Mr. Seward to Mr. Pike.
Sir: Your despatch of March 4 (No. 78) has been received, and communicated to the Secretary of the Treasury. Should it elicit any remarks from him that would be useful, they will be promptly communicated to you.
Since the adjournment of Congress a very marked change of the public temper has become perceptible. It has acquired a confident tone. The nervous impatience that demanded activity, even if it feared disaster, appears to have passed away, and the people seem disposed to rely for success on the strength and perseverance of the national forces and the exhaustion of the insurgents. It is undeniable that the revolutionary paper has depreciated to the standard of five or six dollars for one; that the revolutionary agents are reduced to the necessity of impressing their supplies, and that want and destitution have begun among the people. While these changes have occurred there, the loyal regions are exhibiting an equal and contrasted change. The government paper has improved at the rate of forty per centum, and is now being so rapidly absorbed by the permanent funds as to leave us no apprehensions of a failure of money for all needful military and naval operations. The appeals of political parties in the elections of last autumn manifestly awakened all the doubts, fears, and disloyal passions that were existing in the country, and the display was so great as for a time to alarm patriotic men here, while it encouraged the enemies of the country abroad. There is a manifest reaction, and no calm and considerate man now apprehends any factious opposition or resistance to the government. It can hardly be expected that the true condition of things will be apprehended in Europe; but it is nevertheless apparent that the war is devastating and exhausting the insurrectionary regions, while it has not yet affected the resources or sensibly impaired the prosperity of the whole country.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
James S. Pike, Esq., &c., &c., &c.