Mr. Pike to Mr. Seward.
Sir: I have none of your favors to acknowledge since my last.
The Dutch cabinet has at length repaired its loss by the substitution of Mr. Van Putte as colonial minister, in place of Mr. Uhlenbeck, who was [Page 884] forced out by a rote of the upper house, in December. Mr. Van Putte is a self-made man, who has risen by his own exertions from the occupation of a common sailor. His colonial policy, which is likely to be the same as that of his predecessor, will not be brought to trial until July, up to which period the cabinet will probably go on undisturbed.
The late news from America makes our writing enemies on this side very active against us. They point especially to the state of our finances, which they argue are about to collapse, and that ruin to our cause will follow.
Cooler and more candid men express very different views of our affairs.
It is thought by them, also, that we have gone as far as prudence will allow on a paper money basis, and that the time has come for a resort to war taxes. They believe if we were to do no more than double our existing internal taxation, that, with our duties on imports, we would have enough to defray four-fifths of the expenses of as large a war as we are able to make, profitably, and as large as we need to make to ruin the cause of the rebels and make them sue for peace. They believe we are abundantly able to reduce the difference between our receipts and expenditures to one hundred millions of dollars per annum, and that the augmentation alluded to, with a due economy of expenditure, would accomplish this result. Once achieved, it is felt that the government could carry on the war without either losing its credit or exhausting itself, and that it would thus still continue to remain master of the situation.
But I think all feel that the attempt to carry on hostilities in the future by means of fresh issues of the currency, now measuring its own redundancy by the large premium of fifty per cent. on coin, will create a great danger of the consequences that our enemies are so eager to advertise as already overspreading the country.
I have the honor to be, with great respect, your most obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington.