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Foreign and Colonial News

The Illustrated London News, vol. 40, no. 1128, p. 80-81.

January 25, 1862


By the arrival of the Etna we have news from New York to the evening of the 11th inst.


General M'Clellan had not yet fully recovered from his attack of typhoid fever, but had taken several airings in a carriage.

General Burnside's expedition had left Annapolis and would rendezvous at Hampton Roads. The precise destination of this expedition has been kept a profound secret. The Boston Traveller announces that several divisions of the army of the Potomac will reinforce this expedition.

A fight is reported to have taken place at Huntersville, in Western Virginia, in which the Confederates retired with loss in killed, wounded, clothing, and stores.

A portion of the Mississippi expedition had already started on its mission, which is supposed to be an attack on Nashville.

The steamer Vanderbilt had arrived in New York from Port Royal with about 700 full bales of Sea Island cotton.

Page 81


Mr. Seward has tendered to Lord Lyons permission to the British troops en route to Canada to land at Portland, and proceed by railroad through Maine to their destination.


The Richmond papers declare that their army is suffering severely from the cold and that it is to a great extent demoralised. They think that Great Britain will not be satisfied with Mr. Seward's despatch upon the Trent question, and will make further demands. The Richmond Whig thinks that the sinking the stone fleet will do no harm to the city of Charleston, but will render it impregnable to a sea attack. Since the sinking of that fleet the steamer Ella Warley, from Nassau, ran into Charleston with a cargo of arms, medicines, and other stores. Several vessels have left the harbour and run to sea by other channels, one of which has recently arrived in Liverpool. The captain saw nothing of the blockading fleet.


In a debate in the House of Representatives on the Trent question Mr. Vallandigham expressed himself dissatisfied with the surrender of Messrs. Mason and Slidell. He said that America would be at war with England in less than three months unless the Federal Government tamely submit to the recognition of the South and the raising of the blockade. Mr. Hutchins, of Ohio, considered that Mr. Vallandigham wanted war with England for the benefit of the South. Mr. Thomas, of Massachusetts, was of opinion that England had done that which had implanted in the American breast a sense of wrong which would wait the opportunity to strike a blow of retributive justice.

Charles Sumner, Chairman of the Senate's Committee of Foreign Affairs, has spoken in the Senate, and taken positions similar to those of M. Thouvenel and in advance of those taken by Mr. Seward. He said:—

If Captain Wilks suspected the Trent he should have taken her into port for decision. No Federal court, however, recognising American precedents, could have lawfully condemned the Trent or detained the Commissioner[s]. The American Government has committed itself fully and unreservedly to the right of a neutral flag to cover civil passengers. The question has been argued with the greatest ability and thoroughness by the most eminent American statesmen, including Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, and other Presidents, and the whole record of American diplomacy is luminous with arguments against such acts as that of Captain Wilks. Captain Wilks, misled by a British law book, violated American principles. England, by demanding the Commissioners, stultified her history and virtually acknowledged the justice of a position long maintained by America. The American people (concluded Mr. Sumner) are indebted to Captain Wilke's act and Mr. Seward's statesmanship for a great political triumph.

The Naval Committee has reported on a bill for the construction of twenty iron-plated steam gun-boats.

The Committee of Ways and Means have reported a bill authorising the issue of 100,000,000 dols. worth of demand notes, which will constitute a legal tender, be receivable for Government dues, and exchangeable at any time for Six per Cent Bonds, redeemable in twenty years.


Exchange on London has risen to 114; gold to 4 per cent premium, and silver to 1½ per cent premium. The imports of foreign dry goods into the port of New York for the year 1861 amount to 43,600,000 dols., against 101,800,000 in 1860, being a fall in one year of 63 per cent. In the year after the celebrated financial crisis (1858) the imports amounted to 61,000,000 dols. The arrivals in New York of passengers from foreign ports were 80,790 in 1861, against 266,627 in 1860; of passengers from California, 9117 against 10,710 in 1860.


At a crowded meeting of British residents held at the English Consulate in New York an address of sympathy and condolence with the Queen was adopted.


The Provost Marshal of St. Louis has notified to all newspapers appearing outside that city that a copy of each issue must be sent him for inspection, under penalty of suppression.


The opening of the year is the season when most of the State Governors present their annual messages to their respective Legislatures. The Governor of the Border State of Maine complains of the deep and bitter hostility of large numbers of the people of New Brunswick and Canada. He thinks that Portland should be made the Quebec and Halifax of the United States, and that with only present means of defence Portland would in the event of a war with Great Britain soon be in possession of the enemy. It is requisite for these purposes not only to construct military works on the coast, but military railroads for their connexion with one another. If the United States do not at once set about these works, Maine must do so on her own account. He complains that the attitude of England has been marked by many exhibitions of the most positive unkindness and ill-will, while her friendship for the rebels has been manifested by an unbroken succession of favours, valuable in themselves, but more valuable for the hopes encouraged by the ostentatious manner in which they were conferred. "We have all thought till recently that war with England was scarcely within the category of possible events. That she should make a war which she must know this country would feel and history would record was waged by her in the history of barbarism and wrong, and designed to inflict an irreparable and unprovoked injury upon a nation which had been, in honest faith, her best friend and, as far as the wishes of its people were concerned, her truest ally, was what the American people could not believe."

The Governor of Michigan, another Border State, speaks "of the manifest disposition of foreign Powers to intermeddle with our domestic affairs," and recommends the Federal Government to establish at some convenient point in the north-west an arsenal and manufactory of arms, and also a naval station, to be located in Michigan.

The Mayor of New York, in his Message, urges that rafts or other barriers should be anchored at the Narrows, in readiness to obstruct the channel, if necessary.


In Friday's Gazette were published copies of some despatches from Lord Lyons. The first informs Earl Russell that Messrs. Zacharie [sic] and Rogers, taken from on board the Eugenia Smith, under the British flag, and confined in Fort Lafayette, had been released, and the act disavowed; a second refers to a case in which a captured British schooner, the James Campbell, was taken into port with the British flag flying under the American-a proceeding which has been rebuked by Mr. Seward, and ordered not to be repeated; and the third relates that certain English seamen, captured for a break of blockade, having been required to take an oath never to be engaged in such a proceeding again, have been declared by Mr. Seward absolved from such oath.

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