Bishop Lynch's diplomatic instructions

trice

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#1
FROM MR. BENJAMIN, SECRETARY OF STATE.
Department Of State, Richmond, April 4, 1863.*
[*Note: Date is wrong in the original; this is 1864]

To the Right Reverend P. N. Lynch, Commissioner of the Confederate States, etc.

Sir : I have the honor to address to you herewith a commission signed by the President appointing you Commissioner to represent the Confederacy near the States of the Church, together with full powers and letters of credence in the usual form. In thus confiding to you a mission so delicate and important the President has evinced his high appreciation of your character and ability, and he has directed me to prepare for you these instructions. The recent correspondence between the President and His Holiness the Sovereign Pontiff Pius II., of which a copy accompanies these instructions, was, as you will perceive, not political in its nature, but it exhibited in a striking manner the very benevolent character of His Holiness, his earnest desire for the restoration of peace on this continent, and his readiness to do whatever can be properly done by him as the head of the Catholic Church to promote so desirable a result. The spontaneous action of His Holiness in addressing exhortations to this effect to two of the highest dignitaries of the Church, North and South, elicited from the President the expression of the feelings excited not only in him, but among all the people of the Confederacy, by so striking a manifestation of Christian charity and benevolence. It has seemed proper to the President that in further testimonial of the cordial sentiments entertained toward the Sovereign Pontiff and of respect for his character and eminent position a Commissioner should be sent to reside near the court of the Vatican, for inaugurating such political relations as may be suitable under the circumstances in which the Confederacy is placed. He knows no person to whom this duty could be intrusted that would probably be received by His Holiness with greater satisfaction than yourself. It is scarcely necessary to explain that by a policy as unprecedented as we believe it to be unjust the great powers of Europe have hitherto declined to recognize the unimpeachable title of this Government to admission into the family of nations; nor would there be any utility in entering into discussion of the reasons by which this denial of our rights is justified in the opinion of those powers. It must suffice to say that we can under no circumstances admit in our relation with foreign Governments, either expressly or by any implication, however remote, that the Confederacy stands on any footing other than that of perfect equality with all other nations, and especially with the enemies who are now waging war of invasion for the subversion of its rights and independence.

While maintaining this position, however, we would be scarcely justified in expecting that the Cabinet of the Vatican should assume the responsibility of being the first to recognize our independence and thus to cast a seeming censure on the great powers which control the general policy of Europe on this question. To make a formal demand for our recognition by His Holiness would therefore seem to be ungracious and inconsistent with the friendly feelings which prompt this mission. The President is consequently unwilling to instruct you to pursue any course which would compel His Holiness, however well disposed, to decline acquiescing in our claim, in order to avoid injuriously affecting his relations with other powers. The honor and interest of our own country are, however, paramount to all other considerations. It will be your delicate task to keep in view the great advantage which would accrue to our cause by the formal recognition of this Government by the Sovereign Pontiff, and the establishment with him of the usual diplomatic intercourse. If an occasion be presented which in your judgment offers a reasonable prospect of the successful issue of such a step, the President expects that you will not fail to avail yourself of the opportunity. If, on the contrary, you become satisfied that the result would be unfavorable, you will content yourself with the maintenance of those informal relations which are usual in the case of a Government not yet formally recognized. It is rather to the indirect than the direct effects of your mission that we are disposed to look for fruitful results. Combining, as you will, the advantages of eminent ecclesiastical and political position; located, as you will be, in the center from which radiates the influence of the Holy See; brought, as you must necessarily be, into immediate contact with not only those who control the policy of the States of the Church but with the trusted representatives of all the Catholic powers of Europe —- opportunities will be afforded for enlightening opinions and molding impressions of which the President is confident you will avail yourself with signal benefit to the cause of our country. The errors prevalent in Europe in regard to this people and the struggle in which they are engaged, the unfounded prejudices and false impressions which have been industriously created and fostered by our enemies, constitute weapons against which we are more helpless than against invading armies. The inconceivable blindness to their own interests which has permitted European powers to acquiesce in the monstrous pretensions of the United States, and to respect as effective a blockade of three or four thousand miles of coast, has so increased the difficulty of reaching the European mind with trustworthy intelligence that no small nor unimportant part of your duty will be the dissemination by all proper means of the facts, as contrasted with the fables invented by the enemy. You are quite as well aware as any member of the Government can be that if we could succeed in bringing the truth as to the conduct of this war by our foes, the naked and simple truth without comment or explanation to the knowledge of Christendom, the universal execration of civilized man would render it impossible for them to continue so atrocious a conflict. The recent raid to the city of Richmond for the avowed purpose of sacking the city, committing it to flames, exposing its women to nameless horrors, and putting to death the Chief Magistrate and principal civil officers of the Government, although grouping and presenting in striking form the true features of the warfare waged against us, was not at all exceptional in character. It was, on the contrary, in entire accordance with the history of their operations during the last eighteen months, for the experience of past ages has been fully exemplified on this continent. As the contest has progressed the enemy, at first confident of an easy victory, were comparatively moderate in their treatment of noncombatants, and paid some small respect to the rules of civilized warfare. Having been rudely awakened from their delusion by the unconquerable resistance of our people, their passions have become inflamed, a hatred the most malignant has been engendered, and these evil influences have been carefully nurtured by their leaders, until now nothing is sacred, and their fury spares neither age nor sex, nor do they even shrink from the most shameful desecration of edifices in which the people meet for the worship of God. These things are not, cannot be, known to the public mind of Europe; and as you are familiar with them all, it is not doubted that you will be able to enforce the conviction of their truth on others. If you should think it proper during your absence, either before or after proceeding to Rome, to visit the capitals of the principal Catholic powers, where you would assuredly be welcomed, the President would approve of such action. At Paris, Madrid, and Vienna we are inclined to think your presence would be very useful, and it is left to your own discretion whether to visit them in advance in the simple character of a Catholic prelate, prior to assuming political functions, or to postpone your visit until it shall have become publicly known that you are accredited by the Confederacy. On this point conference with our Commissioner in Paris would probably aid you in arriving at a conclusion, and you will consult with him, or not, at your pleasure. You will receive with these instructions letters of introduction to him, and I am confident that you will receive from him more trustworthy information on all points connected with our interests than could be obtained from any other source in Europe.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. P. Benjamin, Secretary of State.
 

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cash

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#2
I think any honest person reading this would conclude that there was no recognition of the confederacy by the Papal States--and that Bishop Lynch's instructions did indeed tell him to work to achieve recognition by the Papal States.

Regards,
Cash
 

trice

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#3
As seen in post #1 of this thread, the Secretary of State, Judah P. Benjamin, tells Bishop Lynch in his instructions that President Davis wishes him to try to get diplomatic recognition of the Confederacy from the Papal States if Lynch sees the chance for it.

This is, in case anyone is still trying to make believe otherwise, absolute proof that Secretary Benjamin and President Davis do not believe the Papal States have recognized the Confederacy on April 4, 1864 as Bishop Lynch is preparing to head to Europe.

Tim
 
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#4
Good find, Trice, good find.

That seems to settle the question of a Vatican recognition of the Confederacy in the negative.

That leaves those with legitimacy hopes for an independent Confedercy via international recognition with Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. :smile:
 
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#5
Well it appears that you have been congratulated by the choir, but don't start celebrating too soon.

This is only a rehashing Benjamin's opinion, but before I comment any further, what is the source?

I notice it is not listed.

Is there some problem with it?
 

trice

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#7
Well it appears that you have been congratulated by the choir, but don't start celebrating too soon.

This is only a rehashing Benjamin's opinion, but before I comment any further, what is the source?

I notice it is not listed.

Is there some problem with it?
Sarcasm ill becomes you -- particularly when your entire point is baseless. This can be found in:
A COMPILATION
OF THE
MESSAGES AND PAPERS
OF THE
CONFEDERACY
INCLUDING THE DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE
1861-1865
PUBLISHED BV PERMISSION OF CONGRESS​
JAMES D. RICHARDSON
A REPRESENTATIVE FROM THE STATE OF TENNESSEE
COMPILER AND EDITOR OF "MESSAGES AND PAPERS OF THE PRESIDENTS"

In Two Volumes—Volume II.
NASHVILLE​
UNITED STATES PUBLISHING COMPANY
Copyright, 1904,​
By James D. Richardson.

NASHVILLE
UNITED STATES PUBLISHING COMPANY
1905​
=====

If you don't happen to have a copy, Google Books does. See pages 470-472.

Now, since all your expressed suspicions and implied slurs are shown to be wrong, you should politely retract them.

Tim
 
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#8
Sarcasm ill becomes you -- particularly when your entire point is baseless. This can be found in:
A COMPILATION
OF THE
MESSAGES AND PAPERS
OF THE
CONFEDERACY
INCLUDING THE DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE​

1861-1865

PUBLISHED BV PERMISSION OF CONGRESS​



JAMES D. RICHARDSON
A REPRESENTATIVE FROM THE STATE OF TENNESSEE
COMPILER AND EDITOR OF "MESSAGES AND PAPERS OF THE PRESIDENTS"​


In Two Volumes—Volume II.

NASHVILLE​



UNITED STATES PUBLISHING COMPANY​

Copyright, 1904,​

By James D. Richardson.​

NASHVILLE
UNITED STATES PUBLISHING COMPANY
1905​
=====

If you don't happen to have a copy, Google Books does. See pages 470-472.

Tim
Thanks.
===
 

trice

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#10
Good find, Trice, good find.

That seems to settle the question of a Vatican recognition of the Confederacy in the negative.

That leaves those with legitimacy hopes for an independent Confedercy via international recognition with Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. :smile:
Now that I think of it a bit, this letter seems to drive a few nails into the Saxe-Coburg-Gotha coffin as well.

The argument of the Confederate side is based on the assumption that, in late July 1861, the Confederate States were granted "diplomatic recognition" by the mere fact that Ernest Raven, citizen of Texas and consul to Texas from Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, applied to the Confederate government for an exequatur (a letter stating that the Confederacy acknowledged he was who he said he was, essentially). Exequaturs are not exactly required, but are normally asked for and given, to agents, consuls, and ambassadors in a foreign country.

We do know that Raven did apply for an exequatur. We also know he was the only consul to apply to the Confederacy for an exequatur. All other foreign officials in the Confederacy pre-war (and their replacements sent during the war, if any) had or applied exequaturs for through the US government, and generally communicated home through their embassies in Washington (which ticked the Confederate government off a bit).

We do know that in Eugene H. Berwanger's The British Foreign Service and the American Civil War (U of Kentucky Press, 1994) it says: "In requesting the exequatur, Raven's government made clear that its request did not imply or extend diplomatic recognition." TheGhost doesn't want to accept that or the footnote with it, but he hasn't presented any reason to think Berwanger is wrong.

Now we have this letter from Benjamin. Very clearly, Benjamin does not think the Confederacy has been recognized by any foreign power as of the date of this letter (April 4, 1864). That would have to mean he does not believe Saxe-Coburg and Gotha had recognized the Confederacy almost three years earlier -- and he very clearly is aware of the details of Raven's application because we know he reported on it to Congress.

Benjamin's letter thus strengthens Berwanger's book, making it more likely that if anyone ever digs down to the level Berwanger normally does in his research for his work, they'll find proof that Berwanger knew exactly what he was saying when he wrote.

Don't you just love how all the details we find tend to fit together and strengthen the case against "diplomatic recognition" of the Confederacy ever being given. Not to fear, however; I'm sure someone will give us a spin into the ether to claim it really did happen.

Tim
 

cash

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#11
This is only a rehashing Benjamin's opinion,
It is Benjamin and Davis both, or did you miss the part where he writes, "In thus confiding to you a mission so delicate and important the President has evinced his high appreciation of your character and ability, and he has directed me to prepare for you these instructions."?

And they have credibility on the subject. So far you've produced no credible source to contradict them.

Regards,
Cash
 
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#12
I think any honest person reading this would conclude that there was no recognition of the confederacy by the Papal States--and that Bishop Lynch's instructions did indeed tell him to work to achieve recognition by the Papal States.

Regards,
Cash
I believe the phrase 'formal recognition' is repeated several times.

"72. Recognition is the act through which it becomes apparent that an old State is ready to deal with a new State as an International Person and a member of the Family of Nations. Recognition is given either expressly or tacitly [implied]. If a new State asks formally for recognition and receives it in a formal declaration of any kind, it receives express recognition. On the other hand, recognition is tacitly and indirectly given when an old State enters officially into intercourse with the new, be it by sending or receiving a diplomatic envoy, or by concluding a treaty, or by any other act through which it becomes apparent that the new State is actually treated as an International Person."

International Law by Lassa Oppenheim, p.110

"...you will content yourself with the maintenance of those informal relations which are usual in the case of a Government not yet formally recognized."
 
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#13
It is Benjamin and Davis both, or did you miss the part where he writes, "In thus confiding to you a mission so delicate and important the President has evinced his high appreciation of your character and ability, and he has directed me to prepare for you these instructions."?

And they have credibility on the subject. So far you've produced no credible source to contradict them.

Regards,
Cash
If Davis believed the Pope's letter had no political value or intent then why is he sending Bishop Lynch as a follow-up?
 

unionblue

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#14
TheGhost,

Do you, or do you not, have any direct proof in the form of a period document or source that shows the Pope and the Holy See formally recognizing the Confederate States of America?

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 
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#15
pathetic campaign

TheGhost,

Do you, or do you not, have any direct proof in the form of a period document or source that shows the Pope and the Holy See formally recognizing the Confederate States of America?

Sincerely,
Unionblue
This question has gone unanswered by TheGhost for days already.

TheGhost's campaign is pathetic. We know that a confederate representative had meetings with the Vatican, which provided a noncommital letter expressing a desire for peace. And that is all. Period. End of story.

TheGhost, why do you persist in the face of all the evidence? Surely, you must be able to think of a more interesting issue to discuss.
 

cash

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#16
I believe the phrase 'formal recognition' is repeated several times.

"72. Recognition is the act through which it becomes apparent that an old State is ready to deal with a new State as an International Person and a member of the Family of Nations. Recognition is given either expressly or tacitly [implied]. If a new State asks formally for recognition and receives it in a formal declaration of any kind, it receives express recognition. On the other hand, recognition is tacitly and indirectly given when an old State enters officially into intercourse with the new, be it by sending or receiving a diplomatic envoy, or by concluding a treaty, or by any other act through which it becomes apparent that the new State is actually treated as an International Person."

International Law by Lassa Oppenheim, p.110

"...you will content yourself with the maintenance of those informal relations which are usual in the case of a Government not yet formally recognized."
Once again you try to apply a definition to a situation that doesn't fit the definition.

Benjamin's instructions clearly show there had been no recognition of any kind. The confederacy was in no way treated as an international person.

Regards,
Cash
 
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#18
Once again you try to apply a definition to a situation that doesn't fit the definition.

Benjamin's instructions clearly show there had been no recognition of any kind. The confederacy was in no way treated as an international person.

Regards,
Cash
He clearly shows there had been no formal recognition.

The definition shows that recognition can be either express (by formal proclamation) or implied by the other methods described.

The Pope's government treated and dealt with Confederate representatives on an equal footing as with other nations.
 
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#19
This is not established simply by treating them with courtesy and formality, and Benjamin and Davis not believing it was the case speaks strongly against it - both would have trumpeted it as a triumph if they believed it had happened.
 

trice

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#20
He clearly shows there had been no formal recognition.

The definition shows that recognition can be either express (by formal proclamation) or implied by the other methods described.

The Pope's government treated and dealt with Confederate representatives on an equal footing as with other nations.
Actually, no, he didn't. For example, A. Dudley Mann told his boss, Secretary of State Benjamin, that he could now expect the Papal Nuncios to accept Confederate passports after the Pope's letter. He told Slidell in Paris the same. Yet when Slidell went to the Papal Nuncio in Paris with his passport, the Nuncio refused to apply his visa (i.e., to stamp the passport). Benjamin pointed this out to Mann in his reply.

So if the Papal States won't accept Confederate passports, just how are they treating Confederate diplomats the same as, say, French and British ones?

Tim
 



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