War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 1236 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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40 ALBEMARLE STREET, LONDON, December 2, 1861.

Honorable ROBERT M. T. HUNTER, Secretary of State.

MY DEAR SIR: Your instructions dated September 23 were received on the 28th instant. At present there is a probability that our recognition by Her Britannic Majesty's Government will not be much longer delayed. I congratulate you with all my heart upon the indications which so strikingly manifest themselves for a speedy termination of the noble sacrifices of our country for the attainment of its independence. Great Britain is in downright earnestness in her purpose to humiliate by disgraceful concessions or to punich severely by force the so-called United States for the flagrant violation of the integrity of her flag upon the high seas. Her voice will now be found in her sword.

By never losing sight for a moment of the object for which I was appointed and not quitting here for a day since my arrival I have succeeded in opening channels of communication with the most important personages of the realm. In an hour after the Cabinet decided upon its line of action with respect to the outrage committed by the San Jacinto I was furnished with full particulars. What a noble statesman is Lord Palmerston! His heart is as young as it was forty years ago.

I suggested the importance of putting the new and invincible iron-plated steamer Warrior in commission and of dispatching her to Annapolis Roads with a special minister to Washington. This in my opinion would have secured the immediate restoration of our captured countrymen to the freedom which they enjoyed under the British flag and thus assured their early arrival in London and Paris. It would also have ocal as relates to respectability in the family of nations. With all her brazen-facedness she could not have levated her head again for a half century.

As soon as Mr. Mason or his successor, if he shall not be surrendered, arrives I shall repair to Madrid and afterward proceed to Brussels. For this renewed manifestation of confidence in me by the President and the agreeable manner in which you have communicated it I cannot adequately express my thanks.

I cannot close this hurried note without expressing to you my unqualified admiration of the peculiarly proper bearing of Mrs. Slidell, her daughter and Mrs. Eustis under the distressing separation from otheri husbands and father. Truly may it be said as concerns those ladies that "woman's hour is the hour of adversity. " I never was so proud before of my countrywomen in a foreign land. There is not a British heart that does not sympathize sincerely with them.

Yours, with faithful consideration.



FOREIGN OFFICE, [London,] December 7, 1861.

Lord Russell presents his compliments to Mr. Yancey, Mr. Rost and Mr. Mann. He has had the honor to receive their letters of the 27th* and 30th+ of November, but in the present state of affairs he must decline to enter into any official communication with them.


*See p. 1231.

+Not found.