No. 84.
Mr. Hall to Mr. Bayard.

No. 756.]

Sir: With reference to my dispatch, No. 753, of the 12th instant, relating to the alleged seizure on the 20th ultimo of two small vessels carrying the American flag, called the schooner Merida and the steam-tug called the W. S. Moore, I now inclose a copy of a letter dated the 3d instant, from the consul of the United States at San Juan del Norte, reporting that he had learned that the Merida had been restored to the owner.

I have no doubt as to the truth of the statement, nor that the other vessel will be restored to the owner as soon as the facts shall be brought to the notice of the Nicaraguan commissioner, now in the reservation and found to be as represented to the consul.

I have, etc.,

Henry C. Hall.
[Inclosure 1 in No. 756.]

Mr. Brown to Mr. Hall.

Sir: Referring to the case of the American vessel Wm. S. Moore, mentioned in mine of November 23, as unlawfully boarded by the authorities of Nicaragua at the mouth of the river Rama in the reserve, I have to transmit a copy of an affidavit by Capt. Henry Nelson, master of that vessel, reciting the facts of such seizure. I hear that in the case of the Merida that the authorities at the Rama have sent to Captain Allen an apology and requested him to come and take possession of the Merida. Of this report I have nothing authentic, but think that such action will be quite, probable, as soon as Commissioner Urtecho becomes informed of the circumstances, and to whom I had directed Mr. Augustine to address on that subject.

General Urtecho went on duty on the 18th ultimo at Bluefields.

I am, etc.,

Wm. A. Brown,
[Inclosure 2 in No. 756.]

Affidavit of Henry Nelson, master of the steam-tug W. S. Moore.

Bluefields, M. R.,

This day before me, the undersigned authority, personally came and appeared Capt. Henry Nelson, who having been by me first duly sworn on his oath declares; [Page 107] That heretofore, to wit, on or about the 20th day of November, A. D. 1887, he was in command of the American steam-tug Wm. S. Moore, an American bottom, registered in the city of Alexandria, Va., United States of America, and owned by Messrs. Henry Brothers, of the city of Baltimore, in the State of Maryland, United States of America.

Affiant states that he is an American citizen, and was commanding the said vessel on the date aforesaid as master thereof, sailing said vessel from Bluefields to the head of navigation on Bluefields or Escondido River, transporting freight and passengers from said Bluefields to the mouth of the Rama River and intermediate points on the said Bluefields or Escondido River. Affiant states that said vessel has been engaged as aforesaid in the said trade under permission from the Mosquito Government for and during the term of a year and upwards, and sailing the American flag during the said time.

Affiant states that on or about the said 20th day of November, A. D. 1887, he was in command of said vessel as aforesaid, and had just terminated his usual voyage from Bluefields to the aforesaid Rama mouth, having arrived at her mooring on Saturday night of the 19rh instant, and was laying alongside of the schooner Merida. That on the afo esaid morning of the 20th of November, aforesaid, about the hour of 8.30 a.m., while peaceably lying at anchor as aforesaid, not having discharged the freight and passengers, and with the American colors flying at the mast head, and without any previous notice, an armed body of soldiers, or persons who were dressed in Nicaraguan uniform, came on board the said vessel and forcibly took possession of the same, claiming to act under Nicaraguan authority, and demanded the ship’s papers, which I refused to surrender, notifying them that I was licensed to engage in said trade by the local Government of Mosquito.

Affiant further states that after refusing to surrender the ship’s papers as aforesaid the said arms d body of men, acting under the immediate command of an officer of Nicaragua, proceeded to forcibly enter the cabin and hold of said vessel and search the same, and did not release said vessel until after the lapse of an hour or more.

Affiant further states that the said vessel has been peaceably engaged as aforesaid in said trade during the past year, as also other vessels plying between Bluefields and the said Rama mouth, and that he verily believes that the said action of the said Nicaraguan authorities has materially damaged the business of said vessel, and that the said action was wholly unauthorized, and that the same was an unjust and unwarranted discrimination against Americans and American enterprises, and an insult to the flag of his country.

Henry Nelson.

Subscribed and sworn to before me this November 22, A. D. 1887.

J. A. Hodgson,

United States Consular Agency,
Bluefields, M., R. Nicaragua:

I, the undersigned, hereby certify that J. A. Hodgson, whose signature appears attached to the foregoing jurat, is an acting magistrate in and for the city of Bluefields, duly appointed and qualified, and that his signature is his true and genuine signature and as such entitled in full faith and credit; that the said Henry Nelson is an American citizen, and that the steam-tug Wm. S. Moore is as alleged an American vessel.

[l. s.]
John I. Augustine,
U. S. Consular Agent.