My conversation with him very satisfactory and there is no doubt of the friendly feelings of the Prussian Government toward the Government of the United States and its desire that the rebellion should be subdued.
* * * * * * the honor to be, your obedient servant,
N. J. JUDD.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, December 16, 1861.
CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS, Esq., &c.
SIR: In connection with the case of Messrs. Mason and Slidell the Department has recently been engaged in examining that of M. Fauchet, a minister from France during Washington's Administration, who while on his way to embark at Newport, R. I., on his return home probably escapted seizure by the commander of the British ship Africa near that port in consequence of the packet Peggy, in which he was proceeding from New York to Newsport, being compelled by stress of weather to put into Stonington, Conn. Here M. Fauchet received intimation of the intention of the commander of the Africa which induced him to proceed to Newport by land and across the ferries. When the weather moderated the Peggy continued on her course and when she approached the Africa she was boarded from that vessel, the trunks of the passengers were searched and disappointment shown at the absence of M. Fauchet.
This act having been committed within the maritime jurisdiction of the United States and the British vice-consul at Newport having been implicated in it his exaquatur was formally revoked by President Washington and explanatiions demanded of the British Government, first through their minister here and then through Mr. John Quincy Adams, acting charge d'affaires at London. The correspondence which took place here on our records and files seems to be complete, with the exception of a note from Mr. Bond, acting British charge d'affaires, to Mr. Pickering of the 17th of August, 1795. At it is desirable to obtain a copy of that note application has been made for one to the British legation here, but the answer is that they have no record or draft of it. A copy was undoubtedly sent to the foreign office at the time. I will consequently thank you to endeavor to obtain one there for the use of this Department.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
WILLIAM H. SEWARD.
NO. 3 RIVER TERRACE, Hoboken, N. J., December 16, 1861.
Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.
DEAR SIR: As the representative under the Constitution of the President of the United States in conducting our foreign relations I address you on a question of the greatest import to our country growing out of the recent news from England as regards the rebel ambassadors.
That we had a perfect right under the law of nations to seize the British mail steamer Trent carrying the hostile ambassadors and dispatches and bring her in as a prize for condemnatin by our courts I have never doubted. That the right to capture the vessel involved the subordinate privilege of seizing the rebel minsters seems to me an inevitable sequence