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and energetic action of General Butler, Maryland was prevented from falling into the bands of the audacious minority who wished to side with the insurgents. The Governor of this State in bis perplexity at the novel condition of public affairs, so far forgot himself as to propose to Mr. Lincoln that the dispute between the Government and the rebels should be referred to the British Minister for arbitration. To this the following reply was made for Mr. Lincoln by Mr. Seward : :
If eighty years could have obliterated all the other noble sentiments of that age (1776] in Maryland, the President would be hopeful, nevertheless, that there is one that would forever remain there and everywhere. That sentiment is, that no domestic contention whatever that may arise among the parties of this republic, ought in any case to be referred to any foreign arbitrament, least of all to the arbitrament of a European monarchy.
And here may be properly introduced the following extract of a despatch from Mr. Seward to Mr. Adams, dated April 10th, 1865, in which the bold and comprehensive policy of Mr. Lincoln's administration in regard to our foreign relations, which was maintained without swerving throughout the war, is clearly set forth.
POSITION ASSUMED TOWARDS FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS.
Before considering the arguments you are to use, it is important to indicate those which you are not to employ in executing that mission :.
First. The President has noticed, as the whole American people have, with much emotion, the expressions of good-will and friendship toward the United States, and of concern for their present embarrassments, which have been made on apt occa. sions, by her Majesty and her ministers. You will make due acknowledgments for these manifestations, but at the same time you will not rely on any mere sympathies or national kindness. You will make no admissions of weakness in our Constitution, or of apprehension on the part of the Government. You will rather prove, as you easily can, by comparing the history of our country with that of other States, that its Constitution and Government are really the strongest and surest which have ever been erected for the safety of any people. You will in no case listen to any suggestion of compromise by this Government, under foreign auspices, with its discontented citizens. If, as the President does not at all apprehend, you shall unhappily find her Majesty's Government tolerating the application of the so-called seceding States, or wavering about it, you will not leave them to suppose for a moment that they can grant that application and remain the friends of the United States. You may even assure them promptly, in that case, that if they determine to recognize, they may at once prepare to enter into an alliance with the enemies of this republic. You alone will represent your country at London, and you will represent the whole of it there. When you are asked to divide that duty with others, diplomatic relations between the Government of Great Britain and this Government will be suspended, and will remain so until it shall be seen which of the two is most strongly intrenched in the confidence of their respective nations and of mankind.
You will not be allowed, however, even if you were disposed, as the President is sure you will not be, to rest your opposition to the application of the Confederate States on the ground of any favor this Administration, or the party which chiefly called it into existence, proposes to show to Great Britain, or claims that Great Britain ought to show them. You will not consent to draw into debate before the British Government any oppos ing moral principles which may be supposed to lie at the foundation of the controversy between those States and the Federal Union.
You will indulge in no expressions of harshness or disrespect, or even impatience, concerning the seceding States, their agents, or their people. But you will, on the contrary, all the while
remember that those States are now, as they always heretofore have been, and, notwithstanding their temporary self-delusion, they must always continue to be, equal and honored members of this Federal Union, and that their citizens throughout all political misunderstandings and alienations still are and always must be our kindred and countrymen. In short, all your arguments must belong to one of three classes, namely: First. Arguments drawn from the principles of public law and natural justice, which regulate the intercourse of equal States. Secondly. Arguments which concern equally the honor, welfare, and happiness of the discontented States, and the honor, welfare, and happiness of the whole Union. Thirdly. Arguments which are equally conservative of the rights and interests, and even sentiments of the United States, and just in their bearing upon the rights, interests, and sentiments of Great Britain and all other nations.
That paper purports to contain a decision at which the British Government has arrived, to the effect that this country is divided into two belligerent parties, of which this Governmont represents one, and that Great Britain assumes the attitude of a neutral between them.
This Government could not, consistently with a just regard for the sovereignty of the United States, permit itself to debate these novel and extraordinary positions with the Government of her Britannic Majesty; much less can we consent that that Government shall announce to us a decision derogating from that sovereignty, at which it has arrived without previously conferring with us upon the question. The United States are still solely and exclusively sovereign within the territories they have lawfully acquired and long possessed, as they have always been. They are at peace with all the world, as, with unimportant exceptions, they have always been. They are living under the obligations of the law of nations, and of treaties with Great Britain, just the same now as heretofore; they are, of course, the friends of Great Britain, and they insist that Great Britain shall remain their friends now, just as she has hitherto been. Great Britain, by virtue of these relations, is a stranger to parties and sections in this country, whether they are loyal to the United States or not, and Great Britain can neither rightfully qualify the sovereignty of the United States, nor concede, nor recognize any rights, or interests, or power of any party, State, or section, in contravention to the unbroken sovereignty of the Federal Union. What is now seen in this country is the occurrence, by no means peculiar, but frequent in all countries, more frequent even in Great Britain than here, of an armed insurrection engaged in attempting to overthrow the regularly constituted and established Government. There is, of course, the employment of force by the Government to suppress the insurrection, as every other government necessarily employs force in such cases. But these incidents by no means constitute a state of war impairing the sovereignty of the Government, creating belligerent sections, and entitling foreign States to intervene, or to act as neutrals between them, or in any other way to cast off their lawful obligations to the nation thus for the moment disturbed. Any other principle than this would be to resolve government everywhere into a thing of accident and caprice, and ultimately all human society into a state of perpetual war.
We do not go into any argument of fact or of law in support of the position we have thus assumed. They are simply the suggestions of the instinct of self-defence, the primary law of human action-not more the law of individual than of national life.
The same proclamation which called for a volunteer army summoned an extra session of Congress, to take such measures as were required by the extraordinary state of the country. Congress assembled on the 4th of July, and received from the President the following Message, in which he set forth in detail the events which had made it necessary for him to call the Houses together. The document is remarkable not only for the calm, judicial tone which the writer preserved in it in the midst of such a period of excitement, but for the
clearness with which it sets forth those views of the constitutional questions involved in the struggle just begun, which were sustained in the end by the soundest intellect in the country as well as by the whole mass of the people.
MESSAGE TO THE SPECIAL SESSION OF CONGRESS,
JULY 4rv, 1861. Fellow-Citizens of the Senate and House of Representatives Having been conyened on an extraordinary occasion, as authorized by the constitution, your attention is not called to any ordinary subject of legislation.
At the beginning of the present presidential term, four months ago, the functions of the Federal Government were found to be generally suspended within the several States of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Florida, excepting only those of the Post-Office Department.
Within these States all the forts, arsenals, dock-yards, customhouses and the like, including the movable and stationary property in and about them, had been seized, and were held in open hostility to this Government, excepting only Forts Pickens, Taylor, and Jefferson, on and near the Florida coast, and Fort Sumter, in Charleston harbor, South Carolina. The forts thus seized had been put in improved condition, new ones had been built, and armed forces had been organized and were organizing, all avowedly for the same hostile purpose.
The forts remaining in the possession of the Federal Government in and near these States were either besieged or menaced by warlike preparations, and especially Fort Sumter was nearly surrounded by well-protected hostile batteries, with guns equal in quality to the best of its own, and outnumbering the latter as perhaps ten to one. A disproportionate share of the Federal muskets and rifles had somehow found their way into these States, and had been seized to be used against the Government. Accumulations of the public revenue, lying within them, had been seized for the same object. The Navy was scattered