On this 8th day of December, 1873, Hamilton Fish, Secretary of State of the United States, and Admiral Polo de Bernabé, the envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of Spain, met for the purpose of arranging and determining the time, manner, and place for the surrender of the Virginius, and the survivors of those who were on board of her at the time of her capture; and also the time, manner, and place for the salute to the flag of the United States, if there should be occasion for such salute—in accordance with the stipulation in the protocol signed by them on the 29th day of November last—the time within which such arrangement was to have been made having been extended at the request of the Spanish government.
It is arranged and agreed as follows:
- That the Virginius shall be surrendered and restored by a Spanish vessel of war to a vessel of war of the United States in the harbor of Bahia Honda, on the 16th day of December instant, between the hours of eight in the morning and four in the afternoon, the Virginius to have the flag of the United States Hying at her main-peak or flagstaff at the time of the surrender; but the fact of the vessel being restored with the flag flying shall not be taken as an admission by either party of the right of the vessel to carry the flag at the time of the capture; nor shall it prejudice the right reserved to Spain to prove, on or before the 25th of December instant, that the vessel was not entitled to carry that flag, and was carrying it at the time of her capture without right and improperly; nor the presentation of the reciprocal reclamations as provided in the said protocol. Should any accident prevent the arrival of the United States vessel in the port of Bahia Honda on the day above named, the surrender and restoration of the Virginius shall take place in the same port as soon as may be after the arrival there of the United States vessel.
- That the survivors of those who were on board of the Virginius at the time of her capture shall be surrendered to and safely escorted [Page 991] on board of a vessel of war of the United States in the harbor of Santiago de Cuba within forty-eight hours after the notification to the authorities of the place of the arrival there of such vessel and that such vessel is ready and prepared to receive such survivors. The said survivors are to be surrendered as above between the hours of eight in the morning and four in the afternoon.
- That on the 25th day of December current a vessel or vessels of war of the United States will be in the harbor of Santiago de Cuba, and that at the hour of 12 meridian the United States flag is to be raised on a Spanish fort or battery, and a salute of twenty-one guns to be fired. This being done, the United States vessel, or, if there be more than one, one of them, will raise the Spanish flag, and return the salute, gun for gun. But if the commanding officer of the United States vessel in the harbor of Santiago de Cuba shall, on or before that date, have received notice that the conditions have been reached on which, according to the protocol between the undersigned of the 29th of November last, the salute to the flag of the United States is to be spontaneously dispensed with, he will notify the authorities of the place of that fact, and the ceremony of the salute to the flag in such case will not take place.
- HAMILTON FISH.
- JOSÉ POLO DE BERNABÉ.