Mr. Seward to Mr. Raester.

The undersigned, Secretary of State of the United States, has received a note from Mr. George Raester, chargé d’affaires for the republic of Hayti, under date of the 24th instant. Mr. Raester informs the undersigned [Page 372] that rebel emissaries of Hayti, among whom is a person named Dejoie, ex-commander of the Haytien dispatch-boat Liberty, have arrived in New York; wherefore Mr. Raester asks that the undersigned give orders to prohibit a clearance from that port or from any other port in the United States of all arms and munitions or contraband of war intended to foment or supply the rebellion in Hayti.

In reply, the undersigned has the honor to inform Mr. Raester that the power of this government to maintain neutrality in regard to foreign and friendly nations is regulated by law, and constantly resides in the judiciary. While an appeal can be made to the judicial authority at any time by any interested party, it is not conformable with any practice of this government to issue executive orders, unless such special and urgent necessity are shown to the government as are neither shown in the present case by Mr. Raester nor have otherwise come to the knowledge of the President.

The undersigned avails himself of the occasion to tender to Mr. Raester a renewed assurance of his high consideration.


Mr. George Eaester, &c., &c., &c.