No. 689.
Mr. Russell to Mr. Fish.

No. 80.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose a note from the chargé of the Netherlands, received since my No. 78 was written and placed in the hands of the dispatch-bearer; also a translation thereof.

As Mr. Brakel has sent this somewhat elaborate reply to my note, courtesy seems to require me to inclose it. But if the matter should ever become one of serious consideration, there are some important facts which I should desire to lay before the Department. At present, as I have intimated, I do not feel justified in discussing a paper which I have not read.

I have, &c.,

[Page 1381]
[Inclosure in No. 80.—Translation.]

Mr. Braid to Mr. Russell.

Sir and Dear Colleague: I have the honor to acknowledge the reception of the note dated the 17th of this month, by which you have been pleased to communicate to me that you have received from the minister of foreign relations at Venezuela the circular of the 14th, asking you to transmit to your Government a sealed letter relating to a claim against the Netherlands for the expenses of the last rebellion, a letter which contained a memorandum of reasons on which this claim is founded, as well as an appeal to the good offices of the friendly governments. While thanking you warmly for this communication and for the kind words with which you have been pleased to accompany it, I take the liberty to offer you on the subject in question the following suggestions:

The first news of the rebellion at Coro reached the authorities at Curaçoa October 26, 1874, and his excellency the governor, and on the next day the governor prohibited the export of all munitions of war.

It seems that this act of good neighborhood has not been duly appreciated.

As for the proofs of facts brought forward, they consist chiefly of declarations, not sworn to, of persons mostly Venezuelans, made before the authorities of this nation, without the presence of any Netherlands authority.

The worth of these.

I am sure that if the government of Venezuela had acceded to the request of the Dutch legation to publish in “the Report of the Minister of Foreign Relations of 1875” the notes which I have had the honor to address to it on this subject, your Government, on reading the memorandum which is presented to it, would be immediately convinced that the attitude of the Dutch government in the conduct of its authorities at Curaçoa during the rebellion in Coro is absolutely irreproachable.

Further, an impartial study of this claim and of the grounds of support will lead, no doubt, to the conclusion that it is without real foundation.

Be pleased to receive, sir and dear colleague, the fresh assurances of my high consideration.


His Excellency Mr. Thomas Russell,
Minister Resident of the United States of North America at Venezuela.