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Edward L. Pierce, Memoir and letters of Charles Sumner: volume 4, Chapter 45: an antislavery policy.—the Trent case.—Theories of reconstruction.—confiscation.—the session of 1861-1862. (search)
Cabinet, while maintaining the forms of neutrality, was largely influenced against us by the pressure of great interests. This hostile sentiment now saw its opportunity, and showed itself in the bitter and vindictive appeals of the press. The Confederates had enlisted Louis Napoleon in their behalf, and they were now jubilant with the prospect of a British alliance and of the breaking of the blockade. The British government, by Earl Russell, then head of the foreign office, at once (November 30) demanded the surrender of the four persons, with a suitable apology; and as subsequently ascertained, it directed the same day, by private instructions, Lord Lyons, its minister at Washington, after seven days delay in complying with the demand, to break up his legation and leave Washington, and to communicate at once with the British navy in American waters, and with the governors of all British possessions in America. It hastened to despatch troops to Canada and to put the navy in re