Mr. Bigelow to Mr. Seward

No. 241.]

Sir: I have the honor to transmit a translation of a correspondence which has recently passed between the honorary presidents of the Comite Francaise de l’Abolition d’Esclavage and myself, in reference to your recent proclamation announcing the termination of slavery in the United States.

I am, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant,


Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D.C.

[Page 273]

Mr. Bigelow to Mr. Guizot

Sir: I have the honor to enclose a proclamation issued by order of the President of the United States, on the 18th of December last, which raises to the rank and privileges of free-men all persons at that date held in bondage within the territory of the United States. So great and sudden a change in the social condition of so large a number of human beings was never experienced before, I believe, as the immediate result of human legislation.

I hasten to bring this important event to the notice of your society, and to congratulate its members that the first year of its existence should have been signalized by an event so full of encouragement to the champions of universal emancipation.

I pray you to accept, sir, the assurance of my most distinguished consideration.


Mr. Guizot.


Mr. Guizot to Mr. Bigelow

Sir: I received the letter you did me the honor to address to me the 4th instant, communicating a copy of a proclamation published the 18th of December last by order of the President of the United States, in virtue of which the rank and rights of freemen are conferred upon all who, at that time, were slaves within the territory of the United States.

In the feeling of profound joy with which this communication inspires me, I am compelled to congratulate the people of the United States and its government upon having been the chosen instrument of God to make the holy cause of the higher law of humanity to triumph. Whatever may be the difficulties and the trials which this measure may yet impose upon your country, the accompilshment of such a work is the greatest glory which a generation of men in their passage over the earth can achieve, and the greatest blessing it can leave to the generation to come. We are permitted to hope that the example given by Christian nations will become the public law of the world.

You are right in supposing that the society to which I have the honor to belong will surely congratulate itself that the first year of its existence has been signalized by an event at once so grand and so salutary.

Accept, sir, the assurance of my entire consideration and of my most distinguished sentiments.


Mr Bigelow, &c., &c., &c. Paris.


Mr. Broglie to Mr. Bigelow,

Mr. Ministre: I have received the letter by which you have done me the honor to communicate to me the act of the Congress of the United States proclaiming the suppression of slavery throughout the whole extent of the confederation.

I beg that you will accept my cordial thanks for this favor. It is with profound satisfaction that I have learned the final success of a cause which interests in so high a degree all the friends of humanity, and to which I have been happy to dedicate the greater part of the labors of my public life.

Be kind enough, Mr. Ministre, to accept the assurance of my high consideration.


Mr. Bigelow, Minister of the United States, &c., Paris.