Mr. Adams to Mr. Seward.
Sir: I have the honor to inform you of my return last evening to this place, and of the resumption of my duties. I am happy to find that the government has experienced no sensible inconvenience from the permission so kindly granted to me of a brief period of relaxation, which I think may prove of some benefit to me in continuing my labors at this post.
I perceive that Mr. Moran has kept you well informed of the progress of opinion in regard to the expediency of reopening the chief question at issue between the two countries, so far as it may be gathered from the expression of the press. The significant intimation given by Lord Derby at the Guildhall dinner, followed by the semi-official leader in the Times of the 17th instant, a copy of which has been transmitted to you, seem to leave little doubt that some change is contemplated of the past policy of the government on this subject. The great difficulty, probably, is in devising some practicable mode of shaping it which will not too seriously wound the pride of the nation. In the only conversation which I have had with Lord Stanley he asked me, with reserve as to our official character in making the inquiry, if I knew whether my government had any plan in view. To which I replied that I had no information extending beyond the two already agitated, which had been arbitration or else the establishment of a commission embracing the consideration of all claims without exception. I thought that we should have accepted either of these. Here the matter dropped. Considering the nature of the later development, it is no more than reasonable to presume that it is this point more than the general principle which is now occupying the attention of the cabinet. Hence, I suppose that there will not be much more delay in reaching a result and communicating it in the form of an official reply to your despatch to me of the 27th of August. Knowing your anxiety to obtain this reply, I shall seize the earliest opportunity after reception to transmit it to the department.
I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.