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been no arrivals on board of the Rappahannock to speak of. I replied that our consular agent at Calais had advised me that twelve were brought on board last week. His excellency took a note of this also, and promised to speak again to the minister of marine upon the subject. But he assured me that I ueed give myself no trouble about her going into the service of our enemies.

His excellency then spoke of my despatch in reference to the steamer Ark, seized by the rebels in Mexican waters ; said the outrage ought not to have been tolerated, and promised to communicate the case to the department of war and marine, that orders may immediately issue for more vigor and vigilance in the enforcement of neutrality, I am, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant,


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

Mr. Bigelow to Mr. Scwari. No. 62.)


Paris, March 17, 1865. Sir: I have but a few minutes left before the closing of the mail to give you the result of a conversation which I held this afternoon with Mr. Drouyn de Lhuys upon topics which have formed a feature in several of your recent despatches.

After disposing of some business which is referred to in another communication to forward by this mail, I said to his excellency, in substance, that it was now generally conceded by witnesses more impartial than any American could be expected to be, that the war wbich has been raging in my country was drawing to its close, and that peace and order were destined to be restored, sooner or later, to the whole and undivided United States ; that between the present moment and the realization of that auspicious state of things, the friendly powers who had conceded to the domestic enemies of the United States belligerent rights would be obliged to withdraw them, it not being consistent with relations of amity between two nations that either should encourage rebellion in the territory of the other, hy perpetuating a concession of belligerent rights, after the motives for making it had practically ceased. I went on to say that it was the part of good statesmanship, as of good surgery, to heal a wound so as to leave no scar; that from one cause and another the traditional friendship of my country people for France had become somewhat chilled, and though it was not for me to say when the government of France ought to withdraw the declaration conceding belligerent rights to the American insurgents, I did feel prepared to say that if the imperial government could furnish any evidence of its friendship to the United States as intelligible to my country people as that which had begun to weaken their doubts of it, it would be highly politic to do so as soon as possible.

I then referred his excellency to a suggestion which I had the honor to make at a previous interview, from which I thought he might extract the opportunity required. If the Emperor would refuse belligerent rights or asylum to vessels built and equipped in violation of the municipal laws of the country from which they take their departure, I felt persuaded it would be regarded, not only as the establishment of a sound and prudent principle of international law, but go very far towards removing impressions in regard to the feelings of France towards my country, of which the press was only a too faithful exponent. I suggested that this proposal did not involve any modification of the Emperor's declaration of September, 1861, and added such other considerations as I thought deserved to commend it to his excellency's attention.

at once.

His excellency replied, that so long as the war lasted, that is, so long as our government encountered serious resistance by land or water, France could not be expected to treat our adversaries merely as disorderly persons, but the moment the contest degenerated into what he called “small wår,(petite guerre) it would be no longer war proper, and there would be no farther question of belligerent rights of neutrality.

He then went on to say that he had observed in the United States and in responsible quarters evidence of an echanfeiment against France, which he thought was without provocation, and which, if indulged or encouraged, might lead to unhappy (facheuses) results ; that France had taken no side in our controversy, whatever absurd stories had been propagated to the contrary; and his excellency here referred with some warmth to newspaper allegations about the late duke of Sonora. “Throughout the war," he said, "we have endeavored to treat the United States as a whole, and to avoid any act which looked towards a recognition of any part rather than the whole of the country. We have tried to be prepared for whatever fate was in store for the country, as the result of this war, disposed to accept what Heaven should send as, on the whole, best for the country, but without any disposition to anticipate nor control that result in any way whatever. That has been and will coutinue to be the position of France towards the United States." “ If,” said he, “ you come to-morrow and inform me that peace has been concluded, I shall be happy to felicitate you. It would seem from your papers that your arms are prospered, but until you have crushed your adversaries we cannot deny to them the rights of belligerents."

His excellency then went on to say, in reference to my suggestion about denying belligerent privileges and asylum to vessels equipped in violation of municipal law, that that was a subject upon which he could not give an answer

It involved intricate questions of law and required reflection and study. It occurred to him, he said, that there might be some difficulty in ascertaining whether a vessel-of-war had violated the municipal law of a foreign country. I replied that I did not propose that the government should be at the trouble of procuring the proof, but that it should designate the kind of papers an armed vessel should be required to furnish in proof of her lawful and innocent character. I said that I urged the matter less for a protection against any damages the rebels may be able to do us than as evidence of the friendly disposition of his government. I added that the occasion for invoking such a rule would probably cease very soon, while the good effects of the demonstration at the present moment would endure for ages.

His excellency seemed disposed to take the subject into serious consideration, repeated that it required study and reflection, and promised to bestow both

In the progress of his excellency's remarks I found occasion to state that circumstarfces have certainly occurred to excuse a portion of the irritation betrayed by my country people towards France, and I referred particularly to the two years of anxious suspense in which we were kept in regard to the ultimate destination of the vessels contracted for by Arman for the confederates. “If," said I, “after the distinct pledge of your excellency to Mr. Dayton, one of these vessels is permitted to leave France, and passes straight into the hands of our enemies, as the Stonewall did, your excellency knows how difficult it is to satisfy the people of the United States that France has not been, to say the least, more indifferent than a friendly power should be about the damages which

may result from her depredations." "For this reason," I'said, “ I had labored according to my means, both before and since I had been brought into official relations with his excellency, to have France remove every appearance of responsibility for the machinations of the rebels in France, and hence my earnest desire that the imperial government might take some step similar to

upon it.

what I had already suggested to prove to the universal intelligence of my country people its friendly disposition towards them.”

When our conversation, of which, I think, I have given the spirit, had reached this point, I mentioned that I had just received a despatch from you, which treated upon some of the points referred to in our conversation, and, though not instructed to do so, I was at liberty to read it, and felt disposed to do so if his excellency was interested to hear it. He said, of course, that he would be very glad to hear anything from you, and I proceeded to read your despatch of the 27th February.

I may here mention, parenthetically, that in the progress of our conversation, and in reply to his reproaches against the irritating tone and imputations of our press and public men, I said that with us everybody's most idle thought and casual impression might find expression in one way or another through the press; but I ventured to affirm that his excellency had no complaints to make of the government proper. “No,” he replied, “our relations with your government have been very well. Mr. Seward has always been very amiable and considerate.” But he went on to deprecate the possible consequences of a public sentiment so prompt as that shadowed forth by the press of the United States to seize upon and misconstrue the motives of the Emperor's government.

When I had finished reading your despatch he thanked me again for reading it, repeated substantially what he had said before, and nearly in the same language, about the attitude France had taken, and deemed it her duty to maintain towards the United States, insisting very emphatically that his government has never had relations with any fraction of our country, and that he sincerely desired such a termination of our trouble as might best conduce to our general prosperity.

In respect to the instructions to be given to M. Chateaurenard, he seemed disposed to treat that suggestion as gratuitous. He thought it did not become France to turn harshly upon the confederates now in their hour of disaster, and that, he said, France would not do; but when the war ended he hoped and expected to find the attitude of his government towards the United States the same as before the war.

This, though a very condensed and imperfect report of our conversation, which lasted nearly an hour, gives, I believe, the spirit of it faithfully. Much as it is condensed, I fear you will find it too long ; but as it was conducted in a very friendly spirit, and covered a variety of topics which have not been before discussed between us, I have felt it my duty to reproduce it as fully as I could. I am, sir, with great respect, your very

obedient servant,


Secretary of State, &c., sc., fr.

Mr. Seward to Mr. Bigelow. No. 74.]


Washington, March 21, 1865. Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your despatch of the 3d of March, No. 41. It was accompanied by a copy of a note which on the 2d instant you addressed to Mr. Drouyn de Lhuys, containing evidence that the Rappahannock is used by pirates harbored in England as a receiving ship for crews for the Olinde and other ships of that class in foreign waters. The representation contained in the note is fully approved, and this government confidently expects that the imperial government will not long delay to put an end, within its jurisdiction, to practices hostile to the United States, and inconsistent with the peace of nations.

obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD. John Bigelow, Esq., $c., fr... Sc., Paris.

I am,

Mr. Seward to Mr. Bigelow.


No. 75.]


Washington, March 21, 1865. SIR: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your despatch of the 3d instant, No. 42, relative to the conversation which took place between yourself and Mr. Drouyn de Lhuys, on the subject of the communication addressed by the insurgent Benjamin to the maritime powers in Europe, in regard to the rights of neutrals which were adapted to the situation of the insurgent government, and also acquainting me with the selection of Marquis de Montholon, by the imperial government, to fill the post of minister to this country. Your proceedings related therein are approved. I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H, SEWARD. John Bigelow, Esq., Sc., &c., c.

Mr. Seward to Mr. Bigelow.

No. 76.]


Washington, March 22, 1865. Sir: I have received your despatch of the 28th of February, No. 39, which is accompanied by a copy of Mr. Drouyn de Lhuys's reply to your communication to him upon the case of William Horace Castaned, of Mobile, an inmate of the work-house of Gaffenstaden. As

you have already been informed, I have taken such measures as are possible to bring the condition of young Castaned to the knowledge of his friends and family at Mobile, if he has any there. A flag of truce was resorted to, because the town was yet in the possession of the insurgents. Neither the Constitution nor the laws of the United States authorize this government to bring home or to incur expenses for bringing home any of our citizens not seamen from a foreign country, merely because of their having fallen victims to poverty or sickness, or other adversity there. I do not know upon what ground Mr. Drouyn de Lhuys assumes that all foreign governments have set us the example of at once furnishing citizens or subjects who may come to want while in foreign countries with the means to return to their native country. If any nation has given us such a precedent it was at least voluntarily done. Practically no such example has come to our knowledge, and yet our land is always filled with emigrants and exiles from all parts of the world. Our several States minister unhesitatingly to the wants of those classes just as liberally and as promptly as they do to the wants of native citizens. In our almshouses the question of birth or parentage is never raised. We send no mendicants back to their native shores because they are poor, and we never ask their government to relieve us of the charge we incur by supporting them. I will not inquire, on this occasion,

whether under these circumstances our charity is less catholic, or our charitable charges are less expensive, than those of states which practice upon the different principle which is commended to us by Mr. Drouyn de Lhuys. I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD. John Bigelow, Esq., fr., gc., fc.

Mr. Seward to Mr. Bigelow.

No. 79.)


Washington, March 23, 1865. Sir: Your confidential despatch of the 28th of February, No. 40, did not reach the department until yesterday. Your proceedings in regard to the Stonewall and to Captain Page (so-called) are approved, and the information concerning our naval vessels, and other matters bearing on these subjects, is highly appreciated. I shall call the attention of the Secretary of the Navy to the communication. I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD. John Bigelow, Esq., $c., $c., sc.

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Mr. Seward to Mr. Bigelow. No. 80.]


Washington, March 23, 1865. Sir: Your despatch of the 6th instant, No. 43, giving me a copy of your note of the same date to Mr. Drouyn de Lhuys, in regard to the crew of the Florida, has been received and is approved. The vigilance you have exercised in the matter is specially commended. I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD. John Bigelow, Esq., fr., c., fr.

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Mr. Seward to Mr. Bigelor. No. 81.]


Washington, March 23, 1865. Sir: I have received your despatch of the 16th ultimo, No. 32, which is ac companied by a copy of your note of the 3d of the same month to M. Miguet, the perpetual secretary of the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences, and a translation of his reply of the 11th in relation to the death of the Hon. Edward Everett. Your thoughtfulness in making the communication, and the manner in which it was done, are highly appreciated, as are the sensibility and respect evinced by the academy upon learning that death had stricken from its rolls our distinguished countryman.

obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD. Johx Bigelow, Esq., fr., 8c., gc.

I am,

sir, your

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