Mr. Hay to Mr. des Portes.


I have just received your note of to-day’s date informing me of the action of the Government of the Republic in conferring upon me the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor. Waiving all individual considerations, I sincerely appreciate the sentiment which has moved your Government to take this signal method of testifying in my person its appreciation of the efforts which, in the name of my country and as the exponent of the earnest wishes of the President and of my fellow-citizens in behalf of peace, it has been my duty and privilege to exert in furtherance of international concord and good will.

I shall take immediate occasion to instruct the American ambassador at Paris to advise the Government of the Republic of the gratitude [Page 307] with which I accept this honor, subject to the superior sanction of the Congress as prescribed by our Constitution and statutes, and of my high sense of this tribute to the endeavors of the American Government and people to promote the ends of peace.

John Hay.