Intercepted Confederate dispatches.
The National Intelligencer
publishes the following papers, being the correspondence of the Confederate
authorities in Richmond
with their diplomatic and financial agents abroad which have been recently intercepted by the United States Government.
They are said to have been captured on the person of Maj. Sanders
, who attempted to run the als at Charleston
in a sailing vessel.
There are several columns of letters, dated as far back as September last, addressed by the Hon. Judah P. Benjamin
, the Confederate Secretary of State
to the diplomatic agents commissioned to represent the Confederacy
, and especially at the Courts
which copies the letters, and from which paper we take them has the following:
French Designs on Texas.
In perhaps the most interesting portion of this diplomatic correspondence will be found in the exportation it makes respecting the supposed discovery own political "intrigue" believed to have been act on fact by a consular agent of the French Government
, resident at Galveston
, for the purpose of deterring the State of Texas
from the Southern Confederation
Grave reasons of State aggrandizement, confirmed by historical traditions of French policy, and by present military operations is , are assigned by Mr. Benjamin
as the probable motives which may have induced the French Emperor
to countenance this plot against the integrity of the Confederate Government, if, indeed it shall be found, as the Confederate Secretary
fears, that the Consular Agent
has not acted without receiving his inspirations from the Government
, while cautioned to proceed circumspectly, is accordingly instructed to give this matter a thorough investigation, and arguments are furnished by which the sus bilities and ambition of England
may be played off against the probable schemes of the French Emperor
The suppositions of Mr. Benjamin
as to the ingenious of France
, are summed up as follows:
I have, in accordance with the instructions of the President
expelled both Mr. Theron
and Mr. Taboulle
from the Confederacy
, and have forbidden their return without the previous permission of the Government
I enclose you copies of the orders of expulsion, marked C and D.
In endeavoring to account for such a course of action on the part of the French Government
I can only attribute it to one or both of the following causes:
- 1st. The Emperor of the French has determined to conquer and bold Mexico as a colony, and is desirous of interposing a weak power between his new colony and the Confederate States, in order that he may feel secure against any interference with his designs on Mexico.
The French Government is desirous of securing for itself an independent source of cotton supply to offset that possessed by Great Britain in India, and designs to effect this purpose by taking under its protection the State of Texas, which, after being acknowledged as an independent republic would, in its opinion, be, in effect, as dependent on France, and as subservient to French interests, as if a French colony.
--Since writing my No. 7, of 17th and 20th I have received from the hands of Mr.
arrived on 25th inst.,) your No. 10, of 28th July, with its very interesting report of your interviews with the Emperor
of the French
. I had previously received (on 21st instant) your private latter of 18th September, forwarded through Mr. Mason
this last having reached me in a shorter time than any commutation hitherto and with Europe
, and demonstrating the great value of the new means of intercourse cow opened and which we hope to maintain.
will explain to you the details of the new arrangement, and your best course will be to forward your future dispatches through him.
The voluminous contents of your dispatch and that of Mr. Mason
have prevented their communication to the President
, with whom I desire to confer before answering you. The President is for the moment deeply engaged in military matters, and in endeavors to repair by new combinations the evils resulting from the failure of the Kentucky
campaign, which has eventuated in none of the happy consequences which we confidently hoped.
The only gain has been the capture of a very large amount of supplies.
I have no time to add anything by this conveyance but another opportunity will offer in a few days for full a dispatch.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant, J. P. Benjamin
, Secretary of State
[No. 2] Department of State, Richmond
, Dec. 13, 1862.
--I avail myself of an unexpected opportunity to acknowledge the receipt of yours, Nos 1 and 2.
They have been read with lively interest, and you will not fall to keep the Department fully advised of your conclusions as to the probable action of European Powers, as fast as their views are developed, either through the press or other agencies.
The President has been so fully occupied with military matters that it has been scarcely possible for me to confer with him at length on the matters suggested by you, and he has just departed very suddenly for a tour in the Southwest
, where his presence was greatly needed to restore affairs and to impart renewed energy and activity to our military operations.
On his return I will take, measures to forward you additional means to cable you to extend the field of your operations, and to embrace, if possible, the press of Central Europe
in your campaign.
and Prussin, as well as the smaller Germaine Powers, seem to require intelligence of the true condition of our affairs, and of the nature of our struggle, and it is to be hoped you may find means to act with efficiency in moulding public opinion in those countries.
The hearer of this goes in part to complete arrangements for more prompt communication, and I hope that for the future my dispatches will reach Europe
more regularly and promptly.
--Since my No. 6, of 10th July, I have received three communications from you, (not numbered,) all of which arrived the 25th August. I also received duplicate of your No. 14, of 16th May.
I enclose you, for information, copy of a dispatch sent to Mr, Mann
on the subject of a recent convention between the United States
and the King
relative to Africans captured from slavers at sea. It may be well to have an eye to the movements of the enemy in the disposal of slaves captured from our people, and you will perceive by the instructions to Mr. Mann
what are the President
's views on this interesting matter.
I must again request of you to have communicated to Mr. Mann
a copy of that part of this dispatch which relates to the war and present that a of the country, as it is out of my power to write to him by this conveyance.
I am sir, respectfully, your obedient servant, J. P. Benjamin
, Secretary of State
--This arrangements marking the bearer of dispatches on 16 and 17, for fact, intercourse between us have been approved and will be continued as long as successful.
The details will be exploited to you by the bearer of this dispatch (Mr. George Sanders
) in person.
The subject of a long based on cotton certificates has been fully considered, and you will receive herewith a communication from the Secretary of the Treasury
, informing you of the conclusions reached by us after much deliberation.
I communicated to the Secretary
your under of services in connection with this matter, and be requests me to express his thanks and to your aid and cooperation, in any movement that may be made to secure success by his appearance whom the Government
has confided the consequence, chiefly, of your recommunication.
He had been appointed to take charge of sting negotiations before the receipt of your last dispatch.
The President desires me to express his approval and satisfaction with your conduct to assuming, under the circumstances, the respectability of making the here for the success of Capt. Sinclair
in his arrangements for building a ship.
It is gratifying to perceive that you had, as was confidently anticipated, reviewed your impressions, and determined not to withdraw from London
without the previous instructions of the President
Your correspondence with Earl Russell shows with what count you have been treated, and exhibited a market contrast between the congress the English
and course will agents earnestly as creditable to the founder.
It is that at this late period, in the nineteenth century, a nation so enlightened as Great Britain
should have failed yet to discover that a principal cause of the dislike and battered towards England
of which complaints are rife in her Parliament and in her press, it the offensive arrogance of come of her public man. The contrast is striking between the polished courtesy of Mr. Thouvenol
and the rude incivility of Earl Russell.
Your determination to submit to these annoyances in the service of your country and to overlook personal slights, while hope remains that your continued presence in England
may benefit your cause, cannot fail to meet the warm approval of your Government.
I refrain, however, from further comment on the contents of your dispatches or the attention of the President
(now concentrated on efforts to repair the ill effects of the failure of the Kentucky
campaign) can be directed to your correspondence with Earl Russell.
Correspondence of Confederate Treasury
and navy Departments.
--The action certificate forwarded in your dispatch to the Secretary of State
has been carefully examined, and upon due consideration of the views expressed by you, and the probable ability of the Government
to furnish cotton, a form of certificate has been adopted somewhat differing from yours.
The differences are several.
It has been deemed best to fix this at five pence sterling.
This form of stating the price has been adopted in preference to cents, because it expresses the rate to be paid for the cotton here in a currency which is understood to carry a right to its value in London.
Thus five pence sterling would imply a right to receive that amount in London or so much of our currency as would be required to purchase five pence sterling.
At the present rate of exchange this would amount to twenty-five cents. It is thought that this would not be too high a price to demand.
- 2. The cotton is made deliverable at certain ports, instead of any port at the option of the holder.--This change is required by the fact that most of our cotton is at the West; and if a large portion should be required at an Atlantic port, it would be impossible to perform the contract.
It is, therefore, proposed to issue separate certificates for the Gulf and Atlantic ports in such amounts as can be delivered at each.
- 3. The certificates are demanded only after peace, and within six months thereafter.
It would be impossible to transport the cotton to any great amount until that period.
To provide, however, for such cases as might desire to run the blockade, it is proposed that for some premium, to be adjusted by yourself, you should place in the contract an additional clause, at follows, which you are authorized to add:
"The Government further agrees to deliver the cotton called for militia certificate at any time during the pending war, at any port within its possession, (if practicable to transport the cotton to the port selected) upon the payment by the holder of the coat of transportation."
In case, by accident or otherwise, the holder should omit to make his demand within this period, the certificate is not forfeited; but the Government has the option to deliver the cotton or return the amount paid, say one thousand dollars, with interest at six per cents from the issue of the certificate.
- 5. An additional formality is added in requiring your endorsement.
This addition has been made to guard against capture or loss of the certificates on their way to Europe, and also to give an official supervision there.
I now send, by Mr. G. N. Sanders
, one thousand certificates for the Gulf
ports and five hundred for the Atlantic
In order to have the payments put in proper form you had better deposit the certificates with our depositaries, Messrs Frazier
& Co., at Liverpool
, directing them to receive the money and deposit the same to the credit of the Treasurer
of the Confederate States
This will place matters in a business form and relieve you of the necessity of keeping accounts.
In order that you may act understandingly, permit me to apprise you of such financial arrangements as have already been made.
At your suggestion, I have appointed Mr. Jas. Spence
, of Liverpool
, financial agent, and have requested him to negotiate for the sale of five millions of dollars of our sight per cent, bonds, if he can realize fifty per cent, on them.
I have already sent over two millions of the bends, and will send another million in a week or ten days. Mr. Spence
is directed to confer with Messrs. Fraser
& Co., who had previously been made our depositaries at Liverpool
Had I known with certainty where you were, I would also have referred him to you, and I would thank you now to place yourself in correspondence with him.
I have also directed Mr. Spence
to endeavor to negotiate for the application of two and a half millions of coin (which I have here) for the purchase of supplies and munitions for our army.
I hope that this coin will be accepted by British houses in payment of the rate of sterling in England
, less freight and incurrence.
It seems to me that, upon its transfer to British owners, they could obtain transportation for it on their vessels of war from any Confederate port, inasmuch as it would be bona fids
British property, and in any event the holders of the transfer would have a certain security.
A difference has been made by our Congress in some of its appropriations for the navy.
These for building vessels are payable in bonds.
It follows, therefore, that a discrimination must be made in the application of funds from the different sources of revenue, of which you will take notice.
Under the act of Congress authorizing me to accept produce in exchange for bonds, (of which I enclose a copy,) I have procured a considerable amount, which is stored on plantations or in ware-houses.
I send you a copy of one of the certificates taken for the cotton.
These certificates it is proposed to offer for sale in Europe
They would give to the purchaser an absolute right to the particular lot of cotton with the privilege of shipping the same, and may be preferred by some purchasers.
In conclusion allow me to request your co-operation in these various plans, and any suggestions which your experience an observation may deem proper.
Respectfully, your obedient servant, C. G. Memminger
, Secretary of Treasury