« ZurückWeiter »
traband. The difficulty of amicable settlement at that time, however, lay not so much in the point of law as in the intensity of popular feeling on both sides of the Atlantic.
Page 248. Belligerent rights. One month after Sumter was attacked, on May 13, 1861, the Queen issued a proclamation of neutrality, according belligerent rights to the Confederacy. This was done even before Mr. Adams, the new minister from the Lincoln administration, could reach England. Commercial interest cannot excuse so precipitate a recognition. It cannot be regarded as anything but a deliberate expression of unfriendliness towards the United States. It coldly contemplated the dissolution of the Union, favored the establishment of an independent slave-empire, and by its moral support strengthened the hands of the Rebellion and prolonged the war.
Page 248. Confederate privateers. It is notorious that Confederate cruisers were built, equipped, and even partially manned in England in open
disregard of the international law respecting neutrals. Mr. Adams protested constantly and emphatically against this, but in vain for the time. No notice was taken officially of the matter until it was forced on the British government in 1864. The subsequent negotiations concerning the Alabama claims, the Treaty of Washington in 1871, and the Geneva award to the United States of some fifteen million dollars, are too well known to require any mention.
Page 248. The Caroline. In 1837 an insurrection broke out in Canada, and armed bodies of men styling themselves “patriots” were in open rebellion against the government. In spite of the President's message exhorting citizens of the United States not to interfere, and in defiance of the troops sent to Buffalo to carry out his orders, numbers of sympathizers from New York crossed the Niagara River and gave assistance to the insurgents. The British authorities would have been warranted in seizing the American vessel Caroline, which was used to transport citizens to the Canadian shore, had the seizure been made in flagrante delicto, or out of our territorial waters. But in crossing to the American side of the river and taking the offending vessel from her moorings these authorities committed a grave breach of neutrality. After five years of negotiation the English government finally apologized and made reparation for the injury.
Page 254. “Seward sticks a three-months' pin." Mr. W. H. Seward, Lincoln's Secretary of State, was at the outbreak of the Rebellion an earnest advocate of conciliation. He seemed to think that if war could be averted for a time until the people of the seceding States perceived the true intention of the administration to be the preservation of the Union, not the promoting of Abolitionism, the Southern movement would fail. In this belief he frequently declared that the trouble would all be over in sixty days.
Page 263. Bull Run. On the 21st of July, 1861, the Union troops under General McDowell were completely routed by Beauregard at Bull Run in Virginia. The North was finally convinced that the South was equipped for and determined on a desperate struggle, while the victory gave immense encouragement to the insurgents.
Page 282. Onesimus. The “Scriptural” view, according to the mind of Mr. Sawin, would have been that of Jeremiah S. Black, who saw in the case of Onesimus St. Paul's express approval of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850.
Page 284. Debow. De Bow's Commercial Review, published in New Orleans, Louisiana, was for some years before the war very bitter against the North, its institutions, and its society in general.
Page 286. Simms and Maury. William Gilmore Simms, the South Carolina novelist and poet, is here referred to. Matthew Fontaine Maury, of Virginia, naval officer and hydrographer, was a man of some scientific attainments. He was the author of several works on the physical geography of the sea, navigation, and astronomy. Both men were born in the same year, 1806.
“ Arms an' cannon.” John B. Floyd, while Secretary of War in Mr. Buchanan's Cabinet, was detected in the act of stripping Northern arsenals of arms and ammunition to supply the South. He began this work as early as December, 1859, and it is not known to what extent he carried it. Pollard, a Southern historian, says the South entered the war with 150,000 smallarms of the most approved modern pattern, all of which it owed to the government at Washington. Floyd resigned because some forts and posts in the South were not given up to the rebels.
“Admittin' we wuz nat'lly right." President Buchanan's message of the first Monday of December, 1860, declared “the long-continued and intemperate interference of the Northern people with the question of slavery in the Southern States” had at last produced its natural effect; disunion was impending, and if those States could not obtain redress by constitutional means, secession was justifiable and the general government had no power to prevent it. The effect these utterances had in spreading and intensifying the spirit of secession is incalculable.
Page 290. “On the jump to interfere." During the larger part of the war great apprehension of attempts on the part of foreign powers to interfere prevailed in the Northern States. With the exception of Russia and Denmark, all Europe inclined toward the South. Our form of government was not favored by them, and they were not
unwilling to see its failure demonstrated by a complete disruption. For a long time it was very generally believed that the South would be victorious in the end. Had the Confederacy at any time had a bright prospect of success, it is likely that England or France might have offered to interfere. Indeed, the success of the French scheme to set up a military empire in Mexico in defiance of the Monroe doctrine entirely depended on the contingency of a victory for secession. Napoleon therefore was urgent for mediation. The subject was suggested several times by the French foreign minister in his correspondence with Mr. Seward, and was pressed on the British Government by France.
The Border States. The Border States, by the contiguity to the North and their natural unfitness for a very profitable system of slavelabor, were slow to take a definite stand. President Lincoln's policy was to proceed cautiously at first, keep the slavery question in the background, and enlist the sympathies of these States by appeals to their attachment to the Union. Although the people of Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri were pretty evenly divided, the State governments were kept from seceding. Without the support of the Republican Congressmen from this section, Lincoln could not have carried out his abolition policy.
Page 301. Hampton Roads. The battle of Hampton Roads, at the entrance of Chesapeake Bay in Virginia, is remarkable for the revolution in naval warfare which it began. The utter worthlessness of wooden against armored vessels was suddenly and convincingly demonstrated. On the 8th of March, 1862, the Confederate armored ram Virginia, formerly Merrimac, made terrible havoc among the old wooden men-of-war stationed about Fortress Monroe. But at nine o'clock that night the little Monitor steamed into the Roads to the assistance of the shattered Federal navy. The next day's battle is one of the romances of war. Had Mr. Wilbur waited for the next Southern mail before writing this letter, the Devil might have had less credit given him. Page 306.
“ From the banks o' my own Massissippi." In the period from 1830 to 1840, the sudden and healthy increase of immigration and the flattering industrial prospect induced many Western and Southern States to make lavish expenditures for internal improvements. Their credit was good and they borrowed too largely. After the financial crisis of 1837, insolvency stared them in the face. A number repudiated, among whom Mississippi in particular was heavily indebted. Her securities were largely held in England. It added nothing to the credit of the Confederacy that Jefferson Davis had been an earnest advocate of repudiation.
Page 308. Manassas, or Bull Run. Cf. note to p. 263.
Page 308. Roanoke. The loss of Roanoke Island, on the coast of North Caro. lina, February 8, 1862, was a severe one to the South.
“Bufort.” The finest harbor on the Southern coast was that of Port Royal, South Carolina, in the centre of the sea-island cotton district. This point the North fixed on as the best for a base of operations, and on October 29, 1861, a fleet of fifty vessels, including thirty-thee transports, was sent against it. A fierce attack was begun on November 7, and on the next day the two forts, Walker and Beauregard, capitulated. Without encountering further opposition the Federal troops took possession of the town of Beaufort on an island in the harbor.
Page 308. Millspring. January 19, 1862, the Confederates under Crittenden were defeated with considerable loss at Millspring, Kentucky, by General G. H. Thomas.
Page 309. “Recognition.” Recognition of independence by the European powers,