Mr. Hanaberg to Mr. Sullivan.
Sir: Referring you to my dispatch No. 12, of the 14th instant, I have now to inform you that the Osceola has not returned to this port, and cannot now be expected before the 26th instant.
There are four of the seamen of the Rayo on shore, who have been sent from the vessel without being paid their wages or having any means of sustaining themselves. I have sent an official note to the secretary of state of Bolivar, requesting to be informed, that I may indicate to these men to which of the authorities they are to apply to obtain justice and compensation for their services on board of a Colombian war vessel. As one of the men is an Irishman, and as at present I am nominally the acting British consul here, I have presented the case both as United States and British consul, but as yet have not received any answer.
As I informed you in my last communication, I have advised the Department of State of my action in this case, and I hope to be instructed as to my further duties in the same; [Page 1005] but as some time may elapse before I can receive such instructions, I will thank you to advise me in regard to the case.
To what extent am I to protect those seamen, some of whom have never agreed to serve this country, whereas others have signed articles on board of the vessel since the change of flag? Have the officers of the Rayo any right to claim the protection of the government of the United States in any case?
The Colombian steamer Colombia is to leave here to-morrow to enforce the blockade of the port of Santa Martha, decreed by General Lopez.
I herewith send some communications and newspapers received from Washington for yourself.
I have the honor to be, sir, your most obedient servant,
General Peter J. Sullivan, United States Minister, &c., Baranquilla.