Mr. King to Mr. Seward,.
Sir: I hasten to acknowledge the receipt of despatches numbers 44, 45, 46, and 47, from the State Department, in reply to my numbers 65 and 66, of November 2d and 10th, relative to the affair of John H. Surratt. I am gratified to learn that the steps which I felt called upon to take in the matter have met the approval of the department. It will give me great pleasure to convey to Gardinal Antonelli the assurance of the President’s sincere satisfaction with the prompt and friendly action of the Papal government.
As anticipated in my last, the United States corvette Swatara, Captain Jeffers, arrived at Civita Vecchia on Wednesday last, 12th instant, and was followed next day by the Frolic, Captain Upsher. The latter brought despatches from the admiral, directing the Swatara to proceed forthwith to Malta. She sailed, accordingly, at noon next day. At Malta no doubt Captain Jeffers will receive further instructions from Admiral Groldsborough, who must be in that neighborhood. The Frolic remains at Civita Vecchia awaiting orders.
Signor Tonello, the Italian envoy, whose arrival in Rome I mentioned in a previous despatch, had his first formal interview with the Pope on Saturday, the 15th instant. It lasted an hour, but the result has not yet transpired.
In my despatch of the 10th instant I gave the substance of the Pope’s remarks to the French officers, who, with their general—Count Montebello—went in a body to pay their parting respects, to his Holiness. I enclose herewith a full report of the address of General Montebello and the reply of the Pope.
Count Sartiges, the ambassador of France, who has been absent from Rome for several months, resumed his post and duties two days since. I called upon him yesterday to congratulate him on his safe return, and met, as always, a kind and cordial welcome. The count seems to think it still doubtful whether the Empress Eugenie will visit Rome at the present juncture. The telegraph announces her departure from Paris as fixed for the 18th instant, and does not regard the opening speech of Victor Emanuel to the Italian Chambers, on the 15th instant, as calculated to satisfy the views and expectations of the Papal court. Meanwhile all remains quiet at Rome.
St. Marie, who first informed me of Surratt’s being in the corps of zouaves, has been discharged from the Papal service at my request. I have paid him the sum specified in the despatch from the State Department of October 16th. Threats had been made against him by some of his old comrades; and thinking that his life was not altogether safe, and that he might be wanted in Alexandria as a witness to identify Surratt, I put him in charge of Captain Jeffers, and he sailed in the Swatara on Friday last. His great desire seems to be to return to America and aid in bringing Surratt to justice. I have seen, as yet, no reason to doubt his good faith, or question the truth of his statements.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Hon. William H.Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D, C.