Mr. Wood to Mr. Seward

No. 100.]

Sir: In my last despatch I called your attention to the Hamburg exhibition, to be held in July next. I am informed by the Hanseatic minister here that the gunautors and the executive committee are men of the first respectability and position, and I think we should avail ourselves of every legitimate opportunity to make ourselves known and understood in Europe. We are now suffering from the neglect of this in days past, and I need not urge on any one how important and how beneficial to all concerned would be an extensive emigration from Germany and the north of Europe to the United States; and the better we are known, the larger will be that emigration. But ignorance in relation to the United States is the rule—intelligence the exception; and you see this strikingly illustrated in the recent letter of the archbishop of Dublin. And but for this ignorance, the London Times would not assert that we are virtually engaged in the slave trade with Brazil; that you had said “you would consent that Massachusetts should be a slave State if the Union could be restored;” and that the administration was so desirous of this, that they would re-establish slavery, and make the discussion of it a penal offence; denouncing the north as a nation of hypocrites in respect to slavery. All this only shows that no act or word of the government should be of doubtful import, and how hardly the Times is pressed to the wall by the President’s proclamation and its effects in England. We have certainly so far gained nothing abroad by our offer to expatriate the negroes, but a belief in our unconquerable prejudice against the race; while, at home, the common sense of our people must see the necessity of retaining every negro in the country. We certainly want every laborer we can get, black or white, and I hope soon to see the sense of justice and right, and the true interest of the country, triumphing over a narrow-minded and unchristian prejudice in respect to the men of African descent. You know that we are the only people who have the prejudice, while in Europe it is unknown to either Protestant or Catholic; and the Catholic Irishman, who in America has such a horror of a negro, would be taught here by his church that the negro is (all things being equal) as good as himself.

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This ignorance of the United States, to which I have alluded, manifests itself everywhere. I have scarce found that man, among the most intelligent, who did not share this opinion, and who did not dread our colossal power as dangerous to the peace of the world.

And this is correct European logic, though not true in its application to us. Men here reason from the past, and no one believes in the justice of any power, if that power is strong enough to be aggressive as well as unjust.

I remain, sir, your obedient servant,

BRADFORD R. WOOD, Minister Resident,

Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State.