Mr. Perry to Mr. Seward

No. 78.]

Sir: I have the honor to report our arrival here. We desired to sail as early as the 16th, but are delayed by the difficulties in securing berths. We have finally engaged passage in the Persia, which will sail from Liverpool on the 23d instant. I beg to recommend, with the sanction of our minister here, Mr. Bigelow, that the collector of our port at New York, or some other suitable person, be named to receive the Bey’s envoy on his arrival at New York, and to conduct him to Washington in the course of three or four days. The envoy may thus receive informal official attention, and be gratified and instructed at the same time. If these Mussulmen ever attain civilization, it seems to me likely to be done through the light of our institutions. Our mode of treating religion may shock some of their prejudices, but it cannot encounter their hostility.

The envoy informs me that he has two letters from the Bey; one is addressed to the President and the other to Mrs. Lincoln, and he is directed to deliver them both in person. I presume the Bey supposed Mrs. Lincoln to be in Washington. The envoy is also instructed to express the gratitude of his sovereign that the life of our distinguished Secretary of State is spared for the service of his country and the world.

Two of the party speak French and Italian, but I am the only one that tries to use the English language.

The portrait was forwarded by express and expenses paid as far as Havre, and I have requested our consul there to forward it by a Canard steamer to the care of the collector in New York or Boston. We have to-morrow for London.

Very respectfully,

AMOS PERRY, United States Consul at Tunis.

Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State.