Mr. Sullivan to Mr. Seward.
Sir: Since my arrival here the Colombian government annulled Geneeral Mosquera’s decree of November 17, 1866, upon the adjudication of maritime prizes.
It has granted a new lease, for ninety-nine years, of the right of transit to the Panama Railroad Company, in consideration of one million dollars in hand, and two hundred and fifty thousand dollars per annum during the term of the lease.
It has granted a contract to the International Ocean Telegraph Company of New York (see inclosed A, B, C) to land upon and run through any portion of the territory of the United States of Colombia a telegraph line, to connect with one from New York via Florida, Cuba, and Panama, thus connecting South America, the United States and Europe with one continuous line of communication, having New York for its center.
It has, also, just signed a contract with a New York company for the exclusive right of fishery to this company in all the seacoast waters of Colombia. This contract has yet to be approved by the senate, which I think will be done.
All of these vast privileges have been given to citizens of our country.
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A rumor prevails here that several American citizens were lately murdered, in cold blood, by Colombian officials at Carthagena, and that while committing this atrocious crime the assassins boasted that “the Colombians were a match for the disunited Americans.”
I have sent unofficial communications to our consuls at Carthagena and Baranquilla on this subject. At first I heard that these rumored murders were committed by General Herrera at Rio Hatché. I shall await the facts before I take any official action in this matter.
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I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.