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rigidly within the limits of the law according to its true meaning and intent, as well as according to the letter of its provisions.
The "opinion" is then given at length.
To this despatch Lord Clarendon replied on the 12th of April. He
I entirely approve of your proceedings as reported in your despatch of the 12th ultimo, with respect to the proposed enlistment in the Queen's service of foreigners and British subjects in the United States.
In the meantime Mr. Crampton had put himself in communication with Sir Gaspard Le Marchant, the Governor of Nova Scotia, with a view to establishing a recruiting depôt in that province; and had at last deemed it advisable to visit him there. In his absence Mr. Savile Lumley, who was charged with his duties, wrote a despatch to Lord Clarendon on the 7th of May, to an extract from which we beg the reader's attention:
At an interview which I had with Mr. Marcy I told him that he had judged rightly in supposing that Mr. Crampton's visit to Canada had reference to the English question.
I stated that, from the first moment this question was mooted, Mr. Crampton had shown the greatest anxiety that it should in no way lead to violations of the laws of the United States, that he believed everything that could be done might be effected legally, and that he was determined, as far as lay in his power, to prevent anything like infraction or evasion of the Neutrality Laws of this country. Unfortunately the very stringent nature of the provisions of these laws was not generally understood, and several persons had on their own responsibility acted at variance with them, and it was for the purpose of fully explaining the bearings of the law, and of preventing such infractions, that Mr. Crampton had undertaken his journey to the British Provinces.
I then told Mr. Marcy that as I thought it would interest him to see your Lordship's last instructions on the subject I had brought them with me, and I said that I was certain a perusal of this paper would convince him of two things: first, that the view which had been taken, and the opinions which had been expressed by Mr. Crampton on this suject, were precisely such as Mr. Marcy might have expected from his knowledge of Mr. Crampton; and secondly, that those opinions had been responded to by Her Majesty's Government in the same frank and honourable manher.
I then read to Mr. Marcy a copy of your
Lordship's despatch of the 12th ultimo. Marcy appeared much pleased with this communication, and said that as the question was one which had engaged the attention of the United States' Government he should be very glad to be able to show this despatch to the Cabinet. I told Mr. Marcy that I had no instructions to leave it with him, but I would take upon myself to do so if he would consider it in the light of a private memorandum.
Mr. Marcy said he would note it as such, and that if at any time Mr. Crampton wished, he might recall it; "the question," Mr. Marcy added, "will no doubt come before Congress, and I should be glad if this despatch could be found among the papers called for."
I am aware that in leaving this despatch with Mr. Marcy I have transgressed the regulations of Her Majesty's service, for which I must throw myself on your Lordship's indulgence; but Mr. Crampton was anxious that the United States' Government should not for a moment suppose that a project for enlisting troops for Her Majesty's service within the United States had ever been contemplated.
After reading the despatch himself, Mr. Marcy said he had no doubt that the course pursued by Mr. Crampton was the proper one; he was, indeed, convinced of this from having seen Mr. Crampton's instructions to Her Majesty's Consuls when the question of recruiting in the United States first arose.
Now up to this date it will be seeni that there was not room for the shadow of a suspicion that in what the British ministers in America were engaged about there was anything which could possibly cause a misunderstanding, or bring the countries into unfriendly collision, provided only the letter of the law was strictly observed; and not even in case of its violation, unless it was brought home to them. Mr. Crampton accordingly felt it in accordance with both his duty and his patriotic sympathies, to make the organization he had planned as extensive and as efficient as pos sible, and believed that he was earning the gratitude of his country when he spread the network over the whole face of the States. He became thus the centre of a wide-spread system, and found himself in constant and confidential communication with a host of persons, strangers to him, of every nation and character, disaffected politicians, restless spirits, needy adventurers-in short, as might be supposed, that portion of society which is more valuable numerically than in any other aspect.
It was in the midst of these efforts that a dispatch from Lord Clarendon, dated the 22nd of June, reached Mr. Crampton, enjoining him to stay all further proceedings in the matter of enlistment, and to abandon the project definitively. It may easily be con ceived in what a predicament this injunction, prudent and proper though it certainly was, left the British Minister. There he was, surrounded by a labyrinth of machinery of his own construction, dangerous enough in the working, but trebly dangerous when interfered with, obliged to put a sudden and violent stop to its motions, and disjoint and safely take to pieces, as it were, the whole of what he had put together. No easy task, certainly; but still more dangerous than difficult. A host of expectants had to be disappointed a host of needy wretches had to be turned adrift- -a host of desperadoes to be summarily got rid of. Ill-humour, malignity, revenge were to be encountered. The odium which always atfaches to the ostensible promoter of an abortive scheme had to be endured. All this time there were at his elbow the ministers of the very country against whom these schemes were directed. They were looking over his shoulder, as he played his cards, and may be supposed to have made their own signs to his enemies, who must now have been numerous. A man placed in such a situation can scarcely expect to get off scathless. In point of fact, Mr. Crampton, who had been the choice of the Americans themselves--whose singular suavity and grace of manner, as well as higher accomplishments and qualities, had made him up to that time perhaps the most popular minister who ever represented British interests in America, suddenly lost his prestige with both governinent and people, and became an object of public opprobrium. In the prosecutions which were instituted against various individuals for alleged violation of the neutrality laws, and especially on the trial of Hertz, the authorities who acted for the government made no secret of its being their chief endeavour to implicate the ambassador--to expose him as a malefactor." It is unfortunately beyond the scope of an article like this, to enter upon an examination of the evidence upon which
it has been sought to criminate the British Minister. We must content ourselves with explaining two circumstances. First, the individuals, Strobel, Hertz, Burgthal and Reuss, upon whose evidence the enemies of Mr. Crampton principally rested for their proofs of his complicity, were men of notoriously loose, not to say infamous character. The second circumstance is best explained in the words of Mr. Crampton himself. He says:
"The Attorney-General of the United States has acknowledged, nay, he has proclaimed, that the proceedings in the trial of Hertz were, in reality, directed against Her Majesty's consuls and myself; yet he was aware that I could not, and he was determined that they should not appear in their own defence.
"The offence thus charged against us amounts to a misdemeanour.
"Prosecutions for misdemeanour by the State, whether by indictment or information, are subject in this country, as in England, to certain regulations, providing that the defendants shall have copies of the indictment or information, and a list of the witnesses, as well as other legal safeguards.
"Now, Her Majesty's Consuls and myself have stood in the position of defendants in this case, and I would beg to ask Mr. Attorney-General Cushing whether we had the benefit of any of the means of defence which the law allows to persons charged with misdemeanour?"
No-they had not. The AttorneyGeneral had taken care, by express instructions addressed to the District Attorney, to contrive so that no British officer should be permitted to interfere in the trials in question. Yet up to the very last despatch received from Mr. Marcy during the month that is just past, it is still insisted that Mr. Crampton has no right, in self-defence, to impugn the testimony of witnesses admitted and credited in courts of justice in America! The result of the contest indeed cannot be doubtful,
readers the whole of that masterly despatch, in which Mr. Crampton, at the solicitation of Lord Clarendon, makes a formal statement of his case. This document should be in the hands of everybody who wishes to understand this affair thoroughly; and should especially be read in connection with the final note of Mr. Marcy, explanatory of Mr. Crampton's dismissal. It is a pity that Lord Clarendon had not the boldness to transmit it to the American minister as it stood. It might have had a wholesome effect at the time. Arriving, as it did, in the "Blue Book" the other day, it was simply calculated to increase those elements of repulsiveness which seem by that time to have rendered any intercourse between our Minister and the present government of America impossible.
On what grounds, then, is this extreme act of dismissal sought to be justified? Let the answer be supplied from the despatch we have just referred to. They are shortly these : that he undertook to do what was contrary to the municipal laws of the country, as well as derogatory of its sovereign rights, in "hiring or retaining" recruits for a nation at war with a friendly power. That he continued to authorize this infringement of the law after instructions had reached him from his government to desist--both these allegations being sustained solely by that evidence which Mr. Crampton was not allowed to question, and which he has given such good reasons for discrediting unless indeed the verbal contradiction of Mr. Marcy, supported by some unsatisfactory allegations which he calls "cumulative evidence," is to be admitted as impugning the solemn, clear, and deliberate statement of Mr. Crampton himself. That, notwithstanding the satisfactory arrangement of the dispute between the governments of the two countries, consisting of an apology on our part, and the acceptance of it on that of America, the Minister who it is insisted is guilty, but who has had no means allowed him of proving his innocence and who besides must be understood to have already apologized in the apology of his government, can on personal grounds no longer be endured or communicated with as Her Majesty's representative. That even were the President disposed to wait
until the "cumulative proofs" should have been submitted, so as to give an opportunity of reply, the "exceptional character" of Mr. Crampton's despatches, recently come to his notice in the "Blue Book," would have precluded any such thought of delay.
Here it is that the shoe pinches, as regards Mr. Crampton. At least, this, and his participation in the ClaytonBulwer Treaty, are enough. He must be got rid of. He was a party to the policy of 1850. Moreover, he has seen through, and spoken out about, the policy of 1855.
He had said, on the 16th of July in the latter year :—
I believe Mr. Rowcroft to be entirely innocent; and it would appear, even from the newspaper reports, that the means employed to get up the charge, reflect anything but credit on the law officers of the United States at Cincinnati.
He had charged the American Secretary with something more than weakness of memory, in a despatch dated November 19:
Mr. Marcy seems to labour under a somewhat unaccountable misapprehension as to facts which, I should have concluded, could not have been unknown to him.
And again, in the same despatch, Mr. Crampton points to a further "unaccountable misapprehension."
What, however, renders the want of information under which Mr. Marcy evidently laboured when he made the statement in question, more extraordinary, is the fact that on the day he wrote his despatch, viz., the 13th of October, I had addressed to him an official note on the subject, calling his attention not only to the reports of the proceedings in question, published in the American newspapers, but to the communications I have received from Her Majesty's Consuls at Boston, Cincinnati, and New York, on the sub. ject, and to the handbill circulated secretly among the Irish societies, of which I inclosed to Mr. Marcy a printed copy.
In the following passage of Mr. Crampton's "statement," he remarks upon this refusal to permit Her Majesty's ministers to be heard in their own defence :
I think, my lord, that we have some reason to complain of this treatment, as very little in harmony with what might be ex
pected at the hands of a friendly power; as showing needless distrust of Her Majesty's representative and Consuls; and, if I may be permitted to say so, as unmerited by the personal character and reputation of those gentlemen or myself.
Mr. Marcy, as well as the President, I had flattered myself would have felt convinced that, however erroneous they might suppose my views of the Neutrality Laws to be, I should have disdained to shield myself from their consequences by concealment or subterfuge; and that, upon inquiry of me, every act and proceeding of mine would have been frankly communicated to them. It would then have been unnecessary for the law officers of the United States to resort to the aid of spies and informers, in order to obtain evidence against us. By so doing they have been (as might have been expeeted) grossly misled; and it will now be my duty to refute, as far as I am able, the misrepresentations and calumnies which have resulted from the ill-conceived method of obtaining information resorted to by the Government of the United States.
The insinuations contained in the following passage from the same document are not very flattering to Mr. Marcy :
Conceiving that the object of the American Government, in making through M. Buchanan the remonstrance against recruitment in the United States contained in that Minister's note of the 16th of July, had now been fully attained, I addressed to Mr. Marcy (on the 8th of August) a private letter, suggesting to him, on my own personal responsibility and without instructions from my Government, the expediency, with a view to avoiding the appearance of any want of harmony between the two Governments, of dropping the legal proceedings which had been instituted against Her Majesty's Consul at Cincinnati, and against other parties at New York, for a violation of the Neutrality Laws.
To this friendly overture I received no reply from Mr. Marcy, although he had returned to Washington and I had several conversations with him on other subjects, but at which he never alluded to the subject of the recruitinent.
On the 24th of August I ventured to enquire of Mr. Marcy whether my letter had ever reached him; he replied that it had, that the subject of it was under advisement, and that he would shortly communicate with me in regard to it.
This was all that passed, nor did Mr. Marcy make the slightest allusion either to the correspondence which had taken place between Mr. Buchanan and yourself, to the new point of view in which the Government of the United States now regarded the question, or to the pretended "disclosures" upon which charges
have since been brought forward against Her Majesty's Diplomatic and Consular Agents, and against the British provincial authorities.
Had Mr. Marcy informed me of these matters, I should at all events have been able to demonstrate to him the falsehood of those charges. And even supposing that I might not have succeeded in changing his view of the subject, and he still should have conceived that he had grounds for complaint against Her Majesty's Government and their Agents, he would at least have been obliged to weigh my statements as to facts against those of the witnesses who have been brought forward as "State's evidence" to depose in a Court of Justice to the grossest falsehoods, and he would have been able to ground his complaints, if he still had thought it necessary to make them, upon my statements and not upon evidence of a character which reflects little credit upon the parties who have had recourse to it.
Finally, the observations embodied in the despatch of March 14th, 1856, are too significant to be easily borne. The topic is still the recruitment of men in the States :
It was only by Mr. Marcy's note of the 5th of September, that I was at once in formed both of the view taken of the matter by the United States' government, and of their belief that I myself was implicated in the affair of which they complained.
From June 6, therefore, to September 5, during the whole of which time, with the exception of six days (from June 20 to June 26), I was at Washington, and during the whole of which time Mr. Marcy, as it has since appeared, believed that recruitments were successfully going on, which recruitments it was natural to suppose I might have had some influence in stopping or preventing, no remonstrance or communication of any sort was made to me on the subject, and during the greater part of that time, while evidence was being industriously col lected by the United States' District Attor neys, through the means of paid spies and informers, against myself and other officers of her Majesty's service, it was not thought expedient by the United States' government to give either myself or them any notice of what was going forward, or to break silence on the subject to us at all, until a case against us had been matured and completed, by which it was hoped and expressly and avowedly intended to convict us publicly of the offence of a violation of the law.
It is not for me to speculate as to the mo tives by which the United States' government were actuated in this course of proceeding, but it certainly would seem that it was dictated rather by a desire to ensure the public conviction of certain parties of an offence, by silently watching their proceedings until they had involved themselves in some illegal act,
than by a desire to put a stop as early as possible, by timely warning, to any further steps in the execution of a plan which was in their opinion likely to disturb the friendly relations of the two countries,
In a word, Mr. Marcy is charged, in numerous passages of these despatches, with something approaching to a deliberate intention, by unscrupulous means and through unworthy misrepresentations, of embroiling the British government at home, or at least the British minister in America, with his own country, and exciting a hostile feeling against one or both. A grave charge one which the American minister must feel bound for his credit not to endure. In short, the publication of the Blue Book was the signal for Mr. Crampton's recall, or removal -one or the other. He and that book could not be in America together, and co-operate with a Pierce ministry. We purposely abstain from entering upon the parallel case of the consuls, both because it is comprised in that of the minister, and because it may be assumed that those gentlemen were included in this extreme measure rather for the sake of consistency than for any other cause. Mr. Crampton had boldly impugned the fair dealing of the American government, in despatches to his own. Parliament required that these despatches should be made public. They were so-too soon, we think: but that is of little consequence. They were published; and America was delighted at the excuse they afforded for the step IT
HAD OTHER REASONS FOR WISHING TO TAKE.
The recruiting question is all a sham. Russia probably fomented the dispute for its own immediate purposes; but it made a mistake. It ought to have avoided weakening England on that side, for obvious reasons. The true question as between the respective nations is the Central American one. In the earlier part of this paper we have given a brief history of that question. But we have yet to specufate as to the motives which may have actuated the parties to the dispute, and which may exercise their influence on its progress or termination. Protected by the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty of 1850, a ship-canal of vast dimensions was to be constructed across Central America by means of British capital, by which America
was to gain great advantages. This protectorate was not to be obtained without some sacrifice, and accordingly America, seeing she could do no less, agreed to sacrifice-what? Not dominion--not territory-not money. No-but her aggressive course-her normal condition of advance-her annexing, monopolizing, dominating spirit, in one direction. Central America was precluded, for all time, from being the scene of her charac teristic policy. This was the price she was to pay for her canal-for that it would be hers in the main, she confidently, and perhaps rightly, expected.
But unforeseen difficulties arose. Capitalists were cautious, slow, suspicious. A year-two years-a third year, nearly, passed over, and nothing was done. At last, the scheme broke down. The project of a ship-canal was abandoned. Observe the dates. On the 27th of October, 1852, M. Marcoleta, the Minister of Nicaragua in New York, writes to Mr. Crampton to the following effect :
M. le Ministre,
The Legation of Nicaragua has just learned that the American Canal Company of New York, finding it impossible to execute the important line of inter-oceanic communication on account of the want of co-operation of the capitalists of Great Britain, has resolved to propose to the government of Nicaragua a modification of the original contract for con, structing a canal of smaller dimensions than those stipulated in the second Article of the above-named contract.
By this announcement America, as well as England, found herself shut out from all those advantages she had done so much, as she thought, to secure. For ships of large burden alone did either nation want a canal. The benefits to be derived by America from the Treaty were wholly lost to her,
M. Marcoleta's letter was dated October 27th, 1852. On the 28th of December following, the subjoined re solution was offered to the Senate of the United States by Mr. Cass :-
Resolved,―That the president be requested to communicate to the senate, as far as may be compatible with the public interest, any information in the department of state respecting the establishment of a new British colony in Central America; together with the copy of a proclamation, if received at the