Mr. Adams to Mr. Seward

No. 1101.]

Sir: The slip herewith transmitted is of little importance in itself. It came to me in an envelope without any name. But I think it advisable that you should be put in possession of it as a clue to certain movements of intriguing and desperate people on this side. The ephemeral newspaper from which it is taken is just set up, and is supposed to be the organ of some of the remnant of the directors of the deceased Index, who are still animated with a hope of stirring up the embers of strife between the two countries. It is alleged that Mr. George Saunders is here, making some use or other of the Fenian agitation as one, and of the Mexican question as another engine to bring about a combination between England and France, for vague purposes, perhaps scarcely shaped in the minds of the intriguers themselves.

I cannot perceives the smallest indication of any disposition in the press generally to give sanction or currency to their ideas.

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,


Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.

Canada in arms.

Will England fight for Canada? If not, Canada will not fight for herself. And yet the colony has never been so loyal nor so prosperous as at the present moment. But she cannot defend herself from the warlike and aggressive power that lies a thousand miles along her borders. And is war imminent, then, between Canada and the United States? Most assuredly it is, and not only imminent, but the colonial troops are under arms along the borders, [Page 26] and, while we write, the blood of hostile neighbors may already have mingled with the tide of the St. Lawrence.

We have been slow to believe in the disposition of the United States, all scarified with the wounds of civil strife, to pick a quarrel with any foreign power; and even now we will exonerate the government at Washington from any deliberate design of war. But governments, however pacifically inclined, oftener drift with the tide than successfully resist it. We begin sincerely to doubt if it is in the combined power of President Johnson and Earl Russell to prevent a conflict between the United States and the Canadian forces. They have permitted Fenianism to live too long, to grow too large, and to go too far. It is the openly avowed purpose of the Fenians to take Canada, and nothing but the forces of the United States troops can prevent it; and few of these can be made to fight against their “Irish fellow-citizens,” especially since the fraternizing of the democratic party with the Fenian Brotherhood. There is a very general feeling in America that the late lamented Palmerston represented the pluck of England; and they do not believe that the ministry of Earl Russell, to quote their own words, more forcible than elegant, can be “kicked into a war with the United States.” The policy of England as well as her interest is peace. Commerce is the life of the British empire. She makes the goods and does the carrying for all the world. Her national debt, incurred by war, is already as much as her people can bear. Another ounce would break the patient camel’s back. England, they say, will not go to war for Canada, already more of a burden than a support to the home government. And thus the Fenian programme is arranged. With the conquest of Canada, a provisional government will be set up, letters of marque issued against the commerce of Great Britain, a Yankee fleet let loose upon the seas, and the cost and the consequences who can calculate? And what has England to do in this perilous emergency? Call a meeting of Parliament without delay, to deliberate upon the situation; and if the present ministry is not master of it, let one be got together that is. No matter of what party, or what shade of politics, England’s hour has come, when she needs her best man at the wheel, her keenest eye on the lookout, and her pluckiest captain on the deck.

It cannot be denied that the animus of the masses in the United’ States—both north and south—is deeply and bitterly hostile to England, independent of the Fenian element. The cold “neutrality” attitude assumed by the government during the war satisfied neither party in the great contest; while both have become irate over their respective grievances. The recent publication, by authority of the powers at Washington, of the names of confederate bondholders and blockade-runners, could have no other object or effect than to inflame the masses of the north; while the people of the south are growing sicker and sicker of the merely mercenary and commercial “sympathy” which the southern cause received among the traders of Liverpool and London. The moment the confederacy collapsed and its exchequer was exhausted, English “sympathizers” made haste to ignore a cause which could yield them no more gains; and in some cases even southern representatives, so much courted when the prospect was hopeful, and the golden streams abundant, were treated only as defeated, and, therefore, “disreputable rebels.” Such is human nature—such is the law of self-interest that rules the world, especially the world of traders. England must not be deluded by the rose-water speeches of money-men, who have just been feasted and feted in the United States, and who saw in the sumptuous banquet-halls of railway speculators only a set of velvet-tongued toadies and flatterers who gently stroke the beard of the British lion with the softest plume of the American eagle. The most popular man in America to-day is the man who declares war against England; and, much as we deprecate war, and love to sing and to listen to the sweet lullaby of peace, yet we cannot shut our eyes to the fact that the muttering clouds now lowering in the west are heavily and fearfully charged With the red lightning of war. The only way to avert it is by the joint action of England and France, presenting a bold front, and insisting upon a congress for the settlement of all international difficulties.—Cosmopolitan, December 2.