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[384] minister at Paris; and similar letters were sent to several other United States ministers in Europe. But time passed until November 4, and thus more than two months elapsed before the Secretary of State was ready for me to start for Europe. Mr. Seward then gave me a confidential letter, dated November 4, 1865, addressed to Mr. Bigelow, and a letter of credit on the Barings, and requested me to proceed on my mission.

In his letter to Mr. Bigelow he said: ‘General Schofield proceeds to Paris. He is, I believe, fully informed of the feelings and sentiments, not only of this government, but of the American people. I commend him to your confidence,’ etc. Mr. Seward explained to me several times during this period of delay that correspondence then going on with the French government rendered it advisable that my visit be delayed until he should receive expected answers from that government. The Atlantic cable did not then exist, and hence correspondence across the ocean was necessarily slow. The expected despatch—viz., that from the French Foreign Office to their minister at Washington, dated October 18, 1865, and communicated to Mr. Seward on the 29th of the same month—was no more satisfactory, though in better tone, than those which had preceded. In effect it demanded a recognition by the United States of the government of Maximilian in Mexico as a condition precedent to the recall of the French army. The time had evidently arrived when Napoleon must be informed in language which could not be misunderstood what was the real sentiment of the government and people of the United States on the Mexican question. It was difficult, perhaps impossible, to express that sentiment in official diplomatic language that an emperor could afford to receive from a friendly power. It was therefore desirable that the disagreeable information be conveyed to Napoleon in a way which would command his full credence, and

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