Mr. Dayton to Mr Seward.
Sir: One of the serious complaints against our blockade of the southern ports, made by the French merchants, is the impossibility of communicating with their business correspondents in that country. They can get no letters to or from them, even though they be sent open. You are aware of the large trade which Bordeaux has at certain ports of the south. I am informed that a member of the Chamber of Deputies from that city brings a memorial to the Emperor, (signed by some three hundred firms,) asking him to despatch a vessel of war to our coast to carry open letters to their friends and correspondents in the several blockaded cities. It seems to me that a plan could be readily matured for the delivery of such open letters, through the department at Washington, to the commander of each blockading squadron, who could have them delivered without difficulty. at the post office, or to other authorities of the port blockaded.
A public notice of this kind from your department, or from such other department as may to you seem proper, would, I think, be kindly received, and could not in any material degree affect the stringency of the blockade.
With much respect, I have the honor to be your obedient servant,
His Excellency William H. Seward, Secretary of State, &c.