Saturday, July 30, 2011

We Do Not Like Slavery, But We Want Cotton

Belmont, August, 1816-1890. A Few Letters and Speeches of the Late Civil War by August Belmont, 1816-1890

Belmont, was a War Democrat supporting the Union cause.  He used his influence with European business and political leaders to support the Union cause, dissuading the Rothschilds and other bankers from lending to the Confederacy and meeting personally with the British prime minister Lord Palmerston, and members of Napoleon III's French government

In this letter dated July 30, 1861 to William Seward, then Secretary of State of the Union, Belmont describes a conversation he had with Lord Palmerston.

. . . In the course of the conversation he used this phrase, "We do not like slavery, but we want cotton, and we dislike very much your Morrill tariff."

 I think this phrase comprises the whole policy of this government in the present war, and from what I have seen and heard since my arrival, I am more than ever convinced that we have nothing to hope from the sympathy of the English government and people in our struggle. Because this war is not carried on for the abolition or slavery in the Southern States, they try to maintain that the war has nothing to do with slavery: willfully shutting their eyes to the fact that the attitude of the North with regard to introducing slavery into the Territories is the main ground upon which the Secessionists justify their action. As a distinguished lady, wife of a prominent liberal in Parliament, told me last evening : "I am sorry to say, we have been found wanting in the present emergency, and principles have to yield to interest."
Lord Palmerston, from

No comments:

Post a Comment