Mr. Seward to Mr. de La Reintrie.
Sir: Your dispatch No. 39, of the 16th instant, on the subject of the bonds required for negroes carried to Cuba on board of vessels of the United States, has been received.
As the requirement is pursuant to law, its discontinuance cannot be asked for as a matter of right. It appears, however, that it has not uniformly been enacted, some of the executive officers in Cuba having, it is supposed, deemed themselves warranted by circumstances from dispensing with it. The repeal of the law, or a general discontinuance of the exaction, is very desirable for us, now much more than formerly, since the abolition of negro slavery in this country has much increased the proportion of blacks who seek employment on board of vessels.
You will therefore ask an interview with the captain general, and informally express a hope that a repeal or discontinuance of the requirement may be found to comport with the political and social interests of the island. Such a measure would certainly tend to strengthen the good understanding between the United States and Spain.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
Henry R, de La Reintrie, Esq., United States Vice-Consul General, Havana.