War of the Rebellion: Serial 122 Page 0293 UNION AUTHORITIES.

Search Civil War Official Records

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, June 24, 1861.

Honorable SIMON CAMERON,

Secretary of War:

SIR: I have the honor to transmit to you herewith for your information the copy of a dispatch of the 7th instant from the minister of the United States at London relative to certain purchases of arms and ammunition made by Colonel Fremont in England and France for the use of the United States.

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

[Inclosure.]

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,

London, June 7, 1861.

Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD,

Secretary of State:

SIR: After mature reflection of I have decided, in conjunction with Mr. Dayton, to assume the responsibility of drawing upon the Government of the United States for a considerable sum of money, to be applied in payment of certain purchases of arms and ammunition made by Colonel Fremont, both here and in France, for the use of the United States.

Aware of the degree in which I exceed my authority by taking such a step, nothing but a conviction of the need in which the country stands of such assistance and the joint opinion of all the diplomatic agents of the United States at the moment in Paris has induced me to overcome my scruples. Having, likewise, great confidence in the capacity and the energy of Colonel Fremont, who goes out to offer his services in the cause, I am not unwilling to promote his desire to bring with him the materials for effectively and promptly organizing a portion of the contemplated additional force. The mode and extend of this operation are limited in the following manner: Contracts have been entered into by Colonel Fremont for the manufacture of cannon and shells in this country, as specified in the papers which he will take with him, to the amount of $75,000. Messrs. Peabody & Co. have agreed to advance the money on the joint draft of Mr. Dayton and myself upon the Honorable Simon Cameron, the Secretary of War, at thirty . Mr. Morse, the consul, hon the audit the accounts in a regular manner.

A further purchase has been made or rifles by Colonel Fremont in France, for which he desires us likewise to provide funds in advance. To this Mr. Dayton also consents within certain limits, which he defines in his letter to me dated yesterday. I h ave therefore agreed to raise the funds in the same way for the security of 10,000 rifles to the amount of about $125,000. If, however, the Government should be disinclined to take these latter and accept the bills, Mr. Dayton requests that Mr. Stevens, president of the Bank of Commerce, in New York, may be notified, as from communication with him previous to his departure he has reason to believe that he would at once take the arms as security for the acceptance of the bills.

I am constantly receiving offers of service and of all sorts of military implements, but excepting in the preceding instance my uniform reply is that I have no authority to make contracts, neither do I desire to receive any.

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,

CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS.