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[422] about three months before the iron-clads get out after this reaches you, before the danger becomes imminent; but it may be longer. People here base great hopes on Mr. Cobden's coming speech.

The letter of Mr. Forbes undoubtedly added to the anxiety of the Governor to have the Government place the harbor of Boston in a position to defend the city. Colonel Ritchie, of his personal staff, was sent to Washington to confer with our delegation in Congress, and the Navy and War Departments, and endeavor to bring about the object which the Governor had so much at heart. A large portion of the letters written by the Governor at this time refer to this important matter. We are not aware, however, that any immediate steps were taken, by the Government, to place the harbor of Boston in a secure condition, although the forts mounted more and heavier guns, and, before the close of the year, were completely armed in the best possible manner.

On the fifth day of May, the Governor wrote to John M. Forbes in London, giving him a full and detailed statement of the condition of our harbor defences, the appropriation made by the Legislature, and the promises made by the Government. On the subject of buying Blakely guns, the Governor says,—

The prices which you send me, aggravated as they would be by the cost of exchange and insurance, are too extravagant, according to my ideas, to justify me in spending a million dollars in that way, especially when I consider the possibility of their transit to America being interrupted by the British Government, or in some other manner. If it were ten millions I had to spend, I might willingly devote a million or two to that purpose; but it is evident to me that a portion of the single million must be devoted to harbor obstructions, and certainly two or three hundred thousand dollars from the remainder ought to be held in reserve for the erection of field works, or any like labor which a certain exigency might require. I therefore abandon the idea of devoting any part of this million dollars to importing ordnance from abroad. In this opinion I am confirmed by every officer with whom I have consulted.

It will be seen, however, that the pressure of causes forced the Governor to change his opinion.

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