Mr. Fish to General Sickles.
Fourth condition in telegram of January 3d not intelligibly transmitted. Gradual abolition is indefinite, and, at best, is insufficient; the rest is well so far as it goes; but without a free provincial legislature, chosen by the inhabitants, and having the general control of the internal affairs of the island and of its inhabitants, and regulating taxation, and without the separation of military from civil jurisdiction, and the subordination of the former to the latter, and a limitation of the number and the power of officials appointed by the home government, it is not thought that the terms indicated could be accepted.
We suppose that local municipal government is intended in the fourth condition of your telegram.
It is hoped the ministry will see the wisdom and moderation of the suggested concession. They are just and in the spirit of the professions of the present government.
The President is most desirous to see and to aid in effecting a satisfactory and honorable termination of the present disastrous condition of affairs, but his good offices must be formally requested, and a satisfactory indication be given of reforms that will be conceded.