Mr. Seward to Mr. Koerner

No. 37.]

Sir: I have received your despatch No. 25, dated the 22d ultimo, which is accompanied by a copy of a note addressed to you by her Catholic Majesty’s minister of foreign affairs, relative to the recent order of the captain-general of Cuba forbidding vessels of war of the United States to communicate with the city of Havana. From the terms of this note you infer that the order in question will not be rescinded.

It certainly seems strange that the exact nature of the proceeding on the part [Page 972] of the captain-general of Cuba should not be known by her Majesty’s government. The President is unwilling, however, to believe that the reply of Mr. Serrano to your note of the 3d of January last was intended to be merely an evasive one, and he still trusts that our complaint will be considered in the same spirit of justice and comity with which complaints on the part of Spain are considered by this government, and that the order of the captain-general will be modified.

You are aware that Mr. Shufeldt, our consul-general at Havana, has been removed, and that Mr. Perry has been appointed in his place. This change has been made under the belief that it will be agreeable to her Majesty’s government, and so be regarded as a proof of the good-will and friendship of the United States.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,


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