Mr. Seward to Mr. Burlingame

No. 161.]

Sir: With reference to that part of your despatch of the 28th of February, No. 117, suggesting the expediency of increasing the United States naval force in Chinese waters, I have to state that the attention of the Secretary of the Navy having been invited to the subject, that officer, in a letter of the 4th instant, informed this department that, at present, there are in the waters of China the Hartford, Wachusett, and Wyoming, and the Shenandoah is on the way out, all of them good vessels with steam power. The sailing ship Relief is also on that station, and it is proposed to send one of the large steamers now in course of construction, so soon as she may be made ready. Mr. Welles states that the squadron in Chinese waters will then be about as large as can conveniently be assigned to that station, in view of the demands for vessels of war in other quarters.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,


Anson Burlingame, Esq., &c., &c., &c.