Mr. Clay to Mr. Seward
Sir: Some years ago the Emperor told me he would send some of the imperial family to visit our country. When yon desired me to invite the Grand Duke Oonstantine, mention was again made of such visit. A few days ago, when his imperial highness the Grand Duke Vladimir reached his majority and took the oath of allegiance to the Emperor, he told me that his brother, the Grand Duke Alexis, who belongs to the navy department, would visit the United States this year, but the time had not been named. Would it not be well then for the President to give him a special invitation to visit him at Washington, and the United States generally? Lodging could be taken at the hotel for the grand duke; and elsewhere of course all the expenses would be paid by our people, and no doubt Congress would make the necessary appropriations to defray all the expenses of the grand duke and suite. In case of the visit, which may now be said to be almost certain, I would suggest that a very select committee of gentlemen should be appointed by the President, or some competent body of gentlemen, to receive the Russians, conduct their correspondence, and make all other necessary arrangements for their reception and voyage, and also accompany them everywhere, and prevent those ill-timed intrusions which will arise if things are left to the spontaneous movement of the people.
I have the honor to be your most obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.