Foreign and Colonial NewsThe Illustrated London News, vol. 40, no. 1132, p. 184.
By the City of Washington we have advices from New York to the 8th inst. The only military operation of the week is the
This Confederate fort is situated on the Tennessee River, in Western Kentucky, not far from its mouth. On the 6th seven Federal gun-boats, under the command of Commodore Foote, attacked the fort, and, after one hour and a quarter's bombardment, the Confederate General Tilgheim and the garrison of sixty men surrendered unconditionally. The fort contained twenty guns, and offered a strong resistance. The boiler of the gun-boat Essex exploded, killing thirty Federals. The Federal land forces did not arrive until after the surrender. Fort Dennellson, on the Cumberland River, will be the next point of attack.
The Burnside expedition has sailed for Roanoke Island.
The anxieties of the Secretary of the Treasury have been relieved by the passage of the Treasury Note Bill through the House of Representatives, with the clause making the notes a legal tender, by a large majority. The telegrams to the contrary were erroneous. The House of Representatives has added an amendment making the payment of interest on Government Bonds optional in coin or paper.
The New York Chamber of Commerce has unanimously passed resolutions to sustain the Government in giving currency to the legal tender notes until they can be placed on a specie basis by the imposition of taxes adequate to their redemption. On the other hand, the people show no revived disposition to invest in the National Loan, of which nearly 50,000,000 dols. remain on the hands of the Government. Gold is 3½ prem.; the 7.30 Treasury notes are selling at a discount of l½ per cent; and the contractors are clamoring for payment. The Federal and State Treasuries, however, are most anxious to keep faith with the public creditor, and have paid the interest on the several National and State debts in coin. It is stated on high authority that the amount of the funded Federal debt was on the 15th of January 306,700,000 dols., having risen to thin amount-from 65,000,000 dols. since Mr. Lincoln's inauguration. This is irrespective of a large and daily- augmenting floating debt. The same authority estimates that by the end of this fiscal year (June 30) the funded and floating debt will amount to 650,000,000 dols.
In the Senate, on the 31st ult., the resolution appropriating 35,000 dols. to forward the interests of American exhibitors at the International Exhibition was rejected by the vote of—Ayes, 17; Nays, 22. A bill to prohibit Americans engaging in the coolie trade passed the Senate. Mr. Bright, senator from Indiana, has been expelled from the United States' Senate for corresponding in the spring of last year with Mr. Jefferson Davis on the subject of gunpowder.
The House Committee on Commerce has reported on the Reciprocity Treaty with Canada. The report deprecates the abrogation of the treaty, but advocates its amendment, with a view to benefit American industry. It affirms that while Canada draws from American imports a revenue of 1,000,000 dols., the United States only derives 25,000 dols. from duties on Canadian imports.
President Lincoln has at length yielded to outside pressure and ordered the removal of the captured privateersmen from a common gaol to Fort Lafayette, where they are to be treated as ordinary prisoners of war. A flag of truce from General Johnston, of the Confederate Army, with despatches for the President had been received. It is supposed that it relates to the exchange of prisoners.
The President has granted a respite of three weeks to Captain Gordon, of the slaver Erie, who was to have been hung on the 7th inst. Judge Cowles has written a letter to the President begging him to commute the sentence of death.
The Maine Senate having requested the Governor of that State to demand explanations of Mr. Seward for his offer to pass British troops across that state, the Secretary of State replies, in a long letter, that the immediate grounds of the proceeding were the saving the persons concerned from risk and suffering which might be feared if they were left to make their way, in an inclement season, through the ice and snow of a northerly Canadian voyage. It was a customary act of comity such as the United States' Government receives from New Grenada whenever it passes troops across the isthmus:—
The United States have not only studiously practised the most perfect justice in their intercourse with Great Britain, but they have also cultivated on their part a spirit of friendship towards her as a kindred nation, bound by the peculiar ties of commerce. The Grand Trunk Railroad, a British highway, extended through the territories of the United States to perhaps the finest seaport of our country is a monument of their friendly disposition. The reciprocity treaty, favouring the productions of British North America in the markets of the United States, is a similar monument of the same wise and benevolent policy. I shall not affect ignorance of the fact that popular asperities have recently appeared in that portion of the British Empire, as well as in the British Islands, which have seemed to indicate a growing alienation of sentiment among portions of the British people. But the Government of Great Britain has nevertheless, during all this time, held towards us its customary language of respect and friendship. This Government, practising entire frankness, yields its full faith to these assurances. The popular asperities to which I have alluded are believed to have had their origin in accidents and misapprehensions of a temporary character. While the policy of this Government has been to fortify its territories so as to be able to resist all foreign as well as domestic enemies, if such enemies must come, it has been equally careful at the same time to secure even greater strength by showing itself consistent in all things, scrupulously just, and, if possible, magnanimous towards all other nations.
If, however, Mr. Seward concludes, the State of Maine feels herself aggrieved, the orders will be cheerfully modified.
General Beauregard's official report on the battle of Bull Run has been published. The loss of the Confederates was 1800 killed and wounded. The effective Confederate force engaged was 21,000 men and twenty-nine guns. The report concludes as follows:—
In conclusion, it is doubtless expected that through this report my countrymen should be made acquainted with some of the sufficient causes that prevented the advance of our forces and prolonged vigorous pursuit of the enemy to and beyond the Potomac. The War Department has been fully advised long since of all those canoes, some of which only are proper to be here communicated. An army which had fought like ours on that day against uncommon odds, under a July eon, most of the time without water and without food, except a hastily snatched meal at dawn, was not in the condition for the toil of an eager, effective pursuit of an enemy immediately after the battle. On the following day an unusually heavy and unintermitting fall of rain intervened to obstruct our advance. Added to this, the want of a sufficient cavalry force made an effective pursuit a military impossibility.
Mr. W. H. Russell, the Times correspondent, has quitted the United States for the purpose of making a tour of inspection in Canada.
Notwithstanding the assurances from Washington correspondents that the Federal Government has perfect faith in the friendly assurances offered to it by the leading Governments of Western Europe, the New York press obstinately persist in representing that an intervention by France and Great Britain will take place on or before the 1st of April next.
General M'Clellan has forbidden the Hutchinsons to sing their anti-slavery songs in camp and has ordered them back to Washington.
The Legislature of Michigan has sent a petition to Congress stating that as slavery is the cause of the war it should be swept from the land.
The Massachusetts Anti-slavery Society have held their annual meeting without any of the usual disturbances.
During the week 173 bales of Government Sea Island cotton have been sold at from 28c. to 71c. per pound, the average price being 55c. Nine bales of Uplands were sold at 25c. to 26½c.
Owing to the continuance of the floods, the Legislature of this State have adjourned from Sacramento City to San Francisco.
Arrangements have been made to send telegrams direct from Halifax, Nova Scotia, to San Francisco.
Two American travellers in Rome, ostentatiously persisting in remaining covered whilst a religious procession was passing, got severely handled by the gendarmes.