The friendly atmosphere created by the lifting of the threatening Trent episode, appears to have made Secretary Seward believe that the moment was opportune for a renewal of pressure on Great Britain and France for the recall of their Proclamations of Neutrality. Seizing upon the victories of Grant at Forts Henry and Donelson, he wrote to Adams on February 28 explaining that as a result the United States, now having access to the interior districts of Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas, "had determined to permit the restoration of trade upon our inland ways and waters" under certain limitations, and that if this experiment succeeded similar measures would be applied "to the country on the sea-coast, which would be some alleviation of the rigour of the blockade." He added that these "concessions" to foreign nations would "go much further and faster" if those nations would withdraw their "belligerent privileges heretofore so unnecessarily conceded, as we conceive, to the insurgents[580]." This was large talk for a relatively unchanged military situation. Grant had as yet but forced open the door in the West and was still far from having "access to the interior districts" of the states named. Lyons, being shown a copy of this despatch to Adams, commented to Russell that while it might be said the position and the spirit of the Northern armies were greatly improved and notable successes probable, it could not be maintained that hostilities were "so near their conclusion or are carried on upon so small a scale as to disqualify either party for the title of Belligerents[581]." Lyons and Mercier were agreed that this was no time for the withdrawal of belligerent rights to the South, and when the hint was received that the purpose of making such a request was in Seward's mind, the news quite took Thouvenel's breath away[582]. As yet, however, Seward did no more than hint and Adams was quick to advise that the moment had not yet come "when such a proceeding might seem to me likely to be of use[583]."

Just at this time Seward was engaged in forwarding a measure no doubt intended to secure British anti-slavery sympathy for the North, yet also truly indicative of a Northern temper toward the South and its "domestic institution." This was the negotiation of a Slave-Trade treaty with Great Britain, by which America joined, at last, the nations agreeing to unite their efforts in suppression of the African Slave Trade. The treaty was signed by Seward and Lyons at Washington on April 7. On the next day Seward wrote to Adams that had such a treaty been ratified "in 1808, there would now have been no sedition here, and no disagreement between the United States and foreign nations[584]," a melancholy reflection intended to suggest that the South alone had been responsible for the long delay of American participation in a world humanitarian movement. But the real purpose of the treaty, Lyons thought, was "to save the credit of the President with the Party which elected him if he should make concessions to the South, with a view of reconstructing the Union[585]" - an erroneous view evincing a misconception of the intensity of both Northern and Southern feeling if regarded from our present knowledge, but a view natural enough to the foreign observer at the moment. Lyons, in this letter, correctly stated the rising determination of the North to restore the Union, but underestimated the rapid growth of an equal determination against a restoration with slavery. The real motive for Seward's eagerness to sign the Slave Trade treaty was the thought of its influence on foreign, not domestic, affairs. Lyons, being confident that Russell would approve, had taken "the risk of going a little faster" than his instructions had indicated[586].

In this same letter Lyons dwelt upon the Northern elation over recent military successes. The campaign in the West had been followed in the East by a great effort under McClellan to advance on Richmond up the peninsula of the James river and using Chesapeake Bay as a means of water transportation and supply. This campaign had been threatened by the appearance of the iron-clad ram Merrimac and her attack on the wooden naval vessels operating in support of McClellan, but on March 9 the Monitor, a slow-moving floating iron-clad fortress, drove the Merrimac from her helpless prey, and removed the Southern threat to McClellan's communications. More than any other one battle of the Civil War the duel between the Merrimac and the Monitor struck the imagination of the British people, and justly so because of its significance in relation to the power of the British Navy. It "has been the main talk of the town," wrote Adams, "ever since the news came, in Parliament, in the clubs, in the city, among the military and naval people. The impression is that it dates the commencement of a new era in warfare, and that Great Britain must consent to begin over again[587]." The victory of the Monitor was relatively unimportant in British eyes, but a fight between two completely armoured ships, and especially the ease with which the Merrimac had vanquished wooden ships on the day previous, were cause of anxious consideration for the future. Russell was more concerned over the immediate lessons of the battle. "Only think," he wrote, "of our position if in case of the Yankees turning upon us they should by means of iron ships renew the triumphs they achieved in 1812-13 by means of superior size and weight of metal[588]."

This, however, was but early and hasty speculation, and while American ingenuity and experiment in naval warfare had, indeed, sounded the death-knell of wooden ships of war, no great change in the character of navies was immediately possible. Moreover British shipbuilders could surely keep pace in iron-clad construction with America or any other nation. The success of the Monitor was soon regarded by the British Government as important mainly as indicative of a new energy in the North promising further and more important successes on land. The Government hoped for such Northern success not because of any belief that these would go to the extent of forcing the South into submission, for they were still, and for a long time to come, obsessed with the conviction that Southern independence must ultimately be achieved. The idea was, rather, that the North, having vindicated its fighting ability and realizing that the South, even though losing battle after battle, was stubborn in the will to independence, would reach the conclusion that the game was not worth the price and would consent to separation. Russell wrote in this vein to Lyons, even though he thought that the "morale of the Southern army seems to be ruined for the time[589]." He believed that the end of the war would be hastened by Northern victories, and he therefore rejoiced in them.

Of somewhat like opinion up to the end of March, 1862, Lyons, in April, began to doubt his previous analysis of Northern temper and to write warnings that the end was not near. Grant's hard-won victory in the West at Shiloh, April 6-7, the first great pitched battle of the war, called out such a flood of Northern expressions of determination to drive the war to the bitter end as to startle Lyons and cause him, in a remarkably clear letter of survey, to recast his opinions. He wrote:

     "The general opinion is that the Campaign of this Spring will 
     clear up most of the doubts as to the result of the War. If 
     the Military successes of the North continue, the 
     determination of the South, will (it is asserted) be at last 
     really put to the test. If notwithstanding great Military 
     reverses, the loss of the Border States, and the occupation 
     of the most important points on the Coast, the Southern men 
     hold out, if they destroy as they threaten to do, their 
     cotton, tobacco and all other property which cannot be 
     removed and then retire into the interior with their families 
     and slaves, the Northern Conquests may prove to be but 
     barren. The climate may be a fatal enemy to the Federal 
     Armies. The Northern people may be unable or unwilling to 
     continue the enormous expenditure. They may prefer Separation 
     to protracting the War indefinitely. I confess, however, that 
     I fear that a protraction of the War during another year or 
     longer, is a not less probable result of the present posture 
     of affairs, than either the immediate subjugation of the 
     South or the immediate recognition of its independence[590]."

This itemization of Southern methods of resistance was in line with Confederate threats at a moment when the sky looked black. There was indeed much Southern talk of "retiring" into a hypothetical defensible interior which impressed Englishmen, but had no foundation in geographical fact. Meanwhile British attention was eagerly fixed on the Northern advance, and it was at least generally hoped that the projected attack on New Orleans and McClellan's advance up the peninsula toward Richmond would bring to a more definite status the conflict in America. Extreme Southern sympathizers scouted the possibility of any conclusive Northern success, ignoring, because ignorant, the importance of Grant's western campaign. They "were quite struck aback" by the news of the capture of New Orleans, April 25. "It took them three days to make up their minds to believe it[591]," but even the capture of this the most important commercial city of the South was not regarded as of great importance in view of the eastern effort toward Richmond.

News of the operations in the peninsula was as slow in reaching England as was McClellan's slow and cautious advance. It was during this advance and previous to the capture of New Orleans that two remarkable adventures toward a solution in America were made, apparently wholly on individual initiative, by a Frenchman in America and an Englishman in France. Mercier at Washington and Lindsay at Paris conceived, quite independently, that the time had come for projects of foreign mediation.

French opinion, like that expressed in England, appears to have been that the Northern successes in the spring of 1862 might result in such a rehabilitation of Northern self-esteem that suggestions of now recognizing the facts of the situation and acknowledging the independence of the South would not be unfavourably received. In this sense Thouvenel wrote to Mercier, privately, on March 13, but was careful to state that the word "mediation" ought not to be uttered. His letter dilated, also, on French manufacturing difficulties at home due to the lack of cotton[592]. This was in no way an instruction to Mercier, but the ideas expressed were broached by him in a conversation with Seward, only to be met with such positive assertions of intention and ability soon to recover the South as somewhat to stagger the French Minister. He remarked, according to his report to Thouvenel, that he wished it were possible to visit Richmond and assure himself that there also they recognized the truth of Seward's statements, upon which the latter at once offered to further such a trip. Mercier asserted to Thouvenel that he was taken by surprise, having foreseen no such eager acquiescence in a suggestion made without previous thought, but that on consideration he returned to Seward and accepted the proposal, outlining the substance of what he intended to say at Richmond. He should there make clear that the anxiety of France was above all directed toward peace as essential to French commercial interests; that France had always regarded the separation of North and South with regret; that the North was evidently determined in its will to restore the Union; and, in repetition, that France wished to aid in any way possible the early cessation of war. Seward, wrote Mercier, told him to add that he, personally, would welcome "the presence in the Senate" of any persons whom the South wished to elect[593].

Mercier, writes Bancroft, "from the first had been an impatient sympathizer with the Confederacy, and he was quite devoid of the balance and good judgment that characterized Lord Lyons." "Quite unnecessarily, Seward helped him to make the trip[594]." A circumstance apparently not known to Bancroft was Mercier's consultation with Lyons, before departure, in which were revealed an initiative of the adventure, and a proposed representation to the authorities in Richmond materially different from the report made by Mercier to Thouvenel. These merit expanded treatment as new light on a curious episode and especially as revealing the British policy of the moment, represented in the person of the British Minister in Washington[595].

On April 10 Mercier came to Lyons, told him that he was about to set out for Richmond and that he had "been for some little time thinking of making this journey." He told of making the suggestion to Seward, and that this "rather to his surprise" had been "eagerly" taken up.

     "Monsieur Mercier observed that the object of vital 
     importance to France, and to England also, as he supposed, 
     was to put an end, as soon as possible, to the blockade, and 
     generally to a state of things which caused so grievous an 
     interruption of the trade between Europe and this country. It 
     was, he said, possible that he might hasten the attainment of 
     this object by conferring personally with the Secession 
     leaders. He should frankly tell them that to all appearances 
     their cause was desperate; that their Armies were beaten in 
     all quarters; and that the time had arrived when they ought 
     to come to some arrangement, which would put an end to a 
     state of affairs ruinous to themselves and intolerable to 
     Europe. It was useless to expect any countenance from the 
     European Powers. Those Powers could but act on their avowed 
     principles. They would recognize any people which 
     established its independence, but they could not encourage 
     the prolongation of a fruitless struggle.

     "Monsieur Mercier thought that if the Confederates were very 
     much discouraged by their recent reverses, such language from 
     the Minister of a great European Power might be a knock-down 
     blow ('Coup d'assommoir' was the expression he used) to them. 
     It might induce them to come to terms with the North. At all 
     events it might lead to an Armistice, under which trade might 
     be immediately resumed. He had (he told me) mentioned to Mr. 
     Seward his notion of using this language, and had added that 
     of course as a Minister accredited to the United States, and 
     visiting Richmond with the consent of the United States 
     Government, he could not speak to the Southern men of any 
     other terms for ending the War than a return to the Union.

     "Monsieur Mercier proceeded to say that Mr. Seward entirely 
     approved of the language he thus proposed to hold, and had 
     authorized him to say to the Southern leaders, not of course 
     from the United States Government, but from him Mr. Seward, 
     personally, that they had no spirit of vengeance to 
     apprehend, that they would be cordially welcomed back to 
     their Seats in the Senate, and to their due share of 
     political influence. Mr. Seward added that he had not said so 
     much to any other person, but that he would tell Monsieur 
     Mercier that he was willing to risk his own political station 
     and reputation in pursuing a conciliatory course towards the 
     South, that he was ready to make this his policy and to stand 
     or fall by it."

This was certainly sufficiently strong language to have pleased the American Secretary of State, and if actually used at Richmond to have constituted Mercier a valuable Northern agent. It cannot be regarded as at all in harmony with Mercier's previous opinions, nor as expressive of Thouvenel's views. Lyons was careful to refrain from much comment on the matter of Mercier's proposed representations at Richmond. He was more concerned that the trip was to be made at all; was in fact much opposed to it, fearing that it would appear like a break in that unity of French-British attitude which was so desirable. Nor was he without suspicion of a hidden French purpose to secure some special and separate advantages in the way of prospective commercial relations with the South. Mercier told Lyons that he knew he could not ask Lyons to accompany him because of American "extreme susceptibility" to any interference by Great Britain, but he thought of taking Stoeckl, the Russian Minister, and that Stoeckl was "pleased with the idea." Lyons frankly replied that he was glad to be relieved of the necessity of declining to go and was sorry Mercier was determined to proceed since this certainly looked like a break in "joint policy," and he objected positively on the same ground to Stoeckl's going[596]. Mercier yielded the latter point, but argued that by informing Seward of his consultation with Lyons, which he proposed doing, the former objection would be obviated. Finding that Mercier "was bent on going," Lyons thought it best not to object too much and confined his efforts to driving home the idea that no opening should be given for a "separate agreement" with the South.

     "I therefore entered with him into the details of his plans, 
     and made some suggestions as to his language and conduct. I 
     said that one delusion which he might find it desirable to 
     remove from the minds of men in the South, was that it would 
     be possible to inveigle France or any other great European 
     Power into an exclusive Alliance with them. I had reason to 
     believe that some of them imagine that this might be effected 
     by an offer of great commercial privileges to one Power, to 
     the exclusion of others. I hardly supposed that Mr. Jefferson 
     Davis himself, or men of his stamp could entertain so foolish 
     a notion, but still it might be well to eradicate it from any 
     mind in which it had found place[597]."

Lyons saw Mercier "two or three times" between the tenth and fourteenth and on the twelfth spoke to Seward about the trip, "without saying anything to lead him to suppose that I had any objection to it." This was intended to preserve the impression of close harmony with France, and Lyons wrote, "I consider that the result of my communications with M. Mercier entitles him to say that he makes his journey to Richmond with my acquiescence[598]." Nevertheless he both believed, and declared to Mercier, that the views expressed on Southern weakening of determination were wholly erroneous, and that neither North nor South was ready for any efforts, still less mediation, looking toward peace. He prophesied failure of Mercier's avowed hopes. His prophecy proved well founded. On April 28 Lyons reported Mercier's account to him of the results of the journey. Mercier returned to Washington on April 24, reported at once to Seward the results of his trip, and on the same day called on Lyons. Having conversed with Benjamin, the new Confederate Secretary of State, he was now wholly convinced of the settled determination of the South to maintain its independence, even under extreme reverses. Upon enquiry by Lyons whether the South expected European assistance, Mercier "replied that the Confederate leaders professed to have abandoned all hope of succour from Europe," and that confident in their own power they "desired no aid." Cautiously adverting to his suspicion that Mercier's trip might have had in view French commercial advantage, Lyons asked whether France had received any proposals of benefit in return for recognition. Mercier answered with a simple negative. He then further developed the interview with Benjamin[599].

     "He said that he had spoken while at Richmond as a friend of 
     the Union, and a friend of all parties, but that the 
     particular language which he had intended to hold was 
     entirely inapplicable to the state of mind in which he found 
     the Confederates one and all. It was idle to tell them that 
     they were worsted on all sides; that the time was come for 
     making terms with the North. What he had said to them about 
     the recognition of their Independence was that the principal 
     inducement to France to recognize it would be a hope that her 
     doing so would have a great moral effect towards hastening 
     peace; that at this moment it would certainly not have any 
     such effect; that it would embroil France with the United 
     States, and that would be all[600]."

Thus none of the strong representations intended to be made by Mercier to convince the South of the uselessness of further resistance had, in fact, been made. In his report to Thouvenel, Mercier stated that he had approached Benjamin with the simple declaration "that the purpose of my journey was merely to assure myself, for myself, of the true condition of things; and that I called to beg him to aid me in attaining it." Since the proposed strong representations were not reported to Thouvenel, either, in the explanation given of the initiation of the trip, the doubt must be entertained that Mercier ever intended to make them. They bear the appearance of arguments to Seward - and in some degree also to Lyons - made to secure acquiescence in his plan. The report to Thouvenel omits also any reference to expressions, as narrated to Lyons, about recognition of the Confederacy, or a "principal inducement" thereto[601]. Mercier now declared to Lyons his own views on recognition:

     "He was himself more than ever convinced that the restoration 
     of the old Union was impossible. He believed that, if the 
     Powers of Europe exercised no influence, the War would last 
     for years. He conceived that the Independence of the South 
     must be recognized sooner or later; and in his opinion the 
     Governments of Europe should be on the watch for a favourable 
     opportunity of doing this in such a manner as to end the War. 
     The present opportunity would however, he thought, be 
     particularly unfavourable."

Lyons writes:

     "I did not express any opinion as to the policy to be 
     eventually pursued by France or England, but I told Monsieur 
     Mercier that I entirely agreed with him in thinking that 
     there was nothing to do at the present moment but to watch 

On the day following this interview, Lyons spoke to Seward of Mercier's trip and was given a very different view of the situation at Richmond. Seward said:

     "He himself was quite convinced, from Monsieur Mercier's 
     account of what had passed, that the Confederates were about 
     to make a last effort, that their last resources were brought 
     into play; that their last Armies were in the field. If they 
     were now defeated, they would accept the terms which would be 
     offered them. Their talking of retiring into the interior was 
     idle. If the United States were undisputed masters of the 
     Border States and the Sea Coast, there would be no occasion 
     for any more fighting. Those who chose to retire into the 
     interior were welcome to do so, and to stay there till they 
     were tired."

"The truth," wrote Lyons, "as to the state of feeling in the South probably lies somewhere between Mr. Seward's views and those of Monsieur Mercier." Lyons concluded his report of the whole matter:

     "The result of Monsieur Mercier's journey has been to bring 
     him back precisely to the point at which he was three months 
     ago. The Federal successes which occurred afterwards had 
     somewhat shaken his conviction in the ultimate success of the 
     South, and consequently his opinions as to the policy to be 
     adopted by France. The sentiments he now expresses are 
     exactly those which he expressed at the beginning of the 

In other words, Mercier was now again pressing for early recognition of the South at the first favourable moment. On Lyons the effect of the adventure to Richmond was just the reverse of this; and on Russell also its influence was to cause some doubt of Southern success. Appended to Lyons' report stands Russell's initialled comment:

     "It is desirable to know what is the Interior to which the 
     Southern Confederates propose if beaten to retire. If in Arms 
     they will be pursued, if not in Arms their discontent will 
     cause but little embarrassment to their Conquerors. But can 
     the country be held permanently by the U.S. Armies if the 
     Confederates have small bodies in Arms resisting the 
     authority of the U.S. Congress?

     Any facts shewing the strength or weakness of the Union 
     feeling in the South will be of great value in forming a 
     judgment on the final issue."

Seward, in conversation with Lyons, had said that to avoid public misconceptions a newspaper statement would be prepared on Mercier's trip. This appeared May 6, in the New York Times, the paper more closely Seward's "organ" than any other throughout the war, representing Mercier as having gone to Richmond by order of Napoleon and with Lincoln's approval to urge the Confederates to surrender and to encourage them to expect favourable terms. Lyons commented on this article that the language attributed to Mercier was "not very unlike that which he intended to hold," but that in fact he had not used it[603]. Nor had Napoleon ordered the move. Indeed everyone in London and Paris was much astonished, and many were the speculations as to the meaning of Mercier's unusual procedure. Russell was puzzled, writing "Que diable allait il faire dans cette galere[604]?" and Cowley, at Paris, could give no light, being assured by Thouvenel on first rumours of Mercier's trip to Richmond that "he had not a notion that this could be true[605]." May 1, Cowley wrote, "The whole thing is inexplicable unless the Emperor is at the bottom of it, which Thouvenel thinks is not the case[606]." The next day Thouvenel, having consulted Napoleon, was assured by the latter that "he could not account for Monsieur Mercier's conduct, and that he greatly regretted it," being especially disturbed by a seeming break in the previous "complete harmony with the British Representative" at Washington[607]. This was reassuring to Russell, yet there is no question that Mercier's conduct long left a certain suspicion in British official circles. On May 2, also, Thouvenel wrote to Flahault in London of the Emperor's displeasure, evidently with the intention that this should be conveyed to Russell[608].

Naturally the persons most excited were the two Confederate agents in Europe. At first they believed Mercier must have had secret orders from Napoleon, and were delighted; then on denials made to Slidell by Thouvenel they feared Mercier was acting in an unfavourable sense as Seward's agent. Later they returned to the theory of Napoleon's private manipulation, and being confident of his friendship were content to wait events[609]. Slidell had just received assurance from M. Billault, through whom most of his information came, "that the Emperor and all the Ministers are favourable to our cause, have been so for the last year, and are now quite as warmly so as they have ever been. M. Thouvenel is of course excepted, but then he has no hostility[610]." But a greater source of Southern hope at this juncture was another "diplomatic adventure," though by no accredited diplomat, which antedated Mercier's trip to Richmond and which still agitated not only the Confederate agents, but the British Ministry as well.

This was the appearance of the British Member of Parliament, Lindsay, in the role of self-constituted Southern emissary to Napoleon. Lindsay, as one of the principal ship-owners in England, had long been an earnest advocate of more free commercial intercourse between nations, supporting in general the principles of Cobden and Bright, and being a warm personal friend of the latter, though disagreeing with him on the American Civil War. He had been in some sense a minor expert consulted by both French and British Governments in the preparation of the commercial treaty of 1860, so that when on April 9 he presented himself to Cowley asking that an audience with the Emperor be procured for him to talk over some needed alterations in the Navigation Laws, the request seemed reasonable, and the interview was arranged for April 11. On the twelfth Lindsay reported to Cowley that the burden of Napoleon's conversation, much to his surprise, was on American affairs[611].

The Emperor, said Lindsay, expressed the conviction that re-union between North and South was an impossibility, and declared that he was ready to recognize the South "if Great Britain would set him the example." More than once he had expressed these ideas to England, but "they had not been attended to" and he should not try again. He continued:

     "... that France ought not to interfere in the internal 
     affairs of the United States, but that the United States 
     ought equally to abstain from all interference in the 
     internal concerns of France; and that His Majesty considered 
     that the hindrance placed by the Northern States upon the 
     exportation of cotton from the South was not justifiable, and 
     was tantamount to interference with the legal commerce of 

He also "denied the efficiency of the blockade so established. He had made observations in this sense to Her Majesty's Government, but they had not been replied to." Then "His Majesty asked what were the opinions of Her Majesty's Govt.; adding that if Her Majesty's Govt. agreed with him as to the inefficiency of the blockade, he was ready to send ships of war to co-operate with others of Her Majesty to keep the Southern ports open." Finally Napoleon requested Lindsay to see Cowley and find out what he thought of these ideas.

Cowley told Lindsay he did not know of any "offer" whatever having been made by France to England, that his (Cowley's) opinion was "that it might be true that the North and the South would never re-unite, but that it was not yet proved; that the efficiency of the blockade was a legal and international question, and that upon the whole it had been considered by Her Majesty's Govt. as efficient, though doubtless many ships had been enabled to run it"; and "that at all events there could not be a more inopportune moment for mooting the question both of the recognition of the South and of the efficiency of the blockade. The time was gone by when such measures could, if ever, have been taken - for every mail brought news of expeditions from the North acting with success upon the South; and every day added to the efficiency of the blockade"; and "that I did not think therefore that Her Majesty's Govt. would consent to send a squadron to act as the Emperor had indicated, but that I could only give a personal opinion, which might be corrected if I was in error by Mr. Lindsay himself seeing Lord Russell."

On April 13th a second interview took place between Lindsay and Napoleon, of which Lindsay reported that having conveyed to Napoleon Cowley's denial of any offer made to England, as well as a contrary view of the situation, Napoleon:

     "... repeated the statement that two long despatches with his 
     opinion had been written to M. de Flahault, which had not 
     been attended to by Her Majesty's Government, and he 
     expressed a desire that Mr. Lindsay should return to London, 
     lay His Majesty's views before Lord Palmerston and Lord 
     Russell, and bring their answers direct to him as quickly as 
     possible, His Majesty observing that these matters were 
     better arranged by private than official hands.... Mr. 
     Lindsay said that he had promised the Emperor to be back in 
     Paris on Thursday morning."

In his letter to Russell, Cowley called all this a "nasty intrigue." Cowley had asked Thouvenel for enlightenment, and Thouvenel had denied all knowledge and declared that certainly no such proposals as Lindsay reported the Emperor to have mentioned had ever been sent to England. Cowley wrote:

     "My own conviction is, from Lindsay's conversations with me, 
     which are full of hesitations, and I fear much falsehood 
     hidden under apparent candour, that he has told the Emperor 
     his own views, and that those views are supported by the 
     majority of the people of England, and by the present 
     Opposition in Parliament, who would denounce the blockade if 
     in power; that he has found a willing listener in the 
     Emperor, who would gladly obtain cotton by any means; and I 
     am much mistaken if Lindsay will not attempt to make 
     political capital of his interviews with the Emperor with the 
     Opposition, and that you may hear of it in Parliament. I lose 
     no time therefore, in writing to you as Lindsay goes over 
     to-night, and will probably endeavour to see you and Lord 
     Palmerston as soon as possible[612]."

The close touch between Lindsay and the Southern agents is shown by his conveyance to Slidell of the good news. Slidell was jubilant, writing to Mason:

     "Mr. Lindsay has had a long interview with the Emperor who is 
     prepared to act at once decidedly in our favour; he has 
     always been ready to do so and has twice made representations 
     to England, but has received evasive responses. He has now 
     for the third time given them but in a more decided tone. Mr. 
     Lindsay will give you all the particulars. This is entirely 
     confidential but you can say to Lord Campbell, Mr. Gregory, 
     etc., that I now have positive and authoritative evidence 
     that France now waits the assent of England for recognition 
     and other more cogent measures[613]."

Two days later Slidell made a report to Benjamin, which was in substance very similar to that given by Lindsay to Cowley, though more highly coloured as favourable to the South, but he added an important feature which, as has been seen, was suspected by Cowley, but which had not been stated to him. Napoleon had asked Lindsay to see Derby and Disraeli, the leaders of the parliamentary opposition, and inform them of his views - a suggestion which if known to the British Ministry as coming from Napoleon could not fail to arouse resentment. Slidell even believed that, failing British participation, the Emperor might act separately in recognition of the South[614].

April 15, Cowley, having received, privately, Russell's approval of the language used to Lindsay and believing that Thouvenel was about to write to Flahault on the interviews, felt it "necessary to bring them also on my part officially to your [Russell's] notice[615]." This official report does not differ materially from that in Cowley's private letter of the thirteenth, but omitted, naturally, aspersions on Lindsay and suspicions of the use to which he might put his information[616]. Cowley had held a long conversation with Thouvenel, in which it was developed that the source of the Emperor's views was Rouher, Minister of Commerce, who was very anxious over the future of cotton supply. It appeared that Lindsay in conversation with Thouvenel had affirmed that "I [Cowley] coincided in his views." This exasperated Cowley, and he resented Lindsay's "unofficial diplomacy," telling Thouvenel that he "was placed in a false position by Mr. Lindsay's interference. M. Thouvenel exclaimed that his own position was still more false, and that he should make a point of seeing the Emperor, on the following morning, and of ascertaining the extent of His Majesty's participation in the proceeding." This was done, with the result that Napoleon acknowledged that on Lindsay's request he had authorized him to recount to Russell and Palmerston the views expressed, but asserted that "he had not charged him to convey those opinions." Cowley concluded his despatch:

     "Monsieur Thouvenel said that the Emperor did not understand 
     the intricacies of this question - that His Majesty had 
     confounded remarks conveyed in despatches with deliberate 
     proposals - that no doubt the French Government was more 
     preoccupied with the Cotton question than Her Majesty's 
     Government seemed to be, and this he (Thouvenel) had shewn in 
     his communications with M. de Flahault, but that he knew too 
     well the general opinions prevailing in England to have made 
     proposals. Nor, indeed, did he see what proposals could have 
     been made. He had endeavoured to shew both the Emperor and M. 
     Rouher, that to recognize the independence of the South would 
     not bring Cotton into the markets, while any interference 
     with the blockade would probably have produced a collision. 
     At the same time he could not conceal from me the just 
     anxiety he experienced to reopen the Cotton trade. Might not 
     the Northern States be induced to declare some one port 
     Neutral, at which the trade could be carried on?

     I said that the events which were now passing in America 
     demonstrated the prudence of the policy pursued by the two 
     Governments. The recognition of the South would not have 
     prevented the North from continuing its armaments and 
     undertaking the expedition now in progress, and a refusal to 
     acknowledge the blockade as efficient must have been followed 
     by the employment of force, on a question of extreme 

Formal approval was given Cowley by Russell on April 16. In this Russell stated that he agreed with Thouvenel the cotton situation was alarming, but he added: "The evil is evident - not equally so the remedy." He assured Cowley that "Her Majesty's Government wish to take no step in respect to the Civil War in America except in concert with France and upon full deliberation[618]." Meanwhile Lindsay's diplomatic career had received a severe jolt in London. Confidently addressing to Russell a request for an interview, he received the reply "that I thought the best way for two Govts. to communicate with each other was through their respective Embassies.... He [Lindsay] rejoined that he feared you [Cowley] had not stated the reason why the Emperor wished to make the proposal through him rather than the usual channel, and again asked to see me, but I declined to give any other answer, adding that you and the French Ambassr. could make the most Confidential as well as Official Communications[619]." This rebuff was not regarded as final, though exasperating, by Lindsay, nor by the Confederate agents, all being agreed that Napoleon was about to take an active hand in their favour. Lindsay returned to Paris accompanied by Mason, and on April 18 had still another conversation with Napoleon. He reported Russell's refusal of an interview, and that he had seen Disraeli, but not Derby, who was ill. Disraeli had declared that he believed Russell and Seward to have a "secret understanding" on the blockade, but that if France should make a definite proposal it would probably be supported by a majority in Parliament, and that Russell would be compelled to assent in order to avoid a change of Ministry. In this third interview with Lindsay expressions of vexation with British policy were used by Napoleon (according to Slidell), but he now intimated that he was waiting to learn the result of the Northern effort to capture New Orleans, an event which "he did not anticipate," but which, if it occurred, "might render it inexpedient to act[620]."

Evidently the wedge was losing its force. Mason, returning to London, found that the "pulsations" in Paris had no English repetition. He wrote that Lindsay, failing to reach Russell, had attempted to get at Palmerston, but with no success. Thereupon Lindsay turning to the Opposition had visited Disraeli a second time and submitted to him Palmerston's rebuff. The strongest expression that fell from Disraeli was - "if it is found that the Emperor and Russell are at issue on the question the session of Parliament would not be as quiet as had been anticipated." This was scant encouragement, for Disraeli's "if" was all important. Yet "on the whole Lindsay is hopeful," wrote Mason in conclusion[621]. Within a fortnight following arrived the news of the capture of New Orleans, an event upon which Seward had postulated the relief of a European scarcity of cotton and to Southern sympathizers a serious blow. May 13, Cowley reported that the Emperor had told him, personally, that "he quite agreed that nothing was to be done for the moment but to watch events[622]." Thouvenel asked Slidell as to the effect of the loss of New Orleans, and received the frank answer, "that it would be most disastrous, as it would give the enemy the control of the Mississippi and its tributaries, [but] that it would not in any way modify the fixed purpose of our people to carry on the war even to an extermination[623]." Mason, a Virginian, and like nearly all from his section, never fully realizing the importance of the Confederate South-West, his eyes fixed on the campaigns about Richmond, was telling the "nervous amongst our friends" that New Orleans would "form a barren acquisition to the enemy, and will on our side serve only as a stimulant[624]."

If the South needed such stimulants she was certainly getting repeated doses in the three months from February to May, 1862. In England, Lindsay might be hopeful of a movement by the Tory opposition, but thought it wiser to postpone for a time further pressure in that direction. May 8, Henry Adams could write to his brother of British public opinion, "there is no doubt that the idea here is as strong as ever that we must ultimately fail[625]," but on May 16, that "the effect of the news here [of New Orleans] has been greater than anything yet ... the Times came out and gave fairly in that it had been mistaken; it had believed Southern accounts and was deceived by them. This morning it has an article still more remarkable and intimates for the first time that it sees little more chance for the South. There is, we think, a preparation for withdrawing their belligerent declaration and acknowledging again the authority of the Federal Government over all the national territory to be absolute and undisputed. One more victory will bring us up to this, I am confident[626]."

This was mistaken confidence. Nor did governmental reaction keep pace with Southern depression or Northern elation; the British Ministry was simply made more determined to preserve strict neutrality and to restrain its French partner in a "wait for events" policy. The "one more victory" so eagerly desired by Henry Adams was not forthcoming, and the attention, now all focused on McClellan's slow-moving campaign, waited in vain for the demonstration of another and more striking evidence of Northern power - the capture of the Confederate Capital, Richmond. McClellan's delays coincided with a bruiting of the news at Washington that foreign Powers were about to offer mediation. This was treated at some length in the semi-official National Intelligencer of May 16 in an article which Lyons thought inspired by Seward, stating that mediation would be welcome if offered for the purpose of re-union, but would otherwise be resented, a view which Lyons thought fairly represented the situation[627].

There can be little doubt that this Washington rumour was largely the result of the very positive opinion held by Mercier of ultimate Southern success and his somewhat free private communications. He may, indeed, have been talking more freely than usual exactly because of anxiety at Northern success, for McClellan, so far as was then known, was steadily, if slowly, progressing toward a victory. Mercier's most recent instruction from Thouvenel gave him no authority to urge mediation, yet he thought the moment opportune for it and strongly urged this plan on Lyons. The latter's summary of this and his own analysis of the situation were as follows:

     "M. Mercier thinks it quite within the range of possibility 
     that the South may be victorious both in the battle in 
     Virginia and in that in Tennessee. He is at all events quite 
     confident that whether victorious or defeated, they will not 
     give in, and he is certainly disposed to advise his 
     Government to endeavour to put an end to the war by 
     intervening on the first opportunity. He is, however, very 
     much puzzled to devise any mode of intervention, which would 
     have the effect of reviving French trade and obtaining 
     cotton. I should suppose he would think it desirable to go to 
     great lengths to stop the war; because he believes that the 
     South will not give in until the whole country is made 
     desolate and that the North will very soon be led to proclaim 
     immediate emancipation, which would stop the cultivation of 
     cotton for an indefinite time.

     I listen and say little when he talks of intervention. It 
     appears to me to be a dangerous subject of conversation. 
     There is a good deal of truth in M. Mercier's anticipations 
     of evil, but I do not see my way to doing any good.

     If one is to conjecture what the state of things will be a 
     month or six weeks hence, one may "guess" that McClellan will 
     be at Richmond, having very probably got there without much 
     real fighting. I doubt his getting farther this summer, if 
     so far....

     The campaign will not be pushed with any vigour during the 
     summer. It may be begun again in the Autumn. Thus, so far as 
     Trade and Cotton are concerned, we may be next Autumn, just 
     in the situation we are now. If the South really defeated 
     either or both the Armies opposed to them I think it would 
     disgust the North with the war, rather than excite them to 
     fresh efforts. If the armies suffer much from disease, 
     recruiting will become difficult. The credit of the 
     Government has hitherto been wonderfully kept up, but it 
     would not stand a considerable reverse in the field. It is 
     possible, under such circumstances that a Peace Party might 
     arise; and perhaps just possible that England and France 
     might give weight to such a Party[628]."

In brief, Lyons was all against either intervention or mediation unless a strong reaction toward peace should come in the North, and even then regarded the wisdom of such a policy as only "just possible." Nor was Russell inclined to depart from established policy. He wrote to Lyons at nearly the same time:

     "The news from York Town, New Orleans, and Corinth seems to 
     portend the conquest of the South. We have now to see 
     therefore, whether a few leaders or the whole population 
     entertain those sentiments of alienation and abhorrence which 
     were so freely expressed to M. Mercier by the Confederate 
     Statesmen at Richmond. I know not how to answer this 
     question. But there are other questions not less important to 
     be solved in the North. Will the Abolitionists succeed in 
     proclaiming freedom to the Slaves of all those who have 
     resisted? I guess not.

     But then the Union will be restored with its old disgrace and 
     its old danger. I confess I do not see any way to any fair 
     solution except separation - but that the North will not hear 
     of - nor in the moment of success would it be of any use to 
     give them unpalatable advice[629]."

Two days preceding this letter, Thouvenel, at last fully informed of Mercier's trip to Richmond, instructed him that France had no intention to depart from her attitude of strict neutrality and that it was more than ever necessary to wait events[630].

Mercier's renewed efforts to start a movement toward mediation were then wholly personal. Neither France nor Great Britain had as yet taken up this plan, nor were they likely to so long as Northern successes were continued. In London, Mason, suffering a reaction from his former high hopes, summed up the situation in a few words: "This Government passive and ignorant, France alert and mysterious. The Emperor alone knows what is to come out of it, and he keeps his own secret[631]." The Southern play, following the ministerial rebuff to Lindsay, was now to keep quiet and extended even to discouraging public demonstrations against governmental inaction. Spence had prevented such a demonstration by cotton operators in Liverpool. "I have kept them from moving as a matter of judgment. If either of the Southern armies obtain such a victory as I think probable, then a move of this kind may be made with success and power, whilst at the wrong time for it havoc only would have resulted[632]." The wrong time for Southern pressure on Russell was conceived by Seward to be the right time for the North. Immediately following the capture of New Orleans he gave positive instructions to Dayton in Paris and Adams in London to propose the withdrawal of the declaration admitting Southern belligerent rights. Thouvenel replied with some asperity on the folly of Seward's demand, and made a strong representation of the necessity of France to obtain cotton and tobacco[633]. Adams, with evident reluctance, writing, "I had little expectation of success, but I felt it my duty at once to execute the orders," advanced with Russell the now threadbare and customary arguments on the Proclamation of Neutrality, and received the usual refusal to alter British policy[634]. If Seward was sincere in asking for a retraction of belligerent rights to the South he much mistook European attitude; if he was but making use of Northern victories to return to a high tone of warning to Europe - a tone serviceable in causing foreign governments to step warily - his time was well chosen. Certainly at Washington Lyons did not regard very seriously Seward's renewal of demand on belligerency. Satisfied that there was no immediate reason to require his presence in America, ill and fearing the heat of summer, he had asked on May 9 for permission to take leave of absence for a trip home. On June 6 he received this permission, evidence that Russell also saw no cause for anxiety, and on June 13 he took leave of Lincoln.

     "I had quite an affectionate parting with the President this 
     morning. He told me, as is his wont, a number of stories more 
     or less decorous, but all he said having any bearing on 
     political matters was: 'I suppose my position makes people in 
     England think a great deal more of me than I deserve, pray 
     tell 'em I mean 'em no harm[635].'"

Fully a month had now elapsed in London since the arrival of news on any striking military event in America. New Orleans was an old story, and while in general it was believed that Richmond must fall before McClellan's army, the persistence of Southern fervid declarations that they would never submit gave renewed courage to their British friends. Lindsay was now of the opinion that it might be wise, after all, to make some effort in Parliament, and since the Washington mediation rumours were becoming current in London also, notice was given of a motion demanding of the Government that, associating itself with France, an offer of mediation be made to the contending parties in America. Motions on recognition and on the blockade had been tried and had failed. Now the cry was to be "peaceful mediation" to put an end to a terrible war. Friends of the South were not united in this adventure. Spence advised Lindsay to postpone it, but the latter seemed determined to make the effort[636]. Probably he was still smarting under his reverse of April. Possibly also he was aware of a sudden sharp personal clash between Palmerston and Adams that might not be without influence on governmental attitude - perhaps might even indicate a governmental purpose to alter its policy.

This clash was caused by a personal letter written by Palmerston to Adams on the publication in the Times of General Butler's famous order in New Orleans authorizing Federal soldiers to treat as "women of the town" those women who publicly insulted Northern troops. The British press indulged in an ecstasy of vicious writing about this order similar to that on the Northern "barbarity" of the Stone Fleet episode. Palmerston's letters to Adams and the replies received need no further notice here, since they did not in fact affect British policy, than to explain that Palmerston wrote in extreme anger, apparently, and with great violence of language, and that Adams replied with equal anger, but in very dignified if irritating terms[637]. In British opinion Butler's order was an incitement to his soldiers to commit atrocities; Americans understood it as merely an authorization to return insult for insult. In fact the order promptly put a stop to attacks on Northern soldiers, whether by act or word, and all disorder ceased. Palmerston was quick to accept the British view, writing to Adams, "it is difficult if not impossible to express adequately the disgust which must be excited in the mind of every honourable man by the general order of General Butler...." "If the Federal government chooses to be served by men capable of such revolting outrages, they must submit to abide by the deserved opinion which mankind will form of their conduct[638]." This extraordinary letter was written on June 11. Adams was both angry and perturbed, since he thought the letter might indicate an intention to change British policy and that Palmerston was but laying the ground for some "vigorous" utterance in Parliament, after his wont when striking out on a new line. He was further confirmed in this view by an editorial in the Times on June 12, hinting at a coming mediation, and by news from France that Persigny was on his way to London to arrange such a step. But however much personally aggrieved, Adams was cool as a diplomat. His first step was to write a brief note to Palmerston enquiring whether he was to consider the letter as addressed to him "officially ... or purely as a private expression of sentiment between gentlemen[639]."

There is no evidence that Palmerston and Russell were contemplating a change of policy - rather the reverse. But it does appear that Palmerston wished to be able to state in Parliament that he had taken Adams to task for Butler's order, so that he might meet an enquiry already placed on the question paper as to the Ministry's intentions in the matter. This question was due for the sitting of June 13, and on that day Russell wrote to Palmerston that he should call Butler's order "brutal" and that Palmerston might use the term "infamous" if preferred, adding, "I do not see why we should not represent in a friendly way that the usages of war do not sanction such conduct[640]." This was very different from the tone used by Palmerston. His letter was certainly no "friendly way." Again on the same day Russell wrote to Palmerston:

     "Adams has been here in a dreadful state about the letter you 
     have written him about Butler.

     I declined to give him any opinion and asked him to do 
     nothing more till I had seen or written to you.

     What you say of Butler is true enough, tho' he denies your 
     interpretation of the order.

     But it is not clear that the President approves of the order, 
     and I think if you could add something to the effect that you 
     respect the Government of President Lincoln, and do not wish 
     to impute to them the fault of Butler it might soothe him.

     If you could withdraw the letter altogether it would be the 
     best. But this you may not like to do[641]."

It is apparent that Russell did not approve of Palmerston's move against Adams nor of any "vigorous" language in Parliament, and as to the last, he had his way, for the Government, while disapproving Butler's order, was decidedly mild in comment. As to the letter, Adams, the suspicion proving unfounded that an immediate change of policy was intended, returned to the attack as a matter of personal prestige. It was not until June 15 that Palmerston replied to Adams and then in far different language seeking to smooth the Minister's ruffled feathers, yet making no apology and not answering Adams' question. Adams promptly responded with vigour, June 16, again asking his question as to the letter being official or personal, and characterizing Palmerston's previous assertions as "offensive imputations." He also again approached Russell, who stated that he too had written to Palmerston about his letter, but had received no reply, and he acknowledged that Palmerston's proceeding was "altogether irregular[642]." In the end Palmerston was brought, June 19, to write a long and somewhat rambling reply to Adams, in effect still evading the question put him, though acknowledging that the "Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs is the regular official organ for communications...." In conclusion he expressed gratification that reports from Lord Lyons showed Butler's authority at New Orleans had been curtailed by Lincoln. The next day Adams answered interpreting Palmerston as withdrawing his "imputations" but stating plainly that he would not again submit "to entertain any similar correspondence[643]."

Adams had been cautious in pushing for an answer until he knew there was to be no change in British policy. Indeed Palmerston's whole move may even have been intended to ease the pressure for a change in that policy. On the very day of Adams' first talk with Russell, friends of the South thought the Times editorial indicated "that some movement is to be made at last, and I doubt not we are to thank the Emperor for it[644]." But on this day also Russell was advising Palmerston to state in Parliament that "We have not received at present any proposal from France to offer mediation and no intention at present exists to offer it on our part[645]." This was the exact language used by Palmerston in reply to Hopwood[646]. Mason again saw his hopes dwindling, but was assured by Lindsay that all was not yet lost, and that he would "still hold his motion under consideration[647]." Lindsay, according to his own account, had talked very large in a letter to Russell, but knew privately, and so informed Mason, that the Commons would not vote for his motion if opposed by the Government, and so intended to postpone it[648]. The proposed motion was now one for recognition instead of mediation, a temporary change of plan due to Palmerston's answer to Hopwood on June 13. But whatever the terms of the motion favourable to the South, it was evident the Government did not wish discussion at the moment, and hesitancy came over pro-Southern friends. Slidell, in despair, declared that for his part he intended, no matter with what prospect of success, to demand recognition from France[649]. This alarmed Mason's English advisers, and he wrote at once strongly urging against such a step, for if the demand were presented and refused there would be no recourse but to depart for home[650]. He thought Lindsay's motion dying away for on consultation with "different parties, including Disraeli, Seymour Fitzgerald and Roebuck," it "has been so far reduced and diluted ... as to make it only expressive of the opinion of the House that the present posture of affairs in America made the question of the recognition of the Confederate States worth the serious consideration of the Government. It was so modified to prevent the Ministry making an issue upon it...." There was "no assurance that it would be sustained ... even in that form." Lindsay had determined to postpone his motion "for a fortnight, so that all expectation from this quarter for the present is dished, and we must wait for 'King Cotton' to turn the screw still further[651]." On June, 20 Lindsay gave this notice of postponement, and no parliamentary comment was made[652]. It was a moment of extreme depression for the Confederate agents in Europe. Slidell, yielding to Mason's pleas, gave up his idea of demanding recognition and wrote:

     "The position of our representatives in Europe is painful and 
     almost humiliating; it might be tolerated if they could be 
     consoled by the reflection that their presence was in any way 
     advantageous to their cause but I am disposed to believe that 
     we would have done better to withdraw after our first 
     interview with Russell and Thouvenel[653]."


[Footnote 580: U.S. Messages and Documents, 1862-63, Pt. I, p. 41.]

[Footnote 581: F.O., Am., Vol. 826. Nos. 154 and 155. March 3, 1862.]

[Footnote 582: F.O., France, Vol. 1435. No. 362. Cowley to Russell, March 18, 1862.]

[Footnote 583: U.S. Messages and Documents, 1862-63, Pt. I, p. 54. Adams to Seward, March 27, 1862.]

[Footnote 584: Ibid., p. 65.]

[Footnote 585: Russell Papers. Lyons to Russell. Private. April 8, 1862.]

[Footnote 586: Ibid.]

[Footnote 587: A Cycle of Adams' Letters, I, 123. To his son, April 4, 1862.]

[Footnote 588: Palmerston MS. Russell to Palmerston, March 31, 1862.]

[Footnote 589: Lyons Papers. March 22, 1862.]

[Footnote 590: F.O., Am., Vol. 827. No. 244. Extract. Lyons to Russell, April 11, 1802.]

[Footnote 591: A Cycle of Adams' Letters, I, 143. Adams to his son, May 16, 1862.]

[Footnote 592: Thouvenel, Le Secret de l'Empereur, II, p. 247.]

[Footnote 593: Documents Diplomatiques, 1862, pp. 120-122. Mercicr to Thouvenel, April 13, 1862. A translation of this despatch was printed, with some minor inaccuracies, in the New York Tribune, Feb. 5, 1863, and of Mercier's report, April 28, on his return from Richmond, on Feb. 9, under the caption "The Yellow Book." It is interesting that the concluding paragraphs of this report of April 28, as printed in the Tribune, are not given in the printed volume of Documents Diplomatiques, 1862. These refer to difficulties about cotton and to certain pledges given by Seward as to cessation of illegal interferences with French vessels. How the Tribune secured these paragraphs, if authentic, is not clear. The whole purpose of the publication was an attack by Horace Greeley, editor, on Seward in an effort to cause his removal from the Cabinet. See Bancroft, Seward, II, 371-2.]

[Footnote 594: Bancroft, Seward. II, 298-99. Bancroft's account is based on the Tribune translation and on Seward's own comments to Weed and Bigelow. Ibid., 371-72.]

[Footnote 595: Newton. Lord Lyons, I, pp. 82-85, gives an account of the initiation of Mercier's trip and prints Lyons' private letter to Russell of April 25, describing the results, but does not bring out sufficiently Lyons' objections and misgivings. Newton thinks that Mercier "whether instructed from home or not ... after the manner of French diplomatists of the period ... was probably unable to resist the temptation of trying to effect a striking coup...."]

[Footnote 596: Stoeckl's report does not agree with Mercier's statement. He wrote that he had been asked to accompany Mercier but had refused and reported a conversation with Seward in which the latter declared the time had not yet come for mediation, that in any case France would not be accepted in that role, and that if ever mediation should become acceptable, Russia would be asked to act (Russian Archives, Stoeckl to F.O., April 23-May 5, 1862. No. 927).]

[Footnote 597: F.O., Am., Vol. 828. No. 250. Confidential. Lyons to Russell, April 14, 1862.]

[Footnote 598: Ibid.]

[Footnote 599: This suspicion was a natural one but that it was unfounded is indicated by Benjamin's report to Slidell of Mercier's visit, describing the language used in almost exactly the same terms that Lyons reported to Russell. That little importance was attached by Benjamin to Mercier's visit is also indicated by the fact that he did not write to Slidell about it until July. Richardson, II, 260. Benjamin to Slidell, July 19, 1862.]

[Footnote 600: F.O., Am., Vol. 828. No. 284. Confidential. Lyons to Russell, April 24, 1862.]

[Footnote 601: Documents Diplomatiques, 1862, pp. 122-124.]

[Footnote 602: F.O., Am., Vol. 828. No. 284. Confidential. Lyons to Russell, April 28, 1862.]

[Footnote 603: F.O., Am., Vol. 829. No. 315. Confidential. Lyons to Russell, May 9, 1862.]

[Footnote 604: Lyons Papers. Russell to Lyons, May 10, 1862.]

[Footnote 605: F.O., France, Vol. 1427. No. 544. Cowley to Russell, April 28, 1862.]

[Footnote 606: Ibid., Vol. 1438. No. 563. To Russell. Mercier's conduct appeared to Cowley as "want of courtesy" and "tardy confidence" to Lyons. Ibid., No. 566. May 1, 1862. To Russell.]

[Footnote 607: Ibid., No. 574. Cowley to Russell, May 2, 1862.]

[Footnote 608: Thouvenel, Le Secret de l'Empereur, II, p. 299.]

[Footnote 609: Mason Papers. Slidell to Mason, May 3, 14 and 16, 1862. Mason to Slidell, May 5, 14 and 16, 1862.]

[Footnote 610: Ibid., Slidell to Mason, May 16, 1862. Billault was a member of the French Ministry, but without portfolio.]

[Footnote 611: Several accounts have been given of this episode. The two known to me treating it at greatest length are (1) Callahan, Diplomatic History of the Southern Confederacy and (2) Sears, A Confederate Diplomat at the Court of Napoleon III. Am. Hist. Rev., Jan., 1921. Both writers drew their information wholly from Confederate documents, using, especially, the private correspondence of Mason and Slidell, and neither treats the matter from the English view point. I have therefore based my account on the unused letters of British officials, citing other materials only where they offer a side light. The principal new sources are Cowley's private and official letters to Russell.]

[Footnote 612: Russell Papers. Cowley to Russell. Private. April 13, 1862.]

[Footnote 613: Mason Papers. April 12, 1862.]

[Footnote 614: Richardson, II, 239. April 14, 1862.]

[Footnote 615: Russell Papers. Cowley to Russell. Private.]

[Footnote 616: F.O., France, Vol. 1437. No. 497. Confidential. Cowley to Russell April 15, 1862.]

[Footnote 617: Ibid.]

[Footnote 618: F.O., France, Vol. 1422. No. 403. Russell to Cowley, April 16, 1862.]

[Footnote 619: Ibid., No. 415. Russell to Cowley, April 16, 1862. Whether Napoleon had in fact "charged" Lindsay with a mission must remain in doubt. Cowley believed Lindsay to have prevaricated - or at least so officially reported. He had

     "Le 20 Avril, 1862.

     Mon cher Lord Cowley:

     Je vous remercie de votre billet. J'espere comme vous que 
     bientot nos manufactures auront du coton. Je n'ai pas de tout 
     ete choque de ce que Lord Russell n'ait pas recu Mr. Lindsay. 
     Celui-ci m'avait demande l'autorisation de rapporter au 
     principal secretaire d'Etat notre conversation et j'y avais 
     consenti et voila tout.

     Croyez a mes sentiments d'amitie.

     Napoleon." ]

[Footnote 620: Richardson, II, 239. Slidell to Benjamin, April 18, 1862. New Orleans was captured on April 25.]

[Footnote 621: Mason Papers. Mason to Slidell, April 30, 1862.]

[Footnote 622: Russell Papers. Cowley to Russell.]

[Footnote 623: Mason Papers. Slidell to Mason, May 14, 1862.]

[Footnote 624: Ibid., Mason to Slidell, May 14, 1862.]

[Footnote 625: A Cycle of Adams' Letters, I, 139.]

[Footnote 626: Ibid., p. 146.]

[Footnote 627: F.O., Am., Vol. 830. No. 338. Lyons to Russell, May 16, 1862.]

[Footnote 628: Russell Papers. Lyons to Russell. Private. May 16, 1862.]

[Footnote 629: Lyons Papers. Russell to Lyons. Private. May 17, 1862.]

[Footnote 630: Documents Diplomatiques, 1862, p. 124. May 15.]

[Footnote 631: Mason Papers. Mason to Slidell, May 21, 1862.]

[Footnote 632: Mason Papers. Spence to Mason, June 3, 1862.]

[Footnote 633: F.O., France, Vol. 1439. No. 668. Cowley to Russell, May 23, 1862, and Documents Diplomatiques, 1862, p. 127. Thouvenel to Mercier, May 21, 1862.]

[Footnote 634: U.S. Messages and Documents, 1862, pp. 97-99. Adams to Seward, May 22, 1862.]

[Footnote 635: Newton, Lord Lyons, I, 88.]

[Footnote 636: Mason Papers. Spence to Mason, June 11, 1862.]

[Footnote 637: All the letters are given in Adams, C.F. Adams, Ch. XIII.]

[Footnote 638: Ibid., pp. 248-9.]

[Footnote 639: Ibid., p. 251.]

[Footnote 640: Palmerston MS.]

[Footnote 641: Ibid.]

[Footnote 642: Adams, C.F. Adams, pp. 253-55.]

[Footnote 643: Ibid., pp. 256-60.]

[Footnote 644: Mason Papers. Mason to Slidell, June 13, 1862.]

[Footnote 645: Palmerston MS.]

[Footnote 646: Hansard, 3rd. Ser., CLXVII, p. 543. June 13, 1862.]

[Footnote 647: Mason Papers. Mason to Slidell, June 14, 1862.]

[Footnote 648: Ibid., Lindsay to Mason, June 18, 1862. Lindsay wrote:

     "Lord Russell sent to me last night to get the words of my 
     motion. I have sent them to him to-night, and I have embraced 
     the opportunity of opening my mind to his Lordship. I have 
     told him that I have postponed my motion in courtesy to 
     him - that the sympathy of nine-tenths of the members of the 
     House was in favour of immediate recognition, and that even 
     if the Government was not prepared to accept my motion, a 
     majority of votes might have been obtained in its 
     favour - that a majority of votes would be obtained within 
     the next fortnight, and I expressed the most earnest hope 
     that the Government would move (as the country, and France, 
     are most anxious for them to do so) and thus prevent the 
     necessity of any private member undertaking a duty which 
     belonged to the Executive.

     "I further told his Lordship that recognition was a right 
     which no one would deny us the form of exercising, that the 
     fear of war if we exercised it was a delusion. That the 
     majority of the leading men in the Northern States would 
     thank us for exercising it, and that even Seward himself 
     might be glad to see it exercised so as to give him an excuse 
     for getting out of the terrible war into which he had dragged 
     his people. I further said, that if the question is settled 
     without our recognition of the South, he might rest 
 that the Northern Armies would be marched into 
     Canada. I hope my note may produce the desired results, and 
     thus get the Government to take the matter in hand, for sub 
, I saw that the House was not yet prepared to vote, 
     and the question is far too grave to waste time upon it in 
     idle talk, even if talk, without action, did no harm." ]

[Footnote 649: Ibid., Slidell to Mason, June 17, 1862.]

[Footnote 650: Ibid., Mason to Slidell, June 19, 1862.]

[Footnote 651: Ibid.]

[Footnote 652: Hansard, 3rd. Ser., CLXVII, p. 810.]

[Footnote 653: Mason Papers. Slidell to Mason, June 21, 1862.]