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from any State not a member of, or territory not belong to, this confederacy." Here there is no direct exercise of power by the States which formed our constitution, but an express delegation to congress. It is thus seen that while the States were willing to trust congress with the power to prohibit the introduction of African slaves from the United States, they were not willing to trust it with the power of prohibiting their introduction from any other quarter, but determined to insure the execution of their will by a direct interposition of their own power.

Moreover, any attempt on the part of the treaty-making power of this government to prohibit the African slave trade, in addition to the insuperable objections above suggested, would leave open the implication that the same power has authority to permit such introduction. No such implication can be sanctioned by us. This government unequivocally and absolutely denies its possession of any power whatever over the subject, and cannot entertain any proposition in relation to it.

While it is totally beneath the dignity of this government to give assurances for the purpose of vindicating itself from any unworthy suspicions of its good faith on this subject that may be disseminated by the agents of the United States, it may not be improper that you should point out the superior efficacy of our constitutional provision to any treaty stipulations we could make. The constitution is itself a treaty between the States, of such binding force that it cannot be changed or abrogated without the deliberate and concurrent action of nine out of the thirteen States that compose the confederacy. A treaty might be abrogated by a party temporarily in power in our country, at the sole risk of disturbing amicable relations with a foreign power. The constitution, unless by approach to unanimity, could not be changed without the destruction of this government itself; and even should it be possible hereafter to procure the consent of the number of States necessary to change it, the forms and delays, designedly interposed by the framers to check rash inno. vations, would give ample time for the most mature deliberation, and for strenuous resistance on the part of those opposed to such a change.

After all, it is scarcely the part of wisdom to attempt to impose restraint on the actions and conduct of men for all future time. The policy of the confederacy is as fixed and immutable on this subject as the imperfection of human nature permits human resolve to be. No additional agreements, treaties, or stipulations can commit these States to the prohibition of the African slave trade with more binding efficacy than those they have themselves devised. A just and generous confidence in their good faith on this subject, exhibited by friendly powers, will be far more efficacious than persistent efforts to induce this government to assume the exercise of powers which it does not possess, and to bind the confederacy by ties which would have no constitutional validity. We trust, therefore, that no unnecessary discussions on this matter will be introduced into your negotiations. If, unfortunately, this reliance should prove ill-founded, you will decline continuing negotiations on your side, and transfer them to us at home, where, in such event, they could be conducted with greater facility and advantage, under the direct supervision of the President. With great respect, your obedient servant,

Hon. L. Q C. LAMAR,

Commissioner, &c., &c., St. Petersburgh, Russia.

J. P. BENJAMIN,
Secretary of State.

No. 34.]

Mr. Taylor to Mr. Seward.

[Extract.]

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
St. Petersburgh, March 3, 1863.

SIR: Your despatches, No. 17, of February 18, No. 18, of February 25, and No. 19, of March 3, have been received. The expression of the President's satisfaction with my course since this legation was left in my charge is especially gratifying, now that my official duties are drawing to an end. It will always be a source of honest pride to me that I have been enabled to represent the interests of the United States at this court, during what I trust will prove to have been the most critical phase of our foreign relations.

I had an interview with Prince Gortchacow on Friday last, when I took occasion to remark to him, as you desired, the coincidence between the views of Russia, as expressed to you by M. Stoeckl, and the same as reported in my despatches. The Prince was gratified to find that the understanding was now

complete and final. He observed that M. Stoeckl's despatches to him had, in like manner, proved the correctness of my reports to the Department of State. He also received with great pleasure the information that Mr. Burlingame is in perfect accord with Mr. Balluzeck, the Russian ambassador at Pekin, in regard to the policy to be observed towards the Chinese government.

Since my last despatch I have had two interviews with the Emperor, but beyond the expression of the interest with which he awaited news of our naval operations, nothing was said of sufficient importance to communicate.

The case of books intended for presentation to the Russian government, the forwarding of which was announced in your despatch No. 18, of November 18, 1862, has just arrived. I shall transmit the volumes to the ministry of foreign affairs without delay.

I called upon Prince Gortchacow this morning, by appointment, in order to communicate to him the concurrent resolutions of Congress on the subject of foreign intervention. He stated that he had that very moment received them from M. Stoeckl, with a long explanatory despatch, but that, as the resolutions were suggested by the action of France, it was not necessary, on his part to do more than accept them as the declared policy of the United States on the subject. I replied that nothing further was desired, and left with him one of the copies. I am, sir, with the highest respect, your obedient servant, BAYARD TAYLOR,

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Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD,

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Chargé d'Affaires.

No. 2.]

Secretary of State

Mr. Seward to Mr. Clay.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, March 31, 1863.

SIR: A despatch under the date of March 3 (No. 30) has been received from Mr. Taylor, accompanied by a treasonable communication written by J.P. Benjamin, at Richmond, to L. Q. C. Lamar, which having been intercepted fell into the hands of Mr. Taylor.

Please make known to him my thanks for his watchful attention.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

CASSIUS M. CLAY, Esq., &c., &c., &c.

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

No. 35.]

Mr. Taylor to Mr. Seward.

[Extracts.]

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
St. Petersburgh, April 20, 1863.

SIR: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your despatches No. 20, of March 17, and Nos. 21, 22, and 23, of March 30, as well as circular No. 32, communicating a copy of the "act to secure homesteads to actual settlers on the public lands."

I at once forwarded one of the copies of Mr. Blair's letter, accompanying No. 20, to the ministry of foreign affairs. I had also decided to forward the circular No. 32 in like manner, when a correct translation of it appeared in the official

Journal de St. Petersbourg together with an article from the Siecle of Paris, calling attention to the prosperous condition of the United States. The concurrent resolutions of Congress on the subject of foreign intervention have since been published in the same paper.

I notice that the receipt of my despatch No. 30, of March 3, is not mentioned. As it contained an enclosure of some importance, I am anxious to know whether it reached you safely. In case of failure I can furnish a duplicate.

The medals and drafts designed by the President for presentation to the Finnish pilots who were instrumental in saving the crew of the American ship Hero, the forwarding of which was announced in your despatch No. 12, of January 13, have not yet come to hand.

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On Sunday morning, the 12th, (Easter Sunday, O. S.,) the Emperor issued a manifesto in relation to Poland, the most important portion of which is as follows: "In our solicitude for the future of the country, we are ready to ignore all past acts of rebellion. In conformity therewith, ardently desiring to put an end to an effusion of blood as fruitless for one side as it is painful for the other, we accord a complete pardon to those of our subjects of the (Polish) kingdom implicated in the recent troubles, who shall not have incurred the responsibility of other crimes, or of violations of military law in the ranks of our army, and who shall lay down their arms and return to obedience by the 1st (13th, N. S.) of May."

Our national struggle has, as is natural during such a crisis, relapsed into a secondary importance. While on the one hand I am relieved from the pressure of adverse opinions, on the other I encounter not an absence, but a suspension, of active sympathy induced by the anticipation of possible events here. I have, therefore, nothing of interest to communicate in this respect. The movements which were awaited with most curiosity, especially that against Charleston, have not yet taken place, and the other brightening aspects of our cause which give American citizens abroad such renewed hopes of the issue are not so apparent to foreign observers. I am safe at least in asserting that the prestige of our government has increased here during the past. three or four months. I am, sir, with the highest respect, your obedient servant,

Hon WILLIAM H. SEWARD,
Secretary of State.

BAYARD TAYLOR,

Chargé d'Affaires.

No. 3, official.]

Mr. Clay to Mr. Seward.

[Extract.]

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,

St. Petersburgh, Russia, May 7, 1863. SIR: By appointment on Saturday last I called upon Prince Gortchacow, the vice-chancellor, and delivered the office copy of my letters of credence. The foreign minister received me with his usual cordiality, and promised to ask for me an early presentation to the Emperor, saying their Imperial Majesties would be happy in seeing me back again. We had much pleasant and familiar conversation, personal and political, which I omit, and he concluded by saying we should find no difficulty in getting along well together.

To-day I was presented, with the usual formalities, to his Imperial Majesty at the winter palace. He gave me a cordial welcome back to his court, and after expressing my thanks I addressed him in these words:

"Sire, I again present you my letters of credence from the President of the United States of America. The people of the Union, blessed by Deity with extraordinary physical resources, are by their highest economical interests, as well as by progessive sentiments, in favor of peace with all the world, and especially with your Imperial Majesty's government, which is bound to us by so many ties of ancient friendship and common welfare. The more intimate relations which steam, the press, and the telegraph have introduced among the nations heighten the natural interests and increase the conventional claims which each has upon the other for mutual comity, protection, and the advance of civilization. Whilst the people of the United States cannot, in consequence of these facts, be indifferent to passing events in other nationalities, they are aware that a cautious reserve as to uncalled-for intervention in the internal organizations of the several peoples is demanded for the peace of the world.

"The President and Senate, in selecting me, whose opinions and sympathies are well known, again to represent them at your imperial court, give to your Imperial Majesty and to the world assurance that they have the most implicit confidence that your government will so discharge its duties to its own people and to the general rights of mankind as to increase that glory which your Imperial Majesty's character and adminstration have made historical. I beg your Imperial Majesty to accept renewed assurances of the sincerity with which I shall personally endeavor to realize the desires of my country, and of my aspirations for the happiness and safety of your Imperial Majesty and of your imperial house."

To which the Emperor replied in French, in substance, as follows:

That he trusted that I bore in memory the friendly expressions which he had on former occasions used in regard to the United States; that he entertained the same sentiments now, and that nothing would be wanting on his part to make permanent the amicable relations of the past. He then expressed himself gratified at my return, and hoped I would find a pleasant sojourn at his court. Having concluded these more formal sentences, his Majesty entered into a familiar conversation with me, asked about the condition of the republic, our foreign relations and personal matters, which I forbear to report.

I have asked an audience of his Imperial Majesty and the Grand Duke Heriter, and as his Imperial Majesty talked of retiring to his country seat Tzarsthoselo in a fews days I shall probably be received by them there.

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SIR: I think it proper that you should be possessed of a copy of a note which I have this day addressed to Mr. Dayton, in regard to a suggestion that this government should concur with the governments of France, Austria, and Great Britain, in presenting their views of the insurrection in Poland to the consideration of the Emperor of Russia.

There can be no impropriety in your informally making known the contents of the paper to Prince Gortchacow.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

CASSIUS M. CLAY, Esq., &c., &c., &c.
Same to Mr. Adams, No. 591.

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

No. 4, official.]

Mr. Clay to Mr. Seward.

[Extract.]

LEGATION OF the United STATES,

St. Petersburgh, Russia, May 19, 1863. SIR: Your correspondence from other courts will no doubt, before this reaches you, have informed you of the character of the notes addressed by England, France, Austria, and some of the minor powers, to Russia in regard to the Polish question, as well as of the answers of Prince Gortchacow. I think I but reflect the almost universal sentiment here, when I say that the Prince's response is regarded as triumphant and exhaustive. This is evidenced by the fact that where, as before, commercial circles were quite excited by fears of a war, now a peace with all the powers, so far as Poland is concerned, seems to be confided in on all sides.

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St. Petersburgh, Russia, May 19, 1863. SIR: In pursuance of the policy imposed upon me by our government in regard to the Russian American telegraph line, I a few days since called upon Prince Gortchacow, the vice-chancellor, and asked his aid in behalf of Mr. Collins's scheme. The Prince sent for General Ignatieff, aide-de-camp general, and chief of the Asiatic department, with whom had a long confidential and familiar conversation with regard to the commercial, intellectual, and political relations of this project, in which we both cordially agreed. The general then asked me to embody my views in a written summary for the use of the committee which the Emperor has named for the consideration of P. McD. Collins's scheme. I did so, and I herewith enclose you a copy of the same, marked A, and appended to this letter.

I remark that the Russian line to Nicolaivski, at the mouth of the Amoor river, is completed to Omsk, on the river Irtysch, about 74o east from Greenwich, 55° north latitude. It is proposed to run it on to Irkoutsk, about 105° east, and thence, making a detour somewhat south, to the Pacific. The Russians will complete this, they say, in three years. Mr. Collins thinks, under a favorable charter, the American Telegraph Company would complete their portion of the line, from Nicolaivski to San Francisco, in the same or less time.

General Ignatieff told me last night that the committee, so far as they had considered the proposition made by Mr. Collins, which my paper (A) embraces, were favorably inclined to grant all asked, except that the demand for exclusive control of the Indian tribes through which the line passed, might conflict with the privileges already granted to Russian fur companies, but that he hoped some line of mutual accord would be struck out.

I am, very truly, your obedient servant,

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD,

Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.

C. M. CLAY.

P. S.-I ask your attention to addendum, marked A, on next page.

C. M. C.

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