Mr. Ewing to Mr. Seward

No. 12.]

Sir: It is understood that the King of Holland is not expected to do much in the way of the destruction of the fortress of Luxembourg, as the expense involved in its demolition would be greater than the duchy could bear. It is, [Page 412] therefore, in effect to be left to time. Besides, if demolished, the position is such that a few weeks’ labor would make it almost as formidable as ever. The King, as grand duke, intends to keep on foot, and stationed in the capital, about 2,000 men; the Prussians now occupying the fortress with 4,000.

The question of the purchase of Luxembourg by France was doubtless raised to-give the latter power a position, by receding from which it could demand its evacuation by Prussia. The populations on either side were excited, and misinterpreted the situation; both governments from the beginning having viewed with reasonable certainty the end as attained. In consequence of the display, and mutual concessions, the joining of the real issue will be deferred; the late excitement serving as a sedative.

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


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