Mr. Seward to Mr. Koerner

No. 20.]

Sir: I send you copies of a correspondence which has recently taken place between Major General Butler and the commander of her Catholic Majesty’s ship-of-war Blasco de Garay, and also copies of an unofficial correspondence which has taken place between his excellency Mr. Tassara and this department. All these papers relate to certain proceedings of the commander of the Blasco de Garay at New Orleans.

I send you, as a sequel of this correspondence, an instruction which has this day been given by this government to Major General Butler.

You will seek an early occasion to submit these papers to Mr. Calderon Collantes, and at the same time state to him that this government confidently expects that such instructions shall be given to Spanish ships-of war as shall prevent them from infringing or treating with disrespect the sovereignty or the authority of the United States while they are remaining in ports or places within the United States which are actually held, as New Orleans now is, in military possession by the forces of this government. It is not the desire of the United States to lift the proceeding of the commander of the Blasco de Garay up to the importance which belongs to a subject of national complaint. The regulations which will now be established will, it is hoped, prevent any future misunderstanding between the authorities of the two countries at New Orleans.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,


Gustavus Koerner, Esq., &c., &c., &c., Madrid.