Abraham Lincoln, Volume I eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 338 pages of information about Abraham Lincoln, Volume I.
of such felicity of expression, was undoubtedly not very much misrepresented by the vindictive representative and the exuberant senator.  Yet a brief period, in which to consider the logic of the position, sufficed to bring nearly all to intelligent conclusions; and then it was seen that what had been done had been rightly and wisely done.  There was even a sense of pride in doing fairly and honestly, without the shuffling evasions of diplomacy, an act of strict right; and the harder the act the greater was the honor.  The behavior of the people was generous and intelligent, and greatly strengthened the government in the eyes of foreigners.  By the fullness and readiness of this reparation England was put under a moral obligation to treat the United States as honorably as the United States treated her.  She did not do so, it is true; but in more ways than one she ultimately paid for not doing so.  At any rate, for the time being, after this action it would have been nothing less than indecent for her to recognise the Confederacy at once; and a little later prudence had the like restraining effect.  Yet though recognition and war were avoided they never entirely ceased to threaten, and Mr. Chittenden is perfectly correct in saying that “every act of our government was performed under the impending danger of a recognition of the Confederacy, a disregard of the blockade, and the actual intervention of Great Britain in our attempt to suppress an insurrection upon our own territory.”


[168] Lord John Russell was raised to the peerage, as Earl Russell, just after this time, i.e., in July, 1861.

[169] An effort was made to carry out this theory in the case of the crew of the privateer Savannah; but the jury failed to agree, and the attempt was not afterward renewed, privateersmen being exchanged like other prisoners of war.

[170] Mr. Welles declares that Seward at first opposed the surrender; but Mr. Chittenden asserts that he knows that Mr. Seward’s first opinion coincided with his later action; see Mr. Welles’s Lincoln and Seward, and Chittenden’s Recollections, 148.

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Abraham Lincoln, Volume I from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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