Release of Mason and Slidell

 

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Civil War Harper's Weekly, January 11, 1862

We have posted our extensive collection of Harper's Weekly newspapers from the Civil War to this WEB site. They contain fascinating images of the war, and incredible stories of the war. Study of these old newspapers to gain a completely new perspective on the key events and people of the war.

(Scroll Down to See Entire Page, or Newspaper Thumbnails below will take you to a specific page of interest)

 

Charleston

Charleston Harbor

Trent

The Trent Controversy

Mason Slidell

Release of Mason and Slidell

Mississippi River

Mississippi River Map

Louisville

Louisville, Kentucky

McCall Report

McCall's Report on Dranesville

Stone Fleet in Charleston Harbor

Stone Fleet Sunk in Charleston Harbor

Brother Jonathan

Brother Jonathan

Dranesville

The Battle of Dranesville

Port Royal

Port Royal, South Carolina

Washington Defenses

Green River

Battle of Green River

 

 

JANUARY 11, 1862.]

HARPER'S WEEKLY.

19

(Previous Page) aid or sympathy. * * * Under present circumstances, the more effectually Great Britain guards her possessions and her commerce in this quarter, the better we shall be satisfied. If she should change her course and do us any injury, which we have not the least idea now that she proposes to do, we should not be deterred from vindicating our rights and our unbroken sovereignty against all the armies and navies she could send here."

Of all Mr. Seward's services to his country—and they are many and signal, unquestionably greater than those of any other of our living statesmen—none is more honorable to his country and himself than his correspondence with Great Britain during the last year.

THE "SATURDAY REVIEW."

THIS is the title of a London Weekly paper which has a bad eminence for hatred, malice, and all uncharitableness, especially toward America and Americans. Thackeray calls it the Superfine Review, from its affectation of universal superiority; and John Bright dubs it the Saturday Reviler, from its universal scurrility. But an Americus scholar, Henry James, in a note to his masterly address of last July, upon " The Social Significance of our Institutions," tells the truth of it in so trenchant and sparkling a manner that it should be put upon permanent record.

He says : " This able but unscrupulous paper is an involuntary and therefore most reliable witness of the utter worthlessness, for all social purposes, of the extremest culture of the head, which is moral culture, when weighed against the slenderest culture of the heart, which alone is spiritual culture. It seems to have had no more genuine mission than to show the rank and festering selfishness which has eaten out the vitals of the old European decency, coining now at last to the surface to corrode and consume every traditional usage of humane and sympathetic literary art which has hitherto masked its presence and limited its activity. If the Saturday Review fairly represent the scholarly animus of England—if its flippant, transparent Pharisaism, its puerile self-complacency, its wanton insolence, its truculent arrogance, exhibited toward every form of intellectual independence—except, as in the case of John Mill, where a great reputation sanctities it—and toward every the most honest suggestion of social advance, fitly represent the academical consciousness of that country—one can only exclaim, Alas, how changed from its former self! A land (in an intellectual sense) of deserts and pits, a land of drought and the shadow of death, a land no man passes through, and where no man dwells. Certainly honest John Bull was never before so sophisticated—degraded from a fat, savory, succulent, juicy beef, to a lean, stringy, sinewy, tendinous veal—from the superb, contented, disdainful monarch of broad meadows and glittering streams, to the blatant and menacing and hitting challenger of every innocent scarlet rag that flutters along private lane or public highway. It is English middle-class manners made conscious of their own inmost snobbery, and trying to cover it up under an affectation of coarse and vulgar effrontery toward superior people."

HUMORS OF THE DAY.

"WEATHER AS IS WEATHER."—The boatmen of the Bay of Naples tell of a Wapping sailor in the Mediterranean, that he called out to his shipmates, one morning, when there happened, after six months' clear weather, to be a slight fog, "Turn out, boys! turn out! Here's weather as is weather; none of your everlasting blue sky!"

Sweetening one's coffee is generally the first stirring event of the day.

FATHER OF A FAMILY: "Now, my dears, let use see! we've got the sandwiches and the sherry, and the railway ticket, and the insurance tickets in case of a collision, so that it is a great comfort to reflect, in case of any thing serious—" The rest of the speech is lost in the shriek of the railway engine.

"It is very curious," said an old gentleman to his friend, "that a watch should be perfectly dry when it has a running spring inside."

Love, Justice, and Fortune are said to have no eyes; but all three make us mortals open ours pretty wide sometimes.

"Sally, what time do your folks dine?" "Soon as you go away ; that's Missus's orders."

EASE FOR MAN.—By the year two thousand it is probable that manual labor will have utterly ceased under the sun, and the occupation of the adjective "hard-fisted" will have gone forever. They have now in New Hampshire a potato-digging machine, which, drawn by horses down the rows, digs the potatoes, separates them from the dirt, and loads them up into the cart, while the farmer walks alongside, whistling "Hail Columbia!" with his hands in his pockets.

The boy who undertook to ride a horse-radish is now practicing on a saddle of mutton.

A man, speaking of a place out West, says it is a perfect paradise, and that though most all the people have the fever and ague, yet it is a great blessing, for it is the only exercise they take.

FASHION.

A way to dress,

In the mode, I guess,
Picks a husband's bones quite clean,

And poor Mr. Spratt

Must cry "No fat!"

And his wife will cri-no-lene.

"Now, then, my hearties," a gallant captain, "you have a tough battle before you. Fight like heroes till your powder's gone, then—run! I'm a little lame, and I'll start now."

The horse "warranted to stand without tying," which a man bought at an auction the other day, is offered for sale by the purchaser, with the additional guaranty that "he will not move without whipping."

Ugly people are as anxious as handsome ones to perpetuate their features: probably, having lived so long with their ugliness, they have become attached to it.

"Is your father at home?" inquired a man of the little girl who admitted him. "Is your name Bill?" she asked. Some people call me so," replied he. "Then he is not at home ; for I heard him tell John, if any bill came, to say he was not at home."

The ocean, which is forever sounding, sometimes gets sounded.

Who lets one sit on his shoulders, shall have him presently sit on his head.

Men wounded by the explosion of bomb-shells are wounded mortarly.

"Although you count yourself a brighter fellow than I am, yet I can round you, as the earth said to the sun."

The two most precious things now inclosed in hoops are girls and kegs of whisky.

A good many chairmen at public meetings don't know how to put a question. Young ladies think it should be popped.

An eloquent speaker is like a river—greatest at the mouth.

The women must think that we men are great robbers; we are all the while going about robbing them of their very names.

Duelists must have their seconds, and widows are entitled to their thirds.

A man's mouth is made to talk and eat, yet he often hurts himself dreadfully by talking, and keeps himself by eating.

Some fellows never pay a debt, except when they owe a grudge.

A SMART SCHOLAR.— "Did you ever see an elephant's skin?" asked a teacher in an infant school. "I have," shouted a six-year-old at the foot of the class. "Where?" inquired the teacher, considerably amused at his earnestness.    "On the elephant," shouted the prodigy, gleefully.

Don't carry your antipathy royalty as far as to break the crown of your head.

DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE.

CONGRESS.

ON Tuesday, December 24, in the Senate (the House not being in session), several petitions looking to the emancipation of slaves were presented. The Committee on Naval Affairs was instructed to inquire into the manner in which war vessels had been fitted out at the Navy-yards, rumors of great extravagance having obtained currency. A petition of citizens of Boston relative to the freedom of the Press was presented by Senator Hale. After an executive session the Senate adjourned.

On Thursday, December 26, in the Senate, Senator Hale offered a resolution requesting the President, if not incompatible with the public interests, to transmit copies of all dispatches which have passed between the United States Government and that of Great Britain relative to the capture of the rebel envoys—Slidell and Mason—the documents to be communicated either in open or secret session, as may be deemed proper. Senator Hale supported his proposition in a speech of a decidedly warlike tone. Senator Sumner, Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, objected to the resolution. The subject, he said, was now in good hands, and it would be better for the Senate to reserve themselves for facts, and not act upon a hypothetical case. The resolution was then laid over, under the rule. Notice was given of a bill to provide for the confiscation of every species of property of all persons in rebellion against the Government. Senator Harlan introduced a bill establishing provisional governments in all the seceded States—it was referred. Among the petitions presented was one for the introduction of the homeopathic medical practice in the army, several for an armory at Rock Island, and a number for the emancipation of slaves by the military power. The Senate adjourned till Monday.- No business was transacted in the House of Representatives, no quorum being present. The House adjourned till Monday.

THE SURRENDER OF MASON AND SLIDELL.

The papers publish the diplomatic correspondence between the Governments of France and England on the one hand, and that of the United States on the other, concerning the question of international law, involved in the seizure of the rebel Commissioners. The first document is a note from Mr. Seward to Mr. Adams, in which the case is briefly mentioned, and in which Mr. Seward says that the action of Captain Wilkes was without any instructions from the Government, and he trusted that the British Government would consider the subject in a friendly temper. Then follows a note from Earl Russell to Lord Lyons, dated November 30, reciting the English version of the case—declaring that the act of Captain Wilkes was an affront to the British flag, and a violation of international law; and announcing that the "liberation of the four gentlemen named, and their delivery to your lordship," together with a suitable apology for the aggression, alone could satisfy the British nation. To this Mr. Seward responds in a paper, addressed to Lord Lyons, under date of the 26th ult., in which he analyzes, at great length the principles of public law involved in the case, and arrives at the conclusion that the Government of the United States would be wrong in refusing to comply with the British demand, so far as relates to the disposition that shall be made of the persons captured. He closes by saying that the "four persons in question" will be cheerfully liberated; and "your lordship will please indicate a time and place for receiving them." No "apology," however, is offered, because no offense was intended. To this Lord Lyons responds by announcing that he will forward the communication to Her Majesty's Government, and will immediately make arrangements to place the "four gentlemen" again "under the protection of the British flag." Besides these documents there is a dispatch from M. Thouvenel, the French Minister for Foreign Affairs, to M. Mercier, the "Minister of the Emperor at Washington," in which Thouvenel pronounces the conduct of the American cruiser unjustifiable, but hopes for a pacific solution of the difficulty. To this Mr. Seward responds in a note to M. Mercier, in which he corrects an error of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, refers him to his correspondence with the British Government, and exchanges assurances of friendship.

THE BRITISH DEMAND.

The following is the point of the dispatch of Earl Russell :

" Her Majesty's Government, bearing in mind the friendly relations which have long subsisted between Great Britain and the United States are willing to believe that the United States naval officer who committed the aggression was not acting in compliance with any authority from his Government, or that, if he conceived himself to be so authorized, he greatly misunderstood the instructions which he had received. For the Government of the United States must be fully aware that the British Government could not allow such an affront to the national honor to pass without full reparation, and her Majesty's Government are unwilling to believe that it could be the deliberate intention of the Government of the United States unnecessarily to force into discussion between the two Governments a question of so grave a character, and with regard to which the whole British nation would be sure to entertain such unanimity of feeling. Her Majesty's Government, therefore, trust that, when this matter shall have been brought under the consideration of the Government of the United States, that Government will, of its own accord, offer to the British Government such redress as alone could satisfy the British nation, namely :

" The liberation of the four gentlemen and their delivery to your lordship, in order that they may again be placed under British protection, and a suitable apology for the aggression which has been committed.

"Should these terms not be offered by Mr. Seward, you will propose them to him."

MR. SEWARD'S REPLY.

The following passages contain the pith of Mr. Seward's answer. After relating the law and the facts he says:

"I trust that I have shown to the satisfaction of the British Government, by a very simple and natural statement of the facts and analysis of the law applicable to them, that this Government has neither meditated nor practiced, nor approved, any deliberate wrong in the transaction to which they have called its attention, and, on the contrary, that what has happened has been simply an inadvertency, consisting in a departure by the naval officer —free from any wrongful motive—from a rule uncertainly established, and, probably, by the several parties concerned, either imperfectly understood or entirely unknown. For this error the British Government has a right to expect the same reparation that we, as an independent State, should expect from Great Britain, or from any other friendly nation, in a similar case.

"If I decide this case in favor of my own Government, I must disavow its most cherished principles, and reverse and forever abandon its essential policy. The country can not afford the sacrifice. If I maintain those principles and adhere to that policy, I must surrender the case itself. It will be seen, therefore, that this Government could not deny the justice of the claim presented to us in this respect upon its merits. We are asked to do to the British nation just what we have always insisted all nations ought to do to us.

'' Putting behind me all suggestions of this kind, I prefer to express my satisfaction that, by the adjustment of the present case, upon principles confessedly American, and yet, as I trust, mutually satisfactory to both of the nations concerned, a question is finally and rightly settled between them which, heretofore exhausting not only all forms of peaceful discussion, but also the arbitrament, of war itself, for more than half a century alienated the two countries from each other, and perplexed with fears and apprehensions all other nations.

"The four persons in question are now held in military custody at Fort Warren, in the state of Massachusetts. They will be cheerfully liberated. Your lordship will please indicate a time and place for receiving them."

THE FRENCH VIEW.

The following sentences contain the point of M. Thouvenel's dispatch:

"Lord Lyons is already instructed to present the demand for satisfaction which the English Cabinet is under the necessity of reducing to form, and which consists in the immediate release of the persons taken from on board the Trent, and in sending explanations which may take from this act its offensive character toward the British flag. The Federal Government will be inspired by a just and exalted feeling in deferring to these requests. One would search in vain to what end, for what interest, it would hazard to provoke by a different attitude a rupture with Great Britain.

"For ourselves, we should see in that fact a deplorable complication, in every respect, of the difficulties with which the Cabinet of Washington has already to struggle, and a precedent of a nature seriously to disquiet all the Powers which continue outside of the existing contest. We believe that we give evidence of loyal friendship for the Cabinet of Washington by not permitting it to remain in ignorance, in this condition of things, of our manner of regarding it. I request you, therefore, Sir, to seize the first occasion of opening yourself frankly to Mr. Seward, and, if he asks it, send him a copy of this dispatch."

AFFAIRS IN KENTUCKY.

No official information has been received of any action in Kentucky; but we learn that 60,000 men, the advance of General Buell's command, have crossed Green River, and are within five miles of the rebel General Hindman's advance posts. A battle is therefore looked for in a short time.

AFFAIRS IN MISSOURI.

As soon as the intelligence of General Pope's cavalry having driven in the pickets of General Rains reached the camp of the rebel General Price, the utmost consternation prevailed, and a sudden flight took place in great confusion. The army made direct for the Arkansas border, burning the bridges behind them, including the new bridge built by General Fremont over the Osage River. The last accounts of General Price and his troops were that they had passed hurriedly through Springfield en route for Arkansas, from which State they are not expected again to emerge.

On 28th ult. General Prentiss, with four hundred and fifty men, dispersed nine hundred rebels, under Colonel Dorsey, at Mount Sion, Boone County, killing and wounding one hundred and fifty, and taking thirty-five prisoners, ninety-five horses, and one hundred and five guns, with a loss on our side of only three killed and eleven wounded. The rebels are continuing their depredations on the North Missouri Railroad. They burned another train on the 28th, and they boast that they will destroy every car on the road.

OCCUPATION OF BLUFFTON.

The village of Bluffton, which is about the same size as Beaufort, was occupied by the Union troops, under General Stevens, on the 24th ultimo. The rebels had previously abandoned it. The Empire City came through the southeast channel, and found thirty feet of water there.

GOOD NEWS FROM NEW MEXICO.

Our news from New Mexico is of a cheering character. Colonel Canby, who is in command of the military department there, has retaken the two forts on the Messilla border —Forts Cray and Stanton—and was, at last accounts, on his way to Fort Fillmore, some months ago surrendered by Major Lynde, who has been dismissed the service in consequence. Colonel Canby is driving the rebel Texans before him, and intends to press on into Arizona.

SUSPENSION OF SPECIE PAYMENTS.

At a meeting of the bank representatives, held in this city on 28th ult., it was decided unanimously to suspend specie payment on 30th. This decision was come to in consequence of the fact that depositors have been drawing out coin and stowing it away in order to sell it at a premium, thus trading in the exigencies of the Government. The heavy drain upon the banks for the past few weeks has rendered this movement a necessity.

COLONEL CORCORAN NOT ESCAPED.

The statement of a Mr. Hurd concerning the escape of Colonel Corcoran, and the treatment of Union prisoners at Charleston, published in Harper's Weekly of last week, is a romantic fable—at least as far as it relates to the asserted arrival at Fortress Monroe, under the flag of truce, of the man Hurd; no such person has been heard of there. It is probable that the entire story is a fiction.

PERSONAL.

Colonel Windham, the English rifleman, who distinguished himself during the Italian war, under Garibaldi, and who served in the Sardinian army for six years, having offered his services to the United States Government, has been appointed to a position in the Fifteenth Wisconsin Regiment.

The Honorable Mr. Ely, who has so long been confined at Richmond, and who has been exchanged for Mr. Faulkner, arrived in Baltimore last week, and at once continued his journey northward.

General McClellan, who has been confined to his bed for some days with a slight fever, has recovered, and is in the saddle again.

General Scott returned to New York on board the Arago. His departure from Paris produced a very lively sensation in England. Previous to quitting the French capital the General had a lengthy interview with the Minister for Foreign Affairs, M. Thouvenel.

General Halleck has issued a proclamation declaring the railroads of Missouri under martial law.

FOREIGN NEWS.

ENGLAND.

THE WAR FEVER.

THE war agitation is still at fever heat in England. Troops are being mustered and shipped for Canada, with shot, shells, cannons, sledges, and every thing requisite for a winter campaign in a Northern climate. War vessels are still leaving for the North American coast, of which the new frigate Emerald is the latest departure from Plymouth.

NEW IRON-CLAD SHIPS.

The Shipping Gazette states that four new iron-clad first-class steam-frigates were to be built immediately, to serve also as steams-rams, thus projecting sterns of which were to be twenty feet long. They will each carry thirty-six Armstrong 100-pounders on the gun-desk, and two pivot guns at the bow and stern, to throw 200-pound shot. They will be 80 feet longer than the Warrior, though only 18 inches broader, and their tonnage is to be 6815.

DEATH OF PRINCE ALBERT.

The full report of the sickness and death of Prince Albert is affecting. He was taken ill with a "feverish cold" on the 3d of December. This attack alternated from mild to severe and vice versa, to the afternoon of the 14th, when the case assumed the character of typhoid fever. The Prince gradually declined in strength until eleven o'clock the same night, when he died tranquilly, surrounded by the Queen and the other members of the royal family.

THE BAHAMAS.

BRITISH SYMPATHY WITH REBELS.

Letters from Nassau state that, while the United States gun-boat Flambeau is denied coal and other accommodations, it appears that the Gladiator has been allowed to tranship her cargo of arms and ammunition to schooners bound for Southern rebel ports, with the full knowledge of the British officials. Four rebel vessels, laden with cotton and rice, from Charleston, have recently arrived at Nassau—among them the Theodora and Isabel with 1600 bales of cotton, all flying the rebel flag, and all having run the blockade of Charleston harbor.

KING JEFF. "What's the matter now?"

SLAVE. "Oh! Massa, dey's gone and BURNT CHARLESTON, and dey's set FIRE to M0NTGOMERY six times in two days!" "E'en a man so dull, so woe-begone,

Drew Priam's curtains in the dead of night,

And would have told him half his Troy was burnt."—SHAKSPEARE.

Slave Cartoon

 

 

  

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