Mr. King to Mr. Seward.

No. 98]

Sir: * * * * * * * * *

The grand celebration of the centenary of St. Peter’s day passed off most successfully. Notwithstanding the vast multitude gathered together in Rome to witness the unwonted spectacle, no accident occurred, nor the slightest disorder or disturbance to mar the festivities. I had never seen so large or so orderly a crowd as that which assembled on the Piazza del Popolo the evening of the 29th of June to enjoy the brilliant display of fireworks from the Pincian hill.

Among the numerous Catholic ecclesiastics now present in Rome, there are no less than 25 archbishops and bishops from the United States. They called in a body to pay their respects to the Holy Father last week, and the Pope embraced the occasion to speak kindly and candidly of our country and of its representative at the papal court.

His Holiness has given notice of his intention to call a general council of the church, to be held, as he intimated, in the fall of 1868. Great importance is attached to the assembling and the action of the council.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,


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