Mr. Sanford to Mr. Seward.

No. 486.]

Sir: The King and Queen, accompanied by all the members of the cabinet save one, and by several of the foreign ministers, members of the royal household, &c., went down by special train to Ostend yesterday morning and visited the Franklin and Ticonderoga, which had come off that port for their reception.

Their Majesties were received by Admiral Farragut and his officers with due courtesy and attention, and after spending several hours on his ship witnessing various exercises, target practice, &c., and partaking of lunch, returned to Brussels. I accompanied them, and their Majesties expressed to me repeatedly and most heartily the pleasure which the visit and the cordial and hospitable reception they received had given them.

The ships left this morning for Southampton. The visits of our ships of war to Belgian waters produce an excellent effect, and they are cordially welcomed by the authorities and people now as they were during the war, when the ports of neighboring states were practically closed to them. I hope their visits will be continued.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your most obedient servant,


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