to Mr. Bancroft.
Washington, March 4, 1874.
Sir: I have laid before the President your dispatch No. 566, of the date of the 2d of February, in which you tender your resignation of the office of envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of the United States to Germany, to take effect on or about the 1st day of July next.
In accepting the resignation which is to terminate a mission of more than ordinary duration, which has been marked by many most important events, and has been characterized throughout by eminent ability, intelligence, and patriotic devotion to the interests of your country, the President bears in mind the previous services rendered by you, both in official capacities of high trust, and in the distinguished paths of literature and of history which you have adorned, and feels that you are entitled to the repose which you seek, and trusts that you will experience the grateful appreciations of your fellow-citizens for the many years during which he hopes that your life may be spared.
He fixes definitely the last day of June next (the close of the fiscal year) as that with which your mission will cease.
In conclusion let me add the expression of my own high appreciation of your services and of the great and uninterrupted pleasure which I have experienced in the official relations which, for the past five years, have existed between us.
I am, &c.,