Mr. Harvey to Mr. Seward.
Sir: The King favored me with a special audience yesterday to receive the President’s letter, which accompanied your No. 94 of the 10th of January. As the occasion was exceptional, I thought it becoming to make a few remarks, which were substantially as follows:
Sire, I am directed by the President to deliver to your Majesty a letter conveying his congratulations on the occasion of your Majesty’s marriage. I avail myself of the privilege of this opportunity to unite my personal felicitations to those of the President upon that auspicious event, and to express the sincere and earnest hope that it may be attended by a long reign of peace, prosperity, and happiness to your Majesty’s people and kingdom.
His Majesty desired that his friendly acknowledgment of this civility should be made known to the President, and he was pleased also to express kind and courteous sentiments for the manner in which I had borne it to him.
After the ceremonial was concluded, the King inquired whether I had received any recent intelligence from the United States; and, in a manner somewhat emphasized, observed it was time the war should terminate; that it was deranging commerce and’ relations, and ought, therefore, to be brought to a close.
Believing that this inquiry was not altogether spontaneous, I answered by saying that the public journals of Europe announced, from various sources of intelligence in the United States, that the largest operations of the war were at this very time concentrated at several of the most important points on the Atlantic coast and on the Mississippi, and that their results must have a very material bearing upon the issue of the struggle; that no country engaged in a vast civil war could be expected to fix a time certain for its termination, but that the present turn of events seemed to indicate that [Page 1301] we were approaching a period when a decision was imminent; that so far as the derangements of commerce were concerned, they were inevitable to a condition of civil strife, and bore more seriously and more directly upon our own people than upon any foreign nation, and, therefore, that we had the first interest and the strongest motive to bring it to a speedy end; and that so far as our relations with foreign powers are concerned, we had endeavored to discharge our obligations honorably and fully, and to avert, as far as possible, the indirect consequences of a rebellion which had for its object the overthrow of constituted authority, and which had been encouraged, if not incited, by those who now complained the most.
The King assented to the general correctness of “these suggestions, and expressed the hope that the pending military operations would terminate the struggle. I then took leave of him.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State.