Mr. Hardy to Mr. Seward.
Sir: Permit me to call your attention to the great wrong practised upon the United States shipping trading with Spain. I cannot better [Page 2]do this than by stating my own case. My bark, Young Turk, sailed hence the last of August, with a cargo wholly of staves, bound for Malaga, Spain. At that time our port was entirely free of any contagious disease; the officers and crew in good health. The bark was cleared at the customhouse with a clean bill of health, duly and properly certified by the Spanish consul at this port. After a passage of about twenty-five days she arrived at Malaga, all on board in good health, but was not allowed to enter the port because the yellow fever was in New Orleans, or the cholera in some port of the United States. The bark was ordered off to Port Mahon; kept there ten days; compelled to pay port charges and quarantine fees, doctor’s bills, &c., was thirty-seven days in getting to, at, and from Mahon, and at a large expense for time, wages, provisions, &c., besides throwing the voyage wholly out of its plan, bringing her here too late for the best sale of her cargo, and making a difference to the owners of several thousand dollars.
The Spanish government make no difference between New Orleans and Boston, and pay no regard to the certificate of our authorities, backed by their own consul, to whom we paid a fee for his name, but send our vessels off without reason, much to our damage. Our masters assert it is mainly to secure fees. Their vessels are not so treated with us, nor do they treat other nations as they do us.
For instance, they put Gibraltar down as a foul port, but by the remonstrance of the British government they withdrew their edict and allowed British vessels from Gibraltar to enter Spain, while our vessels hence, after being admitted at Gibraltar, and unloading there side by side with those from England, and associating with their crew, were ordered off.
The whole system is unjust, as I view it, and I trust may commend itself to your attention.
We are large customers for Spanish products, taking from Malaga more than half of all the fruit she exports, (from 800,000 to 1,000,000 boxes out of a crop of 1,300,000, at 1,500,000,) and it is a peculiar hardship to be thus troubled and taxed from this port when and because there is yellow fever in Louisiana or Texas.
Pardon my free expression of a felt wrong, and allow me to remain, with high regards, yours, &c.,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.
(Reference to United States senators from Massachusetts.)