Confederate Society
 
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by Al Benson Jr.

As I sat eating supper on New Years eve  I could hear the sound of fireworks going off across the street from where we live. Some folks in the South set off fireworks to celebrate the advent of the new year. When we lived in West Virginia several years ago they used to go out at midnight and shoot their guns into the air.

But, as I listened to the fireworks going off tonight the thought crossed my mind that here was a lot of noise, a little flash when the firecrackers exploded—and then nothing.

It just so happened that while eating supper I was reading a day-old copy of the area Fish Wrapper (I never buy it new if I can get yesterday’s copy for nothing as it’s not worth the price they ask for it). There was an article in it about the Emancipation Proclamation which the sainted Abraham Lincoln made much ado about 150 years ago this New Year’s day. Reading about the Proclamation while hearing the nearby fireworks gave me cause to reflect on how like the fireworks, the Proclamation was a big “flash in the pan” that really did nothing—certainly not what its adherents today claim it did.

Many who have been told about the Proclamation have been misinformed that with it “Lincoln freed the slaves.” This is the sort of historical legerdemain that has been passed along to us and our children through what passes for history books in public schools. The Proclamation actually freed no one.

What the Proclamation claimed to do was to free all the slaves in parts of the Confederate States of America that had not been captured by the forces of the Union. That was something Lincoln had no authority to do, the Confederate States at that time being a separate country. Interestingly enough those slave states that, by hook or by crook, had to remain in the Union—Maryland, Delaware, Kentucky and Missouri—had no slaves freed in them. Neither did any of the parts of the Confederate States that had been captured by Union forces. So what it all amounted to is that Lincoln freed slaves in states he had no authority to free them in and left them in bondage in states where he did have some authority. But then this was typical of Lincoln as it is with just about all of today’s socialist politicians. Propaganda and publicity is the name of the game—a big flash and then—nothing. Lincoln never freed a slave anywhere at anytime and had he been able to do so he probably would have been figuring some angle to have him shipped to Africa or the West Indies or someplace—anyplace outside of the United States.

At any rate the article I read over supper was written by a Brett Zongker for the Associated Press. In part it stated: “Lincoln issued his preliminary Emancipation Proclamation in September 1862, after the Battle of Antietam, announcing that if rebel states did not cease fighting and rejoin the Union by January 1, 1863, all slaves in rebellious states or parts of states would be declared free from that date forward.” That’s an interesting statement. From his wording I would guess that, for example, had the state of Tennessee stopped fighting and rejoined the Union by January 1, 1863 then she would have gotten to keep her slaves intact and they would not have been free anymore than were the slaves in the Union state of Kentucky free. You have to ask yourself what kind of “emancipation” is that? Is that kind of “emancipation proclamation” worth all the fuss they have made of it over the years? I realize that, at this point, some will argue with me and say that Lincoln had to make a start somewhere so this is what he did. Well, if he wanted to make a start somewhere then why not free the slaves in Maryland, which was in the Union, albeit somewhat reluctantly, as Lincoln had ordered most of her state legislators jailed so they could not vote for Maryland to secede.

The truth is that Lincoln had no interest in emancipating slaves but he did have a major interest in promoting propaganda that would keep either Great Britain or France from giving aid to the Confederate States and a piece of prime propaganda material like this proclamation might just do the trick. I don’t know about France, but lots of folks in Great Britain caught on to what this was all about and some of their comments were interesting. Lincoln didn’t fool the British the way he seems to have fooled some of our modern historians who wax eloquent about an emancipation proclamation that really emancipated no one.

I expect in the coming days we will be treated to all manner of pro-Lincoln propaganda about how he, as the “great emancipator” freed the slaves, saved the Union (which he actually destroyed) and infused the entire world with “peace and light.” The fact that his administration and the early Republican Partly actually paved the way for socialists and communists to really gain a foothold in this country (read Lincoln’s Marxists, Pelican Publishing Co.) will never be touched upon. All you will ever hear about are his great efforts at emancipation for the slaves which, were, in the end all blow and no show.

 
 
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The following is provided courtesy of our SCV brothers at John K. McNeill, Camp #674 PO Box 1353,  Moultrie, Georgia 31776

On September 22, 1862, Lincoln drafted a paper the Emancipation Proclamation and issued it on January 1, 1863. This document was a pure political and strategic tool as it freed, absolutely, no slaves. It did not apply to slaves in border states fighting on the Union side; nor did it affect slaves in southern areas already under Union control. Naturally, the states no longer in the union who formed the Confederate States of America did not act on Lincoln's order, because his government had no authority, other than bayonet rule on the Southern people. But the proclamation did show Americans and the world that Mr. Lincolns War to save the Union was now being fought to end slavery.
The proclamation stated that "all persons held as slaves within any state, or designated part of a state, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free..."
The document then listed the following as "states and parts of states wherein the people thereof, respectively, are this day in rebellion against the United States...Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana (except the parishes of St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James, Ascension, Assumption, Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans, including the city of New Orleans), Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia (except the forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, and also the counties of Berkley, Accomac, Northampton, Elizabeth City, York, Princess Ann, and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth), and which excepted parts are, for the present, left precisely as if this proclamation were not issued."

What Lincoln was saying was that in territories that he had absolutely no governing power he was declaring slavery to be abolished immediately. In territories in which he had governing power, the areas of the United States and areas of the Confederacy which were presently under U.S. military occupation, were "left precisely as if this proclamation were not issued" or simply put slavery would remain untouched. The proclamation intent was politics, not principles. Issued at a time when the Confederacy seemed to be winning the war, Lincoln hoped to transform a disagreement over secession into a crusade against slavery, thus preventing Great Britain and France from intervening on the side of the South and also bolstering his political impact for the upcoming election in 1864. The constitution would be subverted in order to “declare” slavery ended. If the emancipation proclamation was such a law to set the slaves free, why did it not follow the flow of governmental checks and balances and why did it not cover the slaves of the North? 

Lincoln’s past historical comments regarding slavery speak for themselves. This proclamation was political, an effort to accelerate support for the war and had no humanitarian inspiration. Lincoln has gone down through history with these quotes on slavery: 
“If all earthy power was given to me, I would not know what to do as to the existing institution of slavery”, 1854 speech in Peoria, IL.
"I am not in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office...", campaign speech September 15 1858.
"I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery....", First Inaugural Address March 4, 1861 
"I am a little uneasy about the abolishment of slavery in this District of Columbia....", letter to Horace Greeley March 24 1862 
"If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it...." letter to Horace Greeley August 22, 1862.

Another aspect that is often forgotten is that supporters of this proclamation predicted that the Southern slaves would rise up in violent revolt murdering their former owners, neighbors and anyone in their path. This stress and fear would not only impact the wives and children at home, but the men in arms fighting for the Confederacy. It was intended to be a cruel psychological and terrorizing tactic on the Southern Army and their families. According to Rhodes, in his "History of the United States," Vol. IV., page 344, he says; "Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation was not issued from a humane standpoint. Lincoln hoped it would incite the Negroes to rise against the women and children." and "His Emancipation Proclamation was intended only as a punishment for the seceding states. It was with no thought of freeing the slaves of more than 300,000 slaveholders then in the Northern army." and "His Emancipation Proclamation was issued for a fourfold purpose and it was issued with fear and trepidation lest he should offend his Northern constituents." He did it: "First: Because of an oath - that if Lee should be driven from Maryland he would free the slaves." "Second: The time of enlistment had expired for many men in the army and he hoped this would encourage their re-enlistment." "Third: Trusting that Southern men would be forced to return home to protect their wives and children from Negro insurrection." "Fourth: Above all he issued it to prevent foreign nations from recognizing the Confederacy."

This document was such a hypocrisy that many foreign nations would publicly rebuke it. Earl Russell, Britain's Foreign Secretary, said "The Proclamation... professes to emancipate all slaves in places where the United States authorities cannot exercise any jurisdiction... but it does not decree emancipation... in any states occupied by federal troops."
The New York World editorialized that the President has "proclaimed emancipation only where he has notoriously no power to execute it. The exemption of the accessible parts of Louisiana, Tennessee and Virginia renders the Proclamation not merely futile, but ridiculous.
The London (England) Spectator said "the Union government liberates the enemy's slaves as it would the enemy's cattle, simply to weaken them in the conflict. The principle is not that a human being cannot justly own another, but that he cannot own him unless he is loyal to the United States."
Lincoln admitted that he thought that the issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation might "result in the massacre of women and children in the South." No mass insurrection ever took place. The violence that did occur as result of Lincoln's document took place in the North. In New York, the most violent riot ever in the United States took place as citizens protested against Lincoln's political maneuver coupled with his initiation of the draft. On July 13, 1863, in New York City, a riot broke out and raged for three days in what historian Burke Davis called "the nearest approach to revolution" during the entire war ( at left The Illustrated London News, August 15, 1863 Collection of The New-York Historical Society)
Mobs surged through the streets, burned buildings, and destroyed the drum from which the names of 1,200 New Yorkers had been drawn for military service. There were no soldiers to check the violence, due to the concentration of all available troops at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, so policemen and militia units had to face the rioters alone. (at right From The New York Illustrated News August 8, 1863 Collection of The New-York Historical Society)
The angry mob burned fine homes, business buildings, the draft office, a Methodist church, a Negro orphanage, and many other buildings. In July 1863, the introduction of military conscription touched off a four-day riot in New York City. 
Angry mobs attacked draft offices, industrial establishments, and the city's free black population. Their actions included the lynching of many African Americans and burning down the Colored Orphan Asylum. A Negro was hung, then burned as people danced around the burning body. More than thirty Negroes were killed - shot, hung, or trampled to death. It had been reported that Negroes were hung from the lamp posts along the streets. 
 
The mobs grew to an estimated strength of between 50,000 and 70,000. For three days they swarmed through the streets, setting up barricades on First, Second, and Eighth Avenues, where sometimes a force of only 300 policemen would have to face 10,000 attackers at a time. 
Some troops filtered into town, and the crowds took to alleys and rooftops where they killed soldiers with bricks and guns. The gangs caught the colonel of a militia unit, stomping and beating him to death. After dragging him to his home, men, women, and children danced around his body. Eventually, enough troops arrived to put an end to the rioting. Casualties were heavy -nearly 2,000 people were dead from the melee. (at left From The New York Illustrated News August 8, 1863, Below August 1, 1863
Collection of The New-York Historical Society) 
Chaotic conditions in the North were in sharp contrast to those in the beleaguered Southland where one might have expected that the exigencies of war would necessitate curtailment of basic privileges, yet never was the writ of habeas corpus suspended during the lifetime of the Confederate States of America. Many soldiers in the U.S. Army, especially in the Western theater, laid down their arms due to Lincoln's issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation. They refused to fight after finding that the federal government had implied that the war was, from that point, to be fought over the issue of slavery.
 
U.S. General Ulysses S. Grant said "Should I become convinced that the object of the government is to execute the wishes of the abolitionists, I pledge you my honor as a man and a soldier I would resign my commission and carry my sword to the other side." 
Governor William Sprague, of Rhode Island, said "We had to take a lot of abuse in return for an endorsement of Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. We were hissed in the streets and denounced as traitors."
In "Short History of the United States" Channing says "The Union Army showed the greatest sympathy with McClellan for the bold protest against emancipation. Five states, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York went against Lincoln on this account."

At the Hampton Roads peace conference with the Confederate delegation led by Alexander Stephens and Judge Campbell Lincoln admitted the emancipation was only a "war measure". 


Unit References and Resources: 
"The South Was Right" by James R. Kennedy and Walter D. Kennedy, Chapter 1 & 2 
"The Lost Cause: The Standard Southern History of the War of the Confederates", by Edward A. Pollard, Chapter 21 
"Truths of History" by Mildred L. Rutherford, Chapter 4, 14, 16 
"History of the Civil War", by John Ford Rhodes 
"War for What?" by Francis Springer, Chapter 20 
"America's Caesar: Abraham Lincoln and the Birth of a Modern Empire" by Greg Loren Durand 
"The Real Lincoln" by Charles L.C. Minor 
"A Short History of the United States", by Edward Channing 
A True Estimate of Abraham Lincoln and Vindication of the South", by Mildred L. Rutherford 
"The Story of the Confederate States" by Joseph T. Derry, Part 3, Section 3, Chapter 1 
The New York Draft Riots (1990) Iver Bernstein. 
"African Slavery" Southern Historical Society Papers. Vol. XVII. Richmond, Va., January-December. 1889. 
"Career Of The Shenandoah. the only Confederate Cruiser Afloat" Southern Historical Society Papers. Vol. XXV. Richmond, Va., January-December. 1897 
"President Lincoln" Southern Historical Society Papers. Vol. XXVII. Richmond, Va., January-December. 1899 
"President Lincoln Further Arraigned", Southern Historical Society Papers, Vol. XXVII. Richmond, Va, January-December. 1899 
"Official Report Of The History Committee Of The Grand Camp C. V., Department Of Virginia. Southern Historical Society Papers. Vol. XXVIII. Richmond, Va., January-December. 1900 
"The Peace Conference In Hampton Roads" and "Not Posted on History" Southern Historical Society Papers. Vol. XXIX. Richmond, Va., January-December. 1901 
"Treatment And Exchange Of Prisoners" Southern Historical Society Papers. Vol. XXX. Richmond, Va., January-December. 1902 
"The Imboden Raid And Its Effects" Southern Historical Society Papers. Vol. XXXIV Richmond, Va., January-December. 1906 
"Address Of Hon. John Lamb" Southern Historical Society Papers. Vol. XXXVIII. Richmond, Va., January-December. 1910. 
"Lectures Of Charles Francis Adams On Our American Civil War" Southern Historical Society Papers. Richmond, Va., April, 1914. New Series, Vol. 1, Old Series, Vol. XXXIX. 
"Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation" Southern Historical Society Papers December, 1930. New Series, Vol. 9, Old Series, Vol. XLVI. 1st Confederate Congress--(Third Session)--Thursday, January 15, 1863 
"The Confederate States' Policies" Confederate Military History, Vol. 1 The Civil History Of The Confederate States Chapter XVII 
"United States Measures, Civil And Military" Confederate Military History, Vol. 1 The Civil History Of The Confederate States Chapter XVIII "The Politics Of 1864 As A Factor In The War", Confederate Military History, Vol. 1 The Civil History Of The Confederate States Chapter XXI "The Last Great Peace Efforts" Confederate Military History, Vol. 1 The Civil History Of The Confederate States Chapter XXV 
"History of the United States," by Rhodes, Volume 4, page 344 


 
 
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The story of the Hampton Roads peace conference is related by a participant who was vice-president of the Confederacy, Alexander H. Stephens, in volume two of his work entitled A Constitutional View of the War Between the States: Its Causes, Character, Conduct and Results, at pages 589 through 625.  

The story begins in early January of 1865 which was before Sherman left Savannah on his march through the Carolinas. Mr. Francis P. Blair, Sr., instigated the conference by obtaining President Lincoln’s permission to contact Confederate President, Jefferson Davis, concerning a possible temporary halt in the war. Mr. Blair was closely connected to the Lincoln administration and he was concerned about the efforts on the part of the French to establish a military presence in Mexico in order to help them reconquer the territory that had been lost in the war with America. Mr. Blair made his proposal to President Jefferson Davis that a secret military conference take place and that all hostility cease between the North and South for the purpose of letting the American army enforce the Monroe Doctrine by directing all of its efforts to evicting the French from Mexico, thereby stopping any assault by the Mexicans on the southwest corner of America. President Lincoln gave his permission to Mr. Blair to talk with Jefferson Davis but indicated to him that he did not endorse Mr. Blair’s ideas; however, he would not stand in the way of some military conference to discuss peace terms and to stop hostilities while the conference was in session. Jefferson Davis listened to Mr. Blair’s proposal, met with his cabinet and it was decided that three delegates were to be appointed to meet with President Lincoln and his Secretary of State, William Seward. The three Confederate delegates were Mr. Stephens, John Campbell, a former U.S. Supreme Court Justice from Alabama, and a Mr. R. M. T. Hunter, a member of the Confederate Senate. The Confederate delegates were given safe passage through Northern lines and met directly with General Grant, who put them on a boat to go to Fortress Monroe. When they reached Fortress Monroe near Hampton Roads, Virginia, they were then escorted to another steamer where President Lincoln and Mr. Seward were to meet with them. The actual meeting occurred on February 3, 1865.

Mr. Seward indicated that this was to be an informal conference with no writing or record to be made, all was to be verbal, and the Confederates agreed. President Lincoln announced in the beginning that the trip of Mr. Blair was approved by him but that he did not endorse the idea to halt the hostilities for the purpose of the American army going to Mexico to enforce the Monroe Doctrine; however, he had no objection to discussing a peace offer at this time. President Lincoln stated that he had always been willing to discuss a peace offer as long as the first condition was met and that would be for the Confederacy to pledge to rejoin the Union. If that condition was agreed upon then they could discuss any other details that were necessary. Mr. Stephens responded by suggesting that if they could come up with some proposal to stop the hostilities, which might lead to the restoration of the Union without further bloodshed, would it not be advisable to act on that proposal, even without an absolute pledge of ultimate restoration being required at the beginning? President Lincoln replied firmly that there would be no stopping of the military operations unless there was a pledge first by the Confederacy to rejoin the Union immediately.

Judge Campbell then asked what would be the terms offered to the South if they were to pledge to rejoin the Union and how would they be taken back into the Union. Since there was no immediate response by either President Lincoln or Mr. Seward, Vice-President Stephens stated that it would be worthwhile to pursue stopping the hostilities to have a cooling off period so that the peace terms might be investigated without the passions of the war. Mr. Stephens indicated that should the hostilities stop for some extended period of time, he felt that there would be a good chance that many of the states would rejoin the Union on the same terms as they had when they joined in the beginning, but that the sovereignty of the states would have to be recognized upon rejoining the Union. Mr. Seward objected that a system of government founded upon the right of secession would not last and that self-preservation of the Union was a first law of nature which applies to nations as well as to individuals. He brought up the point that if all the states were free to secede, they might make a treaty with some foreign nation and thus expose the Union to foreign aggression. Mr. Stephens responded that the principle of self-preservation also applied to every state by itself and it would never be in the interest of any single state or several states to join with some foreign power against those states which remained in the Union.

Mr. Hunter then brought up the question of whether President Lincoln would require the Confederate army to join with the Union army to go to war in Mexico and stated before Lincoln answered that it was the view of all three commissioners that the Confederates would never agree to join with the Union army in an invasion of Mexico. Both President Lincoln and Mr. Seward responded that the feeling was so strong in the North to enforce the Monroe Doctrine, that they felt that the South would not be needed in the invasion.

The subject of slavery then came up and Mr. Stephens asked President Lincoln what would be the status of the slave population in the Confederate states, and especially what effect the Emancipation Proclamation would have if the Confederates rejoined the Union. President Lincoln responded that the Proclamation was only a war measure and as soon as the war ceased, it would have no operation for the future. It was his opinion that the Courts would decide that the slaves who were emancipated under the Proclamation would remain free but those who were not emancipated during the war would remain in slavery. Mr. Seward pointed out that only about two hundred thousand (200,000) slaves had come under the operation of the Proclamation and this would be a small number out of the total. Mr. Seward then brought up the point that several days before the meeting, there had been a proposed 13th constitutional amendment to cause the immediate abolition of slavery throughout the United States, but if the war were to cease and the Confederates rejoined the Union, they would have enough votes to kill the amendment. He stated that there would be thirty-six (36) states and ten (10) could defeat the amendment. The reader should be reminded at this point that President Lincoln, in his Inaugural Address before the war, gave his support to the first 13th amendment pending at that time which would have explicitly protected slavery where it already existed.

Mr. Stephens then inquired as to what would be status of the states in regard to their representation in Congress and President Lincoln replied that they would have their full rights restored under the Constitution. This would mean that there would be no punishment or reconstruction imposed. President Lincoln then returned to the slavery question and stated that it was never his intention to interfere with slavery in the states where it already existed and he would not have done so during the war, except that it became a military necessity. He had always been in favor of prohibiting the extension of slavery into the territories but never thought immediate emancipation in the states where it already existed was practical. He thought there would be "many evils attending" the immediate ending of slavery in those states. Judge Campbell then asked Mr. Seward if he thought there would be good race relations in the South upon immediate emancipation and inquired about what would happen to the freed slaves. President Lincoln responded by telling an anecdote about an Illinois farmer and how he avoided any effort in finding food for his hogs, and his method would apply to the freed slaves, in other words "let’em root!" The Confederate delegation showed no interest in protecting slavery in the Confederacy with their only interest being independence from the Union and the protection of the right to secede, which raised the subject of West Virginia. Mr. Hunter asked President Lincoln whether West Virginia, which had seceded from the State of Virginia, would be allowed to remain a separate state and President Lincoln stated that it would. Lincoln had once been a strong proponent of secession, and as a first-term congressman from Illinois, he spoke in a session of the House of Representatives in 1848 and argued that:

"Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable and most sacred right, a right which we hope and believe is to liberate the world." (emphasis supplied).

Lincoln recognized the right of West Virginia to secede but refused to recognize the right of the South to secede. Mr. Hunter indicated that President Lincoln’s proposal amounted to an unconditional surrender but Mr. Seward responded that the North would not be conquerors but rather the states would merely have to recognize national authority and the execution of the national laws. The South would regain full protection of the Constitution like the rest of the states.

President Lincoln returned to the question of slavery stating that he thought the North would be willing to be taxed to compensate the Southern people for the loss of their slaves. He said that he had many conversations to the effect that if there was a voluntary abolition of slavery the American government would pay a fair indemnity and specified that four hundred million dollars ($400,000,000) would probably be appropriated for this purpose. Mr. Seward said that the Northern people were weary of the war and they would be willing to pay this amount of indemnity rather than continuing to pay for the war.

Mr. Stephens wrote that the entire conversation took about four hours and the last subject was the possible exchange of prisoners. President Lincoln stated he would put that question in the hands of General Grant and they could discuss it with Grant as they left. Finally, Mr. Stephens asked President Lincoln to reconsider stopping the hostilities for a period of time so that the respective sides could "cool off," and while cooling off, investigate further possibilities for ending the war other than by simply having the South pledge to rejoin the Union. President Lincoln stated he would reconsider it but he did not think his mind would change on that point. Thus, ended the Peace Conference and the Confederates returned to meet with General Grant and were escorted back to the Confederate lines.


 
 
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Page58…….from Mosby’s Memoirs…..

(A popular notion has prevailed that a great benefit would have resulted to the South if England and France had received our ministers and established diplomatic relations with the Southern Confederacy. {Mosby refers to the capture of Mason and Slidell upon the British ship Trent}  I never thought so, unless they had gone further and intervened in our behalf, as France did with the Colonies, and sent their fleets to break the blockade. In that event they would have becomes parties to the war. When they proclaimed their neutrality and accorded us belligerent rights and the hospitality of their ports to Confederate cruisers, they just as much recognized the independence of the South as if they had officially received its ministers. The human mind cannot conceive of belligerent rights except as attached to a supreme independent power. 
There was a great complaint against England for her haste in proclaiming neutrality and thus recognizing the belligerent character of the content. But the Congress called by Mr. Lincoln, in July 1861 before Bull Run had been fought, as Webster said about Bunker Hill, elevated the insurrection into a public war. It passed an act forbidding commercial intercourse between persons living north and south of the Potomac, and declaring the forfeiture of goods caught in transit and also the seizure of vessels on the high seas as enemy property, if the owners lived in the South. It also declared that such seizures and intercourse should be governed, not the by municipal law of the country, but by the law of nations. It thus recognized our sectional conflict as a public territorial war and not, like the War of Roses, a contest of factions.
The law of nations regulates the relations of alien enemies in war and can have no application to citizens of the same country. This act of Congress was declaration of a war inter gentes, as much so as that between France and Prussia. The Amy Warwick, owned in Richmond, sailed from Rio without notice of the blockade. She was seized on the voyage and condemned as a prize of war. It was contended that there was no proof that her owner was in rebellion. But the Supreme Court held that international law took no notice of the personal sentiments of individuals, but that their domicile determined their legal status. )