Señor Rafael Seijas to Señor B. Bruzual
June 2, 1865.
united states of venezuela—department of foreign relations—central bureau, no. 106.
Citizen Minister: I have read to the citizen the first designated in the exercise of the presidency of the republic a note which the legation of the United States of America addressed to this Department on the 31st of May, and in which it communicates already, and upon official information, the assassination of the President of that nation, the wounds inflicted upon the Secretary and his Assistant, and the entrance of the Vice-President upon the functions of the executive power.
On replying to you, and according to the orders which I have received, I must bear in mind that your legation, understanding perfectly the spirit of its instructions, and interpreting with fidelity the sentiments and principles of the government of the republic, anticipated of its own motion at the earliest opportunity the taking of a part in the mourning produced by the immense misfortune; and upon the arrival here of this information, the government commissioned me to make a visit, in its name, to Mr. Culver, at which I should make known the grief and horror with which it had learned the very afflicting event.
Now the citizen President ad interim has ordered the sympathies of the people and government of Venezuela to be reiterated to the United States of America for the loss it has just experienced. Those crimes, atrocious in all their circumstances, and which demonstrate on the part of their authors the extremity of wickedness, unavailing to the object which they propose to themselves, if any, always condemned by universal opinion, even when they may seem pardonable by causes of great magnitude, acquire extraordinary proportions on this occasion, in which a virtuous man, tenacious of the fulfilment of his duty, and who triumphantly sustained the cause of the Union and the extirpation of slavery in the great democracy of the New World, fell by the hands of an infamous perfidy. Formed by himself in the practical school of life, and amidst the severities of fate, his deserts were the result of his own effort, and through them he twice reached the presidency of the American federation. The integrity, the moderation, the energy with which he discharged that office in the most calamitous times of his country, contending with obstacles of every kind, which his sagacity foresaw and his ability overcame, will ever do honor to his political qualities and to the country which produces such men; and his opinions, permanently inimical to slavery, which in the end he succeeded in seeing suppressed by a constitutional amendment now very nearly consummated, place him among the benefactors of his fellow-creatures. All these talents, if, on the one hand, they assign to him an eminent position in the estimation of his contemporaries and of posterity, on the other hand, but redouble the grief for his death, and of the attempt which, adding to the injuries of nature those of human wickedness, increased the dangers of the wise statesman who, in so high a degree, was the sharer of his toils and measures, and which were extended even to his Assistant Secretary.
The government of the United States of Venezuela which, scarcely installed, ommissioned a minister to Washington to represent the sympathies of this federation [Page 645] to that of the North, during the cruel trials through which it was passing, by using his efforts to cultivate the friendship, and multiplying the relations of both countries, proves itself faithful to its antecedents, if it to-day equally participates in the grief of that nation for the loss of its President, snatched from life when about to reach the end of his hopes and toils, and condemns an offence which the unanimous opinion of the present generation will transmit to the future ones under the appellation of execrable.
Furthermore, Venezuela feels assured that the United States, whose robust vitality events so grave and unexpected have not been able to curtail in the least degree, will thus continue in their career of greatness and glory, under the enlightened guidance of him who, through the confidence of his fellow-citizens, was named to take the place of the President in certain cases. The government of Venezuela, while it conveys to him these wishes, will at the same time consider it a very agreeable duty to maintain the good understanding which existed during the administration of his predecessor.
You will be pleased to communicate to the honorable Secretary of State the present note, which, as you see, approves of the one which your legation addressed to him voluntarily on the same subject.
God and the federation!
A true copy