No. 451.
Mr. Baker to Mr. Frelinghuysen.

No. 892.]

Sir: A matter affecting Mr. John Dalton, United States consul at Ciudad Bolivar, has recently occurred in this capital. The Opinion National of the 31st ultimo contained a letter, which is really an order from the President, Guzman Blanco, directing, in substance, that Mr. John Dalton and some twenty or more other persons of Ciudad Bolivar, be subjected to an arrest of three days in the quarters of the national force; that is, in effect, be subjected to three days’ imprisonment in the military quarters at Ciudad Bolivar, for, in short, having made a representation touching a certain matter of the domestic economy of the country, in terms which the President regards as disrespectful. I first saw this letter on the morning of the 1st instant, and at once proceeded to prepare a note to Mr. Seijas on the matter, concluding with a respectful request that said order be not executed so far as it applies to Mr. Dalton, and a respectful and solemn protest against its execution as applied to him. This note I sent to Mr. Seijas in the evening of the 1st instant. On the 8th instant I received from Mr. Seijas, in answer, a somewhat lengthy and completely unsatisfactory note, of date 7th instant, setting at naught my request and my protest. With other work, I have not yet had time to prepare a proper reply, and a full report of the case and correspondence must necessarily await the next mail. I merely write this for your early preliminary information. * * *

I am, &c.,