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Mr. Morgan to Mr. Seward.

[Extract.] No. 66.]


Lisbon, April 6, 1861. Sir:

During the evening bis Majesty inquired with interest as to the condition of affairs in the United States, but when I assured him, as I had before done on a similar occasion, that the Union would be preserved, his manner was more expressive of doubt than belief, though he replied that he hoped I was not mistaken, as it would be a great pity to see so fine a country ruined, and I regret to say that my colleagues, and European politicians generally, regard the disruption of the States as an established fact.


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With high respect, I have the honor to be your obedient servant,

GEORGE W. MORGAN. Hon. W. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

Mr. Morgan to Mr. Seward.

No. 67.]

United States LEGATION,

Lisbon, May 29, 1861. Sir: I have the honor to enc!ose a copy of my note to the government of H. M. F. Majesty on the sujeci of privatecrs.

I have notified our comisu ar agents of the importance of vigilance.

Would it uot be good p: licy to take into regular commission a considerable number of our clipper slips, till our navy can be placed on a basis commensurate with the crisis ?

The telegraph announces that the President has notified the foreign powers that he will discontinue diplomatic relations with any nation that recognizes the so-called Confederate States..

I trust that it is true, for such a policy will produce good results, and is not less wise than it is dignified.

If we come out of this contest triumphant, and the Union be preserved, our nation will be more powerful and more glorious, more loved and more feared, than ever before in our history as a nation. I have the bonor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEORGE W. MORGAN. Hon. WM. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.


Lisbon, May 27, 1861. Sir: A combination of individuals in certain of the southern States of the United States have raised the standard of insurrection, and under the pretended authority of the self-styled Confederate States of America have threatened to grant pretended letters of marque for the purpose of committing assaults on the lives, vessels, and property of good citizens of the United States, lawfully engaged in commerce on the high seas, and in the waters of the United States. And in consequence thereof, on the 19th day of April, 1861, and the eighty-fifth year of the independence of the United States, the President, by formal proclamation, declared that if any person, under the pretended authority of the said so-called but unrecognized Confederate States, or under any other pretence, shall molest a vessel of the United States, or the persons or cargo on board of her, that such person will be held amenable to the laws of the United States for the punishment of piracy.

In the name, therefore, of the government of the United States, I bave the honor to request that the government of H. M. F. Majesty may cause such measures to be taken as will effectually prevent any vessel from being prepared in any of his Majesty's ports for the aforesaid piratical purposes.

Under the conviction that reliable information as to said insurrection will be gratifying to his Majesty's government, I briefly submit the following statement:

1. The government of the so-called Confederate States has been neither recognized by any sovereign state, nor has it been acknowledged by the people it professes to represent. But, on the contrary, the combination of individuals who have usurped the title of a government refuse to submit their constitution to the ratification or rejection of the citizens of said States.

2. The insurrectionists are wanting in the great elements necessary to successful war. Their ports are strictly blockaded ; their supplies are cut off, by land and by sea, and within themselves they are destitute of the means of carrying on a prolonged struggle.

3. That while it may be difficult to predict the length of time which may be required to suppress the insurrection, yet in the future nothing can be more certain than are the vindication of the national flag, and the perfect restoration of order and prosperity under the Constitution of the United States.

It affords me great pleasure to renew to your excellency the assurance of my most distinguished consideration.

GEORGE W. MORGAN. His Excellency M. Antos10 José D'AVILA,

Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, &c.

Mr. Harvey to Mr. Seward.


No. 6.1


Lisbon, July 25, 1861. SIR: I have just had my first interview with Mr. d'Avila, the minister of foreign affairs, since being presented to the King, and desire to report its purpose and character. While no instructions have reached me in regard to the desired action of this government concerning privateers, I considered it proper, in view of the facilities offered by the ports of Portugal and her colonies to prizes, to call the attention of the proper authorities to it at the earliest opportunity when I was in an official position to do so with effect.

On the very day of my arrival here, and when I did not anticipate the painful delays and difficulties which have since occurred, I told General Morgan of my intention to ask for a proclamation excluding privateers, as soon as I was presented. He addressed a note to the foreign office on the 2d instant, in which the general question was discussed at much length. And although he afterwards called several times upon Mr. d'Avila, no auswer was obtained before his departure yesterday. These were the circumstances under which I felt it necessary to go

forward and to ask for some decisive action. I told Mr. d'Avila frankly that I did not desire to signalize my advent here by any protracted correspondence, and least of all by a controversy, and that the sentiments which I had expressed at my audience of presentation were those which really animated

I informed him that a condition of affairs existed in the United States which required me to claim an early and positive expression of views by the Portuguese government on this subject, and therefore he must excuse my seeming urgency. He inquired if I adopted the note which General Morgau had addressed to him. I answered that I accepted the principle, but was willing to waive a correspondence, if the object could be accomplished by a direct and candid interchange of opinions orally, when there would be less difficulty in understanding each other, and a readier mode of reaching a conclusion promptly. He concurred in this suggestion, and said it reflected his own sincere dispositions.

I then told him that a proclamation forbidding the ports of Portugal and her colonies to privateers and their prizes, in explicit terms, would be satisfactory, and argued that, as Portugal had acquiesced in the treaty of Paris of 1856, there ought to be no difficulty in making this declaration. In order to strengthen the reason, I suggested that the proclamation might be made broad and general, because I most desired the assertion of a practical principle which would cover the case completely. He seemed to assent to the idea, and remarked that it was disembarrassed materially by the fact that the government of the United States had discountenanced the issuing of letters of marque. I told him that the government had not only done that, but that it deprecated and denounced the system, which certain insurrectionary and tumultuous assemblages of people had proclaimed with a professed authority.

In order that no misapprehension might occur, I notified Mr. d'Avila that a proclamation or declaration which, in doubtful phrases or by implication, recognized the existence of any pretended organization in the United States, independent of the government which accredited me, and which alone has power to make treaties and conduct diplomatic intercourse, would be regarded as a most unfriendly act by the President.

After again urging upon him reasons for an early decision, he explained that the cortes were now in session night and day, but expected to adjourn soon, when he would lay the matter before the King's council, and obtain their opinion, which he thought would conform to my request. I asked him

to name a convenient day when an answer might be expected. He declined fixing a time certain, but expressed the belief that by the middle of next week the council could be convened, and this subject should have precedence over all others.

In proposing a proclamation such as I have suggested, vessels-of-war and their prizes would be allowed entry to the ports of Portugal, which the English and French governments have expressly excluded, putting them on the same footing with privateers. As I have acted upon my own motion in this matter, I submit it to your approbation. With high respect, your obedient servant,


Secretary of State.

Mr. Harvey to Mr. Seward.


No. 7.]


Lisbon, July 28, 1861. SIR: Since my despatch (No. 6) of the 25th instant, information reached





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that plans were concerted by the parties who had recently applied for the privilege of fitting out a privateer, and others, to accept letters of marque from the so-called Confederate States, and to use some of the remote islands of Portugal as places of rendezvous for outfit and for the disposal of any prizes that might be taken.

In view of the facilities offered for these nefarious enterprises in the Azores, Madeira, Cape de Verd, and other islands, as well as in the small Indian possessions of that kingdom, I felt it proper to address the note, of which a copy is enclosed, to the minister of foreign affairs, yesterday, as a means of inducing him to take immediate and decisive action on the subject. These facts will serve to explain the seemingly urgent tone of my note, which I thought demanded by the necessity of the case. I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Secretary of State.

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES, July 27, 1861. The undersigned presents his compliments to his excellency M. d'Avila, minister of foreign affairs of his most faithful Majesty, and begs leave to repeat in this form, for the convenience of a more precise understanding, the substance of the ideas which he had the bonor to express in his interview with his excellency on the 25th instant.

Portugal has acceded fully to the anti-privateering doctrine established by the declaration of the congress of Paris of April, 1856, to which the assent of the United States has recently been given.

Opposed to the principle and practice of privateering, Portugal ought not

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