Mr. Seward to Mr. Tassara.

Sir: With reference to your notes of the 20th and 25th ultimo, on the subject of the Cuyler, I have the honor to acquaint you that I have consulted my colleague, the Attorney General, who says that after the most careful consideration he does not see upon what ground, as the law officer of the United States, he can take or advise any action in addition to that heretofore taken in reference to the vessel referred to.

According to Mr. Stanbery’s judgment the course of action which has been taken is in strict accordance with the neutrality laws of the United States.

The Attorney General adds that he is happy to see that you acquit the Colombian government of all participation in any unlawful purpose in reference to the purchase and destination of the vessel.

That the suspicious circumstances to which you refer do not inculpate that government or the American merchants who have sold and are bound to deliver the Cuyler at one of the Colombian ports into the possession of the government of that republic.

That you refer wholly to suspicious circumstances, attaching to some of her crew, which have led, as you state, to complications between the crew and the owners, causing delay in her departure. That it is upon the footing of such suspicious circumstances that the bond was required of the owners. That as to the sufficiency in the amount, which you say is supposed not to amount to double the value or even to the actual value of the vessel, the Attorney General hal only to say that the value of the vessel was fixed by the proper officers of the United States, who it must be inferred have understood and have faithfully performed the duty of appraisement.

That the United States has done what was proper in reference to the vessel, her present owners, and the Colombian government; both acting [Page 29] in good faith to provide the proper safeguard against the alleged designs of others towards her Catholic Majesty’s subjects and their commerce

That whatever ulterior designs may be suggested as to the course to be pursued by the Colombian government after the vessel shall come into its possession, the United States can only entertain the same conviction as that expressed by you of the entire good faith of that government.

I am directed to inform you that these views of the Attorney General have been adopted, and are sanctioned by the President.

I avail myself of this occasion to renew to you the assurances of my very high consideration.


Señor Don Gabriel Garcia y Tassara, &c., &c., &c.