Mr. Seward to Mr. McMahon.
Sir: Very few words will suffice for your instruction in regard to the political conduct of your mission. You will assure the President of Paraguay of the sincere and cordial friendship of the government and people of the United States for the government and people of Paraguay.[Page 670]
The United States recognizes every foreign nation with which it has treaty connections as sovereign, and as such having a right to make or carry on war, for such causes, or on such occasions, as it may deem just and proper.
The United States consequently avoid alliances or engagements by which they might become parties in the conflicts of other nations. They have asserted and faithfully maintained neutrality in the unhappy war which has so long existed in the valley of the La Plata. Nevertheless the United States regard wars between the several states of this continent with sincere regret, and they have, therefore, constantly tendered their good offices to the belligerents for the purpose of procuring an end of hostilities and a restoration of peace among the nations of South America.
This is the spirit of the instructions which have been given to your predecessor, and they will be found sufficient for your guidance.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
Martin T. McMahon, Esq., &c., &c., &c.