The Illustrated London News

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London, Saturday, June 15, 1861

The Illustrated London News, vol. 38, no. 1093, p. 548.

June 15, 1861


...The Emperor of the French has issued a proclamation on the subject of America. His Majesty declares that, considering the state of peace between France and the United States, he resolves to be neutral in the strife between the Government of the Union and the States claiming to form a particular Confederation, and he notifies that neither armed ship nor privateer on either side shall remain with prizes in French waters more than twenty-four hours. The usual cautions to Frenchmen against engaging in the war are given. We shall see whether this counterpart of our own declaration draws down upon France the indignation which a certain portion of the American journals have seen fit to express against England for having asserted her right to be neutral. The most absurd arguments are adduced against us, and, among others, we are told that in the Indian War the Republic was in no hurry to recognise the belligerent rights of sepoys. It does not speak well for the critical habits of newspaper readers in America that such childish nonsense can even be put into type. Where is the parallel? and what would it have signified to England if every State in the Union had declared that the murderers of Cawnpore were patriots fighting for nationality? We have carefully abstained from giving the least countenance to either principle involvedi n [sic] the strife in America, and we hope to be able to continue "letting both parties alone with the utmost severity." Rumours of expected collisions still supply the journals with tremendous headings to very tame columns; and, in truth, the papers are not exactly covering themselves with glory either by the exactness of their news or the elevation of their style. At this moment the value to the Republic of a single newspaper edited on the English principle—that is to say, one calmly and thoughtfully written, and from which all news that is not verified is eliminated, or given with a brand of untrustworthiness upon it—would be almost inconceivable.

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