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[391] believes that Maximilian can remain long in Mexico after the French troops are withdrawn; but it is very important for him, in order to give some appearance of truth to his assumed grounds of action, that Maximilian be allowed to stay there some time without French aid. And for this reason he wants some assurance of neutrality from the government of the United States. Prince Napoleon and others with whom I have conversed express the decided opinion that Maximilian will come away with Marshal Bazaine, in spite of all the Emperor may say to induce him to try to stand alone. This, I apprehend, will be the difficulty, and may cause much delay, unless the United States kindly lend a helping hand. Would it not be wise for us to abstain for a few months from all interference, direct or indirect, and thus give Napoleon and Maximilian time to carry out their farce? Mexico would thus be rid of the French flag in the least possible time. If the French troops come also, Juarez can easily dispose of Maximilian at any time. If they succeed in getting the French troops to remain as colonists, then the United States can easily find a good reason for disposing of the whole matter, and Napoleon will not dare to interfere. . . . An officer of the Emperor's household left here about ten days ago with despatches for Mexico which, it is understood, contained the Emperor's declaration to Maximilian of his intention to recall his troops. This will give you some idea of the time when the matter may be arranged if all works well.

My views relative to the purposes of the French government appear to have been in accord with those of Mr. Bigelow at the time, as shown in his official despatches afterward published, and adopted by Mr. Seward in his subsequent correspondence with the French minister at Washington. They were soon afterward confirmed by the official announcement which the French minister was authorized to make to the government of the United States. In fact, I was in almost constant conference with Mr. Bigelow during that time, and knew that my views, as communicated to Mr. Seward and General Grant, were in close accord with his, although I could not know anything of Mr. Bigelow's despatches to the State Department

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