Mr. Ewing to Mr. Seward

No. 4.]

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your despatch of December 15th, No. 2.

About the latter part of November, according to custom in the Netherlands, the cattle were housed for the winter, since when the rinderpest has increased notwithstanding the efforts of the government to arrest its progress.

From the 1st to the 8th of December the number of animals attacked exceeded that of the previous week by 3,000. From the 9th to the 15th the epidemic diminished, the number attacked being 6,073. From the time it made its appearance in the country to the 15th of December, 50,000 animals died of the disease, and 21,500 were killed, making the total loss 71,500.

Previous to the outbreak of the epidemic beef cattle were largely exported to England; this exportation has since ceased.

All efforts at cure have been fruitless, and the government has confined its attention to restricting it to infected districts, but so far with little success.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


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