to Mr. Evarts.
Caracas October 30, 1878. (Received November 18.)
Sir: Day before yesterday, the 28th of October, was the national festival of Venezuela in commemoration of Bolivar. This was not the birthday of the Liberator (Bolivar was born July 24, 1783), but, as I understand, the day of his patron saint, Saint Simon, and as such set apart in honor of the dead, conformably to the genius of the nation. The city was illuminated on the preceding evening, as also on the evening of the festival; flags were displayed in large numbers throughout the town, fireworks were set off on a considerable scale, and the Pantheon, an edifice in which the nation’s eminent dead are gathered, was opened to those who desired to visit the tomb of the Liberator.
The Plaza Bolivar was on this, as on other occasions, the center of public reunion and display. This plaza is situated in the immediate neighborhood of the Casa Amarilla, or the Yellow House, in which the President resides. It is interspersed with trees, shrubs, fountains, and lights, and is well supplied with seats for the accommodation of visitors. In the center of the plaza stands an equestrian statue of Bolivar, supported upon a pedestal of granite, surmounted by a beautifully wrought and polished superstructure of dark-colored syenite. This work, I understand, was done in Europe, and I suspect it may be superior, as a work of art, to anything of the sort we have in Washington.
Our flag was, of course, displayed on the occasion, and I send herewith a copy of the note in the premises which I received on the 26th instant from the ministry of exterior relations, together with a translation of the same.
I have, & c.,