London, Saturday, May 11, 1861The Illustrated London News, vol. 38, no. 1088, p. 436.
May 11, 1861
. . . The most important exchange of question and answer has been upon the American difficulty, and its aspect towards ourselves; and Lord John Russell has stated, although his reply is given with a certain reservation, that he considers that the South is sufficiently strong to be regarded as a "belligerent," as distinguished from a rebel, and that we shall recognise no blockade by the North, except an "effective" one. The more difficult ancillary question as to right of search will keep for a short time, but may have to be more promptly solved than is expected.
Up to our writing the American news has comprised details of the most alarming character, but no great collision is reported. The destruction of several of the finest ships of the Federal Navy, in order to prevent their falling into the hands of the South, is the largest operation that has yet taken place; but the rapid arming on both sides, and the intense feeling in the North, whence volunteers of the best character are pouring down in thousands, and where pecuniary aid is flowing in a torrent into the Treasury, seem to promise—let us rather say to threaten—events of a sadder character. It would seem that some suggestion of English mediation had been made, but only to be scornfully rejected, all interference, and especially that of a monarchy, being held to be intolerable. It is well simply to record the various phases of this portentous struggle, but it is hardly possible that the next telegram should not throw all present speculation out of date.