Mr. Hovey to Mr. Seward.
Sir: Several American citizens have presented claims to me against the government of Peru for alleged injuries. They state that in Chiclayo, where the revolutionary army under Balta had control, every foreigner had to flee for his life. Particular attention is called to the communication of Consul Montjoy, and the consular protest, herewith transmitted.
Claims are also made by persons in Lima for injuries to person and property.
Several hundred thousand dollars, the property of Americans, was lost in Callao when Prado’s forces entered and sacked that city in 1865. In reference to these last, the government of Prado made arrangements, through congress, to adjust them; but now, as all of Prado’s acts are declared null and void, these claims will, in all probability, meet with the same fate.
I most earnestly desire the advice and instructions of the department on this very important and delicate question. As yet, I have made no diplomatic claims of any kind, as the government of Colonel Prado promised me, unofficially, to fairly adjust all claims of American citizens without resorting to diplomatic correspondence.
I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.