Mr. Cameron to Mr. Seward.
Sir: Your despatch of August 13 (No. 8) has been received. In reply thereto, it gives me great pleasure to state that the indications are now more auspicious than at any time since I entered upon my duties at this post. The danger which I saw advancing has been averted, certainly for a time; and I most fervently hope that the course of coming events may entirely prevent its return. This change is owing, in the first place, to the promptness with which the administration summoned the people to fresh exertions, itself setting them the example of unshaken faith, courage, and determination; in the second place, to the unparalleled patriotism and devotion with which the people have responded to the call; and lastly, to the inaction of the rebels themselves, during a period when their condition might have been materially improved, if they had been able to follow up their temporary advantage. [Page 458] Our friends have not only been cheered by this new aspect of our affairs, but our enemies have become more moderate and cautious in their utterances. Simply in showing the colossal power which our nation is able to put forth, the raising of the new levies will have subserved a most important purpose. Now, at least, the justness of your declaration is evident, that no foreign nation will cross the Atlantic to attack us, “without examining the grounds of offence, calculating the risk, and counting the cost.”
At this court, fortunately, I am spared the necessity of advocating our cause. My duty is confined to explanations of movements which are not thoroughly understood, or of those features of the policy of the administration, the intention of which is not immediately comprehended by foreign statesmen. I find a constant desire to interpret everything to our advantage. Soon after the interview with Prince Gortchacow, referred to in my despatch No. 8, the Journal de St. Petersburg published, undoubtedly by his direction, a translation of your despatch of May 28, to Mr. Adams, with an editorial article calling attention to its statements. The letter from Washington to the Opinione Nationale, of Paris, has also been copied in the same journal.
I lately received a communication from the Rev. Samuel A. Rhea, one of the American missionaries at Oroomiah, Persia, begging me to solicit the protection of Russia for the Nestorian Christians, who are treated with brutal tyranny by the Persian officials. The oppressed Christians of Asia look to Russia as their natural protector, and I therefore felt justified in at once bringing Mr. Rhea’s appeal to the notice of the government. The statements contained in his letter were communicated to Prince Gortchacow, who assured me on the following day, when I had the honor of dining with him, that the idea of protecting and assisting these unfortunate Christians would be seriously considered. He further expressed his gratification that their appeal had been made through the medium of the American legation.
General de Sonnaz, the minister of the King of Italy, arrived here two or three weeks ago, and was received with much distinction by the Emperor. As the United States was the first power to recognize, officially, the new kingdom of Italy, I thought it proper on this occasion to waive the usual diplomatic etiquette, and make the first call on General de Sonnaz. I was glad to find, on meeting him afterwards, that he understood this compliment as it was intended, and accepted it as a token of the cordial relations existing between Italy and the United States.
Mr. P. D. Collins reached here a few days ago. As soon as he has seen M. Chefkin, minister of the ways of communication, he will present a definite plan for the construction of the proposed telegraph line. From what I have learned of his scheme, I judge that there will be little difficulty in procuring from the Russian government the privileges necessary to establish it on a practical footing.
I have the honor to be, with the highest respect, your obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State.