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Reaction in England to U.S. Civil War; the Trent Affair; Mason & Slidell
letter, McIlvaine, Du Bois, daughter, Civil War, England
McIlvaine, Charles Petit, "Letter to Du Bois, Maria (Mamy), daughter" (1861). Charles Pettit McIlvaine Letters. 227.
[On the side of the page]: Your dearest Father - [Youngstown] last [love]. [I] [am] wrote you [some] week or so ago.
In my letter here you will see about my letter to the Prince of Wales after the death of [?] Father.
Winchester Dec. 30, 1861
My dearest, most precious Mamy,
Between Christmas & New Year, I write, gathering together in one, the thoughts of love & prayer from you & dear Washington & your darling ones, which both suggest. Dearest Mamy the [?] [precious] love be proved [out] in fullness of grace upon you. May he bless, preserve, comfort, sanctify, save, my [one] Mamy, my darling Mamy, my sweet Mamy, & her brave, [dented], benevolent, most beloved husband, & precious Emmy & George & Ogden & Sally & Netty.
Here we are writing in [Mr] [?] dining room [Stan] & Anna & I, the windows looking out South towards Southampton over a lovely landscape, an old [?] [fortification] & me of [?] will directly in new, the sun shining bright, & we so well. Poor Anna, that never had a appetite before - ever since we landed has been ravenous, never satisfied. We are much amazed at it & pleased. She is getting fat, & she & [Stan] do so well. [Stan] of course is used to much high folks as we go [among], but Anna is just as self-possessed & at her ease & ladylike & proper & chatty & discreet & funny, as if she had been among such people all her days. She & [?] look so pretty, adress so beautifully, behave so exceedingly well, & gratify me so much. Whether at dinner in Lord, at Mr. [Kummand’s] where at & after dining we met some 30 gentleman [?], invited to meet us, of rank & high education, or at Cambridge, living as guests of the [Ments] of [Canis] College, of course in the College (in his Lodge) & associating with high literary people, or at [Farnham] Castle, where I preached the ordination sermon of 32 candidates, & we spent three days, or at Lord [Ashbuster] near Winchester, where we [dined] last year & spent a night in the magnificence of that splendid seat, or here in the sweet [hospitalities] of good dear [Canus] & [Mr] [Canus], your sisters are the same, at ease, never giving me the least concern that they will not do just right. Just so would you be, in the same circumstances, & Emmy too. How I should like to [?] my own Mamy here, my brave Mamy, You. I should have no concern about my reputation as a Father. Bless you, darling, I must leave your sister’s letters to you & their [Mother] can (which of course will be sent you) to go unto particulars, as I have so much writing to do. We are in great anxiety to hear, as all England is, what the Govt. will do with [?] & [Whidell] after [?] the Queen’s Messenger. We do not expect to hear definitely [till] about I am . Meanwhile there is, with the exception of a small party wanting war (to others in that England is not afraid to fight us as none of our silly papers, so provokingly to them, have said), a strong & general desire for the [avoidance] of war, from [?] of humanity, character [?] & to [and] being instrumental, as much a war would be, in establishing a slave, a govt. This appears in preaching & prayer & [?], all over England. It is sincere. Fear of us has no part in it. We are much less feared by the people than our pride imagines. and we have sunk exceedingly, the last few years, in their regards as a nation. And much [Law] the Southern gents have with their lies, & the N.Y. papers, especially the Herald [?] to the result. But still whatever the desire for peace, if, finely, the Govt should declare war about the [Trent] affair, the whole country will support it. That our side is indefensible, by our own long maintained principles & teaching, were if we had acknowledged the belligerent character of the Rebels, they entirely believe & so do I, however good our argument or the sound of [decrees] & precedents in English events & doings. But as we have not acknowledged the Southern rebels to have passed into the character & rights of belligerents & not of that of Rebels, our cause utterly [fails]. As Rebels we cannot deal with them under international law, but only under our own municipal laws, as criminals, just as we would deal with thieves [?]. Consequently we could not rightfully seize them or their agents on a neutral ship, anymore than in English ground, because only international law applies there. I hope therefore to hear that the [persons] are released. War with England would be the loss of all our cause with the rebellion. We go to Sir William Heathcote tomorrow ([Hursley] Park, 7 miles from here) to stay three days. [meet] divine persons, arriving there The Earl [?] & his Countess. After that we return here. I preach at Southampton next Sund. having preached twice here, [once] at Cambridge, & once at [Fanham] Castle. I am sure I did right in coming on this Mission, doubtful as I was about it. My opportunities of serving our dear [country]! cause are constant, [?] [unsought] just as they should, & will be more than I can use. [?] & Anna help too, not a little. You may be sure they are [not] the [Less] [Announcers] for being here. They are stars & stripes all over - Good bye - precious darling, so want to hear about [?] where & how he is. Where his [Rep] I, [?]t trust him. Our [?] letters are of Dec 7.