No. 45.

Mr. Hall to Mr. Frelinghuysen.

No. 314.]

Sir: With reference to my dispatches, numbered 309 and 311, of the 15th and 22d ultimo, relating to the reported destitution and sickness among American laborers on the Atlantic coast of Guatemala, I now inclose a copy of another letter from the consular agent of the United States at Livingston, to which I respectfully invite the Department’s attention; at the same time I would repeat the suggestion I made in the above-mentioned communications in regard to sending, if practicable, a vessel of the United States to Livingston, to convey the destitute who may desire to return to New Orleans, whence they came.

I have, &c.,

[Inclosure in No. 314,]

Mr. Sarg to Mr. Whitehouse.

Sir: I beg to advise you of the death of Robert Smith, a United States citizen, who died here on the 25th instant from the effects of fever and general debility. His home is supposed to be at Lake Park, Iowa. No personal effects forthcoming.

The steamship Ellie Knight touched here on the evening of the 6th instant from Port Barrios, where she had taken up a crowd of the sick and distressed laborers to be carried to New Orleans. There may have been sixty, more or less.

From this port a large party of these unfortunates have now struck out for Belize, and in consequence the governor of that colony has put the vagrant act into execution. All landing without visible means of support have the option of taking Government labor at $1 per day, or to go to jail for one week as vagrants, expenses of confinement to be exacted afterwards by forced labor.

Matters at Port Barrios and on the line of the railroad, as far as they concern the laborers, have remained without a change. I receive no sanitary report, nor do I believe that any record whatever is kept of those who die. The numbers of those who [Page 70] come to bring complaints has become small, not that the causes have been abolished, but that they have begun to find out that it is utterly useless to make complaint against Messrs. Shea, Cornick & Co.

The depression in manufacturing interests in the United States and the vain hope of finding labor in New Orleans at the exposition grounds, has tended to accumulate in that city thousands of men who seem ready to accept any kind of proposition for labor, no matter where or under what circumstances.

I am, &c.,