Mr. Seward to Mr. Blatchford

No. 5.]

Sir: Your despatch of Nov. 29 (No. 1) has been submitted to the President. The speech you made to his Holiness, on occasion of presenting your credentials, was in all respects just and happy. The answer of the Pope, so far as it relates to our country, was what the government and the people of this country have expected. The sentiments expressed by Cardinal Antonelli in the conference with which he honored you were as wise and just as they were friendly in spirit towards the United States. In view of these facts, I can safely congratulate you upon the auspices under which your mission has opened.

There is no material change of affairs here. General Burnside has made a gallant but unsuccessful attack upon the insurgents behind Fredericksburg, attended with a painful loss of lives, but it draws after it no disaster or danger. All is safe in that quarter, and apparently prosperous elsewhere. Congress is practically suspending business for the observance of the holidays.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,


R. M. Blatchford, Esq., &c., &c., Rome.