Mr. Pike to Mr. Seward.

No. 88.]

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your despatches of the 19th and 25th of May, Nos. 100 and 101.

The public affairs of this kingdom continue tranquil and prosperous, though their managers are just as full of care and anxiety and ambition as are the rulers of states which make a greater figure in the world.

The currents of public sentiment in Europe, which have so long set against [Page 895] the idea of our success in reducing the rebellion, have, I think, been seriously checked within a month or two. The separation, once so confidently predicted, seems to recede with the progress of events; and the belief of some other issue of the conflict gains ground. There is a growing disposition to believe that, after all their efforts, the slaveholders must pay the penalty of having thrown down the gage of war and appealed to the sword. The conviction evidently strengthens and spreads, that the logical termination of the contest is the destruction of slavery and the race of slaveholders, and this conclusion is fortified by the apparently unyielding attitude of the government of the loyal States.

The revolutionary elements that underlie the rebellion are perhaps more generally regarded in Europe than in America as the potent force which most threatens it; and that the lapse of time renders these stronger and not weaker can be nowhere disputed. It is not insurrection that is anticipated, but the effect of the general arming of the blacks in unsettling and demoralizing the whole slave population.

Careful observers in Europe, while thus viewing our concerns, are daily growing more and more solicitous over European affairs.

* * * * * * * * *

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


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

Circular to American Ministers in Europe.

Sir: The military situation in the southwest remains unchanged. The sieges of Vicksburg and Port Hudson are continued.

There has been a change on the line in Virginia. Lee has moved westward from Fredericksburg, and General Hooker’s army has, of course changed position and attitude. But the object of Lee’s strategy is not yet developed.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,