Mr. Campbell to Mr. Seward

Dear Sir: After the hitch in regard to Mexican matters occasioned by the question raised by General Grant, I called at the department several times, and was informed that you were not in—absent on account of the illness of your much loved daughter. Of course I did not feel like obtruding myself on you under such circumstances.

When I left home to go to Washington, I parted with my family in much distress, because of the dangerous illness of Mrs. Campbell’s mother, a very aged woman, and a member of my little family. On Sunday I received information calling me home, and had my trunk packed before receiving a verbal communication from you by Mr. Gutman. Since arriving here I have been confined, myself, by a severe attack, the result of exposure in travelling and overtasking my physical energies in the late political struggle. This much I write by way of explanation.

I am informed by General Sherman, now on his way to St. Louis, that he has been substituted for General Grant in the matter of the Mexican mission, and that in a few days he will join me to proceed to New York. Of course, I must go by Washington to receive my final instructions.

I have not yet had my secretary of legation appointed, and one principal object of this letter is to ask, or at least recommend, that Edward L. Plumb, esq., of New York, be appointed.

He has been strongly recommended to me by many gentlemen of high character and influence; among others, Mr. Hunter, of your department, spoke of him as a man eminently qualified. From my intercourse with him I am satisfied he is a gentleman. He speaks and writes the French and Spanish languages well, and seems thoroughly informed in regard to Mexican matters. I am satisfied that he would fill the position with satisfaction to the government. If, therefore, there be no serious objection to him, I hope the appointment will be conferred on him. It is proper to say, too, that I have written to the President on the subject.

Mr. Plumb is now in Washington, and if he is to be the secretary, he might be informed of the fact in advance of my arrival, thereby avoiding any unnecessary delay on that account.

I expect Lieutenant General Sherman to join me so soon as he can go to St. Louis, arrange his matters, and return to Cincinnati. I shall be in readiness by the time he makes his trip, and will proceed at once to Washington.

In haste, very truly yours, &c.,


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