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2d Session.

No. 41.





The correspondence relative to the prisoners captured by the Spanish authorities at or near the islınd of Contoy; and also the correspondence relative to any projected expedition to the island of Cuba, not herctofore communicated.

FEBRUARY 27, 1851.
Referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations, and ordered to be printed.

To the Senate of the United States:

I transmit, herewith, a report of the Secretary of State, with accomranying documents, in compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 17th ultimo.



Washington, February 20, 1851. The Secretary of State, to whom has been referred the resolution of the Senate of the 17th ultimo, requesting the President "10 communicate to the Senate, so far as it may be compatible with the public interest, all the correspondence between this government and its ministers, and with the government of Spain and its ministers, relating to the prisoners cap. tured by the Spanish authorities at or near the island of Contoy; and also all the correspondence between the said governments and the ministers thereof respectively, relative to any projected expedition to the island of Cuba, not heretofore communicated to Congress," has the honor to lay before the President a copy of the following documents, called for by the resolution. Respectfully submitted:


List of correspondence between the Department of State and the Legation

of the United States at Madrid.

Mr. Clayton to Mr. Barringer, (extract,) 10th June, 1850.
The same to the same, July 1, 1850, with enclosure.
Mr. Barringer to Mr. Clayton, (extract,) August 7, 1850.
Mr. Webster to Mr. Barringer, (extract,) September 5, 1850.
Mr. Barringer to Mr. Webster, (extract,) September 5, 1850, with en-

The same to the same, (extracts,) September 12, 1850, with enclosure.
The same to the same, September 19, 1850, with enclosure.
The same to the same, (extracts,) October 5, 1850, with enclosure.
The same to the same, (extract,) October 9, 1850.
The same to the same, (extract,) November 8, 1850, with enclosure.
The same to the same, November 21, 1850, with enclosure.

The same to the same, (extract,) December 12, 1850.
Mr. Webster to Mr. Barringer, February 5, 1851.

Mr. Clayton to Mr. Barringer.

[Extract. 1

[No. 19.]


Washington, June 10, 1850. SIR: You will learn from the newspapers that an important correspondence has been lately carried on between this department and the Spanish minister, as also with our consul at Havana, respecting a hostile invasion of the island of Cuba by a band of adventurers under the lead of General Lopez. This correspondence has been submitted to Congress, and a copy will be sent to you as soon as it appears

in print.

I am, sir, &c.,


Mr. Clayton to Mr. Barringer.

[No. 20.]


Washington, July 1, 1850. . SIR: In a former despatch you were informed that all the papers connected with the expedition against Cuba would be forwarded to you as soon as they should be printed by Congress. Those papers are not yet printed, and I can no longer delay giving you the information which is necessary to apprize you of the real condition of things, and of your duties in reference to them. Herewith I send you copies of recent instructions of this department to our consul at Havana, and to Commodore Charles Morris, who has just proceeded, in the Vixen steamer, to Havana, to demand the immediate release of certain American citizens taken by the Spaniards at the island of Contoy, on the coast of Yucatan, and within the Mexican jurisdiction. You will perceive, from these papers, the grounds upon which the demand is made; and it is the earnest desire of the President that you should make the same demand of the Court of Madrid. It is known that the Spanish minister in Washington has long since addressed his government on this subject. I have held repeated conversations with him between the 1st and the 20th ultimo; have represented to him fully, in conversation, the views of this government as explained in the accompanying papers, with a request that he would represent them properly to the Court of Madrid; and particularly, that this government demanded the release of the prisoners captured at Contoy. In these repeated conversations with Don A. Calderon de la Barca, I urged upon him, in the strongest manner, how fatal to the peace of the two countries might be the refusal of the Spanish authorities to deliver up the prisoners as required by this government. The Spanish minister informed me at the time that he would faithfully convey these views and representations to his government, and has since assured me that he lost no time in doing so. It was desirable that our demand should be made through him, and the more especially because, in the conversations held with him, a much better opportunity was allowed me of explaining the case of the prisoners,

and the President's views and intentions, than I could have had by writ. ten correspondence. There can be no doubt of the fidelity with which the Spanish minister has performed this important duty, so earnestly enjoined upon him as the minister of a friendly power. In a conversation a few days ago, he informed me that he expected to receive instructions from Madrid on or before the 15th of this month.

The Spanish government, therefore, will have been fully apprized of the nature and character of your demand before you make it, and will be prepared to give you a prompt reply, which you will please to insist upon. You will not fail to make a full representation to the Spanish Minister of Foreign Relations of all those considerations which make it so important that these prisoners should be immediately released.

I shall await the result of your application with great anxiety. If in the mean time the prisoners should be executed by the authorities of Cuba, I need not say to you what I think will be the consequence.

I wish you also to inquire of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, whether the Spanish government has any knowledge that American merchant ves. sels have been recently searched by Spanish cruisers, and particularly whether any orders have been issued by the Spanish government that would justify a Spanish cruiser in detaining or searching American merchant vessels. Should you find that any such orders have been issued, or that any attempt is made on the part of the Spanish government to justify the detention or search of American merchant ships, you will de. mand a full explanation on the subject, and transmit it forth with to this department for the President's consideration. I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,


foc., &C., Lc., Madrid.

Secretary of State to Commodore Charles Morris.


Washington, June 29, 1850. Sır: The President directs that you proceed as soon as possible to Ha. vana, in the war-steamer Vixen; that, on your arrival there, you request an audience of the Governor and Captain General of Cuba, representing to him that you bear a message to him from the President of ihe United States of importance to his country, as well as your own. On being admitted to his presence, you will demand of him the immediate release of all the prisoners taken at Contoy, and without the Spanish jurisdiction. When making this demand, in the name and by the authority of the Pres. ident of the United States, you will repeat to the Governor and Captain General of Cuba the assurance heretofore conveyed to him and his gov. ernment, that the government of the United States has never ceased to perform every duty enjoined upon it by our treaty with Spain, and that it will faithfully continue in the discharge of those duties so long as the peaceful relations of the two countries shall continue; that the President expects, in return for this friendly disposition and conduct, the strictest observance of the rights of the United States and their citizens from Spain;

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