[476] *Mr. Benevides, minister of foreign affairs, to Mr. Perry, United States chargé d’affaires.

Sir: I have the honor to inform you that, according to the report given by the captain general of the department of Ferrol, to the minister of marine, the Stonewall left that port on the 24th of March last, at half-past 10 o’clock in the morning, accompanied by Her Majesty’s frigate Conception.

At noon the frigate being within the following limits: Cape Prior, north 53° east, Corunna light, south 32° east, and the Stonewall about one mile ahead, about west-northwest of the meridian, the Conception stopped her engine, lowered and raised her ensign, with a cannon-shot, to signify to the confederate vessel the extent of the jurisdictional zone, and then steamed back slowly to the mouth of the port of Ferrol, where she remained to watch the movements of the Stonewall, which vessel came back about 2 p.m., hoisting Spanish colors at the foretop as a signal for communication.

The commander of the Conception says:

[477] They sent the mate to me to ask permission to return to the entrance of the harbor and communicate with shore. I refused permission, and said as *they had repaired damages, and gone out without new accidents, they could continue on their course. The boat went back, but soon returned, insisting on the demand. I again refused, and added that it was an abuse of hospitality. I afterward steamed a little north of meridian, and finding the Stonewall nine or ten miles north, at 4 o’clock I returned to this port, (Ferrol,) where I anchored at half-past 4.

In communicating to you these details, as another proof of the desire of the government of the Queen my lady to comply strictly with the duties of neutrality imposed by the royal decree, and to preserve and cultivate the good relations existing between Spain and the United States, I repeat the assurance of my distinguished consideration.


The United States Chargé d’affaires.