Mr. Pruyn to Mr. Seward.

No. 21.]

Sir: Yesterday, the 5th instant, I attended, by invitation, a conference, at the government mansion, between the minister of foreign affairs and the diplomatic representatives. There were present, besides his excellency, Mr. Vill├ęgas, the minister, the representatives of Brazil, England, Italy, Spain, and the United States. The minister said that he had invited us to meet with him to consult in reference to the presence of a war vessel of the Bruzualists in front of La Guayra, the steamer Maparari. He stated that, as we knew, there was a French war vessel at La Guayra, and that the French minister had gone there to consult with the commander of the same. He, the minister of foreign affairs, requested us to ask the French minister to detain his war vessel to protect foreign commerce in the waters of La Guayra. We, accordingly, each sent to him, the French minister, dispatches from our respective legations, making the above request in a qualified manner.

To-day I visited the French minister, Mr. A. Forest, who had returned from La Guayra, at his legation in this city, and he informed me that he considered it his duty to dispatch immediately the French war vessel above mentioned to Puerto Cabello, where it will arrive to-morrow or the day following.

With great respect, I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,


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