Believing it absolutely necessary that all the Government business here should be under one control, when I heard of the appointment of Major Huse I thought it a move in the right direction, and met him (without prejudice, except that he was from the North) with every desire to co-operate with him. I am satisfied from what I see and hear that he is not fit for the position, and I sincerely trust it will be your pleasure to select some one now in the Confederate States of high character for integrity and honor, of great business capacity, to come over here and take charge entirely of the financial and commercial affairs of our Government. Let the orders of every description come directly to him, and by him executed through that party that he thinks will do it best. He should have entire control of the finances here, with discretionary power to apply the funds (when enough for all purposes are not to be had) to those in his opinion the most important. Mr. Mason agrees with me that such an arrangement would facilitate the operations of the Government very much, but says that it is very difficult to find such a man. Of course it is, but if we have found a man fit to be President of the Confederate States and others to form his Cabinet, we can find a man fit to occupy the position I suggest, and we can find him, too, among our native-born Southerners. It is useless to talk about allowing money to remain here in the depository idle, as was the case a short time since, subject to the draft of the Secretary of the Treasury, and all the departments of the Government awaiting those drafts, suffering for the money. The operations here, as they are 3,000 miles from the headquarters of the Government, with a blockading fleet intervening, must be controlled by some one here with full discretionary powers. The responsibility of such a position would be very great, and would never be sought by any man who is fit for the position, but we have many patriots with us who would be willing to make the sacrifice upon being assured of the immense amount of good he could accomplish. I trust you will select such a one and send him over promptly; and I beg to repeat, let him be a true-born Southern gentleman, if you please.
With regard to my own affairs, I beg leave to say that I do not usually make many professions, but every interest that I have in this world is embarked in the success of the Confederate States. With its failure I lose all; therefore interest, if I had no patriotism, would induce me to desire to see the Confederate Government pursue the best course for its own interest. I therefore would not desire to stand in its way, and I beg, if on receipt of this letter you think that the interest of our Government would be promoted by closing the contract with Messers. Collie & Co. and myself, you will have no hesitation in so advising me. On receipt of such advice I will immediately (after sending cargoes to meet the steamers at the islands) return to Richmond and dispose of our fourth interest in the steamers to the Government upon such terms as may seem to be fair and equitable, or divide the steamers, as you prefer. If on the contrary you continue of the opinion that I can serve the Government here, I am sure that you will furnish me with funds independent of Major Huse to enable me to carry on the business upon such a scale as you desire. And in this connection I would beg to remind you that with orders from the commissary for 10,000,000 pounds (say 5,000 tons) meat, besides other wants of tea, candles, soap, & c., and with orders from Secretary of the Navy for about 10,000 tons sundries, including 6,000 tons armor plate, it would require a great number of steamers; and as these articles