Mr. Koerner to Mr. Seward.

No. 89.]

Sir:Despatch No. 76, with memorandum on “Talambo question,” between Peru and Spain, and despatch No. 78, (no number 77 having been received,) arrived here day before yesterday.

In pursuance of the instructions contained in No. 76, I had an interview with Mr. Pacheco, in which I informed him of the great interest our government felt in seeing amicable relations sustained between Spain and the republican governments of America, and that for this reason the difficulty which had arisen between Spain and Peru had been viewed with regret on our part. That while it was not the intention of the government to interfere in the dispute, there was a desire to smooth down (applanir) disagreements, and to prevent interruption of friendship, and our good offices were offered cordially for such a purpose. It appeared to my government that the demands made by Admiral Pinzon on the Peruvian authorities for redress were somewhat too strong and calculated to wound the feelings of self-respect and national dignity of Peru.

Mr. Pacheco seemed to receive what I said very well. He remarked that his government was very far from wishing hostilities with Peru, or any other power, That nothing would be asked but a bona fide trial and punishment of the offenders; that his government could not permit people to be killed for no other reason than that they were Spaniards; that he did not know the terms in which Admiral Pinzon had claimed redress; they were, of course, his own, and had not been suggested to him by the government, which at the time knew nothing of the matter. As those terms were unknown to the government here, they had of course, not approved them, or expressed any opinion about them. That the admiral had no more to do with it. Mr. Salazar had been sent out with full instructions by the cabinet which had preceded him, (Mr. Pacheco,) and could hardly have arrived as yet at Callao. That as the conversation was confidential, he would tell me that the instructions given to Señor Salazar were not of a character to promote hostilities; that since he had come into office he had also given instructions, of which I might be assured that they were not of a nature to produce a conflict. He said he was obliged for the offer of our good services, and they would not be refused, though he did not think there was any subject for mediation existing.

This is about the substance of the conversation as it passed a few hours ago, and which was, as I had intimated to the minister at the beginning, altogether confidential and informal. It is said—but this I state on information merely [Page 19] the minister not having made any remark to that effect, or even said anything to me from which it might be inferred—that the first instructions given to Señor Salazar by Mr. Anozola, the late minister president, were of a menacing or aggressive character, but that the moment Mr. Pacheco came into office he despatched a special messenger after Mr. Salazar with new instructions, considerably modifying the first in their tone and purport. This is not improbable. Mr. Pacheco is, I take it, a man of peace, much inclined to conciliate matters. This is his reputation, and I find it to be correct, as far as my limited experience goes. Besides, it is hardly probable that he should have given, within so short a time, new instructions to Señor Salazar, if he had been quite satisfied with the first. I will watch the proceedings in Peru now with attention, and not fail, should occasion require, to renew the efforts to prevent a rupture between the two nations.

I may be permitted to remark, that I would be greatly assisted in this undertaking if the department would, by additional instructions, specify and define the particular propositions which it might be proper to submit to the general government on this subject.

With very great respect, your most obedient servant,


Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, &c., &c., &c.,