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and warlike stores ? It must be known to his lordship, for it is a matter of notoriety, that our citizens, in their character as individuals, have rendered substantial aid to both England and France in the prosecution of hostilities against Russia. Though Lord Clarendon may have momentarily forgotten, he will readily call to mind the fact, that a large number of our merchant ships have been engaged, from the commencement of the war down to this time, in transporting troops and munitions of war for Great Britain, from British ports either in the United Kingdom or in the Mediterranean, to the Crimea ; to say nothing of the numerous American merchant vessels employed in conveying troops and munitions of war from the ports of France.
Private manufacturing establishments in the United States have been resorted to for powder, arms, and warlike stores for the use of the allies, and immense quantities of provisions have been furnished to supply their armies in the Crimea. In the face of these facts, open
. and known to all the world, it certainly was not expected that the British government would have alluded to the very limited traffic which some of our citizens may have had with Russia, as sustaining a solemn charge against this government for violating neutral obligations towards the allies. Russia may have shared scantily, but the allies have undoubtedly partaken largely, in benefits derived from the capital, the industry, and the inventive genius of American citizens in the progress of the war; but as this government has had no connexion with these proceedings, neither belligerent has any just ground of complaint against it.
Lord Clarendon further asks, “ Have not plots been openly avowed, and conspiracies entered into without disguise or hindrance, in various parts of the Union, to take advantage of the war in which Great Britain is engaged, and to seize the opportunity for promoting insurrection in her Majesty's dominions, and the invasion thereof by an armed force proceeding from the United States ?”
This government replies that it has no knowledge or belief whatever of the existence of any such plots or conspiracies. It has only seen it stated in English newspapers that a few persons from Ireland had congregated together at Boston or in its vicinity, adopted some resolutions in relation to the condition of their countrymen at home, and made some suggestions in relation to what they regarded as an amelioration of the condition of the land of their birth. It was not here considered a noticeable affair, and only became known to any member of this government by the comments upon it which appeared in the British press. On inquiry, it is ascertained that a very few individuals were present at that meeting, and it was probably the result of the British scheme of recruiting which was at that time vigorously prosecuted in Boston. It was a proceeding no more noticeable, and far less harmful, than the daily machinations of foreign fugitives collected in London against the governments of their native countries. Those who assembled in Boston will probably rejoice at having effected much more than they anticipated when they shall learn that their proceedings have attracted the attention of her Britannic Majesty's government, and been regarded as a disturbing movement against the British dominions.
If the British government believe that plots and conspiracies are
really on foot in any part of the United States, and will furnish any clue by which they can be detected, it may be assured that this government will act promptly and efficiently in bringing them to light, and punishing the offenders ; and it will not consider itself in any way relieved from doing its whole duty in this respect by what has taken place here in reference to recruitments for the British army.
This government is not less mindful than that of Great Britain or France of the many ties and sympathies which connect the people of the United States with those two powerful nations, and it will go as far and do as much as either to strengthen and cherish those sentiments, in the hope of making them available for all legitimate purposes to maintain friendly relations, and increase social and commercial intercourse; but Great Britain ought not to indulge the expectation that those sentiments can be permitted to draw the United States over the line which marks their duty to themselves as well as to the belligerents and all friendly powers.
It would be an inexcusable perversion of such sentiments if they were permitted to induce this government to pass unnoticed the violation of its laws, or to throw open its territories to the recruiting officers of any foreign power.
The expectation that the United States would yield to such pretensions, or forbear to claim redress when such an affront to their sovereign rights had been offered, could only be founded on a belief that they were prepared to abandon their position of strict neutrality, and run the hazard of plunging into the struggle which now convulses Europe.
Supported as this government is in the charge made against British officers and agents, of having infringed our laws and violated our sovereign territorial rights, and being able to sustain that charge by competent proof, the President would fail in due respect for the national character of the United States, and in his duty to maintain it, if he did not decline to accept, as a satisfaction for the wrongs complained of, Lord Clarendon's assurance that these officials were enjoined a strict observance of our laws, and that he does not believe that any of them have disregarded the injunction.
This government believes, and has abundant proof to warrant its belief, that her Britannic Majesty's officers and agents have transgressed our laws and disregarded our rights, and that its solemn duty requires that it should vindicate both by insisting upon a proper satisfaction, The President indulges the hope that this demand for redress will be deemed reasonable, and be acceded to by her Britannic Majesty's government.
This government has indicated the satisfaction which it believes it has a right to claim from the British government in my despatch to you of the 15th of July last.
The President directs you to urge upon her Britannic Majesty's government the views contained in that despatch, and to read this to Lord Clarendon, and deliver a copy if he should desire it. I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. L. MARCY. JAMES BUCHANAN, Esq., &c., &c., &c.
Ex. Doc. 353
Mr. Buchanan to Mr. Marcy.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
London, November 2, 1855. SIR:
According to the appointment mentioned in my last despatch, I met Lord Clarendon yesterday afternoon at the Foreign Office. After some unimportant conversation, I told him that on my return to the legation on Monday last I found a despatch from yourself on the recruitment question, which I had been instructed to read to him, and furnish him a copy if requested. He said he had also despatches from Washington on the same subject. I then stated that Mr. Crampton having promised, in his note of the 7th of September, to address you again after hearing from his lordship, I should be glad to know whether he had furnished instructions to Mr. Crampton for this purpose. He told me he had not; that he had pursued the usual diplomatic course in such cases, in addressing me a note in answer to the note addressed by you to Mr. Crampton. I said, Very well; then your note to me of the 27th of September is the answer to Mr. Marcy's note to Mr. Crampton of the 5th of that month, and the despatch which I was about to read to him was your answer to his note to me of the 27th of September. To this he assented.
I then read to him your despatch to me of the 13th of October, to which he listened throughout with great apparent attention. After the reading he requested a copy, and I delivered him the duplicate which you had forwarded. He then asked what was the nature of the satisfaction from the British government to which you had referred in your despatch just read. I said that the best mode of giving him the information was to read to him this despatch of yours to me, which I accordingly did, *
of which he also desired a cry, and I promised to furnish it. I had prepared myself to state in conversation the substance of what this despatch required from the British government; but having the despatch with me, I thought it better at the moment, in order to prevent all misapprehension, to read it to him, as it had evidently been prepared with much care. I have sent him a copy of it to-day.
I then stated, his lordship would observe that the government of the United States had two causes of complaint: the one was such violations of our neutrality laws as might be tried and punished in the courts of the United States; the other—to which I especially desired to direct his attention-consisted in a violation of our neutrality, under the general law of nations, by the attempts which had been made by British officers and agents, not punishable under our municipal law, to draw military forces from our territory to recruit their armies in the Crimea. As examples of this, I passed in review the conduct of Mr. Crampton, of the lieutenant governor of Nova Scotia, and the British consuls at New York and Philadelphia.
I observed that, in his note of the 16th July, he had assured me
that the individuals engaged in recruiting in the United States acted upon their individual responsibility, and had no authority for their proceedings from any British officials, by whom their conduct was condemned. In addition, he had stated that instructions had been sent out to Sir Gaspard le Marchant to stop all enlistments in North America. [Yes, his lordship observed, they were sent out on the 22d June last.] I said I had expressed the satisfaction which I felt in transmitting this note to Mr. Marcy, and was, therefore, sorry to say satisfactory proof existed that Mr. Crampton and other British officers had before and since been engaged in aiding and countenancing these proceedings and recruitments. In fact, Wagner had been convicted at New York for a violation of our neutrality law, committed at so late a period as the 3d of August.
Lord Clarendon sat silent and attentive whilst I was making these remarks, and then took from his drawer several sheets of paper, containing extracts from a despatch of Mr. Crampton, (received, as I understood, by the last steamer, some of which he read to me.
Mr. Crampton emphatically denies the truth of Strobel's testimony and Hertz's confession, as well as all complicity in the recruitments. I expressed my surprise at this, and said that Strobel's character was respectable, so far as I had ever learned, and that his testimony was confirmed by several documents implicating Mr. Crampton, which had been given in evidence on the trial of Hertz. I told him he would see this on a perusal of the trial itself, of which I gave him a copy.
I asked him whether he intended I should communicate to you my recollection of the particular extracts he had read to me from Mr. Crampton's despatch. He said he would prefer I should not; that he would examine and sift the subject with great care, and preferred to present these to you in his own language.
În concluding this part of the conversation, Lord Clarendon declared, in a sincere and emphatic manner, that nothing had been further from the intention of the British government than to violate the neutrality of the United States, or to give them cause of offence. He could also declare, in regard to himself personally, that he would not act in such a manner towards one of the weakest powers-not even towards Monaco—and certainly would not do so towards the great and powerful republic of the United States, for which he had ever entertained the warmest feelings of respect and friendship.
I presume you may expect, ere long, to hear from Lord Clarendon through a note addressed to Mr. Crampton, according to what he says is diplomatic usage.
We afterwards had some conversation about the invasion of Ireland, which I have never treated seriously. In regard to the Russian privateer alleged to be fitting out at the port of New York, I told him that since our last conversation I had seen two gentlemen who had just arrived from New York, who assured me they would be likely to know or have heard of it were any such steamer building, and they treated the report to that effect on this side of the Atlantic as idle and unfounded. In reply, he informed me that the fact was substantiated and the steamer described in a particular manner, which he detailed, by three depositions which had been forwarded by the British consul at New York to Mr. Crampton, who had brought the subject to your notice, and you had promised to inquire into it.
Yours, very respectfully,
JAMES BUCHANAN. Hon. WILLIAM L. MARCY,
Secretary of State.
Mr. Buchanan to Mr. Marcy.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
London, November 9, 1855. SIR: I had an interview with Lord Clarendon on yesterday, by appointment, and shall now report to you, as nearly as I can recollect it, our conversation. After the usual salutations, I said to him: “Your lordship, when we last parted, asked me to help you to keep the peace between the two countries, which I cordially promised to do; and I have come here to-day to make a suggestion to you with this intent.
"You have now learned the prompt and energetic action of the government of the United States in causing the seizure and examination of the vessel at New York which you had learned was intended for a Russian privateer. Upon this examination she has turned out to be the barque Maury, built for the China trade, and bound to Shanghae. The ten iron cannon in the hold and four on deck, together with the other arms on board, were designed to furnish arms to the merchantmen in the Chinese seas, to enable them to defend themselves against the pirates, so numerous in that quarter. The time of her sailing had been announced for three weeks in five daily journals, and she was to take out four Christian missionaries. So satisfactory did the examination prove to be, that Mr. Barclay, the British consul, had himself assented to her discharge.
“ Your lordship stated to me at our last meeting that the reason why the British fleet had been sent to the vicinity of the United States was the information you had received that a Russian privateer had been built in New York, and was about to leave that port to prey upon your commerce with Australia. You have now received the clearest evidence, not only that this was all a mistake, as I predicted at the time it would prove to be, but also that the government of the United States has acted with energy and good faith in promptly causing the vessel to be seized and examined. Now, my lord, the cause having proved to be without foundation, the effect ought to cease, and I earnestly suggest to you the propriety of issuing an order to withdraw the fleet.'
“The Times accompanied the annunciation that this fleet had been