Mr. Marsh to Mr. Seward.
Sir: According to the custom of this court, the members of the diplomatic corps at Turin were separately received, in private audience, by the King of Italy on the last day of the year 1863. In my interview with his Majesty he inquired respecting the recent intelligence from America, but made no further observations beyond the expression of a hope that the present struggle, which was attended with consequences so injurious to the industry of Europe, might soon be brought to a close.
The two leading administration papers at Turin, the Opinione and the Stampa, which were formerly favorable to the interest of the Union, having lately deserted them and virtually espoused the confederate cause, and the Opinione being generally regarded as a semi-official organ of the government, I thought it proper to draw the attention of the ministry of foreign affairs to some offensive articles on this subject in the columns of the latter journal, and I expressed the hope that they were not to be regarded as authorized by the administration, or as expositions of the sentiments and opinions now entertained by it. I was assured, in reply, that the government was in no way responsible for the articles in question, and did not share the views of the writers.
I forward, through Mr. Miller, the Opinione of September 28 and of December 30, containing leading articles which will give you an idea of the spirit with which that able and influential, as well as otherwise calm, liberal, and canded journal, is animated towards us.
Although, as I have remarked in former despatches, the Federal cause is not, upon the whole, increasing the number of its. friends on the continent, we have still the good wishes of nearly all the friends of progress in Italy, and even so unimportant a circumstance as the recent publication of the correspondence between Jefferson Davis and the Pope has produced an impression quite favorable to us.
The letters are thought by many to show that between the great enemy of African liberty in America and the great enemy of all liberty in Europe a sympathy exists which is not shared by the people of the north, nor the government which represents it. The letters have been published in all the liberal papers in Italy, except those hostile to the Union cause, which, so far as I can learn, have not noticed the correspondence in their columns.
I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.