Mr. Morris to Mr. Seward.
Sir: The grand vizier, Aali Pasha, having returned from Crete, I called on him with the other members of the diplomatic corps. His Highness was very cordial in my reception, and was in excellent health and spirits. In conversing on his mission to Crete, in reply to my remark that I hoped he had tranquilized the island, he replied that all would go on well if there was no interference from abroad. I inferred from this observation that his Highness did not regard the state of affairs there as altogether satisfactory, or that peace was re-established. Since his return, iadeed, we have news of an important battle at Prosyaco, in which the Turkish loss is reported by Mr. Stillman as over a thousand. The whole division engaged in this battle would have probably been destroyed but for the timely aid rendered by a Turkish iron clad, which took a position sufficiently near the field of battle to bring her guns in range on the Cretan forces.
Concessions of a very liberal character have been made to the insurgents by the grand vizier, but as these concessions follow a desolating war of two years’ duration, they do not seem likely to produce any effect. Thus far, at least, the Cretans manifest no signs of submission. They fight with more spirit and resolution than ever, and the blockade-runners [Page 112] continue as heretofore to carry provisions and munitions of war from Greece to Crete. The Cretans evidently intend to prolong the contest until they can profit by complications in western Europe to realize their aspirations for independence and annexation to Greece. Thus far I do not see any solid advance that has been made by the Turkish forces in the subjection of the rebellion. The loss in battle and by disease, and the expenses of prosecuting this contest, are very great on the Turkish side.
The French papers abound in warlike reports from Roumania and Servia. There is no doubt considerable agitation in both those provinces, but not to the extent described by the Paris journals.
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I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.