No. 613.
General Sickles to Mr. Fish.

No. 832.]

Sir: I have the honor to forward herewith a copy of a note demanding reparation in the matter of the Virginius, addressed, pursuant to your instructions, to the minister of state, under date of yesterday, and placed in the hands of the sub-secretary, at the ministry, by Mr. Adee, at half-past three o’clock in the afternoon of the same day.

I am, &c,


General Sickles to Mr. José de Carvajal.

The undersigned, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of the United States of America, on the 6th of this month, in a private communication, and afterward on the 8th instant, in an official conference with Mr. Carvajal, had the honor to invite the attention of the government of Spain to the capture of the American ship Virginius by the Spanish armed cruiser Tornado, on the 31st of October last, on the high seas, and the subsequent taking of the said vessel, with her officers, crew, and passengers, to the port of Santiago de Cuba, a place within Spanish jurisdiction. The undersigned then intimated to his excellency the minister of state that the Government of the Union withheld any formal request for reparation in the case, trusting that it would seem to the government of this country becoming and proper to offer to the United States at once the most complete satisfaction in its power for this offense to their dignity and the inviolability of their flag.

More than fifteen days have passed since the Virginius was captured. The undersigned has waited more than eight days for a communication from his excellency the minister of state, signifying that this government was prepared to make due atonement for the wrong and injury done, and of which complaint was made as aforesaid.

Meanwhile the officials, purporting and claiming to exercise authority in Cuba, not restrained by the supreme government, have inflicted summary, cruel, and bloody punishments on the captain, officers, and crew of the Virginius, and on a number of her passengers, and this pending the amicable representations of the undersigned to his excellency the minister of state, having for their object the considerate and honorable adjustment of any questions involved in the capture.

The undersigned has now, in the name of the President, to demand the restoration of the Virginius, and the release and delivery to the United States of the persons, captured in her who may yet survive; and that the flag of the United States be at the same time-saluted in the port of Santiago de Cuba, and also that the Spanish government manifest, by signal punishments to be inflicted on them, its sense of the misconduct of those of its servants who were concerned in the capture of the said vessel and in the execution of the passengers and crew thereof.

The undersigned hopes to have the pleasure of communicating to his Government, without delay, a satisfactory reply to this note.

The undersigned avails himself, &c,