Mr. Dayton to Mr. Seward

No. 393.]

Sir: My despatch No. 387 encloses to you a copy of a note recently sent to Mr. Drouyn de l’Huys in reference to the rebel vessel called the Rappahannock, lying at Calais, I now beg to enclose to you a translation of Mr. Drouyn de l’Huys’s reply. I should add that, in the course of conversation had with him yesterday, he admitted that this vessel was, in his judgment, an exceptional case, inasmuch as she was not driven in by stress of weather or necessity, but came voluntarily, to complete her equipment; and that, in this respect, her case was unlike the case of either the Florida or Greorgia. He said, further, that he understood the minister of marine agreed with him in this view; but nothing has yet been done. I am daily expecting some orders from the minister of marine, in reference to this vessel.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,


Hon. William H. Seward Secretary of State, &c., &c., &c.


M. Drouyn de l’Huys to Mr. Dayton

Sir: I have received the letters which you have done me the honor to address me, dated the 4th, 12th, and 19th of this month, to communicate to me the information which had been transmitted to you in regard to the vessel Rappahannock. I have taken care to give notice of them to the minister of marine, whose information was still incomplete, and I await the result of the [Page 12] inquiry into which our authorities are obliged to proceed, in order to judge of the difference which you point out between the position of the vessel and that of the Florida and of the Georgia. I think, indeed, with you, that it is desirable to avoid giving an equitable base for future reclamations. It is with this feeling that the government of the Emperor has always been studious to act, and it will not depart therefrom in this circumstance. I cannot, however, prevent myself from causing you to remark, on this occasion, how regretable it is that the same disposition with which the cabinet of Washington is, without any doubt, animated, should not yet have assured the indemnifications, so equitably due to so many French residents, for injuries of all kinds, which they have suffered in the United States.

Accept, sir, the assurances of the high consideration with which I have the honor to be, your very humble and very obedient servant,


Mr. Dayton, Minister, &c., &c., &c.