Mr. Perry to Mr. Hunter

No. 71.]

Sir: I have the honor to report a state of general tranquillity and good order in this regency. The domestic difficulties which were so serious last year seem to be fully overcome; and though the cause of jealousy and misunderstanding between several European governments that have a special interest here are not removed, there are fewer indications of irritation and bitterness now than usual.

A recent exchange of courtesies between the Bey and several European sovereigns has served to divert attention from the disagreeable scenes of last year. The Bey has recently sent missions to Paris, Stockholm, and Copenhagen, and decorations and presents have been exchanged between him and these several cabinets. The Bey sent a delegation to felicitate Napoleon III, at Bona, week before last; and there again a lot of decorations were exchanged, and reports were brought back of most cordial relations.

The Bey’s portrait for our government is now completed, and other presents for the President and Secretary of State are spoken of as in a state of preparation. Though a mission to America is not yet formally announced, it is spoken of as a settled plan of the government, and I am waiting an announcement of the time and details. Our government is to be felicitated by the Bey on the abolition of slavery and on the establishment of peace, and the Bey’s minister has requested me to inform him when the peace is restored in Texas as it is in the other States. I know the idea here is that whenever the mission takes place the American consul should accompany it. The mission may set out within a few weeks, or it may be deferred for some months. But to avoid embarrassing the Bey’s well-intended efforts, I beg leave to suggest that if the mission be approved by the department, a conditional leave of absence be granted me at once, together with the authority to leave some suitable person charged with the duties of this office during my absence. I have specially in, view for this charge the consul general of Sweden.

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I may say that a deep interest is here manifested for the life, health, and long service of our experienced “prime minister,” Secretary Seward, and of our new President. The war and the recent tragic scenes have served but to command additional respect for our government and heighten the interest in our country.

* * * * * * * *

The Bey is, I believe, sincerely interested for the abolition of slavery and for the establishment of peace in America, but in his expressions of interest he evidently avoids any expression that might prove distasteful to his neighbors.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Hon William Hunter, Acting Secretary of State, Washington, D C.