Mr. Hall to
Guatemala, February 4, 1888. (Received February 24.)
Sir: With reference to my dispatches numbered 753 and 756 of the 12th and 21st December last, and 767 of the 13th ultimo, to your instructions 523 and 532 of the 6th December and 6th ultimo, and to other correspondence relating to the alleged seizure by Nicaraguan authorities of two small vessels carrying the flag of the United States, I have the honor to inclose herewith translations of a note, dated the 24th ultimo, from the minister for foreign affairs of Nicaragua, and of the several inclosures accompanying it, from which it would seem that as regards the schooner Merida the facts have been misrepresented.
From these papers it appears that the Merida, after having carried the Nicaraguan flag for a number of years and having become unserviceable as a sea-going vessel, was sold to Mr. N. P. Allen, a citizen of the United States. Mr. Allen had the vessel towed to the mouth of the Rama River, and it is claimed outside of the reservation, where he converted it into a shop, from which it is alleged a contraband trade was carried on, liquors were sold without license, it was rendezvous of gamblers and disorderly persons of both sexes; over this disreputable resort the owner had raised the American flag, and it would seem claimed exterritoriality.
General Urtecho’s letter to the consular agent at Bluefields, inclosure 4, is probably a correct version of the affair, although it may have been communicated already. I beg to commend it and its inclosures to your notice.
I am, etc.,