Mr. Morris to Mr. Seward
Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of despatch No. 86, of the date of February 11, and to transmit a translation of the note of Ali Pacha, minister of foreign affairs, to the Turkish minister in London, relative to the question of religious toleration in the Turkish empire.
It is important that the views of the Turkish government on this subject should be put on record among our own state papers, that the religious community in the United States may understand to what extent the free exercise and teaching of Christianity is allowed in the dominions of the Sultan, and to what restrictions it is subjected. As the American missionaries in Turkey have never made themselves amenable to any of the accusations of this note, it is unnecessary for me to repel them on their part.
In despatch No. 96 I mentioned that the government of the Sultan had appointed [Page 281] Haidar Effendi as special envoy to the government of the Emperor Maximilian, to reciprocate the complimentary mission of Martinez del Rio. It now appears that no minister will be accredited by the Porte, in any capacity, to Mexico.
The inauguration of President Lincoln for a second term has been to me, on the part of the minister of foreign affairs, the Grand Vizier, and other members of the imperial cabinet, a subject of the most cordial and friendly congratulation. His re-election is regarded by them as a just reward for the eminent services he has rendered, not only his own country but the world at large, in maintaining the integrity of the American Union and in promoting the progress of human liberty. Notwithstanding the burdens of debt and taxation, I find no one doubting our ability to discharge or sustain them, whilst our power and influence as a nation have been vastly increased by the formidable array of fleets and armies created by the war, and the science, skill and valor of our military and naval forces.
I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State.