Mr. Cameron to Mr. Seward.
Sir: As every movement relating to an intervention on the part of European nations in the affairs of the United States has a special interest and importance at the present time, I send you the following translation of an article which appeared editorially in the “Journal de St. Petersbourg” of yesterday. The article derives weight from the fact that the paper is understood to be the organ of the foreign office, and that its utterances conform in all respects to the views of the minister, Prince Gortchacow:
“The Independence Belge, in its number of August 1, has an article on the attitude of the powers in regard to the American conflict which contains assertions too positive to be passed without notice. If they are to be believed, active negotiations will be inaugurated between France and Russia, who will unite in proposing to England that she shall recognize the southern States, and, by her interposition, put an end to hostilities.
“We do not know from what sources the Independence has drawn such unqualified views, nor are we called upon to decide as to their value. Nevertheless, we believe it to be our duty to state that the Belgian journal commits the policy of the Russian cabinet in a direction which is not conformable to the declarations it has made and published.
“The conclusions which may be clearly drawn from these declarations are: that Russia entertains for the United States of America a lively sympathy, founded on sentiments of mutual friendship and on common interests.
“She considers their prosperity necessary to the general equilibrium.
“She is convinced that the American nation can only find, in the preservation of the Union, the conditions of power and prosperity which she wishes to see it enjoy.
“She believes, finally, that the maintenance of the Union would not be obtained by a war of extermination which would exhaust both sides, and leave, whatever might be its issue, a profound feeling of resentment between them; but that the result should be pursued by ways of moderation and conciliation, evoking the recollection of that fraternity which founded, in past times, the power and grandeur of the American nation, and appealing to the evident interest which the two parties have in remaining strong and prosperous in their Union, instead of weakening each other by their discord.
“We are able to affirm that these amicable and conciliatory views of the imperial cabinet have not changed. The events which have already transpired—the sad experience of the war, of its calamities, of the burdens it imposes, and the fruits it will leave—have, on the contrary, only confirmed them.
“We believe, therefore, that the assertions of the Independence need only be interpreted in the sense of the kindly counsels and the amicable recommendations which the imperial cabinet has already given, and, on its part, will never hesitate to renew towards the federal government of America in the spirit and to the extent of the intimate relations existing between the two countries.”
It is not necessary for me to add more than the record of my gratification that the sentiments which, I was convinced, the government of his Imperial Majesty entertained towards the United States have been thus expressed in a form which is at once explicit and authoritative.
The imperial family, who have been absent for the past two weeks on a tour through the Baltic provinces, have not yet returned to St. Petersburg.[Page 453]
The members of the diplomatic corps, with one exception, are also absent from the capital.
I have the honor to be, with high respect, your obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State.