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may have contrived to shield themselves from the penalties of our laws, and yet have committed an offence against our sovereign territorial rights. This latter aspect of the case was distinctly presented in my last despatch to you on the subject. It was this view of the case which the President wished you to present to her Majesty's Minister of Foreign Relations.

It is important, with reference to proceedings against British officers residing within the United States, that the President should know · whether the government of Great Britain mean to justify or condemn their conduct.

The disclosures which have been made leave no doubt of the fact that some of these officers have taken an active part in raising recruits in the United States. If their conduct was unauthorized and is condemned, it is proper that this government should be apprized of the fact, as well as of the punishment which has been, or is proposed to be, inflicted upon them; but if, on the other hand, the British government approve of the course pursued by its officers, it is important that its determination in that respect should be known. I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. L. MARCY. JAMES BUCHANAN, Esq., &c., &c., &c.

Mr. Buchanan to Mr. Marcy.







[Extract.] [No. 94.]


London, October 3, 1855. SIR:

In my last despatch, No. 93, of the 28th untimo, I stated that I had not then time, before the closing of the bag, to make the observations I had intended on the subject to which it refers, but intimated that I might do so this week.

The alleged agency of Mr. Crampton in the recruitment of British soldiers within the limits of the United States presents a serious aspect. From the information contained in your despatch (No. 91) of the 9th June, we had reason to expect a different course of conduct on his part. I need scarcely say that, had I been informed that her Britannic Majesty's representative at Washington had placed himself in the position attributed to him by Captain Strobel, I should not have expressed to Lord Clarendon my satisfaction in transmitting to you his note of the 16th July.

It is remarkable that Lord Clarendon, in his note to myself of the 27th ultimo, whilst commenting on your note of the 5th September to Mr. Crampton, should have been totally silent in regard to that gentleman after what you had said respecting his conduct.

I cannot but regard as offensive the remark of his lordship on " the extraordinary measures which,” he alleges, “have been adopted in various parts of the Union to obtain evidence against her Majesty's servants, or their agents, by practices sometimes resorted to under

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despotic institutions, but which are disdained by all free and enlightened governments ;” though he would doubtless say these were not intended to apply in an offensive sense to the American government. He probably alludes to occurrences at Cincinnati and other places.

If arms and ammunition, and warlike stores of various kinds, have been sent in large quantities from the United States for the service of Russia, as his lordship alleges, this is nothing more than our citizens had a right to do, subject to the risk under the law of contraband. Similar articles have been sent from the United States to Great Britain in large quantities. Besides, at the present moment, and ever since the commencement of the present war, many of our vessels have been engaged as transports, by Great Britain and France, to carry troops and munitions of war to the Crimea. When this business first commenced, I was applied to by masters and agents of American vessels for information as to what penalties they would incur by engaging in it, and I stated to them that their vessels would be lawful prize if captured by the Russians. For this reason I advised them to obtain an indemnity from the government employing them against this risk.

The plots” to which his lordship refers relate chiefly, I presume, (for I do not know,) to the proceedings and address of the “Massachusetts Irish Emigrant Aid Society” at Boston, on the 14th August. These were republished in the London Times on the 11th September; and

you will find an editorial, on this subject, on the following day.









Yours, very respectfully,


Secretary of State.

Mr. Buchanan to Mr. Marcy.





London, October 30, 1855. SIR:

But I have not since taken any action upon your No. 102, for the plainest reason. I had, previously to its arrival, transmitted to you a copy of Lord Clarendon's note, already referred to, of the 16th July, on the subject of the enlistment and employment of soldiers for the British army within our limits, and had informed his lordship, in acknowledging the receipt of this note, that I should have much satisfaction in transmitting a copy of it to the Secretary of State. Of course it would have been improper for me to take any new step in this matter until I should learn whether this note would prove satisfactory to yourself. Again : your No. 102 states that, after many months had elapsed, British officers were still proceeding to violate our laws, and persist "in carrying on the obnoxious scheme without any open disapproval by the home government, or any attempt to arrest it;" and one of the two express instructions which the President gives me in conclusion is, “to say to her Majesty's government that he expects it will take prompt and effective measures to arrest their proceedings.” Now, these measures had been already adopted, but could not possibly have been known to you. Lord Clarendon's note had entirely changed the aspect of the case from the view which you took of it, and must necessarily have taken of it, at the date of your No. 102. The general tenor of this note-its disavowals and its regrets-were certainly conciliatory, and the concluding paragraph, declaring that all proceedings for enlistments in North America had been put an end to by her Majesty's government, for the avowed reason that the advantages which her Majesty's service might derive from such enlistments would not be sought for by her Majesty's government if it were supposed to be obtained in disregard of the respect due to the law of the United States, was highly satisfactory. It was for these reasons that I expressed the satisfaction I would have in coinmunicating it to you. Then came the declaration of Lord Palmerston to the same effect in the House of Commons, on the 2d August, in which he explicitly declared that, in order to avoid questions with the United States, the government “bad put an end to the enlistment of forces which used to take place at Halifax." This declaration was, to my knowledge, received with much satisfaction by Mr. Milnor Gibson, who had made the inquiry of Lord Palmerston, as well as by many other liberal members of Parliament. Very different, indeed, had been the conduct of the British government in this respect towards certain continental States.

I can assure you that I did not entertain the most remote idea that this question had not been satisfactorily adjusted until I learned the complicity of Mr. Crampton in the affair. This was officially communicated to me in your despatch No. 107, of the 8th, received on the 24th of September, with a copy of your letter to Mr. Crampton, on the 5th, and his answer of the 7th of the same month. From these, it appears you had thought it due to Mr. Crampton, no doubt properly, to take the affair in hand yourself, and this you have done in an able manner in your letter to that gentleman. Thus much I have deemed necessary to place myself rectus in curia. Yours, very respectfully,


Secretary of State,

Mr. Marcy to Mr. Buchanan. [No. 118.]


Washington, October 13, 1855. . Sir: The copy of Lord Clarendon's note of the 27th ultimo, which you transmitted to the department with your despatch No. 93, has been received. I have laid it before the President, and am directed to make the following reply:

The case presented to her Britannic Majesty's government, in my note to Mr. Crampton, contained a distinct charge that British officers and agents had infringed our laws enacted for the maintenance of our duties of neutrality to friendly powers, and that some of these officers and agents in the employment of their government within the United States, and others, residents in the neighboring British provinces, had also violated our sovereign territorial rights by being engaged in recruiting for the British army within our territories. The mode by which this recruiting had been carried on, and the connexion of these with it, were clearly stated.

A scheme for that purpose had been arranged by British officers. Agents had been employed by them to open rendezvous in our principal cities, numerous engagements had been made with recruits, money had been paid to them, and liberal promises of other considerations offered as an inducement for entering into the British service, and they had been taken out by the United States by means furnished by persons in the employment of the British government.

It was also stated that the evidence establishing these allegations against the officers and agents of the British government was of such a character that this government could not reasonably doubt its accuracy.

The President has given to the reply of Lord Clarendon, her Britannic Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, to the case thus presented by this government, the full consideration it is entitled to on account of the high source from which it emanates, and he regrets to be obliged to adopt the conclusion that it is not satisfactory.

This government had a right to look for something more in that reply than an expectation on the part of her Majesty's government " that their assurance should be received that, as they have enjoined on all her Majesty's servants a strict observance of the laws of the United States, so they have no reason to believe that any of her Majesty's servants, or any agents duly authorized by those servants, have disregarded those injunctions in respect to the matters which form the subject of this [Lord Clarendon's) note. This is a very laconic, but certainly a very unsatisfactory answer to the demand of redress by this government for a violation of its laws and an affront to the sovereign rights of this country.

This conclusion adopted by Lord Clarendon is preceded by a general objection to all the evidence by which the charges against the British officers and agents are sustained.

Lord Clarendon declares that the “extraordinary” measures adopted to obtain evidence against her Majesty's servants or their agents, though“ sometimes resorted to under despotic institutions, are disdained by all free and enlightened governments.” This serious imputation is accompanied with no specification, or even vague allusion to the condemned measures, nor is this government favored by his lordship with any information to guide conjecture as to his meaning.

The only reply which can be made to an allegation so exceedingly indefinite is, that this government has authorized or used no other but ordinary and legitimate modes of obtaining evidence against British officers ; nor has it any reason to believe or suspect that any persons, with or without its countenance, have adopted any measures whatever for obtaining such evidence, which would not find abundant sanction in the established practice of the administration of penal law in Great Britain. It is a significant fact, that on the trials in Philadelphia and New York, in which the accused were convicted for being engaged in carrying out the scheme of recruitments within the United States, no such objection as that by which Lord Clarendon would fain set aside all the evidence as worthless was interposed or made to appear, though some of her Majesty's officers were present at these trials, took a deep interest in the defence of the criminals, and were directly implicated by the proofs as participants in the offence.

Repelling this charge of imitating "despotic institutions," and doing what is “ disdained by all free and enlightened governments,' it is proper to remark that, if it were sustainable, it would not warrant the conclusion which Lord Clarendon has deduced from it; which is, that the evidence “ will fail to establish any well-founded charge against her Majesty's government.” It is far from being certain that the measures adopted for obtaining the evidence, even if they had been extraordinary and exceptionable, would invalidate it, for it might still be of such a character as to carry conviction to the mind of the truth of the allegations.

Should her Britannic Majesty's government see fit to disclose any specific objection to the mode by which the evidence has been obtained, or attempt in any other way to impeach it, this government will then feel called on to vindicate its course, and show its ability to sustain its charges by evidence to which no just exception can be taken. Neither the promises on which Lord Clarendon founds his argument for setting aside the testimony against the implicated British officers, nor the inference he deduces from them, can be admitted by this government.

Lord Clarendon must, I think, intend to be understood as impeaching our neutrality in the present war, though there appears to be some indistinctness in his language. In commenting upon so grave à charge, coming from so respectable an authority, it is but fair to quote his own words:

“The United States profess neutrality in the present war between the Western Powers and Russia; but have no acts been done within the United States, by citizens thereof, which accord little with the spirit of neutrality ? Have not arms and ammunition, and warlike stores of various kinds, been sent in large quantities from the United States for the service of Russia ?'

It is certainly a novel doctrine of international law, that traffic by citizens or subjects of a neutral power with belligerents, though it should be in arms, ammunition, and warlike stores, compromits the neutrality of that power. That the enterprise of individuals, citizens of the United States, may have led them in some instances, and to a limited extent, to trade with Russia, in some of the specified articles, is not denied-nor is it necessary that it should be, for the purpose of vindicating this government from the charge of having disregarded the duties of neutrality in the present war.

Lord Clarendon is most respectfully asked to look on the other side of the case.

Have the citizens of the United States had no traffic with Great Britain, during the present war, in arms, ammunition,

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