Mr. Beardsley to Mr. Fish.
Cairo, January 7, 1873. (Received February 12.)
Sir: I have the honor to report the arrival at Alexandria on the 22d ultimo of the United States ship Congress, Captain Rhind commanding.
Captain Rhind and most of his officers came to Cairo, and on the 28th ultimo I had the pleasure of presenting them to His Highness the Khedive, who appeared highly gratified with the interview and expressed the hope that more of our men-of-war would visit these waters in the future.
The presence of our ships in the Levant always has a most beneficial effect upon American interests, more, perhaps, than the Navy Department is aware of. Alexandria is a safe and commodious port, the winter climate is unsurpassed for salubrity, and the expense of remaining here is perhaps no greater than at Nice or Spezia, while the moral effect of the display of our flag is infinitely greater here than there.
I think our varied and growing interests in Egypt will warrant me in suggesting to the Department the propriety of keeping at least one of the vessels of our European squadron in these waters during the winter months.
The Congress sailed for Naples on the 2d instant.
I am, &c.,