Mr. Seward to Mr. Culver
Sir: I have received your despatch, No. 143, of January 25th last, and its accompaniments. In that despatch you report the circumstances of an attack made by an armed body of insurgents of Venezuela upon the American steamer Apure, in the upper waters of Orinoco, and the killing of Captain J. W. Hammer and J. Brissot, and Philip Caufield, first engineer, citizens of the United States.
You have brought this affair to the notice of the Venezuelan government with a view to an investigation and the speedy punishment of the guilty parties, but in consequence of having failed to elicit from that government the prompt and decisive action which the importance of the subject demands, you ask for instructions touching the matter.[Page 438]
You will, therefore, inform the government of Venezuela that you are instructed by your government to say that the United States deems it right to ask that the offenders be brought to trial, and that prompt provision be made to indemnify the widows or the representatives of the sufferers. You will also express regret at the delay and apparent inattention of the Venezuelan government.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
E. D. Culver, Esq., &c., & c., & c.