Mr. Seward to Mr. Hale

No. 12]

Sir: I am directed by the President to express emphatically his regret at the failure which has thus far attended the efforts that have been made to induce the belligerent parties in Chili to desist from hostilities and to inaugurate measures of pacification. You are expected, however, to use your good offices in this direction whenever, in your opinion, there shall be any reasonable ground whereon to build a hope of success; and I have only one suggestion to offer for the guidance of your own discretion, which is, that in tendering such good offices it is eminently proper and wise to treat the powers who are actually at war with equal consideration and respect.

[Page 566]

I have now, in the spirit of the remarks already made, to instruct you to seek an interview with Mr. Bermudez de Castro, and to say to him that the President of the United States has abated nothing of his heretofore often-expressed desire for the establishment of peace between Spain and Chili, and that it seems to him that either nation might at this juncture, and consistently with its honor, offer or accept negotiations with a view to peace.

By the President’s direction I have instructed Mr. Nelson to address the Chilian government in the same sense and in the same spirit which are used in this despatch.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,


John P. Hale, Esq., &c., &c., &c.