Mr. Seward to Mr. Koerner.
Sir: Our relations with Spain at the present time are fortunately not of a character to render it necessary that I should give any detailed or specific instructions for your government on assuming charge of the mission at Madrid. Those that were given to your predecessor, and which will be found on the files of the legation, were sufficiently ample, and are not less applicable to present circumstances than they were to those which existed at the time they were written. The fierce civil strife which then convulsed our country still rages, and is carried on by those who provoke it with a recklessness characteristic of their desperate fortunes. Thus far the nations of Europe, resisting the insidious appeals of the insurgents through their emissaries abroad, have stood aloof from the contest, though in somewhat varying attitudes. That of Spain has given no cause of complaint, and has been consistently maintained. We have no apprehension that it will be changed. The government of her Catholic Majesty knows that, while insisting on our own rights, we scrupulously respect the rights of other nations; and the high sense of honor for which Spain has ever been distinguished forbids the belief that she would ever practice less justice than ourselves. Neither can we believe that her sympathies will ever he given to those who, without cause and without even a reasonable pretext, have sought to subvert a government founded on law and order, and with which the government of her Catholic Majesty has always maintained unbroken relations of amity and good will.
There are, as you are no doubt aware, questions between the two governments concerning claims, &c, which still remain unadjusted. It is deemed expedient that those should, for the present, be suffered to rest in abeyance.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
Gustavus Koerner, Esq., &c., &c., &c.,