Mr. Seward to Mr. Perry.

No 39.]

Sir: Your despatch of July 8 (without a number) has been received.

Long before this reply shall reach its destination you will have learned that the treaty negotiated by Mr. Corwin with Mexico was submitted by the President to the Senate for its consideration without any expression of opinion on his part, and that the Senate decided that it would not act upon the subject.

This government takes no interest whatever in the changes of ministries which so frequently occur in states with which it maintains friendly relations. It regar s such changes as being matters purely of domestic concern in the countries where they occur. It does not confess to a solicitude that bias in favor of the United States shall exist in any foreign cabinet. It concerns itself as little about debates which the European states may hold among each other in relation to our affairs. It practices upon the principle that each state is just, prudent, and friendly in its purposes towards us as we are towards them, and thinks it will be time enough to change its habits in regard to any state when that state shall unmistakably manifest a different spirit towards the United States.

While, however, this is the tone of our sentiments, it is not improper for me to say that the present ministry of Spain and the minister of that country now in the United States have, by a loyal, frank, and honorable conduct of the affairs in which we have been concerned, won the respect and esteem of this government, and secured not only for themselves, but for her Catholic [Page 473] Majesty and the Spanish people, the most generous sentiments and best wishes on the part of the American people. If we might indulge ourselves in criticising domestic affairs of a foreign state at all, we should think it would be an unfortunate change which should deprive Spain of the services of so enlightened and honorable a cabinet.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,


Horatio J. Perry, Esq., &c., &c., &c., Madrid.