War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 1203 SUSPECTED AND DISLOYAL PERSONS.

Search Civil War Official Records

copy of a note to that minister from the Secretary of State relating to the settlement of the question arising out of the capture and detention of certain citizens of the United States, passengers on board the British steamer Trent, by order of Captain Wilkes, of the U. S. Navy.


[Inclosure Numbers 1.]

TURIN, January 21, 1862.

Chevalier BERTINATTI, Minister of Italy at Washington.

M. MINISTER: I have just received your dispatch of the 30th of December and thank you for the intelligence you give on the affair of the Trent.

I need not tell you with what satisfaction the Government and people of Italy have received the news of the happy solution of a question which for a moment put in doubt the peace of the world.

Attached by the closest ties of sympathy to the two nations which have so highly exalted in the two hemispheres the glory of Angolo-Saxon race the royal Government was justly apprehensive of the consequences of the strife which might have arisen between England and North America.

Such strife in effect whatever the issue could have had only results adverse to civilization and to the general prosperity; it would have shaken confidence in the principle of self-government which serves as a common basis for the political institutions of the Anglo-Saxon race and have brought on if protracted complications from which the whole world would have suffered.

Moreover although we should in preference fix our attention on the questions which touch upon the accomplishment of the great work of Italian unity we were far from being indifferent to the discussion which had sprung up between America and England.

You are not ignorant, M. Minister, that the royal Government has always been attached to the principle of the freedom of the seas. At the congress of Paris it united with enagerness in the declaration of 30th of April, 1856, and hoped that that declaration as soon as it could have the assent of the United States of America would in time become the point of departure for fresh progress in the practical operation of international law. Knowing the bold and persevering efforts which the Government at Washington had made for fifty years past to defend the rights of neutrals we hesitated to believe that it desired to change its character all at once and become the champion of theories which history has shown to be calamitous and which public opinion has condemned forever.

By continuing to remain attached to principles whose defense has constituted one of the causes of the glory of North America Mr. Lincoln and his ministry have given an example of wisdom and moderation which will have the best results for America as well as for the European nations.

Be pleased then earnestly to felicitate in the name of the King's government the President and his ministry by giving if requested a copy of this dispatch.

Accept, M. Minister, the assurance of my very distinguished consideration,