Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

excite a great deal of feeling at home, and subject our countrymen here to much annoyance and inconvenience, and, at the same time, to give ourselves at least the color of right to assemble where we did for religious worship, I directed the arms of the American legation to be placed over the building in which the American chapel is located, This seems to have satisfied the requirements or scruples of the authorities, and thus far no one has interfered with us; nor do I believe that we shall be disturbed during the present season.

Thus stands the case at present; but it is not so easy to see what future provision is to be made for the American church in Rome. The authorities may, possibly, hereafter insist upon the rule that it shall be held under the minister’s roof. On the other hand, the minister will always find increasing difliculty in securing apartments that will accommodate his family and himself, and at the same time include suitable provision for a chapel. Very good rooms can be obtained in the same building in which the English church is located, and I have the assurance of the cardinal secretary of state himself that no interference would be attempted with Americans choosing to assemble there for religious worship, even though separate and apart from the legation, but the locality is objected to on the ground that it is outside (though just outside) the walls. One solution, indeed, of the difliculty has been suggested, but I am by no means sanguine that it will find favor in the eyes of Congress. This is to purchase or hire for a term of years a building for legation purposes, including ample accommodation for a chapel. Undensuch an arrangement there would be no further question as to the right of American Protestants to assemble for public worship within the walls of Rome, while an oflicial residence might be provided suitable to the position of the American representative at the Papal court, and not unworthy the character, dignity, and influence of the American government and people.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
RUFUS KING.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD,

Secretary of State, Washington, D. C‘.

[ocr errors]

No. 84.] LEGATION on THE Umrno S'rA'rEs, ' Rome, February 25, 1867.

SIR: On Friday last, the 22d instant, the Pope held a secret consistory at the Vatican, at which he pronounced an alloclition, copies of which in Latin and in Italian I herewith transmit. The Pope at the same time appointed a number of bishops, and, among them, fourteen (14) for different Sees in the kingdom of Italy, vacant for some time past. lt is supposed that this is one of the results of Signor Tonello’s recent mission. I hear it rumored that three new cardinals will shortly be created, and that one of -them is to be assigned to the United States.

On Saturday last the carnival was opened with the customary ceremonies and an unusual display of troops. But though the cor-so presented its wonted gay appearance, the principal buildings being decorated with rich hangings, and the balconies filled with strangers, there was a marked absenceof carriages and pedestrians from the street; the Roman people, as a general rule. taking no part in the festivities. This is said to have been in compliance with the advice or request of the Roman committee, who desired, in this indirect way, to manifest the popular disapprobation of the existing order of things. On the other hand, the presence of an unusual number of troops may be thought to betray on the part of the authorities an apprehension that advantage might be taken of the crowds, ordinarily attracted by the carnival, to excite some insurrectionary movement. Thus far, however, all remains quiet.

I am, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant,

RUFUS KING. Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, .

[merged small][graphic][ocr errors]

Allocution pronounced by his Holiness Pope Pius the IX, at the secret consistory had the 22d February, 1867.

The love of Christ impelling us to adopt some means throu h which we might be able to provide for filling up the many vacant bishoprics in Italy, in t e month of March, 1865, we wrote with our own hand a letter to the most Severne King Victor Emanuel, asking him to delegate near to us some person with whom we might treat about so weighty a. matter. Our wish having been acceeded to negotiations were instituted, which, however, certainly not by our fault, failed of success, and frustrated our vehement desire for promoting the salvation of souls which the Holy See has ever valued beyond all things else.

The matter has, indeed, been lately resumed with the assent of those who control the affairs of Italy; but I cannot speak on this theme without great sadness and bitter grief, for the holy bishops, who we are about to send to the vacant Sees, will not only find the vental of every Episcopal household destroyed, but all that supported it, and by long customs served for their maintenance, and for sustaining the poor, taken away; but, what is still worse, the pillars of the sanctuary scattered, the asylums of religious perfection deserted, the occupants of the cloisters deprived of their subsistence, the holy virgins driven from their cells, in which, through the favor of God, they had been received to live and die in the bosom of their heavenly spouse. It is a grave and sad thing, in such a condition of public affairs, to appoint bishops. But what then 1 Shall we shrink from our purpose 7 Far be it from us. Let the laborers hasten to the vineyard planted by theI.ord and watered by the blood of his son. Let them go to cultivate it in the name of Jesus Christ, relying on God for his special favor. Let them go relying on the favor of the mother of God, who will most efliciently aid them, because she, while the seats of learning must be filled by pastors of wisdom and intellect, will at such times reconduct to them many wanderers, as consoler of the afiiicted will alleviate, through such means, the tribulations of many, and with Christian aid will conciliate the religious sentiment and filial piety of multitudes, will relieve them under their weightiest burdens, will aid them as associated in the combat against the adversaries of God, and against the powers of darkness who are endeavoring to conquer the whole evangelic camp by reducing it to a miserable ruin. Therefore shall we leave among the new pastors, some who belong to Italy, trusting that in future consistories more may be accomplished, if, indeed, men living according to the customs of the age can agree with us, in the first place, about the election of persons. To say more, at present, of the existing condition of things is not advisable; the luture, however, unless the right hand of the Most High is interposed sufliciently plain, foretells a very sad series of events. To us, however, it is confided by God,

who, with the Immaculate Virgin and the Holy Apostles, thus far so clearly protects us under '

the shadow of their wings, so, at least, we hope that our grief may be changed into gladness. Let us hasten to bring about this most desirable result by our prayers, by the agreement of our councils, and by the exercise of every Christian virtue.

[graphic][merged small]

No. 86.] LEGATION on THE UNITED STATES, Rome, March 1, 1867.

SIR: Recent mails from the United States have brought the rather unlocked for intelligence that the American mission at Rome was about to be closed by Congress; mainly, it would appear, in consequence of the rumored removal of the American chapel from the minister’s residence, within the walls of Rome, to a villa outside. In my despatch (No. 83) of February 18th, I transmitted for the information of the department a detailed account of the proceedings had here,

in connection with this subject of Protestant worship in Rome; and I have nothing, atpresent, to add on that score. There are, however, some considerations which I feel it my duty to submit, and which seem to me conclusive against the policy or expediency of withdrawing the American representative at the Papal court in the present juncture of affairs. I feel the less hesitation in doing this, since I have asked to be transferred from Rome, and do not, therefore, speak from interested motives. '

There probably has never been a time when the number of American travellers sojourning in Rome, and of American artists resident here, was so great as it is now, and it may be doubted whether there is a capital in Europe, with the single exception of Paris, where the proportion of Americans, resident and transient, especially during the fall and winter months, is so large as in this impe

rial city. The presence of an American minister is important to them, since '

there are numerous occasions and various ways in which he can be of very great service.

I am not, I think, mistaken in the belief that the Papal court is more than ever disposed to cultivate friendly and intimate relations with the United States. I might, in proof of this, instance not only studied and unvarying courtesy and kindness which I myself have always met with, personally and oiiicially, at the hands of the Papal authorities, but the treatment experienced by all of my countrymen who have chanced to visit Rome during the past few years. Perhaps a still more striking evidence of this friendly disposition is to be found in the action of the Papal authorities at the time of the arrest of John H. Surratt. It will be in the recollection of the honorable Secretary of State, that When, in obedience to his instructions of October 16th, 1866, I inquired of Cardinal Anto

nelli (November 2) whether upon proper indictment, or the usual preliminary '

proof, Surratt would be delivered up at the request of the State Department, the answer was promptly in the afiirmative; and that without waiting for any formal demand on my part. as well as in the absence of an extradition treaty between the governments for the surrender of fugitives from justice, orders were given for the immediate arrest of Surratt, and his being placed in close confinement. This was done with the single purpose of showing the ready disposition of the Papal authorities to comply with the anticipated request of the American government. At the very same time the Italian government, applied to by-our minister at Florence, the honorable George P. Marsh, declined to give any assurance for the surrender of Surratt should he be arrested Within their jurisdiction, except upon conditions, which, as Mr. Marsh wrote to me, be greatly doubted whether our government would accept. The Papal government, on the contrary, attached no conditions whatever to their promised surrender of the fugitive upon my expected demand. The sudden withdrawal of our representative now, When, as many believe, the hours of the Papal government are numbered, seems scarcely a generous return for this friendly conduct on their part towards the American government and people. ~

The present aspect of European afiairs is especially threatening. In the east the old quarrel between the crescent and the cross has recently revived, and is daily gaining larger proportions. France, while loudly proclaiming peace, is calling under her eagle a million and a half of men. The King of Prussia, in the speech just delivered to his new Parliament, assumes the character, though not yet wearing the title, of Emperor of Germany. Austria, by fresh concessions to Hungary, is preparing. as in the days of Maria Theresa, to rally that gallant people to the defence of her territory and throne. Italy is in a ferment, and the revolution threatens Rome. It is hardly possible that six months should elapse without agviolent, perhaps a general convulsion. Is this the time to withdraw from Rome the American minister’! Is it magnanimous in us to abandon the sovereign Pontifi' in this hour of his waning fortunes? Shall We be the first among civilized and Christian nations to strike this blow at the Holy

See? Are we to leave hundreds of our fellow-citizens to the possible chance of encountering the revolution face to face, and without a representative to vindicate their rights and protect their interests, and it may be their property and

persons? ' It has been intimated in some quarters that the closing of the American

legation here, though ostensibly caused by the rumored suppression of Protestant worship in Rome, was really designed as an indirect recognition of the right and title of Victor Emanuel to the whole of Italy. But I am unwilling to believe that Congress would attempt to accomplish by indirection what it hesitates to do directly. The United States has no need to resort to subterfuge. If the time has come for formally recognizing the Kingdom of Itally, as one and indivisible, with Victor Emanuel for its sovereign and Rome for its capital and centre, there can be no necessity of founding upon a false pretext an act which we have the right, if we deem it politic and proper, to perform openly and in the eyes of all the world. If we are to withdraw our recognition of the temporal power of the Pope and to recall the American representative at the Papal court, at the moment when it stands most in need of our friendly sympathy, I trust, as indeed I do not doubt, that it will be done upon grounds and in a manner that will reflect no discredit upon our own country and leave no just cause of complaint to the governments of Europe.

I am reminded by the date of this despatch that the term of the present Congress will expire within four days. Long, therefore, before it can reach Washington, the question as to the suppressioh or continuance of the Roman mission will havebeen definitely settled. It is not, therefore, with any expectation of influencing the result that I have ventured to submit the foregoing considerations, but solely to place on record some of the reasons why in my humble judgment this is not the time for recalling the American representative from the Papal court, and withdrawing to that extent our recognition of the Holy Father’s temporal authority. '

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant, _ RUFUS KING. Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington, D. G.

Mr. King to Mr. Seward.

No. 87.] _ LEGATION or THE UNITED STATES, Rome, March 26, 1867.

SIR: In‘ my despatch No. 83, of February 18th, I mentioned the circumstances under which the Scotch Presbyterians had been requested to close their places of worship within the walls of Rome, and transfer their religious services to a designated locality outside. I learned, two or three days since, that Mr. Odo Russell, diplomatic agent of the British government at the Papal court, who had reported the case to the authorities at home, had in reply received instructions to thank the Papal government for not having entirely deprived the Scotch Presbyterians of the right to meet for purposes of religious worship, and that it still permitted them so to assemble in a building adjacent to the one occupied for the past forty years by the English Protestants. The British government appeared to think that the Scotch, by knowingly violating the Roman law on this subject, had justly incurred the penalty prescribe, and that the Papal authorities in the course which they pursued had acted with commendable forbearance. Mr. Russell duly communicated to Cardinal Antonelli these thanks of the British government, and inferred from what transpired in the course of the subsequent conversation that his Eminence expected that the American

Protestants also, if continuing to hold their religious services apart from the residence of the minister, would make use of the building already appropriated for English Protestant worship, in the immediate vicinity of the Porta del Popolo. For the present, nevertheless, the American chapel in the Vicolo d’ Alibert, and no change seems likely to be made during the current season. ,

The\United States ship of war Shamrock, Commander Hopkins, arrived at Civita Vecchia last week, to replace the Ticonderoga, ordered by the admiral to Port Mahon.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant, RUFUS KING. Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Wasliingtan, D. U.

[graphic][merged small][merged small]

SIR : I have to inform you that in the “act making appropriation for the consular and diplomatic expenses of the goveknment, for the year ending 30th June, 1868,'and for other purposes,” approved February 26th, 1867, it is provided that “ no money hereby or otherwise appropriated shall be paid for the support of an American legation at Rome, from and after the thirtieth day of June, eighteen

hundred and sixty-seven.”
I am, sir, your obedient servant,

[ocr errors]

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

Mr. Seward to Mr. King.

No. 58.] DEPARTMENT or STATE, - Washington, April 20, 1867.

SIR : You have already been informed that a law has been enacted by Con-'

gress which declares that from and after the 30th of June next no more money shall be paid for the legation at Rome. This law leaves your mission still existing, but without compensation after that period.

You will be at liberty, under the circumstances, to consult your own feelings and interest, either to remain at Rome, in charge of the legation, after the 30th of June, without compensation or provision for your expenses, or to resign, or -to leave Rome without resigning on leave of absence, but in every case without compensation, whether remaining in Europe or returning here.

Should you decide withdrawing from Rome, you are at liberty to do so at any time before or after the 30th of June. Whenever you may have prepared to withdraw from that capital, you will place the archives in the care of the consul at that place, taking the ‘proper vouchers therefor, and you will inform the cardinal secretary of state 0 that proceeding. You will need to give him no further explanation, although you are entirely at liberty to communicate the contents of this instruction.

\ I am, sir, your obedient servant, WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »