Mr. Seward to Mr. Bigelow

No. 33.]

Sir: Your despatch of the 20th of January, No. 8, has been received, and your proceedings therein are approved.

You are very right in addressing to Mr. Drouyn de Lhuys the question about the reported cession of Sonora by the Archduke Maximilian to France. It is the opinion of this government that such a cession, or even the creation of a lien upon the mineral revenues of Sonora, would not be regarded with favor by the people of the United States. It would relieve the relations between this country and France very much if I am authorized to say that no such project will be adopted. No credit was given by this department to the story that France had put her naval force in the Pacific at the command of the Spanish admiral. We have every reason to be satisfied and gratified with the proceedings of the imperial government in regard to the suspected controversy which has arisen between Spain and Peru—a controversy which, I am happy to have reason to believe, is now in a way of amicable settlement.

You will read of projects on the part of our insurgents to suspend the present contest, or end it, by a combined war against France alone, or France and England. If they come in question, you may confidently say that this government prefers to fight this civil war out on the present line, if no foreign state intervenes in behalf of the insurgents.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,


John Bigelow, Esq., &c., &c., &c., Paris.