Mr. Seward to Mr. Dayton

No. 308.]

Sir: Your despatch of February 13, No. 269, has been received.

The President receives with satisfaction the voluntary explanations of Mr. Drouyn de l’Huys, in denial of the design attributed to the French government in regard to Texas in the intercepted correspondence of the insurgents. No importance has at any time been attached to that imputation by this government, while no one here has failed to see that the alarm which the transaction produced in the insurrectionary councils betrays the weakness of an elementary principle of their cause.

We have indeed suffered severely by a mercenary combination of political agencies for influencing public opinion in Europe against us. But the evil is probably much less than it would have been if we had followed the insurgents into the market to compete with them for venial support among the organs of public opinion. The honor and good name of the government have been preserved, and its virtue maintained. European prejudices have worked their utmost effect here, and produced a wholesome reaction. Warnings of intervention now serve no other purpose than to invigorate a determined perseverance in the maintenance of the integrity of the Union. It now remains for those who have so persistently practiced upon the credulity of Europe to meet an emergency which they have not anticipated.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,


William L. Dayton, Esq., &c.