Page images

Mr. Adams to Mr. Seward.

No. 1427.] LEGATION or run Uiwrnn STATES, London, August 23, 1867.

SIR : I have the honor to transmit herewith a. printed copy of the Queen’s speech on the prorogation of Parliament, which took place in due foi'm on the 21st instant.

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,

Hon. Wii.i.i.iM H. SEWARD,

Secretary of State, lVashingt0n, D. C.


The speech of the Lords Commissioners to both houses of Parliament, on Werlnesday, August 21, 1867. '

MY Lorms AND GENTLEMEN : I am happy to be enabled to release you from the labors of a long and more than usually eventful session, and to offer you my acknowledgments for

‘tihe successful diligence with which you have applied yourselves to your parliamentary utics. 4

My relations with foreign countries continue on a friendly footing.

At the commencement of the present year great fears were entertained that differences which had arisen between France and Prussia' might have led to a war, of which it was impossible to foresee the ultimate result. Happily the advice tendered by my government, and by those of the other neutral states, aided by the moderation of the two powers chiefly interested, sufficed to avert the threatened calamity; and I trust that no ground at present exists for apprehending any disturbance of the general peace.

The communications which I have made to the reigning monarch of Abyssinia, with a. view to obtain the release of the British subjects whom he detains in his dominions, have, I regret to say, thus far proved iiietfectual. I have therefore found it necessary to address to him a peremptory demand for their immediate liberation, and to take measures for supporting that demand, should it ultimately be found necessary to resort to force.

The treasonable conspiracy in Ireland, to which I have before called your attention, broke out'in the early part of the present year in a futile attempt at insurrection. That it was suppressed, almost without bloodshed, is due not more to the disciplined valor of my troops, and to the admirable conduct of the police, than to the general loyalty of the population and the absence of any token of sympathy with the insurgents on the part of any considerable portion of my subjects. I rejoice that the supremacy of the law was vindicated without imposing

' on me the painful necessity of sacrificing a single life;

The bill for the abolition of certain local exemptions from taxation enabled uie to avail myself of a liberal concession made, in anticipation. by the Emperor of the French, whereby several taxes were removed which pressed heavily upon British shipping.

I have concluded a postal convention with the United States of America, whereby the rate of postage between the two countries will be diminished by oiie-half, and further arrangements arc in progress for increasing the intercourse between this country and the continent of North America.

The act for the union of the British North American provinces is the final accomplishment of a scheme long contemplated, whereby those colonies, now combined in one dominion, may be expected not only to gain additional strength for the purpose of a defence against external aggression, but may be united among themselves by fresh ties of mutual interest, and attached to the mother country by the only bonds which can efiectually secure such important dependencies, those of loyalty to the Crown and attachment to British connection.

Gentlemen of the House of Commons, I thank you for the liberal supplies which you have voted for the public service. .

My lords and gentlemen, I have had great satisfaction in giving my assent to a bill _for amending the representation of the people in Parliament. I earnestly trust that the extensive and liberal measure which you have passed may effect a durable settlement of a question which has long engaged public attention, and that the large number of my subjects who will be for the first time admitted to the exercise of the elective franchise, may, in the discharge of the duties thereby devolved upon them, prove themselves worthy of the confidence which Parliament has reposcd in them. _

It is gratifying to me to find that the lengthened consideration which you have necessarily given to this important question has not prevented your entering on many subjects to which your attention was directed at the commencement of the session, and particularly to such as have iiiiuiediate reference to the well-being of the industrial classes.

[ocr errors]

I have had especial pleasure in giving my assent to bills for extending to various trades, with such modifications as have been found necessary, the provisions of the factory acts, the success of which has proved the possibility of combining effectual protection to the labor of women and children with a due consideration for the interests of the trades immediately concerned. .

I confidently anticipate from the operation of the present acts the same improvement in the physical, social, and moral condition of the working classes which has been found to accompany the application of the acts to those trades to which they have been hitherto confined.

The restraints alleged to be imposed on workmen and their employers by trade unions and other associations appeared to me to call for inquiry, and the revelations derived from the examinations before the commission, to which you gave your legislative sanction, have disclosed a state of things which will demand your most earnest attention.

The administration of the poor laws, which generally has conferred great benefit on the community, and especially on the poorthemselves, requires constant supervision, and I have readily assented to a bill which, applied to the metropolis alone, will tend to equalize the pressure of taxation and improve t e treatment of the sick poor, whose condition will be greatly benefited by your well-considered legislation.

The bill for the regulation of the merchant shipping contains important provisions calculated to add to'thc health and comfort of those engaged in the mercantile marine.

These and other valuable amendments of the law have been the result of your labors during the present session, and in returning to your homes you will carry with you the gratifying consciousness that your time and pains have not been misapplied, and that they have resulted in a series of measures which I hope and earnestly pray may contribute to the welfare of the country and the contentment and happiness of my people.

Then a commission for proroguing the Parliament was road.

After which the lord chancellor said : '

MY LORDS AND GENTLEMEN: By virtue of her Majesty’s commission, under the great. seal, to us and other lords directed, and now read, we do, in her Majesty’s name, and in obedience to her commands, prorogue this Parliament to Wednesday, the 6th day of November next, to be then here holden; and this Parliament is accordingly prorogued to Wednesday, the 6th day of November next.

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]

LEoA'rtoN or THE Unrrso STATES,
London, Aagust 23, 1867.
Secretary of State, Washington, D. C. :

Measures already taken for the object desired.

' Mr. Adams to Mr. Seward.

London, August 23, 1867.

SIR: I have to acknowledge the reception of despatches from the department numbered 2032, 2033, and 2034, as likewise of a telegram by the cable, directing me to urge the release of Colonels Nagle and VVarren, being on the same subject with that of N0. 2032. _

This matter had been already entered upon by Mr. West, so far as Colonel Naglc is concerned, in a note addressed to the authorities in Ireland on the 27th ultimo. The reason why Colonel Warren was not included by him appears to have been his own inability to establish the fact of his citizenship. How material this fact is'to the strength of any representation that can be made on my part must be obvious to you at a glance. Yet I cannot but observe, in many of

[ocr errors]

the papers which are sent out to me as coming from the friends of the parties, a great loos_eness'of statement, which tends to weaken my confidence in proceeding upon them as a basis. For instance, Colonel Warren is referred to in the letter of Colonel Liebenau, annexed to your despatch No. 2032, as being a native of Boston, whilst in his own memorial to the Irish authorities he expressly states that he is a native of Ireland, although he afiirms that he is naturalized. But even on this point he has ‘thus far failed to produce any satisfactory evidence.

To the application made by Mr. West in behalf of N agle, a reply was received

by him from the authorities dated the 10th of August, to the effect that

Finding that he came to this country as one of the leaders of an expedition, the object of which was to bring in arms and otherwise forward the treasonable designs of the Fenian conspiracy, his excellency cannot, consistently with his duty, order the prisoner’s discharge at present.

I very much regret to be obliged to call your attention to the fact that, by an

. article printed in a New York news_p_aper', a copy of which I transmit, it would

appear that the friends of these parties in America fully confirm the allegation made by Sir Thomas Larcom.

Notwithstanding these obstacles, I have directed Mr. West to renew his representations in behalf of Colonel Nagle, and to make one in behalf of Colonel Warren, mainly on the ground of their services in the war and their allegation that they have committed no overt act of hostility within her M-a_jesty’s juris

diction. This is probably technically true; hence it may justify an application

at least for a trial, which I shall endeavor to renew directly to the government here, if a refusal should be given to Mr. West at Dublin.

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,

CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS. Hon. WILLIAM H. sEWARD,' Secretary qf State, Wasltinglon, D. C.


A Fenian episorle.—}1. cargo of “hardware” shipped for Ireland, where it ultimately brought up. New Yonx, July 20, 1867.

The little brig which conveyed the party of twenty Fenians to Ireland, including Generals Naglo and_Warren, an account of whose landin and arrest at Dungarvan, Ireland, has been published, has arrived back. It appears that s e was chartered by wealthy [rishmen of this city, who are reported to have cleared her with a cargo of hardware, said hardware being two thousand muskets and considerable ammunition. Arriving off the coast of Ireland, it was found that‘the brig was not provided with boats, and most of the party were obliged to jump overboard in the night and swim ashore in the surf. The brig attracted attention from the coast guard, but managed to elude them. The cargo of muskets has been discharged. Two or three of the parties came back in the brig. ~The expedition was conducted with the utmost secrecy. '

Mr. Adams to Mr. Seward.

No. 1429.] LEGATION or THE Uxrrsn STATES, Lomlon, August 23, 1867."

SIR: In connection with your despatch No. 2033, relative to the case of S; J. Meany, I have only to remark_ that, though called upon, he has not yet succeeded in presenting any evidence of naturalization as a citizen of the United States. He has gone no further than to say that he was a “declared ” citizen,

' which I presume means to refer to a declaration of his intention. A declaration

does not appear to be considered by the law at home as suificient to change the allegiance, and certainly would not be admitted to do so here.

The representation of Governor Ward, annexed to your despatch, appears to contemplate still stronger proceedings. It aflirms the wrongfulness of the trial

under which Heany was convicted and sentenced. Under this view, the question of his citizenship or otherwise becomes one of the first importance, as it regards the possibility of a ground of interference. lt would seem necessary therefore to require from those who befriend him the most undoubted evidence on that point. I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,


[merged small][ocr errors]

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, August 26, 1867. SIR: Your despatch of the 9th of August, No. 1421, has been received. Your comments upon the probable working of the reformed electoral system in Great Britain are very interesting. It is a hopeful circumstance in that connection that all classes of people, as well those without education as those who

No. 2045.]

have enjoyed its benefits, seem to agree in the importance of diffusing knowledge 7

now more widely and more eifectual than ever. Every patriot at home and

_ every friend of humanity abroad will in the abstract agree with you in the

desire you express for an early restoration of constitutional peace, law. order and progress among ourselves. Political movements advance rapidly always in the -United States. We may tlierefbye reasonably expect a solution of present questions to be not far distant.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

[ocr errors]

Mr. Seward to Mr. Adams.

DEPARTMENT or STATE, iVashz'ngz‘0n, August 26, 1867.

SIR: A company of New York are proposing to establish a bi-monthly mail packet line of steamers to Bermudas, Bahamas, J amaica. St. Domingo, Hayti, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, St. Iago de Cuba, Havana, Saint Croix, Saint Kitts, Antigua, Guadaloupe, Dominica, Martinique, Barbadoes and Trinidad. The company has opened negotiations with the local government of Antigua for privileges and facilities necessary to establish a. depot for the use of their line and a harbor in that island.‘ They ask the good ofiices and co—operation of this government in securing the assent of her Majesty's government to the arrangement they are making with the local authorities of those islands.

The enterprise, if successful, would be productive of great commercial benefits to the United States as well as to all the West India islands. This department is without express authority of law and does not deem it wise to cover by the executive patronage the commercial schemes and enterprises of citizens of

the United States in foreign countries,.however conducive they may be to the general prosperity of the country.

'l'.he President at the same time thinks that you may, within the scope of

your general instructions, lend your good oflices in bringing the enclosed to the favorable attention of the English government.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

No. 1433.] I LEGATION or ran UNITED Srxrns, London, August 27, 1867.

SIR: In connection with my despatches Nos. 1428 and 1429, of last week relating to particular instances of arrest of persons in Ireland, I deem it proper now to add to them a more general report of the course which has been adopted in regard to other cases in which intervention has been required.

The presentation to Parliament of the petition of John McCafi'erty, referred to in my despatch No. 1401, of the 5th July, was delayed some time on account of objections raised by Lord Westbury, to whom a copy had been intrusted, on account of some portions of the language used. The consequence was, that a new draft was prepared, but, for some reason unknown, even that was kept back until the very last day of the session of Parliament, when it was presented in the House of Commons by Mr. Taylor. Of course no action could then be taken upon it, and the matter goes over to next year.

In an interview which I had with Lord Stanley some time since, I called his attention to the facts of the case, as well as to this movement about to be made on behalf of McUafferty, and expressed a hope that no objection would be raised on the part of the government. I added that the doubt as to the validity of the judicial construction of law under which he was condemned had been so strongly felt by a portion of the judges that it seemed to justify an attempt to obtain a revisal of the decision. This had been likewise felt by my government, so that I had been authorized to assume the expense that might be incurred in the proceeding. .

His lordship took a note of my statement, and manifested a disposition not unfavorable, but owing, I presume, to the delay of the presentation of the petition, no occasion has occurred for any action upon it.

So in the case of John McClure, referred to in your despatch No. 1996, of the 4th June, I seized the same occasion to say a word in his behalf. I referred to his extreme youth, to his frank manner in which he had admitted his offence at the trial, and to the fact that no real injury to persons or property had beep committed by him, as circumstances which I hoped might induce the government presently to remit the remainder of the -penalty inflicted upon him. His lordship seemed to take so much interest in the statement that I have little doubt that so soon as the government feels itself in a situation to act, this individual will be among the first to be relieved.

Hy attention has been called by Mr. West to another case, the representation respecting which seems to have been made by the department directly to him and not through me. I refer to that of Lieutenant Joseph H. Lawler. As there was no evidence furnished by the department that Mr. Lawler was a citizen of the United States, Mr. West very naturally declined the responsibility of making a representation without consulting me. Mr. Lawler, when arrested last year, on being appealed to, promised, but proved ‘unable then, to supply this evidence. The nature of his present situation was aggravated by the tact that he had been released under a distinct intimation that if he should return he would render himself liable to be seized again. _

Under these circumstances I have advised Mr. West, nevertheless, to make on behalf of this man such a. representation as the natuue of his case will hear.

The case of Patrick Kane, or Carr, referred to in your despatch No. 2017, of the 13th of July, has been acted upon, but as yet the authorities decline to liberate him. A similar representation in behalf of James Lawless has met with a. similar answer. It is, however, to be observed that the language used in the official replies almost uniformly implies that there is no intention of keeping these persons in custody longer than considerations of immediate security

« PreviousContinue »