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Mr. Crosby to Mr. Seward.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Guatemala, June 1, 1861. SIR:
His excellency the President of Guatemala and his ministers, as well as the other officers and gentlemen of the government and country, all express their great friendship for the government and people of the United States, and especially their fervent hope that the present administration might successfully suppress the disturbances in portions of the southern States, and maintain the Union in all its integrity.
I have the honor, &c.,
E. O. CROSBY.
Hon. W. H. SEWARD,
Secretary of State.
Ex. Doc. 1-27
Mr. Sercard to Mr. Dickinson.
DEPARTMENT OF State,
Washington, June 5, 1861. SIR: The Spanish American states are important characters in the interesting drama of advancing civilization. They occupy a virgin domain equal to about one-cighth of the habitable part of the globe. Its fountains of wealth are inexhaustible. Its position secures it nearly equal advantages of trade and intercourse with the listless nations of the east, and with the vigorous nations of the west. Its ports, as well as all its transit routes are essential features in the commerce of the world. With the advantages of youth and singular exemption from foreign oppression or aggression which the Spanish Arnerican states have enjoyed for near half a century, it might have been expected that they would within that period have become strong and influential nations. The fact, thus far, is otherwise. They are just strong enough to maintain independence without securing necessary fear or respect. With much versatility, respectable talent, high cultivation, and very generous aspirations, they are generally changeful and capricious. The very mention of a South American state suggests always the same inquiry: why a people so free, so virtuous, so educated, and so emulous, are not more secure, fortunate, and happy. Everybody wishes the Spanish American states well, and yet everybody loses patience with them for not being wiser, more constant, and more stable. Such, I imagine, is the temper in which every foreign state finds itself when it proposes to consider its relations to those republics, and especially the republics of Central America. I know, at least, that this has always been the temper of our best statesmen in regard to Nicaragua. Union, or, at least, practical alliance with Nicaragua has always been felt by them as a necessity for the United States, and yet no one ever deems it prudent to counsel the establishment of such intimate relations. Possessidg one of the continental transits most interesting to the United States, Nicaragua is at once jealous of foreign intervention to render it available, and incompetent to open and maintain it herself. But Nicaragua, like the other Spanish American states, has far better excuses for its shortcomings than it generally has credit for. That state became precociously mature, and it adopted oar model of government with little of that preliminary popular education and discipline which seem necessary to enable any people to administer, maintain, and preserve free republican institutions. The policy pursued by foreign nations towards Nicaragua has not been liberal or generous. Great Britain, in her wars with Spain, early secured a position in the state very detrimental to its independence, and used it to maintain the Indians in a condition of defiance against the creole population, while it did nothing, at least nothing effectually, to civilize the tribes whom it had taken under its protection. Unwilling to lend the aid necessary to the improvement of the country, Great Britain used its protectorate there to counteract domestic efforts and intervention from this government to make that improvement which was necessary for the interest of Nicaragua herself, and hardly less necessary
for all the western nations. Our own goverument has been scarcely less capricious, at one time seeming to court the most intimate alliance, at another treating the new republic with neglect and indifference, and at another indirectly, if not directly, consenting to the conquest and desolation of the country by our own citizens for the purpose of re-establishing the institution of slavery, which it had wisely rejected. It may be doubtful whether Nicaragua has not until this day been a loser instead of a gainer by her propinquity to, and intercourse with, the United States.
Happily this condition of things has ceased at last. Great Britain has discovered that her Mosquito protectorate was as useless to herself as it was injurious to Nicaragua, and has abandoned it. The United States no longer think that they want slavery re-established in that'state, nor do they desire anything at the hands of its government but that it may so conduct its affairs as to permit and favor the opening of an inter-oceanic navigation, which shall be profitable to Nicaragua and equally open to the United States and to all other maritime nations.
You go to Nicaragua in this fortunate conjuncture of circumstances. There is yet another comfort attending your mission. Claims of American citizens upon the government of Nicaragua have long been a source of diplomatic irritation. A convention which provides for the settlement of these claims has been already negotiated. It wants only the consent of the Senate of the United States to an amendment proposed by Nicaragu, which, it is believed, would not materially change the effect of the convention, and such consent way, therefore, be expected to be given at the approaching special session of Congress.
Your instructions, therefore, will be few and very simple. Assure the republic of Nicaragua that the President will deal with that government justly, fairly, and in the most friendly spirit; that he desires only its welfare and prosperity. Cultivate friendly dispositions there toward the United States. See that no partiality arises in behalf of any other foreign state to our prejudice, and favor, in every way you can, the improvement of the transit route, seeking only such facilities for our commerce as Nicaragua can afford profitably to herself, and yield, at the same time, to other commercial nations.
Let unpleasant memories of past differences be buried, and let Nicaragua be encouraged to rely on the sympathy and support of the United States if she shall at any time come to need them. I am, sir, your obedient servant,
WILLIAM H. SEWARD, A. B. DICKINSON, Esq., fr., sc., Se.
Mr. Thayer to Mr. Seward.
UNITED States CONSULATE GENERAL,
Alexandria, Egypt, June 29, 1861. SIR: I have the honor to inform you of my arrival at this port on the morning of the 26th instant. The interruption of travel between Washington and New York, consequent on the late riotous proceedings in Balti. more, and my illness in Europe, necessarily prevented an earlier appearance at my post.
Immediate notice of my arrival, coupled with a request for an early inter view with the viceroy, was served on the minister of foreign affairs, who telegraphed accordingly to the Pacha, then sojourning at his palace in Benha, about one hundred and twenty miles distant A reply arrived on the evening of the 28th instant, that his highness would visit Alexandria and give an official reception. The promptness of his response, and his obliging readiness in voluntarily foregoing the usage which has heretofore required diplomatic agents, when asking an immediate interview, to present themselves in whatever part of Egypt he may have happened to be, instead of his coming to meet them, are interpreted here as marks of special courtesy to the government of the United States.
At half-past eight, according to previous arrangement, the dragoman of the viceroy arrived at the United States consulate with the state carriage, in which, together with our vice-consul, Mr. Johnson, I was conveyed to the palace built by the late Mohammed Ali on the sea-shore. We were also accompanied by a cavalcade of guards and janizaries attached to the other consulates at Alexandria. As we entered the court-yard the troops were drawn up in a line, with quite a fine effect, on our right, and we were greeted with the vigorous music of a military band.
Passing up the steps of the palace, and between the numerous attendants and officers who stood in order on each side, I was welcomed by the minister of foreign affairs, and by him presented to the viceroy, who advanced towards the centre of the spacious hall of reception. I then addressed him as follows:
“Your Highness: I have the honor to present to your highness a letter of credence from the President of the United States, announcing that I have been duly appointed to be the consul general of the United States for Egypt and its dependencies.
“In thus,accrediting me as a diplomatic agent, the President desires me to assure your highness of his cordial friendship, and of his satisfaction in the continuance of those amicable relations which have so long and so happily subsisted between the governments of your highness and of the United States.
“During my official residence it will be my pleasant duty, acting in harmony with these assurances of the President, to use all honorable means to protect the interests of my fellow-citizens, and at the same time to foster a good understanding between them and the subjects of your highness. May these purposes receive your highness's benevolent approval."