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this government to be exercising the rights of war as a belligerent against the republic of Mexico, with wbich republic the United States are maintaining with constancy relations of friendship. I think, therefore, that Mexico will have ground of complaint against the United States if the arrangement proposed shall be carried into effect. I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,


Mr. Seward to Mr. Bigelow. No. 450.)


Washington, May 4, 1866. SIR: I transmit to you, for your information, a copy of a note* which, on the 25th ultimo, I addressed to the Marquis de Montholon, upon the subject of the evacuation of Mexico by French troops. I am, sir, your obedient servant,


Mr. Seward to Mr. Bigelow. No. 452.]


Washington, May 7, 1866. SIR: Your despatch of April 10, No. 299, has been received. It is accompanied by a copy of a note which was addressed to you, on the 27th of March last, by Mr. Drouyn de Lhuys, on the subject of a proposed distribution, by the United States cousul at Marseilles, of copies of a publication entitled “Laws (of Congress) for encouraging immigration and protection of passengers," &c.

Your despatch is accompanied further by a copy of your reply to that communication, and by various documents which illustrate the subject of the correspondence. Your reply is approved.

Mr. Drouyn de Lhuys very rightly observes that the proceeding of the consul, in addressing the municipal authorities at Marseilles, was irregular, and that propriety required that he should give you information of the doubts which influenced him in opening this correspondence. On the other hand, it is very clear that the error committed by the consul was inadvertent, and entirely consistent with a just respect for the French government. We are under obligation of law and courtesy to refer the matter of emigration to the laws of France.

It appears, from the communication of Mr. Drouyn de Lhuys, that the Emperor thinks it would be inconvenient to authorize the distribution of publications, by the consuls of the United States, designed to show the advantages which our country offers to emigrants.

It does not so distinctly appear, from Mr. Drouyn de Lhuys's communication, that the laws of France authorize the government to disallow snch publication. He may well, however, have understood it was unnecessary to make any statement upon that point to you, in view of your familiarity with the laws of the empire. You will, of course, inform yourself of that fact, and you will direct the consuls within the empire to refrain from any proceeding or measure, in this respect, which is objected to by the French government, in conformity with the constitution and laws of France.

* For enclosure see correspondence with French legation.

The bureau of immigration here will be apprised of the instructions given to you in this despatch, and may be expected to act accordingly, You may communicate the views herein expressed to Mr. Drouyn de Lhuys. I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD. John Bigelow, Esq., 8c., 8c., c.

Mr. Seward to Mr. Bigelow. No. 453.]


Washington, May 7, 1866. SIR: I recur now to your two despatches of the 13th of April, Nos. 302 and 303.

In those papers you have given us an account of your intervention in the cases of George Schneider, J. Baptiste Cochener, François Pierre, and Frederick Todry, severally. Each of those persons, though a native of France, was naturalized in the United States, and two of them served in our military forces during the recent war. Each of them having returned to France, bearing a passport of this government, was arrested, cast into prison, and detained a painful period, awaiting trial for “ refractoriness” against conscription, as a crime against the civil laws of the empire.

Your despatches are accompanied with the correspondence which has taken place on this subject between yourself and Mr. Drouyn de Lhuys.

It is gratifying to perceive that the replies of Mr. Drouyn de Lhuys were made with due consideration, and in a becoming and friendly spirit. It is also a source of much satisfaction that all the parties were, after considerable delays, released. You will, if opportunity offers, obtain from the several parties such statements as will enable us to present applications in their behalf, respectively, for indemnity for losses and hardships, if there shall be found sufficient merit to support such a measure.

In regard to the general subject of the dishonor in France of our passports of naturalized citizens, the President thinks it desirable that you should solicit a conference with Mi. Drouyn de Lbuys.

In such a conference, you may say to him that we appreciate the difficulties and the delicacy of a conflict between immunities demanded by the passport and the laws of military conscription. We have encountered the embarrass. ment of that conflict in our late civil war. The result of our late experience is that a foreign passport may be safely taken as furnishing presumptive evidence of a title to exemption from military service, so long, at least, as the government which grants the passport shall be found to be acting in good faith, and in conformity with the law of nations.

Second. That when a person representing himself to be an aljen, and whether producing a passport or not, is conscripted, he shall be at liberty to present his claim, with evidence in its support, to a competent military tribunal, by which the case shall be heard summarily; a discharge by such military tribunal to be final. If, on the contrary, the claim of an alien is overruled by the military tribunal, then the discharge, with the facts relative to the case, shall be remitted to the minister of state charged with the conduct of foreign affairs.

At every stage of the case the representatives of the nation whose protection is invoked are allowed to intervene. If the department of foreign affairs decides the claim of alienage to be well taken, the conscript is immediately released. If, on the contrary, the claim of alienage is denied by that department, then it becomes a subject of diplomatic discussion.

A considerable proportion of the inhabitants of the United States are for. eigners, either naturalized or unnaturalized. They came to us from all the nations of Europe, as well as from American states. We raised in four years, not altogether without conscription, armies unparalleled iu numerical forces, yet cases of injustice and hardship, resulting from the denial of justice on the plea of alienage, are believed to have been very rare.

You will submit to Mr. Drouyn de Lhuys, in a friendly manner and spirit, the question, whether it may not be found practicable to make some modification of the imperial military laws, in conformity with these suggestions.

All the rigor of invention, all the resources of commerce, and all the influences of civilization, combine to stimulate intercourse between citizens and subjects of friendly states. Care ought to be taken by every government not to obstruct this intercourse unnecessarily, or to suffer occasions for the wounding of national sensibilities to arise where they can be prevented.

I feel sure that the enlightened government of France will concur in these sentimente. I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD. John Bigelow, Esq., &c., 8., fr.

NIr. Bigelow to Mr. Seward. No. 316.)


Paris, May 10, 1866. SIR: It has been reported in the Paris correspondence of some of the continental journals, that a contract had been entered into with the French Transatlantic Steamship Company to transport such Austrians as may be recruited under the supplementary article of the convention of Miramar, from Trieste to Very Cruz. As there were but three parties with which such a contract could have been entered into, Austria, Mexico, and France; as Austria would not be likely to make a contract for a heavy expenditure in an enterprise in which she had no corresponding interest, and as, if she had, she would be more likely to employ her own transports than those of a foreign state; and finally, as Mexico is notoriously without means to fulfil her part of such a contract, I inferred that France was the only power at all likely, in the present state of affairs, to spend any money in providing troops for the occupation of Mexico. My suspicions were so much strengthened from other sources, that I availed myself of the first suitable opportunity to invite the attention of Mr. Drouyu de Lhuys to these reports, and to ask what, if any, credit deserved to be given to them. His excellency replied that he had seen it stated in the public prints that the Transatlantic Company had undertaken the transport of some Austrians to Mexico, about eleven or twelve hundred, he thought, but he understood that it was a private contract between Mexico and the company. He could not say positively, without inquiring, that the contract had not passed through the ministry of marine, but he thought it highly improbable that a step so irregular should have been taken without his knowledge. He then proceeded to take a note of the matter, and promised to let me know the result of his inquiries. Unless I have an answer shortly, it will be safe to infer that my suspicions were well grounded. Should such prove to be the case, I shall consider myself instructed by your despatches to Mr. Motley of the 19th March and 6th and 16th of. April last, and by your previous despatches to our consul general at Alexandria, in reference to the levy of Egyptian troops for Mexico, to protest against any further steps being taken to execute the contract. I am, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant,


Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.

Mr. Seward to Mr. Bigelow.

No. 459.)


TVashington, May 12, 1866. Sir : I have just now received your confidential note of the 27th of April, which treats of the relations of the United States and France with Mexico.

On the 12th of February last I addressed a note to the Marquis de Montholon, in which, by the President's direction, I submitted for the consideration of the Emperor the views of this government concerning the state of the French intervention. On the 5th of April Mr. Drouyn de Lhuys replied to that communication, and gave us to understand that the Emperor would withdraw the French troops from Mexico in three parts, the first to leave that country in November, 1966, the second in March, 1867, and the third in November, 1867. On the 25th of April I had the honor to reply through the Marquis de Montholon, accepting that assurance.

The President has supposed that with the definitive conclusion of the arrangement for evacuation which was thus made in that correspondence, the anxiety prevailing in this country with regard to the French intervention in Mexico was brought to an end, and that, practically, the two governments might come at once into a condition of harmony upon that heretofore embarrassing subject. Recent events, however, not especially significant in themselves, have reawakened the concern which was thus supposed to have been put at rest.

The journals published at Havana and at St. Thomas speak of the passage of steamers with 1,200 fresh troops from France, by the way of those ports, to Vera Cruz. From a creditable source, also, we hear of the departure of 300 troops of the socalled “foreign legion” from St. Nazaire, on the 16th of April, for Vera Cruz.

These transactions are seized upon in the United States as showing that the determination of France to evacuate Mexico is not fixed, and that it is unsafe for this government to rely upon the assurances it has received in that respect. It becomes my duty, therefore, to inform you that, without important exceptions, the whole American people are in such a condition of disquiet with regard to the subject, that it would not be a matter of surprise to the President if Congress should adopt some proceeding which might entirely change the attitude of this government in regard to the war between France and Mexico.

It is hardly necessary to refer you to the fact, that although the public mind was at the moment reconciled to the acceptance of the engagement between France and this government, yet, it was, nevertheless, so reconciled only by the assurance that Austria would not be regarded by us as neutral, if she should now send military forces, or permit them to be sent to Mexico, to replace the retiring French army. Nor is it necessary to say that the President confides in the loyalty of France, and does not for a moment allow himself to apprehend that the Emperor, by sending or permitting new troops to go forward to Mexico, intends the least departure from the spirit of the existing engagement. You will perceive, therefore, that there is a necessity on our part for having such explanations as will enable us to relieve the subject from all uncertainty, and so far as possible from public misapprehension, with as little delay as convenient.

You will see Mr. Drouyn de Lhuys, and in the first instance, at least without a formal note, ask bis attention to the situation of the Mexican question, as I have herein presented it. To render your task more easy, I give a copy of this note to the Marquis de Montholon, who may perhaps write upon the subject to his government. I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD. John BIGELOW, Esq., fr., Sc., fr.

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Mr. Bigelow to Mr. Seward. No. 320 ]


Paris, May 16, 1866. Sir: I translate from La France, of last evening, the following announcement:

The embarcation of troops of Austrian volunteers for Mexico has been countermanded. Those enlisted have been discharged, and the majority of them have been enrolled in the army of the north."

I suppose I may consider this paragraph, in a semi-official paper, as practically answering the inquiry which I addressed to the minister of foreign affairs on Thursday last, and as finally disposing of what threatened to become an unpleasant complication.

A propos of our relations with Mexico, and more especially of the latest phase of them, I invite your attention to the annexed extracts from the Memorial Diplomatique, semi-official, and from the Debats, mild opposition.

General Almonte, who was appointed to replace Mr. Hidalgo at this court as the representative of Mexico, has arrived. I am, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant,


Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.

[From the Memorial Diplomatique, May 13.] According to an American letter published in the Times, the minister of the United State at Paris recently suggested to the cabinet of the Tuileries that, for the purpose of arresting the military reprisals in Mexico, the Juarez government should be informed of the limit within which the French army of occupation should be withdrawn. Mr. Drouyn de Lbuys delivered this overture for the reason that the French government had no means of communication with Juarez. At length Mr. Bigelow offered for this purpose to the cabinet of the Tuileries the good offices of his government, near which is accredited the Juarist agent, Mr. Romero.

It appears, from our information, that what there may of truth in this story relates to the steps formerly taken by the federal cabinet to induce France to demand from the Mexican government the repeal of certain decrees concerning the Juarist brigandage. These steps, and the reception which they met with from the minister of foreign affairs of France, all this is found at length in the Livie Jaune of 1866; and we believe that no later incident could have changed in this regard the rule of conduct of the imperial government.

[From the Memorial Diplomatique, May 13.]

According to the information which reaches us from Vienna, the imperial government has had no difficulty in convincing Mr. Motley that Austria has no intention to send troops to Mexico to replace; that the volunteers in question cannot be considered as Austrian soldiers, as it is of their own accord that, after having fulfilled their military obligations in their own country, they enlist in the service of the Emperor Maximilian to forin an integral portion of the Mexican army;

The proof that this incident seems to have been settled in a satisfactory manner is, that the embarcation of one thousand Austrian volunteers was to take place the 10th of May instant, at Trieste, where, since the 7th, the Tampico has been lying at anchor-a vessel of the Transatlantic Company, on board of which they were to be transported to Vera Cruz.

(From the Journal des Debats of May 14, 1866.] We yesterday called attention to the despatches of Mr. Seward to the minister of the United States at Vienna, in which the American Secretary of State protests against the sending of Austrian volunteers to Mexico, in terms whose earnestness every one can appreciate. The Constitutionnel thinks it can announce this morning that all difficulties are removed in the

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