War for the Future

Richmond to Richmond

Richmond to Richmond

Welcome to the RVA Global Tour. eat great food, see great art, take selfies with history, and earn prizes at the museum. 

  1. Snap a photo with two or more posters. 

  2. visit the american civil war museum to get your prize.

Scroll down for Lord John Russell’s story, find others at the tour home page, and take off around the world… from Richmond! [Note: This is a prototype test of the Global Tour. Please let us know what you think! email to cgraham@acwm.org]

British newspapers lampooned Confederate diplomats in search of an alliance.

British newspapers lampooned Confederate diplomats in search of an alliance.

 

William L. Yancey returned to the Confederate Capital in 1862 from his brief sojourn as commissioner to Great Britain both disappointed and frustrated.

He had plead his new nation’s cause to Britain’s Foreign Secretary Lord John Russell at Russell’s Richmond, England, home Pembroke Lodge. “Free trade should be our motto,” Yancey told Russell, hoping to entice British interest in a commercial alliance based on low-tariff treaties. He also insisted on the essential place of slavery to the “the great manufacturing and navigating prosperity that distinguishes the age.”

Russell was not swayed. Yancey, the brash fire-eater who dripped tobacco juice on the carpet at Pembroke Lodge, did not, in the words of one British official, did not possess talents “in the direction of diplomacy.”

Great Britain’s reticence about supporting the Confederacy did not arise for particularly strong feelings about either side of the American Civil War. Great Britain’s chief interest lay in keeping peace and stability in international relationships and commerce.

Russell’s initial ambivalence changed as the Civil War became bloodier. He tallied horrific number of combat deaths and imagined an international race war after the Emancipation Proclamation and feared that a continued war would devolve into “plunder, incendiarism and of revenge [with] the passions of the slave to aid the destructive progress of the armies.” He concluded that permanent separation of the Confederate States from the United States would at least ensure peace and stability.

Britain chose to remain neutral when Russell was unable to mobilize the interest of British Prime Minister Lord Palmerston, or secure French agreement for a joint intervention. Richmond, England, would not after all, support Richmond, Virginia’s quest to be the capital of an independent Confederacy.

Your Turn: From Park to Pub

 
 

See the view that named the city ( home to Pembroke Lodge back in England) at Libby Hill Park.

 
 

Sit down with a pint to get in Yancey's mindset.