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caused the gates of the city to be closed for fear some conflict might take place between the populace and the men of the American boats, who were awaiting the prisoners at the sea gate.
Vr. De Long delayed the embarcation of Messrs. Tunstall and Myers until the state of feeling was more calm, and about five o'clock in the afternoon a squad composed of American seamen and of soldiers of the Mighzen conveyed to the sea gate the two prisoners, who, strongly bound, were borne along by main strength. They were at once put on board the United States corvette, which made an offing during the night.
Deign to accept, &c., &c.
Mr. Seward to Mr. Mercier.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, April 4, 1862. Sir: I have not yet received from Mr. De Long, our consul at Tangier, a perfect report of the arrest and other proceedings there in regard to the pirates of the Sumter. So soon as I obtain the needed information, I will ask the attention of the President to the view of that transaction submitted to me by you in our conversation of yesterday.
I avail myself of this opportunity to renew to you, sir, the assurance of my high consideration.
WILLIAM H. SEWARD. Mr. HENRY Mercier, &c., dc., &c.
Memorandum for Mr. Mercier, sent April 12, 1862. Mr. Seward said that he had received the copy of a circular note which Mr. De Long is reported to have written to the consuls of the European powers at Tangier relating to the proceedings which occurred there on the occasion of the arrest and removal of the two disloyal Americans connected with the Sumter.
Mr. Seward said that the despatches received from Mr. De Long brought information of these proceedings only down to the day on which the arrest was made. He of course had no report from Ir. De Long with regard to the issue of the circular. But Mr. Seward said that he was free to confess that the terms of the circular, if correctly reported, were improper and offensive, and that he, therefore, was prepared already to disavow the same; but he would, of course, defer any formal notice of the subject until Mr. De Long's report should be received. Mr. Seward added that the consideration of the case on its merits was also delayed for Mr. De Long's report.
Mr. Mercier to Mr. Seward.
Washington, May 16, 1862. Sir: When the last tariff was adopted I had the honor to engage your attention upon the injurious consequences which would necessarily result to French indlustrial pursuits and the commercial relations between the two countries. My anticipations are only too seriously realized, and our manufacturers of silks, especially affected in their interests, have recently addressed the imperial government, through their organ, the Chamber of Commerce of Lyons, soliciting its intervention with that of the United States, in order to obtain some modifications of a state of things which, if prolonged, would end in the exclusion from the American market of one of our most important branches of export trades.
These complaints are specifically stated in a report of which I have the honor to send you a copy herewith, and are founded not only on the excessive increase of duties weighing upon silks, but on the consideration which certainly had not entered into the purview of the legislator, that French silks, being in general of superior quality, find themselves ranged side by side with similar productions of Switzerland and Germany under conditions which do not allow them to meet the competition. In effect, by reason of their quality, they are subjected to a duty of 40 per cent. ad valorem, while the Swiss and German silks are subject only to a duty of 30 per cent., also ad valorem. I now request you, sir, iu conformity with orders from my government, to have the kindness to transmit this document to the Secretary of the Treasury, commending it to his favorable consideration. I am confident that the facts therein set forth will suffice to engage Mr. Chase until experience has demonstrated the necessity for a reform in custom duties, which French commerce calls for with all its wishes to bring about the modification of some of the provisions of the existing tariff, in such manner that our manufacturers may at least no longer suffer from a treatment exceptionably unfavorable.
I seize on this occasion, sir, to renew.to you the assurances of my very high consideration.
HENRI MERCIER. Hon. Wm. H. SEWARD, 8c., c., fc.
The Chamber of Commerce of Lyons to his excellency the minister for agricul
ture, trade, and public works.
Mr. MINISTER: We have the honor to transmit to you a petition which the importers of silks in America have sent to us, and which responds to one of the most engrossing anxieties of our city.
We wish to speak of the American tariff actually in force, according to which silk stuffs below one dollar per square yard in value are struck with a duty of thirty per cent. ad valorem, and those above such measure with a duty of forty per cent. This tariff of character, truly prohibitive, completes the impossibility of any business relations with America at a moment, above all, when the consumption of that country can only seek merchandise of low prices; but, besides, it takes away from our fabrics all hope of benefiting by a reaction, if there should be one. If peace should be concluded to-morrow between the north and south, not a single current of business would be re-established; the present tariff would prevent.
We come, then, Mr. Minister, to call your excellency's especial attention to this side of the American question, which interests us in such very high degree, and would remark that the tariff is particularly hurtful to us, because the Swiss and German factories produce the greater part of the articles which come under the category of thirty per cent. of duty, whilst the Lyonnese factories produce those especially which fall under the blow of the application of the duty of forty per cent. It results from this that the situation made for our place is worse than that made for every other place. This, however, could not have been the intention of the government of the United States, which must wish to conciliate
the sympathies of France, and which, by consequence, did not desire to make her (the nation) the least favored under the tariff. This is the reason why we come to ask your excellency to take under favorable consideration this abnormal condition of things, to counsel the means for obtaining from the cabinet of Washington, in the first place, the suppression of the two-fold list which the present tariff contains, and in the second place, if possible, a reduction of the tariff.
It would be superfluous to demonstrate that so high a tariff only tends to stimulate smuggling, and that, if it be kept up it is certain an active smuggling business would be established. Already the rumor circulating that great purchases of silks, made during the month of February by English commission houses, were intended for importations to America by way of Canada. We do not believe the truth of this rumor, for the reason that the market of New York is in a state of prostration, too well proven to leave a chance to sell the goods there, even exonerated from a portion of the customs duties. But these rumors demonstrate that speculation has her eyes open as to this eventual expedient, and that in case of a reaction she would hasten to have recourse to it. There is another species of fraud which is practiced the more as duties are the more increased; it is that which consists in making false invoices as to the price of the goods.
We venture to hope, Mr. Minister, that the petition of our commission merchants will find from your excellency a favorable reception, and that the interest you take in our industrial branch, as well as the sympathy you have for the vexatious situation in which it is still placed, will dispose you to discover means to give it all the aid it deserves. We are, &c., &c.,
The President, BROSSET VINI. The Secretary, H. Jame. True copy:
The Director of Foreign Commerce, OZENNE.
· Mr. Seward to Mr. Mercier.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, May 20, 1862. SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 16th instant, relative to the tariff imposed by this government on French silks, and to state in reply that I have communicated the translation of it to the Secretary of the Treasury and invited his attention to the subject.
I avail myself of this opportunity to renew to you, sir, the assurance of my high consideration.
WILLIAM H. SEWARD. Mr. HENRI MERCIER, fr., fr., sc.
Mr. Scward to Mr. Mercier.
DePARTMENT OF STATE,
. Washington, May 26, 1862. Sir: Referring to your note of the 16th instant, relative to the tariff imposed by this government on French silks, and to my reply, I now have the honor to enclose to you the cory of a communication of this date from the Secretary of the Treasury, setting forth what has been done by him in the premises. Be pleased, sir, to accept the renewed assurance of my high consideration,
WILLIAM H. SEWARD. Mr. Henri MERCIER, &c., &c., &c. .
Mr. Chase to AIr. Seward.
May 26, 1862. Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 20th instant, covering the translation of a despatch addressed to you by the French minister on the 16th instant, and of a letter from the Chamber of Commerce of Lyons to the minister for agriculture, &c., of France, relating to the bearings of our tariff on French silks.
I have transmitted to the chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means, for the information of the committee now employed in revising the tariff of the United States, the letters of Mr. Mercier and of the Chamber of Commerce of Lyons, with a note from myself, of which I enclose a copy.
I am confident that it will be the aim of Congress in all modifications of the tariff to make such changes only as are required by the interests of the people of the United States, and so doing will observe entire impartiality with regard to the industrial interests of other nations. With great respect,
S. P. CHASE,
Secretary of the Treasury. Hon. William H. SEWARD,
Secretary of State.
Mr. Chase to NIr. Stevens.
May 23, 1862. SIR: I have the honor to transmit, herewith, a copy of a letter from the Secretary of State to me, dated 20th instant, covering translations of a letter addressed to him by the minister of France, M. Mercier, and of a letter from the Chamber of Commerce of Lyons to the minister of trade of France, relating to the bearing of our tariff on French silks, which is represented to be unequal and injurious to French manufacturers.
I am certain it will be the aim of Congress in forming the tariff bill now under consideration to make its provisions bear with entire impartiality upon the industrial interests of other nations, and I shall say this in my letter to the Secretary of State, in advising him of the disposition I have made of the letters of M. Mercier and of the Chamber of Commerce of Lyons. With great respect,
S. P. CHASE,
Secretary of the Treasury. Hon. THADDEUS STEVENS,
Chairman Com. of Ways and Means, House of Reps.
Count Mejan to Mr. Thouvenel.
[Translation.] No. 148.]
CONSULATE OF FRANCE,
New Orleans, May 30, 1962. Mr. Minister: In my despatch No. 146 I had the honor to give you some information upon the commercial and financial situation of New Orleans since the occupation of that city by the federal troops, and especially in regard to carrying into execution the first orders of the governor of Louisiana relative to the burning of cotton before the arrival of those troops.
At the time I wrote I estimated at about 250,000 bales the amount which had been given to the flames, and think there is not much to be added to this figure at this time, although burnings have been continued in proportion as the naval federal force has ascended the Mississippi river and occupied the few towns which lie on its banks from New Orleans towards Natchez, the great centre of the cotton production of the State of Mississippi. .
Many planters have themselves set fire to their cotton, while others have left the task to official incendiaries; all who had time have taken their produce to a distance from the banks of the river to hide it in the woods, or to place it in quantities in the open grounds of the interior ready to sacrifice it on the approach of the federals. It should not be dissembled that the determination not to let the cotton fall into the hands of the authorities or the troops of the United States is general, and from all accounts which reach me from travellers the most disinterested and most worthy of credit, I have arrived at the conviction that, · short of an amicable arrangement between the two parties carrying on this destructive war, the quantity of cotton which will be exported this year will be altogether disproportioned to the wants to be satisfied, as well in Europe as the United States.
The government at Richmond has renewed the order to burn all cotton and tobacco, rather than to let it fall into the hands of the enemy. The governors of the diverse southern States, as well as the military authorities everywhere, publish orders to this effect, and the willingness and patriotism of the people howhere falls short of these.
Various ideas influence the inhabitants-hatred of those they call invaders ; the always continuing dread of confiscation, to which voluntary sacrifice seems preferable; and also the disappointment caused everywhere by the protracted indifference apparent among the European powers, and even by the rumors now current of a mediation by France, or rather by the form given to such mediation. I have difficulty to believe in the carrying out of acts indicating at once such an exultation of patriotism and such indifference for their own welfare and somewhat also for the rights of others, for the avails of every crop of cotton is pledged beforehand to various creditors. To-day, I repeat it, I am constrained to modify my opinion, and to acknowledge that, in proportion as the limits of the contest are more restricted, the determination increases with the disposition for the greatest sacrifices.
The first vessels from the north which will come here in the hope of loading cotton will experience very great disappointment, and the arrival at Boston of a vessel loaded here last week and carrying only eleren bales of cotton, (made up of remainders of those burned,) will perhaps open the eyes of many people.
I know of deposits of cotton, bought in the interior for account of French houses, which have been spared, but which may be burned at any moment, and which the buyers have engaged not to bring into the city and not to ship but with the consent of the selling producers. I know of transactions made by strangers with cotton planters, and broken off because the latter would not bind themselves to cause this cotton to be respected by the incendiaries in case of the approach of federal troops. If hatred is bitter, confidence is absolutely gone, and nothing is done to re-establish it.
While General Butler appeared to be opposed to carrying off slaves, some officers under his command, such as General Phelps, well known by a certain proclamation, and in command of a corps near the city, favor it; many subaltern officers do the same. Domiciliary visits made daily without written order, at all hours of the day and the night, and many other arbitrary measures, keep up distrust.
General Butler, who knows how to be polite when he chooses, uses towards