Mr. Pike to Mr. Seward.

No. 78.]

Sir: The movement in our government stocks, to which I referred in my last, has manifested itself during the past week with increased activity. The rise for the week has been four or five per cent. at Amsterdam, with large sales, though with a slight falling off towards the close. The basis of a permanent advance has, I think, been laid; and I have done what I could, by my conversations with capitalists here, who are among the recent purchasers, to encourage it. I base my representations on the clearly expressed views of Mr. Chase in his annual report, and my belief that he will adhere to the policy of restricting the issue of legal-tender notes, and that the payment of the interest in coin will be resolutely maintained. The Dutch capitalists, unlike many of the English, have no prejudices against us, and have larger and more liberal views in regard to our resources, and belief in our ability as well as disposition to pay, than I have expected to find. They are already very extensively embarked in American securities of all sorts, and have, for the most part, found them profitable. As I have on former occasions remarked, this country teems with capital; and setting aside the investments in the Dutch national debt, a very large portion is invested in foreign securities. The area of the country being small, and its development being more agricultural than mechanical and manufacturing, and its commerce being restricted, it results that the immense annual accumulations of wealth are mostly compelled to seek employment out of the country. And there is not that indisposition to speculative enterprises, either, that one would expect to find from the known characteristics of the Dutch people. I think there are few profitable enterprises in any part of the world where Dutch capital is not to be found. It is thus that their survey of the concerns of other countries is more broad and intelligent than among those nations whose contemplations and efforts are turned more exclusively towards the development of their own resources. The same observations are in part true of the financial centre of Germany—Frankfort-on-the-Main.

I am hence persuaded that it is rather at Amsterdam and Frankfort that we are to find takers of our national loans than at London, and it is at these points that assurances on the policy of the government can be most effectually given, and where it could, by authoritative announcements, most directly advance its pecuniary interests. The movement in our stocks at Amsterdam has been followed by a corresponding rise on the London exchange, as a matter of course. That market, in this instance, but obeys the impulse from Holland, however.

Our legal-tender measure gave a very heavy blow to our credit, inspiring doubts of our financial good sense, perhaps, rather than of our good faith. Many of the Dutch holders of American securities have declined to draw their dividends on account of the great depreciation of the currency caused by it, and await events which shall restore to some extent the equilibrium between paper and coin. Every step towards this result is received with great satisfaction; and could a reversal of the policy which seemed to dictate that measure be counted on, an immediate elasticity in all American securities would result, and in none more than in government obligations.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your most obedient servant,


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