James Ford Rhodes (18481927). History of the Civil War, 18611865 1917.
asserted that the time had not yet arrived for the recognition of the Southern States and he followed this up by circulating among his Cabinet colleagues a confidential counter memorandum in reply to the circular letter of Earl Russell.
A Cabinet meeting was called for October 23. Previous to that time, the Prime Minister had changed his mind and did not travel to London from the country to keep the engagement. Hence no Cabinet meeting was held, but in the informal discussion among the ministers who had gathered, Russell and Gladstone were in favor of some sort of interference while the others held to the position formulated by Lewis. Adams saw the Foreign Secretary by appointment on the same afternoon and said to him: If I had entirely trusted to the construction given by the public to a late speech, I should have begun to think of packing my carpet-bag and trunks. His Lordship, as Adams proceeds to relate the conversation, at once embraced the allusion, and whilst endeavoring to excuse Mr. Gladstone, in fact admitted that his act had been regretted by Lord Palmerston and the other Cabinet officers. Still he could not disavow the sentiments of Mr. Gladstone so far as he understood them, which was not that ascribed to him by the public. Mr. Gladstone was himself willing to disclaim that. He had written to that effect to Lord Palmerston. His Lordship said that the policy of the Government was to adhere to a strict neutrality and to leave the struggle to settle itself. But he could not tell what a month would bring forth. I asked him if I was to understand that policy as not now to be changed. He said, Yes.
In the meantime, the Emperor of the French had made an attempt to conquer Mexico and place a European monarch upon her throne. For the success of his Mexican policy and because France wanted cotton for her manufacturing industries,