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I regarded this act by Mr. Crampton as a disavowal by the British Government, as well as by himself, of all participation in the recruiting proceedings, then just commenced within The United States.
Lord Clarendon ought not to believe that Mr. Crampton was more communicative to me than he had been to his own Government. As late as the 16th July last, after the orders for abandoning the scheme had been issued, Lord Clarendon was in utter ignorance that a single agent had ever been sent into The United States, or employed therein for the purpose of recruiting for the British army. This is proved by the following extract from his despatch of that date.
"Her Majesty's Government do not deny that the acts and advertisement of these self-constituted and unauthorized agents were, in many instances, undoubted violations of the law of The United States; but such persons had no authority whatever for their proceedings from any British agents, by all of whom they were promptly and unequivocally disavowed."
Lord Clarendon seems not to be aware of a fact which interrupted for at least a month in the business season of recruiting all communication whatever between Mr. Crampton and myself.
Not long after Mr. Crampton read to me his letter to Mr. Barclay, which satisfied me at that time that Her Majesty's Government had not only no connection with the recruiting then going on in The United States, but discountenanced and condemned it, he left Washington, went to the British provinces, and did not return hither until the early part of June. He made no disclosure to me after his return in regard to the object of his visit to the provinces. "What he did in furtherance of the recruiting scheme during this month's absence was but imperfectly known until about the time of Hertz's trial, and I am not indebted for this knowledge to any communication from Mr. Crampton. If the opportunity afforded by any " confidential communication" between Mr. Crampton and myself was not turned to good account, and blame is imputable to either, it certainly does not attach to me. Mr. Crampton could not have been ignorant of what is now established beyond doubt, that a scheme for raising troops for the British service within The United States had beeu approved and adopted by Her Majesty's Government; th;it authorized agents, furnished with instructions and pecuniary means, and stimulated by the promise of commissions in the British army and other tempting rewards, had been employed to induce persons to leave this country and go into the British provinces for the express purpose of entering into the British service, and that many were prevailed on to do so, had embarked for Halifax, free of expense, in vessels employed by British authority for that
purpose, and, on arriving at Halifax, had enlisted and been enrolled in the British Foreign Legion.
It is with reluctance that I perform the duty of bringing into new Mr. Crampton's connection with some of the agents who were employed in carrying out the recruitment system, and who have, in doing so, violated the law and sovereign rights of this country.
The interview between Mr. Crampton and Mr. Hertz, who was convicted in September last for violating the Neutrality Laws of The United States, is established by Mr. Crampton's two letters to Hertz, one dated the 27th of January, and the other the 4th of February, 1855. The originals of both, in the handwriting of Mr. Crampton, were produced to the Court at the trial of Hertz. In the latter, Mr. Crampton says, " With reference to our late conversation, I am now enabled to give you some more definite informatics on the subject to which it related."
This connection being established, it is allowable to allude briefly to Hertz's account, verified by his oath, of what took place between kimaelf and Mr. Crampton in relation to recruiting in this country. Nothing is known of Hertz which can affect his veracity, except the !»ct that he was engaged in recruiting for the British army within T&e United States contrary to law, and has been convicted for that tfenee.
Hertz says, " All that I did in procuring and sending men to Halifax for the Foreign Legion was done by the advice and recommendation of Mr. Crampton, Mr. Howe, and Mr. Mathew. I was tusployed by Mr. Howe, and acted as his agent with the knowledge «d<1 approbation of Mr. Crampton and Mr. Mathew. Mr. Mathew knfw of both the expeditions I sent. He approved and encouraged Be in sending them away. He encouraged me by his advice and counsel, and in giving me money to send them away."
Mr. Max F. O. Strobel acted a more conspicuous part than Mr. Hertz, and his conduct in the affair under consideration requires to be more fully traced. In the statement here presented in regard to his proceedings and connection with British officers, and among thera with Mr. Crampton, I intend to rely almost entirely upon original documents in possession of this Government. I do not mean, however, by this restriction, to cast the slightest doubt upon the credibility of Mr. Strobel.
Mr. Crampton's letter to Mr. Strobel was dated on the same day (February 4) as that addressed to Hertz, and is expressed nearly in th<- same terms.
After Mr. Strobel's interviews with Mr. Crampton in "Washington, he embarked in the recruiting service, and suddenly rose to the rank of "Captain of the 1st Company of the Foreign Legion." lie went with a detachment of recruits raised in Philadelphia, U< Halifax, was exultingly received into fellowship with the military and civil officers of the highest position in Her Majesty's service there stationed; was invited to partake of the hospitalities of "his Excellency Sir Gaspard le Marchant," of "Colonel Clark and the officers of the 76th Regiment," and of "Colonel Fraser, Colonel Stotherd, and the officers of the Royal Artillery and Royal Engineers," and the original cards of invitation addressed to him were produced on Hertz's trial.
After such an endorsement of his character, it would seem that the testimony of Captain Strobel, even if it were uncorroborated, should command confidence.
Mr. Strobel, who had then acquired the rank of " Captain of the 1st Company in the Foreign Legion," and Mr. Crampton, were again brought together at Halifax, and were engaged there for some time in making further arrangements for recruiting within The United States.
Original documents now in possession of this Government show that there can be no mistake as to the object of Mr. Crampton's visit to Halifax, and that it had special regard to recruitments in The United States for the British service.
Bruce McDonald, who appears to have been a Secretary in the Executive Department of Nova Scotia, addressed a letter to " Captain Strobel, 1st Company Foreign Legion," dated "Provincial Secretary's Office, May 3, 1855," in these words:
"Dear Sir,—I am directed by his Excellency the LieutenantGovernor to introduce to you the bearer, Lieutenant Kuentzal. He comes with a letter to Sir Gaspard from Mr. Crampton. You will please explain to him the steps necessary for him to take to secure a commission."
On the 13th of May, the second or third day after Mr. Crampton's arrival at Halifax, J. W. Preston, Lieutenant of Her Majesty's 7Gth Regiment, who had charge of the depdt at Niagara for the reception of recruits sent from The United States, wrote to Captain Strobel as follows:
"My dear Strobel,—I am directed by the General to acquaint you that Mr. Crampton wants to see you at his house at 10 o'clock to-morrow morning; be punctual. If you like, come up to my house at half-past 9 o'clock, and we will go together."
These letters corroborate Captain Strobel's statement, that Mr. Crampton, while at Halifax, was engaged about the recruiting business within The United States. He afterwards went with Captain Strobel to Quebec for the same purpose.
Passiug, without comment, the plan for recruiting, which Strobel says was prepared at the request of Mr. Crampton, and approved by him and Sir Gaspard le Marchant, 1 propose to offer some remarks upon the instructions furnished by Mr. Crampton, while in the Provinces, to the recruiting agents who were to go to "Buffalo, Detroit, or Cleveland, to make known to persons in The United States the terms and conditions upon which recruits will be received into the British service." This paper will be found with the letters referred to in Hertx's trial. Its genuineness, I presume, will not be questioned. It is framed with great adroitness, and an it mar be resorted to for a defence of Mr. Crampton's conduct, it is entitled to a careful consideration.
These instructions show that the persons sent into The United States to raise recruits therein for the Foreign Legion, were authorised agents of British officers, and received directions for the guidance of their conduct from Her Majesty's Minister to this Government. It is thought to be unreasonable in this Government to complain of any of Her Majesty's officers, because the agents thus employed were "enjoined carefully to refrain from anything which would constitute a violation of the law of The United States." A similar injunction to the agents first employed was also contained in the directions which preceded the instructions issued by Mr. Crampton in May, and he well knew how utterly it had been disregarded by him. As his visit to the British Provinces had special relation to the recruiting service, it cannot be presumed that lie was uninformed of what had then happened to these agents in Philadelphia, New York, aud Boston, through which cities he passed on his way to Halifax. This Government bad, as early as March, ordered prosecutions against the recruiting agents in those cities for having violated the law of The United States; many had been arrested for that offence, and against several of them grand juries had found bills of indictment. Instead of disconnecting himself from the proceedings which had led to this disastrous result, Mr. Crampton went to Halifax and Quebec to make further arrangements for sending other recruiters into The United States. He could have had no sufficient reason to believe that those who received fresh instructions, however cautiously devised, would pay any more regard to his injunction not to violate the law of The United States, than Hertz and others had done. His experience of the past should have deterred him from renewing the experiment.
As these instructions were furnished to many agents, they doubtless were framed with a view to have a critical inspection, and, in case of emergency, to be adduced as proof to show that special regard was intended to be paid to The United States' Neutrality Law. They will, however, hardly answer that purpose.
There can be no doubt that these revised instructions were intended to impress the recruiting agents with the expediency of greater circumspection in their business, but it is evident that the motive for this caution had much more respect for the success of the recruiting project than for The United States' law. This is apparent from the following paragraph of these instructions:
"7. It is essential to success that no assemblages of persons should take place at beer-houses or other similar places of entertainment, for the purpose of devising measures for enlisting, and the parties should scrupulously avoid resorting to this or similar means of disseminating the desired information, inasmuch as the attention of the American authorities would not fail to be called to such proceedings, which would undoubtedly be regarded by them as an attempt to carry on recruiting for a foreign Power within the limits of The United States; and it certainly must be borae in mind that the institution of legal proceedings against any of the parties in question, even if they were to elude the penalty, would be fatal to the success of the enlistment itself."
Though the last instructions are a restriction upon the construction which Lord Clarendon has given to the law and rights of The United States, they would, even if literally observed, infringe both.
This Government maintains that in every instance where a person, whether a citizen or a foreign resident within The United States, has been brought to the determination to leave this country for the purpose of entering into a foreign service as a soldier or sailor, by any inducements offered by recruiting agents here, the law of The United States has been violated.
There certainly can be no doubt of the violation of the law of the United States in every case where one party, the recruit, has been induced by the terms offered to him actually to leave The United States for the purpose of entering into foreign military service, and the other party has furnished the means and borne the expense of taking him to a foreign depot, in the expectation that he would consummate the act by an enlistment. It will not, I presume, be denied that several hundred cases of this kind actually occurred in carrying out the scheme of British recruitment. The very design of employing agents for such a purpose, to act within the limits of The United States, involved in its consequences an infringement of that law.
It is the solemn duty of the Government of The United States to maintain this construction of their Neutrality Law, and the attempt to set up and sustain a different one has created much surprise; that it has been done by a friendly Government with which The United States are most anxious to maintain and strengthen the relations of amity, is the cause of deep regret.
When the President presented the case to the consideration of Her Majesty's Government, with the assurance that he had such