Mr. Christiancy to Mr. Blaine.
Lima, Peru , March 8, 1881. (Received April 5.)
Sir: In reply to your dispatch No. 123 I have the honor to state that I believe the telegram of Piérola therein stated to be) entirely correct, though I had no knowledge that he had sent it.[Page 878]
It is quite true, as you state, I had not informed you by telegraph of the taking of Lima by the Chilian forces, &c., There were several reasons why I did not telegraph: 1st. There is no telegraph line from here, the nearest being Panama, and the next nearest from Arica by way of Valparaiso and Europe. 2d. I have never been furnished with a cipher, and my dispatch, therefore, would be public. 3d. My experience in telegraphing, or attempting to do so, has not been favorable, as I telegraphed you from Arica (via Europe) on the 28th October last, the result of the conferences there, and again sent one to same effect by mail to Panama to be telegraphed to you from there, in the early part of November, and have to this day received no acknowledgment of the receipt of either, and I am in doubt whether either has been received. These were both sent without expense to the United States. 4th. I knew that by the ordinary channel of telegraphy from Chili to Europe you would hear all I could telegraph as soon as I could send a dispatch, and this without cost to our Government. 5th. I was careful to keep you informed by my dispatches by mail of all that had taken place, never neglecting a single mail, and long before this you must have received those dispatches, though not till after your dispatch No. 123 was written.
I have not been unmindful of the desire of my government expressed by you, in which I fully participate, to bring about a peace between the belligerents “upon reasonable and honorable terms compatible with the true welfare of all the belligerents, and so as to be lasting.” But I find little room for any efforts of mine in the face of the repeated declarations of the Chilian authorities here that they will not admit the mediation or even the good offices of any other government or of its representatives here in any arrangement for peace.
Under such circumstances you will readily perceive that I need more specific instructions before I can press upon the Chilian authorities any definite terms of peace.
On the other hand, Piérola, the only government yet recognized by Peru and by all foreign representatives here, is in the interior, at Jauja, willing and anxious to treat for peace—as I know from his letter to a friend here, shown to me some days since. But the Chilian authorities here have declared, as I have already informed you, that they will not recognize him as the Government of Peru, nor treat with him as such.
If I can see any opening where my efforts can be of any avail for peace, I shall not lose the opportunity.
For a further explanation of this matter, I refer you to my next dispatch.
I have, &c.,