Mr. Perry, United States chargé d’affaires, to Mr. Seward, Secretary of State.

[467] *[Extract.]

Sir: I have the honor to transmit, inclosed, the translation of Mr. Benavides’s note to me of the 21st instant, in reply to mine of the 18th instant, which was forwarded as inclosure C of dispatch No. 168, of February 20. This note confirms the result announced to you in that dispatch. Last night in company I saw Mr. Benavides and inquired of him if this note was intended to be the end, or whether repairs on the Stonewall would ever be recommenced in this jurisdiction. Mr. Benavides said no, that this was the end of repairs on that ship, and that such was the meaning of his note.

With sentiments of the highest respect, sir, your obedient servant,


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


Mr. Benavides, minister of foreign affairs, to Mr. Perry, chargé d’affaires.


[468] Sir: I have had the honor to receive your note of the 18th instant, in which you are so good as to *manifest to me, referring to telegraphic dispatches of the consular agent of the United States at Ferrol, that after the termination of the repairs on the iron clad steamer Stonewall this vessel is still not in a condition to take the seas, because of certain radical defects of construction which you solicit may not be permitted to be remedied in the ship-yard of the said port of Ferrol, nor in any other in Spain.

The reasons which you present in support of your wishes have been duly appreciated by the government of the Queen, which, being convinced of its duty not to separate its conduct from the line marked out for it in the royal decree of June 17, 1861, has dictated the proper orders that it be thus done in the case to which you refer.

[469] The minister of marine, confirming the orders previously communicated, that the repairs which might be made on the Stonewall should not be such as to better her military or sea going qualities, has instructed the naval [Page 98] authority at Ferrol to strictly comply with those orders, and not to permit any other work on the said vessel than that qualified by the commandant of naval engineers *as indispensable to repair the particular damage which obliged her to come into the port where she now is.

I take pleasure in believing that you will find this resolution of Her Majesty’s government in accordance with the suggestion of the note to which I reply, and I avail myself of this occasion to renew to you the assurance of my distinguished consideration.


The Chargé d’affaires of the United States.