Mr. Pike to Mr. Seward.

No. 50.]

Sir: I have had the honor to receive your circulars of the 2d and 5th of this month in relation to the recovery of New Orleans, and see by the public journals that the proclamation of the President in respect to the blockade of that and other southern ports has been issued.

This prompt and timely movement must remove the only pretext France and England could have for interference with our affairs. The distress in their manufacturing districts is, however, great, and must be growing greater. In some late observations I have made along the channels of trade leading to the interior of France, Belgium, and Germany, I have seen more or less cotton moving, but I have found on inspection that none of it was American, yet all must now perceive that there is nothing left but to wait the progress of events, which cannot be hastened by interference. If France has looked upon any possible complications hostile to us, through the affairs of Mexico, I judge she will now be disposed to review such reflections. The movement there, as viewed here, in well-informed circles, is regarded as developing a purpose on the part of the Emperor to strengthen his prestige and his dynasty by coming toward as the supporter of the church party in that county. Though not in favor with the Catholics, he makes himself necessary to them in Rome, and he seems to aim to occupy a similar position in Mexico. It is undoubtedly in harmony with his plans to put money in the pockets of influential supporters of the empire, by giving value under a new regime to existing Mexican securities in their possession which are at present worthless.

These views seem to me more reasonable than the often-suggested idea that the invasion of that unhappy country has for its object to re-establish a monarchy there for the benefit of decaying royal families in Europe, or as a compensation for disturbed political relations on the continent. But your [Page 610] sources of information on this subject render any remarks of mine thereon superfluous.

It is difficult to express the feeling of exultation with which the triumphant march of the government in quelling the rebellion is received by its friends in Europe. The old sentiment of pride and confidence in American institutions is fully returned, so admirable proves their working in the present great emergency. The wide-spread element in European society, which has wished us harm, is silent before the unexpected and commanding development.

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


Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State.