Mr. Seward to Mr. Dayton.


No. 26.]

Sir: Your despatch No. 11, dated on the —— day of June ultimo, has been received.

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The President is highly gratified by the disposition which Mr. Thouvenel has made of the application of the agents of the insurrectionists for recognition of their pretended revolution. What you have reported to us in this respect is happily confirmed in even more emphatic language by the communication which Mr. Mercier has made to us to-day under instructions from his government.

We are pleased that you called Mr. Thouvenel’s attention to the mischievous paragraph in the Moniteur, because it has drawn out renewed and most satisfactory assurances of the friendly feelings and good wishes of the government of France. At the same time, it is but just to ourselves that you shall now inform Mr. Thouvenel that it is our settled habit never to overhear what the press, or the ministers, or even the monarch of a foreign country with which we are in amity, says concerning us, and never to ask any explanations so long as such observations are not directly communicated by the government itself to us, and it, at the same time, discharges all its customary functions without hostility or injury to us. Our reasons for this are that we know, first, there are state necessities which do not always permit, in any country, the practice of entire frankness concerning foreign questions; secondly, that unguarded and inconsiderate expressions, even by persons in high authority, ought not to disturb established and harmonious relations between friendly nations; and, thirdly, that we know that the maintenance of our rights and character depend, as they ought, chiefly on our own fidelity to ourselves, and very little on the favorable opinion of even the most candid and liberal nations. Friendship towards, and confidence in, the good will of France towards us are settled habits of mind on the part of the American people. If anything is hastily written or spoken on either side that would seem to indicate a different sentiment, it is wise to let it pass without sensibility, and certainly without querulous animadversion.

Mr. Burlingame will, before this time, have been advised of his appointment as minister to China. His delay at Paris is approved in consideration of the peculiar circumstances of the case.

I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,


William L. Dayton, Esq., &c., &c., &c.