Mr. Cardwell to Mr. Rives.
Cairo, Egypt , February 12, 1888. (Received March 5.)
Sir: In my No. 207 incidental reference was made to the presence of a large number of American voyageurs in Egypt this winter. The great increase in their numbers over previous years deserves special notice.
During the winter of 1884–’85 there were not exceeding a dozen Americans visiting Egypt. In the winter of 1885–’86 there were not exceeding one hundred and twenty-five. That of 1886–’87 saw the number increase to not exceeding seven hundred, while the present winter brings very nearly thrice the last-named number. Up to this date there have been over seventeen hundred of our people who have put in their presence at Cairo since the beginning of the present winter, and there will be three hundred more before the tourist season closes. It is estimated that the Americans are this season spending $1,500,000 in Egypt, In return they am reaping the richest rewards in viewing a [Page 1632] land of strange customs and antique wonders, while they enjoy a winter climate of unsurpassed loveliness as well as purity.
There being no large American colony in Cairo, as at most of the European capitals, amid which information desired by strangers may be obtained, they naturally and even necessarily turn to the representative of their Government for many things which his position suggests to them he understands, and for friendly offices, which in this country he should, as I think, readily accord. I make it a rule that, whenever properly approached, even the unofficial wishes and pleasures of my countrymen shall have consideration.
There is a very strong disposition evinced in certain native circles to gratify these strangers. In this connection I may be permitted to refer to higher Egyptian officials, and notably to His Highness the Khedive, who always expresses the warmest friendship for them, and who evinces a readiness to comply in most pleasing style to my requests.
The season here is so pleasing to Americans that I look to great augmentation of numbers in the future. Very many of them make the Nile voyage, spending weeks, often months, in Upper Egypt and Nubia.
I am, etc.,