Mr. Adams to Mr. Seward

No. 1525.]

Sir: The agitation of the public mind consequent upon the late attempts at violence having pretty well subsided, I thought the time had arrived when I could communicate to Lord Stanley, with some prospect of a hearing, the substance of your dispatch, No. 2108, of the 14th of December. I did so upon my visit to the foreign office on Monday last. I recapitulated to his lordship the grounds upon which you placed the representation, as being the person charged with the duty of watching the friendly state of the relations between the two countries, and then stated the unfavorable effect produced in America by the late convictions and penalties inflicted upon those who had become American citizens, and were, therefore, an object of interest there. I likewise mentioned your opinion that it would have been a good thing to have released Messrs. Nagle, Warren, and Costello, as viewed in the light in which you are placed.

His lordship-listened to all I had to say very quietly, and when I had closed he only remarked that it had never been the disposition of the government to exercise any needless severity against the unprovoked attacks which had been made on the country. He felt very sure that not a trace of vindictiveness or of ill temper could be found in any of their acts. They had been obliged to use their best judgment in difficult circumstances much as we ourselves had done, and if some of the consequences were not favorable they could only regret that it should be so. He did not know that he was called to give any formal answer to your communication. I said that I could not say I expected one, as I understood your intention had been confined to a friendly expression of opinion.

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,


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