Mr. Seys to Mr. Seward,.

No. 40.]

Sir: I have the honor to inform you that the inauguration of his excellency J. S. Payne, as President of the republic of Liberia, took place with very imposing ceremonies on the 6th instant in this city.

A large and commodious platform, encircled and canopied with the flags of the different nations having treaties with Liberia, was erected in the public square, and on it were seated the retiring President, newly elected President, and such of his intended cabinet as had already been selected, all the members of the diplomatic corps, both houses of the legislature, the mayor and city council of Monrovia, and the members of the judiciary department.

The Vice-President, J. T. Gibson, of Cape Palmos, had not arrived, and could not with the President be sworn into office at the same time.

President Payne’s inaugural was of the first character, and was received by the surrounding multitudes with enthusiastic applause. So soon as it is published I shall see that copies are sent to the department, as well as the very superior message of Ex-President Warner at the opening of the legislature, which document is now going through the press.

The representatives of foreign powers having met the day before, unanimously resolved that the United States minister should be the medium of congratulation on their behalf.

I have the honor to inclose a copy of the few remarks made on the occasion, just at the termination of the inaugural address.

The honorable J. N. Lewis, for many years secretary of state, has been nominated, confirmed by the senate, and has accepted that office again.

The honorable H. W. Dennis as secretary of the treasury, and W. M. Davis, esq., as attorney general, are talked of.

I shall keep the department advised of all public movements, and have the honor to be, sir, with the utmost respect, your most obedient servant,


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

[Page 375]

Address to his excellency James S. Payne, President of the republic of Liberia, on the occasion of his inauguration, January 6, 1868.

Mr. President: Having been duly accredited during the past year, near the seat of this government, as “United States minister resident and consul general,” permit me to indulge the hope that the same uniform courtesy and favor which I have met with at the hands of your most worthy predecessor will be accorded to me by your excellency, and that the harmonious and friendly relations which have hitherto existed between the two republics may be perpetuated during your excellency’s administration.

Mr. President, for myself and in behalf of these honorable and duly accredited representatives of foreign powers, my respected associates of the diplomatic corps, permit me to congratulate your excellency on the great event of this day, your excellency’s inauguration as President of the republic of Liberia, and to express our fervent wish that your excellency’s administration may be one of great peace to yourself, increasing amity and comity with the Christian nations of the world, and abundant prosperity to the republic of Liberia.