Mr. Dudley to Mr. Seward.
Sir: In the New York Times of October 27 there is a most unfair criticism upon me, and somewhat of a reflection upon the State Department, with regard to the steamer 290, now called the Alabama. * * * * * I only refer to it to contradict the absurd statement that there has been an agreement or understanding, between the loyal American shippers at Liverpool and the persons controlling the Alabama, for the exemption of emigrant ships; and I should not have deemed it necessary even to notice this, if it had been made by a less respectable journal than the New York Times. I have made inquiry of all the leading shipping houses here, and they, one and all, assure me that there is not the least foundation for the assertion. In these very sensitive times, when everything is seized upon, magnified, and distorted, and persons found in well-informed circles credulous enough to believe almost anything, it may be well enough to contradict it.
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I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Hon. Wm. H. Seward, Secretary of State.