Mr. Pike to Mr. Seward

No. 182.]

Sir: I am without any of your favors since my last.

The hope that was entertained some weeks back that the change of season would operate to check the alarming disease among the cattle has not been realized. The murrain spread more in England, however, than in this country. [Page 460] There it appears to be taking on the dimensions of a national calamity. Here, it is more under control, and has only invaded that part of the country lying about the Rhine.

The progress of the infection is marked from time to time by circles established by the authorites, within which no intercourse is allowed with outlying districts.

1. Isolation and destruction are the only means which experience has shown to be efficient to check the spread of the disease.

2. Curative remedies have almost ceased to be regarded of practical value, the proportion of recoveries are so small.

3. The disorder is believed to be not self-originating, but solely the result of contagion. These are the main points established by the progress of the disease in Holland. The danger to our country from this fact is, perhaps, slight, though its terrible character would seem to require precautionary measures against its possible introduction by importation.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your most obedient servant,


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