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ing Mr. Wise, his new secretary. For poor me, this is sour grapes. Never forgetting my friend, Mrs. Marcy,
I remain yours very respectfully,
(TO GOVERNOR BIGLER.]
LONDON, February 12, 1856. MY DEAR SIR:
I did not receive your kind and friendly letter of the 21st ultimo until last evening, and although oppressed by my public duties to-day, I cannot suffer a steamer to depart without bearing you an answer.
We had been friends for many years before our friendship was suspended. The best course to pursue in renewing it again is to suffer bygones to be bygones. In this spirit I cordially accept your overtures, and shall forget everything unpleasant in our past relations. When we meet again, let us meet as though no estrangement had ever existed between us, and it shall not be my fault if we should not remain friends as long as we both may live. I wish you an honorable and useful career in the Senate.
I had hoped to return home with Miss Lane in October last, but a succession of threatening incidents has occurred in the relations between the two countries which has kept me here until the present moment. And even now I do not know when I can leave my post. My private business requires that I should be at home on the 1st of April, but no pecuniary consideration can induce me to desert my public duty at such a moment as the present. I trust, however, that by the next steamer I shall hear of the appointment of my successor.
In regard to the Presidency to which you refer, if my own wishes had been consulted, my name should never again have been mentioned in connection with that office. I feel, nevertheless, quite as grateful to my friends for their voluntary exertions in my favor during my absence, as though they had been prompted by myself. It is a consolation which I shall bear with me to my dying day, that the Democracy of my native state have sustained me with so much unanimity. I shall neither be disappointed nor in the slightest degree mortified should the Cincinnati Convention nominate another person; but in the retirement, the prospect of which is now so dear to me, the consciousness that Pennsylvania has stood by me to the last will be a delightful reflection. Our friends Van Dyke and Lynch have kept me advised of your exertions in my favor.
I am happy to inform you that within the last fortnight public opinion has evidently undergone a change in favor of our country. The best evidence of this is perhaps the friendly tone of Lord Palmerston's speech on Friday night last. His lordship has, however, done me injustice in attributing to me expressions which I never uttered, or rather which I never wrote, for all is in writing. All I said in relation to the matter in question was that I should have much satisfaction in transmitting a copy of Lord Clarendon's note to
the Seretary of State. I never had a word with Lord Palmerston on the subject.
The moment has arrived for closing the despatch bags, and I conclude by assuring you of my renewed friendship.
Yours very respectfully,
[TO MR. MARCY.]
(Private and confidential.)
London, February 15, 1856. MY DEAR SIR:
I have received your favor of the 27th ultimo, and although the contents are very acceptable, yet, like a lady's letter, its pith and marrow are in the two postscripts, informing me that Mr. Dallas had been offered and would probably accept this mission. By the newspapers I learn that his nomination had been sent to the Senate. It is long since I have heard such welcome
But there is some alloy in almost every good, and in my own joy, I cannot but sympathize with you for the loss of Mr. Markoe, who, the papers say, is to be appointed the secretary of legation. Pray bear it with Christian resignation.
I need not say that I shall do all I can to give Mr. Dallas a fair start.
1. Although I have no doubt the omission of Lady Palmerston to invite me to her first party was both intentional and significant at the time, yet I should be unwilling to leave the fact on record in a public despatch. I will, therefore, send you by the next steamer the same despatch, number 119, of the 4th instant, with that portion of it omitted. When you receive this, please to withdraw the first despatch and keep it for me until my return.
2. Should you, in your friendly discretion, deem it advisable under the circumstances, please to have an editorial prepared for the Union, stating the facts in my last despatch (a duplicate of which is now sent you), in relation to the remarks of Lord Palmerston as to my expression of satisfaction with the apology contained in Lord Clarendon's note of the 16th July. I send you with this a pamphlet which has just been published here on this subject. I know the author. He is an Englishman of character. Several members of Parliament have called upon me for information, but my position requires that I should be very chary. I have furnished some of them with copies of Hertz's trial, among the rest Mr. Roebuck. I met him afterwards in society, and it was evident the pamphlet had strongly impressed him with Mr. Crampton's complicity. Still it is not to be denied that Lord Palmerston's speech on Friday last, in relation to this subject, has made a strong impression here, as it has done on the continent, judging by the facts stated in my despatch.
I know from the tone of your letter that you would consider me in a state of mental delusion if I were to say how indifferent I feel in regard to myself on the question of the next Presidency. You would be quite a sceptic. One thing is certain that neither by word nor letter have I ever contributed any support to myself. I believe that the next Presidential term will perhaps be the most important and responsible of any which has occurred since the origin of the Government, and whilst no competent and patriotic man to whom it may be offered shuuld shrink from the responsibility, yet he may well accept it as the greatest trial of his life. Of course nothing can be expected from you but a decided support of your chief.
Never forgetting my excellent and esteemed friend, whose influence I shrewdly suspect put you in inotion in regard to the appointment of a successor, I remain, as always,
Yours very respectfully,
London, February 15, 1856. MY DEAR Miss HETTY :
Although greatly hurried to-day, having heavy despatches, according to my rule I suffer not a steamer to pass without answering your letters. Your last of the 26th ultimo was most agreeable. You give me information concerning the neighbors which I highly prize. 'Every thing about home is dear to me, and you can scarcely realize how much pleasure I feel in the prospect of being with you ere long, should a kind Providence spare my life and my health. I have had no secretary of legation with me for several months, and I have had to labor very hard. I hope to experience the delight of being idle, or rather doing what I please, at Wheatland.
After many vain entreaties, Mr. Dallas has at length been appointed my successor, and I expect him here by the end of this month. Whether I shall return immediately home, or go to Paris for a few weeks, I have not yet determined. The former I would greatly prefer; but March is a very rough month to pass the Atlantic, and I suffer wretchedly from sea-sickness all the time. I am now,
thank God, in good health, and I co not wish to impair it on the voyage.
I wish John Brenner joy in advance of his marriage. Remember me kindly to Mr. Fahnestock and your sister, and to all our neighbors and friends, and tell them how happy I shall be to meet them once more. Remember me, also, most kindly, to Father Keenan. With sincere and affectionate regard, I remain always your friend,
(TO HIS NIECE, MRS. BAKER.[
London, February 16, 1855. MY DEAR MARY:
It is not from the want of warm affection that I do not write to you oftener. I shall ever feel the deepest interest in your welfare and happiness. This omission on my part arises simply from the fact that Harriet and yourself are in constant correspondence, and through her you hear all the news from London, and I often hear of you. I am rejoiced that you are contented and happy. May you ever be so !
I have determined to return home in October next, God willing, and to pass the remnant of my days, if Heaven should prolong them, in tranquillity and retirement. After a long and somewhat stormy public life, I enjoy this prospect as much as I have ever done the anticipation of high office.
England is now in a state of mourning for the loss of so many of her brave sons in the Crimea. The approaching “season” will, in consequence, be dull, and this I shall bear with Christian fortitude. The duller the better for me; but not so for Harriet. She has enjoyed herself very much, and made many friends; but I do not see any bright prospect of her marriage. This may probably be her own fault. I confess that nothing would please me better than to see her married, with her own hearty good will, to a worthy man. Should I be called away, her situation would not by any means be comfortable.
We are treated with much civility here, indeed with kindness, according to the English fashion, which is not very cordial. Such a thing as social visiting does not exist even among near friends. You cannot " drop in of an evening" anywhere. You must not go to any place unless you are expected, except it be a formal morning call.
It is said that the queen is, and it is certain the British people are, deeply mortified at the disasters of her troops in the Crimea. If the men had died in battle this would have been some consolation, but they have been sacrificed by the mismanagement of officials in high authority. The contrast between the condition of the French and English troops in the Crimea has deeply wounded British pride. Indeed, I am sorry for it myself, because it would be unfortunate for the world should England sink to the level of a second-rate power. They call us their “cousins on the other side of the Atlantic," and it is certain we are kindred.
NEGOTIATIONS WITH LORD CLARENDON—THE CLAYTON-BULWER TREATY
AND AFFAIRS IN CENTRAL AMERICA-THE CRIMEAN WAR AND THE
HE reader has seen that when Mr. Buchanan left home to
undertake the duties of United States minister in England, it was the understanding between the President and himself that he should have full power to deal with the Central American question in London, and that the fishery and reciprocity trade questions would be reserved to be dealt with by the Secretary of State.*
But of course the President expected to be informed from time to time of the steps taken in the negotiation concerning the affairs of Central America, and Mr. Buchanan both expected and desired to receive specific instructions on this and all other topics in the relations of the two governments that might be discussed in the course of his mission. It was at a very interesting and critical period in the affairs of Europe that he arrived in England. Although the war between England and France, as allies of Turkey, on the one side, and Russia on the other, known as the Crimean war, was still in the distance, its probability was already discernible. How this great disturbance affected the pending questions between the United States and England, and introduced a new and unexpected difficulty in their relations, will appear as I proceed.
Mr. Buchanan, according to his invariable habit in all important transactions, kept the records of his mission with
Full powers in regard to the Central American question were afterwards transmitted to him at London.