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small section of the town they were maintained; and a few hundred malcontents busied themselves in strengthening them, and declared their intention of defending them. Over their uneven summits were to be seen the barrels of muskets and fowling-pieces, and a few familiar faces which had often crossed my sight during the revolution of July. It was not certain what the barricaders wanted; in fact, there was a strange combination of elements; but the chief demand they put forward was, the dismissal of the ministry, whom they declared to have betrayed the people. As far as I could observe, Espartero was excepted from this verdict; but only by those of the insurgents who, however mistaken in the course they pursued, acted in good faith, and in support of their own political views. There were many others who were actuated by widely different motives. The reactionary and absolutist party had its representatives at the barricades; foreign influence was also at work; and it has been supposed by some that Christina had supplied funds-not, perhaps, in anticipation of the outbreak (although even that she may have foreseen), but to be in readiness for any occasion of mischief that might present itself. It was clearly for her interest, the revolution having gone so far, to see it carried farther. If the ultra-democratic party, aided by the rabble of the low districts of Madrid, could gain the ascendant, the certain result was anarchy. Then would come reaction, and Christina and her friends might hope to resume their places and recommence their spoliations. Accordingly, there can be no doubt indeed, it were easily proved-that agents of the expelled party-the Palacos, as they are called-stimulated and assisted in the disturbances of the 28th August. Their efforts were of no avail against the steady attitude of the national guards, who remained for eighteen hours under arms in the streets, obedient to their officers, and turning a deaf ear to the perfidious insinuations of agents who sought to set them against the government, and to divide them amongst themselves. The insurgents, seeing that their cause was hopeless, and having the promise, from Espartero's own lips, of a brisk
cannonade at daybreak, abandoned their barricades in the course of the night. Many of them left their arms behind them; a considerable number were taken prisoners; more escaped by concealing themselves in houses until such time as the national guards, all danger being over, retired to their homes. On the 29th, Madrid was as quiet as if nothing had occurred.
A foreigner, lately resident in this capital, and who, within little more than a year, has acquired a rather unenviable celebrity, is here generally believed to have had a hand in the outbreak of the 28th ultimo. I refer to the Minister of the United States at Madrid. A Frenchman by birth, but compelled to abandon his country previous to the revolution of 1830, in consequence of certain political writings, M. Pierre Soulé settled on the other side of the Atlantic, and became heart and soul an American. A man of great energy, vigorous intellect, and considerable astuteness, he attained to high practice at the bar, to a seat in Congress, and to the leadership of the party which seeks, without much regard to the means employed, to annex Cuba to the States. With that unscrupulous party, his open profession of the most distorted views on questions of interna. tional right made him highly popular. From his seat in the Senate, early in 1852, he bitterly attacked the government of Mr Fillmore for not taking up the cause of the adventurers under Lopez; some of whom had been executed, and others sent to prison, for their piratical attempt on the island of Cuba. In 1853, shortly before his appointment as minister at Madrid, he made a long and eloquent speech, in which he lauded Lopez and his companions as heroes, indulged in stinging sarcasms on Spain and Spaniards, and, speaking of Cuba, urged the government, in metaphorical phrase, not to delay too long to pluck the fruit from the tree, lest it should rot upon the stem. This is the man whom Mr Franklin Pierce thought proper to send as envoy to Spain. You will remember that, on his arrival at New York to embark for Europe, a meeting was held in that city, composed of members of the Lone Star Society, of
fugitives from Cuba, and of other partisans of annexation, who proceeded to serenade him, bearing banners on which were inscriptions coupling Mr Soulé's name with the rescue of Cuba from the Spanish yoke. A member of the procession made a high-flown speech, in which he expressed a hope that, when the honourable envoy returned to his own country with fresh claims upon the esteem of his fellowcitizens, a new star would shine in the celestial vault of Young America. M. Soulé replied to this address, referring to Cuba as a suffering people; and declaring that, as an American minister, he did not cease to be an American citizen; and that, as an American citizen, he had a right to attend to the sobs of anguish of the oppressed. Taken in connection with his harangues in the Senate, and with the address to which it replied, his speech was certainly most significant, indiscreet, and offensive to Spain. It caused great scandal, not only in Europe, but amongst the right-thinking portion of the people of the United States. Mr Pierce was loudly censured for the appointment, and American newspapers declared that it was his duty, as soon as he knew what had passed in New York, to send a steamer after Mr Soulé to bring him back, since he had proved himse completely unfit to fill the office of American minister in Spain. I believe it to be a fact that the United States did not expect their envoy to be received as such at Madrid. But they underrated the meanness and pusillanimity of the Spanish ministry then in power. After some delay at Paris, employed, it was said, in ascertaining what sort of reception awaited him in the Spanish capital, Mr Soulé proceeded to his destination. He had been but a short time there, when an unfortunate affair brought him into bad odour. At a ball at the French ambassador's, the Duke of Alba, referring to Mrs Soulé's dress, which struck him as peculiar, compared her to Mary of Burgundy. Probably the comparison was not very apt; possibly the grandee who made it was not particularly conversant with the costumes of the middle ages: there certainly does not appear to have been any offensive intention of
comparing persons, but merely of criticising a costume. Mr Soule's son, however, a very young man, overheard the remark, took it in bad part, and provoked the Duke of Alba. The result was a bloodless duel, fought with very long swords, lasting a very long time, and followed up by a very long letter to the papers, which Mr Soulé, jun., had, for his own sake, much better have left unwritten. Out of this affair grew a second duel, more serious in its character and results, between Mr Soulé and the French minister at Madrid. They fought with pistols, and the Marquis de Turgot received an unfortunate wound in the leg, which, to this day, compels him to use crutches. The whole details of these unpleasant circumstances were at the time placed before the public by the English and French press, and the general opinion certainly seemed to be that the Soulés had unnecessarily commenced, and afterwards wilfully aggravated a foolish quarrel, which, as new comers to the country and considering the diplomatic character of the senior, and the imputations of hostility to Spain under which he laboured, they ought to have done their utmost to avoid. Be this as it may, and without entering into the political animosities that are said to have mingled in the affair, the Spaniards naturally took the part of their countryman and of M. Turgot
the case of the latter exciting particular sympathy, since he had been dragged into and maimed in a quarrel with which he had not the least concern. Thenceforward the society of Madrid avoided that of the Soulé family.
These unpleasant incidents had scarcely ceased to arrest the public attention, when the affair of the Black Warrior again brought Mr Soulé's name prominently before the world. This affair has been so much discussed that its main facts must be generally and well known, and I will use the utmost brevity in here recapitulating them, which I do for the sake of adding a few comments, and of relating one or two circumstances in the dispute to which they gave rise that I believe are not widely known. On the 28th February last, the Black Warrior steam-ship, a regular trader between Mobile and New York, ar
rived from the former place in the port of Havanah. She was entered at the custom-house as in ballast, and the manifest presented was conformable with that declaration, ship's provisions being the only cargo set down. Her clearance was then applied for; but on the searcher from the custom-house visiting the vessel, she was found to be cotton-laden; whereupon her departure was stopped, and judicial proceedings were commenced, the delay having expired that is allowed by law for the rectification of the manifest. Article 162 of the Customs Regulations of the Havanah states, that after the twelve hours allowed by Article 15 for the rectification of, or addition to, the manifest, shall have expired, all goods that may have been omitted in it shall be seized; and, moreover, the captain shall be fined to the amount of their value, provided always the amount of duty which would have to be paid on the contents of the package or packages do not exceed four hundred dollars; because if it exceed that sum, and if the goods belong, or are consigned to, the owner, captain, or supercargo, the fine shall not be imposed, but, instead of it, the vessel, together with its freights and everything else available, shall be seized." This is explicit enough; and it is to be noted that a copy of the custom-house regulations, printed in English, was handed to Captain Bullock, commanding the Black Warrior, as soon as he entered the port. By order of the authorities the cargo was landed, and found to consist of 957 bales of cotton. The amount of seizure and of fines incurred was very large, and the Marquis of Pezuela, captain-general of the Havanah, desired the superior board of administration to consider the matter, with a view to its reduction. That board fully confirmed the legality of the steps taken and fines imposed, but left it at the discretion of the captain-general to reduce the latter if he thought proper. He consulted the attorney-general of the island, who recommended their reduction to ten thousand dollars, exclusive of all expenses incurred in discharging the cargo; but general Pezuela finally decided to reduce the penalty to six thousand dollars, including all
costs and charges. In the mean time the consignees had made various applications to the captain-general, admitting their fault, declaring the captain's omission to have arisen from ignorance, pleading ignorance on their own part also, begging that the vessel might be allowed to depart upon payment of the transit duties, corresponding to a ship laden as she was; and, finally, when the fine of six thousand dollars was definitely fixed upon, entreating its further reduction. This, however, the captain-general, who had officially announced his decision, refused to grant; but he forwarded a petition from the consignees to the Queen of Spain, in which it was set forth that there could have been no fraudulent intention-cotton not being an article of consumption in the island of Cuba-in which the heavy loss arising from the detention, discharge, and reloading of the vessel was urged, and the remission of the fine craved. This prayer was subsequently granted; but before that was done the dispute between Spain and the United States had assumed menacing proportions.
This statement of well-ascertained facts shows the Cuban authorities to have acted strictly within the law throughout the whole business, and with great clemency to the persons who had transgressed it. If it suited American vessels, trading between Mobile and New York, to call at the Havanah to take in coals, or for other objects, they were bound to comply in every respect with the laws and regulations of the colony, and could not expect to get off scot-free if they transgressed them. But there is a circumstance to be taken into consideration which somewhat modifies this view of matters in the case of the Black Warrior. It appears that, owing to the remissness, indulgence, or-it has been suggested, but I have not seen it provedthe corruptness of the Cuban authorities, the Black Warrior had been in the habit of entering the port with a cargo, exhibiting a manifest that stated her to be in ballast, and being entered and cleared accordingly, and that she had actually made more than thirty voyages in that manner without let or impediment. It is scarcely pos
sible that this should not have been known to the Cuban custom-house, and if so, it must be admitted that the course pursued on the occasion of the voyage made in February 1854 was, although doubtless strictly legal, harsh and injudicious. The neglect to enforce the law on more than thirty previous voyages might not suffice to abrogate it; but it should have induced the Cuban authorities-though it had been but from considerations of prudence-to re-enforce it less suddenly. It is easy to understand that the new captain-general, and one or two other newly-appointed and high functionaries, who had gone out with him to the Havanah only a few weeks before the occurrence of the difficulty, were fired with zeal for reform; and it is stated that, during the first few months of their administration, the revenue of the island increased. But they should have gone to work more coolly and gradually. In consideration of the long impunity the irregularities of the Black Warrior had enjoyed, it would surely have sufficed, on the 28th February, to have warned the captain and consignees that such could be no longer permitted, and that, on her next voyage, the law would be rigidly enforced, should occasion be given. Towards a country of equal or inferior power, this would have been the fairest and most proper course to pursue; but towards so potent and aggressive a neighbour as the United States, it was most unwise to adopt any other. But although numerous misrepresentations have been circulated on the subject, this fault of judgment is the only one in the affair of the Black Warrior that can fairly be imputed to General Pezuela and his subordinates.
Of course, the business was a godsend to President Pierce and the annexation party in the United States. The former forthwith sent a strongI might almost say a violent-message to the House of Representatives, declaring the seizure of the Black Warrior to present "a clear case of wrong," attributing habitual misconduct to the authorities of Cuba, and stating that he had already given instructions for the demand of an immediate indemnity; in the event of the refusal of which, he declared, in menacing terms, that he would "vindicate the honour
VOL. LXXVI.-NO. CCCCLXVIII.
of the American flag." Now Mr Soulé appears again upon the scene. The demands addressed by him to the Spanish government were an indemnity of £60,000 sterling, the dismissal of all those Cuban authorities that had been concerned in the proceedings against the Black Warrior (this would of course include General Pezuela, although his name appears not to have been mentioned in the note), and finally that, in future, the governor of Cuba should have power to settle disputes with the United States without reference to the home government-an arrangement directly opposed to the colonial policy of Spain. As may be supposed, the Spanish ministry demurred to such exorbitant and unreasonable demands. Calderon de la Barca, the feeble and timid foreign minister of the Sartorius cabinet, was no match for Mr Soulé. He even suffered himself to be bullied by the American secretary of legation, who, on conveying to him a communication, took out his watch and stated the exact time he would allow him to answer it. And although Sartorius came to the aid of his aged and incapable colleague, he quickly disgusted Mr Soule by his double-dealing, evasions, and procrastination. None of the communications that have passed during the discussion of the Black Warrior affair have as yet been published in Spain, or, that I am aware of, in America. All the correspondence that passed in Cuba is before us, so that we are enabled to form an opinion on the merits of the case; but there our documentary information stops. What is positively known from other sources is, that there seemed so little chance of the affair being settled with Mr Soulé, that the Spanish government directed Señor Cueto to try to arrange it at Washington, and sent after him, soon after his departure, by Señor Galiano, notes and instructions to aid him in the task. For a considerable time after that, scarcely anything was heard ofthe matter; and there is strong reason to believe that Mr Soulé was himself left without communications from his government for a length of time that annoyed and perhaps surprised him. This naturally awakens a doubt whether his proceedings have been alto21
gether approved at headquarters. His friends here maintain that they have. It is presumable that they derive their information from himself.
On the 1st of August last, in compliance with the desire of the United States Senate, President Pierce sent to it a message with respect to the state of American relations with Spain since his former menacing message of the 16th March. All that he said that directly referred to the Black Warrior affair, was that Spain, instead of granting prompt reparation, had justified the conduct of the Cuban authorities, and thereby assumed the responsibility of their acts. The tone of the whole message was threatening to Spain, and the probability of war at no distant period was plainly indicated. It nevertheless excited little apprehension here, where it was generally considered to be merely an unprincipled attempt, on the part of Mr Pierce, to regain, by an appeal to the passions of the people, the popularity he had lost, and at the same time to keep up alarm in Cuba, and to wear out the energies of Spain, in hopes that at last, disheartened and intimidated, a Spanish government would be found willing to sell the island. It is doubt ful, however, whether any Spanish minister would dare to entertain proposals for its purchase. Mr Soulé has declared himself, in his place in Congress, decidedly opposed to that mode of acquiring Cuba, on the ground that it must, at no distant date, fall into the lap of the Union without costing a dollar. This declaration is nearly tantamount to saying that it is less expensive to take a thing by force than to buy it with money, and conveys pretty much the sentiment for the practical carrying out of which on a small scale, men used to be hung, and are now transported. Mr Soulé is unquestionably a man of talent-eloquent, wary, skilful in adapting himself to the persons with whom he comes in contact-but he is deficient in good taste, as he has more than once shown since he came to Madrid, and his patriotism and philanthropy, with respect to the island of Cuba, smack too strongly of piracy to obtain much respect in Europe, however acceptable they may prove, and however loudly they may be applauded, in
a lodge of the "Lone Star," or at a New Orleans public meeting. But although "Cuba without cost" may be the device inscribed on his banner
a black one, it is to be presumed— when he came to Spain as the representative of his government, he was bound to obey his instructions, and these, there can scarcely be a doubt, were to offer a large sum of money for the much-coveted island. Knowing what we know of the Sartorius ministry, we are justified in believing that they would have had no objection to effect a sale which they assuredly would have made the means of filling their own pockets. But however inclined they may have felt, they dared not do it.
For some weeks the Black Warrior question had been comparatively little spoken of in Madrid, and the general opinion seemed to be that it had been amicably adjusted at Washington, or was in a fair way to be so, when the O'Donnell insurrection and the July revolution concentrated the public thought on home politics. Things had scarcely begun to settle down, when, on the 21st August, the arrival of the President's message of the 1st once more drew attention to Cuba, and to the state of affairs between Spain and America. Just a week later, on the 28th, occurred the outbreak I have described in the early part of this letter. On that same day, before the revolt was suppressed, it was said in Madrid that the American minister was concerned in the insurrection. The next day, when things were quiet, the part he was alleged to have played was matter of common conversation, and then the newspapers took up the matter. The Diario Español, usually one of the best written and best informed of the Madrid journals, which supports the present government, and is believed to be the special organ of General O'Donnell, published on the 30th August a very strong article on the subject. It had been stated the day before with truth that Mr Soulé was about to leave Madrid for France, and the supposition had been added that he did so in order to avoid being in the Spanish capital when news should arrive of a piratical invasion of Cuba by citizens of the United States.