Mr. Seward to Mr. Sanford.

No. 66.]

Sir: Your note of the 15th of September last has been received. Manifestly it was written under much excitement and in a moment of despondency. The news you had just then received produced the same effect here. The [Page 660] despondency of our friends in Europe is not, therefore, surprising. But there was no real occasion for gloomy apprehensions on either side of the ocean Reverses are as unavoidable in civil wars as successes are certain with a good cause, large forces, and abundant resources. The reaction has only recently commenced here, and it will be felt in Europe when this despatch shall arrive.

Rest assured that it is not one nor even a series of defeats of the national arms that can destroy this government. Nor is it in the power of the metropolitan presses of Europe to shake its foundations. We are solving for ages the question whether there shall be one free political State in our great country which shall peacefully regulate all conflicting interests by debate, as heretofore, or whether we shall now adopt the European system of independent states indefinitely, multiplied and maintaining themselves with standing armies, keeping peace only by temporary and ever uncertain truces. The condition of things existing in Europe may pass away, but ours will not.

How could we attempt to regulate the press of Europe when we cannot regulate our own? Where are the funds which would be necessary? Who the agent that could be trusted with them? What an endless chapter of political intrigues should we be opening! Who in our country has the skill to conduct them? No, no. Let us trust in the mighty interests this nation has at stake, the enduring principles it maintains, the noble sentiments the struggle inspires, and the intelligence and virtue of a people who have a higher and happier destiny before them than was ever set before any other portion of mankind. The interest of Europe is to let us alone, and the sentiments of mankind will not allow interference which is at once wrong and pernicious to the world’s peace.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,


Henry S. Sanford, Esq.,&c., &c., Brussels.