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Mr. Seward to Mr. Dayton.

No. 200.)


Washington, August 18, 1862. SIR: I write a few words while the mail is closing. General Halleck, upon taking command of the army, made a careful survey of the entire military position, and concluded thereupon to withdraw the army of the Potomac from the peninsula and to combine all our forces in front of Richmond. The measure was a difficult and delicate one. It is believed to have been substantially accomplished without any casualty. Our new levies are coming in in great numbers and in fine spirits. The gloom has passed away from the public mind. Although our arrangements for resuming offensive operations are yet incomplete, we have much confidence in being able to do 80 speedily and with decisive effect.

The disturbed condition of affairs in New Orleans is giving way slowly, and commerce is reviving there.

Discontents, which naturally enough found utterance in the loyal States in a brief season of despondency through which we have passed, have died away already, and with them the apprehensions of organizations to embarrass the war. It is represented to us that the popular determination to maintain the Union has at no time been as unanimous and as earnest as it

is now.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,


WILLIAM L. Dayton, Esq., $c., fc., fc.

Mr. Seward to Mr. Dayton.

No. 201.)


Washington, August 23, 1862. Sır: Your despatch of August 8 (No. 182) has been received.

The information it gives concerning the relations of France towards Mexico is interesting and important. The position of the United States in regard to the war between France and Mexico has been taken, and will be maintained. This government, relying on the explanations which have been made by France, regards the conflict as a war involving claims by France which Mexico has failed to adjust to the satisfaction of her adversary, and it avoids intervention between the belligerents. You will have learned from the press that the Mexican government has negotiated drafts upon the United States based on the treaties which Mr. Corwin negotiated, and which bave not been ratified. Some of the drafts have reached this department, and, of course, they were protested. I assume that it is understood in Europe that these drafts are unauthorized by this government, and were made without its knowledge, but certainly it may be well for you to state these facts to Mr. Thouvenel. I am, sir, your obedient servant,


Mr. Seward to Mr. Dayton. No. 202.]


Washington, August 23, 1862. Sir: Referring again to your despatch of August 8, (No. 182,) it seems proper that I should inform you that within the past year there has seemed to be a very decided improvement in the sentiments of the Spanish American republics towards the United States. It is needless, and would be, perhaps, unprofitable, to recite the causes which had alienated them from this country, and rendered them habitually apprehensive of ambitious and aggressive designs on our part--designs which, in any case, could be hardiy more injurious to those states than to our own country. Recent correspondence of Guatemala with this government especially exhibits the change I have described. The President trusts that you will do what lies in your power to encourage the spirit which that change indicates. I am, sir, your obedient servant,


Mr. Seward to Mr. Dayton.

[Extracts.] No. 203.]


Washington, August 23, 1862. Str: Your despatches of August 2, (No. 178,) August 4, (No. 180,) and August 8, (No. 181,) have been received.



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It is difficult for our people and much more difficult for foreigners to detect the real tendencies of political events during the excitements of this attempted revolution. It found us unprepared, and even unsuspecting and incredulous. When the war had broken out the people, accustomed to peace, very soon became impatient, and a signal defeat, without any compensating success, produced alarm, which was followed by apparent despondency. Europe, in view of these facts, naturally concluded that the contest on our part would be short and hopeless. The country, however, reconsidered, and put forth energies which brought a series of successes which seemed to render a conclusion of the war in favor of the Union speedy and certain, Europe had scarcely time to accept this assurance before a failure, not a defeat, at Richmond, disappointed and disconcerted the sanguine and impatient portion of our countrymen.

The government did not hesitate a day to provide for reinforcing and augmenting the national forces on a scale adequate to the prosecution of the war with greater vigor and certainty of success than before. But a transient gloom had fallen once more upon the national mind, and presses that necessarily sympathize with a morbid public temper, and minister to it day after day, and week after week, continued to deepen that gloom, and to harass the country with fears of disasters everywhere at home, and dangers everywhere abroad. Advocates of extreme and conflicting policies and sentiments came upon the stage, and claimed the public attention with expectations of successful agitation which could have no other effect than to divide the country and deliver it up to the distractions of party spirit. Alarms of intervention were, of course, sounded by the conspirators abroad with much effect. It was very natural, and, therefore, by no means unexpected, that, under such circumstances, our representatives abroad, reading the American heart through the newspapers, as they necessarily must, and not feeling its stronger vibrations as the government here did, should despair of its prompt response to the President's call for three hundred thousand volunteers. All this has now changed. The call is already answered; forty-five thousand of the new recruits are already in the field; a hundred thousand more are marching towards it, and two hundred and thirty-three thousand are in camps of rendezvous and organization. This is an excess of seventy-eight thousand over the three hundred thousand volunteers which were demanded. You have, however, already been informed that the President has called for three hundred thousand militia, to be raised by draft. The time for this draft is fixed for the 2d of September. There is only one question Jeft undetermined, which is, namely, whether the government will accept volunteers for this force also, or insist upon the draft, now found unnecessary.

I do not discourse to-day on the military position. It is a day of uncerinty and suspense, but not altogether unmingled with apprehension. General McClellan has safely retired his great army from the James river, and is rapidly moving it around to reinforce the small force with which General Pope is holding the Rappahannock, midway between this capital and Richmond. The insurgents have brought their main force from Richmond up to confront General Pope, with a purpose of attacking him before he can be joined by General McClellan and by the new levies now coming into the field. The telegraph reports skirmishes, but as yet no battle. The question is, or seems to be, which side can practice superior energy and despatch. The solution of it will probably be known before this paper can leave this department.

You will read of guerrilla demonstrations and partial successes in the west. But the disturbers will find themselves obliged to encounter the volunteers now pouring into that region from the loyal western States, and it may be expected that the Union arms will again be everywhere assuming the offensive within the coming month. Our naval force has destroyed all the insurgents' iron-clad vessels which have thus far appeared, and have just now been augmented by the addition of the Ironsides, which has gone to the fleet at

These facts are relied upon as sufficient to satisfy Europe that the resistance of this government to the insurrection is not one of mere impulse, or in any way spasmodic, but it is one of fixed policy and persistent resolution. I am happy to say that it is now found to be in entire harmony and sympathy with the convictions and sentiments of the American people.

It is believed that when the vast character of the contest thus developed shall come to be fully understood in Europe, the uneasy and intrusive spirit that has prevailed there, and excited so much apprehension, will disappear, and tbat the maritime powers will henceforth regard the American civil war as a conflict which belongs to our own country, and in which they have neither any just motive nor real interest for interfering. If further reasons for this confidence were wanting, they could be found, as I think, in the evidence of an unquiet spirit arising in several of the European states. The President observes these manifestations with an earnest desire that the old world may escape the evils of war, such as we are suffering. He will improve the occasion, so far as it is possible for him to do so, to show that the United States are not agitators, but are really conservative, and devoted to the interests of peace and order throughout the world. I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD. William L. DAYTON, Esq., 8c., fr., c.

Mr. Seward to Mr. Dayton.

No. 205.]


Washington, August 25, 1862. Sır: Your despatch of August the 6th (No. 179) has been received. No further proceeding will be taken, in the direction heretofore intimated by this government, in regard to New Granada, until the views of the French and British governments shall have been received. It is hoped that they will not long be delayed. I am, sir, your obedient servant,


Mr. Dayton to Mr. Seward.

No. 185.]

Paris, August 29, 1862. Sir: I have to-day called the attention of Mr. Thouvenel to your despatch No. 180, in reference to the application of New Granada for assistance in the preservation of the neutrality of the Isthmus and the sovereignty of that country. Somewhat to my surprise, I found that your despatch had not been submitted by the minister ad interim to Mr. Thouvenel on his return, and that, in point of fact, he had not yet seen it. He informed me, however, that the same question, substantially, had been presented to him through Mr. Mercier, and that a written reply had been forwarded, some days since, which doubtless has been, or will be, promptly communicated to you. Mr. Thouvenel, however, seemed to think your communication was rather in the nature of a conference as to what you should, under the circumstances, do, than as indicating any fixed determination to act in the premises. He says that, in the view he took, he did not see that it was necessary that yon should, under the treaty, do anything at all. That the neutrality of the Isthmus was not in question and the railroad had not been disturbed. He said that whether one party or the other had control of the government of New Granada did not affect the question; that France had not recognized Mosquera or his government, because there was an opposition in arms against him; or, in other words, there was a civil war between opposing parties; that, if the railroad were about to be interrupted or destroyed, he would not think it improper for the United States to interfere; but if matters remained now as they were a month since, when his advices were received, he thought it uncalled for at this time by any treaty stipulation. He referred, too, to the somewhat anomalous position of Mr. Herran, who made the call for interference, and who, he seemed to think, did not represent the government actually in power. He further said that, a few days since, the British ambassador had applied to them to know what view the French government took of this matter, and he had sent him, by way of reply, a copy of his late note to Mr. Mercier; that they had not, as yet, heard what action the British government had taken upon the question.

The above is the substance of our conversation. I should have asked from Mr. Thouvenel (as I had from Mr. Rouber) a written reply, but for the fact stated, that he had already written to Mr. Mercier. If you have occasion to communicate to the government of New Granada the view

taken by France, a copy of this note, if asked for, will doubtless be supplied by Mr. Mercier. I am, sir, your obedient servant,


Secretary of State, &c., &c., &c.

Mr. Seward to Mr. Dayton.

No. 215.)


Washington, September 15, 1862. Sir: Your despatch of August 29 (No. 185) has been received. It brings Mr. Thouvenel's answer to the suggestion, which you were instructed to make to him on, the part of this government in relation to matters in New Granada. You may say to Mr. Thouvenel that his views entirely accord with those which have been adopted by the President. I am, sir, your obedient servant,


Mr. Seward to Mr. Dayton.

No. 219.]


Washington, September 19, 1862. SiR : Your despatch of the 3d of September, (No. 190,) in which you express so much confidence in the stability of the Union, has arrived just at the moment when General McClellan is driving the combined insurgent armies from the Maryland bank of the Potomac back into Virginia. I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD. WILLIAM L. Dayton, Esq., &c., &c., &c.

Mr. Seward to Mr. Dayton.

No. 220.)


Washington, September 19, 1862. Sir: I have received your interesting despatch of September 3, (No. 189.) A republican education has, indeed, made all of us politicians; but it must now be confessed that the same education has also made us soldiers, as cheerful to fight the battles of our country as we are bold to discuss its affairs. I think no nation has ever exhibited such voluntary armies. I am, sir, your obedient servant,


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