Mr. Seward to Mr. Harvey.

No. 216.]

Sir: I transmit a copy of a despatch of the 8th of December last, addressed to this department by Charles A. Leas, esq., the United States consul at Funr chal, Madeira, from which it appears that citizens of that country who are not Romanists, and who die there, are not allowed to be buried in the Portuguese cemeteries. It is desirable that this restriction should be removed.

You will, consequently, bring the subject to the notice of the government at Lisbon in such a way as may be likely to lead to that result. No such restriction exists in this country. A similar one was in force in the Spanish American [Page 693] states and in Brazil when they became independent sovereignties, but it was removed by the treaties between the United States and those countries.

The expediency of making an overture to Portugal for a treaty stipulation upon the subject will be taken into consideration when your report in regard to it shall have been received.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,


James E. Harvey, Esq., &c., &c.