One morning this week I went to the State Department. . . . Found Seward very busy over the complication arising from the “Chesapeake piracy.” He said Sumner had just come in and said with great glee: — “This proves my position to be correct, that England was wrong in conceding belligerency to these people.” “Of course,” said Seward: “but how the devil does that help the matter?” Sumner was delighted to have his theory vindicated even by such trouble.
SOURCES: Clara B. Hay, Letters of John Hay and Extracts from Diary, Volume 1, p. 141; Michael Burlingame, Editor, Inside Lincoln's White House: The Complete Civil War Diary of John Hay, p. 128