Mr. Woodford to Mr. Sherman.

No. 163.]

Sir: Yesterday afternoon, March 3, the Spanish minister of state sent me a note asking me to call at his office. I went, and our conversation was interpreted by Mr. Merry del Val for the Spanish minister, [Page 678] and Mr. Moreno of my office for myself. The Spanish minister first expressed his gratification in believing that the President, like the Queen, and myself, like himself, are all working in the interests of peace. He then expressed his belief that all matters of large account were in the way of satisfactory adjustment, and added that he feared most danger from irritation growing out of small things. He then came to the matter in hand; said that he had learned that supplies were to be sent to the reconcentrados in American ships of war; that such ships would appear in ports seldom visited by men-of-war, and that their presence would certainly be misunderstood and would practically aid the rebellion. He then requested me to ask my Government, as a matter of friendship, not to send such supplies in ships of war.

I answered him that I would send, as a request from the Spanish Government, whatever dispatch he would prepare in English and request me to send as coming from himself. I expressed no opinion as to the merit of his request, and did not commit my Government in any manner. I then withdrew from his room and waited until he and Mr. del Val had prepared a request in Mr. del Val’s writing, which the minister handed to me.

Accordingly I telegraphed you last evening as follows:1

I have the honor, etc.,

Stewart L. Woodford.
  1. Printed ante.