Mr. Dayton to Mr. Seward

No. 394.]

Sir: * * * * * * * *

Your despatch No. 445 apprises me of the fact of Mr. Evarts’s early return to Europe. I can only say that it will give me pleasure to confer with him in reference to any legal questions pending between us and this government.

I have been much at a loss as to what course of action would be most judicious in reference to the vessels now being built in the ports of France, and am happy to know that you will take the responsibility of directing it. In my last conversation with Mr. Drouyn de l’Huys he informed me that Mr. Arman, the builder of these vessels, was seeking purchasers for them other than the confederates, and that the minister of marine did not think himself authorized, therefore, to prevent their completion, although he would prevent their being armed, or delivered by Arman to the confederates.

The completion of these vessels, or some of them, is being hurried on with all possible despatch.

At a meeting of leading secessionists, held in Paris on Friday evening last, one of the principal topics of the conference was as to the mode of getting these vessels out of port. Another of the subjects of conference was, as I am informed, the chance of procuring recognition by France, in consideration of the transfer of Texas to that power. Authority for making this transfer is, I am told, claimed by certain parties representing the confederates here.

The diplomatic corps has again received notice from M. Drouyn de l’Huys that he will not be able to receive, us to-day, on account of ill health.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,


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