Mr. Williams to Mr. Seward.
Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your dispatch of March 6, No. 18.
Since my last dispatch Señor Don José Salinas, especially empowered for that purpose by the government of Nicaragua, has concluded a treaty of amity and commerce with this republic. I am assured that this treaty embraces no more than the ordinary provisions, and nothing in the way of alliances offensive or defensive, which have been heretofore so prolific of discords and wars between these Central American republics. No treaty, not even of amity, existed between these conterminous republics, and this new one, I am assured, is solely intended to supply this deficiency, and to manifest a mutual good feeling between the two governments. The measure must, however, have excited the jealousy and inflamed the bad feeling that has existed in Nicaragua for some time between the partisans of the late President Martinez and the existing government of Señor Guzman. I am told that the steamer just arrived brought up a gentleman of intelligence and influence, a secret agent of the Martinez political party, whose double purpose is to neutralize, if he cannot enlist, the influence of this government in the contemplated revolutionary measures, and to purchase arms and ammunition, with the intention of a forcible overthrow of the Guzman administration. I very much doubt if the cautious judgment and peaceful disposition of President Dueñas can be enlisted in any enterprise or purposes that are intended or calculated to disturb the existing governments of neighboring states, and thereby endanger the tranquillity and peace of his own republic. Any violent purposes of the discontents of Mcaragua must assuredly fail of finding countenance or support from the government here. Besides the treaty above referred to, the Duke of Licignano, chargé d’affaires of Italy, has recently concluded, on the part of his government, a treaty of extradition with this republic.
I venture respectfully to suggest that such a convention or treaty with our government is much to be desired.[Page 928]
The increasing facilities of intercourse with our country, and especially that which probably will soon be furnished by means of the direct steamer line from this to California, will make such an arrangement for reclaiming fugitive criminals of importance to both countries. I make the suggestion with more confidence as I am aware that provisions of extradition were embraced in a treaty made in 1862 between the two governments, and which failed of ratification from some slight amendment in our Senate, and the delays of the Barrios administration here to ratify the amended treaty, previous to its overthrow.
I venture further to suggest that in addition to this extradition treaty a consular convention between the two countries is much to be desired, as provided for in article thirty-four of the existing treaty. Some additional consular powers in regard to estates of our citizens dying in this country, without heirs or legal representatives here, are especially needed. I have reason to believe that propositions for these conventions would be very favorably received by this government.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.