previous next

‘"The Insurgents."’

In Seward's instructions to the Yankee Minister at Paris, Mr. Dayton, he always designates the Confederate States ‘"insurgents,"’ as if they were only a combination of disorderly individuals, resisting the legitimate authority of their country; suppressing the material truth that those whom he calls ‘"insurgents"’ are eleven sovereign States, each of which was formerly an equal member of the Federal Union; that each of them has retained its own State government in full operation, preserving perfect internal order; and that, in harmonious co-operation, they have together formed a new Government; perfectly organized in all its departments, and exercising specific powers confided to it in a written Constitution.

The Yankee Premier has also the audacity to instruct Dayton to report to the French Government that the ‘"Insurgents, with deadly war, have tried to compel the Government to recognize the dismemberment of the Union."’ What a falsehood! As the Mobile Register justly says: ‘"The only intercourse which the Confederate States ever sought with the Government at Washington was to prevent war, not to make war."’ Seward again says: ‘"We have accepted this civil war as an inevitable necessity."’ Seward Here, again, is flagrant falsehood. He refused to grant an interview to our commissioners, bearing overtures of peace, and now declares that ‘"civil war was an inevitable necessity to him."’ The seven Confederate States declared that they wished to live at peace with the States remaining in the Federal Union. Lincoln had only to speak three words--‘"Go in peace"’--and peace would have been preserved. But refusing a peaceful adjustment, he preferred to reduce them by arms; and now he says ‘"we have accepted this civil war as an inevitable necessity."’ Civil war was not offered, and therefore could not be accepted. Peace is what was offered, and peace the Government at Washington refused to accept.

Seward directs Dayton to assure the French Government ‘"that not at the hands of this Administration is the Government to end;"’ that Lincoln's Administration has no idea ‘"of suffering a dissolution of the Union to take place any way, peaceably or forcibly."’ In these passages he intimates to the French Government that the Confederate States have been endeavoring to bring the Federal Government to an ‘"end;"’ that they have been trying to effect ‘"a dissolution of the Union."’ In fines it would be impossible to mention any public or private document in which there are as many falsehoods in as many lines as Seward's letter of instruction to Dayton.

The Confederate States, at that time, had no agent at the French Court to expose the falsehoods of Seward; but it is obvious that Thouvenal did not believe him, for he said that ‘"he thought the employment of force unwise,"’ and that ‘"it was the established usage to recognize de facto Governments when a proper case was made out."’ A few more such battles as that at Bethel Church, we are inclined to think, will make out a very ‘"proper case"’ indeed.

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) (5)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Seward (6)
Dayton (4)
Abe Lincoln (2)
Thouvenal (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: