No. 538.
General Sickles to Mr. Fish.

No. 802.]

Sir: I have the honor to forward herewith annexed a copy of a communication, dated yesterday, addressed by me to the executive committee of the Spanish Abolition Society, conveying to them the reply of the President to their recent memorial, conformably to the tenor of your instruction No. 388, of the 10th ultimo.

I am, &c,


General Sickles to the Spanish Abolition Society.

Gentlemen: I have the honor to inform yon that the memorial addressed hy the Spanish Aholition Society to the President of the United States, having “been transmitted hy me to the Department of State, has heen placed in the hands of the Executive.

The Secretary of State is directed hy the President to say that two years ago he recommended Congress to legislate for the ohjects which the memorialists now desire to accomplish, and that he has seen nothing since then to induce him to change his [Page 849] opinions; on the contrary, they have been strengthened by the course of events. While abstaining from interference with the domestic concerns of other powers, the contiguity of some of the possessions Of Spain to the territory of the Union has made the continued tolerance of slavery in one of them an object of solicitude to the people of the United States, and, therefore, the President does not refrain from expressing the anxiety with which he awaits the action of the Spanish Cortes in emancipating the slaves in Cuba. Sympathizing in every effort to remove the blot and scourge of slavery from the face of the earth, and desiring to see this great evil and crime exterminated and denounced, the President hopes that for the attainment of these ends no proper exertions will be spared by the friends of freedom in Spain, where they must prove more potent and efficacious than they can be in the United States. In this noble work I am to assure you and your associates of the sympathies and good wishes of the President.

I am, &c,


To the Hon. Sr. D. Fernando de Castro,
President, and the Vice-Presidents and Members of the Executive Committee of the Spanish Abolition Society.