If regarded merely from the view-point of strict chronology there accompanied Seward's "foreign war" policy a negotiation with Great Britain which was of importance as the first effort of the American Secretary of State to bring European nations to a definite support of the Northern cause. It was also the first negotiation undertaken by Adams in London, and as a man new to the diplomatic service he attached to it an unusual importance, even, seemingly, to the extent of permitting personal chagrin at the ultimate failure of the negotiation to distort his usually cool and fair judgment. The matter in question was the offer of the United States to accede by a convention to the Declaration of Paris of 1856, establishing certain international rules for the conduct of maritime warfare.

This negotiation has received scant attention in history. It failed to result in a treaty, therefore it has appeared to be negligible. Yet it was at the time of very great importance in affecting the attitude toward each other of Great Britain and the United States, and of the men who spoke for their respective countries. The bald facts of the negotiation appear with exactness in Moore's Digest of International Law[236], but without comment as to motives, and, more briefly, in Bernard's Neutrality of Great Britain during the American Civil War [237], at the conclusion of which the author writes, with sarcasm, "I refrain from any comment on this negotiation[238]." Nicolay and Hay's Lincoln, and Rhodes' United States, give the matter but passing and inadequate treatment. It was reviewed in some detail in the American argument before the Geneva court of arbitration in the case of the Alabama, but was there presented merely as a part of the general American complaint of British neutrality. In fact, but three historical students, so far as the present writer has been able to discover, have examined this negotiation in detail and presented their conclusions as to purposes and motives - so important to an understanding of British intentions at the moment when the flames of civil war were rapidly spreading in America.

These three, each with an established historical reputation, exhibit decided differences in interpretation of diplomatic incidents and documents. The first careful analysis was presented by Henry Adams, son of the American Minister in London during the Civil War, and then acting as his private secretary, in his Historical Essays, published in 1891; the second study is by Bancroft, in his Life of Seward, 1900; while the third is by Charles Francis Adams (also son of the American Minister), who, in his Life of his father, published 1900, gave a chapter to the subject and treated it on lines similar to those laid down by his brother Henry, but who, in 1912, came to the conclusion, through further study, that he had earlier been in error and developed a very different view in a monograph entitled, "Seward and the Declaration of Paris."

If these historiographic details seem unduly minute, partaking as they do of the nature of a foot-note, in a work otherwise general in treatment, the author's answer is that the personality of two of the writers mentioned and their intimate knowledge of the effect of the negotiation upon the mind of the American Minister in London are themselves important historical data; a further answer is the fact that the materials now available from the British Foreign Office archives throw much new light both on the course of the negotiation and on British purposes. It is here planned, therefore, first to review the main facts as previously known; second, to summarize the arguments and conclusions of the three historians; third, to re-examine the negotiation in the light of the new material; and, finally, to express an opinion on its conduct and conclusions as an evidence of British policy.

In 1854, during the Crimean War, Great Britain and France, the chief maritime belligerents engaged against Russia, voluntarily agreed to respect neutral commerce under either the neutral's or the enemy's flag. This was a distinct step forward in the practice of maritime warfare, the accepted international rules of which had not been formally altered since the Napoleonic period. The action of Great Britain was due in part, according to a later statement in Parliament by Palmerston, March 18, 1862, to a fear that unless a greater respect were paid than formerly to neutral rights, the Allies would quickly win the ill-will of the United States, then the most powerful maritime neutral, and would run the danger of forcing that country into belligerent alliance with Russia[239]. No doubt there were other reasons, also, for the barbarous rules and practices of maritime warfare in earlier times were by now regarded as semi-civilized by the writers of all nations. Certainly the action of the belligerents in 1854 met with general approval and in the result was written into international law at the Congress of Paris in 1856, where, at the conclusion of the war, the belligerents and some leading neutrals were gathered.

The Declaration of Paris on maritime warfare covered four points:

     "1. Privateering is, and remains, abolished.

     "2. The neutral flag covers enemy's goods, with the exception 
     of contraband of war.

     "3. Neutral goods, with the exception of contraband of war, 
     are not liable to capture under enemy's flag.

     "4. Blockades, in order to be binding, must be effective; 
     that is to say, maintained by a force sufficient really to 
     prevent access to the coast of the enemy[240]."

This agreement was adopted by Austria, France, Great Britain, Prussia, Russia, Sardinia and Turkey, and it was further agreed that a general invitation to accede should be extended to all nations, but with the proviso "that the powers which shall have signed it, or which shall accede thereto, shall not in future enter into any arrangement, concerning the application of the law of neutrals in time of war, which does not rest altogether upon the four principles embodied in the said declaration[241]." In other words it must be accepted in whole, and not in part, and the powers acceding pledging themselves not to enter into any subsequent treaties or engagements on maritime law which did not stipulate observance of all four points. Within a short time nearly all the maritime nations of the world had given official adherence to the Declaration of Paris.

But the United States refused to do so. She had long stood in the advance guard of nations demanding respect for neutral rights. Little by little her avowed principles of international law as regards neutrals, first scoffed at, had crept into acceptance in treaty stipulations. Secretary of State Marcy now declared, in July, 1856, that the United States would accede to the Declaration if a fifth article were added to it protecting all private property at sea, when not contraband. This covered not only cargo, but the vessel as well, and its effect would have been to exclude from belligerent operations non-contraband enemy's goods under the enemy's flag, if goods and ship were privately owned. Maritime warfare on the high seas would have been limited to battles between governmentally operated war-ships. Unless this rule were adopted also, Secretary Marcy declared that "the United States could not forgo the right to send out privateers, which in the past had proved her most effective maritime weapon in time of war, and which, since she had no large navy, were essential to her fighting power."

"War on private property," said the Americans, "had been abolished on land; why should it not be abolished also on the sea?" The American proposal met with general support among the smaller maritime nations. It was believed that the one great obstacle to the adoption of Marcy's amendment lay in the naval supremacy of Great Britain, and that obstacle proved insurmountable. Thus the United States refused to accede to the Declaration, and there the matter rested until 1861. But on April 17 Jefferson Davis proclaimed for the Southern Confederacy the issue of privateers against Northern commerce. On April 24 Seward instructed representatives abroad, recounting the Marcy proposal and expressing the hope that it still might meet with a favourable reception, but authorizing them to enter into conventions for American adherence to the Declaration of 1856 on the four points alone. This instruction was sent to the Ministers in Great Britain, France, Russia, Prussia, Austria, Belgium, Italy, and Denmark; and on May 10 to the Netherlands.

Having received this instruction, Adams, at the close of his first meeting with Russell on May 18, after having developed at length the American position relative to the issue of the British Proclamation of Neutrality, briefly added that he was directed to offer adherence by means of a convention, to the Declaration of Paris. Russell replied that Great Britain was willing to negotiate, but "seemed to desire to leave the subject in the hands of Lord Lyons, to whom he intimated that he had already transmitted authority[242]...." Adams therefore did not press the matter, waiting further information and instruction from Washington. Nearly two weeks earlier Russell had, in fact, approached the Government of France with a suggestion that the two leading maritime powers should propose to the American belligerents adherence to the second and third articles of the Declaration of Paris. France had agreed and the date of Russell's instruction to Lyons was May 18, the day of the interview with Adams. Confusion now arose in both London and Washington as to the place where the arrangement was to be concluded. The causes of this confusion will be considered later in this chapter; here it is sufficient to note that the negotiation was finally undertaken at London.

On July 18 Russell informed Adams that Great Britain was ready to enter into a convention with the United States, provided a similar convention was signed with France at the same time. This convention, as submitted by Adams, simply recorded an agreement by the two powers to abide by the four points of the Declaration of Paris, using the exact wording of that document[243]. Adams' draft had been communicated to Russell on July 13. There then followed a delay required by the necessity of securing similar action by Dayton, the American Minister at Paris, but on July 29 Adams reported to Russell that this had been done and that he was ready to sign. Two days later, July 31, Russell replied that he, also, was ready, but concluded his letter, "I need scarcely add that on the part of Great Britain the engagement will be prospective, and will not invalidate anything already done[244]." It was not until August 8, however, that Cowley, the British Ambassador to France, reported that Dayton had informed Thouvenel, French Foreign Minister, that he was ready to sign the similar convention with France[245]. With no understanding, apparently, of the causes of further delay, and professing complete ignorance of the meaning of Russell's phrase, just quoted[246], Adams waited the expected invitation to an official interview for the affixing of signatures. Since it was a condition of the negotiation that this should be done simultaneously in London and Paris, the further delay that now occurred caused him no misgivings.

On August 19 Russell requested Adams to name a convenient day "in the course of this week," and prefaced this request with the statement that he enclosed a copy of a Declaration which he proposed to make in writing, upon signing the convention. "You will observe," he wrote, "that it is intended to prevent any misconception as to the nature of the engagement to be taken by Her Majesty." The proposed Declaration read:

     "In affixing his signature to the Convention of this day 
     between Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain and Ireland 
     and the United States of America, the Earl Russell declares, 
     by order of Her Majesty, that Her Majesty does not intend 
     thereby to undertake any engagement which shall have any 
     bearing, direct or indirect, on the internal differences now 
     prevailing in the United States[247]."

Under his instructions to negotiate a convention for a pure and simple adherence to the Declaration of Paris, Adams could not now go on to official signature. Nor was he inclined to do so. Sincerely believing, as he stated to Russell in a communication of August 23, that the United States was "acting with the single purpose of aiding to establish a permanent doctrine for all time," and with the object of "ameliorating the horrors of warfare all over the globe," he objected "to accompany the act with a proceeding somewhat novel and anomalous," which on the face of it seemed to imply a suspicion on the part of Great Britain that the United States was "desirous at this time to take a part in the Declaration [of Paris], not from any high purpose or durable policy, but with the view of securing some small temporary object in the unhappy struggle which is going on at home[248]." He also pointed out that Russell's proposed declaration either was or was not a part of the convention. If it was a part then the Senate of the United States must ratify it as well as the convention itself, and he would have gone beyond his instructions in submitting it. If not a part of the convention there could be no advantage in making the Declaration since, unratified by the Senate, it would have no force. Adams therefore declined to proceed further with the matter until he had received new instructions from Washington.

To this Russell answered, August 28, with a very explicit exposition of his reasons. Great Britain, he said, had declared her neutrality in the American conflict, thereby recognizing the belligerent rights of the South. It followed that the South "might by the law of nations arm privateers," and that these "must be regarded as the armed vessels of a belligerent." But the United States had refused to recognize the status of belligerency, and could therefore maintain that privateers issued by the Southern States were in fact pirates, and might argue that a European Power signing a convention with the United States, embodying the principles of the Declaration of Paris, "would be bound to treat the privateers of the so-called Confederate States as pirates." Hence Russell pointed out, the two countries, arguing from contradictory premises as to the status of the conflict in America, might become involved in charges of bad faith and of violation of the convention. He had therefore merely intended by his suggested declaration to prevent any misconception by the United States.

     "It is in this spirit that Her Majesty's Government decline 
     to bind themselves, without a clear explanation on their 
     part, to a Convention which, seemingly confined to an 
     adoption of the Declaration of Paris of 1856, might be 
     construed as an engagement to interfere in the unhappy 
     dissensions now prevailing in the United States; an 
     interference which would be contrary to Her Majesty's public 
     declarations, and would be a reversal of the policy which Her 
     Majesty has deliberately sanctioned[249]."

Thus the negotiation closed. Seward in declining to accept the proposed declaration gave varying reasons in his instructions to Adams, in London, and to Dayton, in Paris, for an exactly similar declaration had been insisted upon by France, but he did not argue the question save in generalities. He told Dayton that the supposed possible "intervention" which Great Britain and France seemed to fear they would be called upon to make was exactly the action which the United States desired to forestall, and he notified Adams that he could not consent since the proposed Declaration "would be virtually a new and distinct article incorporated into the projected convention[250]." The first formal negotiation of the United States during the Civil War, and of the new American Minister in London, had come to an inglorious conclusion. Diplomats and Foreign Secretaries were, quite naturally, disturbed, and were even suspicious of each others' motives, but the public, not at the moment informed save on the American offer and the result, paid little attention to these "inner circle" controversies[251].

What then were the hidden purposes, if such existed, of the negotiating powers. The first answer in historical writing was that offered by Henry Adams[252], in an essay entitled "The Declaration of Paris, 1861," in the preparation of which the author studied with care all the diplomatic correspondence available in print[253]. His treatment presents Russell as engaged in a policy of deception with the view of obtaining an ultimate advantage to Great Britain in the field of commercial rivalry and maritime supremacy. Following Henry Adams' argument Russell, on May 9, brought to the attention of France a proposal for a joint request on the American belligerents to respect the second and third articles of the Declaration of Paris, and received an acquiescent reply. After some further exchanges of proposed terms of instructions to the British and French Ministers at Washington, Russell, on May 18, sent a despatch to Lyons with instructions for his action. On this same day Russell, in his first interview with Adams, "before these despatches [to Lyons] could have left the Foreign Office," and replying to Adams' proposal to negotiate on the Declaration of Paris as a whole - that is to say, on all four articles - intimated that instructions had already gone to Lyons, with directions to assent to any modification of the article on privateering that the United States might desire. Adams understood Russell to prefer that the negotiation (for such Adams thought it was to be) should take place in Washington, and did not press the matter.

This was deliberate deceit; first in a statement of fact since the interview with Adams took place at noon on May 18, at Russell's country house nine miles from London, and in all reasonable supposition the despatch to Lyons would not have been sent until the Foreign Secretary's return to his office; second because Lyons was not instructed to negotiate on the Declaration. The interpretation is justified therefore that Russell "evaded the offer of the United States Government." The result of this evasion was delay, but when Seward learned from Lyons that he had no authority to negotiate a convention and Adams received renewed instructions to proceed, the latter "kept his temper, but the affair made a lasting impression on his mind, and shook his faith in the straightforwardness of the British Government." In renewing his overtures at London, Adams made explanations of the previous "misunderstanding" and to these Russell replied with further "inaccuracies" as to what had been said at the first interview.

Thus beginning his survey with an assertion of British deceit and evasion from the very outset, and incidentally remarking that Lyons, at Washington, "made little disguise of his leanings" toward the South, Henry Adams depicts Russell as leading France along a line of policy distinctly unfriendly to the North. Examining each point in the negotiation as already narrated, he summarized it as follows:

     "The story has shown that Russell and his colleagues ... 
     induced the French Government to violate the pledge in the 
     protocol of the Declaration of Paris in order to offer to 
     both belligerents a partial adhesion, which must exclude the 
     United States from a simple adhesion, to the Declaration of 
     Paris, while it placed both belligerents on the same apparent 
     footing. These steps were taken in haste before Adams could 
     obtain an interview. When Adams by an effort unexpected to 
     Russell obtained an interview at Pembroke Lodge at noon of 
     Saturday, May 18, and according to Russell's report of May 
     21, said that the United States were 'disposed to adhere to 
     the Declaration of Paris,' Russell evaded the offer, saying 
     that he had already sent sufficient instructions to Lyons, 
     although the instructions were not sufficient, nor had they 
     been sent. When this evasion was afterward brought to his 
     notice by Adams, Russell, revising his report to Lyons, made 
     such changes in it as should represent the first proposal as 
     coming from himself, and the evasion to have come from Adams. 
     When at last obliged to read the American offer, Russell 
     declared that he had never heard of it before, although he 
     had himself reported it to Lyons and Lyons had reported it to 
     him. When compelled to take the offer for consideration, 
     Russell, though always professing to welcome adhesion pure 
     and simple, required the co-operation of Dayton. When Adams 
     overcame this last obstacle, Russell interposed a written 
     proviso, which as he knew from Lyons would prevent 
     ratification. When Adams paid no attention to the proviso but 
     insisted on signature of the treaty, Russell at last wrote a 
     declaration in the nature of an insult, which could not be 

In this presentation of the case to the jury certain minor points are insisted upon to establish a ground for suspicion - as the question of who first made the proposal - that are not essential to Henry Adams' conclusions. This conclusion is that "From the delays interposed by Russell, Adams must conclude that the British Cabinet was trying one device after another to evade the proposition; and finally, from the written declaration of August 19, he could draw no other inference than that Russell had resorted to the only defensive weapon left to him, in order to avoid the avowal of his true motives and policy[255]." Themotive of this tortuous proceeding, the author believed to have been a deep-laid scheme to revive, after the American War was ended, the earlier international practice of Great Britain, in treating as subject to belligerent seizure enemy's goods under the neutral flag. It was the American stand, argues Henry Adams, that in 1854 had compelled Great Britain to renounce this practice. A complete American adherence, now, to the Declaration, would for ever tie Britain's hands, but if there were no such complete adherence and only temporary observation of the second article, after the war had resulted in the disruption of the United States, thus removing the chief supporter of that article, Great Britain would feel free to resume her old-time practice when she engaged in war. If Great Britain made a formal treaty with the United States she would feel bound to respect it; the Declaration of Paris as it stood constituted "a mere agreement, which was binding, as Lord Malmesbury declared, only so long as it was convenient to respect it[256]." Thus the second article of the Declaration of Paris, not the first on privateering, was in the eye of the British Cabinet in the negotiation of 1861. Henry Adams ends his essay: "After the manner in which Russell received the advances of President Lincoln, no American Minister in London could safely act on any other assumption than that the British Government meant, at the first convenient opportunity, to revive the belligerent pretensions dormant since the War of 1812[257]."

This analysis was published in 1891. Still more briefly summarized it depicts an unfriendly, almost hostile attitude on the part of Russell and Lyons, deceit and evasion by the former, selfish British policy, and throughout a blind following on by France, yielding to Russell's leadership. The American proposal is regarded merely as a simple and sincere offer to join in supporting an improved international practice in war-times. But when Frederic Bancroft, the biographer of Seward, examined the negotiation he was compelled to ask himself whether this was all, indeed, that the American Secretary of State had in view. Bancroft's analysis may be stated more briefly[258].

Seward's general instruction, Bancroft notes, bore date of April 24, nearly a month before any foreign Power had recognized Southern belligerent rights; it indicates "a plan by which he hoped to remove all excuse for such action." In despatches to Dayton, Seward asserted a twofold motive: "a sincere desire to co-operate with other progressive nations in the melioration of the rigours of maritime war," and "to remove every cause that any foreign Power could have for the recognition of the insurgents as a belligerent Power[259]." This last result was not so clear to Dayton at Paris, nor was the mechanism of operation ever openly stated by Seward. But he did write, later, that the proposal of accession to the Declaration of Paris was tendered "as the act of this Federal Government, to be obligatory equally upon disloyal as upon loyal citizens." "It did not," writes Bancroft, "require the gift of prophecy to tell what would result in case the offer of accession on the part of the United States should be accepted[260]."

Seward's object was to place the European nations in a position where they, as well as the United States, would be forced to regard Southern privateers as pirates, and treat them as such. This was a conceivable result of the negotiation before European recognition of Southern belligerency, but even after that recognition and after Dayton had pointed out the impossibility of such a result, Seward pressed for the treaty and instructed Dayton not to raise the question with France. He still had in mind this main object. "If Seward," says Bancroft, "had not intended to use the adherence of the United States to the declaration as a lever to force the other Powers to treat the Confederates as pirates, or at least to cease regarding them as belligerents, he might easily and unofficially have removed all such suspicions[261]." In an interview with Lyons on July 6 Seward urged a quick conclusion of the treaty, arguing that its effect upon the revolted states could be determined afterwards. Naturally Lyons was alarmed and gave warning to Russell. "Probably it was this advice that caused Russell to insist on the explanatory declaration[262]."

It would appear, then, that Seward much underestimated the acuteness of Russell and Thouvenel, and expected them "to walk into a trap." Nor could his claim "that there was no difference between a nation entirely at peace and one in circumstances like those of the United States at this time" be taken seriously. "He was furnishing his opponent with evidences of his lack of candour." This clouded the effect that would have followed "a wise and generous policy toward neutrals, which had doubtless been in Seward's mind from the beginning[263]." In the end he concluded the negotiation gracefully, writing to Adams a pledge of American respect for the second and third articles of the Declaration of Paris - exactly that which Lyons had originally been instructed by Russell to secure.

     "We regard Great Britain as a friend. Her Majesty's flag, 
     according to our traditional principles, covers enemy's goods 
     not contraband of war. Goods of Her Majesty's subjects, not 
     contraband of war, are exempt from confiscation, though found 
     under a neutral or disloyal flag. No depredations shall be 
     committed by our naval forces or by those of any of our 
     citizens, so far as we can prevent it, upon the vessels or 
     property of British subjects. Our blockade, being effective, 
     must be respected[264]."

Thus Bancroft regards Seward's proposals of April 24 as in part the result of humanitarian motives and in part as having a concealed purpose of Northern advantage. This last he calls a "trap." And it is to be noted that in Seward's final pledge to Adams the phrase "those of any of our citizens" reserves, for the North, since the negotiation had failed, the right to issue privateers on her own account. But Russell also, says Bancroft, was not "altogether artless and frank." He had in view a British commercial advantage during the war, since if the United States respected the second and third articles of the Declaration of Paris, and "if Confederate privateers should roam the ocean and seize the ships and goods of citizens of the North, all the better for other commercial nations; for it would soon cause the commerce of the United States to be carried on under foreign flags, especially the British and French[265]." Ulterior motive is, therefore, ascribed to both parties in the negotiation, and that of Seward is treated as conceived at the moment when a policy of seeking European friendship was dominant at Washington, but with the hope of securing at least negative European support. Seward's persistence after European recognition of Southern belligerency is regarded as a characteristic obstinacy without a clear view of possible resulting dangerous complications.

This view discredits the acumen of the American Secretary of State and it does not completely satisfy the third historian to examine the incident in detail. Nor does he agree on the basis of British policy. Charles Francis Adams, in his "Life" of his father, writing in 1899, followed in the main the view of his brother, Henry Adams. But in 1912 he reviewed the negotiation at great length with different conclusions[266]. His thesis is that the Declaration of Paris negotiation was an essential part of Seward's "foreign war policy," in that in case a treaty was signed with Great Britain and France and then those Powers refused to aid in the suppression of Southern privateering, or at least permitted them access to British and French ports, a good ground of complaint leading to war would be established. This was the ultimate ulterior purpose in Seward's mind; the negotiation was but a method of fixing a quarrel on some foreign Power in case the United States should seek, as Seward desired, a cementing of the rift at home by a foreign war.

In the details of the negotiation C.F. Adams agrees with Bancroft, but with this new interpretation. The opening misunderstanding he ascribed, as did Lyons, to the simple fact that Seward "had refused to see the despatch" in which Russell's proposals were made[267]. Seward's instructions of July 6, after the misunderstanding was made clear to him, pushing the negotiation, were drawn when he was "still riding a very high horse - the No. 10 charger, in fact, he had mounted on the 21st of the previous May[268]," and this warlike charger he continued to ride until the sobering Northern defeat at Bull Run, July 21, put an end to his folly. If that battle had been a Northern victory he would have gone on with his project. Now, with the end of a period of brain-storm and the emergence of sanity in foreign policy, "Secretary Seward in due time (September 7) pronounced the proposed reservation [by Russell] quite 'inadmissible.' And here the curtain fell on this somewhat prolonged and not altogether creditable diplomatic farce[269]."

Incidentally C.F. Adams examined also British action and intention. Lyons is wholly exonerated. "Of him it may be fairly said that his course throughout seems to furnish no ground for criticism[270]." And Lyons is quoted as having understood, in the end, the real purpose of Seward's policy in seeking embroilment with Europe. He wrote to Russell on December 6 upon the American publication of despatches, accompanying the President's annual message: "Little doubt can remain, after reading the papers, that the accession was offered solely with the view to the effect it would have on the privateering operations of the Southern States; and that a refusal on the part of England and France, after having accepted the accession, to treat the Southern privateers as pirates, would have been made a serious grievance, if not a ground of quarrel[271]...." As to Russell, combating Henry Adams' view, it is asserted that it was the great good fortune of the United States that the British Foreign Secretary, having declared a policy of neutrality, was not to be driven from its honest application by irritations, nor seduced into a position where the continuation of that policy would be difficult.

Before entering upon an account of the bearing of the newly available British materials on the negotiation - materials which will in themselves offer sufficient comment on the theories of Henry Adams, and in less degree of Bancroft - it is best to note here the fallacy in C.F. Adams' main thesis. If the analysis given in the preceding chapter of the initiation and duration of Seward's "foreign war policy" is correct, then the Declaration of Paris negotiation had no essential relation whatever to that policy. The instructions to Adams were sent to eight other Ministers. Is it conceivable that Seward desired a war with the whole maritime world? The date, April 24, antedates any deliberate proposal of a foreign war, whatever he may have been brooding, and in fact stamps the offer as part of that friendly policy toward Europe which Lincoln had insisted upon. Seward's frenzy for a foreign war did not come to a head until the news had been received of England's determination to recognize Southern belligerency. This was in the second week of May and on the twenty-first Despatch No. 10 marked the decline, not the beginning, of a belligerent policy, and by the President's orders. By May 24 probably, by the twenty-seventh certainly, Seward had yielded and was rapidly beginning to turn to expressions of friendship[272]. Yet it was only on May 18 that Russell's first instructions to Lyons were sent, and not until late in June that the "misunderstanding" cleared away, instructions were despatched by Seward to push the Declaration of Paris negotiations at London and Paris. The battle of Bull Run had nothing to do with a new policy. Thus chronology forbids the inclusion of this negotiation, either in its inception, progress, or conclusion, as an agency intended to make possible, on just grounds, a foreign war.

A mere chronological examination of documents, both printed and in archives, permits a clearer view of British policy on the Declaration of Paris. Recalling the facts of the American situation known in London it will be remembered that on May 1 the British Government and Parliament became aware that a civil war was inevitable and that the South planned to issue privateers. On that day Russell asked the Admiralty to reinforce the British fleet in West Indian waters that British commerce might be adequately protected. Five days later, May 6, he announced in the Commons that Great Britain must be strictly neutral, and that a policy of close harmony with France was being matured; and on this day he proposed through Cowley, in Paris, that Great Britain and France each ask both the contending parties in America to abide by the second and third articles of the Declaration of Paris[273]. If there was ulterior motive here it does not appear in any despatch either then or later, passing between any of the British diplomats concerned - Russell, Cowley, and Lyons. The plain fact was that the United States was not an adherent to the Declaration, that the South had announced privateering, and the North a blockade, and that the only portions of the Declaration in regard to which the belligerents had as yet made no statement were the second and third articles.

It was, indeed, an anxious time for the British Government. On May 9 Forster asked in the Commons what would be the Government's attitude toward a British subject serving on a Southern privateer[274]. The next day in the Lords there occurred a debate the general burden of which was that privateering was in fact piracy, but that under the conditions of the American previous stand, it could not be treated as such[275]. Both in the Commons and the Lords speakers were referred to the forthcoming Proclamation of Neutrality, but the uncertainty developed in both debates is very probably reflected in the new despatch now sent to Cowley, on May 11[276]. By that despatch France was asked to send an instruction to Mercier in Washington similar to a draft instruction intended for Lyons, a copy of which was enclosed to Cowley, the object being to secure from the American belligerents adherence to all the articles, privateering included, of the Declaration of Paris[277].

Whatever Russell's purpose in thus altering his original suggestion, it met with a prompt check from France. On May 9 Thouvenel had agreed heartily to the proposal of May 6, adding the practical advice that the best method of approach to the Confederacy would be through the consuls in the South[278]. Now, on May 13, Russell was informed that Thouvenel feared that England and France would get into serious trouble if the North agreed to accede on privateering and the South did not. Cowley reported that he had argued with Thouvenel that privateers were pirates and ought to be treated as such, but that Thouvenel refused to do more than instruct Mercier on the second and third articles[279]. For the moment Russell appears to have yielded easily to this French advice. On May 13 he had that interview with the Southern commissioners in which he mentioned a communication about to be made to the South[280]; and on May 15 the London Times, presumably reflecting governmental decision, in commenting on the Proclamation of Neutrality, developed at some length the idea that British citizens, if they served on Southern privateers, could claim no protection from Great Britain if the North chose to treat them as pirates. May 16, Cowley reported that Thouvenel had written Mercier in the terms of Russell's draft to Lyons of the eleventh, but omitting the part about privateering[281], and on this same day Russell sent to Cowley a copy of a new draft of instructions to Lyons, seemingly in exact accord with the French idea[282]. On the seventeenth, Cowley reported this as highly satisfactory to Thouvenel[283]. Finally on May 18 the completed instruction was despatched.

It was on this same day, May 18, that Adams had his first interview with Russell. All that had been planned by Great Britain and France had been based on their estimate of the necessity of the situation. They had no knowledge of Seward's instructions of April 24. When therefore Adams, toward the conclusion of his interview, stated his authority to negotiate a convention, he undoubtedly took Russell by surprise. So far as he was concerned a suggestion to the North, the result of an agreement made with France after some discussion and delay, was in fact completed, and the draft finally drawn two days before, on the sixteenth. Even if not actually sent, as Henry Adams thinks, it was a completed agreement. Russell might well speak of it as an instruction already given to Lyons. Moreover there were two points in Adams' conversation of the eighteenth likely to give Russell cause for thought. The first was Adams' protest against the British recognition of a status of belligerency. If the North felt so earnestly about this, had it been wise to instruct Lyons to make an approach to the South? This required consideration. And in the second place did not Adams' offer again open up the prospect of somehow getting from the North at least a formal and permanent renunciation of privateering?

For if an examination is made of Russell's instruction to Lyons of May 18 it appears that he had not, after all, dropped that reference to privateering which Thouvenel had omitted in his own instructions to Mercier. Adams understood Russell to have said that he "had already transmitted authority [to Lyons] to assent to any modification of the only point in issue which the Government of the United States might prefer. On that matter he believed that there would be no difficulty whatever[284]." This clearly referred to privateering. Russell's instructions to Lyons took up the points of the Declaration of Paris in reverse order. That on blockades was now generally accepted by all nations. The principle of the third article had "long been recognized as law, both in Great Britain and in the United States." The second article, "sanctioned by the United States in the earliest period of the history of their independence," had been opposed, formerly, by Great Britain, but having acquiesced in the Declaration of 1856, "she means to adhere to the principle she then adopted." Thus briefly stating his confidence that the United States would agree on three of the articles, Russell explained at length his views as to privateering in the American crisis.

     "There remains only to be considered Article I, namely, that 
     relating to privateering, from which the Government of the 
     United States withheld their assent. Under these 
     circumstances it is expedient to consider what is required on 
     this subject by the general law of nations. Now it must be 
     borne in mind that privateers bearing the flag of one or 
     other of the belligerents may be manned by lawless and 
     abandoned men, who may commit, for the sake of plunder, the 
     most destructive and sanguinary outrages. There can be no 
     question, however, but that the commander and crew of a ship 
     bearing a letter of marque must, by the law of nations, carry 
     on their hostilities according to the established laws of 
     war. Her Majesty's Government must, therefore, hold any 
     Government issuing such letters of marque responsible for, 
     and liable to make good, any losses sustained by Her 
     Majesty's subjects in consequence of wrongful proceedings of 
     vessels sailing under such letters of marque.

     "In this way, the object of the Declaration of Paris may to a 
     certain extent be attained without the adoption of any new 

     "You will urge these points upon Mr. Seward[285]."

What did Russell mean by this cautious statement? The facts known to him were that Davis had proclaimed the issue of letters of marque and that Lincoln had countered by proclaiming Southern privateering to be piracy[286]. He did not know that Seward was prepared to renounce privateering, but he must have thought it likely from Lincoln's proclamation, and have regarded this as a good time to strike for an object desired by all the European maritime nations since 1856. Russell could not, while Great Britain was neutral, join the United States in treating Southern privateers as pirates, but he here offered to come as close to it as he dared, by asserting that Great Britain would use vigilance in upholding the law of nations. This language might be interpreted as intended for the admonition of the North also, but the facts of the then known situation make it applicable to Southern activities alone. Russell had desired to include privateering in the proposals to the United States and to the South, but Thouvenel's criticisms forced him to a half-measure of suggestion to the North, and a full statement of the delicacy of the situation in the less formal letter to Lyons accompanying his official instructions. This was also dated May 18. In it Russell directed Lyons to transmit to the British Consul at Charleston or New Orleans a copy of the official instruction "to be communicated at Montgomery to the President of the so-styled Confederate States," and he further explained his purpose and the British position:

     "... You will not err in encouraging the Government to which 
     you are accredited to carry into effect any disposition which 
     they may evince to recognize the Declaration of Paris in 
     regard to privateering....

     "You will clearly understand that Her Majesty's Government 
     cannot accept the renunciation of privateering on the part of 
     the Government of the United States if coupled with the 
     condition that they should enforce its renunciation on the 
     Confederate States, either by denying their right to issue 
     letters of marque, or by interfering with the belligerent 
     operations of vessels holding from them such letters of 
     marque, so long as they carry on hostilities according to the 
     recognized principles and under the admitted liabilities of 
     the law of nations[287]."

Certainly this was clear enough and was demanded by the British policy of neutrality. Russell had guarded against the complication feared by Thouvenel, but he still hoped by a half-pledge to the North and a half-threat to the South to secure from both belligerents a renunciation of privateering. In short he was not yet fully convinced of the wisdom of the French limitation. Moreover he believed that Thouvenel might yet be won to his own opinion, for in an unprinted portion of this same private letter to Lyons of May 18 Russell wrote:

     "I have further to state to you, with reference to my 
     despatch of this day that H.M. Govt. were in the first 
     instance inclined to propose to both of the contending 
     parties to adopt the first clause of the Declaration of 
     Paris, by which privateering is renounced. But after 
     communication with the French Govt. it appeared best to limit 
     our propositions in the manner explained in my despatch.

     "I understand however from Lord Cowley that, although M. 
     Mercier is not absolutely instructed to advert to the 
     abolition of privateering, yet that some latitude of action 
     is left to him on that point should he deem it advisable to 
     exercise it[288]."

Lyons and Mercier saw more clearly than did Russell what was in Seward's mind. Lyons had been instructed in the despatch just cited to use his own discretion as to joint action with the French Minister so long only as the two countries took the same stand. He was to pursue whatever method seemed most "conciliatory." His first private comment on receiving Russell's instruction was, "Mr. Seward will be furious when he finds that his adherence to the Declaration of Paris will not stop the Southern privateering[289]," and in an official confidential despatch of the same day, June 4, he gave Russell clear warning of what Seward expected from his overture through Adams[290]. So delicate did the matter appear to Lyons and Mercier that they agreed to keep quiet for a time at least about their instructions, hoping to be relieved by the transfer of the whole matter to London and Paris[291]. But in London Russell was at this moment taking up again his favoured purpose. On June 6 he wrote to Grey (temporarily replacing Cowley at Paris) that he understood a communication had been made in Paris, as in London, for an American adherence to the Declaration of Paris; "... it may open the way to the abolition of Privateering all over the world. But ... we ought not to use any menace to the Confederate States with a view of obtaining this desirable object[292]." Evidently, in his opinion, the South would not dare to hold out and no "menace" would be required[293]. Six days later, however, having learned from the French Ambassador that Dayton in Paris had made clear to Thouvenel the expectation of the United States that France would treat Southern privateers as pirates, Russell wrote that England, of course, could not agree to any such conclusion[294]. Nevertheless this did not mean that Russell yet saw any real objection to concluding a convention with the United States. Apparently he could not believe that so obvious an inconsistency with the declared neutrality of Great Britain was expected to be obtained by the American Secretary of State.

Others were more suspicious. Lyons reported on June 13 that Seward had specifically informed Mercier of his belief that a convention signed would bind England and France to aid in suppressing Southern privateering[295]. The effect of this on Lyons and Mercier was to impress upon them the advisability of an official notification to Seward, of English and French neutrality - a step not yet taken and which was still postponed, awaiting further instructions[296]. On June 15 the two Ministers finally concluded they could no longer delay and made that joint visit to Seward which resulted in his refusal to receive them as acting together, or to receive officially their instructions, though he read these for his private information. The remainder of June was spent by Lyons in attempting to put matters on a more formal basis, yet not pushing them unduly for fear of arousing Seward's anger. June 17, Lyons told Seward, privately, and alone, that Great Britain must have some intercourse with the South if only for the protection of British interests. Seward's reply was that the United States might "shut its eyes" to this, but that if notified of what England and France were doing, the United States would be compelled to make protest. Lyons thereupon urged Seward to distinguish between his official and personal knowledge, but Lyons and Mercier again postponed beginning the negotiation with the Confederacy[297]. Yet while thus reporting this postponement in one letter, Lyons, in another letter of the same date, indicated that the two Ministers thought that they had found a solution of the problem of how to approach, yet not negotiate with, the Confederacy. The idea was Mercier's. Their consuls in the South were to be instructed to go, not to the Southern President, but to the Governor of the State selected, thus avoiding any overture to the Confederate Government[298]. Even with this solution possible they still hesitated, feeling as Lyons wrote "a little pusillanimous," but believing they had prevented an explosion[299]. Moreover Lyons was a bit uneasy because of an important difference, so it seemed to him, in his formal instructions and those of Mercier. The latter had no orders, as had Lyons, to notify Seward, if the agreement on maritime law was made in Washington, that such agreement would not affect the belligerent right of the South to issue privateers[300]. Apparently Mercier had been given no instructions to make this clear - let alone any "latitude" to deal with privateering - although, as a matter of fact, he had already given Seward his personal opinion in accord with Lyons' instructions; but this was not an official French stand. Lyons was therefore greatly relieved, the "misunderstanding" now cleared away, that new instructions were being sent to Adams to go on with the convention in London. His only subsequent comment of moment was sent to Russell on July 8, when he learned from Seward that Dayton, in Paris, had been directed to raise no further question as to what would or would not be demanded of France in case a convention were signed for an American adherence to the Declaration of Paris. Lyons now repeated his former advice that under no circumstances should a convention be signed without a distinct declaration of no British responsibility or duty as regards Southern privateers[301].

The entire matter was now transferred to London and Paris. Lyons' report of the misunderstanding and that new instructions were being sent to Adams was received on June 30. Russell replied to Lyons on July 5 that Adams had "never made any proposition" on the Declaration of Paris, and that he would now await one[302]. July 11, Adams made his formal offer to sign a convention and communicated a draft of it on the thirteenth. On the day intervening, the twelfth, Russell took a very important step indicative of his sincerity throughout, of his lack of any ulterior motive, and of his anxiety to carry through the negotiation with no resulting irritations or complications with the United States. He recalled his instructions to Lyons about communicating with the Confederacy, stating that in any case he had never intended that Lyons should act without first officially notifying Seward. This recall was now made, he wrote, because to go on might "create fresh irritation without any adequate result," but if in the meantime Lyons had already started negotiations with the South he might "proceed in them to the end[303]."

Having taken this step in the hope that it might avert friction with the United States, Russell, now distinctly eager to secure American adherence to the Declaration in full, was ready to conclude the convention at once. The warnings received from many sources did not dismay him. He probably thought that no actual difficulties would ensue, believing that the South would not venture to continue privateering. Even if France were disinclined to make a convention he appears to have been ready for signature by Great Britain alone, for on July 15 he telegraphed Cowley, "I conclude there can be no objection to my signing a Convention with the U.S. Minister giving the adherence of the U.S. to the Declaration of Paris so far as concerns Gt. Britain. Answer immediately by telegraph[304]." Cowley replied on the sixteenth that Thouvenel could not object, but thought it a wrong move[305]. Cowley in a private letter of the same day thought that unless there were "very cogent reasons for signing a Convention at once with Adams," it would be better to wait until France could be brought in, and he expressed again his fear of the danger involved in Adams' proposal[306]. The same objection was promptly made by Palmerston when shown the draft of a reply to Adams. Palmerston suggested the insertion of a statement that while ready to sign a convention Great Britain would do so only at the same time with France[307]. Thus advised Russell telegraphed in the late afternoon of the sixteenth to Cowley that he would "wait for your despatches to-morrow," and that no reply had yet been given Adams[308], and on the seventeenth he wrote enclosing a draft, approved by Palmerston and the Queen, stating that Great Britain had no desire to act alone if Dayton really had instructions identical with those of Adams. He added that if thought desirable Adams and Dayton might be informed verbally, that the proposed Convention would in no way alter the Proclamation of Neutrality[309].

The remaining steps in the negotiation have already been narrated[310]. Russell informed Adams of the requirement of a similar French convention, Adams secured action by Dayton, and in spite of continued French reluctance and suspicion[311] all was ready in mid-August for the affixing of signatures, when Russell, in execution of his previous promise, and evidently now impressed with the need of an explicit understanding, gave notice of his intended declaration in writing to be attached to the convention[312]. On August 20 both Adams and Dayton refused to sign, the former taking the ground, and with evident sincerity, that the "exception" gave evidence of a British suspicion that was insulting to his country, while Dayton had "hardly concealed" from Thouvenel that this same "exception" was the very object of the Convention[313]. While preparing his rejoinder to Adams' complaint Russell wrote in a note to Palmerston "it all looks as if a trap had been prepared[314]." He, too, at last, was forced to a conclusion long since reached by every other diplomat, save Adams, engaged in this negotiation.

But in reviewing the details of the entire affair it would appear that in its initiation by Seward there is no proof that he then thought of any definite "trap". April 24 antedated any knowledge by Seward of British or French policy on neutrality, and he was engaged in attempting to secure a friendly attitude by foreign Powers. One means of doing this was by giving assurances on maritime law in time of war. True he probably foresaw an advantage through expected aid in repressing privateering, but primarily he hoped to persuade the maritime Powers not to recognize Southern belligerency. It was in fact this question of belligerency that determined all his policy throughout the first six months of the American conflict. He was obstinately determined to maintain that no such status existed, and throughout the whole war he returned again and again to pressure on foreign Powers to recall their proclamations of neutrality. Refusing to recognize foreign neutrality as final Seward persisted in this negotiation in the hope that if completed it would place Great Britain and France in a position where they would be forced to reconsider their declared policy. A demand upon them to aid in suppressing privateering might indeed then be used as an argument, but the object was not privateering in itself; that object was the recall of the recognition of Southern belligerency. In the end he simply could not agree to the limiting declaration for it would have constituted an acknowledgment by the United States itself of the existence of a state of war.

In all of this Adams, seemingly, had no share. He acted on the simple and straightforward theory that the United States, pursuing a conciliatory policy, was now offering to adhere to international rules advocated by all the maritime powers. As a result he felt both personally and patriotically aggrieved that suspicion was directed toward the American overtures[315]. For him the failure of the negotiation had temporarily, at least, an unfortunate result: "So far as the assumed friendliness of Earl Russell to the United States was concerned, the scales had fallen from his eyes. His faith in the straightforwardness of any portion of the Palmerston-Russell Ministry was gone[316]."

And for Russell also the affair spelled a certain disillusionment, not, it is true, in the good faith of Adams, for whom he still preserved a high regard. Russell felt that his policy of a straightforward British neutrality, his quick acquiescence in the blockade, even before actually effective, his early order closing British ports to prizes of Confederate privateers[317], were all evidences of at least a friendly attitude toward the North. He may, as did nearly every Englishman at the moment, think the re-union of America impossible, but he had begun with the plan of strict neutrality, and certainly with no thought of offensive action against the North. His first thought in the Declaration of Paris negotiation was to persuade both belligerents to acquiesce in a portion of the rules of that Declaration, but almost at once he saw the larger advantage to the world of a complete adherence by the United States. This became Russell's fixed idea in which he persisted against warnings and obstacles. Because of this he attempted to recall the instruction to approach the South, was ready even, until prohibited by Palmerston, to depart from a policy of close joint action with France, and in the end was forced by that prohibition to make a limiting declaration guarding British neutrality. In it all there is no evidence of any hidden motive nor of any other than a straightforward, even if obstinately blind, procedure. The effect on Russell, at last grudgingly admitting that there had been a "trap," was as unfortunate for good understanding as in the case of Adams. He also was irritated, suspicious, and soon less convinced that a policy of strict neutrality could long be maintained[318].


[Footnote 236: VII., pp. 568-583.]

[Footnote 237: Ch. 8.]

[Footnote 238: Ibid., p. 181.]

[Footnote 239: Henry Adams, Historical Essays, p. 275.]

[Footnote 240: Text as given in Moore, Digest, VII, p. 562.]

[Footnote 241: Ibid., p. 563.]

[Footnote 242: U.S. Messages and Documents, 1861-2, p. 94. Adams to Seward, May 21, 1861.]

[Footnote 243: Text given in Parliamentary Papers, 1862, Lords, Vol XXV. "Correspondence respecting International Maritime Law." No. 18.]

[Footnote 244: Ibid., No. 25.]

[Footnote 245: Ibid., No. 26.]

[Footnote 246: U.S. Messages and Documents, 1861-2, p. 124. Adams to Seward, Aug. 2, 1861.]

[Footnote 247: Parliamentary Papers, 1862, Lords, Vol. XXV, "Correspondence respecting International Maritime Law." No. 28.]

[Footnote 248: Ibid., No. 31.]

[Footnote 249: Ibid., No. 32.]

[Footnote 250: Moore, Digest. VII, pp. 578 and 581.]

[Footnote 251: The point of Russell's Declaration was made very early in the London press. Thus the Saturday Review. June 8, 1861, commenting on the report that America was ready to adhere to the Declaration of Paris, stated that this could have no effect on the present war but would be welcomed for its application after this war was over.]

[Footnote 252: In the general American argument before the Geneva Arbitration Court it was stated that the practical effect of British diplomacy in this connection was that "Great Britain was thus to gain the benefit to its neutral commerce of the recognition of the second and third articles, the rebel privateers and cruisers were to be protected and their devastation legalized, while the United States were to be deprived of a dangerous weapon of assault upon Great Britain." Cited in Nicolay and Hay, Lincoln, IV, p. 280.]

[Footnote 253: Henry Adams, Historical Essays, pp. 237-279.]

[Footnote 254: Ibid., p. 271.]

[Footnote 255: Ibid., p. 273.]

[Footnote 256: Ibid., p. 277.]

[Footnote 257: This same view was maintained, though without stating details, by Henry Adams, as late as 1907. See his "Education of Henry Adams," Private Edition, p. 128.]

[Footnote 258: Bancroft, Seward, II, Ch. 31.]

[Footnote 259: Cited by Bancroft, Seward, II, p. 189.]

[Footnote 260: Ibid.]

[Footnote 261: Ibid., p. 193.]

[Footnote 262: Ibid.]

[Footnote 263: Ibid.]

[Footnote 264: U.S. Messages and Documents, 1861-2, p. 1431 Seward to Adams, Sept. 7, 1861.]

[Footnote 265: Bancroft, Seward, II, p. 196. This speculation is not supported by any reference to documents revealing such a purpose. While it may seem a reasonable speculation it does not appear to be borne out by the new British materials cited later in this chapter.]

[Footnote 266: C.F. Adams, "Seward and The Declaration of Paris" Mass. Hist. Soc. Proceedings, XLVI, pp. 23-81.]

[Footnote 267: Ibid., p. 57. The quotation is from a despatch by Lyons of Dec. 6, 1861; but this is inexact language. It is true that Seward had refused to receive officially this despatch, but he had read and considered it in private. Hence he knew privately the facts of Russell's proposal and that Lyons had no instructions to negotiate. The incident of this despatch has been treated by me in Chapter IV, where I regard Seward's refusal to receive officially the despatch as primarily a refusal to be notified of Great Britain's proclamation of neutrality. Bancroft treats this incident as primarily a clever refusal by Seward to be approached officially by Lyons and Mercier in a joint representation, thus blocking a plan of joint action. (Bancroft, Seward, II, p. 181.) I agree with C.F. Adams that the only effect of this, so far as the negotiation is concerned was that "Seward, by what has always, for some reason not at once apparent, passed for a very astute proceeding, caused a transfer of the whole negotiation from Washington to London and Paris." ("Seward and the Declaration of Paris," p. 50.)]

[Footnote 268: Ibid., p. 51.]

[Footnote 269: Ibid., p. 64.]

[Footnote 270: Ibid., p. 60.]

[Footnote 271: Ibid., p. 58.]

[Footnote 272: Bancroft says June 8. But see ante, p. 130.]

[Footnote 273: Parliamentary Papers, 1862, Lords, Vol. XXV. "Correspondence respecting International Maritime Law." No. 1. It was with reference to this that Palmerston, on May 5, wrote to Russell: "If any step were thought advisable, perhaps the best mode of our feeling our way would be to communicate confidentially with the South by the men who have come over here from thence, and with the North by Dallas, who is about to return in a few days. Dallas, it is true, is not a political friend of Lincoln, but on the contrary rather leans to the South; but still he might be an organ, if it should be deemed prudent to take any step." (Palmerston MS.)]

[Footnote 274: Hansard, 3rd. Ser., Vol. CLXII, p. 1763.]

[Footnote 275: Ibid., pp. 1830-34.]

[Footnote 276: This instruction never got into the printed Parliamentary papers, nor did any others of the many containing the like suggestion, for they would have revealed a persistence by Russell against French advice - to which he ultimately was forced to yield - a persistence in seeking to bind the belligerents on the first article of the Declaration of Paris, as well as on articles two and three. The points at which Russell returned to this idea are indicated in this chapter.]

[Footnote 277: F.O., France, Vol. 1376. No. 563. Draft.]

[Footnote 278: F.O., France, Vol. 1390. No. 684. Cowley to Russell, May 9, 1861.]

[Footnote 279: F.O., France, Vol. 1391. No. 713. Cowley to Russell, May 13, 1861.]

[Footnote 280: Richardson, Messages and Papers of the Confederacy, II, p. 40.]

[Footnote 281: F.O., France, Vol. 1391. No. 733.]

[Footnote 282: Parliamentary Papers, 1862, Lords, Vol. XXV. "Correspondence respecting International Maritime Law." No. 5.]

[Footnote 283: Ibid., No. 6. Note that this and the preceding document are all that appeared in the Parliamentary Papers. Thouvenel's amendment of Russell's plan did not appear.]

[Footnote 284: U.S. Messages and Documents, 1861-2, Adams to Seward, May 21, 1861.]

[Footnote 285: Parliamentary Papers, 1862, Lords, Vol. XXV. "Correspondence respecting International Maritime Law." No. 7.]

[Footnote 286: The text of these proclamations, transmitted by Lyons, had been officially received in London on May 10.]

[Footnote 287: Parliamentary Papers, 1862, Lords, Vol. XXV. "Correspondence respecting International Maritime Law." No. 8.]

[Footnote 288: F.O., Am., Vol. 755. No. 139. "Seen by Ld. P. and the Queen."]

[Footnote 289: Russell Papers. Lyons to Russell, June 4, 1861. (Printed in Newton, Lyons, I, 42.)]

[Footnote 290: Parliamentary Papers, 1862, Lords, Vol. XXV. "Correspondence respecting International Maritime Law." No. 12. Marked "Received," June 17.]

[Footnote 291: F.O., Am., Vol. 765. No. 262. Lyons to Russell, June 8, 1861. Also Russell Papers, June 10, 1861. This disinclination to act extended also to the matter of getting in touch with the South, which they also postponed. It appeared that Mercier was instructed to order the French Consul at New Orleans to go in person to President Davis. Both diplomats were very fearful of an "outbreak" from Seward on this planned proposal to the Confederacy.]

[Footnote 292: F.O., France, Vol. 1376. No. 35. Draft. "Seen by Ld. Palmerston and the Queen."]

[Footnote 293: In Washington, so different was the point of view, Lyons and Mercier were now convinced they could not let Seward know of the proposal to be made to the South. They feared he would send them their passports. Mercier in informal talk had explained to Seward his instructions on the Declaration of Paris in so far as the North was concerned. Lyons and Mercier now planned a joint visit and representation to Seward - that which was actually attempted on June 15 - but were decided to say nothing about the South, until they learned the effect of this "joint proposal." F.O., Am., Vol. 765. No. 262. Lyons to Russell, June 8, 1861.]

[Footnote 294: Parliamentary Papers, 1862, Lords, Vol. XXV. "Correspondence respecting International Maritime Law." No. 10. Russell to Grey, June 12, 1861.]

[Footnote 295: Stoeckl was writing his Government that the state to which the negotiation had come was full of danger and might lead to a serious quarrel. He thought Russia should keep out of it until results were clearer. On this report Gortchakoff margined "C'est aussi mon avis." (Russian Archives, Stoeckl to F.O., June 12-24, 1861. No. 1359.)]

[Footnote 296: F.O., Am., Vol. 766. No. 278.]

[Footnote 297: Parliamentary Papers, 1862, Lords, Vol. XXV. "Correspondence respecting International Maritime Law." No. 14. Lyons to Russell, June 17, 1861. "Recd. June 30." It was in this interview that Lyons discovered Seward's misconception as to the position of the proposed negotiation, and made clear to Seward that he had no instructions to sign a convention.]

[Footnote 298: F.O., Am., Vol. 766. No. 284.]

[Footnote 299: Russell Papers. Lyons to Russell, June 18, 1861.]

[Footnote 300: Ibid., Lyons to Russell, June 21, 1861.]

[Footnote 301: Parliamentary Papers, 1862, Lords, Vol. XXV. "Correspondence respecting International Maritime Law." No. 22. Writing privately on the same day Lyons comments on Mercier's "extreme caution" in his relations with Seward. Lyons implied that all this personal, rather than official communication of documents to Seward was Mercier's idea, and that he, Lyons, doubted the wisdom of this course, but had agreed to it because of the desire to act in perfect harmony with France. Russell Papers, Lyons to Russell, July 8, 1861.]

[Footnote 302: Lyons Papers.]

[Footnote 303: F.O., Am., Vol 756. No. 227. On this same day Russell was writing privately to Edward Everett, in Boston, a clear statement of the British position, defending the Proclamation of Neutrality and adding, "It is not our practice to treat five millions of freemen as pirates, and to hang their sailors if they stop our merchantmen. But unless we mean to treat them as pirates and to hang them, we could not deny them belligerent rights." C.F. Adams, "Seward and the Declaration of Paris," pp. 49-50.]

[Footnote 304: F.O., France, Vol. 1377. No. 176. Draft. Russell to Cowley, July 15, 1861.]

[Footnote 305: F.O., France, Vol. 1394. No. 871.]

[Footnote 306: Russell Papers. Also in a despatch of July 16 Cowley repeated his objections and stated that Dayton had not yet approached France. (F.O., France, Vol. 1394. No. 871.)]

[Footnote 307: F.O., Am., Vol. 755. No. 168. Enclosure. Palmerston's Note to Russell was not sent to Adams but his exact language is used in the last paragraph of the communication to Adams, November 18, as printed in Parliamentary Papers, 1862, Lords, Vol. XXV. "Correspondence respecting International Maritime Law." No. 19.]

[Footnote 308: F.O., France, Vol. 1378. No. 730. Russell to Cowley, July 17, 1861. Containing draft of telegram sent on 16th at 4.30 p.m.]

[Footnote 309: Ibid., No. 729.]

[Footnote 310: See ante pp. 142-45.]

[Footnote 311: F.O., France, Vol. 1394. No. 905. Cowley to Russell, July 26, 1861.]

[Footnote 312: It should be noted that during this period Russell learned that on July 5, Lyons, before receiving the recall of instructions, had finally begun through Consul Bunch at Charleston the overtures to the South. On July 24, Russell approved this action ( Parliamentary Papers, 1862, Lords, Vol. XXV. "Correspondence respecting International Maritime Law." No. 23.)]

[Footnote 313: F.O., France, Vol. 1395. No. 1031. Cowley to Russell, August 20, 1861.]

[Footnote 314: Palmerston MS., Russell to Palmerston, August 26, 1861.]

[Footnote 315: See C.F. Adams, "Seward and the Declaration of Paris," pp. 58 and 74.]

[Footnote 316: Adams, Life of C.F. Adams, p. 209.]

[Footnote 317: The Confederate Commissions on August 14, 1861, just before the critical moment in the Declaration of Paris negotiation, had made vigorous protest against this British order, characterizing it as giving a "favour" to the Government at Washington, and thus as lacking in neutrality. Quoted by C.F. Adams, "Seward and the Declaration of Paris," p. 31.]

[Footnote 318: A few facts about Southern privateering not directly pertinent to this chapter are yet not without interest. There was no case during the Civil War of a vessel actually going out as a privateer (i.e., a private vessel operating under government letters of marque) from a foreign port. (Adams, "Seward and the Declaration of Paris," p. 38.) No Southern privateer ever entered a British port. (Bernard,Neutrality of Great Britain, p. 181). As a result of Seward's general instruction of April 24, a convention was actually signed with Russia in August, but it was not presented by Seward for ratification to the United States Senate. Schleiden in a report to the Senate of Bremen at the time of the Trent affair, Nov. 14, 1861, stated that the Russian Ambassador, von Stoeckl, inquired of Seward "whether the U.S. would equip privateers in case war should break out with England and France. Seward replied 'that is a matter of course.' Mr. Stoeckl thereupon remarked that in any case no American privateer would be permitted to cruise in the northern part of the Pacific because Russia, which is the only state that has ports in those regions, would treat them as pirates in accordance with the Convention of August 24. Mr. Seward then exclaimed: 'I never thought of that. I must write to Mr. Clay about it.'" (Schleiden MS.)]