Tsar Alexander II of Russia pledges support for the Union

From Russia with love!!

Tsar Nicholas I. (1796 -1855).
Tsar of all the Russias from 1826 to 1855.


Tsar Alexander II saved the Union by threatening intervention if Britain or France joined the CONfederates.

Napoleon III later joined the Rebellion by sneaking in the back door through Mexico.


Tsar Alexander II (1818-1881).
Tsar of all the Russias from 1855 to 1881.

Tsar Nicholas I was assassinated during the Crimean War. He was fighting against a confederation of England, France and Turkey. Great Britain tried to destroy the Russian Baltic Sea fleet at Kronstadt . . . but were unsuccessful, while a joint Anglo-French fleet attacked the Russian far eastern port of Kamchatka. Against overwhelming odds, Russia was winning the war, so Tsar Nicholas was assassinated, and his son had to agree to give up use of the Russian Black Sea port of Sebastopol.

Here is a report from Thurlow Weed who was a special envoy of President Lincoln to Great Britain:

It will be remembered that early in the Rebellion a Russian fleet lay for several months in our harbor, and that other Russian men-of-war were stationed at San Francisco. Admiral Farragut lived at the Astor House, where he was frequently visited by the Russian Admiral, between whom, when they were young officers serving in the Mediterranean, a warm friendship had grown up. Sitting in my room one day after dinner, Admiral Farragut said to his Russian friend, Why are you spending the winter here in idleness?' ' I am here,' replied the Russian Admiral, ' under sealed orders, to be broken only in a contingency that has not yet occurred.' He added that other Russian war vessels were lying off San Francisco with similar orders. During this conversation the Russian Admiral admitted that he had received orders to break the seals, if during the Rebellion we became involved in a war with foreign nations. Strict confidence was then enjoined.
When in Washington a few days later, Secretary Seward informed me that he had asked the Russian Minister why his government kept their ships of war so long in our harbors, who, while in answering he disclaimed any knowledge of the nature of their visit, felt at liberty to say that it had no unfriendly purpose.
Louis Napoleon had invited Russia, as he did England, to unite with him in demanding the breaking of our blockade. The Russian Ambassador at London informed his government that England was preparing for war with America, on account of the seizure of Mason and Slidell. Hence two fleets were immediately sent across the Atlantic under sealed orders, so that if their services were not needed, the intentions of the Emperor would remain, as they have to this day, secret. It is certain, however, that when our government and Union were imperiled by a formidable rebellion, we should have found a powerful ally in Russia, had an emergency occurred.
The latter revelation is corroborated by a well-known New York gentleman, who was in St. Petersburg when the Rebellion began, and who, during an unofficial call upon Prince Gortschakoff, was shown by the Chancellor an order written in Alexander's own hand, directing his Admiral to report to President Lincoln for orders, in case England or France sided with the Confederates.
(Memoir of Thurlow Weed, vol. II, pp. 346-347).

Napoleon III—dictator of France—did side with the CONfederacy by sending an army to Mexico to install 2 puppets on the Mexican throne named Maximilian and Carlota.

Tsar Alexander said that the Union was essential to maintaining the world balance of power!!

For the Tsar of Russia, the Union was an essential element in maintaining the world balance of power. The Emperor made his views known through his foreign minister, Prince Gortchakoff:

This Union is not simply in our eyes an element essential to the universal political equilibrium. It constitutes, besides, a nation to which our august master and all Russia have pledged the most friendly interest; for the two countries, placed at the extremities of the two worlds, both in the ascending period of their development, appear called to a natural community of interests and of sympathies, of which they have already given mutual proofs to each other.

The Tsar of Russia did more that just utter platitudes about the necessity of maintaining the Union. He backed up his words with action.

When the Trent affair broke out and Great Britain was preparing for war, he ordered his Pacific fleet to San Francisco and his Baltic fleet to New York.

The admirals of the fleets were given sealed orders and told to report to President Lincoln in the event of war with Great Britain or France.

  ST. PETERSBURG, July 10, 1861.

SIR: From the beginning of the conflict which divides the United States of America you have been desired to make known to the Federal Government the deep interest with which our august master was observing the development of a crisis which puts in question the prosperity and even the existence of the Union.

The Emperor profoundly regrets to see that the hope of a peaceful solution is not realized, and that American citizens, already in arms against each other, are ready to let loose upon their country the most formidable of the scourges of political society—civil war.

For the more than eighty years that it has existed the American Union owes its independence, its towering rise, and its progress, to the concord of its members, consecrated, under the auspices of its illustrious founder, by institutions which have been able to reconcile union with liberty. This union has been fruitful. It has exhibited to the world the spectacle of a prosperity without example in the annals of history.

It would be deplorable that, after so conclusive an experience, the United States should be hurried into a breach of the solemn compact which up to this time has made their power.

In spite of the diversity of their constitutions and of their interests, and perhaps even because of this diversity, Providence seems to urge them to draw closer the traditional bond which is the basis and the very condition of their political existence. In any event, the sacrifices, which they might impose upon themselves to maintain it, are beyond comparison with those which dissolution would bring after it. United, they perfect themselves; isolated, they are paralyzed.

The struggle which unhappily has just arisen can neither be indefinitely prolonged, nor lead to the total destruction of one of the parties. Sooner or later it will be necessary to come to some settlement, whatsoever it may be, which may cause the divergent interests now actually in conflict to coexist.

The American nation would, then, give a proof of high political wisdom in seeking in common such a settlement before a useless effusion of blood, a barren squandering of strength and of public riches, and acts of violence and reciprocal reprisals, shall have come to deepen an abyss between the two parties to the confederation; to end definitely in their mutual exhaustion, and in the ruin, perhaps irreparable, of their commercial and political power.

Our august master cannot resign himself to admit such deplorable anticipations. His Imperial Majesty still places his confidence in that practical good sense of the citizens of the Union, who appreciate so judiciously their true interests. His Majesty is happy to believe that the members of the Federal Government and the influential men of the two parties will seize all occasions and will unite all their efforts to calm the effervescence of the passions. There are no interests so divergent that it may not be possible to reconcile them, by laboring to that end with zeal and perseverance, in a spirit of justice and moderation.

If, within the limits of your friendly relations, your language and your counsels may contribute to this result, you will respond, sir, to the intentions of His Majesty the Emperor, in devoting to this the personal influence which you may have been able to acquire during your long residence at Washington, and the consideration which belongs to your character, as the representative of a sovereign animated by the most friendly sentiments toward the American Union. This Union is not simply in our eyes an element essential to the universal political equilibrium. It constitutes, besides, a nation to which our august master and all Russia have pledged the most friendly interest; for the two countries, placed at the extremities of the two worlds, both in the ascending period of their development, appear called to a natural community of interests and of sympathies, of which they have already given mutual proofs to each other.

I do not wish here to approach any of the questions which divide the United States. We are not called upon to express ourselves in this contest. The preceding considerations have no other object than to attest the lively solicitude of the Emperor, in presence of the dangers which menace the American Union, and the sincere wishes which his Majesty entertains for the maintenance of that great work, so laboriously raised, which appeared so rich in its future.

It is in this sense, sir, that I desire you to express yourself, as well to the members of the General Government as to influential persons whom you may meet, giving them the assurance that in every event the American nation may count upon the most cordial sympathy on the part of our august master, during the important crisis which it is passing through at present.

Receive, sir, the expression of my very distinguished consideration.


Mr. DE STOECKL, etc., etc., etc.


Loubat, Joseph F. Gustavus Fox's Mission to Russia 1866, Arno Press, New York, 1970.

Lincoln, W. Bruce. Nicholas I. Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias. Indiana University Press, Bloomington & London, 1978.

Barnes, Thurlow Weed. Memoir of Thurlow Weed (in 2 volumes) Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston 1884.