Mr. Seward to Sir F. Bruce

Sir: I have the honor to transmit to you a copy of a circular which, on the 12th instant, was addressed by this department to the governors of the several States of the United States, upon the subject of granting passports to citizens of [Page 235] the United States. I will thank you to communicate to your government the information contained therein.

I have the honor to be, with the highest consideration, sir, your obedient servant,


The Hon. Sir Frederick W. A. Bruce, &c., &c., &c.

The same to all the foreign representatives.


Sir: It has come to the knowledge of this department that the governor of one of the States of the United States has issued instruments signed by himself, and bearing the seal of the State over which he presides, which instruments purport to be passports to citizens of the United States. These proceedings having been brought to the attention of the President of the United States, I am directed by Urn to inform the governors of the several States that the granting of passports by them, or by any other State authorities, is deemed to be in contravention of the Constitution and laws of the United States and of the law of nations, and that all such instruments are illegal and void, and that such instruments will in no case be recognized by this department, or accepted or recognized by the governments of foreign states.

I have the honor to be your excellency’s obedient servant,


His Excellency the Governor Of The State Of —.

The same to all the governors of States.