[Extract.]

Mr. Webb to Mr. Seward.

No. 65.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose the official replies of “the allies” to my renewal of our tender of our “good offices.” Circumstances beyond [Page 272]my control render it impossible to furnish translations by this steamer, and therefore I forward the original.

“The allies” assume that the war in the river Plata is virtually at an end. The future call upon them for men and money will be the best commentary upon the accuracy of this assumption.

Joáo Silviera de Souza has been appointed minister of foreign affairs, vice Albuquerque, deceased.

* * * * * * * *

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. WATSON WEBB.

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

[Translation.]

Senhor Ellauri to Mr. Webb.

Department of Foreign Affairs, Montevideo,March, 1868.

Mr. Minister: The Oriental government had the honor to receive, in due time, your communication, dated the 1st of February last, addressed to the President of the republic, and containing a copy of your note to the minister of foreign affairs for the empire of Brazil, renewing, by order of your government, your good offices for the settlement of the war now carried on by the allied countries against Paraguay, hoping, by an amicable intervention of the United States, to come to a solution that may prove satisfactory to the belligerents.

Recent lamentable events that have occurred in this city, now known to the world, deeply disturbed the government internally, and prevented a more prompt reply to your important communication; but now that the country is restored to its constitutional order, the President thinks this a propitious” moment to answer your note, and instructs the undersigned to do so in the following manner:

Some time ago the worthy minister of the United States, in the name of his government, sent to the minister of the republic a communication similar to the one you have just sent, expressing a sincere wish to settle the question now debated between the allied countries and Paraguay in a just and honorable manner.

At that time the provisional government regretted to be obliged, for reasons communicated to your government through its minister, to reject the mediations so freely and sincerely offered.

We are sorry to say, Mr. Minister, that the same reasons still exist for refusing the pacific proposition of your government, and therefore the President, through the undersigned, respectfully informs you that it is impossible to take the note of the United States government into consideration in such a manner as to receive the proposed result, because the same reasons given to your government by our minister for not accepting the proposal still exist. All we can say in this communication is to request you to thank your government, in the name of this republic, for the new proof of friendship and interest for the well-being of this country which has just been received from the North American government.

Moreover, Mr. Minister, the latest news from the seat of war, announcing that the Brazilian squadron had passed the battery of Humaita, gives good cause to expect a speedy conclusion of the war.

Having thus replied to your communication, by order of his excellency the President, the undersigned has the honor to present you the assurance of his very high and distinguished consideration.

JOSÉ E. ELLAURI.

His Excellency J. Watson Webb, Envoy Extraordinary, &c., from the United States to Brazil.

Senhor Elizalde to Mr. Webb.

Sir: I had the honor to receive your note of the 1st of February last, making known to his excellency the President the renewal of the proffer of good offices made by the [Page 273]United States of America to put an end to the war pending between the Argentine Republic, the empire of Brazil, and the Oriental Republic of Uruguay, and the government of Paraguay.

In thanking you for that communication, made because your government was without diplomatic representation here, owing to the death of the minister resident accredited to the Argentine government, I have the pleasure to inform you that the allies were consulted in regard to the answer to the friendly offers of the government of the United States, and this was done for want of diplomatic representation, which obliged you to transmit the documents that came to hand in due time.

I am pleased to have this occasion to repeat to you the assurances of my high and distinguished consideration and esteem.

RUFINO DE ELIZALDE.

His Excellency Hon. J. Watson Webb, Minister Plenipotentiary, &c., from the United States to Brazil.

[Translation.]

Senhor Paranagua to Mr. Webb.

The undersigned, of the council of his Majesty the Emperor, minister and secretary of state for affairs of war, and ad interim of foreign affairs, has before him the note which, under date of 27th January last, General James Watson Webb, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of the United States of America, was pleased to address to him, renewing the offer of good offices of the government of the United States for the termination of the war with Paraguay, and the proposals for mediation, which, with this object, were presented in a note of 21st January, of the year last past.

As I declared to General Webb when I acknowledged the reception of his note of the 27th, I had to hear from the allies of the empire before giving a definitive answer.

This obligation of loyalty discharged, I now have the honor to state to the general, after thanking him in the name of the imperial government for this fresh proof received of the friendly feelings of the people and government of the United States towards Brazil, that the same reasons continuing which were already explained in the note from this department of the 26th of April of last year, which would prevent the government of Brazil and her allies from accepting at that time the first proposition of the United States, and, beyond that, the close of the war approaching, as was to be hoped from the important fact of the passage of Humaita, and the events which have followed, the same government cannot at this day act differently. Thus, therefore, the imperial government thanks, but feels that it cannot accept the generous proffer which is made to it, and trusts that the United States will acknowledge that she is justified in her action.

The undersigned avails of the occasion to offer to General Webb the reiterated assurances of his highest consideration.

JOÁO LUSTOSA DE CUNHA PARANAGUA

General James Watson Webb.