James Ford Rhodes (1848–1927). History of the Civil War, 1861–1865. 1917.

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  he favored the Southern Confederacy. On October 30, 1862 he asked his Ambassadors at St. Petersburg and London to propose that the three governments “exert their influence at Washington as well as with the Confederates to obtain an armistice for six months.”  18   Earl Russell had shown discretion in warning Adams that he could not tell what a month would bring forth. At a Cabinet meeting in November, 1 he submitted the Emperor’s proposition and although it was known that Russia had declined, in terms friendly to the North, to be a party to such a mediation, Russell advised that the proposal of France be accepted. Lewis gave this account of the meeting: “Palmerston followed Lord John and supported him but did not say a great deal.… The proposal was now thrown before the Cabinet, who proceeded to pick it to pieces. Everybody present threw a stone at it of greater or less size except Gladstone who supported it” and two others “who expressed no opinion. The principal objection was that the proposed armistice of six months by sea and land, involving a suspension of the commercial blockade, was so grossly unequal—so decidedly in favor of the South, that there was no chance of the North agreeing to it. After a time Palmerston saw that the general feeling of the Cabinet was against being a party to the representation, and he capitulated. I do not think his support was very sincere: it certainly was not hearty.” Gladstone also made a report. “The United States affair has ended and not well,” he wrote. “Lord Russell rather turned tail. He gave way without resolutely fighting out his battle.… Palmerston gave to Russell’s proposal a feeble and half-hearted support.” 2  19
Note 1. Either Nov. 11 or 12. [back]
Note 2. C. F. Adams, A crisis in Downing St., M. H. S., XLVII, 419, 420; Maxwell, Clarendon, II, 268; Morley, Gladstone, II, 85. [back]