Mr. King to Mr. Seward

No. 34.]

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of despatches Nos. 23 and 24, from the State Department, under date of February 8, in reply to mine, Nos. 30 and 31, of January 7 and 14.

The news of the fall of Charleston, which left New York on the 22d of February, Washington’s birth-day, arrived in Rome on the 4th of March, the first day of President Lincoln’s second term. The coincidence added not a little to the pride and satisfaction with which the glad tidings were hailed by the loyal Americans, as well as all others in this imperial city, who look forward hopefully to the progress of civil and religious liberty throughout the world.

The rumor to which I referred in a previous despatch, about the Pope’s probable departure from Rome in the event of the withdrawal of the French garrison, has been revived during the past week, and is quite current in diplomatic and other circles. It is added that, in the case that he leaves Rome, the Holy Father will take up his residence, temporarily, at least, in the island of Malta, where an asylum is understood to have been offered him some time since by the British government. My information upon the subject is not yet sufficiently reliable to enable me to form a definite opinion as to the authenticity of this report. I hope, however, to obtain ere long precise and trustworthy intelligence in the premises.

I am, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant,


Hon. William H. Seward, &c., &c., &c.