Mr. Seward to Mr. Dayton
Sir: I recur to your despatch of November 13, No. 225, in which you mention a reference by Mr. Drouyn de l’Huys to the depredations committed upon American commerce by the 290, alias the Alabama.
The President is far from asking the interference of France, or even her good offices, in a matter which disturbs the relations between the United States and Great Britain, and which, if no redress is given, would be a precedent for wide infractions of the law of nations. At the same time, the President does not forget that in the case of the Trent, France, in a generous manner, appealed to the United States to redress the just complaint of Great Britain, and that both of those parties appreciated her interposition.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
Wm. L. Dayton, Esq., &c., &c., &c.