previous next


We published yesterday a speech said to have been delivered by the War Secretary of the Palmerston Ministry, (Sir G. Cornwall Lewis,) in which the following passages occur: ‘"The war which was now going on in the United States, and the blockade which prevented the cotton from coming to that country, would before long come to an end,"’--Again: ‘"Everybody who read the accounts of what was doing in America would see that, although there was a war there between the two contending powers, it was a war which was as yet undecided — a war which was waged on the part of the Northern States for the purpose of restoring the Southern States to the condition of Union they were in before the war began; and, on the part of the Southern States, it was a war to establish their independence. But the war must be admitted to be undecided. Its battle fields were still reeking with the blood of thousands of soldiers killed on both sides; and until the war had been decided on the one side on the other, or until it had been so far decided in favor of the Southern States as to induce the Northern States to acknowledge their independence, or to prove to foreign States that the contest was exhausted, and that the Northern States were incapable of continuing the contest — until that moment arrived it could not be said, in accordance with the established doctrines of international law, that the independence of the Southern States had been established."’

This speech puts an end at once to all the pleasing visions in which gentlemen have been indulging with regard to a recognition by England, at any short date, or indeed, until we shall have fully established our independence by the valor of our soldiers. Incredulous as we are wont to be, we had almost begun to think, from Gladstone's speech, that the long expected time was approaching. It will never come until we shall no longer be in need of it. If we should be crushed — which we do not think possible — we shall not need it. If we should be victorious — which we think certain — we shall need it quite as little, and we hope that should any future treaty — that is, any treaty after the achievement of our independence — between us and Great Britain contain a clause acknowledging our independence, it may be struck out to show her and the rest of the world that inasmuch as we owe her no thanks for the fact of independence, so we will not accept her acknowledgment of its existence.

At the same time that he tells his audience in so many words that the Confederate States can have no claim to recognition until they shall have fought out their independence, the British War Minister assures them that the war will speedily come to an end. What he means by this oracular saying, we are at a loss to conjecture. It is as mystical as a response from the Oracle at Deipht. We are told that when Crœsus asked the latter what would be the issue of a war he was about to engage in with Cyrne, the King of Persis, he answered, ‘"the war will destroy a great empire."’ And so it did. It destroyed the empire of Crœsus himself, who, interpreting the response according to his own wishes, had taken it to mean the empire of Cyrus. So this war may end in a short time, by the defeat of somebody, according to Sir. G. C. Lewis, but he does not tell us who the ruined party is to be. Let it be who it may, he has so framed his oracle that he will lose no credit by the result.

Great Britain acknowledged the independence of the South American States seven years before Spain had ceased to make war upon them, and as for recognition, we do not believe Spain has ever recognised them formally to this day. Great Britain recognized the independence of Greece when her armies had been reduced to a few predatory bands, and Ibrahim Pascha was as thorough master of the Morea as any gentleman is of his own plantation, Great Britain recognized the independence of Belgium while the Dutch power was still unexhausted Even after that recognition the Dutch invaded Belgium and thoroughly routed the only army it had. The country, indeed, was completely subdued, until the French marched in and drove out the Dutch.

We tell our people for the hundredth time to place no dependence on foreign aid in any shape whatever, material or moral. Would to God our authorities had never leaned upon that need. We should have been spared much of the humiliation and suffering through which we have worked our way, and been much farther on the road to independence. Great Britain has determined to make ours an exceptional case. The Palmerston Ministry is dead against us, and so is the Queen, if all accounts be true. The people are for us — that is they sympathize with us. But assuredly they are satisfied with the course of the Palmerston Ministry, or it would long since have been overthrown. But us think no more about England, but depend solely on our own exertions.

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.
England (United Kingdom) (5)
United States (United States) (2)
Belgium (Belgium) (2)
Bushire (Iran) (1)
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.
G. Cornwall Lewis (2)
Gladstone (1)
Cyrus (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: