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Foreign and Colonial News

The Illustrated London News, vol. 40, no. 1129, p. 104.

February 1,1862


By the arrival of the Asia we have news to the 15th ult. The principal points are the removal of Mr. Cameron, the Secretary for War, and the struggle between the Secretary of the Treasury, Congress, and the New York bankers in reference to the ways and means.


This act for which the President is solely responsible, is attributed, like the removal of General Fremont, to two very different causes—first, nepotism and favouritism in the distribution of army contracts; and, secondly, a radical variance with the President on the slavery question—Mr. Cameron taking the Emancipationist side. That the latter is the more powerful motive seems to be indicated by the President's choice of a successor to the vacant post—namely, Edwin Stanton, a Pennsylvanian Democrat and strong anti-Abolitionist. Mr. Stanton was a member of Mr. Buchanan's Cabinet after the Secessionists had left it; and the appointment is looked upon as evincing a desire on the part of Mr. Lincoln to conciliate the support of the Democrats against the rising influence of the Abolitionists in Congress and the country. The appointment gives satisfaction to the army; but the, Senate has not yet confirmed it, nor that of Mr. Cameron to the post of United States' Minister at St. Petersburg in lieu of Mr. Cassius Clay, who petitions to be recalled.


The important negotiation between the bankers of the three great cities and Mr. Chase has not yet been concluded. The scheme of taxation and loans submitted by the former is unsatisfactory to the politicians because it is too favourable to the banks.


The Senate passed the bill compensating the owners of the British ship Perthshire for her wrongful detention. The bill met with some opposition from Senator Hale, avowedly based on his anti-English feeling. The opposition in the Lower House to the bill appropriating 35,000 dollars for enabling the American Commissioners to make proper arrangements for the transmission and reception of goods at the world's fair of 1862 was more successful. The occasion was seized by Mr. Owen Lovejoy, of Illinois, to deliver a philippic against the British Government and people.


A note addressed by Mr. Seward to the British, French, and Spanish Ministers at Washington has been published. The President authorises Mr. Seward to express his satisfaction at the recognition by the three Powers of the high interest the United States have in the destiny of Mexico implied in the invitation extended to him to become a party to the joint expedition. The President, however, refuses the invitation on the ground, firstly, of the President's desire to maintain the traditional policy of the United States, which forbids them to make any alliance with foreign Powers; secondly, because Mexico, being a Republican State, deserves great indulgence from the United States. Inasmuch as Mexico is now shaken by home dissensions, and menaced by a foreign war, the President is not disposed to seek satisfaction from Mexico at the present moment.


General Burnside's expedition has sailed from Hampton Roads. No further advance has been made by the Mississippi expedition. General M'Clellan's health is not yet fully re-established. The Duc de Chartres and the Comte de Paris have returned from their furlough and resumed their staff duties in the Federal army.

Work in the New York navy-yards had become slack, the "mortar fleet" being nearly fitted out. The expedition for which these vessels were intended was expected to be the last of those about to be undertaken on the Atlantic seaboard, as the Government agents had ceased to charter or purchase steamers and sailing-vessels, ferry-boats, canal- boats, and whatever other variety of naval craft they could obtain.

From Havannah we learn that up to the 8th ult. forty-seven vessels had run the blockade of the Southern coasts, and arrived in Cuba—viz., thirty-seven at Havannah, six at Matanzas, and four at Cardenas.


Governor Morgan, in his annual message, gives expression to the enlightened mercantile sentiment on this subject. He says:—

A recent occurrence, which created great solicitude both here and in Europe, renders it not improper for me to say that no State in the Union has so large an interest as New York in preserving amicable relations, especially with commercial Powers.

After speaking of the tonnage and value of vessels owned in the port of New York, which amounted to 1,464,011 tons, and 96,000,000 dols. respectively, and to the imports from and exports to foreign countries, which in 1860 were 384,000,000 dols. in value, in addition to which was the coasting trade, amounting to double, if not quadruple, these figures, he continues:—

Hostilities with either of the great Powers of Europe, and, most of all, with that Government which, from consanguinity, language, and customs is most intimately related to us, would be of untold disaster. No more pretext, no caprice of Court or Cabinet, no cause whatever, unless it involved national dignity or we are denied a positive right, could justify the representatives of this State in consenting to a war with foreign Powers, especially at a period when extraordinary supplies of men and money have been and will continue to be drawn from us to overwhelm the insurgents at home... We should not weaken ourselves by taking upon us a war of questionable necessity... Let us give no intended offence, and tamely submit to none.


This State has been visited by the severest floods which have ever occurred since its settlement by the Americans. They were caused by heavy rains which melted the snow in the mountains, by which the various streams were rapidly swollen, and rose to a great height. Immense damage has been done to the cities of Sacramento and Marysville, and also to the agricultural settlements in the neighbourhood. At Long Bar, near Marysville, about fifty Chinamen were drowned, and at Sand Flat an entire Chinese settlement was swept away, the poor fellows climbing into the sycamore-trees only to be torn away by the rising current. At another bar nearly one hundred Chinamen were drowned in a narrow gorge, leaving only one to tell the tale. All the bridges on the rivers of Upper California have been destroyed by the same terrible agency.


The high tariff in the United States is beginning to have a favourable effect on Canadian trade. In Montreal large quantities of cotton goods have been purchased on American account. Most of these will

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be smuggled. Cotton goods are now fully thirty per cent dearer on the American than on the Canadian side of the frontier line. A large trade is also springing up in teas, sugars, and other articles which used to be cheaper in the United States than in Canada, but which are now greatly dearer, on account of the increased duties; and the smuggling is all reversed. This partially compensates Canada for the low price of agricultural produce and the stoppage of the sawn lumber trade, consequent on the cutting off the Southern market.

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