Mr. Romero to Mr. Seward

Mr. Secretary: I have had the honor to receive the note which you were pleased to address to me under date of the 24th instant, transmitting the opinion of the Attorney General of the United States in relation to the order No. 17, issued at San Francisco, by General McDowell, on the 11th of October last, prohibiting the exportation of arms and articles contraband of war over the southern frontier lines of California and Arizona, and to which subject I alluded in the notes which I had the honor to address to your department on the 14th and 18th of November last past.

I have seen with much satisfaction that the Attorney General of the United States has given it as his opinion that, “if the order of General McDowell was intended to prevent the trade of arms and munitions of war by the frontier,” which was the cause of my remonstrance against it, and the only point the revocation of which I solicited, “such order is not in conformity with the laws of the United States bearing upon the subject.”

This opinion seems to me to be just and well founded, and I have no doubt that, upon receiving it, General McDowell will revoke his order referred to, should he not previously have done so under the instructions communicated to him by the Lieutenant General of the army of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant, who, I understand, revoked it the moment he heard of it. I this day send a copy thereof to my government, and also of the note with which you transmitted it to me.

I avail myself of this opportunity to renew to you, Mr. Secretary, the assurances of my most distinguished consideration.


Hon. William H. Seward, &c., &c., &c.