Mr. Christiancy to Mr. Baine.
Lima, Peru , March 16, 1881. (Received April 11.)
Sir: Referring to my dispatch No. 254, in reference to the attempt to form a new government of Peru, under the auspices of the Chilian authorities, I have the honor now further to inform you that the attempt, though for a time apparently abandoned, has since been persisted in; and on the 12th instant that new government was installed at the small hamlet (too small to be called a village) of Magdalena, about 3 miles from Lima, which has been declared neutral territory; and that the provisional president, Francisco García Calderon, has appointed Aurelio Denegri president of the council and minister of finance $ Manuel Velarde minister of government and public works, José Miguel Velez minister of justice and public worship, and M. M. Galvez minister of foreign relations.
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As Piérola still claims to be the Government of Peru, the great question for me and other ministers here to decide is that of recognition, all having heretofore recognized Piérola. My own view is that I cannot recognize this new professional government until it shall appear to be a government of Peru, instead of Lima and Callao; in short, without instructions from you, I cannot recognize it until satisfied from a vote of the people or clear acquiescence the larger portion of the people seem to have adopted it, nor until it shall show some evidence of the power to sustain itself as the Government of Peru.
If, for instance, Piérola holds one half of Peru and Calderon the other, I could not recognize the latter, unless so instructed by the Department.
I am just informed that this new provisional government, with the aid of a committee of the diplomatic corps, have made an arrangement by which a little time is given for the payment of the $1,000,000 due on the 14th on their paying $200,000 to-day, and that the penalty for non-payment is not to be enforced by the proposed destruction of property. But I cannot give you the particulars with certainty, as I am unable to go out.
I have, &c.,