Mr. Motley to Mr. Seward

No. 125.]

Sir: I write a few lines just as the mail for this week’s steamer is closing, to say that a convention was signed at Salzburg on Sunday last, 20th August, by which the governments of Austria and Prussia continue for the present their condominium in the Elbe duchies, and the chance of conflict between those two powers is averted, or at least postponed.

The treaty is not to be made public until the 24th of this month, but I am able to state to you that the essential conditions are, that Austria will exclusively administer the affairs of Holstein, while Prussia will govern Schleswig—each for an indefinite period.

Nothing has been settled as to the eventual sovereignty of those provinces, so that the arrangement is merely a continuation of that state of suspense which has already caused much anxiety.

The most obvious criticism upon the present modification in the arrangements is, that the two provinces are now separated, whereas one of the leading motives in the agitation which brought about the war with Denmark was the supposed necessity of their perpetual union with each other.

Whether this same necessity will ultimately cause the junction of Holstein with Schleswig, under the sceptre of Prussia, time will show, but it would not seem probable that Austria could remain in Holstein for a very long period.

I have the honor to remain, very respectfutly, your obedient servant,


Hon. William H. Seward, &c., &c., &c.