Mr. Seward to Mr. Williams

No. 31.]

Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your despatch No. 20, of the 6th of January last. It informs me that the foreign community at Shanghai are now engaged in revising the code of municipal regulations under which they have lived during the last ten years, and it further informs me of the opinions of Sir Rutherford Alcock in regard to the desirableness of adjusting them in a manner which may result in doing away with the semblance of territorial authority, now exercised by England, France, and the United States in Shanghai. In reply, I have to inform you that you have not under-estimated the importance of the subject. I will thank you to give me particular information in regard to the matter as the discussion proceeds at Shanghai, in order that this government may become thoroughly acquainted with the actual necessities and situation of the community alluded to.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,


S. Wells Williams, Esq., &c., &c., &c.