Mr. Seward to Mr. Dayton

No. 448.]

Sir: Your despatch of December 4, No. 383, has been received.

You will express to M. Drouyn de l’Huys my acknowledgments for the information he has given you in regard to the application which was made to the imperial government by the British government to agree with them in treating as valid an alleged condemnation and sale of a vessel captured and claimed as a prize by the insurgents. I am very thankful that the French government declined the proposition. The insurgents have never made a lawful prize, and never lawfully condemned a vessel. I think I hazard little in saying, that under no circumstances is the government of the United States likely to recognize any capture or any condemnation they may make or procure.

I thank you for the copy of M. Fould’s report. It is a very lucid exposition of French finance, and reflects great credit upon her minister of finance. France may well be congratulated upon her success in the great policy of internal improvement.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,


William L. Dayton Esq., &c., &c., &c.