No. 64.
Mr. Washburne to Mr. Fish.

No. 1293.]

Sir: You will have had very full particulars by telegraph of the elections for the five hundred and thirty-two members of the new Assembly which took place on Sunday last. The event of those elections I deem one of the most important in French history, and it is calculated to have an immense influence in the destinies of the country. The result, so overwhelmingly republican, has created a most profound impression not only in France, but over all Europe. Nothing else has been talked of here since the result became known in all circles. I may, at a further time, give you my own appreciations of the elections for both the Senate and Assembly. I limit myself, however, in this dispatch, to the observation that I consider the result most favorable for the French republic, and the peace, happiness, and prosperity of France.

The reactionary parties which have been so overwhelmingly defeated have betaken themselves to the grossest and wildest exaggerations of the character of the newly-elected deputies, stigmatizing the great majority as extreme radicals, whose election is a menace to peace and order.

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So far from this being the case, the great majority of the republicans elected, so far as I can judge, are among the best men in France, men of [Page 107] intelligence, patriotism, and wealth, who have every interest in a good, tranquil, and stable government.

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In one hundred and seven districts there was no choice, and a second election will be held on Sunday, the 5th of next month. At that election a plurality-vote elects.

From the best information I can get from the most reliable sources, I find the result to be as follows:

Whole number of deputies, 532.

Radicals 20
Original republicans 201
Conservative men rallied to the republic 100
Legitimists and monarchists 40
Bonapartists 60
Vacancies 107
Colonies to be heard from 4
Total 532

One of the first effects of the elections was the prompt resignation of Mr. Buffet, minister of the interior, and vice-president of the council. He has been replaced by Mr. Dufaure, ad interim. * * * The Viscount de Meaux, minister of agriculture and commerce, who is a legitimist, has also resigned, but the President has requested him to guard his portfolio till the new Assembly meets on the 8th proximo. The Duke Decazes failed of an election, but his success is assured at the “second turn of the ballot” on the 5th of next March.

It seems to be quite certain, therefore, that he will remain in the ministry under the new order of things.

I have, &c.,