although it would have been more regulator to have brought in the Trent as a prize for judicial condemnation. This mere formal question the cabinet of England have seized on as a pretext for involving us in a war with them in the midst of the present rebellion.
They wish to force the export to them of our cotton; they wish permantly to divide our Union; they wish to annihilate our commercial and maritime supremacy and suppress the example of the success of our free institutions, so fatal to the permanency of the monarchy and aristocracy of England. In the midst of the present gigantic rebellion they have like dastards seized upon this as their oppotunity for our destruction.
The question is what should we do under existing circumstances? I assume it as a fact that all who during the present crisis would precipitate us unnecessarily into a war with England are at heart allies of the Southern rebellion and traitors. With such a war England at this period the Union by possibility may be dissolved and the separate. Confederate Government of the South established. This is exactly what the rebels desire, and the yare no doubt exulting now in the hope that we will be speedily involved in a war with England. The y hope thus to be recognized as a nation by foreign powers, to establish free trade with them, wilst driving our own vessels and manufactures from their ports, and finally they expect to supply Europe with cotton whilst witholding if from American factories and subjecting us substantially to the dictation of the South and of their English allies. They contemplate our ruin and humilation. Indeed the severance and downfall of this Union would not only consummate our disgrace and destruction but would seal for centuries the fate of liberty throughout the world.
These being the possible consequences of a war at present with England the question is can it be honorably avoided? If nothing will satisfy England but an apology and the delivery to her of the rebel ministers the war cannot be avoidedet it as best we may with the whole power of the nation. But if such a contest at this time canbe avoided with honor our duty to the Union, to our country, to the cause of liberty and mankind demands that we should not precipitate the conflict.
The papers say that France has mediation. If so, and it is confined to the single question of our right to seize and hold the rebel ministers unconnected with any interference between us and the Southern rellion, it ought to be accepted although I would greatly prefer Russia as a mediator. If no such mediation has been offred and the demands of England are not insulting to our national honor we might suggest the submission of the single question of international law involved in this case to Russia and France-with a right in case of difference of opinion to select an umpire-or to either of these nations. Of course we ought to prefer Russia as the constant and uniform friend of this country. But France was our great and potent ally against England in the war of the Revolution, and she has never been our enemy. I think France is more jealous of England than of the United States, and that the memory of Cressy, Agincourt and Waterloo and of the battles of ceturies on the ocean and land between France and England is still fraught with bitter recollections and inextinguishable popular hatred. The alliance of France and England against Russia was a necessity, and even in that contest France sought every opportunity to humiliate her ally, to tarnish her prestige and exalt her own military glory.
I speak not only from history but from my personal experience in Europe when I say that the people of France are not the cordial friends