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A request by a minister that a particular despatch shall be laid before the President seems to imply that, without such a request being made, important interests or measures might be withheld from his knowledge.

The President will be pleased if our ministers abroad will leave to him entire freedom on this subject.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,


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


Mr. Stoeckl to Mr. Seward.

Washington, November 25-December 7, 1864.

MR. SECRETARY OF STATE: At the interview which I had yesterday the honor to have with you, you had the kindness to authorize me to ask some explanations on the subject of the export of cotton from the insurgent States. In the regulation on this subject it is said that the federal government will grant permits to persons who wish to buy cotton to pass the lines, either to enter the insurgent States or to leave them. Will the same facility be accorded to

agents of Russian manufacturers?

In the same regulation it is stipulated that the cotton purchased at the south, and carried into territory occupied by federal troops, can only be sold to agents of the government of the United States, who will have the privilege of reselling to individuals. If, under these conditions, a Russian subject buys cotton, can he claim, of right, that this cotton shall be resold to him after having paid the twenty-five per cent. profit to the federal government?

I should be greatly obliged to the Secretary of State if he will give me explanations on these two points, so that I may transmit them to my government in communicating to it the measures which have been adopted by the federal government upon the export of cotton.

Please to accept, Mr. Secretary of State, the renewed assurances of my very high consideration.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, &c., &c., &c.


Mr. Seward to Mr. Stoeckl.


Washington, December 10, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 25th of November, (7th of December,) making inquiry concerning privileges granted under treasury regulations in regard to the purchase and sale of cotton; and, in reply, to inform you that it is understood that those regulations are not intended to make discriminations between loyal citizens of the United States and aliens domiciled therein, who have not violated their obligations as neutrals in the existing civil commotions in this country.

Accept, sir, a renewed assurance of my high consideration.

Mr. EDWARD DE STOECKL, &c., &c., &c.

25 D C ⭑


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[Communicated by the Russian legation May 17, 1865.]

Prince Gortchacow to M. de Stoeckl.


ST. PETERSBURG, April 16, 1865.

SIR: The telegraph has brought us the news of the double crime of which the President of the United States has fallen a victim and Mr. Seward barely escaped.

The blow which has struck Mr. Lincoln, at the very moment when he seemed about to harvest the fruits of his energy and perseverance, has been deeply felt in Russia.

Because of the absence of the Emperor, I am not in a position to receive and to transmit to you the expression of the sentiments of his Imperial Majesty. Being acquainted, nevertheless, with those which our august master entertains towards the United States of America, it is easy for me to realize in advance the impression which the news of this odious crime will cause his Imperial Majesty to experience.

I have hastened to testify to General Clay the earnest and cordial sympathy of the imperial cabinet with the federal governinent.

Please to express this in the warmest terms to President Johnson, adding thereto our most sincere wishes that this new and grievous trial may not impede the onward march of the American people towards the re-establishment of the Union, and of that concord which are the sources of its power and of its prosperity.

Receive, sir, the assurance of my very distinguished consideration.

His Excellency Mr. STOECKL.


[For reply to the above communication see despatch of May 22 to Mr. Clay, No. 156.]

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Nothing could do more to silence cavillers on this side than the re-election of the President.

The moral impression produced by the spectacle of an orderly and free election in the heat of a great war does more for us than any triumphs in the field. The value to us of the political lesson it teaches to those in Europe who have seen in the apparently confused and conflicting warfare of opinion among the press and public men of the loyal States only the discord of a Babel is not to be overestimated.

The civil and military prestige of the nation is to-day at a greater height than it ever was.






I have the honor to be, with great respect, your most obedient servant,

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SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your several despatches, Nos. 196 to 212, inclusive.

The rapid march of military events since the fall of Atlanta, culminating in the reduction of South Carolina, has quite disabled hostile criticism on this side, and destroyed the hopes of our transatlantic enemies. It has at last come to be believed, so far as I can see, universally, that the utter destruction of the rebellion is secured, and that the government of the United States is to rise from the contest more powerful than ever. This belief is, to a considerable extent,

accompanied by a serious apprehension that we only wait the final close of the war at home to turn our victorious arms upon Europe. It is singular to see to what extent this view has taken possession of the conservative mind of Europe. "The wicked flee when no man pursueth."

The Queen mother, sister of the late Emperor Nicholas of Russia, died on the 1st of March. Her funeral will be celebrated here with great pomp on the 17th instant.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your most obedient servant, JAMES S. PIKE.


Secretary of State, Washington.

No. 159.]

Mr. Pike to Mr. Seward.


The Hague, March 22, 1865.

SIR: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your despatch of the 27th of February, No. 213.

The fleet of Admiral Goldsborough, to which you refer, will not find much to do in European waters except to show itself, and I hardly know at what point the show will be welcomed or useful.

From all accounts, it would appear that Arman's iron-clads are afflicted with the weakness which besets that class of vessels, and incur great danger of going to the bottom whenever they put to sea. As blockade-breakers their occupation gone; and for general piratical service, like that performed by the Alabama, they are not adapted.


Affairs are very quiet in Europe, with the exception of the unusual agitation of questions relating to the Catholic church, especially in regard to the present transition state of the temporal power. But there is no fear of disturbing political results, since that body is the great police agent of Europe, and is held in high estimation in its exercise of this function.

The Roman church will not fail to get a temporal protection, notwithstanding its irascible attitude, in compensation for the support it yields to dynastic rule. It is a very troublesome friend, but a still more troublesome enemy, as France especially finds.

The wonderful anomaly of an Italian priest pretending to temporal sway at home and spiritual sway all over the world is naturally productive of agitations at all times, and, it is reasonable to suppose, will continue to be so till great moral or political changes shall put an end to the absurdity. Just now it so happens that the slight danger of such a change, in the absence of more potential influences, colors European politics in a very perceptible degree.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your most obedient servant,


Secretary of State, Washington.


No. 219.]

Mr. Seward to Mr. Pike.


Washington, April 4, 1865.

SIR: Your despatch of the 15th of March, No. 157, has been received. The reaction of European opinion in regard to the United States, which you have announced as having begun with the success of Major General Sherman's campaign, will doubtlessly be accelerated by the intelligence which I have now the pleasure to communicate, that Petersburg and Richmond this morning yielded before the advance of Lieutenant General Grant.

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SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your despatch of the 13th of March, No. 215, together with the accompanying highly curious and in

teresting exposition of the failing condition of the slaveholders' rebellion; also your despatch of the 21st of March, No. 216.

The current of opinion in Europe changed decisively in regard to the probable results of our conflict when General Sherman took Atlanta, as I then had the honor to report. From that time until now, the hopes of our enemies here have been growing feebler and feebler, until we no longer hear any expression of them. If this exposition be anything near the truth, the reason for this silence is manifest. The emissaries of the rebellion in Europe should know the substantial truth in regard to its condition, and it would seem that nothing but a profound conviction that it was near its end can account for their failure even to boast a faculty which with them must be the last to die, for its vigor has been trained by a practice such as the world has seldom witnessed.


I have the honor to be, with great respect, your most obedient servant, JAMES S. PIKE.


Secretary of State, Washington.

Mr. Hunter to Mr. Pike.


Washington, April 21, 1865.

SIR: Your despatch of the 5th instant, No. 161, concerning public opinion in Europe as to the result of our civil war, and enclosing an interesting item from Galignani relative to the rebel ram Stonewall, has been received.

I am, sir, your obedient servant, JAMES S. PIKE, Esq., &c., &c., &c.

W. HUNTER, Acting Secretary.

No. 163.]

Mr. Pike to Mr. Seward.

The Hague, April 27, 1865.

SIR: The horrible news of to-day by telegraph, after two weeks of rejoicing, overwhelms me so completely that I find myself wholly unable to do more than to acknowledge the receipt of your despatches Nos. 217 to 224, inclusive.

With the profoundest emotions of sympathy, and the most agonizing apprehensions for your own condition, I remain, with great respect, your most obedient

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SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the despatch of F. W. Seward, Acting Secretary, No. 225; of your despatches of April 17 and 18, Nos. 226 and 227, and of your letter of April 17.

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