Mr. Perry to Mr. Seward.

No. 14.]

Sir: Mr. Hale returned to this city yesterday.

In taking leave of you as chargé d’affaires ad interim, I ought perhaps to inform you that the subject of quarantine disabilities imposed upon vessels proceeding from ports of the United States not infected by any contagious or epidemic disease, and which was brought to the notice of the Spanish government in the way stated in my No. 11 and its enclosure, marked D, has subsequently followed its course in the Spanish departments.

But the answer of the minister of the interior government of the kingdom, to whom your remonstrances were referred, is, I am sorry to say, unfavorable.

He sets forth that the highest state of infection in our gulf ports has been such as reported in the newspapers, and notoriously, that ships coming around to our northern ports had, in many cases, lost half their crews by the sickness aboard; that there was no evidence that proper sanitary precautions had been established in our northern ports to prevent the spread of the contagion there, certainly not such as were deemed by the sanitary authorities of Spain sufficient; and that therefore, whilst this is the case, the sanitary measures adopted by Spain cannot be relaxed.

I have the honor to remain, with the highest respect, sir, your obedient servant,


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