Mr. Motley to Mr. Seward.
Sir:* * * * * * * * *
These symptoms of impending storm which all group themselves about the French occupation of Rome, as the disturbing cause, occupy men’s minds to the comparative exclusion of that more world-important event—the great American struggle between freedom and slavery. This is viewed on the continent mainly as a cotton question; and as the American government is supposed to withhold the cotton which keeps the European mills going, the sympathy of European governments is mainly against the blockading power [Page 566] A cotton famine is supposed to portend possible popular European commotions. Aristocratic journalists and stump orators hardly look deeper into cause and effect than this, and there is a vague idea prevalent that foreign powers, by intermeddling, can put a stop to what they are pleased to call our “wicked and causeless” war. Governments, however, are pretty well aware that foreign interference will only be adding another war to the one already existing. To expect aristocratic or royal governments to feel as the American people feel in regard to this conspiracy of a slaveholding oligarchy against the sovereignty of the people would be unreasonable. The populations sympathize with our cause, and so do the great thinkers and publicists; but politicians would prefer that the great republic should dismember itself quietly in order that Europe should be put to no further inconvenience. They cannot, or will not, comprehend that such dismemberment would result in a chronic condition of war, with disastrous and permanent destruction of European interests. Fortunately, the American people and the American government, who are one, know that they are righting not only for their own liberties but for the interests of humanity, and the world will one day be grateful to those whom it now most maligns.
I have the honor to be your most obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State.