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We beg yonr excellency to receive the expression of our heartfelt desire that the war which now desolates your beloved country may soon terminate, and that returning peace may witness the reconstruction of your Union upon the enduring basis of equal and universal liberty.
Signed on behalf of the meeting:
WM. J. CLEGG, Hon. Secretary to the meeting.
His Excellency Abraham Lincoln.
Pmidenl of the United States, t(c.
At a public meeting of the inhabitants of Sheffield, in the county of York, held on Wednesday, the 31st December, 1862, Alderman George Lemon Saunders, esq., in the chair, it was proposed by Mr. Councillor Ironside, seconded by Mr. Councillor Woodcock, and—
"Resolved, That civil war in any country is an unmitigated evil, more especially in America, whose career of prosperity aud liberty has been unprecedented; and as the institution of slavery has been the most prominent and influential cause of the war, this meeting is of opinion that the present is a favorable crisis for slavery to be terminated, and thus not only end the war, but give a promising and hopeful prospect for the future of peace and prosperity both to America and England."
Proposed by Mr. Councillor Skelton, seconded by Mr. William J. Clegg, and—
Resolved, That, in the opinion of this meeting, it is the duty of England, as the recognized enemy of slavery, to give her sympathy and moral influence to the northern States, to disapprove of the origin and continuance of the slave-owners' rebellion, and by all peaceable means to try to cement a closer and Btronger union between this country and the people and government of America."
It was further unanimously resolved that the address now read be signed by the chairman, on behalf of the meeting, and forwarded through the proper authorities to his excellency the President of the United States.
WM. J. CLEGG, Bon. Secretary to the meeting.
At a meeting held in the Temperance Hall, Townhead street, in Sheffield, in England, on the evening of Friday, January 10, 1863, (attended by upwards of one thousand five hundred persons, the greater proportion of whom consisted of workingmen now suffering from the depression of trade consequent on the slaveowners' rebellion against the United States government.) the Rev. Francis Bishop in the chair—
After an interesting address from Mr. W. A. Jackson, the late coachman and slave of Mr. Jefferson Davis, it was proposed by Mr. W. J. Clegg, seconded by the Rev. J. Pattinsou, and enthusiastically and unanimously
ketcltxd, 'lhat this meeting bring 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 tha the federal government may be strengthened to punue its emancipation policy till not slave he left on the American soil.
That a copy of the last resolution be sent to his excellency the Hon. C. F. Adams, the American ambassador to the court of St. James, with a request to him to have the kindne» to forward it to the President of the United States.
FRANCIS BISHOP, Chairman.
Mr. Adams to Mr. Seward.
No. 299.] Legation Of The United States,
London, January 16, 1863. Sir: I have this moment received a large deputation of the executive committee of the Emancipation Society, who have, through their president, presented to me a series of resolutions adopted by them, which I am requested to transmit to the President of the United States. Some remarks were made by the chairman and several distinguished members of the committee, to which I returned a brief reply. A report of the same will probably appear in the newspapers to-morrow, a copy of which I shall endeavor to forward. I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS.
Hon. William H. Seward,
Secretary of Slate, Washington, D. C.
At a meeting of the executive committee of the Emancipation Society, specially convened at 65 Fleet street, London, or* the 15th of January, 1863, it was unanimously—
Resolved, That this committee, constituted without respect to political party or social distinctions for the development of British anti-slavery feeling, has learned with profound satisfaction the issue, on the 1st of January, of President Lincoln's promised proclamation, declaring the freedom of all persons held as slaves in the States or parts of States in rebellion afrainst the United States.
That the President's injunction to the persons declared free to abstain from violence, except in self-defence, and to accept reasonable terms of hired service, with the offer of military employment under the United States government, is an effectual rebnke to the imputation that servile war was contemplated by the proclamation, or that the liberated negro would be left to starvation and to crime.
That this committee recognizes in the limitation of that declaration of freedom to the districts so described no indifference on the part of the President and his cabinet to the injustice and evil of slavery in other districts of the Union, but an act of submission to the Constitution, and of faithful regard to their official oaths.
That this committee also connects with this proclamation of freedom, under the authority of martial law, the offer of compensation to loyal slaveholders for the loss of their slaves, and that great scheme of emancipation submitted to Congress in the message of December 1, 1862, as an amendment to the Constitution.
That these acts taken together, and with them other measures tending to the freedom and equality of the subject race, inspire this committee with hearty confidence in the antislavery purposes of the United St:, teg government.
That this committee, therefore, oilers to President Lincoln and his ministers, through their representative in this country, its warmest congratulations upon the auspicious aspect they have given to this new year, and joins with the President in invoking for these acts of freedom, justice, and mercy, "the considerate judgment of mankind and the gracious favor of Almighty God."
By order of the committee.
WILLIAM EVANS, Chairman.
Mr. Moron to Mr. Seward.
Legation or The United States,
London, January 17, 1863. Sie: I have the honor, under directions from Mr. Adams, to forward herewith a slip from the Morning Star of to-day, giving a report of the reception by him of a deputation composed of members of the executive committee of the London Emancipation Society, whose address, approving of the President's proclamation, he had the honor to transmit with his despatch (No. 299) of yesterday's date.
I am also directed to inform you that another address, from a meeting of seven hundred citizens of Salford, in Lancashire, has been received, but too late for transmission this week. I have the honor to be, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant,
BENJAMIN MORAN, Anittant Secretary of Legation.
lion. William H. Sewahd,
Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.
[Morning Star, (London,) January 17, 1863.]
Yesterday afternoon a deputation from the executive committee of the Emancipation Society waited on his excellency the American minister, at the embassy in Portland-place, for the purpose of presenting him with a resolution, agreed upon at a special meeting of the committee, approving of President Lincoln's proclamation.
Among the gentlemen composing the deputation were the Hon. and Rev. Baptist Noel, M. A ; P. A. Taylor, esq , M. P ; Mr. Benjamin Scott, F. R S. A., chamberlain of London; Rev. Newman Hall, L L.D.; Rev. R. Everest; Rev. J. H. Rylance; Mr. William Evans, chairman of the Emancipation Society; Mr. Edmond Beales, barrister-at-law; Mr. William Shaen, M. A.; Messrs. W. Hargreaves, Jacob Bright, H. J. Slack, James Beal, J. Gorrie, Harry Taylor, Washington Wilks, F. W. Chesson, (hon. sec.,) A. H. Dymond, W. Fanner, R. Moore. &c , &c.
Mr. Evans appropriately introduced the deputation, after which Mr. Chesson read the resolution as follows:
"That this committee, constituted without respect to political party or social distinctions, for the development of British anti-slavery feeling, has learned with profound satisfaction the issue, on the 1st of January, of President Lincoln's proclamation, declaring the freedom of all persons held as slave3 in the States or parts of States in rebellion against the United States government.
"That the President's injunction to the persons declared free to abstain from violence, except in self-defence, and to accept reasonable terms of hired service, with the offer of military employment under the United States government, is an effectual rebuke to the imputation that servile war was contemplated by the proclamation, or that the liberated negro would be left to starvation and to crime
"That this committee recognizes in the limitation of that declaration of freedom to the districts so described no indifference on the part of the President and his cabinet to the injustice and evil of slavery in other districts of the Union, but an act of submission to the Constitution, and < f faithful regard to their official oaths.
"That this committee also connects with this proclamation of freedom, under the authority of martial law, the offer of compensation to loyal slaveholders for the loss of their slaves, and that great scheme of emancipation submitted to Congress in the message of December 1, 1862, as an amendment to the Constitution.
"That these acts taken together, and with them other measures tendiug to the freedom and equality of the subject race, inspire this committee with hearty confidence in the autislavtry purposes of the United States government.
"That this committee, therefore, offers to President Lincoln and his ministers, through their representative in this country, its warmest congratulations upon the auspicious aspect they have given to this new year; and joins with the President in invoking for these acta of freedom, justice, and mercy, 'the considerate judgment of mankind and the gracious favor of Almighty God.'"
Mr. Taylor, M. P., expressed the great pleasure he felt at the course the American government had lately taken in regard to slavery. That course would greatly enlighten the people of this country, many of whom had been misled as to the origin and results of the war. Slavery had been one of the causes which had sown dissension between the two countries. He, therefore, believed that the proclamation would not only tend to the entire abolition of slavery and the continuance of the Union, but that it would greatly conduce to a lasting peace between England and America. (Hear.)
The Hon and Rev. Baptist Noel said he cordially approved of Mr. Lincoln's policy. He had observed Mr. Lincoln's honest intention to maintain the Constitution on the one hand, and to do what the Constitution allowed on the other, for the liberation of the slave. The President had used the war power which had been put into his hands, and he (Mr. Noel) hoped that, under God's blessing, it might be the means of bringing the rebellion to a close. In abstaining from taking the same course in the border loyal States, he recognized the President's submission to the Constitution. But he (Mr. Noel) hoped and trusted the loyal States would accept the liberal offer which the government had made; and that, ere long, America would be free from the stain of slavery. (Applause.)
The Rev. Newman Hall said the opinion of this country on the American struggle had been greatly misrepresented. The leading newspapers, which were supposed to represent pnblic opinion, really did not represent the feelings of the masses. Many of the upper and middle classes bad been misled on the question, but the working classes had not. No meetings had been called in support of slavery, while the meetings that had been held against it had been of the most triumphant character. All the opposition that had been attempted had been an utter failure. He would just give one illustration of the inconsistency of those who misrepresented public opinion. In the Times of the day before there had been a'leading article, in the first paragraph of which the President had been condemned, on the high ground of philanthropy, for not issuins the proclamation, while in the next paragraph he had been condemned for what he had done, on the ground that he had invaded the Constitution. Now, when one paragraph in a leading journal contradicted another he did not think there wns much danger that the great body of the people would fall into error on the question. (Hear.)
Mr. Jacob Bright said he concurred in what had already been said In Lancashire, where they should find opposition to the continuance of the war, if they were to find it anywhere, the working classes were almost unanimously in favor of the north. He had seen the question tested in Rochdale and many other places, and in these places he had seen a strong, warm, and earnest feeling in favor of emancipation displayed. (Approbation.)
His excellency Mr. Adams then replied in the following terms:
Gentlemen: I receive this expression of the sentiments of so respectable a body with great pleasure and great satisfaction. I need not say how encouraging such manifestations will be to those persons in my country represented by the President of the United States, who have been driven into the nee?ssity of maintaining such a painful struggle as has been carried on by them in America, in devotion to great principles of public law and public order. I am very much encouraged by the eircumstance that there is growing here, and in Europe generally, a better conception than has heretofore prevailed of the principles involved in the struggle. The election of Mr. Lincoln wns a great declaration of the majority of the people of the United States in favor of the principle of human freedom. The signification of it was that the persons then elected to places of responsibility should be so far imbued with that principle as that, while they carried on the government in the spirit of freedom, they should at the same time avoid the necessity of a struggle of physical force. It was the conviction, on the part of the opponents of that policy, that the result would be as certain by that process, though perhaps much slower, that drove them into the desperate measure of stopping it at the threshold by violence. The consequence was that the government was attacked at its very foundations. The struggle to preserve it has been going on from that time to this. If, therefore, there h«s been what might otherwise be thought extraordinary haste and precipitate energy in any of the measures which have been taken by the government, it has not been owing so much to any will of their own, as to the fact that the violence of the resistance has caused the necessity for them. I think the idea which it is desirable to present distinctly is this: that the struggle has been one of selfdefence against the aggressive system that was threatening destruction to the whole edifice of government as it stood, for the reason that it was too favorable to freedom. And with regard to this proclamation, the desire on the part of the President of the United States has been, as I conscientiously believe, not to hasten the measure of emancipation any faster than popular sentiment in the slave States would demand, nor any faster than tbe emergency should dictate; or, in other words, simply so to act as to prevent those very convulsions which war is too apt to precipitate. Therefore, in all matters incidental to the maintenance of his policy, regard has been steadily had to the possible avoidance of those dangers of servile war which necessarily must have been foreseen by all thoughtful persons during the contest. Therefore, whilst always keeping in view the ultimate consequences of this most remarkable, and, I may say, unprecedented struggle, I trust that the great results which we all hope to arrive at will be eventually reached, not perhaps immediately, not perhaps to-day or to-morrow, or the next day, but ultimately, by a steady perseverance in one course, which may force the consent of all parties, aud yet avert the fearful consequences which we might naturally apprehend. I am extremely gratified in the assurances which have been given by several gentlemen with respect to the state of popular feeling in England on this subject. I have myself had occasion to notice the fact, that although some of the exponents of the public sentiment have appeared to be at times exceedingly harsh upon the United States, yet that when opportunity offered for an appeal to the people themselves, that the sentiment has uniformly responded to the policy which the United States government have enunciated. I am, therefore, encouraged to hope that the clouds which have heretofore gathered, and at times somewhat poitentously, over the amicable relations of the two countries have now more and more the appearance of vanishing from tbe siy. I feel sanguine that the exp-ession of sympathy from h«re, which I have been lately the medium of repeatedly communicating to my countrymen, will have the effect of clearing away many impressions that may have been received by reading the attacks of hostile journals, and taking them too much as the true expression of the sentiment of the people. I think, by understanding distinctly—which they will now have the opportunity of doing—that the policy of Great Britain is not retrograde on the subject of slavery, wherever it may yet exist, and that it is true to the former pledges it so cobly gave to the world of its devotion to the principle of human freedom—the growing conviction of that fact will have the effect in America of restoring those amicable relations and reviving those warm sentiments which ought to be entertained between the two kindred people at all times. Gentlemen, I shall not longer detain you. I will just say that I shall have pleasure in communicating to my government a knowledge of the sentiments which have been expressed here by you to day.
The deputation then thanked his excellency for the courtesy with which he had received them, and withdrew.
Mr. Seward to Mr. Adams.
No. 454] Department Of State,
Washington, January 19, 1863.
Sir: I have before me your despatch of December 25, No. 281, together with the note written to you by Earl Kussell on the 19th of November last, and also your despatch of January 1, N«. 286, together with the reply which you made on the 30th of December last to the aforementioned note of Earl Russell. All these papers relate to the claim which you presented to her Majesty's government for redress for the depredations of the "290," or "Alabama," and for the adoption of measures to prevent the occurrence of similar violations of the maritime rights of this country in future.
You have properly replied to Earl Russell's note, and cleared up the argument of the case by a paper which seems to the President as convincing as it is calm and truthful.
Earl Russell's argument does not satisfy the President that redress ought not to be granted to our citizens for the depredations which have been committed by the " 290." He trusts that your reply may yet induce a reconsideration of that subject. 1 therefore leave.that branch of the case at rest until there shall have been an opportunity to hear further from you upon that subject.
It is not presumed that our anti-enlistment act is defective, or that Great Britain has ground to complain that it has not been effectually executed. Nevertheless, the proposition of her Majesty's government that the two governments shall confer together upon amendments to the corresponding acts in the two countries evinces a conciliatory, a liberal, and just spirit, if not a desire to prevent future causes of complaint. You are therefore authorized to confer with Earl Russell, and to transmit for the consideration of the President such amendments as Earl Russell may, in such a conference, suggest and you may think proper to be approved.
You will receive herewith a copy of Borne treasonable correspondence of tire insurgents at Richmond with their agents abroad, which throws a flood of light upon the naval preparations they are making in Great Britain. You will use these papers in such a manner as shall be best calculated to induce the British government to enforce its existing laws, and, if possible, to amend them so as to prevent the execution of the unlawful designs which will thus be brought to their notice in a manner which will admit of no question in regard to the sufficiency of evidence.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
WILLIAM H. SEWARD.
Charles Francis Adams, Esq., $r., Ifc., Sfc.