The Captain of the Steamer Itata, against the Consul of the United States of America at this port, and against the Minister of the same nation, resident at Lima.

In the city of Callao, on the fifteenth day of the month of March, one thousand eight hundred and seventy-nine, before me,, the notary public, and witnesses who subscribe, personally appeared Mr. Peter Lautrup, of full age, temporarily sojourning in this city, captain of the American steamer Itata, whom I certify that I personally know to be such, and declared that he protested against the proceedings of the Consul of the United States of America at this port, and against the Minister of the same-nation, resident at Lima, in the terms of the memorandum following:

[Page 159]

Mr. Notary for Maritime Affairs: Be pleased to extend a protest in due form, which I, Peter Lautrup, captain: of the American steamer Itata, belonging to Henry L. Stevens, esq., and chartered by the South American Steamship Company, do make against the proceedings of Robert L. Clayton, esq., consul of the United States of America at this port, and of the honorable Richard Gibbs, minister of the same nation, resident at Lima, in the dispatch of the vessel under my command, and for their refusal to acknowledge the legality of the ship’s papers, which accredit the perfect right with which the steamer Itata flies the American flag.

The facts which occurred, to the truth and exactness of which I depose upon oath, are as follows:

On the seventeenth of February last past the steamer Itata was sold to Henry L. Stevens, esq., her actual proprietor, who, having previously complied with all the formalities prescribed by the laws of the United States of America, obtained from the vice-consulate of America at Valparaiso the corresponding bill of sale and certificate, and the authorization in form to bear the flag of the United States of America, and ask the protection of the authorities of that nation.

Provided with the certificate aforesaid and other sea-papers, which accredited the ownership which Mr. Henry L. Stevens has in the steamship Itata, under my command, and which justify and legitimate the use of the flag of the United States of America, which she flies, I sailed from Valparaiso and anchored in this bay of Callao on the twelfth of this present month, on which day I also delivered to Robert L. Clayton, esq., American consul at this port, the above-mentioned papers, which the said functionary did not object to on receiving them. Being, therefore, confident in the legality of these documents, which had not been challenged by the consular authority, I got the vessel under my command ready for her return voyage to Valparaiso, with the intention of making use of the same papers and of flying the same flag. But, to my surprise, I was notified yesterday, by an official letter of same date from the consul, R. L. Clayton, esq., not to make use of the flag of the United States of America.

In this official letter the consul sets forth to me, in compliance with instructions received from the honorable Richard Gibbs, the minister, that although the steamer Itata is under the protection of the authorities of the United States of America, as belonging to a citizen of that nation, she cannot fly or make use of the flag of that country. In view of this notification, which involves an illegal mandate, I, Peter Lautrup, captain of the steamer Itata, in protection of the rights of Mr. Stevens, the owner, and of those interested in the cargo, have applied to the legation of the Republic of Chili, asking for the necessary sea-letter and authorization to fly the Chilian flag during the voyage from this port to Valparaiso, which sea-letter and authorization I have received.

But as the proceedings of messieurs the said minister and consul of the United States of America, which I deem contrary to the laws of the nation they represent, occasions to the steamer Itata, to her owner, and to those interested in the cargo the damages they may estimate; as these proceedings have determined me in the resolution to change the American flag for the Chilian; and, finally, as it is necessary that these facts should appear by making the necessary protest in due form, in order that at the proper time, the convenient claims may be made, I, Peter Lautrup, captain of the steamer Itata, in the name and legal representation of Henry L. Stevens, esq,, the owner, do protest once and as often as it may be necessary against the aforementioned minister and consul of the United States of America, declaring that whatever claims for damages that may arise by reason of the above-recited facts are at the exclusive responsibility of those functionaries.

You, Mr. Notary, will cause it to so appear in safeguard of my own responsibility.


In testimony of all which, thus he said, did, and signed, the witnesses being Mr. Justice P. Flores, Mr. Michael Diaz, and Mr. Francis Soria, all of full age, and residents of this city, this instrument having previously been read to him, the formalties required by articles from seven hundred and thirty-five to seven hundred and thirty-eight of the code of legal procedure in civil matters having before been complied with, to all which I certify.




Justice P. Flores.

Michael Diaz.

Francis Soria.

Notary Public and for Hypothecations.

The emendations “ton,” “sa,” “sa” having been made before signing.

His first copy agrees with the original, which appears on folio seven hundred and [Page 160] thirty-nine and over leaf of the protocol for the present biennial term, with which it has been collated and found to be true and correct; and in faith thereof I subscribe and make my notarial sign hereto the date of its execution.

[l. s.] (Signed)

Notary Public and of Maritime Hypothecations.

I, Raymon Rivera Jofié, consul-general of Chili in Peru, certify the authenticity of the preceding signature of Alexander O. Deustua, esq., notary public, of this city.

[l. s.] (Signed)
[Inclosure 6 in No. 85.]

Mr. McKellar to Mr. Osborn.

Sir: Since my communication of the 27th ultimo, I have been informed by the house of J. T. Ramos, esq., at this port, that the barks Mathilde and Monroe, barkentine Franklin, and schooner Cobija, which during the year 1866 had been sold to an American citizen resident in this port, and flew the American flag until December 5, 1876, made voyages during that period to Eten and Cobija, always stopping at Callao, Iquique, and Arica on an average of three times a year at least, without their right to that flag being disputed by any of the United States consular officers at any of those ports or by the United States minister to Peru.

The bark Monroe sailed with that flag to Bordeaux and returned with a valuable cargo of sugar, and neither the consular, ministerial, nor naval authorities of the United States, nor the authorities of France, interposed a doubt as to her right to wear the flag of the United States.

Since the difficulty made by the United States minister to Peru, and the United States consul at Callao, instances are daily furnished to this consulate which show that those gentlemen are alone in the views they have, at last, suddenly taken as to the right of vessels wholly owned by United States citizens to bear the American flag to any part of the world, save those of the United States, according to the exceptions made by the consular regulations and acts of Congress. I refrain from mentioning them, however, as I should needlessly prolong my already lengthy argument.

I have, &c.,

United States Vice-Consul.