Charles Francis Adams
- Minister to Britain 1861-1867
- sailed for Britain May 1, 1861, arrived May 16
- Lincoln inaugurated Mar. 4, Ft. Sumter bombarded Apr. 12, blockade imposed Apr. 19, Bull Run fought July 21
- problems of recognition, neutrality, contraband, raiders, mediation
- Queen Victoria's Proclamation of Neutrality May 13 allowed trade with CSA and belligerent rights, but not official recognition
- PM Henry Palmerston and Foreign Minister John Russell, liberal era of "splendid isolation" after Crimea, no intervention in Poland or Mexico
- Exchequer Minister William Gladstone pro-CSA until Antietam Sep. 30, 1862
- 80% of Brit's cotton imports from CSA; 5 million textile workers
- Cotton Diplomacy by CSA, embargo to gain recognition
- slouching, spitting minister James Mason
- Dispatch #10 May 21 from Seward threatened to break relations if Brit received CSA mission of Wm Yancey, Pierre Rost, A. Dudley Mann, but Adams won agreement from Russell that there would be no "official" talks with CSA
- Prize Proclamation June 1 forbid both USA and CSA from bringing privateer prizes into any Brit port
- Napoleon III was pro-CSA, needed cotton, ambitious and adventurer in Mexico, urged Declaration of Paris to keep trade open with CSA, prevent privateering and paper blockade, but USA would not agree
- Edward Mercier from France, Richard Lyons from Britain
- Archbishop John Hughes of NY sent to France as minister Dec. 24, was successful with Catholic Princess Eugenia
- Trent stopped Nov. 8 by Capt. Charles Wilkes on the San Jacinto removed James Mason and John Slidell
- was popular in the North; Gideon Welles gave his "emphatic approval"
- Palmerston ultimatum Nov. 30 soon after news arrived in Brit. - "time element was crucial"
- Adams assured Russell Dec. 19 that Wilkes acted without orders; both sides seek to soften demands and make compromises
- Seward released agents Dec. 26 with a "lengthy note" that agents were"personal contraband" who should have been taken to a prize court
- Brit. received news of release Jan. 8, 1862; legacy of "improved feeling for the North in England"
- CSA agent James Bullock purchased warships in Brit., became raiders Florida and Alabama, built at Birkenhead shipyard in Liverpool by the Laird brothers
- Alabama under Capt. Raphael Semmes sank 62 merchant ships and 1 warship until sunk in 1864 by USS Kearsage
- Liverpool consul Thomas Dudley used spies, proved CSA attempts to enlist Brit seamen but Queen's Advocate John Harding mentally ill
- USA blockade weak in 1861 with only 90 ships but became stronger in 1862, seized Bermuda bound for Brit Bermuda and Springbok bound for Nassau, and seized contraband cargo on Peterhoff 1863 bound for free port of Matamoros
- Laird rams were armored gunboats with rifled guns in turrets; "we have no defense against them" said Gideon Welles, Lincoln increased Dudley's espionage budget, rams seized by Brit government Oct. 1863 to avoid export of vital warship technology
- Gettysburg was the turning point July 1-3, 1863; USA seen to be winning the war; Brit insurance rising due to growing claims against Brit for merchant ship losses; USA enacted Privateering Bill March 3, 1863 in retaliation for CSA raiders; Alexandra was the last raider allowed released from Liverpool Apr. 3, 1863, due to overwhelming evidence gathered by Dudley.
revised 11/5/01 | Class Page | Cassius M. Clay