Despite the fact that Lincoln’s administration warned that French interference and support for the Confederacy would result in war, Emperor Napoleon III of France throughout 1862 met unofficially with Southern diplomats, raising hopes that he would unilaterally recognize the Confederate States of America.
On Thursday, October 30, 1862, Napoleon III proposed to England and Russia that they should join with France in making overtures of mediation in the American Civil War. The emperor, however, could do little without the support of England, which refused to recognize the Confederacy after Lee’s defeat at Antietam. Russia also declined to participate and act against the national interests of the American North because England and France, who had defeated Russia in the 1854 Crimean War, tended to sympathize with the Confederacy. No mediation thus occurred.