Mr. Bigelow to Mr. Seward
Sir: The enclosed passport purporting to have been issued by the governor of Louisiana was presented at this legation a few days since, to be visaed. Of course the application was declined, and the party to whom it belonged was informed that if he wished the protection of the United States government he must procure a passport from the United States government. He accordingly took a new passport from this legation and left his old one, on which is inscribed the visa of the Bavarian consul at New Orleans. I send it to you under the impression that you may, perhaps, think it proper to inquire by what authority a foreign consul residing in the United States visas a passport issued by a governor of a State.
I am, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.