3. Sir Edward Thornton to Mr. Fish.

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 30th ultimo, and to offer you my sincere and cordial thanks for the friendly and conciliatory spirit which pervades it.

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With reference to that part of it in which you state that the President thinks that the removal of the differences which arose during the rebellion in the United States, and which have existed since then, growing out of the acts committed by the several vessels which have given rise to the claims generally known as the “Alabama” claims, will also be essential to the restoration of cordial and amicable relations between the two governments, I have the honor to inform you that I have submitted to Earl Granville the opinion thus expressed by the President of the United States, the friendliness of which, I beg you to believe, I fully appreciate.

I am now authorized by his lordship to state that it would give Her Majesty’s government great satisfaction if the claims commonly known by the name of the “Alabama” claims were submitted to the consideration of the same high commission by which Her Majesty’s government have proposed that the questions relating to the British possessions in North America should be discussed, provided that all other claims, both of British subjects and citizens of the United States, arising out of acts committed during the recent civil war in this country, are similarly referred to the same commission. The expressions made use of in the name of the President in your above-mentioned note with regard to the “Alabama” claims convince me that the Government of the United States will consider it of importance that these causes of dispute between the two countries should also, and at the same time, be done away with, and that you will enable me to convey to my government the assent of the President to the addition which they thus propose to the duties of the high commission, and which cannot fail to make it more certain that its labors will lead to the removal of all differences between the two countries.

I have the honor to be, with the highest consideration, sir, your most obedient, humble servant,


Hon. Hamilton Fish, &c., &c., &c.