Mr. Wood to Mr. Seward
Sir: I herewith enclose a note I addressed the director general of the ministry on the receipt of a letter from Mr. Bigelow, our chargé d’affaires in Paris. I have seen him this morning, and he reiterates the assertion that the Sphinx or Staerkodder, or Stonewall, never belonged to the Danish government. I read in Galignani of the 12th instant, from the index, “That a secret negotiation is progressing between the United States government and the Danish government for the purchase of the Clyde-built iron-clad, of the Warrior model, belonging to the latter, and now lying at Copenhagen.”
This ship is undoubtedly for sale, for, learning last autumn that negotiations for this purpose were pending, I made inquiry and was confidentially informed that the negotiations were with a power friendly to us. I understood from outsiders that the negotiations were with Spain. I repeat an opinion made some two years ago, that we should have a man-of-war in the North German ocean, and, commanding the Baltic, we can be our own best police.
I remain, &c., your obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State.