Monday, May 17, 2010

Thurlow Weed’s Letters from Europe

(Editorial correspondence of the Albany Journal.)

LONDON, Jan 9, 1862.

London was jubilant yesterday. I was in the city, among the bankers, at 3 o’clock, when a telegram from Queenstown announced as a “rumor” that the “Trent Affair is settled.” This gave instant life to the drooping stock market. In a few minutes information came that a dispatch in ciphers from Lord Lyons was going over the wires to the Foreign Office. Up went the stocks again! Then came a report that the rebel Commissioners were on their way to England in the steamer America, and another jump in consols.

With the very satisfactory intelligence I took a “Hansom” and came to the West End, stopping by the way to exchange congratulations with some friends, warmly with us for the Union. Soon after I reached my lodgings came Sir Henry Holland, Sir Emerson Tennant, Sir John Wilson, &c., &c., to exchange congratulations. And while at dinner, (my friend Terence McCulloch dining with us), came Commissioner Parkes to say that Earl Russell’s dispatch from Lord Lyons informed him that the Confederate Commissioners has been unconditionally surrendered, whereupon we repaired to the legation to congratulate Mr. and Mrs. Adams. Here Mr. Adams added to the gratification which the peace news gave, by informing us that the United States steamer Tuscarora, Capt. Craven, had arrived at Southampton.

The peace news was announced at the Theaters, and was received with hearty cheers. In the London press, this morning, it is variously treated though by a large majority in a spirit creditable to both Governments.

There are two classes to whom the action of our government is distasteful, viz: the English who, from hatred or envy (and this is not a numerous class) wanted war; and the secessionist. Out of the Trent affair they hoped everything for the cause of rebellion. But the seasonable and happy adjustment of the difficulty will create a healthful reaction of feeling. It wall now be seen, that while England – Government, press, and people – takes fire when the honor of its flag is concerned, that question honorably settled, the popular current will set back strongly. While the Trent affair remained open and an impression prevailed that America intended to provoke a war, there was a united feeling against us here. That feeling will now give place to manifestations of regard and friendship.

I have met distinguished personages, members of the Ministry, the Government, and of Parliament, at dinners and breakfasts, with whom I have conversed fully on American questions, and while I am not at liberty to use names or publish conversations, I may say that the Union has many and strong friends here. And I am sorry to add that, although the Trent trouble is out of the way, we shall need all that those friends can do for us. The moment Parliament meets, agitation of American questions will commence. The blockade will be attacked from one quarter, while another section will demand a recognition of the Confederate States. Nor is it from England alone that this kind of pressure will come. France is even more restive than England under the blockade.

Mr. Sanford, our Minister to Brussels, who is indefatigable in efforts to aid our Government, has purchased a cargo of arms, saltpetre, clothes, &c., &c., and chartered the “Meleta,” an iron steamer, which he dispatches from Antwerp, on Sunday, under the command of Capt. Eastman, of Maine, a thorough sailor and devoted Union man, of whose experience and daring the Government will do will to avail itself.

Our Minister to this Court, Mr. Adams, is the “right man for the right place.” Beside his knowledge of the duties, and his ability to discharge them, both Mr. Adams and his family possess an eminent degree of the personal and social qualities which commend them to the high and refined circles and associations which surround them and in which they are moving. Nor did the change, in this regard, occur any too early, for I learn from unquestionable authority that the interests of the Government here, as in France were but indifferently represented.

T. W.

– Published in The Davenport Daily Gazette, Davenport, Iowa, Monday Morning, February 10, 1862, p. 2

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