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Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 13. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), Letter of instructions to Hon. John Slidell. (search)
ould have been transported from its native depositories in the west, to the shores of the Chesapeake in the east. Nothing but the occurrence of civil war prevented the completion of this arrangement between this French company and the Virginia Legislature, by which France would have secured a certain and almost inexhaustible supply of cheap coal, iron and timber. All this is fully stated in regard to the resources of Virginia, in a letter of Alfred Paul, French Consul at Richmond, to Mr. Thouvenel, Minister of Foreign Affairs, France, dated June 5th, 1860, and as it may be well to recall the attention of the government to it, a copy will be sent you. In the enumeration of the resources of Virginia which would be thus opened to France, he says: In coal and iron, Virginia excels all the other States of the Union. The fact is recognized— admitted. He thus specifies the advantages which France would derive from the proposed connection which was about to be formed with Virginia: 1