Mr. Bigelow, United States minister, to Mr. Seward, Secretary of State.


Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of dispatches Nos. 39 to 42, inclusive.

I received yesterday from Mr. Dudley, our consul at Liverpool, a letter informing me that that portion of the crew of the confederate cruiser [Page 49] Florida which, was liberated at Boston was paid off at Liverpool on the 20th of February last, and to each was given leave of absence till the 10th instant, when they were to report for duty on board the Rappahannock, at Calais.

I immediately wrote (inelosure No. 1) to Mr. Drouyn de Lhuys, and at an interview which I had with his excellency in the afternoon placed it in his hands. His excellency read it, expressed dissatisfaction with the alleged conduct of the vessel, and said it should be looked into at once.

[328] I remarked that I did not suppose I could say *anything that would make the duty of the government in reference to this abuse of the hospitality of France more clear, and then I went on to other business.

In the course of my conversation upon other topics, I had occasion to refer again to this vessel, as you will see in dispatch No. 42, when he said, “I shall send a copy of your letter to the minister of marine at once,” intimating at the same time his decided disapproval of the use made of the Rappahannock, and his determination to have it stopped. * * * I have written to our consular agent at Calais to keep me fully advised of everything that may occur on board the Rappahannock, especially between this and the 10th instant.

I am, sir, with great respect, your very obedient servant,


Hon. William H. Seward,
Secretary of State, &c., &c., &c.