to Mr. Osborn
Washington , February 10, 1881.
Sir: The information which the Department gleans from the press reports that the Chilian forces have taken Lima and Callao, and that the Peruvian forces and government have fallen back into the interior.
Under these circumstances, of which I have as yet no confirmation from yourself and Mr. Christiancy, it is naturally to be inferred that the time has come when the Peruvian Government would not refuse to treat for peace upon any supportable basis, and that it would turn to the good offices or mediation of this government, with hope, if not expectancy, of an end to the war being reached.
I have, to-day, instructed Mr. Christiancy to press upon the Government of Peru, and upon such Chilian authorities as he may have access to, the earnest desire of this government to bring about a peace without delay and upon reasonable and honorable terms, compatible with the true welfare of all the belligerents, so as to be lasting. I have directed him to urge the desire of this government with all that pressure which, under the circumstances, may appear to him to be admissible and proper to the gravity of the occasion.
Your own urgent efforts will be exerted in the same direction.
I am, &c.,