Mr. Seward to Mr. Adams.

No. 1907.]

Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your despatch of the 28th of December, No-. 1293 It gives me your views of the present condition of the litigation in her Majesty’s court of chancery between the United States and Prioleau, Fraser, Trenholm & Co., and suggests the expediency of being prepared, on the part of this government, to effect a reasonable settlement of that litigation. The suggestion is the manifest result of a careful exploration of the ground before you, and is appreciated. Mr. Redfield, who is understood to be a very judicious person, will proceed to Liverpool on the 16th, as you have been already advised. His instructions have been prepared by the Treasury Department, with the assistance of counsel, and I presume will be ample. On the general matter of this litigation I have sympathized with you in a want of confidence in the British tribunals where the American nation is brought down to contend with rebels, or British abettors of rebels. I trust that the government is not unprepared to meet a failure of justice. I shall, however, not be found amongst those who may be disposed to acquiesce, if the courts of Great Britain continue, as they have done heretofore, to pronounce with partiality in favor of enemies of the United States. The British nation owes us a large measure of reparation for the past. Failing to get this, I think we shall at least insist upon justice and equity in the future.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,


Charles Francis Adams, Esq., &c., &c., &c.