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Caribbean Sea (search for this): chapter 18
west, and opening the way to the dominion of the continent which has been the thought of far-seeing statesmen like Sumner and Cobden, while the other was to bring to us two worthless islands of the size of a county, two of the thousand in the Caribbean Sea, with a waste of money in peace and complications in war. Alaska exceeded half a million square miles, and the price was $7,200,000; while the bargain with Denmark called for $7,500,000 for a meagre area of only seventy-five square miles. e have since had six Presidents,—Grant, Hayes, Garfield, Arthur, Cleveland, and Harrison,—and, not counting Washburne, five Secretaries of State,—Fish, Evarts, Blaine, Frelinghuysen, and Bayard; but none of them has coveted this island of the Caribbean Sea, rifted by earthquakes, swept by cyclones, and submerged by tidal waves, the imagined centre of universal commerce and a necessary outpost for our national defence! Journalists and merchants have been alike silent. Foreign nations who were <
Department de Ville de Paris (France) (search for this): chapter 18
h documents concerning the treaty which had been printed by the Senate as confidential; and he sent this pamphlet to senators and to the leading journals of the country, in which it was reviewed. Articles in favor of the ratification appeared in Paris contemporaneously in the Moniteur and Pays, which indicated a prompting from the same source. It is safe to say that a pressure of such various kinds by a foreign power to carry a treaty in the Senate is without precedent. The paper under conhis name therefore received no grateful mention. Raasloff's career as a public man ended with his diplomatic failure, and with the fall of his ministry as the consequence; and leaving his country he passed the rest of his life abroad, chiefly in Paris, and died in the suburb of Passy, Feb. 14, 1883, at the age of sixty-seven. He was in New York in May, 1872, but he had become soured by disappointment, and kept aloof from Washington. Within a month before General Raasloff left Washington in
Alaska (Alaska, United States) (search for this): chapter 18
of judgment, unhampered by Executive initiation and pledges. The purchase of Alaska from Russia is not analogous to the attempt to acquire St. Thomas. In the one in the Caribbean Sea, with a waste of money in peace and complications in war. Alaska exceeded half a million square miles, and the price was $7,200,000; while the bfive square miles. It is true that Mr. Sumner added to his main argument for Alaska, made April 9, 1867, the consideration that the dishonoring of the treaty, as hesident Johnson had begun. As soon as Mr. Seward had negotiated the treaty for Alaska, a few hours before it was signed, he sent for Mr. Sumner, March 29, 1867, to c are the most deliberate and leisurely people in the world. In the purchase of Alaska, on the other hand, between the first broaching by the Russian minister and theson on the foreign relations committee was in favor of the treaty. The case of Alaska was very different, in which one of the chief motives was to show our regard fo
Buenos Ayres (Arizona, United States) (search for this): chapter 18
Sumner notes which indicated an adverse leaning. As appears by one bearing date Oct. 8, 1869, Mr. Fish peremptorily refused, at the urgent request of De Bille, the new Danish minister, to ask for another extension of time for the ratification, leaving De Bille to ask for it, and took pains to guard against any expression in favor of its ratification. A few months later, Jan. 28, 1870, he transmitted to Mr. Sumner, for use at his discretion, a letter from R. C. Kirk, minister resident at Buenos Ayres, dated Dec. 13, 1869, who, in an account of a recent visit, described St. Thomas as one of the most God-forsaken islands; . . . the great majority of its inhabitants filthy-looking negroes, subject to earthquakes, one of which occurred on the morning of his arrival, and the island itself as not desirable even as a gift. Miss Seward undertakes to give matters of record concerning the treaty which at the time she wrote were under the seal of secrecy. But upon the removal of the injuncti
Saint Thomas (search for this): chapter 18
Appendix I: the rejected treaty for St. Thomas. this reply by the biographer to Miss Seward's paper was published in 1889. in this reprinting a few omissions are made to prevent repetition of what has already been stated (Ante, vol. IV. pp. 328, 329). Scribner's Magazine (November, 1887) contained a paper entitled A Diplomatic Episode, by Miss Olive Risley Seward, which undertakes to narrate the negotiations with Denmark for the purchase of the islands of St. Thomas and St. John in 18St. Thomas and St. John in 1866-1869 by Mr. Seward (then Secretary of State), and the connection of the Senate committee on foreign relations (Mr. Sumner being chairman) with its consideration and failure of ratification. With many words, the introduction of superfluous incidents and assertions of facts not verified by reference to sources, she gives an air of mystery to what was a plain transaction and a very simple question. A map is inserted, as if to produce an optical illusion, on which a number of straight lines con
United States (United States) (search for this): chapter 18
among us almost as a citizen when engaged in engineering enterprises, and had already represented his country in the United States as consul-general and minister. He wrote our language without foreign idiom, and spoke it almost without foreign accon it when pressed before the committee on foreign relations by Mr. Fessenden's question: Would, in your opinion, the United States have a right to complain if your Rigsdag had refused their consent to the ratification of the St. Thomas treaty? His more rejected the policy, of entering upon a system of annexing non-contiguous territory and outlying islands to the United States. He states that the vote of the islanders was regarded by senators as a mere farce, and that not being fit for sewould have been a great folly; that as a naval depot and coaling station St. Thomas would be of doubtful value to the United States; and as it did not appear to the committee to be specially desirable as a military station, they decided unanimously,
Dominican Republic (Dominican Republic) (search for this): chapter 18
f its people are continental. There has been among us a healthy resistance to going farther southward than we have now reached, or seeking islands either in the Atlantic or the Pacific,—an instinctive reluctance, as shown in the later case of San Domingo, to enter on a career of tropical extension, with dangers and embarrassments to free institutions which could not be measured in advance. The underlying thought of A Diplomatic Episode is that the Senate of the United States, in withholdinge right to abdicate in favor of the other. This discretion of the Senate has been freely exercised in dealing with strong as well as with weak nations,—for instance, in the rejection of the Johnson-Clarendon treaty on the one hand, and of the San Domingo treaty on the other. All publicists are agreed (among our own the authors of the Federalist, as well as Story and Wheaton) that treaties bind neither party in law or in honor, until finally ratified by all the bodies in which the authority is
Maine (Maine, United States) (search for this): chapter 18
from him. Mr. Fessenden was at that time antipathetic to him, and disposed to be critical of what he did. If Mr. Sumner was unfair, if he did aught unbecoming a senator, there were sharp eyes to follow him. Mr. Fessenden, it may be remarked, was the member most demonstrative against the St. Thomas treaty, and he was one of the only two senators who voted against the Alaska purchase. Clearly Mr. Sumner's over-mastering advocacy in favor of this last treaty did not influence the senator from Maine; and the latter's resistance to the St. Thomas project came equally from his own independent volition. There are insinuations in Miss Seward's paper which are unworthy of any kinswoman of the distinguished statesman whose name she bears, and which he, if living, would be the first to rebuke. In three passages, at least, she imputes to Mr. Sumner an unworthy and deceptive silence, and a hypocritical purpose to mislead General Raasloff, and give him false hopes of a ratification of the tre
Iowa (Iowa, United States) (search for this): chapter 18
delity to facts will be understood on recurring to her article, where she says that the matter was never brought before the Senate, and may be said to have been smothered in committee! The record, as now open to the public, it may be added, shows Mr. Sumner's faithful attention to the business in repeated motions for references of documents. Of the committee on foreign relations to which the St. Thomas treaty was referred, Cameron of Pennsylvania, Patterson of New Hampshire, and Harlan of Iowa, alone survive. Their testimony has been requested by the writer, and after a reading of Miss Seward's Episode, is cordially given. It should be read in the light of her charges and insinuations of smothering and dishonorable reticence, and her assumption that the argument for the acquisition was so self-evident and conclusive that it became morally impossible to report openly against it, and that neither the committee nor any senator could assign a reason for an adverse report. This is no
Providence, R. I. (Rhode Island, United States) (search for this): chapter 18
es would have served a purpose as a coaling and supply station, it is no part of national duty to make military preparation for civil war, certainly not a part of ours, with the nation consolidated by the abolition of slavery. Of St. John little need be said here, as scarcely anything was said of it during the discussion. In extent it is somewhat larger than St. Thomas, but so unattractive and repelling that it was an almost abandoned island. C. H. Bithome to Mr. Seward, May 13, 1867. Providence, as if to save us from a wild venture, gave in the midst of the negotiations a triple warning by an earthquake, a tidal wave, and a hurricane, in quick succession. Ours, too, is a country of the temperate zone, and the aspirations of its people are continental. There has been among us a healthy resistance to going farther southward than we have now reached, or seeking islands either in the Atlantic or the Pacific,—an instinctive reluctance, as shown in the later case of San Domingo, to
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