No. 44.

Mr. Hall to Mr. Frelinghuysen .

No. 311.]

Sir: With my dispatch, No. 309, of the 15th instant, I transmitted copies of letters from Mr. Sarg, the consular agent of the United States at Livingston, wherein he reports that there are numbers of destitute foreigners at that place and at others on the Atlantic coast of Guatemala, [Page 69] who have gone there seeking work on the projected railroad. From subsequent information from the same source, and from a number of the persons referred to who have found their way across the country to this city, I learn that all, or nearly all, claim to be citizens of the United States, and many that I have conversed with are beyond doubt native citizens. They confirm the reports hitherto received as to the destitution and sufferings of the laborers, of the inadequate hospital accommodations and attendance for the sick, and of the daily mortality among them.

In view of these reports, and as an act of humanity, I deemed it my duty to communicate the statements as I have received them to you by cable for any action the Government may be pleased to take, and repeating the suggestion contained in my No. 309, that a naval vessel be sent to Livingston to inquire into the facts and to convey the worthy destitute who may desire to return to New Orleans, whence they came.

I have, &c.,