Mr. Adams to Mr. Seward.
Sir: On the receipt of your No. 1612, of the 30th of November, I solicited an interview with Lord Clarendon, which he accorded to me yesterday afternoon.
I told him that my object was simply to furnish him with the reply of my government to the note which he had addressed to me on the 11th of November in regard to the delivery of the Shenandoah, and the disposal made of the crew. I recalled to his mind the brief terms in which I had acknowledged it, and my expression of a disinclination to add a word of my own to aggravate the feeling which I foresaw it would occasion. I had now received a despatch from Washington, written after an examination of the papers which I was directed to submit to him. With his consent, I proceeded to read the contents of the paper. Referring to the last clause in it, I concluded by offering to leave a copy of it.
His lordship accepted the copy, at the same time manifesting a little emotion. He only added that he should prefer not to say a word about it on the moment, but rather to reserve his observations upon it until he could commit them to writing. I replied that this was the course which I had presumed he would take.
A little desultory conversation followed. The views heretofore respectively [Page 35] taken of the two sides of the general question in dispute between us were reiterated with little variation, but all in good temper, after which I took my leave.
I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.