Mr. Sullivan to Mr. Seward.
Sir: I have the honor to inform you that I arrived here on the 7th instant, by the most expeditious route from New York, and would have [Page 999] proceeded by the first conveyance on my mission to Bogota had not all communication between here and there been cut off by the calamities of the fratricidal war which prevails to an alarming extent in this once beautiful and happy, but now blighted, country.
On the day of my arrival here, General Rudecindo Lopez, the secretary of war of the United States of Colombia, was peremptorily refused permission either to pass into or through the State of Magdalena, by an armed force under command of the President (General Riasco) of that State. General Lopez then ordered the federal troops stationed at Santa Martha to meet him as soon as possible at Carthagena, and on the 17th instant he arrived here with about four hundred troops, where he still remains, totally cut off from all communication with Bogota by General Riasco, who has proclaimed himself President of the United States of Colombia.
General Lopez has imprisoned Señor Onofre Yeugoechea, a wealthy and respectable native of this place, for having disabled and refused to refit a steamboat which General Lopez required to enable him to pursue General Riasco, who is said to be stationed about two hundred miles above this place, on the most commanding point of the Magdalena River.
Inclosure No. 4 shows that on the 18th instant General Lopez had blockaded the port of Santa Martha with the old and almost useless steamer Colombia. This act is considered here as a farce. On the 20th he caused the people of Baranquilla, a city of about twelve thousand inhabitants, to be assessed in the sum of $4,600 for the support of his troops; and of this sum the foreigners had to pay $3,000. He will require a larger sum in a few days. He is conscripting all native men he can find here to fill up his army. The people are becoming panic-stricken, and are concealing themselves from the draft. And now comes the great event:
On the 29th of April last, General Mosquera, the duly elected President of the United States of Colombia, had forcibly dissolved congress; imprisoned the governor of Bogota, and others; decreed the whole country in a state of revolution; and thus bid defiance to his enemies, who, it seems, were resolving to impeach and destroy him, as will appear from his decree and messages, published in his official paper of the 30th of April and 1st of May. He is reported to have about three thousand troops under his command at Bogota, and to be in no better situation there than his secretary is in here.
General Mosquera, though seventy years old, is still possessed of great energy, insatiable ambition and love of power. He is one of the ablest men this country has produced, and is feared by all. He has served as an officer of great merit in the army of Bolivar, whose sad and cruel fate seems to await the new dictator.
Bolivar died amid squalid misery, receiving his last scanty subsistence, in a lonely hut a few miles back of Santa Martha, from the hands of a pitying stranger.
The State of Santioguia, the most powerful, wealthy, and best governed of all these nine States, has sent a well-appointed army of five thousand men to crush General Mosquera in his stronghold at Bogota.
The State of Santander, another powerful State, is organizing a similar force for the same purpose.
The State of Panama, isolated by sea and long distance from the other States, will, at the proper time, inevitably seek to throw off the [Page 1000] confederate yoke, and set up for herself an independent government conformable to her long-cherished wishes and friendly to ours.
I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.