His Holiness on Lincoln & Company
Diplomat Ambrose Dudley Mann was sent to Europe in March of 1861 to promote the interests, independence and peaceful intentions of the American Confederacy, eventually being appointed Confederate Commissioner for Belgium and the Vatican. His audience with Pope Pius IX is related below in a report to Confederate Secretary of State Judah P. Benjamin.
Bernhard Thuersam, Chairman
North Carolina War Between the States Sesquicentennial Commission
"The Official Website of the North Carolina WBTS Sesquicentennial"
His Holiness on Lincoln & Company:
“From Mr. Mann.
Received December 21, ’63. J.P.B.
Rome, November 14, 1863.
To: Hon. Judah P. Benjamin, Secretary of State of the Confederate States of America, Richmond, Va.,
Sir: At three o’clock on the afternoon of yesterday I received a formal notification that His Holiness would favor me with an audience embracing my private secretary to-day at twelve o’clock. His Holiness stated, after I had taken my stand to his side, that he had been so afflicted by the horrors of the war in America than many months ago he had written to the Archbishops of New Orleans and New York to use all the influence that they could properly employ for terminating with as little delay as possible the deplorable state of hostilities; that from the former he had received no answer, but that he had heard from the latter, and his communication was not such as to inspire hopes that his ardent wishes could be speedily gratified.
At length His Holiness asked whether President Davis were a Catholic. I answered in the negative. He then asked if I were one. I answered that I was not. His Holiness now stated, to use his own language, that Lincoln and Company had endeavored to create an impression abroad that they were fighting for the abolition of slavery, and that it might perhaps be judicious in us to consent to gradual emancipation.
I replied that the subject of slavery was one over which the Government of the Confederate States, like that of the old United States, had no control whatever; that all ameliorations with regard to the institution must proceed from the States themselves, which were sovereign in their character in this regard as were France, Austria, or any other Continental power; that true philanthropy shuddered at the liberation of the slave in the manner attempted by Lincoln and Company…that if, indeed, African slavery were an evil, there was a power which in its own good time would doubtless remove that evil in a more gentle manner than that of causing the earth to be deluged with blood for its sudden overthrow.
His Holiness received these remarks with an approving expression. He then said I have reason to be proud of the self-sacrificing devotion of my countrymen, from the beginning, to the cause for which they were contending.
I [informed] His Holiness that it was not the armies of Northern birth which the South was encountering in hostile array, but that it was the armies of European creation, occasioned by Irish and Germans, chiefly by the former, who were influenced to emigrate (by circulars from Lincoln and Company to their numerous agents abroad) ostensibly for the purpose of securing high wages, but in reality to fill up the constantly depleted ranks of our enemy, that those poor unfortunates were tempted by high bounties amounting to $500, $600, and $700 to enlist and take up arms against us, that once in the service they were invariably placed in the most exposed points of danger in the battlefield… that but for foreign recruits the North would most likely have broken down months ago in the absurd attempt to overpower the South. His Holiness expressed his utter astonishment, repeatedly throwing up his hands at the employment of such means against us and the cruelty attendant upon such unscrupulous operations.” A. Dudley Mann
(Messages and Papers of the Confederacy, Including the Diplomatic Correspondence, Vol. II, James D. Richardson, US Publishing Company, 1905, pp. 591-594)
His Holiness On Lincoln & Company
His Holiness on Lincoln & Company