Mr. Hovey to Mr. Seward.

No. 124.]

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your circular* dated March 27, 1868, in which I am directed to propose an armistice “in the proper quarter,” between Spain and the South American republics, to “be adopted by the government to which I am accredited.”

Not deeming this circular as fully authorizing me to acknowledge the present government of Peru, in view of my former instructions, I thought proper, on its reception, to call upon his excellency Doctor J. M. Polar, minister of foreign affairs, and ask for an informal interview.

Calling at the Foreign Office on the 19th of the present month, I met his excellency informally, and had an extended conversation with him in regard to the question.

He expressed his kindest feelings in regard to your friendship for this country, and, after hearing the proposition for an armistice, declared himself personally satisfied with the measure, but said that it would be necessary to lay the matter before the government of Peru and its allies, before a definite answer could be made to the proposal. He then asked me if there would be any objection to giving him a copy of your circular, in the form of a confidential memorandum. As he expressed himself so decidedly in favor of an armistice, I thought there could be no indiscretion in granting him the desired copy, and accordingly sent it to him on the same day of our interview.

He seemed to be gratified at the proposition, and said that he would opportunely inform me of the result.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,


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

  1. For this circular see p. 321.