No. 72.
Mr. Williamson to Mr. Fish.

No. 42.]

Sir: I have the honor to inform you that, in accordance with the appointment, communicated to you, to-day at 12 o’clock I was admitted to a public audience by the President of this republic, and delivered to him my letter of credence, accompanied with an address, a copy of which is inclosed. I also inclose you a copy of his reply, and beg to call your attention to the importance he professes to attach to my quotation from your report to the Senate, dated July 14, 1870. I believe the words made a highly satisfactory impression on him, as in our subsequent conversation he alluded to them as the first authoritative expressions of that kind he had ever heard of the policy of my Government to the Central American States.

The reception was very handsome and very cordial. In fact, although I have given more of the special details of my receptions at Costa Rica and Guatemala, for fear of its being thought I was weak enough to attribute to my own personal qualities too large a share of the honors extended, it seems due to the Department that I should mention as a fact of political significance that my receptions by the President and officials, native and foreign citizens of the states I have visited up to this time, have been attended with a hearty cordiality, indicative of the constantly increasing influence and authority of our country abroad, and particularly in these states.

The President invited me to a banquet to-morrow at 11 a.m., which is to be attended by the officials, and by the deputies of the Congress, which has just adjourned. I accepted the invitation.

President Gonzalez impresses me favorably. He has a good face and a frank manner. He talks well and expresses the most profound admiration for our Government and people. Like Barrios and Guardia, of Guatemala and Costa Rica, he belongs to the liberal party, is in favor [Page 109] of immigration and of cultivating the arts and sciences, and of the most rapid development of the country that a prudent regard for its resources will allow. He expressed great regret that he could not offer me a house in San Salvador. As I am staying in one of his houses now, I took occasion to thank him for the hospitality already extended and to say that I hoped to be frequently in San Salvador during my official term.

I have, &c.,

[Inclosure 1 in No. 42.]

Address of Mr. Williamson to President Gonzalez of Salvador.

Mr. President: The President of the United States, having conferred upon me the high honor of accrediting me as minister resident to Central America, has made me the bearer of a letter of credence to your excellency, which I now have the honor to deliver. It may be almost idle for me to add to the words contained in the letter my assurances of the good will of my Government and countrymen for the people of San Salvador. They have had the continual sympathy of the people of the United States in the steady advance of their political and material progress since 1821. Neither my Government nor my countrymen can forget how much gallant blood San Salvador has shed since 1823 until now to defend her liberties against the insidious designs of infatuated partisans, who seemed to believe they were created to call themselves to office rather than be called by the popular voice. San Salvador has played so conspicuous a part in Central American politics that I hope I may be excused for quoting words to you, Mr. President, which the Secretary of State of the United States used in a report to the Senate in regard to all the Central American states. They contain an eloquent epitome of the sentiments of my Government. He said: “A favorable time has now come for removing them, [that is, obstacles to commerce,] for laying the foundation for an American policy which shall bind in closer union the American republics. Let them understand that the United States do not covet their territories; that our only desire is to see them peaceful, with free and stable governments, increasing in wealth and population, and developing in the lines in which their own traditions, customs, habits, laws, and modes of thought will naturally take them. Let them feel that, as in 1826, so now, this Government is ready to aid them to the fall extent of its constitutional power in any steps which they may take for their better protection against anarchy.” In a different form, these words are but reiterations of the wish expressed in my letter of credence and conveyed in my assurance that I shall do all in my power to make more cordial the friendly relations that have so long subsisted between San Salvador and my country. Whatever I can personally or officially do to contribute to the mutual advantage and honor of our respective countries shall be most cheerfully done. And I now avail myself of this occasion to say to you and your cabinet, Mr. President, that it shall be the most pleasant part of my duty to make our relations agreeable and to work with you to make more intimate the political and commercial bonds and sympathies that naturally exist between this republic and the United States.

[Inclosure 2 in No. 42.—Translation.]

Reply of President Gonzalez to Mr. Williamson.

Mr. Minister: It gives me great pleasure to receive from your hands the autographic letter of His Excellency the President of the United States, who accredits you as minister resident from that nation near this republic. The loyalty and honesty which characterize you, and in that the worthy Chief Magistrate of your Government has honored you with his confidence, secures the maintenance of the cordial sympathies and friendship which happily have and still exist between the people and governments of America and Salvador. The memorable words of your Secretary of State, which you have just quoted, are significant and important in the relations of both republics. The facts and ideas set forth in them clearly prove that Salvador in her divers struggles against the enemies of her progress, and in her constant efforts to destroy the reactionary elements which have for so long infested her bosom, has placed a well-grounded confidence in the example of the pure republicans of the United States, who, have so nobly merited this faith, as they have strived only for the cause of order, holding [Page 110] themselves aloof from projects purely personal, (as you have said,) and from principles that are peculiar to those antiquated and retrogressive systems that destroy the sanctity of rights and debase the dignity of humanity. The American Union and Salvador through the same means tend to the same end, the advancement and happiness of mankind, by the elevation of his dignity and the full exercise of his liberties; that is, by the consolidation of order by means of a rational and judicious enforcement of authority. The sympathies and friendship that have such a foundation are indissoluble, and to cultivate and strengthen them has been and still is for my government an agreeable duty. In the name of the people of Salvador, I tender my thanks to the people of the United States for the benevolent sentiments which in their name you have just expressed. Personally and officially, you will meet in my government the most friendly disposition and the most lively desire to draw closer the political and commercial relations between the two peoples. I congratulate myself that the representation of the United States in these countries has been intrusted to a person of your merit, since the many worthy qualities which adorn you afford other guarantees of the good-will, harmony, and affability which should govern our relations.