Mr. Seward to Mr. Chase.

Sir: Referring to the communication addressed to you on the 13th of June last, requesting, at the suggestion of the consul of the United States at Paris, for the “Societé Geographique,” a collection of maps and charts, to the dissemination of which there might no longer, on military grounds, be any objection I have now to acquaint you that the department received from the Coast Survey office, to which you had the goodness to refer my letter, a valuable collection, embracing more than one hundred sheets.

Before transmitting these maps and charts to Paris, I thought it expedient to obtain from the Secretary of War his views upon the subject, and I received from him yesterday a communication dated the 23d instant, in which it is stated that, “in the opinion of the War Department, no maps or charts of our coast should be furnished to any foreign government or society at the present time.” [Page 1355] Accordingly, the collection which has been placed at the disposal of this department will be detained here.

It has occurred to me that it might be well to communicate this opinion of the War Department to the chief of the United States Coast Survey.

Thanking you for your kind attention to the request of the department, I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,


Hon. S. P. Chase, Secretary of the Treasury.