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and decisive. During the visit Seward was constantly accompanied by a special escort on behalf of the national government, and this was often increased by committees from different state and local governments. Large numbers of cavalry attended him for long distances in his overland journey. The hamlets and cities through which he passed were decorated with flags and mottoes, and the inhabitants thronged the streets and welcomed him with shouts of praise and benediction." Wherever the party stopped for a day or more a fully equipped house was generally put at their disposition. His coming made a fête - day; and public receptions, banquets, balls, bull-fights, serenades, and parades were given in the spirit of Spanish hospitality and festivity. The National Academy of Sciences made him an honorary member, with the title of "Defender of the Liberty of the Americas," and he was presented with an original proclamation issued by Charles II. in 1676. Naturally the climax of display occurred in the City of Mexico, where President Juarez and the officials of the national government entertained him as lavishly as kings do their royal guests.
Seward seems to have keenly enjoyed these many demonstrations of respect and affection. He had no special message to communicate, but at different times he expressed the hope that the United States and the Spanish-American republics might come into a closer moral reliance, "to the end that all external aggression
1 As he passed through the little Indian village of Techaluta, where the people, being too poor to buy decorations for their houses, used such wearing apparel as bright-colored blankets and shawls and scarfs and ribbons. They greeted him, in Spanish, with "God bless you !” "Heaven protect you!" "A thousand thanks, sir!" and presented a scroll of paper addressed "To the great statesman of the great Republic of the North-Techaluta is poor, but she is not ungrateful." 3 Seward, 446.
may be prevented, and that internal peace, law and order, and progress may be secured throughout the whole continent."
Early in 1870 he took passage from Mexico to Havana, and spent about a month in Cuba. When he reached Baltimore, late in February, many friends from Washington, Philadelphia, and New York were there to greet him. During two weeks spent in New York city he found that much of his old-time popularity had revived. Deputations from different organizations called to express their admiration and to congratulate him on his prosperous journey.
The spring and most of the summer of 1870 were quietly passed in Auburn. Before June had elapsed he wrote of having "concerted a plan of travel, of a year or more, in Asiatic countries, not forgetting my favorite scheme of visiting South America." The South American part was never to be realized, but the trip around the world began in August, 1870. Physically he was weaker than in the previous year, but to friends expressing misgivings about his setting out again he replied, "Travel improves health instead of exhausting it." He was accompanied by his adopted daughter, Miss Olive Risley Seward, her sister, Miss Risley, and two or three servants.1
Seward was the first famous American politician to make what might be called a public voyage around the world. Almost every where in the Orient he was treated with royal distinction, and he was looked upon by the rulers and the people as the greatest of living Americans. In Japan the Mikado showed him what was intended to be a great honor: he received Seward in a private lodge, instead of a public court, and for the first time com
1 William H. Seward's Travels Around the World, edited by Olive Risley Seward, gives the particulars of this trip.
pletely unveiled himself to a visitor. In China, Seward was given interviews with Prince Kung, the regent who exercised political sovereignty, and with the Chinese Cabinet. The manner in which he had treated both Japan and China caused him to be regarded as a special friend. Perhaps it was merely Oriental politeness, but the United States legation was informed that the Chinese Ministers of State had never before given a stranger so unrestrained a welcome. In a speech made at the American consulate at Hong-Kong, Seward expressed the belief that the regeneration of China was to be brought about by means of commerce, which would come across the American continent and the Pacific ocean. "The United States must send her steamengines and agricultural implements, and bring away her coolies." 1
The travelers went as far south as the island of Java. There they were the guests of the Governor-General, and were taken on a long excursion by stage into the interior, where they saw many strange phenomena both of nature and of civilization. At Calcutta the East India Railway Company furnished them with a special car for their use in that country. They made a long trip to the north of India, up to within sight of the Himalayas. Perhaps the most weird and interesting experience of their whole journey was at Putteeala, where the native prince of the province made a holiday display which could hardly have been surpassed if his guest had been Queen Victoria. Seward entered the city in a state coach drawn by six white horses. The other members of his party mounted upon the backs of elephants, "richly caparisoned in cloth of gold and scarlet, all ornamented with gilt earrings and necklaces." A train of about sixty elephants and five hundred horsemen
1 Travels, 278, 282.
followed. Ten thousand troops were passed in review. The visitors were given a palace for their use, and on the following day they were entertained by Indian displays and attentions of various kinds. About ten weeks were spent in India.
The party sailed from Bombay to Suez, where the Khedive furnished them with a special train to Cairo, Later they were entertained by the Khedive at his palace and furnished with a steamer for a long excursion up the Nile. In Turkey they were everywhere treated as the guests of the Empire, and the Sultan received Seward. In Austria Count von Beust gave a public dinner in honor of the ex-Secretary of State. In Rome the Pope granted Seward an audience such as had formerly been accorded only to sovereigns and princes.1
The party found Paris in disorder and almost in ruins, as a result of the Franco-German war and of the more destructive work of the Commune. The public men of the new government were remarkably attentive to Seward, considering the time. Thiers, on the first day of his presidency of the French Republic, entertained the traveler. Drouyn de Lhuys, who had learned to fear Seward as an opponent in diplomacy, now met him with frankness and cordiality. Seward expressed regret that it was physically impossible for him to grasp and shake the hand held out to him. The Frenchman recalled the fact that in the days of their antagonism Seward had sent him some excellent cigars."
Returning to the United States by way of Germany and England, Seward was again in Auburn the second week in October, 1871, after an absence of fourteen months. Once more a crowd of friends greeted him at
1 Travels, 733.
2 Godey's Magazine, March, 1894, pp. 262, 263.
the station. In one paragraph of his brief speech to them he said:
"My friends, we are met together, I trust, not to part again. I have had a long journey, which, in its inception, seemed to many to be eccentric, but I trust that all my neighbors and friends are now satisfied that it was reasonable. . . . I found that at my age, and in my condition of health, rest was rust'; and nothing remained, to prevent rust, but to keep in motion. I selected the way that would do the least harm, give the least offence, enable me to acquire the most knowledge, and increase the power, if any remained, to do good."
About this time it was apparent that Seward's day was near its close, and that the twilight would not be long. Paralysis had attacked his arms, so that they were, or soon became, quite useless. He could still walk, but even this power was to be lost in the near future. Hardly any decline in his intellectual faculties was perceptible. He continued to be cheerful and genial, and ambitious to accomplish something more. He received many invitations to make public addresses in different places, but compliance was impossible. The only activity he could endure was mental, and this must in the nature of the case be chiefly reminiscent. So he began an autobiography in October, 1871. The progress made in the next eight or ten weeks, and the style and accuracy of what he dictated, show that his mind was still clear and vigorous. After covering the first thirty-three years of his life, he decided to lay aside the autobiography and to write an account of the trip around the world while his impressions were still vivid. Notes of the journey had been made from day to day by the aid of his adopted daughter; and during the first eight months of 1872 the octavo volume of nearly eight hun
1 Travels, 778.