Mr. Pike to Mr. Seward.

No. 43.]

Sir: Your despatch of the 27th of February reached me on the 21st instant. I have lost no time in laying its contents before the new minister of foreign affairs, Mr. van der Maesen de Sombreff, and shall hope for a favorable response.

I see no reason why this government should decline to return to the policy of Baron Von Zuylen, especially since England has followed his example.

The new ministry is at length fairly under way. The minister of foreign affairs is a young man from the interior.

The men of affairs in Europe are looking inquiringly, rather than dogmatically, now upon the progress of events in the United States. Struck by the national successes, they wait to see the impending revolt against the revolution in the seceding States before being willing to admit it will come. The suggestions of emancipation lately propounded by the President are received with mingled favor and doubt. Favor, in regard to their character and design; doubt, of the ability or willingness of the free States to carry * them out. After a long revel of doubts and sneers, the opinion is again becoming noted that the United States government is abundantly able to manage its own concerns.

Events are looming both in the north and south of Europe that tend to [Page 600] divert attention from America, and which may soon attain a dimension that will eclipse transatlantic affairs altogether.

So far as the future is concerned, the condition of things in the United States, bad as it is, seems to be stability itself when compared with the rickety state of the political system of Europe. The whole continent is but a pent volcano, with only here and there a standing ground not torn with threatening fissures. To say that it has been so from the time of Charlemagne is not to dispute the fact that it is so now in a pre-eminent degree. The desire to transplant this system to the American continent, at this period of the world’s history, is an audacity that I do not see any reason for imputing to the troubled heart of European royalty. I believe they are looking to America rather as a refuge than as a future theatre for their offspring. * * * * * * * *

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your most obedient servant,


Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington.