Mr. Pike to Mr. Seward.

No. 84.]

Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your despatch of the 17th March, (No. 93,) covering copies of a letter from the Postmaster General, in relation to the proposed postal convention at Paris, which I have laid before the minister for foreign affairs. I have also your despatches (Nos. 93 and 94) under date of the 25th and 30th March.

I have heard nothing from the Secretary of the Treasury, though I have had shown to me a copy of a note from him to the agent of an Amsterdam banker, in relation to a suggested loan from that quarter, in which he says he will communicate with me. As I hear nothing, the design may have fallen through.

The aspect of things in America calls forth some expressions of apprehension that we shall yet be involved in difficulty with England. And there are indications that that apprehension is shared in that country. It is to [Page 893] be hoped it may serve as an admonition to restrain that license of tongue, and that undisguised desire to break up our government and Union, which has marked the expression of leading English opinion from the beginning of the struggle.

In this patient country everybody views with comparative composure the progress of events. The last two weeks have reported violent fluctuations of public opinion in New York, and show corresponding vibrations on the exchange there. But all, together, the great mutations in the price of specie included, have failed to disturb the quotations of American government securities to an extent of one per cent. in Amsterdam. Our five per cent. loan, of 1858, stands steady at 63½, and our six per cents. of 1861, at 67; which is equivalent in our market to 61 for the 5’s and 70 for the 6’s, payable in specie. At these prices the business in Amsterdam is active.

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


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