There will be no recognition of the Southern Confederacy by France or England

Date Written

Nov. 12, 1861

William Edward Johnston was 40 years old when this was written.
The recipient, Robert Clark Johnston, was 61 when it was received.

William Edward Johnston died 24 years, 3 months, 3 days after writing this.
It was written 161 years, 10 months, 21 days ago.
It was a Tuesday.

November 12, 1861
Dear father,
Why don’t some of you write and let me know how you all are and what you are doing? It has been six or eight months — I believe even more than that — since I have had a word from home. I have watched the papers to see whether I could find any names in the war news of any of the family, hoping all the time you would write. I was particularly uneasy about the Col. Johnston who was killed in a battle under Jim Lane for fear it was Uncle Will. Pray tell me who among the friends have gone to the war.
As regards the news on this side, there will be no recognition of the Southern Confederacy by France or England and no attempt to break the blockade until the government ceases its attempt to put down the rebellion, which of course it can never do. Only yesterday Mr. Dayton told me that he had just been assured by the French Minister that they had no thought of recognizing the Confederacy and a fortnight ago Mr. Motley, our minister to Vienna, told me that he had just left Lord John Russell at his chateau in Scotland and that the last words of Lord John were, “Tell your friend Adams in London that he need not fear us recognizing those fellows soon.”
There is already a great deal of suffering both in England and France on account of the stoppage of exports to America and for the want of cotton, but they are going to worry it through in the interest of justice and humanity.
We have a great gathering of secessionists here — some who can’t get home, and some who are staying abroad because they have property on both sides of the line and wish to appear neutral so as not to have their property confiscated. The other day I was introduced by accident to Yancey who doesn’t appear as confident, they say, as he did at first.
I am handsomely established in the Rue Saint-Arnaud and have commenced business. I have already something to do and calculate later on to have a large business. I have taken the ground floor of one of the finest modern-built houses of the city — a real palace. It belongs to the Baroness Creuze′ de Lesser’s, who, with her sister, occupy all the upper floors. I pay the Baroness 500 dollars a year which is less than the place is worth for it is not only a magnificent suite of rooms, but in the very center of the fashionable quarter. I got it cheap because I am a bachelor and would not make any fuss in the house nor want a sign at the door. My furniture, which is about complete, I have bought all new, and has cost me about 700 dollars for which I paid cash. My study is furnished entirely in carved oak which is very rich, and the parlor in red velvet and rosewood. No bachelor is better lodged in Paris — at least for the same sum of money — and yet I have income enough from my writing to pay for it if I never get a call. Notwithstanding, I have been playing the gentleman for so many years, I am now as well lodged and in the enjoyment of as many comforts as if I had been at work gaining a fortune.

I have dined lately twice at our ministers (Mr. Dayton) and both times was honored with a seat beside the young lady at the head of the table, although there were diplomats and millionaires at the dinner. Do write me and let me know the news from home.

As ever,
W. E. J.

I send you enclosed a puff someone has given me in a London paper.

Scans of Letter