War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 1158 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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Have the goodness to give him whatever facilities and assistance he may need in accomplishing the duty with which he is charged.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

F. W. SEWARD,

Assistant Secretary.

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,

Madrind, December 28, 1861.

Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington.

SIR: * * * The anxiety felt at this capital concerning the grave draws near when the reply of our Government to the demands of Endgland may be expected is quite evident.

I do not hesitate to say that public opinion is decidedly against us in the question of right, adn the proceeding of the commander of the San Jacinto with the Trent is considered by Spanish jurisconsults as unsanctioned by the law of nations. It is considered therefore that the United States ought not to hesitate to make reparation for the faulth committed by their officer.

Whilst this is so there is at the same time a good deal of satisfaction manifest that the act condemned should have been commitetted with an English ship and not that on any other nation. The skirts of England are not clean and Spanish statesmen willingly allow that she is the last of all powers in her to complain of such treatment.

But though England may have been guilty in times past of acts in regard to neutral ship even more indefensible than that of which she now complains this is not thought to justify the United States in the commission of like faults, and there is not hesitation here upon the point that the interest of all nations would be served by the United States yielding in this mattr and allowing the question involved in the affair of the San Jacinto and Trent to be decided against them upon priciple.

I give you thus a summary of the opinions of various personages with whom I have conversed freely and which may be taken as those of the most elightened and most competent of this country. Yesterday I had an informal interview with the m at his department in which the conversation turned upon the declaration made to me in June last by Mr. Calderon to the efect that he would not see nor receive any commissioners or other negotiators from the so-called Confederate States as reported by me in dispatch Numbers 4, of June 13, published in The London Times of December 19.

Mr. Calderon renewed to me yesterday the same declaration, saying that the policy of Spain in regard to our civil contest was fixed by the royal decree of June 17, which appeared a few a subsequent to be interwiev referred to, and that Her Majesty's Government had no intention to depart from its provisions in any respect. Mr. Calderon said himself that to hold conferences with or receive the agents of the so-called Confederate States in any official capacity would be tantamount to recognizing the separate existence of those States as a body politic, and this the Government of Spain had not intention to do, but holds to the line of conduct and policy embodied in the royal decree of June 17.

As to the question between the United States and England, growing out of the affairs of the San Francisco, Mr. Calderon said in substance in reply to my observations that we were wrong and that England