File No. 312.112 B61/53.

The American Ambassador to the Secretary of State.

No. 489.]

Sir: Referring to the case of Messrs. Blatt and Converse, concerning which considerable corespondence has passed between the department and this embassy, I have the honor to report the satisfactory termination of this affair.

On the morning of the 21st instant Mr. H. Converse, the father of young Converse, stated to me that he had been informed that Gen. Diaz desired to confer with him with reference to the case. I decided to send Mr. d’Antin, the law clerk of the embassy, with him to see the President and act as interpreter during the conference.

Mr. d’Antin reports to me that upon being received * * * the President asked Mr. Converse if he would guarantee to him that if the young man were released he would take him home and prevent his attempting to return to Mexico to join the rebels. This, of course, Mr. Converse agreed to do. * * * The President then said that he—exceeding his power, as he had no right to release any person under trial—would give Mr. Converse a letter to Gen. Navarro directing him to release his son.

Mr. Converse then mentioned the fact that Blatt was also a young man and ill, and that his mother, who was living at Philadelphia, had asked him when he was there on business to intercede for her son also. Mr. d’Antin then asked the President if, since the two young men had been captured together and were charged with the same offense, and their case was of a joint legal responsibility, he would not care to extend his clemency to Blatt. The President then [Page 613] asked Mr. Converse if he would also take Blatt under his care and take him home with his son, Mr. Converse agreed to do so, and the President then told him to come the next day for an order to Gen. Navarro for the release of both boys. The next day, the 22d instant, Mr. Converse and Mr. d’Antin again saw the President, and when the letter of release was delivered to Mr. Converse the President said: “I am doing this without authority, but I am a father like yourself and know how deeply I would grieve were I in your position. Send the good news to your wife with my sincere sympathy.” * * *

The order for the release of the young men was telegraphed to Gen. Navarro on the 21st instant.

I have [etc.],

Henry Lane Wilson.