Mr. Dayton to Mr. Seward

No. 397.]

Sir: Your despatches Nos. 446, 447, 448, and 449 are duly received.

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[Page 17]

Mr. Drouyn de l’Huys said that he and the minister of marine had already consulted on the subject of the use of their ports, with a view to adopt some general rules, as England had done, and it was probable that such rules would be framed and notice of them given, but they were not yet prepared.

I took occasion again to inform him that at least seventy persons had recently been sent from England to ship on some one of the three vessels now lying in French ports, and that a portion of these, at least, were intended for the Rappahannock; that this vessel at least could not claim, as the Florida did, a light to renew her crew while lying in a neutral port, for, in point of fact, she brought no crew in. She was sent over or brought over from the English side of the channel by mechanics, engineers, and firemen, who were on board of her temporarily only. Mr. Drouyn de l’Huys seems to agree with me altogether as to this vessel, and says the minister of marine agrees with him, but they do nothing. The vessel is not, however, ready to leave port, although I am informed that the Florida and Georgia are ready. The Kearsarge is yet off the port of Brest.

These vessels will be accompanied to sea, as is stated in public journals, by a French ship-of-war, with the view, of course, to prevent any violation of the rules of international law.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,


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