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United States Department of State / Index to the executive documents of the House of Representatives for the second session of the fiftieth Congress, 1888-'90

Chili [Chile],   pp. 172-198 PDF (10.6 MB)

Page 197

postmaster at Valparaiso availed himself of a trip made by an English steamer
to the
port of San Josd de Guatemala for the purpose of sending correspondence,
and to that
end five mail bags, containing letters and printed documents for Central
America, the
Antilles, Mexico, the United States of America, etc., were placed on board
of the said
steamer (the Cordelia) on the 29th of January of that year.
  As that port was like wise closed for the same reason, the said steamer
delivered the
correspondence in question to the post-office at Acajutla, Salvador.
  Instructions were issued to the consul and postal agent of Chili at Panama
to in-
quire what had become of that correspondence; and that officer addressed
the post-
master of Acajutla, from whom he received the following reply:
                                                   "ACAJUTLA, April
23, 1886.
  "I have received your very polite communication of the 5th instant,
together with
a duplicate of your letter of the 29th of October last, which, I regret to
inform you,
did not reach me, for what cause I know not. I therefore beg you to pardon
my lack
of attention in not replying to your aforesaid communication; believe me
that if
that communication bad not been lost I should have regarded it as a great
and a high honor to comply with your wishes, as I hereby do.
  "The correspondence to which you refer and concerning which, through
you, the
postmaster at Valparaiso inquires, was delivered in this port by the captain
of the
steamer Cordelia to the agent of the Pacific Mail Steam-ship Company; this
was not
properly done, because the correspondence had been intrusted to the captain
to be
taken to San Jose de Guatemala in order that it might thus reach Panama;
and as
that correspondence came from a place where the cholora prevailed, my predecessor,
obedience to his duty, declined to receive* it. The agent of the Pacific
Mail Com-
pany did all in his power to get it placed on board of the steamers of the
which he represents in this port, but being unable to do so, he had recourse
to my
services when I took cha;ge of this post-office; for that purpose he delivered
to me
the five mail-bags which I endeavored to place on board of one of the Pacific
steamers, but after I had got them on board they were immediately returned,
it was found that they were from Chili. As I had unofficially taken charge
of the
correspondence in question, simply with a view to pleasing the agent, I was
when I found that all the steamers of the line declined to receive it, merely
on the
ground that it was from Chili, in which country the cholera prevailed. I
then real-
ized the fact that I had taken a serious responsibility upon my shoulders,
and desir-
ing to meet that responsibility, I took the precaution to order that correspondence
be sunk to the bottom of the sea ia the presence of many persons in this
   "This measure seemed to me to be the most suitable, because, if I
had endeavored
 to fumigate it, I should not have been able to do so without exposing the
 ence to violation, since it was not addressed to this country, and all the
 might have become the victim of that scourge of mankind. Before taking this
 measure, I considered that the correspondence might be re-placed, but thit
the victims
 to the disease, in case it broke out, could never be replaced. I thus reply
to your two
 communications aforesaid, and with assurances of esteem and consideration,
I take
 pleasure in signing myself
       "Your obedient servant,                              "ANTONIO
   "1To the Consul and Postal Agent of Chili at Panama, United States
of Colombia."
                                   No. 141.
                        Mr. Bayard to Mr. Roberts.
 No. 87.]                                  DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
                                               Washington, May 26, 1888.
   SIR: I have to acknowledge the receipt, on the 12th of March last, of
 Mr. Seibert's No. 181, of the 24th of the preceding month, in which he
 informs the Department that a protocol has been signed by the repre-
 sentatives of Chili and Italy by which all the claimns of Italian subjects
 against Chili not acted up)on by the international tribunal, 261 in number,
 were settled for the lunmp sum      of $297,000, causing a saving to the
 Chilian Government of $138,000, compared with what it would have

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