The finality of the British Cabinet decision in November, 1862, relative to proposals of mediation or intervention was not accepted at the moment though time was to prove its permanence. The British press was full of suggestions that the first trial might more gracefully come from France since that country was presumed to be on more friendly terms with the United States[846]. Others, notably Slidell at Paris, held the same view, and on January 8, 1863, Slidell addressed a memorandum to Napoleon III, asking separate recognition of the South. The next day, Napoleon dictated an instruction to Mercier offering friendly mediation in courteous terms but with no hint of an armistice or of an intended recognition of the South[847]. Meanwhile, Mercier had again approached Lyons alleging that he had been urged by Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune, to make an isolated French offer, but that he felt this would be contrary to the close harmony hitherto maintained in French-British relations. But Mercier added that if Lyons was disinclined to a proposal of mediation, he intended to advise his Government to give him authority to act alone[848]. Lyons made no comment to Mercier but wrote to Russell, "I certainly desire that the Settlement of the Contest should be made without the intervention of England."

A week later the Russian Minister, Stoeckl, also came to Lyons desiring to discover what would be England's attitude if Russia should act alone, or perhaps with France, leaving England out of a proposal to the North[849]. This was based on the supposition that the North, weary of war, might ask the good offices of Russia. Lyons replied that he did not think that contingency near and otherwise evaded Stoeckl's questions; but he was somewhat suspicious, concluding his report, "I cannot quite forget that Monsieur Mercier and Monsieur de Stoeckl had agreed to go to Richmond together last Spring[850]." The day after this despatch was written Mercier presented, February 3, the isolated French offer and on February 6 received Seward's reply couched in argumentative, yet polite language, but positively declining the proposal[851]. Evidently Lyons was a bit disquieted by the incident; but in London, Napoleon's overture to America was officially stated to be unobjectionable, as indeed was required by the implications of the reply of November 13, to France. Russell, on February 14, answered Lyons' communications in a letter marked "Seen by Lord Palmerston and the Queen":

     "Her Majesty's Government have no wish to interfere at 
     present in any way in the Civil War. If France were to offer 
     good offices or mediation, Her Majesty's Government would 
     feel no jealousy or repugnance to such a course on the part 
     of France alone[852]."

The writing of this despatch antedated the knowledge that France had already acted at Washington, and does not necessarily indicate any governmental feeling of a break in previous close relations with France on the American question. Yet this was indubitably the case and became increasingly evident as time passed. Russell's despatch to Lyons of February 14 appears rather to be evidence of the effect of the debates in Parliament when its sessions were resumed on February 5, for in both Lords and Commons there was given a hearty and nearly unanimous support of the Government's decision to make no overture for a cessation of the conflict in America. Derby clearly outlined the two possible conditions of mediation; first, when efforts by the North to subdue the South had practically ceased; and second, if humane interests required action by neutral states, in which case the intervening parties must be fully prepared to use force. Neither condition had arrived and strict neutrality was the wise course. Disraeli also approved strict neutrality but caustically referred to Gladstone's Newcastle speech and sharply attacked the Cabinet's uncertain and changeable policy - merely a party speech. Russell upheld the Government's decision but went out of his way to assert that the entire subjugation of the South would be a calamity to the United States itself, since it would require an unending use of force to hold the South in submission[853]. Later, when news of the French offer at Washington had been received, the Government was attacked in the Lords by an undaunted friend of the South, Lord Campbell, on the ground of a British divergence from close relations with France. Russell, in a brief reply, reasserted old arguments that the time had "not yet" come, but now declared that events seemed to show the possibility of a complete Northern victory and added with emphasis that recognition of the South could justly be regarded by the North as an "unfriendly act[854]."

Thus Parliament and Cabinet were united against meddling in America, basing this attitude on neutral duty and national interests, and with barely a reference to the new policy of the North toward slavery, declared in the emancipation proclamations of September 22, 1862, and January 1, 1863, Had these great documents then no favourable influence on British opinion and action? Was the Northern determination to root out the institution of slavery, now clearly announced, of no effect in winning the favour of a people and Government long committed to a world policy against that institution? It is here necessary to review early British opinion, the facts preceding the first emancipation proclamation, and to examine its purpose in the mind of Lincoln.

Before the opening of actual military operations, while there was still hope of some peaceful solution, British opinion had been with the North on the alleged ground of sympathy with a free as against a slave-owning society. But war once begun the disturbance to British trade interests and Lincoln's repeated declarations that the North had no intention of destroying slavery combined to offer an excuse and a reason for an almost complete shift of British opinion. The abolitionists of the North and the extreme anti-slavery friends in England, relatively few in number in both countries, still sounded the note of "slavery the cause of the war," but got little hearing. Nevertheless it was seen by thoughtful minds that slavery was certain to have a distinct bearing on the position of Great Britain when the war was concluded. In May, 1861, Palmerston declared that it would be a happy day when "we could succeed in putting an end to this unnatural war between the two sections of our North American cousins," but added that the difficulty for England was that "We could not well mix ourselves up with the acknowledgment of slavery[855]...."

Great Britain's long-asserted abhorrence of slavery caused, indeed, a perplexity in governmental attitude. But this looked to the final outcome of an independent South - an outcome long taken for granted. Debate on the existing moralities of the war very soon largely disappeared from British discussion and in its place there cropped out, here and there, expressions indicative of anxiety as to whether the war could long continue without a "servile insurrection," with all its attendant horrors.

On July 6, 1861, the Economist, reviewing the progress of the war preparations to date, asserted that it was universally agreed no restoration of the Union was possible and answered British fears by declaring it was impossible to believe that even the American madness could contemplate a servile insurrection. The friendly Spectator also discussed the matter and repeatedly. It was a mistaken idea, said this journal, that there could be no enfranchisement without a slave rising, but should this occur, "the right of the slave to regain his freedom, even if the effort involve slaughter, is as clear as any other application of the right of self-defence[856]." Yet English abolitionists should not urge the slave to act for himself, since "as war goes on and all compromise fails the American mind will harden under the white heat and determine that the cause of all conflict must cease." That slavery, in spite of any declaration by Lincoln or Northern denial of a purpose to attack it - denials which disgusted Harriet Martineau - was in real fact the basic cause of the war, seemed to her as clear as anything in reason[857]. She had no patience with English anti-slavery people who believed Northern protestations, and she did not express concern over the horrors of a possible servile insurrection. Nevertheless this spectre was constantly appearing. Again the Spectator sought to allay such fears; but yet again also proclaimed that even such a contingency was less fearful than the consolidation of the slave-power in the South[858].

Thus a servile insurrection was early and frequently an argument which pro-Northern friends were compelled to meet. In truth the bulk of the British press was constant in holding up this bogie to its readers, even going to the point of weakening its argument of the impossibility of a Northern conquest of the South by appealing to history to show that England in her two wars with America had had a comparatively easy time in the South, thus postulating the real danger of some "negro Garibaldi calling his countrymen to arms[859]." Nor was this fear merely a pretended one. It affected all classes and partisans of both sides. Even official England shared in it; January 20, 1862, Lyons wrote, "The question is rapidly tending towards the issue either of peace and a recognition of the separation, or a Proclamation of Emancipation and the raising of a servile insurrection[860]." At nearly the same time Russell, returning to Gladstone a letter from Sumner to Cobden, expressed his sorrow "that the President intends a war of emancipation, meaning thereby, I fear, a war of greater desolation than has been since the revival of letters[861]." John Stuart Mill, with that clear logic which appealed to the more intelligent reader, in an able examination of the underlying causes and probable results of the American conflict, excused the Northern leaders for early denial of a purpose to attack slavery, but expressed complete confidence that even these leaders by now understood the "almost certain results of success in the present conflict" (the extinction of slavery) and prophesied that "if the writers who so severely criticize the present moderation of the Free-soilers are desirous to see the war become an abolition war, it is probable that if the war lasts long enough they will be gratified[862]." John Bright, reaching a wider public, in speech after speech, expressed faith that the people of the North were "marching on, as I believe, to its [slavery's] entire abolition[863]."

Pro-Southern Englishmen pictured the horrors of an "abolition war," and believed the picture true; strict neutrals, like Lyons, feared the same development; friends of the North pushed aside the thought of a "negro terror," yet even while hoping and declaring that the war would destroy slavery, could not escape from apprehensions of an event that appeared inevitable. Everywhere, to the British mind, it seemed that emancipation was necessarily a provocative to servile insurrection, and this belief largely affected the reception of the emancipation proclamation - a fact almost wholly lost sight of in historical writing.

Nor did the steps taken in America leading up to emancipation weaken this belief - rather they appeared to justify it. The great advocate of abolition as a weapon in the war and for its own sake was Charles Sumner, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. He early took the ground that a proclamation everywhere emancipating the slaves would give to the Northern cause a moral support hitherto denied it in Europe and would at the same time strike a blow at Southern resistance. This idea was presented in a public speech at Worcester, Massachusetts, in October, 1861, but even Sumner's free-soil friends thought him mistaken and his expressions "unfortunate." By December, however, he found at Washington a change in governmental temper and from that date Sumner was constant, through frequent private conversations with Lincoln, in pressing for action. These ideas and his personal activities for their realization were well known to English friends, as in his letters to Cobden and Bright, and to the English public in general through Sumner's speeches, for Sumner had long been a well-known figure in the British press[864].

Lincoln, never an "Abolitionist," in spite of his famous utterance in the 'fifties that the United States could not indefinitely continue to exist "half-slave and half-free," had, in 1861, disapproved and recalled the orders of some of the military leaders, like Fremont, who without authority had sought to extend emancipation to slaves within the lines of their command. But as early as anyone he had foreseen the gradual emergence of emancipation as a war problem, at first dangerous to that wise "border state policy" which had prevented the more northern of the slave states from seceding. His first duty was to restore the Union and to that he gave all his energy, yet that emancipation, when the time was ripe, was also in Lincoln's mind is evident from the gradual approach through legislation and administrative act. In February, 1862, a Bill was under discussion in Congress, called the "Confiscation Bill," which, among other clauses, provided that all slaves of persons engaged in rebellion against the United States, who should by escape, or capture, come into the possession of the military forces of the United States, should be for ever free; but that this provision should not be operative until the expiration of sixty days, thus giving slave-owners opportunity to cease their rebellion and retain their slaves[865]. This measure did not at first have Lincoln's approval for he feared its effect on the loyalists of the border states. Nevertheless he realized the growing strength of anti-slavery sentiment in the war and fully sympathized with it where actual realization did not conflict with the one great object of his administration. Hence in March, 1862, he heartily concurred in a measure passed rapidly to Presidential approval, April 16, freeing the slaves in the District of Columbia, a territory where there was no question of the constitutional power of the national Government.

From February, 1862, until the issue of the first emancipation proclamation in September, there was, in truth, a genuine conflict between Congress and President as to methods and extent of emancipation. Congress was in a mood to punish the South; Lincoln, looking steadily toward re-union, yet realizing the rising strength of anti-slavery in the North, advocated a gradual, voluntary, and compensated emancipation. Neither party spoke the word "servile insurrection," yet both realized its possibility, and Seward, in foreign affairs, was quick to see and use it as a threat. A brief summary of measures will indicate the contest. March 6, Lincoln sent a message to Congress recommending that a joint resolution be passed pledging the pecuniary aid of the national Government to any state voluntarily emancipating its slaves, his avowed purpose being to secure early action by the loyal border states in the hope that this might influence the Southern states[866]. Neither the House of Representatives nor the Senate were really favourable to this resolution and the border states bitterly opposed it in debate, but it passed by substantial majorities in both branches and was approved by Lincoln on April 10. In effect the extreme radical element in Congress had yielded, momentarily, to the President's insistence on an olive-branch offering of compensated emancipation. Both as regards the border states and looking to the restoration of the Union, Lincoln was determined to give this line of policy a trial. The prevailing sentiment of Congress, however, preferred the punitive Confiscation Bill.

At this juncture General Hunter, in command of the "Department of the South," which theoretically included also the States of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, issued an order declaring the slaves in these states free. This was May 9, 1862. Lincoln immediately countermanded Hunter's order, stating that such action "under my responsibility, I reserve to myself[867]." He renewed, in this same proclamation, earnest appeals to the border states, to embrace the opportunity offered by the Congressional resolution of April 10. In truth, border state attitude was the test of the feasibility of Lincoln's hoped-for voluntary emancipation, but these states were unwilling to accept the plan. Meanwhile pressure was being exerted for action on the Confiscation Bill; it was pushed through Congress and presented to Lincoln for his signature or veto. He signed it on July 12, but did not notify that fact to Congress until July 17. On this same day of signature, July 12, Lincoln sent to Congress a proposal of an Act to give pecuniary aid in voluntary state emancipation and held a conference with the congressional representatives of the border states seeking their definite approval of his policy. A minority agreed but the majority were emphatically against him. The Confiscation Bill would not affect the border states; they were not in rebellion. And they did not desire to free the slaves even if compensated[868].

Thus Lincoln, by the stubbornness of the border states, was forced toward the Congressional point of view as expressed in the Confiscation Bill. On the day following his failure to win the border state representatives he told Seward and Welles who were driving with him, that he had come to the conclusion that the time was near for the issue of a proclamation of emancipation as a military measure fully within the competence of the President. This was on July 13[869]. Seward offered a few objections but apparently neither Cabinet official did more than listen to Lincoln's argument of military necessity. Congress adjourned on July 17. On July 22, the President read to the Cabinet a draft of an emancipation proclamation the text of the first paragraph of which referred to the Confiscation Act and declared that this would be rigorously executed unless rebellious subjects returned to their allegiance. But the remainder of the draft reasserted the ideal of a gradual and compensated emancipation and concluded with the warning that for states still in rebellion on January 1, 1863, a general emancipation of slaves would be proclaimed[870]. All of the Cabinet approved except Blair who expressed fears of the effect on the approaching November elections, and Seward who, while professing sympathy with the indicated purpose, argued that the time was badly chosen in view of recent military disasters and the approach of Lee's army toward Washington. The measure, Seward said, might "be viewed as the last measure of an exhausted government, a cry for help; the government stretching forth its hands to Ethiopia, instead of Ethiopia stretching forth her hands to the government. It will be considered our last shriek on the retreat." He therefore urged postponement until after a Northern victory. This appealed to Lincoln and he "put the draft of the proclamation aside, waiting for victory[871]."

Victory came in September, with McClellan's defeat of Lee at Antietam, and the retreat of the Southern army toward Richmond. Five days later, September 22, Lincoln issued the proclamation, expanded and altered in text from the draft of July 22, but in substance the same[872]. The loyal border states were not to be affected, but the proclamation renewed the promise of steps to be taken to persuade them to voluntary action. On January 1, 1863, a second proclamation, referring to that of September 22, was issued by Lincoln "by virtue of the power in me vested as commander-in-chief of the army and navy of the United States in time of actual armed rebellion against the authority and Government of the United States...." The states affected were designated by name and all persons held as slaves within them "are, and henceforward shall be, free...." "I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence, unless in necessary self-defence...." "And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind, and the gracious favour of Almighty God[873]."

Such were the steps, from December, 1861, when the radical Sumner began his pressure for action, to September, 1862, when Lincoln's pledge of emancipation was made. Did these steps indicate, as British opinion unquestionably held, an intention to rouse a servile insurrection? Was the Confiscation Bill passed with that purpose in view and had Lincoln decided to carry it into effect? The failure of the slaves to rise is, indeed, the great marvel of the Civil War and was so regarded not in England only, but in America also. It was the expectation of the North and the constant fear of the South. But was this, in truth, thepurpose of the emancipation proclamation?

This purpose has been somewhat summarily treated by American historians, largely because of lack of specific evidence as to motives at the time of issue. Two words "military necessity" are made to cover nearly the entire argument for emancipation in September, 1862, but in just what manner the military prowess of the North was to be increased was not at first indicated. In 1864, Lincoln declared that after the failure of successive efforts to persuade the border states to accept compensated emancipation he had believed there had arrived the "indispensable necessity for military emancipation and arming the blacks[874]." Repeatedly in later defence of the proclamation he urged the benefits that had come from his act and asserted that commanders in the field "believe the emancipation policy and the use of coloured troops constitute the heaviest blow yet dealt to the rebellion[875]." He added: "negroes, like other people, act upon motives. Why should they do anything for us, if we will do nothing for them? If they stake their lives for us, they must be prompted by the strongest motive, even the promise of freedom."

There is no note here of stirring a servile insurrection; nor did Lincoln ever acknowledge that such a purpose had been in his mind, though the thought of such possible result must have been present - was, indeed, present to most minds even without a proclamation of emancipation. Lincoln's alleged purpose was simply to draw away slaves, wherever possible, from their rebellious masters, thus reducing the economic powers of resistance of the South, and then to make these ex-slaves directly useful in winning the war. But after the war, even here and there during it, a theory was advanced that an impelling motive with the President had been the hope of influencing favourably foreign governments and peoples by stamping the Northern cause with a high moral purpose. In popular opinion, Lincoln came to be regarded as a far-visioned statesman in anticipating that which ultimately came to pass. This has important bearing on the relations of the United States and Great Britain.

There is no doubt that nearly every Northern American had believed in 1860, that anti-slavery England would sympathize strongly with the North. The event did not prove this to be the case, nor could the North justly complain in the face of administration denials of an anti-slavery purpose. The English Government therefore was widely upheld by British opinion in regarding the struggle from the point of view of British interests. Yet any Northern step antagonistic to the institution of slavery compelled British governmental consideration. As early as December, 1860, before the war began, Bunch, at Charleston, had reported a conversation with Rhett, in which the latter frankly declared that the South would expect to revive the African Slave Trade[876]. This was limited in the constitution later adopted by the Confederacy which in substance left the matter to the individual states - a condition that Southern agents in England found it hard to explain[877]. As already noted, the ardent friends of the North continued to insist, even after Lincoln's denial, that slavery was the real cause of the American rupture[878]. By September, 1861, John Bright was writing to his friend Sumner that, all indications to the contrary, England would warmly support the North if only it could be shown that emancipation was an object[879]. Again and again he urged, it is interesting to note, just those ideals of gradual and compensated emancipation which were so strongly held by Lincoln. In this same month the Spectator thought it was "idle to strive to ignore the very centre and spring of all disunion," and advised a "prudent audacity in striking at the cause rather than at the effect[880]." Three weeks later the Spectator, reviewing general British press comments, summed them up as follows:

     "If you make it a war of emancipation we shall think you 
     madmen, and tell you so, though the ignorant instincts of 
     Englishmen will support you. And if you follow our counsel in 
     holding a tight rein on the Abolitionists, we shall applaud 
     your worldly wisdom so far; but shall deem it our duty to set 
     forth continually that you have forfeited all claim to the 
     popular sympathy of England."

This, said the Spectator, had been stated in the most objectionable style by the Times in particular, which, editorially, had alleged that "the North has now lost the chance of establishing a high moral superiority by a declaration against slavery." To all this the Spectator declared that the North must adopt the bold course and make clear that restoration of the Union was not intended with the old canker at its roots[881].

Official England held a different view. Russell believed that the separation of North and South would conduce to the extinction of slavery since the South, left to itself and fronted by a great and prosperous free North, with a population united in ideals, would be forced, ultimately, to abandon its "special system." He professed that he could not understand Mrs. Stowe's support of the war and thought she and Sumner "animated by a spirit of vengeance[882]." If the South did yield and the Union were restored with slavery, Russell thought that "Slavery would prevail all over the New World. For that reason I wish for separation[883]." These views were repeated frequently by Russell. He long had a fixed idea on the moral value of separation, but was careful to state, "I give you these views merely as speculations," and it is worthy of note that after midsummer of 1862 he rarely indulged in them. Against such speculations, whether by Russell or by others, Mill protested in his famous article in Fraser's, February, 1862[884].

On one aspect of slavery the North was free to act and early did so. Seward proposed to Lyons a treaty giving mutual right of search off the African Coast and on the coasts of Cuba for the suppression of the African Slave Trade. Such a treaty had long been urged by Great Britain but persistently refused by the United States. It could not well be declined now by the British Government and was signed by Seward, April 8, 1862[885], but if he expected any change in British attitude as a result he was disappointed. The renewal by the South of that trade might be a barrier to British goodwill, but the action of the North was viewed as but a weak attempt to secure British sympathy, and to mark the limits of Northern anti-slavery efforts. Indeed, the Government was not eager for the treaty on other grounds, since the Admiralty had never "felt any interest in the suppression of the slave trade ... whatever they have done ... they have done grudgingly and imperfectly[886]."

This was written at the exact period when Palmerston and Russell were initiating those steps which were to result in the Cabinet crisis on mediation in October-November, 1862. Certainly the Slave Trade treaty with America had not influenced governmental attitude. At this juncture there was founded, November, 1862, the London Emancipation Society, with the avowed object of stirring anti-slavery Englishmen in protest against "favouring the South." But George Thompson, its organizer, had been engaged in the preliminary work of organization for some months and the Society is therefore to be regarded as an expression of that small group who were persistent and determined in assertion of slavery as the cause and object of the Civil War, before the issue of Lincoln's proclamation[887]. Thus for England as a whole and for official England the declarations of these few voices were regarded as expressive of a wish rather than as consistent with the facts. The moral uplift of an anti-slavery object was denied to the North.

This being so did Lincoln seek to correct the foreign view by the emancipation proclamation? There is some, but scant ground for so believing. It is true that this aspect had at various times, though rarely, been presented to the President. Carl Schurz, American Minister at Madrid, wrote to Seward as early as September 14, 1861, strongly urging the declaration of an anti-slavery purpose in the war and asserting that public opinion in Europe would then be such in favour of the North that no government would "dare to place itself, by declaration or act, upon the side of a universally condemned institution[888]." There is no evidence that Seward showed this despatch to Lincoln, but in January, 1862, Schurz returned to America and in conversation with the President urged the "moral issue" to prevent foreign intervention. The President replied: "You may be right. Probably you are. I have been thinking so myself. I cannot imagine that any European power would dare to recognize and aid the Southern Confederacy if it became clear that the Confederacy stands for slavery and the Union for freedom[889]." No doubt others urged upon him the same view. Indeed, one sincere foreign friend, Count Gasparin, who had early written in favour of the North[890], and whose opinions were widely read, produced a second work in the spring of 1862, in which the main theme was "slavery the issue." The author believed emancipation inevitable and urged an instant proclamation of Northern intention to free the slaves[891]. Presumably, Lincoln was familiar with this work. Meanwhile Sumner pressed the same idea though adding the prevalent abolition arguments which did not, necessarily, involve thought of foreign effect. On the general question of emancipation Lincoln listened, even telling Sumner that he "was ahead of himself only a month or six weeks[892]."

Yet after the enactment of the "confiscation bill" in July, 1862, when strong abolitionist pressure was brought on the President to issue a general proclamation of emancipation, he reasserted in the famous reply to Greeley, August 22, 1862, his one single purpose to restore the Union "with or without slavery."

     "If there be those who would not save the Union unless they 
     could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree 
     with them.

     "If there be those who would not save the Union unless they 
     could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree 
     with them.

     "My paramount object is to save the Union, and not either to 
     save or to destroy slavery

Here seemed to be specific denial of raising a moral issue; yet unknown to the public at the moment there had already been drafted and discussed in Cabinet the emancipation proclamation. Greeley had presented abolitionist demands essential to cement the North. A month later, September 13, a delegation of Chicago clergymen came to Washington, had an audience with Lincoln, presented similar arguments, but also laid stress on the necessity of securing the sympathy of Europe. This was but nine days before the first proclamation was issued, but Lincoln replied much as to Greeley, though he stated, "I will also concede that Emancipation would help us in Europe, and convince them that we are incited by something more than ambition[894]." Immediately after the event, September 24, making a short speech to a serenading party, Lincoln said, "I can only trust in God I have made no mistake.... It is now for the country and the world to pass judgment and, maybe, take action upon it[895]." Over a year later, December 8, 1863, in his annual message to Congress, he noted a "much improved" tone in foreign countries as resulting from the emancipation proclamation, but dwelt mainly on the beneficial effects at home[896].

Evidently there is slight ground for believing Lincoln to have been convinced that foreign relations would be improved by the proclamation. On the contrary, if he trusted Seward's judgment he may have fearedthe effect on Europe, for such was Seward's prophecy. Here may have lain the true meaning of Lincoln's speech of September 24 - that it was now for "the world to pass judgment and, maybe, take action upon it." After all foreign policy, though its main lines were subject to the President's control, was in the hands of Seward and throughout this entire period of six months since the introduction of the Confiscation Bill up to Lincoln's presentation of his draft proclamation to the Cabinet in July, Seward had been using the threat of a servile insurrection as a deterrent upon French-British talk of intervention. At times Seward connected servile insurrection with emancipation - at times not.

Seward had begun his career as Secretary of State with an appeal to Europe on lines of old friendship and had implied, though he could not state explicitly, the "noble" cause of the North. He had been met with what he considered a "cold" and premature as well as unjustifiable declaration of neutrality. From the first day of the conflict Lyons and Mercier had been constant in representing the hardships inflicted by the American war upon the economic interests of their respective countries. Both men bore down upon the interruption of the cotton trade and Seward kept repeating that Northern victories would soon release the raw cotton. He expected and promised much from the capture of New Orleans, but the results were disappointing. As time went on Seward became convinced that material interests alone would determine the attitude and action of Great Britain and France. But the stored supplies were on hand in the South, locked in by the blockade and would be available when the war was over provided the war did not take on an uncivilized and sanguinary character through a rising of the slaves. If that occurred cotton would be burned and destroyed and cotton supply to Europe would be not merely a matter of temporary interruption, but one of long-continued dearth with no certainty of early resumption. Fearing the growth in England, especially, of an intention to intervene, Seward threatened a Northern appeal to the slaves, thinking of the threat not so much in terms of an uncivilized and horrible war as in terms of the material interests of Great Britain. In brief, considering foreign attitude and action in its relation to Northern advantage - to the winning of the war - he would use emancipation as a threat of servile insurrection, but did not desire emancipation itself for fear it would cause that very intervention which it was his object to prevent.

His instructions are wholly in line with this policy. In February, 1862, the Confiscation Bill had been introduced in Congress. In April, Mercier's trip to Richmond[897] had caused much speculation and started many rumours in London of plans of mediation[898]. On May 28, Seward wrote to Adams at great length and especially emphasized two points: first that while diplomats abroad had hitherto been interdicted from discussing slavery as an issue in the war, they were now authorized to state that the war was, in part at least, intended for the suppression of slavery, and secondly, that the North if interfered with by foreign nations would be forced to have recourse to a servile war. Such a war, Seward argued, would be "completely destructive of all European interests[899]...." A copy of this instruction Adams gave to Russell on June 20. Eight days later Adams told Cobden in reply to a query about mediation that it would result in a servile war[900]. Evidently Adams perfectly understood Seward's policy.

On July 13, Lincoln told Seward and Welles of the planned emancipation proclamation and that this was his first mention of it to anyone. Seward commented favourably but wished to consider the proposal in all its bearings before committing himself[901]. The day following he transmitted to agents abroad a copy of the Bill that day introduced into Congress embodying Lincoln's plan for gradual and compensated emancipation. This was prompt transmittal - and was unusual. Seward sent the Bill without material comment[902], but it is apparent that this method and measure of emancipation would much better fit in with his theory of the slavery question in relation to foreign powers, than would an outright proclamation of emancipation.

Meanwhile American anxiety as to a possible alteration in British neutral policy was increasing. July 11, Adams reported that he had learned "from a credible source" that the British Cabinet might soon "take new ground[903]." This despatch if it reached Seward previous to the Cabinet of July 22, presumably added strength to his conviction of the inadvisability of now issuing the proclamation. In that Cabinet, Seward in fact went much beyond the customary historical statement that he advised postponement of the proclamation until the occurrence of a Northern victory; he argued, according to Secretary of War Stanton's notes of the meeting, "That foreign nations will intervene to prevent the abolition of slavery for the sake of cotton.... We break up our relations with foreign nations and the production of cotton for sixty years[904]." These views did not prevail; Lincoln merely postponed action. Ten days later Seward sent that long instruction to Adams covering the whole ground of feared European intervention, which, fortunately, Adams was never called upon to carry out[905]. In it there was renewed the threat of a servile war if Europe attempted to aid the South, and again it is the materialistic view that is emphasized. Seward was clinging to his theory of correct policy.

Nor was he mistaken in his view of first reactions in governmental circles abroad - at least in England. On July 21, the day before Lincoln's proposal of emancipation in the Cabinet, Stuart in reviewing military prospects wrote: "Amongst the means relied upon for weakening the South is included a servile war[906]." To this Russell replied: "... I have to observe that the prospect of a servile war will only make other nations more desirous to see an end of this desolating and destructive conflict[907]." This was but brief reiteration of a more exact statement by Russell made in comment on Seward's first hint of servile war in his despatch to Adams of May 28, a copy of which had been given to Russell on June 20. On July 28, Russell reviewing Seward's arguments, commented on the fast increasing bitterness of the American conflict, disturbing and unsettling to European Governments, and wrote:

     "The approach of a servile war, so much insisted upon by Mr. 
     Seward in his despatch, only forewarns us that another 
     element of destruction may be added to the slaughter, loss of 
     property, and waste of industry, which already afflict a 
     country so lately prosperous and tranquil[908]."

In this same despatch unfavourable comment was made also on the Confiscation Bill with its punitive emancipation clauses. Stuart presented a copy of the despatch to Seward on August 16[909]. On August 22, Stuart learned of Lincoln's plan and reported it as purely a manoeuvre to affect home politics and to frighten foreign governments[910]. Where did Stuart get the news if not from Seward, since he also reported the latter's success in postponing the proclamation?

In brief both Seward and Russell were regarding emancipation in the light of an incitement to servile insurrection, and both believed such an event would add to the argument for foreign intervention. The threatSeward had regarded as useful; the event would be highly dangerous to the North. Not so, however, did emancipation appear in prospect to American diplomats abroad. Adams was a faithful servant in attempting to carry out the ideas and plans of his chief, but as early as February, 1862, he had urged a Northern declaration in regard to slavery in order to meet in England Southern private representations that, independence won, the South would enter upon a plan of gradual emancipation to be applied "to all persons born after some specific date[911]." Motley, at Vienna, frequently after February, 1862, in private letters to his friends in America, urged some forward step on slavery[912], but no such advice in despatches found its way into the selected correspondence annually sent to print by Seward. Far more important was the determination taken by Adams, less than a month after he had presented to Russell the "servile war" threat policy of Seward, to give advice to his chief that the chances of foreign intervention would be best met by the distinct avowal of an anti-slavery object in the war and that the North should be prepared to meet an European offer of mediation by declaring that if made to extinguish slavery such mediation would be welcome. This Adams thought would probably put an end to the mediation itself, but it would also greatly strengthen the Northern position abroad[913].

This was no prevision of an emancipation proclamation; but it was assertion of the value of a higher "moral issue." Meanwhile, on July 24, Seward still fearful of the effects abroad of emancipation, wrote to Motley, asking whether he was "sure" that European powers would not be encouraged in interference, because of material interests, by a Northern attempt to free the slaves[914]. Motley's answer began, "A thousand times No," and Adams repeated his plea for a moral issue[915]. September 25, Adams met Seward's "material interests" argument by declaring that for Great Britain the chief difficulty in the cotton situation was not scarcity, but uncertainty, and that if English manufacturers could but know what to expect there would be little "cotton pressure" on the Government[916]. Thus leading diplomats abroad did not agree with Seward, but the later advices of Adams were not yet received when the day, September 22, arrived on which Lincoln issued the proclamation. On that day in sending the text to Adams the comment of Seward was brief. The proclamation, he said, put into effect a policy the approach of which he had "heretofore indicated to our representatives abroad," and he laid emphasis on the idea that the main purpose of the proclamation was to convince the South that its true interests were in the preservation of the Union - which is to say that the hoped-for result was the return of the South with its slaves[917]. Certainly this was far from a truthful representation, but its purpose is evident. Seward's first thought was that having held up the threat of servile insurrection he must now remove that bogie. Four days later his judgment was improved, for he began, and thereafter maintained with vigour, the "high moral purpose" argument as evinced in the emancipation proclamation. "The interests of humanity," he wrote to Adams, "have now become identified with the cause of our country[918]...."

That the material interests of Great Britain were still in Seward's thought is shown by the celerity with which under Lincoln's orders he grasped at an unexpected opening in relation to liberated slaves. Stuart wrote in mid-September that Mr. Walker, secretary of the colony of British Guiana, was coming from Demerara to Washington to secure additional labour for the British colony by offering to carry away ex-slaves[919]. This scheme was no secret and five days after the issue of the proclamation Seward proposed to Stuart a convention by which the British Government would be permitted to transport to the West Indies, or to any of its colonies, the negroes about to be emancipated. On September 30, Adams was instructed to take up the matter at London[920]. Russell was at first disinclined to consider such a convention and discussion dragged until the spring of 1864, when it was again proposed, this time by Russell, but now declined by Seward. In its immediate influence in the fall of 1862, Seward's offer had no effect on the attitude of the British Government[921].

To Englishmen and Americans alike it has been in later years a matter for astonishment that the emancipation proclamation did not at once convince Great Britain of the high purposes of the North. But if it be remembered that in the North itself the proclamation was greeted, save by a small abolitionist faction, with doubt extending even to bitter opposition and that British governmental and public opinion had long dreaded a servile insurrection - even of late taking its cue from Seward's own prophecies - the cool reception given by the Government, the vehement and vituperative explosions of the press do not seem so surprising. "This Emancipation Proclamation," wrote Stuart on September 23, "seems a brutum fulmen[922]." One of the President's motives, he thought, was to affect public opinion in England. "But there is no pretext of humanity about the Proclamation.... It is merely a Confiscation Act, or perhaps worse, for it offers direct encouragement to servile insurrections[923]." Received in England during the Cabinet struggle over mediation the proclamation appears not to have affected that controversy, though Russell sought to use it as an argument for British action. In his memorandum, circulated October 13, Russell strove to show that the purpose and result would be servile war. He dwelt both on the horrors of such a war, and on its destruction of industry:

     "What will be the practical effect of declaring emancipation, 
     not as an act of justice and beneficence, dispensed by the 
     Supreme Power of the State, but as an act of punishment and 
     retaliation inflicted by a belligerent upon a hostile 
     community, it is not difficult to foresee. Wherever the arms 
     of the United States penetrate, a premium will be given to 
     acts of plunder, of incendiarism, and of revenge. The 
     military and naval authorities of the United States will be 
     bound by their orders to maintain and protect the 
     perpetrators of such acts. Wherever the invasion of the 
     Southern States is crowned by victory, society will be 
     disorganized, industry suspended, large and small proprietors 
     of land alike reduced to beggary[924]."

The London newspaper press was very nearly a unit in treating the proclamation with derision and contempt and no other one situation in the Civil War came in for such vigorous denunciation. Citations setting forth such comment have frequently been gathered together illustrative of the extent of press condemnation and of its unity in vicious editorials[925]. There is no need to repeat many of them here, but a few will indicate their tone. The Times greeted the news with an assertion that this was a final desperate play by Lincoln, as hope of victory waned. It was his "last card[926]," a phrase that caught the fancy of lesser papers and was repeated by them. October 21, appeared the "strongest" of the Times editorials:

     "... We have here the history of the beginning of the end, 
     but who can tell how the pages will be written which are yet 
     to be filled before the inevitable separation is 
     accomplished? Are scenes like those which we a short time 
     since described from Dahomey yet to interpose, and is the 
     reign of the last PRESIDENT to go out amid horrible massacres 
     of white women and children, to be followed by the 
     extermination of the black race in the South? Is LINCOLN yet 
     a name not known to us as it will be known to posterity, and 
     is it ultimately to be classed among that catalogue of 
     monsters, the wholesale assassins and butchers of their kind?

     "... We will attempt at present to predict nothing as to 
     what the consequence of Mr. Lincoln's new policy may be, 
     except that it certainly will not have the effect of 
     restoring the Union. It will not deprive Mr. Lincoln of the 
     distinctive affix which he will share with many, for the most 
     part foolish and incompetent, Kings and Emperors, Caliphs and 
     Doges, that of being LINCOLN - 'the Last.'"

The Times led the way; other papers followed on. The Liverpool Post thought a slave rising inevitable[927], as did also nearly every paper acknowledging anti-Northern sentiments, or professedly neutral, while even pro-Northern journals at first feared the same results[928]. Another striking phrase, "Brutum Fulmen," ran through many editorials. The Edinburgh Review talked of Lincoln's "cry of despair[929]," which was little different from Seward's feared "last shriek." Blackwood's thought the proclamation "monstrous, reckless, devilish." It "justifies the South in raising the black flag, and proclaiming a war without quarter[930]." But there is no need to expand the citation of the well-nigh universal British press pouring out of the wrath of heaven upon Lincoln, and his emancipation proclamation[931].

Even though there can be no doubt that the bulk of England at first expected servile war to follow the proclamation it is apparent that here and there a part of this British wrath was due to a fear that, in spite of denials of such influence, the proclamation was intended to arouse public opinion against projects of intervention and might so arouse it. The New York correspondent of the Times wrote that it was "promulgated evidently as a sop to keep England and France quiet[932]," and on October 9, an editorial asserted that Lincoln had "a very important object. There is a presentiment in the North that recognition cannot be delayed, and this proclamation is aimed, not at the negro or the South, but at Europe." Bell's Weekly Messenger believed that it was now "the imperative duty of England and France to do what they can in order to prevent the possible occurrence of a crime which, if carried out, would surpass in atrocity any similar horror the world has ever seen[933]." "Historicus," on the other hand, asked: "What is that solution of the negro question to which an English Government is prepared to affix the seal of English approbation[934]?" Mason, the Confederate Agent in London, wrote home that it was generally believed the proclamation was issued "as the means of warding off recognition.... It was seen through at once and condemned accordingly[935]."

This interpretation of Northern purpose in no sense negatives the dictum that the proclamation exercised little influence on immediate British governmental policy, but does offer some ground for the belief that strong pro-Southern sympathizers at once saw the need of combating an argument dangerous to the carrying out of projects of mediation. Yet the new "moral purpose" of Lincoln did not immediately appeal even to his friends. The Spectator deplored the lack of a clean-cut declaration in favour of the principle of human freedom: "The principle asserted is not that a human being cannot justly own another, but that he cannot own him unless he is loyal to the United States." ... "There is no morality whatever in such a decree, and if approved at all it must be upon its merits as a political measure[936]." Two weeks later, reporting a public speech at Liverpool by ex-governor Morehead of Kentucky, in which Lincoln was accused of treachery to the border states, the Spectator, while taking issue with the speaker's statements, commented that it was not to be understood as fully defending a system of government which chose its executive "from the ranks of half-educated mechanics[937]."

Similarly in America the emancipation proclamation, though loudly applauded by the abolitionists, was received with misgivings. Lincoln was disappointed at the public reaction and became very despondent, though this was due, in part, to the failure of McClellan to follow up the victory of Antietam. The elections of October and November went heavily against the administration and largely on the alleged ground of the President's surrender to the radicals[938]. The army as a whole was not favourably stirred by the proclamation; it was considered at best as but a useless bit of "waste paper[939]." In England, John Bright, the most ardent public advocate of the Northern cause, was slow to applaud heartily; not until December did he give distinct approval, and even then in but half-hearted fashion, though he thought public interest was much aroused and that attention was now fixed on January 1, the date set by Lincoln for actual enforcement of emancipation[940]. In a speech at Birmingham, December 18, Bright had little to say of emancipation; rather he continued to use previous arguments against the South for admitting, as Vice-President Stephens had declared, that slavery was the very "corner-stone" of Southern institutions and society[941]. A few public meetings at points where favour to the North had been shown were tried in October and November with some success but with no great show of enthusiasm. It was not until late December that the wind of public opinion, finding that no faintest slave-rising had been created by the proclamation began to veer in favour of the emancipation edict[942]. By the end of the year it appeared that the Press, in holding up horrified hands and prophesying a servile war had "overshot the mark[943]."

Soon the changing wind became a gale of public favour for the cause of emancipation, nor was this lessened - rather increased - by Jefferson Davis' proclamation of December 23, 1862, in which he declared that Lincoln had approved "of the effort to excite a servile insurrection," and that therefore it was now ordered "all negro slaves captured in arms be at once delivered over to the executive authorities of the respective States to which they belong, to be dealt with according to the laws of said State." This by state laws meant death to the slave fighting for his freedom, even as a regular soldier in the Northern armies, and gave a good handle for accusations of Southern ferocity[944].

Official opinion was not readily altered, Lyons writing in December that the promised January proclamation might still mean servile war. He hoped that neither Lincoln's proclamation nor Davis' threat of retaliation would be carried into effect[945]. Russell regarded the January 1 proclamation as "a measure of war of a very questionable kind[946]."

But the British anti-slavery public, now recovered from its fears of an "abolition war" was of another temper. Beginning with the last week of December, 1862, and increasing in volume in each succeeding month, there took place meeting after meeting at which strong resolutions were passed enthusiastically endorsing the issue of the emancipation proclamation and pledging sympathy to the cause of the North. The Liberator from week to week, listed and commented on these public meetings, noting fifty-six held between December 30, 1862, and March 20, 1863. The American Minister reported even more, many of which sent to him engraved resolutions or presented them in person through selected delegations. The resolutions were much of the type of that adopted at Sheffield, January 10:

     "Resolved: that this meeting being convinced that slavery 
     is the cause of the tremendous struggle now going on in the 
     American States, and that the object of the leaders of the 
     rebellion is the perpetuation of the unchristian and inhuman 
     system of chattel slavery, earnestly prays that the rebellion 
     may be crushed, and its wicked object defeated, and that the 
     Federal Government may be strengthened to pursue its 
     emancipation policy till not a slave be left on the American 

Adams quoted the Times as referring to these meetings as made up of "nobodies." Adams commented:

     "They do not indeed belong to the high and noble class, but 
     they are just those nobodies who formerly forced their most 
     exalted countrymen to denounce the prosecution of the Slave 
     Trade by the commercial adventurers at Liverpool and Bristol, 
     and who at a later period overcame all their resistance to 
     the complete emancipation of the negro slaves in the British 
     dependencies. If they become once fully aroused to a sense of 
     the importance of this struggle as a purely moral question, I 
     feel safe in saying there will be an end of all effective 
     sympathy in Great Britain with the rebellion[948]."

Adams had no doubt "that these manifestations are the genuine expression of the feelings of the religious dissenting and of the working classes," and was confident the Government would be much influenced by them[949]. The newspapers, though still editorially unfavourable to the emancipation proclamation, accepted and printed communications with increasing frequency in which were expressed the same ideas as in the public meetings. This was even more noticeable in the provincial press. Samuel A. Goddard, a merchant of Birmingham, was a prolific letter writer to the Birmingham Post, consistently upholding the Northern cause and he now reiterated the phrase, "Mr. Lincoln's cause is just and holy[950]." In answer to Southern sneers at the failure of the proclamation to touch slavery in the border states, Goddard made clear the fact that Lincoln had no constitutional "right" to apply his edict to states not in rebellion[951]. On the public platform no one equalled the old anti-slavery orator, George Thompson, in the number of meetings attended and addresses made. In less than a month he had spoken twenty-one times and often in places where opposition was in evidence. Everywhere Thompson found an aroused and encouraged anti-slavery feeling, now strongly for the North[952].

Eight years earlier five hundred thousand English women had united in an address to America on behalf of the slaves. Harriet Beecher Stowe now replied to this and asked the renewed sympathy of her English sisters. A largely signed "round robin" letter assured her that English women were still the foes of slavery and were indignantly united against suggestions of British recognition of the South[953]. Working class Britain was making its voice heard in support of the North. To those of Manchester, Lincoln, on January 19, 1863, addressed a special letter of thanks for their earnest support while undergoing personal hardships resulting from the disruption of industry caused by the war. "I cannot" he wrote, "but regard your decisive utterances upon the question [of human slavery] as an instance of sublime Christian heroism which has not been surpassed in any age or in any country[954]." Nonconformist England now came vigorously to the support of the North. Spurgeon, in London, made his great congregation pray with him: "God bless and strengthen the North; give victory to their arms[955]." Further and more general expression of Nonconformist church sympathy came as a result of a letter received February 12, 1863, from a number of French pastors and laymen, urging all the Evangelical churches to unite in an address to Lincoln. The London and Manchester Emancipation Societies combined in drawing up a document for signature by pastors and this was presented for adoption at a meeting in Manchester on June 3, 1863. In final form it was "An Address to Ministers and Pastors of All Christian Denominations throughout the States of America." There was a "noisy opposition" but the address was carried by a large majority and two representatives, Massie and Roylance, were selected to bear the message in person to the brethren across the ocean[956]. Discussion arose over the Biblical sanction of slavery. In the Times appeared an editorial pleading this sanction and arguing the duty of slaves to refuse liberty[957]. Goldwin Smith, Regius Professor of Modern History at Oxford, replied in a pamphlet, "Does the Bible sanction American Slavery[958]?" His position and his skill in presentation made him a valuable ally to the North.

Thus British anti-slavery circles, previously on the defensive, became aroused and enthusiastic when Lincoln's January 1, 1863, proclamation made good his pledge of the previous September: other elements of opinion, and in all classes, were strengthened in like measure, and everywhere the first expression of fear of a servile insurrection largely disappeared. In truth, pro-Northern England went to such lengths in its support of emancipation as to astound and alarm the Saturday Review, which called these demonstrations a "carnival of cant[959]." More neutral minds were perplexed over the practical difficulties and might well agree with Schleiden who wrote in January, 1863, quoting Machiavelli: "What is more difficult, to make free men slaves, or slaves free[960]?" But by the end of January the popular approval of emancipation was in full swing. On the evening of the twenty-ninth there took place in London at Exeter Hall, a great mass meeting unprecedented in attendance and enthusiasm. The meeting had been advertised for seven o'clock, but long before the hour arrived the hall was jammed and the corridors filled. A second meeting was promptly organized for the lower hall, but even so the people seeking admission crowded Exeter Street and seriously impeded traffic in the Strand. Outdoor meetings listened to reports of what was going on in the Hall and cheered the speakers. The main address was made by the Rev. Newman Hall, of Surrey Chapel. A few Southern sympathizers who attempted to heckle the speakers were quickly shouted down[961].

The "carnival of cant," as the Saturday Review termed it, was truly a popular demonstration, stirred by anti-slavery leaders, but supported by the working and non-enfranchised classes. Its first effect was to restore courage and confidence to Northern supporters in the upper classes. Bright had welcomed emancipation, yet with some misgivings. He now joined in the movement and in a speech at Rochdale, February 3, on "Slavery and Secession," gave full approval of Lincoln's efforts.

In 1862, shortly after the appearance of Spence's American Union, which had been greeted with great interest in England and had influenced largely upper-class attitude in favour of the South, Cairnes had published his pamphlet, "Slave Power." This was a reasoned analysis of the basis of slavery and a direct challenge to the thesis of Spence[962]. England's "unnatural infatuation" for a slave power, Cairnes prophesied, would be short-lived. His pamphlet began to be read with more conviction by that class which until now had been coldly neutral and which wished a more reassured faith in the Northern cause than that stirred by the emotional reception given the emancipation proclamation. Yet at bottom it was emancipation that brought this reasoning public to seek in such works as that of Cairnes a logical basis for a change of heart. Even in official circles, utterances previously made in private correspondence, or in governmental conversations only, were now ventured in public by friends of the North. On April 1, 1863, at a banquet given to Palmerston in Edinburgh, the Duke of Argyll ventured to answer a reference made by Palmerston in a speech of the evening previous in which had been depicted the horrors of Civil War, by asking if Scotland were historically in a position to object to civil wars having high moral purpose. "I, for one," Argyll said, "have not learned to be ashamed of that ancient combination of the Bible and the sword. Let it be enough for us to pray and hope that the contest, whenever it may be brought to an end, shall bring with it that great blessing to the white race which shall consist in the final freedom of the black[963]."

The public meetings in England raised high the hope in America that governmental England would show some evidence of a more friendly attitude. Lincoln himself drafted a resolution embodying the ideas he thought it would be wise for the public meetings to adopt. It read:

     "Whereas, while heretofore States, and Nations, have 
     tolerated slavery, recently, for the first time in the 
     world, an attempt has been made to construct a new Nation, 
     upon the basis of, and with the primary, and fundamental 
     object to maintain, enlarge, and perpetuate human slavery, 

     Resolved: that no such embryo State should ever be 
     recognized by, or admitted into, the family of Christian and 
     civilized nations; and that all Christian and civilized men 
     everywhere should, by all lawful means, resist to the utmost, 
     such recognition or admission[964]."

This American hope much disturbed Lyons. On his return to Washington, in November, 1862, he had regarded the emancipation proclamation as a political manoeuvre purely and an unsuccessful one. The administration he thought was losing ground and the people tired of the war. This was the burden of his private letters to Russell up to March, 1863, but does not appear in his official despatches in which there was nothing to give offence to Northern statesmen. But in March, Lyons began to doubt the correctness of these judgments. He notes a renewed Northern enthusiasm leading to the conferring of extreme powers - the so-called "dictatorship measures" - upon Lincoln. Wise as Lyons ordinarily was he was bound by the social and educational traditions of his class, and had at first not the slightest conception of the force or effect of emancipation upon the public in middle-class England. He feared an American reaction against England when it was understood that popular meetings would have no influence on the British Government.

     "Mr. Seward and the whole Party calculate immensely on the 
     effects of the anti-slavery meetings in England, and seem to 
     fancy that public feeling in England is coming so completely 
     round to the North that the Government will be obliged to 
     favour the North in all ways, even if it be disinclined to do 
     so. This notion is unlucky, as it makes those who hold it, 
     unreasonable and presumptuous in dealing with us[965]."

       * * * * *

Lincoln's plan of emancipation and his first proclamation had little relation to American foreign policy. Seward's attitude toward emancipation was that the threat of it and of a possible servile war might be useful in deterring foreign nations, especially Great Britain, from intervening. But he objected to the carrying of emancipation into effect because he feared it would induce intervention. Servile war, in part by Seward's own efforts, in part because of earlier British newspaper speculations, was strongly associated with emancipation, in the English view. Hence the Government received the September, 1862, proclamation with disfavour, the press with contempt, and the public with apprehension - even the friends of the North. But no servile war ensued. In January, 1863, Lincoln kept his promise of wide emancipation and the North stood committed to a high moral object. A great wave of relief and exultation swept over anti-slavery England, but did not so quickly extend to governmental circles. It was largely that England which was as yet without direct influence on Parliament which so exulted and now upheld the North. Could this England of the people affect governmental policy and influence its action toward America? Lyons correctly interpreted the North and Seward as now more inclined to press the British Government on points previously glossed over, and in the same month in which Lyons wrote this opinion there was coming to a head a controversy over Britain's duty as a neutral, which both during the war and afterwards long seemed to Americans a serious and distinctly unfriendly breach of British neutrality. This was the building in British ports of Confederate naval vessels of war.


[Footnote 846: Punch, Nov. 22, 1862, has a cartoon picturing Palmerston as presenting this view to Napoleon III.]

[Footnote 847: Rhodes, IV, p. 348.]

[Footnote 848: F.O., Am., Vol. 875. No. 80. Confidential. Lyons to Russell, Jan. 27, 1863. This date would have permitted Mercier to be already in receipt of Napoleon's instructions, though he gave no hint of it in the interview with Lyons.]

[Footnote 849: Mercier had in fact approached Stoeckl on a joint offer of mediation without England. Evidently Stoeckl had asked instructions and those received made clear that Russia did not wish to be compelled to face such a question. She did not wish to offend France, and an offer without England had no chance of acceptance (Russian Archives, F.O. to Stoeckl, Feb. 16, 1863 (O.S.)).]

[Footnote 850: F.O. Am., Vol. 876. No. 108. Confidential. Lyons to Russell, Feb. 2, 1863.]

[Footnote 851: Rhodes, IV, p. 348.]

[Footnote 852: F.O., Am., Vol. 868, No. 86.]

[Footnote 853: Hansard, 3rd. Ser., CLXIX, pp. 5-53, and 69-152.]

[Footnote 854: Ibid., pp. 1714-41. March 23, 1863.]

[Footnote 855: Ashley, Palmerston, II, 208-9. To Ellice, May 5, 1861.]

[Footnote 856: July 13, 1861.]

[Footnote 857: Harriet Martineau, Autobiography, p. 508, To Mrs. Chapman, Aug. 8, 1861.]

[Footnote 858: Sept. 21, 1861.]

[Footnote 859: Saturday Review, Nov. 17, 1860.]

[Footnote 860: Russell Papers. To Russell.]

[Footnote 861: Gladstone Papers. Russell to Gladstone, Jan. 26, 1862.]

[Footnote 862: Article in Fraser's Magazine, Feb. 1862, "The Contest in America."]

[Footnote 863: Hansard, 3rd Ser., CXLV, p. 387, Feb. 17, 1862.]

[Footnote 864: Pierce, Sumner, IV, pp. 41-48, and 63-69.]

[Footnote 865: Raymond, Life, Public Services and State Papers of Abraham Lincoln, p. 243.]

[Footnote 866: Ibid., pp. 229-32.]

[Footnote 867: Ibid., p. 233, May 19, 1862.]

[Footnote 868: A Bill was in fact introduced July 16, 1862, on the lines of Lincoln's "pecuniary aid" proposal of July 12, but no action was taken on it.]

[Footnote 869: Welles, Diary, I, pp. 70-71.]

[Footnote 870: Abraham Lincoln, Complete Works, II, p. 213.]

[Footnote 871: Rhodes, IV, pp. 71-2.]

[Footnote 872: As issued September 22, the first paragraph refers to his plan of securing legislation to aid compensated voluntary emancipation, the next sets the date January 1, 1863, for completed emancipation of slaves in states still in rebellion and the remaining paragraphs concern the carrying out of the confiscation law. Lincoln, Complete Works, II, pp. 237-8.]

[Footnote 873: Raymond, State Papers of Lincoln, 260-61.]

[Footnote 874: Rhodes, IV, p. 214.]

[Footnote 875: Ibid., p. 410. In letter, August 26, 1863, addressed to a Springfield mass meeting of "unconditional Union men."]

[Footnote 876: American Hist. Rev., XVIII, pp. 784-7. Bunch to Russell, Dec. 5, 1860.]

[Footnote 877: Southern Commissioners abroad early reported that recognition of independence and commercial treaties could not be secured unless the South would agree to "mutual right of search" treaties for the suppression of the African Slave Trade. Davis' answer was that the Confederate constitution gave him no authority to negotiate such a treaty; indeed, denied him that authority since the constitution itself prohibited the importation of negroes from Africa. For Benjamin's instructions see Bigelow, Retrospections, I, pp. 591-96.]

[Footnote 878: Spectator, May 4, 1861.]

[Footnote 879: Sept. 6, 1861. In Mass. Hist. Soc. Proceedings, Vol. XLVI, p. 95.]

[Footnote 880: Sept. 14, 1861.]

[Footnote 881: October 5, 1861.]

[Footnote 882: Lyons Papers. To Lyons, Oct. 26, 1861.]

[Footnote 883: Ibid., To Lyons, Nov. 2, 1861. The same ideas are officially expressed by Russell to Lyons, March 7, 1861, and May 1, 1862. (F.O., Am., Vol. 818, No. 104, Draft; and Ibid., Vol. 819, No. 197, Draft.).]

[Footnote 884: See ante, p. 81.]

[Footnote 885: U.S. Messages and Documents, 1862-3, Pt. I, p. 65.]

[Footnote 886: Ashley, Palmerston, II, p. 227. Palmerston to Russell, Aug. 13, 1862.]

[Footnote 887: Garrison, Garrison, IV, p. 66. Many distinguished names were on the roster of the Society - Mill, Bright, Cobden, Lord Houghton, Samuel Lucas, Forster, Goldwin Smith, Justin McCarthy, Thomas Hughes, Cairns, Herbert Spencer, Francis Newman, the Rev. Newman Hall, and others. Frederick W. Chesson was secretary, and very active in the work.]

[Footnote 888: Schurz, Speeches and Correspondence, I, 190.]

[Footnote 889: Schurz, Reminiscences, II, 309.]

[Footnote 890: Gasparin, The Uprising of a Great People, 1861.]

[Footnote 891: Gasparin, America before Europe, Pt. V, Ch. III. The preface is dated March 4, 1862, and the work went through three American editions in 1862.]

[Footnote 892: Pierce, Sumner, IV, p. 63. No exact date, but Spring of 1862.]

[Footnote 893: Raymond, State Papers of Lincoln, p. 253.]

[Footnote 894: Ibid., p. 256.]

[Footnote 895: Rhodes, IV, p. 162.]

[Footnote 896: Lincoln's Complete Works, II, p. 454. But the after-comment by Lincoln as to purpose was nearly always in line with an unfinished draft of a letter to Charles D. Robinson, Aug. 17, 1864, when the specific object was said to be "inducing the coloured people to come bodily over from the rebel side to ours." Ibid., p. 564.]

[Footnote 897: See ante, Ch. IX.]

[Footnote 898: U.S. Messages and Documents, 1862-3, Pt. I, p. 83. Adams to Seward, May 8, 1862.]

[Footnote 899: Ibid., pp. 101-105.]

[Footnote 900: Ibid., p. 122. Adams to Seward, July 3, 1862. In his despatch Adams states the conversation to have occurred "last Saturday," and with an "unofficial person," who was sounding him on mediation. This was Cobden.]

[Footnote 901: Welles, Diary, I, p. 70.]

[Footnote 902: U.S. Messages and Documents, 1862-3, Pt. I, p. 135.]

[Footnote 903: Ibid., p. 133. To Seward. His informant was Baring.]

[Footnote 904: Bancroft, Seward, II, p. 333.]

[Footnote 905: See ante, p. 35.]

[Footnote 906: Parliamentary Papers, 1863. Lords, Vol. XXIX. "Correspondence relating to the Civil War in the United States of North America." No. 8. To Russell.]

[Footnote 907: Ibid., No. 10. Russell to Stuart, Aug. 7, 1862.]

[Footnote 908: Ibid., 1863, Lords, Vol. XXV. "Further correspondence relating to the Civil War in the United States of North America." No. 2. To Stuart.]

[Footnote 909: Ibid., 1863, Lords, Vol. XXIX. "Correspondence relating to the Civil War in the United States of North America," No. 20. Stuart to Russell, Aug. 16, 1862.]

[Footnote 910: See ante, p. 37.]

[Footnote 911: State Department, Eng., Vol. 78, No. 119. Adams to Seward, Feb. 21, 1862. This supplemented a similar representation made on Jan. 17, 1862. (U.S. Messages and Documents, 1862-3, Pt. I, p. 16.)]

[Footnote 912: e.g., Motley, Correspondence, II, pp. 64-5. To O.W. Holmes, Feb. 26, 1862.]

[Footnote 913: U.S. Messages and Documents, 1862-3, Pt. I, p. 140. Adams to Seward, July 17, 1862.]

[Footnote 914: Bancroft, Seward, II, p. 336.]

[Footnote 915: U.S. Messages and Documents, 1862-3, Pt. I, p. 191. Adams to Seward, Sept. 12, 1862.]

[Footnote 916: Ibid., p. 199.]

[Footnote 917: Ibid., p. 195.]

[Footnote 918: Ibid., p. 202. Seward to Adams, Sept. 26, 1862. Lyons, on his return to Washington, wrote that he found Seward's influence much lessened, and that he had fallen in public estimation by his "signing the Abolition Proclamation, which was imposed upon him, in opposition to all his own views, by the Radical Party in the Cabinet." (Russell Papers. Lyons to Russell, Nov. 14, 1862.)]

[Footnote 919: Russell Papers. Stuart to Russell, Sept. 19, 1862.]

[Footnote 920: U.S. Messages and Documents, 1862-3, Pt. I, p. 202. The instruction went into great detail as to conditions and means. A similar instruction was sent to Paris, The Hague, and Copenhagen.]

[Footnote 921: There was much talk and correspondence on this project from Sept., 1862, to March, 1864. Stuart was suspicious of some "trap." Russell at one time thought the United States was secretly planning to colonize ex-slaves in Central America. Some of the Colonies were in favour of the plan. (Russell Papers. Stuart to Russell, Sept. 29, 1862. F.O., Am., Vol. 878, No. 177. Lyons to Russell, Feb. 24, 1863.)]

[Footnote 922: Lyons Papers. To Lyons.]

[Footnote 923: Russell Papers. Stuart to Russell, Sept. 26, 1862.]

[Footnote 924: Gladstone Papers. British agents still residing in the South believed the proclamation would have little practical effect, but added that if actually carried out the cultivation of cotton "would be as completely arrested as if an edict were pronounced against its future growth," and pictured the unfortunate results for the world at large. (F.O., Am., Vol. 846, No. 34. Cridland to Russell, Oct. 29, 1862.)]

[Footnote 925: See Rhodes, IV, 344, notes.]

[Footnote 926: October 6, 1862. The Times had used the "last card" phrase as early as Dec. 14, 1861, in speculations on the effect of Sumner's agitation for emancipation.]

[Footnote 927: Oct. 6, 1862.]

[Footnote 928: e.g., Dublin Nation, Oct. 11, 1862. Manchester Guardian, Oct. 7. London Morning Advertiser, Oct. 9. North British Review, Oct., 1862. London Press, Oct. 11. London Globe, Oct. 6. London Examiner, Oct. 11, editorial: "The Black Flag," and Oct. 18: "The Instigation to Servile War." Bell's Weekly Messenger, Oct. 11.]

[Footnote 929: October, 1862.]

[Footnote 930: November, 1862.]

[Footnote 931: It is worthy of note that the French offer of joint mediation made to Britain in October specified the danger of servile war resulting from the proclamation as a reason for European action. (France, Documents Diplomatiques, 1862, p. 142.)]

[Footnote 932: The Times, Oct. 7, 1862.]

[Footnote 933: Oct. 18, 1862.]

[Footnote 934: Communication in the Times, Nov. 7, 1862.]

[Footnote 935: Richardson, II, 360. Mason to Benjamin, Nov. 6, 1862.]

[Footnote 936: Spectator, Oct. 11, 1862.]

[Footnote 937: Ibid., Oct. 25, 1862.]

[Footnote 938: Rhodes, IV, 162-64.]

[Footnote 939: Perry, Henry Lee Higginson, p. 175.]

[Footnote 940: Rhodes, IV, p. 349, note. Bright to Sumner, Dec. 6, 1862.]

[Footnote 941: Rogers, Speeches by John Bright, I, pp. 216 ff.]

[Footnote 942: Liberator, Nov. 28, 1862, reports a meeting at Leigh, Oct. 27, expressing sympathy with the North. At Sheffield, Dec. 31, 1862, an amended resolution calling for recognition of the South was voted down and the original pro-Northern resolutions passed. There were speakers on both sides. Liberator, Jan. 23, 1863.]

[Footnote 943: Motley, Correspondence, II, p. 113. J.S. Mill to Motley, Jan. 26, 1863.]

[Footnote 944: Richardson, I, p. 273. Davis' order applied also to all Northern white officers commanding negro troops. It proved an idle threat.]

[Footnote 945: Russell Papers. Lyons to Russell, Dec. 30, 1862. And again, Jan. 2, 1863. "If it do not succeed in raising a servile insurrection, it will be a very unsuccessful political move for its authors." Stoeckl in conference with Seward, expressed regret that the emancipation proclamation had been issued, since it set up a further barrier to the reconciliation of North and South - always the hope of Russia. Seward replied that in executing the proclamation, there would be, no doubt, many modifications. Stoeckl answered that then the proclamation must be regarded as but a futile menace. (Russian Archives. Stoeckl to F.O., Nov. 19-Dec. 1, 1862, No. 2171.)]

[Footnote 946: Rhodes, IV, p. 357.]

[Footnote 947: U.S. Diplomatic Correspondence, 1863, Pt. I, p. 55. Adams to Seward, Jan. 16, 1863, transmitting this and other resolutions presented to him. Adams by March 20 had reported meetings which sent resolutions to him, from Sheffield, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, Crophills, Salford, Cobham, Ersham, Weybridge, Bradford, Stroud, Bristol, Glasgow, Liverpool, South London, Bath, Leeds, Bromley, Middleton, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Aberdare, Oldham, Merthyr Tydfil, Paisley, Carlisle, Bury, Manchester, Pendleton, Bolton, Newcastle-on-Tyne, Huddersfield, Ashford, Ashton-under-Lyme, Mossley, Southampton, Newark, and York. See also Rhodes, IV, 348-58, for resume of meetings and opinions expressed.]

[Footnote 948: State Department, Eng., Vol. 81, No. 300. Adams to Seward, Jan. 22, 1863.]

[Footnote 949: U.S. Diplomatic Correspondence, 1863, Pt. I, p. 100. Adams to Seward, Feb. 5, 1863.]

[Footnote 950: Goddard, Letters on the American Rebellion, p. 287. Goddard contributed seventy letters before 1863.]

[Footnote 951: Ibid., p. 307. Letter to Daily Gazette, May 2, 1863.]

[Footnote 952: The Liberator, Feb. 27, 1863. At Bristol the opposition element introduced a resolution expressing abhorrence of slavery and the hope that the war in America might end in total emancipation, but adding that "at the same time [this meeting] cannot but regard the policy of President Lincoln in relation to slavery, as partial, insincere, inhuman, revengeful and altogether opposed to those high and noble principles of State policy which alone should guide the counsels of a great people." The resolution was voted down, and one passed applauding Lincoln. The proposer of the resolution was also compelled to apologize for slurring remarks on Thompson.]

[Footnote 953: Atlantic Monthly, XI, p. 525.]

[Footnote 954: Lincoln, Complete Works, II, p. 302.]

[Footnote 955: Trevelyan, John Bright, p. 306. Also Rhodes, IV, p. 351.]

[Footnote 956: Massie, America: the Origin of Her Present Conflict, London, 1864. This action and the tour of the two delegates in America did much to soothe wounded feelings which had been excited by a correspondence in 1862-3 between English, French and American branches of similar church organizations. See New Englander, April, 1863, p. 288.]

[Footnote 957: Jan. 6, 1863.]

[Footnote 958: Published Oxford and London, 1863.]

[Footnote 959: Rhodes, IV, p. 355.]

[Footnote 960: Lutz, Notes. Schleiden's despatch, No. 1, 1863. German opinion on the Civil War was divided; Liberal Germany sympathized strongly with the North; while the aristocratic and the landowning class stood for the South. The historian Karl Friedrich Neumann wrote a three-volume history of the United States wholly lacking in historical impartiality and strongly condemnatory of the South. (Geschichte der Vereinigten Staaten, Berlin, 1863-66.) This work had much influence on German public opinion. (Lutz, Notes.)]

[Footnote 961: Liberator, Feb. 20, 1863. Letter of J.P. Jewett to W.L. Garrison, Jan. 30, 1863. "The few oligarchs in England who may still sympathize with slavery and the Southern rebels, will be rendered absolutely powerless by these grand and powerful uprisings of THE PEOPLE."]

[Footnote 962: Duffus, English Opinion, p. 51.]

[Footnote 963: Argyll, Autobiography, II, pp. 196-7.]

[Footnote 964: Trevelyan, John Bright. Facsimile, opp. p. 303. Copy sent by Sunmer to Bright, April, 1863.]

[Footnote 965: Russell Papers. Lyons to Russell, March 10, 1863. Lyons was slow to favour the emancipation proclamation. The first favourable mention I have found was on July 26, 1864. (Russell Papers. To Russell.) In this view his diplomatic colleagues coincided. Stoeckl, in December, 1863, wrote that slavery was dead in the Central and Border States, and that even in the South its form must be altered if it survived. (Russian Archives, Stoeckl to F.O., Nov. 22-Dec. 4, 1863, No. 3358.) But immediately after the second proclamation of January, 1863, Stoeckl could see no possible good in such measures. If they had been made of universal application it would have been a "great triumph for the principle of individual liberty," but as issued they could only mean "the hope of stirring a servile war in the South." (Ibid., Dec. 24, 1863-Jan. 5, 1864, No. 70.)]