Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 32.djvu/126

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114 Southern Historical Society Papers.

finally agreed with them to take fifteen millions instead of twenty- five millions which they offered." The 7 per cent, bonds of the government were taken at 77. The Secretary said the government took the money really because Mr. Slidell advised the step to assist the negotiations for recognition of France. At that very time, when the government wanted no money, the Ordnance Department was drawing the copper to make percussion caps from old distillery out- fits in North Carolina and the commanding generals stood aghast at the long line of shoeless, ragged men in their ranks.

The Erlanger loan was placed in London with immediate and astonishing success. March 3, 1863, Mr. Erlanger had returned and the first offering of $5,000,000 appeared on Lombard street. Before the day closed $10,000,000 had been subscribed and the premium was 5 per cent. When the aggregate of bids for the entire loan of $15,000,000 was summed up $75,000,000 had been sub- scribed.


The government, now endeavoring to make order, sent Mr. Colin J. McRae, a successful cotton factor of Mobile, to Europe as its financial agent. McRae soon sent home a protest against the neg- lect of his government in failure to make proper control of the blockade running business. He found the Liverpool market fairly well supplied with cotton, brought through by private enterprise. He earnestly urged that the government should take charge of the blockade running and control the commerce to its own advantage. He gave as one reason for his counsel information that much cotton escaped the blockade direct for the port of New York.

Two splendid iron ships of war for the Confederacy were com- pleted on the Clyde by Captain Bulloch. The other brother, Cap- tain Bulloch (both uncles of President Roosevelt) arrived in Lon- don to take command of one, for work against the enemy, and Commodore Matthew F. Maury arrived to take command of the other. Ambassador Charles Francis Ada^ns discovered the ap- proaching readiness of the ships to put to sea. The American min- ister again played his old game of bluff successfully. He at once called on Earl Russell, her Majesty's Secretary for Foreign Affairs, and demanded the sailing of the ships should be promptly forbid- den. The banker, George Peabody, agreed to put up the $5,000,- ooo gold that Russell required, to indemnify his government, and the ships were thrown out of the Confederate possession at once,