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went forward last night with my No. 876. A full summary of Mr. Car vajal's four propositions for an adjustment of the Virginius issue was telegraphed to you yesterday. am, &c.,


(Inclosure in No. 878.—Translation.) Mr. José de Carvajal to General Sickles.


Madrid, November 26, 1873. Sir: The undersigned, minister of state and member of the executive power of the Spanish Republic, has the honor to state to General Sickles, minister plenipotentiary and envoy extraordinary of the republic of the United States of America, that it alike betits the loyalty of the relations happily existing between these two nations, and the importance the question of the Virginius has acquired in official circles and in public opinion, to declare that, although the Spanish government has not attained, within the brief space of ten days that has elapsed since the note of the 15th, in which was formulated the demand for reparation preferred by the American Government, that full certitude of the injuries inflicted which the dignity of both governments requires in order that the extent of the reparation be proportionate to the wrongs committed, or even to permit of the existence of such wrongs being made manifest, it already possesses sufficient data for the hypothetical determination of the satisfaction it deerns just, in the cases of injuries in which representations have been recently made by the friendly republic, and, at the same time, to give public testimony that it has no desire to indefinitely postpone an act which, being one of justice, and based on a violation of the international laws that unite and shelter all nations, is of interest also to Spain, so frequently injured by the want of observance of that law to which she must also turn in moments like the present in order that she may regain her integrity of action, and to the provisions of which she would at heart feel ill-fitted to appeal had she beforehand infringed or evaded them.

When you were informined, both verbally and in writing, that the government was not prepared to redress wrongs of the commission and importance of which it was not first convinced, but that at the same time it held the firm resolution to give satisfaction for them, in accordance with the duties imposed upon it by universal law or particular treaties, it was not my intention to give indefinite range to an affair the prompt settlement of which was important to all; neither did I even suspect that you or your Government entertained such a doubt. The proof of our sincerity is that to-day, having already a fuller knowledge of the matter, and the assurance that it will be completely known within a short time, we come of our own accord to say to the Government of the republic of the United States that before the 25th of next December we shall have made clearly evident the right that is on our side, or, with the same spontaneousness, we shall have recognized its right to demand a reparation on the following bases, with the understanding that if we can do so sooner, the national good faith stands pledged that we shall not retard the immediate fulfillment of our promises.

First. If it be proved that the Virginius rightfully carried the American flag, and that her papers were in regular form, we shall declare her seizure illegal, salute the American flag in the manner desired, and return the Virginius with the surviving crew and passengers.

Second. If it be proved that in the proceedings or sentences pronounced against foreigners by the authorities of Santiago de Cuba there has been an essential failure to comply with the provisions of our legislation or of treaties, the government will arraign those authorities before the competent tribunals.

Third. Any other reclamations which may be preferred in the same matter breither of the two governments shall be considered diplomatically, and if an agreement be not reached, they shall be submitted for judgment to a third, named by mutual consent

Fourth. If the 25th day of December expire without the Spanish government having, for its part and in so far as may be within its province, resolved the question raised by the demand for reparation, it will thereupon, and does now beforehand, cousider itself bound to grant reparation the same as if it had recognized the right of the Government of the United States to exact it, and such reparation will be given in the form prescribed in the first and second bases.

These purposes are in perfect harmony with those which from the first have been exhibited in the course followed by the executive power, and I am confident that, being frankly expressed and cordially accepted, they will suffice to banislı all disquietude and susceptibilities, leaving the dignity of the two republics unimpaired, and strengthening the bonds that unite them. I avail myself, &c.,


No. 654.

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General Sickles to Mr. Fish.
No. 886.)


Madrid, November 27, 1873. (Received Dec. 23.) SIR : I have the lionor to forward herewith a translation of a private note from Mr. Carvajal at a late hour last night, and a copy of my reply thereto, in relation to the suspension of official action on my request for my passports. I am, &c.,


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(Inclosure 1 in No. 886.- Translation.)

Mr. José de Carvajal to General Sickles.


November 26, 1873. MY DEAR GENERAL: A common friend has given me to understand that the note I sent you this morning at an early hour had not reached your hands when at 2 o'clock in the afternoon you sent me yours asking your passports, and that it would be agreeable to you if action were not taken (no se diera curso) on the latter.

For my part, I can assure you that this would also be very satisfactory to me, and
I beg that you will kindly let me'know if I may do so, thus accomplishing the desires
of both.
I repeat, &c.,


(Inclosure 2 in No. 886.)

General Sickles to Mr. José de Carvajal.


Madrid, November 26, 1873. MY DEAR MR. CARVAJAL: In reply to your note of to-night I have to state, in view of the communication received from you this afternoon at half-past 2, soon after I had asked for my passports, that you are at liberty to defer any reply to my note until the request be renewed, if unhappily our negotiations fail, and I should be constrained again to take that step. I am, &c.,


No. 655.

Mr. Fish to General Sickles.


WASHINGTON, November 27, 1873. The Senate of the United States, on the 16th of June, 1858, unani mously adopted a resolution in these words:

Resolved, (as the judgment of the Senate,) That American vessels on the high seas, in time of peace, bearing the American flag, remain under the jurisdiction of the country to which they belong, and therefore any visitation, molestation, or detention of such vessel by force, or by the exhibition of force, on the part of a foreign power, is in derogation of the sovereignty of the United States.

After the passage of this resolution, Great Britain formally recognized the principle thus announced, and other maritime powers and writers on international law all assert'it.

No. 656.

General Sickles to Mr. Fish.

MADRID, November 28, 1873. Am without reply to my telegram to you of 26th. Have reason to assure you that this government is ready to yield our terms of reparation. Hope to announce this result to you this afternoon.


No. 657.

General Sickles to Mr. Fish.


MADRID, November 28, 1873. Your plain instruction London of yesterday is just received, as also your cipher telegram of same date.

In conformity to your instruction of the 25th, I have awaited your orders in reply to the propositions cabled you at 5 in the afternoon of the 26th. Assuming that you regard them as inadmissible, I propose, unless meanwhile I receive other instructions from you, to renew my request for my passports at 3 o'clock this day.


No. 658.

General Sickles to Mr. Fish. No. 887.]

UNITED STATES LEGATION IN SPAIN, Madrid, November 28, 1873. (Received December 23.) SIR: I have the honor to forward herewith copies of communications recently exchanged between the Count Maffei, the Italian chargé d'affaires in Madrid, and myself, respecting the authorization granted to the former by the cabinet of Rome to take charge of the effects of this legation and of American interests in event of my departure from Spain. I am, sir, &c.,


[Inclosure 1 in No 887.)

General Sickles to Count Maffei. Confidential.]


Madrid, November 24, 1873. MY DEAR COUNT: I conveyed to my Government the intimation you kindly gare me, that if a request were made by the President through the diplomatie channel, leave would be granted to you to take charge of the effects of this legation, if an occasion should arise to ask your good offices in that regard.

In reply I am informed that my Government has sent such a communication to that of His Majesty the King of Italy.

I will thank you to acquaint me with the further instruction you may receive en this subject, and I in turn shall not fail to give you timely notice of my movements. I am, &c.,


(Inclosure 2 in No. 887.)

Count Maffei to General Sickles.



Madrid, November 26, 1873. MY DEAR GENERAL: I hasten to inform you, in reply to your note of yesterday's date, that I have just received a telegram from my government by which I am authorized to take charge of the archives of the United States legation and of American interests and subjects, should you be compelled to leave this country,

This intimation is made to me in consequence of an official communication addressed to the Italian government by Mr. Fish; and while expressing the hope that the present difference may yet receive an amicable as well as satisfactory solution, I neerl not tell you how highly honored I feel by the confidence you have placed in me, and how earnestly I shall direct all my efforts, in the event of a complication, to deserve that of your Government and of any of your countrymen. I thus hold myself at your entire disposal, and remain, &c.,


(Inclosure 3 in No. 887.]

General Sickles to Count Vaffei.


Madrid, November 28, 1873. MY DEAR COUNT: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your kind note of 26th instant, in which you acquaint me of the favorable action of your government in response to the request of the United States, authorizing you to take charge of such American interests here as might need protection in the event of the possible interruption of diplomatic relations between the United States and Spain.

I thank you sincerely for the cordiality and frankness with which you have signified your readiness to undertake this task, should the emergency unhappily arise.

To-slay I am able to state, at least semi-officially, that the question of the Virginius may be regarded as having reached a diplomatic solution, which I trust will be promptly followed by the acts of reparation agreed upon, thus avoiding any necessity to trouble you with an addition to your important duties. Believe me, &c.,


No. 659.

General Sickles to Mr. Fish.


MADRID, November 28, 1873. Last night it was agreed here informally that, accepting my declaration of the nationality of the Virginius, reparation would be made in accordance with our demand of the 15th instant. This was ratified by the council of ministers at 3 this morning, and I was promised an official communication in that sense to-day. I am now informed in a note from the minister of state that yesterday you authorized the Spanish minister in Washington to convey to this government a different proposition on the part of the United States, and that it has been accepted, of which you have been notified through Admiral Polo. Please let me know whether that statement is true.

The only instruction I have had from you since my four telegrams of the 26th, is a copy of the Senate resolution passed in fifty-eight.


No. 660.

Afr. Fish to General Sickles.


WASHINGTON, November 28, 1873. When your dispatch of 5 afternoon of 26th was received, it was supposed here that you had left Madrid, inasmuch as you informed me you had then demanded your passports. I therefore gave the reply of this Government in a written memorandum to Admiral Polo, the substance of which was that it would not assent to the proposition which allowed Spain to hold the vessel and survivors while seeking evidence to justify the capture, assigning reasons therefor to him to be communicated to his government. Admiral Polo informs me this morning that his gov. ernment says that negotiations are renewed in Madrid. Since then I received at 4 this afternoon your telegram of this morning announcing that you should request your passports at 3 to-day. The supposed negotiations must therefore drop at Madrid and be conducted hereafter here.


No. 661.

General Sickles to Mr. Fish.


MADRID, November 29, 1873. Your telegram of 28th received this morning.

Note dated yesterday from minister of state, mentioned in my tele. gram of 9 last night, contains following statement:

“Admiral Polo, duly authorized by Mr. Fish, informs me that the United States Government would admit an accommodation on the basis of the immediate return of the Virginius and the survivors, reserving the salute of the flag to be performed if the Spanish government do not prove to the satisfaction of the United States, before the 25th of December next, that the Virginius had no right to carry the American flag."

Minister adds that the initiative in this proposition was taken by the Spanish government, founded on assurances received from you, through Admiral Polo, that the United States were disposed to entertain any reclamations or complaints Spain might have to make for the acts of the Virginius, and, on being informed that you accepted their bases, tbe executive power had telegraphed the admiral yesterday afternoon confirming the arrangement. Mr. Carvajal concludes with congratulations on this happy termination of the affair.

I have to remark that, this government having been advised by the most eminent jurists of Spain and by the European powers that the reclamation of the United States was supported by public law, the negotiations would have been terminated here yesterday before 3 in the afternoon on the basis of your instructions to me if this government had not supposed that it had obtained better terms in Washington pending the negotiations in Madrid. If you are not too far committed, you hare only to insist upon your original terms to obtain them.

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