and detaining Messrs. Mason and Slidell. The authentic account of the proceedings will not be published in time for me to transmit a copy to your lordship to-day.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, December 5, 1861.
Colonel JUSTIN DEMICK, Fort Warren, Boston.
COLONEL: I have received your letters of the 30th ultimo and 2nd instant relative to certain drafts of Messrs. Mason on Europe.
In reply I have to inform you that as those gentlemen are confined on suspicion of treason against the Government of the United States it is deemed inexpedient to sanction any trasfer of credits which they may have in Europe.
Mr. Eustis may be allowed to forward any letters previously submitted to your examination and which you may not disapprove.
I am, colonel, your obedient servant,
WILLIAM H. SEWARD.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
London, December 6, 1861.
Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD,
Secretary of State, Washington.
SIR: The current of popular feeling is still running with resistless force throughout this Kingdom. The connflict of opinion heretofore existing with powers nearly equal in favor of and against the Government of the United States is now merged in an almost universal demand for satisfaction for the insult and injury thought to be endured by the action of Captain Wilkes.
The members of the Government as a whole are believed not to be desirous of pressing matters to a violent issue but they are powerless in the face of the opinion they have invited from the law officers of the Crown. In quick succession have been issued two proclamations forbidding the export of saltpeter and gunpowder and of arms and munitions of war. At the same time orders have been given to fit out at once a large number of war ships upon which great quantities of arms are placed, and officers and men are warned to hold themselves in readiness to embark on or after Christmas, being the time when the response to the dispatches sent out by the Europa on Monday last is expected to arrive. There can be not a shadow of a doubt that the passions of the country are up and that a collision is inevitable if the Government of the United States should before the news reaches the other side have assumed the position of Captain Wilkes in a manner to preclude the possibility of explanation.
Under such circumstances my situation is becoming very rapidly not merely one of little or no public use but also of some personal embarrasment. Even should this storm blow over without damage so completely has mutual confidence been destroyed by it that there is little prospect of a restoration of those relations upon which alone the intercommunication of governments can be made to yield beneficial results. Ministers and people now fully believe it is the mtetion of the Government to drive them into hostlities. The arrogance of ions, with wich the present has no sympathy, is yet made to rest on the latter as if that too were animated by the same spirit.