Mr. Marsh to Mr. Seward

No. 114.]

Sir: As the public journals have already informed you, the King of Italy left Turin for Florence on the third day of the present month, and the latter city will henceforth be the royal residence. The immediate occasion of the King’s departure was the absence of any representation of the municipality of Turin at a court ball given on the evening of January 30, and the refusal of that body to disclaim or apologize for popular manifestations of dissatisfaction in the streets and public squares of the city on that evening.

These manifestations, it appears, were specially provoked by the neglect of parliament to pass resolutions implying some censure of the ministry for their conduct during the disturbance of September 21 and 22, and to make any provision for the relief of the widows and children of innocent persons killed on that unhappy occasion.

The departure of the King was extremely sudden. No previous notice of his intention to remove to Florence was given, nor, in fact, was that intention even generally suspected at Turin before it was carried into effect; no public announcement of his change of residence has been since promulgated, nor has any communication yet been made to the diplomatic corps on the subject. The King, however, was accompanied by General La Marmora, president of the council and minister of foreign affairs, by some others of the ministry, and by the principal officers of the court, and many of the public journals declared that the personal removal of the King and court was held to involve the removal of the seat of government, and to be, in fact, an execution of the act of parliament and the royal decree for transferring the capital to Florence.

In order to inform myself on this point, I visited the minister of foreign affairs at Florence on Monday last, and learned from him that Turin is still considered the official capital of the kingdom, and will continue to be so regarded until the actual removal of the public offices and their archives and personnel.

This it is understood will not take place until April, or more probably May, and in the mean time most, if not all, of the foreign diplomatic representatives will remain here, visiting Florence from time to time, if occasion shall require.

I shall, unless otherwise instructed, pursue the same course, and hope that this decision will meet your approbation.

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,


Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, &c., &c., &c.