, and I inquired if there was any tone in conversation which he would like me to assume.
He replied at once: ‘Yes, I particularly wish you to say that I am anxious for a harmonious adjustment of our differences with England
I do not want any difficulty with that country, and will do my best to prevent one.
The two nations ought to be friends, and one object of my Administration is to secure such a friendship.
I particularly do not intend to dispute the right that England
had to acknowledge the belligerency of the South
Say this in conversation constantly.
Make opportunities to say that you know this is my position and that I authorize you to declare it.’
During the voyage I repeated this conversation to Mr. Motley
, for I had no idea of doing anything disloyal or even disagreeable to him; but he at once desired me to say nothing on the subject in England
He declared that I should embarrass him greatly if I
assumed to discuss political matters at all, or to speak in any way for the President
I was naturally amazed that he should revoke the order of the President
, but I attributed this conduct to the extraordinary sensitiveness of Motley
He had shown in one or two instances a petty jealousy unworthy of him. I had intended to give a breakfast party before I left Washington
and to invite the British Minister
, Mr. Motley
, Mr. Fish
, and Mr. Sumner
to meet the President
, who had consented to come, but Motley
made it a point that I should not give the party.
He said it would be unbecoming in me as Secretary
of Legation to invite the President
to meet the British Minister
He did not feel that he could invite the Head
of the State
, and he did not wish his subordinate to do so.
did not show me his instructions on his arrival, nor did he discuss with me his intercourse with the Foreign Office on any of the points in dispute with the United States
; but as Secretary
I had access to the archives of the Legation and thus saw his instructions and read the account of Motley
's first interview with Lord Clarendon, the Minister
for Foreign Affairs.
I had not known in America
of his difference with the State Department, but I said at once to Mr. Moran
, the First Secretary
of Legation, that the Minister
would be removed.
He had disobeyed his orders, and I knew that General Grant
would not endure disobedience in a subordinate.
agreed with me as to the disobedience.
indeed had said far more than he had been ordered to say. He had been charged to do everything to cultivate friendly relations, to express a desire on the part of the new Government to maintain an amicable feeling, and he had instead recited the wrongs that England
had inflicted and had done this in a menacing and almost offensive tone which only the good temper of the British Government
prevented it from resenting on the spot.
talked over the matter.
I was greatly grieved, for I was attached to Motley
and wanted to see him succeed; but I could not go to my superior and tell him that he was disobedient.
He had not invited my suggestions, and I did not feel authorized to approach him on the subject.
I felt all the more delicate because he knew so well my relations with General Grant
But I wrote at once to the President
and told him that I thought he might be able to change Mr. Motley
I said the Minister
was very susceptible to praise; that he seemed to consider himself Mr. Sumner
's Minister rather than that of the Government
, but that this came perhaps from an excess of gratitude, because he thought he owed his appointment to Sumner
; and if he could be made to feel more pleasantly toward the Administration it might have an influence on his susceptible nature.
I recited some things he had said and done which I thought the President
would approve, and I urged him to write me a letter which I could show Motley
commending these acts.
at once complied with this suggestion.1
But when the dispatch arrived in Washington
reporting the interview with Lord Clarendon, the result that I had predicted to Moran
The President at first insisted on the immediate recall of the disobedient Minister.
was equally amazed and even indignant at the extraordinary action of the envoy, but he was less peremptory.
He persuaded the President
not to take the step of removing his most important diplomatic subordinate in the first months of his Administration; and showed him how the necessity might be avoided.
was informed that he had transcended his instructions and that the further negotiation of the subject would be conducted in the United States
and not at London
He was also directed to notify the British Government
that the views he had presented
were disapproved by his superiors.
This, it was supposed, would induce the Minister
to resign, but he swallowed his humble pie and made the declaration required to Lord Clarendon.
He could not, however, bring himself to utter the words in person, and therefore wrote them, which saved him a part of his mortification, but left the record in the archives of the Foreign Office of England
I was inexpressibly pained at this situation, for I was fond of Motley
, as every one was who was thrown much with him. I knew how his proud spirit must have been stung, and I thought I knew how I could have saved him some of his suffering; but he did not offer me his confidence, and I could not intrude.
About this time, only four months after my arrival in England
, General Rawlins
He had in his possession a number of important papers relating to General Grant
which only he or I could arrange, as we were the only two who had made the matters to which they referred our study.
It was very desirable that these papers should not fall into other hands, and I telegraphed at once to the President
that unless he forbade I should return to America
This was in accordance with his permission to me when I left.
I received no refusal and made ready to start, writing, however, to the President
in advance, and requesting him to explain to the Secretary of State
the reasons for my return, and relieve me from the appearance of disrespect in not applying to him for my leave.
When I found I was to return I talked again with Moran
about our chief.
I was anxious to do the Minister
a service, and thought if I could carry a submissive message to Washington
I might save him further humiliation, and perhaps the loss of his place.
Finally I determined to say something as delicately as possible to the ladies of his family.
I told them that from my knowledge of General Grant
I was sure he must be displeased, and that I believed it all-important for Mr. Motley
to change his course; but that I did not
venture to approach him on the subject, which he had never broached to me. They at once begged me to speak to him frankly, assuring me that he would not be offended.
I did so, and he took my interposition in the best possible spirit, admitting at once that he might have erred at the start, but declaring his intention now to carry out the wishes of the Government
even if they were contrary to his own. He urged me to make this fully known to the President
and to Mr. Fish
, and to inform him of the result; and thanked me cordially for my interposition.
When I returned to America
I found the Head
of the Government
extremely displeased, and my messages did not have the full effect desired; the explanations were insufficient.
I therefore wrote to Mr. Motley
and advised him to send me a letter which I might show to the President
and Mr. Fish
, repeating in the strongest words he could use the verbal messages he had sent through me. This he did promptly, and thanked me for the suggestion.
I read this letter to the President
and the Secretary of State
, and they seemed to feel that there was now some probability that their instructions would be obeyed; but they determined to risk nothing, and the further discussion of the points at issue was not resumed in London
Even this was not sufficient, high strung as Motley
was, to induce him to resign; for he was fond of the accessories of etiquette and precedence attached to his place.
Yet he was in small things as well as great utterly lacking in the diplomatic character.
Lord Houghton once said of him that he was a historian, not a diplomatist; he was used to meting out praise and blame to Governments and could not understand that he was to take orders from them.
This soon became evident again.
A month or two after my return I resigned my post of Assistant Secretary
, and resumed my duties at the White House
When this was decided the President
said to me: ‘Badeau
, I wish you would write to Mr. Motley
and say I would like him to nominate as your successor Mr. Nicholas Fish
, the son of the Secretary of State
. Mr. Fish
does not know of this, and might feel delicate about appointing or asking me to appoint his son. I wish to surprise him, and Mr. Motley
will have the chance to gratify both me and the Secretary of State
I wrote of course promptly to the Minister
, but he declined to comply with the President
He had another man whom he preferred for the place, and whom he had promised to nominate if I resigned.
He had indeed already sent an informal request to the State Department which probably crossed my letter on the ocean.
at the best could only nominate, it was for the President
to appoint; and the statement to any friend that he could not redeem his pledge would surely have released him. But he insisted so far as he could on his nomination, and refused to oblige the two persons on earth who were most able to oblige him. I do not know that Mr. Fish
ever knew of this circumstance.
enjoined secrecy on me at the time, and I never spoke of it to the Secretary
or his family.
But the President
was extremely angry; he looked upon the refusal as another piece of insubordination, a proof that Motley
was determined to do as he pleased, and not as the President
desired; more than this, he regarded it, after all that had occurred, as a personal discourtesy and defiance.
's friend was not appointed, so that he lost what he wanted, as well as the regard of the President
A day or two after the letter arrived Grant
asked his Cabinet if any one of them had a man he wanted to send to London
in my stead.
The place had not been known to be vacant, and at first no name was mentioned; but after a while Mr. Cresswell
, the Postmaster-General
, suggested Mr. E. R. Nadal
, and that gentleman, who was utterly unknown to Motley
, received the appointment.
Young Mr. Fish
, at General
's suggestion, was sent as Secretary
, where the Minister
was less recalcitrant.
During the winter nothing further was done about Motley
; but the President
received from several sources reports in regard to the Minister
's social treatment of Americans
which displeased him. I fancy the stories were exaggerated, but it was said that Motley
ignored his compatriots, and that his deference for the aristocracy was so marked that he disliked to bring democrats into contact with them.
In May I returned to London
, this time as Consul-General
, and on the day I left Washington
, I dined with the President
He went to the door of the White House
to bid me good-by, and we talked a long while in the lower halls.
Then and there he told me that he meant to remove Mr. Motley
This was on the 15th of May, nearly two months before the final vote on the Saint Domingo
He said he was persuaded that the Minister
was un-American in spirit and not a fitting representative of democracy.
He charged me not to disclose his intention to any human being, and declared he had not told it even to Mrs. Grant
; or to any one whatever, except the Secretary of State
He even said he should like to make me Minister to England
, but I replied at once that he ought not to think of the appointment.
I was not sufficiently prominent before the country, and the nomination would be regarded as favoritism and would injure him. He promised, however, to write me fully on public affairs, letters which I might show, and which would indicate his confidence in me; and he kept his word.2
As soon as I arrived in London
asked me how the President
felt toward him, and I had great difficulty in replying without betraying the President
was so amiable to me personally that I felt more than sorry for him; he enjoyed his social opportunities so keenly,
and in all social matters he so adorned his position that I should have been glad to see him remain.
I told him he ought to do every thing in his power to cultivate American society; to invite Americans
to his house, to make himself liked by them.
He took my advice after a fashion; held Saturday receptions for Americans
and made a Fourth of July party for them.
But it did no good, for he asked no English to meet them, and the Americans
felt themselves excluded from the society to which their Minister was admitted as their representative.
I also urged Motley
, if he was anxious to please the President
, to make much of the envoys of the Central
and South American Republics.
I thought if he would form a democratic coterie and put himself at the head of it in London society, it would make him more of a power, enhance the consequence of the republicans, and be an advantage to himself at home.
He invited the republican ministers a little, but his heart was not with them.
He preferred ambassadors and royal and aristocratic connections in every way. Still he asked me to write to the President
what he was doing, and I complied.
But it was of no avail.
In July he read in the newspapers rumors of his recall, and of the appointment of Mr. Frelinghuysen
in his place.
He was greatly shocked, and I was myself surprised, for I had thought from the delay that the President
's feeling might have been mitigated.
himself acknowledged that he had erred the year before, but he held that his offense had been condoned.
did not often condone.
The crisis finally came.
was living in Lord Yarborough's house, in Arlington Street, one of the most sumptuous in London
; he was entertaining sovereigns, his halls were filled with Titians and Murillos and Van Dykes
I recollect a dinner just before he fell at which D'Israeli
, the Duke
, the Rothschilds, and thirty or forty others of the highest position in London
were present, and the grace and urbanity with which
he received and arranged the splendid company were remarked by all. He held no memorandum in his hand, but stood at the centre of his long table which was gleaming with silver and lights, and pointed to each aristocratic guest where he should sit and whom he should place beside him. His handsome, intellectual face was lighted up with pleasure and distinction, and he felt himself at home.
The next day his post was required of him. He was requested to resign, and, unfortunately for his dignity, refused.
The Tenure of Office act was still in force under which Stanton
had held on in spite of Johnson
, and Motley
availed himself of it now. After Frelinghuysen
declined the place, it was offered to Morton
, who was also unable to accept it, but Motley
remained against the wishes of his own Government; of course discredited both in society and at court; with no important business whatever entrusted to him; presenting the unprecedented spectacle of a representative of a country which did not wish him to represent it, a diplomatist defying instead of supporting his Government, a gentleman retaining a position in a service that sought to discard him. He even complained in society of his treatment and thus injured his country instead of benefiting it. It was supposed by the English
that he had been displaced because of his preferences for England
, whereas the fact was directly the contrary.
The British Minister for Foreign Affairs said to Mr. Moran
about this time, and Moran
told it to me, that he would not have retained a subordinate a day after the first letter that Motley
had written in disobedience of his instructions.
Finally, as the time approached when Congress would meet, and the Government
could report its action, the First Secretary
, Mr. Moran
, was directed to assume charge of the Legation; and as Motley
still refused to resign, he subjected himself to the indignity from which the Administration had sought to save him—he was expelled.
He never recovered from the effect of all this on his health and spirits.
He remained a short while in England
, visiting his numerous friends, who strove in every way to soften the bitterness of the situation, though I never met one who approved his course in holding office after he had been requested to resign.
Some of them thought from what he told them that he had been harshly treated, but they all admitted the right of a Government to select its own Minister.
I saw him occasionally, but our intercourse was of course painful.
We reminded each other too much of the past.
He soon went to Holland
, where the Queen
offered him a villa in which he wrote his volume of ‘John of Barneveld.’
Then he returned to England
and went about a little in the world, but his strength and vivacity were gone.
To have been repudiated and dismissed by his own Government was a blow from which his proud spirit could not recover.
In 1873 he had a neuralgic or paralytic fit, from which he rallied for a while.
Then his wife died of a cruel and lingering malady.
This crushed him more completely still, and in the spring of 1877 he passed away, suddenly at the last.
Two days before his death General Grant
arrived in England
, and I was told by an intimate and mutual friend that when Motley
was informed of the extraordinary reception of the exPresi-dent he replied: ‘I am glad of it; Grant
is a great man and a representative American.’
The first Sunday that General Grant
spent in London
he was invited to a service at Westminster Abbey
Dean Stanley preached the sermon, and spoke tenderly of the loss to literature and to English society of the graceful and eloquent historian, who had been his intimate friend, and then turned in the same discourse to offer welcome to that other American who had been General and President
in the country which Motley
had represented in England