Mr. Perry to Mr. Seward.
Sir: Your instructions up to April 14 (No. 27) have been received and properly numbered as you direct.
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Perhaps I have omitted to mention heretofore that Mr. Rost, styling himself a commissioner for the so-called Confederate States, has been residing at Madrid as a private gentlemen for some six weeks past. He applied to be received by this government in his pretended official capacity, but Mr. Calderon Collantes declined the honor of such an interview, and immediately sent me word of the application made to him by Mr. Rost, and of his reply.
Mr. Calderon told me he should have no difficulty in meeting Mr. Rost as a distinguished foreigner, but would have no intercourse with him, in his own capacity, as minister of state.
I have no reason to suppose that this resolution has been deviated from in practice.
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You are already aware that the Sumter has been abandoned by her officers and that part of the crew which had not previously deserted.[Page 495]
The subsequent incident of the shipwreck of part of the officers and crew of the pirate, aboard an English steamer, on the English coast, near Vigo, is related in the enclosed correspondence.
I may be permitted to congratulate you upon the ultimate success of my efforts, in the first instance, to prevent those repairs which were indispensable to the pirate’s efficiency as a war vessel, as also to provoke the desertion of her crew, (V. despatch No. 36, of February 22,) of whom I am informed she lost 43 men, as well as the successful efforts of Mr. Sprague to prevent her receiving coals at Gibraltar; all of which gave time for our vessels of war to arrive in the straits, and bring at last the career of this corsair to the inglorious conclusion just mentioned.
I have the honor to remain, with the highest respect, sir, your obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, &c., &c., Washington.