Friday, July 3, 2015

June 21, 1860 - W.H. Russell on the South Sucking Up to Great Britain

The great British war correspondent William Howard Russell, a key contact for Our Man in Charleston, has finally made it up the Mississippi and out of the South to Cairo, Illinois. Meanwhile, Harper's Weekly has put him on its front page.

June 21—The people of the seceding States, aware in their consciences that they have been most active in their hostility to Great Britain, and whilst they were in power were mainly responsible for the defiant, irritating, and insulting tone commonly used to us by American statement, are anxious at the present moment when so much depends on the action of foreign countries, to remove all unfavorable impressions from our minds by declarations of good will, respect and admiration, not quite compatible with the language of their leaders in times not long gone by.

The North, as yet unconscious of the loss of power, and reared in a school of menace and violent assertion of their rights, regarding themselves as the whole of the United States, and animated by their own feeling of commercial and political opposition to Great Britain, maintain the high tone of a people who have never known let or hindrance in their passions, and consider it an outrage that the whole world does not join an active sympathy for a government which in its brief career has contrived to affront every nation in Europe with which it had any dealings.

Excerpt is from W. H. Russell's My Diary North and South.

"Harper's Weekly" courtesy of The American Library in Paris

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