Mr. Seys to Mr. Seward.

No. 45.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose herewith a copy of a resolution passed by the senate of the republic of Liberia, appointing a day and hour for my official visit to that body; the president of the senate’s welcome to me; my address to him and the members of the senate, and the speech of honorable Mr. Roberts, member from Senoe county, on the occasion.

I have the honor to be, sir, with high respect, your most obedient servant.


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

Mr. Beams to Mr. Seys.

Sir: I have the honor, by the direction of the senate, to forward your excellency the following resolution, which was adopted by the senate to-day:

Resolved by the senate, That his excellency the minister resident and consul general of the United States of America, near the seat of government of this republic, be informed that the senate will be pleased to receive his official visit on Friday, the 17th instant, at 12 o’clock m.”

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

DANIEL J. BEAMS, Secretary of the Senate.

His Excellency John Seys, Minister Resident and Consul General.

Mr. Seys:

Sir: I have the great honor, as president of the senate of the republic of Liberia, to welcome your excellency the United States minister and consul general to the republic of Liberia to this the senate chamber of Liberia; and hope, as during the past year so in time to come, that your residence near the seat of government of this republic may serve to perpetuate the friendly relations now existing between the republic of the United States and the republic of Liberia.

[Page 376]

Address to the Senate.

Mr. President and members of the senate of the republic of Liberia:

This is to me an hour of no ordinary interest, an event of no common occurrence. Occupying as I do a position in which, however imperfectly, I yet represent one of the greatest republics on which the sun ever shone, or about which the historian ever wrote, a grade of office, too, because the more elevated, therefore the more responsible, than any which has preceded me. I cannot from such a standpoint witness the doings of this sister republic without deep, strong, anxious wishes for her continued growth and prosperity as a nation.

In this honor conferred upon me, accredited near the seat of this government, and to-day permitted to officially appear before this honorable body, to whose wisdom and ability so many momentous interests are committed, I feel the privilege I enjoy to be an enviable one, the more especially as I see causes for congratulation to which, as a true and ardent lover of a republican form of government, I cannot refrain from alluding.

Permit me then to congratulate the senate of Liberia in that, after those commotions and agitations which are inseparable from a form of human government where “majesty is in the people,” such an auspicious calm should have succeeded; such perfect enthusiasm as was manifested in the ushering in of the new administration; such magnanimity as was displayed by those whose wills succumbed to the popular will.

In these events we see the nucleus of a future nation of indestructible material, a government of lasting and enduring perpetuity, because it exists in the consent of the governed.

Another high source of congratulation is the most timely, wise, and admirable combination of measures emanating from the executive, recommended to the legislative branch of this government, and taken hold of with such promptitude, and acted upon with such perfect confidence, that the good of the masses, the welfare of the people is the grand object of the executive, and not the prosperity of any party, any favored class or aristocratic clique in high places.

When those two branches of a form of government like this, the executive and the legislative, thus harmonize and co-operate for a nation’s good, the nation must prosper.

When distrust, misapprehension, and discord creep in and alienate the one from the other, the seeds of disunion are soon sown, and germinate with a fearfully progressive tendency to disruption and ruin.

Permit me, Mr. President and members of the senate, to assure you that I take a peculiar pleasurein keeping the government I represent advised of every important event in your history. While I am speaking here this day, enjoying the honor conferred upon me, the Secretary of State of the United States of America is perusing the intelligence conveyed by the December mail from the United States office of legation in Monrovia, that James S. Payne was duly announced by the house of representatives of this government as the people’s choice, and constitutionally elected President of the republic of Liberia.

And I assure you, gentlemen, that any measure, which I can descry in the distance as conducive to the perpetuation of those happy relations which now exist between the two governments, any measure which I can, by proper presentation to my country, conclude will subserve the interests of Liberia, I shall not fail, most cordially to embrace and as promptly to advocate.

Mr. President and members of the Senate:

This is a day unparalleled in the history of this republic. We have displayed on the one side of the president of the senate the star-spangled banner of America, and on the other side our national pride, the brilliant lone star of this republic.

On the right side of his excellency the president of the senate, we are favored with the presence of the right honorable John Seys, consul general of the United States of America, and minister resident in this republic.

This, Mr. President, and other considerations, render this an auspicious day to the senate of Liberia; and, while we feel flattered by the noble sentiments of our illustrious guest, expressive of those emotions of joy which he realizes in visiting this hall, I cannot allow this moment to pass without expressing the sentiment of our nation.


Hon. John Seys:

Sir: Providence has so arranged that you have been appointed minister resident to this republic by that magnanimous nation which you have the distinguished honor to represent; and be you assured, sir, that our interest in your nation generated in consequence of your unrelenting zeal for the promotion and perpetuation of that feeling of friendship and commercial intercourse between this and your nation is of parallel [Page 377] growth with this republic. May your residence in this republic continue to prove a blessing to us as well as highly promotive to your health and happiness. We thank God that you are minister resident here. We are happy to have you visit the senate of the republic of Liberia.