Mr. King to Mr. Seward
Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the circular from the State Department, under date of June 7th, relating to the order issued to Rear-Admiral Goldsborough, then about to sail in the United States steamer Colorado for European waters. I believe that nearly all the maritime powers of Europe have now withdrawn their recognition of the insurgent States as belligerents, and no longer accord to rebel vessels-of-war any privileges as such, or withhold from the flag of the United States the customary naval courtesies. The government to which I am accredited possesses no navy, nor any ports likely to be visited by American ships-of-war, and has not taken any action in the premises to which the United States could object. When I mentioned to Cardinal Antonelli this morning the substance of the circular above referred to, he at once replied: “We, at least, have never recognized the southern belligerents.”
St. Peter’s day, the 29th ultimo, was duly honored in Rome. It was the great festa of the church, and nearly the whole population of the city seemed to take part in the ceremonies. The Pope officiated in person at the celebration of the mass in the morning, and a vast and perfectly orderly crowd enjoyed the magnificent display of fireworks on the Pincian hill at night. His Holiness, whose health continues excellent, takes his departure for Castel Grandolfo in a few days.
M. Vegezzi, the special messenger from the King of Italy, left Rome, on his return to Florence, last week. Thus far nothing has been accomplished, nor does the prospect of an ultimate agreement between the Pope and Victor Emanuel seem at all flattering. * * * * *[Page 163]
The few Americans remaining at this season in Rome, though far away from their native land, do not forget that this is the nation’s birthday, and they honor it accordingly. They may be pardoned for repeating, with conscious pride, in the ancient capital of the world the old Roman boast, “I am an American citizen.”
I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, & c., &c., &c.