Mr. Stilwell to Mr. Seward.
Sir: On my arrival in Caracas, judging from the tone of El Federal-ista and El Porvenir, the only newspapers published in Caracas, and the statements of gentlemen on whom I supposed I could rely, my impressions were, that the rebellion against the established government of Venezuela was at an end, and that peace, order, and quiet had been fully restored. I regret to have to advise you that my information was incorrect, and that a formidable rebellion is now in progress.
The government have about six thousand soldiers in the field, and are increasing the number daily by compulsory enlistment and otherwise. The insurgents have not so many, probably not over four thousand.
The government had advices, on the evening of the 24th instant, of an engagement within about twenty leagues of Caracas, in which the insurgents were routed. It was rumored some days since that the rebels had taken Valencia, a city, next to Caracas, the largest in population of any in the republic, but the report has not been confirmed.
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While it may be possible that President Falcon will be able to suppress the rebellion against his government, and to restore peace and quiet to Venezuela, for the present I am satisfied the relief will be of short duration, and that in the end his government will have to give way to an administration no better, and perhaps worse for the people, than his own.
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The country demoralized from constant rebellions, business almost [Page 934] suspended, and the money of the country, if any, garnered up and secreted, no one knowing what hour the government may demand it and take it, by force if need be, unless quietly given up.
The better and more intelligent class of people, and in fact almost every one, have a hope that the American genius of statesmanship will develop some plan by which they may be relieved from perpetual rebellions, revolutions, and dishonest and weak-minded officials, and instead thereof a government of law and order.
The purchase of the islands of Saint Thomas and Saint John’s by the government of the United States has led this people to hope that the great republic of the north, in extending its domain and power, may some day, not far distant, add Venezuela to the galaxy of States which constitute the great Union.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.