Mr. Washburn to Mr. Seward.

No. 99.]

Sir: In my dispatch of January 13, No. 95, I had the honor to ask the second time for my recall. At the same time I wrote to our minister in Buenos Ayres, Mr. Asboth, and to our consul, Mr. Hollister, and also to Messrs. S. B. Hale & Co., who have always cashed my drafts and attended to any other business I might have there, informing them all of the very disagreeable circumstances in which I am placed with my family, and requesting each of them to make an effort to communicate with me, and to forward my correspondence. I authorized them to charge the whole expense of a special messenger to me. At that time [Page 667] it had been three months since I had received any dispatches or general correspondence, and now three months more have passed and not a word in answer has reached me from any source. From this I am led to fear that those dispatches never reached Buenos Ayres, though I was advised by SeƱor Berges that they were promptly sent through the lines to the allied camp under flag of truce. On this suspicion, and now for the third time, I ask for my immediate recall, and I ask that means may be provided me for leaving the country. Without the aid of a national war vessel I cannot do it, for nobody has entered or left the country for the last three years without such auxiliary. In my dispatch No. 97 I have stated how the city was evacuated, and that only the persons within this legation remain in it, and that very probably the inhabitants who have been compelled to remove for a few leagues would, if the fortune of war were unfavorable to President Lopez, be all compelled to resort to the woods and mountains. My own relations, owing to my refusal to abandon my post, are far from satisfactory, and I know not what is in store for me. If the inhabitants should be all ordered to the mountains, it will not be possible to get even the poor supplies we are now able to obtain within a league or two of the town. Still I think we could exist for some weeks; and if we cannot exist longer, I can only say I shall not go into the interior except as a prisoner. After the many representations I have made to parties below to try and do something for our relief, I consider it hopeless to expect anything till specific orders from Washington shall compel attention to their duties. Should subsequent events occur that may cause astonishment and regret at the indifference manifested in the affairs of this country and the persons here detained, it can never be alleged that I have not made full and earnest representations of the impending calamities.

I am, sir, very truly, your most obedient servant,


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