Mr. Dayton to Mr. Seward.
Sir: I cannot forbear to congratulate the President and the administration upon its wise and opportune action in reference to the aid to be given to States in the emancipation of their slaves. The recommendation (supported as it was by the prompt action of the House of Representatives) has made a most favorable impression in Europe. It is almost universally looked upon as the “beginning of the end,” and that is much, although the end may be distant. The Emperor, yesterday, in the private conference to which my last despatch refers, spoke of the matter, and I thought had been favorably impressed [Page 325] by it. That portion of the English press which has been so pertinaciously opposed to the north is trying to destroy the favorable effect of this action of the federal government upon the public mind of Europe, by commenting upon it as impracticable and futile under existing circumstances; but the great fact of the recommendation and the prompt action of Congress upon it remains. That it will influence favorably in our behalf the minds of the Christian world is not to be doubted.
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I am, sir, your obedient servant,
His Excellency William H. Seward, Secretary of State, &c., &c., &c.