Mr. Seward to Mr. Webb

No. 48.]

Sir: Your despatch of November 7 (No. 28) has been received. Your note written to the Marquis d’Abrantes on the subject of a proposed international arrangement of postal communication is approved.

Your proceeding in submitting to the minister for foreign affairs a copy of my circular relative to the President’s proclamation of the 23d of September is approved. There are passages, however, in the note which, on that occasion, you addressed to the Marquis d’Abrantes, which show that you did not apprehend exactly the character of the proclamation; and, of course, some of your remarks resulting from that misapprehension would require qualification. To this extent the President does not desire to be regarded as approving of your note to the Marquis d’Abrantes. And, indeed, he thinks it prudent to limit his approbation of that paper by the extent in which it accords with the circular upon which the note is a commentary. The President, at the same time, satisfied of your good faith, loyalty, and zeal, directs that it shall be left to your own discretion in what way to make the explanations to the Marquis d’Abrantes which this despatch renders necessary.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,


James Watson Webb, Esq.