Mr. Perry to Mr. Seward.

No. 4.]

Sir: I confirm my last, of the 14th instant, relative to the proceedings of this government in regard to various whaling ships of the United States dismissed from Teneriffe under recent sanitary orders, which, at my instance, were modified as therein stated.

Since that writing, a despatch from the consul at Teneriffe, dated October 5th, has reached me by way of England, which recites two additional cases, as follows :

Since writing to you on the 3d instant, the whaling bark Ohio has arrived from Fayal with a clean bill of health, duly certified to by the Spanish consul at that place. She was 28 months out, having left the United States May 16, 1865; and in consequence of her originally sailing from the United States, was “despedido,” (dismissed.) This day the whaling bark Globe, 25 months out, arrived, and hearing of the barbarous treatment awaiting her, left at once, without awaiting to be told to go.


It must be expected that still other cases like these will have occurred before the order sent off by telegram on the 14th, and which was carried out by the mail steamship which started from Cadiz at three o’clock in the afternoon of the 15th instant, can have reached Teneriffe.

The urgency of obtaining some practical relief for our whaling fleet in the few available hours which intervened between my receiving the consul’s advices on the afternoon of the 12th instant and the departure of the new orders on the 14th—the intervening 13th instant being Sunday—compelled me not to com-plicate that with any more general question.

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But the absurdity of putting a whole continent under sanitary disabilities because a few ports of the Gulf of Mexico are infected, will not fail to arrest your attention.

The clean bills of health borne by our ships, and duly signed by the Spanish consuls in our northern ports, are disregarded.

Perhaps even you may be led to consider whether the especial circumstances of some of the whaling ships which touched at Teneriffe in demand of succor for wounded men or provisions necessary to continue their voyage, and were peremptorily dismissed without either, may not constitute such a palpable violation of the stipulations of the treaty of 1795 as to lead to some further action on your part or that of the President.

With the highest respect, sir, your obedient servant,


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