No. 687.
Mr. Russell to Mr. Fish.

No. 78.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose herewith a letter from the minister of foreign relations, and a translation thereof. By the same steamer I shall send, to be mailed in New York, a sealed packet accompanying the same and referred to therein.

Together with some of my colleagues, I felt some doubt about the propriety of acting as a messenger to send a sealed inclosure, said to contain a claim against a friendly and allied state. But as the other national representatives decided to comply with the request of Venezuela, I have done the same, intimating to the minister of foreign relations that I could of course express no opinion to my Government as to a document which I had not been permitted to read. I also sent a copy of the note inclosed to the Dutch chargé, telling him that I thought such notice due to him as representing a government which had always been a steadfast friend of the United States, and protesting that I could not be considered as giving any opinion as to the character of the unknown inclosure. His reply was cordial. He had received no communication on the subject from this government, nor does he know, except from this correspondence, that any claim has been made on his government.

I have, &c.,

[Inclosure in No. 78.—Translation.]

Mr. Blanco to Mr. Russell.

The government of Venezuela has appealed to the King of the Netherlands, claiming indemnity for the expenses which it was obliged to incur to re-establish peace, [Page 1379] disturbed in the republic by the last rebellion, promoted, organized, and sustained by Dutch subjects, living in the Island of Curaçao, and asking, moreover, that His Majesty of the Netherlands will be pleased to direct measures to prevent the tranquality of this country, in which citizens and foreigners have an interest, from being at the mercy of some few speculators of that colony. But notwithstanding the confidence which His Excellency the President has in the justice of the demand, and in the intelligence, impartiality and rectitude of the government of His Excellency the King of the Netherlands, he has thought fit to apply to the friendly governments, soliciting their good and friendly offices in the action intended, and to that end this ministry appeals to the State Department of the United States of North America.

The brief which I have the honor of sending to your excellency contains the above-mentioned request, joined with a memorandum or recapitulation of the facts and reasons on which the claim is founded, and I ask your excellency that you will be pleased to send said sheet to the Government of the North America N. Union.

Presenting thanks to your excellency in advance very warmly, I have the honor to repeat to your excellency the assurances of my high consideration.


The Hon. Thomas Russell,
Minister Resident of the United States of North America.