The Thornton Papers - sheet 2
Another part of Lyons’s letter, referring specifically to the Alabama Claims. He questions whether President Johnson’s ‘intention to send us an ultimatum’ about claiming damages from Britain ‘was anything more than a feeler, to try public opinion in the United States’.
Given that the letter was written in 1868, an election year in America and some four years before the claims would be settled, this suggests that the British should not worry about Johnson’s lambasting. Lyons gives the impression that the demand for damages had more to do with American domestic politics than international relations.