No. 460.
Mr. Reed to Mr. Evarts.

No. 4.]

Sir: On the reception of your instruction No. 57, authorizing Mr. Lowell to accept the sum of $10,000 offered by the Spanish Government as compensation for injuries inflicted by Spanish guarda costas on the American whaling schooners Ellen Rizpah and Rising Sun, he at once addressed a note to that effect to the minister of state. I have the honor to inclose a copy of the note, from which you will perceive that Mr. Lowell suggested that payment be made in a draft on London, as in the case of the Cuban claims award. It seems, however, from the interviews which he afterward had with Mr. Silvela, that it was not convenient for the Spanish Government to comply with his suggestion, but preferred to give a draft on Barcelona for the amount. Mr. Lowell answered that this arrangement would be perfectly satisfactory to him, provided such draft would insure $10,000 in London. For some reason not known to the legation this proposition was not carried out, and on Mr. Lowell again inviting Mr. Silvela’s attention to the matter, he was informed that it had been decided in the council of ministers to pay the indemnity in gold, out of the central treasury of the island of Cuba, through Mr. Mantilla, at Washington, in a draft payable to your order.

Accordingly, last evening I received a note from Mr. Silvela, a copy and translation of which is hereto annexed, furnishing me with the text of a communication addressed by the minister of ultramar, under date of the 13th instant, to the governor-general of the island of Cuba, giving the necessary order to carry out the directions of the council of ministers above referred to. A copy of my note in reply is also hereto annexed.

I beg to add that the delay which has occurred in the arranging for payment of the indemnity has not been the fault of the legation. On the contrary, Mr. Lowell never failed to mention in his interviews with Mr. Silvela the conditions on which the United States accepted the offer of Spain. But taking into consideration the present crippled state of the Spanish finances, and the fact that both Mr. Silvela and the minister of ultramar have been in daily attendance upon the sessions of the Còrtes—thus in a great measure preventing them from attending to other matters in connection with their respective departments—I think I am justified in saying that the matter has been arranged in as short a time as could reasonably be expected.

I have, &c.,

[Inclosure 1 in No. 4.]

Mr. Lowell to Mr. Silvela.

Excellency: Referring to the note which Your Excellency was pleased to address to me on the 16th January last, I have now the honor to inform you that I have received [Page 787] instructions to accept the sum of $10,000, or £2,054 17s. 3½d., in compensation for injuries inflicted by Spanish gunboats on the American whalers Ellen Rizpah and Rising Sun, provided payment be made so soon as Conveniently possible. As I took the liberty of suggesting to Your Excellency at our last interview, I should be glad to have the payment made as before, in a draft on London.

In communicating this to Your Excellency, I beg to thank you for the honorable readiness shown by the Government of His Catholic Majesty to acknowledge and make compensation for the faults of its subordinate officers, a readiness which I have always had the pleasure of recognizing in my official dealings with Your Excellency.

I avail myself of this occasion to renew to Your Excellency the assurances of my most distinguished consideration, &c.

[Inclosure 2 in No. 4.—Translation.]

Mr. Silvela to Mr. Reed.

My Dear Sir: I have the honor to inform you that my colleague of ultramar has addressed, under date of the 13th instant, to the Governor General of the Island of Cuba the following communication:

“The indemnification to North American citizens, to the amount of $10,000, having been agreed upon by the Council of Ministers for the detention in Cuban waters of the whaling barks Ellen Rizpah and Rising Sun, and said indemnification having been accepted by the minister of the United States at this court in the name of his government, His Majesty the King, whom God preserve, has been pleased to order that the said indemnification be paid in gold by the central treasury of that island, through a draft to the order of the Minister of Foreign Relations of the United States and through the minister of His Majesty at Washington.”

At the same time that I communicate to you the present resolution, which puts an end to the reclamation caused by the detention of the above-mentioned barks, I beg to say that it has afforded me pleasure to have contributed to a result which gives another proof to the Government of the United States of the friendship, equity, and justice with which the Spanish Government is animated in the relations with that Republic.

I avail myself of this opportunity to renew, &c.

[Inclosure 3 in No. 4.]

Mr. Reed to Mr. Silvela.

Excellency: I have the honor to acknowledge the reception of the note which Your Excellency was pleased to address to me under date of the 16th instant, in regard to the measures taken by the Government of His Catholic Majesty for the payment of the indemnification in the cases of the American whaling schooners Ellen Rizpah and Rising Sun, detained off the coast of Cuba by Spanish guarda costas.

In informing Your Excellency that I have transmitted a copy of your excellency’s note to Washington for the information of my government, I beg at the same time to add that I am sure the President will duly appreciate this new proof of the friendly sentiments which animate the Government of His Catholic Majesty in all its dealings with that of the United States.

I avail myself, &c.,