Assistant Secretary of State that the engagements of the Secretary of State, had prevented him from giving the note his attention. The Assistant Secretary of State then asked for the address of Messrs. Crawford and Forsyth, the members of the Commission then present in this city, took note of the address on a card, and engaged to send whatever reply might be made to their lodgings. Why this was not done it is proper should be here explained. The memorandum is dated March 15, and was not delivered until April 8. Why was it withheld during the intervening twenty-three days? In the postscript to your memorandum you say it “was delayed, as was understood, with their (Messrs. Forsyth and Crawford's) consent.” This is true; but it is also true that on the 15th of March Messrs. Forsyth and Crawford were assured by a person occupying a high official position in the Government, and who, as they believed, was speaking by authority, that Fort Sumter would be evacuated within a very few days, and that no measure changing the existing status prejudicially to the Confederate States, as respects Fort Pickens, was then contemplated, and these assurances were subsequently repeated, with the addition that any contemplated change as respects Pickens, would be notified to us. On the 1st of April we were again informed that there might be an attempt to supply Fort Sumter with provisions, but that Gov. Pickens should have previous notice of this attempt. There was no suggestion of any reenforcements. The undersigned did not hesitate to believe that these assurances expressed the intentions of the Administration at the time, or at all events of prominent members of that Administration. This delay was assented to, for the express purpose of attaining the great end of the mission of the undersigned, to wit: A pacific solution of existing complications. The inference deducible from the date of your memorandum, that the tindersigned had, of their own volition and without cause, consented to this long hiatus in the grave duties with which they were charged, is therefore not consistent with a just exposition of the facts of the case. The intervening twenty-three days were employed in active unofficial efforts, the object of which was to smooth the path to a pacific solution, the distinguished personage alluded to cooperating with the undersigned; and every step of that effort is recorded in writing, and now in possession of the undersigned and of their Government. It was only when all these anxious efforts for peace had been exhausted, and it became clear that Mr. Lincoln had determined to appeal to the sword to reduce the people of the Confederate States to the will of the section or party whose President he is, that the undersigned resumed the official negotiation temporarily suspended, and sent their Secretary for a reply to their official note of March 12. It is proper to add that, during these twenty-three days, two gentlemen of official distinction as high as that of the personage hitherto alluded to aided the undersigned as intermediaries in these unofficial negotiations for peace. The undersigned, Commissioners of the Confederate States of America, having thus made answer to all they deem material in the memorandum filed in the Department on the 15th of March last, have the honor to be, Mr. F. W. Seward, Assistant Secretary of State of the United States, at 8 o'clock in the evening of April 9, 1861. Attest,
J. T. Pickett, Secretary, &c., &c.
Mr. Seward in reply to the Commissioners, acknowledges the receipt of their letter, but declines to answer it.
Department of State, Wasuington, April 10, 1861.Messrs. Forsyth, Crawford, and Roman, having been apprised by a memorandum which has been delivered to them, that the Secretary of State is not at liberty to hold official intercourse with them, will, it is presumed, expect no notice from him of the new communication which they have addressed to him under date of the 9th inst., beyond the simple acknowledgment of the receipt thereof, which he hereby very cheerfully gives. A true copy of the original received by the Commissioners of the Confederate States, this 10th day of April, 1861. Attest,
J. T. Pickett, Secretary &c., &c.
--Tribune, April 19.