James Ford Rhodes (18481927). History of the Civil War, 18611865 1917.
of State, complained, when writing to Slidell, that Mason had been discourteously treated by Earl Russell; in March, that the irritation against Great Britain is fast increasing; and in June he indulged in words almost abusive of the English government. On August 4, he wrote to Mason that the President was convinced, from the recent debates in Parliament, that England would not recognize the Confederacy, and he therefore instructed him to consider his mission as at an end and withdraw from London. Mason received this despatch on September 14, and after waiting a week to consult with Slidell, notified Earl Russell that in accordance with his instructions he should terminate his mission. Jefferson Davis in his message to his Congress in December, gave vent to his dissatisfaction with the conduct of the British government, two of his many grievances being that they respected the Federal blockade and had seized the iron-clad rams.
Although Englands attitude toward us was not as just as ours toward her during the Crimean War, it should be borne in mind that our only well-wisher in Europe was Russia, and that the course of the British government if contrasted with that of the French will appear to border on friendliness. England, indeed, was the insurmountable obstacle to a recognition of the Southern Confederacy by France and other European nations. While the English Cabinet looked with regret on the operations of English merchants and ship-builders who, by selling arms, munitions and vessels to the South greatly embarrassed the government in its relations with the United States, Louis Napoleon was instigating the Confederates to construct two iron-clads and four clipper corvettes in France and giving an indirect assurance that they might be armed and equipped as well; but these vessels never got to sea under