Mr. Baker to Mr. Gresham.

No. 57.]

Sir: I have the honor of submitting to you the inclosed brief correspondence between Hon. A. H. Rivas, who occupied the position of minister of foreign relations under the Zavala administration, and myself in reference to the removal of the American legation to Granada for safety on a recent occasion.

I am, etc.,

Lewis Baker.
[Inclosure 1 in No. 57.—Translation.]

Señor Rivas to Mr. Baker.

Mr. Minister: In view of the criminal attempt perpetrated this morning by the small fleet of the rebels, who bombarded this city without the previous notice which the laws of war require for the protection of the life and property of noncombat-ants, an attempt of which your excellency has been a witness, and might have been a victim, I am instructed by the President of the Republic to urge you earnestly to take your temporary residence in the city of Granada, where the legation will be safe from damages like those to which it was exposed this morning.

The Government, which regards the presence of the legation of the United States amongst us as a high honor to the Republic, would feel the deepest regret if, by the repetition of the outrageous action which is not in its power to avert since at this moment we can only meet the attack from the land, should suffer injury in the person or property of any of its members.

If your excellency determines to accept this invitation you may immediately avail yourself of a special train which will be placed at your disposition.

And in complying with the instructions of the President, I have the honor, etc.,

A. H. Rivas.
[Inclosure 2 in No. 57.]

Mr. Baker to Señor Rivas.

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your courteous and considerate letter of the 24th. In view of the criminal act of yesterday morning in the throwing of deadly shells from cannon into the houses of defenseless and innocent women and children from steamers on the lake, and without previous notice, you suggest to me the propriety, as a precautionary measure, of removing myself and family to Granada, where we will find perfect protection.

I thank you, sir, for your thoughtfulness and courtesy, but it seems to me that my official duty requires my presence, in these times of trouble, at the seat of the American legation located in the capital of this country.

Besides, with the Government of the country in able hands and fully equipped, located in this capital with the people of ten departments of the twelve, I am assured by your honor, giving willing and loyal support to that Government it would not seem to be expecting too much of this Government so organized and supported to protect this city against the uprisings of two or three cuartels in a distant part of the country.

I am, etc.,

Lewis Baker.