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The Daily Dispatch: December 16, 1861., [Electronic resource], Federal relations with foreign Powers. (search)
y case, not only shall we allow no privateer or national vessel to violate the rights of friendly nations as I have thus described them, but we shall also employ all our naval force to prevent the insurgents from violating them, just as much as we do to prevent them from violating the laws of our own country. What, then, does France claim of us that we do not accord to her? Nothing. What do we refuse to France by declining to receive the communication sent to us through the hands of Mr. Mercier? Nothing but the privilege of telling us that we are at war when we maintain we are at peace, and that she is neutral when we prefer to recognize her as a friend. Of course, it is understood that on this occasion we reserve, as on all others, our right to suppress the insurrection by naval as well as by military power, and for that purpose to close such of our ports as have fallen or may fall into the hands of the insurgents, either directly or in the more lenient and equitable form