Minister Powell to the Secretary of State.

No. 1713.]

Sir: I have the honor to state that a delegation of Syrians called upon us to extend an invitation to the officers of the Brooklyn to a reception that they desired to give them.

I informed them that I greatly regretted to state to them that it was impossible for either captain or officers to accept the invitation, as their stay was brief and that the vessel would possibly leave at any moment. They expressed great regret on being so informed.

They then desired to know if I would accept one. I informed them that I could not and suggested that it would be better in the present state of public feeling toward them to live quietly and not call public attention toward them, as any action on their part would be misconstrued by the government, and subject those that the government consented to allow to remain, to more aggressive action.

They left the legation expressing their regret at our declining their invitation.

I have, etc.,

W. F. Powell.