Mr. Seward to Mr. Hale

No. 19.]

Sir: Your despatch of the 30th of January, No. 21, has been received. It gives us information of an interview which you have had with Mr. Bermudez de Castro on the subject of the war now existing between Spain and Chili. The President is pleased with the appreciation which Mr. Bermudez de Castro [Page 568] has expressed in regard to the tender of good offices by the government of the United States. Since that tender was made war has broken out between Peru and Spain. It is thought proper that you should make a renewed representation to the government of Spain of the desire of the United States that the hostilities existing between, Spain and Chili may be brought to an end on some terms consistent with the safety, interest and honor of the belligerents.

It is further proper that you should, in this representation, express our like desire in regard to the new hostilities between Spain and Peru. The commercial interests of the United States are very unhappily affected by these controversies.

The republics of Spanish America see, or represent themselves as seeing, on the part of Spain in these wars, a design hostile to their independence, and to the republican form of government which they enjoy. We acknowledge cheerfully that Spain has given us good assurances that her proceedings in these controversies are entirely free from any such injurious political design. We rest satisfied with these assurances, but we trust that it may not be thought unfriendly on our part towards Spain to suggest that the frequent demands made by her upon our neutrality between herself and these States, with which we sympathize from geographical and political relations, are attended with much inconvenience, and that that inconvenience increases with the prolongation of war waged by her in South America, and with the widening of the theatre of conflict.

It seems to us not improbable that all the States of Spanish America may he excited to the degree of being prepared for a general combination, in what would seem to them to be a common defence of their integrity and independence.

In making the communication herein directed, you will assure Mr. Bermudez de Castro that it proceeds from the most just and liberal friendship towards Spain.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,


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