Mr. Seward to Mr. Burlingame

No. 183.]

Sir: I invite your early attention to the enclosed copy of a letter of the 17th instant, from N. Mickles, esq., vice-president of the East India Telegraph Company, in regard to a grant which was obtained by you for that company from the Chinese government before your departure for home. No despatch of the nature indicated in the letter has been received from you.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,


Anson G. Burlingame, Esq., &c., &c., &c.

Mr. Mickles to Mr. Seward

Dear Sir: I beg to inquire if the Department of State are in receipt of any despatches from Hon. Anson Burlingame, United States minister at Peking, in China, in relation to the, grant which was obtained by him of the Chinese government for the East India. Telegraph Company, before his departure to return to China. I make this inquiry for the reason that Mr. Burlingame assured us that he would make it the subject of a despatch to the Department of the State. Learning that he arrived in China some months since, it is hoped that his promised despatch has been received.

We are desirous of commencing the construction of the line immediately, for the reason that an English company are making an effort to the same end, and if they succeed in forestalling [Page 453] our action, the telegraph in China will be under English instead of American control. Trusting this will be a sufficient reason for this application and the reply as early as your engagements will permit,

I am, my dear sir, very truly, yours,

N. MICKLES, Vice-President.

Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State.