London: Saturday, August 16, 1862The Illustrated London News, vol.41, no.1159, p.178.
August 16, 1862
Lord Palmerston had scarcely shaken hands with the Speaker, in congratulation upon the end of a dull Session, when the Premier was hurrying Yorkshirewards to shake hands with Sheffield. An enthusiastic assemblage gathered to banquet in the Cutler's Hall there, and to welcome the veteran champion of English independence. The guests were the notables of the district, but the warm feeling in favour of Lord Palmerston was shared by all classes, and stalwart workmen pressed round him to greet him with a hearty "God bless thee, lad!" The members for Sheffield were present, and Mr. Roebuck availed himself of the opportunity of making "a sensation speech," in which he vehemently adjured Lord Palmerston to recognise the Southern Confederacy, and said that the severance of the Union would be for the benefit of England. "No doubt of it," said no less a personage then the Mayor of Manchester, amid loud plaudit. Sheffield must prepare itself to receive a broadside of the heaviest abuse which the Federal prints and orators can pour in; but it will possibly be as harmless as the united fire from fifteen ships and seven rams that was poured upon the Arkansas when she made her destroying way through the Northern fleet at Vicksburg. The point will be that such a speech was made, unchallenged, in the presence of the Premier of England, and that it was approved by the representative of the great heart of Liberalism. In the absence of other American news of interest, we here add that a correspondence between Mr. Seward and Earl Russell has been published, and it appears that at the end of May the former wrote a long despatch placing Federal prospects in a most favourable light, and deprecating interference, and that the Earl cautiously waited, not seeing any necessity for prompt reply, and, when he did answer, simply pointed out that events were indecisive--that, despite all the provocations given by the North, we had remained impartial, and that we intended to remain so. The Earl's despatch is calm and terse, but it condenses the situation with too much felicity to make it exactly pleasant reading in the North. The Bishop of Oxford's recommendation that congregations should engage in "silent prayer" for the restoration of peace in America has occasioned some remark; but a clergyman named Jordan, who contends that the clergy ought to be allowed to offer up what public prayers they please, does not materially support his own case by intimating that he should pray for the suppression of the "rebellion"--a course which, in the present divided state of feeling in this country, might induce a moiety of his flock to discontinue attendance on his ministry.