Mr. Pike to Mr. Seward.
Sir: The late successes of the federal arms have, in my judgment, put an end to all thoughts of interference in our affairs by European powers. There is no longer any question among the doubters that we have a government of stability and force. The recent events have re-established the national prestige. Already has it been said to me by the distinguished personage who is the barometer of a very broad opinion in Europe, that it is apparent the present war is not to interfere materially with our national growth or development.
The only thing which has occasioned even a ripple on the current now setting so steadily in our favor is the late remark of Lord John Russell, in Parliament, that in his opinion it is best for the north and south to separate. My interpretation of this observation is, that Lord John only means to repeat a remark he has frequently made within a year, that slavery being [Page 599] the cause of the war, the restoration of the Union on the old basis would lead sooner or later to a repetition of the disorders now witnessed, and that separation is their easiest cure and only antidote, unless it be emancipation, which he does not contemplate.
There are a number of governments in Europe just now whose stability is reckoned considerably below par, and to whom has been transferred the superfluous solicitude lately manifested for the concerns of the United States. In fact, the rulers of Europe may be said to have, more than ever, their hands full of their own concerns, and which grow in perplexity just in proportion to their diminishing hopes of the failure of republican rule on the other side of the Atlantic.
I do not think, from what I see and hear, that the project of setting a European prince upon a Mexican throne has ever taken any serious hold upon Europe. But the suggested conditions of the proposition never had any weight with Austria or anybody else. Spain, being swollen by her unopposed entrance into St. Domingo, her ancient pride of power has revived; but no designs of recolonization which that government may entertain will be countenanced by the powers which alone can give them vitality—at least so long as the United States government keeps the weather hand of the slaveholders’ rebellion.
You may be certain that the idea of a revival of hereditary rule in the American States that have shaken it off is not seriously entertained in Europe. If I am not wholly mistaken in my observations, there is nobody in the world so well convinced of the weak and failing character of this basis of government as the reigning families of this continent.
I have the honor to be, with great respect, your most obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State.