Mr. Seward to Mr. Perry.
Sir: Your despatch of July 11 (No. 69) has been received. The African slave trade which has been so long clandestinely carried on from American ports was a mercenary traffic without even the poor pretext that it brought laborers into our country, or that other and worse pretext that it was necessary to the safety or prosperity of any State or section. It was carried on in defiance of our laws by corrupting the administration of justice. The treaty to which you refer contains no provisions that can embarrass an honest and lawful trade, and none that can inflict a wound upon the national pride. It was freely offered by this government to Great Britain, not bought or solicited by that government. It is in harmony with the sentiments of the American people. It was ratified by the Senate unanimously, and afterwards distinctly approved with ‘not less unanimity by both houses of Congress. Not a voice has been raised against it in the country. I send you a copy of it for Mr. Calderon, as you have requested.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
Horatio J. Perry, Esq., &c., &c., &c., Madrid.