Mr. Morris to Mr. Seward.
Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of despatches Nos. 25 and 26. I shall communicate the contents of despatch No. 26, relative to [Page 790] the exclusion of privateers from Turkish ports, to the minister of foreign affairs. It will be to him and his sovereign a source of no ordinary gratification to know that the vizerial order on this subject has been received in such a friendly spirit by the government of the United States.
The 25th of June, the first anniversary of the accession of the present Sultan to the throne, was celebrated throughout the empire. It has been established as a public fete, never having been observed heretofore. The idea is a remarkably happy one, as it will be the only civil fete, all the other festivals being of a religious character, respected only by their respective sectaries. In this fete all the populations of the empire unite around the throne, and both sovereign and subjects are brought, as it were, into immediate contact with each other, without regard to creed or race.
The diplomatic corps was received in person for the first time in the history of the government on such an occasion. The reception took place at the palace of Dolma-Bagtche, the residence of his Majesty. The following address was made to the Sultan, by Sir Henry Bulwer, on the part of the diplomatic corps. It was pronounced in French and immediately translated to the Sultan, paragraph by paragraph, by the minister of foreign affairs, who acted as interpreter of his Majesty on this occasion:
“As the interpreter of the sentiments of the diplomatic corps now surrounding the throne of your Imperial Majesty, permit me, sire, to assure you that it is our most earnest desire that every returning year may find the day we now celebrate consecrated by new benefits conferred on your people, and rendered happy by the spectacle of an empire owing its prosperity to the energy and wisdom of its sovereign.
“We thank you, sire, for affording us this opportunity of uniting our felicitations with those of your subjects. If they regard your life as the most sure guarantee of their future, we entertain but one idea in the expression of our hope for the well being of Turkey and the long duration of your reign.”
After a short response to this address, the Sultan passed down the line, speaking to each member of the corps. When he came to me he inquired in quite an earnest manner as to the state of the war in the United States. I replied that it was a great calamity for us as well as for the world; that it was waged on one side for the destruction of a government which had been to the people living under it a source of countless blessings, and on the other for the preservation of the American Constitution; but that it would soon end with the maintenance of the Union and the free institutions of the country. His Majesty replied that civil war was an incident in the history of all nations, and he begged me to convey to the President his most ardent wishes for the prosperity and continued union of the republic of the United States. I thanked his Majesty for his kind wishes and assured him that both the government and people of the United States were gratefully sensible for his friendship and good will, and particularly so in this dark period of their history. The manner of the Sultan, while addressing me, was very cordial and manifested a perfect sincerity of purpose.
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Having been recently asked by persons connected with the leading European legations here my opinion as to the success of any propositions of mediation in the American war, I have uniformly replied that the President will never give his assent to any foreign proposition for the dissolution of the Union, and that any attempt to carry such propositions into effect would disturb the peace of the world.
With great respect, your obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State.