War of the Rebellion: Serial 128 Page 0024 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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reached London by the West India mail steamer on the 29th of June. I found public opinion there very much in the same condition as when I left that place in January, with a tendency to depreciation in consequence of the series of reverse our Army had experienced. I sought and obtained an interview with Lord Palmerston, as a private individual, in which I exposed to him fully the real position of affairs and the certainty of our approaching successes. He was politely incredulous as to the latter, but listened very seriously to my statements and explanations and asked a great many questions as to what he considered our weak points. On these I think I gave him new lights. He spoke very candidly on the subject of recognition, and said he through we must do much more before we were entitled to it, referring more particularly to the occupation of New X and to the blockade of our Southern ports. When asked the question "whether the repulse of the army before Richmond and a transfer of the siege to Washington would be regarded as sufficient?" he still replied in the negative. These views he clearly expressed three weeks later in the debate on Mr. Lindsay's motion. I saw Mr. Mason immediately after the interview, and gave him the details of our conversation. I was careful, of course, to say nothing to Lord Palmerston relative to any separate action of France, confining myself to the English view of the question. The fixed conviction of my mind was and is that England will insist on a "masterly inactivity," as she regards it, and will restrain France from acting also as long as possible. The reasons for so doing you can comprehend as well as I could explain them to you. The pretext is "fair play. " It is but just to add that the popular sentiment in England before and especially since the tidings of our late glorious victories, as far as I can judge, is decidedly in our favor; but they are not willing to pay the price of a war to indulge the sentiment, and the course taken by the Tory party (roves this.

Immediately after my interview with Lord Palmerston I left London for Paris, first writing a letter to The Times, describing the actual condition and prospects of the Southern States, purporting to be written by a traveler. I sent this with my card and a private note to the editor, who is known to me, and was served as The Times frequently serves contributors-the substance of my letter was hashed up in editorials; the letter itself suppressed. After waiting a week I wrote another version of the same letter to the Telegraph, which published it, omitting all remarks about the conduct of Southern negroes, whose loyalty to their masters I had dilated upon, and some remarks relating to our President. Inclosed you will find a copy of that letter. * The Telegraph is the most widely circulated paper in London. At Paris I immediately put myself in communication with the press and with gentlemen of influence and position who are friendly to us. Chief of these is M. Ferdinand de Lesseps, cousin to the Empress, who wields a great influence at court and elsewhere. I have been guided greatly by his advice as to the proper mode of proceeding here. The journals I have found very accessible and amenable to reason. We have The Patrie, The Constitutional, and The Pays, all three semi-official papers; against us are the radical journals and The Orleans, but since the return of the young princes I think we can secure the latter. The effort is now being made.

Although the Emperor is absolute master of the situation, he yet desires that public opinion should march with him, and the only difficulty


*Not found.