Mr. Hale to Mr. Seward.
Sir: Your dispatch No. 96, dated December 30, 1867, was received in this legation on Friday the 17th instant, and I was somewhat embarrassed by the fact that on the same day there appeared in the official Gazette [Page 5]of Madrid a royal order of the 14th instant, materially altering the quarantine regulations of the Spanish government so far as relates to all the sea-coast of the United States from Charleston east, but leaving New Orleans and the Gulf ports still subject to the same interdict as before.
Under these circumstances, I have not for the present formally communicated the substance of your instructions to the Spanish minister of foreign affairs, but have unofficially given him notice that I had received instructions from you on the subject, which I had not for the present communicated to him, in the hope that as the Spanish government had shown a disposition to modify and relax the very stringent regulations heretofore enforced, they might be induced, in view of the statements of your said dispatch in regard to the disappearance of the yellow fever at New Orleans, be induced still further to modify or repeal the restrictions as to vessels coming from New Orleans and the Gulf ports generally.
With this view I have addressed to him a note, of which I herewith inclose you a copy, deeming it prudent to wait a few days after the Spanish government shall have received my communication to see if they are disposed to make still further modifications in their quarantine regulations complained of.
With sentiments of the highest respect, sir, your obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.
P. S.—Please find inclosed part of the Gazette referred to, containing the royal order of the 14th instant.
J. P. H.