Mr. Hale to Mr. Seward

Sir: I have the honor to inform you that the minister of the Spanish treasury has, within the last three or four days, resigned his office, and that his resignation has been accepted. The papers in opposition to the government persistently represent that this resignation has much political significance, and [Page 576] forebodes the speedy disruption and overthrow of the present administration, at the head of which is General O’Donnell; and such are the current rumors in circulation in public. On the other hand, the papers friendly to the administration deny entirely that this resignation has any political significance whatever, but is solely owing to the state of the late minister’s health, which certainly has been very feeble for some time past, and, as is alleged, is such that he is physically unable to discharge in a proper manner the very onerous duties of his office. I am decidedly of the opinion that the latter is the true reason of the resignation, notwithstanding the many rumors that are current of the speedy downfall of the O’Donnell administration. Spanish politics at the present time present the aspect of an unsettled and unstable condition of things. I have thought for some time of presenting to you, somewhat at length, but not very extended, such impressions as a residence of eight months in Spain has made on my mind, with the limited means of observation I have so far enjoyed. I will only add, for the present, that when you hear remarks made about the “people of Spain,” what they think and what they will do, &c., if the same meaning is attached to the term “the people” which the same has in the United States, or even the more restricted one which the same term has in England, there are no “people” in Spain.

I have the honor to be, with high respect, your most obedient servant,


Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.