No. 611.
Mr. Fish to General Sickles.


Hall telegraphs this date the confirmation of report of further execution on 12th instant, and that Havana papers of yesterday published account of execution of fifty-seven other prisoners, and that only some eighteen will escape death, but that nothing official was received. You will represent this report to minister. These repeated violations of assurances of good-will and of the prohibition of murder by the authorities in Santiago increase the necessity of full and speedy reparation. There is but one alternative if denied or long deferred. If Spain cannot redress the outrages perpetrated in her name in Cuba the United States will. If Spain should regard this act of self-defense and justification, and of the vindication of long-continued wrongs, as necessitating her interference, the United States, while regretting it, cannot avoid the result. You will use this instruction cautiously and discreetly, avoiding unnecessarily exciting any proper sensibilities, and avoiding all appearance of menace; but the gravity of the case admits no doubt, and must be fairly and frankly met.