[M. Hautefeuille on the Trent Case]The Illustrated London News, vol. 39, no. 1124, p. 676.
December 28, 1861
M. Hautefeuille On The Trent Case—Under the title "Questions of Maritime International Law," one of the first French authorities on that branch of jurisprudence, M. Hautefeuille, the learned author of "The History of Maritime International Law," and of "The Treatise on the Rights and Duties of Neutral Nations during Naval Warfare," has just given to the world a careful examination of the various questions involved in the Trent and Nashville cases. M. Hautefeulle divides the subject under three heads: admitting the right of search, he declares that the Captain of the American frigate "violated all the rules relating to the right of search." He asserts, "The reply to the question put is, therefore—First, that in no case can there exist contraband of war on a neutral vessel sailing between two neutral ports. Second, that even if there were contraband of war, the sole right of the cruiser would be to seize the vessel and to carry it into one of the ports of his own country to have it legally sentenced. Third, that persons cannot in any case be considered as contraband of war. Fourth, that Messrs. Slidell and Mason, not being in the military service of the Southern Confederation at the moment of their arrest, could not be carried off from the neutral vessel in which they were sailing. From these answers it evidently results that Captain Wilks has committed a violation of all the principles regulating international relations." He also decides that President Lincoln has not the right to seize and make prisoners the inhabitants and officials of the Southern Confederation wherever he can find them, although he has the right to regard them as rebels.