Mr. Clay to Mr. Seward.

No. 10.]

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note No. 11, for which I thank you. Prince Gortchacow, having asked my permission, has published his note to me, on the reception of your letter to Mr. Dayton, upon Polish intervention, in the St. Petersburgh Journal. The whole correspondence seems to have been most gratifying to the Russians.

It gives me great pleasure to announce to you that at last the Russian government has yielded to the solicitations of P. McD. Collins, esquire, and myself, and granted to such company as he may favor a charter for building the Russian American telegraph line from Nicolaivski, on the Amoor river, in Eastern Siberia, by way of Behring’s straits, or the Aleutian islands, to San Francisco, in the United States.

On yesterday I received formal notice, through General Ignatieff, aide-de-camp, general, &c., that his Majesty the Emperor had signed the grant. The charter is a liberal one; giving free right of way and building materials, exclusive privilege for thirty-three years from the time of its completion, and a subsidy of 40 per cent. net upon all through telegrams of the Russian lines. The Russian government obligates itself to complete their line to Nicolaivski in three years from the notice given them that the said company has complied with the conditions named and are ready to begin work. So that if Mr. Collins gets a favorable charter from England for passing through British America, and some aid from the United States, we may expect in about three years or less to see the work accomplished.

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There is no estimating the results of this union of all the continents, in commercial, political, and moral intelligence—its influence upon the peace, the development, the civilization, and the union of the nations. I cannot but regard it as an illustrious era in the history of the world’s progress, and I congratulate myself that my mission at this court has been signalized by an event so auspicious to our own country and to mankind,

I have the honor to be your obedient servant,


Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.