Chapter 30: foreign Relations.—Unjust discrimination against us.—Diplomatic correspondence.Mr. Mason was appointed our Representative in London, Mr. Slidell in Paris, Mr. Rost in Spain, and Mr. Mann in Belgium. I hope Mr. Mann's memoirs, which are very full and written from diaries, will be published, and these will shed much light upon the diplomatic service of the Confederacy. The Confederate States having dissolved their connection with the United States, whose relations were securely and long established with Foreign Governments, it devolved upon the Confederate States formally to declare to these Governments her separation from the United States. This the Provisional Congress did, but the United States antecedently had claimed sovereignty over the Confederate States, and the Governments of Europe announced that they could not assume to judge of the rights of the combatants. These Governments had fallen into the error, now commonly prevailing, that our  separate sovereignty had been merged into one supreme Federal authority, and they therefore announced their neutrality, and merely recognized the existence of a state of war. This decision was in effect hostile to our rights, for if we were, like the United States, belligerents, why refuse us the same privileges of international intercourse accorded to the United States? Under this view European powers recognized for a year a. “paper blockade,” forgetful that “blockades to be binding must be effective.” 1 The Government of the Confederate States remonstrated against this injustice, and was answered by silence. However, Her Majesty's foreign office published a despatch dated February I , 1862, interpolating into the agreement of the Paris Congress, that if the blockading ships “created an evident danger of entering or leaving” the ports blockaded, that “should be considered a blockade.” Soon after the right of neutral ships to trade with English ships was abandoned by England. The duty to recognize a belligerent was postponed, and all the recognized neutral rights by which we might have been benefited were alternately waived or asserted,  as they might prove of service to the United States. The commerce of the United States was not protected by its Government, but reclamation for all the loss resultant from the enterprise of the Confederate cruisers was claimed from, and partially accorded by Great Britain, because our vessels were built in her ports. Thus, though the armies of the United States were recruited from the whole world, protection was claimed for her commerce from the same source. Had the English Government not leaned to the side of the United States, the fact that the ballot-boxes used at elections were those of the States, and that the vote for their secession had been unanimous, would have been conclusive against characterizing the war as an “insurrection.” On October 3, 1862, the French minister of foreign affairs, Monsieur Drouyn de L'Huys, addressed a note to the ambassadors at London and St. Petersburg, proposing that these great powers should arrange an armistice for six months, in view of the blood shed and the equal success of the combatants. The English Government answered that their offer might be declined by the United States Government. The Russian Government answered that their interposition might cause the opposite to the desired effect. For want  of co-operation, the effort was not made by France. In May, 1861, Her Britannic Majesty assured our enemies that “the sympathies of this country were rather with the North than with the South,” and on June I, 1861, she interdicted the use of her ports to armed ships and privateers, though the United States claimed this right for themselves. On June 12, 1861, the United States reproved Great Britain for holding intercourse with the Commissioners of the Confederate States, “so-called,” and received assurances that it would not occur again. On June 14, 1862, Mr. Seward justified himself for obstructing Charleston Harbor and other commercial inlets, by saying that three thousand miles were more than could be successfully blockaded. He could stop up the “large holes” by his ships, but could not stop up all “the small ones.” Her Majesty's minister for foreign affairs, May 6, 1862, said, “this blockade kept up irregularly has injured thousands. Yet Her Majesty's Government have never sought to take advantage of the obvious imperfections of this blockade in order to declare it inoperative.” Her Majesty's Government interposed no objection to the purchase of arms for the United States, but in May, 1861, Earl Russell entertained the complaint that the Confederate  Government was buying arms at Nassau, contraband of war, and the Confederate States vessel was ineffectually seized, because it touched at Nassau, at the instance of the United States, and was made subject to a prosecution, when simultaneously cargoes and munitions of war were openly shipped to the United States to be used in our destruction. An example of the diplomatic blockade enforced by the United States against our Commissioners is given in a correspondence between Earl Russell and Mr. Mason, and will give some idea of how Mr. Mason and other envoys were met at every turn by rebuffs under Mr. Seward's promptingssometimes with evasion, but more often with the absurd assumption that our organized government, large and efficient army, and united population were rebels, not belligerents. The Honorable James T. Mason had been unavailingly trying to procure from Europe the acknowledgment of our rights as belligerents before the nations of the world, and had been from time to time met with diplomatic evasions. The astute and watchful ambassador from the United States, Charles Francis Adams, had thus far forestalled every effort to this end by presenting Mr. Seward's exparte statements of the causes, conduct, and prospect of an early termination of the war.  Mr. Seward predicted the war would end in thirty days. The English overestimated the readiness of the United States for war, and knew that the affair of the Trent had left on their minds toward Great Britain a bitter sense of injury. The only measure by which Mr. Seward governed his presentation of the condition and conduct of either section of the States, was how much Her Majesty's Government would believe. Our Commissioners were, through his misrepresentation, refused interviews with her ministers, and our assured success seemed to be the only avenue to their intercourse with them. Under these circumstances, the following correspondence took place between Mr. Mason and Lord John Russell:
To this letter no answer was returned, and after waiting a reasonable time Mr. Mason addressed another letter to the minister:
Thus was foiled one of our sturdy old envoy's efforts to set his country's cause fairly before a people loving liberty, speaking the same language with us, and from whom we were descended within the memory of those then living. One bold and profound thinker among the English governing class, Lord Lowther, has written an admirable exposition of the dogma of State Rights, but though many other Englishmen understood its binding force, as nations cannot afford, as such, to indulge sympathy for those unable to maintain themselves against an oppressor, they “passed by on the other side.” Throughout all this unfair discrimination, with the world against him, environed by enemies on all sides, the President of the Confederate States, with admirable temper, pursued his steady efforts to establish relations with foreign Governments, though his maintenance of the strict truth under all circumstances was a disqualification he did not underrate. His despatches are dignified models of advocacy and remonstrance, and were  the admiration of the diplomats of his time. His courage was as undaunted when he stood for the right against the world, as his dignity and honesty of purpose were impregnable, and his countrymen and his family do not now wish it had been otherwise. The just verdict of mankind cannot be rendered until all who had formed a preconceived opinion have passed away. Posterity is the just and generous judge to whom Confederates look to write his honored name high on the shining lists of brave and self-sacrificing heroes.