No. 91.
Mr. Williamson to Mr. Fish.

No. 90.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose you, herewith, translated copies of the answers of the government of Nicaragua to my communications of which I sent you copies with my Nos. 76 and 77.

Your attention is respectfully called to the difference in the tone of the letter of the 12th and that of the 20th. In the former no objection is raised to any plan of pacification. In the latter numerous diplomatic suggestions or objections are quite pointedly made.

* * * * * *

I have, &c.,

[Inclosure 1 in No. 90.—Translation.]

Señor Rivas to Mr. Williamson.

Sir: I have had the honor to receive the dispatch of your excellency of the 8th instant.

I thank your excellency for the attention paid to all my communications, and for your congratulations upon the prospects of peace between Nicaragua and Costa Rica. My government receives it as a happy omen that we may come to that issue through the interposition of your excellency’s good offices.

My government sincerely applauds the good inclinations of your excellency in that direction, and has instructed me especially to express its gratitude for your tender of good offices in the settlement of the boundary question with Costa Rica. Your excellency may be assured upon that point there will be found on the part of Nicaragua all the acquiescence compatible with the dignity of the state, in order that a conclusion of this vexatious question may be reached. Up to this time no communication has been received from the cabinet of Guatemala relative to the projected meeting of the five Presidents of Central America, with the view of establishing among them friendly relations. This idea having been discussed, as your excellency informs me, by the Presidents of Salvador and Guatemala, the government of Nicaragua will not throw any obstruction in the way of the realization of so important an end. But I must say frankly, it will take part in it without much hope (or faith) in the result, for the reason it does not see what guarantee President Guardia and his minister, Herrera, can [Page 136] give for the fulfillment of what may be agreed upon at the conference. Nevertheless the question of peace to those states is so vital (as your excellency has well said) that no means must be spared to establish it.

I have the honor to renew to your excellency the assurances of my high consideration.

Yours, &c.,

[Inclosure 2 in No. 90.—Translation.]

Señor Rivas to Mr. Williamson.

Sir: I have had the honor to receive your excellency’s esteemed communication, dated at Punta Arenas, on the 14th instant, inclosing a copy of the memorandum of the conversation held with President Guardia on the 10th instant, at that port.

I brought to the knowledge of the President your excellency’s esteemed dispatch, and of the memorandum, from which, as well as from some other documents received at the same time, he infers, as your excellency, that President Guardia has at last come to a peaceful disposition.

As I stated to your excellency in my dispatch of the 12th instant, neither the government of Guatemala nor that of Salvador has advised this government of their disposition to promote a peaceful settlement with President Guardia, nor have they informed us of what steps they proposed, through your excellency, to take to that end.

I call your excellency’s notice to this circumstance, because my government does not consider it in conformity to the letter and spirit of the treaty of alliance by which they agreed as allied republics to take no steps without common consent that would lead to the best guarantees of their interests and welfare. But this circumstance alters not in any manner the disposition already assured to your excellency, that on the part of Nicaragua no obstacle will be put in the way of carrying out any idea that may tend to the re-establishment of peace and harmony among the states, especially if the valuable intervention of your good office may be invoked.

Nicaragua being able to show with authentic documents the culpability of the government of Costa Rica in the acts subversive of peace, is in duty bound to raise to that government its just claims for serious damages to the state and to several citizens; but neither these claims, nor the question of limits for the settlement of which your excellency has tendered your good offices, shall be an obstacle to Nicaragua in entering upon any treaty or convention to secure the peace of Central America.

In reference to this idea of permanent peace, in which your excellency has taken so great and so laudable an interest, the President begs me to call it to your notice that the statements and assurances of President Guardia, made in the convention of the 10th instant, have not yet had the sanction of the actual government of Costa Rica. It would appear any efforts made should have such a firm basis of legality that the acts resulting therefrom should be permanent. In this Nicaragua is more interested than any of the states, owing to her proximity to Costa Rica and the nature of the question now pending between them.

Respecting the personal presence of the President of this republic at the place to be designated for the re-union, there is a constitutional obstacle. He has been authorized by the law, of which I send you a copy, to leave the republic solely with the object of treating about the national unity and not about regulations of peace among the states. However, your excellency may rest assured that the government of Nicaragua shall be properly represented at the meeting.

With the highest consideration, I have the honor to be your excellency’s obedient servant,

[Inclosure in 2 in Xo. 90.—Translation.]

The President of the republic of Nicaragua to its inhabitants:

Know ye that the congress has ordered the following:

the senate and chamber of deputies of the republic of nicaragua.


  • Article 1. The President of the republic is authorized, if he thinks it necessary or convenient, to leave its territory with the object of facilitating the negotiations and arrangements [Page 137] relating to the reconstruction of the political union of Central America, leaving the executive power in deposit.
  • Art. 2. During the next recess, and until the new meeting of the legislative power, the executive may, if the circumstances so require, employ the senators and deputies in diplomatic missions having in view the great interoceanic canal, the national reorganization, and the peace of the Central American states.

Given in the hall of sessions of the senate-chamber, Managua, October the 15th, 1873. Fernando Gurman, S. P.; José L. Avendaño, S. S.; Pedro P. Prado, S. S. To the executive power. Hall of sessions of the chamber of deputies, Managua, October 15, 1873. José Saliuas, D. P.; J. D. Rodriguez, D. S.; Francisco Padilla, D. S. Therefore, let it be executed. Managua, October 21, 1873. Vincente Quadra. The minister of the interior, Francisco Barberena.