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[388] would be a fearful price to pay for even so great a good as the freedom of Mexico. Manifestly such extreme measures should not be resorted to until all peaceful means had failed. Considerations of this nature determined my course while in Paris. I had sufficient opportunity in two interviews with Prince Napoleon, and in several conversations with officers of high rank on the Emperor's staff, to make known to the Emperor the views and purposes of the government and people of the United States in respect to Mexican affairs. Our conversation was without reserve on either side, and with the understanding that nothing said by me would be withheld from the Emperor.

The principal of these staff-officers was the distinguished Admiral de la Graviere, who had commanded the French squadron in American waters in the early part of our Civil War and in the capture of Vera Cruz. This gallant and honest old sailor had reported to his government the exact truth about the enterprise which Napoleon had undertaken when he ordered the bombardment and capture of the Mexican seaport for the alleged purpose of collecting a French claim-namely, that he was no better able to collect that claim after the city was in his possession than he had been before, and that the conquest of Mexico by the operations of a large army would be necessary before any financial return could be expected. This unwelcome report led to the admiral's recall to France, and he was sent to his home in disgrace. But in due time the Emperor learned that while all others had deceived him, the admiral had told him the truth, whereupon he was called to Paris, restored to the confidence of his chief, and appointed aide-de-camp on the staff of the Emperor. Admiral de la Graviere was a warm friend of America, rejoiced in the triumph of the Union cause, understood and appreciated the sentiments of the people of the United States, among whom he had made many

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