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American Civil War Precedents: Their Nature, Application, and Extension

  • Alice Morrissey McDiarmid

Extract

When the present European war broke out and neutral rights came into the foreground of America’s anxieties, the President advised the public to study the conduct of the United States during the Civil War. That desperate struggle is inevitably the American touchstone for belligerent rights because, as Secretary of State Seward pointed out in 1863.

It is… obvious that any belligerent claim which we make during the existing war, will be urged against us as an unanswerable precedent when [we] may ourselves be at peace.

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1 State Department Report Book No. 8, pp. 358–361, printed in Baxter, James P., 3d, “Papers Relating to Belligerent and Neutral Rights, 1861–1865,American Historical Review, Vol. XXXIV (1928), p. 87 .

2 U. S. For. Rel., 1914, Supp., p. ix.

3 Idem. Bryan’s letter was actually planned by Lansing. See Lansing Papers, 1914–15, Library of Congress, Lansing to Bryan, Dec. 26, 1914.

4 Carlton Savage, Policy of the United States toward Maritime Commerce in War (2 vols., Washington, 1934–36), Vol. I, p. 448. For early contraband lists, both American and foreign, see Deák, Francis and Jessup, Philip C., Treaty Provisions Defining Neutral Rights and Duties, published as Sen. Doc. No. 24, 75th Cong., 1st sess., and in Neutrality Laws, Regulations, and Treaties (2 vols., Washington, 1939), Vol. II, Pt. II, p. 1315 .

5 Savage, , op. cit., Vol. I, p. 453 .

6 U. S. For. Rel., 1901, Appendix, p. 365. For Spanish-American War list, see Savage, , op. cit., Vol. I, p. 489 .

7 Balloons and airplanes were transferred from the conditional to the absolute contraband list given in the Declaration. This was proper according to the terms of the instrument. U. S. For. Rel., 1914, Supp., pp. 215–216.

8 Ibid., p. 236.

9 11 fid., pp. 371, 379–380.

10 Ibid., 1915, Supp., p. 307.

11 U. S. For. Rel., 1918, Supp. 1, Vol. II, p. 920.

12 Ibid., 1916, Supp., p. 385.

13 Woolsey, Lester H., “Neutral Persons and Property on the High Seas in Time of War,American Society of International Law, Proceedings, 1935, p. 75 .

14 5 Wall. (1866) 49; 5 Wall. (1866) 178; 5 Wall. (1866) 179.

15 3 Wall. (1865) 542.

16 U. S. For. Rel., 1914, Supp., pp. 233–235.

17 Ibid., p. 374.

18 Alice M. Morrissey, The American Defense of Neutral Rights, 1914–1917 (Cambridge, 1939), p. 35.

19 U. S. For. Rel., 1914, Supp., p. 262.

20 Ibid., 1916, Supp., p. 385.

21 The Kim, (1915) P. 215; and Woolsey, Lester H., “Early Cases on the Doctrine of Continuous Voyage,” this Journal , Vol. 4 (1910), p. 827 .

22 U. S. For. Rel., 1914, Supp., p. ix.

23 James, W. Gantenbein, The Doctrine of Continuous Voyage (Portland, Oregon, 1929), p. 85 .

24 The Bermuda, 3 Wall. (1865) 542. In The Springbok, 5 Wall. (1866) 20, the rule was applied in favor of the ship-owner.

25 Woolsey, , “Early Cases,loc. cit., p. 827 ; Scott, James Brown, The Declaration of London, February 26, 1909 (New York, 1919), p. 79 ; Mootham, O. H., “The Doctrine of Continuous Voyage, 1756–1815,British Year Book of International Law, Vol. VIII (1927), pp. 7273 .

26 U. S. For. Rel., 1914, p. 262.

27 After the London Conference, the American delegates reported that they had made a concession “in giving up continuous voyage as applied to conditional contraband and blockade.” Scott, op. cit., p. 200.

28 The Kim, (1915) P. 215.

29 U. S. For. Rel., 1915, Supp., p. 582.

30 Ibid., 1916, Supp., pp. 373–374.

31 (1918) A. C. 148.

32 The Balto, (1917) P. 79. The Germans did the same in The Atlas, (1919) G. A. 1.1924, 252. See John Colombos, C., A Treatise on the Law of Prize (London, 1926), pp. 173181 .

33 Savage, , op. cit., Vol. I, pp. 448449 .

34 Ritchie, H., The “Navicert” System during the World War (Washington, 1938).

35 U. S. For. Rel., 1862, pp. 260–261.

36 Canadian National Archives, Series G, Vol. 465, p. 99, Monck to Cardwell, May 6, 1864; ibid., p. 142, Monck to Cardwell, Aug. 25, 1864; U. S. For. Rel., 1864, Pt. III, pp. 666, 683, 688.

37 Canadian National Archives, Series G, Vol. 465, pp. 205–206, Monck to Cardwell, Nov. 25, 1864.

38 Savage, , op. cit., Vol. I, p. 447 .

39 U. S. For. Rel., 1862, pp. 262–263.

40 Ibid., pp. 276–276.

41 Ibid., p. 293.

42 U. S. For. Rel., 1862, pp. 305–306.

43 Ibid., 1915, Supp., pp. 301–302.

44 Ibid., 1916, Supp., p. 376.

45 Ibid., 1915, Supp., pp. 449, 455, 479, 581–582.

46 Savage, , op. cit., Vol. II, pp. 1415 .

47 U. S. For. Rel., 1862, pp. 296–304.

48 Mountague Bernard, leading British publicist of the time, admitted this. The Neutrality of Great Britain during the American Civil War (London, 1870), p. 307.

49 U. S. For. Rel., 1862, p. 293.

50 Savage, , op.cit., Vol. I, p. 426 .

51 Adams, Ephraim D., Great Britain and the American Civil War (2 vols., London, 1925), Vol. I, p. 244 .

52 U. S. For. Rel., 1915, Supp., p. 143.

53 Ibid., pp. 152–153.

54 The Peterhoff, 5 Wall. (1866) 49; The Ocean (1801), 3 C. Rob. 297; The Stert (1801), 4 C. Rob. 65; The Jtmge Pieter (1801), 4 C. Rob. 79.

55 U. S. For. Rel., 1915, Supp., p. 169.

56 Ibid., p. 585. The Stigstad, (1916) P. 123; The Leonora, (1918) P. 182, 204.

57 Sen. Doc. No. 8, 37th Cong., 2d sess., pp. 4–13.

58 Baxter, James P., 3d, “Some British Opinions as to Neutral Rights, 1861–1865,” this Journal , Vol. 23 (1929), p. 519 .

59 U. S. For. Rel., 1862, pp. 245–246.

60 Moore, John Bassett, Digest of International Law (8 vols., Washington, 1906), Vol. VII, p. 769 .

61 The London drafting committee declared that reservists were not to be considered military persons. See Art. 47 and Report of Drafting Committee, Scott, op. cit., p. 163. The British and French abandoned this part of the Declaration in November, 1914. U. S. For. Rel., 1916, Supp., p. 633.

62 Ibid., 1915, Supp., pp. 744, 747, 748, 752–753, 755.

63 Ibid., 1916, Supp., p. 635. The British forgot that in 1862 they had cited Sir William Scott in The Caroline to the effect that the enemy might have hostile designs in the neutral state but that the belligerent should place its reliance upon the neutral. Ibid., 1862, p. 249.

64 Ibid., 1916, Supp., p. 637. Malkin, H. W., in “The Trent and the China,British Year Book of International Law, Vol. V (1924), p. 73 n., declares that the Trent correspondence did not suggest a rule permitting the removal of military and naval persons and no others. The furthest he goes is to say that some commentators deduced from the Trent a rule that no persons could be removed without bringing the vessel in, and that British opinion favored this view. Ibid., p. 70.

65 U. S. For. Bel., 1916, Supp., pp. 642 and 651.

66 Ibid., p. 673.

67 Ibid., 1917, Supp. 1, pp. 530–531.

68 This account follows Baxter, “Some British Opinions,” loc. cit., pp. 523–527. The reference for the quotation above is given as North America No. 10 (1863), Russell to Stuart, Oct. 10, 1862.

69 Seward also wrote: “This instruction, however, will not be deemed to protect simulated raail-bags, verified by forged certificates or counterfeit seals.” North America No. 5 (1863), Seward to Welles, Oct. 31, 1862.

70 See note 1, supra. Seward and Welles were really facing a new situation because the sending of regular mails had become a practice since the last great war.

71 U. S. For. Rel., 1916, Supp., pp. 604–608.

72 Savage, , op. cit., Vol. II, pp. 528529 .

73 Morrissey, Alice M., “The United States and the Rights of Neutrals, 1917–1918,” this Journal , Vol. 31 (1937), p. 21 .

74 Notes published in New York Times, Jan. 3 and 21, 1940.

75 See A. Pearce Higgins, in introduction to Colombos, op. cit., p. xiv.

American Civil War Precedents: Their Nature, Application, and Extension

  • Alice Morrissey McDiarmid

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