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Russia (Russia) (search for this): chapter 7
ation to make in relation to the action of Captain Wilkes. This was not generous conduct in a great nation towards another with which its government professed to be at amity, and which at that time (before the United States had fairly collected her armies), was struggling with many disadvantages to hold her own against the most powerful rebellion ever yet known. Common justice should have led the English Government to extend to us the courtesy that would have been extended to France or Russia under like circumstances. It all looked very much as if the British people were (as report stated) sympathetic with the South, and were anxious to take advantage of the opportunity and seek a quarrel with the United States, and thus secure a separation of the two sections, which would weaken both, and give to England a powerful ally that would enable her to dictate such terms to the Federal Government as would best suit her purposes. The first step taken by the British Ministry was a d
the wildest excitement throughout all parts of the United States and Great Britain; in fact, all Europe looked on with anxiety, anticipating a war between England and the Northern States of the Union.emen were Messrs. Mason and Slidell, formerly members of the U. S. Senate, who were now bound to Europe as commissioners from the Confederate Government to the Courts of England and France; the other considered their false imprisonment, and create an extra amount of sympathy for them throughout Europe. The following is a pretty fair statement of the Commissioners, and as it is a part of the hi have been involved in a war with so powerful a nation, on a question in which all the powers of Europe would be sure to agree with our antagonist. The aggressive position taken by the British Goveioners, Messrs. Mason and Slidell, were far more dangerous to the United States, if let loose in Europe to work against us, than a dozen military men would be; and it was considered absurd to contend
Saint Thomas (Canada) (search for this): chapter 7
d the attitude taken by France, wise counsels finally prevailed; and it was determined by the Federal Government to give up Messrs. Mason and Slidell to the representatives of the British Government authorized to receive them, and instructions were sent to the commanding officer at Fort Warren to place them on a small steamer and have them delivered on board a British war steamer then lying at Provincetown. The Commissioners and their suite were conveyed in this steamer to the island of St. Thomas, and thence by the colonial steam line which took passengers to Southampton, England, where they arrived safely. But notwithstanding the excitement in England. they were received with no official distinction. The exultation of the Confederates at what they chose to call the humiliation of the United States was excessive, though it would have pleased them better if the Federal government had adhered to the first impulse, and refused to give up the Commissioners. This, of course, would
John Moir (search for this): chapter 7
and the West Indies. The Trent left the port of Havana on the morning of the 7th of November, under the command of Captain Moir. Nothing of interest occurred until about noon of the 8th, when, in the narrow passage of the Old Bahama Channel, or transfer to this ship. We, the undersigned, embarked at Havana on the 7th inst. as passengers on board the Trent, Captain Moir, bound to the Island of St. Thomas, in one of the regular passenger lines of the British Royal Mail Steamship Company, and with side-arms, boarded the Trent, and in presence of most of the passengers assembled on the upper deck, said to Captain Moir that he came to demand his passenger list. The captain refused to produce it, and formally protested against any ri, where his boats were, the undersigned going at the same time to their staterooms on the deck next below, followed by Captain Moir and the other passengers. The lieutenant returned with a party of his men, a portion of which were armed with sidearm
Henry A. Adams (search for this): chapter 7
first step taken by the British Ministry was a demand for the surrender of the Commissioners, with an apology by the United States government for the act committed by Captain Wilkes. It would have been so much easier for the United States to have anticipated at once the action of the British government; but diplomatists have their methods, and they sometimes lead nations to the verge of war rather than admit a defect in their system. On the 30th of November, 1861, Mr. Seward wrote to Mr. Adams, our minister to England, informing him that Captain Wilkes had boarded a British colonial mail steamer and taken from her deck two insurgents, who were proceeding to England and France on an errand of treason against their own country. He says: We have done nothing on the subject to anticipate the discussion, and we have not furnished you with any explanations. We adhere to that course now because we think it more prudent that the ground taken by the British government should be fir
George Watson Sumner (search for this): chapter 7
ith full powers to contract with some foreign government matters of high importance, and is carefully instructed by a well established government in all he has to do. Messrs. Mason and Slidell were not ambassadors; they were simply commissioners from an unrecognized country of insurgents, and it was uncertain whether they would be received or not by France or by England It was necessary that the administration should place itself in the right before the people, and for this purpose Senator Sumner was selected to defend the government on the floor of the Senate; which he did in the most able manner, and in a way satisfactory to the public mind. The British government confined itself to a single point of complaint, in that it appeared that the present objections were not founded on the assumption by the American vessel-of-war of the belligerent right of search, nor on the ground that this right was exercised on board a neutral vessel between two neutral ports, nor that it was ex
William H. Seward (search for this): chapter 7
ven the wisest men in the Cabinet, including Mr. Seward, did not at first realize the situation. ir system. On the 30th of November, 1861, Mr. Seward wrote to Mr. Adams, our minister to England,ted. Should these terms not be offered by Mr. Seward, you will propose them to him. This demae Government of the United States. Should Mr. Seward ask for delay in order that this grave and pussell was handed to the Secretary of State, Mr. Seward, by Lord Lyons. Our wily diplomatist and ptain Wilkes was altogether in the right. Mr. Seward, in reply to Lord Russell's first dispatch, ns for consideration. But admitting that Mr. Seward's inquiries are correct, he does not refer tr policy to pursue from the beginning. To Mr. Seward more than any one else were the people indebtter part of 1864. Whatever may have been Mr. Seward's opinions on the subject of the Trent matter hands. An attempt was made to show that Mr Seward had pursued a timid policy in opposition to
John Slidell (search for this): chapter 7
Two of these gentlemen were Messrs. Mason and Slidell, formerly members of the U. S. Senate, who wehe boat and went on board. Messrs. Mason and Slidell were then requested to go on board the San Jaorders, the latter said that two gentlemen, Mr. Slidell and Mr. Mason, were known to be on board, aed being present, the lieutenant addressing Mr. Slidell, and afterward Mr. Mason, repeated that his his ship, which orders he must execute. Mr. Slidell and Mr. Mason, in reply, protested, in the ufficient to make resistance fruitless, and Mr. Slidell joining the group, two or more of the armeddgment in the joy of the capture of Mason and Slidell. Even the wisest men in the Cabinet, includiMass. The news of the arrest of Mason and Slidell was received by Congress with great enthusiaske in explanation of the capture of Mason and Slidell only the protest that they were the bearers othat the two Commissioners, Messrs. Mason and Slidell, were far more dangerous to the United States[20 more...]
J. M. Mason (search for this): chapter 7
n of the British steamer Trent, and capture of Mason and Slidell. One of the first orders issueditish flag. Two of these gentlemen were Messrs. Mason and Slidell, formerly members of the U. S.racter and mission of the Commissioners; but Mr. Mason being recognized, a part of the armed crew w ordered from the boat and went on board. Messrs. Mason and Slidell were then requested to go on btenant addressing Mr. Slidell, and afterward Mr. Mason, repeated that his orders were to take them,h orders he must execute. Mr. Slidell and Mr. Mason, in reply, protested, in the presence of the, Your obedient servants, John Slidell, J. M. Mason, George Eustis, J. E. Mcfarland. Captain the capture of the rebel commissioners. Messrs. Mason and Slidell have been conspicuous in the cok exceptions to the seizure of the persons of Mason and Slidell, for, on the 10th December, the Miew all these facts and was aiding and abetting Mason and Slidell in any treasonable acts against th[18 more...]
James A. Greer (search for this): chapter 7
as she was close upon us, fired a shell across her bow, which brought her to. Our captain hailed her and said he would send a boat on board, and gave an order to Lieut. Fairfax to board her. Fairfax went in the second cutter. At the same time Lieut. Greer was all ready in the third cutter to shove off from the port side, in case his services should be needed. On coming alongside of the packet, Lieut. Fairfax ordered the other officers to remain in the boat with the crew until it should becomhe San Jacinto. Lieut. Fairfax then ordered Mr. Houston to return to the San Jacinto and report that the Confederate Commissioners were on board the Trent, (mail steamer) and refused to go on board the San Jacinto by other means than force. Lieut. Greer then shoved off and went alongside of the Trent, sent his armed crew and marines on board and stationed them at both gangways. After a gentle application of force the four gentlemen were taken in the second cutter and conveyed on board the Am
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