Mr. Seward to Mr. Burlingame.
Sir: Your despatch of January 23 (No. 8) has been received.
It would seem, from the statement it contains, that the rebellion in China has gathered dimensions not foreseen or apprehended even by the western powers which have land and naval forces there.
The President is deeply concerned for the safety of our citizens and their interests at Ningpo and Shanghai. He authorizes me to approve of your proceedings at those places, so far as they have become known here. It is a painful reflection that we are unable to direct sufficient land and naval forces to the Chinese waters to command respect for our flag. The task, however, of speedily suppressing the insurrection existing in the southern States is, at present, our most urgent one. Happily our prospects improve every day. Meantime you will persevere in the policy you have hitherto pursued, and the exigencies in China will not be overlooked.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
Anson Burlingame, Esq., &c., &c., &c.