Yankee speculations on the visit of Count Mercier to Richmond.
The Northern letter-writers are much exercised respecting the recent visit of the French Minister
correspondent of a New York paper speculates as follows:
Washington, April 25, 1862.
Lord Lyons has not gone to Richmond
, but it is understood that a representative of the British
authorities has gone there, and also both the Swedish and Danish Ministers.
These visits of foreign dignitaries to the rebel capital, in the last hours of the rebellion, are significant.
They are the subject of much comment here.
Some members of the Cabinet
are blind enough to imagine that these visits are simply charitable and intended to remonstrate with the rebel leaders, and advise a reconciliation and a reconstruction of the Union
Wiser and more far-seeing men in the Cabinet
recognize in these mysterious visitations only a speculation in cotton and tobacco.
It would not be surprising, when our armies reach Richmond
and New Orleans to find that all the tobacco belongs to France
and all the cotton to England
It is absurd for the American Cabinet
to flatter itself that the representatives of foreign powers are taking so much trouble with the very lendable purpose of aiding the Government
to reconstruct the Union
They are more probably attending to their own business, and keeping an eye open to driving profitable bargains.
During the past week, for the first time for several months, well-known secessionists here had a grand convivial gathering.
I was a celebration of the visit of the French Minister
It is, however, untrue that Compte Mercier
, while in the rebel capital, held any official communication with any other person except the French Consul
His intercourse with prominent rebel leaders, with whom he had former acquaintance, was altogether unofficial, and did not justify the statements in the Richmond papers in regard to Dr. Lemoine
, with whom M. Mercier
had no communication whatever.
His visit, as has been heretofore announced in the Herald,
was entirely in relation to commercial affairs.
It is well-known here that the rebel Secretary
of Legation to France
, George Eustis, Jr.
, has sent home a dispatch full of encouragement to the rebel leaders.
He expresses gratification at the kind and favorable reception he has received in the French
capital, and is by no means hopeless of patching up some kind of recognition of the Confederate States of America
by the French Government
It is well authenticated that the rebel leaders would gladly see Mexico
made a French colony, and France
enjoying the monopoly of its trade, in return for French aid and recognition at the present critical moment in the affairs of the rebel confederation.
The recent dispatches of Mr. Eustis
are believed to have reference to such an arrangement.--These speculations are indulged by well-wishers of the conspiracy, under the impression that England
's present weakness is Louis Napoleon
's opportunity to carry out his policy for the aggrandizement of the power of France
among the nations.
Our Minister at London
, Mr. Adams
, recently visited Paris
for an official conference with Mr. Dayton
upon an important subject of diplomatic negotiation.
The former, by the last steamer, reports that he has returned to his post.
While we attach very little importance to the opinions of these Northern letter-writers, it is nevertheless interesting to observe the effect of any supposed movement of the diplomatists of Europe
upon the public mind in Lincolndom.
A Fortress Monroe
correspondent thus arranges the matter.
The recent lengthy visit of the French Minister M. Mercier
, to Norfolk
, has occasioned no little gossip and speculation among high-ranked military men hereo. At first, as I suggested, that his mission was purely to look after the immense stock of tobacco collected for and owned by the French Government
, and which is now stored at Richmond
The second proposition was advanced in the editorial columns of the Herald
to the effect that the French Government
, through their Minister, urge upon the rebels to lay down their arms, as the tide of victory has set in against them.
The third proposition is, that the visit of Mr. Mercier
to the rebel capital was force, totally different purpose than either of the two.
Since the French steamer Gassendi
, with the French Minister
, returned to this port from Norfolk
, it has leaked out that the mission of M. Mercier
was for the purpose of opening preliminary negotiations with the rebel Confederacy in regard to Mexican
It is alleged that the French Government
proposes to acknowledge the rebel Confederacy, and guarantee to it its interposition to bring about a peace — peaceable if she can, forcibly if she must — provided Davis
& Co. will agree to non-interference with them perpetually in any measure she may take for the subjugation of Mexico
, and making it a dependency of France
Certain territorial lines have been named as the boundary line between the two new Government, allowing the rebel Confederacy a considerable slice more than she now covers by her arms.
It is said that Davis
likes the proposition as far as it goes, and is willing to send the Monroe
doctrine to the dogs; but it is said that he will enter into negotiations with no Government unless they guarantee to him the territory of the new Confederacy comprised in all the slave States.
Thus the matter stands.
is to consider the French
proposition, and vice versa.
It isaid that among the French
propositions is one requiring the Southern Confederacy to furnish a certain number of troops to assist in conquering Mexico
, the expenses of which are to be borne by the French Government
There is a deal of plausibility in this statement, and the manner in which the visit was made, and the secrecy attached to it, at least should make us suspicious as to its nature.
It is characteristic of the Napoleonic policy to cry the empire is peace, when behind it is a full determination for war. Let our Government beware.
is famous for his coup d'etat.