Mr. Bigelow to Mr. Seward.
Dear Sir: If you would send to the consuls full particulars of the bounty paid by the government to the volunteers, and when, where, and how soon after enlisting, it could be touched, I think they might induce a considerable emigration to the United States, especially from those parts whence the bounty money would defray the expense of the voyage.
* * * * * * * * *
I commend to your special attention the two admirable articles in the Journal des Debats, of the 26th and 27th instants, from the pen of Mr. Laboulaye.
It is to be regretted that more truthful records of current events are not transmitted to Europe by the telegraph. Not a steamer arrives but furnishes a pretext for covering the continent with lies of the most pernicious character about American affairs. Nor are these lies corrected one time in ten, and the correction, if made, always comes too late to be of any service.[Page 1351]
All Europe believes that the confederates have captured Baton Rouge. The telegraph has never corrected the elaborate announcement of its reduction, and the capture of its garrison and immense stock of arms and provisions.
All Europe learned by telegraph, and believes, that a frightful panic pervades our country at the prospect of conscription, and that all voluntary enlistment has ceased. Nor has it yet transpired here that any one State has yet made up its quota. Half of the European world never read anything about our war, except the telegraphic despatches. Unfortunately, those who occupy official positions read little else except in the columns of journals whose business it seems to be to destroy all faith in our cause and prospects. A sensation paragraph in the Herald’s bulletin is given as a rumor, with five or six other items, and just as much importance here is attached to a rumor given in such a way as to a distinct affirmation of a fact or event, especially since it was announced that the government had assumed to supervise the despatches. The work could not be done in a way to prejudice us more if the telegraph were, as I believe it is, in the hands of enemies.
* * * * * * * * *
Yours, very truly,
Hon. William H. Seward.