Mr. Hale to Mr. Seward

No. 21.]

Sir: Owing to urgency of business demanding the attention of Mr. Bermudez de Castro, minister of state, on the breaking out of the recent rebellion, he did not give the usual audience to foreign ministers the week succeeding the receipt of your despatch No. 12, of the date of December 11, 1865. By the time that I had opportunity for an interview with him this government had received news of the actual collision of the naval forces of Chili with a portion of that of Spain, or, in other words, of the capture of the Coradonga by the Esmeralda. This seemed to place the situation of affairs between Spain and Chili in an entirely different aspect from what they were when your despatch was written. I repeated to him, however, the substance of the same, viz: that the President had abated nothing of his heretofore often expressed desire for the restoration of peace between Spain and Chili, and that whenever there occurred an opportunity for the good offices of the United States to be exerted beneficially to that end they would be so exerted cheerfully.

Mr. Bermudez de Castro desired me to express to you his thanks for the offer, and, further, for the many proofs they had had of the friendly intentions of the government of the United States.

With much respect, your obedient servant,


Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.