“September 29, 1838. On Monday I received a very flattering letter from our excellent Minister, Governor Cass, introducing me to the Count Montalivet, and I accordingly called the next day. I did not see him, but had an interview with his secretary, who told me that the Administrator of the Telegraphs had not yet reported to the Minister, but that he would see him the next day, and that, if I would call on Friday, he would inform me of the result. I called on Friday. The secretary informed me that he had seen M. Foy, and that he had more than confirmed the flattering accounts in the American Minister’s letter respecting the Telegraph, but was not yet prepared with his report to the Minister—he wished to make a detailed account of the differences in favor of mine over all others that had been presented to him, or words to that effect; and the secretary assured me that the report would be all I could wish. This is certainly flattering and I am to call on Monday to learn further.”
“October 24. I can only add, in a few words, that everything here is as encouraging as could be expected. The report of the Administrator of Telegraphs has been made to the Minister of the Interior, and I have been told that I should be notified of the intentions of the Government in a few days. I have also shown the railroad telegraph to the Saint-Germain directors, who are delighted with it, and from them I expect a proposition within a few days.”
“November 22. I intend sending this letter by the packet of the 24th inst., and am in hopes of sending with it some intelligence from those from whom I have been so long expecting something. Everything moves at a snail’s pace here. I find delay in all things; at least, so it appears to me, who have too strong a development of the American organ of ‘go-ahead-ativeness’ to feel easy under its tantalizing effects. A Frenchman ought to have as many lives as a cat to bring to pass, on his dilatory plan of procedure, the same results that a Yankee would accomplish in his single life.”
“Afternoon, November 22. Called on the Ministre de l’Interieur; no one at home; left card and will call again to-morrow, and hope to be in time yet for the packet.”
“November 23. I have again called, but do not find at home the chief secretary, M. Merlin.... I shall miss the packet of the 24th, but I am told she is a slow ship and that I shall probably find the letters reach home quite as soon by the next. I will leave this open to add if anything occurs between this and next packet day.”
“November 30. I have been called off from this letter until the last moment by stirring about and endeavoring to expedite matters with the Government. I have been to see General Cass since my last date. I talked over matters with him. He complains much of their dilatoriness, but sees no way of quickening them.... I called again this morning at the Minister’s and, as usual, the secretary was absent; at the palace they said. If I could once get them to look at it I should be sure of them, for I have never shown it to any one who did not seem in raptures. I showed it a few days ago to M. Fremel, the Director of Light-Houses, who came with Mr. Vail and Captain Perry. He was cautious at first, but afterwards became as enthusiastic as any.