JUNE 6, 1863.
Hon. JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:
SIR: I had this pleasure 15th ultimo, and continue without any of your favors of later date than 22d February. On Monday last (1st instant) I received advices from my brother James of 6th May informing me that you had received my letters on 13th March, inclosing a copy of contract I was about concluding with Messers. A. Collie & Co., and would have drafts from the Treasury sent out so that there should be no want of funds. This letter was received via Nassau, and as the Bermuda mail will be in on 8th or 9th instant, I hope soon to receive them; but if (as I fear will be the same) they are sent to major Huse, or if he in any way has control over them, I doubt whether they will do any good. I have nothing new to advise except that the Diana is not yet ready. She is to have a trial trip next week, and I hope to get her away in a week or ten days after. I think it will be best to put less freight and more coal on her than the others carry, so as to avoid the necessity of calling so often for coal, and making out her cargo when she gets to Nassau.
I inclose copy of a letter addressed to Mr. Mason, and statement 24th May, and afterward at his request placed in the hands of General McRae; and also copy of another letter handed to Mr. Mason in Paris 4th instant. Mr. Mason informed me just as I was leaving Paris that the commissioner had determined to pay of the Erlanger loan Colonel Gorgas' draft for 22,500 pounds, but that they did feel willing to make me any further payments without orders from home. You may rely upon it that I will do all I can, but without money and without any authority to raise money much ought no to be expected of me. While in Paris I called on Mr. Slidell, not intending to say anything about business, as I had gone over hurriedly and did not carry any of my papers with me, and only called to pay my respects. He very soon got on the subject, and expressed his views very decidedly that our Government had make a great mistake in entering into this arrangements witt would be much better if it could be discontinued. I told him that I had no doubt that he arrived at his conclusions by the arguments of Major Huse, and as I had none of my papers with me I could not explain so fully as I would like, and did explain as best I could without them. He was not convinced. I informed him distinctly that I would do nothing at the suggestion of Major Huse, as I did not believe that he has at heart the good of our cause, but that I would seriously consider any suggestions that the commission then in Paris would make, and explained to him that I had written you offering to discontinue the arrangement if you desired it; to which he replied that he through the commission (consisting of himself, Colonel Lamar, General McRae, and Mr. Mason) would unanimously propose to close it, giving Collie and myself the privilege either of taking all of the property ourselves or the Government taking it all, as we preferred; but that if anything was done it must be done at once, and if I returned to London that evening it might be too late, as we might at any moment hear of the capture or safe arrival of either or both of the vessels that had gone out. I told him that if they would unanimously make such a proposition, believing as I do that they would be governed by a sole desire to serve our Government, and not by any interested motive, that I would remain in London the next day to receive the proposition, and would seriously