Mr. Merry to Mr. Hay.
San José, Costa Rica, February 10, 1899.
Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your cablegram dated 9th instant, translated as follows: “Minister of foreign affairs Nicaragua notifies closing Atlantic ports occupied by rebels. If any question affecting American vessels arises consult note to Colombian minister, Foreign Relations, 1885, page 254.” When the legation documents were moved here from Managua by Mr. Baker, ex-secretary, the Annual Foreign Relations Reports, prior to 1893, and the Revised Statutes, were left behind. As the volume for 1885 can be more readily sent from Washington than Managua, I have taken the liberty of requesting that it be forwarded. In accordance with your cable instructions of November 28, 1898, relating to the ships of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company calling at Salvador ports, I shall, until otherwise ordered, claim that American vessels have the right of entry to any commercial port of Nicaragua in the uncontested occupation of a de facto government. But the steamers calling at these ports are now mostly English and Norwegian, and such cases are not likety to arise under our flag. I shall further be guided by [Page 549] the note alluded to in your cable when the volume Foreign Relations, 1885, arrives. The British consul has also cabled for a naval vessel to immediately visit Bluefields and San Juan del Norte.
With assurances, etc.,
United States Minister.