Monthly Record of Current Events, March 7.
The Enrollment Bill, after various amendments, passed the House on the 12th of February, by a vote of 93 to 60, and the Senate on the 19th, by 26 to 16, several Republican Senators voting against it, for reasons which they assigned: Mr. Lane, of Indiana, on account of the commutation clause. Mr. Wilkinson because of the clause for securing substitutes. He believed that slaves were worth as much to the army as minor whites; he would never consent to make any difference between the able-bodied men of the country. Mr. Howe also on account of the substitute clause, which, says in effect that while substitutes can not be procured for $300, yet the payment of that sum purchased exemption. The bill as it now stands, he said, authorizes the Secretary of War to use colored men in one State as substitutes for white men in other States. Several other Senators accepted the bill as the best that could now be passed in both Houses, although they did not wholly approve of it. The bill is long and minute. The following are its leading provisions;
(§ 1.) The President may call out such number of men as the public exigencies may require; (§ 2.) The quota of each district to be as nearly as possible in proportion to the number of persons in it subject to draft, taking into account the number already furnished to the naval and military service; (§ 3.) If the quota of any State is not duly filled, drafts for any deficient district shall be ordered until the deficiency shall be supplied; (§ 4.) Any enrolled person may furnish a substitute; and if this substitute is not liable to draft or in the service, the principal will be exempt during the time for which the substitute would be exempt, but no one in military or naval service shall be accepted as a substitute; (§ 5.) All persons liable to draft shall be enrolled; this comprises in effect all able-bodied males below the age of 45, including aliens who have declared their intentions of becoming citizens, and all who, without having been in service two years during the present war, shall have been discharged; (§ 6.) Any person drafted may furnish a substitute at any time before the time fixed for his appearance at rendezvous; if the substitute is not liable to draft, the principal is exempt during the time of such non-liability, not exceeding the time for which the draft was made; if the substitute is liable to draft, the principal is liable to future drafts; any person paying money for commutation is exempted only from the special quota; and in no case shall such exemption extend beyond one year, at the end of which his name must be placed in enrollment; (§ 7.) Members of religious denominations whose rules prohibit the bearing of arms, shall, when drafted, be considered non-combatants, and be assigned to duty in hospitals, or to the care of freed-men, or shall pay $300, the money to be applied to the benefit of sick or wounded soldiers; but no person shall be entitled to the benefit of this provision unless he shows that his conduct has been uniformly consistent with his professed principles; (§ 8.) No person of foreign birth who has voted or held office is exempt from draft on the ground of alienage; (§ 9.) Mariners or able seamen who may be drafted may, upon enlisting in the navy, be exempt from draft, under conditions which are prescribed; but the number of these transfer enlistments shall not exceed ten thousand; (§10, 11, 12.) Make provision for carrying out the preceding section, the principal of which is that such transfer drafts shall be credited to the quota of the district, as though the person had been actually placed in the army; and that no pilot, engineer, master-at-arms, master, ensign, or master's mate, having an appointment and duty acting as such in the naval service, shall be liable to draft while holding such appointment; (§ 13.) Declares the only exemptions to be those who are physically, mentally, or morally unfit for service; those who at the time of draft shall actually be in military or naval service; and those who, having been for two years in service, shall have been honorably discharged; (§ 14.) Repeals the clause in the existing Enrollment bill making two classes, the first consisting of unmarried persons and those married below the age of 35, the second class embracing all others; all persona liable to draft are thus consolidated into one class, and are equally liable to military duty; (§ 15-25.] Provide for the execution of the law, and impose heavy penalties for all fraudulent attempts at their violation or evasion on the part of persons liable to enrollment, or of any officers charged with carrying them into effect; (§ 26.) Enacts that all able-bodied male persona of African descent, between the ages of 20 and 45, resident in the United States, whether citizens or not, shall be enrolled; that when the slave of a loyal master is drafted and mustered into service, the master shall have a certificate thereof, and the bounty of $160 shall be paid to any person to whom the recruit, at the time of he being mus tered into service, owes service or labor, on his freeing the recruit; that the Secretary of War shall appoint a commission in each Slave State represented in Congress, who shall award to any loyal person to whom the colored volunteer owes service a sum not exceeding $300, payable out of commutation money, upon the master freeing the slave: and that in all cases where slaves have been enlisted the provision as to bounty and compensation shall be the same as in the case of those to he enlisted; (§ 27.) Repeals all sections of the existing Enrollment act which are inconsistent with this.
— This was the form in which the bill passed the House. The Senate added the following proviso, which was agreed to by the House: Colored troops, "while they shall be credited in the quotas of the several States or subdivisions of States wherein they are respectively drafted, enlisted, or shall volunteer, shall not be assigned as State troops, but shall be mustered into regiments or companies as ‘United States Colored Volunteers.’"
The debates in both Houses on this bill were long and sharp, turning mainly upon the provisions for the enrollment of colored persons. The following is a sketch of the general line of remark in both Houses: In the Senate Mr. Davis denied the constitutionality of the bill, and said that a vital objection to it was that it authorized the raising of negro troops, and also gave them their freedom. Mr. Powell said that the only proper way was for the Government to indicate the number of men wanted, leaving it to the States to furnish them by draft. As it is, the militia force is absorbed by this great consolidation of despotic power. The part of the bill providing for the enlistment of colored men robbed the slaveholders of their constitutional property. Mr. Saulsbury's special objection to the bill was that it brought colored persons and negroes into the army. These people would not be slow to join in the cry for freedom and equality. Mr. Howe rejoined that he would not vote for a black man while he could find a better white man; but when the people of Wisconsin should find a man more worthy than himself to fill his seat, he should insist upon their right to send him; even though his skin should be darker. In the House, Mr. Davis, of Maryland, in moving the amendment giving compensation to loyal masters, said that he did so, not because he believed that compensation was due to the master, but on account of the measures which Government had already taken. He believed that Government ought to take slaves for military purposes, because they owed military service. Mr. Anderson, of Kentucky, thought the amendment did not go far enough. In his own district a large majority of the young men had entered the rebel service, and at the next draft the district would owe 7000 men; unless the slaves of disloyal men were taken, those who had induced enlistments in the rebel service would enjoy their property in peace, and the loyal white population must make up the deficiency; he would put the slaves of disloyal men in the army, but would not appropriate the slaves of loyal men. Mr. Webster, of Maryland, said that slaves were both persons and property. We needed colored men to aid in putting down the rebellion; any black man, having been a soldier, must be free; he would give freedom to the slave, and compensation to the master, Mr. Harris, of Maryland, denied the right of Government to enlist or enroll a slave; if taken, it could only be as property, and compensation must be made; he was opposed to employing negro troops; it would be a degradation to intrust our flag to negro hands. Mr. Kasson rejoined that the employment of negro soldiers was no new thing; the pension-rolls showed the names of black men by the side of whites; the statutes of the State of Virginia provided for the emancipation of slaves who fought in the War of the Revolution. Mr. Kelley said that we did not give compensation to the Northern father for his son, the wife for her husband, the children for the father taken from them by the conscription; the relation between slaveholder and slave was not more sacred than these. Slaves were persons, and as such owed military service to the country; they were never referred to as property in the Constitution; he was, however, ready to appropriate money to pay for slaves of loyal masters, who should consent to their volunteering.
The Enlistment Bill, with various amendments, has been debated at length, the discussions turning mainly upon the question of the employment and pay of colored troops. In the Senate, Mr. Davis,
703of Kentucky, proposed an amendment to the effect that colored troops should be disbanded, and these men be employed only as teamsters and laborers; this was rejected by 30 to 7. The Military Committee in the House reported the following bill:
"Any portion of the residents of Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, or Arkansas, who may volunteer in the military service of the United States for the term of three years or during the war, shall be entitled to the benefits and privileges of the existing laws, and mustered into the regiments of any of the States which they may elect; and, in case of such being colored troops, they shall be assigned as now directed by law; and any State, or sub-division of a State, procuring such enlistments, shall receive credit, provided that such enlistments in any State, under this act, shall continue only until such State shall be subject to a call for troops." This was opposed by Messrs. Cox and Wadsworth on the ground that it gave an advantage to States having money, by enabling them to enlist men from other States instead of calling out their own men. Messrs. Blair and Garlield replied, affirming that thousands of loyal men in the South were ready to enlist if provision could be made for their families. The bill, having been amended, on motion of Mr. Cox, by providing that no enlistment shall be made, except as specially enumerated in the bill, unless credit is given to the State to which the soldier belongs, was passed by 81 to 44.
A bill for the establishment of a Bureau of Freedman's Affairs, to determine all questions relating to persons of African descent, and make regulations for their employment and proper treatment on abandoned plantations, was reported in the House on the 10th of February, from a Select Committee. After a long series of debates, continued from day to day, it was passed, on the 1st of March, by a vote of 69 to 67. In the course of the debates upon this bill Mr. Clay, of Kentucky, wished to know whether his State was to be included in the operations of the bill, and whether plantations there were to be considered as abandoned: he himself owned a plantation which had been abandoned because Government did not protect it. Mr. Eliot, the reporter of the bill, replied that the bill did not propose to establish colonies in Kentucky; that in the case of plantations there, whether they were to be considered as abandoned would depend upon whether the owners were loyal or disloyal; that in the case of Mr. Clay, a well-known loyal man, his plantation certainly would not be considered abandoned. Mr. Cox said he would not favor so novel, sweeping, and revolutionary a scheme as establishing an eleemosynary system for the blacks, making the Federal Government a plantation speculator and overseer. Millions of slaves, unfit for freedom, were to be freed; New England, which was fattening upon Western toil, should do its part in saving the slaves so improvidently freed. If slavery was doomed, the conflict would be between black and white. No system like the one proposed by this bill could save the slave; he would be crushed out as the war went on. Mr. Kalbfleisch said the bill attempted an impossibility — the bringing up of negroes to participate in the rights enjoyed by white citizens, and attempting to raise them to an equality with these. Mr. Brooks, of New York, said that the subject had been caucussed and decided upon elsewhere, and no argument of his against the bill would avail. Henceforth he would as far as possible withdraw the discussion of the Abolition question from the exciting questions of the day, and turn to other matters. His main anxiety was for the liberty of the white man. We must accept the abolition of slavery as an act accomplished, not only by the North but by the South. The Confederate Government had provided for putting arms into the hands not only of free blacks but of slaves; arming them was of necessity liberating them. The Republicans will have armed the negroes. They were consistent in this; for they had changed the war into an Abolition war, and therefore the blacks should be called out. He implored them to make the war as short as possible.
Several propositions looking to the Abolition of Slavery have been introduced into both Houses. We note the most significant of these. In the Senate, February 10, Mr. Trumbull, from the Judiciary Committee, offered the following joint resolution for amending the Constitution: "Article XIII. § 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States or any place subject to their jurisdiction. § 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation." This article, if two-thirds of both Houses of Congress concur, to be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, and when ratified by three-fourths of these, to be valid as a part of the Constitution. On the 17th Mr. Sumner offered a substitute for this resolution, embodying its substance, with additions to the following effect: The "three-fifths provision of the Constitution" relating to taxation and representation to be stricken out, leaving the clause (Article I. § 2, Å 3) as follows, "Representation and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several States of the Union according to their numbers, excepting Indians not taxed." Another proposed amendment strikes out Å 3, § 2 of the 4th Article, which provides for the return of persons held to service or labor, escaping from one State into another. Mr. Clark offered a resolution carrying into effect the President's Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863, and giving to it the force of a statute. Mr. Brown, of Missouri, offered a joint resolution to the effect that, after the passage of this act, slavery shall not exist in the United States or Territories, any law, usage, or custom to the contrary notwithstanding, and that involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, is prohibited. — In the House, Mr. Arnold offered a resolution, declaring that "the Constitution of the United States should be so amended as to abolish slavery in the United States wherever it now exists, and to prohibit its extension in every part thereof forever;" which was passed, by 78 to 62. The propositions before Congress upon this subject resolve themselves into two classes: By the first the abolition of slavery is to be accomplished by amendments to the Constitution, made in the manner provided for in that document; by the second the end is to be gained by the direct action of Congress and the Executive. In the Senate Mr. Davis offered the following joint resolutions for amending the Constitution: "First. No negro, or person whose mother or grandmother was a negro, shall be a citizen of the United States, or be eligible to any place of trust or profit under the United States. — Second. The States of Maine and Massachusetts shall constitute one State, to be called East New England, and New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Connecticut shall
704constitute one State, to be called West New England."
The discussion in respect to financial measures has touched a variety of points, of which the following are the most important: In taxing liquors the Senate wished to impose a tax upon those now in the hands of dealers as well as in those of manufacturers. The House wished to levy no additional duty upon spirits which had been sold by manufacturers. Each adhered to its own plan, and Committees of Conference were appointed without harmonizing the views of the two Houses. At length, on the 4th of March, the Senate, on motion of Mr. Sherman, agreed to recede from its amendments, and accept the bill as it passed the House. As explained by Mr. Sherman, the bill imposes a tax of 60 cents upon all spirits manufactured up to the 1st of July, leaving the tax after that time to be fixed by future legislation; it also imposes 40 cents, in addition to the 20 already paid, upon all spirits in the hands of manufacturers. — A proposition was introduced into the House authorizing the Secretary of the Treasury to sell at his discretion the surplus gold in the Treasury. In support of this it was said that on the 1st of July there would be in the Treasury some $50,000,000 in gold, while the payments up "to that time would be about $23,500,000; and by selling the surplus the market price would be lowered, and the embarrassments of merchants in procuring the gold to pay duties would be relieved. In opposition to this it was urged that this measure would place the Secretary of the Treasury in the position of the great regulator of markets — a power which ought not to be confided to him; and that the gold was pledged for the payment of interest on the public debt; if there was a surplus, let it be used to pay this interest in advance of the time when it was due, but let it not be diverted from the purpose to which it is pledged. The Committee on Ways and Means reported adversely to this proposition. — The Committee on Ways and Means also reported a bill authorizing the Secretary of the Treasury at his discretion to throw into market $200,000,000 bonds of the United States, being a part of the sum of $600,000,000 heretofore authorized, payable in not less than five nor more than forty years (hence called five-forties). The discussion upon this proposition has turned mainly upon the question whether the rate of interest should be fixed at six or five per cent.
Several so-called Peace Propositions have been made in the House, and the disposition given to them indicates the feeling of that body. Mr. Fernando Wood, in the course of a speech denouncing the Administration, said that, while we were proposing oppressive, destructive, and unconstitutional measures, the Confederate Government was proposing to discuss measures of peace, proposing to appoint delegates, to meet others from the Federal Government, to consider whether peace can not be attained; whether a new Government can not be formed; and if not, whether treaties of commerce and amity can not be entered into by the two Governments. Mr. Cox wished Commissioners to be sent to Richmond for this purpose, suggesting Mr. Wood as one; if this was done, and that gentleman did not within sixty days come back with a negotiation for peace upon the basis of the old Union, he would pledge his friends as earnest supporters of the war. No action was then taken upon this suggestion. Mr. Lang subsequently offered a resolution, which was rejected by 96 to 22, requesting the President to appoint Franklin Pierce, Millard Fillmore, and Thomas Ewing Commissioners to treat with the Confederate States for a cessation of hostilities and a reconstruction of the Union.
After consultation between Committees of the two Houses, the amendments of the Senate to the bill for creating a Lieutenant-General were agreed to. These amendments leave it optional with the President whether the Lieutenant-General shall be Commander-in-Chief, and also omit the recommendation of General Grant for that position. It was, however, understood that, in the event of the passage of the bill, General Grant would receive the appointment. The bill passed in the House by 73 to 47, and in the Senate by 31 to 6. The President at once nominated General Grant, and the nomination was confirmed by the Senate.
By a joint resolution, which passed both Houses, the time for the Payment of Bounties to volunteers was extended to April 1. This resolution, previous to its passage in the Senate, was submitted to the Secretary of War, and received his approbation.
During the month three important military enterprises have been undertaken. Neither of these, as far as we can judge from unofficial accounts, has achieved decided success, while one has met with a disastrous defeat.
On the 5th of February a strong expedition, comprising three brigades, under General Seymour, left Port Royal for Florida, followed a few days later by General Gillmore with additional naval and military forces. The advance portion reached Jacksonville on the 8th. Gillmore returned to Port Royal on the 16th, leaving the command of the expedition to Seymour. The first operations were decidedly successful. Near Jacksonville one hundred prisoners, with eight pieces of serviceable artillery, fell into our hands, and expeditions were pushed forward into the interior, by which large amounts of stores and supplies were destroyed. On the 17th Seymour issued an order congratulating his troops on their brilliant success. At that time Seymour, with 5000 men, was on the Florida Central Railroad, about forty-five miles from Jacksonville. Here they remained until the 20th, when the preparations for a movement in force toward Lake City were completed. The enemy's pickets were met six miles beyond by our cavalry, who were deployed as skirmishers two miles in advance of the infantry. The pickets were driven in, and when the main force came up the Seventh Connecticut (Colonel Hawley) was thrown forward with the cavalry. The enemy was found in force a little before reaching Lake City at Olustee, a small station on the railroad. The engagement was commenced between the enemy's skirmishers and our advance. The fire directed against our men was so hot that they were compelled to fall back; then we brought two batteries to bear on the enemy, and our whole force became engaged with more than twice their number of the enemy, who occupied a strong position flanked by a marsh, but his advance met with the most stubborn resistance, and he lost heavily. But our loss also was very great. Colonel Fribley of the Eighth United States (colored) was killed, and his regiment broke and fell back, leaving the left exposed. Again we retreated, taking another position; but it was impossible to contend with a force so greatly superior, and after a battle of three hours and a half we retreated, leaving our dead and severely wounded on the field. Five guns were lost, and about a thousand men killed, wounded,
705and missing. From all reports it would seem that Seymour made his advance carelessly, and in total ignorance of the force opposed to him. In any case the defeat was complete and absolute. On the 3d of February, almost simultaneously with the departure of the Florida Expedition, General Sherman, with a strong force, set out from Vicksburg, in light marching order, and moved eastward. The precise object of this expedition was not announced; but it was presumed to be to cross the States of Mississippi and Alabama, and co-operate with our naval forces in an attack upon Mobile. Shortly after a cavalry expedition, under General Smith, set out from Memphis, to work its way southeastward, and join Sherman somewhere on the borders of Mississippi and Alabama. By the 18th Smith had accomplished nearly one half of his proposed march, but soon after found the enemy concentrated in superior force in his way. Finding it impossible to proceed he fell back, destroying the bridges on the Memphis and Ohio Railroad in his retreat. There was continual skirmishing, but no decisive battle during the retreat, which lasted until the 25th, when the expedition accomplished its return to Memphis. Much damage was done to the enemy by the destruction of property, but the main object of making a junction with Sherman failed. The accounts of Sherman's progress are wholly contradictory. It is certain that he went as far cast as Meridian, almost on the borders of Mississippi and Alabama. Reports say that he reached and took possession of Selma, in the centre of Alabama; but these have not been confirmed, and are probably erroneous. But to whatever point he had advanced it is probable that he commenced to retreat as soon as he learned that Smith's cavalry had failed in its endeavor to unite with him. But even this is not absolutely certain on the day when our Record closes. Southern papers give accounts of great damage having been inflicted by this expedition, especially to the railroad lines. A bold raid has been undertaken toward Richmond by our cavalry under General Kilpatrick. Leaving Stevensport on the 28th of February, he crossed the Rapidan, gaining the rear of Lee's army without being discovered, and pushed rapidly on in the direction of Richmond. A detachment under Colonel Dahlgren was sent from the main body to Frederick's Hall, on the Virginia Central Railroad. The road was torn up for some distance, and then the James River Canal was struck, and six gristmills destroyed, which formed one of the main sources of supply for the Confederate army. Several locks on the Canal were destroyed, and other damage done. Dahlgren's main body then pressed on toward Richmond, and came within three miles of the city, when, encountering a Confederate force, it withdrew. Dahlgren himself, with a small body, took a different route, and was supposed to be captured. Kilpatrick, meanwhile, pressed onward to Spottsylvania Court House, and thence to Beaver Dam, near where the two lines of railway from Richmond, those running to Gordonsville and Fredericksburg, cross. Here the railway was torn up and the telegraphic line cut, and the cavalry pushed straight on toward Richmond. They reached the outer line of fortifications at a little past ten on the morning of the 1st of March, about three and a half miles from the city. These were fairly passed, and the second line, a mile nearer, wag reached, and a desultory fire was kept up for some hours.
But it was clear that the defenses of Richmond were not to be successfully assailed by cavalry, and toward evening Kilpatrick withdrew, and encamped six miles from the city. In the night an artillery attack was made upon the camp, and our troops retired still farther, and on the following morning took up their line of march down the Peninsula toward Williamsburg, followed by detachments of the enemy, with whom slight skirmishes took place. On the 3d they fell in with a body of cavalry sent by General Butler from Fortress Monroe, and the whole force proceeded to Williamsburg. It can hardly be supposed that there was any expectation of taking a place so strongly fortified as Richmond by a dash of cavalry; if such was the object the enterprise was a failure. In some respects, however, the expedition was highly successful. Several miles of railway connection of great importance to the enemy were interrupted, stores to the value of several millions of dollars were destroyed, and some hundreds of prisoners were captured.
A movement from Chattanooga was made on the 22d of February toward Dalton in Georgia, about 25 miles southeast, where the main body of the Confederate army, lately commanded by Bragg, was supposed to be posted. The movement was merely a reconnoissance, and when after reaching to within three miles of Dalton, the enemy was found to be there in force, the troops were recalled. — It appears from the most reliable accounts which have reached us that Longstreet's command has been recalled from Tennessee, and is now on its way to Virginia or North Carolina. — The Confederate military authorities appear to have resolved to make a vigorous effort to drive our forces from Newbern and the adjacent points so long held by them in North Carolina. — General Bragg has been called to Richmond and appointed to direct the movements of the Confederate forces, subject to the authority of the President. His position appears to be similar to that held by General Halleck in our army. — A naval attack upon the forts defending the approaches to Mobile has been commenced. On the 23d of February a heavy fire was opened upon Fort Powell, with what results is yet unknown.
The siege of Charleston presents no new aspects, except that the steam sloop Housatonic, one of the blockading squadron, was sunk on the 18th of February by a torpedo sent down from Charleston. Two officers and three men were lost.
The Confederates are evidently straining every nerve for a vigorous campaign during the spring. We gave in our Record for February a brief analysis of the Conscription bill, which in effect brings every able-bodied white male between the ages of 18 and 45 into the active army, and puts those between 16 and 18 and 45 and 55 into the army of the reserve. The special exemptions are few. Professors and teachers; the public printer and such journeymen as he shall certify on oath to be necessary for doing the public work; one person on each plantation with more than 15 able-bodied male hands, upon condition of delivering a hundred pounds of bacon or beef for each able-bodied slave, or in special cases an equivalent in grain, and also selling at a certain fixed price his surplus crops; and such persons as the Secretary of War or the President may choose to detail "on account of public necessity, " about complete the list of exemptions. There seems no good reason to doubt that this stringent law will be carried into practical operation, bringing
706into service a larger proportion of the population than was ever before in any country called into the field. It is also announced that Mr. Preston, once United States Minister to Spain, has been sent to Mexico, with power to "recognize" the Government of the Emperor Maximilian, upon condition of his recognition of the Confederacy. "A recognition by Mexico," say the Southern papers, "is equivalent to one by France." The financial scheme, which has also become a law in effect, gives the holders of Confederate notes the option of exchanging them at once for bonds bearing interest at the rate of 4 per cent., payable in twenty years, or of having them practically confiscated. The confiscation is effected by taxing the notes at such a rate that within a year the tax will equal the face of the note. The regular tax bill levies 5 per cent. additional upon all property, with a few exceptions, and 10 per cent. on plate, watches, jewels, and the like; sales of products, merchandise, stocks, and the like pay 10 per cent. additional.
The latest accounts represent the main body of the Danish troops as strongly intrenched at Duppel and on the little island of Alsen, which is separated from the main land only by a narrow channel. Their whole line of outposts was attacked on the 18th by the German forces, who were driven back to their position, which they still occupied. In the meanwhile another strong body of the Germans had crossed the frontier of Schleswig and entered Jutland, the southern province of Denmark proper, situated on the main land, thus changing the nature of the contest from its first avowed object of a mere precautionary measure to one of actual war upon Denmark. Immediately upon the receipt of this intelligence in London, a Cabinet Council was summoned. The whole attitude of the Danish Government indicates that it relies upon the support of the European Power, for without such support, with a population of a million and a half, it can hardly expect to maintain a contest with Germany, with twenty times as many. Upon the sea the Danes are quite equal to the Germans, and their vessels are cruising in the narrow seas. An embargo has been laid upon all German shipping in Danish ports; and the Diet at Frankfort has announced a like embargo upon Danish shipping in German ports. In the mean while the minor German Powers appear nowise content with the action of Austria and Prussia in taking the Danish question into their own hands.
The British Parliament assembled on the 4th of February. The Queen's Message contains no allusion to American affairs. In respect to the Danish question, it says that the state of affairs on the Continent has given her Majesty great anxiety; the preservation of the integrity of the Danish monarchy was of great importance to Europe, and she would continue her efforts to ward off the dangers which might follow from a beginning of warfare in the north of Europe. Some aspects of the American question have, however, largely engrossed the attention of Parliament. The most significant speech on this subject was made by Earl Russell, on the 15th, with special reference to the case of the Alabama. From this speech we extract a single paragraph:
"I do consider that, having passed a law to prevent the enlistment of her Majesty's subjects in the service of a foreign Power, to prevent the fitting out or equipping, within her Majesty's dominions, of vessels for warlike purposes without her Majesty's sanction — I say that, having passed such a law in the year 1819, it is a scandal and a reproach that one of the belligerents in this American contest has been enabled, at the order of the Confederate Government, to fit out a vessel at Liverpool in such a way that she was capable of being made a vessel of war; that, after going to another port in her Majesty's dominions to ship a portion of her crew, she proceeded to a port in neutral territory, and there completed her crew and equipment as a vessel of war, so that she has since been able to capture and destroy innocent merchant-vessels belonging to the other belligerent. Having been thus equipped by an evasion of the law, I say it is a scandal to our law that we should not be able to prevent such belligerent operations."
The Confederate steamer Georgia, which had been for some time lying in the French port of Cherbourg, slipped away at midnight of the 15th of February, and stood out to sea.
It seems now to be definitely settled that the Archduke Maximilian will accept the proffer of the Imperial crown of Mexico. The programme of the proceedings is thus laid down; While awaiting the official return of the votes in the principal Mexican cities, he will visit the courts of Belgium, France and Great Britain. After being present at the baptism of the son of the Prince of Wales he will return to Vienna, and receive the Mexican deputation with the official offer of the crown. He will then be proclaimed at Vienna as Emperor of Mexico, and proceed on board an Austrian man-of-war from Trieste, touching at Civita Vecchia, the port of Rome, to receive the blessing of the Head of the Church, and then cross the ocean to his new dominions.