War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 1166 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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They now unanimously reassert the true doctrine, which as said before puts England in the right and us in the wrong in this case, and cannot doubt that the resulst will be valuable as forcing England to abandon definetely her old position touching belligerent rights; and the evidence of jealously and feeling of other powers as ready to profit or her exigencies as she is to take advantage of ours is also not without value.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


WASHINGTON, January 10, 1862.


I transmit to Congress a translation of an instrucions to the minister of His Majesty the Emperor of Austria accredited to this Govermnent, and a copy of a note to that minister from the Secretary of State relative to the questions involed in the taking form the British steamer Trent of certain citizens of the United States by order of Captain Wilkes, of the U. S. Navy. This correspondence may be considered as a sequel to that previously communicated to Congress relating to the same subject.


[Inclosure Numbers 1. -Translation.]

VIENNA, December 18, 1861.

Chevalier DE HULSEMANN, Washington.

SIR: The difference which has supervered between the Government of the United States and that of Great Britain in consequence of the arrest of Messrs. Mason and Slidell-made by the captain of the American ship of war San Jacinto on board of the English mail packet Trent-has not failed to fix the most serious attention of the Imperial cabinet.

The more importance we attach to the maintenance of friendly relations between the United States and England the more must we regret an incident which has come to add so grave a complication to a situation already bristling with so many difficulties.

Without having the intention to enter here upon an examination into the question or right we neverheless cannot but acknowledge that accordcing to the notions of internationla law adopted by all the powers and which the American Government itself thas often taken as the rule of its conduct England could not in anywise in the present case refrain from reclamation against the affront given to her flag and from asking proper reparation for it.

It seems to us moreover that the request reduced to form in this respect by the cabinet of Saint James have in them nothing offensive to the Cabinet of Washington, and that it will be able to do an act of equity and moderation without the least sacrifice of its dignity.

In taking counsel from the rules which guide internation relations as well as from considerations of enlightened policy rather than from manifestations produced by an overexcitement of national feeling the Government of the United States we are gratified to hope will bring into its appreciation of the case all the calmness which its importance demands, and will been proper to take a position which whilst preservating from repture the relations between two great powers to which Austria is equally bound in friendship will be such as to prevent the grave disturbances which the eventuality of a war could not fail to bring not only upon each one of the contending parties but upon the affairs of the word generally.