Mr. Hay to Mr. Bridgman.
Washington, March 14, 1899.
Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your Nos. 90,1 of January 26; 91,1 of February 1; 92,1 of February 3, and 93, of February 10 last, reporting the serious condition of affairs at La Paz and in the surrounding country.
You will understand that you can have no diplomatic relations with the insurgents implying their recognition by the United States as the legitimate Government of Bolivia, but that, short of such recognition, you are entitled to deal with them as the responsible parties in local possession, to the extent of demanding for yourself, and for all Americans within reach of insurgent authority within the territory controlled by them, fullest protection for life and property.
If the situation at La Paz becomes unendurable or more perilous, you should collect all Americans within reach and quit that city, taking them with you, demanding adequate escort to the nearest place of safety.
I am, etc.,