United States Department of State Executive documents printed by order of the House of Representatives, during the second session of the thirty-ninth Congress, 1866-'67 (1866-1867)
Mr. Riotte to Mr. Seward.
No. 138.] LEGATION OF THE U. S. OF AMERICA, COSTA RICA,
San Jose, December 10, 1865.
SIR: By my despatch No. 92, of January 13th, 1864, I had the honor of reporting to you a nuisance complained of by this government, namely, that young men from this republic go to the United States, remain there ,for a short time, ,obtain, by means of hard swearing and an inexcusable levity on the part of the courts, letters of naturalization, upon which they return for good to their native country, or leave the United States for other parts, and all this for the sole purpose Qf making this citizenship a bar against the enforcement of whatever obligation by their native or any other government. You were good enough to express in your despatch of February 10th, 1864, No. 73, your approval of the views then ventured by me. Since that time I have ascertained that six individuals from here claim to have become American citizens in this way: respectively to have made their declaration of intention and purpose living here until the three years have expired, when% they intend to return to the United States and claim letters of naturalization. One of those men, a Venezuelean by birth, but from most ultra-secessionist German parents, left New York two years ago, after obtaining letters of naturalization within some weeks of his arrival there, for Hamburg, Germany, where he is now claiming American citizenship, as I am informed. I need but little to add to the five enclosures, from which you will be able to survey the whole case as now presented, and I beg you to make allowance for the copiousness of my answer to Messrs. Quezada. I considered it necessary, inasmuch as I know that quite a number of persons-some say about one hundred-were waiting for my decision, in order to adopt, if it proved favorable to Messrs. Quezada's claim, the course followed by them. My .doubt as to the legality of the naturalization papers laid before me arises from the non-compliance with the requirements of the act of Congress of May 24th, 1828, (United States Statutes, 1824-1835, page 310,) though I am not quite sure whether this law was meant to apply to all naturalizations, or only to those of a certain class. Kent (vol. 2, page 28) thinks it universally applicable, and I know that many courts in the United States in issuing naturalization papers are acting upon the same opinion. Concerning the remedies against this glaring evil, I took at the time the liberty of suggesting some, but further consideration: has taught me that their adoption alone would not stop it entirely. I think it bad that clerks of courts, too, are authorized to grant such papers, and that it is not made the exclusive duty and privilege of courts in open session, which' would certainly prevent a good deal of false swearing. But the main difficulty is, that in our large cities two witnesses can be got at any moment-and very cheap-to swear to anything; that the persons hunting up such witnesses have as a matter of course, made up their minds beforehand to commit perjury; that there is no officer bound to look after the interest of the United States in such cases, and that the judges or clerks, instead of requiring two good, substantial witnesses, (they ought to know them personally,) seem to be satisfied with, almost any class of witnesses.
Let me also suggest that the enforcing of the income tax on American citizens living abroad would materially contribute towards cooling the great fervor of foreigners for becoming United States citizens in the manner and for the pur poses.above stated. In conclusion I have to say that when, during the second interview with Messrs. Quezada, I put to them some questions with a view to clearing up some points, they refused replying to them, saying that they were so advised; and that their appeal was delivered to me so late, (as I think purposely,) that I could not notice any of their statements in this despatch.
I have the honor, sir, to be, most respectfully, your obedient servant,
C. N. RIOTTE.
SAN Jost, COSTA RICA, November 27, 1865.
SIR: The undersigned, North American citizens, having to reside for som etime in this country, beg you to certify to the anthenticity of our naturalization papers, which we en close, and to grant us your protection as such.
With every consideration,
G. FRANCISCO QUEZA.DA.
G. JUAN QUEZADA.
Hon. Senor Don CARLOS N. RIOTTE
Mr. Volio to Mr. Riotte.
San Jost, November 28, 1865.
The supreme executive power, determined upon the fulfilment of the law of December 2, 1850, which I enclose in a printed copy, for the organization of the armed force necessary for the defence of the republic and for the conservation of order in the interior, has resolved upon appointing the officers wanting, selecting for that purpose young men able to perform that charge according to the law. Among those appointed are Messrs. Francisco and Juan Quezada, who decline to accept the charge on the ground that they are citizens of the United States, as they say, by virtue of naturalization papers which they assert to have deposited in the legation, at your honor's charge. It is notorious that the said young men never had an intention to settle (radicarse, to take root) in the United States; that they owned no property in that republic, and that, on the contrary, it is here that they lived, and yet live, settled, where they have their plantations and all their business; from which clearly follows that those young men, by coveting Ameri. can citizenship, had only in view to elude the duties imposed by the constitution and laws of their country without foregoing the advantages they might offer them. Although the government cannot, even for a moment, admit that a Costa Rican naturalized in a foreign country continues that character after having returned to the country with the implicit intention to live in it, still, desirous of giving a new evidence of its sympathy with that of the United States, it has determined to take no further steps on the excuse of Messrs. Quezada before knowing the opinion of their representative, notwithstanding that, in the conversations which I had the honor of holding with you, I was always gratified to hear you express yourself in the most just and patriotic sense on the established principles of nation ality and the formalities to be observed to maintain them. Under these circumstances does the government hope from your kindness that you will be pleased to communicate to it, in the sincerest manner, all that you deem advisable on the subject.
I avail myself of this opportunity, J. VOLIO.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES, COSTA RICA,
San Jose, November 28, 1865.
GENTLEMEN: In your application to me of yesterday, where with were enclosed two documents purporting to be your naturalization papers as citizens of the United States, issued by the court of common pleas of the county an city of New York, on June 3, 1862, you request me,
1. "To certify to the authenticity of your (our) naturalization papers."
2. And to extend to you as American citizens my official protection.
In your conversation with me you have stated that the object of your application was to be protected by your asserted quality as American citizens against the recent demand upon you by the authorities of this republic to serve in the militia of the country.
I will assume that you are the identical persons to whom those documents were issued, though there is a discrepancy between your respective names as stated in them and as signed in your application; inasmuch, however, as it does not properly come under my jurisdiction to certify to the signature and official quality of either ministerial or judicial officers in the United States, as neither the person signing those documents, nor his signature, nor the seal affixed thereto are known to me, as in this country those documents, if of any use, solely can be used before the representatives of the United States, neither of whom would be bound by the certificate of the other; and ultimately, as I have doubts on the genuineness of these documents, since they do not strictly agree with the forms prescribed by law, I must decline to comply with your first request.
As to the second, I will say that those documents appear to be issued by a competent court, certifying that each of you has taken the oath prescribed by the naturalization laws of the United States, and that such a certificate raises, according to decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States, the presumption that the court was satisfied as to your moral character, and your attachment to the principles of the Constitution of the United States, so that at that time your oath did confer upon you the privileges of United States citizens.
But now look at your course subsequent to that 3d of June, 186-, when you became American citizens, after a residence in the United States, as you, Mr. Francisco Quezada, told me yourself, of but something like four years. Did you, gentlemen, in any manner evince an intention or desire of continued residence within the United States; of entering there into any kind of a lasting occupation or business; of assimilating with the people and becoming one of them; of making there your home, and of contributing with your mind or means to the welfare and prosperity of your adopted country? I suppose I do not need to remind you that the moment of your adoption fell into that epoch, when, during all the four years of devastating war, the cause of the Union looked most despondent. Did you, or either of you, enter the army along with hundreds of thousands of native and adopted citizens to defend the integrity of that very country, whose citizenship to secure you had been so anxious, that you could not even wait for the lapse of the legal probation term of five years? Did you in any other way contribute towards sustaining our assailed country in her struggle for life? You have not even pretended having done so. Hither you returned, if not immediately'upon, at all events, soon enough-after the 3d of June, 1862, to avoid being drafted, to the house and business of your family; you went on raising and selling coffee under absolutely the same condition as you had been in the habit of doing before ieaving for the United States. All your relations, political, municipal, social, and domestic, were the same as before that event. On not a single occasion since your return did you, or either of you, to my knowledge, claim or pretend to be American citizens, although the unfortunate condiion of our country furnished ample opportunity, and her calls upon all her sons, both nativeborn and adopted, were loud and pressing. Ever since your return have you been in the quiet enjoyment of the protection and rights of the laws of your native country, as citizens of which you were regarded by the authorities, as well as by your fellow-citizens, except, perhaps, a few knowing ones. In fact, you kept your pretended quality of American citizens a strict secret; for what reasons and with what purpose I don't need to explain.
From all these facts, I cannot resist the conclusion that in removing from the United States it was your intention to make your permanent settlement in Costa Rica for an indefinite time, and that thus by your own acts you have made yourself again citizens of this republic. You cannot deny that your domicile was in Costa Rica prior to your leaving for the United State:s. To lose that you must have left this country with the intention of abandoniing your old, and of acquiring a new domicile in the United States. You have presented no proof of either. And again you cannot gainsay that for about three years your domicile is again in Costa Rica, and as, according to the laws of nations, the national character depends upon the domicile, you will retain that character as long as you retain the domicile.
But even assuming, for argument sake, that you were still citizens of the United States, there is another consideration which is not to be lost sight of, in deciding upon your second request. A law of Costa Rica (of December '2, 1850) imposes upon every citizen the obliga tioni to serve in the army. You had not complied with that duty previous to your adoption as American citizens, and it is the enforcement of that very duty which has brought out. your claim to the United States citizenship. Now, I know well that the claim of an adopted citizen's native country to the fulfilmenrt of his military duty towards that country and the extent of that claim was, and is at this moment, a mooted question between the government of the United States and several European monarchies. Until that question is decided, however, I can scarcely fail if I adopt the view of one of our greatest statesmen, when he answered an adopted citizen in a case perfectly the same as yours: "But having returned to the country of your birth, yonr native domicile and national character revert, and you are bound to obey the laws exactly as if you had never emigrated," especially in a case like yours, and, as I am informed, of several other Costa Ricans, when, by abusing the liberality of our laws to immigrants from all parts of the globe, and by practicing criminat deception upon the courts of our country, one becomes an American citizen for the sole purpose of ridding oneself both of all, obligations towards the United States by leaving them as soon as letters of naturalization are procured, and of those to the country of One's birth by these very papers thus surreptitiously obtained. For all these reasons, I must likewise decline to extend to you the protection of the American flag in this case.
. I hereby return to you the document you left with me, and it only remains for me to tell you that, inasmuch as you have expressed an intention of appealing from my decision, if unfavorable to your pretensions, to that of' the government of the United States, upon nmy intervention the government of this republic has agreed to waive the enforcement of your military duty pending the negotiations on the question, and that I herewith offer to forward, your appeal along with my despatches to the Department of State of the United States, if you will deliver it to me in time for the next steamer, (10th of next month.)
I am, gentlemen, &c., &c.,
C. N. RIOTTE. to Messrs. G. FRANcIsco and G. JUAN QUEZADA.
Mr. Riotte to Mr. Volio.
LEG.ATION OF THE UNITED STATES oF AMERICA, COSTA RICA.
San Jose, Norember 30, 1865.
I had the honor of receiving your esteemed despatch of 28th instant, relative to the claim set up by Francisco and Juan Quezeda of this city to the United States citizenship, inforrm Lug me that your government, in deference to that of the United States, would abstain from enforcing upon said gentlemen the performance of their military duty, and requesting me to communicate to you as much as I thought proper of my opinion on the question raised by said gentlemen.
Allow me first to state the principal facts as they appear in the case. Messrs. Quezada are Costa Ricans by birth; their mother, brother, and sister live here, with whom together they always formed one household and managed several coffee haciendas. Some years ago they went to the United States, acquired, during a transitory sojourn there, naturalization papers as citizens of the United States upon a fraudulent proof on the length of their residence in those States, returned soon after to this country, their home, and to the house and business of their family, and are in this condition living here for about three years.
Though I have, on the strength of Mr. Francisco Quezada's own admission and of wht is notorious in this city, not the shadow of a doubt that those letters of naturalization have been surreptitiously obtained by false swearing, y.t I have no authority, according to several decisions of the Supreme Court of the United Sfates, to deny their iecognition, inasmu b as such letters are declared to be, "like other judgmnenms. complete evidence of their own validity."
But I could not discover in this case, on the part of those :wo gen'lemen, the least indication of an animus manendi in the United States, and I noivitere~l myself; on the contrary, justified in assuming that, according to reasonable rults - , in:z-rpretation and general principles of evidence, it was indubitable that by their own 3c:.- : Ltr native domicile and national character had reverted to them upon taking up their res:.dcnce. which, from concurrent cir.cumstances, has all presumption of being a permanen' ore - ,g n in this country. I was thus compelled to refuse to extend to the young men thc protection of the American flag, who will, however, as I was by them informed, appeal from this, my decision, to that of the government of the United States.
Praying you to accept my thanks for the cn-s.i.eration shown by your government to mine in postponing any ulterior steps until the opinion of my government on the question can be known, I beg to add the assurance that, much as both tie people and the government of the United States desire immigration of honest and substantial people froni all nations, they detest and brand with their sincere conemvpt the unfair and criminal practices by which unscrupulous foreigners endeavor to establish for themselves a spurious citizenship, and so form a kind of floating population, ever bent upon entangling the United States into difficulties with foreign nations for their selfish and unpatriotic aims, yet never willing to submit to the burdens and to perform the duties of a true son of tifeir adopted country.
I have the honor, sir, &c.
C. N. RIOTTE.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, State of New York and County of New York.
Be it remembered that on the third day of June, in the year of our Lord 1862, Francisco Quezeda appeared in the court of common pleas for the city and county of New York, the said court being a court of record, having common law jurisdiction and a clerk and seal, and applied to the said court to be admitted to become a citizen of the United States of America pursuant to the directions of act of Congress of the United States of America entitled "An act to establish a uniform rule of naturalization and to repeal the acts heretofore passed on that subject," passed April 14, 1802, and the act entitled "'An act for the regulation of seamen on board the public and private vessels of the United States," passed March 3, 1813, and the "act relative to evidence in cases of naturalization," passed March 22, 1816, and the act entitled "An act in further addition to an act to establish a uniform rule of naturalization and to repeal the acts heretofore passed on that subject," passed May 26, 1824, and an act entitled "An act to amend the acts concerning naturalization," passed May 24, 1828, and an act to amend the act entitled " An act for the regulation of seamen on board the public and private vessels of the United States," passed June 26, 1848, and "An act to secure the rights of citizenship to the children of citizens of the United States born out of the limits thereof," passed February 10, 1854-'5; and the said applicant having thereupon produced to the court such evidence, made such declaration and renunciation, and taken such oaths as are by said acts required, thereupon it was ordered by the said court that the said applicant be admitted, and he was accordingly admitted to be a citizen of the United States of America.
In testimony whereof, the seal of the said court is hereto affixed this 3d day of June, 1862, and the 86th year of the independence of the United States.
By the court:
[SEAL.] NATHANIEL JARVIS, Clerk.
Mr. Riotte to Mr. Seward.
No. 140.3 LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES, COSTA RICA,
San Jose, January 10, 1866.
SiR: You have probably learned that the Central American Transit Company had to contend with so many difficulties and disappointments in the execution of its enterprise, arising partly from the want of a port on the Atlantic side, partly from the sballowness of and the rapids in San Juan river, and also from the numerous transshipments on the route from ocean to ocean, that for some time already it is looking out for a more convenient and securer route than the one hitherto used. The knowledge of this fact, and a sincere desire for entering the circle of civilized nations, has been the motive of this government to call the attention of the company to the superior advantages of a railroad across this republic from the port of Limon, on the Caribbean sea, to that of Herradura, at the entrance of the Gulf of Nicoya, opposite Cape Blanco, and to offer to the com pany, in the event it should adopt this plan, the most liberal inducements, in fact, almost anything the company may reasonably ask for. Mr. F. Kurtze, the di rector general of public works in the republic, will leave the 10th instant for New York, fully empowered to enter into negotiations and agreements with the com pany and to accede to any fair demand of it.
Having myself long ago come to the conclusion that the present route is im practicable, and cannot, in competition with the well-established and managed Panama route, ever become paying, this was the plan the adoption of which I have urged upon this government for more than three years, as well in the inter est of this country as in that of the company, and more so in that of our coun try, to whom, by the construction of that road, this republic will become, commercially, almost exclusively tributary. Both this government and the company could for a good while not see the correctness of my views, and have been paying dearly these years for attempting to carry out schemes contradic tory to the nature of things. This government is now perfectly cured of its follies, which have brought the finances of the country to the very verge of bankruptcy without the least benefit to the people at large, and I cannot doubt that upon proper representations the company will understand that there is no better route in Central America for an interoceanic communication than that across this republic, where good and healthy ports, a well adapted topography, a large interior commerce, a comparatively enlightened and stable condition of public affairs, and an industrious and productive population offer, besides a sav ing of three days in the through journey from and to California, advantages not to be found on any other Central American or Mexican line. I don't need to tell you how important it would be for our country, from a political and strategical point of view, to secure for us a foothold in the only good port of the Caribbean sea, and in a country the inhabitants of which are doubtlessly the only ones of all the peoples of Central America able by and by to understand our institutions and to assimilate with our people.
Allow me to bespeak for this highly interesting plan the favorable considera tion of my government.
I have the honor, sir, to be, respectfully, your obedient servant,
P. S.-Mr. Kurtze will leave with the steamer of 25th instant.
Mr. Seward to Mr. Riotte.
No. 112.] DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, February 16, 1866.
SiR : I have to acknowledge the receipt of your despatches to No. 140, inclu sive, which are interesting.
With reference to your No. 138, of December 10th, 1865, and its accompani ments, relative to the claim made by Messieurs Francisco and Jean Quezada, as citizens of the United States, by virtue of naturalization papers purporting to have been issued to them by the court of common pleas for the city and county of New York, under date of June 3d, 1862, I have to inform you that, having given the subject due consideration, the proceedings you have adopted and the decision you have arrived at in the premises are approved.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
WILLIAM H. SEWARD.
Mr. Riotte to Mr. Seward.
No. 142.] LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES, COSTA RICA,
San Jose, March 10, 1866.
SIR: On the 24th of last month Mr. Volio communicated to me that the government of Peru had requested his government to join the offensive and defensive alliance, recently entered into by it with the government of Chili, against Spain. He added that his government was disinclined to comply with the request, but that its situation was particularly embarrassing, inasmuch as this country owed gratitude to Peru for her generous aid with funds at the time of the war with Walker, when Peru alone came to her assistance, and inasmuch as the government as well as the people of Costa Rica sympathized sincerely with their sister republics, so wantonly attacked by Spain, while, on the other hand, his government hesitated to embark upon a course which might lead to a rupture with Spain. He requested me, on behalf of his government, to give him my view on this perplexing question. I begged him to let me have the documents forwarded by Peru, which consisted of a lengthy note of the minister of foreign relations, T. Pacheco, in which the aggressive course of Spain against American republics is recapitulated, a second despatch from the same authority containing in few words the request to join the alliance, and a number of the Panama Star with the treaty referred to.
After due consideration, I stated in a subsequent interview to Mr. Volio that I did not know whether Costa Rica had recognized the present government of Peru, but that assuming this to be the case, it seemed to me as if the following considerations ought to govern the course of this government, viz:
1. The government of Peru solicits Costa Rica to join the offensive and de fensive alliance entered into between it and Chili, without previous negotiations.
2. Article 2 of the treaty of alliance stipulates : "The republics of Peru and Chili contract for the repulsion of the present aggression of the Spanish govern ment and of any subsequent by the same government against any one of the South American republics;" thus plainly stating that the alliance was exclusively directed against Spain, and meant to protect but the South American republics.
3. Under these circumstances, and considering that Peru and Chili were actually engaged in hostilities with Spain, viewing the situation either by the light of well-established principles of international law, or in that of the intent and necessary consequences of joining the alliance, there could not exist the least doubt that such joining would be equivalent to a declaration of war on the part of Costa Rica against Spain. The fbllowing objections against that course I considered decisive:
1. According to the treaty between Costa Rica and Spain, of May 10th, 1850, article 16, No. 2, either contracting party is bound, previous to declaring war to the other, to present a memorial of her grievances. Now, if it may be a question to be considered by the government of Costa Rica whether, resting upon this stipulation, it might and should not represent to the government-of Spain, in a respectful but frank manner, the apprehensions awakened throughout Spanish America, and with the people of Costa Rica in particular, by the course adopted by that power against the sister republics of Peru and Chili. Yet even that course was no cause for justifying a declaration of war on the part of Costa Rica.
2. According to Tit. VIII, section 1, article 69, Nos. 4 and 6, of the constitu tion of Costa Rica, "1the approval of treaties, &c., and of whatever agreements arising ill foreign affairs, and the authority for the executive to declare war," are reserved to the national Congress, so that this government, in the absence of ýCongress, could not comply with the request even if it were disposed to do so.
Looking at the question from a practical stand-point, the joining of Costa Rica would tender to either Peru or Chili not a particle of aid, while it would expose her to all evils of war.
In conclusion, I recommended to let the answer of this government be a frank, calm, and clear statement of facts, as well as of the opinion entertained both by the government and people of Costa Rica on this question, and an acknowledg ment of this country's obligation towards Peru, and of the unity of interest among the Spanish American republics against unwarranted attacks by European monarchies, expressing the willingness of this country to co-operate with such means as are at her disposal, and gave promise of rendering service to the common cause, which cause, though, could in no way be advanced by an act that would involve Costa Rica in war with a great power, to which she could offer no resistance, and in which conflict she would risk her welfare, if not her independence.
Mr. Volio cordially thanked me for the advice, and said that it coincided entirely with his own views. Few days after he read to me the draught of his answer.
Let me hope, Mr. Secretary, that my proceedings, on which, from the urgency of the case, I was not able to consult you, may meet your approbation.
I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
C. N. RIOTTE.
Mr. Seward to Mr. Riotte.
No. 114.1 DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, April 7, 1866.
SIR: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your despatch No. 142, of the 10th ultimo, communicating an account of your interview with Mr. Volio, the minister for foreign affairs of Costa Rica, relative to the proposition made by Peru to Costa Rica for joining the defensive and offensive alliance against Spain, already existing between several of the American republics.
In reply, I have to say, that although this is a question upon which you were not authorized to speak, and which fact the government of Costa Rica must have known, yet, as the opinions you have expressed to Mr. Volio on the subject must be viewed as your own individual opinions, the President finds no occasion to reverse them, since they appear to be satisfactory to Costa Rica.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
WILLIAM H. SEWARD.
Mr. Riotte to Mr. Seward. NO. 147.1 LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES, COSTA RICA,
San Jose, May 10, 1866.
SI": I have the honor of acknowledging the receipt of your despatches up to and inclusive of No. 115, of April 7th last.
On the 1st instant I attended, by invitation of Mr. Volio, the minister of foreign relations, the opening session of Congress for 1866, and on the 8th the inauguration of President Jose' Maria Castro. The notable ceremonies on the latter occasion consisted in a valedictory address, read by the outgoing, and an inaugural oration read by the incoming president, which, in the Spanish originals and translations, I enclose herewith, (enclosures Nos. 1 and 2.) Then followed high mass and Te Deum at the cathedral, during which a priest repeated in a sermon the principal points of the famous late allocution and syllabus of the Pope, and condemned with emphatic and perfectly plain words, as one of the new-fangled ideas of these corrupt times, the doctrine that the rulers existed for the people-on the contrary, the people existed for the rulers. Having listened to this refreshing episode of medikval catholicism, we returned to the palace, where, by appointment, the diplomatic and consular corps were received by the President in his cabinet, assisted by Mr. Volio, on which occasion Mr. Mathew, her Britannic Majesty's envoy extraordinary, read the address, copy of which I submit, (enclosure No. 3,) which had been agreed upon between him and myself, and had previously been communicated through Mr. Volio to the President. Spanish original and translation of the latter's reply you will find in enclosure No. 4. We then went to the late President's to pay him a valedictory visit.
Besides the usual amount of cannonading, military parading, musical performances by the combined four bands of the country, fire-works, illumination and bell-ringing, the principal feature of the day was a supper, given by the Club of Friends, vulgo Montealege's Club, to which the President, the ministers, the commanding-general, Mr. Mathew and myself, were invited as guests. This occurrence is looked upon as a reconciliation of enmities of long standing and as foreboding the most cheering results for Mr. Castro's administration and the future of the republic. I can only say that as to appearances, the utmost good feeling seemed to prevail, and that if acts may be divined by words, all animosity and contention were buried for evermore.
I have the honor, sir, to be, most respectfully, your obedient servant,
C. N. RIOTTE.
Valedictory address to congress by President Jimenez.
[Translation.] Messrs. Senators and Representatives:
In descending from the high position whereon the nation had called me to govern her destinies during the period of three years to-day expiring, allow me to give expression to the sincerest satisfaction, not because I pretend to have realized benefits for my country, nor because I have merited the gratitude of my fellow-citizens by whatever other cause-but too well I know how little I accomplish to merit such bright reward-but for the reason that I take with me to my domestic hearth peace in my heart, tranquillity in my conscience, and the assurance to have done evil to nobody.
The programme with which I inaugurated my administration contained few promises; it is for you to judge whether I have fulfilled them.
May the staff of command in the hands of my worthy successor be-the symbol of justice, the emblem of progress, and the standard of national dignity.
Accept, gentlemen, my fervent wishes for the prosperity and greatness of our common country.
Inaugural address of President J. M. Castro to the legislative chambers.
[Translation.] Messrs. Senators and Representatives
Obedient to the call, as honorable as unanimous, which the people of Costa Rica have just made to me, I have, complying with my patriotism and my gratitude, stepped forward to contract with manliness and determination a compromise the most grave and solemn.
I propose to fulfil it comformably to the sovereign will of the same population who have trusted me with their confidence. They desire peace and tranquillity; I will presume to maintain them. They desire progressT; I will work to promote it.
Peace with foreign countries rests upon well known bases, which I will heed carefully, the strict observance of the law of nations, and the procuring of the means of material def'ence for cases in which this may be undertaken without unjustifiable temerity. Those laws pre scribe civility, dignity, good faith, loyalty, and frankness in foreign relations, fidelity in com plying with treaties, respect for the sovereignty and interests of other states. and a rigorous observance of the principle of non-intervention which our traditions highly recommend. A republic like ours must not assume other burdens nor responsibilities but those needful for her conservation and improvement.
I desire that my country, though she cannot be dreaded by her power, be respected for her equity and prudence, so that every offence done to her be branded with the anathema of the civilized world. We have no fleets, let us have the sympathy of the nations.
Tranquillity demands that the measures and orders of the executive as well as those of the other powers accord with the constitution and laws, and that they be issued without con sidering personal affection or hatred, and with no other end in view but justice and the com mon good. There is nothing more contrary to the constitutional guarantees, nothing that more embitters men's feelings, and nothing more odious and punishable than the unlawful interference of the nation's chief with judicial proceedings. I will abstain therefrom reso lutely and with an inflexible determination.
The civilization of the century has defined political and religious liberty and elevated them to the position of a dogma of peace and prosperity. I acknowledge them as such, and shall know now to respect and sustain them. I am of opinion that every attack upon constituted authority must be punished energetically; but I believe equally firmly that opinions and acts that do not inculcate laws and have no tendency of disturbing public order, ought not to be suppressed. I am of opinion that the expression of truth, even the most bitter, is wel come-to a ruler who like me has the fortitude before it to renounce his errors and the sincere desire to make it the basis of his acts. I am, in fine, of opinion that every orderly and cour teous discussion enlightens, and that the lonely words of bad passions are feeble against a government abounding by its legitimity and rectitude in moral weapons of defence.
I do not take up the standard of these principles with the illusion that they will sustain me, but the men of true patriotism have to do that. I will have to refuse a great deal, to do a great many things, and perhaps to undertake reforms of the nature which cannot be realized without affecting private interests. There are few hearts that will suffer as much as mine in paying no attention to the convenience of individuals or families when that course is demanded by the demands of the whole society. but perhaps few miinds are so resolute to fulfil that painful duty. I am preoccupied against that sentimentality, the source of almost all my past mistakes on the same rough path I am to-day undertaking. Ruler in my youth, then outlaw, and thereupon bfor &g-hAt -ears to this day devoted to the administration of justice without any pt:rsou1ai consboeratil'n, I am not the man of yesterday. Those who look for that in me will be undeceived, and will turn a cold shoulder to the government and become its antagonists. My true fliends, however, will remain faithful and be so every day more, and a like course I anticipate from those who have chosen me as centre of their patriotic efforts neither for lucre nor for contemptible passions. With the aid of such good citizens, among which I class all high functionaries of the country, I look with confidence upon the future, and promise to maintain that peace and tranquillity in which my illustrious predecessor leaves the republic. The progress whereof these benefits are ever the first basis will do away with many fan cies, and I readily confess it will cost me much to retain my own. 'Jhere exists an urgent desire for improvements, which will not wait for the right opportunity nor consult the strength of the nation; there exists the pretension that in our soil reforms and works should be realized immediately and simultaneously, which even great nations were but able to per form successfully, and with the assiduous work of years. There do, in fine, prevail opinions that the government ought to remedy and do everything, and A custom to make it responsi ble for even the natural and inevitable troubles of the social movement. No ruler can satisfy such demands. I feel that our country, without ancient organizations, without deeply rooted interests, and without abuses grown old, is one of those most attractive for innovations. I feel, also, that in a republic like ours, sparsely populated, and where there is a want of large capital and great undertakers, who, producing a competence, impart life to the development of all branches, is the spot where progress, enterprises, and free association, that great lever of modern civilization and motive power of so many improvements, most need being stimulated by government. But I also feel that reforms and new creations must be undertaken gradually, in harmony with general opinion, time, necessities, and means at hand. and that every precipitation in this regard does ordinarily more harm than inaction. Among the attainable reforms, I consider as urgent to simplify the public administration, so far as good service permits and economy in money and men demands it, to which every government ought to incline as much as towards conservation and development of revenues. I think that, considering the proportion and circumstances of our people, that administration is excessively costly.
The reform of some of the existing laws and regulations, also, is urgent, but not to such degree.
The material situation of a political commonwealth is so intimately enlaced with the intellectual one, the one is the complement of the other, and that both require equal attention on the part of the government. I think that roads, immigration, and public instruction must continue the cardinal points of that attention for the period to-day beginning.
As to roads, it is but just that I should give preference to that which will put us in more immediate communication with Europe and North America, and which holds out a direct, quick, secure, and cheap commerce lhy the waters of the Atlantic, together with many other benefits concealed to nobody.
Which should be the route to take-that proble-m is already solved. The work is begun, and I have nothing to do but to prosecute it with equal, firmness, with the same means, or others that necessity or convenience may recommend, unless that a contract for an interoceanic railroad should save us the laborious work of continuing it.
We all know that the powerfulness of a nation is in direct proportion to its population, and that ours falls far short of corresponding to the extent and the natural advantages of its soil. With pride do we observe the.difference between what we were thirty years ago and what we are this day; and there are certainly few who disown how much influence in the slow but sure development of our wealth, in the improvement of our civilization, our industry and arts, had the foreigners whom we received as brethren, and who have shown themselves worthy of such reception.
Thus it seems useless to dwell on the importance of immigration, to say that we ought endeavor to stimulate it by removing all obstacles in its way. The principal one of these obstacles is the absence of a road to the Atlantic, fortunately already undertaken, and the want of laws offering to the immigrant material advantages apt to induce him, facilities in acquiring naturalization by removing the requisite term of residence, and with one word promising to him to find in our country the lap of a good mother.
The question of creeds, which in other countries has proven the strongest hindrafice of emigration, do fortunately offer no impediments in Costa Rica. Our institutions guarantee the freedom of worship, our people are naturally tolerant, and the ministers of our holy religion, in their moralizing mission of peace, fraternity, and humility, do not forget the injunction of their Divine Master, when he, teaching love to our fellow men, admitted as such the Samaritan who had just practiced charity.
The immigration of people brings with it that Of enlightenment, and the day will come when the development of this can be left to the free and vigorous action of private interest.
Meantime it is necessary that government continue to take care to sustain and ameliorate public instruction in all its branches and all its scales.
Since modern philosophy has given new direction to human intelligence, science consists in ameliorating the condition of man, in affording him benefits, in augmenting his honest enjoyments, and in diminishing and softening his sufferings and afflictions.
This principle, to-day generally recognized, is the one which must preside in the public instruction of the country. We have, therefore, to insist that the old scholastic doctrine be boldly abandoned, and that in place of sterile and stationary abstractions, utility and pro gress be introduced.
I will toil to maintain peace and tranquillity, and to urge on the progress of my country by the means stated. With the hope of procuring it, I have accepted the power in which, without distinction of political colors, I will listen to as many persons of merit as will com ply with the duty to assist me with their knowledge. My administration does rot proceed from tontests, nor is it inaugurated upon the ruins -of any party. Its banner is the national one, and its object the welfare of Costa Rica as a whole.
I have laid before you, Messrs. Senators and Representatives, the sentiments, principles, and opinions which shall direct my administrative acts, as chief of the nation and executor of her laws, your approbation would be my bhest guarantee of their advisability; your indi cations would be my guide; your support my principal moral strength.
Under such auspices I might be able, in addition to the good which my worthy predeces sor, whom I cordially felicitate, bequeaths to do, that to which I incline myself, and sur render in due time, and with honor in this same place, the presidency of the republic.
Gentlemen, magistrates of the supreme court of justice, your circle I have left to govern the country. There I have passed the happiest days of my public life. I shall never for get how much I owe to the learning and probity wherewith you have performed your func tions, nor the kindness and confidence by which you have distinguished me.
I trust that the harmony which during the last two periods of the executive power existed between it and the supreme tribunal, aiding each other reciprocally within the limits of the law, will continue unaltered.
Accept, Messrs. Magistrates, my gratitude, and as its consequence, the pain wherewith I take leave of you.
The diplomatic and consular corps accredited to the government of Cost'a Rica avail them selves of the opportunity of congratulating your Excellency upon your inauguration as Presi dent of this republic, at' which 'we have just assisted. Enlightened and liberal laws, complete security for person and property, and an impartial administration of justice must ever render the foreigner as sincerely desirous for the country's welfare as her own sons.
We feel convinced that your Excellency will also concur-with us in the opinion that such a basis must at the same time be the surest road to national and individual prosperity.
The governments we represent take a sincere interest in the well-being of Costa Rica, and will learn with real satisfaction that your Excellency's well-known character and views authorize us to believe that under your Excellency's administration peace and good order will be marked by internal improvements and by the further development of the great national resources a bounteous Providence has granted.
Answer of President J. M. Castro.
GENTLEMEN: Among my highest gratifications I count that of receiving the honorable diplomatic and consular corps, and of listening through the organ of its worthy senior to the expression of the sentiments and hopes entertained by it relative to the administration just inaugurated.
The people of Costa Rica have intrusted to me their destinies in the conviction, based upon former facts, that I should have to maintain and draw closer the relations of amity contracted by it towards other nations, and particularly those here represented.
A state so small as Costa Rica can offer to the others but its liberal institutions, the loyalty of its government, and its rich natural resources, theý development whereof can be made rapid, complete, and prosperous with the influence of the foreign element.
I shall do all within my power to attract that element, and that my administration be ever acceptable to the honorable diplomatic and consular corps.
Mr. Riotte to Mr. Seward.
[Extract.] No. 148.] LEGATION OF THE U. S. OF AMERICA, COSTA RICA,
San Jose", May 25, 1866.
SIR: I have the honor of acknowledging the receipt with the mail, of the 15th instant, of a copy of the President's proclamation of April 2d, last, declaring the insurrection at an end in certain States of the Union, and of a copy of the circular of the 1st instant.
By enclosure 1, I beg leave to submit copy and translation of a note of this government of 22d instant, complaining of an attempt on the part of the Cen tral American Transit Company to turn the waters of the Colorado river, the exclusive property of Costa Rica, into the lower San Juan river, informing me of the steps taken to counteract such attempt, and suggesting my intervention for the same purpose with said company. Enclosure 2 contains my answer; and enclosure 3, translation of those portions of the boundary treaty of April 15th, 1858, between Costa Rica and Nicaragua, on which the decision of the ques tion at issue may depend. I have also forwarded to Mr. Dickinson, in Nicaragua, a copy of the government's note, yet without venturing to suggest any action on his part. Inasmuch as hitherto neither certain facts have been substantiated by the government nor their unlawful character been shown, nor any hints have been given as to the paiticular spot or -pots on which those attempts are said to have been made, I do as yet not feel warranted to expres an opinion; but knowing, on the other hand, that this government is fully determined to resort eventually to extreme measures, I would not lose a mail in advising you of a state of affairs which is very likely not only to involve interests of American citizens, but the peaceable relations between two republics.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
C. N. RIOTTE.
Mr. Volio to Mr. Riotte.
PALACio NACIONAL, San Jos6, May 22, 1866.
According to information just received by the government of this republic, the Central American Transit Company, established in Nicaragua by the contract of November 10, 1863, has recently determined upon restoring to the lower San Juan river the waters that now the Colorado carries off, which latter runs through Costa Rica territory, by giving them back to the old channel, in order to render this part of the river deeper, and to procure the re establishing of the port by means of the increased volume and velocity of the waters of San Juan river.
Although the company assures that it is not its intention to obstruct, or even to impair the condition of Colorado river, still this seems impossible, inasmuch as the plan is to increase at its expense the waters of the San Juan, thus destroying the natural and legitimate title acquired by Costa Rica to these waters by slow accession.
Difficult as it may seem to believe an act which by its nature must be ranked among the attacks upon the integrity and sovereignty of the republic, the government, jealous of its rights and bound to maintain them in perfect integrity, has ordered a commissioner to examine the said Colorado river and it's channels, who, in case he finds actually works being constructed with the view of deteriorating said river, is duly to protest with the persons undertaking them, and after having used persuasion in vain, is to expel them by force.
Since it might be possible that your intervention with the company may dissuade it from the attempt it intends to carry out, the President of the republic has deemed it advisable to inform you of the fact referred to, as well as of the measures taken to stop it, and its firm resolution to repel every unauthorized aggression within the limits of the republic.
Complying with the wishes of the President, I avail myself, &c.
Mr. Riotte to Mr. Volio.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IN COSTA RICA,
San Jos1, May 24, 1866.
I have been honored by the receipt of your note of the 22d instant, concerning the asserted attempt of the Central American Transit Company to turn the waters of the Colorado into the lower San Juan river, in order to render this again navigable and to reopen the port of San Juan del Norte, informing me of the measures-taken by your government to prevent such attempts "upon the integrity and sovereignty of the republic" being carried out, and suggesting that an intervention on my part may have the effect of dissuading said company from continuing the attempt.
Thanking you for this important communication, I beg to inform you that I consider it my duty to bring the subject, the gravity of which for this republic I am not inclined to undervalue, immediately to the knowledge of my government and to that of my colleague, Mr. Dickenson, in Nicaragua. Under the circumstances of the case I very much doubt whether a direct intervention with the company on my part would be either advisable or effective.
I have the honor, sir, &c.,
C. N. RIOTTE.
Extracts from the boundary treaty between Costa Rica and Nicaragua, April 15, 1858. [Translation.]
"ARTICLE 2. The dividing line between the two republics, beginning at the Sea of the North, (Caribbean,) shall commence in the extremity of Castillo Point in the mouth of San Juan river, and shall run up with the right bank of said river till to a point three English miles from Castillo Viejo. * * * * * * *
"AnT. 4. The bay of San del Norte, like that of Salinas, shall be common property of both republics. "ART. 6. The republic of Nicaragua shall have exclusive dominion and summum imperium over the waters of San Juan river from its issue out of the lake till to its mouth into the Atlantic ; but the republic of Costa Rica shall possess in said waters forever the right of free navigation from said mouth up to within three miles of Castillo Viejo."
Mr. Riotte to Mr. Seward.
No. 152.] LEGATION OF THE U. S. OF AMERICA, COSTA RICA,
San Jose', June 23, 1866.
SIR: With reference to the subject of my despatch No. 148, I have the honor to report that Mr. Joaquin Fernandez, the commissioner sent out by this govern ment to investigate the action of the transit company on Colorado and San Juan rivers, has returned a few days since and told me he found 1. That trunks of trees, carried down by and deposited along the banks of San Juan river, had been dragged to Colorado river and sunk at the point of bifurcation, so as to form by the action of nature, in the course of time, a barrier; and,
2. That at the bifurcation of Taura river (i. e., the second branch sent through Costa Rican territory east, and directly to the ocean by river San Juan) some seventy men were at work, with a steam ram, driving big piles across the river bed, and filling up the interstices with brushwood.
That he thereupon saw the company's agent at San Juan del Norte, Mr. Babcock, and lodged with him, in the name of this goveramlat, a protest against the continuance of the works in said two rivers; that he was received by that gentleman in the most courteous manner, and by him informed that he was but carrying out the distinct orders of his company, which, as he had supposed, had previously procured the assent of the Costa Rican government to these works through Mr. Molina, in Washington, but that after receiving Mr. Fernandez's protest he would have the works in the rivers immediately stopped. Thus this incident has been arranged to the fullest satisfaction of the government, as I learn from Mr. Volio.
I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
C. N. RIOTTE.
Mr. Riotte to Mr. Seward.
[Extract.] No. 154.] LEGATION OF THE U. S. OF AMERICA, COSTA RICA,
San Josw, August 25, 1866.
SIR: A few days ago a session of the council of state was held, the President of the republic presiding, for the purpose of devising measures to prevent the introduction of the cholera. Four members insisted that the republic, as soon as that epidemic should break out in either Panama or Nicaragua, be hermetically sealed against the entrance of all persons, and against the importation of goods of every description, the smails alone being permitted to enter. President Castro evidently inclined towards this opinion. As yet no definite resolution has been reached, but, considering the excessive fear of the people at large, and of the members of the government in particular, I do not think it at all unlikely that some such measure will be adopted. I cannot find the historical record of a like attempt by any government, and I incline to assume that such a measure would be in contradiction as well with article 2 of our treaty with this republic, as with the principle of international law established by the leading nations during the last twenty-five years, viz: "That no nation has a right of absolute seclusion." Still the application of that principle to a temporary stoppage of intercourse with the outside world seems questionable, and, at all events, it must rest with my government exclusively to decide if any and what steps are to be taken on the subject, upon which point I beg you to furnish me with your instructions. I will merely mention that if, on the one hand, it seems hard to prevent these people from adopting measures which, in their frantic alarm, they look upon as their sole salvation from a terrible visitation, I am, on the other hand, the longer I live among thenM, the firmer convinced of the absolute necessity of strictly enforcing against them the precepts of the law of nations, for which they are great sticklers whenever they deem themselves injured, but which to violate not even the most powerful nations so lightly venture, as soon as such course suits their views or convenience.
I have the honor, sir, to be your obedient servant,
C. N. RIOTTE.
P. S.-Only a few hours before the mail-rider's departure the enclosed decree of the executive, whereof I add translation, is published.
C. N. RIOTTE.
Jose Maria Castro, President of the republic of Costa Rica, being informed that the "cholera morbus" has extended over some places of North America, whence it may easily pass to countries adjoining Costa Rica and thence to Costa Rica, should the proper precautions be neglected DECREE.
ART. 1. The introduction, in whatever manner, into the territory of the republic of all persons and objects proceeding from a place infected by cholera morbus, or that have touched at such place, is prohibited, unless forty days have since that time elapsed without any cases of cholera in the respective persons.
ART. 2. In the case of the preceding article the vessels and mail-riders are only allowed to leave the mail they carry and to deliver it to the officers, who have to receive it in the place and form designated in separate instruction.
ART. 3. The proper department will opportunely establish sanitary cordons in the parts of the republic where advisable, and will take all other dispositions suggested by the danger. ART. 4. Offenders against Art. 1, and the government officials by whose negligence the offence is committed, shall be treated as guilty of an attempt against public health.
Given in the National Palage, San Jose, August 23, 1866.
JOSe MARIA CASTRO.
Secretary of State in t4e Department of Interior.
A correct translation: C. N. RIOTTE.
Articles 267 to 283 of the criminal code treat of the "crimes against public health," and threaten with fines and prison up to six months.
C. N. RIOTTE.
Mr. Riotte to Mr. Seward.
[Extract.] No. 155.] LEGATION OF THE U. S. OF AMERICA, COSTA RICA,
San Jose, September 8, 1866.
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your despatches Nos. 123 and 124, of dates, respectively, the 27th of July and 2d of August last, withi enclosures. In compliance with your order I transmitted the office, copy of President Johnson's letter for President Castro to the minister for foreign relations, Mr. Voijo, at the same time soliciting the appointment of an audience for the delivery of the original. This audience was fixed upon for the next day, the 31st of last month. In -handing the letter over to President Castro, I said a few words appropriate to the occasion, which he replied to in a like strain; and, after opening the envelope, gave expression to his satisfaction at President Johnson's words, and to his admiration of the brilliancy of the artistic execution of the penmanship.
With the steamer of 15th of last month Mr. R. Kurtze, this governmient's agent for negotiating a contract in New York for the construction of a railroad across this republic, (see my despatches Nos. 140 and 141,) has returned, hearing a contract entered into between him, on one part, and Messrs. General John C.* Fredmont, Governor Nye, and others, on the other. It seems that this government is willing to recommend to Congress its approval as soon as two sections of it, which are considered ambiguous, have been more clearly defined, at which, according to Mr. Kurtze, there will he no hesitation on the part of the contractors. As soon as the contract shall be peirfected I will not fail to send a copy to the department.
I have the honor, sir, to be your obedient servant,
C. N. RIOTTE.
Hon. WILLIAM HI. SEWARD, withi enclosures. In compliance with your order I transmitted the office, copy of President Johnson's letter for President Castro to the minister for foreign relations, Mr. Volio, at the same time soliciting the appointment of an audience for the delivery of the original. This audience was fixed upon for the next day, the 31st of last month. In whanding the letter over to President Castro, I said a few words appropriate to the occasion, which he replied to in a like strain and, after opening the envelope, gave expression to his satisfaction at President Johnson's words, and to his admiration of the brilliancy of the artistic execution of the penmanship.
With the steamer of 15th of last month Mr.easKurtze, this goverxinent's agent for negotiating a contract in New York for the construction of a railroad across this republic, (see my despatches Nos. 140 and 141,)has returned, bearing a contract entered into between him, on one part, and Messrs. General John CmtaFrymont, Governor Nye, and others, on the other. It seems that this government is willing to recommend to Congress its approval as soon as two sections of it, which are considered ambiguous, have been more clearly defined, at which, according to Mr. Kurtze, there will be no hesitation on the part of the contractors. As soon as the contract shall be perfected I will not fail to send a copy to the department.
I have the o onor, sir, to be your obedient servant,
C. N. RIOTTE.
C.N. Riotte to. Seward. No. 156.1
LEGATION OF THE U. S. OF A~kMERICA, COSTA RICA,
San rose, September 9, 1866.
Sir: The apparently successful result of Mr. F. Kurtze's mission to the United States, to which, as I have reported in despatch No. 150, of June 10th, last, tho great plans mentioned therein were subordinate, seems a proper epoch for giving you the further information upon the result of those plans which you desired in despatch No. 119.
As you will recollect, the first object in the programme of the combined influences of the English bank here and the Montealegres was to obtain a full control of the finances of the country by the means then explained. This proved a failure,0 The Puntarenas custom-house was neither turned over to the bank, nor did it'give a loan to the government; but government and bank agreed mutually to accept each other's notes in payment like their own. Two of the brothers Montealeg~re have been made members of the section of the council of state on finances, to which every month the balance-sheet of the state accounts is to be submitted. This I consider a first-rate arrangement, inasmuch as it works as a control -upon the government by the best business men of the country and large prop erty-hol ders most interested in an honest and economical administration of' public affairs. . .
Every hope of obtaining in the English market a loan of whatever amount,
Or f their forming a company for the construction of a railroad across this republic, was effectually crushed by the great disaster that since has befallen the British money market; and the well calculated and shrewdly worded explanation of the British government, though officially communicated to this government, and by it published in the official g~azette, bad not the effect of restoring confidence, p~articularly as oubseqtuent events did not bear out the anticipations you the further information upon the result of those plans which you desired in despatch No. 119.
As you will recollect, the first object in the programme of the combined influences of the English bank here and the Montealegres was to obtain a full control of the finances of the country by the means then explained. This proved a failure 0 The Puntarenas custom-house was neither turned over to the bank, nor did it'give a loan to the government; but government and bank agreed mutually to accept each- other's notes in payment like their own. Two of the brothers Montealeoýre have been made members of the section of the council of state on finances, to which every month the balance-sheet of the state accounts is to be submitted. This I consider a first-rate arrangement, inasmuch as it works as a control upon the government by the best business men of the country and large prop erty-hol ders most interested in an honest and economical administration of public affairs.
Every hope of obtaining in the English market a loan of whatever amount, or of their forming a company for the construction of a railroad across this republic, was effectually crushed by the great &ýaster that since has befallen the British money market; and the well calculated and shrewdly worded explanation of the British government, though officially communicated to this government, and by it published in the official o*azette, bad not the effect of restorin 9 confidence., particularly as oubsequent events did, not bear out the anticipations of the British government. Thus, then, Mr. A. Wallis did not leave on his mission to Great Britain.
These events, however, had the beneficial effect of forcing this government to minutely considering and closely husbanding its own comparatively very large resources, and President Castro has indeed the merit of having commenced uprooting some of the most glaring and most expensive abuses. Whether, in the face of the inveterate nature of these abuses, and of the fact that every little reform creates one or more enemies, he will be disposed and able to continue ini this path, the future alone can teach; but I must confess to small faith. So far, at least, he has not dared to lay his hand upon the most shameful abuse, i. e., the large sums squandered to no purpose at all upon the military force of the republic, wherein, e. g., every twenty-five men have a general, and every two captains one private.
I have the honor of beinig, sir, your obedient servant,
C. N. RIOTTE.
Mr. Dickinson to Mr. Seward. No. 116.] LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Leon, June 24, 1866.
SIR: I have the honor herewith to hand you a copy of a despatch from the Costa Rican government to Mr. C. N. Riotte, as well as my reply to the same.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. B. DICKINSON.
Mr. Volio to Mr. Riotte.
NATIONAL PALACE, May 22, 1866.
SIR: The Central American Transit Company of Nicaragua, instituted by a contract on the 10th of November, 1863, has recently determined, as the government of the republic has just been informed, to turn the waters of the Colorado, now flowing within Costa Rican territory, into the lower San Juan, thus restoring the current to its former channel, in order to deepen the river at that point, and restore the port by means of the greater volume and velocity of the waters of the San Juan.
Although the said company declares the new work will not obstruct or damage the Colorado, yet it is scarcely credible when its waters will go to increase the San Juan, and destroy the natural and legal title that Costa Rica has acquired by gradual accession to those streams. Hard as it is to credit a fact which in its nature belongs to crimes against the integrity and sovereignty of the republic, the government, jealous of its rights and its obligation to maintain them in their integrity, has determined to send a commissioner to inspect the Colorado and its tributaries, and, if works are constructing to damage those rivers, to warn those engaged, and to expel them by force if they do not yield to reason.
As your interference might induce the company to desist in their contemplated project, the President of the republic has instructed me to inform you of the facts, as well as of all that has been done in the case, and that he is determined to repel any unauthorized trespass upon the territory of the republic.
In thus complying with the President's request I embrace the occasion to offer you the assurances of my distinguished consideration.
Mr. Dickinson to Mr. Riotte.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Leon. June 15, 1866.
DEAR SIR: Your communication, with its enclosure of a copy of a despatch from the Costa Rican government to your honor, has just been received, and I hasten to send a translation of the same to the president and general agent of the Central American Transit Company, as well as a copy to the Nicaraganu government.
Without stopping to discuss the qIestions at length which the Costa Rican government have presented for your consideration, I Will briefly call your attention to a few of the prominent facts and circumstances as they exist within the recollection of every man acquainted with the navigation of the San Juan that has arrived to forty years of age.
Within the last twenty years there were from twenty to twenty-three feet of water on the bar at the entrance to the harbor of San Juan del Norte ; at this time there are not more than eight to ten feet. At that time there was not more than one-tenth as much water discharged by the Colorado as by the lower San Juan; at this time there is, by actual measurement, eleven-twelfths of the water discharged through the Colorado. The San Juan has been known as a navigable river ever since the settlement of the country; the Colorado has never been used for any purpose, and up to this moment is a desolate, barren waste of water, w~ith scarcely an Indian canoe to be seen once a month.
Within the recollection of men now living the Colorado was not more than from twenty to thirty yards in width at its divergence ; at this moment it is more than two hundred yards, and its depth has been proportionably increased, and in the same ratio which the Colorado has been increased the lower San Juan has been diminished and the harbor injured by its decreasing, and the bar made impassable for everything except small crafts, whereas twenty years since vessels of the largest class were admissible; nor is this all, as every heavy freshet increases the waters of the Colorado.
These facts seem to be well understood by his excellency J. Volio, the minister of foreign relations, as be distinctly avows that the company have decided to restore the waters of the "Colorado to their old drain." The company wants nothing more, nor do I believe they want more than the one-half of that to restore the harbor and make a good and safe navigation. It would seem that his excellency the minister of foreign relations rests his case onl the facts that the company was restoring the waters under their contract of November 10, 1863, as though the company had not acquired all the rights to the waters of the San Juan that belonged to Nicaragua, for the purposes of navigation, by the treaty of the 15th of April, 1858, between Costa Rica and Nicaragua, which ceded to Costa Rica a portion of her territory. Costa Rica was bounded by the right bank of the river San Juan. Costa Rica acquired no jurisdiction over the waters of San Juan, but only the free use for navigation. That T shall be better understood I will quote the 6th section of the boundary treaty between the two republics of the 15th of April, 1858, which distinctly shows the exclusive control which Nicaragua reserved to herself over the waters of said river, when she permitted Costa Rica to extend the boundary line then existing between the two countries up to the right bank of the San Juan and along a portion of said river:
"ARTICLE 6. The republic of Nicaragua shall have the exclusive domain and fullest com mand upon the river San Juan, from its headwaters on the lake to its mouth on the Atlantic; but the republic of Costa Rica shall enjoy upon said waters the perpetual right of free navi gation from the aforesaid mouth of said river up to a point within three English miles before arriving at Castillo Viejo, for the purposes of commerce either with Nicaragua or with the interior of Costa Rica, by way of the rivers San Carlos.or Sarapigui, or by any other routes proceeding from that part of the margin of the river San Juan which it shall be decided cor responds (belongs) to Costa Rica. The vessels of both countries may, without distinction, come alongside of the banks of the river where the navigation is common without paying any class of tax, unless.thes ame shall be empowered by common accord by bath republics."
Now permit me to call your attention for one moment to the Colorado river, that Costa Rica seems so tenacious of. It is a river having for its source the outlet of Lakes Managua and Nicaragua, commonly known as the San Juan river. It not only has its source from this river, but from floods down to showers, and its growth from year to year, if not prevented by artificial means, will finally dry up the lower San Juan. It runs through an unbroken wil derness to the Atlantic, where it empties into an open roadstead, where there is not, nor ever has been, nor is there likely ever to be, water enough for vessels of sufficient size for con veying passengers, without being transferred from ocean to river steamers by means of small crafts, as they must be, where they are liable with scarcely a moment's notice to severe gales and heavy surfs.
I hardly need to say to one so familiar with the policy of our government as my colleague is, that while they protect and defend their citizens anywhere and everywhere in all legiti mate business, she is not unmindful of her duties towards other governments, and will not stand patiently by and see her citizens committing overt acts that may draw her into contro versy with other powers. If there is any one obligation stronger than another that a gov ernment is under to her citizens, as well as those of the nations of the earth, it is to protect their lives and property in the hands of her common carriers, created by themselves, which entitles the common carrier to look to his government for just and fair treatment.
I have sent copies of the despatch from the minister of foreign relations of Costa Rica to the parties interested, with but little expectation that i4 will have the effect ;o cause the Cen tral American Transit Company to desist from their present purpose of restoring a portion of the waters that flow through the Colorado, first, for the reason that the Nicaraguan govern ment reserved to herself the exclusive jurisdiction over the waters of the San Juan in the same treaty in which she permitted the republic of Costa Rica to extend her boundary up to the right bank of said river; secondly, for the reason that the company can restore and pre vent these waters from escaping from the San Juan without touching the right bank of said river; thirdly, if it was an open question and the same amount of water had flowed through the Colorado in the past as at present, I hardly think, in this enlightened day and age of the world, that intelligent and impartial arbitrators would permit Costa Rica to seal up hermet ically her Colorado from the use of mankind ; and I am not prepared to believe that Costa R~ica could afford, if left to herself, to force the thousands and millions of passengers that will pass over this isthmus to be re-shipped on an open roadstead, at the great hazard of life and property that would attend the same.
These are a few of the prominent facts which Costa Rica proposes to enforce by arms, if she fails by persuasion, viz: to prevent a company from maintaining a navigation which by implication Nicaragua was bound by the same treaty to keep up, as both governments bound themselves per consideration that Costa Rica should enjoy upon the river San Juan the per petual right of free navigation.
Your friend and colleague,
A. B. DICKINSON,
Mr. Dickinson to Mr. Seward.
No. 119.] LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Leon, August 9, 1866.
SIR: I have the honor to enclose to you a copy, and a translation of the same, of a letter from Sefior Don R. Cortes, minister of foreign affairs of the Nicaraguan government, to this legation.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HA. B. DICKINSON.
Mr. Cortes to Mr. Dickinson.
NATIONAL PALACE, MANAGUA, July 17, 1866.
Sefior MINISTER: The undersigned has the honor to acknowledge to your excellency the receipt of the copy of the despatch that you addressed to your honorable colleague, Mr. C. N. Riotte, minister resident of the United States in Costa Rica.
His excellency the President, being informed of so important a document, in which are so wisely unfolded the principles and the rights that assist the Central American Transit Company, flowing with so much ingenuity and logic, from the principles and the rights that Nicaragua has, and such as have been specified in the boundary treaty between Costa Rica and this republic, is under the impression that when the government of Costa Rica comes to meditate cautiously on this question it will allow a just conclusion, convenient to the fights of the company and to the commercial interests of the universe.
With the due sign of appreciation, I am your excellency's most attentive and obedient servant,
Mr. Dickinson to Mr. Seward. 0o. 120.] LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Leon de Nicaragua, September 7, 1866.
SIR: Enclosed I have the honor of handing you a despatch received by this [egation from D)on Buenav'a Selva, minister of foreign affairs ad interim of this ;ov ernmen t, and my answer to the same.
I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. B. DICKINSON