When Mr. Seward got news of this, his temper gave way; so that, being still new to diplomacy, he wrote a dispatch to Mr. Adams wherein occurred words and phrases not so carefully selected as they should have been. He carried it to Mr. Lincoln, and soon received it back revised and corrected, instructively. A priori, one would have anticipated the converse of this.
The essential points of the paper were:—
That Mr. Adams would “desist from all intercourse whatever, unofficial as well as official, with the British government, so long as it shall continue intercourse of either kind with the domestic enemies of this country.”
That the United States had a “right to expect a more independent if not a more friendly course” than was indicated by the understanding between England and France; but that Mr. Adams would “take no notice of that or any other alliance.”
He was to pass by the question as to whether the blockade must be respected in case it should not be maintained by a competent force, and was to state that the “blockade is now, and will continue to be, so maintained, and therefore we expect it to be respected.”
As to recognition of the Confederacy, either by publishing an acknowledgment of its sovereignty, or officially receiving its representatives, he was to inform the earl that “no one of these proceedings will pass unquestioned.” Also, he might suggest that “a concession of belligerent rights is liable to be construed as a recognition” of the Confederate States. Recognition, he was to say, could be based only on the assumption that these States were a self-sustaining power. But now, after long forbearance, the United States having set their forces in motion to suppress the insurrection, “the true character of the pretended new state is at once revealed. It is seen to be a power existing in pronunciamento only. It has never won a field. It has obtained no forts that were