Mr. Hale to Mr. Seward
Sir: I have the honor to report that at midnight on the 26th February, being at Cairo, with all the other consuls general in Egypt, for the purpose of attending the official reception by the Pacha, appointed at the citadel at eight o’clock the following morning. I received by a special messenger from Alexandria a note brought by the English mail, arrived that afternoon, from Mr. Dudley, United States consul at Liverpool, of date of the 16th, informing me of the launch in the Mersey on the preceding day of a steamer, to which was given the Arabic name of Noor-el-Huda, and which was said to be designed for the Egyptian government, but which he feared was for the rebels. It was impossible to speak to the Pacha on the subject on the 27th, as his day was given to various formal receptions, but I saw his chief of ministers that day, and ascertained that they had no knowledge of the steamer; and on the morning of [Page 317] the 28th I obtained an audience of the Pacha, when he gave me full information to the effect that he had four steamers building in England, all with Arabic names, which he gave me, none of them resembling that given to the vessel launched at Liverpool Two of these vessels are building for his own use in the Thames, and the other two for the Azizich company (a government establishment) by the English Peninsular and Oriental Company, also in the Thames, as I subsequently learned from the agent of the latter company. This full information from his Highness I was able to transmit to Alexandria by telegraph the same morning in season to be forwarded to Mr. Dudley by the British mail going out that day, the 28th, and thus the answer to Mr. Dudley’s note left Egypt forty eight hours after the note came into the country.
I afterwards prepared a more formal memorandum, which I transmitted to Mr. Dudley by the next post. On account of the proof it affords of the friendly disposition of the Pacha towards the United States, I think proper to transmit to you herewith a duplicate of this memorandum. You will observe that to save future questions of this sort the Pacha has promised to tell me whenever he orders a new steamer.
I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State.