Mr. Sherman to Mr. Dupuy de Lôme.

Sir: I have just received a telegraphic dispatch from the United States consul at Santiago de Cuba, dated yesterday, and informing me that a protest has been lodged with him by the master of the American mail steamship Valencia, chartered by the Ward line of New York and regularly sailing under its house flag, alleging that when leaving Guantanamo Bay for Santiago de Cuba, his ship was fired upon by the Spanish warship Reina Mercedes, then 2 miles eastward and astern of the Valencia, the first shot being blank and the second a solid shot striking 80 yards astern. Upon hoisting her flag the Valencia was not further molested.

I can not comprehend such an exceptional demonstration against a vessel well known in the local trade, belonging to a line which has for years maintained regular commercial intercourse at stated periods with the ports of Cuba, and leaving port on a legitimate voyage and in compliance with all the requirements of Spanish law. It becomes my duty to ask instant investigation of this apparently extraordinary interference with legitimate commerce, and that the proper measures be taken to prevent the occurrence of such incidents.

Accept, etc.,

John Sherman.