No. 85.
Mr. Williamson to Mr. Fish.

No. 77.]

Sir: I have the honor of inclosing you herewith a copy of a letter written to-day to the minister of foreign affairs of Nicaragua, to accompany the transmission to him of a copy of the memorandum of the conversation with President Guardia on the 10th instant. I hope it may meet your approval.

I have, &c.,


Mr. Williamson to Señor Rivas.

Sir: I have the honor to inclose you a copy of a memorandum of a conversation held on the 10th instant at this place with President Guardia, of Costa Rica. You will observe he professed the most peaceable inclination, and promptly agreed to the suggestion of a proposed personal conference between the five Presidents. In addition to what is stated in the memorandum, but which was accidentally omitted, President Guardia declared he had nothing to do with the expeditions of the General Sherman and the Tigre, and that he had recently had the latter vessel seized in this port, because he was informed she was about to depart on a hostile errand against Nicaragua. Your excellency’s government is quite as fully informed as I am in regard to the subjects of these statements, and prepared to give them the weight to which they are entitled; yet I take the liberty of adding that but little significance can be conceded, it would seem, to the contradictory depositions of the person, Ross, about the charter of the Tigre, unless they are corroborated by other evidence.

If, after due deliberation, it should seem expedient to your government to approve the plan of the personal conference of the five Presidents, can you oblige me by notifying me of the time and place indicated? You will concur with me doubtless that the [Page 131] personal and political enemies of the existing governments, as well as the malcontents who live upon civil disturbances, will probably exert a strong influence to prevent the conference. You will please to understand that I do not include all opponents in the above classes, for I can readily imagine how good and patriotic citizens, from lack of Information, or distrust, or other causes, might oppose it. It would appear the result ought to be tranquillizing to Central America. In no event can I see how it can be detrimental to any state. The government of Costa Rica has not purchased the American steamer Montijo, but negotiations are now pending to pay her owner the damages he has incurred. He proposes to sail with her for Panama on the 17th instant.

I have, &c.,


Hon. A. H. Rivas,
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Managua, Nicaragua.

P. S.—You will please pardon me for adding this postscript to say that I carry an unsealed friendly letter from President Guardia to President Barrios, in which he designates Guatemala as the place of meeting of the five Presidents.

Yours, &c.,