Mr. Seward to Mr. Adams

Sir: Your dispatch of the 1st of December, No. 1499, has been received. It contains your resignation of the office of envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to the United Kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland, a proceeding for which you had kindly prepared the way in a previous informal correspondence.

The resignation will be accepted. I am charged, however, with the duty of saying that the President regrets profoundly the necessity which constrains you to retire from your important field of public service. If this regret is attended by less anxiety now than it would have been heretofore, it is only because you will leave the interests of the United States improved and rendered hopeful by sagacity, assiduity, and ability, which cannot fail to be universally acknowledged. Proceedings will be taken for the appointment of your successor within the period which you have indicated.

The President indulges me with the privilege of expressing my personal feelings on the occasion. The official ties between us, which are now to be sundered, were formed in the darkest hour our country has ever known—darker, as I trust, than she is to know again in your lifetime or in my own. They have been continually subjected to such strains as few political relationships can endure. The memory of the association will be among the most cherished which will survive my own connection with the public affairs.

With earnest wishes for your future welfare and happiness, I remain, sir, your very obedient servant,


Charles Francis Adams, Esq., &c., &c., &c.