Mr. Williams to Mr. Seward.
Sir: I have the honor to, acknowledge the receipt of your dispatch No. 15, of date December 27, 1867.
The regular session of the legislative chambers was opened with the customary ceremonies on the 22d ultimo. The President read his message to the joint convention of the chambers. I inclose herewith pretty copious extracts, both from the message, (marked A,) and from the report of the minister of foreign relations and of public instruction, (marked B,) which may serve to exhibit the progressive condition of the republic, and the earnest disposition of the present administration to improve the material, moral, and educational status of the people. The endeavors made to extend primary education is particularly noticeable and commendable. Hitherto but little has been done in that regard, and the [Page 919]great mass of the rural population, and of the villagers, have been living in profound ignorance of books, and with not a few of the peculiar traits, habits, and modes of life of the aboriginal people of America. Such a population, as bigoted and superstitious as ignorant, furnish ready materials, as the history of these republics shows, for the operations of discontented, revengeful, or interested ambition, and for the evil exercise of venturesome talents, or unscrupulous shrewdness, whether of church or state.
That the present government has been able to awaken a general interest in education, and to do so much to set in motion any liberal system, and that its disposition is so earnest for universal instruction, even to the extent of inforcing attendance upon schools, furnish the most gratifying signs for the future peace and prosperity of the republic, and especially so if we add to these favorable indications the important influences of an increasing demand for labor, and steady employment, consequent upon the many new agricultural enterprises that now engage the attention and enlist the peaceful sympathies and efforts of intelligence and capital.
It is understood that the legislative chambers are almost unanimously in sympathy with the executive government. There would seem, therefore, no probability at present of any serious opposition to the administration of President Dueñas, nor any violent interruption to the admirable progress the public is making in the development of its agricultural riches.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.
- San Salvador, January 29, 1868.↩