Mr. Seward to Mr. Welles.
Sir: At the instance of Mr. J. Bigelow, the consul of the United States at Paris, I have the honor to request, if not incompatible with the convenience of the department and the public interest, for presentation to the Societe Geographique of France, any maps or charts which are now, and which no longer require to be kept secret, whether engraved, printed, or photographed.
You are doubtless aware that Mons. Persigny is the president of this society, and among its active members are some of the most prominent and influential men in France.
It has been thought that the public interests would be thus promoted by showing how geographical and topographical science has flourished in America during and in consequence of the war; other incidental advantages in the way of exchanges would result therefrom, which it is not necessary here to enumerate.
Should the maps be sent to this department, it will take pleasure in forwarding them.
I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
Hon. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy.
Same to the Secretary of War, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Superintendent of the Coast Survey.