Mr. Stilwell to Mr. Seward.

No. 3.]

Sir: Since the date of my second dispatch, of the 10th instant, the minister of foreign relations for the United States of Venezuela, in a very polite note, of the 13th instant, advised me that the President had been pleased to name Monday, the 16th instant, at 2 o’clock p. m., for my reception. I replied on the same day of receipt of his note, forwarding a copy of the remarks which I proposed making in my reception, (a copy of which I inclose herewith—inclosure No. 1.)

Yesterday, at the hour named, I presented myself at the government buildings, and was immediately received by honorable Jacinto Gutierrez, minister of foreign relations, who at once introduced me to the presence of his excellency Juan C. Falcon, President of the United States of Venezuela, who was surrounded by his cabinet and the principal military men of the republic, to the number of nearly, if not quite, one hundred persons. After the delivery of my remarks, to which his excellency replied, (a copy of which remarks I inclose, marked inclosure No. 2,) a very pleasant conversation of a few minutes followed, in which not only the President but the different members of his cabinet spoke in the most eulogistic terms of my government, its present administration, and its distinguished Secretary of State.

Following the custom inaugurated by my predecessors, to-day I have visited the envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary for Brazil and the several chargés d’affaires representing foreign powers near the government of Venezuela, and it is with much pleasure that I advise you that, as the representative of the United States, I was received with great courtesy and distinguished consideration.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


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

[Inclosure No. 1.]

Your Excellency: Having the honor to deliver to you personally the autograph letter of the President of the United States of America, accrediting me as minister resident, near the government of Venezuela; it affords me profound pleasure to assure your excellency, for the President and the people of the United States of America, that they desire and hope that the fraternal and friendly relations heretofore existing between the sister republics of the United States and Venezuela may not only remain unbroken, but that their future intercourse and relations may be such as to unite them more friendly together.

The President of my country has instructed me to say to your excellency, that it is with much pleasure that he learned that you have been able to suppress all factious opposition, and to maintain and preserve your government against all of its enemies.

The United States having just passed through a war unparalleled in magnitude successfully for the preservation of its laws, its Constitution, its government, and entered upon a career of grandeur and glory unsurpassed in recorded history; the President congratulates you on your like success, and the ability with which you have presided over the republic of Venezuela.

In assuming the duties of the mission to which the President of the United States has been pleased to assign me, permit me at this my first opportunity to tender you my own sentiment of great respect and consideration for your excellency, for the success of your government and the happiness of your people.

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[Inclosure No. 2.—Translation.]

Mr. Minister: It is with pleasure that I receive from your hands the letter accrediting you as minister resident of the United States of America to those of Venezuela.

A diplomatic representative of the most ancient and illustrious of the sister republics must always be sure to command a very kind reception in this nation. She remembers gratefully that when visited in 1812 by a terrible calamity, the Congress of the American federation hastened to her relief in a generous and spontaneous manner. That was the first source of the ties of affection which bind both peoples in close amity. In the process of time, their relations have grown and become stronger by means of treaties and a constant and never changing intercourse. My government has given sufficient proofs of the high esteem in which it holds its good understanding with yours. In that direction it will at all times be met.

Fortunately I have brought to a speedy termination the revolts which during my term of office have threatened the public tranquillity. In so doing I have but responded loyally to the expectation of the people, but the satisfaction I derive from fulfilling my duty is increased by the congratulations of the high magistrate who sends you here; and they inspire me with renewed confidence in the future success of my efforts. I hope that no factious attempt will be able to triumph over the order established for the welfare of the republic.

Yours has taught us that even the most wide-spread and powerful rebellions give way to perseverance in the good cause, and fall at last prostrate at the feet of justice. At that issue, which I doubted at no time, I have rejoiced with all my heart. Would to God that domestic dissensions, only once felt during a life extending through almost a century, should, never more recur in that country; wonderful even amid its misfortunes! It will, no doubt, continue prosperously its career of grandeur and glory.

I am most thankful for the felicitations of your President. No less favorably am I impressed with the marks of kindness evinced by you towards the Venezuelan people and government, and towards myself. You are welcome to this friendly republic.