War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 1122 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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he is now furnishing a fresh proof of the friendship of France for the United States by not allowing the Cabinet of Washington to remain in ignorance of her sentiments on the present crisis.

Your lordship will perceive from this summary which I am enabled to give you of the instructions addressed by M. Thouvenel to M. Mercier that the French minister is directed to give the moral support of his Government to the representaions and requirements which you are instructed to make.

I am, &c.,


WASHINGTON, December 9, 1861. (Received 23d.)

[Earl RUSSELL, London.]

MY LORD: I have the honor to inclose a copu of a letter from the Secretary of the Navy to Captain Wilkes dated the 30th November,* which has been published in the newspapers. It is in substance the same as the paragraph on the subject of the seizure of Messrs. Mason and Slidell which occurs in the report from the same Secretary sent to Congress with the President's message. It expresses emphatic approval of the proceeding, but says that the forbearance shown in not capturing the vessel must not be permitted to constitute a precedent.

I have, &c.,


U. S. LEGATION, Stockholm, December 10, 1861.

Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington.

SIR: I have the honor to inform you that American affairs absorb all other questions and are the chief subject of discussion both in diplomatic and commercial circle. The arrest of the Southern commissioners created great excitement in this quiet city. Count Manderstrom, minister of foreign affairs, kindly sent me the telegram as received by him with a note expressing strong doubts of its truth. The information we have received has come through an English medium.

All are waiting to hear what action will be taken by the Cabinet at Washington. The arrest is generally condemned as a violation of the law of nations and considered a casus belli unless disavowed. The strong and decided articles in denouncing the act of Captain Wilkes as illegal have influenced public opinion to a great extent.

The account of the flattering reception of Count Piper by the President and Secretary of State has been received with great satisfaction by this Government. The address of welcome by the President was published by the entire press in Sweden and Norway.

* * * * * * *

I remain, your obedient servant,



London, December 11, 1861.

Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State Washington.

SIR: * * * I presume the question involved in the case of the Trent will have been settled before this reaches you; but if it is not it may be


*Omitted here. See Welles to Wilkes, November 30, 1861, p. 1109.