[Lord Palmerston's assurance]The Illustrated London News, vol. 38, no. 1075, p. 140.
February 16, 1861
. . . Lord Palmerston's assurance that orders had been sent not to surrender Anderson, the escaped negro, will have been satisfactory to the country. . . .
Virginia steps in between the seceding States of the Republic and those which are true to the Union and proposes to mediate. But her good offices do not seem to have been very thankfully received by the South, and the North does not think that there is a case for mediation, and that rebels should be told to lay down their arms. Moreover, Virginia is not exactly in the position that gives weight to the interference of a third party, being herself largely interested in the question; and, although the circumstance might be thought to increase her zeal, it might not stimulate her to fair play. If the South finally separates and forms a new State (Slaveownia it has been suggested should be its name) Virginia must go with it. Mr. Buchanan is not, apparently, acting with any vigour, and is allowing the South ample time for arming, drilling, and fortifying; but in one fortnight from this time Mr. Lincoln takes office, and we shall probably see the loose reins drawn tight by the strong hand. Congress is debating, and many very eloquent speeches are made, but there seems a reluctance to commit the national council to any very distinct proposition, while the head of the Government is not likely to act upon the prompting of his Parliament. Last Monday was the birthday of Washington, and it will be interesting to read whether it was remembered—and how.
....It is said that Mr. Cobden has asked Switzerland to interfere between the Northern and Southern States of the Republic of America, but that such mediation has been pronounced impracticable.