Mr. Biddle to Mr. Fish.
San Salvador, May 24, 1873. (Received June 26.)
Sir: The earthquakes had gradually subsided since the 19th of March, when a severe shock on the 22d instant has warned the community of continued peril.
The rains are backward, and should the coming maize crop, the great staple, be affected, serious inconvenience will ensue.
The monetary condition remains unchanged. A financial agent dispatched to Europe by this government to negotiate a loan, and also for subscriptions to the stock of a bank, as by my No. 87, has not as yet accomplished his mission.
The railway mentioned in my No. 37 is still in its inception, the contractor expressing confidence in its due completion.
Meantime General Rufino Barrios has been elected president of Guatemala, receiving six thousand votes against fifteen hundred for Miguel Garcia Granados.
That state was then declared in siege, and a proclamation issued allowing the reactionary insurgents one month within which to disperse.
General Barrios next wrote a request to President Gonzalez, of Salvador, as the ally of Guatemala, for a personal interview, and they are holding a conference at the city of Santa Ana., in this republic.
The purport of the council is thought to be plans for the maintenance of both administrations. The internal peace of Salvador continues, but the discords among her neighbors are contagious, and there are whisperings of growing dissatisfaction.
The Jesuit fathers in Asylum, in Nicaragua, are wakeful enemies, and the reactionary spirit is active in the allied states of Honduras and Guatemala, and even here a muffled but portentous agitation is maintained unfavorable to protracted tranquillity.
The government, however, expresses confidence in its own stability. President Gonzalez has military prestige and admitted courage, and peace alone, with agricultural increase, can replace the drains which have so severely depleted Salvador.
We may hope that for once the history of Central America may not here repeat itself, with insurrection and revolution as unforseen and swift as the earthquakes, but that the toils of a patriotic president may inure to peace and progress.
I have, &c.,