Mr. Seward to Mr. Burlingame

No. 162.]

Sir: Referring to your despatch of the 28th of February, No. 117, so far as it relates to the communication addressed by Mr. Dexter to Mr. Heard in answer [Page 507] to an inquiry made by the latter gentleman, whether contracts with coolies to labor for a term of years can be so made in China by an importer of them to the United States as to be of substantial assignable value on the arrival of the coolies here, the conclusion arrived at by Mr. Dexter that no contract can be made likely to be valuable to an importer of coolies is concurred in by this department. If, however, the reverse were true, it is not, at present, considered desirable to encourage the emigration of Chinese under the apprentice system, indicated in the letter of Mr. Dexter, though they will be at liberty to come voluntarily to the United States, subject to the restrictions contained in the act of Congress of the 19th of February, 1862, relative to coolie immigration, and to the acts therein referred to.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,


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