Mr. Hay to Mr. Choate.

No. 1307.]

Sir: I inclose a copy of a letter of the 22d ultimo, from the Secretary of the Navy, stating that the grave of a British naval officer and three mounds, supposed to be graves, have been discovered on Hospital Cay, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, within the limits of the United States naval reservation.

You may bring this to the knowledge of the British Government and inform it that, should the removal of the remains in the graves be desired, the Navy Department will gladly render every assistance, but should that not be the case, the graves will be properly cared for.

I am, etc.,

John Hay.

Mr. Moody to Mr. Hay.

Sir: I beg to call your attention to the fact that there are on Hospital Cay, within the naval reservation at Guantanamo, graves of one or more British naval officers. Rear-Admiral Coghlan, commander of the Caribbean Squadron, under date of June 3 last, reports:

“That an examination of Hospital Cay, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, discloses one marked grave and three other mounds of stone unmarked in any way, but bearing the appearance of graves.

“2. The marked grave is at the southern end of the cay, the other three supposed graves are farther north, but on the southern highland of the cay, They are all covered with mounds of stones, oblong in shape, resembling the customary grave mounds. The marked one has a wooden cross at its southern end, made of 2 by 4 inch stuff, painted black, with a copper plate at the crossing of the arms, bearing the following inscription cut in and blackened, viz:

M. S.

E. N. Harrison, Esqr.


H. B. M. S. Buzzard


Dec. 1st, 1854.

Instructions have been given by this Department that these graves shall be properly cared for and protected from injury after the cession of land to the United States Government has been effected.

I have the honor to suggest that these facts be brought to the attention of the British Government. Should the Admiralty desire to remove the bodies, the Navy Department will gladly render every assistance. Should they prefer to let them remain where they have lain so long, they may be sure that the graves will be properly cared for. Considering the change of leasehold of the site, it seems right to inform the Admiralty that these graves are within the limits of the United States naval station.

I have, etc.,

William H. Moody, Secretary.