Mr. Dayton to Mr. Seward.


No. 15.]

Sir: * * * * * * *

Since writing the above I have received your despatches, Nos. 12, 19, and 20. I infer, from the contents of No. 19, that Mr. Mercier is aware of your original instructions to me on the subject of an accession to the treaty of Paris of 1856, and that you hold yourself open to negotiate with him there on that subject. As Mr. Adams has referred this question back to be treated of at Washington, and it is evident, I think, that Great Britain and France will act upon advisement at least with each other, it seems to me that it will be more convenient, in every respect, that you should take charge of the whole question at Washington, rather than have it dealt with by different persons, at the same time, each ignorant to a great extent of the action of the other. Besides, it is due to frankness to say that, if a convention is to be negotiated for an accession by the United States to the treaty of Paris, without amendment to the first clause, I would prefer it should be done at Washington rather than Paris. Still, I hold myself subject to the orders of the government in this as in other matters. I have already said I should await further instructions from your department on this subject.

With much respect, I have the honor to be, truly yours,


Hon. William H. Seward,
Secretary of State.