Mr. Pruyn to Mr. Seward.

No. 5.]

Sir: On the evening of the 29th ultimo I received a circular (inclosure No. 1) bearing date June 28, 1868, from the provisional government, announcing, as you will see by the translation of the same, (inclosure No. 2, herewith appended,) that they had organized, in accordance with the decree of General José Tadeo Monagas, chief of the revolutionary forces, published in El Federalista newspaper, No. 1,450, Caracas, June 27, 1868. A translation of that decree will be found in inclosure No. 3. Inclosure No. 4 contains my reply to the circular of the provisional government above referred to. It will be observed that I merely formally acknowledge the receipt of the circular, as I have not as yet received the formal and solemn assurances I require of the intentions of this government to carry out in good faith its treaties and conventions with foreign powers, [Page 947] particularly those with the United States. The revolution has been a great success.

I think its permanent triumph is sure. It undoubtedly represents the popular will.

The new government is composed of men of great ability and the highest personal character, chosen without distinction of party, who will administer the affairs of the nation in a constitutional, just, and republican manner.

Bruzual, I hear, has escaped from La Guayra to Puerto Cabello, with one or two war vessels and a few hundred men, with a view, I suppose, of establishing himself there. General Monagas is about to follow by the interior, with a large and well-equipped army, flushed with victory and confident of future triumphs.

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


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


Señor Villegas to Mr. Pruyn.



In conformity with the decree promulgated yesterday by the general and chief of the revolution army, and which was published in the Federalista, No. 1,450, the individuals appointed to constitute, as ministers, the national executive administration, have assembled to-day at the government house, and have declared it installed under the character of provisional, after having elected the undersigned to preside over them.

The new government intends to fulfill worthily the duties prescribed by the confidence which has been placed in it; and, being among the principal ones to cultivate the good relations of Venezuela with the friendly nations, is happy to inform the commercial agent in charge of the American legation that it will be very satisfactory to him to carry out this purpose.

The undersigned avails himself of this opportunity to present to Mr. Pruyn the testimony of his distinguished consideration.


Commercial Agent In charge of the Legation of the United States of America.



Article L The heads of the national executive administration shall continue being the same that the letter of the constitution establishes, and shall be presided over by one of the six ministers of the cabinet/whom his colleagues may elect by absolute majority of votes.

Proviso.—The vacancies that may occur in said ministry shall be filled by election and vote in absolute majority of the remaining ministers.

Art. 2. On the members of the ministry being appointed, the minister designated that shall preside over it, and thus reconstituted the national executive power, the latter shall proceed to urge the States to send their senators and deputies to the constitutional congress of 1889, the consequent popular elections being holden.

Art. 3. I appoint to serve the six ministers that the law establishes the following citizens, namely: For that of the interior and justice, Citizen Mateo Guerra Marcano; for that of the treasury, Citizen Marcos Santana* for that of war and navy, Citizen General Domingo Monagas; for that of the foreign relations, Citizen Doctor Guillermo [Page 948] Tell Villegas; for that of the public works, Citizen Doctor Nicanor Borges; for that of the public credit, Citizen Doctor Antonio Parejo.

Art. 4. Immediately that the citizens appointed have accepted their offices constituting the council of ministers, and appointed who shall preside over it, the exercise of all administrative functions in national affairs ceases on the part of whatsoever other authorities de facto or de jure at present existing; and the revolutionary forces shall remain under the orders of the national executive, in such form reconstituted.

Proviso.—The actual general-in-chief of the armies of the revolution shall relinquish that character with which he has been invested by the people when the complete pacification of the country and the government thereof, conformable to the federal democratic system, shall conclude the task for the performance of which he has been called to that post.

Let it be communicated and published.


Mr. Pruyn to Señor Villegas.

Sir: The undersigned, commercial agent of the United States legation at Caracas, has the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your excellency’s dispatch, marked circular No. 1, bearing date June 28.

It will afford the undersigned pleasure to reply to its contents in detail at an early day.

The undersigned avails himself of this his first opportunity to assure Mr. Villegas of his distinguished regard and consideration.


Hon. Guillermo Tell Villegas, In charge of the Department of Foreign Affairs of Venezuela, &c., &c.