Mr. Tassara to Mr. Seward.
The undersigned, minister plenipotentiary of her Catholic Majesty, has received notice that the steamer Cuyler, lately detained by the authorities of New York for violation of the neutrality laws, was about to be permitted to depart for her place of destination.
The honorable Secretary of State is acquainted with the antecedents of the affair so far as this legation is concerned. The undersigned, aware that it was intended to take from those ports not only that vessel, which was then denounced under the name of Schuyler, but also one or more others, respecting which the same circumstances had concurred or might concur, he communicated more than once his suspicions, in the first place to the department, and afterwards to the police of New York, which, in view of the evidence of the fact, and in virtue of fresh data, proceeded ultimately to the detention of the Cuyler.
In view of this proof there is nothing to make the undersigned believe but that the government as well as the United States authorities are disposed to prevent the violation of the neutrality laws, and in now addressing himself to your department, nothing is further from his mind than to call in question these good dispositions.
Considering, however, the singularity and complication of an affair in which the agents of another power also neutral appear to be interfering, he thinks it his duty to guard against any error or surprise that might be attempted, to compromise directly or indirectly the neutrality of the government of the United States. His reason for doing so is so much the greater, as he is conscious that an attempt was made, and is perhaps now making, to purchase and dispatch from the same port of New York two other vessels, one of which appears to be named the Tartar, attended by similar circumstances and under the same flag as the Cuyler.[Page 26]
Under these circumstances, the fact, from the evidence before us, would be still more serious, and in itself as difficult of explanation as the departure of the Cuyler.
Whatever turn this affair may be destined to take, the undersigned hopes that the question of neutrality, instead of becoming more complicated, will remain in the state in which the authorities have placed it by their impartial conduct, not doubting but that this government will consider itself now more under obligation to maintain and cause to be maintained its present attitude, as that alone would perhaps contribute to the realization of the peaceful views which it seems to entertain on the Pacific question.
The undersigned accepts, &c.,
Hon. William H. Seward, &c.,&c., &c.