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SA tHot.b 















je^Oj 9e<v. 27. 


Q^. t(o. iriQj 

41st Congress, ( HOUSE OP EEPEESENTATIVBS. i Bbport 
2dSesHon. ] \ No. P6. 


Mat 5, 1870. — Ordered to be printed and reoommitted to the Committee om Foreign 


Mr. Obth, from the Committee on Foreign Affairs, made the following 


OiJie Committee an Foreign AffairSj to whomwM referred " the memorial of 
Porter C. Bliss cmd Oeorge F. Mastermanj in relation to their imprison- 
ment in Paraguay by the President of that republic^ and subsequently on 
the United States gunboat Wa^p and the flagship Ouerriere^ of the South 
Atlantic squadron, by United States officers^^ beg leave to report : 

That, in pursnance of the authority conferred upon them by the resolu- 
tion of the House, of March 19, 1869, directing them " to inquire into all 
the circumstances relating to the alleged imprisonment of said Bliss and 
Masterman, and into the conduct of the late American minister to Par- 
aguay, and of the officers commanding the South Atlantic squadron 
since the breaking out of the Paraguayan war,'' they commenced the 
examination of witnesses, at Washington City, on the 30th day of March. 
1869, and continued such examination until all the testimony that could 
then be conveniently procured had been taken; that finding it necessary 
to bring before them witnesses then absent from the United States on 
duty .with the South Atlantic squadron, a sub-committee was appointed 
to take further testimony whenever the attendance of the remaining 
witnesses could be procured. A recess was then taken until the 21st of 
October, at which time Messrs. Orth, Wilkinson, Swann, and Willard, 
members of the sub-committee, met at New York City and resumed the 
examination of witnesses at that point. Subsequent sessions were held 
in Washington City, at which place the examination of witnesses was 
concluded. The testimony thus taken, covering all the points named 
in the resolution of the House, accompanies this report. The com- 
mittee will state with reference to this testimony that much of it is of a 
conflicting character, and reveals a feeling of bitterness and animosity 
between different officers of the navy, and between the naval and diplo- 
matic officers of the government, connected with the matters under 
investigation, not creditable to the parties concerned, and subversive of 
that efficiency in the public service which the government has a right to 
exx)6ct from its officials. 

In discharging their duty the committee have allowed to the parties 
implicated, the utmost latitude in eliciting all the facts which might in 
any manner be relevant to the points at issue ; have endeavored to 
reconcile, wherever practicable, all conflicting testimony, and to arrive 
at their conclusions uninfluenced by the feelings or prejudices of those 
whose official conduct has been the subject of this investigation. 


As the committee accompany this report with all the testimony 
brought before them, they deem it necessary only to present a summary 
of the most prominent facts in the oase. 

In the month of June, 1861, Charles A. Washburn, esq., was appointed 
by the United States its minister resident to the republic of Paraguay, 
and proceeded soon thereafter to the governmeht to which he was 
accreted and entered upon the discharge of his official duties. He 
remained at Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay, discharging his duties 
to the entire satisfaction of both governments until January, 1865, 
when, in pursuance of leave of absence previously obtained from our 
government, he returned to the TTnited States. 

On the eviration of his leave of absence, early in September of the 
same year, he left the United States, accompanied by his wife, to return 
to his post at Asuncion. Some time in March or April, 1865, and after 
Mr. Washburn had left Paraguay, a war broke out between Paraguay, 
on the one hand, and Brazil, Urugnay, and the Argentine Confederation, 
known as the "allied forces,'' on the other hand. 

On Mr. Washburn's arrival at Eio early in October, 1865, he ascer- 
tained that in consequence of such war, and the blockade of the allies 
in the Plata, all ordinary communication with Paraguay was cut off, and 
that he could not, in all probability, reach Asuncion without the aid of 
some vessel or vessels belonging to our South Atlantic squadron. 

On the 21st of June, 1865, Admiral Godon assumed command of this 
squadron — consisting of the following vessels, Susquehanna, (the flag- 
ship,) Juniata, Nipsic, Shawmut, Wasp, and Shamokin — which was kept 
in the distant waters of the South Atlantic Ocean at a heavy expense 
to the government, for the purpose of watching over and protecting all 
American intei*ests and sustaining the honor and dignity of the national 


It was the duty of Mr. Washburn to proceed to his destination with- 
out unreasonable delay, and this duty was not rendered less imperative 
by the fact that the nation to which he was accredited was engaged in 
war, in the progress or result of which, our government might have 
interests requiring his attention. Fully appreciating this, he lost no 
time after his arrival in Rio in calling upon Admiral Godon and request- 
ing of him the use of some vessel of his squadron to enable him to 
reach Asuncion. The committee have no doubt as to the propriety of 
this request. The various departments of our government, while in a 
measure independent of each other, are nevertheless parts of one general 
system. Although attached to the diff'erent branches of the publio 
service, they are officers of the United States, and, as such, under obliga- 
tions to discharge their duties in such manner as shall best promote the 
public harmony and efficiency. The officers of one department are 
under obligations to render such assistance to the officers of any other 
department as will facilitate and render effective the public service, 
when such assistance can be rendered without interfering with specific 
orders or more pressing duties. Applying these positions to the case 
u!nder consideration, we hold that it was the duty of Admiral Godon to 
furnish the requisite transportation to Mr. Washburn, pi*ovided he could 
do so without an interference with, or violation of, express orders from 
his department. 

The evidence discloses how the admiral received and treated this 
request of Mr. Washburn, the commencement of their differences being 
thus detailed in Mr. Washburn's testimony : 

I started again in September from New York to go back with my wife, and reached 
Bio Janeiro, I think, tne 27th of September, or, at any rate, near the Ist of October* 


I MKW Admiral Godon the same da,j. He was then stationed at Bio. I was on board 
his flag-ship. I had a great deal of converBation with him at different times in regard to 
tiie situation of affairs, and from other sources learned that in all probability I shonld 
lot foe able to get no to Paraguay without the aid of a gunboat ; that all eommunica- 
tion otherwise had oeon stoppea. Admiral Qodon remarked that he had no suitable 
vessel to send up the river, but that the steamer Wasp was expected very shortly : in 
the meanwhile he said he was going down to St. Catharines, which is mur huncfcred 
miles down the coast. 

I remained at Rio waiting for the Wasp to come, in order to ascertain about what 
time she might be expected at the mouth of the river, aud when I could calculate upon 
bein^ able to leave and go up to Paraguay: I waited there accordingly uutil the 
admiral had gone down to St. Catharines and returned. In the meantime, while he 
was absent I think, the Wasp arrived, and as he said she must have some improve- 
ments or repairs made upon her that would take some time, I took the first steamer 
after her arrival, according to my recollection, and went down to Buenos Ayres. I 
took an inferior steamer because I nad been delayed there longer than I expected. The 
admiral told me before I left that he should soon follow, in ten or twelve days at least. 
I arrived at Buenos Ayres on the 4th of November, and it was about- Christmas before 
I heard of the admiral's arrival at Montevideo. 

T^is manifest indifference on the part of Admiral Godon to the 
reasonable request of an American minister continued for a considerable 
period of time, and finally resulted in excuses which soon became as 
numerous as they were frivolous. 

Among the earliest of the reasons assigned was the want of sufficient 
fuel for the vessel which might be detailed on this service, and his 
inability to procure it. 

That this was a mere subterfuge, appears most conclusively by the 
testimony of the following witnesses. 

Captain Crosby of the " Shamokin" testifies as follows : 

By Mr. Orth : 

Question. Did you have plenty of fuel f — Answer. I had. 

Q. Where did yon get it T — aJ I filled up with coal at Buenos Ayres before starting, 
and replenished at Rosario, about three hundred miles distant. The squadron obtained 
fuel at Roeario. I could also have obtained coal at Corrientes, and at Parana. 

Q. Did you accompany the admiral in his visit to Urquiza f — ^A. I did not. 

Q. Where were you at that time f — ^A. I was either at Montevideo or Buenos Ayres, 
I do not remember which. 

Q. Ton knew of this visit? — A. I remember his maMng a visit at that time. I re- 
member Mr. Kirk speaking to me about it. 

By the Chairmak : 

Q. Where was the general depot of coal for the South Atlantic squadron t — ^A. At 
Rio Janeiro. I also purchased coal at Montevideo and Buenos Ayres. Montevideo is a 
ooaling port where there is always a large supply on hand, and where the United 
States vessels got their supply when in the river. I also purchased coal at Roeario, 
three hundred miles up the river, and at Corrientes when I was at that port. 

Q. How much additional cosd would it have required to have taken your vessel up 
the river more than to have lain stiU f — ^A. I consumed no coal while lying stiU, except 
for condensing water. 

Q. What would be the consumption of coal for such a trip f — ^A. I consumed about 
two hundred tons from going up and down. 

Q. What did you have to pay for the coal tjiere T — ^A. Nineteen dollars per ton at 
Corrientes. I have obtained coaL at Montevideo for about $13. I have purchased coal 
at Buenos Ayres at various prices, ranging from $19 to $30 per ton. At Montevideo I 
could have got the coal at $13 a ton, wnidi was only one hundred miles distant and 
would have fiUed up fairly, but my orders were to fill up at Buenos Ayres ; $13 is the 
regular price for supplying United States vessels by the coal agents at Mahtevideo. 

By Mr. Whxard : 

Q. Which consumed the most coal, the Wasp or the Shamokln if — ^A. The Shomokin. 

Q. How much more ti— A. I might safely say fifty tons more for the trip. 

Q. Was there any expense attending your trip except that of fVlblf — A, !!^one other. 

Q. If you had received at any time a direct erdet to laj^tate M^. WiUAibtitn on his 
#ay to Paraguay, would the want of ooal be any obstaele in the way 4— A. Ifol the 
slightest ; I had no trouble at aU about coal. At times coal wa« Boaree mp the river, 


bat I never thoaglit of that as a serious objection. Montevideo is the general depot 
for coal. There is always a large snpply of coal there. I have here a letter among 
the papers appended to this statement, written in Bnenos Ayres, one hundred milea 
off, on that subject. At any time within a couple of weeks at the farthest, you coulA 
get aM the coal you misht wish at Buenos Ayres. 
Q. So yon considered that excuse as amounting to nothing f — A. Nothing at all. 

Captain Patterson testifies : 

There was about one thousand tons of anthracite coal at St. Catharine's belonging 
to our government. 
There was a very large depot of coal at Montevideo. 

Mr. Washburn also testifies in reference to the supply of coal as fol- 
lows : 

Bj Mr. Orth : 
Question. What do you know, of your own personal knowledge, in reference to the 
supply of coal at Montevideo, and in points on the Paraguay or Uruguay Rivers f — ^An- 
swer. I have been up and down the river a great many times from Paraguay. Then 
was always a large quantity of coal at Montevideo ; as much so, according to my be- 
lief, as there is at Brooklyn, Philadelphia, or Boston. It is the intention of the coal- 
dealers there to keep a supply equal to any emergency. Sometimes the supply becomes 
short, but it is only for a few days. There is coal in abundance at Buenos Ayres, ai 
Montevideo, and then at Rosario, three hundred miles above Buenos Ayres, there is 
always coal. I think I never passed Rosario in a steamer (and I have passed it fifteen 
or twenty times) that the steamer did not take in coal there ; I do not remember of 
there ever being any scarcity. The supply there was, I think, of English coal. At 
Parana, about one hundred and fifty miles above Rosario, there is another coal station ; 
.and there is still another point between that and Corrientes. 

Pending the controversy in reference to the supply of coal, which had 
become publicly known to the people of Buenos Ayres and Montevideo, 
causing remarks not at all flattering to our government, an American 
citizen residing in Buenos Ayres, Mr. Samuel P. Hale, desirous of re- 
moving the admiral's excuse, and enabling our minister to reach his des- 
tination, " asked the admiral if he would send Mr. Washburn to Para- 
guay if American citizens there would furnish the coal,'' and the admi- 
ral's reason for non-compliance then was ^' that he did not wish to send 
a vessel, because the men would suffer from the climate." The evidence 
discloses that there was as little reliance to be placed in this as in the 
alleged trouble in reference to fuel. Mr. Kirk, our minister resident at 
tiie Argentine Eepublic, testifies that, at the time the admiral made this 
excuse, ^^ it was in the winter season and not the unhealthy season of 
the year ;" that he " knew several men connected with the fleet wanted 
to go up to Asuncion — were anxious to go ; that Captain Walker and 
Captain Wells were both anxious tp go up." 

Notwithstanding the scarcity of coal, which the admiral alleged as aa 
excuse for thus preventing Mr. Washburn's early departure, he, on a 
very slight pretext undertook a voyage which probably consumed more 
coal than was necessary to place Mr. Washburn at Asuncion. The ad-» 
miral relates this in his own testimony as follows : 

By Mr. Orth : 
Question. When you previously went tb St. Catharines^ what wa« your object t— 
Answer. I went to look after some c^al, to exercise, and for one other thing, which I 
win state. Admiral Bell was expected daily at Rio. He was my senior in lineal rank, 
but I had been promoted in advance of him. I carried a blue flag, and under the reg- 
ulations I should have been obliged to wear my blue flag in his presence, and he tm 
wear the red, although he was my senior. I thought that that woiQd not be agreeable 
to him, and that there might be some little contention about it ; and to avoid any 
naval complication of that kind between o£ELcers, I sailed firom Rio, and did avoid it. 
When Admiral Bell was afterward promoted for war services, he took his proper place, 
and was placed above me. 

By Mr. Sheldon : 
Q. It was out of courtesv to his feelings t— A. Entirely so. I knew the sensitiveness 
in regard to this matter of rank. I was on my own station, and did not want to haul 
down my flag in violation of the regulations, nor did my officers wish me t» do so. K 
was a matter of naval delicacy. 


On another occasion tlie admiral performed a ^^ pleasure trip" that con- 
mimed more time and coal than were required of him by Mr. Washburn. 
The circumstances were these: General IJrquiza, formerly president of 
the Argentine Bepublic, resided in the interior of the country distant 
several hundred miles from Buenos Ayres. Admiral Godon informed 
this committee that he telt ^^that it was his duty to pay his respects to 
him." Urquiza, though a man of wealth and importance, was at that 
time in private life and ^* reported as hostile to the Argentine govern- 
ment.^ Our government then was, and still is, on the most friendly 
terms with the Argentine Eepublic, and represented then, as now, by 
our minister resident, Mr. Kirk. So soon as Mr. Kirk was informed of 
the admiral's intention to make this visit to Urquiza, he remonstrated 
with him, stating, among other things, ^^that the relations existing be- 
tween the United States and the Argentine government being friendly, 
I thought such a visit would be interpreted by that government as un- 
friendly in its nature, and I thought he ought not to make the visit." 

Mr. Kirk adds further : 

He expressed, seemingly with some feeling, the opinion that he was nnder no obli- 
gations to me. I told him I was quite aware that I had no right to control his move- 
junts, but that I thought when a minister had resided for seversJ years in a place, that 
an admiral coming to that place coold properly consult the minister in regfurd to any 
mioh moyement ; that the minister would be more likely to know the condition of 
affairs and to judge of the effects of a particular line of policy than a man who had just 
eome to the country. 

Admiral Gk>don, in his testimony, thus alludes to this matter: 

Mr. Kirk did not want me to go and visit Urquiza, who was an influential man, but 
not holding a position in the government. I thought that Urquiza would be the great 
man of the country, and that there was no reason why I should not go and see a man 
of his immense influence. But Mr. Kirk seemed to think it would not be pleasant and 
agreeable to the government, and wrote me a note to that effect. I differed from him 
entirely, and I wrote an answer, in which I stated that I guessed he (Kirk) would find 
that I scarcely needed a dry nurse. I did not go because of this little mishap. But I 
afterwards did go and have an interview with him, as I felt that it was my duty to pay 
my respects to him. 

That this excuse of an ^^insufficiency of coal" was a mere evasion of 
the admiral, is furthermore apparent from his own testimony, viz: 

By Mr. Orth : 

Q. You say that no coal was to be had on the river except from the Brazilian squad- 
ron. Were there not private coal stations at Rosario^ Parana, and Corrientes f — A. I 
do not know that there were ; I know nothing at aU about them. 

Q. Ton aUege the expense of the coal as a reason for not sending Mr. Washburn up f — 
A. One of the reasons. 

<2. As a reason, not the only reason. Was any proposition ever made to you by any 
private person to furnish the coal gratuitously f — If so, what was your reply f— A. Yes, 
sir, there was. After I had settled in my mmd that I could not go, Mr. Hale, one of 
the oldest merchants in Buenos Ayres, came to see me. He is an American, and a very 
respectable man. He mentioned that if that were the only difficulty in my way, he 
would furnish coal to so to Corrientes. I replied, ^* Mr. Hale, if it is necessary and 
proper to send Mr. Washburn to Corrientes, I wiU burn all the coal in my squadron. 
But as there is no interest in the matter, I do not see why I should bum any coal to 
send him up there." 

The question of the necessity and propriety of sending Mr. Washburn 
to Paraguay was not one which the admiral was called upon to discuss. 
That question had been settled by the government, in the appointment 
•f Mr. Washburn. 

Finding the excuses of <<want of fuel" and the '^unhealthiness of the 
season" to be rather insufficient for the course he had adopted, the ad- 
miral sought another, in the ^^ blockade of the river by the allies." He 
^uld not tekke upon himself ''so grave a responsibility as would be in- 



volved in forcing the blockade;'' '*it would be an act of war;" it "an- 
noyed" him very much; true, it was "unfriendly'' on the part of tiie 
"allies," but then he must " respect it ;" and yet the sequel shows that 
this excuse was as groundless as the rest, and that the admiral did 
eventuallv " force the blockade," and pass Mr. Washburn " through the 
military lines" of the allies, all upon his own responsibility, and there 
was no war, nor the semblance of it, and no trouble anywhere but in 
his own imagination. 

Let us review briefly this question of blockade by the allies. 

Our government has at all times occupied a position of strict neutrality 
toward all the parties involved in this unfortunate and desolating war, 
then and still existing between the governments of Paraguay and the 
allies ; and at the date of these transactions had diplomatic representa- 
tives accredited to each of said governments. Occupying this attitude, 
we had a right to expect and, if necessary, to exact from each of said gov- 
ernments the consideration due to such friendly and neutral position. 

The right of embassy is regarded by all civUized nations as sacred 
and inviolable ; it is the means which enables them to hold communion 
with each other, and hence all are interested in maintaining it. 

This includes, of course, the right of "innocent passage" of a minister 
over the territory of another nation on his way to the government to 
which he is accredited, and this right of passage cannot with impunity 
be hindered or obstructed. These principles of public law are weil 
known and recognized, and should be understood by those who at any 
time may be called upon to enforce them. 

In addition to this right, existing by general law, we have a treaty 
with the Argentine Eepublic, ratified on the 30th of December, 1854, 
the sixth article of which provides : 

If it should happen (which God forbid) that war should break out between any of 
the states, republics, or provinces, of the river Plata or its confluents, the navigation 
of the rivers Parana and UrugtMy shall remain free to the merchant flag of all nations, except- 
ing in what may relate to munitions of war, such as arms of all kinds, gunpowder, 
lead, and cannon balls. 

As already stated, we had our diplomatic representatives accredited 
to and present at the governments of Brazil, Uruguay, and the Argen- 
tine Eepublic, at the date of these transactions, and also prior thereto 
at the government of Paraguay. Our minister at the latter government 
had left his position temporarily, with the assent of his government, 
and was now seeking to return. 

The allies, composed of Brazil, Uruguay, and the Argentine Repub- 
lic, under these, circumstances, had no right or pretense of right t(/ offer 
any hinderance, obstruction, or delay to our minister in his efforts to 
return over their territory to Asuncion. 

The passage of an American vessel, with our minister to Paraguay on 
board, from Buenos Ayres or Montevideo, up the Plata and Paraguay 
Eivers to Asuncion, through the blockading squadron of the allies, 
could, under no state of circumstances, be considered a warlike or even 
unfriendly act 5 to offer any hinderance or obstruction to such passage 
would be both unfriendly and warlike. 

The circumstances connected with the refusal of the allies to permit 
the passage of Mr. Washburn to Asuncion are fully and minutely de- 
tailed in the evidence accompanying this report. 

The motive of the allies in this matter is very apparent. They were 
at war with Paraguay, and believed the return of Mr. Washburn to 
Asuncion would afford moral support to the Paraguayans, by giving 


them assarance that in their unequal struggle with the allies they had 
not been utterly abandoned. 

These and probably other reasons actuated the allies^ and they must 
liave been much gratified as well as strengthened in their course when 
they found that Admiral Godon coincided with their views, and held 
that they had a right thus to impede the passage of our minister. 

The admiral testifies very fully on this branch of the investigation, 
maintaining the legality of the blockade, and his desire to respect it. 
He said : • 

I had no interest in bieakine that blockade, or do anjrthin^ that might involre a 
question of war with the United States ; and I left with the fml determination that I 
would not break that blockade. 


I said to Admiral Tamandar6 that when that blockade is established at Tres Bocas 
I will acknowledge it. I told him (Octayiana, the Brazilian minister) I would acknowl- 
edge that blockade ; that I could not resist it ; and I told him more : that whatever 
part he conquered I would acknowledge the blockade there, but that he must conquer 
it. But I did not claim the right to have Mr. Washburn go through. 

Again the admiral say3 : 

By Mr. WttKmsoN: 

Question. Did vou or did you not think that the government of the United States 
had no interests tnat required Mr. Washburn to go up there at all ; did you entertain 
that idea f — ^Answer. I knew that there were no American interests there at all, nor any 
mercantile interests, so far as the American merchants were concerned. 

Q. Did that knowledge influence your action at all in this matter? — ^A. Very much, 
in connection with the blockade : that was the point in my mind. 

Q. Did you think, as a naval officer, it was your business to Judge whether the 
United States government had interests there that made it necessary for Mr. Washburn 
"to proceed there T — ^A. Yes; I knew there were no interests there. 

Q. But the government having appointed Mr. Washburn minister to Paraguay, and 
he having reached your squadron on nis way there, did you regard it as your province 
as a naval officer to say whether it ^as necessary that he should go up there, or not, 
as an accredited minister of the United States T — A. No, sir. 

Q. Would you not think it was Mr. Washburn's province to determine that question, 
whether it was necessary for him to go up, or not, rather than the admiraVs f — A. I 
think so ; yes, sir. 

Q. Yet I see by the testimony of Gk)vemor Kirk that you gave as a reason for your 
course that you did not think it was necessary that the United States should have any 
minister up there f — ^A. I had the view that it was my business to judge about taking 
him, not about his going there. I had nothing to do with his going there. 

Q. If you had, in your official capacity, thought it was necessary for the interests of 
the United States that he should be taken up there, would you have regarded it as 
your duty to have detailed a vessel for the purpose of taking him up there, and even 
to have broken the blockade, if necessary, that the government should have a minister 
there ; would you have detailed a vessel to help him through T — ^A. I would not have 
broken a blockade because there might be particular interests there, without I knew 
what those interests were. 

Q. But if you had regarded it for the interests of the United States? — ^A. I could 
not have broken the blockade under those circumstances. It involved a great many 
questions. I should have been very careful about taking action unless my mind was 
very clear that the interests were equal to bringing on a war. 

These were the views of the admiral and the allies in reference to this 

They were not approved by our government, but, on the contrary, 
most emphatically and peremptorily repudiated, as appears by the fol- 
lowing dispatches of the then Secretary of State, Mr. Seward. On the 
16th of April, 1866, Mr. Seward wrote to Mr. Washburn as follows: 

Departmbnt of State, 

Washingiofif April 16, 1866. 

Sir: Your dispatch of the 8th of February last has been received. I thank you for * 
the very interesting information which it gives concerning the military situation in 
the war between the several allied powers and the republic of Paraguay. 

The President is surprised to learn that you have been hindered and dela/ed in tho 


military lines of the aUies on yoor retnm to Asnncion. That delay is inconvenient 
and is deemed not altogether conrteons. The President desires to regard it as a not 
unfriendly proceeding. 

Should the hindrance still continue, yon will address yourself at once to the com- 
mander of the allied forces and to the president of the Argentine Republic. Ton wiH 
inform them that you are proceeding as resident minister for the United States at Asun- 
cion : that you are charged with no duties that are inconsLstent with the neutrality 
whidi tibe United States has maintained in the war in which the allies are engaged 
witii Paraguay. Ton will ask them, in the name of this govemment, to give you, 
together with your family and domestics, safe conduct through their military Imes. 
Should the hindrance not cease within a reasonable time, you will th^n deliver a copy 
of these instructions, together with a copy of the accompanying letter of instructions 
from the Secretary of tne Navy to Admiral Qodon, and mil proceed in such vessel, 
under such convoy as he shall furnish, to the place of your destmation. 
I am, sir, &.c., 


On the 26th of April, 1866, Mr. Seward wrote to Mr. Kirk as follows: 

We sincerely hope to learn that the president of the Argentine RepubUc has neither 
ordend nor approved of this hindrance to the passage of the diplomatic representative 
of the United States, 90 disrespectful in itself and so enHrelif ineonsistent with ike law ofnor- 
<JoiM. Tou will bring the subject to the notice of the A^entine Republic, and ask an 

On the 27th of June, 1866, Mr. Seward wrote to Mr. Webb, our min- 
ister at Bio, as follows : ^ 

Nevertheless, the sovereignty and honor of the United States will admit of no hesi- 
tation or delay in tiie matter. Mr. Washburn is, therefore, now instructed to return at 
OBoe to the United States if the hindrance before alluded to shall not have ceased 
through some proceedings of the governments concerned. 

In uie case tnat ^on shall not have put into execution the instructions, &c., and 
shall not have received the satisfactoiy explanation which you were instructed to ask 
of the government of Brazil, you will now demand such explanations peremptorily. 
If this uiaU not be given to you within six or eight days, you will ask for your pass- 
ports to return to the United States. 

And again, writing to Mr. Webb on the 23d September, 1866, Mr. 
Seward says: 

So far firom considering the question of the right of Mr. Washburn to proceed to his 
destination as debateable, the United States cannot consent to argue that question. 

Following the spirit of these dispatches, and in maintenance of this 
dignified position of onr govemmeBt, the Secretary of the Navy, on the 
26th of April, 1866, instructed Admiral Godon as follows : 

You will, therefore, in' the event of a refusal on the part of the allied authorities to 
permit him to reach the government to which he is accredited, (which refusal, however^ 
IS not anticipated,) furnish him with the necessary facilities for that purpose. 

In the meantime the admiral commenced getting ready to ascend the 
river. On the 2l8t of Jnly, 1866, he ordered Captain Crosby, of the Sha- 
mokin, to ^^ fill np with coal and provisions immediately, ana hold your- 
self in readiness for service np the river.'^ On the 16th of August the 
admiral was informed that the Shamokin was ready. On the 26th of 
August Captain Crosby informed the admiral that ^^ the United States 
minister at Paraguay is at this place, (Buenos Ajn^es,) expecting to go 
up the river in this vessel.'^ Captain Crosby testifies that his purpose 
in thus informing the admiral was to ascertain whether Mr. Washburn 
was to be sent in the Shamokin, and if so, he (Captain Crosby) desired 
** to prepare accommodations," &c. 

To this information, the admiral briefly replies, ^' continue, to hold 
yourself in readiness to sail immediately on the receipt of orders to do 
80.'' Captain Crosby, therefore, determined "to await patiently for 

Subsequently, on the 5th of October, 1866, the admiral ordered Cap- 
tain Crosby as follows : 

Ou application, in writing, from our minister resident in Paraguay^ Mr. Washburm- 


t« whom I haye written this day, yon will proceed with him and his family, in the 
Shamokin, under yon command, to Paraguay, and land him in AsunAon. 

In connection with this order it may not be improper to state that the 
admiral, three days thereafter, to wit, on the 8th of October, 1866, sent 
the following letter to Captain Crosby : 

Private.] U. S. 8. Brooklyn, 

Bio de Janeiro, OoUiber 8, 1866. 

My Dear Caft. : I have sent you an order to take Mr. Washhum and hi» 
^Eunily up to Asuncion. It will be as weU that you should know how matters 
stand. I had declined to%take, or rather have 1^. W. ts^en to Asuncion some 
time ago. The Navy Department app'd of my course. Since then the refusal of 
the allies to give to Mr. W. free pass through the military lines has annoyed the 
gover't -at home, and they — ^that is the State Depar't — have directed him to write 
to the Argentine gov't and com'r-in-chief of the allied armies and demand a free pass 
through uiei^es ; if this was refused agoinj I was to take Mr. Wash'n up in a man- 
of-war. Presuming Mr. W. has applied as directed, I have written him to inform him 
of my order to you and to tell him to apply to you in writing. At aU events, it is 
proper now that Mr. W. should go to his post, and the Secretary of State dtfMre* it. 
llr. W. win, if he pleases, show you a copy oi my orders from the Secretary of the 
Navy. I am not rtquiirtd to send him up if a free pass is given him, and it is known that 
•rders have been sent firom here not to obstruct his passage ; but I think it is proper he 
should go in a vessel of war, any how, now ; Aproteei by the blockade need not be re- 
garded — ^nothing but absolute force should prevent you ; however, if the river is too 
low, then you cannot go up now. Go as high as yon can and wait till the waters rise. 
Eoeario would be a good place to remain at tiU yon can go up. The Wasp does not 
carry coal enough to go and return. Mr. Washburn must pay his own expenses. I do 
ibot feel much confidence in Mr. W.'s Judgment as an international lawyer, or as to his 
views ingeneral. So foUow your own common sense, which will be the safest way, I 
hope, when you reach Asuncion do aU you pan to make Mr. W.'s landing of oonse- 
quence io him, and give him every attention. Get me a dozen of those rtii^a made in 
Paraguay, marking prioee on them — they are for others. Get me some of that Paraguay 
eordial or ooiia. I shall be down at the river about the 1st or 15th of next month. Tou ^ 
•an get wood to bum in your fomaces along the river if you have means to cut it. Tou 
know that the river gets hot, full of insects, and unhealthy later ; so govern yourself 

Yours, very truly, 

8. W. GODON. 

Captain Crosby, in his testimony, speaking of this letter, says : 

I also received a private note from Admiral Godon, which, I see in his letters to the 
honorable Secretary of the Navy, Mr. Welles, he mentions as a semi-officisil note, and 
says in it he directed me not to regard the protest that would be made by the Brazilian 
admiral in command of the forces up the Paraguay. The semi-official note mentioned 
in Admiral Godon's dispatches was not a semi-official note, but w^s a private note, and 
so considered by Admiral Godon at the time he wrote it, as he wrote upon it the word 
prwate, and merely directed to '^My Dear Captain,'' and signed himself^ ''S. W. Godon," 
without even given his title. Here is the origin^ note, which I considered as merely 
|;iving Bear-Admiral Gk>don's private views of matters^ and did not consider it an order 
m any way, nor did I consider myself bound to obey his directions in that note, or that 
it relieved me from any responsibility, but left me to obey his orders to take Mr. Wash- 
bum and his family to Asuncion, on his application in writing, according to his order 
of October, 1866, and not to delay my journey ; ignoring entirely in his official letter 
and order to me any difficulty or obstructions that I might encounter. 

Tet in his private note, which he calls a semi-official note, he says to the Secretary of 
the Navy that a protest would be made, (see Admiral Gk)don's letter published, dated 
Montevideo, December 10, 1866, No. 132, Ex. Doc. No. 79,) and that he had instructed 
me to disregard it. Now, had Admiral Tamandar^ opposed me, and had taken the 
responsibility of firing into the Shamokin, and had prevented me by force from going 
through the blockade. Admiral Godon's instructions to me were such as would nave 
shielded him firom the responsibilitv of my act, as he conveys the idea in his private 
note that he supposes instructions had been sent, and at the same time his orders were 
such as would not have saved me firom his censure or that of the government, had I 
delayed my journey until I could hear firom him, or learned that orders had been received 
firom Admiral Tamandar^ to allow the Shamolan to pass under protest. 


Captain Orojpby in pursnanceof his orders, proceeded with Mr. Wash- 
bum on board the Shamokin, and landed him safely in Paraguay on the 
5th of November, 1866, meeting with no hindrance or obstmctions more 
formidable than a simple '*• protest" which Tamandar6, commanding the 
blockading sqaadron, felt it his daty to make in the absence of specific 
instructions from the allies. 

Thus after a dfelay of over a year, for which there was in our opinion, 
no justifiable excuse on the part of Admiral Godon, Mr. Washburn was 
permitted to reach his destination. 

During this investigation your committee haf e seen, with regret, the 
existence, among the officers of the South Atlantic squadron, of a feeling 
of extreme bitterness and malevolence, accompanied with acts of super- 
ciliousness and petty tyranny totally unworthy of their position, derog- 
atory to our national character, and subversive of that efficiency in the 
naval service which can spring only from harmony and proper respect 
on all occasions. The necessity and justification of these remarks are 
to be found in the accompanyiDg testimony. 

In this connection we also feel compelled to advert to a feeling of dis- 
respect exhibited by Admiral Godon towards our diplomatic represent- 
atives with whom he came in contact, and which probably furnishes the 
motive for his course in this matter. 

Speaking of Mr. Kirk's suggestion, that it might be considered im- 
proper for the admiral to pay his visit contemplated to Urquiza, he re- 
marks, " I differed from him entirely, and I wrote an answer in which I 
stated that I guessed he (Kirk) would find that I scarcely needed a dry 

The following appears in the testimony of Captain Wells : 

By Mr. Wilkinson : 

Question. Did you ever bear him (Godon) use any discourteous or improper language 
in regard to Mr. Washburn ? — Answer. Unless the committee insist upon it I would de- 
cline to answer the question. 

By Mr. Orth : 

Q. Why do you decline ? — ^A. Because be did make use of an expression such as ao 
naval officer should make use of ; and for the sake of the service I would prefer not to 
answer the question. 

The committee insisting upon an answer, Captain Wells said :. " It 
occurred at his (Godon's) dinner table. In speaking of Mr. Washburn 
he called him damned son of a bitch. 1 made no reply. I ate my dinner 
in silence and shortly afterward leff This occurred in December, 1866. 

Captain Crosby testifies as follows : 

By Mr. Orth : 

Question. How did he speak in your presence of American ministers as a general 
thing, favorbly or unfavorably f — ^Answer. I could not state anything more on that 
point than to repeat what be says in bis private note to me, which I have read. Whea 
be was asking me about paying Mr. Washburn's expenses, he remarked, ** you seem to 
think a minister is of great importance.'' 

Q. What was his manner in uttering these words ? — A. He said them in a contempt- 
nous way. 

Mr. Kirk testifies as follows : 

By Mr. Orth : 

Question. You remarked, did you not, that the refusal of Admiral Godon lessened the 
influence of Mr. Washburn ? — AnswcJr. It did in the city of Buenos Ayres, or lowered 
the character of all the representatives of our government. I made the application 
generally to all of us. It looked as if (and, in fact, he remarked) that we were merely 
the representatives of political friends. 

Q. Did Admiral Godon make that statement T — A. He did ; that these ministers were 
the mere representatives of political friends. 


Mr. WasliburD testifies as follows : 

By Mr. Swann : 
QneBtioD. What motive oould have liiflueno«d Admiral Oi>don t — Aaawer. He wanted 
i( impreseod oa everjbod; that he waa the repreBSUtatiTe of the great repabUo, Mtd 
that nobody else was of any importaoce whatever. He aaid so verbally in regard to 
United Stat«a ministers a good many times. He always spoke with the utmost con- 
tempt of all ministers of the United States; said that he waa not reapousibls to them 
and did not care anything for them ; that th«y were political bumbnKs and wom-ont 
politicians, &c., who were sent out there to get rid of them. That ne waa admiral. 
Hie conduct was most ridiculous and scandalous. 

Mr. Webb, in a dispatch to the State Department of date June 10, 
1367, nses this language : 

While I have taken no piut in the controversy betweeu Admiral Godon and Hr. 
Waahbnm, and have not permitted myself to eiprex^ to either of thetn an approval or 
disapproval of their proceedings, 1 have a very clear conviction that if the admiral 
had beed so diapoaedhe could have sent Hr. Washburn to his post of duty shortly after 
. hia arrival in the river, without any interference on the part of the allies. Hut it ap- 
pears that the admiral made it a matter of pride to ignore the rights and privileKSB of 
ministers and conauls, and has quarrelled with nearly all of them except myself; that is 
to say, with Hiniatera Kirk, Washburn, and Asboth, and with Conaul Honroe, and one 
or two others ; and 1 am sorry to add. that he haa no friends among the officers of the 
•qaadron. With me he hoa never had one word of difference, but It ia impossible to 
abut my eyea to the fact that the difficulties which have taken place and now exist on 
this coast between the admiral and the officers of the Department of State, and which 
are widely known and diacreditable to our ooiintry, are mainly attributable to the ad- 
miral's meddling with what does not concern him. Hia own statement to me in regard 
to his difierenoe with Mr. Aaboth ia an illuatration of hia mistaken conception of his 
rights and duties. In reply to my question why he did not permit Oeueral Asboth to 

Othe river in the United States vessel which took up letters and dispatches to Hr. 
bum, hia answer waa, that Mr. Asboth had no right to leave hia legation without 
the asBent of the State Department. I said that was true ; but the minister was the 
•nly person to judge of his reaponsibilit; in ao doing. He replied, " No ; it was my 
right to demand ofhim whether he had authority &om the State Departnient to leave ; 
and beoauBe he did not produce auch authority I would not permit hiia to go up in the 
steamer to have an interview with Waahburu, which waa quite unnecessary." 

Then, ^ain, in the admiral's quarrel with Consul Monroe, and hja contemptuous 
treatment of him, ho is altogether iu the wrong; and, in my judgment, without any 
excuse whatover. 

Such manifest <ur diplomatic representativee 

as a class by an spreheusible, and vre dismiss 

this part of our igle remark, that the duty to 

speak thus plait tuiral Oodon, in view of hia 

high position am ot by any means pleasant or 


On Mr. WasUl he soon found that duriug his 

absence of nearl; had taken place in Paraguay, 

At the time of I was in the enjoyment of pro- 

found peace, and lieir usual avocations ; ou his 

return he found th^ country involved in a disastrous war ; terror, alarm, 
and distrust prevailed on every side ; industry paralyzed ; the citizens 
denied their most precious rights, and all the resources and energies of 
the country pressed into the military service. Lopez, the "Marshal 
President of Paraguay, "was entering upon that era of blood so indelibly 
impressed upon his subsequent career. He possessed absolute authority, 
fuid governed by his unrestrained will a country whose history presents 
» continued series of tyrannical exactions on the part of its rulers and of 
submissive obedience on the part of its people. 

As the tyrant is ever the slave of jealousy and suspicion, it is natural to 
find that Lopez, in his imagination, saw himself constantly surrounded 
bj enemies conspiring his overthrow. 


This caused him to establish a system of espionage so general and eo 
thorough tiiat almost every citizen became a voluntary or involuntary 
informer. Torture was resorted to for the purpose of extortiug confes- 
sion of crimes or crimiDal intentions which never existed, and charges ' 
were febncatod by these means, which involved alike all who were sub- 
ject to his unjust suspicions, including even those of his own blood. 

The testimony shows that the victims of his cruelty are numbered not 
by tens but by hundreds. 

Dr. Stewart, who resided for twelve years in Paraguay, and who oc- 
cnpied the ]K>sitioii of inspector general of the bospitiUs and medical ad- 
viser of the Lopez family, having thus full opportaoity of knowing that 
to which be testifies, states in his evidence the following : 

I WM an eye-witneM of the borrible &tracitit« committed apon muij- bandreds of 
bumaii beiUKB who ffet« occoeed of conspiracf. I saw them heATily laden with irona, 
aadbeard their cri«8 and implorings to tbeir torturers for mercy; Lopez kDew all that 
VM going on. 

Twtnre wa8 almost iDdiacriminately applied, and thoee who sarvived its barbaritios. 
were pot to death. 

No fewer tbao eight hundred peiBons, compriBing natives of neorW every country in 
the civilized world, were massacred daring those terrible months of June and Decem- 
ber, 1866. 

The next relative whom Lopez seized was his own brother-in-law, Don Satomin* 
Bedoya, who, in Jnlv, 1868, was tertored to death by the sepo-umKUayano — a mode of 
^-_. .,_ ^ -...^ ;_ .t L.._L_j _._. ._ — -Jr. Siagter ' "- 

tortnre correctly described in the published statements of Mr. Masterman and Mr. 

I saw Lopez's two brothers, Venancio and Benigno, in irons, and heard, firom nMUi7 
witnesses of the butchery, that Benigno had been craelly scourged and afterward exe- 
cuted in December, 1868. 

General Barrioe attempted snicide after the imprisonment of liis noble wife, the sister 
of Iio^z, but recovered, and was then laden with irons. I saw him professionally be- 
fore lus execution, and found him quite insane; * * and had Mr. Washbom been 
thrown into prison, as was at one time aooitested by Mrs. Lynch and by the late bishop 
of Paraguay, 1 am convinced that he would have li«en tortured and made away with 
like the other victims of Lopez. 

The evideace submitted with this report fully corroborates the testi- 
mony of Dr. Stewart, and proves that cruelties have been practiced to 
such an extent that the sacred name of home and the blessings of civil- 
ization are almost i ~ ' ~ lat in the prosecution of 
the deplorable strug; auntry has been involved 
for the last five year ider age, and in some in- 
Btahces even the ger to time been ruthlessly 
swept into the eon of the army, nntU the 
country is almost de 

In the absence of s subject, it is estimate 

by those who have 1 ;, that the population of 

Paraguay at the ci was about six hundred 

thousand, which, in rs, has been reduced by 

disease, famine, war ) less than one hundred 

and fifty thousand p nsistiug almost entirely 

of women and chil(beii. 

The testimony and official correspondence state fully and succinctly 
the condition of affaiis connected with our legation at Ascuncion from 
the time of Mr., Washburn's return there in November, 1866, untU his 
final departure in October, 1868, and show very conclusively that he 
conld effect but little in his diplomatic capacity, or by his personal pres- 
ence, in the way of protecting the rights or interests of the few Ameri- 
cans resident in Paraguay, or of any others who might apply to him for 

His continuance there was no longer pleasant to himself or useful to 


the government. He was subjected to annoyances and indignities which 
soon culminated into open disrespect and contumely, derogatory to his 
official character and insulting to the honor of the nation he repre- 

Among other things Lopez sought, by the basest means to implicate 
him in one of those imaginary conspiraciies which appeared to haunt him, 
and even made this baseless charge the subject of diplomatic corre- 

The committee do not deem it necessary to recapitulate the evidence 
connected with this matter, feeling folly satisfied that the inherent falsity 
and absurdity of the charge carries with it its own, and its strongest, 

Mr. Washburn felt that he could no longer be useful to his government 
in the x>osition he then occupied ; that self-respect and the duty he owed 
to his government required that he should, so soon as practicable, close 
all further official intercourse with President Lopez, who had thus 
wantonly assailM him, and through him the government of the United 
States. In view of this state of affairs, and entertaining also serious ap- 
prehiensions in reference to the future safety of himself and family, while 
at the mercy of one who had given such abundant evidence of his capacity 
for the commission of crime, he wisely concluded to close his official rela- 
tions and retire from the country. 

In doing so he was, however, prevented, by the interposition of a mili- 
tary force acting under the Authority of Lopez, from bringing with him 
two of the members of his personal suite, Messrs. Bliss and Masterman, 
whose memorial has been presented to Congress, and is the basis of this 

Porter Cornelius Bliss, one of the memorialists, is a native of the State 
of "New York, and went to South America as the private secretary of 
James Watson Webb, minister of the United States at Brazil, in 1861. 
He remained at that point in this capacity until December, 1862, at which 
time he went to Buenos Ayres and entered the service of the Argentine 
government for the purpose of " obtaining information concerning the 
character, langaages, wants, manners and customs, habits, and mode of 
life of the In^ans'' in the valley of the Vermejo. In January, 1865, he 
embarked for Paraguay for the purpose of making a classification of the 
Indian tribes of that region, as indicated by the languages or dialects 
spoken by them. While in Paraguay he was employed by the minister 
of foreign affairs of that government to write a pamphlet upon the sub- 
ject of the boundaries between Paraguay and Brazil. While engaged in 
this work war was declared by Paraguay against the Argentine govern- 
ment, and by order of President Lopez no foreign subject was permitted 
to leave the country. Finding that he would be compelled to remain in 
the country for some time, he proposed to Lbpez to write the history of 
the republic of Paraguay, commencing at the date of the settlement of 
that country, which proposition was accepted by Lopez and a stipulated 
price agreed upon. Mr. Bliss testifies : 

I supposed ^myself to be in the employ of Lopez foi' a little more than a year ; but at 
last Lopez, apparently dissatisfied with my progress in the work, and perhaps not lik- 
ing the cautious way in which I spoke of other nations, he being eager that I^should 
bring my history down to more modem times, and especially eager that I should write 
something which would be of use to him in the war, which I was as equaUy desirous 
to avoid, I was at last met with a refusal to supply me with any more money. This 
occurred near the middle of 1866, as near as I can remember. (Mr. Washburn arrived 
in the couiitry th6 2d of Novemberj 1866.) And when finaUy I was met with a refusal 
to give me any more money, I considered myself as disengaged, and ceased to write any 
further. I had then brought my history down to about the year 1810, and during all 


tkie time I had continaed to be more or less an object of suspioion. The reason of th«t^ 
' I Buppose, was that I had not met his anticipations in the history I had written. 

Soon thereafter Mr. Bliss was engaged by Mr. Wa«hlHini to collect 
information to be used by him in his work on Paraguay. 

On the 2l6t of February^ 1868, the Paraguayan government ordered the 
evacuation of Asuncion, and decjlared that city a military post At that 
time, at the request of Mr. Washburn, Mr. Bliss, who for some tisie 
previously had occupied the position of translator in his legation, took 
up his residence in that capacity in the family of Mr. Washburn. On 
* the 22d of February, Mr. Wai^bum informed Jos^ Berges^ the minister 
of foreign aftairs of Paraguay, that '^ the present critical position of affairs 
in and near this capital has rendered it necessary for me to take into ' 
my service several persons in addition to those hitherto connected with 
this legation." In a list of ^^ persons " above specified accompanying said 
communication, the committee finds the name of ^^ Porter G. Bliss, 
American." It will be perceived that Mr. Bliss became a member of the 
personal suit of Mr. Washburn in strict accordance and full compliance 
with diplomatic usages in this respect. 

George F. Masterman, the other memorialist, is an Englishman by birth, 
and a subject of her ]\lajesty's government. In October, 1861, in pur- 
suance of an agreement with agents of the Paraguayan government, he 
entered its service as professor of materia medica^ and subsequently as 
assistant surgecm at the general military hospital at Asuncion. In 
November, 1866, he was arrested and imprisoned by that government, 
as is alleged, " for not obeying a telegraphic order, which arrived too 
late for execution," and was held as a prisoner for the space of about a 
year, and until released through the intercession of Mr. Washburn, wh# 
testifies : 

Mrs. Washburn being unwell^ and there being no physician there on whom I cou]d 
rely, I obtained his Migration firom custody ; and when he came ont of prison, where 
he had been for eleven months in solitary confinement, I took him to live at my house ; 
that was in October, 1867. He continued to live in my house and to attend as a physi- 
cian in my family. 

On the 24th of February, 1868, Mr. Washburn informed the Para- 
guayan government that Mr. Masterman was one of the persons attached 
to his legation. 

Your committee have failed to perceive in its investigation any objec- 
tion on the part of the Paraguayan government to Bliss and Masterman 
being recognized as attached to and forming a part of the personal suite 
of Mr. Washburn; nor was there, prior to or at the time of notice beiug 
given of the fact that the gentiemen formed a part of the personal suite 
of the American minister, any complaint whatever, civil or criminal^ 
against either Bliss or Masterman. 

After the evacuation of Asuncion had been declared, the government 
of Paraguay established its capital at Luque. Mr. Washburn, in the 
meantime, very properly declined to change his residence, in accordance 
with the wishes of that government, but remained at Asuncion, the 
former capital, until his departure from the country, on the 10th of Sep- 
tember, 1868; Bliss and Masterman remaining as inmates of the lega- 
tion and performing their respective duties. 

During the summer of 1868, Mr. Washburn commenced making his 
preparations to withdraw from his mission, and accordingly, on the 14th 
of July, applied to the Paraguayan government for passports for himself, 
family, and suite, including Messrs. Bliss and Masterman. About this^ 
time Mr. Washburn received the following communication : 



Ministry of 8tatx for Foreign Affairs, 

Luque, July 13, 1866. 

A^ain called upon by th« judicial anthorities, I hee your excellency will excuse me for 
iMilesting y<Mi once more, to reqaeet yon to dismiss from your hotel the North American 
citiiBen, Porter Comelins Bliss, atid the British subject, George Masterman, accused of 
«nme8 not less grave than the others whose dismissal I have already had we honor to 

I embt«c^ this occasion to renew to your excellency the assurances of my distin- 

giishM consideration and este<nn. 


His Excellency Mr. Charles A. Washburn, 

Minister Beaident of the Vnited States of Ameriea, 

Tb which Mr. Washburn on the following day replied, saying, among 
oOk&c things : 

Respecting these two individuals, I have to say that I have always considered them 
ais belonging to the legation. Mr. Masterman came to reside in it as a medical attend- 
ant of my family in September last, and in my note, dated February 24, but forwarded 
with my other note of April 4, his name is included as one o{ the legation. As no ob- 
jection was then made, I considered that he was recognized as such by the government 
as much as any one in my house. The name of Mr. Bliss was likewise given as of the 
legation in both of the Usts above referred to. In reply to my note of February 22, 
his excellency Senor Berges said that Bliss, not being m the class of servants, would 
confine himself to the legation premises, as he would be liable to arrest if found outside 
of them. For the last three months he has scrupulously done so, and besides has been 
of ^reat assistance to me in my official duties, and. so long as I remain in Paraguay I 
desire to retain him. Considering, therefore as I do, both of these persons as members 
of the legation, I can have no discussion in regard to delivering them up or sending 
them from my house. 

I therefore have the honor to ask for passports for all persons belonging to this lega- 
tion, and that facilities for leaving the country, such as comport with the character of 
an accredited minister, may be mrnished with as little delay as circumstances may 

I avail myself of the present occasion to tender to your honor the assurances of my 
distinguished consideration. 


This reqaest of Mr. Washburn for passports having been refused, he 
again, on the 2d of September, 1868, writes to the Paraguayan govern- 
ment as follows: 

I am greatly surprised that the passports have not been given me, as I furnished the 
list, as requested, on the day that I received your note. I therefore have occasion to 
repeat the request made in my note of July 14' that passports may be furnished me and 
the members of my legation, and such facilities for leaving the country be provided as 
Comport with the character of an accredited minister, with as little delay as circum- 
stances will permit. 

To which he received a reply, with passports for himself, family and 
suite, except Messrs. Bliss and Masterman, the Paraguayan minister 
saying : 

Among the individuals of the legation, the accused. Bliss and Masterman, as not be- 
longing to it, cannot obtain their passports, and they must remain to answer the charges 
that are hanging over them before the local courts of justice. 

From the fact that passports had been refused for Messrs. Bliss and 
Masterman, and that they were threatened with arrest by the Paraguayan 
authorities, Mr. Washburn anticipated trouble with reference to them. 
But having completed all his arrangements for leaving the country, he 
sent on board the Paraguayan steamer, which was to convey him to the 
Wasp, all his baggage and personal effects, and on the 10th of Septem- 
ber, 1868, with his wife ahd servants, and being accompanied by Bliss^ 
and Masterman, he left the legation house, for the purpose of taking 


passage on the steamer. The scene which occurred on this occasion is 
thus described by Mr. Bliss, p. 137 of his testimony : 

On the lOfch of September, 1868, Mr. Washburn and the members of his leinttioBL 
started from the legation building on the way to the Paraguayan steamer, whim had 
been set apart for the purpose of taking him to the United States steamer Wasp, three 
or four miles down the river. At the first corner of the street Mr. Masterman and my- 
self were surrounded by thirty or forty Paraguayan police soldiers, the same who had 
been on guard for two months on the lookout for us ; and in the presence of Mr. Wash- 
bum, and of the French and Italian consuls, we were driven away to the police prison ; 
Mr. Washburn making no useless demonstration at the time, other than to salute us in 
departing by a wave of his hat. We had just gone through the ceremony of parting 
inside the legation, as we were perfectly well aware that we would be seized, and Mr. 
Washburn had advised us to accuse him of conspiracy, if necessary, to save our lives. 
The Paraguayan government had stated expressly that it would seize our persons by 
force, if necessary, and had demanded our surrender in i>eremptory terms on five differ- 
ent occasions during the previous two months. 

The troops formed a hoUow square, and accosting us in the Guarani language, witk 
■shouts and jeers told us to go to the police headquarters. We were each of us provided 
with a satchel, in which we had pacKed up such necessaries as we considered were most 
Absolutely necessary for our comfort during imprisonment, and which we supposed we 
would be allowed to retain, including several changes of linen, combs, biscuit, cigars, 
a little money, one or two books, and other articles of the first necessity. On reaching 
the police headquarters, the negro servant, named Baltazar Carreras, who was sklso 
arrested at the same time with us, was first taken inside and ironed. Mr. Masterman 
and myself were remaining outside until that operation was finished. My turn came 
next. I was taken in, my satchel taken from me, I was ordered to strip off all my 
clothing, which was most carefully searched, even the seams being rigorously exam> 
ined, to see if we had concealed any cutting implements or other articles considered 
contraband. Everything in my pockets was taken from me, with the exception of a 
few cigars, which were left me. I was then returned the clothing and told to put it on, 
and then to sit on a stone in the presence of a large circle of soldiers mounting guard. 
The blacksmith was called to put fetters upon my ankles, upon which I turned to the 
ehief of police, who sat by, and asked permission to light a cigar ; he looked rather sur- 
prised at the audacious request, but allowed me to pick out a cigar, and handed me a 
light. I sat smoking^ but silent while the irons (of thirty or forty pounds' weight) 
were riveted upon my ankles. I Was then taken to a dark dungeon in the interior of 
the police department, and the door closed, but left slightly ajar. Mr. Masterman was 
treated in the same manner a few moments later. 

Mr. Masterman's account of this occurrence, as published in his me- 
morial to Congress, is in the following words: 

Shortly afterward Mrs. Washburn, accompanied by Mr. Meinke (private secretary) 
and servants, left the legation ; and then we, having waited until they were but of 
fiight, walked rapidly along the piazza opening on the street ; as we left it some forty 
or fifty police with drawn swords closed around us, separated us violently from Mr. 
Washburn and the consuls, and drove us before them to the policia. As we had agreed, 
Mr. Wasbum made no protest on the spot against this outrage ; it would have been 
utterly useless, even if it had been understood by the men (I did not see a single officer 
among them,) and would but have invited rudeness to himself; while threats of ven- 

feance would have been both absurd and impolitic, since the Wasp was then lying off 
iletta, twenty miles or more down the river. 

Mr. Bliss, myself, and a negro servant of Dr. Carreras, were then delivered as pris- 
oners to the chief of police ; he had us stripped naked and our clothes most carefully 
searched ; part of them were returned to us ; we were fettered and thrust into separate 
cells — mine had no window, and the doOr bein^ closed I was left in total darkness 
until about 7 p. m., when three men entered with a lantern and tools, removed the 
light irons I was wearing and replaced them by a rough, heavy bar riveted to massive 
rings encircling my ankles, the whole so ponderous that I needed both hands to sup- 
port them by means of a handkerchief used as a strap. 

Mr. Washburn in his testimony also states : 

At last we got ready to go. Bliss, Masterman, and myself talked it over as to what 
it was best to do — whether it was best to make a protest that I should refuse to go 
without them, or whether I should march out of the legation with the American 
flag flying covering all of us. But we knew that anything we might do of that kind 
would have no good effect ; that it would only enrage Lopez, and that a very little 
thing would induce him to stop all of us. Our united opinion was that if I could get 
away and give the alarm to our squadron as to their situation it would be the best 
thing for me to do. They thought that probably before they would be kiUed, some- 
thing would come to their relief. I started my family ahead of us so that they could 
not see anything of what might transpire. The French and Italian consuls went down 


to the steamer with us. We had got to the front door of my hoase, and Just as we 
stepped off the corridor into the street, there were about fifty soldiers, without any 
officers that I dould see, and not one of whom, I suppose, could speak Spanish, who 
rushed in and caught Bliss and Masterman, and a negro serrant whom Carreras had 
left there, and took them right off to prison. I went down to the little steamer and 
went aboard, and soon afterward she got up steam and went down to where the Wasp 
was lying, about twenty miles down tne river. 

The committee has no hesitation whatever in declaring that Bliss and 
Masterman formed a part of the personal suite of Minister Washbnm^ 
and as snch were entitled to the immnnities provided for by the law in 
such cases. Under the usages of nations, the minister had a perfect; 
right to take such persons in his employ for the purposes indicated by 
him in his testimony ; nor do we conceive that the right thus exercised 
is at all in conflict with the provision of the thirty-tUrd section of the 
act of Congress of August 18, 1856, '' regulating the diplomatic and con- 
sular system of the United States," which provides that '^ no attach^ 
shall be allowed in any case, nor any secretary of legation, otherwise 
than as provided by this act." This is a simple restriction upon the 
minister to prevent him from incurring any expenses in his legation 
which are not authorized by the home government, but can hai&y be 
construed to prevent him from engaging on his individual account such 
domestics and other employes as he may deem essential to the comfort 
of himself and family, or the convenient discharge of his of&cial duties;. 
Bliss and Masterman were in Paraguay prior to and at the time of their 
employment by Mr. Washburn. He regarded them as competent' to per- 
form tiie services which he required at their hands, and of this, as it was 
a matter personal to himself, he was of right the sole judge. There was 
nothing in their relations with the Paraguayan government, or witii 
any ot^er government, which made it improper for Mr. Washburn to 
employ them. He did so employ them in good faith, and they became 
not only a part of his personal suite, but inmates of nis house, and un- 
der these circumstances entitled to the same privileges, protection, and 
immunities as his own wife or child. Their forcible arrest and deten- 
tion, so graphically, and no doubt truly, described in the testimony al- 
ready cited', was an invasion of the rights and privileges of the American 
legation, and an indignity to the nation it represent^. 

It will be seen in the correspondence between Mr. Washburn and the 
Paraguayan government, in reference to Bliss and Masterman and their 
status in the legation, and the right of the Paraguayan government to 
refuse passports when applied for^ that the Paraguayan government at 
one time claimed that BUss was ^* its contracted servant" without having 
fulfllled his promises, and that without previous notice he was employed 
by Mr. Washburn ; and charging, at least inferentially, that Mr. Wash- 
bum had in this matter acted in bad faith toward the Paraguayan gov- 
ernment. In the testimony of Mr. Bliss it is shown that this '' contract 
of service" with the Paraguayan government was abrogated long before 
he accepted employment under Mr. Washburn ; and this position is 
strengthened by the fact that his employment by Mr. Washburn was 
known to, and acquiesced in, by that government for a long period of 
time. Thift knowledge and acquiescence precludes the Paraguayan gov- 
ernment from insisting on so flimsy a pretext as a justiflcation or even a 
palliation of its subsequent high-handed and unwarrantable conduct. 

At another time it has charged, as appears by the same correspondence, 

that Bliss was engaged in a conspiracy to dethrone Lopez, a charge 

which is not substantiated by any evidence whatever, unless we accept 

as testimony the statements which were extorted from the victims of 

n — ^Pi 


Ijopez'9 tyranny, under a species of torture which hardly had its couut- 
erpairt iu tii^ bloodiest annals of the ^^ Inquisition.^ As a single speci- 
men of this '^ torture,^ let us in this connection allude to a humed and 
fiutive interview between Masterman and Dr. Garreras, as related by 
the former in his sworn memorial to Congress : 

In the confosion I managed to speak nnobserred to Dr. Carreras. He said, *^ Has 
kfr. Wftshbnm gonef " I replied, ''Yes," and added, "how ooald ^on teU sdch false- 
kpods ahont him 1" He remoyed some dirty rw from his hands and showed me that 
the &«t Joints of his fingers had been cmshed and were stiU suppurating. He had 
also a deep, nnhealthy^lodking wound across his nose. He held out his mangled hands 
and said, "That terrible Father Maiz tortured me on three successive days, and then 
«nished my fingers as yoa see." 

We have alluded to this revolting scene for the additional purpose of 
lemarking that ^^ testimony" thus procured can have no weight in sus- 
taining charges made by a government which, in this age of the world^ 
not only tolerates but resorts to such horrid practices. But it is not 
averred that Bliss was guilty of this or any other criminal acts prior to 
his becoming a member of Mr. Washburn's diplomatic £Eunily. The 
same remaik is equally applicable to the case of Mr. Masterman, and 
to us it is apparent that the object of the Pargnayan government in 
this remarkable correspondence was simply to furnish itself with one 
pretext for its gross attack upon the rights and dignity of the American 

The ^residence of a minister for the time being is regarded as the 
territory of the sovereign whom he represents, and is not subject to the 
laws or customs, civil or criminal, of the country to which he is accred- 
ited. The minister is the direct and immediate representative of his 
sovereign, and to subject his actions to the control of any other power 
is to deprive him of that independence of character so essential to the 
success of his mission. So highly is this right regarded by the civil- 
ized world that it is not considered competent for the minister to waive 
this privilege, or to consent to any^ infringement of it. It is a privilege 
belonging to his sovereign, in whom alone rests the right to control it ; 
and in its strict observance all nations are equally interested. 

In corroboration of these views the committee beg leave to refer to 
a few well-known and universally received authorities upon this subject f 

This immunity extends not only to the person of the minister, but to his family and 
suite, secretaries of legation and other secretaries, his servants, movable effects, and. 
the house in which he resides. * ^ * The wife^ family, servants, and suite of 
the minister participate in the inviolability attached to his public character. ( Wheaton.) 

These ex-territorial privileges are also extended by positive international law, as 
much as the rights of inviolability to the family, and especially to the wife of the em- 
tessador. * « « His suite or train are also entitled to these privileges, a 

violation of which in their persons affects the honor, though in a less degree, of their 
ehief. (PhilUnwre,) 

See also, in confiroiation of this position, 1st Dallam's Eeports, p. 120 ; 
Ist Wash. O. C. Eeports, p. 232. 

The Paraguayan government, as will be seen by the correspondence 
to which reference has already been had, assumed the position that Bliss 
and Masterman sought ^' asylum'' in the legation of Mr. Washburn, and 
deny his right, under the circumstances, to grant this asylum. This posi- 
tion is not sustained by a single factin the case, as neither of them entered 
his house to escape punishment for crime, or to claim immunity from 
any obligation arising under the civil law. Masterman was employed 
in his capacity as physician and became a resident member of Mr. Waidi- 
bum's family as early as October, 1867, with the full knowledge and 
consent of the Paraguayan government ; while Bliss was in the employ 
pf Mr, Washburn fpr the term of nearly a year, devoting the whole of 


bis time to such employment, with the like knowledge and taoit consent 
of the Paraguayan government, and took up his residenoe in the family 
of Mr. Washbnra when, by ediot or procUunation, Asuncion was evae- 
nated and declared a military post. The prior employment of both 
these persons, on their part and that of Mr. Washburn, was in good 
fEuth, and without any intention to evade any obligation to either the 
civil or criminal law of Paraguay, for no such charge was, prior to the 
2^ of February, 1868, alleged against either of them. With these uncon- 
troverted fisbcts oefore the committee, it can come to no other conclusion 
than that Bliss and Mastennan formed a part of the personal suite of 
Minister Washburn, and as such were entitled to the protection whidi 
the law of nations afforded. In addition to the right of protection inci- 
dent to the position occupied by Mr. Bliss in the legation^ he is an 
.Ajnerican citizen, and in this capacity he was, in the absence of any 
civil or criminal charge, entitled to the protection of his governments 
But the Paraguayan government, not satisfied with the outoigeous and 
high-handed measures in forcibly arresting Bliss and Masterman within 
the portals of the legation, under the very protection of the Amerieon 
flag* seized them as criminals and held them in dose confincimentb 

Tne events occurring after their seizure and imprisonment are de- 
scribed by Mr. Bliss in substance as follows : After being manacled he 
was placed in a cell, where he remained until 8 o'clock the same evening 
when he was taken, still manacled, to the office of the chief of police, 
where he was mounted on a horse ndewa^i and strapped to the saddle. 
In this position he was compelled to ride that night to Lopez's head- 
quarters, a distance of about thirty-six miles, in company with Mr. Mas- 
terman, under a military escort. His sufferings during this journey he 
describes as being more terrible than the torture he was afterward 
forced to undergo. Upon reaching Lopez's camp the next day at noon 
he was taken before a tribunal consisting of six or eight persons and in- 
terrogated as to his connection with the supposed conspiracy against 
Lopez. He declared his innocence of the various charges made against 
him, but was told he was not brought there to make any defense, but 
simply to confess the facts connected with his complicity in the conspi- 
racy. This he refused to do, and again asserted his entire innocence in 
the matter. He was then interrogated concerning various parties who 
had been implicated, and threatened with torture if he still continned to 
deny his connection with them. Having been kept before this tribunal 
for twelve hours, suffering from the fatigues of the journey and hunger, 
he was Anally induced to make a general confession, in which he impli- 
cated Mr. Washburn and charged him with various crimes and delin- 
quencies. He was then removed to prison, and on the four succeeding 
days brought before the tribunal to resume his pretended confession. 
At the expiration of this time he was informed that his statements about 
Mr. Washburn were all very well so far as they went, but that he had 
not confessed to the full extent of his own complicity ; that he had sup- 
pressed some very important inf(»*mation. He says : 

I bad had eight or ten days of enforced idleness in which to think abont it, and came 
to the eonclnsfon that I would say nothing moie nnless I was obliged to by pressure 
beyond my ability to endure. So then I refused to ccmfess anything further^ and the 
torture was put in execution. I was seated on the ground; two muskets were placed 
under my knees and two muskets over my neck : my wrists were tied together behind 
mjr back and pulled up by the guard ; the muskets above and below were connected 
with thongs fastened around them so as to be readilv tightened ; in some instances 
tiiey were violantly tightened by pounding with a mallet. They continued to tighten 
ihem. bringing my body in such a position that my abdomen suffered fpreat compressiOB 
and uiat I distinctly heard the cracking of the vertebrsd of the spme. leaving me in 
that i>08ture for a long time. In fact aner I was on board the United States squadron 


I could never stoop forward without feeliD^ a twinee in the back and in the abdomen^ 
I remained in that position about fifteen minutes, the officers standing over me watcli- 
ing the effect of their cruel work. At the end of that time I was prepared with a ne^ 
batch of novelties of the most startling character. The priests came and stood over 
me cross-questioning me, and extracted from me a general con&ssion as to the heads of 
what they had inquired about, before they released me. After I had confessed in 
general, I was taken in that condition before the tribunal, who set to work to elucidate 
weminutisB of my new confession. 

Two days after making these last astounding revelations, I was invitedy that is to say 
cammandedf to put them into narrative form along with all my previous revelations. 
They we^ considered so very important that I was desired to express them in detail, 
with such a satirical commentary upon them as could not well be given through the 
medium of judicial proceedings. I was removed from the circle of prisoners where I 
had been remaining until that time, to a little straw hut situated a stone's throw from 
the tribunal, where I remained with my irons on, but. had shelter from the weather, 
which I had not had in any sufficient degree previously. They frimished me a rude 
seat and a little wooden stand with an inkstand and paper, and kept me there for the 
next two months, until my transfer on board the American squadron. 

Mr. Masterman, in his sworn memorial, corroborates folly the testi- 
mony of Mi. Bliss, and thus describes the torture he was compelled to 
undergo before he gave his pretended confession : 

At last I was bound hand and foot, and they applied the cepo-umguayana^ which I 
need not describe here. The pain was very severe, but I endured it in silence ; the 
priest meanwhile, in a loud voice, exhorting me to confess and save my life, and, per- 
haps, gain honor and rewards from the ^^ merciful and generous Marshal Lopez." After 
a time, which seemed very long to me, I was unbound, and in a few minutes tied up 
again with the added weight of a third musket ; my lips were badly cut against my 
teeth, and the blood nearly choked me ; and when the tiiongs wbre tightened I fainteKi 
from the pain. I was lying on the ground when I recovered consciousness, so exhausted 
that I felt that I could hold out no longer, preferring death as a confessed conspirator 
to the repetition of such terrible suffering. 

Therefore I told them, as they were about to put me to the tpstUon again, that I 
would confess all I knew, and they at once unbound me. I drank some water and a 
little broth, and then re-enterins the hut, told, with a feeling of the bitterest humilia- 
tion, the same miserable tale as had been extorted from my late companions. 

On the 3d of December I was again sent for, and after a long exhortation from Fa- 
ther Maize to always adhere to the statements I had made in my depositions, he informed 
me that I had been adjudged worthy of death, but if I would promise to never deny 
the truth of those statements, and endeavor to bring Washburn to justice, I should be 
exiled from the country. I replied, what is written cannot be unwritten, what I 
have said cannot be unsaid ; which seemed to satisfy him, for my irons were taken ofi^ 

Bliss and Masterman were thus held as prisoners, and thus treated by- 
Lopez, until the arrival of Admiral Davis at Angostura in the early part 
of December. 1868. 

Admiral Godon was detached from the command of the South At- 
lantic squadron in September, 1867, and succeeded by Admiral Davis. 

Meanwhile Mr. Washburn and family were conveyed by a Paraguayan 
steamer from Asuncion and placed on board the United States gunboat 
Wasp and brought to Buenos Ayres. On the 26th of September, 1868^ 
he informed the State Department of his retirement from Paraguay 
and the circumstances attending his departure. The facts connected 
with the attempt of the Wasp to proceed to Asuncion in the spring of 
1868, for the purpose of relieving "Mr. Washburn and family from 
their embarrassing and probably dangerous position,'' are fully de- 
tailed in the testimony, and reflect no credit upon the aUies in again in- 
sulting our national flag, especially in view of their previous conduct, 
which was then so promptly resented by our minister at Bio, and his 
course heartily approved by our government. 

The committee have not failed to observe that this additional exhibi- 
tion of bad faith on the part of the allies is, in some measure, to be at 


tributed to the same want of prompt and resolute action on the part of 
Admiral Davis which had characterized the coarse of Admiral Godon 
on the occasion of Mr. Washburn's return to Paraguay two years pre- 

The committee have already sufficiently discussed the "right of inno- 
cent passage,'' through the military lines of the allies, of a vessel of war 
to take to or bring from his post our minister to Paraguay — a right 
about which there can be no reasonable doubt, and which was so fully 
asserted and maintained by our govemment---and hence it is to us a 
matter of surprise and regret to fSid two distinguished officers of our 
navy thus hesitating in promptly asserting and exercising it. 

It is not thus that the honor of the nation can be sustained ; it is not 
thus that our rights will be respected by others ; it is not thus that our 
flag will continue to be an emblem of power. 

Our navy is maintained at a great expense to the government, and 
the people expect in return that its officers shall on all occasions and in 
all places firmly maintain the rights of the citizen and the dignity of 
the nation. 

Mr. Washburn arrived at Buenos Ayres on the 20th of September, 
' 1868, and two days thereafter Captain Kirkland notified Admiral Davis- 
(then at Eio) of the arrival of the Wasp with Mr. Washburn on board. 
On the 24th of September^ 1868, Mr. Washburn wrote to Hon. William 
Stewart, British minister to Buenos Ayres, a copy of which letter ac- 
companies this repoit, in which he details fully, among other things, 
the circumstances connected with the arrest of Bliss and Masterman. 

The admiral (Davis) testifies as follows : 

By Mr. Obth : 

Qnestioii. When did you receive the first official notice of the imprisonment of Blis 
and Masterman f — ^Answer. I mnst have received the first information from a letter os 
Mr. Washbnm to Mr. Stewart, British minister at Buenos Ayres. I then learned, for 
the first time, of their imprisonment. 

Q. Yon determined then to proceed to Paraj^ay and effect their release without 
awaiting instructions from the home department? — ^A. Yes, sir; I awaited, however, 
for our minister to arrive. 

Q. Did he bring instructions f — A. No, sir ; but I considered it his business. He, as 
minister to Paraguay, had a right to be consulted, and indeed to take direction, and 
that was the intention of the government, as he was specially instructed to act in co- 
operation with me and I in co-operation with him. 

Q. Did McMahon inform you of such instructions when he arrived in Rio f— A. No, 
sir ; I did not receive those instructions until my return from Paraguay. 

Q. In what light did you consider Bliss and Masterman ; in the Qght of prisoners or 
otherwise T — A. I ^ot my idea of their 8tatu8 from Mr. Washburn's correspondence and 
from interviews with Mr. Washburn at Buenos Ayres. 

General Webb, in his testimony, fixes the date on which the admiral 
received the information as to the unlawful arrest of Bliss and Master- 
man on the 5th of October, 1868 } and although the admiral informed 
the committee that he determined then to proceed to Paraguay and 
effect their release, yet it was not until the 21st of November that he 
left Buenos Ayres for that purpose, and arrived at Angostura on the 3d 
day of December — a period of sixty days having thus elapsed before 
the admiral went to their relief. 

The facts connected with this long delay appear fully in the testimony 
of Admiral Davis and General Webb, to which we call the attention of 
the House, not deeming it important to add to this already voluminous 
report by quoting it in detail. 

A reference to that testimony discloses another of those "differences'' 
between l^e representatives of the Naval and State Departments, not 
by any means creditable to the public service or calculated to enhance 
its efiiciency. 


We do not regard tbe reason assigned by the admiral as sufficient to 
justify Um in thus long refusing to. attempt tiieir rescue^ eqieeially as 
he haa half a docen oi vessels at his oommand, and when the peculiar 
position in which Bliss and Masterman were placed, as well as the hon«r 
of the goyemment, required prompt and decisive measures. 

K such is to be the course of our naval officers in times said under 
circumstances requiring prompt and manly action, we respectfully sub- 
mit to the House and the country that ^^ admirals abroad ^ can safely be 
dlE^nsed with^ and our treasury relieved firom the heavy expenses inci- 
dent to maintaining our squadrons in foreign waters. 

It appears from the testimony that the admiral and Mr* McMahon^ on 

their way to Paraguay, were in daily consultation as to the proper 

course to be pursued in reference to the release of Bliss and MastermaUt 

(being then in possession of the fEUsts connected with their arrest and 

detention,) and the result of such joint deliberation was the following 

letter^ which the admiral sent to Lopez immediately on his arrival at 


United States Flag-ship Wasp, (4th rate.) 

In /rant of AugotturOf Paraguay, Deoember 3, 1866. 

Sm : I have the honor to inform your excellency that I have arriyed in front of Ao- 
goetnra, haying on board hia exceUency General M. T. HcMahon, the minister of the 
United States to the republic of Paraguay. 

iU as an. indtspensabfe prelimioaiy step to the presentation^ by General McMahos to 
your excellency, of his credential letters, I have to request that Messrs. Bliss and Mask 
terman, the persons arrested and detained in Asuncion, while under the protection 
and attoched to the legation of the previous United States minister, be restored to the 
anthoiit^ of the Unitd States flag. 

Knowing that before the occurrence of this arrest and detention it was the earnest 
desire of the government of the United States to continue, under the existing circum- 
stances, its fnendly relations with the republic of Paraguay^ a desire sufficiently man- 
ifested by the prompt appointment of General MeMahon, it is my hope that your ex- 
cellency will hasten to remove the only obstacle which stav is in the way of these re- 

I have the honor to be, with the highest respect, your ej^eelleney's most obedient 

Bear'Admiral Commandrng ike NcumU Faroes 

of tk9 UMM SkUf m th4 So*tk Atlantie. 

His Excellency Marshal Don Fbakcisco Solano Lopez, 

Frmdent of the SepMic of Paraguay. 

The manly, bold, and honorable position assumed in this letter reflects 
great credit upon its author^ and exhibits in him at that time a due 
appreciation of the rights of the eonntry he r^resented and of the oat- 
rage which had been perpetrated. 

Upon the receipt of this letter Lopez, instead of complying with its 
demands, requested a personsd interview with the admiral, which was 
granted, and which is thus detailed in his dispatch to the Secretary of 
the Uary of December 12, 1868. 

The business of this interview may be briefly stated : President Lopez began by say- 
ing that it was his fixed purpose to deliver Messrs. Bliss and M&sterman into my keep- 
ing ; that he preferred to arrange this matter with me in person rather than it should 
pass through the usual channels of official intercourse ; that he was on this account 
glad I had come up myself, and that where both parties were so perfectly in harmony 
as to what was to be asked for and acceded to, tnere could be no difficulty. In this 
preliminary conversation the President said repeatedly, with regard to the men " oe 
debe ettiregarlo8f" and with regard to the difficulty, " se ha d$ arreglar,^ 

This interview was sought by Lopez, undoubtedly, in the hope of 
evading the unconditional demand of the admiral, and inducing him to 
change the terms of his letter ) and the sequel shows that he was but 
too successfuh 


Iiopea waa well satLaAed with the result^ for Dr. Stewart testifleft that 
on hia zetttiai to headqiiartera ^^he was amiliag ai^ shmggiaghia shool- 
dei» and asked me, ^ What thiip^ you of the Yankees now T We ace to 
haye a suocessor to Washburn.' '' 

After the interyiew^ the admiial says he stiU regarded Bliss .and Mas* 
terman ^^ exactiy in the. light in whioh they were placed in Mi, Wash- 
bum's correspondenee^^ whioh he describes^ ia said letter to Lopez^ aa 
^^ persons arrested ana detfiiped in Asnneioii while under the proteo- 
Hon of the previoos United States minister f and yet he informs tli0 
Kavj Department that he ^' finally assented to the wishes of Lopez and 
withdrew the letter." Is it any wonder that this remarkable course of 
the admiral caused Lopez to ^^ smile and shrag his shoulders^" for in thia 
bdef interview he induoed him to recede from a position in which he 
was clearly right, a position that had been taken after most thorough 
deliberation) and in which he would have been fully sustained by his 

Lopez knew that he had ruthlessly trampled upon the rights of onr 
legation^ and that au American admiral had called upon him^ in tbB 
name of the nation he had insult<ed^ for prompt redress, and hence this 
letter, so true in its statements and so fearless in its manner of assert- 
ing them, was distasteful to Lopez, for the very reason that the state- 
ments were true. 

The admiral informs us that ^^the manners of the President (Lopez) 
were conciliatory, courteous, and frank;" that '' he objected to the letter 
because a part of it had the air of menace," and forgetful of himself 
and his government^ the admiral changed his position withont changing 
Ms opinions, unthdrew the letter j and the next day sent the following : 

UNrriED States Flag-ship Wasp, (4th rate,) 

In front 6f Angostura, Parciguay, December 4, 188& 

Sm : I huve the honor to apprise your excellency of my arriTal in front of the hni- 
teiries of Angostura. 

My object in placing myself in personal interconrse irith your excellency is to nn 
quest that Messrs. Bliss and Masterman, the individuals arrested and detained in A»r 
nncion, on the 10th day of September last, may be delivered into my keeping, satjebi 
to the order of the government of the United States. 

It does not belong to me to define or even to consider the siattt$ of these indiriduals. 

But on this subieet yont e^toellency wiU,. I doubt not, repose confidence in the Judtioe 
and friendship of the United States, which has afforded your excellenoy many recent 
proo& of its respect and sympathy. 

Any papers your excellency may be pleased to send with these individuals will bf^ 
transmitted to Washington by the earliest opportunity. 

I have the honor td be, with the highest respect, your excellency's most obediottt 

Eetir-Admiral Commanding ihe Naval Forcet 

of ike UniUd States in the Sawtk AtUmtio. 

His Excellency Marshal Don Francisco Solano Lopez, 

President of the Bepubiic of Paraguay. 

M'ow mark the difference in these letters ; the one dated the 3d and 
the other the 4th days of December. In the former he " requests that 
Bliss and Masterman, the persons arrested and detained in Asuncion^ 
while under the protection and attached to the legation^ ike., he restored to 
the authority of the United States flag ;'^^ in the latter he states his object 
to be '^ to request that Bliss and Masterman, the individuals arrested and 
detained in Asuncion, &c.^ may he delivered into my Jceeping, subject to the 
order of the government of the United States P He goes further and adds: 
" It does not belong to me to define or even to consider the status of 
these individuals;" and still further, volunteers to be the bearer of " mj 
papers^ which Lopez would send with these individuals, to Washington. 


The contents of this letter show very clearly what transpired between 
tiie admiral and Lopez during their interview ; that Lopez " revealed ^ 
to him that Bliss and Masterman had been engaged in a conspiracy j 
that they had confessed their gnilt, and in such confession had impli^ 
eated Mr. Washburn ; that these ** revelations ^ made a profound im- 
pression on the mind of the admiral, and that he gave them credence 
we 6An readily believe, when we recur to the c<mtents of this second 
tetter. Else how can we account for the remarkable change in the ad- 
miral's position. In the former he asserts that Bliss and Masterman 
were arrested " Whileunder the protection and attached to the legation,*^ 
&c., in the latter as ^^individuals arrested and detained in Asuncion.''' 
In the former he "requests that they be restored to the authority of the^ 
United States flag f in the latter, " that they may be delivered into wy 
ieepingj subject to the order of the government of the United States.'^ 
In the former he defines their status very clearly ; in the latter he says r 
" It does not belong to me to define or even consider their atatus.^^ 

The admiral had received no additional intelligence, in reference to 
the arrest and detention of Bliss and Masterman, to cause this change- 
of position, except what he may have received from Lopez, and under 
the circumstances he had no right to receive or act upon any intelli- 
gence from that quarter. On the contrary, it was his duty to spurn any 
Siat might be thus offered, contradicting the official report of Mr. Wash- 

In this matter Lopez was exceedingly fastidious: he was not satisfied 
even with this condescension on the part of the admiral, and hence di- 
rected his chief military secretary to reply to this second letter, as fol- 

The President regrets that it is not in his power to accede to the delivery, in the terms 
of yoiur excellency's note, of the accused, Bliss and Masterman, to the keeping of yonr 
excellency, who, if not called upon to define or even to consider, should not at least 
conceal from yourself the fact of their being criminals, deeply committed in the affair 
of a horrible conspiracy, very particularly the former. Nevertheless, his excellency 
the President of the republic would cheerfully consent to the delivery of the criminals 
Bliss and Masterman, pi'ovided it were requested in a manner more in conformity toith the- 
fact of thdr being aceomplicea ofMr» Washburn. 

As this correspondence progressed Lopez became emboldened, and 
added insult to injury, by charging that Bliss and Masterman -wexe^ crim- 
inals engaged in a horrible conspiracy and accomplices of Mr- Wash- 
bum* And yet this gross insult to our nation, this base and unfounded 
charge against an American minister and two members of his diplomatic-, 
fftmily arouses no resentment, so far as the testimony shows, in the mind 
of the admiral. He receives it without a murmur of disapproval, and on 
the very day on which this insulting epistle is placed in his hands, he 
informs Lopez that he has " the honor to acknowledge the receipt of a 
communication from his excellency," &c., " but that your excellency 
objects to their (Bliss and Masterman's) delivery under the terms of my 
note,'' and then adds : 

I wish your excellency to believe that it is no part of my oflScial duty either to offei* 
or to refuse any terms which will affect the alleged criminal condition of the two persons- 
in question. The papers accompanying these two persons will sufiSciently express to- 
the government of the United States the judgment of the government of Paraguay in 
their cases. 

This ought to have satisfied Lopez ; thus far he had gained his point;. 
he dictated his terms, and they were accepted ; but he had still another 
request to make of the admiral, which he ordered his secretary to for- 
ward to him in these words : 

In this respect I am happy to inform your excellency that the prosecuting officers 
who have received the orders of his excellency, with a recommendation to be hrief^ 


expect to get throneh in time for the embaroation of the criminals^ Bliss and Master- 
man, by 3 o'clock of the afternoon of the 8th instant, and at the same time thej have 
expressed a wish, which they hope will be gratified, that yonr excellency will name 
one or two of yonr officers who can witness, on the morning of the same day, the verifi- 
cation of the declarations of both of the accused in the case. 

Having already gone so far to accommodate him. he could not well 
refuse to take another step in the same direction, ana hence the admind 

In obedience to yonr exceUency's wishes, I shaU appoint two superior officers, one of 
ihem the chief of my staff, to witness the verification of the declarations of the accused^ 
Bliss and Maptennan. 

In the testimony of the admiral, herewith submitted, and to which we 
refer the House, he gives the reasons for the course he pursued in this 
correspondence ; but, in the judgment of the committee, these reasons 
are altogether inconclusive and unsatisfiEUstory. 

Pursuant to this concession on the part of the admiraL he detailed 
Captains Bamsay and Eirkland to proceed to the camp of Liopez to bear 
witness to a most extraordinary spectacle^ that of two ^^ j^ersons attached 
to and under the protection of the legation of our mimster, Mr, Wash- 
bum," brought as prisoners before iSie tribunal, and in their presence 
compiled to verify a confession which the Paraguayan officials Jcnew 
was extorted from them, which our officers believed was extorted, and 
which the admiral says he believed to be untrue. 

This humiliating scene is thus described by the officers : 

Captain Bamsay says that Bliss was not informed by himself or Cap- 
tain Kirkland who they were or what was the object of their visit. In 
answer to the question, "Were you not sent there to protect Bliss and 
Masterman, as American citizens t'' he says : 

No, sir ; the case, as I understood it when I left the ship, was that President Lopez 
intended to give up Bliss and Masterman to Admiral Davis immediately, but that 
before they l^t the country he wanted aU these declarations verified, and wanted that 
Tcrification in the presence of a United States officer. That was the way I understood 
it, and my duty was only to go there and be witness to what they said. 

By Mr. WttKiNSON : 

Q. Did you give these men to understand that they would be protected in telling 
the truth ; that the government of the United States would protect them if they did 
aoT — ^A. No, sir j our presence was sufficient guarantee of that. 

By Mr. Okth : 

Q. In this connection I wish you would describe Mr. Bliss's personal appearance, his 
clothing, &o,f and likewise the place in the court-room these two men occupied in re- 
spect to the judges and the officers constituting the court t — ^A. When Mr. Bliss came 
in, the appearance of his face was as much like it is now as it possibly could be. He 
"was perfectly calm and self-possessed, and answered every question as cooUy as he 
possibly could at any time. His clothes were very shabby, and his pantaloons were 
split up a little at the bottom of the legs, as if they had been worn a great length of 
tmie. He wore a pair of shoes. I noti^d they were very good shoes except that the 
India rubber was a little stretched. His clothes looked as though they had been worn 
a great deal without any care. The tribunal was in a smaU room. Bliss and Master- 
man sat on one side of the room ; on the opposite side sat the officers I spoke o£ At 
the end of the room was a table, and behind the table sat the two Judges and theper- 
son who read, aud opposite them, at the other end of the room, sat Commander Eark- 
land and myself. 

By Mr. Orth : 

Q. Had you any conversation with Mr. Bliss at that time ? — A. None whatever. 

« » « • « « # * « *« 

Q. Did you mean by that memorandum that you thought these confessions were ex- 
torted from him t — A. I took it for granted that they were. I never saw a man exhibit 
such fear as Masterman did. We returned to the ship about nine o'clock. 

By Mr. Wilkinson : 

Q. Did you make any report to the admiral when you arrived ? — A. I told him, as 
nearly as I could recollect, everything that occurred. 

Q, Bid you uppTue the a^mml 9i the inmvMBi4»a nuide on your mind as to wliatber 
tlioe^ oon^eaaioiui were volanti»j er extorted f-— A. I mn. preti^ sure I di4» beeauae thla 
m^OMiraiidiiin was written immediately on getting oU board the ship. 

Q. What reply did the iidmlraL maike to thisT— A. 1 don't remeihhsr. Ot couTSe, 
when we got oack the admiral was yery aaxions to know what had ooenrred diuing 
the day, and I gave him as clear a statement as I conld. 

Qt Were yonr orders to bring Bliss and Mastennan back with yon to the shijpt— -A. 

Q. Did yon make any suggestion to the admiral in regard to bringing them aboard 
that night f^-A. No, sir. 

Q. You left them in the hands of the Patagnayan authorities when yon passed ftom 
the tribunal to the vessel f— A. Tes, sir; we left them Just as we found them. 

• • • • « • « ••4.l» 

Gom&iaiider KiiMiiiid, alludiiig to tihe same transaotioo^ says: 


Q. State particularly what occurred on that occasion, ftom beginning to end; — ^A. 
I wlU prenraie ht stating that t tiienght i^ whole l^ing was ridieidoos, and I did not 
P19: ax|7. parisjonldi; abtention to it, except to som^ naifts 0{ it. 

Qi why did you regard it as ridiculous t— A. I knew that their declarations wotdd 
mot ainouiit to anything in the United States. I thought it was a piece of ignorance 
<m the part of ^e Paraguayan authorities. 

Q^ Now relate what ocenned at this tribunal; who were present on the part oi the 
Paraguayan goyemmentT— A. There were two judges, or at least I supposed their 
were Judges. One or both of them were priests. There were two men whom I think 
were Paraguayan officers, and one ihan was reading these declarations. One or two of 
^ these men came in fiom time to time. I think mere were four or ilve Paraguayan 
offieers there* 

Q. Who was first brought inf— -A. iir. Bliss. 

Q. nd you have any ccmversatiou with Bliss when he first came int-— A. I do not 
think I did. 

Q. Did either you or Captain Ramsay make known yonr ofaaraetert-*A. I think one 
of the parties present said: ''These officers are here to witness your declarations.'' 

Q. Did he state who you were, that you were United States officers t— A. I do not 

Q. Were you in unifbrmf— A. I was in unifbrm, and so was Captain Bamsay, Willi 
oiff swords on. 

Q. But you did not make known to him (Bliss) the object of your visit f— A. I do 
not think I did. 

Q. Did you see anything about him that led you to believe that he had beeii placed 
in irons f — ^A. The legs 01 his breeches were considerably worn; I should think frotii 
that he had been in irons. 

Q. What occurred after Bliss entered f—-A. He came in, and these declarations were 
read over to him by these men. I did not pay paMcnlar attention to them, as I 
thought the whole proceeding a humbug. 

Q. Did you riegard Mr, Bliss and Masterman at that time as under the control of the 
PaTaguavan authorities f— A. I did. 

Q. Did you exercise any control over them f— A. No, sir; I was not sent thece for 
that purpose. 

Q. xou were sent there to hear What you style a ''humbug proceeding'' being gone 
through with T-— A. Yes, sir. 

Tbe ^^ declaaratioii;'' referred to in the foregoing testimoiiy is a £K^call6d 
confession that BMss and Mastetman were engaged in a c(yhsplracy to 
dethrone Lopez^ and that Mr. Washbnm, forgetM of the duties he owed 
to himself aa a man, and to the government whose minister he was, 
was engaged in the sa^e conspiracy. When we reflect that this declara- 
tion had not the least semblance of truth; that it was extorted from 
these trembling and friendless prisoners under torture, and that the 
admiral and his two witnesses had every reason to believe it had thus 
been extorted, we seek in vain for any excuse or palliation for their 
connection with this shamefol transaction. 

On the same night Bliss and Masterman were delivered as prisoners 
to Admiral Davis, and placed on board the Wasp. 


On the following day Mr. McMahon presented hia credentials to 
Loj^essj and entered upon the difloharge of hia official dntiea. 

Mr. McMahon had received his final instmetiona ae minister resident 
to Paragnay from the State Department on the 3^ day of September, 
186SL and before the President conld have been folly advised of the flMsts 
to wnich we have referred, and whidi were snbseqnently brought to bis 
knowledge. It is reasonable to assnme that no snccessor to Mr. Wash- 
bnrn wonld have been appointed had our ^vemment then been in 
possession of these &cts, and this presumption is strengttiened by the 
ewd>8e<in^t action of the President in recalling Mr. McMahon, and very 
properly declining thenoehitherto to hold any diplomatic inta^D0ttr8e with 
the Paraguayan government. 

This committee have no hesitation in saying that thia action of the 
President under the circumstances meets their decided approval. 

There is a conflict of testimony in reference to the status of Bliss and 
Masterman after their arrival on board the Wasp, and subsequently on 
board the Guerriere. 

Admiral Davis, in his letter to the Secretary of the I^avy, states that 
Messrs. Bliss and Masterman were received on board as temporary 
visitorsj and in confirmation of this position he states in his testimony 
that ^^ Bliss and Masterman could not have been made prisoners in the 
squadron under my command by the authority of any one except myself; 
that I never gave such authority ; and that any statement, by whomso- 
ever made, which declares that these men were ever regarded as prisoners 
in the squadron under my command, is incorrect in point of fact" 

Were Bliss and Masterman treated as prisoners by Admiral Davis f 

Dr. Oale, surgeon in the navy, referring to Bliss and Masterman, 

They etaae on board ftliotit the 10th of December, 1868, in the ntsht. I saw them 
next day, I think, and fonnd them forward on the berth deck. I nnderstood they were 
under charge of the master-at-arma. They were treated as prisoners. I considered that 
they were prisoners. 

Lawrence G. Carpenter, sergeant of marines on board the Ouerrieiie, 
testifies : 

I had them in charge. «We receiyed them from the Wasp at Montevideo and took 
them to Rio. It was somewhere about Christmas, 1868. They were under my charge 
for one week. They were put under my charge, as I nnderstood, as prisoners. I re- 
ceived orders from Obtain FendaU to take cluur^ of them ; not to allow them to hold 
eonmiunication with any one belonging to the ship : to aUow them to hold no communi- 
oation with the shore ; to write no letters, or send them off without first being examined 
by Captain Woolsey. 

Dr. Duvall, surgeon in the United States Navy, says : 

While Bliss and Bfasterman were on board the Gueniere Captain Woolsev came out 
and told the executive officer to send the men (Bliss and Masterman) off the quarter- 
deck into the port gangway, a greater indignity than which cannot be offered to any 
man on board a nlan-o^war. The port gangway is where all the servants, scullitms, 

Ae^ congregate. 

♦ # # • » ♦ * ♦- • 

At any rate, immediatelv after breakfkst the officers of the ship received orders to 
put those two "men," as they were called, under a sent^, and not allow them to com- 
municate with anybody on shore, or write any letters. They were prisoners, evidently. 
Captain Woolsey said: ''Tou know verv well that these men have been under surveu- 
lanoo while en board the Qneiriere. They are not so now, because we are at sea, but 
they will be put under sentry's charge when we reach Kio.'' He then told me that 
tikese two men, Bliss and Masterman, were scamps and scoundrels. 

GoBftsaander Kirkland, who was at the time of Bliss and Masterman's 
reoeption in command of the Wasp, says : 

By Mr. Obth : 
Question. What orders did yon give in regard to their being placed in charge of the 


master-at-armB f — Answer. I told him to pat a sentry over them, and not allow the men 
to interfere with them. They were pnt under my sapervlBion, and as I could not watdi 
them, I put another man to do it. 

Q. Did you regard them as temporary visitors to the Wasp f — 'A. I did not call them 
anything at all. I did hear that they were guests, but they were not my guests. 

Q. How long was that sentinel placed oyer them f — ^A. I think that sentitiel remained 

there as long as they remained on board the Wasp. 

»# • * # # * 

Q. What was your object of putting the sentinel over them! — ^A. Not to allow the 
men to interfere with them. 

Q. Then your object in placing these sentinels over these men was to protect them T — 
A. I thought that the whole proceeding was a piece of humbug. 

Q. Suppose the sentinel had allowed them to go ashore, would you not have punished 
him? — ^A. I would, undoubtedly. 

Q. Then the sentinel would not have regarded it as a piece of humbug f — A. Perhaps 

Q. Suppose that Lopez had surrendered these prisoners into the hands of the admiral 
unconditionally, woulcL your treatment have been different fh>m what it was f — A. Just 

the same, with the exception, perhaps, of the orderly. 

#♦ »»# « » * ♦ 

Mr. Worthiogton, our former minister at the Argentine Eepublic, 
testifies as follows: 

By Mr. Orth : 

Question. Did you see Bliss and Hasterman after their arrival f — Answer. I did. 
Q. On what vessel f — ^A. On the Guerriere, in the harbor of Montevideo. 

Q. Were they under surveillance or restraint of any kind upon that vessel T — A. 
Very clearly they were prisoners. 

Q. Were they so regarded ? — ^A. Yes, sir ; so regarded as prisoners, from what the 
admiral said, and what everybody else said. They were not in chains. 

Q. Were they deprived of their fredomf — ^A. Very clearly they were on that ship as 
prisoners, and, as I understood from the admiral, had been received as prisoners. 

Q. Were they held by him at that time as prisoners f — ^A. I clearly understood that 
from him. 

By Mr. Wilkinson : 

Q. Was that the reason you asked his permission to see them t — A. It was ; because 
I was aware of the fact that they were not free agents on board of the ship, and I felt 
it my duty to obtain the authority of the officers of the ship before communicating 
with them. ^ 

ByMr. Swann: 

Q. What information had you that induced you to think they were held as prisoners 
on board that ship T — A. The general report of the community, and from my conversa- 
tion with Captain Eamsay and other officers of the ship after my arrival on board, 
besides letters I received from General McMahon at the time of the surrender of them 
by Lopez. 

Q. They told you Bliss and Masterman were prisoners T — ^A. Yes, sir ; and besides 
that, I had received letters to that effect from General McMahon upon the return of 
the Wasp. 

Q. Did those letters recognize the fact that they were held as prisoners T — A. Yes, 
sir J General McMahon wrote to me * * V stating the circumstance of hia 
arrival, the examination of Bliss and Masterman before the commission, the determina- 
tion of Lopez to surrender them, and in a subsequent letter stated to me that at such 
a time they were surrendered as prisoners to be carried to the United States to be tried 
on the charges that Lopez had preferred against them. 

The committee submit that this testimony shows that, however Ad- 
miral Davis may have regarded Bliss and Masterman while on board 
the Wasp and Guerriere, they were in truth, and in fact, " prisoners,'^ 
and deprived of their freedom, until their arrival at Eio, and under all 
the circumstances developed in this investigation we fail to see any rea- 
sonable excuse for the course which was adopted. They were unlawfully 
arrested by Lopez while entitled to the protection of the American flag, 
and it was by virtue of this right to protection, and for the purpose of 


enforcing it^ that the admiral went to their relief, and effected their de» 
liverance ; and hence the deprivation of their freedom or the surveil- 
lance under which they were held was uinastifiable) even admitting a 
promise^ either express or implied| which Lopez exacted as to the man- 
ner of tneir treatment subsequent to their delivery to the admiral. On 
their arrival in this city they reported (according to promise given to 
the admiral) to the Secretary of State, who informed them there was 
nothing in the possession of the government to justify their further de*- 

During this investigation the question has suggested itself to the 
committee as to whether any legislation is necessary to provide against 
the recurrence of such conflict between the of&cers of the nav^ and 
diplomatic representatives as has arisen in the case under considera* 

In view of the fact that conflicts of this nature are of very rare oc- 
enrrence, this being the only one of*so serious a character in all our past 
history, and in view of the further fact that these officials are at all 
times subject to the control and direction of the President, we deem such 
legislation inexpedient. 

In conclusion, the committee present to the House the following reso^ 
lutions, and respectfully recommend their adoption : 

Besolvedj That Bear- Admiral S. W. Godon, in neglecting to aid Mr. 
Washburn in reaching the government to which he was accredited, 
failed to discharge his duty as commander of the South Atlantic squad- 

Besolvedj That Bliss and Masterman were members of the personal 
suite of Mr. Washburn, and were, therefore, under the law of nations, 
entitled to the protection of the officers of the United Stat<es. 

Resolvedj That the forcible arrest and detention of Bli^s and Master- 
man by the government of Paraguay was a violation of the law of 
nations, and a gross insult to the honor and dignity of the United States. 

Besolvedj That we approve the action of the President in withdrawing 
our minister (Greneral McMahon) from the government of Paraguay, and 
in declining to hold further diplomatic intercourse with said government. 

Besolvedj That it is clearly the duty of our naval officers on foreign sta- 
tions to render all reasonable assistance to the diplomatic officers of the 
United States in the discharge of their duties ; and that a refusal or 
neglect to render such assistance when required, or any discourtesy by 
such naval officers toward such diplomatic officers, should be the sub- 
ject of inquiry and punishment by the Kavy Department. 

Mr. Wood, on behalf of Mr. Swann, submitted the following resolu- 
tions for the minority of the Committee on Foreign Affairs : 

Besolvedj That the forcible arrest and detention of Messrs. Bliss and 
Masterman, while under the protection of the American flag, was an 
outrage which demanded prompt reparation. 

2. That Mr. Washburn in submitting to the insult of President Lopez, 
in his refusal to grant passports to Messrs. Bliss and Masterman, and in 
separating lums^f from them in the streets of Asuncion, and leaving 
them in the hands and at the mercy of the Paraguayan authorities, 
caused a serious compromise of the American flag, and could not be 
justified upon any consideration of personal safety ; and that Minister 
Washburn, in justice to his position au^d in honor of his flag, ought not 


to have acceijted his passport until permitted to withdrair with eveiy 
member of his legation. 

3. That in the hostile or nnMendly attitude ftssamed by Minister 
Washburn toward Ix^ez and tilie Paraguayan, government in his rela- 
tions and intercourse with the President of that republic, and in associ- 
ating Bliss and Masterman witb his legation, (one a British subject^ sus- 
pected by Lopez of a conspiracy with his enemies and the enemies of 
his country— both adventurers and of doubtftd reputation,) Minister 
Washburn committed a grave act of imprudence, which resulted in moety 
if -not aU, of the ccmplications attending his residence in Paraguay. 

4. l%at Admirals Godon and Davis, in command of the South Atlan- 
tic squadron, have committed no act to subject them to the censure of 
tins government or the investigation of a court-martial, said offlcem 
having, to the best of their judgment and understanding, complied with 
the instructions of the Kavy Bepartment, and received rts approval. 

5. That no legislation is requiredT on the part of Congress, growin|(^ 
out of the facts stated in this record and the correspondence now on file 
in the State and l^avy Departments. 

6. That this committee be discharged from the further considerationt 
of the subject. 



Statement of the Honorable Charles A. WasKbumj late United States 

• minister to Paraguay. 

Washington, D. C, March 30, 1869. 
By the Chairman : 

Question. State whether yon have read the memorial and statement of Messrs. Bliss 
and Maaterman. — ^Answer. Yes. 

Q. Have the kindness to give to the committee any information yon have on the sub- 
ject embraced in that memorial. — ^A. I know very little abont it, because the most of 
the facts set out in the memorial occurred after I left Paraguay. I can corroborate that 
part of their statement relating to what occurred before I left the country. When I 
returned to Paraguay, about two and a half years ago, Mr. Masterman was a prisoner 
for some trivial onense and had been in prison for a long time. Mrs. Washburn being 
unwell, and there being no physician there on whom I comd rely, I obtained his liberation 
from custody ; and when he came out of prison, where he had been for eleven months in 
solitaiy coiidinement, I took him to live at my house; that was in October, 1867. He- 
continued to live in my house and to attend as a physician in my family. He kept, 
very close to the house, being afraid of being arrested asain for something. Everybody 
there was afraid. There were people there who would nave given all they had m the, 
world for permission to stay in my house, believing that tney would be safe there;, 
whereas anywhere else they were liable to be arrested and carried off to prison. On^ 
the 21st of February, 1868, we heard that the iron-clads of the Brazilian fleet had passed. 
Humaitib, and an order came that the town of Asuncion was to be vacated. The then^ 
foreign minister, Berges, who has since been shot as one of my fellow-CQnspirator0,,sent^ 
word to me tiiat night to advise me that the order would be issued for the evacuation 
of the town. He wished to advise me beforehand so that I might get comfortable- 
quarters outside. I told him that I would not leave ; that the Parae;uayan governmenti 
could not order me to vacate the legation of the United States, and that I would stay.. 
He said he felt sorry at my determination. But I said I^ would stay and keep my 
flag up. That night a great many persons came to inquire whether I was going to. 
leave. I told them that I was not ; that I should stay in the town. Many of them: 
asked me if I would allow them to come and stay at my house. I told them I could, 
not do that, because I had not room enough for everybody : but that I would take their 
valuables and give them as much care as my own. A good many persons brought their, 
trunks and iron safes and articles of value a9d left them at my house.. On the 23d or 
24th tiie iron-clads came up ; the town was then vacated. There were about 25 Eng^ 
lish people who came the next day after the order of evacuation and asked me if they 
could occupy the rear rooms of my premises. I told them I had no obiectiouj.but 
that I thought they had better get the consent of the government or it might be worse 
for them. They went down and saw the vice-president and the foreign minister, aud, 
represented that they wanted to stay and that I told them they could have some rooms 
in my house. The reply was that there was no objection in that case. Afterwards two 
or tluree others came to my house, including Dr. Carreras, who formerly had been head 
of the government of Montevideo, and who had come as a fugitive to assist Lopez two 
years before, but who had not been treated with any consideration and was not allowed 
to leave the country. Mr. Rodriguez, the former secretary of the Uruguay legation, came 
at title same time. He had been detained in the country aft^ the legation was broken 
up. These two men came to my house. They said they were afraid to fall into the 
hands of the Brazilians, as they were known to be bitter enemies to Brazil, I.told them 
they might stay ; and they lived with me as my guests. They only wanted protection 
from the allies. They anticipated danger in case the town were taken, as we supposed, 
would be the case within three or four days. They remained several months at my. 
house. The iron-clads came up on the 24th. Th^re was a little fort having but one 
large gun and three or four neld-pieces just below the town. Two of the iron-clads, 
came up to this fort and began to fire at it, right in view from my front door and but. 
a short distance off. They fired perhaps 35 or 40 shots and the fort replied with less, 
than half the number, when the iron-clads turned tail and went away ; and we heard 
no more of them for a long time. We thought that the thing was pretty much played 
out, but we could not understand why the allies did not return and do something. WQ; 


fully realized that Lopez most fall, and that the sooner he was overcome the better it 
womd be. We felt that the people were being fast eirterminated, and that if something^ 
were not soon done there would be no Paragnaysui people lefi;. Our situation was very 
disagreeable, and we therefore desired that uie thing tmght end as soon as possible. At 
the time of the evacuation I told Mr. Bliss that I supposed there would be a good deal 
to be done of an official character, and I wanted hiin to come and live in the legation. 
I sent to the foreign minister a list of the persons who were in the legation, and received 
an answer to my communication. A good deal of correspondence took place. The 
names of Mr. Bliss and Mr. Masterman were both givftn in as belonging to the Ameri- 
can legation. The war continued. There was nothihg done to change the situation. 
Very few people were allowed to come into the town. Some of those who leftpxbp- 
erty at my house came and got it. This condition of anairsi was very tedious. We did 
not know what was going on below, and we could get scarcely any communication 
whatever. About the 5th of April I thooeht I must make an effort to get through some 
correspondence, and I wrote some di^>at<£es and private letters. I wrote to uie Sec- 
retary of State telling him that our situation was very disagreeable and dan^rons ; 
that we did not know what was goin^ on below, but that we knew that the situation 
was very bad where we were and did not know whether we could ever get away* I 
wrote to some of my personal friends in stronger terms than I wiunted to state the facts 
in an official letter, tlmt if we did not get out of Paraguay pretty eoon we would never 
get out alive. I afterwards learned that those dispatches did not get through. They 
were stopped by Lopez. 

Shortly afterwards I received a letter firom Commander Kirkland, of the steamer 
Wasp,!; hat she had arrived at Cumpaiti^ below the Brazilian squadron, iMid had eome 
up to be at my disposal to take me away if I wanted to go. The plaoe whe^ the Wasp 
was lying was 200 miles below Asuncion, where I was living. I wrote back t5 Cn^itain 
Kirkland that I could not get aboard his steamer with my ramily unless he cameiugher 
up the river; that to go down by land in Mrs. Washburn's state of health was olit of 
tne question entirely, and besides that the allies had no right to stop him from o(Naijl% 
up with his gunboat. I said that four years before, when the war was beginning, tl^ 
Brazi ian minister was detained at Paraguay, and that I, as the senior member of the 

• diplomatic body, had taken up the case with the Paraguayan government and had 
insisted that he should be allowed to leave the country by steamer j that I succeeded 
on that occasion, and* that I had a right to expect from the Brazilians that as mneh 
should be done for me, the American minister, as I had demanded for the BrazilisB 
envoy. Captain Kirkland sent word back that the allies still refrised to allow the 
Wasp to come up; that he had had quite an angry controversy with the commander^ 
in-cnief of the allies, and that he could do nothing, having received no orders from the 
admiral commanding on the station since he iSt Montevideo, and was going back. 
There we were left. Hie Wasp went back. Then we began to learn that everybody 
who was not in the army was being arrested. Nearly ^ the foreigners and all the 
better class of Paraguayans who had been employed in certain civil services about the 
new capital, were being arrested and carried ofL We did not know what it meant. It 
was a matter which we talked over a good deaL We suspected that something had been 

^ discovered, some plot or other, but we did not imagine that any men would be such fo<^ 

• as to engage in a conspiracy there, because the system of espionage was so thorough that 
no two men dared to wlusper to each other a word against Lopez. If they did it would 
be a race between them to see who would first report the other. It was a mystery about 
which we were all in the dark. In that state of affairs we were surprised one day by the 

: appearance of Leite Pereira, the Portuguese acting consul and his wife. He said that 
his exequatur had been revoked, that he feared he would be arrested, and had fled to 
my house as a place of refrige. I knew that if I received him it would greatly enrage 
Lopez, and yet I could not think of sending him into the streets. I told Imn that I 
would consult with the others, Carreras, Rodriguez, Bliss, and others as to what I ought 
to do. I did so, and it was the general opinion that I had better allow him to remain. 
He did remain, saying that he would leave at any time when it was intimated to him 
that he had better do so. The only offense that he had been guilty of, as far as I knew, 
was that he had given aU his own money, and all the money he could borrow, to relieve 
the necessities of the Brazilian prisoners of war. He s]>ent one or two hundred thou- 
sand dollars in that way, and Lopez had the suspicion that he had some understanding 
with the Brazilian government. About a week or a fortnight after that I got a letter 
from the Paraguayan government inquiring whether the Portuguese acting consul was 
at my house. I replied that he was, tiiat he came there as my guest, with his wife as 
a companion for Mrs. Washburn. Soon after I received an order to deliver him up to 
a policeman, who would be sent to receive him. I sent word back that I should not 
•deliver anybody up ; that if I found any person in my legation who had no right to be 
there^ or who had committed any specinc crime, I could only advise him to leave the 
legation, but that as to delivering him up to a policeman t would not do it. About 
.a fortnight after that I got an enormously long letter reciting a great number of aecu- 
sations and charges, and demanding that everybody not belonging to the legation should 


be sent ont of it. I called the Englisbmen np and told them what sort of a letter I had 
received, and I said that they coold go or not, jnst as they chose, that I should not 
tarn them out, but that I apprehended that Lopez would get them one way or another, 
and that if he had to get them by force he would make short work of them. Leite 
Pereira, the Portuguese consul, said he would go. He seemed to think that his presence 
would rather hasten difficulties on the others, and he said that he would go and meet 
the accusation i^ainst him. Carreras and Rodriguez thought that nothing was intended 
against them. They were known to be enendes of Brazil and had sought the legation 
as a refici^ agsunst the allies. They requested me to write a letter statins that they 
would leave u it were insisted upon, but that they preferred to remain, and that I pre- 
kanted to have them. I did so, and got areply the next day stating that they were accused of 
grave offenses, and that they must appear before the tribunals. I told them then that they 
need not go unless they cnose to do so; that if they remained I should give them all 
the protection I could, unless they were taken by force, or unless some specific charge 
was made against them. Up to that time no specific charge of any offense had been 
made against any one. In my correspondence with the Paraguayan government I stated 
that I was under no obligation to deliver anybody until some specific offense was charged 
against them ; that none of those men had been charged with any particular crime, and 
tiiat they had a right to be there. They were satisfied, however, that if they did not 
go, specific charges would be made, or else that they would be taken by force. I thought 
80 too. 

They said also that if I would agree to remain in the country till the end of the 
war they would take their chances and stay: but I told them I could not do that, 
because I was expecting every day to be recalled, and that if a new minister came he 
wotdd probably Hve in some other part of the country, and they would be left to the 
tender mercies of Lopez. Finally they determined that the best way for them would 
be to go out and leave the legation. They started off about mid-day of the 13th July 
and were immediately arrested. The same day that they left I received another note 
from Benitez, the same man with whom I had been canmng on the correspondence. 
His correq[>ondence was very Jesuitical, so much so tliat I could not but thiiD^ that he 
was a great scamp; but as ne was afterwards shot with the rest for being a consx>ir- 
flter with me I mrgave him. This letter told me that Bliss and Masterman were 
r e quited to be given up as being equally guilty with the others. I wrote in answer 
that those men belonged to my legation and that I would not deliver them up. We 
had a great deal of correspondence about that matter. Benitez pretended that they 
did not belong to the legation and I insisted that they did, and that I should stand by 
them. I said that if the government was certain that they did not belong to the lega- 
tion they had a right to take them in the wa^ that the international law prescribed, 
but that they must take the responsibility oi violating the legation. They remained 
until I left, but it was a terrible time. There was a gloom that could be felt in the 
atmosphere. The Paraguayans whom I met in the street did not dare to look at me, 
and it was the same with some few Englishmen and others who were at work in the 
arsenal. If I met them in the street they were afraid to speak to me. It was a most 
terrible state of affairs. All of us foresaw pretty well that Lopez was intending to kill 
us all if things continued so much longer. The correspondence was getting worse and 
worse every aay. We could see that he was closing his meshes around us, for of those 
he had made prisoners he had published what purported to be their declarations, made 
by them while prisoners. We knew there was not a word of truth in those declara- 
tions, not one word so far as they implicated any one in my house in a conspiracy. 
They purported to give accounts of correspondence which I had been having with 
Mar^al Caxias. the Brazilian commander-in-chiefl and with other enemies of the 
r^ublic. and of conversations that I had had witn the conspirators inside of Para- 
guay. As I knew that these people when they left my house absolutely did not know 
of any such thing, I was convinced they had never made any such declarations, or if 
they had, that they had made l^em under torture. There was not a word of truth in 
them. In the meanwhile I had received from Benitez a request for a package of papers 
which Berges, the former foreign minister, (the same who came to this country as the 
commissioner from Paraguay in 1859, and who had been arrested, taken to headquar- 
ters and shot,) had left with me. The letter was in substantially these words: *• You 
will please deliver to the bearer of this a certain package which was delivered to 
yon by the ex-Minister Joe^ Berges, the day after nis return from the camp to his 
house. Those pax>er8 are of very great importance to the government.'' I replied 
that I had never had any such papers, ha4 never seen them, and that I had not seen 
Berges for a week or fortnight after he got back from headquarters. I had heard he 
was very sick, and called as a matter of courtesy to see him. I found him partly par- 
alyzed, and exTuressed some words of sympathy and asked him if I could do anything 
to serve him ; he said no, and I went my way; I called again a few days afterward 
and had a few words with him of the same purport, and that was all I had seen oi 
hhw ; he had never given me a paper nor said a word about any conspiracy or about 
anything that was not perfectly loyal and devoted to the government of his excellency 


Marshal Lopez. I stated this in my letter. I saw, when. I got this demand for those 
papers which had no existence, that the clonds were gathering about me as thick as 
about anybody else, and that unless the gunboat came very soon Lopez would lind 
some plausible pretext for arresting me. 

We were expecting every day for two months that the legation* would be entered, and 
that Bliss and Masterman would be taken away by force. In fact, they had their car- 
petbags ready for two months, to take up at a moment's warning. I was expecting 
that my house would be searched; I had some pax>er8 which I did not want Lopez to 
see, because I had been taking notes in Paraguay, with the idea of writii^ a book 
some time, and I knew that if ne got hold of those papers they would never leave Para- 
gay, nor I either. I was anxious about those pai>er8 and took great pains so that he 
could not find them. I afterwards got them away. They were the only things in Ay 
house that I was not perfectly wimng he should examine. I ^ot notice about the 
1st of September that the Wasp had arrived and was down the nver, opposite Lopez's 
headquarters. In the meanwhile Caminos, the new forei^ mini£rter, an>eT the arrest 
of both Berges and Benitez sent me a letter of 50 closely wntten pages, in which he gave 
the declarations of all the principal men, Berges, the two brothers of Lopez, his chief 
justice, Dr. Carreras, Bodriguez, and others, in which they made out a quantity of 
charges perfectly astounding— declarations which it was said they had freely confessed 
before tne solemn tribunals of the country concerning the part I had taken in the con- 
spiracy, and the part which they had taken. In the meanwhile I had asked for my 
passports several times, but coulid not get them. I was convinced that Lopez did not 
intend that I should get out of the country. When this long letter came it concluded 
by saying that the Wasp had arrived to take me away; that the government had been 
informed of my complicity with the conspirators, and with the allies, for a long time; 
and that it would have been justified itx withholding any communication or correspond- 
ence with me; but that for the great regard which be had for the great republic of the 
United States, he would send me my passports, and would provide me with a steamer 
to take me down the river where the Wasp was lying whenever I required it. The 
new foreign minister, Caminos, wanted a list of the persons who were to go. I bad got a 
letter before that requiring a list of all persons for whom I wanted passports, and I 
sent it. He sent me the passports next day, omitting the names of Bliss and Master- 
man. Al] the others whose names I had given him were included in the passports. 
But they did not get the steamer ready for me for four or five days more. I could see 
that Lopez was stul hesitating whether to let me go or not. I got a letter from Caminos, 
the new foreign mioister, requesting me to stay tUl the Paraguayans who had left their 
property in my hands had time to take it away. 

I told him I should not wait a moment for that purpose, that I should leavQ the 
property there in charge of some responsible person, and that the owners could get 
it j ust as well after I had gone as while I was there. A number of the foreigners who had 
sent property to my house sent for it and ^ot it and took it away. We had about two 
notes a day passing between us, I all the time insisting that I was ready and wanting 
to go, and they making excuses for my detention by tiiis, that, and the other pre- 
text. At last, on the 10th of September, I was told that the little steamer would be 
ready that morning, and that I could go on board. Four days before that I had sent 
nearly all my baggage on board, all except some light trunks ; it was on board the 
steamer for that length of time. The fact that I found it had not been opened, con- 
vinced me that Lopez himself did not believe a word of that conspiracy, because many 
of those deponents nad testified to my having received enormous sums of money, which, 
if it were true, must have been with that baggage ; but as he did not, so far as I could 
discover, open it or take any means to ascertain whether any money was there, I was 
satisfied he did not believe a word of those stories. At last we got ready to go. Bliss, 
Masterman, and myself talked it over as to what it was best to do— whether it was 
best to make a protest that I should refuse to go without them, or whether I should 
march out of the legation with the American flag flying covering all of us. But 
we knew that anything that we might do of that kind would have no good effect ; that 
it would only enrage Lopez, and that a very little thing would induce him to stop all 
of us. Our united opimon was that if I could get away and give the alarm to our 
squadron as to their situation, it would be the best thing for me to do. They thought 
that probably before they would be killed, something would come to their relief. I 
started my family ahead of us so that they could not see anything of what might tran- 
spire. The French and Italian consuls went down to the steamer with us. We had 
got to the front door of my house, and just as we stepped off the corridor into the street, 
there were about 50 soldiers, without any offibers that I could see, and not one of whom, 
' I suppose, could speak Spanish, who rushed in and caught Bliss and Masterman, and 
a negro servant whom Carreras had left there, and tooK them right off to prison. I 
went down to the little steamer and went aboard, and soon afterwards she got up 
steam and went down to where the Wasp was lying, about 20 miles down the jiver. 
When on board the Wasp, Captain Kirkland told me of the difficulties be had had in 
getting there. He had been sent up the first time by Admiral Davis, with orders to 


proc<»ed to the seat of war and communicate with me and take me away, if I wished to 
go. The seat of war was 200 n^les from where I was, and his vessel micht as well have 
been on the coast of Africa as at Curapaiti, so far as I was concerned. He could not go 
further up the river and so he returned. When he started the second time he was 
infoi-med that the Brazilian government had promised to withdraw all obstructions to 
the Wasp going up. General Webb had made a fierce warfare upon the Brazilian gov- 
ernment, and had threatened to ask for his passports and to breaK up his legation unless 
the Wasp were allowed to go to my relief. Captain Eirkland had nothing to go upon 
except his information that the obstructions would be withcbrawn, and he was instructed 
by Admiral Davis to so up the river a^in, and to cany out his former instructions 
wkich he had had, and wMch, as he sain to me, were no mstructions at all ; the whole 
responsibility being on himself. Caxias attempted to stop him again, but Kirkland 
sent word that he was going through. He was not stopped but came up to Lopez's 
headquarters. He then told me of the interview which he had with Lopez. He told 
Lopez what he had come for. Lopez said that his relations with me were very bad : 
that I was in collusion with the conspirators and with the Brazilians. Kirkland 
laughed at him, and said that Caxias hated me worse than anybody else, that he 
had done everything to iiyure me, and had tried to stop him from coming up to take 
me away ; that the Brazilians and allies generally looked upon me with more aversion 
than upon anybody else ; and that the idea that 1 was acting with them was perfectly 
absurd. Lopez said that he had no doubt of my collusion with the allies, as he had 
the proofs of it. They had a good deal of conversation. Kirkland said to Lopez, as 
bravado Jto intimidate Lopez, as he told me, " You had better not touch that man ; he 
has got some friends ; he has sot a brother who is a ^eat friend of General Grant's. 
General Grant is going to be the next President, and E. B. Washbume will be Secretaiy 
of State. K anything happens to Mr. Washburn, the United States government will 
hunt you all through Europe, and have your head certainly. Besides that, there are 
six monitors already on the coast of Brazil, coming down to fight Brazil for having 
stopped the Wasp before, and if you touch him those monitors instead of fighting 
Brazil will turn acainst you and knock Asuncion about your ears before you know it." 
Lopez finally said lie would let me go, and Captain Kirkland gave me the idea at that 
time that he had bullied Lopez, and had fHghtened him. Several days passed. I think 
he was still hesitating whether he would Keep me or not. At any rate I did not get 
away and get on board the Wasp for several days. After I was on board, Captain 
Kirkland went again to see Lopez and had a good deal of talk with him. I do not 
know all that transpired, but Kirkland, when he came back, seemed still to be of the 
same opinion about Lopez. He said he was the biggest fool he had ever seen in the 
world ; that he saw right through him, and that when he talked to him in that kind of 
a way, he could see that he wanted to order his arrest and to shOot him. He said that 
he went to visit him prepared, if any demonstration was made to airest him, to defend 
himself. That was his deling. At least tliat is what he stated to me 20 times on the 
voyage down the river, as to what took place between him and Lopez. But afterwards 
when he got to Buenos Ayres, and found that General Webb and Admiral Davis had 
quarreled, and that the current was very strong against me, he modified his views very 
much in a letter to Admiral Davis, and said that ne did not understand there was any 
threat from Lopez to keep me, and that he was treated with great courtesy. WeU, he 
was treated with courtesy. And I was told quite a number of bales of Para^ayan 
yerba were brought aboard and were afterwards advertised for sale in Montevideo as 
Paraguayan yerba, brought by the United States steamer Wasp. 

By Mr. Swann: 

Q. Masterman and Bliss were the only persons of your legation that were arrested? — 
A. Yes : they were arrested as we left the house. I wrote a letter to Lopez from on 
board the Wasp, telling him that there was not a word of truth in the declarations which 
purported to have been made by Carreras and his two brothers and the others, and that 
he knew there was not, and I told him that if they made those statements they were 
made under torture, and that the only way he had to prevent them from denying the 
statements afterwards was to kill them, and not only kill them but kill the persons 
before whom the statements were made. I protested, too, against the seizing of Bliss 
and Masterman, as being as much a violation of my rights as minister as though the 
soldiers hM entered my house and took them away bjr force, and I confirmed the state- 
ment of Captain Kirkland to him, that if he had detained me and kept me a prisoner, 
the United States would have hunted him through the world. I read the letter to Cap- 
tain Kirkland, and he made no objection to it. The strange conduct of the navy has 
been a mysteiy to me. The newspax)ers have represented that they found that Bliss 
and Masterman were well treated by Lopez, that they were in good health, and that 
Lopez was a very much abused man and much maligned by me. But as he has since 
then killed nearly all the foreigners that were in the country, and killed his brothers 
and sisters, and very likely his mother and his brothers-in-law, and as the few who 
have escaped have confirmed everything I said and a hundred times more, I do not 
know what our naval friends will say now 


Q. Bliss and Masterman were thrown into prison immediately, I suppose? — A., Yes; 
they were taken, so they say, to prison that day. They were stripped immediately and 
searched, and then were taSneii on muleback out of the city, laden with heavy fetters. 

By the Chaikman : 

Q. State how they left the legation. — ^A. We started together; they were with me, 
right by my side. 

Q. For what purpose did they start f — ^A. They were going to leave the country with 
me. unless they were arrested. If they were taken at all I wanted them to be taken 
by force, and not to deliver themselves up. They state in their memorial how they 
were treated. 

Q. How did they leave you f — ^A. I occupied a large house with along piazza in front ; 
we went out together ; I was a little in nront ; the two consuls, French and Italian, 
were one on each side of me, and Mr. Bliss and Mr. Masterman were directly in my rear. 
Just as they stepped off the piazza this crowd of Indian soldiers rushed in and seized 
them by force and hustled them off; there were probably about 50 soldiers. 

Q. Did you ask passports for those men t— A. I did, and was refused them. 

By Mr. Judd : 

Q. Who is Bliss f— A. He is the son of the Bev. Asher Bliss, of South Valley, Catta- 
raugus county. New York. 

Q. How long had he been in Paraguay ? — ^A. He had been fhere three or four years. 

Q. In any public capacity f —A. He had begun getting up a history of Paraguay in 
Spanish. He is a very fine Spanish scholar, and had got a good deal of material for 
his history, and had received some pay from the government for getting it up. 

By Mr. Wood: 

Q. What, in your judgment, was the cause of the arrest of those two men? — ^A. That 
is a mystery. Bliss thinks that Lopez believed there was a conspiracy, but I do not 
think he believed so. There never was anything of the kind. He got insane and sav- 
age, and seemed determined to destroy everybody. He told me two years before, when 
I saw him at his headquarters, that if he must go under, at least he was not going to 
leave anybody or anything beiiind him ; and he is carrying out that threat now. He 
was determined to kill off everybody in the country. 

Q. Was there no motive for thatT-—A. I do not miow what it was. 

By Mr. Swann: 
Q. Did Bliss mix up with the politics of the country f— A. No, sir. 

By Mr. Wood: ' 

Q. Had he offended Lopez in any wayf— A. No; nobody had given cause of offoase 
to Lopez that I know of. Lopez was offended with me because I staid in the capital 
after he had ordered it to be evacuated. The Italian and French and Portuguese con- 
suls came to my house late at night, when the order of evacuation was issued, and 
asked me what I was going to do. I told them I should stand my ground ; that I would 
not go out of the town ; and that the United States legation was, for the time, United 
States territory. The Portuguese consul wa* for doing the same thing ; and the French- 
man said no, he did not think it would be safe ; the iron-clads would be there, and 
would bombard the town and knock it all to pieces. I told him I was not afraid of my 
house being bombarded, and that I would stay any way. 

By Mr. Swann : 

Q. What was the Frenchman's rankf Was he consul? — ^A. No; he was acting con- 
sul. He was only sent by the minister at Buenos Ayres to relieve the former consul. 
The Italian was a regular consul. 

By Mr. Orth: 

Q. What other foreign ministers were there at the time? — ^A. There were no others 
but myself. The Portuguese consul wished to remain, but the next morning he had 
an imperative order from the government that he must get out of the town that day 
or that it would be worse for him. The other two consuls decided to go of their own accord. 

By Mr. Wood: 

Q. How long has Lopez governed Paraguay? — ^A. He was elected in October, 1862. 
His father died in August, 1862, 1 think. He elected himself. He was the minister of 
war under his father, and had command of the army, and he just took possession when 
the old man died. The government at Asuncion has to each district a chief and a judge, 
and they constituted the government of that district, and sent to the congress in Asun- 
cion the men that Lopez wished; but even then he was afraid there was a conspiracy, 
and there were a great many people arrested. It was reported that his brother, who 
has since been shot, was engaged in the conspiracy, and that Padre Maiz, who has been 


* jort of head inquisitor lately, was getting np a conspiracy against Lopez. At any 
sate there were very strong precautions tiS^en, and there was a great military dunon- 
stration made. The congress was held in the Cahildo, or government house. It was 
surrounded hy soldiers. One of the richest men in the country ventured to remark in 
the congress that Francisco Solano Lopez was not the proper person to be elected ; that 
the constitution of the country declared that the government should not be the heri- 
tage of any one family, and that therefore the son of the deceased president should not 
succeed him. That objection was negatived, and everybody voted for Francisco Solano 
Lopezy and he was elected. This gentleman was immediately put in prison, and was 
never heard of afterwards. 

By Mr. Swank: 

Q. Were those conspirators tried by civil or military tribunal T— A. By military tri 
bunaL There is no law there, and nothing whatever but the will of Lopez, j 

By Mr. Judd ; 

Q. Mr. Bliss was out there as a literary mant — ^A. Yes; he was a great scholar. 

Q. And was not mixing up with their political affairs? — ^A. No, sir; nobody was mix- 
ing up with their political affairs. Nobody there dared say a word but "Fira el grand 
Lopez P His little paper is filled up with nothing but flourishine adulations of the great 
Marshal Lopez. All the time before the evacuation they were holding public meetings — 
every week or two — to make presents to Lopez. Even the women and children had to 

e've away everything they could scrape, to show their appreciation and gratitude to 
m; there was no resisting it. Nobody dared to hold back or to refuse to contribute. 
They gave him a great big album with gold covers a quarter of an inch thick — ^those 
people who could not get enough to eat tnemselves. That was going on all the time. 
I lived there so long that I got the confidenceof quite a number of people, Paraguayans. 
They thought I was a safe person to talk to. They even told me that there was the most 
universal hypocrisy there ; that there was not a man, woman, or child who would not 
be delighted to know that Lopez was 40 feet under ground. They had to go to those 
meetings, and to make speeches, and to offer their lives, fortunes, and everything else ; 
even the women offered to take up arms under his imported mistress, who generally 
took the lead among the women— I mean Mrs. Lynch. 

By Mr. Wood: 

Q. I believe Lopez has been put down f — A. He has fled to the mountains. The lega 
Hon that succeeded me has gone with him. 

ByMr. Swann: 

Q. Is Lopez a young man t~A. He is 45 years of age. 
ByMr. Orth: 

Q. Whereisthenecessityof having anv American minister at Paraguay?— A. I do not 
know that there is any more reason for naving a minister there than there is at three 
or four other South American governments. If the government there was different, 
there is a field for a great and profitable commerce. 

By the Chairman: 

Q. Do you know anything about the treatment of Masterman and Bliss? — ^A. Nothing 
but their own statements, i do not know what explanation the Paraguayan govern- 
ment gave to my successor, Genend McMahon, but it seemed to satisfy nim. And Bliss 
and Mastermau, as they say, were received as criminals and treated as crhoinals while 
they were on board the Wasp and on board the Guerriere. I had advised General 
McMahon verbally and by letter of the situation of affairs in Paraguay, but he acted on 
the statement of Lopez, in preference to mine. 


By Mr. Wood: 

Q. What course has the English government taken with reference to Mr. Masterman, 
who is an Englishman?— A. It has not done anything. I saw the English minister in 
Buenos A^es, and he said that, as Masterman was connected with the United States * 
legation, it would devolve on the United States government to rescue him, rather than 
on the English government. 

Q. You recognized Bliss and Masterman as being attached to your legation? — ^A. Cer- 
tainly I did. Masterman had been in my house eight or ten months, or longer. He had 
lived in my family, and nothing had occurred to chaDg:e oux relations except that the 
legation moved away, and he was bound to move with it. 

By Mr. Wellabd: . 

Q. Do you know whether our naval officers who held Mr. Bliss as a prisoner had any 
information in reference to his participation in Paraguayan affairs except what tHey got 
from Lopez ? — A. I had told them that there was no conspiracy, and there was none. I 
wrote a private letter to General McMahon, and said that, in my opinion, he ought not 
to go near Lopez. 


By Mr. Wood: 
Q. Was there any other charge against them except that of conspiracy t— A. None 

By Mr. Judd: 

Q. Was it made known to Admiral Davis, or to Captain Eirkland, or to yonr suc- 
cessor, that those gentlemen had been connected with your legation, and were forcibly 
taken from it before they were received as prisoners T — ^A. Certainly. All my corre- 
spondence on the subject was published in the papers in Buenos Ayres, in three languages, 
and I detailed the whole affair to them verbally also. Bliss and Masterman were received . 
on board the Wasp, as they state, at midnight. Captain Kirkland came out on deck' 
with the master-at-arms, and said: ''Take tiiose men forward, and put a guard over 
them, and see that they don't loaf about.'' Masterman made some objection to being 
treated in that way, but Kirkland replied very sharply and sent them forward. There 
they were covered with vermin and had nothing to sleep upon that night except on the 
deck of the vessel. Neither the admiral nor Captain Kirkland took any pains to make 
them more comfortable. 

Q. I wish to have the fact distinctly stated whether, before those naval gentlemen 
treated Bliss and Masterman in that way, they were advised by you of the relations of 
those men to your legation f — A. Certainly they were. 

By Mr. Ambler: 

Q. I understand you to say that you gave Captain Kirkland a full history of the trans- 
action. — A. Certainly. And in the letter which I sent back to Lopez, and which Cap- 
tain Kirkland read, I protested against his having taken those two members of my lega- 

ByMr. WnxARD: 

Q, Did you communicate to Captain Kirkland the £BMJt that you told BUss and Mas- 
terman that they might make any confession they chose. — ^A. I told them that if they 
could save their lives they might make any confession they pleased. 

Q. Did you communicate that fact to Captain Kirkland? — ^A. I do not know that I 
did, but I told him that the letters receivea from Bliss, one to him and one to me, after 
I was on board the Wasp, had been forced from him, probably by torture, and I think I 
told him that I had given both him and Masterman fall liberty to say anything about 
or against me that could save their lives. I said to Bliss and Masterman, '' You may say 
anything about me that you think will help your case. You may say you saw me steal 
^eep or commit burglary, if you think you can thereby prolong your lives. Nobody 
would believe a word of it, in Paraguay or out of Paraguay, and it can do me no harm." 

By Mr. Sheldon: 

Q. Did you have any talk with Captain Kirkland, in which you suggested that those 
declarations of Bliss and Masterman nad been forced from them by torture, and were 
entirely untrue? — ^A. Only in regard to those letters received on board the Wasp. • The 
later declarations had not then been made; at least we knew nothing of them. It was 
shown in my correspondence, which is very long, and which was read by everybody 
there, that all these pretended depositions were fedse, and had been made, if at aJl, 
under torture. In my letter to the English minister I stated that there was i^o conspi- 
racy, and that these men belonged to my legation. 

By Mr. Ambler; 

Q. This publication in the newspapers to which you refer was in Buenos Ayres? — ^A. 
Yes, sir. 
Q. Was it before the Wasp returned to bring away Bliss and Masterman ? — ^A. Yes, sir. 
Q. Have you copies of that publication ?— A. Yes. 

By the Chairman: 

Q. What is the article "yerba" that you speak of. — ^A. It is Paraguayan tea. Bliss 
' .and Masterman stated that while they were undergoing examination before the inqui- 
. sition, of which Captain Kirkland and Captain Ramsey seemed to be members, they 
noticed that presents were made to those officers at that time. 

Q. Youknownothingyourself of what you call the inquisition? — ^A. No; of course I 
was not present. I wiU get the several papers and documents to which I have referred 
and present them to the committee, 

Washington, D» C, Apnl 1, 1869. 

The Hon. Charles A. Washbdm appeared before the committee and continued his 
statement as follows : 

I was speaking the other day of Captain Kirkland and of his conduct. I stated that 
his representations to me on board the Wasp were very contradictory to the statements 
which he made afterwards. When I first heard from him on his going up the river, he 


sent me a letter complaininc very mnch of the treatment lie had received from Presi- 
dent Ix>pez. He said he had arrived there and been treated -with great discourtesy by 
Lopez. He said he could not learn where Lopez was or where I was, and that he was 
waiting with great anxiety. I sent him a reply that I was at Asuncion, and was pre- 
pared to embark immediately. He had asked me where I wished to embark, and I told 
him I wished to embark at Asuncion, but it was some time afterwards before I was able 
, to get away, as I stated the other day. Then when I got on board he represented to 
me what his interviews with Lopez had been and what Lopez had said to him. He 
represented that he had bullied Lopez, that he had threatened him with the whole 
power of the United States if he ventured to lay hands upon me, and that he stated 
things which he did not believe and which I did not believe, manv of them false, pur- 
pose^ to buUy Lopez. He told him, for iustaaoe, that there wane six iron-clads on the 
coast and that my brother EUihu was to be Secretary of State, which neither he nor I 
believed at the time. But he supposed that such talk woula intimidate Lopez and 
induce him not to proceed to extremes. On these representations of Captain Kirk- 
land's, I wrote to Admiral Davis^ commending his conduct in the highest terms, and 
stating that I believed that by his manner of defiant attitude and by the fact that he 
talke4i Spanish well, he had been able to frighten Lopez to give me up , whereas a dif- 
ferent kind of a man might have been frightened away himself and left me there. I 
approved Captain Kirkland's course then, and I believe I did so justly. He repeated 
th& conversation which he had had with Lopez more than twenty times to me going 
down the river. He said that Lopez was the biggest fool he ever saw in his life, that 
he could see right through him, that he knew how to take him and that he took him 
on his weak side. I believe that he did me a good service and I was willing to testify 
to it, as I did in very strong terms. When he came down to the mouth of the river 
he learned that there was a oitter quarrel in Rio between General Webb and Admiral 
Davis. Greneral Webb had complained of the tardiness of the Admiral in going to the 
rescue of Bliss and Masterman. General Webb had also quarreled with the Brazilian 
government on my account. If the Wasp had not got there for two weeks longer I 
presume I would not have left Paraguay alive. I owe everything to General Webb 
for the energy and promptness with which he acted, but the sentiment of the squad- 
ron appears to have been such that Captarn Kirkland wrote in very diiferent terms to 
Admiral Davis for some reason or other. I do not imagine that he was influenced by 
the presents which he had received iix>m Lopez. I do not suppose so. I sjpoke of 
them the other day ; some of them consisted of bales of Paraguayan tea, which is a 
valuable article. But I do not think he was influenced by them : else, whjr should he 
have spoken in such bitter terms of Lopez whUe we were going down tlje river T But 
he wrote to Admiral Davis (which letter was published in the papers through the 
country) representing that Lopez had treated him with great courtesy and had ex- 
pressed his wish to cultivate the most Mendly relations with the United States, and 
ne gave the inference that Bliss and Masterman were in no danger. And yet, at the 
very time that Kirkland was there in the company of Lopez, these two men were under 
torture. Masterman was nearly kiUed with torture at the same time that Kirkland 
was in the company of Lopez and Lopez was professing great friendship for the United 
States. He wrote m a private letter to Admiral Davis, which is also published in this 
correspondence, that I had misrepresented the state of affainf there somewhat, that he 
did not understand Loi>ez as threatening to keep me at all, and that the construction 
which I had put on his words was different from his idea. This letter Admiral Davis 
has sent on to justify his course in not being more prompt, as he had the evidence of 
Captain Kirkland that these men were in no danger and that there was no necessity 
for prompt action. When Bliss and Masterman came down on the Wasp they were 
transferred to the flag-ship Guerriere. For the first eighteen hours that they were on 
board, as they told me, they were at liberty and were allowed to talk with the officers. 
They had heard that a steamer was to leave the next day for the United States. Mr. 
Bliss wrote a letter to his parents and sent it on, in which he stated that he was well 
treated on board the Guemere ; and I see from the New York papers a statement which 
appears to be made out in the interest of Admiral Davis, that I had written letters 
highly complimentary to Admiral Davis and to Captain Kirkland. I had done so es- 
pecially in reference to Captain Kirkland. The New York Tribune also stafes that 
MI, Bliss in a letter to his parents says, " I am under no restraint on board this mag- 
nificent vessel, were I am treated with every attention by the officers." That was true 
for ten or twelve hours after he came on board, but the next morning an official letter 
was read directing that he and Masterman should be held under surveillance by a non- 
commissioned officer, and that they were to hold no communication with the snore. I 
saw Mr. Masterman in New York the day he sailed for England, and I spoke to him in 
reference to this publication of Bliss's letter, where he spoke of being under no re- 
straint. He thought it over and he wrote me a letter which I wish to have inserted 
in this testimony. It is as follows : 

" New York, March 11, 1869 

"Dear Sir: My attention has been called to a paragraph in to-day's Tribune, in 
which a portion of a letter is quoted from Mr. Bliss, in which he says : ' I am under no 


restraint on this magnificent vessel, where I am treated with every attention by the 
officers.' Now this apparently clashes with my statement, that we were treated as 
prisoners on board that vessel — ^the explanation, however, is simple enough. We went 
on board the Gnerriere on the morning of the 18th of December, 1868, and for that day 
w^re left at x>erfect liberty, and several officers spoke to ns in a friendly way, bnt the 
next morning the captain of marines read an order to ns in these terms, as far as I can 
recall them. 'Messrs. Bliss and Masterman will remain under the surveillance of a 
non-commissioned officer, &c., and will not be permitted to communicate wiih tiie aImbb 
in any way ; should they attempt to do so, he will immediately anest tfacmi* The con- 
se^aeDce was, not an officer (except Dr. Dnval^ would npfialr to ns, and we were 
legKd^d «B pnonera by all on baaand, and I oertaodyeoiMiaered myself one. The let- 
ter in question, of Ifit. filisB, wiM written en tihe 18th or early on the morning of the 
19th, when we were at perfect liberty on board the fiag-ahip. 
'^ I am ever, dear sir, very faithfully yours, 

"Hon. C. A. Wabhbubn." 

(Extract from the New York Tribune.) 

** In accordance with the desire expressed in this letter, two officers were sent on shore 
to witness the verification of the declarations of Messrs. Bliss and Masterman, and on 
the 10th those two gentlemen were received on board the Wasp. A ^aled package 
addressed to Secretary Seward was received at the same time. It will be remembered 
(Admiral Davis makes no allusion to the fact) that the declarations made by Bliss and 
Masterman in the presence of our naval officers implicated themselves and Mr. Wash- 
bum in the alleged conspiracy against Lopez. After their release they retracted all 
the statements of these declarations, declaring that they had been extorted by physical 
torture and threats of death. It does not appear from this correspondence that the 
two gentlemen were 'received as prisoners,' as they themselves state, and it may be 
as well to remind our readers that in a private letter written by Porter C. Bliss to his 

£arents, and dated on board the United States flag-ship Guerriere off Montevideo, 
December 19, published in the Tribune February 1, Mr. Bliss says: *I am imderno 
restraint on board this magnificent vessel, where I am treated with every attention by 
the officers.'' " 

Now, in reference to the position which these men held in my legation at Asuncion : 
Here is a letter which I wrote to Benitez on that matter, in which I argue the case, and 
which I think may also go in with my testimony. It sets forth au the facts as to 
whether they were members of the legation or not. 

(The letter is annexed to this testimony, marked Exhibit A.) 

Here is a letter which I wrote to President Lopez after I got on board the Wasp, 
wherein I denounced him as a conunun enemy for having taken bv forcible means two 
members of my legation, also for having entered the houses of foreigners and stolen 
their money, on the pretext that his treasury had been robbed. 

(The letter is annexed to this testimony, marked Exhibit B.) 

I read that letter to Captain Eirkland before I sent it, and he made no objection to it. 
How he could have written as he did afterwards, I do not pretend to explain. Before 
I had sent this letter I received letters from Mr. Bliss, written after he had fallen into 
Lopez's hands, and written by dictation. He was obliged to write them over two or 
three times, with a man prodding him. He states tmit, having got out of my power, 
and being at full liberty again, he can tell the truth about me. I had two other letters of 
his which he had written to send by me to his friends before I left Asuncion. One of them 
was addressed to the £ev. Mr. GoodfeUow, of Buenos Ayres, and the other to a gentle- 
man in Eio, both friends of his, in which letters he expressed his highest appreciation 
of my services and of my efforts to save him. His other letter will show, of course, that 
it was written under compulsion. 

(The letters referred to are annexed to this testimony, marked Exhibits C, D, and E.) 

Then here is the letter which I wrote to Mr. Stuart, the English minister in Buenos 
Ayres, in which is given a more sncoinct and better account of the state of affairs in 
Paraguay than I was able to give in my testimony the other day, which I also desire to 
be made part of my testimony. It was published in part with the other documents of 
the State Department, but only a x>ortion of it was published. That part of it in which 
I reflect severely on Lopez is left out. 

(The letter is annexed to this testimony, marked Exhibit F.) 

I also submit a letter received by me since then from Mr. R. von Fisoher-Treunfeld, 
Lopez's constructor of telegraphs. He was at liberty when I left, and was soon after- 
wards arrested, taken to headquarters, and put in the stocks. By a wonderful chance 
he escaped, although Lopez had sent orders to have him killed. In fact, he had been 
ordered twice to be shot, but he escaped and wrote me this letter, giving me a full ac- 


count of events whioli had hAppened under liis own oboeiTBlaoiiy in which he testifies 
of me in the kindest terms, and says he has ui^derstood that I have £ot into tjx>nble 
with' my own government, but that when the £iicte come out, everybo^ will speak in 
justification of me. He says that I did all that was possible for any human being to 
do to save the people. This letter I should like to have go in my testimony. It is a 
very interesting letter, and has been published in the Tribune and Times, of New Toirk. 

(The letter is annexed to this testimony, marked Exhibit G.) 

Then I wish to say something more in reference to the predecessor of Admiral Davis. 
The resolution under which the committee is acting calls, I believe, for an investigation 
iiom the time of the commencement of the war. I ^all state in reference to A£niral 
Godon, of the New York navy yard, facts which, if I prove them, ought to drive him 
out of the navy, and I wish that he may be present when I ^ve my testimony. 

Here is a private letter which I wrote after I arrived at Buenos Ayres, to my suc- 
cessor, General McMahon, in which I recite the situation of afiairs in Paraguay, the 
circumBtances that had occurred to me, giving a list of matters which I would like to 
have looked into, stating where I had lefb property belonging to certain individuals 
deposited with me, and telling him what my ideas were as to what he should do, &o. 
It appears that he has taken an entirely difierent course, and made Mends with Lopez, 
ajid, I suppose, has apologized for my bad conduct. He is now there with Lopez, and 
whether he ever gets away alive is very doubtful to me. 

By the Chairman : 

Q. Where do you suppose Lopez to be T — ^A. He is back in the mountains. Lopez, 
unless he can make General McMahon useful, will kill him. If Lopez is determined to 
carry out his threat never to leave Paraguay alive, McMahon will never leave it alive 
either ; that is my opinion. The report which he made, as the newspapers have stated, 
was that Lopez had been greatly slandered and maligned by me, but since then Lopez 
has killed nearly every foreigner in the country, and he will kill McMahon yet ii he 
finds it necessary to his plans to do so. 

Q. Have the foreign governments taken any action in reference to Lopez's conduct? — 
A. Not at all ; not any. 

(The letter to General McMahon is annexed to this testimony, marked Exhibit H.) 

I was 14 months setting from New York to Paraguay, owing to the strange and per- 
verse conduct of Admiral Godon, and I am prepar^ to show that he acted not only 
strangely but maliciously, and that he misrepresented affairs to the Secretary of the 
Navy, and made many absolute misstatements. I charge Admiral Godon with having 
caused me unnecessary delay in getting to my post, with not having obeyed hia orders, 
and with having misrepresented the condition of a^airs, and given false reasons for his 
refusal to send me to Paraguay. I arrived in Bio about the 1st of October, 1865. I 
then told Admiral Godon tnat without the aid of a gunboat I could not reach my post. 
He said he should follow down to the mouth of the river, and that if he found it was 
BO he would send me up. He said he would follow in 10 or 12 days affcer I left, but in- 
stead of that he was six weeks before he reached Montevideo, and then he would not 
send me to Asuncion, but would not say that he would not do so. I wrote him two or 
three times from Buenos Ayres, telling him that I was in a very unpleasant situation, 
and that I could not get through. I twice went from Buenos Ayres to Montevideo to 
urge him to send a gunboat to Para^ay. He hesitated for a long time, and finally, 
when he reached Buenos Ayres, said he would not send me up at all. I left my 
funily at Buenos Ayres, and tried to get through to Paraguay without a gunboat. I 
was humbugged and deluded by the allied commander-in-chief. President Mitr^, 
who first promised to aJlow me to go through, but aft erwards declined to do so, 
fJthou^h I had, <m the strength of his promise, gone back to Buenos Ayres and brought 
my wite and servants with me. He then refosed to let me go through, and I was there 
at Corrientes for five months under most disagreeable eircumstanoes, Admiral Gk>don 
did nothing, and refused to do anything, al&oi^h he knew my edtnation. I had to 
write to the Secretary of State in Washington, teDing him how I was situated, and he 
sent out orders that that thing was to stop-*that I must go through — ^and orders were 
sent to Admiral Godon that if I eould not get through otherwise, I should apply for a 
gunboat, and he must send me through. I applied ror a gunboat, and Admiral Godon 
told me that I had not obeyed fully my instructions from the Secretary of State. As I 
did not understand him to be the interpreter of my instructions, I i^ought it was very 
impertinent for him to say so. I did everything I could do to get through. I had vis- 
ited and written to President Mitr6 so often that he finally told me he would have no 
more correspondence with me on the subject. Admiral Godon had received his instruc- 
tions to send me forward, and did not obey them. Finally, General Webb, who had 
been home on leave of absence, returned and began to move in the matter, and General 
Asboth, who went out as the new minister at Buenos Ayres, also began to move in the 
matter. Admiral Godon finally, without any more instructions, did send the gunboat, 
and I got through safely, very much to his disgust. I was exposed to every inooiiTen- 



ience, and to a very nnhealthy sitnation, by his perverse conduct. There was great 
scandal on the subject. I was ashamed to walk tne streets of Buenos Ayres, for I could 
not open a mper*in the morning without seeing something in it about the American 
minister to Taraguay, and about his being detamed there, and what he was doing so 
long in that place. 1 wanted to get out of it. I told Admiral Godon that if I could 
reitire without disgracing the country, I would do so and return home. I told him 
that the aUies had no ri^t to stop me going to my post, but he could not see it. He 
said it would take coal to send the gunboat with me. The merchants of Buenos Ayres 
offered to furnish the coal gratuitously if he would send up the steamer, but he said 
that would make no difference. The feeling was very strong against him. He had no 
friends there. Finally, however, I got through. He not oiSy got to be very bitter and 
abusive of me, but even the men under his command who did not join with him were 
also abused. Captain Wells and Captain Crosby were almost persecuted out of tho 
navy because of their friendship to me, and of their friendly intercourse with me. Per- 
sonally I have more feeling in regard to this man than in regard to Admiral Davis. 

By Mr. Swann: 

Q. What motive could have influenced Admiral Godon T — ^A. He wanted it impressed 
on everybody that he was the representative of the great republic, and that nobody 
else was'of any importance whatever. He said so verbally in regard to United States 
ministers a good many times. He always spoke Vith the utmost contempt of all min- 
isters of the United States ; said that he was not responsible to them and did not care 
anything for them ; that they were political humbugs, and worn-out politicians, &c., 
who were sent out there to get rid of them. That he was admiral. His conduct was 
most ridiculous and scandalous. 

Q. Had he seen your instructions f — ^A. Tes. I sent him a copy of them. They appear 
in the diplomatic correspondence of the State Department. 

ExhUnis annexed to statement of Hon. Charles A. Washburn. 

Exhibit A. 

Mr. Washburn to Senor BenUez, 

Legation of the United States, 

Asuncion^ August 13, 1868. 

Sm: Excusing myself for the delay in answering that part of your note of the 31st 
ultimo, relating to the case of Mr. Bliss and Mr.* Masterman, which I have deferred in 
.order to answer the part of it which seemed to me of more pressing importance, and 
also to answer your subsequent very long note of the 6th instant, I will now proceed to 

f*Lve my reasons why I have not diomissed those two persons from my legation, and why 
ought not to do so. 

At the conclusion of your note of the 31st ultimo, you say that you have not the 
remotest doubt that full and inflexible justice would be done by the American govern- 
ment, and then ask if it can be in full possession of the case, as is the national court 
of justice ; if it would 49end the record of its trial for a new substantiation, if it coTdd do 
so, and would its administration of lustice be sufficiently timely f 

To these questions I wiU remark that there would undoubtedly be considerable incon- 
venience in sending these persons for trial to the United States; but that does not 
affect the law in the case in the least. Whenever an embassy is received frt)m one 
government by another, the latter accepts it under the conditions imposed by the law 
of nations. This law is of such importance that its rigid observance is indispensable 
for the peace of the world. It is only under the protection of this law that nations 
can negotiate with each other, as to carry on their negotiations it is necessary, espe- 
cially in time of war, that there should be some persons who should eigoy entire security 
and immunities from the local laws. This code, universally recognized as binding on 
all nations, has been of the greatest advantage to them all ; but it also has its disad- 
vantages. Under it the nations that receive foreign embassies are required to concede 
to them certain privileges, which are not conceded to any other persons. They resign 
the sovereignty over the premises occupied by the embassador, and by the fiction of 
extra-territoriality his legation is considered as the territory of his own government. 
Except under very extraordinary circumstances his house cannot be entered by the 
police, and no member of his legation can be cited before the local tribunals, and if 
they commit any offense against the laws of the country all writers on international 
law declare that the minister shall either punish them himself or send them to his own 


country to be tried. These priyileffes and mununities doubtless frequently oauso 
serious inconveniences to the local administration. But is it not better to submit to 
such inconveniences rather than have the law abrosrated t I have known such instances 
of inconvenience in my own country; one of which I will mention. In the year 1856, 
an important witness of a homicide in the city of Washinj^on, that excited great pubUo 
attention, was an attach^ of the Swedish iWation. His testimony was very much 
desired by the tribunals, but he was never cited formally as a witness, and to the request 
that he would appear and testify voluntarily he replied that he would not do so, and 
my government had no power to compel him. 

Your honor asks, in your note of the 23d July, if it does not appear to me that if the 
immunities of a minister should reach to the extent claimed by me^ there would 
be no nation in the world which would be willing to accept an embassy f To this I will 
reply that all nations do, and are glad to, receive embassies on these very terms. What 
have I claimed t Sim^y this — ^that George F. Masterman, who came to my house at 
my solicitation as medical attendant of my ft^nily nearly 11 months ago, and has lived 
in my house ever since, and had his name given in as a member of the legation more 
than four months ago, to which no objection was made for three months anerwards, is 
to all intents and purposes a member of this legation, and entitled to all its privileges. 
I likewise claim that Porter C. Bliss, who also came to my house at m^ solicitation, 
to serve as translator, and to assist me in any other way that I might require, and whose 
name was given in at the time as a member of my legation, and no objection beinj^ then 
made to his remaining in it, but only to the capacity in which I had classified him, is 
also a member of this embassy. 

You, on various occasions, speak of them as refugees who have sought asylum in my 
house. They did not seek asylum here. I sought them and engaged them to come 
here because I needed their services. At 4he time they came there was no charge or 
accusation against either of them* How, then, can they be considered refugees f They 
were not refugees, and this is not a question of the right of asylum, but of the rights 
of legation. 

You, however, allege that they have never been recognized by your government, but 
that having refused to recognize them, I therefore have no right to claim them as exempt 
from the local jurisdiction. But this refusal was not made till after they had been 
claimed as criminals, and months after they had been tacitly acknowledged as belong- 
ing to the embassy. Such refusal was quite too late to affect the case. 

The doctrine advanced by you, that a foreign minister cannot claim legation privi- 
leges for his servants, secretaries, and other members of his household till the govern- 
ment to which he is accredited specially recognizes them by name, is something entirely 
new to me; something that I do not find in any writer on international law. If a min- 
ister gives in a list of his suite, and no answer is made, no objection is taken by the 
government, then it tacitly acknowledges that all included in that list are members of 
the legation, and it cannot afterwards plead its own failure to acknowledge the minis- 
ter's letter as a justification of its refusal so to reco^rnize them. 

That this is correct reasoning* you must admit, if you will apply it to my own case. 
Though I have given two lists of the members of my legation, you have never recognized 
a sin^e person now in it, unless it be Mr. Bliss, and Baltazar, the colorad servant left 
with me by Dr. Carreras. But you have never recognized either my wife or chilcL or 
my private secretary, who has been in my service for more than a year and a half, or 
the servant ^1 that we brought with us into the country. Accordmg to your reason- 
ing and logic, however, you have only to say that any one or all of them is accused, 
and that the government refuses to recognize them as belonging to my legation, and I 
have no remedy but to send them away. Such is the inevitable conclusion to be drawn 
from the premises and logic of your honor. 

To the question whether or not the punishment that my government would admin- 
ister would be timely, I reply I do not see why not. You cannot suppose that these 
two individuals, closely shut up as they are in this legation, and having no communi- 
cation with any person outside of it, can be dangerous. If not, why will not their 
punishment, if proved guilty, be as timely some months hence as nowf If they can 
give any evidence whicn is necessary to ascertain the truth in regard to other accused 
parties, they have both expressed their willingness to do it ; and should the govern- 
ment choose to send a notary to my house to examine them, I will give him every 
fitcUity for doing so. I will also say that Mr. Bliss has declared in relation to the paper 
which you in your note of the 23d of July say that he ^' in a secret committee of mutual 
obligations" has signed to commit an in&bmous crime, that if any such paper signed by 
him shall be produced at this legation he will instantly leave it. To this I will add 
that wlule I shall still insist on my rights of legation, I will undertake that he keep 
his promise to me. 

In my former notes to ^ou I have called your attention to this maxim of law, that 
" every man is to be considered innocent till he is proved guilty.'^ Yet you, disregard- 
ing tms principle, continue to speak of these two members of my legation as crimmals 
and refugees, without ever havmg given me any proof of their guut. You have also 


complained that I shoidd not receive yonr o£Qcial statement of their crimliMklity in 
preference to their own protestations of innocence. 

I have not allowed myself to question the sincerity of yonr belief in their crimtnality, 
but as you do not pretend to speak from yonr own Imowledge, I may yet doubt the 
truthfulness of your informants. Certainly yon will not allege that the witnessi^ 
against them are persons who have eiy oyed higher honors, or had previously been moxi> 
respected than Berges and Carreras, whose declarations I know to contain almost aa 
many falsehoods as sentences. If declarations so false have been made by them, with 
the object of connecting me with an infamous plot, is it not possible that e(j^ually false 
declarations have been made for the purpose of implicating others ? I, actmg accord- 
ing to the laws of my own country, must presume them innocent till I have a proof to 
the contrary. From your own personal Knowledge olF these gentlemen, you must be 
aware that they are, nrom education and habit, the very last people that conspirators 
and complotters would take into their counsels. Mr. Bliss, you are aware, is a man of 
extraordinary literary acquirements, and his whole taste and ambition is in literary pur* 
suits ; and mr, Masterman is a man whose tastes and desires lead him to pass his whole 
time in scientific investigations. Neither one of them has any of the detestable s aucho 
characteristics that would lead them to take part in a revolution, and as I have known 
them both long and intimately, I am boun^ to take their solemn asseverations, not only 
of innocence, but of entire ignorance of any plot or conspiracy, in preference to the 
declaration of any or many confessed conspirators or traitors. 

But with me this is not a question of guUt or innocence. It is a question of the rights 
of legation. Months ago I gave in their names as belonging to my diplomatic suite, 
and the government, by not objecting to them as members of my legation, tacitly 
acknowl^ged them as such ; it acknowledged them as much as it has acknowledged 
any one in my house, and has now just as much right to claim any one else of my fam- 
ily or household as to claim either of them. 

I will add another consideration. Both of these men are so indispensably necessary 
to me that even if they did not belong to my legation, and the safety of the state were 
not endangered by their remaining here, I shoiud ask it as a courtesy that they might 
be allowed to stay for the present. Without the aid of Mr. Bliss I could harcuy have 
carried on the heavy correspondence I have had during the last month ; and were Mr. 
Masterman to leave me, it would be, under the ciicnmstaaices — ^when the add of no other 
physician can be obtained — at the rid^ of exposing the lives of my wife and child and 
o^er members of my family ; and I am sure that the government has no wish to expose 
me to amy such calamity. 

The position taken by you that until a government expressly recognizes the members 
of a legation they cannot claim its privileges, but are liable to be arrested like any other 
persons by the police, would or might at least render his right of extra-territoriality 
virtually a nullity. The government might thus compel him to dismiss all his servants, 
it might prohibit his own subjects to enter his service, and thus leave him without any 
servant or assistant in any capacity, except such as it might suit its own purposes that 
he should have. I have never asked either you or your predecessor to recopiize the 
members of my legation by name, or, in other words, I have not asked the privilege of 
employing them. I am to be the judge of the persons necessary to the discharge of my 
official duties and the health and comfort of my family, and not the government of 
Paraj^ay. Should a minister on entering a country take with him in his suite known 
criminals, or persons obnoxious or dangerous from their political opinions, a govern- 
ment might undoubtedly object to concede to them legation immunities, and could insist 
that they should leave the country. But it would have no right to molest them, and 
would be bound to protect them in every way until they hsSl ample time for their 
departure. In no case has a government a right to inflict any other penalty on a per- 
son attached to a foreign legation than to send him to his own country to be punished. 
If, however, the ground assumed by you is correct — ^that no person can claim legation 
privileges untU he has been expressly recogniaed by the government, but may be cited 
before the local tribunals — ^then if I comply with your request of to-day, I may be 
called upon to send away the other members of my household to-morrow, as you have 
never recognized them as belonging to my legation. If all are not in the same category, 
and some are and some are not entitled to legation privileges, will you please advise 
me which of the names in the list appended to this letter are recognized as belonging 
to my legation. 

In your note of the 31st ultimo you observe that it is the more strange that I should 
still decline to sent Mr. Bliss and Mr. Masterman firom my house, since ishaU then have 
superabundant means to give them protection. What those superabundant means are 
you do not advise me, nor do I understand what means will be left me to protect them 
when once in the hands of the local tribunals. Will you have the kindness to give me 
i^irther information on this point f 

In my note of July 14 you will recollect that from the tone and tenor of your pre- 
ceding notes, and from the fact that you had finally called for two persons whom I had 
always considered members of my legation, I said it appeared that I had lost the respect 


and confidence of this gorenunent, and that, therefore, as it did not seem that I conld 
be longer usefdl either to my own government or that of Paragaay, or to any individ- 
uals in the country, I reqaeeted passports for myself and for the members of my lega- 
tion. To this yon replied on the 16th, assuring me in the strongest terms that I still 
retained the esteem and confidence of your government, expressing the hope that such 
assurances would lead me to reconsider my previous resolution. Such expressions I 
accepted as satisfactory, particularly when in the same note you again requested the 
dismissal of Messrs. Bliss and Masterman from my house, but said you would waive all 
further discussion on that matter, leaving it to my own sense of justice. I then 
believed that the demand would not be farther pressed ; but while preparing my note 
of the 20th ultimo, giving my reasons for the course I felt it my duty to pursue, I was 
surprised and pained on receiving your note of the 19th, which was closely followed by 
those of the 2l8t and 23d, to observe a tone and tenor of an entirely different char- 

This sudden change I have attributed to the strange and false declarations of Berges 
concerning me, and, if I am right in this surmise, I cannot wonder that, false as the 
declarations are, the government should have changed from confidence and regard to 
distrust and suspicion. But if the government has accepted my words in preference to 
those of at convicted traitor. I cherish the hope that it wiU resume the position taken 
in your note of July 16, and leave me to pursue the only course that in my opinion will 
be approved by my government, by pubuc opinion, and by the family of nations. 

I avail myself or this occasion to give assurance of distinguished consideration. 


His Honor GuHEsmix) Benitbz, 

Acting Minister of Foreign Ajfain.^ 

Exhibit B. 

Jfr. Wfu^wm to President Lopez, 

Unttbd States Steamer Wasp, off Angostura, 

Paraguay Biter , September 12, 1668. 

Sir: When Captain Eirkland was about leaving this vessel yesterday to bid farewell 
^ your excellency, I gave him a memorandum of certain things to which I requested 
him to «att your attention. Captain Kirkland informs me that on reaching your head- 
qjiarters he io«Dsd h» had omitted to take this mftmorartdnin with him, and therefore 
waft unable to comply fully with my request, having only given the paper a hasty 

gSTusal. I^ therefore, take the liberty, at the moment of my departure, of deviating 
om diplomatic eustoms and sending a ;per8onal note directed to your exeellency. In 
this memorandum I snggeatod that he might show you a letter from General Webb, our 
minister in Rio, from which it woaM appear Hiat he had almost come to a rupture with 
that government, by reason of its refrisal to permit this vessel to pass above the squad- 
ron. This he had done on his own responsibility, without waiting for orders from 
the United States government, which, on hearing of the outrage, has doubtless taken 
the most energetic measures to enforce its rights and extricate its minister from a most 
frightful position. This letter you saw proves how much truth there was in the decla- 
ration of your ex-minister for foreign anairs, Jos^ Berges, that I was in collusion with 
Gtenersd Webb, and in the interest and pay of the Brazilians. 

I have in my possession several letters for Dr. Carreras, which I yesterday requested 
Ca^^tain Eirkland to deliver, but which he refused to do unless I would open them, lest 
he toa should be accused of conveying treasonable correspondence. I herewith send 
the letters, however, as I do not believe that any treasonable correspondence has ever 
passed through my hands for or to anybody. In fact, I do not believe there has ever 
been any conspiracy. 

The declarations of Berges, your two brothers, Venancio and Benigno, and Sr. Urde- 
pilleta, as given in the notes of your two last ministers of foreign relations, in so far 
as they implicate me as having any knowledge of a conspiracy, are entirely raise, and 
you know it; and you know that not one of tnem would confirm or afiOrm the declara- 
tion imputed to him if he were out of your power, but would deny it "in toto," and 
declare that he had never made it. or that he nad done so under torture. Declarations 
of that kind, your excellency ougnt to know, will have no weight outside of Pfiraguay. 
Not one word of them will be believed, and that all may not be denied by them, you 
must not only kill off all the persons who have made them, but all by whom they were 

Before finally leaving Paraguay, it is my duty to make my solemn protest against the 
arrest of those two members of my legation. Porter Cornelius Bhss and George F. 
Masterman. Their arrest in the street, as they were going with me from the legation 


to pass OD. board the steamer, was aa gross a yiolation of the law of natioiui as would 
have been their seiznre by force in my house. It was an act not only against my soy- 
emment, bnt against all civilized powers, and places Paraguay outside the pale oi the 
funilv of nations, and for this act you will be regarded as a common enemy, one deny- 
ing allegiance to the law of nations. 

You will also be regarded as a common enemy for having seized and made prisoners, 
and loaded with fetters, nearly all the foreigners in Pan^^y, and afterwards entered 
their houses and taken away their money on the miserable pretext, that finding less in 
your treasury thaoi you expected, those who had any money in the country must there- 
fore have robbed it firom the government. 

Your threat to Captain Eirkland, on his first arrival, that you would keep me a pris- 
oner in the country, will be duly represented to my government, and I only wish to 
confirm his reply to you, that had you done so my government woidd have hunted you 
not oi^ through all South America, but throughout all Europe. 
X our obedient servant, 


His Excellency Marshal Lofez, 

Frendent of Faraguay. 

Exhibit C. 

Mr, BUaa to Mr. GaodfdUiw. 

Legahok of the United States, 

AtuiuAon, September 7, 1868. 

My Deab Sir: Appreciating the friendly interest you have always shown in me, and 
the kindness with which you have aided my family to obtain news from me during my 
long detention in Paraguay, I think it proper to send you the present letter by Mr. 
Washburn, who will doubtless make known to you in detail the unprecedented events 
which have recently transpired here, idfecting the rights of all neutral nations, and more 
especially involving an unexampled violation of the immunities of the American legar- 
tion, and of the treatment due to an accredited minister of the United States. « ' 

You will learn, sir, with surprise, that in common with hundreds of foreigners and 
natives, comprising almost aU the adult males of the country who were not bearing 
arms, I am accused of belonging to a conspiracy against the government of Marshsu. 
Lopez, with the additional aggravation respecting me that I am also charged with 
belonging to a secret committee, who have put their hands to a compact to assassinate 
the marsnaL You can readily judge of the probabilities of both accusations, and will 
easily believe me when I say that there is not even the slightest founoation for 
them, and that, so far from knowing of any conspiracy, I have grave doubts whether 
any nas existed, notwithstanding aU the acts of this government, and the so-called 
confessions of criminals, to be round in the published correspondence between Mr. 
Washburn and the minister of foreign affairs.. This doubt is, I believe, common to all 
the persons belonging to the American legation^ 

You will also see the herculean efforts which have been made by this government to 
fasten upon ^ir. Washburn a complicity with the real or pretended revolutionary plot. 
You will see the false testimony which has been put into the mouths of prominent per- 
sons. Much of these statements is self-contradictory, and aU of them conflict with 
each other upon the most essential points ; and lastly, they all have this in common, 
that they frimish no definite information concerning the organization, objects, means, 
and occasion of action, nor even who were to take the decisive steps: besides, among 
so many revolutionary papers alluded to, apparently not one of that character nas been 
seized by this government. 

But I have no need to discuss the matter further ; the truth is evident and will be 
recognized by every one in Buenos Ajrres. I hope some decided action will proceed 
from the ministers of neutral nations in Buenos Ayres, though I can scarcely hope 
that any such action can benefit me, as I am already declared guilty by the govern* 
ment, although not havmg the slightest idea of the nature of the testimony, necessarily 
false or forged, which has been or will be produced against me. 

All persons in this legation have passed the last two months, since the extradition of 
myself and Mr. Masterman was demanded, in a state of continual agitation, alternat- 
ing between hope and despondency, and following the course of the correspo4denoe, 
which, on the part of this government, has steadily gone from bad to worse. 

I desire to bear the strongest testimony to the fact that, as to all the statements 
implicating Mr. Washburn in the conspiracy, there is not one of whose truth I have any 
knowledge, and most of them I know to be false. I also wish to bear witness to the 
unswerving constancy with which he has insisted upon the rights of legation, and 
done for me all that could be appropriate under the circumstances. Whatever may 


happen to me, I can meet my fate with a stoat heart and perfect confidence in the 
Great Architect of the universei knowing that my Kedeemer livoth. I have written 
at lai^e to my family. 

Accept my gratitude for favors received from you and Mrs. Goodfellow, to whom I 
send my love, and regards to all inquiring friends. 
Yours most trmy, 

Rev. WuxiAM Goodfellow. 

Exhibit D. 

Mr, Bliss to Mr. Davis. 

Legation op the United States, 

Asunciauj September 10, 1868. 

Dear Sir : You will learn from Mr. Washburn of the queer doings that have been 
going on here for two months past, or, at all events, will learn enough about it from 
the newspapers. I never thought to be accused of " high treason " by any government 
under the sun ; for, being a musical genius, as you are aware, I am clearly not fit for 
" treasons, stratagems^ and spoils." Whatever comes of the affair, I desire to bear 
testimony to the persistent efforts of Mr. Washburn to save myself and Mr. Master- 
man, my feUow-rascal, (as the official correspondence of the ministry here politely 
designate us.) Mr. Washburn had like to have shared the fate of the hero of , his own 
novel, if the United States gunboat Wasp had not very oj)portunely come to his rescue. 
As it is, he escapes *' by the ^n of his teeth^" after all possible obstacles have been 
put in the way of his departure. The Wasp is now lying but a league below here, but 
18 not allowed to come up. I suppose Mr, Washburn will leave to-day, and I shall 
imme^ately be nabbed by the 20 or 30 " guardians" who have kindly " looked after me" 
foi the last two months. 

I hope for relief from our government in three or four months ; that is, if it don't 
come too late for any practicalpurpose, so far as I am concerned. 

Please give my best regards to General Webb and Ids family. I hope Mr. Washburn 
will arrange all Httle matters between us ; please give him any letters or keepsakes of 
any little value for my family that I left in a trunk with you. I accompany some lines 
for Mrs. Davis. 

Yours, faithfully, 


Geo. N. Davis, Esq. 

Exhibit E. 
Mr. Bliss to Mr. Waslibvrn, 

September 11, 1868. 

Sir : Finding myself at lenjjth relieved from the restraint which your excellency has 
80 long exercised over my will, I cannot do less than express freely and spontaneously 
theimportant part which your excellency has taken in the revolution in which you 
have involved many persons, and among them myself. I have declared (feeling deeply, 
because I would like to avoid such a scandal to your excellency, but following out the 
truth) that your excellency has been the soul of the revolution ; and if this deed now 
appears to the light of heaven, confessed to by all its accomplices, to whom does it owe its 
eidstence save to your excellency, who has continued its direction up to a very recent 
period t I consider myself, therefore, completely absolved from the promise which 
your excellency extorted from me yesterday in your office not to reveal your proceed- 
ings, old or new. Even your brilliant speculations with the company of Hopkins, for 
which your excellency ought to pocket a hundred and odd thousands of patacoues, have 
been put in evidence, as also the gilded pUl you made Pohdoro and C)ctaviano swallow, 
as also the Marquis of Caxias, at the time of your excellency's celebrated visit of niedia* 
tion in March, last year. 

The object of this letter is to say to you that I have determined to request fix)m your 
excellency the delivery to the bearer of mv historical manuscripts which involve a i 
comproiuiae with this govfemment, and which are, without reason, in deposit with your / 
excellency, you having taken possession of them during my illness last year, and i 
because I have forgotten to demand them of you. They consist, as your excellency 
well knows, of a voluminous history of Paraguay till the year 1810, and some 2,000 
pages, or more, of notes in Spanish on more recent epochs, with the chronology up to 
our days. 



AlflOy I beg that your excellency will have the goodness to send me the three letters 
written by express order of your excellency, for your jnstification regarding the alfairs 
of the revolution, of which one is addressed to the New York World, another to Rev. 
Wm. T. Goodfellow, in Buenos Ayres, and the last to my father, Henry Bliss, of New 

The tmth having been fhlly displayed, these letters cannot serve yonr excellency for 
any object, and, smce they are false, it suits me no longer to keep the mystery of 
hypocrisy, and for your own honor your excellency ought to comply strictly with these 
my demands. 

I do not exact from you the English manuscripts which your excellency made me 
write in a spirit inimical to Paraguay, since these are the property of your excellency ; 
but I advise you, as a friend, not to attempt to fight against the evidence given by iim- 
nite witnesses. 

I take advantage of the occasion to salute your excellency with distinguished esteem 
and appreciation. 


His Excellency Hon. Chables A. Washburn, 

United States Minister EesidenU 

Exhibit F. 
Mr, Washburn to the British minister. 

Buenos Ayres, September 24, 1868. 

Sm : When I left Paraguay on tiie 12th instant, I regret to inform your excellency that 
nearly aU the foreigners- in that country, including several of your countrymen, were 
in prison, and as I am the only person beyond the reach of President Lopez's power who 
has any personal knowledge of their situation, it seems to be my duty to give any infor- 
mation I possess to the representatives of the different foreign governments, that 
knowing the condition of their unfortunate countrymen, they may take such action as 
may seem most proper in order to extricate them from their terrible situation. Unless 
speedy action is taken, there may be none left to tell the tale of their annihilation! 

To give an idea, therefore, of the situation there, and of the dangers and horrors to 
which all foreigners in that country are subjected or exposed, I propose to give a brief 
narrative of the events that have transpired since the 2l8t of I ebruary last. On the 
evening of that day, on returning from a duck-shooting, "paseo," I learned that several 
Brazilian iron-clads had passed Humaita, and were jOu the way to the capital. On 
reaching my house, I was informed that the minister for foreign affairs, Jos^ Ber^es, 
had sent an urgent request for me to visit him at his office. I immediately complied, 
when the minister told me that the Brazilian squadron having passed Humaita, and 
being already half way to Asuncion, the government had ordered an evacuation of 
the city, and had declared it a military point. He also said, the capital was to be 
removed to Luque, a little village some ten miles from Asuncion, and that he had invited 
me to visit Mm, in order that I might have such accommodations provided for me, at or 
near Luque, as I might select. I replied that, whoever else might obey the order of 
evacuation, I, certainly, should not. My legation was, for the time, the territory of the 
United States, and I should remain in it, giving such protection as my house and flag 
could afford, to all who chose to resort to it. I told Seiior Berges also, that the govern- 
ment had no right to compel the foreigners to abandon their houses and property ; that 
if they chose to remain and defend it, taking the risk of exposure to a bombardment of 
the town, they had a right to do so. He dissented entirely fi'om this view, and on 
returning to my house, I found it full of people, who were anxiously waiting to learn 
if I would remain in the capital or not. I told them that I should stay, and many more 
than my house could accommodate asked permission to remain within the legation. * I 
told them that I could not give them all shelter, but if they chose to deposit their 
valuables in my house, I would receive them, but always subject to their own risk; I 
should give no receipts for anything. 

The same evening and the next day people came rushing in in large numbers bringing 
their trunks and boxes, and several iron safes, all of which were deposited in the different 
rooms of the legation. The next day people were hurrying terror-stricken fr'om the 
towns ; not from fear of the Brazilians, but of a worse enemy, and towards evening 
several English came to my house and asked me to permit them with their families to 
occupy certain vacant rooms in the rear of my legation. As they were all in the gov- 
ernment employ, I suggested that it would be more prudent for them to get permission 
to do so from the authorities. They accordingly asked and obtained the permission, 
and on the following morning they came with their families, 21 persons in all, and took 
shelter in the legation. The following morning Dr. Antonio de las Carreras, who was 


the former head of the Oriental goyeminent, and a most bitter enemy of the Brazilians, 
fearing lest if he fell into the hands of the allies he wonld be treated as wa« Leandro 
Gomez after the fall of Paysandn^ came to my house and asked for shelter, fie was 
accomiianied by Francisco Rodriguez Larreta, who went to Paraguay as secretary of 
legation with Dr. Vasquez Sagastume, the Oriental minister resident in 1864, and I 
gave them a cordial welcome, and they remained with me tUl July 13. At the time 
we all thought that the war was virtually over, and that within a few days Asuncion 
wonld be in the hands of the Brazilians. Such was the universal wish of everybody, 
Para^ayans and foreigners alike. On the 24th the iron-clads approached Asuncion, 
which was defended by a little fort having but one gun of sufficient caliber to do any 
harm to monitors or iron-clads, and this one so badly mounted, as I was informed after- 
wards, that it could not be depressed so as to be of any service. As the Brazilians 
approached this fort they began firing at it, but without iiyuring it. The fort replied 
with some half a dozen shots tasome thirty-five or forty from the iron-clads, when the 
latter, for some reason inexplicable to me, turned back and went away. No harm was 
done to the fort, and very little to the town. One shot struck the new palace of the 
president, but the damage done to it was very trifling. We then supposed that the 
iron-clads would soon return reinforced, but week passed after week, and month after 
month, and we could learn nothing of what was gomg on at the seat of the war. Sup- 
posing that Lopez was shut up within his intrenchments around Humaita, and that it 
would be impossible for him to escape with any considerable portion of his army, we 
thought the duration of the war was only a question of time, a few days, more or less. 
Thus things remained with us till, on tne 1st of April, we learned for the first time 
that Lopez had abandoned Paso Pucu, and had- reached and passed the Tebicuari 
with the larger part of his army. Thus the end of the war seemed to be indefi- 
nitely postponed. Our situation in Asuncion was extremely disagreeable, as it was 
impossible to obtain many things elsewhere regarded as necessaries of life. 

The town was completely deserted, save only that more or less people were permitted 
to come in occasionally to carry away things that, in their first night and hurry, they 
were unable to do. Some incidents occurred which showed that the government, or 
rather Lopez, for Lopez is the government, did not approve of my keeping so many 
people in my legation, and therefore all who had not been recognized as belonging to 
it thought it prudent not to venture into the streets. But considering the circum- 
stances, we passed the time more pleasantly than could have been expected. Carreras 
and Rodri^ez were most agreeable and intelligent gentlemen, and Mr. Bliss was an 
encyclopedia of knowledge on almost every subject. Our Paraguay servant was able 
to obtain for us all the beef, mandioca, maize, chickens, and eggs required, and some- 
times a duck or a turkey ; the caua of the country could also be obtained at double the 
price of Martell's best brandy. But the gloom seemed to be darkening every day over 
the country ; scarcely ever did a person come to my house to carry away anything de- 
posited there, but he had to tell of other foreigners arrested and taken in fetters to the 
president's headquarters at San Fernando. What it all meant no one could divine — 
there was a terrible mystery about it. At length, however, about the 1st of May, I 
received notice that the United States steamer Wasp had come up as far as Curupaiti 
to take me away, and was there detained by the allied squadron. I knew that Lopez 
did not wish me to leave Paraguay, that he, like everybody else, was very anxious for 
me to remain. The foreigners of all nations were especiaUy desirous that I should 
wait to the end of the war, and many of the better class of Paraguayans, those having 
most to lose, were exceedingly importunate that I should stay to give them the protec- 
tion of my flag at the last extremity. Of these the mother of the President was one of 
the most solicitous. I told them all that I would not abandon them ; that I would 
endure privations and loss to give them any protection in my power, and that if a suc- 
cessor did not come to take my place, or imperative orders from my government to 
return home, I would stand by them to the last. I knew also, or at least had no doubt 
that if I had proposed to go away and had asked Lopez for means of conveyance to 
pass through the allied lines to embark on the Wasp, lie would not have granted my 
request. I therefore wrote to the commander of the Wasp that if he did not come 
above the squadron my family could not get aboard of his steamer, and I therefore 
urged him very strongly to force the blockade. My- great object was to get my wife 
and child out of the country, and if the Wasp was once above the military hnes I could 
go or not with or without the permission or favor of his excellency Marshal Lopez, if 
on the arrival of the steamer it should appear to be my duty to do so. I was disposed, 
however, to remain, as I knew that if I left I should carry with me the last hope of 
hundreds or thousands. They all seemed to think that in any contingency my house 
and person would be inviolate, I did not fully share this opinion, but I nevertheless 
thought if I could get my family away so much would be gained, and then it would be 
my duty to remain. With this view I went down to San Fernando, to see President 
Lopez and confer with him in regard to the passage of the Wasp above the Brazilian 
squadron. I found him reserved, and though evidently he desired that the Wasp 
should come through, and before leaving to return to Asuncion he promised to forward 


my letter to Capt. KirklancL by fla^ of truce, and gave me letters to inclose to Ms com- 
manders at Humaita, and Curupaiti, to allow the Wasp to pass without molestation. 
In my conversations with Lopez, he expressed great dissatisfaction that I had admitted 
so many persons into my house. My communication to Captain Eorkland being dis- 
patched, I returned to Asuncion. The Wasp, however, did not at that time go above 
the squadron, and we were then all left in uncertainty whether or not anything would 
come to our rescue ere it was too late. The arrests of foreigners continued, but for 
what object or for what offense no one could imagine. The few people I saw were 
more Mghtened and shy than ever. Nothing, however, of importance occurred till, on 
the 16th of June, we were surprised by the appearance of the acting Portuguese con- 
sul, Jos^ Maria Leite Pereira, and his i;me, who came to ask the protection of my house 
and flag. Of the events that followed this I refer you for information to the corre- 
spondence already published. First, the government desired to know if the said Leite 
Pereira was in my house. I replied in the affirmative, but denied the right of the gov- 
ernment to question me as to the persons in my legation, and that, if it knew or sus- 
pected any obnoxious person to be within it, a specific allegation of his offense must be 
made before I should be under obligations to send him away. Some two weeks passed 
after the first call for him was made before it was repeated, and, in the meanwhile, we 
aU began to cherish the hope that he would not be molested. His whole offense, so far 
as I knew then, or know now, was the crime, which among civilized men would be 
considered venial, if not meritorious, of spendmg all his own money, and all he could 
borrow, to relieve the prisoners vho fell into the hands of Lopez, relying on them or 
their respective governments to repay him after the war. On the morning of his com- 
ing to my house, however, he had received notice that his consular character would no 
longer be respected, and as he had previously been cautioned that Lopez was badly 
affected towards him, he considered the withdrawal of his exequatur as but a prelude 
to imprisonment, irons, and starvation ; he, therefore, fled with his wife to the United 
States legation, hoping to find shelter and protection. It was accorded him without 
hesitation, though regarded by me as an unwise and imprudent step on his part. On 
the 11th of July, nowever, the dream of security was dispelled by the receipt of the letter 
from the acting minister of foreign relations, Gumesindo Benitez, in which the govern- 
ment demanded the dismissal on the following day not only of Leite Pereira, but of 
everybody else in my house that did not belong to the legation. Pereira and the En- 
glish left accordingly, though *^ I told them aU that I did not send them away, and that 
if they chose to remain they might do so, and I would never deliver up one of them 
until some specific crime was alleged against them." They all thought, however, it 
was best for them to go, and the English requested me to go and see Colonel Fernan- 
dez, the military commander at Asuncion, the men offering to resume work in the 
arsenal, and requesting to be advised of the points to which the women and children 
would be sent. The house was surrounded by as many as forty policemen, and the 
English were afraid of being taken immediately to prison. Fernandez, however, 
pledged me his word of honor that they should not be molested by the police, but 
should be well treated, and said the men would be again taken into the service, on con- 
dition of making new contracts. The men had made the offer only because they 
thought it better to go to work than go to prison. They accordingly left the legation, 
in the afternoon, and were directed to the railway station, where they were most mis- 
erably provided for, notwithstanding that Fernandez had pledged his word of honor 
that they should be well treated. They remamed in that situation for about a week, 
when they disappeared, and I know not what has become of them. I have heard that 
the women and children were sent to a villag e about four leagues from Asuncion, 
called San Lorenzo, and that the men had, like most of the other foreigners in Para- . 
guay^ been taken in irons to the army headquarters. Leite Pereira left about five p. 
m. of the same day, and was arrested as soon as got into the street. Of his subsequent 
fate I know nothing. On the same day I wrote a letter to Benitez, advising him that 
the Portuguese consul and the English had left voluntarily, but that as no charge had 
been made against Carreras or Rodriguez, and they preferred to stay in the legation, 
and as such was also my wish, I presumed no objection would be made to it. By sun- 
rise, however, the next morning I received another letter still more urgent, demanding 
that they should leave my house .by one o'clock of that day. Still no specific charge 
was made against them, and I told them that they might go or stay as they thought 
best, but that they would have the protection of my house and flag until they were 
taken by force, or till some direct crime was laid to their charge. They both said that 
if I woiild promise to remain till the end of the war, they would not deliver themselves 
up, as it was impossible for any specific charge to be brought against them, and they 
did not believe that Lopez would venture to take them out of the legation by force. 
But I could not promise to remain to the end of the war, and they, therefore, "^said it 
was better that they should go at once than to enrage Lopez by remaining, when at 
last they would probably fall into his merciless clutches. They accordingly left at 12 
m. of the 13th of July, but not till I had shown them my letter of the same date to 
Benitez, in which I gave my reasons for believing that the government could have 


Dothiug serious against thorn, and tliat, in regard to Bodri^ez, even if it had, they 
had no right to touch him, as he was entitled to diplomatic immunities. 

This letter I sent the same afternoon to Beuitez, and as all were then gone who did 
not belong to the legation, I thought that I should be left to a dismal peace. Before 
night, however, came another letter demanding that I should likewise send away two 
members of my legation, P. C. Bliss and G. F. Masterman, whose names as such had 
long before been given in to the ministry for foreign aifairs. 

At this point I made a stand, as you will see by the published correspondence, and 
by fencihg and fighting to the best of my ability, saying some flattering things about 
Lopez, I kept them with me till my final departure. I admit that I purposely pro- 
longed the correspondence in the hope of saving these two men. They were aiTested, 
however, as they started to accompany me to fiie steamer, at the moment of leaving 
the legation, taken by force from my side, and their subsequent fate may be guessed 
at from what I shall hereafter relate. 

May none ever know the uncertainty of the last two months and a-half of my life 
in Paraguay. To see men with whom one has had the most friendly relations for 
months, with whom one has discussed questions of. history and politics every day, 
varying the monotony of the days with billiards and of the evenings with whist, and yet 
to feel that these very men with whom one was talking over the situation might be in 
irons in one hour and shot within twenty-four ; certainly, you will allow this was 
enough to render even the sleex) ^^ ^ brave man fitful ana uneasy, and of a man like 
me, without such pretensions, utterly inadequate to ^^knit up the raveled sleeve of 
care.'' And up to this time, we had not the least idea of what it was all about. No 
such word as treason or conspiracy had, to my knowledge, ever been heard in my 
house. What could Lopez wantf Was it his plan to kill on all foreigners, that no one 
may be left to tell the story of his enormities f Did he seek to blot out the record of 
his crimes f If so, the minister was no safer than the other members of the legation. But 
as Bliss and Masterman were not taken for several weeks after the departure of Car- 
reras and Rodiiguez, we gradually got into a more normal state. The conduct of per- 
sons accused in the time of the French revolution, whose levity in the prosx)ect of 
death seems incredible, appeared to us, as we oft«n remarked, no longer strange ; but 
to the credit of Bliss and Masterman, though not to myself, as I did not consider my 
danger as great as theirs, I will say, we scofied at the dangers before us, and talked, 
joked and laughed as iieely as though we had nothing to fear. At this point I may 
remark that, U'c^i the time that Leite Pereira came to my house, it was always sui*- 
rounded by at least a dozen policemen, and that frequently on looking out in front I 
have counted more than that number on one side. Probably fiftjf men, who might 
otherwise have been in the army, were kept night and day to watch me and the 
members of my legation. In the meanwhile we could hear scarcely anything of what 
was going on. With the exception of the consuls, who ocoasionally came in fi:om 
Luque, no one ever came to my house, and my Paraguayan servants, if they learned 
anything, feared to tell it. I did learn, however, that about the time that the great 
sweep was made from my house, the brother of the President, Venancio Lopez, was 
carried off in irons to the army headquarters. His other brother, Benigno, had been 
called below long before, and when I visited his excellency at San Fernando, in the early 
part of May, Don Benigno and the minister of foreign affairs, Berges, were both close 
prisoners, as was the President's brother-in-law, Satuinino Bedoya. The old vice-pres- 
ident, Sanchez, who had previously been a prisoner, was then allowed to leave his 
house, but neither he nor any Paraguayans dared approach me or be seen with me. 

For a time we feared it was the intention of Lopez to cut the throats of all the for- 
eigners, as we knew but little of any arrests at that time of Paraguayans. If they 
were arrested they were taken off' so quietly that we might or might not hear anything 
of it for weeks or months. But while the English who had been in the legation were 
detained in the railway station, the train came in one night at midnight full of pris- 
onei-s. The English could see nothing, as no light was allowed in the station, but the 
clanking of the chains and the sighs and groans of the prisoners as they were forced 
from the cars and driven forward towards the bank of the river, were distinctly audi- 
ble. They were all embarked in a steamer for San Fernando before daylight. A few 
days after I learned that this crowd of prisoners was almost entirely composed of Par- 
aguayans ; that nearly every man in the new capital^ the judges, clerks, accountants, 
and all save the chief of poUco, Sanabria, a man eminently distinguished for his bru- 
tality, Benitez and the vice-president, were the only ones left there, besides i)olicemen 
and soldiers ; that there was a gloom over the i>lace. so deep and funereal-like, that the 
women and children scarcely ventured out of their nouses, and if they did, it was with 
fear, as if they had just felt the shock of an earthquake, and were in dread of another. 
For more than tilty years the country has been a Dionysius gallery. It was always 
the j)olicy of Francia, and of Carlos Antonio Lopez^ that everything said should reach 
the ear of *^ El Supremo." But in the worst days ol Francia the government was mild 
and patera al compared with what it has been under this younger Lopez. People have 
been thrown into prison not only for saying things perfectly innocent, and for not 


reporting what they have heard, but also for the crime of not rejxniiiiig what they 
have not heard. It is made the duty of everybody to be a spy on everybody else, and 
woe to him whose ears are not open to every word spoken in his presence. 

The arrest of all the civil magistrates indicated that it was not the foreigners alone 
that had made themselves obnoxious to Lopez. But what it was all for, no one in my 
house, as I yet firmly believe, had the least idea. The published coarespoudence, how- 
ever, will show that about the 18th or 20th of July, the government suspected, or effected 
to suspect a conspiracy ; alleging that ex-Minister Berges was a traitor, and was in 
collusion with the enemy, and that under my official seal I had transmitted the corre- 
spondence to and fro between the conspirators. I must refer you to the published cor- 
respondence, to show how they undertook to connect me with the conspiracy ; or at 
least, .la knowing that a revolution was in contemplation. At first it woidd seem that 
they were so conhdent of implicating me, that they began to publish the correspondence, 
but after receiving my letter of the 11th of August, in which I showed so many contra- 
dictions in the declarations that had been made by the accused — probably under tor- 
ture — that they suspended further publications. But it was not in the nature of Lopez 
to show any magnanimity, or even justice, by acknowledging he had been led into 
error by false depositions. Men who know him would as soon accuse him of ordinary 
courage, as of magnanimity, and he never was accused of that, except in his own 
" Semanario," of which he is virtually the editor. During all this war, Lopez has never 
exposed himself to any x)ersonal danger ; he has never on a single occasion risked him- 
self in any battle, and while he was at Paso Pucu he had an immense ca^e or rather 
house, with walls of earth over 20 feet thick, from which he never ventured for weeks 
together ; and at the same time that his organ was filled '^ <id nauseam '' with accounts 
of the great Lopez leading, with dauntless valor, his legions to victory, he was sitting 
quaking and quivering in his cave afraid to venture out lest a ball might reach him. 
On one occasion, some two years ago, when he was out with his bishop and his staff, a 
shell struck at a distance of half a mile or more from his excellency. Instantly the 
brave Lopez turned and ran like a scared sheep, with his staff, including the bishop, 
after him, the latter losing his hat as he fled affrighted after his chief. TliiB is the only 
instance known of his ever having been in personal danger ; he has not even the vulgar 
merit of personal courage, nor has he any other. His firmness, carried to obstinacy, is 
the result of personal fear. Many persons, his own people who have escaped from his 
power, and whose families have been toitured and otherwise persecuted to death, have 
sent messages to him threatening to kill him at sight should they e\^r meet him ; he 
therefore dares nqt treat with the enemy, for so many have sworn to pursue him, the 
world will not afford him a refuge if he once has no army between him and his enemies ; 
he knows the country to be lost and ruined ; he has no navy, and, in my opinion, not 
more than one-fifth of the land forces of the enemy. Why the latter do not attack him 
and put an end to the war I do not know; but they do not do so, and the war may not 
end for a long time. Lopez has recently said he expected to be compelled soon to fall 
back from the river, and then he would retire into the mountains, driving everybody, 
foreigners and Paraguayans alike, before him. In that case, at the rate the allies have 
been going on for the last two years, it will not be long before he will be unable to present 
as strong a front to his enemies as he did when they landed above the Tebicuan — viz., 
one man to watch the telegraph. 

It was not, however, till August that I heard, besides the conspiracy against the gov- 
ernment, that there had been a great robbery of the public treasury. Of the particu- 
lars of this robbery I could never learn anything — ^neither did I ever have any knowledge 
of the details of the plan of the conspiracy. It was said in one of Benitez's letters that 
Mr. Bliss, a member of my legation, had signed a paper, with others, in which they had 
engaged to assassinate President Lopez. I knew that was false, or, at least, had no 
doubt that it was so, and defied them to produce any such paper ; but they never showed 
it. They never gave me any clue as to the manner of the conspiracy or how the revo- 
lution was to be effected, and I do not believe to this day t^iat anything of the kind waa 
ever attempted. The declarations of the prisoners prove nothing except the mercDess 
cruelties of Lopez, for it is known that he freely employs the torture. He loads hi§ 
prisoners with heavy fetters, sometimes two, three or four jjair, and besides flogs them, 
if they do not give the testimony he requires, till they die. 

The only explanation I can give in regard to the robbery of the treasury is this : 
since -Lox)ez came into power he has never had a competent bookkeeper in his emj^loy, 
and very probably has never known till recently how much money had been h^tt by 
his predecessor. He has been spending largely ever since, and probably no accurate 
account has ever been kept of the amount paid out according to his order. After the 
city was evacuated, however, in February, he probably had occasion to count his money, 
aL 1 found a large hole in the bottom of his treasury. This discovery was not probably 
made till some months after the removal to Luque, as about the month of June we 
found that all those foreigners who had made any money during the past years, and 
were most likely to have any in their houses, were arrested and sent below Among 
them were English, French, Italians, Spaniards, Germans, and Portuguese. The plan 


of Lopez appeals to be to get tliis money into his hands, and then, by tortnre or threats, 
to extort confessions of being either conspirators or plunderers of the treasury. On 
these confessions they will probably be executed on the precautionary principle of foot- 
pads and other murderers that ^' dead men tell no tales.'^ How Lopez expects to escape 
with the money thus obtained, I do not know. Perhaps he thinks that some neutral 
gunboat will take him and his plunder awav at the last moment. But I here give 
notice that the money thus taken does not belong to Lopez. It is the property of citi 
zens of those powers that are able to pursue it and return it to its rishtful owners. 

Your excellency^ as all the world, probably wonders how it is, if Lopez be the char 
acter I have described him, that he is served so faithfully and bravely. It is entirely 
through fear, for save and except a few of the most willing instruments of his cruelties, 
like Ins favorite mistress, his bishop, Luis Caminos, Sanabria, and a few others, who 
have evinced most alacrity in doing his bloody work, there is not a man, woman, or 
child, (I do not except either his mowier, sister, or brothers,) who would not thank God 
if he would take him to another world, where his deserts could be more adequately 

Why, then, do the Paraguayans fight so bravely? It is not because of their superior 
courage nor of their devotion to Lopez. That they are a brave and enduring people, 
cannot be denied. But the reason why they fight so desperately is this, that according 
to Lopez's system of discipline, there is always more danger in giving way than in going 
on. He has no confidence in ms troops, and always seems to act under the belief that 
they would desert if they could get a chance. He therefore, in going into battle, 
advances his first lines with, orders to fight to the death. A little in the rear is a smaller 
body with orders to shoot down the fist man. who gives way or attempts to desert. 
Behind these are still others with orders to bring down any one in front who does not 
fight to the death, and behind those again are others with like instructions, until at last 
the threads are all gathered in the hands of Lopez. If in spite of all these precautions a 
point is carried by the enemy, his unhappy officers who survive are shot and the men 
decimated. Under this system he has lost at least 100,000 men, probably more than 
the Brazilians, and yet tliis system, though it has not left 6,000 able-bodied men in the 
country, has kept from three to six times as many of the allied forces at bay. 

The country, however, is entirely denuded of its male population. All the ploughing, 
planting, and sowing, is done by women ; women must yoke the oxen, do the butcher- 
ing, and all the other work usually done by men. There are many women also with 
the army, to do the labor of men, and thus relieve the troops, but none, I believe, are 
forced to bear arms. 

The next news that we shall probably hear from Lopez is, that he has retired with 
his whole army to the mountains, and that he has driven every man, woman, and child 
before him. Had not the Wasp arrived till a month later, I have no doubt that I should 
have been forced to do the same. To the last moment Lopez hesitated whether 
to keep me a prisoner or not ; he wants no one to survive him capable of telling the 
world of liis enormities, and of aU those whose declarations have been given in the 
correspondence lately published, not one will be allowed to escape, nor will any of 
those persons before whom they were made. For once beyond the reach of Lopez, they 
would declare that they had never made them, or had made them under torture. 

Since arriving in this city I have seen a letter that was brought by the Wasp, evi- 
dently written at tlie dictation of Lopez, in which some details are given of the nature 
of the plot or conspiracy. This is the first information I had of the kind of plot that 
had been discovered, and the absurdity of the whole thing convinces me more strongly 
than ever that there never has been any plot or conspiracy at aU. 

How lone is this war to last I For more than a year and a half I have believed that 
Lopez would not hold out for two months longer ; but I had no idea how slowly some 
people could move, if they resolutely set themselves not to fight. 

With the hope that the war would end shortly, I remained a year longer than 
I intended, very much against my interest, and suffering great discomfort. I believed 
that at the final catastrophe I could be of great service, especially to the foreigners, 
and had Asuncion been taken in February, when the iron-clads went up there, as we 
then expected it would be, I should doubtless have been able to save the lives of many, 
who now will never see their native land again. But when all of them had been killed 
f r made prisoners, and nobody, native or loreigner, dared come near my house, and I 
Was utterly powerless to do any service for anybody, I thought it time to obey the orders 
of my government and return to the United States. 
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 


His Excellency Hon. William Stuart, 

Her Britannic Majestifs Minister Plenipotentiary ^ Buenos Ayres. 





Asuncion, January 12, 1869. 

Dear Sir : What shall I write to you f Paper, ink, and letters, are only means for short 
and incomplete communications, and my heart is so ftill, I have so much to tell yon, 
there are so extremely many intrigues to uncover, such an incredible complex of Jesuit- 
ism, baseness, lowness, falsehood, assassination, all sort of crimes, and badly used gov- 
ernmental skill to bring to the daylight, that I fear it is hardly possible to give to the 
world the proof of the baseness and the clever play of which we foreigners in Paraguay 
have been subject these last ten months. It is impossible to do us justice for two rea- 
sons — because there are far too many acts of barbarism to be able to mention them ; and 
secondly, they are so nicely and skillfully enveloped and put under the shape of justice 
and humanity, that we can hardly expect the world to be ready to believe the truth. 
It would be necessary to discover the motive of all this clever Jesuitical play and 
assassinations, which the Paraguayan government used during the last year : motives 
which I cannot explain, and of which I only have the iull persuasion that all is false- 
hood and baseness. 

I perfectly understand, and I find it quite natural and lo^cal, that until this moment 
there are politicians who admire and defend the actions of Hie Paraguayan government^ 
and condemn these pow sufferers who had to lose their lives, fortunes and honor during 
the last ten months ; but this mistake is only to be excused, as the world knoiws nothing 
at all about Paraguayan affairs, and what they believe to know is only a very clever 
falsehood, which this government understood and spread over the world. 

I suppose you know by this time that Asuncion is in the hands of the allied army 
since the 1st of January, and as I write from that place you will see I have the fortune 
to be with them. I asked several people about you, and I have learned nothing except 
some vague information of your having gone to Washington, and what I most deeply 
lament, and about what I feel very, very sorry, is that I have been informed by several 
people that you got into difficulties mth the United States government about the clever 
but miserable tricks the Paraguayan government played you. But, my dear sir, I have 
confidence time will clear all these errors, and if I was in your place I would feel quite 
easy, and even tell my adversaries that they are perfectly right to condemn you, because 
they could not do otherwise with the wrong information they only could have, and with 
the apparently nicely-fitted accusations of the corresi)ondenco between you and Benitez. 
I say that your adversaries have quite wrong information, or, perhax>8, better said, no 
information at all, because I find here, at the very head, people of the allied army, that 
are entirely ignorant of the extent of cruelties and falsehood to which this place is sub- 
jected. I wirfi to God, therefore, and I hope that soon everything will come to the 
daylight, and then, dear sir, there could not be a man to blame you ; but there are many 
who are deeply obliged to your kindness, to your humanity, to your good-will and 
assistance, and, more than all, to the straightforward defense of the principle of righ*. 
Until now, I have not seen newspapers, and the information I got about you is very 
uncertain, so I hope you are all right, and enjoy a better and happy life after so many 

I will tell you now how I came to the allied army, but I am sorry that I must be very 
brief, as otherwise I never could finish, because the sufferings, bad treatment, and false- 
hood to which I had been subjected for the last three months have been by far too many. 

You know very well that I have always been very highly estimated by the Para- 
guayan government and all officials, and it had been so until the 23d of October last 
year when I was taken prisoner and sent to the army. My imprisonment is another 
specimen of rudeness — ^to use the most direct word ibr such an action — because they 
accused me of the same dramatic piece of revolution, by means of which spectacle they 
put out of the way so many innocent people before me. Now, look here, dear sir, how 
all that came. At the beginning of October arrived very near Asuncion a French and 
an Italian gunboat, and the consuls took steps to arrange the departure of their respect- 
ive subjects. At the same time appeared an advice (notice) in the official paper, the 
SemananOj that the Paraguayan government never had put difficulties in the way of the 
departure of foreigners. I considered this a fine occasion to retire to Europe, and put 
myself in communication with the Italian consul, asking him to put me on board of the 
vessel of his nation. After having arranged this, I went to the Paraguayan minister, 
Luis Caminos, and told him that I should like to retire to Europe, in case the Paraguayan 
government did not find it inconvenient. I was so happy to be told by the minister 
that there was no inconvenience at all on the part of the Paraguayan government, and 
that he would write down immediately to arrange about the vessel and to send me my 
passport. With these favorable promises, and in the glorious hope to spend a happy 
Christmas at home, after so many years of privations and sufferings, I went home to my 


cooDtry house in Recoleta, full of hope and new plans for the ftiture ; packed up my 
baggage and a few thousand dollars, the earnings of bard work in Paraguay. Tbo next 
morning, the 23d of October, I went as regularly to Asuncion to arrange everything 
there for a quick departure, but, incredible to believe, at 1 o^clock I got arrested' by an 
officer and police sergeant at my office, and immediately transported on horseback to 
the nugona of the army in Las Lomas, near Villeta. All my demonstrations to visit 
first my house to provide me with clothes and money were useless, and I soon convinced 
myself that I had to obey my sergeant as bUndly as he had to obey his orders. 

I must pass over a detailed description of all the sufferings which I had during two 
months of imprisonment : hunger, thirst, filth, insults, sun, rain, living and sleeping in 
the open air, with the legs in stocks, without protection against heat and rain. But I 
must mention more particularly what is called the Paraguayan tribunal of justice. 

Twenty-four hours after my arrival in Las Lomas, 1 was brought by four soldiers 
under arms to a hut where there were sitting three captains. After a formal inquiry of 
my name, profession, religion, and nationality, I was told to lay down an oath that all I 
should say before that tribunal would be the pure truth. After having done this, I was 
inquired of if I knew why I had been taken prisoner, which question I answered that 
1 had not the slightest idea. 

During all this time one of the officers most eagerly studied the SemanariOj and then 
afterward left the room and did not appear again. 

After having denied the knowledge of the motives of my imprisonment, the speaker 
of the remaining two captains warned me severely not to go on in that way, and that I 
had much better confess at once all my guilt, because the tribunal knew everything, 
and there were more than a hundred proofii against me that I had been one of the heads 
of the revolution. 

There I learned for the first time that they considered me as a partner of that imagi- 
nary revolution, of which I knew just as little as aU the others who have lost their 
lives, being forced to state and affirm to have been partners to such a revolution. It is 
quite natural that such a malicious accusation will put the most deliberate man into a 
certain state of excitement, and I began to defend myself, stating that I was ready to 
face any man and any statement against me ; but instead of entering into the points of 
my defense, or only listening to them, I was repeatedly warned to consider that I was 
not in a grog-sbop, or in a billiard-room, or theatre, and that I must not make move- 
ments with my hands, nor speak so loud, and that I behaved very badly before the tri- 
bunal, and that they had plenty of means to make me speak the truth. 
. By this time there entered another captain of the name of Goyburu, the only one 1 
knew by name. I was then told tbat the tribunal had many proofs that I knew all about 
the revolution, and tbat I had received money from the Commandante Fernandez to 
maintain that revolntiou. I denied both accusations, which caused one of the captains 
to order a corporal to bring a pair of fettei;s, which, fortunately, they never put on me. 
I tried everj'thing to persuade the judges to bring to my face any person, paper, or i)roof, 
which could speak against me, but the clever judge assured me that there was no neces- 
sity, that the tribunal is x>erfectly persuaded of my guilt-, and that the tribunal never 
calls a person except he is guilty, to which I answered that, so far as my knowledge 
goes, a tribunal has a right to call any person, but only to punish the guilty. 

With this the examination had an end, and I was advised to regulate my soul with 
God, because my life would be short, and then I was taken again to my prison, and 
never saw anything more either of judge or jury. 

I have to state that the Paraguayan tribunal was not even furnished with a table, 
neither pen, ink, nor paper. But you can see, dear sir, that I have been the most fortu- 
nate of all tbe prisoners, because they never put me into fetters, nor did they use me 
with all the diabolical machines of the times of the Inquisition, with which they pressed 
out and forced all the other foreigners to confess and affirm that there really had been 
a plan of revolution, and that all of them had been members of it. 

I have now to tell you how I escaped out of this most critical and dangerous position. 
On the 2Ist of December we were (about forty of us) prisoners, lying in a retired place 
in the wood, when the allied army began to make a formal attack on the Paraguayan 
fortiticatious in Las Lomas. Early in the morning there came a body of officers and 
l)riests to our place, and Commander Marco read a list of about one-third of the prison- 
ers, who had to step forth, and hy everything it was evident that there was the solemn 
moment of what the Paraguayans venture to name an execution of justice. Then the 
called prisoners formed a circle, Commandante Marco read a short sentence, the priests 
took them to confession, a body of soldiers took them a Itew steps into the thicket of the 
wood, another i>ause of silence, and a musket volley finished all. It will interest you, 
dear sir, but deeply affiict yon, to know the names of some of the x>er8ons of that day^s 
execution. There were among them Don Benigno Lopez, the brother of the President ; 
Barrios, the brother-in-law ; the Minister Berges, the bishop, the Portuguese consul, 
Leite Pereira ; Colonel Alen, Captain Fidanza, the very old mother and wife of Colonel 
Martinez, and the Priest Bogado. We also had as companion-prisoners the sisters of 
the I^esident and the other brother, Colonel Vincencio Lopez. These were taken and 


shut up, each one in a cart, and carried off, I do not know where. People speak here of 
their also heing shot, but I conld not assure the truth of it. 

The attack of the allied army against the fortifications of Las Lomas lasted in x>er- 
manent succession, day and night, from the morning of the 21st until the middle of the 
day of the 27th of December, when the Paraguayan army got entirely cut down, and 
only a very small remnant took the road to Cerro Leon. During these seven days of 
tremendous fighting we prisoners always were exposed to the heavy rain of balls, and 
on the 24th, the celebrateld day of the independence of the republic of Paraguay, when 
we were lying in a long line, during a heavy rain, on the bare, wet ground, and the 
greatest part of us more than half naked, we had the great fortune to see the President 
passing close by us. Madame Lynch had the great kindness to remind his excel- 
lency of our presence, and the President had the still greater kindness to set us all 
immediately at liberty, as a gracious act on the most glorious day of the independence 
of Paraguay — an act for which we all had to thank him forever. Our liberty was not 
a complete one, because we were put under the charge of an officer near the guard of a 
new* lot of prisoners who arrived that very day, but we could speak fireely one with 
another, and move about a certain small distance from the guardniouse. 

In this state we remained from the 24th to the 27th, when the allies took, with an 
assault, the positions of the Paraguayans, which already, by this time, after seven days 
and nights honorable and brave resistance, were reduced to a very few thousand men. 
Now the allies came so near to us that everything took to flight under a dense rain of 
musket balls, every one looking out for himsell, and being most eagerly occupied in 
reaching the next wood. The jPresident, the two generals — Resquin and Caballero — 
Madame Lynch, a few more officers, and about 90 men of the horse-^ards, suc- 
ceeded in reaching Cerro Leon on horseback, leaving everjrthing else behrad. About 
1^000 men afterward also succeeded in getting to that place, where the President is for- 
tifying himself with the last remnant of his male popiQation. I had to stop three days 
in the thickets of the wood, because I had to walk barefooted, in a miserable state of 
health and weakness, and on the first day I already saw myself entirely surrounded by 
allied troops, who had occupied all possible outlets. On the fourth day in the morning 
I went to the Argentine camp of General Rivas, where I first met Colonel Caracar, to 
whom I am deeply obliged by the kind reception he gave me. From here I was taken 
to General Rivas, then to the Argentine chief. General Gelly y Obes, and then to the 
Marquis de Caxias himself. I cannot praise sufficiently the kindness with which these 
three generals received and treated me. Since the 1st of January I am again in Asun- 
cion, but unfortunately I have to say that I found my house at Recoleta entirely robbed, 
so that I find myself for the first time in my life poorer than the poorest beggar ; not a 
cent in the pocket, not a shirt to put on, not a single friend to ask for anything, and 
besides this, miserably sick from suffering, and so weak that I am not able to leave the 
house. But with the help of God and som^ newly arrived countrymen of mine, I am 
able to tell you, sir, now I am getting better every day. 

I am very sorry that I must mention here the very sad news which I immediately 
learned when I arrived at the allied camp, namely, that Lopez, when he took to flight 
toward Cerro Leon, ordered an adjutant with a list of all the old and new prisoners to 
be killed wherever they might be found. But we fortunately had hooked it already, 
and all I know is that the adjutant with his list is taken prisoner by the Brazilians ; so 
I escaped a second condemnation to death. 

It wiU. interest you, dear sir, to know who of the Europeans escaped to the idlies. 
Of European prisoners there was only, beside myself, Mr. Alonzo Taylor, and a yoimg 
Italian by the name of Segunda We^a. Mr. Taylor is on board the English gunboat in 
Asuncion, waiting for his family which is driven, by order of the government, into the 
mountains. Of tiie other gentlemen I know nothing at present. But, besides this, 
there is Doctor Stewart, gone to Buenos Ayres direct ; Colonel Thompson, also gone to 
Buenos Ayres, but I believe as a prisoner of war ; Colonel Wisner, who, with his whole 
fiamily, lives in his old house in Asuncion. The large list of all the foreigners which 
had been arrested during the time of you being here, and a few more arrested after- 
ward, do not exist any more : they all died either by hunger, torture, misery, sufferings, 
oi shooting ; some of them have been killed by bayonets during the march from San 
Fernando to Las Lomas, not being able to follow the rest. I am sorry I must also tell 
you that Mr. Ullrich also got shot, but this case offers something as a proof how false 
all the accusations on the part of the government have been. They could not help, but 
had to fall upon him from the moment that they had told you there was still money in 
your possession belonging to Mie people who had robbed the treasury. They could not 
arrest Mrs. Grant, and did not like to arrest Mr. Parodi, that gentleman being of too 
much necessity to them ; so poor Ullrich had to suffer for all. But strange to say, the 
correspondence in which Ullrich was stated to you to be guilty, bears the date of the 
10th ^ I saw him on the 22d of that month in Ita, when he and everybody else knew 
nothing about it ; and then, when the Semanario appeared, when your correspondence 
about uisbt case was published, then of course they had to bring him to prison and kill 


Ai^regards other foreigners, I make the following remarks : Doctor Fox, being in a 
deplorable state of health, was allowed, about two months ago, to retire to England on 
the Italian gunboat. " Messrs. Twite, Barrel, and Valpy are still with the rest of the 
Paraguayans in the mountains. The same with the rest of the English engineers of the 
arsenal. M. Parodi is in charge of the hospital in Cerro Leon. 

So far at present. I should feel very much obliged if you would write to me a few 
lines to inform me how you, your lady and child are getting along. My address will 
be, for the next few months, 


Care of Don F. W. Nordenholz, 
Consul-General of Prussia in Btienos Ayres* 
To the late Minister in Asuncion, Mr. Cuasles A. Washburn, 

in Washington. 

Exhibit H, 
Private letter from Ex-Minister Washburn to Minister McMahon. 

Buenos Ayres, November 11, 1868. 

My Dear Sir : The circumstances under which I left Paraguay having been of an 
extraordinary, if not unprecedented character, in the history of diplomacy, and as our 
government has appointed you as my successor at the court of his excellency Marshal 
Lopez, I take the liberty to give you certain memoranda in regard to persons and 
things in that delightful republic. 

The archives of the legation, such as I did not bring away with me, as also those of 
the former consulate were left in the house that I occupied, thekey of which I delivered 
into the hands of the Italian consul, Mr. Chapperon. The rest of the archives, consist- 
ing of the record books of the legation, and all the official letters received by me, I 
brought away with me, also the legation and consular seals, and. silk flag. All these 
things that I have brought with me I shall leave subject to your order in the hands of 
Mr. Worthington. 

I also left in my house a large number of trunks, boxes, &c., supposed to contain 
valuables. Hiey were brought to my house at the time of the evacuation of the city, 
and left there entirely at the risk of the owners. Their contents are generally unknown 
to ine, though there was one trunk belonging to Dr. Wm. Stewart, that had a large 
quantity of silver in it, plate and coin, probably of the value of $5,000 or $6,000. There 
was another trunk left there belonging to Mrs. Carmelita Gill de Cordal, having in it 
some 6,000 patacones (silver dollars) and a large quantity of fine jewelry. There was 
also a chest containing some 12,000 patacones, left with me by a Bolivian named Lizardo 
Baca. He was a prisoner at the time I left, and Lopez very likely has seized his money. 

In one of the iron safes in the office I left some $6,000, (patacones,) the most of which 
belongs to two Englishmen, Dr. Frederick Skinner and Charles Twite, which Lopez 
would not allow me to bring away, although they were both in his service. I did bring 
away, however, about $2,000, Paraguayan currency, belonging to Dr. Skinner. This 1 
shall deliver to your care with the arcnives to be delivered to him, if you should ever 
see him. I shall do the same with a small box of jewelry belonging to a Mrs. Lasserre, 
the vrife of a French merchant who was in prison at the time I left. He had some 
trunks in my house said to contain a good deal of money. 

About a year ago I collected from Lopez the sum of $7,700 (patacones) for one Luis 
Jager, who claimed to be an American citizen. You will observe in reading my corre- 
Biiondence with the minister of foreign relations the terms on which that money was 
paid. Paraguay did not acknowledge that she owed Mr. Jager more than $5,200, but 
would pay the $7,700, nevertheless, if my legation would be responsible for the return 
of the $2,500 if, on further and final examination, it should be found to have been over- 
paid. I accepted it on these terms, and the $5,200 was paid to Mr. Jager, and the bal- 
ance, $2,539, has ever since been on deposit in the house of Samuel S. Hale & Co., of 
this city. I shall give you an accepted draft for the money, to be paid over as our gov- 
ernment shall order. There is no doubt that in justice it ought to be paid over to Mr. 
Jiiger, and, when I go to Washington, I will try and g^ instructions for you to that 

Some eight or ten months ago I received from Mr. Augostin Piaggio a draft for 200 
gold ounces, which amount I was to pay him in Asuncion, as soon a8**I received notice 
that the draft was paid. But I got no notice in regard to it till after I left Paraguay, 
when I found it had been paid. Mr. Piaggio, however, when I left, was, like aU other 
foreigners who were so unfortunate as to have any money, in prison. I therefore have 
ordered Messrs. Hale & Co. to pay it on the order of Mr. Piaggio. Should you have a 
chance to communicate with Mr. Piaggio, will you please advise him of the circum- 


I brought away $72 (patacones) belonging to John A. Dnffield. I shall send him an 
order for the same on Mr. Hale. He is an American^ and I commend him to your atten- 
tion, and hope you will try and get him out of the country. 

We left many friends in Paraguay, concerning whose fate we feel the most painful 
interest. To spite us, we fear, Xopez may have robbed, imprisoned, tortured, or shot 
those known to be our friends. We are terribly anxious to know their fate, and depend 
on you to advise us. Of all the Paraguayans the family in which we take the most inte- 
rest is that of the late Don Joa6 Mauricio Casal, living, if still in their old home, near 
the villa of Limpio, some five or six leagues from Asuncion. Both Mrs. Washburn and 
myself were more intimate with that mmily than any other, visiting them often and 
being visited by them in return; One of the sisters came and stayed with Mrs. Wash- 
bum for five or six months after her confinement. On leaving, I made a request that 
my horses, four in number, and cows, of which I had about ten, might be sent out to 
this family. I am afr^'aid, however, they were not sent, but, instead, our good friends 
were sent off to the Cordilleras, or were taken in irons to the army, and perhaps the 
backs of the pretty Conchita and Anita scored with the lash. We charge you, both of 
us, to inquire particularly about this family, and let us know what became of them. 
Should the war end and they be left in their old home, you will find their house the 
most delightful place to visit in all Paraguay. 

Another friend in whom we take great interest is the widow Dofla Carmelita Gill de 
Corbal. She lived close by, and visited us veiy often. She is a sister of the Captain 
Gill who was one of the neroic defenders of Humaita. Few men living have been 
under fire so much as he. But, because when he and his handful, surrounded by ten 
times their number, and literally starving, with no possible chance of escape, surren- 
dered, Lopez has published him as a traitor, very probably corifiscated the property of 
all his family and sent them into exile, or, perhaps, taken them in irons to his head- 
quarters to be shot. That is his style. So he has served many others under similar 
circumstances. Try and advise us of the fate of our spunky, witty, confidential, Lopez- 
hating little friend. When the war began she had a husband, who was one of the 
richest men in Paraguay, and three children. Her husband was taken as a common 
soldier, and sent into the ranks barefoot, and killed in the first battle in which he took 
part. Now we fear qhe has nothing left but her iron anklets. 

Mrs. Stewart, the wife of Dr. Stewart, was also a good friend of ours, and a superior 
woman. Should you ever see her, I hope you will advise her that at great risk to 
myself I brought away her boxes of jewels and ounces, and delivered them to her hus- 
band's brother, George D. Stewart, and, also, the equivalent of the paper money she 
was kind enough to lend me. I also iiaid over to him the amount of the silver money 
she let me have with the understanding I was to place it to her husband's credit in 
Buenos Ayres. Thus, in spite of Lopez, I have been able to secure her and her family 
some $5,000 or $6,000 beyond the tyrant's power. 

Mrs. Capdevila, the wife of Ramon Capdevila, who has been a prisoner most of the 
time since the beginning of the war, was living, when we left, at Capiata, some six 
leagues from Asuncion. The French consul, Mr. Cochelet, supplied her with the means 
to support herself and family so long as he remained in Paraguay. After that I fur-' 
nish^ her with all the money she wanted, and on my return to Buenos Ayres her 
friends have refunded to me all that I expended, and I have no doubt that if you do 
anything for her you will be also reimbursed. She is a most worthy, unfortunate 

When I left, there were but three foreigners of any standing or character at liberty: 
Jos6 Solis, a Spaniard, Domingo Parodi, an Italian druggist, and Ventura Gutierrez, 
a Porte&o. The first was the boss flunkey of Mrs. Lynch ; the two latter were friends 
of ours concerning whom we would be glad to know something. We were under many 
obligations to the Parodis, and beg you to remember them on our account. 

The records will inform you of the case of Major James Manlove, an American, native 
of Maryland. His arrest was an insult to my legation, if not a violation of its rights. 
I hope to advise you verbally of the merits of his case before I leave. He was a irebel dur- 
ing the war, but he was an American, and I stood by him, though it cost me a good deal of 
money and an amount of labor of which j^ou can judge by the length of the correspond- 

We desire very much to send our regards to the mother of the President, Dona Juana 
Carillo de Lopez. Both she and her daughter. Dona Rafaela, were very kind to us, 
and let us have some things, otherwise unattainable, that were ahnost indispensable. 
I wanted very much to see them again before I left, but could not do it. They were 
virtually prisoners whom no one could visit. I hope you will try and advise me of the 
fate of the whole/amily, including the old lady and her two daughters, with their hus- 
bands, and her two sous; also, try and let me know something of Mrs. Lynch and her 

Several Englishmen and one German, in the employ of Lopez, sent away their money 
by me. It was brought down by the Wasp. Lest it might be seized in Buenos Ayi-es 
aj^d confiscated I sent it to Montevideo, and ordered it to be delivered to the London 


and River Plate Bank, and the part that was to be sent to England was to be forwarded 
as directed on the boxes, and tiio rest was to be put to the credit of the owners in said 
bank. The Wasp charged two and a half per cent, as freight^ which was all the 
expense incurred. 

1 brought away 20 onzas de oro (gold ounces) for Percy Burrel, that I deposited in 
the London and River Plate Bauk. I deliver to you the xeceipt hand-book. 

You will understand that I write now in vieh^ of contingencies that may never arise. ' 
I take it for granted that after Lopez's insults to me, and his seizure of two members 
of my legation, you will not have any communication with him till the government has 
been advised of his conduct, and has deliberately resolved on its course of action. I 
am confident that our government will never resume diplomatic relations with Lopez. 
I have denounced him as a common enemy, and have no doubt my course will be 
approved. But a common enemy cannot loug stand against the world. He must soon 
bite the dust, and my hope is that this ogre may be fimshed off before he has destroyed 
all my friends in Paraguay. In that case you may learn something of the condition of 
those who remain, if any such there be, aud the way the others were murdered by the 
grim monster. It is in view of such contingencies I beg of you to advise me of the fate 
of somd of the dearest Mends 1 have ever known. I never was so anxious to leave a ' 
place as I was to leave Paraguay, and I never left a pla^e with so sad a heart. I had 
the feeling that all who had been particular Mends to me and mine were to be put to 
death — perhaps alter torture — for that crime. 

But I could do no more for anybody, and the more I defied Lopez the more provoked 
he was to visit his wrath on my Mends, and at the time of the last arrival of the Wasp 
he was on the point of proceeding to violent measures against me. This fact will 
appear if any of those persons immediately about him shsQl escape to tell what they 
know. But he does not intend they shall escape. His plan is to destroy all the wit- 
nesses. I beg of you to see if all I now write is not confirmed, and if you. will advise 
me from time to time of what you may learn I will thank you very sincerely, and 
reciprocate in any way that I may be able. 
Very truly, your obedient servant, 


P. S. — ^Though I have marked this private, it is only to indicate that I do not intend 
to send a copy of it to the State Department. You are, however, at full liberty, now 
or hereafter, to make any use of it that may seem expedient or proper. I have written 
with entire frankness, with the double purpose of advising you of the situation, and of 
bes})eaking your good ofiices for Mends in Paraguay. 

His Excellency General M. T. McMahon, 

Minister Eesident of the United Statcsj Paraguay, 

Buenos Atres, Xoveniber 20, 1868. 

Dear Sir : After your departure from Montevideo Mr. Worthington handed me a 
connnunication from yon in relation to affairs in Paraguay, containing several commis- 
sions upon the part of yourself and Mrs. Washburn, which you requested me to attend 
to in Asuncion. It will ^ive me pleasui-e to be of service to you in the way of obtaining 
information as to your Mends in Paraguay. 

I will also endeavor to deliver the package of Paraguayan money, ($2,000,) and the 
small box of jewels found in the box containing the archives. The letters you inclosed 
to me I will also deliver if it can consistently be done. 

Beyond this you will, of course, understand that I assume no responsibility for private 
property left in the legation at Asuncion. 

Hoping that you had a pleasant passage home, and that Mrs. Washburn has not suf- 
fered from her long journey, 

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Minister Besident of the U. S., Paraguay, 
Hon. C. A. Washburn, 

Care Department of State, 

Buenos Ayres, 15 Cangallo, January 26, 1869. 

My Dear Wa8HBUR> : 1 have much pleasure in letting you know that I am here 
'sound, and for the present safe. I was taken prisoner of war after our complete rout 
on the 27th ultimo, on the heights of ViUeta, where Lopez's headquarters were when 
you left Paraguay. I had remained too long near the scene of the disgusting carnage, 
endeavoring with some of our medical staff to move the few wounded who escaped 
death, (for there was no ouarter asked nor given,) towards the wood in the rear ; but in 


the mean time Lopez sneaked off unnoticed and left us aU as he thonght to be dispatched 
by the enemy. He did not halt until he reached Cerro Leon, with two or three follow- 
ers, as it was impossible for anybody not well mounted to escape through the lines of 
the enemy ; the few sound men who had escaped into the wood remained there four or 
five days until the enemy retired. Fortunately some cattle had been driven into this 
wood or everybody would have been reduced by famine. In trying to escape and get 
off towards Cerro Leon, I was made prisoner and well treated by the Brazilians. We 
had brought in jQrom Asuncion and Cerro Leon, and from every other place where there 
were any troops, every available man, but after all we did not exceed 2,500 on the morn- 
ing before the nght commenced, against 16,000 of the allies. We had only four field- 
pieces of artillery and very little ammimition, against 80 pieces of the enemy, pouring 
a continuous fire into us from two-thirds of our circumference. Our position was 
defended by a trench on one side, but the enemy attacked on our right and left 
flahks, where we had nothing more than an abatis of branches to hide the few men 
behind. Headquarters had removed on the 23d into the wood in the rear. The enemy 
soon took the position on the 27th by a simultaneous attack on aU sides, at 6 a. m., but 
did not until 8 o'clock cut off our retreat in the rear, although more than half of their 
troops remained inactive throughout the engagement. ^Gs. Lynch followed* Lopez, 
but where she overtook him I don't know ; Skinner, I think, accompanied her. Lopez 
is now in the Cordillera above Cerro Leon, (from four to eight leagues distant.) The 
sick and wounded are at Caacup6, the archives and government at Piribebuy, and the 
small remaining population of the late republic of Paraguay in the neighboi;^g vil- 
lages of Altos, Barrero, &c, ; but most of the migrating families are bivouacking under 
the trees. 

Lopez issued an order dated December 28, and which you will find in the newspaper, 
calling everybody up to the Cordillera. Early in December people were ordered to pro- 
ceed to that part of the country, and none of course dared disobey. Our entire loss in 
the engagements of the 6th, 11th, and of the 27th December last, in kiUed, wounded, 
and missing, was over 15,000 men, 35 chiefs, and 540 officers. Of course, most of those 
were boys, from eight years old upwards, and many very old men, some of them quite 
blind. Every male in the country that could be got at was brought down. There were 
in the hospital at Cerro Leon nearly 6,000 sick and wounded, of whom 1,500 may be 
now on duty again, or perhaps 500 more may have been scraped together from the par- 
tidos. This is all Lopez can possibly have. No guns or small-arms were saved after 
the last defeat, and they have no ammunition left. 

On the 1st instant the Brazilians marched to Asuncion and arrived on the 5th, when 
they commenced the wholesale sack of the town. I suffered, as usual, severely in this 
plunder, and I estimate my loss at the lowest calculation to be £2,000, for I had not 
removed anything from my town house nor from my quinta. I hear there is no hope 
of obtaining indemnization, although I was delivered to the commander of her Maj- 
esty's gunboat Cracker as a free British subject, on the 1st of January, and th^t 
property is clearly that of a British subject. Perhaps, however, when this unaccount- 
able sympathy for Lopez is dissipat-ed by the indisputable corroboration of the disclos- 
ures of Lopez's barbarities during the last six months, people wiU think I deserve at 
least some sympathy for my misfortune. 

Already there is a great commotion here since we confirm all you said about that mon- 
ster, but there are still a few who are ashamed to acknowledge that no further proof ia 
required. Your cause is mine, and I have fought the battle in the very strongholds 
of personal prejudice and calumny. I have also told Brazilians and Argentines that 
they are quite mistaken about you, and I tell you that unless they retract and do you 
justice immediately, / will compel them to do so. I scorn threats as much as applause. 

My family and a number of our countrymen are still in the power of Loi)ez, so I must 
be prudent in making disclosures yet a while of his atrocities. Is it not most humiliat- 
ing to the States, and to Great Britain, and to France, and Italy, that Lopez has hith- 
erto succeeded in bamboozling the well-meant efforts of our government, owing to a few 
young sailor officers who were sent to treat with him, when our ships are riding all the 
while at anchor in the Plate and in the quiet harbor at Rio ? I am confident that it 
only requires to be known to merit the just censure of public opinion. I have a great 
deal to tell you, but I would rather not write it. The devil is in our diplomacy. (?) 
Well, enough of this at present. 

Skinner, Valpy, and Burrell are in the Cordillera. Rhind died of phthisis. Fox went 
away in the Beacon. I asked Lopez if he could send some money to England. He 
replied, " he can not only send his money, but go himself too, as he is quite useless." I 
bowed and went away to tell Fox ; so he sent his traps on board, and the President was 
furious when he knew it. You can perhaps imagine how he looked at me. On the 5th 
instant I met Caverville at Asuncion ; he told me he had dined with Lopez above Cerro 
Leon, on the 29th ultimo ; that it was there reported I had deserted to the enemy, &c., 
but that my family had not yet been made to feel the usual penalty of imprisonment 
and torture. 

After serving Lopez with perfect fidelity for 12 years, here I am alone and in tho 



greatest anxiety about my wife and children, and having lost a considerable fortune in 
the war, my misfortune in falling prisoner might excite the pity of any man but Lopez, 
who chooses to initiate a calumnious charge against me, to have a pretext for sacriticing 
my family. My only hope is in McMahon, to whom I recommended my family, who 
accompanied him from headquarters, on the 23d ultimo, and if you have still any influ- 
ence with your enlightened government, I pray you wiU ask their interest with McMa* 
hon, in behalf of my family. Give my sincere regards to Mrs. Washburn, who was fear- 
fully situated at the same time that Lopez hesitated whether both of you should be 
made to share the same cruel death with the 500 men and women he sacrificed under a 
false chai^ge of treason. Among the latest victims were the bishop and the dean, Bogado, 
General Barrios, and Berges, the wife and mother of Colonel Martinez, of Humaita, 
Colonel Alen. Taylor, Treuenfeld, Von Versen, several Argentine and Brazilian pris- 
oners of war, escaped from the calabozo when Lopez was routed on the 27th ultimo ; , 
most of them horribly emaciated, but all are fortunately in sound mind. Manlove and 
the American carman, Duffield, were both cruelly beaten, and when they could endure 
no more they were dragged out on a hide and shot. The same fate befell poor Stark ; 
within a few days of reaching San Fernando he was shot, because he could endure no 
more cruelty. 

There are at present in Lopez's power about 25 Englishmen, and about a dozen Span- 
iards, French, and Italians ; altogether, 60 English, and about 100 French, Italian, Ger- 
man, and Spanish women and children. Besides these, there are about 30 Argentine 
women and children, and about 50 prisoners of war. All these unfortunate people will 
die of slarvation if the necessaries of life are not sent to them, or if they are not speedily 
delivered from the revengeftd grasp of their destroyer. But with all these facts foU. in 
view, the allies are not moving out of Asuncion, nor does any £urox)ean or American 
representative in the Plata bestir himself in behalf of his suffering countrymen in Far- 
away. Who will be blamed for it when it is proved that hun£eds of precious lives 
might be saved by opportune interference t Probably nobody. 

Of the 250 prisoners who marched from San Fernando for Villeta, only three are now 
alive. All who could not walk were lanced; and I fear the same tragedy will be con- 
tinued in the Cordillera. 

You are no doubt aware that the French consul's behavior is criticised very severely, 
and that M. Noel has gone up to Asuncion, where Cuverville is with the French consu- 
late ! Chapperon is with his family in Campo Grande. What can be the meaning of 
these men leaving Lopez just now f McMahon is with Lopez perhaps because he thinks 
he may prevent him from committing wholesale murder of the foreign residents. I am 

gsing to England by the mail winch leaves Montevideo the day after to-morrow, 
eorge Thompson goes along with me. 

I aunost forgot to tell you that McMahon delivered your message about the box which 
you were not allowed to bring away with you, and which was my property. I have 
been able to learn nothing about it, although I went to your house with Mr. Chapperon 
to search for it. I found my wife's tiiink, containing clothes, and another small portion 
of patacones. The missing box contained 200 pounds of silver plate, a few gold ounces, 
|4,000 paper currency, and some title deeds. Our property has completely disappeared, 
and nothing remains but two or three sacked houses, and some leagues of land, which 
at present are entirely unproductive. 

While so many of my countrymen, and particularly while my family remain in the 
power of Lopez, I dare not appear in print, so you must do me the favor not to publish 
tMs letter, nor permit my name to be mentioned. 

The mail is closing, so I defer the communication of other interesting facts until I 
reach England ; and wishing yourself and Mrs. Washburn a pleasant sojourn in your 
native land, I remain, in haste, your sincere friend, 


Washington, D. C, April 12, 1869. 
Peirce Crosbt, captain of the United States navy, sworn and examined. 

By the Chaikman: 

Question. Have you read the memorials referred to this committee in regard to 
Paraguayan matters! — ^Answer. I have not read all of them. 

Q. State to the committee what you know in regard to these matters. — A. I received 
these orders (Rio de Janeiro, dated 2l8t July, 18w,) [annexed to testimony, marked A 
1,] to prepare for service up the river, and acknowledged Rear-Admiral Godon's 
letter of July 21, 1866, on August 1, 1866. [Letter annexed to testimony, marked A 
2.] I reported the Shamokin ready on August 16, 1866, in obedience to his 
order. [Letter annexed to testimony, marked A3.] I then wrote to Rear-Admi- 
ral Grodon, United States navy, [annexed to testimony, marked A 5.] notifying 


. • 

him of the ministeT to Paragnay heing at Buenos Ayies and expecting to go np the 
river to Asancion in the Shamokin. I mentioned this fact, as I wished if soch was the 
case to prepare accommodations and mess arrangements for him and his fEunily. I 
also wished to consult and ^et some instructions in regard to the torpedoes and 
ohstructions which were in nver Paraguay, and had heen there since my arriyal on 
the station in the spring of 1866, as they might render it impracticable to go to Asun- 
cion in the Shamokin. Bear-Admiral Godon acknowledged my letter, but made no 
allusion whatever to my taking Mr. Washburn. And as he had not deemed it necessary 
or proper to advise me what the nature of my duties would be, I considered that it 
would be presumptuous on my part to ask him any questions, and therefore determined 
to await patiently for orders and then to obey them. Rear-Admiral Godon merely 
replied to my letter in which I made mention of Mr. Washburn by advising me to 
continue holding myself in readiness for service up the river. [Letter annexed to tes- 
timony marked A 6.] Believing, however, that I would be ordered to take Mr. 
Washburn and £Eimily up the river in the Shamokin, I took the responsibility and 
precaution to put up state-rooms in my cabin [see letter annexed, marked A 2^,*] and 
be all ready the moment I received orders. I also laid in a supply of provisions, &c., 
and kept myself ready in all respects for whatever duty mi^ht be assioned me, and 
waited in tins way some weeks, when I received these instructions from Admiral Godon 
to take >Ir. Washburn to Asuncion, upon his application in writing. [Annexed to 
testimony, marked A 10.] I also received a private note fiiom Admiral Godon, 
which, I see in his letters to the Hon. Secretary of the Navy, Mr. Welles, he mentions as 
a semi-official note, and says in it he directed me not to regard the protest that* would 
be made by the Brazilian admiral in command of the forces up the Paraguay. The 
semi-official note mentioned in Admiral Godon's dispatches was not a semi-official 
note, but was a private note, and so considered by Admiral Godon at the time he wrote 
it, as he wrote upon it the word private and merely directed it to " My dear Captain," 
and signed himself " S. W. Grodon," without even giving his tide. Here is the original 
note, [annexed to testimony, marked A 11,] which I considered as merely giving 
Bear-Admiral Godon's private ^dews of matters, and did not consider it an order in any 
way, nor did I consider myself bound to obey his directions in that note or that it 
relieved me from any responsibility, but left me to obey his orders to take Mr. Wash- 
bum and family to Asuncion, on -his application in writing, according to Ids order of 
October, 1866, and not to delay my journey; ignoring entirely in his official letter and 
order to me any difficulty or obstnictions that I might encounter. 

I cannot understand why Admiral Godon, when, as he says, he was informed by 
certain officials in Brazil that a protest would be made to the Shamokin's going through 
the blockade on the Paragnay, did not so inform me in his official communications, and 
give me positive orders not to regard them, but to go on until the Brazilians stopi>ed 
me by force. Bear-Admiral Godon does not even mention the protest in his order to 
me, but says in his xjrivate note that it is known that orders have been sent to alloW 
the Shamokin to pass ; that " a protest by the blockade need not be regarded — ^nothing 
but absolute force should prevent you ; however, if the river is too low, then you cannot 
go up noio — ^go as high as you can, and wait tUl the waters rise. Bosario would be a 
good place to remain at till you can go up." With these instructions I sailed for Asun- 
cion, with Mr. Washburn and family on board, and arrived at Corrientes November 2, 
1866, andreported my arrival to Bear-Admiral Godon, and that I woidd go on up the 
river on that day. [ See letter annexed, marked A 15. ] On ti^e same day I arrived at the 
mouth of the Paraguay river, [see letter dated November 3, 1866, annexed, marked A 16,] 
and was there boarded by the Brazilians blockading there. I informed them of the nature 
of my duties, and received in reply that no instructions whatever had been received 
regarding Mr. Washburn's going up, or the Shamokin taMng him up. It was then dark, 
and I ha^ anchored. I informed the Brazilians that I should go on up in the morning, 
and wished to communicate with the admiral immediately, i sent a letter informing 
him of my duties, [letter annexed to testimony, marked A 23^,] and received in 
reply by my officer bearing dispatches, as well as by the Brazilian admiral's officer, that 
he, the admiral, had received no instructions regarding the Shamokin and Mr. Wash- 
bum ; also, that he would call on board to see Mr. Washburn and myself about Mr» 
Washburn's ^oing up. On the following morning Admiral Tamandar^ arrived on board. 
I received hun and conducted him to my cabin, where he and Mr. Washburn and my- 
self entered into conversation regarding our passing through the blockade. Admiral 
Tamandar<S said most positively that he had not received any instructions whatever 
regarding his allowing Mr. Washburn's going up in the Shamokin, and was assured by 
Mr. Washburn that he had been informed that instructions had been sent; but notwith- 
standing this, Admiral Tamandar^ said he could not consent, but was anxious that Mr. 
Washbum should go up in their vessel. Finding that Admiral Tamandar6 was endeav- 
oring to prevent the Shamokin going up with Mr. Wadibum, I determined to oppose 
him, believing that it would meet with the approval of my government, and told him 
that I had received i)eremptory orders to take Mr. Washbum to Asuncion on board the 
Shamokin ; that I would do so unless prevented by absolute force. Admiral TamaDdar6 


became very much excited at this decision, and remarked on my taking the ^rave 
responsibility, and then consented, under protest, to my taking Mr. Wai^bum up m the 
Shamokin, and requested me to give my reply to him in writing, which I did. [See 
letter annexed to testimony, marked A SM.] Admiral Tamandar6 was certainly 
placed in a very awkward and embarrassing position, regarding the Shamokin's. going 
through his blockade with the United States minister on board, as he says he had no 
instructions whatever from his government concerning her or Mr. Washburn. I too was 
placed in a very delicate position, but knowing that my government was impatient on 
account of the difficulties thrown in the way of Mr. Wa^bum's getting to lus post by 
the allied forces, and was determined that he should ^o, and as Admiral Oodon had not 
aUuded to such difficulties as I might encounter, or ^ven me orders to meet them, but 
leaving me to act on my own responsibility, I decided to go on. Admiral Godon 
directed me in his orders not to delay my journey. This would lead one to suppose that 
he did not expect that I would meet with any serious difficulty, but was merely intended 
that I should not make delay or stoppages other than would be necessary under ordi- 
nary circumstances in going up and down the river. Yet in his private note, which he 
calls a semi-official note, he says to the Secretary of the. Navy tnat a protest would be 
made, (see Admiral Godon's letter published, dated Montevideo, December 10, 1866, 
No. 132, Ex. Doc. No. 79,) and that he had instructed me to disregard it. Now, had 
Admiral Tamandar6 opposed me, and had taken the responsibility of firing into the 
Shamokin, and had prevented me by force from going through the blockade, Admiral 
Godon's instructions to me were such as would have shielded him from the responsi- 
bility of'my act, as he conveys the idea in his private note that he supposes instructions 
had been sent, and at the same time his orders were such as would not have saved me 
from his censure or that of the government, had I delayed my journey until 1 could hear 
from him, or learned that orders had been received from Admiral Tamandar^ to allow 
the Shamokin to pass tmder protest. 

After Admiral Tamandar6 consented under protest to the Shamokin's passage, before 
starting, I with his consent sent Mr. Pendleton [see his report marked A 16, annexed,] 
a bearer of dispatches to Lopez, concerning our going up 1x> Asuncion to arrange about 

gUots. After this officer returned and aU was ready, I passed up through the Brazilian 
nes and landed Mr. Washburn and family at Curupaiti, the first fort on the river on 
, the Paraguayan side, and about one mile above the Brazilian forces. As Mr. Washburn. 
' and family and baggage had to be landed there, and as the Shamokin was directly in. 
the way of the line of fire of the combatants, and hostilities having been suspended only 
a few hours for us, I deemed it improper to remain longer than U^ land Mr. Washburn 
on the bank and return immediately outside of the Brazilian blockade. I was folly 
under the belief until I anchored [see letter annexed, marked A 17] that the Sham- 
okin would go far enough up the river to be beyond the batteries of the allies, where ^ 
could lay wiSiin the Paraguayan lines and wait for any documents Mr. Washburn would 
have to send back. I was but within a ship's length of the anchorage when I received, 
the first intimation from the pilot to anchor. I remonstrated against anchoring there,, 
but received answer that such were the orders of Lopez, not to take the vessel 
further, that the Shamokin was then within about 20 yards of torpedoes, and she- 
would be in great danger to go farther up. As everything had to be hurried to get 
back before dark, and Mr. Washburn wishmg to send dispatches to his government, 
and not having any one with him beside his wife and female servant, and aU his. 
baggage and stores lying on the river bank, I consented, at his urgent request, to let 
Mr. Pendleton remain with l^itn and bring down the dispatches which he had to 
write. As the Shamokin was in Paraguayan territory as a nght, and not with the per- 
mission or consent — except under protest — or as a privilege granted by the Brazilians, 
I did not believe that my actions were to be directed by the Brazilians, but that 1 
had the perfect right to leave an officer if I chose to do so for the purpose intended, 
without consulting liie wishes of the Brazilians, and I also considered that the Ameri- 
can minister had the right to send this officer as bearer of dispatches for the govern- 
ment of the United States back through the lines to the Shamokin. Indeed, I could 
not see any sensible or reasonable objection to doing this, that is, to allow this officer to- 
remain for dispatches. If any one with reason could have objected, it would have been 
President Lopez. As wiU be seen, however, I returned outside the blockade and sent 
a note to Admiral Tamandar^, notifying him of the officer having been left, and re- 
questing his permission to return to the Brazilian lines, as will be seen by the accom- 
panying document, [annexed to testimony, marked A 26.] The officer returned, 
[See h£ report annexed, marked A 19.] Admiral Tamandar^ made a long protest 
against it, [annexed to testimony, marked A 28.]' Having been defeated in prevent-, 
ing the Shamokin going up. he caught at this chance to make a serious point of 
it, but even in that he has failed, as I have never heard of the matter since, and Sear- 
Admiral Godon in his communication to the Navy Department alludes to it by saying 
there does not seem to be any point in it. [Letter 132, printed, Ex. .Doc. — , headed 
"South Atlantic squadron, U. S. flag-ship Brooklyn, (2d rate,) harbor of Montevideo,, 
December 10, 1866."] I did not answer Admiral Tamandar^s protest, as I did not receivt 



it until I had returned to Bnenos Ayres, but forwarded a copy of it to Bear-AdmiraJ 
Godon. Unfortunateljr, on my way down the river to Buenos Ayres a steamer ran into 
the Shamokin during the night, damaging the Shamokin seriously and herself too, so 
much so as to cause the other steamer to sink, after great exertions to keep her afloat. 
At my request a court of inquiry was held upon the case, and I was exonerated from 
blame, as fEicts proved I had saved my own vessel, and that the coUision was caused by 
the baid management of the strange steamer. To repair damages to the Shamokin I 
went into the Lujan river, 20 nmes distant from Buenos Ayres. Shortly after this, 
Bear-Admiral Godon arrived in the Wasp. I will here mention that several days after 
landing Mr. Washburn in Paraguay, and when about 600 or 700 miles down the river, 
near Bosario, I received from a Brazilian transport this document, [marked A 20, an- 
nexed to testimony,] in which Bear-Admiral Grodon says I did not allude in my former 
letter to torpedoes or other difficulties that you might encounter. As this letter is among 
his published official dispatches to the Secretary of the Navy, and appears as one which 
I was supposed to have received, and to have had as my guidance and instruction, I 
will here state that it did not reach me untU some days after my mission up the river 
had been executed, consequently had no effect upon my conduct. Had I been furnished 
with this letter at first, I should not have considered myself authorized to pass the Bra- 
zilian blockade under the circumstances which I did. When the Wasp anchored in the 
Lujan river, near the Shamokin, I went on board to report and pay my respects to Admiral 
Godon, when he questioned me about my trip to Paraguay and my mission generally. 
He reprimanded me for allowing Mr. Pendleton to remain to bring down dispatches, 
and asked me why I had done so. I explained to him the circumstances, and he became 
angry, and said, "do you think a minister -is of great importance?" and was greatly 
provoked because I did not agree with him that I was wrong in leaving Mr. Pendleton 
within the Paraguayan lines as I have stated. He also said that it was for this very 
reason he wrote that note to me, "giving my opinion of Mr. Washburn, in order to put 
you on your guard, and not to allow yourself to be influenced by him, but to trust to 
your own common sense." It was previous to this that Admiral Godon asked me if 
Mi. Washburn had paid me his expenses for taking him up — that is, for his mess bill for 
himself and family. I replied to him by saying that Mr. Washburn had offered to pay 
the expenses he put me to for taking him up, and had given me a check for 16 ounces 
in gold, equal to about $250, but that I would not accept it and tore it up. Bear-Ad- 
miral Godon said to me in his private note that Mr. Washburn must pay his own ex- 
penses, but he said nothing in his private note about making or asking what accom- 
modations I had for him and family, although he must have known that they were very 
poor and limited. The naval regulations give fall instructions about ministers pajdng 
their own expenses, and I was fflly aware of it because I had read them, and as the 
money came out of my pocket and not out of the government, I considered it my priv- 
ilege to treat my guest with all the hospitality that I chose to, without being respon- 
sible to Bear-Admiral Godon. I also considered it very indelicate and impertinent, under 
the circumstances, on the part of Admiral Godon to ask me such a question, as it was evi- 
dently not done with the desire or interest that he felt in Washburn's welfare or wishes 
to learn that he had been treated with kindness and hospitality, nor for his interest in 
my purse, but with the evident hope that I had made Mr. Washburn pay his full pro- 
portion for all he had received, as he gave no expression of pleasure when he found I 
had been so hospitable to Mr. Washburn, but by his silent reception of my answer was 
evidently disappointed, and impressed with the fact that I had not been influenced by 
his private wishes, nor had lowered myself in any manner to commit a sordid act. 

On the day that I received Mr. Washburn and family on board and left for Asuncion, 
Paraguay, I was suffering intensely from neuralgia and had been confined to my bed 
several days, but went on deck to receive Mr. Washburn, and through my sickness and 
haying my attention drawn to other matters concerning the ship I entirely forgot to 
write to Bear-Admiral Grodon, who was then at Bio Janeiro, and inform him of my 
having received Mr. Washburn and family on board, and having sailed for Paraguay. 
Bear- Admiral Godon censured me severely for this, and, as I laid myself liable for this 
oversight, I expected that he would make the most of it and censure me. I cannot 
remember whether it was on this same day or the day following that I was on boivrd the 
Wasp, and talking with Admiral Godon in the cabin regarding this Paraguayan busi- 
ness, when he asked me something about the private note. Ho wanted to see it. I told 
him that I did not know exactly where it was, but it was somewhere among my papers, 
I thought. He then said something to this effect : " Is that the way you keep your 
papers?" I do not remember my exact reply, but it was in a very respectful manner. 
^Shortly after this, I went out of the cabin in company with Admiral Godon, and was 
talking with him, when he noticed that the forward awning of the Shamokin was 
furled, and it was very hot, the sun shining brightly, and he called my attention to it. 
I found after I went on board that the armorer was using the forge directiy under it, 
making bolts to repair the vessel with, and was making omer iron-work ; besides, there 
was plenty of shade for the men under the other parts of the awning and hurricane-deck. 
I replied in a very respectful manner that I had given orders to ]y&. Spencer, theexecu- 


tivo officer, to have the awning spread every day, according to squadron orders. Rear- 
Admiral Godon then said: '^I would take damn good care to have the awning spread 
over my own head/' and then BX>oke, in a voice loud enough to be heard from one end 
of the ship to the other: "Go on board your ship, sir, and have your awning spread." 
I left Admiral Godon, without making any reply, to go on board and obey his orders, 
and when I got to the gangway he called out to me to "send your cockswain to tell the 
executive officer to do it/' I replied I would go myself, and left his ship, as I did not 
wish to subject myself to his coarse and ungentlemanly conduct, and to have my feelings 

Godon, and his inability to get satisfiEu^tion from Mr. Welles, the Secretary of the Naw, 
that I should have fared any better. On the afternoon of the day of this ungentlemanty 
and unofficer-like conduct of Rear- Admiral Godon, he called alongside of my vessel, in 
the company with Commanders Kirkland and Marvin, to go on shore with them to take a 
walk. 1 went to the gangway, and Admiral Godon requested me to go with him. I 
respectfully declined. Ho repeated his invitation, and I declined a second time. Com- 
mander Kirkland then asked me to go, but I declined again. They then shoved off from 
the Shamokin and went ashore. I learned from Commander Kirkland, afterwards, that 
Rear-Admiral Godon was very angry on account of my refusal to go with him in his boat 
on shore, and I can well believe that he was, as his treatment to me wtis in the presence 
of these officers and men in his boat, and my refrisal to accept his advances to me was 
also in the presence of the officers of my ship and of those who were with him in the 
boat, and he, no doubt, was much mortified when he found that he could not act towards 
me as he had done,' with impunity, and found that I meant to resent it. Shortly after 
this, I had occasion to send Kear-Adniiral Godon some official communications. They 
happened to be sent on a Sunday. Some of these dispatches he received, but through 
a spirit of malice, and to treat me with disrespect, he returned the others through his 
fleet-captain, in company with this note: [annexed to testimony, marked 6^.] I will 
here mention that I nad not violated any orders of the service or squadron regulations, 
nor was it inconsistent with the religious feelings of Rear-Admiral Godon to receive 
them, as he allowed a dancing party to be given on the Wasp on the following Sunday, 
and he was present, which was certainly a direct violation of the Sabbath, and there 
was no reasonable objections whatever that the documents referred to remained in his 
secretary until the following day. About this time Rear-Admiral Godon went to Buenos 
Ayres, and remained several days, and returned on a Saturday. I passed him in the 
river Ligan, within 10 yards of him, and saluted him in passing. He said nothing to 
me, and I continued on, as I was invited to dine with a Spanish family on shore. 
Shortly after Admiral Godon got on board his vessel he made signal for me, but I was 
on shore, and the executive officer went in my stead. On my return he informed me 
that be had gone to see Rear-Admiral Godon, in obedience to signal, but not under- 
standing that it was for me particidarly, I did not go to see him. The following even- 
ing I received a message, through the pilot, that Rear-Admiral Godon wanted to see me. 
I immediately went on board to see him, and he asked me about the ship, and when she 
should be ready, and I told him. This I had already reported to him in writing, I believe. 
He then asked me, in the presence of the ladies who were then on board, at the dancing 
party referred to, why I had not been to see him. As I did not wish to give my reasons 
in the presence of the ladies I did not answer him. He then gave me some orders relat- 
ing to getting the ship afloat, as she had been lyin^ on a mud bank, repairing. And I 
then left his ship and went on board the Shamokin. On the following day — it was, 
I think, in the morning — I got under way, and was passing the Wasp, drifting and 
working by her. As the river was very narrow and difficult to pass her it was necessary 
to go slow ; when within about 60 feet of the Wasp, my attention was directed by some 
one calling out, "Back her," but not supposing it was mtended for me — as that was not 
the tone or manner a gentleman would speak to another — I paid no attention to it, but 
was looking attentively at my vessel, when, almost immediately after I heard some one 
call out in the same onensive and ungentlemanly manner, "Back her; do you hearf 
Knowing that it was intended for me, and recognizing Rear-Admiral Grodon's voice, I 
turned around and saw that it was Rear-Admiral Godon, standing on the wheel-house, 
in iin old ^own. I answered him, and obeyed the order. 

After this*I went to Montevideo, and in obedience to Rear-Admiral Gk)don's order, I 
called to see him on board the Wasp, as he too had gone down in her to Montevideo. 
But as he could not attend to me then, he ordered me to see him on board the United 
Stat'CS steamer Brooklyn. I called accordingly, when Rear-Admiral Godon commenced 
and found fault generally as regards my taking Mr. Washburn to Paraguay, although 
I had done my duty faithfully, zealously, expeditiously, and creditably. Rear-Admiral 
Godon could not find enough generosity in his bosom to say that he was pleased at my 
having successfully accomplished a difficult journey and frilfilled a delicate mission. 
At the time I received instructions to take Mr. Washburn to Paraguay I was at Monte- 
video, and was detained there by duties, and as I received orders to take Mr. Washburn 


on board, on Ids application in writing, I quoted that part of my instructions, and sent 
the letter up by the mail steamer, so that he could make his preparations. [Letter 
annexed to testimony, marked A 13.] I had a letter for him from Eear-Admiral 
Godon, but kept it to deliver in person. Rear-Admirdl Gedon wrote to me inquiring 
why I had given Mr. Washburn a copy of his order. I replied, as is stated in this letter, 
[annexed to testimony, marked A^.] But this did not seem to satisfy him, and 
he again questioned me about it, and I told him that Mr. Washburn was anxious to get 
otf, &c., and I then asked him how Mr. Washburn was to know that he was to make 
his application in writing, and that I was to take him when he did so ? Rear- Admiral 
Godon said that he did not care whether he knew or not ; he did not care how long ho 
staid there, and then said by my writing I had defeated the xery object that he was 
trying to accomplish. What that object was. Admiral Gordon did not state to me. 
Rear- Admiral Gordon forgot that he had written to me in his private (would be semi- 
official) note saying, " I have written him to inform him of my order to you, and to tell 
him to apply to you in writing." Now, I cannot see what object Rear-Admiral Grodon 
had, or what objections he could have, to my writing to Mi'. Washburn what I did, except 
it was to get me into his power if he could, and to persecute and annoy me on account 
of my kindness to Mr. Washburn ; and because I did not equal Rear-Admiral Godon in 
his conduct toward Mr. Washburn. He then spoke of Mr. Washbnrn^s wiitten application 
to me, and said it was not a proper application ; that it was not respectful ; that he felt 
ashamed to send it to the Navy Department ; that I ought not to have received it. 
[Application annexed to testimony, marked A 14.'| He then said, " It looks very much to 
me as though you were acting in concert with Mr. Washburn, and could not even wait 
to get to Buenos Ayres to see him, but wrote, the very moment you received your instruc- 
tions, to him to notify him of the fact ; " and then spoke of my not notilyin^ him of the 
saUiu^ of the Shamokin with Mr. Washburn, and said it looked very much as though 
I was iiurrying off from Buenos Ayres for fear that I would receive orders countermand- 
ing those I had received to take Mr. Washburn up. He then said that Mr. Washburn 
hacl not complied with the instructions he had received from the State Department, 
and that I had no right to take him up at the time I did, and wanted to know if I was 
not aware of it — if I had not read his instructions, as though I was to judge of Mr. 
Washburn's conduct. I considered that Mr. Washburn was fully capable of attending 
to liis duties, and was so considered by the Secretary of State, and that my duties were 
merely to obey the instructions I received from the admiral or Secretary of the Na\'y, 
and not to tell Mr. Washburn his duties. Rear-Admiral Godon also said that he, Mr. 
Washburn, had spoken to him about bringing Lopez out of Paraguay with him, and for 
that reason he had not furnished liim with a steamer before ; also, that it was on that 
account that he gave me such positive instructions regarding neutrality, letters, Lopez, 
and other persons. He also told me that .Mr. Octaviano, the Brazilian minister, had 
said to him, that papers with Mr. Washburn's name on them had been found at Corri- 
entes at the time the city was captured by the allies, and that these papers sliow that 
certain moneyed transactions regarding anns had been going on between Mr. Washburn 
and the Paraguayans, which implicated Mr. Washburn, but that he, Octaviano, did not 
wish to make such a statement to our government, and that this was one of the objec- 
tions on the part of the Brazilians to Mr. Washburn's going \\\} to Paraguay, as they 
supposed he was assisting Lopez. Rear-Admiral Godon spoke again about my allowing 
Mr. Pendleton to remain in Paraguay to bring down dispatches, and argued as one of 
the great objections to his remaining, that he might have deserted and remained in the 
Para^ayan tenitories, and in such a case that the Brazilians could never be convinced 
that it was not intentional on our part to leave him these. I regarded such reasons as 
frivolous, as the officer was a married man, anxious to resign and return to his family, 
besides being a man of high character, and had already been into the Paraguayan lines 
as bearer of dispatches, as will be seen by his letter, A 18. The whole truth of the 
matter is, that Admiral Godon was disappointed that I had succeeded so well in getting 
Mr. Washburn into Para^ay, and was chagrined that I had not acted towards Mi\ 
Washburn in the same spirit that he had done. I must say that I felt great pride and 
interest in taking Mr. Washburn through, as I had heard of a great many comments 
upon Mr. Washburn's detention, and it was the common talk in Jinenos Ayres among 
the people; and the American minister, Mr. Washburn, was certainly x)laccd'in a very 
hvmiiliating position. The papers constantly referred to it, which made it very unplea- 
sant, and they predicted that the Shamokin would not be able to get up to Paraguay. 
The American citizens at Buenos Ayres expressed their mortification about it, and even 
offered Rear-Admiral Godon the coal to take him up if necessary. After Rear-Admiral 
Godon had found all the fault he could with me regarding the Washburn trip, ho again 
asked me why I had not been on board to see him. He said if I had any report to make 
about him, I had better do it, and that he would forward it ; but he did not think I 
wtould make much out of it. Now, I had not even insinuated to Rear-Admiral Godon 
that I intended to, or thought of, reporting him, but his own guilty conscience told him 
that he had violated and outraged my feeungs, and that he had done so under the cover 
of his rank ; and that I have no doubt that he felt ashamed of his ungentlemanly con- 


duct, knowing that lie had committed himself, and wished to smooth the matter over in 
order to prevent his being exposed to the Navy Department. I replied to him by sajong 
that I had not been to see him on account of his treatment to me ; that he had spoken 
to me in a manner that I was never spoken to before by any officer that I had ever 
served under during my long service in the navy ; that I required him to treat me with 
respect ; that I was a gentleman, and that he must treat me as such, and that he had 
not acted as a gentleman should act towards another, and before I would submit to his 
conduct or treatment, I would leave the navy. I was very angry at the time I replied 
to Rear- Admiral Godon, and spoke accordingly, and he understood what I meant. Rear- 
Admiral Grodon then apologized to me, saying that he was under the impression by my 
manner that I had intended to treat him with disrespect on several occasions, and then 
cited several instances, and that he had noticed these things, and that they were in his 
mind, and when he gave vent to his feelings, everything came out at once. He also 
spoke of his long acquaifltance with m«?, and of the kind feelings he had had, and I 
thought at the time that he was sincere, and told him that I had no idea of treating 
him with disrespect, as I had always been careful to be polite and respectful on afl 
occasions. After this interview, which was sought by Rear- Admiral Godon, and not by 
me, he changed his course entirely. He gave me verbal orders to report to him daily 
when in the same port, which I did, and he seemed anxious to be very civil to me. 
Although I overlooked his former conduct to a certain extent, but I did not entirely 
change my opinion of him. Shortly after this interview he visited the Shamokin for 
the iirst time while on the station to inspect her, and made, as I afterwards found out, 
a very unfavorable report of her to the Navy Department, which he was careful to con- 
ceal from me, thereby violating the navy regulations, as they require that every 
adverse report should be given to the officer commanding the vessel, against whom the 
report is made, in order that he might explain or reply to it. Rear-Admiral Godon did 
not do this, but kept his report a secret from me. I would here remark, that the change 
of the admirars conduct towards me after this interview was remarked upon by Lieu- 
tenant Commander Kirkland, and ho told me that Lieutenant Commander Marvin also 
remarked it, and that he did not know the cause of it ; that the admiral had dropped 
me like a hot potato. 

Q. What do you understand to have been the reason of the objection or hesitation or 
reluctance on the part of Admiral Godon to send Mr. Washburn forward ? — ^A. I do not 
i-emember that Admiral Godon ever said anything to me about Mr. Washburn before 
1 received these instructions. 

Q. And you know nothing of his motives f — ^A. Nothing more than I have already 

By Mr. Orth: 

Q. How did he speak in your presence of American ministers as a general thing ; favor- 
ably or unfavorably ? — ^A. I could not state anything more on that point than to repeat 
what he says in his private note to me which I have read. When he was asking me 
about paying Mr. Washbum^s expenses, he remarked, " you seem to think a minister is 
of great importance." 

Q. What was his manner in uttering these words ? — ^A. He said them in a contemptuous 

Q. Did he use any other expression showing considerable feeling at that time, or any 
other time, in regard to our foreign representatives? — A. I do not now recall any other 
remark of that kind. 

Q. You heard the testimony of Governor Kirk this morning in which he referred to 
a remark of the admiral that an American ninister was merely the representative of 
a political party; did you ever hear him making a remark of that kind in connection 
with this matter? — ^A. I cannot call to mind any such remark at this moment. Admiral 
Godon said a great deal in regard to the matter in that way, but I can only give you 
general impressions. 

Q. Did you go down with Admiral Godon's squadron from here? — ^A. No, sir; I joined 
the squadron in the early part of 1866, at Rio. He was then at Montevideo ; my ship 
was in very bad condition, and was detained at Rio two or three months for repairs as 
I recollect ; I cannot speak positively as to dates. After that I went down to Monte- 
video and there met Admiral Godon. 

Q. When did you and the admiral go to Buenos Ayres? — ^A. I remained at Monteviijeo 
about two weeks in company of the admiral, and arrived at Rio Janeiro about April 
or May. 

By the Chairman : 

Q. What was the strength of the admiral's fleet during the spring and summer ot 
1866 ? — ^A. He had the Brooklyn, a steam sloop of war, the Nipsic, the Shawmut, the 
Wa^p, and the Kansas, in addition to my own. 

Q. What duty were they engaged in during the season of 1866? — ^A. The Shamokin 
and Wasp were lying in the river at Montevideo or Buenos Ayres ; the Kansas was 
also there a greater part of the time. The Brooklyn was a part of the time in the river 


and part of tlie time at Bio. The Nipsic was craiBing about tb a coast. The Sbawmnt 
returned to tbe United States about May of that year. 

Q. What is the distance between Montevideo and Buenos Ayres? — ^A. Abcat 100 

Q. What were they doing — ^meaning the Shamokin, Wasp, and Kansas? — ^A. I was 
there as senior officer a great part of the time, and sometimes the E^ansas was down 

Q. Was there anything to prevent Admiral Godon sending a vessel to Paraguay with 
Minister Washburn at any time during the spring, summer, or autumn of 1866? — ^A. 
The Wasp was there, and the Shamokin was there ; he could have sent either of these 
vessels at any time during the spring or summer oi 1866. 

Q. Would it have endangered the nealth of the United States officers or crew to have 
gone up the Paraguay with Mr. Washburn during these months. — A. I think not. The 
Shamokin was about two weeks on the trip going up and down. There was nothing 
in the climate to endanger the health of the officers or crew. They all enjoyed it very 
much and were not sick at all. 

Q. Then the apprehensions of the admiral were groundless in that regard? — ^A. There 
was no sickness in the river that I remember. There was none at all on board my 

By Mr. Orth: 

Q. Did you have plenty of fuel? — ^A. I had. 

Q. Where did you ^et it ? — ^A. I filled up with coal at Buenos Ayres before starting, and 
replenished at (Eosano^ about 300 miles ^tant. The squadron obtained fuel at Bosario. 
I could also have obtained coal at Corrientes, and at Parana. 

Q. Did you accompany the admiral in his visit to Urquiza? — ^A. I did not. 

Q. Where were you at that time? — ^A. I was either at Montevideo or Buenos Ayres, 
I do not remember which. 

Q . You knew of this visit ? — ^A. I remember his making a visit at that time. I remem- 
ber I^ir. Kirk speaking to me about it. 

By the Chairman: 

Q. Where was the general depot of coal for the South Atlantic squadron? — ^A. At 
Bio Janeiro. I also purchased coal at Montevideo and Buenos Ayres. Montevideo is 
a coaling port where tliere is always a large supply on hand, and where the United 
States vessels got their supply when in the river. I also purchased coal at Bosario, 
300 miles up the river, and at Corrientes when I was at that port. 

Q. How much additional coal would it have required to have taken your vessel up 
the river more than to have lain still ? — ^A. I consumed no coal while lying still, except 
for condensing water. 

Q. What would be the consumption of coal for such a trip? — ^A. I consumed about 
200 tons from going up and down. 

Q. What did you have to pay for the coal there? — ^A. Nineteen dollars per ton at 
Corrientes. I have obtained coal at Montevideo for about $13. I have purchased coal 
at Buenos Ayres at various prices, ranging from $19 to $30 per ton. At Montevideo I 
could have got the coal at $13 a ton, wnicn was only 100 miles distant and would have 
filled up fairly, but my orders were to fill up at Buenos Ayres; $13 is the regular price 
for supplying United States vessels by the coal agents at Montevideo. 

By Mr. Willard: 

Q. Which consumed the most coal, the Wasp or the Shamokin? — A. The Shamokin. 

Q. How much more? — ^A. I might safely say 50 tons more for the trip. 

Q. Was there any expense attending your trip except that of fuel ? — ^A. None other. 

Q. If you had received at any time a direct order to facilitate Mr. Washburn on his 
way to Paraguay would the want of coal be any obstacle in the way? — ^A. Not the 
slightest; I had no trouble at all about coal. At times coal was scarce up the riVer, 
but I never thought of that as a serious objection. Montevideo is the general depot for 
coal. There is always a large supply of coal there. I have here aletter among the 
papers appended to this statement written at Buenos Ayres, 100 miles off, on that sub- 
ject. At any time within a couple of weeks, at the farthest, you could get all the coal 
you might wish at Buenos Ayres. 

Q. So you considered that excuse as amounting to nothing? — ^A. Nothing at all. 

By Mr. Washburn: 

Q. You say the Shamokin consumed more coal than the Wasp; do you know why 
the Shamokin was sent in preference to the Wasp ? Was there any excuse except that 
the admiral before the arrival of the Shamokin had refused to send the Wasp on the 
ground that she would not carry coal enough to take her up ? — ^A. I have my own pri- 
vate supposition on that subject. I do not speak from any knowledge I have. The 
Wasp was built in England, and ran the blockade to our coast. She went from here, 



touching different ports, to Montevideo, and she has brought Mr. Washburn down from 
Paraguay since that time, and prior to that she went up to carry dispatches. 

Q. And you say that Admiral Grodon afterwards sent her up to carry dispatches for 
Mr. Washburn T — ^A. He did. I do not know whether the extra coal was carried on 
deck or below, but he had arrangements made for extra coal. These steamers in the 
merchant service always carried extra coal on the spar deck. It was much easier for 
the Wasp to go up than the Shamokin, as she drew two feet less water; a vessel other 
class drawing six feet could go up at almost any time of the year; but in a dry season 
the Shamokin's draught of water— eight feet — ^would prevent her getting over the bars. 

Q. Did you not understand from your private letters and other sources that it would 
have been more agreeable to the admiral if you had not succeeded in getting into 
Paraguay with Mr. Washburn f — ^A. I hardly know how to answer that question. I 
have submitted to the committee all the letters I have received bearing on that <lue8- 
tion, and I have stated my conversation with the admiraL 

Appendix to Captain Peirce Croshy^a testimony, 


United States Squadron on the Coast of Brazil, 

Flag-ship Brooklyn, Eio de Janeiro, 

July 21, 1866. 

Sir : Fill up with coal and provisions immediately and hold yourself in readiness foi 
service up the river. 

Make inquiries in regard to the &cilities for obtaioing coal atRosarioandCorrientes. 
and report to me the result. 
Inform me when yo^r vessel is ready for sea. 

Acting Eear-Adnwral, Ccmmanding South AtUmUo 8quadr<m. 
Commander Peirce Crosby, 

United States Navy^ Commanding United States Steamer Shamokin, 

[Received on July 31 and answered August 1. August 16, 1866, reported ready for 

A 2. 

United States Steamer Shamokin, off Buenos Ayres, 

August 1, 1866. 

Sm : I have to acknowledge the receipt of your communications of July 20 and 21 
and I am making preparations for sea, viz : purchasing coal and provisions. 

I understand that there is coal at Corrientes — about 100 tons, which I will have to 
purchase here from the parties owning it. It is New Castle coal and is held at about 
Jl9 per ton. I do not know yet how long it will be held at my disposal. Should it be 
in the market when I hear from you^I have to ask for authority for purchasing it before 

foing up the river. Coal is exceedingly scarce here and I have difficulty in getting it. 
am now trying to get 150 tons from a vessel in the " outer roads,'' which belongs to 
the gas company of this place and is held at about $24 per ton. I do not know what 
success I will have, but will write you by the earliest o^jportunity. This letter I write 
now as the mail closes at 11 a. m., before I can ^et a positive answer, which I have been 
trying to do since I received your communication yesterday. 
There is no other coal here, except the above-mentioned. 
We have on board about 100 tons. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 




Acting Eear-Admiral, Commanding United States Brazil Squadron. 

P. S. — I have just seen a party having 100 tons New Castle coal at $17 per ton, ancJ 
I have agreed to take it. The coal belonging to the gas company is Cardiff, and I am lust 
informed they will not take less than |30 per ton, and are very indifferent about selling 
at that. 
I will get 50 tons. 




United States Steamer ShamokiN; off Buexos Ayres, 

October 17, 1866. 

Sir : I have to aclcnowledge the receipt of your three commniiicationB of October 5, 
1866, relating to Mr. Waahbiim and General Asboth. 

In accordance with your instmctions I received General Asboth on board this vessel 
from the steamer Amo, on the 12th instant, and on the following day proceeded witii 
bim on board, to this port, in company with the United States steamer Kansas. 

I saluted General Asboth upon his coming on board in Montevideo, and upon his 
debarkation at this port. I will be ready to proceed up the river with Mr. Washburn 
as soon as he makes application for me to do so. As there was no accommodation in 
the cabin of this vessel for Mr. Washburn and his family, I have put up two state-rooms 
for their convenience. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 




Acting Bear-Admiral, Commanding United States Brazil Squadron. 


United States Steamer Shamokin, off Buenos Ayres, 

Augvst 16, 1866. 

Sir : In accordance withyour order July 21, the Shamokin has been filled up with coal 
and provisions and is now in all respects ready for sea. 

The bad weather and difficulty in obtaining coal has prevented me from reporting 
the vessel ready for service at an earlier date. 
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 




Acting Bear-Admiral, Commanding United States Brazil Squadron. 

A 5. 

UNrrisD States Steamer Shamokin, off Buenos Ayres, 

August 24, 1866. 

Sir : I have written by previous mails, which I fear have been delayed, stating that 
the Shamokin is ready for service up the river ; also that coal can bo obtained at Rosario. 
The United States minister to Paraguay is at this place, expecting to go up the river in 
this vessel. We have no news of importance from up the river, but there is a rumor 
that a decisive battle is about to be fought. 

The Brazilian transport, San Francisco, was consumed by fire in the outer roads on 
the 2()th instant. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 




Acting Bear-Admiral, Commanding United States Brazil Squadron. 

A 6. 

[Letter August 11, refers to engineer department, deserters, &c. ; but not to Paraguay 

Letter August 16, reporting Shamokin ready for service up river. 

Letter August 24, reporting Shamokin ready for service, and United States minister 
to Paraguay at Buenos Ayres; expects to go up in Shamokin.] 

South Atlantic Squadron, Flag-ship Brooklyn, 

Bio de Janeiro, September 15, 1866. 

Sir : Your several communications of August 11, 16, and 24, reporting that your 
vessel is prepared for service up the river, have been received. 


Continne to hold yourself in readiness to sail immediately, on the receipt of orders to 

do 60. 


Acting Eear-Admiraly Commanding South Atlantic Squadron. 

Commander Peirce Crosby, 

United States NaWf Commanding United States Steamer Shamokin, 

A 6}. 

United States Flag-ship Wasp, Lujan River, 

December 23, 1866. 

Captain : By direction of the admiral I reinclose a portion of the documents just 
received from the Shamokin : and he directs me to say tnat he desires that only matters 
of pressing importance should be presented for his consideration on Sunday. 
V6ry respectfully, 

Fleet Lieutenant Commanding. 
Commander P. Crosby, 

United States Xamfj Commanding Shamokin, 

[At the time these documents were returned, the Wasp was in the Lujan river. The 
following Sunday, Admiral Godon allowed a party to he given on board — a dancing 

A 10. 

United States Flag-ship Juniata, 

Harbor of Rio de Janeiro^ October 5, 1866. 

Sir: On application in writing from our minister resident at Paraguay, Mr. Washburn^ 
to whom I have written this d^y, you will proceed with him and his family, in the 
Shamokin under your command, to Paraguay, and land him in Asuncion. 

Yon will make the best of your way up the river, and on reaching the blockading 
squadron, you will inform the commanding officer of your orders to convey our minister 
to his official post ; and will not delay your journey. Permit no passengers, letters, or 
packages to be sent up in your vessel, except such as belong to the minister. Observe 
the strictest neutrality between the belligerents. You will under no circumstances 
give to Lopez, or any Paraguayans, a passage in your vessel on your return. After 
remaining a reasonable time at Asuncion you will make the best of your way to Buenos 
Ayres. If Mr. Washburn has gone up the river Corrientes, you will go there and carry 
out these instructions. 

Bear-Admiral, Commanding South Atlantic Squadron, 
Commander Peirce Crosby, 

Commanding United States Steamer Shamokin, 

Private.! -^ !!• 

U. S. S. Brooklyn, 

October 8, 1866, 
Bio de Janeiro. 
My Dear Capt.: 

I have sent you an order to take Mr. Washburn and his family up to Asuncion. 
It will be as well that you should know how matters stand. I had declined to take, 
or rather have Mr. W. taken to Asuncion some time ago. The Navy Department 
app'd of my course. Since then the refusal of the allies to give Mr. W. fireo pass 
through the military lines has annoyed the gover't at home, and they — that is, the 
Stat«T)epar*t — ^have directed him to write to the Argentine gov't and com'r-in-chief of 
the allied armies and demand a free pass through the lines ; if this was refused again, 
I was to take Mr. Wash'n up in a man-of-war. I^esuming Mr. W. has applied, as 
directed, I have written him to inform him of my order to you and to tell him to apply 
to you in writing. At all events, it is proper now that Mr. W. should go to his ]post, 
and the Secretary of State desires it. Mr. W. will, if he pleases, show you a copy of my 
orders from the Secretary of the Navy. I am not required to send him up if a> free pass 
is given him, and it is known that orders have been sent from here not to obstruct his 



passage; bnt I think it is proper he should go in a vessel of war, any howj now; a 
protest by the blockade need not be regarded — ^nothing bnt absolute force ^ould pre- 
vent you; however, if the river is too Totr, then you cannot go up now. Go as high as 
you can and wait tiU the waters rise. Eosario would be a good place to remain at till 
you can go up. The Wasp does not carry coal enough to go and return. Mr. Wash- 
bum must pay his own expenses. I do not feel much confidence in Mr. W.'s judgment 
as an international lawyer, or as to his views in general. So follow your own common- 
sense, which will be the safest way, I hope. When you reach Asuncion do all you can 
to make Mr. W.^s landing of consequence to him, and give him every attention. Get 
me a dozen of those rings made in Paraguay, marking jmoes on them — they are for others. 
Get me some of that Paraguay cordial or eana. I shall bo down at the river about the 
1st or 15 of next month, i on can get wood to bum in your furnaces along the river 
if you have means to cut it. You know that the river gets hot, full of insects, and 
unhealthy later ; so govern yourself accordingly. 
Yours, very truly, 

S. W. GODON,^ 

A 13 

United States Steameb Shamokin, 
Harbor of Montevideo, October 12, 1866. 

Sir : I have received from Eear-Admiral S. W. Godon, commanding South Atlantic 
squadron, the following instructions : 

" On application in writing from Mr. Washburn, our minister resident at Paraguay, 
to whom I have written this day, you will proceed with him and his family in the 
Shamokin under your command, and land hirn in Asuncion." 

General Asboth is now on board the Shamokin, and I will leave here to-morrow for 
Buenos Ayres, taking him with me, and will be ready to carry out my instructions 
regarding yourself. 

It is now blowing a gale, and prevents my leaving until I can communicate with the 
shore and get off the pilot. 

I have a communication for you £rom the admiral inclosed to me, which I consider 
best to deliver in person as it might not otherwise reach you. 
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 


Hon. Ohables H. Washburn, 

United States Minister Besident at Paraguay, Buenos Ayres. 

A 14 

Buenos Ayres, October 16, 1866. 

Sir: Will you be kind enough to give myself and family a passage in the vessel 
under your command to Asuncion, and oblige, 
Your obedient servant, 


United States Minister to Paragtiay. 
Commander Peirce Crosby, 

Commanding United States Steamer Shamokin. 

A 15. 

United States Steamer Shamokin, 

Corrientes, November 2, 1866. 

Sir: I arrived at this place with the United States steamer Shamokin at 9.30 a. m. 
to-day, my run so far having been without accident; and will leave this port this after 
noon, and proceed up the river. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 


Kear-Admiral S. W. Godon, 

Commanding United States Brazil Squadron. 


A 16. 

United States Steameb Shamokix, 

Eiver Paraguayf November 3, 1866. 

Sill : I arriyed and anchored at the mouth of this Tiyerlast night at dark, and shortly 
after was boarded by an officer from the Brazilian blockading vessel at the mouth of 
the Paraguay river, offering the usual civilities and informing me that the blockade 
commenced here, and that no instructions had been received regarding the passage of 
this vessel up the river ; whereupon I told him that I would go up on the following 
day; and as he offered his services to carry a dispatch from myself to Admiral Taman- 
dar6, (of whic]i I inclose a copy, marked No. 1,) I embraced the opportunity and sent 
it immediately, with one of my officers, (Acting Ensign Pendleton,) toge&er with a 
verbal message to the admiral that I would pay my respects to him as I passed up in 
the morning. 

At 3.30 this a. m., Acting Ensign Pendleton returned, in company with the com- 
manding officer of the Brazilian blockading vessel, and I was informed by them that 
the admiral had not received any instructions whatever regarding the passage of this 
vessel up the river; also, that the admiral would come down and call on me at 10 
a. m. to-day. At 7 a. m. I dispatched Mr. Pendleton with a letter to General Mitre 
from the Argentine govcnimeut, regarding the passage of this vessel up the river, 
which letter was scut up by Mr. Washburn. At 10 a. m. Admiral Tamandar^ called on 
board, and gave me a letter in auswer to my commimicatiou in which I had informed 
him that I was going to Asuncion. The admiral proposed to send Mr. Washburn up 
by another conversance. I replied to this proposition (as will be seen in inclosure 
marked No. 2) by stating that my orders were imperative; whereupon Admiral Taman- 
dar^ made his protest, a copy of which I inclose, marked No. 4, also a copy of his first 
communication, marked No. 3, both of which are in the Portuguese language. After 
this form had been gone through with, the admiral very kindly offered to send a letter 
through the lines from Mr. Wiishbnm to General Lopez, announcing his arrival here, 
and asking for a pilot to conduct this vessel up after passing the Brazilian squadron, in 
order to avoid toi*pedocs. I exx)cct to obtain a pilot on Monday, (5th instant,) and will 
at once proceed ou my journey. 

I sent Acting Ensign Pendleton as bearer of dispatches from Mr. Washburn to Gen- 
eral Lopez regarding our safe passage up the river after getting within the Paraguayan 
territory, and gave hini verbal orders to say to General Lopez that it was my desire to 
pass u}) to Asuncion, or to laud Mr. Washburn within the lines if possible. As Admiral 
Tamandar6 had received no instructions whatever from his government to allow this 
vessel to pass up the river, ho was placed in a very embarrassing position on my 
arrival. As my ordera were positive, and there was no alternative but to decide the 
matter at once, either by consenting to our passage under protest or resorting to force, 
the admiral agi'oed to our passage under protest. Admiral Tamandar^ has been exceed- 
ingly couiteous in offering every assistance in procuring pilots to go through the 
obstructions, sending his own pilot to couduct me through nis lines. 
Very respectfmly, your obedient servant, 



Rear- Admiral S. W. Godon, 

Commanding United States Brazil Squadron. 

A 17. 

United States Steamer Shamokin, 

Parana Biver, Noveniber 9, 1866. 

Sm : Acting Ensign Pendleton returned to this vessel at 11 a. m., on the 5th instant, 
in company with a Brazilian pilot whom Admiral Tamandax^ sent to conduct the 
Shamokin past his fleet. At 1.20 p. m. I got under way and proceeded up the river. 
After passing the blockading fleet the Brazilian pilot left us, and, in his stead, I received 
a Paramiayan pilot on board, who conducted the vessel to Curapaiti, about a mile and 
a half 111 advance of the Brazilian picket vessel, which was as far as the obstructions 
in the river would allow this vessel to proceed. The pilot would not attempt to con- 
duct her through the obstructions, saying the danger was too great on account of torpe- 

At 4.30 p. m. I came to anchor off Curupaiti, and saluted the Paraguayan flag, which 
j^lnte was returned by the fort. I then disembarked Mr. Washburn and his family, 
together with their eflects, and upon his leaving the vessel, saluted him with 15 guns. 

Before passing through the Brazilian lines. Admiral Tamandare informed me by a 
verbal message through one of his officers, that he would suspend hostilities for four or 
five hours, during our. passage. 


I fully expected to be able to go above the Paraguayan fortifications; but the Para- 
guayan officers and pilots said it was impossible for this vessel to pass through the 
obstructions which are situated immediately below the fort, telling me there were 
torpedoes only a few feet above where the vessel was then lying. I therefore had to 
land Mr. Washburn below the Paraguayan fort. 

The ShamoMn laid in a direct line between the Brazilian fleet and Curupaiti, and it 
was impossible for her to remain in the position she then occupied without embarrass- 
ing the movements of the Brazilian fleet. Under the circumstances I could not wait 
for such communications aa Mr. Washburn wished to send by this vessel, and, at his 
earnest request, I dispatched Acting Ensign Pendleton to accompany him to his desti- 
nation, that he might return with such dispatches as Mr. Washburn might wish -to send. 
At 1 p. m. I got under way, and proceeded to my anchorage at Tres Bocas, below the 
blockading fleet. 

On the 6th instant I sent a letter to Admiral Tamandar^, informing him that I had 
sent an officer with Mr. Washburn to bring back his dispatches, of which letter the • 
inclosed, marked No. 6, is a copy. 

On the 7tli instant Mr. PencQeton returned with dispatches from Mr. Washburn, and 
was brought down to this vessel by a Brazilian gunboat. 

Admiral Tainandar^ sent me a verbal message through an aide-de-camp that he had 
not had time to answer my letter of the 6th instant concerning the return of Mr. Pen- 
dleton, but that he would protest against his return through the lines, and would send 
me his protest at Buenos Ayres. 

On the morning of the 8th instant I left Tres Bocas for Buenos Ayres. 

Inclosed (No. 7) I send a copy of Mr. Pendleton^s report to me concerning his transit 
through the Brazilian lines, and his interview with General Lopez ; also a copy (No. 8) 
of his report concerning his passage to Humaita with Mr. Washburn. 
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 



Rear-Admiral S. W. Godon, 

Commanding United States Brazil Squadron. 

A 18. 

United States Steamer Shamokin, 

Tres Bocas, Noveniber 5, 1866. 

Sir : In compliance with your orders of the evenmg of the 3d instant, "to proceed to 
the camp of his excellency Francisco S. Lopez, president and commander-in-chief of 
the republic of Paraguay, and from him ascertain whether there are obstructions in 
the river Paraguay wnich will prevent the United States steamer Shamokin passing to 
Asuncion, and if so, to learn how far the steamer could come within his fines with 
safety ; and also to make an arrangement for a pilot to come on board after the^hamo- 
kin had passed the Brazilian blockading squadron," I have the honor to make the fol- 
lowing report: 

At 5.10, on the morning of the 4th instant, I left this ship, having in my possession 
an ansealed communication addressed to his excellency I'^ancisco S. Lopez, president 
and commander-in-chief of the republic of Paraguay. I went on board the Brazilian 
gunboat Ivahy, and was soon under way for the flag-ship of Vice-Admiral Tamandar6, 
commanding tne Brazilian naval forces on the Paraguay river, reaching there about 
11.30 a. m., and from the admiral receiving another letter addressed to his excellency 
Francisco S. Lopez, &c. 

The preliminaries of a flag of truce having been arranged, I started about 1 p. m. 
under an escort of cavalry, bearing the American and Brazilian flags, with a flag of 
truce, to cross the lines ; we were met by an escort from the Paraguayan forces at Curu- 
paiti, who conducted me to the headquarters of General Jos6 Dias, where I remained 
until my presence was made known to his excellency President Lopez, who desired a 
personal interview with me. 

About 5 p. m. I reached his headquarters, delivering my communications, and in 
answer to your inquiries as to the Shamokin being able to pass to Asuncion fi'om above 
the • Brazilian squadron, he informed me that it was impossible for the ship to do so. 
And although he regretted very much that we could not reach the capital, the obstruc- 
tions were such they could not be temporarily removed, and it would be very dangerous 
to pass above Curupaiti, and that he would provide a pilot to take us as soon as we 
passed the Brazilian fleets 

He informed me that he wished to return a letter to Hon. Charles A. Washburn, 
informing him of the matter. On the following morning about 7.30 I received two 
sealed letters from President Lopez, (through one of his staff,) one. addressed to Vice- 
Admiral Tamandar^, the other to Hon. Charles A. Washburn. 


I immediately started to return, doing so by the same medium through which I went, 
reaching my ship at 12 m., bearing the dispatch to the Hon. Mr. Washburn, and deliv- 
ering the one addressed to Vice-Adfiniral Tamandar^ in person, at the headquarters of 
General Porto Alegre, as I returned. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Acting Ensign United States Navy, 
To Commander Peirce Crosby, U. S. N., 

Comjnanding United States Steamer Shamohin. 

[This is the same officer that the Brazilians made such a long protest about my lea^'lng 
hiia with ]Mr. Washburn to bring back dispatches.] 

A 19. 

United States Steamer Shamokin, 

Paranm Biver, November 8, 1866. 

Sir : In obedience to your orders of the 5t"h instant, "to accompany Hon. Charles A. 
Washburn, minister resident to the republic of Paraguay, within the lines of the Para- 
<^aayan army, and return with such communications as he may desire to send by me," 
I have the honor to make the following report : 

On the evening of the 5th instant I left this ship, then lying under the fortifications 
of Curupaiti, on the Paraguay river. Upon reachmg the shore I learned that JMr. Wash- 
bum had started for Humaita, and I immediately followed, reaching there about 8.30 
p. m. The next morning a steamer was placed at Mr. Washburn's disposal, and prepa- 
rations made to leave that evening for Asuncion. 

At 9 p. m. Mr. Washburn gave me a package addressed to General Asboth, United 
States minister to Buenos Ayres. I returned to Curupaiti the same night, in order to 
cross the lines early the next morning, but ^7as detained from doing so by an engage- 
ment having taken place between the two armies on the extreme right. After the hring 
had ceased, General Dias, of the Paraguay army, sent me under flag of truce to the Bra- 
zilian lines, where I was received by the picket guard, and by them detained until my 
presence was reported to General Porto Alegre, who returned word that I would not be 
allowed to pass. In this peculiar situation I asked permission to communicate with 
you, which was very cheerfully granted. The note being intercepted by Vice-Admiral 
Tamandar<S, he at once had an interview with General Porto Alegre, and dispatched an 
officer to inform me I could pass, but only under protest, as there had been no under- 
standing that any one but Mr. Washburn, liis wile, and one servant, were to leave the 
Shamokin. Admii*al Tamandar<5 kiudlj'^ sent me on one of his small steamei?3 to return 
to my ship, which I did about 5 p. m. on the 7th instant, bringing with me the corre- 
spondence of Mr. Washburn. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Acting Ensign United States Nary 

To Commander Peirce Crosby, U. S. N., 

Commanding United States Steamer SJutmokin, 

[Note. — Mr. Pendleton is the same officer who was bearer of dispatches from the 
Shamokin to President Lopez, with the consent of the commander-in-chief of the allied 
forces, and there was no sensible or reasonable objection to his remaining with Mr. 
Washburn to bring his dispatches, notwithstanding the protest of Admiral Taman- 
dar^.— P. C] 

A 20. 

[On the 5th November landed Mr. Washburn at Curapaiti 

On the 8th November left the Tres Bocas. 

About the 11th November arrived at Rosario, where I received this communication.] 

South Atlantic Squadron, Flag-ship Brooklyn, 

Bio de Janeiro, October 21, 1866. 

Sir : In my instruction to you to proceed to Asuncion, on application in writing from 
Mr. Washburn, I did not allude to any difficulties you might meet with for want of 
water, nor from torpedoes, or other obstructions in the river^ placed by Paraguayans. 

You will not proceed at all, until you know the water is high enough to allow you to 
go up without inconvenience. 

I torpedoes or other difficulties offer, you will then land the minister at Curupaiti 


by boats, or at some convenient landing within the Paraguayan lines, to which the 
allies will have no objections, or you may be obliged to avail yourself of the means 
which will be placed at your disposal to pass the minister through the allied lines to 
those of General Lopez. 

Bear-Admiral, Commanding South Atlantic Squadron, 
Commander Peirce Crosby, U. S. N., 

Commanding United States Steamer Shamokin, 

A 23. 

United States Steamer Shamokin, 

Lujan River, December 26, 1866. 

Sir : In answer to your communication of the 24th instant, requiring me to explain 
why I gave a copy of any of your orders to me, to Mr. Washburn, United States minister 
to Paraguay,. I have to say that I wrote to Mr. Washburn, informing him of my orders 
to take liim to Asuncion, upon his application to me in writing ; and in doing this I 
quoted the words of the portion of your order which referred to his making an applicar- 
tion in writing, in 6rder that there would be no misunderstanding about it : that is, iu 
the form requ&ed of him— a written appUcation. 
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 


Rear-Admiral S. W. Godon, 

Commanding United SUUes Souih Atlantic Squadron, 


I United States Steamer Shamokin, 

' Tree Bocas, November 2, 1866. 

Sir : In obedience to my instructions, I have the honor to inform you that I have the 
. Hon. C. A. Washburn, United States minister to Paraguay, and family, on board of this 
vessel, with orders from Rear-Admiral S. W. Godon, commanding United States South 
Atlantic Squadron, to proceed with him without delay to Asuncion. 
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Commander United States Nayy, 
His Excellency Vice- Admiral Viscount de Tamandar^, 

Commanding Allied Squadron, 

A 24. 

United States Steamer Shamokin, 

Tres Bocas, Novembet* 3, 1866. 

Sir : I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 3d 
instant, in reference to the passage of the Hon. C. A Washburn, United States minister 
to Paraguay. 

In reply I have to state, that my instructions from my commander-in-chief are impera- 
tive, and it is necessary that I should proceed on my journey without delay, and which 
I will do unless prevented by absolute force. 

I have the honor to be your obedient servant, 

Commander United States Navy, 
Viscount de Tamandari^, 

Vice- Admiral, Conrnumder-in-Ckief of the Brazil Squadron, Paraguay, 

A 26. 

United States Steamer Shamokin, 

Trea Bocas, November 3, 1866. 

Sm I At the request of the Hon. Charles A. Washburn, United States minister to 
Paraguay, I ordered one of my officers. Acting Ensign Pen^eton, to accompany him to 


his destination in Paraguay that he might bring back snch dispatches as the Hon. Mr. 
Washburn may wish to send ; and I have to request that you will allow my officer to 
pass through your lines on his return, which I expect will be on Tuesday. 

Allow me, sir, to return my thanks for the great courtesy you have shown me in this 
very delicate mission. 

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


Viscount de TamandabA, 

Vice-Admiral, Commander-in-diirf of the Brazil SquadroUj Paraguay, 

A 28. 

[Translation of A 27.] 

IN THE River La Plata, 
On hoard Stumer Apa in front of Curuzu, November 7, 1866. 

Sm : With great surprise I have read the note which you sent me yesterday, com- 
municating to me that, at the request of Mr. Washburn, United States minister for Para- 
guay, you had ordered one of your officers, the Acting Ensign Mr. Pendleton, to accom- 
pany him for the purpose of returning with dispatches which the said Mr. Washburn 
should like to forward, asking me to allow this officer to pass through our lines. 

When I permitted that the steamer of your command might pass the line of blockade 
and the forces in operation that I maintain in this river to communicate with territory 
of Paraguay, I had in view, only, to give credit to the testimony of Rear-Admiral Godon, 
and of Generals Webb and Asboth, United States ministers in Brazil and in the Argen- 
tine Republic, and to honor the character of these gentlemen, who, in dispatches 
written to Mr. Washburn, assured for certain that the imjierial government, with 
consent of the Argentine, had sent orders permitting that this gentleman and his family 
might proceed to nis destination in a man-of-war of his nation. 

You are aware, on' account of having been present at the conference which I had with 
Mr. Washburn on board of the ship under your command, that in tlie absence of ordera 
direct from my government to permit his passage, I procured to conciliate the departure 
of Mr. Washburn for his destination, with our rights of belligerent, pointing out to him 
a manner of effecting, without violation of the blockade, nis transport ior Paraguay 
through the lines of the allied armies, or otherwise, in one of the steamers of this 
squadron, which would convey him to the advanced posts of Cmiipaiti, in order to 
transship himself to a Paraguayan steamer, in which he could continue to Asuncion, pre- 
ceding to this an agreement with the Marshal President of Paraguay ; and you are 
aware, likewise, that only to the irresolution of Mr. Washburn in not acceding to these 
my projjositions, and to the steadiness in availing himself of the permission granted by 
the Brazilian government, I had to yield, to give the most complete credit to the testi- 
mony of the delegates of the United States government. 

It was likewise with the same object in view that I procured to facilitate and accel- 
erate his voyage by all measures, even pointing out to Mr. Washburn the idea that he 
should ask for a pilot from Marshal Lopez, in order to take the Shamokin from my van- 
guajrd upwards tnrough the secret obstacles with which the Paraguayans have pre- 
tended to obstruct the Aver; I offering and lending, on that occasion, a pilot niat 
should take her from the mouth of this nver up to the palisade of Curupaiti. 

With this my proceedings I believe to have demonstrated how much the imperial 
government is careful in demanding from their agents that tbey shall main tarn the 
most exact and obliging relations with the agents of the friendly nations. And if I did 
protest, in the name of my government, against the going up of the Shamokin, disre- 
garding the friendly means that I proposed, it was foreseeing the consequences of this 

In these consequences, notwithstanding, I could not foresee that an officer of the 
Shamokin (should or) might remain in Paraguayan territory without right for so doing, 
nor permission equal to tiie one granted to Mr. Washburn and his family, the whicii 
constitutes an of&nse to the right which my nation and their allies have of impeding 
the passage of any neutral agent to the enemy's territory, and anew (de novo) it pom- 
pels me to protest against those who ordered that act, as I protest solemnly ; and in 
this manner I reply to your above-mentioned note. 

But as Mr. Pendleton presented himself at the advanced posts of the army of Viscount 
de Porto Allegro without the customary formalities in similar cases, and the Paraguay- 
ans that accompanied him went back to their camp without delay, and that worthy 
officer found himself in the impossibility of going backwards without risk, as the Para- 
guayans might fire on him as they did to the parley (parlamentarian) when the same 


Mr. Pendleton and my secretary and aid-de-camp, first Lieutenant Arthur Silveira da 
Motta, were goings Viscount de Porto Allegro and 1 determine to consent to the passage 
of the said officer, allowing ourselves (redervandonoa) the right of protesting against 
his stay, though of short duration, in the territory of Paraguay. 

I am, with much consideration, your attentive admirer and servant, 

Mr. Peikce Crosby, 

Commaiider of the United States Steamer SMmohin, 

Testimony of Robert C. KirJc. 

Washington, D. C, Apnl 12, 1869. 
Robert C. Kirk sworn and examined. 

By the Chairman : 

Question. State your residence, and the office held by you at the time of Mr. Wash- 
burn^s visit to Paraguay. — Answer. I reside in the State of Ohio. I was at the time 
referred to, minister resident to the Argentine Republic. 

Q. Have you read the petition of Masterman and Bliss, which is now the subject of 
investigation ? — A. I have not. 

Q. Are you acquainted with the facts connected with this matter? — ^A. I am 
acquainted with some of the facts in connection with Admiral Godon sending Mr. 
Washburn to Paraguay. 

Q. Please state to the committee what you know in regard to that matter. — ^A. Mr. 
Washburn arrived in the city of Buenos Ayres in the winter of 1865. I think Admiral 
Godon arrived there in January, 1866. When Mr. Washburn arrived there he told me 
he had met Admiral Godon at Rio Janeiro, and that the admiral had promised to send 
biTn to Paraguay, but when the admiral arrived at the city of Buenos Ayres he refused 
to send him to Paraguay. The admiral gave several reasons in my presence for refus&L 
to send him. One of the particular reasons he urged was that he had no authority 
from the department, and that it was. necessary for liim to use economy in burning coal. 
He also said that he did not think the interests of the government required that he 
should send Mr. Washburn to Paraguay. Mr. Washburn repeatedly in my presence 
urged the admiral to send him to Paraguay. I also said that I thought the admiral 
should send Mr. Washburn to Paraguay. Mr. Washburn was there a long time urging 
the admiral to send a vessel to take him to Paraguay, but he refused to do so. I 
thought the action of Admiral Grodon while he was there tended to lessen the influ- 
ence of ministers abroad. I know that his action lessened my influence there, and I 
am satisfied it lessened Mr. Washburn's influence. When Admiral Godon first arrived 
there I formed a favorable impression of him. I liked him very much, but his subse^ 
quent acts causei me to change my impression of him, being satisfied that his course 
was such as to lessen our influence there. I know that before he came there my influ- 
ence was ^ood, and that I had effected a great deal with the Argentine Republic m favor 
of the United States. When I left Buenos Ayres Mr. Washburn had not yet reached 
Paraguay. I believe he was sent there afterwards. 

By Mr. ORTh : 

Q. When was this ? — ^A. This was, I think, in the early part of 1866. I never expected 
to give any evidence in the case, and consequently cannot speak with entire accuracy 
as to dates. 

* By the Chairman: 

Q. Did the refusal of Admiral Godon to forward Mr. Washburn to his post imply on 
his part any other right to judge than that which pertained to him as an officer of the 
navy ? — He claimed that he was to judge of his own acts ; that he was under no obli- 
gation whatever to ministers. He told Mr. Washburn that he was under no obligation 
to him, and he told me that he was under no obligation to me as a minister, whatever. 
When I left him he was about to embark on a visit to General Urquiza. I told him that 
I thought he ought not to visit General Urquiza; that the relations existing between 
the United States and the Argentine government being Mendly, I thought such a visit 
would be interpreted by that government as unfriendly in its nature, and I thought he 
ought not to make the visit. He still insisted, however, that he would go to make the 
visit. Thinking the matter was of some importance, I sent him a friendly note, ad- 
dressed to him as " Dear admiral,'' giving my reasons for the opinion I had expressed 
more at length. When he received that note I learned from friends of mine who were 
present that he spoke very unkindly of me for sending it. He started on the trip, went 
as fax as Conception, and then concluded that he womd not visit General Urquiza, and 


«• I leMTlkM^ my letter h*d the effect of causing him to reconaider Mb 4eteimim»tio]i 
to do so. When he came back to Bnenos Ayres he visited the legation, and asked me 
why I had written that note to him* I told him that the letter gave its own ezplana- 
tion ; tbftt its ol]ject was simply to express my opinion that he ought not to visit Gen- 
eral Ur^oitsa. He expressedy seemingly with some feeUoigy the <minion that he was 
under no obligations to me. I told him I was quite aware that I had no right to con- 
trol his movements, but that I thought when a minister had resided for several years 
in a place, that an admiral coming & tibat place could properly oonsolt ihe minister in 
regard to any fiuoliiBOifiemeDt; tiuktthe minister would be more lik^to know the 
condition of afiairs and to judge of the effects of aporticular line of policy than a man 
who had just .come to the ooimtry. That passed o£ and I heard no m^re of it, and 
had no omtac disagreement with the admiral tiiat I know ofl 

Q. Do you mean to say that tiie reasons given by the admLiral w«re that he was under 
ao»oblisaticHi to aid the diplomatic agents of the government— that he was only bdund 
to do what suited himself as a navid officer T — A. That is as I und^^tood it. Unless 
his opinion coincided with the opinion of the minister he was not bound to be gov- 
«mea thereby. 

ByKr. Obxh: 

^. Do yen mean that he was not^ upon questions of political and diplomatic affiaixs t — 
A. 1 8he«Jd judge so upon all affiurs. He told me I claim to nave any influence 
npon his action whatever. I thought it was his duty to listen to suggestions made 
hj me in regard to political questions. The Argentine Republic was engaged in a war 
with Paraguay. I was occupying a neutral position. My government had the good 
will of the Arji^entine government, and I bought it importa^ that he should noi do 
aBything to disturb those friendly relations. 

By the Chairman : 

Q. IHd he express a^ dissent from Mr. Washburn's movements In regard to inter- 
national affiEors f — A. He said this-— that he was under no control whatever from Mr. 
Washburn or from myself; that he was subject to the control of the Secretary of the 
Navy ; that he was responsible to the Secretary of the Navy, and to nobody else. I 
suppose that was true, and I did not claim to have any control over his actions. 

Q. What was the deportment of Mr. Washburn towards Admiral Godon f— A. It was 
of the kindest character. I was strongly impressed with the fact that he conducted 
himself under the circumstances in a very gentlemanly and dignified manner. 

Q. No dissatisfaction was expressed at any time in that regard T — A. No; not at any 
time while I was there. 

Q. Have you formed any opinion as to the propriety of Admiral Godon's goinff up to 
visit Genend Urquiza f — A. I have ; and I have just stated that it was the letter I 
addressed to him which caused him not to make tnat visit. 

Q. What was the basis of the opinion expressed by you against the propriety of that 
visit ? — ^A. My opinion was that it would create trouble between the iijgentine govern- 
ment and the government of the United States. Urquiza was regarded at that time 
iss hostile to the Ai^ntine covemment, and I thought a visit to him by the admiral of 
the United States navy womd be construed as an unfriendly act to the Argentine gov- 
ernment ; that it would cause them to look upon us as sympathizing with Paraguay 
and against that ffovemment. 

Q. What was the admind's reason for paying this visit against your remonstrance t — 
A. Simply that he thought Urquiza an important man there, and that he ought to pay 
him a visit. 

Q. What position did Urquiza hold at that time f— A. None whatever. He was a 
j^vate citizenr— the ex-president of the republic; a very wealthy and powerfril man. 

Q. You say you expressed these opinions to him f — ^A. I did, in the letter I wrote to 
him ; and I also sent a copy of thatletter to the department. 

Q. Have you stated all the circumstances connected with this remonstrance f — ^A. 
Yes, as nearly as I can recollect. 

Q. Did Mr. Washburn ever in your presence urge the admiral to <9end him to Para- 
guay f — A. Repeatedly. The admiral gave as a reason for not sending him, that he 
couM not bum coal ; and afterwards, wen an American citizen, Mr. Samuel P. Hale, 
asked h^m if be would send Mr. Washburn to Paraguay if American citizens there 
would furnish the coal the admiral said that he did not wish to send a vessel, because, 
the men would suffer from the climate. 

By Mr. Obth : 

Q. Was that the fact T— A. I do not know. I know several of the men connected' 
with the fleet wanted to go up— were anxious to go. 

Q. Was it the unhealwy season of the year f — ^A. No, it was in winter season. I. 
know that Captain Walker and Captain Wells were both anxious to go up. 

Q. What was the general line of conduct of Admiral Godon in regard to ministers. 
xeprescsiting ^e United States f— A. It was just as I have stated. He said he was- 

4 P I 


tinder no control or obligation whatever to the ministers ; that his obligationB were 
simplyto the Secretary of the Navy. 
Q. What was his conduct and bearing towards these ministers f — ^A. It wbs always 

fentlemanly to me. I supposed that he would listen to any advice or suggestions that 
gave him ; but unless they corresponded with his own views he would not be governed 
by them. 

By the Chairmak : 

Q. When he said he was not under the control of the diplomatic representatives of 
the government, did you understand that anybody had assumed to control his move- 
ments or give him orders f — ^A. No; it was a voluntary remark of his. I know that it 
was entirely voluntary on his part when he said that to me in consequence of a friendly 
letter I had written to him, suggesting reasons why he should not visit Urquiza. ^ I 
thought it was proper, and my duty as a representative.of the government, to give him 
the information which I did in my letter. 

Q. Did you understand him to consider himself in anywise bound to respect the 
opinions of the United States ministers in regard to the foreign countries to which 
they were accredited f — ^A. I do not know that I could answer that question positively. 
I felt tMs, that he was always controlled by his own opinions. I think Admiral Godon 
would consult a minister, but at the same time, if the opinion expressed by the minis- 
ter did not coincide with his own he would not be governed by it. He claimed to be 
under the control of nobody except the Secretary of the Navy, 

By Mr. Orth : 

Q. Did you understand that the main reason why he declined to send a vessel to take 
Mr. Waahtum to Paraguay was that he had not coal or fuel f-A. That was the first 
reason he gave. 

Q. Was this offer on the part of American citizens to furnish fuel brought to his 
attention f — ^A. It was. I told him about it myself. He said he could not go ; and 
he repeatedly refused positively to send Mr. Washburn to Paraguay. As I stated, he 
subsequently gave the excuse that it would endanger the health of his men. This was 
after the offer on the part of Mr. Hale to Ornish coal. 

Q. At which of your interviews with him did he say Mr. Washburn ou^ht not to go 
there, for political reasons ? — ^A. He frequently said this. He said that he would not 
take Mr. Washburn; that he saw no reason why Mr. Washburn should be there; that 
there was no interest suffering because he was not there. That was one of the posi- 
tions he took. Mr. Washburn told me one day that he was going to vindicate himself, 
and that the admiral would have to take the consequences. He asked me to state this 
to the admiral, which I did. 

Q. What was his reply T — ^A. I do not recollect perfectly what he did reply. The 
.substance of it was that he felt perfectly independent. 

Q. Did Mr. Washburn request to be taken upon a vessel of the navy — upon a gunboat ? — 
A. Yes, sir. 

Q. The admiral declined that 1 — ^A. Yes, sir ; repeatedly. 

Q. What length of time would it have taken a vessel to have made the trip f — ^A. It 
takes about six or eight days to go up, and probably a less time to return. 

Q. Do you think a vessel comd have taken him there and returned within twelve 
days t — ^A. Yes ; unless it was detained. 

Q. In your opinion, would a trip of twelve days for that purpose endanger the health 
of the men going there? — ^A. I should say it was no excuse at aU. 

By the CHAHtMAN : 

Q. Did you regard it as necessary, from the condition of public affairs, that Mr. 
'Washburn should: go to his post T — ^A. I hardly know how to express myself in answer 
,to that question except by saying, that Mr. Washburn was minister of the United States 
accredited to Paraguay, and that it was his duty to go tiiere If he had gone by any 
. other conveyance than an American man-of-war it would have given him mucn less 
power and much less influence than to have been conveyed in one of the naval vessels. 
Q. In consequence of this delay how long was Mr. Washburn detained from proceed- 
ing on his mission ? — ^A. I do not know. I arrived there in December, 1865, and left in 
, Jiily, 1866. When I left he had not gone. He made the effort once to get to Paraguay 
in a private vessel. 

Q. During all the time he was there did Admiral Godon have command of the squad- 
ron t — A. Yes. And there were a number of vessels of the navy lying there. 

Q. You say the admiral did not feel bound to receive the opinions of ministers, or to 
act on them, unless they accorded with his own ideas of duty as an officer of the 
navy T — ^A. He repeatedly asserted that he was under no obligation whatever to them ; 
that he was responsible alone to the Secretary of the Navy. I recollect saying to him 
-once, that I had heard that opinion expressed sever^ times, and that I did not care 
who he was under obligation to. 
Q. What other means was there for Mr. Washburn to get to his post t— A. He could 


hftve gone to Conrientes, 16 or 20 miles below the southern border of Paragnay. He 
could not have gone directly to Paraguay in any other way. The Brazilian aathoritieB 
claimed the right to prevent any person from going above Coirientes. 

Q. The resmt of the admiraL's reftuBal was, i&t Mr. Washburn oontinned to be 
detained away from his poet t—A. Yes ; I have no doubt at aU that when he &nt came 
there; Mr. Washburn could hav« been landed at Asuncion without any difficulty. 

By Mr. Obth : 

Q. Andhispresencetherewouldhavebeenproductiyeof agoodeffectf— A. It might 
I do not know as to that. 

Q. You remarked, did yoa not. that the refusal of Admiral Godon lessened the influ- 
ence of Mr. Washburn f — ^A. It did in the city of Buenos Ayres, or lowered the charac- 
ter of all the representatiyes of our government. I made the application generally to 
aU of us. It looked as if (and, in tacty he remarked) that we were merely the repre- 
sentatives of political friends. 

Q. Did Adnural Godon make that statement f — ^A. He did : that these ministers were 
the mere representatives of political friends. As I have said, I did not undertake to 
exercise any control over him, but I thought under the circumstauces existing there, it 
was reasonable to suppose that he would consult the ministers there in regard to polit- 
ical afGaiTB. My relations with Admiral Godon personally were of the most friendly 
character nearly all of the time I was there. 

By Mr. Washburn : 

Q. State what was the general feeling of Americans there in the river in regard to 
the conduct of Admiral Godon T — ^A. The great mass of Americans there felt that the 
admiral ought to take Mr. Washburn to Paraguay. 

By the Chairman : 

Q. Did you hear the expressed opinions upon that subject f~ A. I heard a number of 
them express themselves in that way. 

By Mr. Washburn : 

Q. Was not that feeling almost unanimous among them f — ^A. I could not say that. I 
have forgotten it if I heard anjr other opinion expressed. The fact of the statement of 
Mr. Hale, that they would furnish coal for the purpose of taking him up, showed their 
feeling in that regard. 

By the Chaibman : 

Q. State whether ^on heard any American citizen speak in justification of the course 
of the admiral iu this regard. — ^A. I do not recollect that I did. I may state that when 
Admiral Godon first arrived there I formed a very favorable impression of him, and I 
never had any personal disagreement with him unless it was in regard to his proposed 
visit to General Urquiza ; and, as I have stated, he started upon that visit but did not 
complete it. 

By Mr. Washburn : 
Q. Did he bum coal on that occasion f— A. Of course. 

By Mr. Orth : 

Q. What was the occasion of that visit t— A. Nothing more than pe^nal courtesy. 
Q. What time did it require ? — ^A. I think he was gone four or five weeks; I am not 
Q. Did his fleet go with him ?■— A. No ; only the gunboat Wasp. 

Additional statement of Charles A. Washburn. 

Washington, D. C, April 13, 1869. 

Charles A. Washburn appeared and made the following additional statement: 
I will remark that I left Paraguay on leave of absence to return to the United States 
on the 16th of January, 1865. I started again in September from New York to go 
back with my wife, and reached Rio Janeiro, I think, the 27th of September, or at any 
rate near the Ist of October. I saw Admiral Godon the same day. He was then sta- 
tioned at Rio. I was on board his flag-ship. I had a great deal of conversation with him 
at diflerent times in regard to the situation of affairs, and from other sources learned 
that in all probability I should not be able to get up to Paraguay without the aid of a 
gunboat, that all communication otherwise had been stopped. Admiral €rodon 
remarked that he had no suitable vessel to send up the river, but that the steamer 
Wasp was expected very shortly ; in the meanwhile he said he was going down to 


St. Catharines, which is 400 inileB down the coast. Before that I expected if I found 
any merchant yeeeels going up that I shoold go in one of thenL although I enppoeed 
I should have a gunhoat offered me without any epeoial oider m>m the Seeretaiy of 
the Navy. When I went out in 1861 we had but one gunhoat on the station, and it 
was queslionable whether it i^onld leave the mouth of the river at that time ; nevM- 
theless, I ascertained when I got to Rio that CommaaidNr Macomb was ex{>ecting me 
and was getting ready to convey me up even without any order. At that time I took 
the troulue to go to the Secretary of the Navy and request instructions foft i gunboat 
to be sent up. But this ixeoShf knowing we had a squa^on at that station doing noth- 
ing, and supposing tJie commander of the squadron would detixe to fiieilitato my put- 
pose, I did not thmk it at all necessary to get a letter from the Seoxetary of tiie Navy. 
If I found it necessary in order to reach my post I supposed I had but to call for a 
gunboat and it would be furnished me. The admiral, as I stated, went to St. Catha- 
rines, 400 miles down the coast, as I understood, though I cannot say he told me, lor 
the sake of exercising his men in target firing. I remained at Rio waiting for the 
Wasp to come in order to ascertain about what time she ndght be expected at the 
mouui of the river, imd when I could calculate upon being able to leave and go up to 
Paraguay. I waited there accordingly until the admirasl nad gone down to St. Ca£ha- 
Tines and returned, la the mean time, while he was absent I uiink, the Wasp arrived, 
and as he said she must have some improvements or repairs made upon her that would 
take some time, I took the first steamer afber her arrival, according to my reeoUoction, 
and went down to Buenos Ayres. I took an inferior steamer oecause I had been 
delayed there longer than I expected. The admiral told me before I left that he should 
soon follow, in ten or twelve days at least. I arrived at Buenos Ayres on the 4th of 
November, and it was about Christmas before I heard of the admiral's arrival at Mon- 
tevideo. About six weeks i^r my own arrival I heard that the Wasp had arrived 
previous to the flag-diip reaching that port, and I wrote a letter addressed to the 
admiral, which I sent to Commander Kirkland and requested him to deliver it to the 
admiral as soon as he arrived. That letter is published in the diplomatic correspon- 
dence of 1866, under date of December 14, 1865. 

By Mr. Okth : 

Q. Is that an official letter f— A. I do not know whether it is official or semi-official. 
It begins, '^My Dear Sir:*' and is addressed to Admiral S. W. Godon, United States 
steam frigate Susquehanna, and was signed by myself, " Charles A. Washburn,'' as I 
sign all my letters official or otherwise. 

Q. Was the letter marked j>rivatef— A. Not at all. The letter refeured to in Captain 
Crosby's testimony yesterday was marked prUmte, and was still designated as semi- 
official by Admiral Gk>don. This was not mariced private. I wrote to the admiral two 
or three letters while at Montevido, which are not pubHsbed in the correspondence. 
The letter to wMch I have referred is as lelto ws : 

'^ Buenos Atkes, December 14, 1865. 

''Mt Dear Sm: Tou see by the date of this that I have only got thus fax on my 
way to Paraguay. I reached here on the 4th of November, and have been patiently 
waiting here ever since for some conveyance to take me to my post of service. But, as 
I anticipated while at Rio, all communication between this place and Paraguay has 
been suspended,, and only the war vessels of neutral nations have ventured to pass the 
lines of the belli^rents. A French and an Italian gunboat had been sent up wofm here 
a short time beiore my arrival, neither of which has yet returned to this port. The 
English gunboat Spider left at a later date, and is supposed to be lying at Corrientee, 
the Brazilian admiral objecting to her going above the 'Tres Bocas.' The Brazilians 
assume that they have the right to forbid any man-of-war of a neutral power going up 
the river, and have declared that it was only under favor that the above-mentioned 
gunboats have been allowed to pass. But both the French and English ministers have 
protested against this assumed right of the allies, though the latter have not yiel4ed 
the ^int. but on the contrary have requested the different ministers to recall all vessels 
bearing tneir respective flags to some point below the Brazilian squadron. 

^' Under these circumstances, I do not know what objections may be made if an 
American war vessel were to go up the river. I infer, however, that no real objection 
would be made. The Brazilian special envoy here, Sefior Octaviano, has assured me 
me repeatedly that he would do everything in his power to facilitate my passage, and 
has even offered me a steamer to take me all the way to Paraguay. But for reasons 
you will readily understand, I have declined to accept any such favor. But I think I 
ought not to delay here any loncer than is absolutely necessary, and hope that you may 
find it convenient to dispatch tke Wasp or some other light-draught steamer to take 
me to my destination. Please inform me with as little delay as possible if you can do 
so, and how soon. I think matters are coming to a crisis at the seat of war, and I am 
very anxious to be near the scene of action when the day for negotiation arrives. 

'^ I write this letter to you in anticipation of any notice of your arriviJ in Montevideo, 


Imt aa I received a letter dt>m onr Mend, M%|or EUiMm, saying that you had left Bio on 
the 5th instant) I think it possible yon will be there by the time this note is. I shall be 
pieatly obliged for early inlormation as to what I may expect, as I can make no calcn- 
lations or arrangements in regard to my own movements tUl I know how and when I 

am to go to Paraguay. 

«« • • « • « • 

^ 1 have the honor to be, very truly, y onr obedient servant, 

<< Admiral S. W. GoDOir, 

*^ Umted 8Mn Steam Frigate Suaqwkaima/* 

I received no satisfactory answer to that letter, and went down to Montevideo to see 
the admiral. 

Q. Did you get any answer at all t 

A. I did. 

Q. Why was that not published if it went oif with the letter which yon have just read T 

A. That is eisplained in my letter to Mr. Seward of August 20, 1866, as follows: 

^'From the admiral I leain by a letter from Mr. Kirk, written at Bio de Janeiro, on 
his way home, that after netting his instructions to send a vessel from his squadron to 
Paraguay if so requested by me, he went northward to Bahia, where it is j^robable my 
letter will reach him if he has not gone still further north. Mr. Kirk writes me that 
the admiral told him if I would send an official note he would send a vessel to take me 
up the river. From this I infer he will try and justif v himself for not havins done it 
before by pretendins that I have not duly and officially notified him of my aesire for 
his assistance. I wul spike that gun for him here and now by sending you a copy of a 
letter I addressed to him in December iast." 

Q. Had you written any other letters between the time of sending the letter to 
Admiral Godon, which you have read, and your letter to Mr. Seward fiom which you 
have just read an extract f 

A. There were a good many letters which are not published, and this letter I did not 
intend for publication. I considered it at the time a private letter. I went to see 
Admiral Godon twice, but he never made any allusion to the fact that he wanted an , 
official letter from me, although he talked the matter over at great length. He stated 
one reason and another; one was the expense of coal, another the mosquitoes and hot 
weather, and this, that, and the other. 

I have omitted one thing in regard to my conversation at Bio which I had with the 
admiral. He toldme while! was talking with him about the probability that I could not 

get up to my post without the* aid of a gunboat, that in that case when we got 
own the river if he found it so he would have to send me up. That remark I stated subse- 
quently in a letter I wrote to Mr. Seward. I was somewhat surprised when I arrived 
at Mont-evideo, that he was not disposed to do what he had said he would do in Bio. 
I wish to state another thing which may not be exactly pertinent and stUl is of some 
consequence. On reaching Suenos Ayres I found the Argentine government were not 
disposed to have me go up to Paraguay, as they alleged, K>r various reasons. The min- 
ister of that government told me he thought it would give some moral support to 
Lopez ; that was the principal objection they had. As I l^d learned before that some 

Eapers had been discovered and taken, with which my name was connected, I spoke to 
im about it. It was in regard to a matter that had occurred about two years before. 
President Lopez, soon after his accession to power, had a ^eat deal of talk with me 
about getting some light-draught steamers made in the United States, which I told 
him we could make better and cheaper than in any other part of the world. He said 
he wanted to get some specimens of our arms of all deiscriptions, muskets, pistols, light 
artillery. &c., and requested me to send to the United States to some person in whom I 
had confidence and request that these arms might be purchased and sent out. That was in 
January, I think, 18(^. I sent to a Mend or mine in New York, and after some months 
he got together the arms, amounting in value to not more than $3,000 or $4,000. He 
wanted to ship them, but found an order had been issued by the War Dej^artment not 
to allow any arms to leave the country. He tried very hard to get permission, but he 
could not do it. He wrote to me that he had applied to Mr. Seward, and that Mr. 
Seward said as I had not written anything to the government about it the arms would 
not be permitted to leave the country ; but that if I should write to the State Depart- 
ment what they were for, there would be no objection. That letter, for some reason, 
miscarried, and after a long time, as I was writing continuously asking why the arms 
were not sent, he inclosed to me a duplicate of that letter. After which, I wrote to 
Mr. Seward about it and he gave permission ; in fact, before Mr. Seward got my let- 
ter permission had been granted. The Argentine government found something about 
it which was among the papers taken firom the Paraguayan agent at Buenos Ayres, 
and which led them to suspect that when I left Paraguay I h£L some agency, or was 
purchasing arms for Lopez. As that occurence gave rise to some talk^ I think it proper 
to mention it now, though the whole matter was satisfactorily explamed at the tune 
to the Argentine minister, Mr. Bawson, by Mr. Kirk. I will say also, that when I got 


to Buenos Ayies I saw the Brazilian special envoy, SefLoT Octayiano, and told him I 
was going to Paraguay, taking it for granted I should go in a United States ffunboat. 
He told me that the year before I had been instrumental in getting away the Brazilian 
minister from Paraguay, and his whole fiamily ; that probably all of them would hare 
been killed by Lopez if it had not been for me. He said he would provide me with a 
gunboat at any time to take me up to Asuncion. I told him no ; that it was not well 
that I should go in a Brazilian vessel: that I knew the character of Lopez, and that he 
would suspect at once if I came in a Brazilian vessel that I was acting under Brazilian 
influence ; that the commander of our own squadron would be there shortly, and that 
I would go in an American gunboat, as I supposed I could. I think this conversation 
with Octaviano must have taken place in November, 1865. 

Q. Did you inform Admiral Godon of that conversation, or give the purport of it as 
a reason why you wanted to go in an American gunboat f — ^A. I stated it verbally to 
him ; and I believe I wrote to nim on the subject unofficially, as no suggestion was 
ever made by him in any of the many conversations I had with him, that he wanted 
anything official from me. 

Q. Did he ever base his refrisal to furnish a vessel to you upon the ground that you 
had not made an official request f — ^A. Never at that time. He stated a great many 
other reasons, but never that. If I had had the least intimation from him I should 
have given him an official letter at any moment. Seiior Octaviano renewed his offer 
to send me up in a Brazilian gunboat on several occasions ; but I told him I could not 
accept it. Subsequently, however, finding that Admiral Godon would not send a ves- 
sel, I addressed a note to the Brazilian minister, Octaviano, telling him that owing to 
the circumstances in which I was placed, I had determined to accept his offer ; but in 
the meantime he had seen Admiral Godon, and instead of furnishing me a vessel as he 
had promised to do, he took no notice of my Request. The following is the letter 
I addressed to him on that occasion : 

" Buenos Ayres, January 18, 1866. 

" Sm : Your excellency is doubtless fully aware of the events which transpired in Para- 
guay at the time of the commencement of the war now existing between that country 
and Brazil, and you are probably equally well aware that at the time of the seizure of 
the Brazilian steam packet Marquis de Olinda by the Paraguay government, the min- 
ister of his Majesty the Emperor of Brazil, the Hon. Cesar SauvanViannadeLima, was 
left in the country with no means of egress for himself, family, or suite. The ports of 
Paraguay were closed against the departure of any merchant vessel, and no way was 
leftfor SenhorViannade Lima to get away except by .an overland journey so long and 
difficult as to be utterly impracticable. Under these circumstances, his Majesty ^s min- 
ister, having already received his passx>orts, so that he could hold no further official 
communication with the Paraguay government, appealed to me. as the senior member 
of the diplomatic body at Asuncion, to obtain ror him. and his party some means of 
leaving the country, and such as would be consistent with the dignity and comfort of 
a pubhc minister. 

" About this time I received from the Secretary of State for my government leave of 
absence to visit my own country, to which I was anxious ana impatient to return. 
But I immediately responded to his call, and after a long correspondence, and a good 
deal of vexatious delay, I got the promise of a steamer to take the minister and suite 
to Buenos Ayres, but on the condition that he shouldpledge, as its agent and representa- 
tive, both to the government of Paraguay and that of the United States, that the steamer 
should return unharmed without unnecessary detention. This pledge was at once given 
by the minister, and, on behalf of my government, was accepted by me, and the steamer 
finally left and arrived safely at Buenos Ayres. Having accepted this assurance of the 
steamer's safe return, it seemed to necessitate my remaming there in Paraguay till she 
got back, as my going away might have caused suspicion or distrust ; so that what 
with the time consumed in the correspondence, the getting ready of the steamer, and the 
time taken for the voyage, I was delayed some six or eight weeks in setting out on my 
visit to the United States. Hence, I was the same length of time later in my return 
to the Rio de la Plata than I would have been but for the delay to render this service. 

" This last delay has, owing to peculiar circumstances, seriously interfered with my 
return to my post as minister of the United States in Paraguay. No steamer of any 
nation has ascended the river to Paraguay since my arrival in Buenos Ayres on the 4tn 
of November last. Since that time I have been waiting here for one of our national 
gunboats to come to this river, supposing it would tSie me to my post. But I leam 
that the admiral of the Brazilian squadron now in the Plate objects to the passage of 
any person or vessel above the Tres Bocas, and the admiral of the United States squad- 
ron thinks with myself that it is particularly desirable to avoid any complications in 
the present war, and especially with the government of Brazil, which, during our late 
gigantic civil war, has shown itself our steady, reliable, and earnest mend. Hence, as 
no vessel of my own nation will go to Paraguay at present, I must avail myself 
of such means of getting there as may be open to me. It is under these circumstances 


that I beg to call the attention of your excellency to the fact that, had I not deUyed 
to assist Senhor Vienna de Lima to leave Paraguay, I shoiUd have been back here at 
least a month and a half earlier than I was, and in ample time to have gone to Para- 
guay on one of the neutral gunboats that left for that counlry a few days before my 
arrival here. Hence it is, that from my waiting to render an important and vital ser- 
vice to the Brazilian minister, I am suffering aU this inconvenience and detention. It 
is true that this result is not immediate, out it is no less direct, and I am persuaded 
that I have only to call your excellency's attention to the facts of the case to secure 
such action as will relieve me from my present unpleasant position. 

''I avail myself of this occasion to express to your excellency my high regard and 
distinguished consideration. 


" His Excellency F. Octaviano de Almeida Rosa, 
'^ Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Flenipotentiary 

" of his Majesty the Emperor of Brazil, ^c" 

I will say that, although I wrote this letter after I found Admiral Godon would not 
send me to my post, and although, as I have stated, Senor Octaviano had repeatedly 
offered to frimish me a vessel to take me up, yet he had not the courtesy to answer my 
letter. I cannot say positively that Admiral Godon had seen Octaviano ; he had come 
to Buenos Ayres, and I did not see him with Minister Octaviano, yet I took it for 
granted that he had seen him, and I think he told me so. In this letter I did not wish 
to state to the minister of another government that there was any difference between 
the admiral of the United States navy and myself. We did agree that I should avoid 
complications, but I never believed it would involve any complication by sending an 
American gunboat to take me to my destination, and it never did. This letter was 
sent home with my letter of June 8, 1866, to Mr. Seward. I did not send a copy ot 
that letter immediately for the reason I cot no answer to it, and I apprehended that 
possibly it might not have been received; but Mr. Kirk wrote me that he learned it 
had been. I will now read what I wrote to Mr. Seward in regard to it : 

" With this I send you a copy of a letter which I addressed to the Brazilian special 
minister, Senor Octaviano, before I left Buenos Ayres. I should have sent a copy of it 
soon after it was written ; but receiving no reply to it, I concluded that from some 
error it had not been received. But not caring to make any direct inquiry, and not 
learning anything of it incidentally, I mentioned the matter to our minister, Mr. Kirk, 
requestmg him to advise me should he learn whether it had ever been received or not. 
By the last mail, which arrived two days since, Mr. Kirk writes me that Se&or Octaviano 
told Admiral Godon that he received my letter, but did not choose to answer it. As I 
wrote you when I was in Buenos Ayres, Sefior Octaviano offered me, without any solici- 
tation, a man-of-war to take me to Paraguay. This offer was several times repeated, 
and in the presence of Mr. Kirk I replied that on the arrival of our squadron doubtless 
one of our gunboats would ^o up the river, so that it would not be necessary to avail 
myself of his kind offer. He repeated that if I should want it. a vessel would be at 
my disposition at any time. 

" After the arrival of our admiral, however, an^ he found that he would not sei»d up 
an American war steamer, it seems that Senor Octaviano changed his mind, for on my 
writing him a note intimating that I would accept a passage ui a Brazilian vessel, he 
did not condescend to answer it. Such is the brief history of this matter." 

The admiral came to Buenos Ayres after I had been to see him twice in Montevideo 
to urge upon liim the necessity that he should send a gunboat, and I had written to 
him twice on the subject, one of which letters I have already read to the committee. 
Finally he came to Buenos Ayres, and then told me positively he would not send me. 
At Montevideo he would never say yes or no. He said "perhaps" he would, that he 
would see ; if I would wait until the 1st of April very likely he would send a gunboat 
about that time, and perhaps he would consent to go himself as high as Corrientes. 
Finding that I could not have a gunboat, I thought, as I had been there two months 
and a half nearly, waiting for the admiral to fulfill what he had given me to under- 
stand he would do, I thought I must make an effort to get to my post. I did not 
believe I could succeed, but 1 thought I would make the effort. I therefore left my 
family in Buenos Ayres and started on a merchant vessel and went te Corrientes. I 
found that the allied armies were stationed a little out of town, and that the army of 
President Mitre, who is the commander of the allied forces, was about thirty miles 
from Corrientes. I am not sure about the exact distance. I went to see President 
Mitre, and told him I wished to go to Paraguay. He treated me with great courtesy. 
1 stayed over night with him. He said it was a question of policy with his govern- 
ment whether I should go through, and that it was beyond his power to decide, that 
he must refer it to his allies, but in his opinion I had a perfect right to go through, 
although he stated to me that Admiral Godon had advised some high authority, I 
think Admiral Tamandar^, in command of the Brazilian forces, that they had a perfect 
right to stop me. It was his opinion, however, nevertheless, that I had a perfect right 


to go, bat he mnst first confer with his allies. I asked him how long it would take him 
to get their assent. He said he must write to Buenos Ayres, but he was satisfied there 
was no difficulty in netting through. I replied that in that case, haYins been to 
Corrientes and seen me condition of afiairs, I would myself return and l)rmg my 
family there. 

I therefore returned to Buenos Ayres, and as Mr. Kirk was absent, I went directly to 
the minister of foreisn affairs and told him what President Mitre had said. He told 
me the Ftesident had written him to the same purport, and that Le was of the same 
opinion ; that he had referred the matter to the allied ministers and they were going 
to allow me to pass through. He gave me a letter to President Mitre requesting him 
to furnish all proper facihties for me to get through. With that letter I started hack, 
taking my wife and servant with me. The steamer getting aground I was longer in 
reachmg there than I expected to be, and when I went to President Mitre with that 
letter from his minister of foreign afllQiirs, asking him to send me through, he would 
not respect it. He said, however, that he would go and consult with Admiral Taman- 
dar6. He repeated that Admiral Godon had told nim they had a right to stop me, but 
that he would consult Admiral Tamandar^, and Marshal Osorio, and others high in 
authority, and see if thev would sanction it, and would let me kiiow the same night. 
He went on board the nag-ship to see Admiral Tamandar^, and sent me a note soon 
after that he would write me at Corrientes. He wrote me at Corrientes afterwards 
that they did not grant me the permission until he again consulted his government. 
When I went to see him the second time I went on board an English transport. ^Presi- 
dent Mitre told me that he was unwell himself, and that if I would go and see Admiral 
Tamandar6 on board his flag-ship, he could arrange the matter as well as himself; fmd 
he sent his minister of war on tne boat with me with this message. I found, however, 
that Admiral Tamandar6 had conversed with Admiral Godon, as I have stated^ who, as 
he said, told him he had a perfect right to stop me from going above his squadron, and 
Admiral Tamandar^ said he should do it. I told him that Admiral Godon had no 
business to interfere in the matter. Admiral Tamandar^ replied that nevertheless he 
must stop me. He knew I was unpleasantly situated, that my expenses were heavy, 
that if I wanted any money I could have it ; that I could also have a steamer to go 
back to Buenos Ayres whenever I desired. (I wrote aU this in my letter of April 27, 
1866, to Mr. Seward.) I replied that I did not want his money, and did not want his 
steamer, but that I did want to gdt to Paraguay, and that I should get there. We 

Sarted in no very pleasant humor either of us. After my first interview with President 
[itre, when he told me I must wait untU he had sent to Buenos Ayres, I wrote an 
account of the interview I had with him to Mr. Seward. And after the interview I had 
had with Admiral Tamandar^, in which he said I could not go there, but that I could 
have money and steamers, or anything else, so that I did not ^o through, I also wrote 
an account of this interview to Mr. Seward. It was after my interview with Admiral 
Tamandar^ that I went to see President Mitre again, and delivered the letter of his 
minister. He seemed to be very much embarrassed because he could not carry out 
what his government had promised. He said he would communicate with Admiral 
Tamandar6, with^ Octaviano, and vdth other high officials, and see if he could not 
arrange it, and would advise me the same afternoon. An hour or two afterwards he 
sent me a little note that they had come to no conclusion, as I have stated, and that 
he would write me at Corrientes. I went to Corrientes, and subsequently, after other 
visits and several letters passed between us, addressed a protest to President Mitre, 
which I win read as a part of my testimony, for the purpose of showing more clearly 
how I was delaved and humbugged by the allies. It is dated at Corrientes, July 21, 
1866, and is as follows : 

" CORRESKTES, July 21, 1866. 

" Sir: On the 26th of last month I had the honor of receiving, by hand of your sec- 
retary, Lieutenant Colonel Don Jos^ M. la Fuente, your esteemed fevor of the 22d 
oltkno. In that letter your excellency informed me that circumstances entirely foreign 
to your desire to give an answer to my oft-repeated question whether or not I ^oiud 
be allowed to pass through the lines of the allied forces to Paraguay, had prevented 
your giving me a definite answer; but that, being desirous of showing due considera- 
tion to the matter, you had dispatched your secretary to make verbal explanations of 
these circumstances. 

'^ The explanations made by Colonel la Fuente were these: That the Brazilian special 
minister, Se&or Octaviano, was expected to arrive very soon at the seat of war, and it 
was the desire of your excellency to confer with him before granting me a final answer. 
The secretary further assured me that within two or three days after the arrival of 
Seiior Octaviano at the headquarters of the army, I should have the final reply of your 
excellency. Within two hours after this interview with your secretary, a steamer 
arrived in this port having on board the Brazilian minister. A day or two after he left 
for the army, and though since then nearly four weeks have elapsed, I have received 
no such reply as I was promised in two or three days on your behalf, by your secretary. 


''It is now nearly six months since I first called on yonr excellency, and made known 
my desire to pass orer to the country to which I was accredited by my government. 
The opinion you tiien expressed to me was that I was entitled to pass throiijg^h withont 
interruption to my destination, but that you preferred to get the opinion of your gor- 
emment on the question before taking any action upon it. I accordingly waited amtil 
such opinion waa obtained, and then, as it corresponded with that preTiously expressed 
by yonr excellency, I did not suppose I would hare any more trouble or difficulty in 
reaching the capital of Paraguay. But month after month has passed since I had the 
honor oi delivering personally into your hands the letter of Sefior ElizaMe, in which 
he, as minister for foreign relations, requested yonr excellency to furnish me such facili- 
ties of passing through to Paraguay as ne had promised me. Your reply then was that 
circumstances had so far changed since my former interview that it would be again 
necessary to consult yonr eovemment. Since then I have repeatedly, personally and 
by letter, requested your final answer, and each time I have been told that within a 
Tery f^w days I should have it, so that there has not been a day for the past four months 
when I mignt not reasonably have expected such a decision from your excellency as 
wonld have left me at liberty to go to Paraguay, or, if the decision was unfavorable, 
would have Justified me in returning to Buenos Ayres or Montevideo to await the 
instructions of my government. But this decision I have not yet received, and have, as 
it were, been compiled to remain with my family in this town of Corrientes, which all 
the while has been a city of hospitals, full of «ick and wounded, and every way un- 
healthy, disagreeable, and very expensive. 

^ To what extent and under what circumstances a nation at war with another may 
ri^tfuUy, and without giving Just cause of offense, detain the accredited minister of a 
tlurd and friendly power, and prevent him from reaching the government to which he 
is accredited, I do not propose to discuss. That a nation at war has a right to guard 
its lines and prevent any one from passing over into the enemy's territory at a time 
when active operations might thereby be embarrassed, I do not and never have ques- 
tioned. But as, since my finst visit to your headquarters, there have several times been 
weeks at a time when there were no active operations going on, I am unable to see how 
that my passing through to Paraguay could m any way cause embarrassment or affect 
the result of the war. 

" It is unnecessary, as it would be improper, for me to remind your excellency of the 
system of international law that has m tne course of many generations grown into 
established usage, and under which the -diplomatic agents of all friendly countries are 
entitled to certain privileges and immunities alike in the countiies through which they 
may pass as in those to which they may be accredited. Nevertheless, I may allude to 
the fact that this system or codereco^izes the absolute independence of aU diplomatic 
agents of any local authority. This unmunity results from the necessil^ that in time 
ot war there should be some persons who may b^ independent of the belligerent powers 
to pass between them, and wno may be at liberty to reside in the country where they 
are accredited, subject only to the laws of their own government, and free fi:om molesta- 
tion or hindrance in passing through other friendly countries to or from their own lega- 
tion. By reason of tnese immunities and privileges, the ministers of foreign countnes 
have often been instrumental in averting war, and sometimes initiating terms of peace, 
or mitigating the evils of war. This exemption from local laws is so important a privi- 
lege that it underlies the whole system of the diplomatic service of the world, as it is, 
to a great extent, by reason of the immunities and exemptions einoyed by the ministers 
of foreign and neutral nations, that they are enabled to exert their good offices at a 
time when the subjects of the belligerent nations are exposed to liabilities and suspi- 
cions that may render their interference dangerous to themselves and embarrassing to 
their governments. But if such diplomatic agents may be detained at the pleasure or 
caprice of one of the belligerent pturties, there is an end to the whole system, for what 
miniBter of a neutral power will venture himself in the territory of a nation that may 
' prevent his return to his post of official duties? Such an act would not be so much 
against the enemy as against the friendly power whose agent it restrained. No nation 
has a right to say to another that because it is at war with a third, therefore this other 
shall not have a diplomatic agent to reside near the government of its enemy. The 
government of the United States have a right to send a minister to any recognized 
nation in the world, and it would not comport with its dignity to ask permission to do 
BO of a third power with which such nation happened to be at war. It has as much 
right to have a minister at Asuncion as it has at Buenos Ayres or Rio de Janeiro, and 
when it is prevented from the exercise of that right, as it has been during all the time 
of my detention here^ it will not be thought unreasonable should it regard the action 
of your excellency with serious concern as a violation of the undisputed rights of one 
of its agents. Supposing at the time this war commenced, or at a later period, our 
minister at Buenos Ayres, Mr. Kirk, or our minister at Rio de Janeiro, General Webb, 
had found himself within the military lines of the Paraguay army, and had been detained 
there as long as I have been delayed here, what would have been expected of the United 
States government in that caset Would it not have regarded such an act on the part 


of Paraguay as a ^eat indignity, and wonld it not have been justified in resorting to 
extreme measures in vindication of its violated rights f And in what does my case differ 
&om that of the one supposed? Will not my government be justified in taking the 
same means of vindicating the rights of its humble minister to Paraguay as it would 
be were our minister to Buenos Ayres now detained witlun the lines of the Paraguay 
army? It has been the object and intention of the United States in this war to observe 
the strictest neutrality. If it has not done so, it is because your excellency has denied 
it the privilege of having a diplomatic representative in Paraguay the same as it has 
in Buenos Ayres and Bio de Janeiro. Of this partiality, however, it is only for Paraguay 
to complain. 

" It is with extreme regret (piat I find myself compelled to speak, after so long a delay, 
of my detention in this place, and to enter, as I now do, most earnestly, ray protest 
against it. I protest against the detention as a violation of the laws of nations and of 
aU diplomatic usages and courtesies. I protest against the detention as unnecessary 
and imlawfdl in itself, and I protest against the manner in which it has been effected. 
If it was your purpose to thwart the wishes of my government, and prevent me from 
doing that which it had ordered me to do, I certainly had a rigLt to know it long before 
this. I protest against the repeated intimations and assurances I have &om time to 
time received that within a few days a final answer should be given me, when how 
nearly six months have passed and such answer has not yet been received. I submit 
that the United States have ever shown such friendly sentiments towards the govern- 
ment and institutions of the Argentine Republic as to entitle its accredited agents to 
the customarv privileges and courtesies accorded to diplomatic persons. Such privi- 
leges I consioer have not been granted me, and, therefore, I take this occasion to mflke 
my formal protest, and at the same time to express to your excellency the assurances 
of my most distinguished consideration. 

"United States Minister to Paraguay, 

" His Excellency General Bartolom:£ Mitre, 
"President of the Argentine BepMic, and Commander-in^Chirf, of the Allied Army," 

To that letter I received an answer, in which President Mitre undertook to justify 
himself for his course towards me^ which answer I will also read. 


" Headquarters, Tututt, July 24, 1866. 

" Sir : I have had the honor to receive the note of your excellency, dated the 21st 
instant, in which, making reference to the diverse circumstances that have intervened 
since you presented yourself, soliciting a passage to the Paraguay territory in order to 
continue there your diplomatic duties with which you were charged by your govern- 
ment, ^ou terminate your note by protesting against the delay of a definite answer on 
that matter, in the supposition that it may nave been the mind of the Argentine gov- 
ernment or of the allied governments to hinder the United States firom having a dip- 
lomatic representation in Paraguay. 

" Without entering on my part into a discussion of the point of international right that 
your excellency touches upon, I limit myself to consider the acts of which you make 
mention, referring to whom it pertains such discussion, as likewise the consideration 
and answer to your protest if it should take place. 

" When your excellency presented yourself for^the first time at my headquarters solicit- 
ing, in terms most frank and Mendly, your passage to the Paraguay territory, the ope- 
rations of war against the republic of Paraguay nad not yet commenced, and all the 
allied forces, land and naval, were yet in Argentine territory. I then manifested to 
your excellency that I believed that it would not be inconvenient that you should con- 
tinue your voyage to Paraguay, but that this being a matter that pertained to the 
decision of the government, in which it ought to co-operate with its allies, and not 
being myself in the exercise of the executive power, I would refer it to my government 
in order that, with the consent of said allies, it should dictate to me the line of policy 
that I ought to pursue. Your excellency having assented to this, returned to Buenos 
Ayres and obtained firom the Argentine government, with the approbation of their 
allies, the passage which you solicited. But in these circumstances, the admiral of tho 
allied squadron being in Montevideo, mentioned to the United States admiral whom ho 
met there, that there would be no obstacle in the way of the minister continuing his 
voyage to Paraguay all the while that things should be in the state in which they then 
were, that is to say, the allied forces being in Argentine territory, as when your excel- 
lency honored me with your visit at headquarters ; but that such a thing could not 
take place after the allies should establish their line of war, since it was a right recog- 
nized by aU nations, that the military lines of belligerents could not be crossed by neu- 
trals, whatever might be their character, except by on express concession^ and in so 
far as it would not damage their arrangements or prejudice their operations. This 


princijple was recognizedy without any restriotion, by the admiral of the United States, 
declaring that we are in our perfect right in not allowing any neutral to cross our Unes 
of war oncd established. 

^' From unforeseen accidents, and in circumstances that are made clear by our confiden- 
tial correspondence, your excellency arrived at Corrientes after much delay, at a time 
when the inrafiion of Paraguay was already efifected, and when our lines of war con- 
trolled their coasts. Thus far the circumstances had varied, as your excellency may 
yourself remember. Notwithstanding this, being desirous of g[iving to your excellency 
a proof of esteem towaids your person and of the consideration of the aUied govern- 
ments towards that of the great republic of the United States, I referred it a^ain to 
the decision of the allied governments, a proceeding to which your excellency willingly 
gave your assent. 

" I then thought, as I manifested to your excellency, to be able to give very soon a 
definite answer to the question ; but the minister plenipotentiary of Brazil not finding 
himself authorized to decide the case, the definitive resolution of the allied governments 
being yet pending — Shaving to make their communications through such long distances, 
and m the midst of the pressing enpgements of a war to which they have l^een pro- 
voked without reason and without justice — ^it has not been possible for me to give such 
answer to your excellency in my quality of general-in-cluef of the allied armies, in 
which I have only been a simple intermediary, without assuming in any case the char- 
acter of a diplomatic personality to treat or discuss with your excellency, for which 
reason I have limited myself alwa3rs to communications confidential and friendly ; this 
also being the reason for which I sent my military secretary to your excellency to give 
some exxSanations in my character. 

'^ Not having, then, to the present time obtained any definite answer from the allied 
government, from the circumstance that it has not been possible for them to act in con- 
cert, it is not possible for me to accept the conclusions that your excellency deduces in 
the note to which this is an answer, neither the diplomatic personality in which you 
invest me, nor to take into account the protest that you make in conse<]^uence. 

" Notwithstanding, I cannot let pass in silence that, in compliance with the instruc- 
tions of the i^ed sovemments to permit no one to cross over lines of war^ they have 
had in view only the exercise of a perfect right, a right explicitly recognized by the 
admiral of the United States, before that your excellency commenced your voyage on 
distinct conditions, and that, this being in harmony with the practice of all civilized 
nations, and as the exercise of their own right, it cannot give offense to a third ; and 
it is correctly deduced from this that the cQlied governments, in making use of their 
own right in establishing a general rule for all, nave not had in view to offend any 
other, and much less that or the United States, respecting which they cherish senti- 
ments of confraternity and sympathy. 

" With only this, I hope that your excellency will youiftelf acknowledge the violence 
of your deduction, when, starting from the fact of a definite answer not having been 

fiven to this late time, you suppose that the intention of the allied governments may 
e to prevent that of the United States from having a diplomatic representative in 
Pan^uay, which cannot be deduced, not even from the refusal itself, since it would 
import only the use of a proper right, foreseen and acknowledged beforenand ; so much 
the more as your excellency ha^wg obtained, in time fit and opportune, the definite 
answer that you solicited and the passport to continue your journey to Paraguay, and 
having arrived at Corrientes at a time when the circumstances under which condition 
the passport was given had entirely changed, the act itself fails to serve as a base for 
such deduction. 

" Therefore I refer ewrything to my govemmeniy in order that, together with the allied gov- 
emmeats, it may decide this matter and may give to your exoellmoy in the form, and by such 
action as may pertain to it, the definite answer, taking into consideration your protest, if there 
should be occasion for it, leaving this correspondence for my part thus terminated, since finding 
mysdf engaged in an 4iotive war and of daily combats, and without the exercise of other tHan 
miUtary functions, it is not possible, neither is it permitted me, to enter into diplomaUo disputes, 

" Having thus answered the note of your excellency, I cannot avoid showing that if 
the sentiments of the government of the United States have been friendly towards the 
government and the institutions of the Argentine Republic, greater and more spon- 
taneous have been those that the Argentine people and government have manifested 
towards the government and institutions of the United States in times of real trial, the 
same to the diplomatic agents, including your excellency. 

" With this motive, I have the honor to salute your excellency with my most dis- 
tinguished consideration. 


" His Excellency Charles A. Washburn, 

^^ Minister of the United States in Paraguay, ^^ 


To my letter addi^ssed to Admiral Godon, Augost Sj I received an tauswas dated 
September 16, in whicli the admiral still declines, as follows : 

" Buenos Ayres, August 8, 1866. 

" Sib : Since my last interview with you in the city, in January last, I have made 
repeated attempts to reach my post of official duties in Paraguay* I have been unable 
to do so from the fact that the allied powers now at war with that republic have refused 
to grant me permission to pass through their military lines. 

*^1 have therefore been waiting here and at Conientes, nearly all the time at the 
latter place, till I could inform my government that you had declined to furnish me with 
a war vessel to take me to my destmation, and that the allies had refused me a passage 
through their lines. 

" By the last mail from the United States, being then at Corrientes, I received a dis- 
patch from the Secretary of Stat«, in which he informs me that the President is very 
much surprised at the course of the allied commanders in detaimnff me, as it is a pro- 
ceeding both discourteous and illegaL He also sent me a copy or a letter which the 
Hon. Gideon Welles^ Secretary of the Navy, had addressed to you, in which you are 
instructeH to furnish me with a war vessel and such convoy as might be necessary to 
take me to Paraguay. Copies of these two letters are inclosed herewith. 

'^ I had already anticipated the instructions of the Secretary of State, and. had 
requested of the commander-in-chief of the allied armies a passage through their mili- 
tary lines for myself and fEunilv. But it has been persistently refdsed^ and I therefore 
request you to provide me with a war vessel and the necessary convoy, in accordance 
with the instructions of the government. 

*^ I arrived at this place yesterday from CcMrrientes, and ehaU await here, or at Monte- 
video, the arrival of so much of the squadron as you may detail for the voyage to Par- 

'^ I am, sir, very respectfiilly, your obedient servant, 


"Acting Bear-Admiral S. W. Godon, 
^ " Comnuinding United States BraeU Squadron, Bio de Jan/^ro, BrazUJ* 

"South Atlantic Squadron, Flagship Brooklyn, 

**Bio de Janeiro, September 16, 1866. 

" Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of ;jrour two letters, dated respectively the 
8th aaad 28th of August — ^the first in duplicate, inclosing copies of a dispatch fronl the 
Secretary of State to yourself and also a copy of a letter from the Secretary of the Navy 
to me, contidning instructicms under which, in a certain contingenoy, I was to send you 
in a vessel of the squadron to Asuncion. 

" In anticipation of the cotftingency therein alluded to, I had given orders in the 
month of July to Commander Crosby, of the Shamoldn, to hold hixoielf in readiness for 
immediate service up the river Parag^y. 

" The letter from the Secretary of the Navy leaves me in no doubt how to act in regard 
to his orders. It informs me that you have been instructed to ask the commander <u the 
allied forces and the President of the Argentine Republic, in a respectful manner, to give 
you a safe-conduct through the military lines, which it is believed will be accorded to 
you; but in the event of its not being done, you have been further instructed, without 
unreasonable delay, to apply to me for a passage in a war vessel with sufficient naval 
escort to your destination. 

" Clear as these instructions are, they are made even more distinct by the dispatch 
of the Secretary of State to yourself, a copy of which you have been kind enough, under 
directions from the department, to fhrmsn me. That dispatch, after alluding to the 
^inconvenient' and 'not altogether courteous' delay caused you in retuming to Asun- 
cion, but without desiring to regard it as an ' unfriendly proceeding,' directs that, should 
the hindrance still continue, you are to address yourself at once to the commander-in- 
chief of the allied forces, and to the President of the Argentine Bepublic, informing them 
that you are proceeding as resident minister for the United States at Asuucion : that 
you are charged with no duties inconsistent wii^ the neutrality which the United States 
has maintained in the war in which tihe allies are engaged with Paraguay, and to ask 
them, in the name of the United States government, to give you, together with your 
family and domestics, safe-conduct through the military lines. 

"After having addressed this letter as directed^ the dispatch adds, 'should the hin- 
drance not cease within a reasonable time,' you will then deliver a copy of these instruc- 
tions, together with a copy of the accompanying letter of instructions from the Secre- 
tary of the Navy to me, and will proceed in su<3i vessel as I shall furnish to the place 
of your destination. 

" You will perceive, sir, from the preceding synopsis of your and my instructions, that 
the contingency alluded to has not arrived; and that I would not be carrying out the 
spirit of the orders of my superior, or the evident intention of those from your chief, by 
immediately sending you to your destination in a vessel of war, as you request. 



''The SecretMy of State eTidently dedied to show the Argentine government that 
the obetmetiens mtezpoaed by the eammandei^in-chief of the allies to your parage 
threnffh the militny linee to y onr legitimate duties was regmded as an act * not cour- 
teons/ and one whion was earning an agent of the United States inconyenience: that, 
as there was no {^ood leaerai ix saoh a eomse^ thev were requested not only to oiscon- 
tinue it, but to aad you witii a safe-oonduct tbrou^ the n^ilitwry lines. 

'^Therefore) until you leeeive item the authorities named a refusal to comply with 
that request with^ a reasonable time, my oiders will not justify me in construing the 
luBdittttce to your moyements as a prooeedinff sufficiently "unfriendly *' to require me to 
send ymi witn aa aimed escort through the blockading squadron. 

''From the character of tbe du|Hit<m of the Secretary of State, it is clear to nqr mind 
that no violent measures are either desired or anticipated, and th^ Secretary of the Kavy 
distinctly issfonns me, as jon wiU notice in his letter^ that firom the eeneral tenor of 
your last communication, it was probable that the allies would desist m>m any further 
opposition to yomr progress. 

''It is t^eresBte with remt I find tlukt your letter, which I have been expecting, does 
not state that you have addressed the conmiander-in-chief of the allied forces, or the 
President of the Argentine Bepublic, for the purpose of obtaining the desirecf safe-con- 
duct^ or that you have allowed a 'reascmable time for the hindrance to cease' bd^re 
malnng the appikation lor a yessel and suitable naval escort to take you to your desti- 

'' I have not been unmindful of the inconvenienee and seeming discourtesy of the allies 
in keeping • minister of the United States fiK»m passing througn the military lines to his 
poet, asid have communicated with our acting charge d'afiaires to this government in 
regard to it, ftom whom I learned that the obstructions would be removed. I feel sat- 
isfied that tifae same infinmation will be given to you when you address the President of 
the Argentine govomment, as directed by t^e Secretary of St>ate. 

''The truly mendly relations that exist between the allies now at war against Para- 
guay and our own govermnent, disposed me still more to refrain from committing any 
act which would seem like arrogance in a great and powerfrd nation like the United 
States, towards goyemments t<x> weak to resist it, although they might in their very 
weakness va&tmre to commit indiscretions, as in the present instance. 

" Should a refusal of safe-conduct follow your letter to the Argentine government and 
commander-'in-chief of the allies, I will then consider under my instructi^ms that they 
have committed an unfriendly act, and that the occasion has arrived for the dignity of 
the United States to bo sustamed by furnishing you with a vessel and suitable naval 
escort to carry yon through the blockading squacbxoi to your station. 

" Even dbould a safe-guard be offered you for your passage through the lines, as is fully 
anticipated, I will, un^r all the circumstances of delay, still find it advisable, if you 
desire it, to furnish you with a vessel to carry you in a friendly manner, but with 
national dignity, to the government to which you are accredited. I shall await and 
hope to receive an early communication from you. 

"I am, sir, very respectfrdly, your obedient servant, 

" S. W. GODON, 
"Acting Betar-Admraly ComtPg South AiUmHo 8qua4ron, 

"Hon. C. A. Washbttrn, 

** Minister Besidenifor the UwUed States at Anmoim:^ 

That letter you will notice is dated September 16. I had been ten months already 
trying to get through. I had been long at Corrientes without being able to get per- 
mission to go through. President Mitre had refused to have anything more to do with 
the matter, and Minister Octaviano would not answer my letter. 

Q. State whether Admiral Godon, prior to writing this letter, had been informed of 
an the correspondence between yourself and President Mitre Y 

A. I do not know that he had. I wrote to Mr. Kirk about it, and Mr. Eirk repHed 
t^at he had told Admiral Oodon, and that the admiral hod said he would not under 
any circtmistances send me up the river; and I stated that in my correspondence with 
Mr. Seward, although Mr. Sark now says that he does not remember all the circum- 
stances. It was for that reason I did not consider it was of any use. to write anything 
further to Admiral Godon. I had also other reasons, having heard of his remarks, which 
were far from complimentary to me. After I received this letter from the admiral, I 
thought I could not again, with propriety, write to President Mitre; that I could not 
wen rex>eat the letter I had written a day or two before ; and if I did, I feared it would 
compromise the government more a thousand times than to ask for a {gunboat. I 
knew perfectly wen that if a gunboat went up they would not fire into it, and that 
there would be no sort of difficulty, but that if I wrote a letter I should probably have 
at least sought to have used strong terms, and if I stni received a refrtsal it would com- 
plicate the case and make it very much worse. I supposed the admiral would respond 
to my application to frimish a gunboat, and that that would be an end of the matter. . 
I thereiore returned to Buenos Ayres, and was very much astonished when I received 


the admiral's letter basing bis reftusal on the gronnd that I had not obeyed this instmc- 
fcions of my chie£ I wrote to him virtaally telling him that if he wonld attend to his 
biisiness I would to mine. When I came down I was not aware that orders had been 
sent by the admiral for the gnnboat to take me np, and I was invited by the minister 
to confer with him persona&y, which I did, stating the sitnation foUy. There was 
nothing official in my correspondence, becanse I was not officially accredited. Mr. 
Kirk had lefb to go home, General Webb was away, and I was left there alone, with 
everybody holding official position against me. After I received this letter from Admiral 
Godon I did not Know absolntely what to do. The allies wonld not allow me to go 
through. Mitre had refused further correspondence. Oetaviano had declined to answer 
my letter. I had told Admiral Godon a long time befbre, when I met ham in December, 
that if I couid get out of the difficulty and return without disgracing the country and 
disgrsujing myself, I shonld be very glad to do so, but as I considered that the allies 
had no right to stop me, and I had no right to allow them to stop me, I felt that I must 
go on. I was hoping that the new minister. General Asboth, the successor of Governor 
Kirk, would arrive. Governor Kirk had gone home, and General Webb had also gone 
home. The admiral was not disposed to aid me in getting to my post, and I was in 
such a situation as I never hope to be again. I wrote to the admiral a long letter, 
which is here, explaining to him my circumstances, and giving the reasons why I had 
not made another application to President Mitre. I will read an extract from it : 

" In m^ letter to you of August 8, 1 informed you that the contingency contemplated 
by the mstructions both to yon and to me had sorived, as I nad done the very 
thing but a few davs before my instructions reached me which I was ordered to do 
by the Secretary of State; and there was no reason why I should do the some over 
again. In fact, I could not do it, for the reason that President Mitre, in reply to my 
last letter to him, said that for his part the correspondence must close. Had you 
known all the facts of the case, I would fain believe you would not have hesitated a 
siugle moment in sending the orders for one of the war steamers now lying in this river 
to proceed at once to Paraguay ; and that you may now be ftdly informed of the repeated 
in^gnities to which I have been subjected dturing my long detention within the military 
lines of the allies, I now write you more at length, thou^ not with a view to influence 
your action. I considered that I was the proper judge and interpreter of my own 
instructions, as you were of yours, and that when I c^nt you my last letter my duties 
had been frtMUed, and if you had conformed to your instructions, and not constituted 
yourself the interpreter of mine, there would have been no occasion for question or 

Iq that letter I stated what I have stated here, specificaUy, in regard to the difficulties 
of my situation. I got a reply which I think I can quote from memory literaUy ; it was 
about as follows: 

"Sir: Your letter of October 1 has been received. 
"Yours, respectfully, 

"S. W. GODON » 

I sent a copy of my letter to Mr. Seward with my letter to Admiral Godon. I had 
heard in the meanwhile that after Admiral Godon had got this letter instructing him 
under certain contingencies to send me on a gunboat, with a convoy if necessary, to 
Paraguay, and I had supposed when I got it that I would find him at the mouth of the 
river prepared to receive me. But I was surprised to learn that instead of going this 
way he went off north to Bahia, and when he would get this letter of mine of the 8th 
of August, I did not know. But it went to Rio, and 1 suppose he was further north. 
He had gone north for what business I do not know, unless it was to find a pretext for 
longer delay. 

In the meanwhile I did not know what I was to do. The admiral had declined to 
send me up until I had done ceitain things which I thought I ought not to do. But 
he did send orders, after I had been delayed nearly a year, that sbgunboat should go up. 

Q. What was the date of those orders? — A. October 5, 1866. He sent the gunboat to 
take me up on the ground that General Webb had advised him that all obstructions 
had been withdrawn. I did receive a letter from General Webb, stating that he 
was informed that the obstructions had been withdrawn. I attached no importance 
whatever to that promise made to General Webb, as I had been humbugged and 
delayed and deceived so often by the allies. 

Q. What information had General Webb that led him to write this letter, stating 
that all obstructions had been withdrawn? — ^A. It was known there was great scandal 
about my detention, and a great deal was said in the newspapers that was very disa- 
greeable to me. Mr. Webb may have had a private letter from me in regard to it. He 
at once saw the impropriety of my detention, and insisted that the obstructions must 
be withdrawn. They (the Brazilians) told him they would be withdrawn, and on 
the strength of that he wrote me this letter. I wrote to the admiral that nothiug had 
been done by the Brazilians to remove the obstructions. Admiral Godon did not 
answer my letter, but passed it over to General Webb, who answered it. 

■^ ♦ 


By Admiral Godox: 

Q. Do yoa know that I asked General Webb to answer that letter? — ^A. I do not. 

Q. Do yon know that I told him he ought not to write that letter? — ^A. He never 
told me anything of the kind. I know nouiing more than the letter itself expresses. 
Even after I had got to Paraguay, notwithstanding all these difficulties^ I learned from 
different sources that several of my friends in the squadron— «nd I believe nearly every- 
body in the squadron of the higher grade of officers were my Mends — ^had been very 
much persecuted by Admiral Godon mr that reason. I heard, in the meanwhile^ that 
the United States proposed mediation, and that it had sent instructions to General 
Webb, and General Asboth, and myself, respectively, to see what we could do in the 
matter of mediation. But I had not got any letters, official or otherwise, for a long 
time, and I thought I would try and ascertain what was going on in regard to the 
matter. I went down to the m)nt, and went through the allied camp to see if any 
mail matter had come for me. I heard while there tiiiat General Asboth was expected 
up, and that this matter of mediation had been discussed at considerable length in 
the newspapers of the place. I returned, and had been back only two or three aay&^ 
had come up from the army to Asuncion — and I got a telegram informing me that 
Captain Kirkland, of the Wasp, had arrived at the camp with dispatches for me. I 
went below to meet him, as ne was not allowed by Lopez to go up to Asuncion. I 
ascertained that General Asboth had not come on board the steamer, although he 
desired to very much. And it appears from the correspondence that, though Admiral 
€k)don was sending up a gunboat to bring dispatches to me, and General Asboth 
thought it very important and necessary that he should have a conference with me in 
regard to the propped mediation, Admirid Godon refused him permission to travel on 
a united States gunboat, and he did not think it very proper to travel on a private 
vessel when a gunboat was going up ; and, therefore, he did not come to visit me. But 
we considered^— I considered— that we were no more bound to consult admirals than 
other individuals in regard to our diplomatic duties. 

Q . Did you not state to the Secretary of State that I had had some communication with 
the Brazinan minister that led both you and Mr. Asboth to suppose that I had con- 
ceded something to those gentlemen? — A. I stated that in one of those letters. When 
I was in the allied camp of the Marquis de Caxias I inquired of him whether he had 
heard anything in regard to General Asboth, and whether he was coming up or not. 
He said no, he thought not. He said he had got a letter from— I did not understand 
who — ^but it was evidently an official letter, and he read it to me. It was in substance 
to this effect : That General Asboth had desired to come up to Paraguay to consult the 
American minister there; but that they, the writers of the letter, whoever they were, 
had arranged it with Admiral Godon so that he should not go. That was the purport 
of it. 

Q. And you considered it necessary to write to the government, on the strength of 
the statement of the Brazilians, that I had done this? — A. I did do it. 

Washington, D. C, Wednesday, April 14, 1869, 

Hon. Charles A. Washburn appeared and resumed his statement : 

I would remark that this delay to which I was subjected by not having a gunboat 
when I first arrived at the Plate, had the effect of causing me to be suspected very much 
by the allies. I persisted in going through, notwithstanding all the obstacles put in 
my way ; notwithstanding that Admiral Godon refused to send a gunboat with me, and 
I never would take money or anything else ft'om them. I would state on two different 
occasions I was offered money, once by Admiral Tamandar6. He made no secret of it. 
It was to keep me quiet, and to induce me not to go through. And another high official 
came to me afterwards in Corrientes, and made a proposition that I should accept 
money. I declined. He said it was a confidential afiair, and I do not desire to make 
use oi his name unless the committee desire it. He was a Brazilian, high in authority. 
He persisted, and finally the result was that they thought or pretended to think that I 
must be somehow in the interest of Lopez, or a friend of Lopez. 

By Mr. Orth : 

Question. Upon what terms were you with Lopez prior to your visit to this coun- 
try T — ^Answer. Our relations were amicable enough. 

Q. How were those relations affected by your long delay in returning ; what impres- 
sion did it make upon his mind ? — A. I suspected that my delay would be construed by 
him against me ; tnat he would think I was delaying in the interest of the allies, and 
that I should lose any influence that I might have had after I got there, by that delay. 
And I am satisfied that was the case, to a certain extent. In fact, it had been reported 
there that I had been bribed 'not to go through. Yet when I did force the blockade, he 
made a great flourish of trumpets to his own people, to show that the Brazilians had 
been humiliated by my getting through. I was regarded, however, by the alUes with 
such distrust that I was spoken of always by them as a friend of Lopez ; whereas I was 


not a Mend of Lopez ; I was a Mend of the Paragoayan people, and hoped Lopez would 
be used np before he sacrificed all of them. Neyertheless, it was my diit^ as a minister 
not to show ^at feeling, and I ostensibly kept on good relations with the head of the 
goT^mment as far as I conld. The allies re^urded me all the while as inimical to their 
alliance and to ti^em ; and tiieir newspapers sjpoke of me in deTo^ptoiy terms. They 
pat great impediments in the way of my pettmg sullies and mail matter— all owin^ 
to this delay caused by Admiral Gkodon, Iwlnk, and my persistency in breaking tiburonipE 
at last. 

Q. Did yon ever mention this matter to Admiral Qodon Y— A. I did not have any oom- 
mnnication with Admiral Godon aU that time. 

By Admiral Godon : 

Q. Was there any oommnnication ever addressed by Mr. Kirk abont this busi- 
ness, which eame to me in any riiape, which would place these things before me in any 
possibly £(»m f — A. I know oi no communication from Mr. Kirk to ^ou abont it ; 
I made no £onnal a^^plication to Mr. Kirk. But what I wish to say is, that I was 
obliged to remain with my £uDily at Corrientes about five months. At that time it 
was a city of hospitals, rery sickly, and we were exposed to a great many inconven- 
iences and humilialions. I heard of people having pretty wann discussions abont my 
position. They said I could not be an American minister, but was an impo6t(»r j that 
the American government would not permit its minister to be hangiuff on the skirts of 
the army instead of going to his post, especially as they had a squadron in the river 
doing nothing. That was the talk there in Corrientes. 

Q. Was that c<mversation of any c<«sequ6nce f — A. It was humiliating to me ; that 
was of sufficient consequence so far as I was concerned. 

Q. Was there anything official about it — anytiiing bev<md the ordinary talk in the 
streets f — ^A. I did not go out to inquire about that. I heard such rumors : and this 
state of feeling existed against me most of the time I was there. And when I got away 
from Paraffuay under the circunuptanoes that I did, when Lopez had set his plans to kifl 
me, as he has killed everybody else, the aUies and their press set up a howl aeainst me. 
It was a great satisfaction to them to abuse me, notwitnstanding I exposed the atroci- 
ties of Lopez, whom they hated wane than tney did me. Besides, this newspaper 
abuse was caught up by &e newspapers in this country, and throuffnout the country 
from Eastport to San biego, in every newspaper I was very severely censured. The 
delay to which I was subjected was the cause of it alL I was also censured by them 
for my conduct in connection with Messrs. Bliss and Masteiman. But the fact is, Bliss 
and Masterman agreed with me that the only possible way for me to save their liver 
was to do exactly as I did. To show that I represented the facts to Uie State Depart* 
ment, I refer to my letter dated Corrientes, July 27, 1866, addressed to Mr. Seward, as 
published in the diplomatic correspondence of 1866-7, voL 2, page 591 ; also to my let- 
ters of August 10, 1866, and September 20, 1^66^ and September 24, 1866, in the same 

By Mr. Wilkinson : 

Q. You state, that you did not address yourself to the commander of the allied 
forces and to the President of the Argentine JSepublic, as instructed by Mr. Seward, 
beA>re you applied to the admiral for a vessel f — ^A. No, I did not do so. 

Q. Why did you not do so f — ^A. The circumstuices had changed since I had written 
to Mr. Seward, and the President of the Argentine Bepublic and the commander-in- 
chief of the army had refused to hold furUier correspondence with me ; I therefore 
thought it would be worse than useless to make that application. I wanted to avoid a 
rupture, and I knew the sight or presence of a gunboat was the only thing that would 
prevent it. 

By Mr. Swann : 

Q. Did you take it as an offensive termination f*-A. No, not ezaetly ; but it was a 
termination of the correspondence nevertheless. 

Testimony of Rear-Admiral 8. W. Oodon. 

Washinoton, D. C, AprU 14, 1869. 
Bear-Admiral 6. W. Godon sworn and examined. 

By the Chauooak : 

Question. What is your present official position f— Answer. I am the commandant of 
the New York navy yard, and in 1866 1 was in command of the Brazilian or South 
Atlantic squadron. 

Q. When did your oommand of that squadron commence and terminate f— A. I sailed 


from the United States June 21^ 1865^ and I returned in September, 1867 ; I -was in com- 
mand about two years, and had the entire command. 

Q. Of what did your squadron consist during that time ? Please name the vessels and 
their character. — ^A. Of but one vessel at first ; the Susquehanna was my flag-ship. 
My orders to the Brazils were, of course, to cultivate the best relations between those 
countries and the United States, and there was a special instruction to me to endeavor 
to do away with the unpleasant impression that had been produced by the unfortunate 
affair of the Florida. I first went to Bahia, where this afiEioir took place, and I was 
then informed that the Juniata would l)e ordered from Charleston^ and would meet 
me. I was told that the Wasp would also be there and follow me very soon, and that 
the squadron would consist of six vessels. Eventually it did consist of six vessels. 

Q. At what time f — ^A. The Juniata came very Portly after I arrived there ; the Wasp 
came in November or December; the Nipsic also came, (a partly sailing steamer;) the 
Shawmut arrived from the Mediterranean, and the Shamokin came at a time I do not 
remember now. 

Q. You had command of these six vessels during the whole of the year 1866 f — A. Yes, 
and nearly all of 1867. 

Q. Where were you principally stationed during that yeart — ^A. I commanded from 
Cape Horn to the equator. 

Q. Were you during the time you have mentioned superseded, even temporarily, by 
any superior or other ofKcerf — ^A. No, sir. 

Q. Where was your flag-ship principally stationed? — ^A. My headquarters was at 
Bahia, about 1,200 miles to the northward, as it waa considered unhealthy in Rio ; but 
I found it was not a central point, and I afterwards changed my headquagrters to Bio. 

Q. You considered Rio then your headquarters f — ^A. Yes, it has always been so con- 
sidered before, and I considered it so. We had our store-houses there. 

Q. When did you first become acquainted with Minister Washburn^ and under what 
circumstances ? — ^A. Mr. Washburn arrived in Rio, as he states, some tune in September, 
He came in an irregular steamer, the Montana, I think. When the steamer by which 
he came arrived, she was ordered to be boarded by our men, as was the usual habit. 
The boat returned, and the officer told me that Mi, Washburn, the minister to Para- 
guay was on board, and that he had asked him if there was any man-of-war there that 
coTild take him to Buenos Ayrcs. The boardiag officer was a lieutenant I think. He 
cixme on board, made his report to my fleet captain, and my fleet captain told me what 
had been said. I said is the minister on board f He said he was. I sent a boat to the 
vessel and oflered Mr. Washburn my services, and invited him to come aboard my 
ship. The boat returned, and the officer reported that Mr. Washburn had left the 
Montana and gone on shore, but that Mrs. Washburn was on board. I got in my own 
boat and went aboard to brmg Mrs. Washburn on board of my ship, as I was told that 
the Montana was a small vessel and had not the best accommodations. When I arrived 
Mrs. Washburn was at dinner, and I waited on deck to see her. In the meantime the 
gig of the Susquehanna came alongside bringing Mr. Washburn and Major EUison, a 
gentleman from the shore whom Mr. Washburn had met on landing. This meeting 
with Mr. Wa^bum on the deck of the Montana, was the first time I ever saw him. 
Mrs. Washburn soon after came on deck, and we had some conversation, and then Mr. 
Washburn asked me if I had a gunboat that could take him to Buenos Ayres. I said 
no, I had not. " Why," said he, " there is one," pointing to the Nyack. " Yes," I replied, 
" but she is a miserable sort of thing for your purpose. Besides, I have no control of her, 
she belongs to the Pacific squadron, and is on her way to the Pacific. But if the officer 
commanding her is willing to take jrou there, I shall not put any objections in the 
way. I shaU not withhold any permit." 

Q. Had you any authority to command that officer? — ^A. Yes; I had authority to com- 
mand all under me; but I had no power to direct vessels belonging to another squadron 
to my purposes, except by military power, which is a dangerous thing. till I had 
perfect iK)wer if' I thought proper to do so. 

Q. Did you confer with the captain of the Nyack? — ^A. No, sir; I considered her an 
unsuitable vessel. » 

Q. Was Mr. Washburn willing to take passage in the Nyack? — ^A. Mr. and Mrs. 
Washburn and Major Ellison came on board my ship and dined with me. After dinner 
we pulled alongside of the Nyack and looked at her, and Mr. Washburn himself seemed 
to think she was not a very suitable vessel ; and the request was not made. If the 
officer had volunteered to take him I should not have said anything against it : yet I 
would not have taken any responsibility about it at all beyond the fact that I did not 
deny it. 

Mr. Washburn. I was told that the Nyack was not suitable, audi said substantially 
that I did not care to go in her. 

Admiral Gk)DON. I had nothing to do with sending Mr. Washburn to Buenos Ayres 
at all. 

5 P I 


By Mr. WASHBtlRN: 
Q. Did I ever claim that you hadf — ^A. No, sir. 

By the Chairman: 

Q, What do you consider the duties of the commandiiig officer of a squadion. as you 
were^ when any American minister asks of him conveyance to his destination i — ^A. It 
would be difficult to say. 

Q. I mean if you had no specific orders from the Navy Department. — ^A. To illustrate 
I wUl give an example: General Asboth came' to Bio, and took the place of Mr. Kirk. 
The mission at Buenos Ayres had been vacant for some time ; Mr. Kirk had lefb, and there 
was no secretary of legation there ; General Asboth came at a time when I considered 
that it was proper that he should go to Buenos Ayres in a creditable way. I, therefore, 
told him I would direct the commanding officer at Montevideo to take him to Buenos 
Ayres, and informed my government of the fact by letter. I give this as an illustration 
of* an instance in which I think it would be. proper. I did it of my own discretion. In 
this case there was no blockade to break, nor anything else in the way; and as General 
Asboth was duly accredited to the place, did not speaS: the language, and the mission 
being vacant, I at once considered it my duty to send him. He did not ask me to send 
him that I am aware of. 

Q. From the circumstance you have detailed with regard to General Asboth, are we 
to consider that you conceive it to be the duty of the commander of a squadron, if he 
has no contrary orders to prevent from the head of his department, to facilitate the 
passage of an American minister to his destination? — ^A. Yes, sir; I do. 

Q. When .was your next interview with Mr. Wa^bum? — ^A. We met several times 
afterwards in Rio. The French or English steamer left and there was some conversation 
whether he would go in it or not. My idea was, and I turn back to it now precisely as 
my mind was then, that when I knew how matters stood up the river, I would do all 
I could to take Mr. Washburn to Paraguay. There- was a blockade, and there were 
other troubles then I did not know all about. I had only arrived in Bahia the previous 

Q. You say that you tendered a passage to Greneral Asboth without his requesting 
you to do so ? — ^A. I think he did not even ask me. I am not positive. 

Q. You say you tendered a passage to General Asboth from Montevideo to Buenos 
Ayres, because we had no minister there, and because you had a vessel at your command. 
Why didn't you make the same tender to Mr. Washburn when we had no minister at 
Paraguay^ and when you had a vessel at your command? — ^A. I stated that Mr. Kirk had 
left the mission to be tilled by a successor ; but Mr. Washburn was the accredited minister 
on leave of absence from his post. General ABboth was a stranger, unacquainted with 
the country and its language. 

Q. What distinction do you make between the two cases? — ^A. Mr. Washburn had 
left Paraguay at his own request, on leave of absence, and returned to the United 
States, and came back and wanted to go up there. I did not send Mr. Asboth from 
Bio, but from Montevideo. I saw that our mission was left vacant, and General Asboth 
had in his hands then the very order to ask these ministers there for this passage of It^. 
Washburn through the Paraguayan lines. 

By Mr. Washburn : 

Q. Could not General Asboth have got from Montevideo to Buenos Ayres almost any 
day on a merchant steamer, and was it not very difficult, if not impossible, for me to 
get from Buenos Ayres to Paraguay without the aid of a gunboat ? — ^A. Yes ; there was 
a blockade in the way, and the question was totally different. In General Ajsboth's case 
I could send him up without instructions, and without danger of involving the coontry 
in war, and without resistance ; and I did what I thought was right. But Mr. Wash- 
bum asked me to go to Buenos Ayres from Bio, about 1,200 miles. I would have con- 
sidered, and offered afterwards, to take Mr. Washburn to Corrientes when it was proper 
to do so ; but not at the time he said. 

Q. Didn't I request that I should have a gunboat furnished me to take me from Bue- 
nos Ayres to Paraguay, while I was in Bio, leaving out the question of how I should get 
to Buenos Ayres ? — ^A. Mr. Washburn repeatedly spoke of getting up to Paraguay. At 
that time (as I said before) I was ignorant of the condition of things there, but I told 
Mr. Washburn that when I ^ot up there I would see what I could do. My intention 
was to take him to Paraguay if I could. Mr. Washburn spoke of it, and I spoke of it ; I 
wanted to go myself. ^ 

Q. Did you make that intention known to Mr. Washburn at that time ? — ^A. Yes, sir, 
certainly I did. 

By Mr. Orth : 

Q. State what next occurred. — ^A. I cannot recollect how long Mr. Washburn remained 
there, at Bio. In the meantime I had many matters to attend to. There were 1,200 or 1,500 
tons of coal lying at St. Catharines, intended for the Alabama, and I went down to look 


after it, as well as to exercise my guns. When I returned to Rio I fonnd Mr. Washburn 
still there. The subject of his going to Paraguay came up again. Mr. Washburn spoke 
to mo about it, and I felt perfectly easy about it. I thought when the time came (when 
I got a vessel) that I would probably be able to do this thing. Then the Wasp arrived, 
and she had something to do ; and the storeship arrived, and I had something to do in 
connection with that ; and from one cause or ahother — ^I presume from proi)er causes, 
for I know of none that were not faithful causes in connection with my duty — the mat- 
ter remained imsettled. I had no other feeling|8 that governed me in the matter, but the 
simple fact that I was doing my duty. My opinion is that an officer must do his duty, 
faithfully and truly as he best imderstands it ; and if he thinks it necessary to send a 
minister through a blockading squadron, under fire, to do it : and if he thinks it his duty 
not to involve the country in a war, not to do anything that would lead to it, and to 
take the responsibility. 

Q. What occurred after your return from St. Catherines t — ^A. I met Mr. Washburn in 
precisely the same way as before, on friendly terms, and he remained in Rio possibly 
a month or six weeks ; I cannot state positively what length of time. The matter was 
talked over, and I often said to him that I would do all I could when I got up there, 
but that I must see how things were myself; that I could not leave at that time ; that 
I had no vessel to go with. I think it likely the Wasp had arrived, but she was not 
suitable. I admit everything that Mr. Washburn desires with regard to his wishing 
me to send him there, and my desire to help him whenever I could. There were many 
detentions, and I mention this because I do not recollect the times and details ; but my 
intention was to go down at the proper time. Just as I was about to sail, however, the 
storeship arrived, which annoyed me, because I would have preferred being down tnere 
at the time. I did go, as soon as I could manage it, to Montevideo. I was expecting 
the Shamokin and another vessel at this time. The Shamokin was a very nice river 
vessel, weU adapted for the purpose of taking Mr. Washburn up the river. She was a 
long time coming out. I left the Juniata there, and had written to establish myself at 
headquarters at Kio, and I went down, stopping at St. Catherines, to make use of this 
coal, and finally arrived at Montevideo. As Mr. Washburn says, he had written me a 
private letter and followed it down the next day. We had a talk over these matters, 
and I found, as I got nearer the seat of action, a very different state of things to that I 
had been led to believe. I found there was great risk in this matter. Tnere was a 
blockade as well as military lines. The Paraguayans had just been driven back from 
Corrientes, and it had been blockaded by the Brazilian squadron in the river. The 
proclamation of blockade had been issued, and it was a contested point. Mr. Wash- 
bum's letter to me was a Mendly one, and I treated it as such, and was glad to ^et it. 
He gave me some information I was glad to receive. He came on board with a friend, 
and they dined with me, and remained abom^ all ni^ht. The difficulty that afterwards 
occurred between us was a diplomatic difference entirely, so far as I Imow. At Monte- 
video I called on my acquaintances, among others the French admiral. I had a talk 
with them on th|se subjects. There was a great confiision of ideas. The French, the 
Italians, and the Spaniards, were aU for breaking the blockade. X did not agree with 
these gentlemen ; there was a diversity of opinion. I went up to Buenos Ayres shortly 
afterwards by official invitation of Mr. Kirk and Mr. Helper, our consul, and helped 
arrange some matters where there had been a difference of opinion between them. 
WMle there I visited Mr. Washburn, and this matter was talked over again. It was a 
constant subject of conversation, and it was growing upon me very clearly now. Mr. 
Washburn talked about the matter very urgently, ana then I told him my reasons about 
Paraguay. They were, that it was a blockaded place ; that there were no Americans 
there that I knew of, and that we had not a straw of interest in that country. I had 
caUed upon Mr. Elizalde, an influential man there, and upon every American merchant in 
Buenos Ayres. Mr. Hale, a particular friend of Mr. Washburn, and who would have 
liked very muchito have Mr. Washburn go up, told me there was not a particle of inter- 
est to us there in any way. Mr. Zimmerman felt the same way. I told Mr. Washburn 
all this. But I would not make up my mind un til I saw Tamandar^. He told me the army 
was about to move up ; that they held Corrientes in blockade, and hoped that I would 
not resist it ; that the English, the French, and all the European nations were very 
anxious that the place should be opened. I had seen that the foreign naval command- 
ers there, the Italians especially, were all desirous of breaking the blockade, but none 
of them cared to run the risk. There the matter stood. They hovered about Corrien- 
tes, but they didn't care to do it, and go beyond. Th^ case now was perfectly clear in 
my mind. I had no interest in breaking that blockade, or do anytmng that mi^ht 
involve a question of war with the Unitea States, and I left with the fiill determination 
that I womd not break that blockade. 

Q. Would the passage of a war vessel of a neutral and friendly power through that 
blockade be regarded, either in law or in fact, as the breaking of the blockade f — A. Yes, 
sir ; it woiUd have been in law and in fact a breaking of the blockade, and I considered 
it so. 

Q. Were any war vessels of any other nations passing up and down there at that 


time ? — ^No, sir : none. And I will here state that the French three months afterwards 
sent the Decia<S steamer np, and they sent her back. The Decidd went np there at the 
suggestion of Mr. Beconr; bat they stopped the vessel and the admiral had the 
mortification of being sent back. He returned to Rio and steamed around my ship, 
lowering his flag to me as he passed, because he wanted to gain the American interest 
in his behalf, and he wanted me to send vessels up there on that account. Mr. Wash- 
bum took question on the subject of going up as high as Corrientes — ^not to Paraguay; 
that part I had dismissed. I had -made up my mind that I could not involve myself 
in these subjects without some more instructions than that. I wanted to know some- 
thing more about it, and that question was then settled. But I did say to Mr. Wash- 
bum, that later I would send him up in a sailing vessel to Corrientes, and Mr. Washburn 
said, "If I could get up to Corrientes I could manage then probably to get over;'' and 
he said on one occasion that he would go over in a canoe. 

By Mr. Washburn : 

Q. Didn't I want a gunboat to take me up that fiekr, saying that I believed that the 
presence of a gunboat would, in itself, induce them to let me pass through in some way, 
even though they objected to the gioboat going through T — A. I recwlect nothing of 
the kind. At that time it was unhealthy. The Wasp could not go up there and return 
at that time with the coal she had. It was the sickly season. Mr. Washburn urged 
that it was not sickly, but the heat w^as intense, and there was actual sickness at the 
time, and I did not want to send that little vessel up to Corrientes, as her cabin was 
hardly larger than this table. The distance was 1,000 or 1,200 nules up the river, and 
it would have required the consumption of three, four, or five thousand dollars' worth of 
coal. The cabin of the steamer must be taken from captain and given to Mr. Washburn, 
and the men and officers would have to lie upon the deck of the vessel. There were 
many reasons of that kind which made it wrong for me to send a vessel up to Corrientes ; 
I do not recollect any other special reasons now. I was responsible for what I did, and 
when the thing was clear in my mind, I did not hesitate to take the responsibility. I 
had, however, been frequently reminded that Mr. Washburn belonged to an influential 
family h^re in the United States. If I did anything that was wrong I had no political 
friends. This matter was brought to my mind ; General Webb wrote me a note to that 
effect some time afterwards. I knew that was a thin^ that would help me a little in 
what I was doing. If I got a little wrong, I would be helped by that, but if I got a 

food deal wrong I should not be helped by it at alL I had to answer for my own acts, 
'his I mention to show that I had rather the disposition to do it. StiU I decided I 
could not, and when my mind was made up to that, I determined not to. I was a good 
deal exercised to come to a fair and proper conclusion about this matter, but when I 
did I went to Mr. Washburn and told mm that as to going up to Para^ay it was 
quite out of the question, and going up to Corrientes is a great inconvenience. You 
are here; you could do no good there, and when the season comes around, say in two 
months, when we can get the southeast breezes, and a vessel with a better cabin — ^the 
Nipsic or the Shawmut — one of those vessels can go up the river to C^irrientes, sailing 
most of the way, only using steam to go around the bends of the river, at no great cost 
of coal. The officers and men then can be on deck without being injured by the mos- 
quitoes. There is no haste in this matter ; and then I will send one of those vessels up 
to Corrientes, 'and if the officers are willing to make these arrangements with you, I 
shall be most happy to oblige you. I said I would do that in the month of April or 
May, as a convenience to Mr. Washburn. That matter was then understood, as I sup- 
posed. I said this thing is an uncomfortable thing to me in every way, but if things 
remain as they are, if I can do this thing I will do itP-that is to Corrientes ; beyond that 
I could not tlnnk of doing it. Mr. Kirjt then told me that Mr. Washburn was about 
to report me to the Secretary of State. I said I did not see why he should. He said 
that was what he was doing. Captain Taylor of the flag-ship was present, and Mr. 
Kirk added that he was doing this because I would not take him up the river. I 
expressed my surprise, and said, Mr. Washburn knows perfectly well I cannot do it. 
The thing is understood. I asked Mr. Kirk, " Did he say that you were to repeat it to 
me?" "Yes, he did ;" and he said he had seen part of the letter Mr. Washburn had 
written. I went immediately around then to see Mr. Washburn, and said to him, " Mr. 
Kirk has told me you are going to report me to tl\e State Department. I think it a 
very remarkable fact that you are censuring me to the State Department." Mr. Wash- 
bum replied, " I did not say I was going to report you," or didn't agree exactly to the 
word " reporV^ ^ 

Afa*. Washburn. Was it not that I was going to defend myself, and justify myself 
from blame ?— A. I don't discuss it. That is what Mr. Kirk said, and I referred to Cap- 
tain Taylor, who was present. I then said, " Mr. Washburn, I had intended to have 
' done this thing with the best and kindest feelings, but since the mater is to go to the 
State Department, I would prefer letting matters now stand until I get regular orders 
on the subject." This occurred in the month of January, 1866, 1 presume. 


By Air. Wilkinsox : 

Q. How long had Mr. Washburn been thero waiting at that time ? — i% Since about 
the 4th of November. Now, I said, if I am to be reported at the State Department, then 
I will get my orders, and I will get them from the Secretary of the Navy. But still I 
did not really believe that Air. Washburn would report me. Mr. Washburn wanted to 
discuss the question. I said no ; I have given all the reasons I possibly can, and I would 
rather it would stand in that way. I had never received one official line from Mr. 
£±rk, or Mr. Washburn. I stood in this matter simply ls being appealed to by Mr. 

By Mr. Washburn : 

Q. Would you have acted differently if I had written you officially ? — ^A. I cannot tell 
what I would have done. I shall not answer in that Mud of way. I would probably 
have done this : I would immediately on the receipt of that letter have sent it to the 
United States, with my reasons, and 1 would have answered it immediately. 

By Mr. Orth: 

Q. Did you intimate to Mr. Washburn at any time that he should address you 
officially f — ^A. No sir, I never did. 

Q. Did you ever make any objections to Mr. Washburn that his request to you was 
not of an official character T — ^A. No sir, never in any way. 

Q. You did not state that you declined acting because he did not address you offici- 
ally f — A. No, sir. If it had come up officially I would have sent it to the United States 
with my reasons. I did not write at the time ; but Mr. Kirk afterwards came on board 
of my ship and told me, in the course of a conversation, that it would be well for mo 
to look out for myself; and I thought that probably it would be better at once to let 
the department see how the matter stood, and whether I was acting exactly as the 
department desired. So I gave my reasons. And then for the first tmie commenced 
the official correspondence. 

(The witness read his letter to the Secretary of the Navy, dated January 23, 1866, as 
published in Ex. Doc. 79, 3d sess. 40th Cong., No. 33 ; and Mr. Welles's reply thereto 
dated March 12, 1866, published in the same document.) 

I have referred here to the views that Mr. Washburn gave me. I will now state that 
Mr. Washburn urged upon me that if he could get to Paraguaj^, he thought he 
could make peace with these people. 1 knew those people pr^y well, and did not 
agree with him. He spoke of Lopez in strong language, pretty much as he felt about 
him ; that he was a bad man and he thought he could not sustain himself there very 
long ; that he believed that if he (Washburn) were there he could help matters ; that 
the Brazilians wanted him out of that country, and that he would like to have a vessel 
there among other things in case that Lopez wanted to go, as it would be a convenience 
for him to go. Mr. Washburn desired that I should see Mr. Saguier, a Paraguayan who 
had left Paraffuay and was living at Buenos Ayres. I did not care to see nim. How- 
ever, Mr. WaMiburn urged it upon me, stating he would tell me a good deal about Para- 
fiay and Lopez, and that he would convince me that Lopez would like to come away, 
told Mr. Washburn, however, at that time that I had not the slightest idea of putting 
myself in any position of getting Lopez aboard of a man-of-war in my squadron, if I 
could possibly help it ; that I was out there for American interests ; that I was a neu- 
tral, and I was bound to continue so. The very first thing that came up in my mind 
then was, that this business at Paraguay would be more troublesome than I had any 
idea of. It made me very cautious how I was going to act in these matters. I went to 
see Mr. Saguier, as I thought it likely I might hear something of the country ; but I 
did not see him until ho called at my house — at my headquarters. I do not recollect 
whether he came with Mr. Washburn or not. I found him a gentleman of intelligence 
and' education, speaking both Spanish and French. We spoke in Spanish I think, and 
conversed on this subject. I found that Mr. Saguier had come to me to persuade me to 
do this thing of going up the river, and to be convenient that Lopez could come away 
in th^ vessel. Among oftier things I remember his using the expression that Lopez was 
a coward. I said he had not shown it ; that he stood up to his work amazingly well. 
But still he urged this thing and it became rather offensive to me. I saw I was to be 
argued into domg this thing, and finally in his warm and excited manner, forgetting 
himself, he addressed me as ** commodore." I had been waiting for an opportunity to 
let him see that he was mistaken in acting in that particular way ; and I said to him, 
" One moment ; you have addressed me outside of my rank which has been conferred 
upon me by the government ; I desire you to know that I am an admiral, and one who 
is not to bo influenced." I did it to check him. His conversation was not an agreeable 
one towards the close : and I soon after left him. Mr. Washburn said tome, "What kind 
of an impression did he make upon you ? " and I said ho did not make an agreeable 
imj>ression upon me at all. I left him with the impression that this was a matter I had 
nothing to do v/ith, and that I must not commit myself in those matters. I did not 
allude to this conversation in my letters ; I did not think it proper to do so. I did not 


think it was the proper view to take of it, and it made me cautious. Still I got this 
letter from the Secretary of the Navy, and I felt that thus far I had done right. When 
this letter wAs received I was at Montevideo. I had §one to work immediately after 
leaving Buenos Ayres, to fit up the Wasp with something like a cabin on deck, which 
would give a great deal more space, and 1 had hunkers made holding from 40 to 50 tons 
cf coal. She was very awkward for man-of-war purposes, and very inconvenient for 
carrying passengers imtil I fitted her up for that purpose. In the mean time I went up 
the Uruguay river, and on my return to Buenos Ayres I was invited by Mr. Octaviano, 
the special envoy representing the Emperor of Brazil in the conferences of the allied 
powers, to an interview, f wrote to the government from Montevideo, May 18, 
1866, informing it of the result of that interview. 

Perhaps I should say, in explanation of this letter, that I had a difference of opinion 
with Mr. Kirk about my visiting General Urquiza. Mr. Kirk did not want me to go 
and visit Urquiza, who was an influential man, but not holding a position in the gov- 
ernment. I thought that Urquiza would be the great man of the country, and that 
there was no reason why I should not go and see a man of his immense influence. 
But Mr. Kirk seemed to think it would not bo pleasant and agreeable to the govern- 
ment, and wrote me a note to that effect. I differed from him entirely, and I wrote an 
answer, in which I stated that I guessed he (Kirk) would find that I scarcely needed a 
dry nurse. I did not go because of this little mishap. But I afterv/ards did go and 
have an interview with him, as I felt that it was my duty to pay my respects to him. 

In my interview with Mr. Octaviano, at Buenos Ayres, Captain Marvin and Captain 
Eirkland were both present, and I heard exactly what Admiral Tamandar^ had said. 
Mr. Octaviano received me without formality, and came up to me and immediately 
began to speak about what Admiral Tamandard had said : that Admiral Tamandar6 
had said that I had told him that if one passed the military lines, anybody could go. 
Those were his words as I understood him. My remark was, " If Admiral Tamandard has 
said that, he has made a great error;" and Mr. Octaviano remarked, "Admiral Taman- 
dar6 is not in the habit of making errors." I said, "I hope I have not come here, at 
your invitation, to discuss the habits of Admiral Tamandar6 ; I do not know what they 
are ; but if he has said that, he has made a very grave mistake. I said to Admiral 
Tamandar^ that when that blockade is established at Tres Bocas, I will acknowledge 
it. I did acknowledge the blockade there ; but, sir, if you allow one vessel to pass that 
blockade, it is gone." " Why," said he, " that is what I said." " No, sir," I replied, " you 
said if one person was to pass. I had nothing to do with the military lines ; my action 
was entirely in reference to Admiral Tamandar^. I told him I would acknowledge 
that blockade, that I could not resist it; and I told him more, that whatever part he 
conquered, I would acknowledge the blockade there, but that he must conquer it." 
My interview was not an agreeable one at first. I was annoyed. He immediately 
apologized and then went on to say something about Corrientes. I suggested to him 
that, while they might have the right to prevent their passing through the military 
lines, I considered not granting it was neither amiable nor friendly, and might lead to 
results. But I did not claim the right to have Mr. Washburn go through. I did not 
mention his name in connection with the subject of military lines ; that was a subject 
for ]Mr. Kirk to attend to. I was cautious not to touch that point. I then left. Mr. 
Washburn was at Corrientes, and I would have been pleased to hear from him, 
but, unfortunately, our friendly relations had ceased. As 1 was placed in the position 
of having done wrong, I wanted my authority from the head. Neither Mr. Washburn 
nor Mr. Kirk wrote to me; but I knew when the proper time came the government 
would send orders about the matter. I then went to Rio, where I received the fifst 
letter from the Secretary of the Navy in connection with anything like an order ; that 
letter is dated April 26, 1866. 

Q. Did you understand from that letter that in the event of their not permitting Mr. 
Washburn to return to Asuncion, you should furnish him with a vessel and escort, and 
force the blockade?— A. Yes, sir. That is a war measure, and I could have acted with- 
out any mistake. ^ 

By the Chaikman : ♦ 

Q. You stated in your letter of July 6, 1866, detailing the interview you had with 
the officers of the Argentine Republic : " Tlie conversations were entirely unofficial, 
although very plain on my part ; and it is distinctly understood by them that unless 
our minister is permitted to proceed at once to his destination, I will place him there 
without further delay." Why didn't you proceed to place him at his destination with- 
out further delay prior to July 6, 1866, when you wrote this letter? — ^A. Because I had 
no orders to do it. 

Q. Did you, in this interview, inform him that you had received those orders? — ^A. I 
did not. What I did say is contained in the same letter, in these words: "That our 
right was so perfect to send a minister to Paraguay, with which country wo were on 
terms of friendship, that doubtless the government of the United States would claim 
an explanation for the delay of Mr. Washburn, and that I had already received instruc- 


tions bow to act." I said perhaps more than I had a right to say to the minister ; but 
I told bimthis unofficially: "If anything has escaped me, I hope you will consider 
It due to a foreign language." I was not a diplomatic agent, and could not act as one. 

By Mr. Willard : 

Q. Tou understood that the Brazilian government had sent forward instructions? — 
A. They told me they were very anxious to. They found now that I was goins to 
move very fast in this matter, for if the demands were made, and I heard that they nad 
been refused again, I should have had nothing more to do about it; and I was extremely 
anxious that they would send their infilmctionB. 

Mr. Washburn mentioned in the course of his evidence that I had gone north 
on one occasion, instead of going south. Mr. Webb, in his correspondence, states 
so too. I did go north, but I had two objects in view ; one was, to give them time to 
send^ese instructions down there, that there might be no complication; and the other 
was w proceed to Bahia, by order of the government, fire a salute on account of the 
Florida affair, and endeavor to renew a good state of feeling. As Mr. Washburn has 
seen fit to allude to this, I mention it to movr the committee that my ^oing north was 
specially official ; and you will find, I think, when that conversation is seen, that the 
admiral said to me, "Now we have had this talk over and settled these things, don't go 
down south, don't do anything yet ; give us all the chance you can." 

By Mr. Washburn: 

Q. When did you first learn that they had not sent these instructions?— A. I never 
heard they had not sent them. 

Q. Didn't Captain Crosby tell you? — ^A. I never heard they didn't send them, nor 
were any instructions ever seut, to my knowledge, for a vessel to pass the blockading 
squadron, and I do .not know that they have ever been given to this day. The military 
lines was the only question at issue. I never was asked to ask a passage through the 
blockading squadron. I was told to go. 

Q. Didirt the blockade constitute a part of the military iines?T—A. No, sir; my ships 
cannot pass through a military line. 

By the Chairman: 

Q. At what time did this blockade commence? — A. It waa established at the time I 
arrived there, in January, 1866. 

Q. How long did it continue? — ^A. It was broken by the allies after the gunboats went 
up above Humaita. 

On the 8th of August, 1866, Mr. Washburn wrote to me inclosiDg a copy of the dis- 
patch sent to him by the Secretary of State. In referring to this dispatch, Mr. Wash- 
bum says : " By the last mail from the United States, being then at Corrientes, I received 
a dispatch from the Secretary of State, in which ho informs me that " the President is 
very muclt surprised at the course of the allied commanders in detaining me, as it is a 
proceeding both discourteous and illegal." By referring to this dispatch, it will be seen 
that the words used are, "the President is surprised," and "is deemed not altogether 
courteous," instead of the words he uses. 

Now, I want to state that with both these documents before me, and both of them 
official, what was I to do — to take the words of the minister, or the words of the Secre- 
tary? That letter was ordered to be sent to me, and I had to view the instructions of 
the Secretary of State precisely as I read them, that the President was surprised at the 
delay in allowing a passage through the military lines, and it was deemed "not alto- 
gether courteous?' There was nothing "illegal" about it, and it comported precisely 
with my ideas. While that dispatch of the Secretary of State of April 16, 1866, was 
being written in the United States, (and which only reached me in the following June,) 
I was stating to Mr. Octaviano almost the exact words that the Secretary was using in 
regard to this affair: "Sir, my government may perhaps say to you that that is not an 
amiable or friendly act." But I did not say to him that it was "illegal," because I 
thought they had the right to do so if they thought proper. Still I am told by the 
minister that it was an iflegal act, though the Secretary simply says that "it is deemed 
not altogether courteous." With that difference of opinion between the Secretary of 
State and Mr. Washburn I was compelled to write to him and give him my honest 
view of what Secretary Seward did say. And that drew from Mr. Washburn a letter 
in which I am told that I was imprudent, or something, because I took a different view 
from him, and that I was to put no construction on the dispatch. Li my view I was 
compelled to put my construction upon it, and to act accordingly, or else why was a 
copy of the dispatch sent me — a very unusual measure? 

By Mr. Wilkinson: 

Q. Did you, or did you not, think that the government of the United States had no 
interests that required Mr. Washburn to ^o up there at all? Did you entertain that 
idea? — ^A. I knew that there was no American interest there at all, nor any mercantile 
interests, so feur as the American merchants were concerned. 


Q. Did that knowledge influence your action at all in this matter. — ^A. Very much iu 
connection with the hlockade; that was the point in my mind. 

Q. Did you think, as a naval officer, it was your business to judge whether the United 
States government had interests there that made it necessary for Mr. Washburn to pro- 
ceed there ? — A. Yes ; I knew there were no interests there. 

Q. But the government having appointed Mr. Waehbum minister to Paraguay, and 
he having reached your squadron on his way there, did you regard it as your province 
as a naval officer to say whether it was necessary that he should go up there, or not, 
as an accredited minister of the United States? — ^A. No, sir. 

Q. Would you not think it was Mr. Washburn's province to determine that question, 
whether it .was necessary for him to go up, or not, rather than the admirars ? — ^A. I think 
so ; yes, sir. 

Q. Yet I see by the testimony of Governor Kirk, that you gave as a reason for your 
course that you did not think it was necessary that the United States should h^e any 
minister up there. — A. I had the view that it was my business to judge about Tfeking 
him, not about his going there. I had nothing to do with his going there. 

Q. If you had, in your official capacity, thought it was necessary for the interests of 
the United States that he should be taken up there, would you have regarded it as your 
duty to have detailed a vessel for the purpose of taking him up there, and even to have 
broken the blockade, if necessary, that the government should have a minister there; 
would you have detailed a vessel to help him through ?— A. I would not have broken a 
blockade because there might be particular interests there, without I knew what thpse 
interests were. 

Q. But if you had regarded it for the interests of the United States? — A. I could not 
have broken the blockade under those circumstances. It involved a great many ques- 
tions. I should have been very careful about taking action unless my mind was very 
clear that the interests were equal to bringing on a war. 

Q. You think, then, that it becomes your province to determine the question of the 
propriety of sending the minister there ? — ^A. I would have to determine it. I could not 
receive an order from the minister. I must be impressed, and my self-conviction must 
be positive on the subject that I am going to do a thing that is right, as my commission 
and my honor is at stake, unless I have positive orders. The mmister, in making me 
the suggestion as to "what I ought to do, did not take the responsibility of my action 
away &om me. His view might help me in coming to a decision about the matter, but 
he had no right to control me. But I wish to state, and have it fully understood, that 
whatever I did I was governed by a simple sense of my convictions at that time, and 
influenced by no other feelings whatever. 

Washington, D. C, A^l 15, 1869. 

Examination of Eear-Admiral S. W. Godon continued. 

By Mr. Orth : 

Question. Will you please proceed with your narrative from where you left off on yes- 
terday ?— Answer. I would like to refer to a letter of General Webb, dated September 
16, 1866. It is as follows : 


"Legation of the United States, 

^^ PetrapoliSy September 16, 1866. 

" Sm : In reply to your official note of yesterday, received at 7 p. m. this evening, I 
have the pleasure to communicate, for your information, that on the 22d of August I 
advised Mr. Washburn officially that all obstructions on the part of the allied fleet to 
his repairing to his post of duty had been removed. 
" I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

"Acting Eear-Admiral S. W. Godon, 

" Commanding U. S. South American Squadron," 

I then wrote to the Secretary of the Navy, under date of October 8, 1866, to inform him 
that I had sent orders to Captain Crosby to convey Mr, Washburn, minister to Paraguay, 
to his post at Asuncion, assuming that by the time he would reach Buenos Ayres his 
instructions would have been complied with, and that he would have received the per- 
mission which had already been sent from Brazil, and that there would bo no difficulty 
about his going up the river, so far as the allies were concerned. At the same time 1 
stated in my letter that Captain Crosby was not to receive on board any Paraguayans, 
either Lopez or any other. And I gave my reason to the Secretary of the Navy for giv- 
ing this specific order to Captain Crosby. The following is an extract irom that 
letter : 

" I have given, as the department will perceive, distinct orfTcrs to Commander Crosby 
not to aflbrd a passage to General Lopez, or to any Paragi^.iiyans. I siiould not have 
thought it necessary to do so under ordinary circumstances, as the usual hard common 


senso of a navy officer would have pointed out to h\m the impropriety of such a course, 
but Mr. Washburn so earnestly urged upon me the advantage it would be to General 
Lopez to have one of our men-of-war convenient to bring hiTn away from Paraguay, if 
ho so desired, and seemed to think that it was such a good reason for giving hun (Mr. 
W.) a vessel of war to go up to Asuncion, that I deemed it proper to make the order 
clear and unmistakable on that point.'' 

That referred to my first orders to Commander Crosby. Those orders wexe modified 
afterwards, in relation to torpedoes, and a rise in the nver. 

By Mr. Washbubn : 

Q. What is the date of the letter modifying those instructions to Captain Crosby f — 
A. It was dated October 21, and is as follows : 

"United States South Atlantic Squadron, 

"Flag-ship Brooklyn, (2d rate,) 

"Bio de Janeiro, October 21, 1866. 

" Sir : In my instructions to you to proceed to Asuncion, on application in writing 

firom Mr. Washburn, I did not allude to any difficulties you might meet with for want 

of water, nor from torpedoes or other obstructions in the river placed by Para^ayans. 

"You will not proceed at all until you know the water is high enough to aUow you 

to go up without inconvenience. 

" If torpedoes or other difficulties offer, you will then land the minister at Curupaiti 
by boats or at some convenient landing within the Paraguayan lines to which the allies 
will have no objection, or you may be obliged to avail yourself of the means which will 
be placed at your disposal to pass the minister through the allied lines to those of Gen- 
eral Lopez. 


"S. W. GODON, 
" Bear- Admiral, Commanding South Atlantic Squadron, 

"Commander Peirce Crosby, U. S. N., 

" Cknnmanding United States Steamer ShamohinJ' 

I also sent that letter to the Secretary of the Nav^. My object in writing that mod- 
ification was simply because my former oraers to him were peremptory, and I wished 
to allow him some discretion, as he would be responsible to a certain extent. I gave 
the order to Captain Crosby as far back as October 5, to go up the river when he was 
applied to by Mr. Washburn. I had written to Mr. Washburn that after he had mado 
his appeal, or rather had sent the letter which the Secretary of State required Mm to 
send, and had received his answer to it, he would apply to Captain Crosby, who would 
carry him up the river. In the meantime. General Asboth had gone to Buenos Ayres, 
and was under instructions to demand from the officials there fiie permission for Mr. 
Washburn to pass, which permission, it seems, had never been asked for by Mr. Kirk, 
nor had Mr. Washburn applied to Mr. Kirk for it, although Mr. Kirk was the represent- 
ative at the place where the authorities were who had the power to grant it. Still, I 
felt that I would not revoke my order to Captain Crosby, although Mr. Washburn had 
written to me that he would not make the demand upon the President. His letter is 
dated October 1. My order to Captain Crosby was sent October 5, under the conviction 
that Mr. Washburn would apply for this permission, as he was directed to do by the 
Secretary of State, a copy of which .instructions from the Secretary of State was in my 
possession when I received his letter of October 1. 

Q. Had you revoked the order to Captain Crosby, would it have reached him in 
time f — ^A. It seems not ; but I am stating facts, I do not care to state conjectures. I 
would rather not be interrupted unless it is in regard to facts. I do not know whelDer 
it would have reached him or not ; I have not thought of this matter at all j it might 
or might not have reached him ; it has no bearing upon my mind at all. I did not 
revoke the order from the fact that General Webb had written to me that permission 
had been granted from Brazil, which was the ruling power, and General Asboth had 
gone to Buenos Ayres to get permission granted or the hinderance removed ; and I knew 
the permission would be given, or beheved it would — I cannot say that I knew it. I 
believed permission would have come from the proper source, so that whether Mr. 
Washburn obeyed his portion of the instructions or not, I felt relieved in doing what I 
did ; so the order contmued in force. My letter to Mr. Washburn mentioned that I was 
officisdly informed by General Webb, our minister to Brazil, that permission had been 
granted for him to pass through the military lines of the allies into Paraguay ; and th^^t 
General Webb had so informed Mr. Washburn. I also wrote him that I had instructed 
Captain Crosby, of the Shamokin, to receive him and his family, on his requesting it in 
■writing, and to convey him to his post. When I gave that order I knew I was gouig 
beyond my instructions. My instructions merely dSected mo to take Mr. Washbu' ii i.p 
the river in case of a renewed refusal. 


By Mr. Swann : 

Q. You acted upon the basis of General Webb's letter to you? — A. I acted upon the 
fact that General Webb had made this statement to mo. I understood it was a settled 
fact so far as the military lines were concerned. My going beyond my instructions in 
taking Mr. Washburn up beyond the blockade as high as he could go was an act of my 
own lor which I held myself responsible to the government. I thought it possible 
that the slightest difficulty occurring there would place me in a very uncomfortable 
position. But that contingency never arose ; Mr. Washburn never was refused again. 
The reason I did so was this : Mr. Washburn had been there a very long time. I fiiew 
he had written to this government and complained of his detention. The letter of the 
Secretary of the Navy, giving me instructions under the circumstances, stated that the 
Secretary of State desired tnat Mr. Washburn should proceed to hie post. I thought 
that, under all the circumstances, the difficulties and annoyances that he had had, 
if he undertook to pass the military lines there might be something done which might 
incommode him and his wife. Therefore I thought I would not expose him to that, but 
would take him up the river in a gmiboat. That was the sole reason that governed 
me in going beyond my instructions. I supposed I coidd make this clear to my govern- 
ment, particularly as I had told tHe minister that the allies never did grant the permis- 
sion to pass the blockade. Still I believed that the Brazilians were very friendly 
disposed, and I did not think they had the slightest feeling in the matter against Mr. 
Washburn. I have no doubt that they were anxious that he should not go up, as his 
proceeding to his post would ^ve a moral support to the Paraguayans. But I said to 
the Brazihan minister of foreign affairs : " This thing has been prolonged so that I shall 
send a vessel up with Mr. Wawibum." He said it might be a very serious matter, and 
Insisted upon it that it would be a subject that might turn up very much against him. 
I said : " Well, I cannot help that ; I think that the time must come when I shall .do 
this." My interview at that time with the minister of foreign affairs was official and 
is on record at the State Department. Some little discussion took place in which the 
minister seemed to think I had perhaps used some stronger language than I ought to 
have done. He afterwards said to the French minister, and his statement was repeated 
to me by the French admiral, that the reason he yielded to me in the slightest degree 
was that I held a knife to his throat ; those were his words. I never considered I nad 
gone anything like so far as that. My letter will show the extent of what I did^ that 
it was a plain conversation. After that letter had been written I went up to Rio and 
called upon General Webb. I had not sefti General Webb ; all the communication I 
had had with him was the official note which I got while I was writing. When I told 
General Webb what had transpired he was very much surprised, and said: "Why, I 
have not only written that, but I have instructions from the Secretary of State to ask 
of this government permission for Mr. Washburn to go through the military lines, and 
if they refuse it I have instructions to demand my passports in from six to eight days." 
He also said that Mr. Washburn had orders to return home ; that General Asboth or 
Mr. Kirk, whoever was then minister at Buenos Ayres, was also required to ask for his 
passports. I saw at once that I had gone beyond my instructions in every way ; 
because these gentlemen were all to be recalled, diplomatic relations were to cease 
with these people unless from some aet of the allies the obstructions were removed. 
The whole question resolved itself into this ; the moment Mr. Seward found that I was 
going up through and break the blockade if Mr. Washburn did not receive permission 
to go up, orders were immediately sent out, not to me, but to these gentlemen, to 
demand their passports and return home if permission was again refused. 

By Mr. Washbukn : 

Q. Will you state the difference of time between those two dispatches ? — ^A. I do not 
know anything about that ; I was not in Rio when the dispatch was received. 

Q. Were they not within 30 days of each other? — ^A. I have not the slightest idea; I 
do not know that I have ever seen them myself; I can refer only to that portion which 
• is contained in Mr. Washburn's own letter. 

By Mr. Banks : 

Q. What was the date of that letter and on what page of this document is it ? — ^A. It 
is dated October 1, and commences page 18 of the document. 

Mr. Washbukn. The first is dated April 21 ; the next, June 27, about two months 

Admiral Qodon. That is not the one to which 1 refer. His instructions also were to 
return to the United States if the hinderance alluded to had not been removed by some 
proceeding on the part of the allied powers. I found that if they had actually reftised 
to pass him through the lines, and I had sent Mr. Washburn up in a vessel, I would 
not only have disobeyed my orders, but he would be disobeying his orders, and instead 
of returning home would go up to Paraguay. When this letter of Mr. Washburn was 
received by me the vessel had gone and tine letter did not change my views in the 
slightest degree, although I saw that there was something like breakers ahead if things 


went wrong. But I hoped for the best as I had acted for the best. I did not answer 
that letter, I sipoiply acknowledged its receipt. General Webb was on board the flag- 
Bhip when that letter came. He was my guest ; he had remained with me six or seven 
tlays; ho came down just about the time the mail would arrive. I read this letter to 
him. There were some parts of it which made me very indignant; that part which 
stated that nothing had been done by the allies toward removing the obstructions and 
allowing Mr. Washburn to go up, made me very angry, because Sir. Webb had written 
ofl&cially to me that the Brazilian government had given orders for him to pass. 
General Webb felt that he had a right to be very much aggrieved; the Brazilian gov- 
ernment was one of the allies and the important one. The statement was made again 
and again in the letter of Mr. Washburn that nothing had been done. 

By Mr. Washburn : 

Q. Had anything been done? — ^A. Mr. Webb stated to me officially that there had 
been ; and I had sent a vessel up because I believed that something had been done. 
Nothing had passed between me and the government to that effect ; but the chared 
d'affaires had told me the same thing. I knew from conversations I had had with people 
there that they were willing to let Mr. Washburn go. through the lines; and Mr. Webb 
liad so informed mo officially. K ho had stated what was not true it was not my busi- 
ness. It was an official letter and I would have acted on it under any circumstances 
until it waa shown to me that it was incorrect. You can judge better how to take 
letters &om the general; but I had to take it for its face when it was marked official. 

By Mr. Orth : 

Q. What was the next step? — ^A. As I state, Mr. Webb was on my ffag-ship at the time 
I received this letter of Mr. Washburn which I read to liim. General Webb wrote in 
my cabin a letter to Mr. Waahbum. It was a very long letter. It was a very offensive 
letter. I mention it especially because Mr. Washburn has stated that I did not answer 
his letter, but allowed General Webb to answer it. God help the mark, at my time 
of life, with my education and my experience, and I will say with my vanity, that I 
should have got General Webb to answer a letter which I had receivea. 

By Mr. Washburn: 

Q. You say General Webb wrote the letter in your cabin? — ^A. It was written in my 
cabin, in my after-cabin, greatly to my annoyance. I did not care so much about 
the letter, but I did not want it written there. I earnestly asked General Webb not 
to send that letter. I told him that letter was addressed to me: it was my affair; I 
would write to the Navy Department ; that I did not want to discuss it, but that I 
would attend to my matters. lam supposed to be considerably vain ; so I am told. No 
man has ever written a letter for me, or at least not for a very lon^ time. I am not iu 
the habit of getting people to write letters for me. It is my habit to take that kind 
of responsibility upon myself, for I know what I have to say. I do not allow my sec- 
retary to write for me, except upon indifferent matters. There is no letter of the 
slightest consequence that is not written by myself. I should be very sorry to have 
it thought that I desired General Webb to v* rite a letter for me, and especially to sign 
it for me. Even if I had got an amanuensis to do the writinj^ of the letter I should have 
signed it myself. I did not want him to write the letter and did not desire him to do 
it. The letter is his, not mine. Anybody who will read the correspondence here, who 
will read my letters, and his, will see that there is nothing in that letter of my character. 

By Mr. Banks : 
Q. That letter is one we have called for ? — ^A. It is ; these are matters of investigatiou. 

By Iklr. Orth : 

Q. Your testimony is that you did not authorize General Webb to write that letter ? — 
A. Certainly I did not, by any means. I regretted the letter ; I did not think it was a 
.proper one, and I told him so. He told me the letter had to go. He said, "I write this 
letter because I am going to write to the Secretary of State, and this letter goes with 
it ; we are obliged to send all our correspondence to the State Department." 

Q. Will you please state such other facts as you desire to have stated? — ^A. There is 
one point to which I wish to call the attention of the committee^ especially as Captain 
Crosby seems to have argued it all the way through in his testimony. Mter Captain 
Crosby had got through the blockade quietly, a certain distance above the allies, and 
Mr. Washburn had landed, and the proper ceremonies had been performed, Mr. Wash- 
bum went up to Asuncion, or Humaita, and an officer was sent to accompany him. 

Q. That was Lieutenant Pendleton, was it not? — ^A. Yes, sir; ho accompanied Mr. 
Washburn to Humaita. Captain Crosby then dropped down below the blockade, and 
anchored in the neighborhood of the Brazilian lines, leaving this officer in Paraguay. 
Now there had been a contention about passing the military lines. Admiral Tamaii- 
dard had been disobliged by our vessel going up through the blockade, to say the least 
of it ; he had protested against it. Captain Crosby drops down with his vessel, leaving 


an officer inside the Para^ayan lines. Here was a chance, when that officer was to 
return, for the same difficulty to occur about going through the blockade. When this 
matter came up, and I found that with all my care, trastuig to the intelligence of the 
officer, he had placed matters just where it was x>ossible some serious trouble might take 
place, that he had, without the knowledge of Admiral Tamandar6, left an officer in the 
Paraguayan lines. I saw at once that Captain Crosby had committed a grave error ; 
that just exactly what I wanted to avoid had unfortunately taken place. I had not let 
Mr. Washburn go through the military lines lest some trouble might occur with regard 
to him, but had taken upon myself to send a vessel through the blockade in order to 
avoid annoyance. This officer who had been left was stopped when he undertook to 
return, just as I anticipated. Finally, Admiral TamandarS very courteously did what 
was to be done ; protested against thiis being done without his permission. I feared at 
first that there would be some difficulty. 

Q. Still, Lieutenant Pendleton came back? — ^A. Yes, sir; but I allude to this to show 
that Captain Crosby did not do what I thought he should have done ; it did not satisfy 
me, and I told him so. He had x)la<;ed me in a situation that might have annoyed me 
very much. But after awhile, when I saw there was no trouble, that nothing had come 
from it, I read these papers mor^ carefully ; I had merely glanced over them before. 
And rather than complain of Captain Crosby ; rather than show to the department that 
he had not aeted with the intelligence which I had anticipated, I waived the entire 
subject, except to mention that Admiral Tamandar^ had protested. 

Q. Do you know for what purpose Lieutenant Pendleton was left behind? — A. I do 
not, except that he had gone up with Mr. Washburn in order to bring down some dis- 
patches from him. 

Q. Your instructions to Captain Crosby were to take Mr. Washburn up there, and 
then to return without unnecessary delay f — ^A. Certainly. 

Q. Were you not informed that the object of leaving Lieutenant Pendleton was to 
enable Captain Crosby to return without unnecessary delay, and to enable the Lieuten- 
ant to bring down dispatches from Mr. Washburn? — ^A. I understand all that. Captain 
Crosby went beyond the lines, and instead of staying there, where he was out of the 
way of harm, went four, or five, or ten miles above the blockading squadron. 

By Mr. Washburn : 

Q. Do you assert that he was out of the way of harm ; that he was not right between 
the lines, and exposed to fire from both sides ? — ^A. I so state the fact. He could have 
gone higher up if necessary. 

Q. He was told that the river was full of torpedoes higher up ? — ^A. He could have 
gone a little higher up, out of the way of the Brazilians, instead of returning and leaving 
an officer there. It was not that he had left an officer with Mr. Washburn if he had 
staid there. It was that he had left the officer without informing Admiral Tamandar^ 
that he had left him, and that the officer was to return through the lines, for which 
permission had to bo obtained. 

Q. Did he not announce that to Admiral Tamandar^ immediately on his return ? — ^A. 
I do not know anything about that. 

"Mi. Washburn. Well, he does. 

Admiral Godon. You are stating the evidence. Let us see if he does. Here is Admiral 
Tamandar^'s letter on the subject : 

" And if I did protest in the name of the government against the going up of the 
Shamokin, disregarding the friendly means that I proposed, it was foreseeing the con- 
sequence of this act. 

" In these consequences, notwithstanding I could not foresee that an officer of the 
Shamokin (should or) might remain in Paraguayan territory without right for so doing 
nor permission equal to the one granted to Mr. Washburn and lus family, the which 
constitutes an offense to the right which my nation and their allies have, of impeding 
the passage of any neutral agent to the enemy^s territory, and anew (de novo) it com- 
pels me to protest against those who ordered that act, as I protest solemnly, and in this 
manner I reply to your above-mentioned note." 

By Mr. Orth : 

Q. Do you doubt the complete right of the United States to have taken her minister 
up through that blockade ; and having done so, do you doubt their right to permit one 
of their officers to remain in Paraguay, a nation with which we wore on mendly terms ? — 
A. I have stated in one of my letters that we had a perfect right to take our minister 
into Paraguay. 

Q. And a perfect right to take him up through the blockade? — ^A. According to our 
naval ideas, I doubt very much the right to take a minister through a blockade when 

Q. Still you had positive instructions fi'om your government to do it ? — ^A. I had, 
provided they did not gi'aut permission. 

Q. When tho.^o instructions reached you the passage had already been refused to lh\ 
Washburn, and tho contingency alluded to by the State Department had arisen ? — A. 
My orders wero. to take him up provided he had a renewed denial. 


By Mr. Washburn : 
Q. Where do you find that word " renewed '' in the instructions ?— A. Wo will see. 

By Mr. Orth: 

Q. You seem to place some stress upon the protest of Admiral Tamandard ?— A. I 
mention it merely because Captain Crosby seemed to think that I had not approved his 
conduct ; that I had not said at once that he had done very well. I thought ho had 
not done very well ; that was my opinion, and it is so still. 

Q. Do you admit the perfect right of the United States to take their minister up 
through the blockade, and having gone through, to permit one or a dozen of their offi- 
cers to remain there without the consent ot their allies ? — ^A. Then they could only 
come back the same way they went. 

Q. If it was necessary for the officer to come back he could run the blockade t — ^A. 
Yes, sir ; and if that had been done there would not have been any complaint. 

Q. And then, if war had ensued, it was an act of our government and not of yours 
particularly ? — A. We must construe our instructions in such a way as not to have war 
result, if we can do so by the exercise of a little intelligence. 

Q. Were you not informed by Captain Crosby that Jie permitted Lieutenant Pendle- 
ton to remain there for the purpose of becoming bearer of dispatches firom Mr. Wash- 
bum ? — ^A. That was so. 

Q. You did not doubt the complete right of our minister to send dispatches f — A. I 
did not. 

Q. But you attach imx)ortance to the protest of Admiral Tamandar^f — ^A. I attach 
importance to Captain Crosby having done that which led to the protest. 

Q. It was a legal right for him to do so ? — A. I do not think it was a legal right for 
him to return firom that place and leave an officer behind. I consider it a great indis- 
cretion — I consider it so now — so long as he could have held the place there until Mr. 
Washburn could have written his dispatches. 

I^Ir. Washburn. Ho could not have held it two hours. 

Admiral GoDOX. I do not know anything about that. 

Mr. Washburn. I do ; I know. 

Admiral GrODON. As this is my evidence, I would like to have my own statement 
recorded. Captain Crosby held his place there for a time ; I think he coiUd have held 
it a little longer. Whether I was wrong as to the law or not, a thing had been done 
involving another protest, whether the protest was good or not. I was not satisfied; 
I am not now. But the matter did not result in anything; there were no consequences 
except this protest. I saw it was an amiable sort of thing ; it was kindly done ; it was 
evidently not a fierce afiair ; it was only a little grievance more. I was going beyond 
my orders. 

By Mr. Orth: 

Q. In what way? — ^A. I was sending Mr. Washburn up through the blockade; posi- 
tively beyond my orders. The contingency had not arrived when I was to send lum up. 

Q. You do not then regard the first refusal of the allies to permit him to go as giving 
you that right ? — ^A. I could not. 

Q. You had been informed of that refusal by Mr. Washburn ; you knew he had been 
refused? — ^A. I had nothing but my own instructions to go upon. 

Q. Were you not informed by Mr. Washburn that he had been reused permission to 
go up ? — ^A. Yes, sir ; but my orders were 

Q. You had that information from Mr. Washburn, had you not T — ^A. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Banes. The admiral seems to act upon this idea that the refusal was to be re- 
newed before he acted. 

l^Ir. Orth. But instructions were sent from the Navy and State Dex)artments here long 
before they were informed of any refusal. And when they reached Mr. Wa&^bum the 
refusal had already occurred. 

Mr. Wjixard. I understand the instructions were sent after tlie State Department 
had been informed of the refiisal. The letter was dated April 29. That was in answer 
to the letter of Mr. Washburn informing the State Department that he could not go up. 

Tlie Witness. I will read from the letter of Secretary Welles of April 26, as follows : 

" The hindering and delaying of Mr. Washburn on his return to Asuncion, of which 
you are doubtless fully advised, is considered an erroneous and unfriendly proceeding 
on the part of the allies at war with Paraguay ; explanations fr'om them are regarded 
as due to the United States, and they have accordingly been informed that if in future 
they should refuse to Mr. Washburn the facilities necessary for the promotion of his 
journey, an occasion will have occurred in which the dignity of his government must 
be consulted, so far as to furnish the minister the conveyance and convpy necessary, 
though possibly, at some cost and inconvenience. I am assured by the Secretary of 
State that yon are in no danger of being luisapprehended by him." 

I had such orders that I was required to really know what I was about. I am dis- 
tinctly informed in this letter that the delay is inconvenient, but that the President 
does not desire to consider it an unfriendly proceeding. I knew nothing of what Mr. 


Washburn had said to the go vemment of the United States, he never wrote one line to 
me. But he tells me that he had been refused a number of times. I knew that firom 
Mr. Welles^s instructions to me. But now Mr. Washburn is told exactly what to do, not 
to write a long letter, but simply and definitely what to do. And minute instructions 
are given to me. I read them, and as they were very plain and simple, I understood 
them perfectly. I look at the whole business this way, here are minute instructions. 
I do not know what Mr. Washburn has written to the State Department. His letters 
might have been diffdse and lon^. But here he was told to go and say so much, and 
that if they then refused we will break the blockade. Now I want no instructions 
more clear than that, and I will venture my reputation acting upon such instructions, 
because they are clear and safe. I am sorry to say that they are not such as are gen- 
erally given to naval officers. We are generally left in great doubt. ' But here the 
instructions were definite and clear. I never any more dreamed that I would have to 
explain away this thing than I dreamed of anything else. A navy man is brought up 
to obey orders in a certain way, with a certain something in the matter of taking re- 
sponsibilities ; some take none, others take a little more, so we go on. 

By Mr. Banes : 

Q. In your letter to Mr. Welles you quote certain words "in a certain contingency," 
what do you quote from ? — ^A. From Secretary Welles's letter. It is on that account 
when the thing was done and had reached a certain point, and I had gone beyond my 
instructions, for I had applied to my government for it, it is upon that account that I 
press tiiis thing. 

By Mr. Orth : 

Q. That is a responsibility incident to public service f — ^A. Certainly. But Captain 
Crosby did not act upon his orders. Now, whUe he attributed a little feeling to me, 
1 thought he had not acted intelligently. And when I had occasion to send up there 
again, I took good care to send the Wasp, Captain Kirkland. I was very cautious how 
I trusted him ; there was no trouble with Captain Kirkland. 

Q. You had no trouble about the other? — ^A. I had that protest, which was always 
upon my mind, until I sent it home, and knew what they were going to say there ; that 
was all. I did not know what Mr. Seward or Mr. Welles mignt say. Mr. Washburn 
says in his letter to me dated Buenos Ayres, August 8, 1866, as follows: 

" By the last mail from the United States, being then at Corrientes, I received a dis- 
patch from the Secretary of State, in which he informs me that the President is very 
much surprised at the course of the allied commanders in detaining me, as it is a pro- 
ceeding both discourteous and illegal. He also sent me a copy or a letter which the 
Hon. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy, had addressed to you, in which you are 
instructed to famish me with a war vessel and such convoy as might be necessary to 
take me to Paraguay. Copies of these two letters are inclosed herewith. 

" I had already anticipated the instructions of the Secretary of State, and had requested 
of the commander-in-chief of the allied armies a passage through their military lines 
for myself and family. But it has been persistently refused, and I therefore request 
you to provide me with a war vessel and the necessary convoy, in accordance with the 
instructions of the government." 

Mr. Washburn. Allow me to read an extract from my letter of October 1, 1868 : 

" I will add that after President Mitre had closed his correspondence with me and 
referred all further discussion in regard to my detention to his government and its allies, 
I had, on my return to this city, an interview with Sefior Elizalde, the minister for 
foreign affairs, and verbally represented to him the view taken in the matter by our 
government, and I afterwards sent him a copy of my protest to President Mitre, accom- 
panied hy a brief note, saying that such protest was reasserted and reiterated. Senoi 
Elizalde, in acknowledging the receipt of the note and the protest, said he would sub- 
mit them to the aUies of his government, since when I have received nothing, official 
or otherwise, from any of the allied authorities, so that you wiU see I have literally 
complied with the instructions of the Secretary of State in the dispatch before men- 
tioned, as far as it was possible for me to do so." 

The Witness. That was after Mr. Washburn had received my letter in which I said, 
" You have not complied with your instructions." I sent the gunboat on the 5th ; I 
had not then received his letter. On the 8th he writes to me and tells me just what he 
has been repeating, and goes on, " I will add that after President Mitre had closed his 
correspondence with me and referred all further discussion in regard to my detention 
to his government and its allies, I had, on my return to this city" — that was after 
receiving these very instructions. 

By Mr. Washburn : 

Q. What instructions ? — ^A. To make another demand. And then he first tells me he 
hfwl complied with his instructions. 

Q. Was I instructed to inform you how I had complied with my instructions ? — ^A. 
No. After all this matter was gone through with, I sent all these papers home, and 


then I receivefl a letter from the Secretary of the Navy, in which he informs me that I 
was all right. His letter is as follows : 

"Navy Department, 
" Washington^ December 26, 1866. 

" Sm : The Secretary of State has submitted to me for my information a copy of a 
correspondence which has lately taken place between IVfc. Washburn and the Depart- 
ment of State on the subject of our position with regard to the war between the allied 
powers and Paraguay. 

" Your comse in regard to Mr. Washburn meets the approbation of this department, 
and your instructions to Commander Crosby not to receive and transport on the Sha- 
mokm President Lopez or any other Paraguayan were correct. 

^' I inclose a copy of the dispatch dated the 15th instant &om the Secretary of State 
to Mr. Washburn. * ^ 

" Very respectfully, 

" Secretary of the Navy, 
" Rear-Admiral S. W. Godon, 

" Commanding South Atlantic Squadron, Bio de Janeiro," 

The following is the dispatch from the Secretary of State to Mr. Washburn : 

"No. 59. J "Department op State, 

" Washington, D. C, December 15, 1866. 

" Sm : Your dispatch of the 22d of October, No. 74, has been received. Your deter- 
mination to proceed to Asuncion in the manner therein mentioned is approved. The 
President sanctions the direction which was given by Admiral Godon to Commander 
Crosby of the Shamokin, not to convey or take on board any Paraguayan on his voyage 
to or from Asuncion. This government owes it to the belligerents, as well as to its own 
dignity, to abstain from everything which could be, or could even api>ear to be, a 
departure from neutrality in the unhappy contest which is going on between Paraguay 
and her allied enemies. You will be expected to conform your proceedings rigidly to 
the principle of non-interference. 

" I am, sir, your obedient servant, 


"CiiAitLES A. Washburn, Esq., ^*o., ^o., ^, Asuncion," 

1 had written to Mr. Welles and asked him to give me his opinion as to whether I 
had acted properly. 

By Mr. Banks: 

Q. There is no question about the correctness of your instructions to Captain Crosby 
not to allow Paraguayan officers to go up or down. But the point is that you did not 
as early as you ought, and when you ought, make efforts to transport Mr. Washburn to 
his post. What is your reason for that f As I understand it your reason was that your 
orders directed you to act upon a certain contingency which had not occurred ? — A. 
Yes, sir ; that was my reason, and here is the letter which closed the correspondence 
that I had with the department on the whole subject : 

" Navy Department, 
" Washington, February 1, 1867. 

" Sir : Your No. 132, dated the 10th of December last, with its several inclosures, has 
been received. 

" The department congratulates you on being finally relieved of the long, annoying 
trouble attending the passage of ^fr. Washburn to his destination. Your proceedings, 
views, and course pursued, under circumstances trying in many respects, are approved 
throughout, and have been creditable to you and the service. Your dispatches have 
been submitted to the Secretary of State, to whom Mr. Washburn has frequently appealed, 
and that gentleman has sent to the department an approving and complimentary letter, 
a copy of which is herewith transmitted. 
"Very respectfully, 

" Secretary of the i(avy, 
"Rear-Admiral Godon, 

" Commanding South Atlantic Squadron, Bio Janeiro," 

And this is the letter firom Mr. Seward to Mr. Welles, a copy of which I received : 

"Department of State, 

" Washington, January 28, 1867. 

" Sir : I have the honor to acknoTrledge the receipt of your letter of the 25th instant, 
accompanied by dispatch No. 132, of the 10th of December last, from Rear-Admiral S. 


W. Godon, commanding the Sonth Atlantic squadron, upon the subject of the convey- 
ance of ;Mr. Washburn, mmister to Paraguay, in the United States steamer Shamokin. 
" In compliance with your request for an expression of my views in regard to the 
course of Rear- Admiral Godon on the occasion referred to, I have the honor to state 
that, after a careful perusal of his dispatch and the accompanying papers, it seems to 
me that he executed the peculiarly delicate duty confided to him with firmness, pru- 
dence, and courtesy. 
" Ilie admiral's despatch is herewith returned. 

" I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant, 

" Hon. Gideon Welles, 

" Sect'etary of the Navy, 

And now I desire to say a word with reference to Minister Asboth. I would refer to 
his letter dated February 7, 1867 ; it is as follows : 

"Legation op the United States, 

" Bvenos Ayres, February 7, 1867. 

" Sm : In obedience to instructions received from our government, I have addressed 
an* official note to Senor Dr. Don Rufino de Elizalde, the Argentine minister for foreign 
affairs, relative to the good of&ces offered by the United States government toward the 
termination of the war which is waging between Paraguay on Sie one side, and Brazil, 
with the Argentine Republic and Uruguay, on the other ; and as the government of 
the United States has no diplomatic representative near the government of the Uruguay 
republic, I beg herewith to inclose a duplicate of the note above alluded to, with the 
request that you may be pleased to hand it to the Uruguay minister for foreign affairs, 
for the information and friendly consideration of the Uruguay republic — ^a republic 
whose interests are regarded by the people and government of the United States with 
the same sisterly affection as those of the Argentine confederation. 

" I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant. 


"Rear-Admiral S. W. Godon, U. S. N. 

" Commanding South Atlantic Squadron." 

As soon as I received this letter I took it for granted that it was all ri^ht. Mr. 
Asboth was accredited to the Argentine government. This was a conmiunication to 
the minister of foreign affairs of the Uruguayan government. There was a little sensi- 
tiveness on the part of the Uruguayan government because we did not recognize Gen- 
eral Flores as the President of Uruguay. I read the letter, and sent it to the govern- 
ment of Uruguay. I did not receive any answer to it, at which 'I felt a great deal 
annoyed, and was somewhat afraid that I had committed some indiscretion or other in 
sending it in that way. These offers of mediation to Brazil, Buenos Ayres, and Para- 
guay were sent through regularly accredited ministers. I let the government of Uru- 
guay understand— I sent word, or made some remark on the subject so that the foreign 
minister should hear — ^that I didn't feel comfortable at this ignoring of my letter. 
Some time afterwards I was invited to the house of a gentleman, where I met the sec- 
retary of state of Uruguay, who expressed his regret at not having answered my com- 
munication. He stated that th^ were preparing a letter to 1^. Seward, from whom 
they had received direct these offers of mediation. I found that I had been doing that 
which Mr. Seward had done himself. Soon afterwards I received a letter from Mr. 
Asboth, asking me to send a vessel to Paraguay with dispatches from the government, 
in which vessel he waa to go. I read my letter to the Navy Depaxtment on tiiat sub- 

"No. 159. "South Atlantic Squadron, 

"Uniteb States Flag-ship Brooklyn, (2d rate,) 
" Harbor of Montevideo, Uruguay , Februury 28, 1867. 

" Sir : On the 12th instant I received a letter from General Asboth, our minister to 
Buenos Ayres, inclosing a copy of the communication he had been directed by the Sec- 
retary of State to address to tne Argentine government, and requesting me to forward 
it to Mr. Flangini, the minister for foreign affairs, for the information of this govern- 

" The matter seemed a delicate one, but presuming that General Asboth had some 
direct instructions on the subject from Mr. Seward, I sent the document as desired, 
with a letter from myself to Mr. Flangini. 

" The receipt of that letter with its inclosure has not yet been officially acknowl- 
edged, but I have been informed by the minister for foreign affairs that he would reply 
to my communication, inclosing me a copy of his proposed answer to Mr. Seward, with 
whom he was in direct communication, on the same subject. 

"I confess I felt some embarrassment upon making this discovery, but was glad to 


leaiii that my letter inclosing the document from General Asboth had been received 
"with pleasiu'o. 

^' On the 18th I received another commonication from (General Asboth, asking for a 
man-of-war to be placed more or less at his disposal in order to send dispatches to 
Mr. Washburn, and to permit him (General A.) to proceed up the river for the pur- 
pose of holding a personal conference with Mr. Washburn. 

" I at once went to Buenos Ayres and had an interview with General Asboth. He 
Had received no instructions from our government on the subject, and I was not able 
to see any good result to be attained by placing him in Paraguay. 

^^ I felt that whatever influence he might have with the Argentine government would 
be materially lessened by his making a visit at this time to uxq enemy's country. 

" I have offered, however, to send a vessel up the river to the headquarters of the 
aJlied armies^ with a bearer of dispatches from General Asboth to Mi, Washburn. 
These dispatches had not arrived Irom Washington at the time General Asboth 
received ms instructions upon the subject of the proposed mediation of the United 

" This arrangement will not be objectionable to the allies, but I believe Mr. Asboth's 
visit would be looked upon unfavorably. 

^^ I am hourly expecting the mail from the United States, and should I receive no- 
thing by it to alter my determination I will send the Wasp up the river to-morrow. 

** Curing my stay of three days in Buenos Ayres, I found that the friendly offers 
made by our government to the belligerents for the settlement of this unfortunate war 
occupied the public mind quite as much as it does here, although it is difficult to know 
what direction things vdll take. 

"Peace is greatly desired by the people, if not by the government authorities. 
" I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

"S. W. GODON, 
" Bear^Admiraly Commanding South Atlantic Squadron, 

"Hon. Gideon Welles, 

" Secretary qf the Navy, Washington, D. CJ^ 

1 wont up to Buenos Ayres immediately upon the receipt of General Asboth's letter 
and there I saw him. I told him tliat, while I would send a vessel with the dispatches 
I did not -wish him to go npin it, that I did not wish to take him out of his jurisdiction 
into an enemy's cotmtry. We had a long conversation upon the subject; he did not 
seem to think it was wron^ to go. To be sure, he was going beyond his jurisdiction, as 
he admitted, but still he did not think that was wrong. 

By Mr. Orth: 

Q. He was going under direction of the resolution of Congress in regard to media- 
tion? — ^A. He was going, as he said, to confer with Mr. WashDum. 

Q. Under instructions based upon that resolution ? — ^A. There were no instructions, he 
told me. Mr. Asboth had no instructions whatever from the government to go to Para- 
guay ; he was very frank in saying so; that his instructions were to present the resolu- 
tions of Congress to tlie Argentine government. We differed, but we differed amicably, 
as far as that was concerned. I leit with the distinct understanding that I would send 
a vessel as soon as I could. I asked him whom he would like to send as bearer of dis- 
patches ; ho said he did not care. I told him I preferred that an officer should ^o rather 
than a civilian. He said that was a matter of indifference. I selected Captam Kirk- 
land to go and take the dispatches. I then wrote to the department on the subject as 

"No. 163.] " South ATLAiiiTic Squadron, 

"Unttbd States Flag-ship Brooklyn, (2d rate,) 

"JETarJor of Montevideo, March 9, 1867. 

"Sir: In my letter No. 159, dated February 28,^ informed the department that I had 
received a communication from General Asboth, (a copy of which. No. 1, is herewith 
inclosed,) asking for a vessel to be placed at his disposal in order to proceed up the river 
for the purpose of holding a personal conference with Mr. Washburn. 

" I replied^ the generaPs letter by stating that I would send the Wasp with an officer 
of the squadron as bearer of dispatches from the government, as well as any he might 
have to transmit, but I did not answer his communication in detail. 

" On the 1st infant, I sent the above-named vessel, with such instructions to her com- 
manding officer. Lieutenant Commander Kirkland, as will cover the object in view. A 
copy of these orders. No. 2, 1 herewith inclose. 

"As I have not complied with the request of a public minister, and the general (as 
appears in his letter to me) has informed the State Department that he was abotit to 
make the application above referred to, I deem it proper to acquaint the department 
with my reasons for declining. 

" The friendly offers of mediation made by the United States to the allies were placed 
by our government in the distinct form of propositions which were to be presented to 



Brazil, the Argentine Republic, and Paiagnfty, by the yarions ministers occiedited to 
those respective goyemments. They were also sent, it seems, in due form to the Republic 
of Uruguay by lor, Seward himself as we have no minister near this provisional govern- 

'^ I could see no object to be gained by sending our minister at the Argentine Republic 
to Paraguay, and I knew the suspicious character of these riparian state governments 
well enough to feel assured that such a mission would be usurious to any hope of good 
results from our offer of mediation. 

'^Another reason which influenced me in m^ action was the feelin^r I had that I mighl^ 
be called upon with equal propriet v by our minister at Rio to take him to Buenos Ayres, 
or after General Asboth had finished his visit to Paraguay, the resident minister at 
Asuncion might find that he wanted to confer with General Webb, at Rio, and would 
also need a man-of-war for the purpose; neither of which requests could be graciously 
refused, if the precedent were estaolished in the case of General Asboth. 

"When General Asboth asked to be taken to Paraguay to confer with Mr. Washburn, 
he had not even received a reply to the propositions made by the United States to Hie 
Argentine government. 

" Each state can, of course, decline or accept the offers of our government, and if Para- 
gjuay and the allies reject them, I cannot conceive that our minister can do more than 
simply transmit such rejection to Washington. 

^* The moment General Asboth should have left his official post, his rights and protec- 
tion as minister would have ended, and he would have been hable to annoyances which, 
in his position, might have seemed like indignities. I therefore thought it &r better to 
send an officer from the squadron to bear the dispatches, if the matter was reduced to 
that, simply. 

"These are some of the reasons that induced me not to permit the Wasp to take Gen- 
eral Asboth to Paraguay, as he desired. 

"It is never pleasant to decline co-operation with our diplomatic agents, but I feel 
that my own judgment should govern me when it is at variance with uiat of any other 
public officer. 

" My intercourse with General Asboth has always been very pleasant, and if we have 
disagreed on this point, the difference has in no way altered our friendly relations^ 
"I am, sir, very respectfolly, your obedient servant, 

" S. W. GODON, 
*^ Bear-AdnUrdl, Ckmmanding South Atlantic Squadron, 

"Hon. Gideon Wkjxes, 

** Secretary of the Navy, Waakhifftony D. CJ* . 

By Mr. Banks: 

Q. Did you ever have any conversation with the Brazilian minister in regard to 
General Asboth visiting that government f — ^A. Before this f 

Q. Yes, sir. — ^A. I mentionea in a previous letter that I had called upon the Brazilian 
minister. When I was talking with General Asboth on this subject I said to him that 
I had not seen the minister, and did not know anything about him. When I decided 
that under my ideas of propriety Mr. Asboth could not go, I said to him, "General, I 
wish you would see the Brazilian minister, and mention to him that this vessel is going 
up with dispatches; and I think they will render us all the assistance we can possibly 
want." General Asboth said he had never met the minister. I said, " He is here, I 
know, and I will fi;o around and see him, and tell him of these dispatches being sent 
up ; but you had better do it yourself, and also tell the Argentine government here that 
wo are going, and they may send something up : at all events, it wDl be pleasant to have 
them understand it.'' He asked me to see the Brazilian minister. I intended to have 
gone anyhow. I saw the minister and told him that I was going to send up a vessel 
with dispatches. He said at once, "Why, admiral, we will send up your dispatches.'' 
I answered that we wanted them to^o up at once, and that there had been some delays 
in these matters. He seemed rathCT to prefer that the vessel should not go up, and 
urff ed that I should not send it. I said that I had made up my mind to send the vessel. 

Q. Had you any conversation with him about General Asboth's goin^ upf — A. No, 
sir; I do not remember that that subject came up at all. The conversation which took 
plaice with General Asbotii took place iu his dining room; there were two»or three per- 
sons present— his secretary, who was an Englishman, and some other persons; I had no 
.conversation on the subject. He knew penectly well before I went up there what I 
thought about it. It possibly may have been mentioned that he was going up, but I 
have no recollection of any conversation of that kind taking place. I wanted to make 
a pleasant impression upon his mind in regard to the vessel goinff up, in order that he 
might assist me in what I was going to do. General Mitre had been withdrawn from 
the command of the iUUes, and a Brazilian was in command there. He assured me that 
he would be very happy at all times to take any of these dispatches. I said I was very 
much obliged and should "avail myself of your offers in the friture." The vessel was 
sent up. The following is a copy of the order I gave to Captain Eirkland : 


''Uktied States Soxtth Atlantic Squadron, 
^^Flag-Mp Brooklyny Marhar of Montevideo^ Marek 1, 1867. 

" Sm: Proceed with the Wasp nnder your command to Buenos Ayres. 

'* Yon wOI at once inform our minister. General Asboth, of yonr arrival there, and 
liand him the inclosed letter. General AsDoth will place in your charge dispatches for 
the Hon. Charles A. Wa^bum, our resident minister at Asuncion, in Paraguay. 

*^ Having received these dispatches, you will at once make the best of your way up 
the Parana to Tuyuti, the present headquarters of the allied armies. There, or at any 
other point named to you by the commander of the blockading squadron, you will com- 
municate with the commanding general of the allies, acquainting him with your mission, 
and requesting him to ^ve you, as bearer of dispatches from the government of the 
United States to its minister in Paraguay, a free passage and a proper escort through 
his lines. 

''On reaching Mr. Washburn you will deliver to him the dispatches intrusted to you, 
and inform him that you will remain a reasonable time to receive any communication 
that he may have to send to our government or to General Asboth. It would be well 
to keep always in mind that the presence of a neutral vessel of war is never agreeable 
to belligerents in the midst of active war operations, and your good sense must be 
exercised in remaining beyond what might be considered a reasonable time to obtun 
any return communications. 

'' Impress upon the commander of the allied armies in the field that it is my wish and 
orders that you remain the shortest possible time at Tuyuti; and at all events, before 
leaving, obtain from him assurances that he will forward any dispatches to our minister 
at Buenos Ayres, brought from Bir. W. by flag of truce, as early as possible. 

''I need hardly say to you how important it is that you shomd observe the most rigid 
neutra^l^ in all your ac1» and movements. Receive no one on board going or returning. 

'^ I wisn you would call on Mr. Brito, the ambassador of the Emperor of Brazil, and 
offer your services to taHod up anything he has to send to General Caxias. This you had 
better do through General Akboth. 

'' Duties such as yon are about to perform are always d^cate, and require prudence. 
It is because I have this confidence in you that I send yonr vesseL 

«I widi you a pleasant time, and hope to see you back soon. 

«S. W. GODON, 
^^lEiear-Admraly Commanding South Atlantic Squadron, 

'^ Lieut. Com. W. A. Eireland, U. S. N., 

* " Commanding united States Steamer WodpJ^ 

Q. In General Asboth's letter dated March 23, he says that on the 3d of Mareh he 
wrote to Minister Elizalde for a safe-conduct for Lieutenant Commander Eirkland to 
go up to Paraguay, and that on the 8th instant he received it. Then he says: ^'I 
at once informed Lieutenant Commander Eirkland of this result, but as it was my 
original intention, besides the exchange of official dispatches with Mr. Washburn, 
to have also a personal interview with mm, and as neither of the three letters received 
from you contained anj direct answer touching this my desire, I deemed it proper to 
request Commander Eirkland to inform me whether his special instructions from you 
were in any way conflicting with my intention to meet Mr. Washburn in person. Com- 
mander Eirkland in his reply, received on the 9th instant, stated that 'his instructions 
only require him to carry dispatches.'" Why did you not communicate with General 
Asboth by letter f— A. I had seen him and tola him what I would do. 

Q. He says your letters did not japve him any direct answer.— A. I do not know any- 
thing about that. It seems that I cud not answer him in a letter, but I distinctly informed 
him that he was not to go in the vessel. 

Q. In a letter of Mr. Washburn to Mr. Seward, dated March 12, 1867, he writes as fol- 
lows : '' One of my first inquiries of the Marquis de Caxias was for news from the United 
States, as I had Imd nothing later than October. But I learned that nothing for me had 
been sent here since December. The marquis told me, however, that he had received 
a letter from Buenos Ayres saying that General Asboth nad made an effort to communi- 
cate with me, and had proposed to come up the river on a man-of-war, but that theJ^ 
(the authors of the letter,) alter a coniidential understanding with Admiral Godon, had 
so arranged it that he was not to come, but instead of him an ensign from the squadron was 
to be sent. I will make no comment on these confidential interviews of the admiraL" — 
A. That is not true; there was no confidential interview with him at all, it was a plain 
statement of fsucts, and everybody knew that Mr. Asboth was not goin^ up, that I had 
told him so on my first interview with him. On landing I went straig[ht to General 
Asboth and told mm distinctly that I could not take him up, and gave him my reasons. 
And I wiU state here one of the reasons I gave him at the time ; I had seen nobody 
about it. I went up, I tlunk, the day after I received lus letter and told him positively 
that he was not to go. We had a creat deal of conversation upon the matter, and 
ho seemed to think &at he would like to go ; he ssud he thought he could do a great 


deal of ^ood. I said, "General, I know about these things, I think, as well as yon; I 
know ol no conference that ever took place between accredited ministers to foreign 
countries on subjects which belonged to belligerents, except one, and that was the con- 
ference of Ost«nd, and we know peifectly well what was the result of that. Mr. Buchanan, 
Mr. Soul6, and Mr. Mason were found in the ranks of our enemies when the rebellion 
took place.'' That was the reply I made to him when he urged me to let him ^ up. 
Now conferences between ministers are subjects that I do not want to meddle with. 

Q. Do you suppose if a minister in London wanted to consult with our minister in 
Paris, a naval omcer would have the right to refuse any accommodation to them for that 
purpose? Is a naval officer responsible for that?— A. As I was to take the responsibility 
of sending Mr. Asboth out of lus jurisdiction in a man-of-war, I considered that I had 
the right to judge something of the matter. 

Q. m the letter of I^Ir. Washburn from which I have just read, reference is made to 
confidential interviews which you had with officers out there and a confidential under- 
standing. You say there was no confidential understanding? — ^A. None at all. I saw 
General Asboth and settled that matter. 

Q. It is not with General Asboth, but with other parties that this confidential under- 
standing^ was supposed to havo been had? — ^A. I saw .General Asboth on that day and 
proposed to him to see Mr. Brito, the Brazilian minister. After settling with Mr. 
Asboth that he was not to go, I went to seo Mr. Brito not only with the knowledge of 
General Asboth, but at his request. In that conversation I told him I was going to 
send the Wasp. 

Q. That is not an answer to the question. On the 23d of March General Asboth says 
that he had had three letters from you and had received no answer to his request; then, 
that he asked Commander Kirkland, who replied that his instructions only required 
him to carry dispatches. On the 12th of March Mr. Washburn writes to Mr. Seward 
that the Marquis deCaxias had told him that you had had confidential interviews with 
him on that subject? — ^A. That is not true; it is false in every respect. I never had 
a confidential communication with Mr. Brito that I know of. 

Q. Or any other person ? — ^A. I mean anybody or any person. 

Q. Creneral Webb says in a letter to Mr. Seward dated August 24, 1866: " The conver- 
sation terminated in his placing in my hands the inclosed letter, marked B, which is as 
follows: ' 

'Private.] 'Rio de Janeiro, Augwt 21, 1866. 

* My Deab General: I am sorry to see by your letter of yesterday that you are still 
unwell, and hope that you may soon recover. 

' With regard to Mr. Washburn's case, I must inform you that interviews which took 
place between Admiral Godon, Mr. Lidgerwood, Mr. Saraiva, and myself, were expressly 
understood to be entirely private and confidential.' '' 

A. I am referring to a year afterwards. 

Q. General Asboth at the close of his letter of March 23, 1867, writes as follows: ''In 
conclusion, I beg leave to inform you that my report to the State Department, relative 
to the above subject, was concluded as follows: 'Although I feel well assured that the 
admiral is actuated, as I am, by the same sincere desire to promote the best interests 
of our government^ nevertJieless I deem it proper, while submitting without farther 
comment our confiicting views to your decision, to request at the same time that you 
may be pleased to define, for my ftiture guidance, the reciprocal duties and obligations 
incumbent on ministers resident and admirals abroad under similar circumstances."' — 
Did you understand that this extract which he sent to you was sent for the pur- 
pose of informing you that you did not understand your business? — ^A. I understood it 
exactly as I stated, that General Asbotii had informed me first that he had written to 
the department and had sent me that extract, which was about the same as telling me 
that I did not know my business. 

Q. Would you under any circumstances have made that reply to General Asboth that 
the information' was sent to you for the purpose of informing you that in his opinion you 
did not know your business?— A. I did not make that reply. 

. Q. Would you have made it under anjr circumstances? — ^A. After the conversation 
had taken place in which I had said to him that I knew my own responsibilities and 
that he had his responsibilities, I considered his sending me that extract wi^out 
sending me the whole letter was simply equivalent to letting me know that at all 
events he had no confidence whatever m my understanding my position there. He 
came out to the country on the Sunday after I told him he could not go and urged me 
again. He said, " Admiral, I will take aU the responsibility." I said to him, " (^neral, 
do you wish me to understand that your making this request implies some order, some- 
thing that I must do?" "No," he said, he did not mean that. "Then," said I, "where is 
the relief from responsibility on my part? If you lay the matter before me and I am 
to judge of it, then you cannot relieve my responsibility in the matter. If there is any- 
thing in the request that conveys an order to me, then I must do it and my responsi- 
bility is relieved." 


Q. What was the business of a fleet there in time of peace f— A. To protect our com- 
merce, to render assistance to our merchants, to aid our ministers, and to do all that 
possibly could be done in every way where our judgment led us to suppose anything 
could be done. 

Q. Here the minister makes a spedflc request to you which you refuse or decline ? — 
A. I declined to do it positively, and I ^ave my reasons. 

Q. Those reasons do not appear in this correspondence f— A. I did not write them. I 
told him what my reason was. 

Q. It appears £*om these documents that Mr. Asboth had received three letters from 
you in which there was no allusion to his request ; that he obtained an answer from your 
subordinate officer? — ^A. No, sir; he got it fiom me in a very emphatic manner; that 
was when he first asked it. He wrote to me and I immediately went up without delay 
and told him in the most emphatic manner that he could not go. And I wrote to the 
government here that I had revised this request of Mr. Asboth. 

Q. Does it not require some explanation tbat the Marquis de Caxias should have said 
on the 12th of March that this arrangement by which General Asboth was refused a 
passage up the river, and an ensign £rom the squadron sent in his place, should have 
been known to the people there ; and that on the 23d of March, eleven days after, Gen- 
ersd Asboth should write to you saying that he had never heard from you upon this 
subject T— A. No, sir ; because on the 28th of February I had seen Mr. Asboth and had 
declined to let mm go. I at onc^ went to Buenos Ayres and had an interview with 
Greneral Asboth. It was well known in March that he was not to go ; there was no 
doubt at all in General Asbotii's mind upon that subject ; it was known everywhere. 
I did not send an ensign. I asked Mr. Asboth whom he wanted me to send, and said 
that I would be afraid to send a civilian. He said, send anybody. I sent Captain 
Kirkland, not an ensisn. 

Q. Mr. Asboth says ne received information of your determination from Lieutenant 
Commander Kirkland f — A. I told him exactly what I would do. I told him distinctly 
this, ^' I will send the Wasp up, and Captain Kirkland, who i^eaks the language, will 
bear the dispatches.'' The matter was settled some time in February ; I do not know 
what day. But there Is certainly a letter written in Buenos Ayres, and why it is not 
here among these documents I do not know. It is a letter to General Asboth, in which 
I told him positively that I would not write on Sunday, but gave him to understand 
that I would send the Wasp and a bearer of dispatches. 

Q. Do you regard that as important f— -A. No, sir; not at all; only as saying that 
there was a letter. It is of no importance beyond the fact that the letter was sent, and 
that he understood my views distinctly that he was not to go. After that I saw the 
Brazilian minister and told him that I was going to send a vessel. 

Q. You would make it appear that you were under no obligation to him as a foreign 
minister T— A. I said distinctly, "It is never pleasant to decline co-operation with our 
diplomatic agents; but I feel that my own judgment should govern me when it is at 
variance with that of any other pubUo officer.^' 

Q. That confirms the idea. You write to the Navy Department, you had no connec- 
tion with any other department of the government and are under no obligation to 
accommodate any officer of the government, even in that distant part of the world? — 
A. I do not say that. 

Q. I know you do not say that. — ^A. I say that where our judgments are at variance, 
we are both to act on our individual responsibilities. If I befieve what he wants me 
to do is not a proper thing for me to do I will act entirely on my own responsibility ; 
and I am as liable to censure for the &ilure of my judgment in that respect as in any 

Q. It does not matter to us whether your action is approved or disapproved by the gov- 
ernment ; what we want to know is that you were right. — ^A. What I say is this : It the 
request of the minister conveyed to me inmrmation of a fact upon whicn I was author- 
ized to act, I must act upon it. If there was no minister there, and I obtained 
information of that fact, I would act upon it just the same; if there is a minister 
there, I do not think it relieved me from the responsibility. 

Q. That is, you were under no obligation to consider the request of a minister any 
more than of any other citizen of the United States ?— A. His official position would always 
have certain influence with me. 

Q. Very slight, apparently.— A. Not at all ; supposing the minister was a man in 
whose judgment I, hsid confldence. Now, if Mr. Adams, or any man like him, should, 
as a minister, make a request of me, I should probably act upon it ; but, unfortunately, 
all our ministers are not like Mr. Adams. 

Q. You say that you would do the same for any other person that you would for 
himt — ^A. I would act upon a credible fact that came to my knowledge, whether from 
a minister or any other person ; anything that I could really believe was right I would 
do. A minister can have his interest and his biases, and I hope I do not say anything 
disrespectful when I say that a minister may err in judgment. I am responsible for 


anything tliat I take aponthe jadgmentof a minister ; I would hold myself in no man- 
ner relieved from responsibility b^anse the matter had come £rom a minister. 

Q. What we want to know is as regards the other departments of the goyemment ? — 
A. If snch a man as ^. Adams were to pnt a question of this kind before me I should 
be very doubtful as to going contrary to Ids oninion. If Mr. Seward was a minister 
there. I should be very cautious in differing witn him, or with any one in whom I had 
confidence as to his Judgment of what I was goiuf^ to undertake. I think it is about 
what we do in all responsible positions. I consider that my responslbiUties are very 
serious. I have a ^reat deal of confidence in my own judgment, after I have deliber- 
ated upon a question, and where I was to be entirely responsible for my own acts I 
would rather trust to my jud||^ment. This matter has been oefore the department ; I 
wrote to them and statea that I consider^ that I was responsible myself u>r my action 
in that case. 

Q. And the department approved your action?— A. More than that; Mr. Seward 
wrote a letter of inslxuctions on the subject. 

Q. Is that letter here f— A. I do not find it. 

Q. It would be very strange if the Secretary of State instructed a minister that he 
had no right to call on a naval officer for assistance. — ^A. Here is a letter of Secretary 
WeUes, in which reference is made to that letter, and from that you may get some idea : 

" Navy Departmkkt, 

" Washington, May 25, 18^. 

''Sir: Tour dispatches 170 and 174, under date of April 1st and April 4th, respect- 
ively, have been received, with the copies of the correspondence with Minister Asboth. 
The course pursued by you in declining to furnish that gentleman a passage on the 
Wasp, to visit Mr. Washburn, is entirely approved. His request to tlie Secretary of 
State, of which he furnished you a cop^, to be informed as to the reciprocal duties and 
obligations incumbent on mimsters resident and admirals abroad, has been complied 
with, and he informed that while it is important that the civil and naval representa- 
tives of the government abroad should cultivate and maintain social and friendly rela- 
tions, and that they mutually aid and assist each other in all matters which relate to the 
interest of the government, neither has authori^ to control or direct the otiier. He 
and other minist^s receive their orders from the Secretary of State, while the naval 
officers derive tiieirs from the Secretary of the Navy. 

'' This letter of the Secretary of State will doubtless correct certain erroneous opin- 
ions which appear to have prevailed among some of the officisds within the limits of 
the South Atlantic squadron who have labored imder the impression that naval officers 
are subject to their orders and that naval vessels are to be used for their convenience. 

'' The department embraces the occasion to express its gratification with the cour- 
tesy and intelligence, as well as firmness, you have exhibited in the management and 
disposition of l^ese singular but mistaken demands upon you. 
" Yery respectful^, 

" Secretary of the Navy. 

"Bear-Admiral S. W. Godon, 

" Commanding South Atlantic Squadron/^ 

Q. General Asboth declined to give you any order f— A. Certainly; he said he would 
take the responsibility. But if a minister cannot give me an order I must take the 
responsibility on my own shoulders. 

Q. I wiU read you what Mr. Seward says in reply to General Asboth's inquiry : 
" I think proper, therefore, to say on this occasion that, in regard to so distant a 
theater as that in which the Paraguayan war is carried on, it is not possible for the 
government of the United States to foresee distinctly at any time the mtnre course of 
military and political events, and so to anticipate possible emergencies. For these 
reasons it is inconvenient to give specific instructions for the government of either its 
political representatives or its naval agents in regard to meirefy possible contingencies. 
Powers concerning political questions, as distinguished firom naval afiiurs, are intrusted 
to the care of the ministers of the United States, and the President's instructions are 
communicated by this department. Responsibilities of a peculiar chmtracter are 
devolved upon the commander of the squadron, and the President's instructions are 
conveyed throu|[h the Navy Department. It seldom happens that political and naval 
instructions/ which may bear upon such mere contiuffencies. are in fact or practically 
can be harmonized between the two departments, each of which generally holds under 
eurv^ a peculiar and limited field and l^iows of no si>ecial occasion to look beyond 
that field. If in any case it is foreseen that co-operation between a minister and a 
naval connnander would be practicable and useful, that co-operation is distinctiy com- 
manded by the President, n, howevei^ it is not foreseen that such co-operation would 
be practicable and necessary, or useful, the a^ent of each class is necessarily left to 
proceed according to his own discretion, withm the range of the general instructions 
he has received from tiie department under which he is employed. It ib expected that. 


ia the a1)8ence of infitmetions, the agents of the two classes^ if practicable^ will confer 
toother and i^ree in any unforeseen emergencies which may arise, and in regard to 
which no specific instmetions for the common direction of both may have been given 
by the Present."— A. Will you please read a little forther on in that letter. 

Mr. Banks read as follows : 

'^ There is no subordination <tf the minister to the commander of a squadron and no 
subordination of the commander of a squadron to a minister. It is always unfortunato 
that agents of the two classes are not able to agree upon a course to be adopted in an 
unforeseen emergency. But that inconyenience is less thiui the inconveniences which 
must result from giving authority to a minister in one state to control the proceedings 
of a fleet, of whose condition he is not necessarily well informed, and whose prescribed 
services are required to be performed, not onlg in the vicinity of the minister, but also 
in distant fields over which he has no supervision. Nor would it be more expedient to 
give a general authority to the commanding officer of a squadron to control or super- 
sede the proceedings of political representatives of the United States in the several 
states which he might have occasion to visit. 

** You have no special instructions from this department to seek or hold an interview 
with the minister at Paraguay. Such a proceeding would have been exceptional, and 
Admiral Godon seems to have regarded it in that light. Your effort, nowever, is 
regarded as judicious and is approved as an exceptional proceeding, not within the 
customary range of your diplomatic duties, but altogether outside of that rauge. On 
the other hajid, the President sees no reason to doubt that Admiral Godon's proceeding, 
in declining to favor such a personal interview, was loyal and patriotic ; nor does he 
perceive any reason for thinking it iiijudicious or unwise on his part, before deciding 
upon that matter, to confer with the Brazilian agents at Buenos Ayres.'' 

The WiTMESS. No, I did not confer with them. That letter was written to General 
Asboth and Mr. Washburn because they had reported these things. 

Q« I will read on ; the letter x»?oceeds as follows : 

" It is not every sinister misconstruction of a public officer's proceedings that is to be 
received and entertained by the government. It is even now imiK>B8ible, with all the 
information of which the government is possessed, to determine which party— -your- 
self or the admiral — ^practiced the wisest and soundest discretion in the matter referred 
to. Meantime the emergency has passed, and the question has become an abstraction. 

''While, therefore, your own proceedings are approved, those of Admiral Godon are 
not disapproved. In all such cases it is eminently desirable that mutual confidence 
shall be maintained between the ministers and the naval authorities, that they co-ope- 
rate where they can agree, and that they suffer no difference of honest and loyal judg- 
ment to produce alienation. 

" I have now to inform you that, without any reference to the subject which I have 
thus considered, Bear-Adnural Charles H. Davis has been heretofore ordered to sail 
from Boston in the Guerriere, to relieve Rear- Admiral Godon in command of the South 
Atlantic squadron. The Guerriere is expected to sail on the Ist of June, or within a 
few days hereafter, and the transfer of nags will be made at Bio early in July. Rear- 
Admiral Godon will return to the United States in the Brooklyn, his present flag-ship. 
'' I am, sir, your obedient servant, 


'< Alexander Asboth, Esq., ^c, ^o., ^o.^ 

Now, in a question arising in South America, concerning political matters and 
distinguished entirely from naval affairs, the political matters oeing intrusted entirely 
to ministers, and the President's instiuctions being conveyed to them through tibe 
Dgpurtment of State, you considered yourself authorized to pass judgment upon those 
pontictfd matters f — ^A, No, sir. 

Q. This was a political matter and you declined to act as the minister desired, and 
because you did not think it wise for him to go f — A. Because he was to go in a man- 

Q. You did not think it proper to assist him f — ^A. The only thing I wished was, not 
to t^e a minister firom the government to which he was accredited and place him in 
another country where he might find himself in great difficulties and where I could not 
offer him any protection. I would have to take the responsibility on myself of send- 
ing him up tnere in a man-of-war without any authority. Of course he could go as he 
pleased; I had no influence upon that. But the government dispatches were things 
which were to be carried, and I would do all that I could to have them carried. And 
I thought those people there would be pleased by my goin^ to see the Brazilian 
minister ; and as this uiing might be occurrmg often I went to him and offered to carry 
up his dispatches, as I mi^t have to ask the same thing of him some time. I do not 
think they are generally sent that way ; I never sent them so at any other time. It is 
to be remarked in this connection that there was a great deal oz excitement there. 
Those people were indignant at some things. Mr. Asboth was considered as pressing 
the resolutions of Congress very much. Sistead of taking the answer of the govern- 
ments he persisted in urging it, and I know that eventually they became offended. I 
saw a letter of the minister in which he said that he considered their sovereignty had 



"been interfered with by his nrging tliis thing beyond the bounds of propriety. There- 
fore, while I had my own notions and my own ideas, the moment the matter came fairly 
before me and I was to act, I followed my own jnd^ent in the matter. 

Q. Yon did not decide npon it as a naval question, but as a political question? — ^A. 
No. sir. 

Q. You say in your letter ''I felt that whatever influence he might have with the 
Argentine government would be materially lessened by his making a visit at this time 
to the enemy's coimtry f '— A. That is one of my reasons. 

Q. You were deciding political questions f — A. No, sir; I cannot control the way I 

Q. But you were thinking there in the line of the State Department ? — ^A. I thought 
for the best interests of the service whether naval or otherwise. As naval oflSlcers, edu- 
cated in a certain way with our minds turned in a certain direction, we must, of course, 
form our own opinions, and they will at times be at variance with others. 

Q. TMs is the only reason you have given that his influence with the Argentine gov- 
ernment would be lessened by his m£udng a visit to the enemy's country. And you 
say ''this arrangemenf'-^that is, sending a bearer of dispatches — ''this arrangement 
will not be objectionable to the allies, but I believe Mr. Asboth's visit would be looked 
upon unfavorably f " — ^A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Does not that confirm the letter of Mr. Washburn of the 4th of March? — ^A. I told 
Mr. Asboth that the moment I saw him ; that I believed it would be looked upon with 
suspicion, and that when he came back his eocequatur would be granted. 

Q. That was purely political? — A. Well, I had to send a vesseL 

Q. Jn this report to the Secretary of the Navy you did not make any allusion to its 
effect upon the squadron, but your reason was wnolly political. And Mr. Welles says 
that he expects political questions will be decided by the ministers ? — ^A. They are 
pretty weU mixed sometimes. * • ** 

Mr. WnxARD. As I understand it the Secretary says that he finds no fault with the 
conduct of Admiral Godon. 

The Witness. You are reasoning this as lawyers. I am a naval officer and proud 
to be one. I reason this as a naval man educated in his profession. 

By Mr. Banes : 

Q. That is what we complain of. If you had said this, the squadron cannot be put 
to this use, or it is not safe for a vessel to go there, or had given any reason pertaining 
to the naval situation, that would have been right. But here you went into the line 
of the State Department. — ^A. I was not writing this to the State Department but to 
the Navy Department. Here is a passage in Mr. Seward's letter which I trust you will 
not overlook in judging of my views of the matter: he writes to Mr. Asboth, "you had 
no special instructions from this department to seek or hold an interview with the 
mimster at Paraguay." 

Q. That is imderstood. — ^A. Then if he had no instructions to do that, and was going 
beyond his instructions, and I was to aid him in going beyond those instructions, then 
I was to reason upon the matter also. Mr. Seward says " such a proceeding would have 
been exceptional, and Admiral Godon seems to have regarded it in that Ught." Now 
how was the minister to go beyond his instructions ? He was to do so by calling upon 
another man to put him in a vessel of war and to send him into another jurisdiction. 
Now I was to bo responsible altogether for any trouble that might arise in consequence 
of that. 

Q. That is what we complain of, that the Navy Department assumes to be the gov- 
ernment, and declines to ^ant aid to any other department of the government in doing 
anything ? — ^A. They wiU if no trouble results from it. Thef e is another part of Mr. 
Seward's letter to which I would call the attention of the committee. Referring to this 
very matter of Brazilian agents, he states distinctly " it is not every sinister miscon- 
struction of a public officers proceedings that is to be received and entertained by the 
government." That was in connection with this very observation which was thrown 
out at random, and where I think a great ii^justice was done me by both ministers. 
Mr. Asboth should have informed me of that iDart of his communication. And when he 
did not inform mo of that, but simply sent me a little note that he had asked what my 
instructions were and whit our positions were, I thought he was taking a very quiet 
diplomatic but unmistakable way of telling me that I did not know much about what 
my business was. That is the only unkind passage between Mr. Asboth and myseli*. 

By Mr. Orth : 

Q. Is there any further statement which you desire to make ? — ^A. There is a passage 
in a letter from General Webb, where he was pleased to drag me in. Here is a letter 
from the minister of foreign affairs to General Webb, when they were urging the secoud 
time a passage of the Wasp up through the line. It seems they had offered to let 
him go through the military lines, the same offer tiitat had T»een made before, but they 
objected to a vessel being sent up to take him down, because it would break the block- 
ade, and he makes this remark : 

"Those reasonable means, which would have reconciled, in a most dignified and 


effective manner, the rights of the allies with the wishes of both Messrs. Washburn and 
Kirkland, were rejected by those gentlemen^ who continue to insist in exacting a per- 
mission offensive to the sovereign rights of the said iJlies. 

^'One of the least of the inconveniences which would happen through satisfying the 
reqiiest of Lieutenant Eirkland and Mr. Washburn would evidently be the nullification 
of the whole of the blockade established in Faraway by the allies, who would be laying 
themselves open to the reception of similar exactions from any other nation which might, 
under any pretext, demand a like privilege for its ships. 

^^'So true is this, and so worthy of consideration in view of the consequences, on the 
port of Mendly piowers, that Aomiral Godon himself, in 1866, when the passage of Mr. 
Washburn to raragnay^ was in treaty, was the first to admit, merely begipug in his 
request for the permitting of the passage up the river to Asuncion of the said Minister 
Washburn, that it should be done in any way which would harmonize with the dignity 
of the United States and have been most convenient to Brazil and its allies ; further 
desiring that Mr. Washburn might be helped forward to his destination either by land 
or by water without placing any obstacle in his way." 

By Mr. Banks : 

Q. That is undoubtedly a reason for them f — ^A. Tes, sir, and a verv good one. It is 
the law that one vessel going up through a blockade would break tne blockade, as it 
wouldgive a reason for all vessels to go up. 

Q. What I speak about is a naval officer settling these^matters. — A. That has no rela- 
tion to this subject now j[ I merely quote this passage where he said I had admitted that 
such was the case. Mr. Webb afterwards writes to Mr. Souza as follows : 

''Your excellency next quotes Rear-Admiral Godon, then commanding the United 
States South Atlantic squadron, as fully justifying the action of the allies iii 1868. So 
correct is this, says your excellency, 'that Admiral Godon himself, in 1866, when the 
passage of Mr. Washburn to Paraguay was ill treaty, was the first to admit it, merely 
begging in his re<][uest the passage of Mr. Washburn, and that he might be helped 
forward to his destination either by land or hy water^ without placing any obstacle in his 
way. This is just what the Marquis de Caxias desired to effect in the present instance, 
had he not been denied the option.' 

"It is no news to the imdersigned that in 1866 Admiral Godon, having quarrelled 
with the three United States ministers, in the river Plate— General Asboth, Mr. Wash- 
bum, and Governor Kirk — and with the consuls of the United States at Buenos Ayres 
and Montevideo, instead of simply obeying orders and ftirnishin^ the United States 
vessel, which Mr. Washburn was authorized to demand, to take him to Asuncion, did 
all in his power to prevent Mr. Washburn's having such conveyance, and on one occa- 
sion actu£uly went north from this port instead oi south, apparently to avoid receiving 
the contemplated application.^' 

Now, it is not true that I had quarrelled with three United States ministers, and the 
consuls of the United States were my friends. I said that it should be done in a way 
that should harmonize with the dignity of the United States, and be most convenient 
to the Brazilian government and ito allies. 

Q. It is perfectly just for those people to maintain that blockade. But the question 
comes whether you are to decide whether any matter proposed by the ministers of this 
government will affect that blockade. They give your authority for it. — ^A. The reason 
was this 

Q. It is not a naval question. — ^A. Allow me to give the direction to what I wish to 
say. When, in 1866, 1 saw Admiral Tamandar^, it was an admitted fact that the block- 
ade was established. I had no objection to it ; I could not resist it. 

By Mr. Washbubn : 

Q. Who admitted itf— A. I did. 

Q. Did the other officers admit it? — ^A. I know I did. 

By Mr. Banks: 

Q. It was only a question whether the ministers should pass. — ^A. That was not the 
question then. The blockade was established, and of course I saw it was established ; 
therefore I could not take a minister through without authority. But what I want to 
get at is, that Mr. Webb misquotes this to the minister of foreign affairs, and then turns 
around and abuses me most offensively in a letter to a foreign minister, and that letter 
is published in this correspondence. That is what I want to refer to. I said that it 
sliould be done in a way which should harmonize with the dignity of the United 
States, and be most convenient to the Brazilians and their allies. That was the doc- 
trine I held. I said, "I will break the blockade if you do not go through the military 
lines ; and now you shall choose between the two, and I will act so as to harmonize with 
the dignity of the United States.*' Mr. Webb throws out the whole of that and says : 

" But it is news to him that the then commanding officer of the United States squad- 
ron in this station should have permitted his feelings of hostility to Mr. Washburn to 
render him so forgetful of his duty to his country as to indorse and justify and advise 


the BrazQian gorenmieiit in its aflsomptioii that it might safely, and with ^at pro- 
priety, reftise to x)ermit one of onr national veesels to pass its lines with our minister on 
Doarci, provided Jbhe minister 'was helped forward to his destination, either hy land or 
by watery without }>lacing any obstacles in his way/'' 

This is the American envoy extraordinary to Bra2dl writing to the minister of foreign 
affairs of Brazil, and misquoting the passage, entirely emasculating it firam the strong 
point that it was for the oi^ty of the Umted States. This is an American nmnster 
speaking of an American amniral. I refer to this because these matters are before the 
committee. In connection with that very matter I would like to read a letter from Mr. 
Seward to General Webb on that very subject. I do not see it published here, but I 
have a copy of the letter. 

So that while an American minister was writing in that way te a foreign minister 
about an American admiral^ he knew that the conduct of that admiral had been 
approved. And Mr. Webb lumself, six months after the correspondence took place, 
approved the action that I took. But hero, in 186S, when it suits his convenience, he 
goes out of the way and misquotes a passage in order to drag me into the controversy. 

Washington, D. C, JpnT 16, 1869. 
Examination of Bear-Admiral S. W. Godon continued. 

By Mr. Orth: • 

Question. Proceed witii your statements il you please. — ^Answer. I have read some of 
this correspondence for the first time since it was printed, and new matters present 
themselves to my mind as I read it. Here is a passage in a letter dated October 1, 
1866, from Mr. Washburn te me. I had up to that time never received any letter inform- 
ing me in any way what had taken place. This letter was in reply to one that I had 
written ; but gives nothing but an extract from the letter of President Mitre. If I had 
had the whole of President Mitre's letter, I could have judged of the matter. In this 
letter Mr. Washburn says: ^'I will add that after President Mitre had closed his cor- 
respondence with me, and referred all further discussion in regard to my detention to 
his government and its allies—'' that was just precisely what President Mitre had to 
do ; to write to his government, if he was the President he would not have had to do ^ 
that. While he is <^ed President Mitre he is literally the commander-in-chief of the * 

Q. The Vice-President was discharging the civil duties T— A. Tes, sir; and President 
Mitre was never addressed as the government. 

Q. Hence any correspondence witii him would be purely military t^-A. Purely military, 
which character of correspondence I had a right to hold with him. I had no right to 
hold correspondence with the President. If the whole of that correspondence had been 
placed before me in my naval capacity, I would then have been obliged to write to 
General Mitre and tell him that this thing is so and so ; I had no right in a military 
line, as I have said. But I never was refeired to at all in the capacity of a naval com- 
mander where I could have used what GeneralBanksseemed to limit my authority to— 
my naval judgment, and not diplomatic. 

Q. Are there any additional facts you desire to lay before the committee f — ^A. No. 
sir ; I think not : I do not call to mind any now. There are a great many that I coula 
mention, but I do not think they are important. 

Mr. Orth. Mr. Washburn desires to propound some question to you. 

Mr. Washburn. I wish to state something in regard to the mstinction which the 
admiral has made between the military lines and the blockade. 

Mr. Orth. You state that as testimonvf 

Mr. Washburn. Yes, sir. I never understood, I never heard anybody Buicgest, either 
while I was at headquarters with President Mitre, or at Buenos Ayres conj^rring with 
the different ministers, Argentine or Brazilian, that there was any difference between 
the military lines and the blockade. I find by referring to the correspondence that 
neither General Webb nor the Brazilian minister made any such distinetion, as £ir as I 
have been able to see. I read this extract from tiie letter of the Brazilian seoretary of 
foreign affairs: 

*^ It is true that I asked Admiral Godon whether he was j^ing to send a steamer and 
his instructions to the river Plate immediately. On his adun|| uie reason of my inquir- 
ing it, I said frankly and of course in a private and confidential way, tiiat it mieht be^ 
convenient that the Brazilian government's instructions should reach their agents oefore 
any step was taken in the river Plate to effect Mr. Washburn's passage across the 

Then General Webb in his letter to me says : 

"Legation op the United States, 

" JSio de Jandro, August 22, 1866. 

" Sir : I have the honor to inform you that instructions have been issued by the Bra- 
zilian government to their representatives in the river Plate and its vicinity, withdrawn 


tug all obstractions to your passing their line of blockade to yonr post of duty, whenever 
it shall be your pleasure to repair thereto. A simple protest against your passing 
through the blockading fleet wiU be made, but of that you need not take any notice. 
'^ Very respeotfnUy, your obedient senrant. 

''His Excellency Charles A. Washbttrn, 

'' United States Minister Beeident to Paraguay" 

Then General Webb, in his letter to the secretaiy of foreign affidrs and counsellor to 
his imperial majesty, uses the following language : 

''The dispatch referred to offers in defense of an act so unMendly to the United 
States, and so utterly at variance vdth a well understood principle of international law, 
a letter addressed by the President of the Argentine Repubhc to the United States 
minister to Paraguay, in which he peremptorily revises to permit the United States 
minister to pass tiie blockade of the Paraguay river established by Brazil and the repub- 
lics of Uruguay and the Argentine, in their war with Paraguay.'' 

Also the following I read from the same letter : 

" Under the circumstances and in pursuance of his instructions in such a contingency, 
the undersigned renews, in the most formal and urgent manner of which he is capable, 
his demand for an explanation of Mr. Washburn's treatment by the agents and repre- 
sentatives of Brazil in the river Phite and its vicinity ; and also, he is instructed defi- 
nitively to inquire, and to insist upon an early answer to the inquiry, whether it is or is 
not the intention of BrazU to persist in refusing I^lr. Washburn permission to pass the 
blockading squadron of the alhes near the moutn of the Paraguay." 

It never occurred to me that it made any difference whether I passed through the 
Idockade or through the lines held by the army. I do not suppose our government had 
any thought upon the matter, or that it mattered in the least, if I only got through com- 
fortably, and tney showed such respect as was due to a minister, they did not care 
whether I went by land or through the blockade. I understood that blockading the 
river was essential to establish a military line ; Genentl Banks being a military man, 
could of course tell that technically better than I can« 

General Banks. It is the same precisely. 

Mr. Washbubn. But the admiral seems to have made a great distinction between 
the two. 

Admiral Godon. Allow me to read some of this letter, for I think it explains the sub- 
ject referred to. It is the letter dated July 2, 1866, from Mr. Lidgerwood to Mr. Sew- 
ard. It shows that the government did see it precisely in the light I did : 

" I desired to learn if reference to Mr. Washburn had been made since the allied forces 
moved forward across the Parana river, as I imderstood that thereafter all objections 
to Mr. Washburn's passing the lines would then be removed. He replied, 'None that 
he was aware of;' and also expressed the desire to avoid the approach to an^ unplea- 
santness of feeling, remarkinjr that diplomatic questions, often easy of satisfeu^tory 
arrangement, were frequently made difficult by the improper manner in which they 
were presented, and in this case much depended upon how it was presented there, 
(meaning the river Plate.) I replied that as yet the subject could not have been pre- 
sented there, and that to prevent and anticipate an omcial presentation, with the 
kindest intentions, and with frankness, acting with the concurrence and advice of the 
admirsd, who participates in my feelings, and to whom instructions had been sent by 
our government on the subject, and feeung confident that I would be met in the same 
spirit, I had caJled to see the minister, and now requested that he should be made 
acquainted with the position of the case^ and that he should appoint an hour when he 
would be pleased to confer with the admiral and myself upon the subject. 

"He answered that ho would have a reply sent to me at my residence; then, appa- 
rently remembering something, he withdrew, as he said, to examine a document. which, 
when brought by him, was marked on the inclosing wrapper 'June 8 ; receipt only to 
be acknowledged, not answered, in cabinet.' He said it was private correspondence to 
the minister, Saraiva, accompanying which were copies of letters from Viscount Taman- 
dar^ (commanding the Brazilian squadron) and from President Mitre to Mr. Washburn. 
The latter I requested to be read. The subjects of same were the reasons why it is at 
present (April) not advisable for Mr. Washburn to go through the lines ; sympathy for 
the great republic, &c. He said he would inclose the papers to Minister Saraiva for 
his examination at once, and that Conselheiro Saraiva had, unfortunately, allowed them 
to be overlooked upon his table. At 8 in the evening I received a note from the minis- 
ter appointing 11 a. m. of the ensuing day, at his residence, for an interview. 

"I immediately dispatched a messenger to the flae-ship to the admiral to that effect. 
On the 29th the admiral and myself were received Dy the minister of foreign affairs, 
Conselheiro Saraiva, at the appointed time and place. 

"I informed him that the order for the special salute at Bahia had finally been 
received, the delay having been caused by its having been sent to Valparaiso through 


diror; to which Conselheiro Saraiva replied, that as the United States had reoognized 
the violation of their nchts. as committed in the harbor of Bahia> and had agreed to 
the restitution of the fforida, (which by a casualty was rendered impossible J also to 
the punishment of the offending commander, a fetct which the Brazilian government 
had dispensed with, not desiring the punishment of individuals, therefore the govern- 
ment had felt it necessary to insist that the only remaining act of settlement agreed 
upon should be performed, in order to justify itself before the nation. 

^^The admiral replied that he, personally, did not consid r the mere burning of pow- 
der or saluting of much importance, and especially as he had fired several salutes at 
BaMa, still, as a matter between nations, it was different, and he had therefore written 
for instructions on the subject, which, though miscarried in the first instance, he had 
now received, and then inquii-ed if any communication had been received firom Sefior 
Octaviano concerning the United States minister to Paraguay, Mr. Washburn, and was 
answered only unofficially, when the admiral stated that Sefior Octaviano had desired 
an interview with him, which took place, and at which he, the admiral, informed him 
that he considered the blockade at Corrientes, being in the Argentine Confederation, 
one of the allied powers, as of no effect, but that if in waters conquered from Paraguay 
it would be a proper blockade.'' 

Mr. WAfiHBUBN. Who said so f 

Admiral Godok. I said so. It was on the subject of the blockade at Corrientes, 
which I did not admit until after it was retaken by the Brazilians. 

Mr. Washbubn. Was it not retaken from the Brazilians at the time I asked you to 
send me up f 

Admiral GoDON. Tes, sir: and therefore I did not admit it was a blockade. How- 
ever, this is an incidental remark. I read further fh)m this letter : 

'^ He, however, also added that the refusal by the allied forces to permit the Ameri- 
can minister to Paraguay to pass their lines, although they might have the right, 
would still be considered by the government of the United States as an act neither 
friendly nor amiable, and that this conversation should have been placed before the- 
Brazilian government b^ Se&or Octaviano, and desired to know if he had done so. 
Conselhelro Saraiva replied that it had fwt been. The admiral, continuing, said that 
witiliout entering ujpon the question of the rights of the allies to prevent me passage 
of a minister of a mendly power to his place of duty in Paraguay, still, the United 
States government had also the right to send their representative to a nation with 
whom tney are on terms of Mendship, and asked the Conselheiro Saraiva if that was 
not his opinion ; he bowed assent. The admiral stated further that he had received 
orders from his government to send a vessel, if necessary, to convey the American 
minister to Paraguay to his place of destination, and that he would do so ; but that, to 
avoid a clash of connicting views which might arise therefirom, with all frankness and 
with sentiments of friendimip he desired that the allies should give immediate orders 
that a safe-conduct through their lines should be given to Mr. Washburn, and desired 
the minister to give an answer at once." * 

By Mr. Washburn : 

Q. I want to ask you if you are not aware that a safe-conduct through their lines 
into Paraguay was hardly possible except by the river f—A. If you land^ at the pass 
La Patria which was below the blockade. 

Q. Below the blockade ? — ^A. Well, wherever the blockade was j if they allowed you 
to land. And the question was whether General Mitre would allow you to go through 
the military lines, for if he did not I said I would take you up myselfl I read firom the 
letter again : 

" He said it would be impossible to give an answer on that point without previously 
consulting his colleagues, but that it &ould be given before the sailing of the steamer 
to the river Plate on the 4th instant. 

** The object of our visit, to prevent any misunderstanding, was appreciated by the 
minister, and the earnest and straightforward remarks made by the admiral received 
his serious and anxious attention." 

Mr. Seward had no doubt about this, because in reply to this very letter Mr. Seward 
says : 

** Sir : I have to acknowledge the receipt of dispatch No. 12 of Mr. Linderwood, of 
the 2d of July. It contains an account of certain conversations which took place 
between himself, joined with acting Kear-Admiral Godon, and the Brazilian minister 
for foreign affairs, on the subject of the obstruction, by the allies, of the passage of 
the United States minister (Mr. Washburn) to Paraguay. 

^^ The conversation which has thus been reported to this department as maintaineil, 
on the part of the United States, in those interviews, 1^ Mr. Linderwood and the 
admiral, is approved by the President. 

" We wait with serious interest for information of the decision of the Brazilian gov- 
ernment upon the subject discussed.'' 

Neccssainly so, for it' they did not give way through the lines I had but the altema- 



tlve under my orders to take liim through the blockade. I talk of military lines only 
as lines over Avhich I had no control ; and of the blockade as of the only place where 
I could act. My letter to the Secretary of the Navy says that if Mr. SVashbum did 
not go through the military lines I would take him through the blockade. After that 
letter was received Mr. Seward wrote to General Webb, minister at Brazil, Mr. Wash- 
burn, minister to Paraguay, and Mr. Kirk, minister at Buenos Ayres, that if the 
obstnictions did not cease they were to return to the United States. Now, what was to 
be done ? I had gone too far ; I had ordered the vessel to go up. My orders to go up the 
river were plain j that was a thing I could do. If the allies did not give a permit to 
go through the knes I was to take him up through the blockade. 

Mr. Washbubn. I had no more doubt about l£e matter then than I have now ; but 
if I got through the lines by the river it was the same thing to the government as 
though I had got through by land. 

Admiral Godok. So it was ; but the question was not that ; it was who could take 
you up, war or no war ; it was a matter of great consequence to me. 

Mr. Washburn. If I am giving my testimony I will proceed. I wish to state over 
a^ain perhaps a little more fully in regard to my situation there at the time at Cor- 
rientes, when I received these instructions, and to call attention to the amount of cor- 
res}>ondence and the rei>eated efforts I had made to get through the lines by land. 
Here will be f6und three letters from me to President Mitre before I made my final 
protest ; I do not know but there were more. I went to see him at three different 
times ; he always had some excuse for not giving me a definite answer. One time he 
must consult his government ; at another time the circumstances were changed and he 
must consult his government again. But he held out the idea that I should ue allowed 
to pass through. He kept mo in that very disagreeable place for five months, and only 
when I made a very strong protest against his dujpticity and against his acting in that 
matter did I get a refusal. I could not go below, tor I might expect on answer aiiy day 
^ving me permission to go, and I did not wont it said that if I had waited a day longer 
it would have avoided difficulty. I therefore remained until I got these instructions. 
I alJBo got the same day. if I recoUeot aright, the letter from President Mitre closing up 
the correspondence on his part, saying he must remit it to his government. Therefore 
I considered it would be not only useless but much worse than useless for me to write 
another letter to him ; for if I had after he had written that letter I was commenting upon, 
I should receive a renewed denial, and then the case would be very much complicated. 
Therefore I did not write to him, but as soon as I could get ready I returned to Buenos 
Ayres again. After I got to Buenos Avres I went to see the minister of foreign affairs 
with the secretary, who talked Spanish better than I did, and made the interview offi- 
ciaL In that interview I stated the whole circumstances of the case. In fact it was 
notorious and it was published in the papers, that Admiral Godon had received orders 
to send me through the blockade. I wish to state here that it was published and known 
in Buenos Ayres before I came down the river, and they could not by any possibility 
have got this information from me. I state tins from the fact that I understood cer- 
tain officers were censured for having given this information. I do not know anything 
about that ; I stated the circumstances fully to Minister Elizalde and spoke of my in- 
structions that I must go through. We had a great deal of talk about it, but a« I was 
not the acredited minister there, it was not for me to hold official communication with 
him if I could possibly avoid it. I, therefore, did not write to him any more than I 
could possibly help. There is one brief letter in answer to his, I think ; I do not know 
that there is any letter. But I was all the time expecting General Asboth. I had been 
expecting hini for months before to take Mr. Eirk^s place as minister. I felt it waa 
not my duty to do anything of my own accord to brmg this to a crisis until General 
Asboth had come. But I had presented sdl these matters officially to the foreign min- 
ister in a former official interview. And, as I said in my letter to Admiral Godon, I had 
^js interview and fully complied literally or nearly so with my instructions. 

Admiral GoDON. When did you write that letter I 

Mr. Washbubn. October 1st. 

Admiral Godon. In the meantime the Shamokin had received orders to go up. 

Mr. Wasububx. But I wish to say this, that I had complied almost if not quite 
litersklly with my instructiohs. I did not inform Admiral Godon before I wrote this 
letter asking for a gunboat of what I had done. I supposed Mr. Seward had sufficient 
confidence m me that what I did would be accepted by the admiral, and that I had 
acted in conformity with my duty. I had received no instructions to tell him how I 
performed my duty. I considered that I was the interpreter of my own instructions, 
and.that when I had done what I considered necessary, and called upon the admiral 
for a gunboat, he would send it. I confess I was never more surprised than when I 
received his letter in which he undertook to tell me what I ought to do, and to say that 
he should not send a gunboat until I did so. ' However, he did send a gunboat before I 
did any more than I had done at that time. I do not know but what that concludes 
what 'I have to say in regard to the matter. 


Qnestions by Admiral Godon addressed to Mr. Charles A. Washbubn : 

Q. I desire to ask this question. Toa have aUnded to these instmctions having been 
published ; the instructions that I had received having been published at Buenos Ayres ^ 
and Montevideo? — ^A. The substance of them^ or that orders nad come out to you. 

Q. There was an article in the newspapers f — ^A. I think so. 

Q. The heading was '^ War with the Argentine government ;" do you recollect that t — 
A. No, I do not. 

Q. ''War with the Argentine government ; Mr. Washburn's infitruction to d^nond 
gunboats to take him up the Paraguay ; Admiral Godon has been ordered to ts^e him 
up to Paraguay." There was a fon<^ article with the instructions in them, not the 
entirety of &em but the substance, ot such a character so nearly alike that they cor- 
responded with them to a certain extent. — ^A. I heard before I 1^ Corrientes, or I saw 
something I think what the admiral says, that orders had come out that I must be put 
through uie blockade. But that information could not have come fcom me. 

Q. You had seen this in the papers before you got your letter from the Secretary of 
State ? — ^A. It was then or a few days after ; there was no time to communicate with 
Buenos Ayres, and if there had been I did not communicate because it was impossible. 
But when I got to Buenos Ayres afterwards and the thing was talked about, I con- 
versed with several people in regard to the subsequent instructions about returning 
home. And an individual whom I do not care to name, got the substance of what 
those instructions were and gave it to the Standard. 

Q. From whom did he get those instructions ? — A. From me. 

Q. The other instructions which came about the same time, he did not get firom 
youf — ^A. He did not. 

Q. Why not mention the name of the person?— A. I do not choose to mention it. 

Admiral Godon. It might be important for me to know. Mr. Washburn says I 
found fault with officers for giving this information, and now he refuses to give the 
name of the person to whom he himself gave the information; however, I do not insist 
u])on it. 

Mr. Washburn. I will give it if the committee desire it. I do not know that the 
individual would like to have his name brought in ; it does not matter as I see. 

Admiral Godon. I do not insist upon it. 

Mr. Washburn. I had then, as it seemed to me, complied in every respect with my 
duty, but I must wait for General Asboth. I stated in a letter to Mr. Seward, dated Oc- 
tober 3, 1866, '' Nothing has yet been heard here of the new minister, Mr. Asboth : should 
ho arrive after my departure his position will be even less enviable than mine, and he mav 
think it incumbei^t on himself not to present his credentials till further instructed by you.'' 
I thought it was my duty to remain there and not return home until General Asboth 
should arrive. General Asboth arrived; I had before his arrival received this letter 
&om Admiral Godon statii^ that he had ordered the Shamokin to take me up. I had 
known all the while that ii I had been backed up by the least semblance of authority 
the allies would make no objection; ^hat they never would stop an American gunboat; 
I knew it as early as the November or December before; that if a gunboat had been 
put at my disposal, no serious obstruction would have been interposed to my going 
up. They might have made a protest ; I did not think they would have done that even. 
But a protest would have been of no more importance then than it was a year afterwards. 
I was fully persuaded that I could have gone there nearly a year earlier than I did 
without creating any talk, and without causing one-half the humiliation to the allies 
themselves. I had no desire to create any iU-^eling anywhere; I only wanted to get 
to my post where the government had sent me. Tlmt I made all the efforts poasime, 
I think this correspondence will show. 

Q. I desire to ask another question. A letter was written to you by General Webb, 
which has been called for. Was not that letter in its entire spirit founded simply on 
the fact that your instructions had been published ; that it was complicating the busi- 
ness very much ; that it was exciting feelings there that made it dsmgerous, and that 
you had distinctly disclaimed having received any intimation £rom him, official or other- 
wise, that obstructions to you going tlirough the lines had been removed? — ^A. Not in 
such quite strong terms. The letter will be here and will speak for itself. 

Q. Is not that the substance of the letter? — ^A. Not accorung to my recollection. 

Q. Did he not intimate in the letter that you had had those instructions published, 
and that he intended to report the matter to the State Department? — ^A. I have called 
for the letter. Whatever General Webb said in that letter I replied to fiilly, and met 
every charge satisfactorily to my mind. Although I have seen a great deal of General 
Webb since, and think that I owe my life to him, I said some things in my reply which 
I would rather have omitted, because I was a little annoyed by some things which ho 
said. Admiral Godon seems to be quite indignant that it should be imputed to him 
that the general had answered a letter for lum. I think that after General Webb got 
my letter and got my explanation, and knew the whole circumstances of the case, he was 
about as ai^hamed of it as Admiral Godon was. This brings me to another matter. This 


notice which I hare read here, that General Webb Bent to me that he had been promised 
by the Brazilian government that the obstmction should be withdrawn, that letter I 
attach no importance to whatever; that is, I did not believe the Brazilians wonld do 
what they promised General Webb they would do. I knew how they had deceived me. 
I was perfectly well aware that if I had ffono up to the lines affain with no more assur- 
ance that I should be again detained, and that they would ask me to wait until they 
could again consult their government. They were fighting all the while for time to 
delay me without coming to an open rupture. And as they had delayed me already 
five Qionths I did not intend they should fool me any more. Therefore I paid no atten- 
tion to that. I proceeded on the hypothesis that they mi^ht have done it or might not. 
It was not to ^vem my action. And General Webb said tnat the terms were, *^ to with- 
draw obstructions to passing through the blockade.'' When we got up on the Shamokin 
Admiral Tamandar6 told me that he had received no orders whatever, and that he must 
stop us. I will state a little more in detail the circumstances of our arriving there, as it 
seemed quite important. We reached the confluence of the Paraguay and the Parana 
rivers alx>ut 4 or 5 o'clock in the afternoon, I thought; no, it was later, it was nearly 
sunset-. We were immediately boarded by an officer commanding the lower vessel of 
the blockading squadron. Tms officer, as I understood it, came to inquire what we 
were there for, and what we wanted; Captain Crosby had told him that he had come 
with instructions to take the Am^can minister through to Paraguay. The officer said 
It could not be done— that the orders were to stop everybody. Captain Crosby said his 
orders would ^ through. Then the officers in command of this Brazilian gunboat said 
that if Captam Crosby wanted to send any communication to the admiral he would 
give him a gunboat to go up to the admiral, who, I think, was some 25 miles higher up 
the river. Captain Crosby said he did wish to send a letter to the admiral, advising 
him officially of what he came for. I think it was about 9 o'clock in the evening that 
the gunboat started off with the letter of Captain Crosby and an officer to take it, this 
same Lieutenant Pendleton. About 3 o'clock in the morning he returned and came on 
board the Shamokin. I cot up and went into the cabin, with Caj^tain Crosby, and 
Lieutenant Pendleton made his report. He said he had seen the admiral, who told him 
that his orders were to stop anybody and everybody; that he had received no counter- 
instructions, nothing referring to me or to the Shamokin. It seemed, then, that there 
would be Bome difficulty. Captain Crosby had orders from Admiral Godon to go through 
the blockade. The Brazilian admiral had orders to stop anybody and everybody from 
going through, 'therefore somebody must back out or there would be a comsion. But 
the Brazilian admiral said he would come aboard the next morning and see me and 
Captain Crosby. I would be glad to have the admiral's attention to what I am saying. 

Admiral Godon. I know the whole of it; it is all in the documents. 

Mr. Washbubk. The Brazilian admiral came aboard, and seemed to be very nervous 
and vezy excited, and said he could not let us go through. We had the interview in the 
cabin or the Shamokin; the admiral said his orders were positive and peremptory. In 
the meantime Captain Crosby had also sent off a letter which he requested to have 
delivered to President Mitre in regard to the same matter. Before we left we got an 
answer indorsing or approving whatever had been, or might be, done in regard to our 
passage throujgh the mockade^ which, it would appear, he understoocf to be a part of 
the military lines, from his bemg consulted in the matter. Admiral Tamandar^ said 
that he was placed in a very embarrassing position ; he didn't wish to stop the Shamokin, 
as it might seem to be an act of discourtesy to the United States; and he could not 
allow it to go through because he had strict orders to stop everybody. He said, how- 
ever, that, to avoid this diJQQiculty, he would give me a Brazilian steamer to take me and 
my lamily and effecte through the lines up into the lines of President Lopez. I told 
him it was too late for that; when I had come before, six or eight months ago, I had 
proposed to President Mitre and to the admiral on his flag-ship that I would go tnrouffh 
any way, alone, leaving my family behind me— any way to get to my post ; that I womd 
go on horsebacK or in a whale-boat; but that now the circumstances were different; 
that I had been oblised to refer the matter to my government, and that they had sent 
out orders for me to be taken through; that a gunboat had arrived for that purpose ; 
tliat a great deal of talk had been created by this delay, and that the dicnity of the 
United States required that the gunboat should go through. Captain Crosby spoke up 
and said that he liad orders to take me to Paraguay, and that he should do it unless 
stopped by fiarce. Up to that time we did not oiow whether there was to be a fight or 
not. I did not presume to counsel Captain Crosby as to what he should do ; but as he 
had such orders I supposed from the signs — ^the ^uns being all loaded — that there was 
to be a fight if Admiral Tamandar6 did not back down. The admiral then said : '< We 
cannot afford to go to war with the United States at this time ; we must allow the boat 
to go through rauier than to resort to force, and I shall only make a protest against it." 
Hie reply of us both was, substantially, that he might protest; that that would not 
stop us. I then told him that I wanted to send a letter to President Lopez through his 
lines. After this thing was arranged he was very polite and said that he would do 
anything to make it agreeable to us — send us nesh beef or anything we might 


reqtdre; he said he wonld send an officer from the Shamokin throngh his blockade with 
my letter to President Lopez. Iprejparedmy letter and sent it by an officer. I do not 
know just where he landed, but I think he landed within the army lines of the Bra- 
zilians and went through ; I had asked Lopez to send a pilot to meet the Shamokin at 
the point above where the Brazilian pilot which TamandariiS had offered us to take us 
up through his squadron would leave us, as he could not be familiar with the torpedoes 
and other obstructions in the river. I received a letter from President Lopez, which is 
here published, in which he said he would send the pilot, as requested; and it was 
arranged where his pilot was to come on board, and wnere Ihe Brazilian pilot was to 
leave, the Shamokin. It was, I thuik, 1 or 2 o'clock in the afternoon of the second or 
third day after we arrived there before everything was arranged. Then we got ready 
and started up the river with the Brazilian pilot. We passed right alongside the flag- 
ship of Admiral Tamandar6, and he had his band of music out and honored us with a 
salute as we passed by ; the flags were dipped on every vessel that we passed, I believe. 
We got up above the Brazilian squadron to a certain point, when the Paraguayan pilot 
came aboard and the Brazilian pilot left. We had heard a great deal about the torpe- 
does there. I must state one other thing; the last thing before we started the same 
officer who had come on board when we nrst arrived said that it was expected that we 
would make no delay longer than was absolutely necessary between the two lines, as 
they would not engage to suspend their fire more than a few hours, in order that we 
might not expose ourselves, or impede their warlike operations. They were not aware 
at that time, however, but what we were going through to Humaita, or perhaps to 
Asuncion. I did not advise them that we would be obuged to land at Cumpaiti by 
reason of the obstructions in the river. We passed on with the Paraguayan pilot; he 
took us a tortuous way under the guns of Curupaiti, and there we effected our landing. 
I Avish to state this, as it seems to be somewhat important as bearing on the testimony 
of the admiral yesterday. The Brazilians would only give us a very short time to lie 
in that position, as the officer told us ; I think the sun was an hour hi^h when we got 
up there ; I had taken up considerable baggage and quite a large quantity of provisions. 
It was getting so late that the officers hurried everything in order to get us off as soon 
as possn)le, so that no pretext could be afforded the Brazilians to complain that their 
warlike operations had been defeated; we were got ashore as soon as possible; our bag- 
gage was landed, a salute fired, and then the gunboat got out of the way; the officer in 
command of the gunboat was obliged to do that before dark so that the Brazilians could 
not complain of nis having violated the understanding which they had made. But 
yesterday, the admiral in ms testimony complained that Captain Crosby had not put 
himself out of the line of fire, which it was impossible for him to do without exposing 
his vessel to be blown up by the torpedoes. It was necessary for me to write back to 
my government that I had got there safely. When I found that there was to be no 
time for the Shamokin to remain there, I asked Captain Crosby to leave an officer with 
me to carry down my report. He left Lieutenant Pendleton and immediately dropped 
down the river himself. I should have taken it very hard and complained seriously to 
the government of Captain Crosby if he had not left that officer ; Captain Crosby 
returned immediately and wrote a letter to Admiral Tamandar^, stating that he had 
left this officer. Yet, on yesterday, the admiral said that he knew nothing about this, 
although it is published in this correspondence. I would like to ask Captain Crosby, ii 
* I may be permitted to do so, whether on the occasion of the protest of Admiral Taman- 
dar^ he made a frill report to our admiral of his action on that occasion. 

Captain Crosby. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Washburn. Has that report of yours ever been published! 

Captain Crosby. I have never seen it in print. 

Mr. Washburn. Do you know that it was ever forwarded to the department f 

Captain Crosby. I do not know. 

Admiral Godon. I wrote, under date of December 10, 1866, to Secretary Welles a let- 
ter, from which I read the following : 

" Commander Crosby informed the admiral that nothing but force would prevent the 
execution of his orders, and the Shamokin was allowed to proceed, under jirotest, to 
Curupaiti, beyond the line of the blockade, from where, after the preliminaries of 
saluting the Paraguayan flag, &c., &c., a letter was sent to^Preaident Lopez. 

" I inclose a copy of his reply. No. 7, together with copies^bf correspondence between 
Commander Crosby and Admiral Tamandar^, numbered 1 to 6, inclusive.'' 

By Mr. Orth : 

Q. Does that include the report of Captain Crosby to you? 

Admiral Godon. I do not know. As I never reported Captain Crosby to the depart- 
ment, I suppose that neither his report nor the oither matters were sent to the depart- 
ment. I state in this letter, after what I have just read, as follows : 

^^As the obstructions in the river rendered it dangerous for the vessel to proceed 
beyond Curupaiti, Mr. Washburn was landed there, and then Commander Crosby 
inunediately withdrew from the lines of the belligerents to the Tres Bocas, where ho 


awaited the retnm of the officer who had aceompaiiied Mr. Washbnm, In order to 
brin^ back the dispatches he desired to send to the government after his reception by 
President Lopez. 

^^ The return of this officer through the lines has been made the subject of a protest 
by the Brazilian admiral, but it seems without point. 

" The officer was detained by the military commander until the circumstance of his 
appeai'ancc within the lines was explained. 

^^ Although objections to the passs^e of the ShamoMn were made by Admiral Taman- 
dar6 — ^no doubt to prevent its being moked upon as a precedent — ^without protest, the 
relations between himself and Commander Crosby seem to hftve been of the most ' 
Mendly character, and the latter officer, in one of his letters to the admiral, thanks 
him for the great courtesy which has been shown him. 

'^In closing this subject permit [nfe] to add that I shall be pleased to learn if my 
entire course meets with the approval of the department. 
" I am sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant." 

Q. There is a question as to whether you transmitted the report of Commander 
Crosby of his operations. What is the custom in the navy in regard to transmitting 
to the department reports received from officers under your command ? — ^A. That is very 
irregular ;• sometimes if they are likely to become important or do become so, they are 
forwarded. They are all placed on file — ^are all on record. 

Q. They are kept as a history of the operations of the squadron? — ^A. We keep them 
very carefully ; we are required to keep all documents of that kind. 

Q. You transmit such as you deem of public importance f — ^A. Anything of conse- 
quence. Had I reported Captain Crosby for any irregularity, I should nave been 
obliged to report the explanations of his course, if I had called upon him for any. 

Q. You do not know whether this particular report ever went to the Navy Depart- 
ment or not? — ^A. I do not know; these matters were closed, and I considered that the 
end of them. 

Mr. Washburn. I want to state this, because the admiral yesterday implied a very 
severe censure of Captain Crosby for not remaining up the river untU I could write 
my dispatches, which was an impossible thing for him to do. 

Admiral Godon. I did not mean that. 

Mr. WA6HBURX. And for not reporting the fact to Admiral Tamandar^ immediately 
after going below. 

Admiral Godon. I think you misunderstood my evidence or the intention of it. 

Mr. Washburn. I asked you at the time ypu were testifying, if Captain Crosby did 
not immediately advise Admiral Tamandar^, and you said you did not know anything 
about it. 

Admiral Godon. I think you misunderstood my testimony. I did not think' it right 
when I first found that an officer had been left behind, and that it had been the sub- 
ject of another protest. I considered that it was an indiscretion, and that I might per- 
haps, in consequence, find myself in difficulty. But after I had read the papers over 
more carefully I found that nothing would come of it, and all that I could say was, 
that it was a very indiscreet thing. I now feel that it was not a wise thing to do. 

Mr. Washburn. You would have him not leave an officer ? 

Admiral Godon. I did not know the position of things. But it struck me at the 
time that if they had detained that officer and made it necessary for the Shamokin to 
stay op there, or if it had led to trouble with Admiral Tamandar^, it might have made 
it necessary to have had Captain Crosby tried by a court-martial. But as there seemed 
to be no serious result from it, I allowed it to pass by^ still I consider to this day that 
it was an indiscretion, and I suppose I shall consider it so to my dying day. Allow me 
in this connection to read from Admiral Tamandar^'s letter of November 3, dated at 
Tres Bocas. 

Mbp. Washburn. I am not anxious to hear it unless the committee are. 

Admiral Godon. I suppose you are not ; but I want to read the passage and then to 

. ask you a question. " Minister Washburn not having wished to accede to any other 

mode of transportation to Asuncion except in that steamer, based on which existed 

concessions from the imperial government" Did this not convey to your mind, or, 

does it not now, that the concessions made from the government were precisely the 
concessions I say they made, to pass the military line, and not to pass the blockade ? 

Mr. Washburn. You can put any construction upon it you please. 

Admiral Godon. Is not tjiat what Admiral Tamandar^ means ? 

Mr. Washburn. I do not know and I do not care ; I do not attach any importance to 
it. General Banks asked a question yesterday in regard to the letters which General 
Asboth addressed to Admiral Godon, relative to having a passage up the river on the 
Wasp. I understood the admiral to say that he had answered those letters, but that 
he did not find any answer published in his correspondence. 

Admiral Godon. I do not think I ever wrote to him, stating that I would not let him 
go up at all ; but I told him verbally in conversation. I will state in regard to that 
matter something more definite. When I had received the letter of General Asboth, I 

7 P I 


went up in the Wasp, and told him that he could not go up. On Sunday he called on 
rae and asked me to put it in writing. I told him I would not write anything on Sun- 
day. On Monday I wrote a letter to Mr. Asboth^ and my fleet-captain copied it for me 
in his room, and the letter was brought to me to sign. The reason I did not answer 
definitely is that I had told him in conversation that I could not let him go, but I said 
that I would send dispatches. In my letter to the Secretary I said that I had not an- 
swered Mr. Asboth in detail. 

Mr. Washburn. The other day Admiral Godon stated here that in our interviews at 
Montevideo or Buenos Ayres, he told me that if I would wait a certain length of time, 
until the season was "more agreeable and healthy, he would send me up the river. I 
wish to read now what I wrote at that time to ^. Seward, under date of January 16, 

^'I reached this place on the 4th of November, tmd found, as I had anticipated, that 
there was no way for me to get to Paraguay except on a war vessel of some neutral 
power. An Italian and a French gunboat had left for Paraguay some time before my 
arrival here, neither of which had then returned. So I waited the coming of the admi- 
ral ; but instead of bein? obliged to wait till the 20th of November, as I had expected, it 
was the 26th of December, ^en I learned that the Susquehanna had arrived in Monte- 
video the day before. I had mreviously sent a letter to the admiral, to be delivered as 
soon as he arrived, informing mm of the position I was in, and requesting him to furnish 
me the means of getting to my post. But without waiting for an answer to my letter, 
as soon as I heard the Susquehanna was in Montevideo I hastened to that place to ur^ 
upon him that there might be no longer delay than was absolutely necessary in dis- 

Satching a steamer up me river. To my great surprise, he now talked as if it was very 
oubtful if he sent a steamer ; but he would not say positively whether he would or 
not. He would very probably ^o as far as Corrientes (twenty-one miles from Paraguay) 
himself, and in that case very hkely two steamers, the Shawmut and the Wasp, would 
go up. He would not decide on anything, however, tiU he came to Buenos Ayres, which 
he said would be in a few days. So I returned, and waited for him tiU the 10th instant, 
and as he did not appear, I again went to Montevideo. He was still undecided whether 
he would send a steamer up the river or not, and alleged various reasons why it would 
not be proper for him to do so. If he did it at all, it would not be till after the arrival 
of Commodore Rodgers, who was expected here soon in the Yanderbilt. I observed to 
him that that would occasion another delay of at least a month, and that I could not 
and ought not to delay here that much longer. I must get to Paraguay if it were a pos- 
sible thmg, and I was determined to make the attempt, even if I must make the last 
part of the journey on horseback or buy a whale-boat, to get through the' lines. He 
then said he would not say he would not absolutely send a steamer up before the arrival 
of Commodore Rodgers, but he would decide on what he could do after he got to Buenos 
Ayres and had talked with different parties on the position of affairs. He said then 
that he would positively be in Buenos Ayres in two or three days. Yesterday, the 15th 
of January, he arrived, and he had finally come to the conclusion not to send a steamer 
under any circumstances. The reasons which he gives are so various and extraordimuy 
that I will repeat them, with the answers which I gave." 

Iliat was written the day after my last interview with him. Admiral Godon says, 
in a letter of January 3d, 1866 — 

^^ I could not go to Asuncion in the Wasp without a greater supply of coal than she 
carries. As I could obtain this only from the Brazilian naval depot at Corrientes^ it 
would hardly seem gracious in me to first disoblige the Brazilian admiral, if my going 
did no more than that, and then request him to furnish me with the means of continu- 
ing to do so. 

"The expenditure of 200 tons of coal at a cost of $3,000, without other object than 
simply putting Mr. Washburn in Corrientes, after an absence of a year from his post at 
Asuncion, might not be approved by the department, and I could offer no better reason 
for its consumption than the one that Mr. Washburn and his family wished to reach Cor- 
rientes in a way which he seems to think more dignified than that of going in a mer- 
chant steamer which plies weekly to that place." 

I have to say that Admiral Godon did not positively promise me a steamer, and that 
his representation that I wished to go to Corrientes in a war steamer because it was 
more dignified than going in a merchant steamer, is deliberately and maliciously 

Mr. Orth. It is not necessary to indulge in any such remarks as those; the committee 
simply wish to elicit the facts. 

Admiral Godon. I would like to say, if that is testimony 

Mr. Orth. I have just notifi^ the witness that that is not testimony. 

Mr. Washburn. I wish to give it as testimony. 

Admiral Godon. He has so testified, and I desire to say that what I wrote was per- 
fectly true ; my whole conduct justified it. 

Mr. Washburn. Very well, we have other testimony here. I do not know that I have 
anything more to say at this time. 


Mr. Orth, (to Admiral Godon.) Mr. Waahbum desires that we shall ask you certain ' 
questions which he has prepared. And first, I will a«k you this question : In your let- 
ter of January 23, 1866, you state that there was nrf vessel in the squadron suitable to 
send up to Paraguay. Did not the Wasp arrive at Rio while Mr. Washburn was there, 
and was she not suitable to send to Paraguay f 

Admiral Godon. I wiU read what I said then from a letter which I wrote to Secretary 
Welles on the 23d of January, 1866 : 

"In the month of September, not long after I reached the station, Mr. Washburn 
arrived from the United States, and at once called to ask me if I could not send him to 
Paraguay on a man-of-war. I told him there was no vessel at that time on the station 
that conld be so employed, and in pleasant talk I informed him that I would like, in 
course of time, to go up the river myself, and if I could then do anything for him I 
would; that I did not yet know how matters stood, but would go to Montevideo and 
there woxQd learn what could be done." 

The Wasp did not arrive for a month after September ; and I had no vessel in Sep- 
tember that could take him up. 

Q. Did not Mr. Washburn remain in Rio until after the Wasp arrived ? — A. I think 
it very likely, but when the Wasp arrived there were some preparations made. 

Q. Did not Mr. Washburn advise you while in Rio that he could not probably reach 
his post without the aid of a gunboat t— A. Probably he did. 

Q. You say that Mr. Washburn quietly settled himself down in Rio while you went 
to Saint Catharine and returned; did he not leave on the first steamer after the arrival 
of the Wasp ? — ^A. I have not the slightest idea. 

Q. W^as he not waiting there the arrival of the Wasp ? — A. I have not the slightest 
idea. But I had not the slightest intention of sending Mr. Washburn in any vessel 
irom Rio. 

Q. Could he have reached Paraguay any sooner had he gone bjr the first conveyance 
to the Plata? — A. Had Mr. Washburn left in the steamer that arrived immediately after 
the Montana, I suppose that he could have got to Paraguay in one of the vessels that 
he says went up nver. 

By Mr. Washburn : 

Q. What vessels were they t — ^A. The two or three vessels that you said went up, 
Q. What was their character? — ^A. I do not know anything about them. I only know 
about them through Mr. Washburn's letter. 

By Mr. Orth : 

Q. Did you tell Mr. Washburn that you were soon going to the river Plata, and that 
if you found all other means of communication with Paraguay suspended you would 
send him up ? — ^A. I do not recollect saying anything of the Kind. My intentions were 
to do everything that I could to facilitate Mr. Washburn's movement when I got up 
the river. 

By Mr. Washburn: 

Q. Do you say that you did not tell me so? — A. I do not know whether I did or did 
not ; no doubt I told him I would assist him. 

By Mr. Orth: 

Q. How soon after l^Ir. Washburn left for the Plata did you follow him in the flag- 
* ship ? — ^A. I do not remember now the time that he left. I did not go up very soon, 
perhaps a month or six weeks. 

Q. Did yon not promise to follow him in less than two weeks? — A. Ko. 

Q. Did you stop at Saint Catharines on your way? — A. I did. 

Q. When you previously went to Saint Catharines what was your object? — ^A. I went 
to look alter some coal, to exercise, and for one other thing, which I will state. Admiral 
Bell was expected daUy at Rio. He was my senior in lineal rank, but I had been pro- 
moted in advance of him. I carried a blue flag, and under the regulations I should 
have been obliged to wear my blue flag in his presence, and he to wear the red, although 
he was my senior. I thought that that would not be agreeable to him, and that there 
might be some little contention about it ; and to avoid an^ naval complication of that 
kind between officers, I sailed from Rio and *did avoid it. When Admiral Bell was ' 
afterwards promoted for war services, he took his proper place and was placed above me. 

By Mr. Sheldon : 

Q. It was out of courtesy to his feelings? — ^A. Entirely^ so. I knew the sensitiveness 
in regard to this matter of rank. I was on my own station, and did not want to haul 
down my flag in violation of the regulations, nor did my officers wish me to do so. It 
was a matter of naval delicaqy. 

By Mr. Orth : 

Q. What is the distance from Rio to Saint Catharines?— A. Five or six hundred 


Q. In what vessel did you go? — ^A. In my flag-ship. 

Q. Under sail or steam? — A. Jost as the wind happened to be; I have not the 
slightest recollection ; sometimes I went under saU, sometimes I went under steam, I 
suppose. I did all I could to obey the orders of the department, to bum as little coal 
as possible. I wUl say in connection with this that Mr. Kirk afterwards told me that 
Mr. Washburn was going to report me to the Secretary of State. I had probably repeated 
what I have said to Mr. Washburn, audit was perfectly known in the squadron. There- 
fore I believed the statement of Mr. Kirk that Mr. Washburn was going to report me 
to the Secretary of State. 

Mr. Washburn. I will read what I wrote to the Secretary of State : 

^' To sum up his objections, there is only one that has any validity, and that is the 
expense of the coal. But I do not see that Admiral Godon is at all consistent in his 
economy of that article ; on the contrary, when it has suited his own convenience, I 
believe he has been very free in the use of it. As I have already mentioned, he left; 
Rio while I was there to go on an excursion to St. Catherines for the alleged purpose 
of giving his men practice in target-firing. What need of going to St. Catherines for 
that purpose, when he was going by there, three or four weeks later, on his way to the 
Plate? Why not save the coal necessary. for that trip, and have the target practice 
when he called there (as he did call) on his passage to Montevideo? He has given the 
reason since his arrival here. It was this: Admiral H. H. BelL of the Hartford, was 
expected about that time in Rio, and to avoid any question oi etiquette or punctilio 
with him. Admiral Godon now says he took a run down to St. Catherines to stay there 
till Admiral Bell should have come and gone. Thus for a mere matter of etiquette he 
could take the huge Susquehanna to St. Catherines, a distance of some 400 miles; but 
he cannot send a nttle steam tender up to Paraguay, where a war vessel is absolutely 
needed, because it will consume too much coal, iuid yet I venture the opinion that 
the same coal that was burnt on his pleasure trip to St. Catherines would have been 
more than sufficient for two trips of the Wasp to Paraguay and back.'' 

Admiral Godon. At the time I left; the Wasp was not there* 

Mr. Washburn. Was she not expected there every day ? 

Admiral Godon. Tes ; I had been expecting her for between two or three months. 

By Mr. Orth: 

Q. You say that the Wasp could not carry coal enough to take her to Paraguay? — 
A. To take her there and back, she could not. 

Q. Could she carry any more coal subsequently when they did send her up?— A. Cer- 

Q. For what reason? — ^A. Because, as I said in my testimony, I found that she carried 
so Httle that I took her cabin away, removed her state-rooms, and built a cabin on 

By Mr. Washburn : 

Q. Could you not have done that at the time ? — ^A. When she was not there, no. 

Q. When she arrived at Montevideo ? — ^A. I did not think it fit to do so ; it took me 
probably a month or six weeks to do it. 

Q. Was not the Shawmut there? — ^A. I did not choose to send the Shawmut. 

Q. I know you did not, or anything else. — ^A. Or anything else at that time. I had 
proper reasons for it, which I have stated to the department. 

By Mr. Orth : 

Q. You say that no coal was to be had on the river except fiom the Brazilian squad- 
ron. Were there not private coal stations at Rosario, Parana, and Corrientes ?— A. I 
do not know that there were ; I know nothing at all about them. 

Q. You allege the expense of the coal as a reason for not sending Mr. Washburn up ?^ — 
A. One of the reasons. 

Q. As a reason, not the only reason. Was any proposition ever made to you by any 
private person to furnish the coal gratuitously ? If so, what was your reply ?— A. Yes, 
sir, there was. After I had settled in my mind that I could not go, Mr. Hale, one of 
the oldest merchants in Buenoe Ayres, came to see me. He is an American, and a very 
respectable man. He mentioned that if that were the only difficulty in my way he would 
furnish coal to go to Corrientes. I replied, " Mr. Hale, if it is necessary and proper to 
send Mr. Washburn up to Corrientes, I will bum aU the coal in my squadron. But as 
there is no interest in the matter, I do not see why I should bum any coal to send him 
up there." It had then degenerated into the simple question whether Mr. Washburn 
should go to Corrientes or not^ 

Q. You say that Mr. Washburn desired to go to Corrientes in a gunboat. Did he not 
express a desire to go above Corrientes in that way ? — A. He had been informed posi- 
tively by me that I would not interfere with the blockade. 

By Mr. Washburn : 

Q. You said to-day that there was no blockade at that time.— A. At Corrientes. But 
I had admitted to Admiral Tamandar^ that I would respect the blockade at Tres Bocas. 


By Mr. Orth : 

Q. Did you not receive a letter from Mr. Washburn when yon were in Montevideo 
requesting you to send a vessel to take him to his post ? — ^A. I received a private 
letter fipom Mr. Washburn, and considered it merely a private letter in continuation of, 
a private request that he had constantly made. I never received an official letter^ or 
an official intimation of any kind. 

By Mr. Washburn : 

Q. Was it semi-official f — ^A. It was neither semi-official nor official, only a private 

Mr. Washburx. I wish the committee to take notice of one thing particularly : iibe 
admiral speaks of the blockade at Corrientes as though it was above Corrientes. Now, 
I say, and it appears in all the corree^ndence, that the blockading squadron was 
below Corrientes during all the time this affair happened, or at Corrientes. 

By Mr. Orth : 


Q. Did Mr. Washburn ever modify that request so that you inferred that he only 
desired to go to Corrientes f — ^A. After I had told him I could not send him up, and 
when I offered to take him up in six or eifi^ht weeks, that is, send him up in the Shaw- 
mut, or some vessel of that kind that could sail and bum little coal. 

By Mr. Washburn : 

Q. Sail up the river f — ^A. Yes, sail up the river and bum little coal, steaming around 
the bends, and sailing when the delay would not be a serious inconvenience to the 
officers. It was then understood that at the end of that time I would send him up to 
Corrientes. I withdraw that ; I called upon him in the presence of Captain Taylor, 
and told him that while I regretted all tnese things, was sorry for them, I would do 
the best I could, and would send him up there afterwards. 

Mr. Washburn. There is a direct issue of fact ; I deny the whole of it. 

By Mr. Orth : 

<J. Was there any way for Mr. Washburn to go from Corrientes to Asuncion without 
a steamboat? — ^A. Mr. Washburn told me distmctly that if he could get to Corrientes 
he would go up in a canoe. 

Mr. Washburn. With a gunboat to take me to Corrientes ; that was the distinct 

Admiral GoDON. I never heard of the gunboat. 

By Mr. Orth: 

Q. You say that if Mr. Washburn should go to Asuncion probably your services 
would be needed for the prcAection of a really distressed American. Did you consider 
that you should not aid Mr. Washburn to reach his post firom apprehension of danger 
and inconvenience to h\m f — ^A. No, sir ; I could not go through the blockade ; that was 
my reason. 

By Mr. Washburn: 

Q» Go where? — ^A. Go to Asuncion, passing through the blockade; that was my 

By Mr. Orth : 

Q. You say officially in that letter that nothing Mr. Washburn could do would affect 
your judgment or influence your action. Are we to understand by that that if Mr. 
Washburn, in his official duties, had placed himself in a position where his own life 
and the lives of his family were in danger, you would not have gone or sent to his 
rescue? — A. I will answer that question. The spirit in which it is put shows the ani- 
mii8 of this whole thing. 

Mr. Orth. I am askmg the question for Mr. Washburn. It is a question which I 
suppose he desired to have answered or he would not have prepared it. 

]kfi:- .Washburn. Yes, I want an answer to it. 

Admiral Godon. I was writing then an official communication to the Secretary of 
the Navy. I had stated to him the whole matter as it then stood. Towards the close 
of the affair Mr. Washburn had shown a great deal of unkindness. I wrote that I 
should wait for instructions and I intended to do so. In writing to the Secretary of 
the Navy I wrote honestly, precisely as I felt. This is what I wrote : 

"I shall be governed by my present views until I receive instructions from the 
department. While waiting them nothing that Mr. Washburn may do will affect my 
judgment or influence my actions, which will always be for the best interests of the 
service." * 

No unkindness, no remarks, nothing that Mr. Washburn could do to excite in me 
anger or feeling of any description would affect my judgment or influence my action ; 


I did more^ I wrote in another letter, when I stated that I wonld send hiin np in spite 
of all the feelings which existed then, which I myself had veiy little o^ though I had 
considerable cause. 

" In my letter to Mr. Washburn I have stated that, although he should be offered by 
the allies a safe conduct through the military lines, I still would furnish him with a 
suitable vessel to go to Asuncion, not in a threatening way, however, as he seems to 
desire, but in a friendly yet dignified manner. 

" If in doing this I am going beyond the instructions of the department, I would 
only say in justification that the long delay and inconvenience to which our minister 
has been subjected already seems to render it proper and expedient that I should, for 
the dignity of the country, place him beyond the chance of rarther annoyance." 

And again, I read as follows : 

'^ The reasons for my giving these orders remain the same. As I stated in my first 
letter to the department on the subject of Mr. Washburn going to Paraguay in a 
government vessel, that I then would not allow anything he might do to affect my 
judgment or influence my actions, which would always be for the best interests of the 
service, so will I now be guided by the same motives, and honestly carry out, as I 
understand them, the wishes of the government. 

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

Having heard that Mr. Washburn was to return unless the allies removed the 
obstructions, and as Mr. Washburn said they had not been removed, still I let my order 
continue in force, I say : 

"Although Mr. Washburn may not have obeyed his instructions of April 26, Com- 
mander Crosby will carry out the orders I have given him, to afford Mr. Washburn a 
passage to Asuncion u2>on his written application." 

Q. That is your answer to the question f — A. Yes, sir. 

Q. In your letter of January 23, you stated that the Brazilian admiral had declared 
the porte of Paraguay blockaded ; while in your letter of May 18, you say that the 
Brazilian minister, Sefior Octaviano, informed you that Mr. Washburn could have gone 
to Paraguay in a merchant vessel at any time previous to the occupation of Tres Bocas 
by the Brazilian squadron. This being more than two months after the blockade was 
declared, how could he go on a merchant vessel ? — ^A. I do not know. 

Q. Did any merchant vessel go to Paraguay after the blockade was established ? — ^A. 
I do not know ; I merely stated that Mr. Octaviano said so. 

By Mr. Washburn : 
Q. Did you not know that it was not true ? — ^A. I only stated what was told me. 

By Mr. Orth: 

Q. What was your motive in giving this statement of Octaviano to the Secretary of 
the Navy, when it could not be true f — ^A. I did not know anything about tiie truth of 
it ; I merely stated what Mr. Octaviano stated to me. 

Q. Then of your own personal knowledge you did not know whether vessels went up 
there or not ? — ^A. I did not. 

Mr. Washburn. There was no communication, and the admiral knew it. 

Mr. WiiXARD. How do you know that ? 

Mr. Washburn. I went up there. I left Buenos Ayres about the 18th of January, 
and there never was a sailing vessel went above there. 

Mr. WiLLARD. Was there no difficulty in going to Corrientes f 

Mr. Washburn. Not at all ; they did not object to our going to Corrientes. 

Admiral Godon. If I may be allowed to state a naval point I wiU do so. There 
might have been five hundred men-of-war lying at Corrientes. As the river is not more 
than a mile wide one war steamer would be sufficient to prevent anything from passing 
up although the entire fleet of the admiral might be at Corrientes. 

Mr. Washburn. Nothing did pass. 

•Admiral Godon. I am not responsible for Mr. Octaviano^s statement. I merely 
stated what he told me and made no comment about it. 

By Mr. Orth : 

Q. In your letter of September 17, 1866, you give as a reason for not sending Mr. 
Washburn up in a gunboat that he had not complied with the instructions of the 
Secretary of State. Had not Mr. Washburn done repeatedly all that Mr. Seward had 
instructed him to do, and had not the commander-in-chief of the allies refused to hold 
further correspondence with him ?— A. Mr. Washburn had not done repeatedly what 
Mr. Seward had instructed him to do. Mr. Washburn had written repeated letters, but 
he had never done what Mr. Seward says he should do, because Mr. Seward gave him 
definitely the words he was to U8e>in the letter he was to write. 

Q. Was JSIr. Washburn to be the judge and interpreter of his own instructions or 
were you ? — ^A. Mr. Washburn was to be the judge of Ids own instructions and was 
responsible for that j I had nothing to do with his responsibility. But- when he was 


ordered to send the instructions to me then Mr. Washburn was not responsible for the 
manner in which I acted upon them or for the construction I put upon them. If it 
was not necessary for me to see the original instructions, then I would have to take Mr. 
Washburn's construction of them. But inasmuch as Mr. Seward's instructions to him 
had been communicated to mo, but ho had not given me the words of Mr. Seward's 
instructions, it seemed that Mr. Seward thought he was not very clear about it, and, 
therefore, that the admiral himself must see for himself. Mr. Seward in his letter 
states that it was not to be considered an unfriendly act for the allies to deny the per- 
mission asked by Mr. Washburn. Mr. Washburn says that it was illegal. Now if it 
was illegal it was extremely unfiiendly ; at least it is generally so considered in law. 

Q. In your letter of October 24, 1806, you say that General Webb had oificially 
advised Mr. Washburn that all obstructions to his passing the lines had been removed ? — 
A. Yes, sir. 

Q. And that Mr. Washburn paid no attention to this notice. Now, had not Mr. 
Washburn previously informed you that former promises to him by the allies had not 
been obser\'^od and that he attached no importance to these f — ^A. Mr. Webb informed 
me that he had not paid the slightest attention to the official notice, which was as 
follows : 

" Petropolis, September 16, 1866. 

• " Sir : In reply to your official note of yesterday, received at 7 p. m. this evening, I 
have the pleasure to communicate, for your information, that on the 22d of August I 
advised Mr. Washburn officially that all obstructions on the part of the alUed fleet to 
his repairing to his post of dut^ had been removed." 

I knew he had that information. 

Q. The question is this : had not Mr. Washburn previously informed you that former 
promises to him £rom the allies. had not been observed, and that he attached no impor- 
tance to those f — A. Mr. Washburn wrote me this : " I had already anticipated the 
instructions of the Secretary of State, and had requested of the commander-in-chief 
of the allied armies a passage through their militi^ry lines for myself and family. But 
it has been persistently refused, and 1 therefore request you to provide me with a war 
vessel and the necessary convoy, in accordance with the instructions of the government." 
Mr. Webb informed me that Mr. Washburn had been informed officially that obstruc- 
tions were removed. Yet Mr. Washburn never asked from that moment, although the 
Secretary of State distinctly informed him that their previous acts were not to be con- 
sidered uniriendly, and that he must dismiss all that had been done, and act in a man- 
ner stated in his instructions. 

Q. You state that Mr. Washburn urged the propriety of having a United States ves- 
sel in Paraguay in order that Lopez, if hard pressed, might leave the country. Are you 
sure no contingency could arise by which, with the consent and at the desire of the 
allies, Lopez should thus be allowed to escape and thus save the sacrifice of many 
Uves t — ^A. My orders were to be neutral ; and in carrying out the wishes of my gov- 
ernment the Uves of all the Paraguayans were of very trifling consideration to me. 

By Mr. Washburn : 

Q. Had it been desired by all parties, had there been a gunboat there, and I had 
been requested to use my influence f — ^A. I would have taken the matter into consid- 
eration ; I think I would have given you a gunboat very promptly. 

Q. Was not that a contingency^ which corQd arise?— A. If I had been bom in France 
I would not have been an iGnencan. 

Mr. Washburn. I had great hopes if I went up there and there was a gunboat 
there that Lopez would see that his cause would be lost, and by the assent of the allies 
and under the protection of an American gunboat tvould leave the country. It was 
for some such contingency as that that I desired a gunboat to go up ; that was one 

Mr. WiLLARD. Was that really any part of your duty as a minister ? 

Mr. Washburn. No, sir ; my duty was to §o up there. [To Admiral Godon.] Was 
it not perfectly competent for you at that tmie to give the same instructions to Cap- 
tain Crosby that you gave afterwards not to take away Lopez or any other Para- 
guayan! — ^A. It was perfectly competent, but it was not competent for me to send 
a vessel through the blockade. 

Q. You might have obviated my reason for wanting a gunboat ?— A. I might if you 
had asked me. I would have given him peremptory orders not to do it. If after going 
up there a minister had the ri^t to ^ve any instructions, this being a political ques- 
tion, my officer would have been obliged to follow those instructions. 

Q. Did I ever maintain that I had any right to give instructions to your officer? — A. 
No, sir ; you never did. 

Mr. Washburn. I believed that Lopez was near the end of his rope, and it was 
believed that if a gunboat went up, very likely he Vould want to escape, and the war 
would then cease. The admiral might have given instructions not to take Lopez under 
any circumstances, or only with the consent of aU parties. 


Admiral Godon. I will recall a question yoa put to me at that time. Tou said, sup- 
pose tiiat a vessel did go up, and so forth, and she was there, and Lopez got aboard. I 
said he cannot get aboard, because I would give such instructions that he could not pos- 
sibly get aboard without the consent of the officer. You then said, suppose he did get 
on board, and it was discovered coming down that he was on board, what would you 
do then f I told you that if he did get on board by a breach of hospitality, and by 
breaking my neutral position, I would hand him over to the blockading squadron, 
and they might hang him as high as Haman. I would involve my country in no haz- 
ard and risk at all in that way. 

By Mr. Orth : 

Q. Would not Mr. Washburn, being on the ground, be the proper person to judge 
when such contingency would arise 1 — A. I concede all these matters, that everything 
on shore belongs so exclusively to the minister that I had no interest in it. It is only 
when forced upon me that I have a right to an opinion. When it comes to using a ves- 
sel in my squadron, then I have an opinion. 

Q. Did not the Wasp draw less water than the Shamokin, on which you did send Mr. 
Washburn up ? — ^A. She did draw less ; but I sent the Shamokin because she was a large 
vessel, with a fine cabin, and had a certain bearing about her on account of her large 
guns, which made her preferable. The Wasp had two little pop-guns, 12-pounders. I 
wanted to make them as comfortable as I could. 

By Mr. Washburn : 

Q. Did you ^ve any orders to Captain Crosby to make us comfortable t — ^A. He had 
a splendid cabm. 

Q. But it was unfit for ladies. — ^A. But we live in those cabins. He had one of the 
finest cabins I ever was in, and a fine stateroom for a lady. I went up myself in it. 

Q. But you are not a lady. — ^A. No ; but there was a fine state-room. If I had sent 
you in the Wasp, there was no place for a lady ; you would have been obliged to take 
the cabin entirely. 

Mr. Washburn. When I was at Rio, the admiral said he was going to put up a cabin 
then, and that it would follow down very soon afterwards. 

Admiral Godon. You know naval matters are very slow when you are merely accom- 
modating people. When you go to fight, they are more rapid. 

By Mr. Orth : 

Q. Which vessel would consume the most coal in making the trip ? — A. I suppose the 
Shamokin ; much the most. 

Q. What was the object in sending the Shamokin in preference to the Wasp ? — A. 
Because she was a fine vessel, with good accommodations for Mr. Washburn's family. 

By Mr. Washburn : 

Q. Was not the cabin on the Wasp made at the time you sent the Shamokin ? — ^A. Yes ; 
but I did not send her, because she was not as good as the Shamokin. 

Mr. Washburn. She had fine accommodations ; good enough for me. 

Admiral Godon. I am delighted to hear it. Then the accommodations of the Sham- 
okin must have been too good. 

By Mr. Orth : 

Q. In your letter of January 23, 1866, you say that there were other reasons for your 
refusal to comply with the request of Mr. Washburn ; please state what they were. — A. 
One reason was what Air. Washburn had said about having a vessel there to remove 
Lopez. I did not. state this reason at the tiine, because I did not think it was a very 
proper subject, and therefore only gave it when I was compelled to give unusual orders 
to the officer going up. 

Q. Did Minister Octaviano state to you that the Brazilians or others of the allies 
had captured some papers from the Paraguayans, in which papers Mr. Washburn's 
name was found in connection with some arms purchased or to be purchased by him, 
and in regard to the money that was to be paid for the same ? — ^A. He did. 

Q. State what it was. — ^A. He said sometiiing to that effect pretty much as stated in 
the question, that there were some papers captured. I think it was about the time 
that Corrientes was taken ; it did not make much impression on me. The statement 
was that papers had been found in which Mr. Washburn's name had been mentioned 
in connection with arms ; that there had been some investigation about it. I said : 
" Well, was there anything to show that Mr. Washburn had . anything to do with it ?" 
Mr. Octaviano seemed to tnink that there was not much in it. In conversation he 
spoke of it, but said nothing that ever led me to suppose that Mr. Washburn was really 
engaged in it. 

Q.'jDid you ever mention this matter to Mr. Washburn that he might explain it? — ^A. 
No, sir ; Mr. Washburn was in Paraguay. 

Q. Did you ever mention it to any one else ? — ^A. I think very likely. 


Q. Did you ever circulate it among other people f — ^A. I mentioned it as a subject 
connected with many other matters. 

Q. Did you know -anything about these papers? — ^A. I never saw them. Mr. Octa- 
viano left the impression on my mind that the subject of the arms did not amount to 

Q. Did you ever mention this matter to other people as being derogatory to Mr 
Washburn ? — ^A. I merely mentioned it as the subject came up. 

Q. Did jrou ever report the fact to the government f — ^A. I never did so ; I should con 
sider it quite out of propriety and reason to have done so. 

Q. In your interview with Octaviano did he ever allude to the offer of money made 
by Admiral Tamandar<S to Mr. Washburn if he would not insist on going to his post, as 
appears in Mr. Washburn's letter of April 27, 1866, to Secretary &ward ? — A. In the 
interview that I had with Mr. Octaviano, I took two officers with me, Captain Marvin 
and Captain Kirkland. It was a little warm at first, but when we came down to see 
that we really understood the subject of the blockade x>erfectly, Mr. Octaviano told me 
that he had received a letter from Mr. Washburn which he had never answered. I 
asked him if it was proper to allow such a letter to go unanswered. He said it .was 
such a letter that he could not answer it. I asked him what there was in it that could 
not be answered. His reply was in French, but the meaning of it was that it had no 
point in it, that there was no particular thing in it. The letter st<ated that he ha€ 
done a great deal for the Brazilian minister, that he had been absent in the United 
States, that if he could only have ^t back six weeks before, he could have gone up the 
river, and so on. I still i>er8isted m asking why not answer the letter. He said that 
it was an undix)lomatic letter which he could not answer ; he said that in diplomacy 
they muist have a i)oiut to come at. The impression, was made upon me that Mr. Oc- 
taviano had not been frank in the matter, and the question constantly came up what 
was in that letter. I asked him' once or twice and he said he would show it to me.* He 
went to his room before these gentlemen to look for it, and said that he could not find 
it. Some time afterwards I agiiin asked him if he had found that letter for I wanted to 
judge myself whether he had acted frankly about it. He said he had not forgotten it, 
but could not show it ; he left the imxiressiou on my mind that he did not wish to show 
the letter. When he came to tell me good-bye upon leaving the mission he handed me 
a letter and I handed it back to him. He said he did not care to have that among the 
diplomatic papers. 

Q. Did he ever allude to the offer of money made by Admiral Tamandar^f — ^A. No, 
not by Admiral Tamandar6, but he did allude to an affair of money. 

Q. Made by whom f — ^A. Not by Admiral Tamandar^. 

By Mr. Washburn : 

Q. To me ? — ^A. Yes, sir. Would you like me to state anything more t 

2dr. Washburn. I am willing to have you state it. 

Admiral Godon.* I will state all he did say. 

Mr. Washburn. I would like to hear it. 

Admiral Godon. I said to Mr. Octaviano that I did not see anything in that letter 
that he might not have answered ; he said : " What was I to offer to him 1 What was I to 
give him f He did not ask for a vessel, but simply said he left it to me to determine 
what to do." I said, " Well, why did you not offer him to go uj) there ?" He said, 
" I could not offer that because that had been refused by General Mitre. But it left the 
impression upon my mind that I must do something. I could not answer the letter ; I 
had seen Mr. Washburn before ; he was in Corrientes. He complained of the expense, 
of the annoyance, trouble, and that the very fact of his having assisted the minister 
made this thing of immense expense to him. What could I think of in regard to that ? 
I said I will lend you any amount of money ; it is a matter which you can do ; I have 
control of it ; it is there and I can do it. Well, Mr. Washburn said no, it was not 
that." He said afterwards that he felt that perhaps that was not the way he ought to 
do this thing. He sent a person of rank and position to offer him the money. 

Q. Did he say the money was accepted ? — ^A. No, sir ; it was not. I said to Mr. Octa- 
viano, " Why, you surprise me : did Mr. Washburn say anything ?" Mr. Octaviano said 
no ; that he would not accept it. 

Mr. Washbuiin.- In my testimony the other day I said that another high official had 
offered me money, but I did not say who it was. I can now say that it was Minister 
Octaviano, because it has come up in this way. 

By Mr. Banks : 

Q. At the suggestion of Mr. Washburn I will ask you a few questions. What do you 
understand is meant by forcing a blockade ? — A. Going through with a vessel. 

Q. For what purpose is a blockade established ? — ^A. That is a political question. I 
have only my naval notions about it. 

Q. Is it to prevent neutral governments from holding official intercourse with the 
guvernmeuts blockaded, or with their representatives there? — ^A. A great many years 


ago Lisbon was blockaded by the French and English fleet. Commodore Biddle was 
ordered from the United States to take our minister there in a frigate. He arrived off 
the port and attempted to go in. They told him to ^o back ; and he^went back. On 
onr coast during the rebellion there was another kmd of blockade. Our blockade 
permitted men-of-war to pass through to* communicate with the consuls that were 
within our blockaded ports because they were consuls with exeqtiatwrs from the city of 
Washington. Although that portion of the country was in the rebellion, they claimed 
the right to communicate with their consuls there in some form or another. The gov- 
ernment, rather than give them permission to go through the military lines, i)ermitted 
their vessels of war to enter the blockaded ports. These are two kinds of blockades. 
The question would come up in a form that I could not answer definitely. When I 
arrived before a place I would have to decide, or get the minister to decide, what the 
condition of the blockade would be, and respect it or not, under advisement. 

Q. Has the blockading power the right to prevent the minister of a neutral power 
from going to his post, if necessary, t&ough a blockade ? — ^A. It has, I believe, accord- 
ing to all the received legal authorities. 

Q. Is not a blockade for the purpose of cutting off supplies and material aid, and not 
for the purpose of preventing diplomatic intercourse with the governments ? — ^A. It is 
for cutting off supplies, material aid, and anything else that is vital to the life of 
tlie country; anything that will prevent the war from being continued on the part of 
the country blockaded. The object is to check the war, not to interfere with neutrals. 
It is a right accorded to neutrals, as far as international law goes. 

Q. Mr. Washburn calls attention to this letter of Mr. Seward to Mr. Webb, dated Sep- 
tember 23, 1866, in which Mr. Seward says, " So far from considering the question or 
the right of Mr. Washburn to proceed to his destination as a debatable one, the United 
States cannot consent to argue that question." — ^A. I had written that myself before Mr 
Seward wrote it ; so that Mr. Seward and myself agreed. 

Q. When the blockade was forced as it was by the Shamokin, what injury was inflicted 
upon the blockaders other than obliging them to let ministers pass ? — ^A. The blockade 
never was really forced. Mr. Washburn, in his correspondence, and in whatever has 
been said about it in that way, has always claimed that the blockade was forced. But 
in my estimation it was not forced at all. The French minister told the admiral that 
I was allowed to send a vessel up through the blockade under this protest or whatever 
it was, because I had held a knife to the throat of the minister. 

Q. Was not the blockade as effectual after the Shamokin passed, for all purposes 
except stopping foreign ministers, as before ? — ^A. I think it likely that, under the rule, 
had any foreign vessel claimed to go up, they could have prevented it. 

By Mi, Washburn : 

Q. With ministers on board T — ^A. Under the law of blockade I doubt very much if 
they could have prevented it, although they allowed me to go up under protest. That 
was one of the troubles in doing it. The protest was to snow that they had not per- 
mitted it. 

By Iklr. Banks : 

Q. Would not our government, the circumstances having been reversed, have granted 
to the ministers of the allies the same facilities for reaching their posts tnat the United 
States claimed for their ministers ? — ^A. Through the military lines t 

Q. Yes, sir. — ^A. I think it would ; and I told Mr. Octaviano that it would be looked 
upon as neither friendly nor kind to deny it to us. We cannot tell what people would 
do; what a nation would do; they would have to be the judges. I think -that under 
ordinary circumstances they would have allowed it. It was an unkindly and unfriendly 
act on the part of the allies to prevent Mr. Washburn from going through the military 

Q. Do you think the United States government took advantage of its superior power 
over the allies in demanding the right to send its minister to his post ?— A. I will read 
my answer, which, it seems, I have written in advance of the question; in my letter to 
Mr. Washburn — not to the government, I say : 

" I have been unmindful of the inconvenience and seeming discourtesy of the allies 
in keeping a minister of the United States from passing through the military lines to 
his post, and have communicated with oiir acting charg^ d'aflaires to this government 
in regard to it, from whom I learned that the obstructions would be removed. 

" I feel satisfied that the same information will be given to you when you address the 
President of the Argentine government, as directed by the Secretary of State. 

^^ The truly friendly relations that exist between the allies now at war against Para- 
guay and our own government disposes me still more to refrain from committing any 
act which would seem like arrogance in a great and powerful nation like the United 
States towards governments too weak to resent it, although they might, in their very 
weakness, venture to commit indiscretions, as in the present instance." 

It was not an act of the government, but if I had done it it would have made it so, 


and it would seem like arrogance in me to force my government to do a thing which 
could be done in a friendly and amiable way. 

Q. Was not the government of the United States ready to send Mr. Washburn to his 
post if the allies persisted in dela3rinK him, even though it did bring on a war ? — 
A. My instructions were to do that thing. And when they found that I was going 
to do it under my instructions theyinstanuy saw that the complication would be such 
as to bring on, probably, a war. Therefore these ministers were all recalled by our 
government and diplomatic intercourse was made to cease. 

Q. Had the Shamokin been fired into would you have considered that a cause of 
• war ? — ^A. Most undoubtedly. 

Q. Would Captain Crosby have been sustained by you had he fifed back? — ^A. Most 
undoubtedly, and there was my trouble. 

Q. If no orders had been sent to withdraw obstructions to passing the blockade why 
did you send orders to Captain Crosby to go through the blockade? — A. I have 

f:iven my reasons. I had seen the nunister. The instructions were to pennit 
ir. Washburn to go through the military lines. I have stated in my evidence 
that after having received those instructions, knowing that Mr. Washburn must go 
through, I told those persons that Mr. Washburn must go through in a convenient 
way ; that he should not pass through the military lines as there was a great deal of 
feeling ; Mr. Washburn had shown a great deal of feeling about it, and there might be 
some trouble in passing the military lines which would involve questions of a most 
serious nature, and there was a lady in the case. I sent up a vessel on my own respon- 
fiibility, and wrote to the government that I might still be held responsible for thus 
going beyond orders, but that I believed that I was doing about right. 

Q. If, as you stated yesterday, the only orders of the Brazilian government referred 
to passing the military lines and had no reference to the blockade, why did you order 
Captain Crosby to pass the blockade f — ^A. Because, as I had told them this thing had 
lasted long enough, it had been such a discomfort in every way that now as they had 
conceded that he should go up there, he must ^o in a proper way ; that I did not want a 
lady to go through the military lines. And it was allowed under protest. I had a 
letter from Secretary Welles in which he stated that it was the desire of the govern- 
ment that Mr. Washburn should go up to his post, and I was determined that he should 
go as comfortably as possible. 

Q. Were you not apprehensive that Captain Crosby would be stopped when you 
wrote to the Navy Department that you had in a semi-official notice ordered Captain 
Crosby to disregard any protest t — A. I did not believe he would be stopped ; I had no 
fear at that time that there would be anything serious. I wrote that note to Captain 
Crosby with the intention of aiding his judgment as far as I possibly could. 

By Mr. Washburn: 

Q. You call that semi-official in your correspondence f — ^A. Yes, sir. 

Q. W^as that any more semi-official than my letter to you t — A. I wrote it in connec- 
tion with my orders, so that in case of any accident he could fall back upon it. 

Q. Was it not marked private f — ^A. I wrote it so that he could go ahead and dc 
what he had to do, and there was my letter to relieve him from the responsibility. 

By Mr. Banks : 

Q. You advised him in this note that nothing but absolute force should stop him ? — 
A. So I did. 

Q. Was that such a note as would have relieved Captain Crosby from responsibility ?— 
A. I think it would. I told him frankly and candidly in the note all I thought ; I went 
as far as I possibly could. I considered when I wrote that letter ; I consulted with my 
fleet-captain at the time, a very clear-headed man, and I said that in sending it I was 
giving specific orders, but that there were contingencies, and that I would write the 
letter. 1 did write it and kept a copy of it. I do not keep copies of my private notes 
at all ; but I kept a copy of tliis, and I wanted to relieve my captain of a responsibility 
which I was assuming. I was as honest in it as I could be. 

Bv Mr. Orth : 

Q. I understand that you declined to send Mr. Washburn to Paraguay because to do 
80 would have compelled you to break the blockade ? — ^A. Yes. 

Q. Why did you subsequently send him, and thus force the blockade, when the 
instructions from the government only authorized you to do so after the refusal of the 
allies ? — ^A. Because permission had been granted him to go through the military lines, 
and there was an understanding that there would only be a protest at going through 
the blockade. 

Q. Had you that understanding before you issued your order to Captain Crosby?— 
A. Yes, sir. 

Q. With A»hom did you have that understanding ? — A. In a confidential way I had a 
conversation with the minister, and he said, well, that I could do it under protest. 

Q. Supposing you had had no such intimation urom the Brazilian minister ? — ^A. Then 
I could not have gone up. 


Q. If you had not received this intimation from the Brazilian minister, that as you 
held the knife to his throat, as he termed it, he would consent to your going up under 
protest, you say you could not have done it ? — ^A. I could not have done it, because there 
was no reason for it, as Mr. Washburn could go through the military lines. 

By Mr. Washbukn : 

Q. Where was the permission granted to go through the military lines ? — ^A. I read 
you from Mr. WebVs letter : " SiR : In reply to your official note of yesterday, received 
at 7 p. m. this evening I have the pleasure to communicate, for your information, that 
on the 22d of August 1 advised Mr. Washburn officially that all obstructions on the 
part of the allied flibt to his repairing to his post of duty had been removed." 

Q. You say that I received permission to pass through the military lines ? — ^A. Here 
it is. 

Q. General Webb says the blockade! — A. As far as that letter was concerned it was 
80; so far as Brazil was concerned. 

By Mr. Banks : 

Q. Suppose that the Brazilian admiral had insisted on not allowing the Shamokin to 
pass, what instructions had you given Captain Crosby in that case ? — ^A. Captain Crosby 
had to' go. 

Q. Wiat was the date of your order to Captain Crosby to take Mr. Washburn to his 
post? — A. Octobers. 

Q. What was the date of your later instructions f — ^A. I do not remember ; whether 
he could get my letter in time was another thing. 

Q. Why did you not give those instructions with the first orders, so that Captain 
Crosby might have the benefit of them upon goin^ up the river ? — ^A. That is a very 
pertinent question. I do not know of any reason at all, except that in thinking over 
the matter and considering the difficulty that I might be in from doing more than I had 
authority to do, I saw there might be trouble, and I wanted to relieve Captain Crosby 
as much as I could. 

Q. You understood it better on the 21st than you did on the 25th ? — ^A. Yes, sir ; I had 
trouble all around me, but I was doing the best I could ; stUl it was»very possible I 
might not do all that was right, and mi^t be broke about as soon as anythmg else. I 
had heard that there was some possibility of trouble about the thing. I wrote to Cap- 
tain Crosby on the 8th of October, and began in this way : " I have sent you an order 
to take Mr. Washburn and his family up to Asuncion ; it would be well that you should 
know how matters stand," and so forth. 

By Mr. Washburn : 

Q. Did you ever receive from me at Rio, or at Buenos Ayres, or anywhere else, any- 
thing but respectful, courteous, and gentlemanly treatment ? — ^A. I do not know that I 
remember anything particular about it. 
Q. Everything was perfectly decorous? — ^A. Yes, sir, as much so— 
Q. There was a difference of opinion j there was no correspondence passed between 
us except what is published ? — ^A. None, except that private letter 

Testimony of Captain Clark H. Wells* 

Washington, D. C, Apnl 16, 1869. 
Captain Clark H. Weixjb examined. 

By Mr. Orth : 

Question. Are you in the service of the government? — ^Answer. I am commander in 
the United States navy. 

Q. Where were you during the years 1865 and 1866? — ^A. I received in July, 1865, 
orders to take command of the United States steamer Kansas, fitting out at Philadelphia. 
When I reported that vessel ready for service, I received orders to proceed to Brazil, 
making first the port of Bahia, which was then considered the headquarters of the 
South Atlantic squadron, and to report for duty to Rear-Admiral Godon. Subse- 
quently I received orders to stop at Cape Haytien, island of Hayti, and to remain 
there for the protection of American citizens and interests while the revolution there 
lasted. I stayed there I think nearly two months ; I am not certain now. After I had 
I • performed that duty, I was relieved by the United States steamer De Soto, which 

! brought me orders from the Secretary of the Navy. I think the order was signed by 

I Mr. Fox, the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, to repair to Brazil. I arrived at Rio, 

December 7, 1865, and found at anchor the United States steamer Juniata, commanded 
by Captain Aimy. lie informed me that the day before Admiral Godon had left for 


Montevideo^ stopping at Saint Catharines. I remained there some time overhauling^ 
and then I was sent oy Commodore Kodsers, who had arrived there, to go to a place 
called Abrolios. There was a report at Kio that the Brooklyn had been lost on those 
shoals, which report proved to be unfounded. It was one of those reports which some- 
times have a circulation, and you cannot trace them to any particular source. I went 
up there with Captain Almy in the Juniata. Captain Almy nad given me orders from 
Admiral Godon to go to Saint Catharines to coal, to exercise the crew with the great 
guns, and then to proceed to Montevideo. I arrived at Montevideo, January 27, 1866, 
and found Admiral Godon there in the flag-ship, Brooklyn. The gunboat Nipsic was 
there, and the Wasp was there. During my stay there from January 17 to February 19, 
in my several conversations with Admiral Godon^e frequently allhded to ^ix. Wash- 
bum, always introducing the subject himself. He spoke of his having arrived out 
there and that he had written to him frequently, and sent him up the nver in a gun- 
boat to the place of his destination. I then discovered that Admiral Godon showed an 
evident disposition not to send Mr. Washburn to the place of his destination. The 
drift of his conversation always made that impression on my mind. On my return from 
the Falkland islands, which was April 19, 1666, 1 found that he had gone up the Uru- 

fua^ river, and that Captain Almy was the senior naval officer at that port. I do not 
now how long, but witnin a fejr days after I arrived, I received orders to repair to 
Buenos Ayres, ; I left for that place May 24, and arrived May 30. In the interval Ad- 
miral Godon had arrived at this port; he again referred to Mr. Washburn, and on one 
occasion — I do not recollect the aate---he read to me a letter which he had addressed to 
the Secretary of the Navy, in which he stated that he was not to know officially that 
M£. Washburn occupied the position of a minister of the United States, as Mr. Washburn 
had never informed him officially of that fact ; and that his obiection to sending him 
up the river was that he would consume a great deal of coal. I think he stated between 
^,000 and $5,000 worth. I took the ground as I always have, and always will, that an 
American minister had a right to go to the country to which he was accredited; tl^at 
the laws were wrong in this matter. He replied that Mr. Seward had decided differ- 
ently ; he evidently did not like the manner in which I had expressed my opinion. In 
connection with this matter, I will say that after Rear-Admiial Godon had read this 
letter to me, I distinctly recollect asking him the question, did you furnish Mr. Wa£^- 
buTQ a copy of that letter f He said no, that he had not, and then closed the book. 

Q. You say that he gave certain reasons, among others the large consumption of 
coad. Did he in that conversation urge an objection to taking Mr. Washburn up « 
through the blockade of the allies f — ^A. Yes, sir, he did in connection with the con- 
sumption of the coaL 

Q. Those were the two objections f — ^A. Yes, sir. What he had of a personal char- 
acter I do not know. At that time I had never met Mr. Washburn. 

Q. What did he say with reference to the blockade f — ^A. He said the allies had a 
right to prevent the American minister ftom passing the blockade. 

Q. Did you at any time, in any conversation with Admiral Godon, hear him say or 
judge from his conduct that he had purposely avoided being officially informed of the 
fact that Mr. Washburn was our official minister ? — ^A. I never heard him say that. 

Q. Did you hear him say that he based his refusal to accommodate Mr. Washburn 
upon the ground that he did not know officially that he was a minister f — ^A. I only 
imerred that he used that as the pretext for not sending him to his destination. 

Q. What caused you to infer that t — ^A. The manner in which he generally spoke of 
Mr. Washburn. I had received the impression, knowing Admiral Godon as well as I 
did, that he would throw obstacles in the way of any minister. 

Q. Wliy Y — ^A. From the fact that in his official course, particularly on this station, he 
always seemed to make it a rule to ignore every American minister. 

Q. What did you ever hear him say in reference to American ministers generally T— 
A. I have heard him express himself very contemptuously, not only wiUi regard to 
^Si. Washburn but also Mr. Kirk. I never heard mm allude to Mr. Webb ; he seemed 
to have made General Webb an exception. 

Q. Will you please go on with your narrative f — ^A. I arrived at Buenos Ayres May 
30, 1866, and had instructions &om Admiral Godon to act as the senior naval officer of 
that port, and to place myself on a friendly footing with the officials. Mr. Kirk was 
the i^erican minister at that place. Mr. Washburn was up the river, I think in the 
neighborhood of Corrientes. When I received orders to leave for Montevideo, which I 
think was about July 11 — I may not be exact about the dates after aU — ^I left, and 
arrived there on the 15th. In the interval I sailed over to a port called Colonia, which 
is opposite Buenos Ayres. I there fell in with an Italian gunboat, called the Ardita, 
Captain Raccia. That officer s^ke English fluently. He stated that he had met with 
Mx, and Mrs. Washburn at Comentes, and had become qpite well acquainted with him ; 
that on one occasion Mr. Washburn, by his invitation, visited Mb vessel, and that he had 
saluted him ; that before firing the salute he was in doubt whether Mr. Washburn was 
invested withany official position ; that he had heard that he was the American minister 
to Paraguay, but fromthe flEM^t of hia arriving there without any means of reaching his 



destination, even the people in the neighborhood had their doubts abontit; but that he 
had fired the salute nevertheless. I told Captain Raccia that he had done perfectly right, 
that he was saluting an American minister. I arrived at Montevideo July 15, and re- 
mained there until September. September 14 I left again for Buenos Ayres, where I 
remained until the 20th. October 13 I left again for the port of Buenos Ayres. About 
this time General Asboth arrived, and Captain Crosby, wno commanded the Shamokin, 
and myself were ordered by Admiral Godon to escort the general up the river to Buenos 
Ayres. I had also a private letter from Admiral Godon desiring me to extend to ihe 
general all the honors that I could give him on the way up, firing guns and making a fdss 
over the general, in order, I suppose, to produce a good ef^t upon the people. I 
remained irom October 13 to December. On this occasion I became acquainted with Mr. 
Washburn, who had returned from Corrientes. He was living at a hotel, and in his con- 
versations with me upon the subject of his troubles, he always expressed himself temper- 
ately. I have no recollection of his ever having said anything which I could construe as 
being disrespectftil to my superior officer, Admiral Godon, who commanded the squadron. 
Butne did allude on several occasions to the manner in which he had been kept away 
from his destination ; he felt so sore about it that the people living in Buenos Ayres 
frequently made their remarks about it ; that there were articles appeared in the news- 
papers, which were unfriendly in their character ; that he had no desire to occupy 
any such position in the estimation of the people. Moreover, every intelligent, respect- 
able American, and nearly ever^ Englishman, were of the opinion that Mr, Washburn 
had been very unjustly dealt with by Rear- Admiral Crodon. 

Q. What are the relations between you and Admiral Godon — ^friendly or other- 
wise? — ^A. Unfriendly. They had their origin, mostly, nine-tenths of them, on account 
of my having been on friendly terms with Mr. Washburn. 

Q. Prior to this period you were on friendly terms with the admiral? — ^A. There had 
been no rupture at all, no open rupture. 

By Mr. Willakd: 

Q. Were there unkind feelings before that? — ^A. I had no very particular admiration 
for him. Still I did my duty. 1 had received several complimentary letters from him 
for services I had performed; not very complimentary, but as complimentary as he was 
capable of writing. I had heard about this coal business, that Mr. Hale and some 
Americans had offered to famish coal to enable Mr. Washburn to go up the river. 

By Mr. Washburn : 

Q. What was the motive of the Americans in doing that? — ^A. I suppose they saw that 
the minister was treated with indignity, and that it had the effect to bring our country 
in disrepute with the Argentine Republic ; that we were losing very much of the imx>orfc- 
ance which we had already, and which we still held in that country as a nation. After 
remaining there until December, I was then ordered to repair to Montevideo, and not 
Admiral Godon, who had retumcid from Rio. I arrived at Montevideo December 16, 
1866. When I went on board to report to him, which was on Sanday, it was about the 
time of his dinner hour, and he invited me to take my dinner with him, which I did. 
He then alluded to my having been on terms of intimacy with Mr. Washburn. I told 
him I had been; that I had visited him frequently; that I liked him, aud that I liked 
Mrs. Washburn. There was nothing else said then, at least the conversation did not 
go on to any extent on that occasion, it being Suuday. A few days afterwards I was 
sent down to a place called the English Bank for the relief of an English merchant ship. 
On my return from extricating the vessel, for which I received a letter of thanks from 
the English government and me British admiral, Admiral Grodon was at Buenos Ayres 
or up in that direction. He returned in a few days ; when he charged me with not 
having written to him about Mr. Washburn, his conversation, and his movements while 
I had been acting as the senior officer in the ports of Montevideo and Buenos Ayres. I 
told him that I did not consider that that was any part of my duty; that my duty was 
to report to him everything official; but as for writing of Mr. Washburn what he said, 
or about his movements, or anything connected with him, I never could perform any 
service of that kind. I said it in considerable warmth, and he charged me with 1>eing 
disrespectful in language and manner. I disclaimed any intention of that kind. He 
then stated, and he did it very abruptly, as I thought, with a view of drawing me off 
my ^ard, that I had advised Mr. Washburn to publish the instructions which he had 
received in the Buenos Ayrean Standard. Those instructions were to the effect that 
Admiral Grodou should take Mr. Washburn up the river at all hazards. I asked Admiral 
Godon for his authority for any such statement, and he declined to give it. I denounced 
the author of that statement and told him, so far from giving any such advice to Mr. 
Washburn, I happened to be at Montevideo, a hundred miles off^ when these instructions 
appeared in the newspaper, and I had merely glanced over the paper containing them, 
but had not read the whole of them. I then stated to him that he had on more than 
one occasion outraged my feelings ; that I had no desire any longer to serve in his squad- 
ron ; that he had upon more than one occasion insulted me. He replied that I should 
go on board my ship; that he would not put me under suspension. I obeyed the order. 


While Bmarting under this impntation of Admiral Godon, I applied officially to the 
Secretary of the Navy to be relieved from the command of the United States steamer 
Kansas, assigning as a reason that I had been promoted on the station to a commander, 
and was therefore entitled to a large vessel; bat that.I hod also reasons of a special 
character which I would at some future day make known to the department. I forwarded 
tiiat communication to Admiral Godon, sending it by the cockswain of my boat, and 
indorsed on the outside of it the subject-matter of it. That application he returned to 
ine because it happened to be Sunday. 

By Mr. Washburn : * 

Q. Was it the same Sunday that he had the dance and music aboard his vessel f— -A. 
No^ sir; it was some other time ; I only heard of that; it did not occur then. I sent the 
same application to him the next day. By some mistake I had indorsed the subject- 
matter on the outside of the envelope; there I made a mistake. He then hoisted the 
signal for me to repair on board; this was in the afternoon. When I went on board I 
was told by his acting fleet captain, Lieutenant Commander Marvin, that the admiral 
was taking a nap, and that I should wait there. I was invited by that officer into his 
state-room or office acyoining the cabin, which invitation I declined to accept. I remained 
on the quarter-deck nearly an hour before the admiral sent for me. He seemed to be 
very much excited, very much enraged. He referred to this application of mine. X 
told him that I had no desire to serve any longer in his squadron. I was standing at 
that time against the side-board in the cabin, and was perfectly respectful in manner 
and in lan^age. He spoke of my repeated disobedience of orders, and said that while 
I was serving in his oonmiand I was to understand that I must obey his orders. Ho 
accompanied this w^h an otfeusive and insulting gesture, shaking his finger in my 
face. I called his attention to it and he repeated it. I again called his attention to it 
in these words: ^'Admiral Godon, you are shaking your linger in my face.'' He then 
ordered me in the most peremptory manner to go on boanl my vessel under suspension. 
As I was leaving the cabin I asked him if I should transfer the command to the execu- 
tive officer. He shook his finger again towards me; at that time I was some three or 
four feet from him; he said that he knew what his duty was, and that I should go on 
board my ship under suspension. I remained under suspension two days, the first sus- 
pension that had ever been inflicted upon me in a naval service of over twenty-six 
years. By the rules and reguhitions of the service I was obliged to confine myself to 
the cabin, about one-third the size of this committee-room. I was not allowed to go 
to any othet part of the ship, except, perhaps to use the water-closet ; that was ou 
the upper deck. While under suspension 1 made a report in detail of this outrage to 
JJie Secretary of the Navy. I wish to state, however, that durins this time I had orders 
to proceed to the coast of Africa on a cruise, to visit the ports u'om the Cape of Good 
Hope up. I reported all these indignities which I had endured. I attributed them 
mostly to my friendship for Mr. Wasliburn, and because I did not conibrm to the 
strict regulations of the service, which require the official communications to be sent 
to the commander-in-chief of the squadron. To protect myself from further indignities 
which I knew he would visit upon me if I presented this report of his conduct in person. 
I confided it to Surgeon Wells of the Shamokin, requesting him to place the document 
on board the flag-smp as soon as he learned I had left the port of Montevideo. When I 
had arrived at the Cape of Good Hope I forwarded a duplicate of the report to the 
Secretary of tiie Navy, mdorsing upon the outside that the original had been left for 
transmission to him. I presumed, as a matter of course, that Dr. Wells had taken that 
communication on board the flag-ship according to my request. 

By Mr. Willabd: 

Q. How long prior had you received orders to go to the Cape of Good Hopef — A. A 
few days before this open rupture took place. After visiting the ports in Africa I 
returned to Itio, and arrived there ou the 21st of July, 1867. T found orders awaiting 
me which were huided me by Captain Woolsey, who had in the mean time arrived there 
in the Pawnee, that I should fill up immediately with coal and proceed to St. Catharines, 
and after having remained there ten days or two weeks for the purpose of coaling, 
exercising the men on shore in batallion drill, and firing at target in the harbor, I was to 
proceed to a point off Rio Grande in search of a sunken rock, where gales of wind in the 
winter season were very frequent, to search for that rock for five days of clear weather. I 
think I must have been two weeks getting that kind of weather, taking soundings. I 
did not discover the rock, nor has it been discovered to this day ; probably it never will 

By Mr. Orth: 

Q. Is there not a rock there? — ^A. There had been a report brousht into Montevideo 
by some Brazilian navigator or ship-master that he had seen a rock. But the Brazilian 
ship-masters are very unreliable. What he bctw there, I suppose, was the back of a 
whale, or a floating' log, or a portion of a wreck. On my return to St. Catharines I 


Tcceivod several Tery insulting, improper, and nnmilitarycommmiications from Admiral 
Godon, alluding to my having forwarded the document to the Secretary of ^the Njivy in 
an irregular way, and having stopped at the Cape of Good Hope when I had no orders 
to do so. I stopped there on account of the leaking of my ship. He characterized my 
report to the Secretary of the Navy of his conduct as an incendiary document, and said 
that it had been circulated throughout the squadron. On my arrival at Rio, on my 
return from the coast of Africa, I found a letter from Dr. Wells, returning to me the 
original report. He stated as a reason for returning it, that if he had taken that report 
to Admiral Grodon, he would have incurred his dim^easure. Ho said nobody had seen 
the letter but himself, although it was open, as all official letters transmitted through 
your superior must be. I never had any doubt in my own mind that Dr. Wells had 
complied with my instructions otherwise, as I had stated inmy letter to Admiral Godon 
I would not have sent a duplicate of it from the Cape of Good Hope to the Secretary of 
the Navy. The reason why I sent it was that I had heard Admiral Gpdon say that 
unless a letter was germane to the subject, although addressed to the Secretary of the 
* Navyjhe would not forward it. 

Q. Do you attribute this conduct of Admiral Godon. to any other cause except your 
friendship for Mr. Washburn? — ^A. I am pretty certain there was some animus before I 
joined that squadron. But I had made up my mind to perform my duty, as far as I 
oould do so. 

Q. So far as this committee is concerned, we desire only to know so much of this 
transaction as relates to the matter before the committee. — A. I desire to state that, in 
consequence of my friendship for Mr. Washburn, I was visited with persecution from 
the time I arrived at Montevideo until I left the station ; that, although I had given 
these explanations, they were not satisfactory. I produced documentary evidence to 
show that I had his authority to go to the Cape of Good Hope. He brought up my 
sending that document; my going to the Cape of Good Hope; my having disobeyed 
orders, when it was his order that I should report to him aiter my arrival at Rio. 
Those orders were so ambiguously expressed that Captain Woolsey understood them 
to mean that I should remain at St. Catharines. Instead of accepting my statement 
he sent an order placing me again under susx>en&lon. At that time I was suspended 
nine days because I had disobeyed hil^ orders in stopping at St. Catharines. I was con- 
fined again in that small cabin. My bealth had not been very good since my return 
from the coast of Africa, for I had had the African fever; but I was obliged to confine 
myself to those quarters or else bo liable to dismissal from the service. The com- 
mand then fell to the executive officer. By the law, my suspension expired in 10 
days, expired at sea, and in five days after that I arrived at Rio, where I found 
him. As soon as I reported my return in x^crson, carrying with me a detailed account 
of the service performed since I made out my last report, he met me at the cabin, and, 
in a very insulting and improper manner, asked me if I had brought those orders on 
board which he had sent me. I told him that I had not; that I did not suppose it was 
usual for a person to bring orders to the person from whom they had emanated. He said, 
^'Go and bring those orders.'' I did so; when I came back he opened again upon me, 
very much enraged and very much excited, gesticulating a great deal, and spoke of my 
disobedience of orders ; of having gone to tiie Cape of Good Hope ; of having forwarded 
a document to the Secretary of the Navy with a false indorsement upon it. On this 
occasion he had Lieutenant Commander Marvin in as a witness of what he said. I have 
no very distinct recollection of his precise language, but he was very violent and very 
menacmg. I was obliged to submit to it, knowing that if I committed myself he would 
have me in his power. I remained quiet pretty much of the time. Ho then stated 
that he would receive from me any statement on paper, having reference^ I suppose, to 
my withdrawing my application and that report, and that my command would be 
restored to me. I had no answer to give hun ; I had referred the matter to the Secre- 
tary of the Navy and desired a court of investigation or a court-martial. I was again 
ordered under suspension; this was the third suspension he had inflicted upon me. 
The other had expired only five days before. While I was under suspension, General 
Webb visited the Kansas and found me in that condition. He told me that, know- 
ing Admiral Davis as well as he did, this suspension would be taken out on his 
arrival. Fortunately for me. Admiral Davis came in and released me from suspension 
and reinstated me in command after I had submitted a portion of the correspondence 
I had had with Rear-Admiral Godon. All of this was in the presence of Admiral Godon. 
He was then about leaving for the United States. Admiral Davis told me that he thought 
it was best under the circumstances that I should return to the United States; that he 
would detach me regularly; that I should go home in the Nipsic, and that in doing so 
he wished to do me a personal kindness. He said that I would arrive in the United 
States free from suspension or any charges that Admiral Godon might bring against me. 
That was the first intimation I had that Admiral Godon contemplated preferring 
charges against me. I confessed my surprise to Admiral Davis. He said that ho did 
not wish to have anything to do with Admiral Godon's troubles; that he regretted 
what had occurred ; that ho had very pleasant recollections of what had taken place at 


the battle of Port Royal, where Admiral Davis was the second in command. I told the 
admiral that, as much as I desired an investigation into all the charges brought against 
me and an exposure of the indignities I had ^idured whUe under the command of 
Admiral Godon, I knew very weU that if he carried out that order detaching me and 
sending me to the United States, he would be separating me firom my witnesses, who 
.were on that station, and that it was due to me to have this investigation where the 
witnesses were. But the admiral did not want to be troubled with it. I came home 
and reported my return to the Secretary of the Navy, and pressed this matter upon Mr. 
WeUes as much as it was possible for a man to do. I courted the strictest investiga- 
tion into my conduct. Mr. Welles said he was very sorry that our relations had been 
floim&iendly; that Admiral Godon, in a conversation with him on this subject, had 
disclaimed any intention of insulting me by his gesticulations; he said that Admiral 
Godon was a Frenchman : that he was naturally excitable, and that he had gesticulated 
in that way to him. I told him that I did not think Admiral Godon would dare to shake 
his finger in his fekce. Mr. Welles then seemed inclined to order an investigation. I 
had submitted documentary evidence refuting all the charges. Mr. Welles thought the 
matter had better drop ; that it was unfortunate; that I had better let the matter die 
out. I told him it was a matter I thought of the first thing in the morning and the last 
thing at night, and that I would be wifiing to go out on 3ie station and place myself 
under arrest for an official investigation into these troubles. He would iiot consent to 
that, and, after an interview which lasted half an hour, I left him. I addressed several 
letters to him after thift, and on one occasion was shown unofficially by a clerk in the 
Navy Department the charges against me, which were, sending up a report, making 
false indorsements, remaining at St. Catharines, stopping at the Cape, and so forth. 
Tliat was the first and only tune I ever saw those oh£U*ges. They never were sent to 
me by the Secretary of the Navy, and probably, without this investigation by the com- 
mittee, never would have been brought to light. Secretary Welles, when I asked for 
a court of investigation, said there was nothing on the records of the department'which 
afiected my stanmng as an officer and a gentleman ; that he would write me such a 
letter as I would thmk to be satisfactory. He dismissed the case and did write a letter 
characteristic of Mr. Welles, who was disposed not to make trouble. He spoke about 
the voluminous character of the correspondence; that the reports of each officer were 
exaggerated; that there was a great deal of feeling, and finally dismissed the case, so 
that no trial or investigation ever took place. 

Q. Have you that letter t — ^A. I have. Just before the last administration expired I 
heard that Admiral Godon had never been furnished with a copy of that letter. It was 
intended to be satis&ctory to me, although there were some passages in it to which I 
took exception; it was a considerable reprimand to me, and also to him. But when a 

J'uuior comes in contact with a senior the difference in rank governs it to some extrnt. 
. have pressed this matter again, upon the present Secretary of the Navy. I have been 
told by my Mends that if the investigation was not granted to me on the ground that 
it was already disposed of by the Secretary, I would have an ample opportunity to vin- 
dicate myself before this committee. That is one reason why I have gone so fiilly into 
the nature of the indignities I have endured. 

By Mr. Washburn: 

Q. Do you know what was the reason for the antipathy of Admiral Godon to me f — 
A. I had reason to believe that it was from the fact that Mr. Washburn showed so much 
desire to reach his destination, wrote to him so frequently upon the subject, and alfK> 
.that the admiral ignored pretty much everybody out there holding official position who 
difiered with him. 

By Mr. Wilkinson: 

Q. Did you ever hear him use any discourteous or improper language in regard to Mr. 
Washburn? — ^A. Unless the committee insist upon it, I would decline to answer that 

By Mr. Obth: 

Q. Why do you decline f— A* Because he did make use of an expression such as no 
OAval officer should make use of^ and, for the sake of the service, I would prefer not to 
smswev that question. 

Q. You are not a voluntary witness at all. These questions are put to you by the 
committee, and it is for them to Judge of the propriety of the questions. Any answer 
you may ^ve here would not impUcate you in any way, for the reason that it is the act 
of. the committee, and not your act. — ^A. Then I am to understand that you insist upon 
a categorical answer to a categorical question? 

<2. We would like to have it in order to show the animus. There is some reason why 
Hm transaction has assumed this peculiar phase. 

By Mr. Willard: 

Q. You will state the time when it happened?— A. It occurred on or about December 
16, J1866, on my return to Buenos Ayres, when I went on board the ship, on Sunday^ to 
report to him my arrival fkrom Montevideo. It occurred at his dinner table. 



By Mr. Washburn: 

Q. On Sunday f— A. Tea, sir. In speaking df Mr. Washbnm, he called him a damned 
son of a bitch. I made no reply; I ate my dinner in silence, and shortly afterwards 

By Mr. Wilkinson : 

Q. You think his enmity grew out of your friendship to Mr. Washburn in a very great 
measure f — ^A. Yes, sir; it brought it to an open rupture. 

By Mr. Washburn : 
Q. What was the general feeling in the squadron towards the admiral and towards 
me among the officers! — ^A. I never heard any officer speak in an unfriendly maimer of 
Mr. Washburn. I think he had the good wishes of all the officers. 

Testimony 0/ Captain Thonms H. Patterson. 

Washington, D. C, Apnl 19, 1869. 
Thomas H. Patterson, captain United States navy, sworn add examined. 

By Mr. Orth : 

Q. How long have you been connected with the navy f — ^A. I have been in the navy 
33 years. 

Q. Where were you employed during the years 1865 and 1866 f — ^A. I was on the 
blockade of Charleston until June, 18ob. I was on leave from the last of June until 
the 19th of September, 1865 : I was then ordered to the command of the Brooklyn, and 
sailed from New York the latter part of October for the coast of Brazil, to join the 
squadron under the command of Admiral Godon. I reached Rio about the middle of 
January, 1866. 

Q. What vessels then composed the squadron? — ^A. I did not find any vessels of the 
squadron in Rio at that time ; the Kansas and the Juniata belonging to the squadron 
had been sent out to search for me, the ship having been reported lost. They returned 
to Rio before I left ; I left there early in February, stopped at St. Catherines to coal, 
and proceeded to Montevideo, where I arrived about the middle of March. 

Q. Was there plenty of coal at St. Catherines? — ^A. About a thousand tons. 

Q. For what business was that coal there? — ^A. It had been deposited there, I think, 
during the war; I am not sure how long it had been there; it was govenunent coal, 
anthracite. From St. Catherines I went to Montevideo, as I stated, where I reported 
to Admiral Godon on board the steamship Susquehanna, which ship the Brooklyn 
relieved: he transferred his flag to the Brooklyn, and in the course of two or three 
weeks afterwards the Susquehanna left for the United States, and the Brooklyn remained 
the flag-^ip of Admiral Godon while he was in command of the squadron, and he 
returned to the United States in her. 

Q. You have had command of her during the whole of that time ? — ^A. Yes, sir* 

Q. Where did the Brooklyn go duiing that fall and summer? — A. In the month of 
May she went to Buenos Ayres, from which point the admiral went up the Uruguay 
river in the Wasp; I do not know exactly how far he went; he did not inform me 
* where he was going. 

Q. You never learned from him where he went on that visit ? — A. I heard him make 
some allusion to General Mitre in connection with that visit. 

Q. Did he make any allusion to General Urquiza? — ^A. He did not. 

Q. Were there any American interests there needing the protection of the navy ?— 
A. There was an American house at Higueritas. 

Q. Did you ever hear him speak of Mr. Kirk advising him not to go ? — ^A. I landed 
in Buenos Ayres after he had left. I received a communication for the admiral while 
he was gone ; I inquired who it was from, and was told that it was from the Brazilian 
special envoy ; that letter I forwarded to Huegeritas by mail ; I do not know the con- 
tents of it ; they said it was important. 

Q. Did Admiral Godon never aUude to the contents of that letter in your presence? — 
A. No, sir, that I recollect, after he returned from his visit up the Uruguay. 

Q. To what point did the Brooklyn proceed ? — ^A. I returned to Montevideo, leaving 
the admiral at Buenos Ayres, or still up the Uruguay, I do not remember which ; he 
rejoined my vessel in the course of a week or ten days afterwards. From Montevideo, 
in May or June, we went to Rio, and from there to Bahia ; from that point we went 
north 1,200 or 1,400 miles. 

Q. What was the object of your visit on this occasion? — ^A. I do not know that there 
was any specified object more than to visit one of the ports on the coast and indicate 
our friendly feeling. The Brazilian fla^ had been saluted there by order of one of our 


men-of-war, and we followed that vossel very soon afterwards and fonndher there when 
we a rriv ed. 

Q. What had that salnte to do with yonr paying the visit f — A. I do not know that 
it had anything, directly; it seemed to be a mere ordinary visit of a man-of-war to one 
of the ports of his station ; I think we remained there two weeks or upwards ; we had 
a long passage to Bahia, I think 18 days ; we sailed a great deal on our return trip, 
and it must have been as late as August, or later, when we left Bahia. We then returned 
to Rio, and I was sent off 60 or 70 miles southward to practice, and was absent 10 days 
perhaps, when I returned again to Rio. We remained in Rio then until late in November, 
if I am not mistaken. 

Q. Was there any special necessity of remaining that lon^, that you know f — A. None 
that I know of. Late in November we returned to Montevideo, reaching there, I think, 
the latter x>art of December. 

Q. When you reached Montevideo where was Captain Crosby with the Shamokinf — 
A. I cannot say whether he was in Montevideo or Buenos Ayres ; he was in the river 

Q. Had he returned from his visit to Paraguay f — ^A. I really cannot say ; I do not 
think he had returned when we arrived ; I never met Captain Crosby until I met him 
in this committee-room in Washington. 

Q. When did you first know of his being in Montevideo or Buenos Ayres, on his way 
to Paraguay ? — ^A. I knew of it in March, 1866, when I first reached Montevideo ; I was 
told of it by Admiral Godon. 

Q. What did Admiral Godon say to you in reference to Minister Washburn at that 
time T — ^A. I do not know that he ever said anything to me directly ; in conversation 
with others, he has spoken freely in my presence ; ho said liir. Washburn had applied 
for passage in one ot the vessels of the squadron to go to Paraguay, and the only rea- 
son assigned for his refusal to take him was, that he had no vessel m proper condition 
which could carry a sufficient amount of coal. I did not know Mr. Washburn person- 
ally, and took very little personal interest in the matter. 

Q. What did you ever hear Admiral Godon say of Mr. Washburn as to his character 
as a public minister or as a man ? — ^A. I never heard him use any harsh language. I 
have neard him make use of this expression, that he did not attach any importance to 
his going to Paraguay. I have heard him say Mr* Washburn was not a man of intelli- 
^nce, but that was so common an expression of Admiral Godon in speaking of people, 
that I did not think anything of it. 

Q. What have you heard him say in regard to American ministers generally ? Did 
he speak of them favorably or unfavorably in your presence ? — A. I never heard him 
speak unfavorably of them ; I think he was favorably impressed with Mr. Kirk. 

Q, He regarded him as a man of intelligence ? — ^A. I never heard him say he was not 
a man of intelligence ; he always spoke very pleasantly of him. The admiral and Gen- 
eral Webb seemed to be on very excellent terms until a very few days before we left 
Rio the last time, and General Webb was a guest on board our vessel for about a week 
at one time. 

Q. Have you ever been up to Asuncion T — ^A. I have not. 

By Mr. Swann : 

Q. Did the admiral ever manifest any hostile feeling towards Mr. Washburn ?— A. 
Never in my presence. 

By Mr. Washburn : 
Q. Did the admirsd speak to you ever in regard to sending a gunboat up the river 
under sail ? And would it not require three times as much coal to go in that way as to 
go directly by steam f — ^A. I do not know whether the river was winding or not ; if the 
turns were frequent and sharp, it would require less coal to go up under steam all the 
time ; you could not save anything by using sails. 

By Mr. Orth : 

Q. When you say Admiral Godon made objection to taking Mr. Washburn on account 
of the small quantity of coal the vessel carried, what vessel had he reference to T— A. 
The Wasp. 

Q. Do you Imow the capacity of the Wasp T— A. At that time she had very inferior 
accommodations ; I do not know anything as to her capacity for carrying ftiel. 

Q. The Wasp came from Liverpool to Kio. did she not ?— A. Yes ; but in making that 
passage she would stop at Madeira, and at tne Cape de Verde islands j still I do not sup- 
pose there was any serious question as to her capacity for carrying coal on a trip to 
Paraguay. We had no coal depots on that river, but there was an abundance of coal at 
our stations ; there was a very large depot of coal at Montevideo. The coal at Monte- 
video and Buenos Ayres was not the kind of coal ordinarily used for steamers, but was 
such as we could very well have used 


By Mr. WnxARD : 

Q. Was there a depot of American coal at Montevideo f — ^A. Yes ; and I suppose there 
was at Buenos Ayres ; I cannot positively say as to that. I know that mail steanters 
were in the habit of going backwards and forwards, and I suppose coal was to be 
obtained there of the proper kind and quality. 

Testimony of Charles A. W««**«r». 

Washington, D. C, April l^, 1869. 
Charles A. Washburn, recalled and examined as follows : 

By Mr. Orth : 

Question. What do you know, of your own personal knowledge, in reference to the 
supply of coal at Montevideo, and in ]points on the Faraway or Uruguay rirers? — 
Answer. I have been up and down the river a great many tmies from Paraguay. There 
was always>a large quantity of coal at Montevideo : as much so, aocordinc to my belief, 
as there is at Brooklyn, Philadelphia, or Boston. It is the intention of the coal dealers 
there to keep a supply equal to any emergency ; sometimes the supply becomes short, 
but it is onlv for a few days. There is coal in abundance at Buenos Ayres, at Monte- 
video, and then at Rosario, 300 miles abore Buenos Ayres, there is always coal. I think 
I never passed Rosario in a steamer (and I have passed it 15 or 20 times) that the 
steamer did not take in coal there; I do not remember of there ever being any 
scarcity ; the supply there was, I think, of English coal. At Parana, about 150 miles 
above Rosario, there is another coal station ; and there is still another point between 
that and Corrientes. In regard to taking a steamer up that river without burning coal, 
the idea is purely ridiculous ; it would require, very likely, three or four months to 
make the trip ; the river is very winding, in some places eight or ten miles broad, look- 
ing like a succession of lakes ; the channel is tortuous, and you seem at one point to be 
landing into an island in this direction, and then into another island in that direction, 
to all points of 'the compass. The idea of going up in a sailing vessel would be per- 
fectly absurd. I have here a rough sketch, snowing the situation of the various points 
up the Paraguay river to Asuncion. When I arrived at the mouth of the river at Buenos 
Ayres, the squadron of the allied forces was not then at Corrientes, but was scattered 
along the river. I waited for the admiral to send me up about two and a half months, 
when I went up to Corrientes alone, and found the squadron there. 

Q. What special object was there in blockading that river f Had the Paraguayans 
any vessels at all ? — ^A. They had. The object, however, was particularly to prevent 
supplies from going up there. They had allowed a French ana an English gunboat to 
go up through what they call their blockade before I reached there. I, of course, did 
not appeal to Mr. Kirk to get permission for our gunboat to pass, until I found out 
whetner the admiral woula send one, as it would place us in a ridiculous light to ask 
permission for a gunboat to pass, and then find the admiral would not send a gunboat. 
When President Mitre told me they had no right to stop me, I returned to Buenos Ayres 
to §et a letter from the minister of foreign affairs ; but unfortunately, the steamer on 
which I started to go back run aground, and was delayed so long that when I returned 
the squadron had left from opposite Corrientes. The armies had commenced active 
operations, and President Mitre told me that circumstances had changed, so that it 
would be necessary to consult the allied authorities again before permission could, be 

f ranted. When I first went to Corrientes, Admiral Tamandar6 and President Mitre 
oth stated they would have no right to stop a gunboat from going up, and as I lubve 
stated, when I returned circumstances had changed. Indeed, I nad waited for Admiral 
€rodon four months before the decision was made again not allowing me to go through. 

By. Mr. Willard : 

Q. Did these French and English gunboats, to which you have referred, have iq>ecial 
permission frt>m the Argentine government to pass up the river. — A. I do not know as 
to that. It would have placed me, of course in a ridiculous position for Mr. Bark to 
have obtained permission for a gunboat to take me up, when the admiral refused to 
send me. The admiral did not refuse to send me, but on the contrary led me to sup- 
pose he would do so until the middle of Janua^ry, and I did not therefore write h<»ue ror 
instructions. He delayed me by his course in this way, fio that it was just one year 
from the time I landed in Buenos Ayres until I landed in Paraguay. And all this 
trouble, it seems to me, has axisen from that. 



Mr, Webb to Mr, WasKlmm, 

Lbgation of the United States, 

Rio de Janeiro, October 22, 1866. 

Sm: Admixal Godon has joBt shown me a letter from you dated Buenos Ayres, 
October 1, but which left that port on tlie 12th, after the arrival of the English steamer 
Amo in the river, upon which our recently appointed minister to the Argentine Repub- 
lic was a passenger. In that letter occurs the folU>wing paragraph : 

^^ On the receipt of that letter, (your dispatch to Mr. Seward,) still stronger instruc- 
tions were sent not only to me, but to our minister at Rio, Mr. Webb, and our minister, 
who it was supposed would be here before this time, Mr. Asboth. Peremptory orders 
were given to the two latter that if my detention was continued, and if within six or 
eight days satisfactory explanations were not fidven them, they were to ai^ their pass- 
p<Nrt8 to return to the United States, if the hindrance alluded to had not ceased through 
some proceeding on the part of the allied powers. No proceeding to caaue euck Mndranoe 
to eetue hoe yet been made bv the allies; and firom the fact that Mr. Asboth has not yet 
arrived, whose action wiui that of Mr. Webb was to have been concurrent with my 
own, I am yet obliged to remain here, to await still further instructions, unless in the 
meanwhile you shiul furnish me a vesscj of war, and it shall be allowed to pass up to 

It womd appear from the foregoing, that my letter of the 22d of August, which must 
have arrived at Buenos Ayres on tne 2dth of the same month, has not reached you. 
Since then, three mail steamers have sailed from Buenos Ayres and duly delivered 
their mails at this city; but no acknowledgment of my official letter to you has been 
received, and of course, the inference is irresistible that it did not reach you. This 
inference would seem to become a fact, when you inform Admiral Godon " that no pro- 
ceeding to oatue »uch hindrance to oeaee has yet been made." But, then a^ain, the accuracy 
of this statement is directly called in question by the fact set forth oy you in the pre- 
ceding sentence of your letter, viz: ^^My instructions also were to return to the United 
States if the hindrance alluded to had not ceased through some proceedings on the part 
of the allied powers." 

The question then arises, why you have not obeyed those instructions and returned 
as instructed, to the United States, within the tune to which we were limited, if, as 
you gravdy inf<»nned the admiral, *^ no proceeding to cause such hindrance to cease 
has yet been made by the allies." If this be so ; if my letter of the 22d of August, advis- 
hig you that all such hindrance and obstruction to your repairing to your post of duty 
had been withdrawn, not only by Brazil, but by the allies, did not reach you, I cannot 
uodficstand under what possible reading of our respective instructions you could have 
remained in tiie river, or have asked of Admiral Godon a vessel of war or " a portion 
of his squadron, " to convoy you to Asuncion. # 

True, at the first blush of an affair in which the allies were so manifestly in the 
wrong, our government very naturally determined that you should be conveyed to 
your post of duty by our squadron at any and every hazard. But it would seem, that 
from considerations of our strength and the weakness of the three powers at war with 
Para^ay, this decision was reversed; and instead of war, a suspension of diplomatic 
relations was determined upon, .^d in the contingency, which you say has actually 
and oflSensively occurred, a continued refusal to permit an American minister to pass 
the military lines of the allies, your right to ask for a vessel of war to convey you to 
Asuncion, and the right of Admiral Godon to force those lines, was distinctly revoked, 
and you as distinctly and peremptorily ordered to return to the United States. I 
received similar instructions, but in no possible event were my movements made 
dependent upon yours: nor could they, as you allege, have been ^^ concurrent." I was 
directed to demand oi Brazil that all let or hindrance to your passage to Asuncion 
should be at once withdrawn; and if not, then to demand my passports and return 
hcmie. I did make such demand, although it had been peremptorily refused only a 
few days previous. Such refusal, no matter how offensively made, could not be con- 
sidered by me any excuse for disregarding my instructions from our common chief, and 
therefore, while a peremptory refusal to permit you to pass was made by Brazil in her 
own name and on the part of the allies, and. while that refusal was od its way to the 
United States, instead of considering it a bar to further action on my part, I dBmanded 
that your rights should be respected. To that demand, made in obedience to orders, 
while the wk of the previous peremptory and offensive refusal was scarcely dry, I 
received the Mlest written assurance that the previous action of the allies would at 
once be reversed, and that you were at full liberty to pass their military and blockad- 
ing lines, on your way to your post of duty, whenever you thought proper to do so. 
That witndrawal of all hindrance to yotir passage to Asuncion I communicated to you 
on the samfi day, Aagust 22, and beyond ail question my letter reached Buenos Ayres 


on the 28tb of the same month. And so important did I consider the reversal of the 
action of the allied powers, that I forwarded on the 24th of August to Mr. Adams, in 
London, the substance of my letter to you, to be telegraphed across the Atlantic to the 
government of Washington. 

But suppose that, in consequence of the previous peremptory and offensive refusals, 
I had not made any such demand as that which both you and I were ordered to make, 
or suppose the demand made had again been refused; what then? Why, I shoula 
have returned to the United States by the first conveyance, well knowing that there 
was no such thing as "concurrent action" with you or General Asboth contemplated, 
but that each of us were ordered to do our duty irrespective of the others, and that we 
were invested with no discretion to* refuse obedience to such order by reason of any 
possible previous discourteous actions toward us, on the part of those to whom we are 
respectively accredited. 

And that which was clearly my duty in the premises, was, most assuredly, your duty 
under your equally plain and significant instructions. If you did not receive my letter 
of the 22d of August, advising you that all obstructions by the allied powers, to your 
passing up the Paraguay, had been removed, and if, as you advised Admiral Godon 
six weeks after my letter should have reached you, and a longer period after you were 
ordered to return to the United States in a certain contingency — ^if, I say, as late as the 
date of your letter to the admiral, " no proceeding (of which you are advised) to cause 
such hindrance to cease has yet been made by the allies*' — ^then, beyond all peradven- 
ture, you should long since have returned to trie United States, and you had no authority 
whatever, to ask or demand of Admiral Crodon a vessel of war to convey you to Asun- 
cion. That authority was revoked when our government decided upon a suspension 
of diplomatic intercourse instead of war, for the forcing of a blockade is war ; and 
instead of calling upon the admiral to send you to Paraguay, it appears self-evident to 
me that your duty was to have returned home without any unnecessary delay. I 
rejoice, however, very sincerely, that there existed not the slightest necessity for your so 
doing ; and I again ofQciallv advise you, that on the 22d day of August, notwithstanding 
its previous peremptory remsal to do so, the government of Brazil authorized me to 
communicate to the government of Washington, for itself and in the name of its allies, 
that all obstructions to your passi^ to your post of duty in Paraguay had been 

I regret exceedingly that my letter of the 22d August, conveying to you this intelli- 
gence and also Admiral Godon's letter, apprising you that I had officially communi- 
cated to him the important fact contained in my letter of 22d August, should have 
mUcarriedj and that by the steamer which left Buenos Ayres, more than six weeks after 
you should have received my letter, you should have informed Admiral Godon that 
there has been no change in the offensive and illegal action of the allies. That you so 
thought, I cannot for a moment doubt, but that is entirely the result of a grave misconcep- 
tion of your instructions. You and I were respectively ordered to demand that all obstruc- 
tions to your going to Asuncion should at once cease, and unless our demand was 
Sromptly acceded to, we wore instructs to return to the United States. Both of us 
ad been peremptorily and discourteously refused a precisely similar demand within a 
few days of our receiving the final instructions alluded to. Both, unquestionably, 
experienced the same feelings at being ordered to do precisely that which we had just 
done without success. But I, as an old soldier, at once bottled up my pride, tried to 
discharge my duty, and obeyed the order, while you, consulting yoMi feelings instead of 
your duty, refused to renew your demand, and so informed Admiral Godon. In so 
determining, and neglecting to follow out both the letter and spirit of your instruc- 
tions, you have for nearly two months remained in ignorance of the fact, that beyond 
all question, if you had followed out the course indipated to us by Mr. Seward, you 
would not now be laboring under the extraordinary miscarriage of my letter of the 
22d of August, and Admiral Godon's letter advising you that I had officially communi- 
cated to him the substance of my very important letter of the 22d August. 

A copy of that letter you will find inclosed, 
very respectfully, your obedient servant, 


His excellency Charles A. Washburn, 

United States Minister Resident to Partiguay, 

P. S. — ^The fact that you, Mr. Kirk, and I, were all ordered home, in the event of the 
obstructions to your proceeding to Paraguay not being removed, was a state secret, 
known only to you and to myself. I confined it as a " state secret" strictly to my 
office, not even communicating it to our consul here. Not a whisper of what had 
occurred ever got before the public, but on the return of the steamer from the river it 
was known to everybody, and had he&n published in the press of Buenos Ayres! Of 
course this government was exceedingly irritated, and I am annoyed at such a pro- 
ceeding, and of course you were very generally censured for having made or permitted 
such an unnecessary exposure. It was known to this government and to me, that Mr. 
Kirk had gone home ; and consequently that you only, at the river, could have received 


• • 

the infonaation and promulgated it. Here, it did not get ont of my poflseesion and the 
possession of this government, and you may jud^e, therefore, of thefr astonishment and 
indignation at the public being apprised throng the Argentine press, that, to use their 
own language, ^Hhey had been buUied" into permitting your passage through their 
lines. In addition to this, it was stated to this government and written to me from 
the river, tha* you publicly boasted of your intention to force their line of blockade 
with the United States squadron on this station. 

To all this, and the annoying complaints made agrunst you by this government, I 
could only urge that, most probdblyf some friend in whom you had imprudemy confided had 
betrayed your confidence, 



Legation of the United States, 

Aeundonj April 3, 1867. 

Sm: Your very long letter dated October 21, 1866, was received by me on the 23d 
ultimo. Had you quoted any law or cited any order or regulation of the State Depart- 
ment by which you were constituted my censor and were authorized to lecture me on 
my official shortcomings, you would have done me a sreat favor. I had previously 
supposed that I was omy responsible to our common chief, the Secretary of State, for 
my official acts, but I was doubtless wrong in that, for without due authorization m>m 
the government, you, ''as an old soldier," would not have written a letter to me the 
propriety of which mi^ht be questioned. But as the letter is written and received and 
a copy has doubtless been sent to Washington for no otlier object, as I can see, but to 
prejudice me at the department, I must in self-justification reply to it. 

The occasion that seems to have called forth this extraordinary indictment is a lettei 
from me to Admiral Godon dated October 1, 1866. Why the admiral did not answer 
his own letter I know not. Whether his temper was too much ruffled or he felt he was 
not adequate to defend himself, or whatever may have been his motive for calling 
in your assistance^ I do not tail to appreciate the compliment you pay me when you, a 
veteran diplomatist, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary, and tne 
admiral of the squadron, unite your ponderous intellects to overthrow and confound 
one unpretending minister resident. Indeed '' ' tis a fearfol odds, " but as " thrice is he 
armed who hath nis quarrel just" and as my only defense will bo a simple statement of 
fEM^ts as they transpired, I warn you. beforehana to ''mark now how plain a tale shall 
put you down." 

It was the 25th of January of last year that I left Buenos Ayres to make my way to 
Paraguay. It was not till about the middle of that month that the admiral gave me a 
definite answer to the question whether he would send me up on a national war vessel 
or not. When I met him at Rio in the month of October preceding, he had said that he 
would do it if the usual channels of communication should be found closed, but when 
he reached the Plate he at first hesitated, quibbled, and chattered, and finally when he 
reached Buenos Ayres on the 14th of January, he positively declined to send a gunboat 
So on the 25th I took passage on a merchant steamer, leaving my \vife with some friends 
in Buenos Ayres. I made my way to Corrientes and thence to the headquarters of the 
army, when I told President Hitre I desired the usual facilities to pass through the 
lines to my post. His reply was that in his opinion I had a right to go through, but it 
was a question for his government rather than himself to decide. He would at once 
refer the matter to it and as soon as he should get an answer he doubted not I 
could pass through with every convenience provided. I replied, " K that is the case I 
can go down to Buenos Ayres, and if your government agrees with you I can return with 
Mrs. Washburn in the same time that you are waiting for the reply of your govern- 
ment." So I returned to Buenos Ayres and had a conference with Sefior £lizalde, the 
minister for foreign relations, and he said the government were of the same opinion as 
President Mitre, and he accordingly gave me a letter to the latter requesting him to 
frimish me all the facilities for passing through that the government hail promised me. , 

With this document I came back to Corrientes, and from there I went to Paso de la 
Patria, whero I asked the minister of war, Qelly y Obes, to take me to President Mitre^s 
camp. iHe said the president would come to the Paso the next morning and I could 
see him there. He did not come, however, but sent Gelly y Obis to me with a request 
that I should first see Admiral Tamandar^, with whom matters could be arranged as 
well as with himself. So I wont on board the flag-ship, when the admiral told mo I 
could not and should not go through under any circumstances. He said his orders were 
to stop any and everybody, and he had a perfect right to stop me, as was acknowledged 
by A^uniral Godon in an interview ho had with him wMle in Buenos Ayres. I then 
went to see President Mitre, and gave him Elizalde's letter. But he declined to respect 


it. He said circmnBtancee had changed since I was there before and he must again 
consult his goyermnent before he could give me a final reply ; and he kept me there in 
Oorrientes n>r five months waiting his answer. At length, after repeated evasions and 
requests for more time, now to refer the matter to his government; now to await the 
arrival of the Brazilian special envoy, and then again on some other miserable pretext; 
I determined to stand it no longer. So I wrote to him a letter reciting his evasions; 

auibbleS; and general bad faith, and concluded by making a ipotest not only against my 
etentioU; but against the disingenuous, tricky way in which it had been effected. I 
sent tills letter of a Sunday morning and the next Wednesday at noon I received dis- 
patch No. 43 from Mr. Seward, (a copy pf which was sent to you,) in which I was 
mstructed if, after proper and respectful application, I was still remsed the facilities for 
passing through to Paraguay, I was to apply to the admiral for a war vessel and the 
necessary convoy to take me to my post. The same day, at 4 p. m., I received President 
Mitre's reply to my protest, the same which you stigmatized in your letter of August 
21, to Seizor Andrada, as " more remarkable for its special pleading than for its Mendly 
or logical conclusions. '' You vnll recollect that I^esident Mitre in this letter to me, 
after his labored " special pleading, " in which he lays great stress on the fact that 
Admiral Godon had distinctly admitted that the allies had a perfect right to stop my 
passage, concludes by saying that the correspondence on his part must there close. 
Now under those circumstances what was I to do t Had I desired notoriety or sought to 
aggravate the case in which they had got themselves involved by their own folly and 
with the approval of our admiral, I should have written him again the next day, telling 
him that u he did not back directly out of his position and send me through without 
any more hesitation or delay, I was authorized to force his blockade with the i^hole 
American squadron, if necessary, and should certainly do it ; he must and would have 
answered that he was not to be bullied in that way. My idea was that it was not 
best to renew my demand till the gunboat was ready, and then they would see that if 
they still persisted it was and must be war. By so doing I gave them a chance to 
retreat and thus saved our government from the necessity of a serious difficulty. I had 
every personal motive to lollow the other course. I had been treated with great dis- 
courtesy by Minister Octaviano, and subjected to infinite annoyance and disrespect by 
resident Mitre, but I knew it was not the interest or desire of our government to 
become a party to this war, and so that the national dignity were vindicated, as 
it would be by my ^oing through on one of our own war vessels, I knew it was my duty 
to smother all feehngs of personal wrong or private resentment. And yet you tell me 
that in doing so I was "consulting my own (your) feelings instead of my (your) duty." 

I therefore returned to Buenos Ayres, and on my arrival there I found that the sub- 
stance of my instructions had already been published some days before in the newspa- 
pers. How the information was obtained I know not. There were but three persons 
who could have had it direct from our government, you. Admiral Godon, and myself, 
and it was a physical impossibility that it should have come from me. And these 
instructions were as much confidential as those that came afterwards, and which you 
say in your postscript were a " state secret.'' The responsibility for that publication 
must, therefore, rest with you or the admiral. 

But on what authority do you say that either of those dispatches was a " state secret ?" 
Nothing of that kind appears on the face of either one of them. Neither of them is 
marked confidential, and I have no reason to suppose that the Secretary of State desired 
the matter to be kept secret or regarded as confidential. On the contrary, I know he 
did not ; for in his dispatch to you, No. 180, dated September 23, 1866, he says that, 
''although you have marked one of your dispatches touching on the subiect of my deten- 
tion ' confidential,' you will please inform the government of his Mtgesty that I (Mr. 
Seward) am not able to allow it to maintain that character." 

The first instructions from our government, directing that in a given contingency the 
blockade should be forced, having thus been made public, I knew of no reason for keep- 
ing silent in regard to those subsequently received, in which we were all ordered to return 
to the United States in the event that all opposition to my passage was not promptly 
withdrawn. You speak, however, of the great astonishment and indignation of the 
Brazilian government that the public shoiud learn through the Argentine press that 
they had been "bullied." But they were bullied, as you know, and I know, and every- 
body knows. They never yielded gracefully, or admitted they were wrong. On the 
contrary, they insisted all through that they were right, and the last thing they did was 
to protest. Are they ostriches to stick their heads in the sand and then think they can- 
not be seen ? K not, what do they complain of ? You wrote me in a former l<ftter that 
when the French admiral complained of favoritism, the reply was: "There was no 
favoritism in what we did ; the knife was held at our throat and we yielded to compul- 
sion." And yet they want people to think they did not yield to force-*-they were not 
bullied I Undoubtedly they were greatly mortified at the absurd and ridiculous figure 
they had made throughout the whole transaction. And so they ought to be ma& to 
feel ; and they certainly had no reason to expect that I would put myself out to spare 
their tender sensibilities. Had not I ttt the commencement of the war delayed my 


return to the United States for nearly two-montlia, in order that ttieir minister, Viana de 
Lima, might have safe and comfortable egress mm the eoitntry f Did I not have a 
sharp and prolonged correspondence in his behalf^ telling President Lopez to his foce if 
he dSd not allow him (Viaiio de Lima) to leave, I shonla demand my own pas^orts f 
Of what I did then yon and the Bradlian ^vemment are already informed ; bnt yon 
may now know that Lopez has never forgiven me yet for the pirt I then took. And 
what retnrn have they made me f Certamly you must admit it has not been such as 
to entitle them to any particular gratitude or consideration from me. 

The chief count in your indictment, however, seems to be that after I had or should 
have received your note of August 22, telling me that the Brazilian government had 
issned instructions to its representatives in the river Plate, withdrawing all obstmctions 
to my passage, I wrote to Admiral Godon saying that no proceeding to cause such hin- 
drance to cease has yet been made by the allies. That statement, made at the time on 
belief, is now re-asserted on absolute knowled^. That the Brazilian government prom- 
ised you that they would have all obstructions withdrawn, of course I could never 
doubt for a moment. But with all deference, I must be permitted to believe that I knew 
the people I had to deal with as well as you did ; I knew they did not mean that I 
should pass if anything short of war with the United States could prevent it. I knew 
they had not kept faith with me in any respect from the start. When I first arrived at 
Buenos Ayres, Octaviano supposing tluEbt I uiould otherwise go up on an American gun- 
boat^ to which the allies were adverse, offered to send me up on a Brazilian steamer. I 
declined the offer for many reasons, saying that it would oe better for me to go on an 
American war vessel. But when Admiral Godon reached Buenos Ayres, and I found that 
he would not send me through as he had promised while at Rio, I wrote a note to Octa- 
viano, intimating that I would accept his previous offer. He did not condescend to 
answer the letter. He had found Admiral Godon was " all right,** and what did he then 
care for a helpless minister resident, repudiated by his admiral, and who could not hear 
from his government till, in all probability, the war should be over. 

After this I went twice to Corrientes. With what result I have already informed 
you. Rebutfed and repulsed on all sides, I reached Buenos Ayres on the .7th of August. 
And now you will probably say that I should have then again applied to the Argentine 
minister for foreign relations, and not have written to the admiral for a vessel from 
the squadron till 1 had received a negative reply. 1 1 tad no doubt then, and have none 
now. that if I had so applied to EUzalde he would have given me Just as good a letter 
to Mitre as he had done six months before, and that if I nod taken it and returned to 
headquarters with it, it could have been treated with precisely the same respect. The 
idea of a minister of a government at least respectable being batted about like a shut- 
tlecock, begging and supplicating for his clearest rights, was too much for me, and I 
was determined that if 1 returned again it would be in a way that my official charac- 
ter should be respected. 

I therefore wrote to the admiral for a vessel of War^ and after Waiting till near the 
end of September I got an answer declining to furm^ it. What then was I to do f 
Should I return to the blockading squadron and ask to be passed through. Though I 
had youB^etter in which you had stated that orders had been given for the obstruc- 
tions to be withdrawn, I then thought and now know that Tamandar^ would not 
have allowed me to paas the blockade. In this embarrassing position I thought it was 
my duty, before forcing 'things to a crisis, to await the arrival of General Asboth. Had 
I left for the United States before his arrival, as I would have been perfectly justified 
in doing, he would have been even in a worse position than I had been. Fortunately 
he came before I had left or had given the allies a chance to refuse me again, and the 
same steamer that brought him brought the orders from the admiral to Captain Crosby 
to take me to Paraguay on the Shamokin. 

As soon as the vessel was ready for the trip I embarked with my family, and great 
was my surprise when we reached the Tres Bocas and came to anchor just below the 
squadron, to be told by the Brazilian officer commanding the lowest gunboat of the 
blockading fleet, and who immediately came on board the Shamokin, that we could go 
no higher; that the orders were imperative to stop any and everybody, and no counter- 
instructions had been received. Captfdn Crosby replied that his orders were to go 
through to Asimcion, and he wished to send a letter to Admiral Tamandar^ advising 
him of the fact. The commander offered a steamer to take an officer from the Sham- 
okin with the letter, and the same evening thev started for the flag-ship. The admiral 
took the letter and replied it was impossible mr the Shamokin to pass, or anybody on 
board of her. The orders from his government were to stop absolutely and entirely aU 
communication With Paraguay, and he had no counter-orders, and had never had a 
word from the Brazilian government either in regard to the passage of the Shamokin 
or myself. He said, however, he would come and visit me the next morning on boaard 
the Shamokin. With this report the officer. Lieutenant Pendleton^ came back, and 
arrived on board about 3 o'clock in the morning. Now then a collision seemed immi- 
nent. Captain Crosby had peremptory orders to ^o through, and Admiral Tamandar^ 
had as imperative orders to stop him. Evidently somebody must give way or there 


would be (b fi^ht. The Shamokin was ready for the latter altemative, and we awaited 
the coming oi the admiral to see if the brave words would be followed by correspond- 
ing actions. 

At about 11 a. m. he came on board, and his story was the same that he had told 
Lieutenant Pendleton. He had received no orders in regard to my passage, or that of 
the steamer. The only information he had receivtjd on the subject was contained in 
the copies of your letter to me of August 22d, and of a letter from Admiral Godon 
either to Crosby or myseli', stating that the Brazilian government had promised that 
all obstructions to my passage should be withdrawn. But not a word of advice or 
instruction had he received irom his own government. And this, you will recollect, 
was in November, four months at least after the Brazilian government had begged 
Admiral Godon not to send his orders for a gunboat to go up the river until they could 
have time to send forward their instructions in advance to their subordinates in the 
Plate ; advising them of the withdrawal of all opposition to my passage. And Admi- 
ral Godon, you will recoUect, was so anxious to favor them in that respect that he took 
a cruise to the northward, so that no letter from me asking for a vessel could soon 
reach him. And yet, after all this, after they had assured you so explicitly that all 
obstructions were withdrawn; after having bamboozled Admiral Godon, or arranged 
with him in an interview "entirely private and confidential" to violate the spirit of 
his instructions by procrastinating and going off in the opposite direction, Admiral 
Tamandar6 said that not a word or hint or line had ever been communicated to him on 
the subject. This statement may perhaps convince you that by pursuing the course I 
did, I achieved the object of our government ; I reached my destination, I vindicated 
my right to pass the military lines, I put the allies in the wrong, and compelled them 
to concede a right which they at first refused; I showed them that the American flag 
must be respected, and that if they ventured to infringe on the rights of an American 
minister they must eat humble pie afterwards; and all this I did without involving our 
government in any more serious question with the allied powers than that of the per- 
sonal damages I have suffered, and the indemnification to which I am entitled. The 
domestic question between the admiral and myseK must be decided by the proper tri- 
bunal, as provided ibr by the laws of the United States. But that can in no way affect 
our forei^ relations, unless the Brazilian government should take it as an affront that 
an American admiral, who has served them so faithfully and "confidentially," should 
be put upon his trial. 

You appear to think it very strange that after receiving your letter of the 22d of August, 
(which I acknowledge I did receive in due course of mail,) I should write to the admiral 
that no proceedings had been taken by the allies to cause the hinderance to my passage 
to cease. I attached no value to that promise on the part of the Brazilian government, 
and subsequent events showed I was right in that. Stronger and more definite promises 
had been made to me before by the allies, and were broken without scruple. Besides, I 
had written to Admiral Godon for a vessel before the receipt of that letter firom you, 
and at the time I was not aware that the Brazilian government had even made you a 

Eromise to withdraw their obstructions. My second letter to the admiral, which you 
ave undertaken to answer for him, written after the receipt of that lettei^om you, 
was not written, as I then said, with any view to influence his action, but to show that 
I had done all that, under the circumstances, I could do to effect my passage without 
the aid of a national war vessel, and to remind him that it would be just as well if he 
would confine himself to his own legitimate duties, and not interfere in questions that 
do not concern him, and of the merits of which he is as ignorant as he is of social cour- 
tesies. My letter asking for the gunboat was written on the 8th of August, 12 days before 
yours, and before I received the subsequent instructions, directing me in a certain con- 
tingency to return to the United States ; and yet you express wonder that I could have 
remained in the river Plate or have asked of Admiral Godon for a vessel of war or a 
portion of the squadron to convey me to Asuncion. I never did anything of the kind 
after receiving the dispatch directing me under given circumstances to return to the 
United States. Those circumstances were such that had they occurred, I should have 
been obliged to return home, and the same circumstances that would have required me 
to return would have required you and General Asboth to do the same, and though we 
should all have acted independently, yet the same offensive course persisted in by the 
allies would have required us aU to do the same thing — ^that is to return to the United 
States; so that though acting separately our action would have been concurrent. But 
you say in no possible event were your movements made dependent on mine. Now 
suppose that when I arrived at the Tres Bocas and Admiral Tamandar^ came on board 
the Shamokin and told us we could not go through, that his orders were to stop us, and 
then supposing I had replied that I would not force the blockade but return to Buenos 
Ayres, and had actually done so, and thence gone to the United States, what then would 
you have done ? Would you have obeyed instructions framed for a contingency much 
less provoking and insulting than that ? Would you have demanded your passports, or 
would you have asked for further explanations f 
It is to be regretted that a man of your large experience and high position should take 


it upon himself to advocate so bad a cause as that of the admiral. And that such attempt 
to justify and screen him at my expense, and to my detriment, should proceed from one 
who has long professed the warmest friendship for me, is not only cause for regret but 
of surprise. He has been the cause of all this trouble. Had he acted with that alacrity 
that becomes a naval commander, he would have sent a gunboat up the river imme- 
diately on my arrival, when there would have been no obstacle in the wav, and the 
vessel could have come up and returned in two weeks, and there an end of the matter. 
But if he did not feel authorized to do that without orders from the Navy Department, 
he should have told me so while at Rio in October, 1865 ; then I could have written from 
there and the necessary instructions would have reached Buenos Ayres by the middle 
of January ; and it was not till then that he said he would not send a steamer. I could 
not then think of waiting four or five months longer for instructions to come out, with- 
out, in the meanwhile, making an effort to reach my post in any way that might offer. 
The result of those efforts you are already informed of. But tne whole difficulty was 
caused by the strange conduct of the admiral. And having, through his conceit or bad 
temper, or stupidity, got himself into an awkward position, I do not blame blm for 
enlisting your able pen to extricate him. My only surprise is that you should employ 
it in so bad a cause and for so bad a man. I presume, however, that finding h^self at 
odds with everybody else holding official position (of course I except the Brazilians) 
on the coast, he has been extremely bland and sweet and deferential towards you. 
When in Buenos Ayres fifteen months ago, he seemed to take great delight in boasting 
of his contempt for the ministers of his government and his complete independence of 
them. His language in that respect was very offensive, and arber, in the presence of 
my wife. But I hm made up my minCl that to keep my vantage ^x)und I must keep 
my temper, and I suffered his tedious garrulity ad nauseam, even to the extent that he 
acbnitted to Mr. Kirk that he could not but admire the courteous and candid manner in 
which I bore myself under circumstances that he knew were very trying. But nobody 
accused him either of courtesies, deportment, or of a civil tongue. On the contrary, had 
he tried to secure the ill-will and contempt of every American in the river Plate he 
could not have done it more effectually. The officers of the squadron generally regard 
him as the very incarnation of spiteful tyranny, and he has made it his particular busi- 
ness since we came up here to persecute those officers who were on intimate and friendly 
terms with us. Mr. Kirk regarded him as an intolerable nuisance, and I judge from the 
last letter of General Asboth that in that respect he fully coincides with his predeces- 
sor. When the Wasp was coming up to bring my dispatches, General Asboth thought 
he could by a personal interview with me and the opposing commanders learn much of 
the actual situation of the respective belligerents and could more intelligibly advise 
our government in regard to it, besides being better prepared to carry out the instruc- 
tions he had already received or mi^ht receive afterwards. But the admiral said that 
though the steamer was going, the mmister could not go on her. I had heard beforehand, 
however, that he was not to come ; for when I was in the camp of the Marquis de Caxias, 
he read me part of a letter, apparently official, in which they (the authors of letter) said 
that General Asboth had intended to come up to Paraguay to confer with me, but that 
they had made a confidenHal arrangement with Admiral Godon so that though a steamier would 
come to 'bring my dispatches th^ minister was not to come in it Will you please teU me 
what you think of that proceeding on the part of the admiral? In my opinion it is 
scandalous, and I should be false to my duty did I not report this strange conduct and 
demand an investigation by a competent tribunal. How the Navy Dei)artment may 
regard his proceedings I do not know, but I hardly think it will sustain him in his 
confidential interviews and arrangements with the alUes to defeat the policy of the State 
Department. At any rate I shaU do what I can to give the whole subject a thorough 
ventlLation, and have arranged my plans so that at the meeting of the next Congress, 
or soon after, I can be on the ground to give the affair my personal attention. 

Your long letter of the 21st of October, to which this is an answer, was not written till 
you thought the Brazilians had withdrawn all obstructions to my passage, and all diffi- 
culties and questions in regard to it had been arranged. You could, therefore, have no 
other object in writing that letter than to reprimand me, and to prejudice me with the 
Secretary of State. If you think that you have succeeded in the latter respect, you are 
welcome to all the consolation to be derived from such belief. But as I do not admit 
you had any right whatever to arraign me, or pass judgment on my official acts, I must 
beg of you before you attempt that role agaia, to show imder what authority you act. 
I repudiate all interference in my official cnities that does not proceed from the State 
Department, and will not permit it. I have written this reply to your charges as I 
would have written to any private individual who might accuse me to the Secretary of 
State, and send me a copy of his indictment. The Secretary has sent me copies of your 
correspondence with the BraziUan government in relation to my detention, in order that 
I might be enabled to complete the record. As a copy of your letter to me was doubt- 
less sent to the department, I shall also send a copy of this. I only desire that the 
record be made complete, and then I shall invite a searching scrutiny of the whole case. 

You will, I trust, be kind enough to excuse the long delay that has occurred since the 


date of your letter and this answer to it, as more tiian fi^B months passed after the date 
of yours before it was received by me. I ^lall send this by the first opportunity that 
occurs for sending through the military lines, which may be within a week, and may not 
be within two months. 

And now, again repeating the request that yon will show me the law or the authority 
under whieh you act, before you again take upon yoiurself t^ ei&oe of instruetor or 
censor of other ministers, 

I have the honor to be, sir, your moot obedient servant, 

His excellency James Watson Webb, 

Mt903f Extraordinary and Minister Pl€mp9tenHary, Eio de Janeiro, 

Legation of the Uniteb States, 

PetropoliBy June 10, 18^. 

Sir : I have the honor to inclose a copy of a communication addressed by me to Mr. 
Washburn, in answer to his letter, of which he forwarded a copy to the department by 
the last steamer. 

Mr. Washburn chM'ges that I wrote my letter to him in defense of Admiral Godon. 
This is not only a gratutious, but a most u]\just accusation. While I have taken no part 
in the controversy between Admiral Godon and Mr. Washburn, and have not permitted 
myself to express an opinion to either of them hi approval or disapproval of their i»<o- 
ceedin^, I have a very clear conviction, that if the admiral had been so disposed, he 
could have sent Mr, Washburn to his post of duty shortly after his arrival in the river, 
without any interference on the part of the allies. But it appears that the admiral 
made it a matter of pride to ign<»:e the rights and privileges of ministers and consuls, 
and has quarreled with nearly all of them except myself; that is to say, with Mini^iers 
Eirk, Washburn, and Asboth, and with Consul Munroe, and one or two others ; and I 
am sorry to add, that he has no friends among the officers of the squadron. With me, 
he has never had one word of difference, but it is impossible to ahut my eyes to the fact 
that the difficulties which have taken place and now exist on this coast, between the 
admiral and the officers of the Department of State, and whi<dL are widely known, and 
discreditable to our country, are mainly attributable to the admiral's meddling with 
what does not concern him. His own me in reeard to his difference with 
Mr. Asboth is an illustration of his mistaken conception ofhis rights and duties. In 
reply to my question, why he did not permit General Asboth to go up the river in the 
United States vessel which took up letters and dispatches to Mr. WaEdibum, his answer 
was, that Mr. Asboth had no right to leave his legation without the assent of the State 
Department. I said that was true ; but the minister was the only person to judge of 
his responsibility in so doing. He replied, ''No, it was my right to demand of him 
whether he had authority from the State Department to leave ; and because he did not 
produce such authority, I would not permit him to go up in the steamer to have an inter« 
view with Washburn, which was quite unnecessary." 

I told the admiral that he esitirely misapprehended his relations with Mr. Asboth, and 
that when he assumed the right to question the i»:opriety of the minister's conduct, hiSy 
Mr. Asboth's reply, should have been, that he was meddUng with what did not eoncem 
him, and that he, the minister, should have insisted upon his right to pass up the river 
in the national vessel, then about to go up with dispatches; the propriety ofhis doia^ 
so, and of his absenting himself from nis legation, being questions between him and the 
Department of State, with which the admiral could not interfere. 

Then again, in the admiral's quarrel with Consul Munroe and his contemptuous treat- 
ment of him, he is altogether in the wrong ; and in my judgment, without any ^Lcuse 
whatever. Mr. Munroe is a model of a Christian gentleman; intelligent, courteoua, 
kind-hearted, hospitable, and patriotic ; in truth, the most accomplished consul I have 
ever known, and one who has never given offense to any man in Brazil. Nobody Imt 
the admiral has ever found fault wil£ him; and the fact that he quarreled with him 
immediately on his arrival, goes far to prove to me l^iat the admiral^ difficulties sae the 
consequences of his infirmities of temper, and an arrogance, offensive alike to all with 
whom he comes in contact. 

Very re^ectfri)ly, your obedient servant, 

Hon. Wiluam; H. Sewabd, 

Seeretary of JState. 


Testimony of Porter 0. Bliss. 

PonrxR C. Buss sworn and ezamuuid* 

ByMr. Orth: 

Qaestion. State yeor ace and place of nativity.-^Answer. I am 30 years of age and 
was bom in the oonnty of Erie, New York State. 

Q. Are yon still an American citizen f — ^A. I am. 

Q. Yon nave never in any way forfeited your rieht of citizenship? — ^A. No, sir. 

Q. Have yon evet been in South America f — ^A. Yes, sir. 

Q. At what time and ander what circumstances did you fo there? — ^A. I went to 
South America as private secretary of General James Watson Webb, minister to Brazil. 
I left the United States in the month of July, 1861, and went by way of England; I 
embarked from Southampton on the 9th of September, and arrived at Rio the 4th of 
October, 1861. At the same time Mr. Washburn was a fellow-passenger upon his voy- 
age to Paraguay. I remained in Brazil nearly a year and a liali, until the last month of 
l^e year ImH. The date of my arrival at Buenos Ayres was the 31at of December, 1862. 
I ]^eoeeded from Rio to Buenos Ayres. along with General Webb, on board the United 
States corvette Jamestown, Ci^tain Frice, uien bound to China, with the intention of 
traveling in the Argentine Republic, and collecting information which might be use- 
lul in aliterary point of view, more especially with the object of visiting the Indian 
tribes in that country and collecti^ig information in regard to them. 

Q. Did you visit Paraguay f — ^A. I have been in Paraguay twice;' the first time I 
reached there on the 1st of March, 1863, being then in me enoploy of the Argentine 

Sovemment as special commisaioner, to visit the Indian tribes oi the Ai^entine Repub- 
c. I obtained that employment through the influence of Edward A. Hopkins, formerly 
United States consul at Asuncion, and also, as I have since been given to understand^ 
through the influence of General Webb. 

Q. Have you ever paid any attention to the history and manners and customs of the 
Indian tribes? — ^A. les; I have been a good many months among the Indians of the 
Ar;gmtine Republic, ana also to a certain extent among those in the republic of Paraguay. 
I md not spend any time among them prior to my appointment. I was appointed on 
the strength of having passed much of my life among the Indians in this country, and 
of having been employed in the Indian department here in Washington, being familiar 
with the manner in which our Indian bureau is conducted. Immediately upon arriv- 
ing in Buenos Ayres, I made application to the officer — called there the minister of the 
interioi^-corresponding to our Secretary of the Interior, who soon manifested great 
interest in the matter. As I understand, he had an interview with General Webb 
upon the subject, and also derived much information from Mr. Edward A. Hopkins. It 
was through these means that I was appointed in about a month from the time of my 
arrival at Buenos Ayres to accompany an expedition up the river Vermejo, which rises 
in Bolivia. We proceeded up to the head of navigation of that river in Bolivia, and 
in tiie course of that voyage 1 made my first visit to Paraguay, having been obliged to 
go to Asuncion for repairs to the engine of our steamer. I remained in Paraguay forty 
days on that visit, most of ther time at the residence of Mr. Washburn as an old acquaint- 
ance. I first became acquainted with him shortly after the 9th of September, 1861, he 
beinff a passenger on the steamer Tyne on his way to Para^ay. I have been acquainted 
witibihim ever since. We exchanged letters while I was in Brazil and he in Paraguay. 

Q. You will now proceed, in narrative form, to state what duties you p^ormed 
under this appointment by the Argentine government. — ^A. I received no special 
ustructions from the Argentine government, as my appointment was of my own mitia- 
don. I was left to adopt such a plan as I desired, and accompanied this expedition for 
the ]^ir^8e of obtaining information oonceminc the character, languages, wants, man- 
ners, customs, habits and mode of life of the Incuans in the country through which the 
expedition would pass. I desired to learn their disposition towards the white popula- 
tion, and whether anything could be done towards civilizing them and settling them 
in colonies with a view to the ultimate settlement of this region by the Argentine gov- 
ernment. I desired more especially, for my own bdboof, to investigate the language 
of the different tribes with a view of classi^ing them, and ascertaining their relations 
and divisions into tribes and nations. The Argentine government allowed me to take 
say own course and manner in carrying out this purpose. In the exercise of the dis- 
cretionary power vested in me, I visited the Indians inhabiting the principal points on 
the banks of the Vermejo river, including more than thirty diserent bands, and collect- 
ing much valuable information. I made a report to the minister of the interior on my 
return, which was publidied in Spanish by the government, and has since been trans- 
lated into various languages, and published in^nglish and in French both in South 
America and in Europe. 

X). What compensation did you recMve for your services on this occasion T-^A. I 
received 6,000 paper dollars or the Aj^ntine government; the paper dollar of that 


lepublic has recently been fixed at four cents in value; at that tune it was worth a 
little less. 

Q. Could you have had more if you had desired f — ^A. I had not made any definite 
contract. My expenses on board the steamer were defrayed^ it being an Argentine 
steamer. My connection with the Argentine government contmued for eight months. 
My next step was to engage in some miscellaneous employments of no importance, con 
tinuine two or three months. About the beginning of the next year, 1864, 1 engaged 
in editmg a historical magazine at Buenos Ayres, entitled Hie River Plate Magazine; 
it had two editors, of whom I was one ; it was a review, consisting of 64 pages, monthly, 
principally devoted to the history and geo^aphy of the Argentine Republic. I con- 
tinued to edit that magazine until the end ot the year 1864. The reason for my remain- 
ing in Buenos Ayres during that time was that most of my effects had remained on 
board the steamer in which I had made the expedition to Bolivia. The steamer was 
grounded at the head of navigation, and could not get down until the next freshet, 
remaining there a good many months ; otherwise I should have immediately returned 
to the United States. But being obliged to wait so long I engaged in editing this mag- 
azine, which continued to the end of the year 1864. Shortly before this time I had 
received my effects from the steamer^ and then* proposed returning to the United 
States. I had collected information which I considered of a good deal of value concern- 
ing the Argentine and Oriental, or Uruguayan Republics, as well as concerning Brazil, and 
I proposed writing a work upon the historyof these countries, including, perhaps, the nar- 
ratives of my own personal experience. The republic of Paraguay bemg the one I knew 
least of, having been there but a feW weeks, I desired to spend two or three months 
there before returning to the United States, in ordir to make further investigation in 
regard to the history and characteristics of the country, and also to visit the Indians 
of that republic, and in that maimer to complete the information I needed to enable 
me to prepare the work upon these countries which I had in view. For that purpose 
I embarked for Paraguay the Ist day of January, in the year 1865, with the intention 
of remaining there, at most, not more than three months. I arrived at Asuncion, the 
capital of Paraguay, on the 21st of January, 1865. I had supposed I should find there 
Mr. Washburn, the American minister. Although my visit had no special connection 
with his being there, yet he being an old Mend, it would have been very pleasant for 
me to have found him there. I found, however, that he had left a week before my 
arrival, passing me on his way down the river while I was at Corrientes. I arrived, 
as I have stated, on the 21st of January, and immediately commenced the investiga- 
tion of the Guarani language, which is the language of the country ; it is an Indian 
tongue, but is spoken by the Paraguayans. One special object of my investigation 
was to make a classification of the Indian tribes of that region, as indicated by the 
languages or dialects spoken by them. My first inquiries, therefore, were directed to 
learning the Guarani language, and also the Paygud dialect, for the purpose of visiting 
the Paraguayan Indians residing in the neighborhood. At this time the republic of 
Paraguay was engaged in war with Brazil. The war had been commenced during 
the previous autumn, and several months before my going there. Paraguay was 
then just on the eve of commencing war also with the Argentine Republic. This was a 
fact of which I had not the slightest suspicion at the time I left Buenos Ayres, and there 
was no reason whatever on the part of the Argentine Republic for anticipating any such 
war ; it had given no cause of complaint whatever to the Paraguayan government, 
and the commencement of that war was a piratical' act on the part of President Lopez. 
Immediately after my arrival in Paraguay I found I was the object of suspicion on the 
part of the Paraguayan government. That government could not understand how any 
person could come to Paraguay, especially at such a time, when the atmosphere was 
so thick with war rumors, purely for scientific and ethnolo^cal objects ; and a great 
many rumors had consequently been set afioat in regard to the object of my visit. The 
fact that I had been employed by the Argentine government, and had formerly been 
in Brazil as the private secretary of the American minister to that government — a fact 
which I took no pains to conceal, as I had no reason whatever for concealing it — gave 
directions to the rumors and suspicions in regard to me. It was very soon known to 
the Paraguayan government that I had been in Brazil as a member of the American 
legation ; that I had been in the employ of the Argentine government, and that I 
was acquainted with many of the prominent politicians as well in Brazil as in the 
Argentine and Uruguayan republics. And it was suspected that I had come to Para- 
guay as a spy, or as a secret agent of one or all of these governments. Some said I 
was a Brazilian spy, others that I was an Argentine spy. Whatever they thought, the 
government soon set spies on my track to watch all my actions. Wherever 1 went I 
was followed by several spies, the effect of which was that many persons who, on my 
arrival in the country, had received me with pleasure as a visitor, found it convenient 
not to cultivate my acquaintance further. My position began to be disagreeable just 
at the time when the Paraguayan dictator, Lopez, suddenly brought together a so- 
called Ck>ngre88j and declared war upon the Argentine Republic, without any just cause 
or pretext, and refused to allow any foreigners to leave the country. This was about 


the middle of March. I had been there then le8B than two months when this event 
took place. 

By Mr. Swann : 

Q. Had yon been connected at anytime with apolitical paper while in the Argentine 
Bexmblic f — A. I had not. The review which I conducted in Buenos Ayres was apnrely 
historical and literary enterprise. Beyond an occasional article in a neutral English 
paper, the Standard, I had not written anything relating to the politics of the times, or 
in relation to the war which had then begun ^tween Paraguay and Brazil, except in 
makins up a monthly summary of the current events, and in that I had expressed opin- 
ions which were not very flattering to the Brazilian government nor very flattering to 
the Paraguayan government either, but I wrote mendy as an impartial spectator. 

By Mr. Obth : 

Q. Did I understand you to say that you were in the eraployment'of the Paraguayan 
government at any time f — ^A. I subsequently was after the course taken by President 
Iiopez towards me, of which I have spoken, and which rendered my stay in Paraguay 
very unpleasant. In pursuance of my object of collecting information about that coun- 
try, its present condition, its tribes of Indians, dbc., I found it necessary to have 
some intercourse with members of the government. Very shortly after my arrival, I 
made the acquaintance of the minister of foreign relations, a gentleman by the name 
of Job6 Berges ; I brought no letter of introduction to him nor to any one else, but I 
found it easy to make his acquaintance. I requested him to afford me what assistance 
on the part of the government he could in pursuance of my object, and continued to see 
him occasionally in an informal manner for some time. This was during the time I was 
under this suspicion and surveillance, a matter which I never brought to his notice, 
because I did not wish to have anything to say on that subject. When I found that my 
stay in Paraguay was the reason of suspicion on the part of the government, in connec- 
tion with the fact that no American minister was there, and that liOpez was in the habit 
of treating foreigners as he pleased in regard to allowing them to leave the country, it 
became necessary to take some measures for my own protection. Lopez never nad 
allowed any obnoxious person to leave the country even before the war. If he had any 
reason or inclination to prevent it, he always found a pretext for whatever he did, but 
his own will was the moving cause. In respect to myself, I was convinced that Lopez 
would not allow me to leave the country unless I could conciliate him in some manner, 
and render my presence there less suspicious to him. I was desirous of leaving the 
country as soon as possible, and it became my purpose from that time to do so as soon 
as I could. I had taken previously much pains to become acquainted with the early 
history of both the Paraguayan and Argentme republics. During the previous year I 
had written a good deal on the subject. It was supposed then that the war with Bra- 
zil would come to an end speedily, the object on the part of Brazil being merely to 
reduce Paraguay to certain boundaries about which there was a dispute. 

Q. Were there any police regulations in Paraguay in reference to foreigners coining 
and residing there f — ^A. I was obliged to report to the chief of police on my arrival there, 
and passports to leave the country had to be obtained from the police office, although 
in faict no passports were given except by the direct order of Lopez^ who ^ave or wiUi- 
held them according to his own pleasure. He had previously been m the habit of send- 
ing people arbitrarily out of the country without any cause, or of detaining them there 
agamst their will in an equiJly arbitrary manner. There was a treaty m existence 
between Paraguay and the United States, by which aU American citizens were guar- 
anteed the right of leaving the country at any time ; but, as I have said, no American 
minister was there, and no consul present for my protection, and Lopez not being in the 
habit of obeying the stipulations of treaties except so far as he chose to do so, there 
was no prospect wlmtever, so long as he regarded me with suspicion, that he would 
allow me to leave. 

I commenced saying that at that time it was supposed that the war then in existence 
between Paraguay and Brazil would speedily come to a termination, as the principal 
question at issue to be determined was that of the boundary between the two countries. 
It was a question in dispute when these countries were colonies of the Portuguese and 
Spanish governments; was in dispute when those governments relinquished tSeir claim 
to these countries, and had never been settled since. I was very familiar with the 
disputes on this subject that had occurred between the Spanish and Portuguese govern- 
ments, a hundred years or more previous, and I thought I would write a little pamphlet 
which would occupy a month or two, during which time I might prosecute other inquiries 
w^hich were to me of more importance. I thought this occupation, without connecting 
me directly with the government in any way, would make me of some use to Lopez, and 
would serve to set me right in my relations with him. I engaged then with the minister 
of foreign affairs of Paraguay to write a pamphlet upon the iMundaries between Paraguay 
and Brazil, under the supposition that it would probably have a good effect when the 
war was over and the settlement came to be made. I thereforo immediately set to work 


tp widibe that pmnphlet, and was engaged n{K>D it vhetxl wae inrprised by tbye fiodden 
declaration of war upon the Argentine government, followed by an embargo put uj^on 
all foreigners. This did not relate to me particularly, but to all foreigners tnen residing 
in Paraguay, prohibiting them firom leaving that country. From the middle of Maren 
fliftward nobody was allowed to leave the country, and tiUe aam« continued to be the 
ease during tiie entire war; although forei^uers might have availed themselves of the 
soute through BoUvia which was still left op<^; tlie order of President Lopez, how:ever, 
was that no foreign subject should leave the country. 

In tiie month & May, finding that [ would have to remain in the country for the 
present, and my stock of funds being-exhausted^ the enterprise which I had firstproposed 
•to the government having become on<v of no particular consequence, the usemlness ol 
which would have to be postponed for sm indennite period of time, I saw Marshal Lopez 
(he then having received the title of marshal in addition to that of president of the 
republic) and stated that as I had no funds, and no other means of support in Paraguay, 
I had desired to leave before that time, but finding myself unable to do so, I proposed 
to write the history of the republic of Paraguay, commencing with the beginning of the 
settl^nent of that country, and continuing down to a period not definitely &K&a. vqpaa^ 
but within the present century. President Lopez a^roved of that position and accepted 
it verbally^ but no formal contract was e^er made out and signed ; it was a^eed verbaUy 
that I was to receive six gold ounces per month, that is to say (96 in gold, during the 
time I was engaged upon this literary work. In addition to this, I was to receive a 
further and larger comi^ensation when the work should be completed, and another 
allowance for the purpose of publishing the work simultaneously in French and English 
in Europe. That is to say, I was to receive $96 in gold monthly, for my mpmrt, not to 
be considered in the nature of comjietMa^ion, and t was to receive a larger allowance at 
the completion of the work, which depended on the.satis£action which the results of my 
labor might give. There was no stipulated sum mentioned, but it was understood that 
it woidd amount to several thousand dollars, not including the further allowance which 
I have mentioned to defray the expense of translating and printing the work in French 
and English. This was in the month of May, 1885. My residence man. first to last while 
in Paraguay was at Asuncion. 

Q. State what progress you made with Ihe work, and what £»cilities were afforded 
you by the government. — ^A. I made my preposition to the government, expecting to 
find material to a certain extent for my work among their archives. I had already in 
my possession a good many materials. I had already consxdted several authorities on 
the subject and was pretty well prepared to begin the works, having written somewhat 
upon the subject of the early history of Paraguay for the magazine I had edited before 
my visit to Pars^ay. I expected the minister of foreign affairs would afford me the 
means of consultmg different works I might need, and I therefore applied to be allowed 
to eoBSult the archives of the government, where there would be lound a gceat muiy 
manuscripts useful for my purposes. The minister of foreign affairs gave a conditional 
absent to my request, and I was allowed to consult a few documents under the eye of 
the person who was their keeper, and who allowed me to do it with a great deal of 
jealousy. I was permitted to have access to but very few documents in the public 
archives, and these not of the character I desired to examine. In point of fact the.docu- 
ments I was allowed to see in the archives were of very little use to me, and though I 
made repeated efforts to obtain a free range through the archives for this purpose it 
was never conceded to me. There was always a manifest distrust on the part of Lopez, 
whose sysftem of espionage was habitual, not only in regard to foreigners, but applied 
even to officers of his own government; in fiict every officer was supposed to be a spy 
upon every other. 

By Mr. Swann : 

Q. How long had this embargo been in operation before you made your arrange- 
ments to write the work you have mentioned 7 — ^A. The embargo upon foreigners went 
into operation the middle of March, and I made my arrangements with President Lonez 
for writing this work in the early days of the month of May. I continued upon that 
work, I can scarcely say for how long ; my contract, which was a verbal one, was never 
carried into effect on the part of the government. I never received a single month's 
pay as stipulated in the con^tract. When I had conmienced my work and made sonie 
progress in it, I visited the minister and told him I wished to draw some pay, as more 
than a month had elapsed since the arrangement made with Ijopez went into operation ; 
I requested him to make out an order for the amount due me. He represented himself 
as too busy at that time to attend to it ; he wanted to look further into the matter, but 
paid he would give jne an order for my immediate expenses without reference to the 
contract ; he did give me an order for that purpose, I think, in the month of June. 
The amount I received, as nearly as I recollect, on that occasion was $300 in Para 

fiayan currency. The value of the ParaKoayan doUar fluctuated during rthe war ; at 
at time it was depreoiated about one^hsaf from :the ivalne oif ^old, as I xemember. 
Q. Did they examine youar iou^iiSQ^pts. tot^g itihe, W^&!^ 9^ J9P^ work t-;-A. They 
did ; every month I submitted the manuscriptis as far as I had progressed. 


Q. Bid Lopez treat yen at this time iriHk aimaueut kindneaef^-A. The minister of 
foreign affairs, to whom I have referred, was the person with whom I conmranicated 
the most of the time. I never had more than two or three interviews with Xiopez. 
Very shortly after my last interview with him he left his capital and put himself in 
cam^^aigHy as the expression was ; that is to say, he to<^ command of his army person- 
ally. On the 8th of June he lelt his capital to taike command of the Paraguayan armies 
against the three allied powers ; the allianioe having heeaa, made on ihe Ist day of May. 
Smce that time I have never seen Lopes ; my in^eroonise with him was carried osi 
entirely through his minister of foreign aflEairs. 

I ought to have said previously that that embargo put upon foieignero affainst leav- 
injy^ the country applied, nominally, only to routes ttoongh the countoies wen at war 
with Paraguay, and I conceived a desire to leave the country tlunueh Bolivia. By 
virtue of treaty stipulations with the United States it was gnaxanteea that American 
citizens should always have the right to leave the country, makiDg no excpton in 
ease of war ; and as there was a route open through Bolivia I wished to leave thait 
wirv. This was after the time I had commenced writing the paiDq>hlet ; I was still 
enduring the annoyance of the system of espionage under whieh I had been sulfering 
for some time. But I had come to receive more consideration on the part of the gov- 
ernment and supposed myself to be on better terms with it. This was b«\fore making 
my terms with President Lopez about writing the historv of the republic. I then 
made application through the minister of foreign affairs to leave the country by way of 
Bolivia, promising, in case I was allowed to do so, tliat I would, when in Bolivia, use 
my influence by writing some articles for the papers of that country in favor or the 
cause of Paraguay or against Brazil. At that tune I made no statement in respect to 
the other two powers. I considered the war at that time solely as regarded Brazil, and 
my opinion then was, that in so fiir as th6 question of limits was concerned, the Para- 
l^aayan government was in the risht. I considered that Brazil had always been in the 
halut of grasping unjustly at the boundaries or limits of the republics around her, not 
only in respect to Paraguay, but in respect to all the other countries on which she 
bordered—the Argentine K^ublic. Uruguay, Bolivia, Pearu, Equador, Columbia, Vene- 
zuehi, and the thi^ provinces of Fingliiin, French, aod Dutch Guiana. Except in oer^ 
tain eases in which these boundaries have been very recently settled, there is no man 
living who can tell to-day what are the limits of Brazil with any of the sorrounding^ 
countries ; I mean to say, unless some definite treaties have been negotiated since the 
time I went to Paraguay, of which I am not cognizant. Brazil has ^ways played the 
pifft of difg in ike nutngw; has always exercised a grasping spirit in respect to these 
comktides ; and I considered/so for as the question of Imdni was concerned, Paraguay 
was in the ri^t ; and that Olivia being nrom time to time in difficulty with Brazil 
upon the same question of limits, might oe expected to sympathize with Paraguay in 
tfiis struggle so far as that question eoctended. I cared nothing about the issues. 
between Paraguay and other nations beyond my desire of getting away ; but I made the 
nroposition to Lopez in good fiiith, and would have carri^ it out in good faith, if he 
had agreed to the proposition I nmde ; that is, I would have endeavored to exert an 
influenee while in Bohvia, tfarougli the press and otherwise, upon public opinion there 
as against Brazil in reject to lier srasping dieposition towards the surrounding coun^ 
tries. This proposition was favorsn^ly received by the minister of foreign affairs, and. 
he rroerted upon it favorably to Lopez, but it did not receive the assent of Lopez. I 
saw Lopez in person after tms, but knowing it to be useless to attempt to get out of* 
the country, I proposed to occupy myself miring my involuntary stay in writing the 
ancient history of Paraguay^ as before stated. 

Q, How long did<you continue engaged upon that history f-*A. I cannot exactly state,. 
for Ijbe reason that my contract was not ocftaplied with on the part of Lopez. I never 
received a single monthly payment, although I repeatedly requested to have my verbsd 
contract complied with; but 1 was always met by some excuse or delay; in ][>oint of* 
£Mst the minister of foreign afiiedrB k^ the matter in his own hands by telling me he 
would finmish me with the money I needed as fhet as I required, and for about a year I 
did receive the money I actually needed for my own personal expenses. I thmk I 
received four payments in aU, amounting to a thousand dollars in the currency of tiie 
country; tiie value of the paper dollar constantly varying, and continually becoming: 
more depreciated, so that tlte average value of tiie money 1 received was considerably 
less than half its nominal value in gold. I therefore reply specifically to your questiou. 
that I supposed myself to be in the employ of Lopez for a little more than a year; but 
at last Xiopez, apparently dissatisfied with my progress in the work, and perhaps not 
liking the cautious way in which I spoke of other nations, he being eager tnat I should. 
bring my history down to more modem times, and especiaUy eager that I should write 
something which would be of use to Imn in tiie war, whidi I was as equally desirous, 
to avoid. I was at last met with a refusal to supply me tritii any more money. Thia 
eccvrred near the middle of 1866, as neao: as I can remember. (Mr. Washburn arrived 
in the country the 2d of November, 1666.) And when finally I was met with a refusal 
to 'give me any more money, I con^dered myself as disengaged and ceased to write any 



farther. I had then brought my histoiy down to aboat the year 1810, and during all 
this time I had continued to be more or less an object of suspicion. The reason of uiat, 
I suppose, was tiiat I had not met his anticipations in the history I had written. 

I would have stated that different instalments of my history were sent regularly to 
Lopez's headquarters and examined by him. The official Paraguayan style of writing 
there, has always been a most fulsome style of adulation of the powers that be. During 
the war tiiere has not been a single article allowed to appear in the official papers which 
4id not have some reference to the war, and did not contain extravagant praise of 
^pez. I wished to write this history in a manner that should meet the approbation 
of my own conscience; I wished to write it dispassionately, and to keep as free from 
the appearance of being a partisan as possible : I wished to write something which I 
might publish in Europe without being ashamed of. I suppose Lopez was disappointed 
in mv not making more frequent reference to him, and in my not paying more adulation 
to Imn ; at all events I was at last met with a refusal to give me any more money. 
I^m that time I sank into extreme poverty; sometimes I really did not know how to 
obtain my daily food, and I was obliged to seek loans of money from persons who had 
become my personal friends there. I lived in a most miserable style, and had become 
reduced to tne lowest condition of poverty some time before Mr. Washburn arrived. I 
might have obtained large sums ox money from Lopez if I had chosen to accept the 
part of a flatterer, or if I had chosen to place myself in his service absolutely, and to 
•do what he might desire me to do in rQspect to tne war; but I did not choose to be so. 
There was nothing in my manuscript which ought to have given Lopez any offense; it 
was a fSeiir and impartial account of^the settlement of that country in the earaly part of 
its history, and was never brought down later than 1810 — ^that is, later than a x^eriodof 
nearly 60 years ago. 

• Q. Did Lopez retain your manuscript f — ^A. No; it was returned to me. Not being 
used by Lopez, his minister of foreign affiurs returned it to me with some sug^gestions 
.as to changes in the early portions of it; tiie latter portions submitted to mm were 
returned to me without remark. They remained in my possession, as they ou^ht to 
liave done, I having never been paid for my labor in writing at all; and I considered 
myself released from all pbli^tions to the Paraguayan government in connection with 
the matter. When Mr. Wa8]3>um left Paraguay as I had previously confided the manu- 
script to his care, he took it with him, and it is now in this country in his custoc^ 

By Mr. Orth : 

Q. Affcer Mr. Washburn arrived, what relations came to exist between you and 
liim f — ^A. I met Mr. Washburn as an old friend. I had been cut off for many months 
from a knowledge of all events outside of Paraguay. From the time of the blockade of 
that country, about the middle of March, 1865, 1 had received scarcely any information 
either from the United States or from any other part of the world outside of Paraguay. 
I did not hear of the assassination of Ftesident Lincoln until, I think, the month of 
September, 1865, and I then heard of his assassination at the same time that I received 
the news of the final collapse of the confederacy, and of various measures of reconstruc- 
tion, covering two or three months of the administration of the new President. The 
jorival of Mr. Washburn had been eagerly anticipated, not only by myself but 'by a 
great many foreigners there, who then anticipated a close of the Paraguayan war at 
.almost any time. They were under the same delusion that the people of tbiis county 
were under in respect to the late civil war. Believing all the time it would close within 
a few months, the foreigners in Paraguay looked upon Mr. Washburn as the coming man, 
and believed that when the war should terminate he would be able to afford them the 
j>rotection of which they expected to stand in very gioat need. Great apprehension 
was felt by the residents of Asuncion, both native and foreign, that the allied armies on 
the fall of the capital of Paraguajr would sadL and pillage the city and country ; and 
the arrival of Mr. Washburn as the only fore^n minister there, was believed to be of 
the greatest importance in that event, supposmg he might exert his authority and 
influence for the protection of persons and property from the general pillage which was 
•expected by the allied forces. His arrival certainly occasioned me great joy. I met 
him as soon as he arrived, and was in the habit of meeting him two or three times a day 
for a long time, even before an arrangement whidi I subsequently made with him to 
collect information to be used by him in the preparation of a work on Paraguay^ 

By Mr. Swann : 

Q. Were you then a member of his family T->A. I was not ; I resided in laj own 
liouse. I did not reside under the same roof with him until more than a year anier his 
return there. As I have stated, shortly after Mr. Washburn's arrival, I was engaged by 
liim to collect information to be used by him in his work on Paraguay. I continued in 
that employment for a number of months. It was for a work wSich has not yet been 
published, and which partakes in its duuracter both of history, of impressions of the 
country, and other features of a miscellaneous character. My own quota of the mate- 
rial contributed to it was chiefly historical in its character. I also placed at his ser- 
vice, to be used in the way of consultation, the matter I had been writing for the Para- 


ffoayazi goTemment. They hAvin^ 'broken their contract with me, and I being no 
longer in their service, as I have said, I deemed the material coUected to be properly 
my own, and I loaned it to Mr. Washburn to be consulted by him in writing some his- 
torical chapter fbr bis own work. The manuscript written by him was in the Spanish 

Q. Was it known by the minister of foreien afiBairs there that yon were engaged in 
this work in common with Mr. Washburn T— A. It was known extra-officially. I never 
stated it to him as a matter of du^ on my part, because I considered my relations wi^ 
the government as having ceased. My private relations to the minister of foreign 
affairs continued to be tolerably satisfiEUstory, and I would sometimes see him, ^enerauy 
on public occasions. I made no secret of uie circumstance that I was collecting facte 
for Mr. Washburn, but I did. not consider myself bound to make any official report on 
the subject. 

By Mr. Orth : 

Q. The relations between yourself and Mr. Washburn were perfectly agreeable f — ^A. 
Generally speaking, they were. Mr^ Washburn at that time eiyoyed great favor wit^ 
the government of Lopez. I was, in connection with this matter^ under the necessity 
of consulting a great many of the old residents of Paraguay. I especially consulted 
them respecting the history of the dictator. Dr. Francia. They amounted to 30 or 40 
of the oldest and most intellis^t i>ersons whom I could find, and I obtained much 
information from them for Mr. Washburn, and also for myself, as I still cherished an 
expectation of being able to make some use of this material at another period. My 
business in this connection was of course perfectly well known to the Paraguayan gov- 
ernment, because that government makes itself acquainted with everything that is 
going on by means of its system of espionage. 

Mr. Washburn apparently eijjoyed the favor of the Paraguayan government for more 
than a year after Ids arrival in that country. So far as I can understand from his 
expressions, then and since, I should Judge tlmt Mr. Washburn sympathized in a meas- 
ure with the Paraguayan people in their struggle. He never sympathized with Lopez, 
personally, because he always knew his character, but he did sympathize to a certain 
extent v^ith the people of Paraguay. 

It is somewhat irrelevant to this investigation, but I nevertheless think it well for 
me to state another fact diowing Mr. Washburn's friendlv relations with the Para- 
guayan government. Without even the previous knowledge of our government, 
although in conformity with its spirit, he tendered his mediation in the struggle going 
on, which mediation was accepted by Lopez in the month of March, 18G7. In that 
month Mr. Washburn had an interview with Lopez at his headquarters. Afterwards 
he passed through the Paraguai^an lines for the purpose of an interview with the com- 
mander-in-chiei of the allied ibrcee. Mr. Washburn spent, I think, two days in the 
camp of the allies as a guest of their commander-in-chief, who was then the Marquis 
of Caxias, a Brazilian nobleman. Mr. Washburn's offer of mediation was upon the 
basis of the reciprocal independence of the countries, including the retention of Lopez 
himself as the head of the government of Paraguay. The offer was refused liy the 
allies, upon the ground that they had bound themselves by treaty never to make any 
terms with Lopez, and never to desiBt from war until they had overthrown him. Affcer 
receiving this reply from the Marquis of Caxias, Mr. Waiuibum wrote him a somewhat 
indignant letter, which has be^i published, in which he took the ground that, what- 
ever might be the fSacts of the case as regarded the conduct of Marshal Lopez in the 
beginning of the war, the allies ouffht to be willing to treat with him as the head of 
an independent government, and uiat their expressed determination to desist from 
war only on the overthrow of tiiat government ought not to be satisfeictory to neutral 
governments. This letter of Mr. Wiuhbum was considered by Lopez as being a masterly 

C Auction and very satisfactory to himself. He said that Mr. Washburn in that letter 
rendered him a very essentiiu service, by protesting in behalf of neutral governments 
against the positions assumed by the allies. After two days' conference within the allied 
lines, as I have stated, Mr. Washburn returned, saw Lopez attain, and gave an account 
of the unsatisfactory result of his interview. Liopez expressed himself grateful for the 
spirit he had shown, and the efforts he had made in favor of the independence of Para- 

Cay, and Mr. Washburn returned to Asimcion, eigo^g apparently the high favor of 
p^ I mention this because one of the charges against mi, Washburn, in connection 
with the supposed conspiracy which was trumped up, and which caused the death of * 
so many victims, was that under the shelter of his position as an American minister he 
had ingratiated himself with the commander-in-chief of the allied forces, and had there 
been concerned in maneuvers directed against the Paraguayan government. This was 
in March, 1867. 

Affairs continued during the entire year of 1867 apparently without any change in 
the friendly relations between Mr. Washburn and the Paraguayan government. The first 
serious cause of disagreement between them was as late as the month of February, 
1866. In that month the iron-clad fleet of the allies succeeded in forcing its way past 


the principal fortress of the Paragnayftus called Hniaayt^, and two of their iron-clads. 
tneeting with no farther opposition, ascended the river as far as Asuncion, the capital 
of the rejmhlic. On the approach oi these iron-clads, the vice-president of the republic, 
Don Francisco Sanchez, who was at the head of a sort of phantom goyemment at 
Asuncion, being cut off from communication with Marshal Lopez, took the responsi- 
bility upon himself, (probably in conformity with previous instructions from Lopez, in 
the possible contingency which had now occurred,) to order the entire evacuation of 
Asuncion by all its inhabitants ; declaring at the same time the town a military post, 
to be garrisoned by the few hundred Paraguayan soldiers whom he had at his di^osaL 
Forty-eicht hours was given for the evacuation ; and all the residents, both native and 
foreign, in that time evacuated tho city, going, in accordance with orders given, to cer- 
tain towns in the iEnterior. 

Q. What was the population of Asuncion f— A. The population has been variously 
stated by different authorities. By some it has been stated as high as 40,000 ; in my 
opinion the city never contained more than 20,000. I should state that I believe the 
passports, directingporties to go to particular towns nanied in the interior, applied only 
to foreigners, of whom there were several hundred then in Asuncion, Natives were 
allowed a larger liberty, and permitted to choose the plaoe of their new residence, but 
no facilities were famished them to move their effects. A great minority of them had 
no' beasts of burden or conveyances, and Hvere obliged— including many people of rank — 
to make the transit of 20 or 40 mUes with their families and little ones on foot. Up to 
this time I had never had any nominal connection with the legation, although being 
in daily intercourse with Mr. Washburn and in his employ for the purpose of coUect- 
mg the information I have stated and otherwise, as was perfectly well known. I had 
occasionally known of his correspondence with the government of Paraguay, and had 
frequently assisted him in the translation of official documents/ I had known the eon- 
tents of some of his dispatches written to the Secretary of State in Washington, and 
was living with him on terms of great familiarity. I was pretty well posted in all be 
did in dischargrug the duties of his position. At this time, however, as it was supposed 
by us all that the arrival of the two Brazilian iron-clads would be speedily followed by 
utl the other vessels of the allied squadron, and by the allied army, none of us having 
any impression that the war would be continued for more than a few days longer, and 
as there certainly was sood reason for supposing the war would then close, Mr. Wash- 
bum took upon himself to render a very essential service to the Paraguayans, as well 
as others, by protecting the property of prominent families from saok and pQlage by the 
allies. I know that it was his hope that he might render available the protection which 
his position afforded, not only in behalf of his friends, but also in behalf of prominent 
natives and foreigners who were there, by allowing them refhge under his ffag. B0 
resided in a builmng which covered an entire square, and in which there was room 
enough to ^ve protection to hundreds of people. Mr. Washburn was actuated by the 
best intentions m that respect, and had always looked forward to the probability of ius 
being able to render important services under such circumstances. It was probable, 
then, that he would have a great deal of correspondence on his hands, not merely with 
the Paraguayan government then in existence, but with another de jaMo govemnrent 
that might be set up, and alsp with the eommander-'in-chief of the allied armies. In 
these labors I cotdd be of great service to him, because I was familiar with Spanish and 
Portuguese, as also with the Guaxani language of the Par^uayans. It was probable 
that my being with biTn would be of great importance to him under the circumstances 
anticipated. He invited me therefore to become a member of his legation, as I had been 
in fact for a long time connected with it. I was appointed translator to the legation, aoid 
as such I was not subject to the requisition of the police department to ^o to its head- 
quarters and receive a passport to some interior town. Mr. Washburn himself declined 
to obey that order, which was communicated to him, not technically in the form of an 
order, but in a way which showed the government expected he would retire with every- 
body to the interior. He informed &e government that he considered himself as 
accredited to the capital of the republic, and that he should not retire to the interior. 

Q. Was that order complied with generally by the citizens ? — ^A. It was enforced 
unsparingly, and was complied with by all the citizens, and ulso by the foreign consuls 
there. Tney first consulted Mr. Washburn as to whether or not they shouM obey it ; 
Mr. Washburn gave them his advice to remain «nd stand wp for their rights; but a 
majority of them sieemed to thii& it would be best to leave, although Mr. Washburn 
stated to them that he would not leave Asuncion himself. He was the only diplomatic 
representative there, and with his legation and-those under his protection were the only 
persons who remained in Asuncion, except the soldieis who formed the garrison, the town 
having been declared a military post. Besides myself, Mr. Washburn also invited 
another American citizen, by the name of James Manlove, to become a member of his 
legation, and we both of us esoeeteid that in the mulUplic^t^ of persons who had 
deposited their valuables there lor his prote<Stion— <it least 100 in number-^we should 
be of great use in the business he haA %o transact. Many perscms of wealth brought 
i^eir valuables and deposited them 'Wilh Mr. Wa8hbitxB£9r49iuME6epxDg, without reiquir- 


ing or reoei^g any receipt ftmn him. They had saeh oonfidence in his integrity that 
they brought their money and jewehry, and introsted them to his good faith. He 
e^ressly stated to them that he conld not giye rec^pts, that he Trould endeavor to 
zeetore to each hie property, hnt that he could make no conditiona connected with the 
deposit. He did not, as was subsequently asserted^ demand a peiceotage for their safe- 
keeping, but on the contrary said he would maJ^e no conditions at t3l. He said to 
them: "Whatever property yon leave with me will receive the ftdl protection of my 
flag, as far as I can give it, and will be returned to you when possible under better 
audioes.'' In order to take cognizance of this large amount of property, it was 
very expedient and proper that an additional force should be attached to the legation, 
especially in view of the contingencies that might arise. The same day that "Mx* Man- 
love and myself received our appointments, Mr. Washburn sent to the minister of for- 
ei^ affiEurs a list of the members of his legation for his information. From this list, by 
inadvertence, the name of Mr. Masterman was omitted Mr. Masterman had been a 
memb^ of his fiunily for nearly six months, or since some time in October previous, 
after he was liberated from prison at the request of Mr. Washburn. The next day after- 
ward, Mr. Washburn sent a supplemental fist which included Mr. Masterman. 

Q. The minister of foreign affiurs had not retired from the city f— A. He did retire; 
this, however, occurred during the 48 hours given for persons to leave. At the end of 
that 46 hours both the Vice-President and the minister of foreign a£&urs retired 

Q. IHd they remove the public archives f — ^A. They did remove them to Luqne, a point 
about 10 miles east of Asuncion, on the line of railroad— the only railroad in Paraguay. 
At the time of the evacuation of Asuncion, several of the Englisn residents, formerly in 
tdie employ of the govemmentj solicited permission to occupy some of the builduiffs 
bdonging to the American legation, for the purpose of living there until the storm shouM 
be over, as it was expected the war would be nnished in a few days. They had been in 
the service of t>he Paraguayan government as. engineers, mechanics, &c., but their 
contracts had expired There were 20 or 25 of them, including women and children. 
There were also two Uruguayan gentlemen, one of wbom, Don Francisco Bodriguez 
Laaeta, had come to tiie country as chaig^ d'affaires, and the other. Dr. Caireras, had 
formerly been minister from t^er^ublio of Uruguay to Paraguay, and had been prime 
minister in his own country. 

By Mr. Washbukn: 

Q. In what capacity did Mr. Rodri^ez come to Para^ay f — ^A. He was a Uruguayan 
gentleman who came to Paraguay in the month of May, 1864, as secretary of the 
fegation of what is called the Oriental republio oi Uruguay, of which Montevideo 
is the ea^ital. When the war oommenoed, title minister who was over him left tlM 
country, and he remained as charge d'afildres. He continued there until his execution, 
which took place in August last; he having been executed by order of Lopez. Tbd 
other gentleman. Dr. Carreras, was a Uruguayan statesman of very large experience in 
public Hfe, having been three times a cabinet minister in that country, and on the last 
occasion having been virtually the head of the government. He had ajlso, before the 
war, been the minister of Uruguay in Paraguay, and had been a decided &iend of Lopez 
befcoe the war, sympathizing very heartily with him in his enterprise as against the 
&»zilians. This Dr. Carreras, having opposed the Brazilians, and the government to 
which he belonged having been over&rown 1^ them in February, 1865, was obliged tO; 
leave Montevideo with a ^w of his friends. Tney succeeded in crossing the lines of the 
allies into Paraguay^ where he offered his services to- Lopez. His advice would have , 
been of great im^rtance to Lopez, who received him appar^tly upon friendly termsy 
but did not assign him to any situation. He gave hUn no pecumary assistance, but 
reoomm^ided him to go to ti^e capital and live there, which he dic^ in a very quiet, 
sechided way, tak^;- no pact in public afiairs and making no public manifestations. 
This continued until the time of the evacuation, as I have stated 

Q. Did he state to Lopes what valuable service he could perform for him? — A. He 
did; he on more than one occasi^m. proposed to the government of President Lopez to 
^ to Bolivia, and &om these to the other repubHcs, Chili and Peru, with a special mis- 
sion fix>m Lopez, to stir up public opinion in these republics in favor of Paraguay and 
against BraziL His influence could have be^ exerted most potently in this mrection, 
and he would have desired nothing better than to exertjlt against Brazil, in whatever 

?iurt of the world he could. However, a short time before the circumstances to which 
am referring, an uncle of his had died in Bolivia, leaving him a large property ther 
in mines, amounting to |150,000, which gave him an additional reason, as soon as he 
heard of it, for desiring to go to that country. 

By Mr. Orth: 

Q. What became of Carreras t—^A. He was shot on the 27th of September last, 
by order of Lopez, &>r the alleged crime of conspiracy, as 1^^^^ heen an accom- 
pUee of Mr. Wadsibum^ IM^. Miasterman, myself, and many others. Tne purpose of this 
con^iraey was charged to be the removal of Marshal Lopez from the government. 

I havo pievionsly stated that up to this time there was no reason to suppose that 


Mr. Washburn was in bad odor with the government of President Lopez, bat rather 
the reverse, as Mr. Washburn had certainly given Lopez reason, on more than one occa- 
sion, to thank him for his conduct. Mr. Washburn had exercised his influence repeat- 
edly to obtain the pacification of the conflict going on with the enemies of the republic 
of Paraguay^ and had done all that he could to accomplish that object, without exacting 
any stipulations or conditions in respect to his services ; and at the very time this evac- 
uation was going on, he endeavored to render a great service by receiving valuable 
property of residents of Paraguay under his protection. This fact ou^ht to have 
recommended him still further to Lopez; but, probably owing to the circumstance 
that Mr. Washburn declined to leave the Qity of Asuncion, when it was expected that 
he would leave, and of his taMng under his protection these Uruguayan gentlemen, 
from that time onward he seems to have become an object of suspicion, m reply to 
the note of Mr. Washburn sending the supplemental list of the members of his lega- 
tion, including Mr. Masterman, ^. Manlove, and myself, he received a note from uie 
minister of foreign affairs in which, acting probably under previous instructions from 
Lopez, he declared that he would not recognize Mr. Manlove or myself as being attach^ 
to the legation, entitled to have the freedom of the city. In the notes sent by Mx. 
Washburn giving the list of the members of his legation, he used the word service. He 
stated that owing to the extraordinary circumstances he had found it necessary to take 
into the service of the legation Mr. Bliss, Mr. Manlove, and several other persons named. 
Of course the word service does not necessarily imply domestic service; the officers of 
a government are in the service of that government; but the translator of that note 
into Spanish rendered the word service by a Spanish word which implied that we were 
servants; and in reply the minister expresses his surprise that Mr. Manlove and myself 
should consent to accept the positions of servants, and stated that as he had known 
these gentlemen not to belong to that condition of life, he could not recognize them as 
servants of the legation, and as the police have orders to arrest all persons in the street, 
not especially privileged, we had better not go outside of the legation. Mr. Washburn 
had not previously stated in what capacity we were taken into the service of the lega- 
tion ; this circumstance, in connection with Mr. Washburn's refosal to leave the city, 
served, I presume, to prejudice Lopez against him. I have abready mentioned that on 
the day on which the evacuation was decreed, a consultation tooK place between Mr. 
Washburn and the foreign consuls in which Mr. Washburn advised them to remain, 
while they by a majority of voices thought it best to leave. 

By Mr. Washbubn: 

Q. Do you know what reason was given, for instance by the French consul, for 
leaving? — ^A. I have the impression that it was from personal fear of the bombardment 
of the city ; I do not remember distinctly. Before the expiration of a complete month 
from the evacuation according to my recollection, Mr. Manlove was arrested in the 
streets in accordance with what the government had previously announced, but, of 
course, in utter violation of his rights as a member of the American legation. The 
authorities had notified us that they would not regard bini as a member of the legation, 
and he was accordingly arrested while in the streets for nothing except the fact of his 
being in the street contrary to general orders. On the morning of the 21st of March, 
1868, he left the legation and went over to the house of a frenchman, which was 
of course deserted, as all the houses in the city were; the keys of the house had been 
left in his possession by the owner, and he went over with the intention of getting 
something from the house ; the contents of the house had been placed at his disposal. 
He was just in the act of entering the house when some policemen passed by and 
questioned him as to what he was doing ; he replied that he had authority from the 
owner to enter the house. They insisted on his going with them and presenting him- 
self to the chief of police ; he declined to go and returned to his house followed by the 
police, who still continued to insist upon nis going. He did not have to pass through 
Mr. Washburn's house to get to his own quarters. Mr. Washburn was not at home 
at the time. I was living at my own house at that time, but shortly after that I came 
over to Mr. Manlove's residence, while the altercation with the police was going on. I 
knew nothing of the circumstances of the case, but informed myself quickly, and as Mr. 
Washburn was not there and the police insisted on Mr. Manlove's going down to their 
headquarters, Mr. Washburn's relations not having been up to this time of a disagree- 
able character, it was supposed, the matter could be easily explained by going down to 
the office of the chief of police, and I offered to accompany Mr. Manlove there. Mr. 
Manlove consented to go, but said to the policemen, " I will not go with you under arrest ; 
if you simply request me to go down and make an explanation to the chief of police, I 
will go." They said, " No, we will not arrest you." In order to make the matter per- 
fectly clear, we insisted that the policemen should take one street and we another, 
which was done, and we arrived at the police headquarters by different routes about 
the same time. I went in with Mr. Manlove, acting as his interpreter, as he did not 
speak Spanish. I had hardly commenced the explanation before the chief of police very 
rudely sent me outside, where I sat down on a bench. After some time ISfr. Manlove 
came out and sat down by me ; the chief of police then stated that I was to return to 


the legation, bnt that Mr. Manlore must remain, without giving any further explana- 
tion. We separated then, I sayine to Mr. Manlove that Mr. Washburn would Boon be 
at home, and that whatever little cufflculties there might be, he, Manlove, would doubt- 
less return before night and eyerythinff would be straightened. I had no doubt then 
that the matter would be arranged and that Mr. Maniove would return and sleep at 
home that night, but that was the last time I ever saw him ; he was executed by order 
of Lopez in August last. 

Q. Btate whether Mr. Washburn had any difficulty on account of an obnoxious per- 
son being present in Mr. Manloye's house, whom he (Mr. Washburn) regarded as a spy f 
— ^A. There was. The facts of the case, I think, are well known to the committee, 
through the published documents, and I will only say that Mr. Manlove, previous to 
his leaving for the last time, had a misunderstanding with Mr. Washburn, and had 
concluded to leave the legation premises and go to reside in another house. Mr. Man- 
love remained in prison in Asuncion untdl July 14, 1868, during which time his meals 
were sent to him in prison every day firom the American legation. Mr. Washburn 
engaged in correspondence in his behalf with the minister of foreign afEadrs, but unsuc- 

Q. What became of the persons Mr. Washburn employed to take Mr. Manlove's 
meals to himf — ^A. They were successively arrested in the streets while carrying his 
meals, but Mr. Washburn continued still to provide him with the necessaries of life 
until the 14th of July, when Mr. Manlove, alon^ with hundreds of other persons, includ- 
ing many prominent persons, natives and foreigners, were taken to the headquarters 
of the army, subjected to the farce of a truU, which consisted principally in starvation 
and torture, upon the charge of conspiracy, and were finaUy executed m August and 
succeeding months. Respecting Mr. Manlove, I cannot speak of this from my own 
knowledge, but I know what those pretended tfiuls are, and I have reason to believe 
that none of the persons arrested at this time or subsequently, escaped these horrors. 
I have seen testimony which shows that he, with others, was most cruelly tortured; 
indeed, I do not think there was a single one of the 500 or more political prisoners who 
escaped torture. 

Shortly after this difficulty about Mr. Manlove, we began to hear every day or two 
of the arrest of prominent individuals, who were taken in irons to the headquarters of 
the army. It was a subject of frequent speculation among the circle residing at the 
American legation, numbering about 40 individuals, what could be the reason of these 
summary and arbitrary arrests; many plausible conjectures were made, but not one 
'of us had any idea of the charge of conspiracy until the last phases of the crisid. Some 
, time about the middle of the month of June, I think on the 16th, the Portuguese con- 
sul, Mr. Leite Pereira, who had been obliged to leave the city with the other residents, 
and had established himself three or four miles from the city, (having first applied to 
the government for permission to remain in the city, without success,) came galloping 
into town with his wife, bringing the information that he had just received a note from 
the government by which his exequatur was canceled ; that is to say, he was no longer 
to be recognized as consul : and he believing that this was only the beginning of sor- 
rows and of persecutions, lost not a moment in packing up his principal valuables and 
gaUoping into the city with his wife to take refugee in the American legation. After a 
lew days there came a note from the government inquiring as to the fact of the person 
(mentipning him by name, as he was no longer recognized by them as Portuguese con- 
sul) being at the legation; to which Mr. WaSibum replied in the affirmative, denying, 
however, that the government had any right to ask such a question. A little later 
came a demand from the government that this gentleman shoiQd be surrendered up as 
a criminaJ, upon some charge which was not mentioned «ind which none of us could 
guess. This Mr. Washburn declined to do after consultation with the principal per- 
sons residing in his family, including the Uruguayan gentlemen I have mentioned, Mr. 
Masterman, and myself. We supposed the charge might arise from some misunder- 
standing springing from the fact that the Portugese consul had, like many others, 
sought to relieve the necessities of destitute Brazihan prisoners of war who came under 
his observation. We were satisfied if that misapprehension existed there was no foun- 
dation for it, beyond the fact I have mentioned. As to the charge of conspiracy, none 
of us at tlMit time had any such idea. On the 11th of July a very long note was 
received by Mr. Washburn nom Don Gumesindo Benitez, the minister of foreign affairs. 
In this note Mr. Benitez discussed the question of the right of asylum, and came to the 
conclusion that Mr. Washburn was not entitled to extend asylum to any persons, and 
that consequently he was summoned to dismiss from the buildings of the American 
legation before sunset of the ensuing day, (Sunday,) all the persons who were not mem- 
bers of that legation; this, of course, included the gentlemen I have referred to from 
Montevideo. There was no insinuation that any of these individuals were guilty of 
any crime. Nothing was said in this note of any charge made against any one of them.. 
Mr. Washburn consulted with the English engineers and mechanics, who, with theiv 
families, concluded it was best for them to leave, and they did so. Mr. Leite Pereira 
came to the same conclusion and surrendered himself. The Uruguayan gentlemen, en 


oonsultsuiion with Mr. Washburn, thought it waa beat that Mr. Wa^bum should make 
a speoial application in their behalf for them to be allowed to remain. Mr. Washburn 
wrote on Sunday, the 12th of July, to the effect that the Englishmen and their families 
and Mx. Leite Pereira had left, that Dr. Carreras and Mr. Eodri^ez desired to remain, 
]£ the goyemment did not object to it. He declined to enter into a discussion of the 
matter as to the right of asylum, but simply stated that the Englishmen and their 
families consented to leave, while the other gentlemen requested that the government 
would waive its objections and allow them to remain. To this a letter was received 
the next morning, July 13, in which the minister of foreign affairs, while thanking 
Mr. Washburn for his courtesy, as it was called, in meeting the views of the govern- 
ment in having the English leave, &c., stated that they could not grant him the favor 
he asked of allowing the Uruguayan gentlemen to remain, because they were crimmaUf 
and 'Hhat fact had not been mentioned in the note of the day before because the 
goivemment had desired to avoid any unpleasant allusions, preferring to arrest them 
on the street ; as Mr. Washburn had, however, spoken of them as his friends and entered 
io^lo some statements in their behalf ^^ government was obliged to state that they 
were criminals and consequently that they could not be allowed to remain, and that 
the government would not concede the right of asylum to any persons not members of 
the feeation." It was a day of agony in the legation. All of us had felt, latterly^ as 
if we nad halters about our necks. Some of us were at first inclined to put a bolduice 
upon the matter and deny the ri^ht of the Paraguayan government to take any such 
steps, and to insist on the protection of these gentlemen; but they themselves, feajing 
that such a step might involve Mr. Washburn in difficulty, it being doubtfal how long 
he might remain in Paraguay, having already sent on his resignation, and believing 
they might be in greater danger by remaining than by voluntarily delivering them- 
selves up, proposed to surrender themselves. Tbey sklso hoped to clear themselves fix>m 
these mysterious charges. Mr. Washburn could not promise them protection till the 
end of the war, because he might be recalled by his own government at any m<Hnent. 
He had said in his letters to the government that specific cnar^es must be made before 
he could feel himself bound to turn anybody out of his legation, and we well under- 
stood that specific charges would be made if they did not go voluntarily. On the 
whole, these gentlemen, confiding in their innocence, and entirely ignorant of any 
charge that could be made truthrally against them, having always sympathized heart- 
ily with the Paraguayan government in so fax as the issue between her and Brazil was 
concerned, knowing they had done nothing which could properly render them objects 
of suspicion, preferred to give themselves up, and did so that day. They were arrested 
on the comer of the street in our sight. 

These gentlemen having left at 1 o'clock in the day, the same evening Mr. Washburn 
received another dispatch, in which Mr. Masterman and myself were demanded as being 
guilty of crimes "not less serious than the persons who had previously delivered them- 
selves up,'' but without specifying those charges, as indeed no charge had been specified 
against anybody. As we were claimed by I&. Washburn as members of his legation, 
he determined that he not only would not surrender us up, but advised us not to sur- 
render ourselves, and immediately replied to that effect, stating that we were members 
of his legation, that ]^e could not assent to our extradition, and asking for his passports 
in order to leave the country along with us. He continued to maintain a correspond- 
ence on the subject for about two months. I should have mentioned that on ^e pre- 
vious day, the 12th of July, the four comers of the street around the legation were 
occupied by pickets of soldiers doins police duty in the city. Their number varied £rom 
time to time, but there were never less than from 20 to 30, and sometimes more. They 
remained there for two months, night and day, with orders to seize Mr. Mastermsm ana 
myself if we should present ourselves in the street. We were consequently obliged to 
remain in the legation aU this time. I could not at any time go to my own private resi- 
dence, where I had left my own property, including valuable documents and manu- 
scripts, which on my imprisonment r^nained there, and which I have never recov- 
ered. At this time no one in the legation was called for but Mr. Masterman and myself^ 
. all the others having previously left. In the last days ei August, the United States gun- 
boat Wasp arrived in Paraguayan waters, to take away the members of the American 
legation. Mr. Washburn then applied for passports for members of that legation, 
• expressly including Mr. Masterman and mysefr; to which the government replied, stat- 
ing that passports would be given to MmseJfy astd his legation only^ the members of his 
present household ; expressly excluding Mr. Masterman and myself, and a negro servant 
who had come to the house as the servant of Dr. Carreras. On the 10th of September, 
affcer making my will, which was attested by Mr. Washburn and delivered to him, and 
writing letters to my parents, Mr. Washburn aad the members of his legation started 
from his residence to go on board the Paragprnyam steamer, to embark on the United 
States gunboat Wasp, which lay several miles belorw in ^e river, not having been 
allowed to come nearer to the city. 


W.AflBiNOTON, D. C, April 24, 1869. 
Examination of Porteb C. Bliss oontmned. 

By Mr. Okth : 

Question. When yon closed yonr testimon^y on Thoisday, you had proceeded to your 
point of departure from the American legation in Asuncion. You wul now proceed to 
relate in narrative from what occurred subsequent to that time. — ^Answer. On tne 10th of 
September, 1868, Mr. Washburn and the members of his legation started from the lega- 
tion building on the way to the Paraguayan steamer, whidbi had been set apart far the 
purpose of taking him to the United States steamer Wasp, three or four miles down the 
river. At the first comer of the street Mr. Masterman and myself were surrounded by 
30 or 40 Paraguayan police soldiers, the same who had been on guard for two months on 
the lookout mr us : and in the presence of Mr. Washburn, and of the French and Italian 
consuls, we were driven away to the police prison ; Mr. Washburn making no useless 
demonstration at the time, other than to salute us in departing by a wave of his hat. 
We had just gone through the ceremony of parting inside the legation, as we were per- 
fectly well aware that we would be seized, and Mr. Washburn ha^ advised us to accuse 
him of conspiracy, if necessary to save our lives. The Paraguayan government had 
stated expressly that it woudd seize our persons by force, if nece6sary,.and had demanded 
our surrender in peremptory terms on five dififerent occasions dunng the previous two 

The troops formed a hoUow square, and accosting us in the Guarani language, with 
shouts and jeers told us to go to tne police headquarters. We were each of us provided 
with a satchel, in which we had pacKedup such necessaries as we considered were most 
absolutely necessary for our comfort durii^ imprisonment, and which we supposed we 
would be allowed to retain, including several changes of linen, combs, biscuit, cigars, 
a little money, one or two books, and other articles of the first necessity. On reaching 
the police headquarters, the negro servant named Baltazor Caireras, who was also 
arrested at the same time with us, was first taken inside and ironed. Mr. Master- 
man and myself were remaining outside until that operation was finished. My turn 
came next. I was taken in, my satchel taken fi?om me, I was ordered to strip off all my 
clothing, which was most carefhlly searched, even the seams being rigorously exam- 
ined, to see if we had concealed any cutting implements or other arti^es considered con- 
traband. Everything in my pockets was taken from me, with the exception of a few 
cigars which were left me. I was then returned the clothing^ and told to put it on, and 
then to sit on a stone in the presence of a large circle of solmera mounting guard. The 
blacksmith was called to put fetters upon my ankles, upon which I turned to the chief 
of p(4ice, who sat by, and asked permission to light a ci^^ ; he looked rather surprised 
at uie audacious request, but allowed me to pick out a cigar, and handed me a light. I 
sat smoking but silent while the irons (of 30 or 40 pounds' wei^it) were riveted upon 
my ankles. I was then taken to a darlt dungeon in the interior of the police depart- 
menty and the door closed but left dightly ^or. Mr. Masterman was treated in the 
same manner a few moments later. 

By the Chatrman : 

Q. Was it in yonr presence that he was ironed f — ^A. No, sir; I had been first taken 
to my dungeon before he was brought in to be ironed, but I could hear the ham- 
mering goin^ on. When I speak al^ut what happened to me, I wish to be under- 
stood as stating substantially what happened to both of us, except in cases where I 
refer particulariy to one of us only. Mr. Masterman not being here and having sub- 
mitted only a summary statement, I can, in great part in my depositions, speak also 
for him. I was left there without any finrther visits from any person, except on one 
occasion, a small jsa of water being brought to me, but no food until 8 o'clock in the 
evening, which time I spent lying on my back on the brick floor of the dungeon, count- 
ing the quarter hours strucl^ by tne cathedrskL clock and smoking. As fast as one ci^ar 
was finished I would light another, because a cigar being company for me I did no^ wish 
to lose the light. 

At 8 o'clock in the evening I was called on by a guard and told to fi)liow them. I 
marched as fast as I could with the heavy weight of my fetters, which allowed me to 
take steps only about two inches in length. Proceeding to ihe principal entrance of 
the police department, i found there a number of soldiers with torches; I found also 
horses and mules, with the rough saddles of the country, all prepared as for a night of 
exerticm. The chief of police met me there and told me to get on one of the horses, , 
which was brought up alongside of the steps. I looked at him for some time, not beii^ 
able to get my wits about me tA once, or to imagine how I, with those fotters on me, 
was to mount a horse I After waiting to receive some further intimation from him> he 
hinted that I was expected to get on MdewaySy which was the only way I could ride. I 
was finally assisted to the sadue and then strapped on. Mr. Masterman and the negro 
were immediately brought oat and mounted upon the other beasts. I was the only 
(me who had the honor of being mounted upon a horae. The others were mounted 


upon muleSf I think. We then started upon a fearl^ nicht-jouniey to the headquarters 
of the army, ahout 36 miles distant. The sufferings of that night to all of us were 
such as I never endured in an equal period beforei or since, though I was subsequently 
put to the torture on various occasions ; but the tortures to which we were subjected 
were tolerable when compared with the agony we suffered on that fearful night. I had 
received no food since our arrest, weighed down by my fetters, which dragged me off 
the horse a number of times, having to be assisted on again by attendant soTcuers, being 
obliged to make a constant effort to maintain my equilibrium upon the beast, suffering 
for lack of sleep, before morning I became nearly exhausted. The weight of the fetters 
upon my ankles had become excruciating torture until I nearly fainted, but neverthe- 
less was obliged to maintain my position, still without food or relief until noon of the 
next day, when we arrived at the headquarters of Lopez's army, 36 miles from Asun- 
cion. The roads were very bad. We had to cross hills and vj^eys and the beds of monn- 
, tain streams. I fell off several times and was dragged a considerable distance by the 
horse I rode. 

More dead than alive, we were dismounted from our animals, Mr. Masterman having 
suffered perhaps still more than myself during this journey. Our persons were then 
examined agam for contraband implements, which not being found we were taken 
within a hoflow square each side of which might be perhaps of 40 or 50 yards. It was 
in an open field, the interior having been cleared from bushes, and each side of the square 
was guarded by half a dozen soldiers. I found within this hollow square I think 65 
prisoners, each one or each squad being designated a jMirticular spot where he or they 
could sit, and obliged to continue in that position all the time and not allowed to speak 
to their neighbors. A majority of these were prisoners of war, a number of them being 
Brazilian nesroes, who were almost naked and in the last state of exhaustion and 
extenuation &om hunger; they received no food except bjts of the entrails of aniTriftl^ 
thrown to them twice a day widch they were obliged to cook for themselves. My soul 
revolted with horror as I saw these entrails stuck upon sticks, from which the poor 
wretches were endeavoring to obtain some nutriment with occasionally a bone which 
they were gnawing. There were also several political prisoners there, one of whom 
was our j&iend, Dr. Carreras, the Uruguayan prime minister before mentioned, who was 
induced to surrender himself from the American legation, as I have before stated in my 
previous examination. He was in infirm health, and worn down almost to a skeleton; 
his clothes had been cut away by the fetters he wore; his nose seemed to be broken 
across the middle and was covered by a white patch. He was so haggard that I had 
to look at him again and again for a long time, before I could recognize him as my intimate 
friend with whom I had so recently passed many months in the American legation. The 
other Uruguayan gentleman, Mr. Rodriguez, was not there and I was never able to as- 
certain anything about his fate until after leaving Paraguay, when I learned by the list 
of victims published that he had been previously executed in the month of August. 
Other political prisoners were there, all of them heavily ironed and in the most squalid and 
emaciated condition. Many of them were my acquaintances, and several were intimate 
friends. Six or eight of them were priests, some of whom I knew. They seemed to be a 
little more comfortable than the other prisoners, although they were ironed equally 
heavily, but as the cloth has always been held in very great respect in Paraguay, they 
seemed at that time to have got along a little better than most of the other prisoners. 
There were three or four other similar squares in the immediate vicinity, in which were 
the great body of the prisoners then surviving. Of all these not more than four or five 
besides ourselves are now living, as I have since learned from trustworthy evidence: all 
the political prisoners having been executed, if not before, in the general massacares of 
the 11th and 2l8t of December. 

Q. What were the massacres of which you speak? — ^A. On December 11 many prison- 
ers were shot in consequence of an attack by the allies. On Lopez being routed in his 
encampment on the 21st of December last and the outer entrenchment of his camp 
being taken, he ordered all the remaining political prisoners, with two or three excep- 
tions, to be shot. From first to last, nearly 500 prisoners were executed or tortured to 
death, as appears by the list communicated the other day, with other documents, to this 
committee by the Secretary of State, and which has been published. Among these 500 
victims, at least 150 were persons with whom I had a personal acquaintance and very 
many of them were intimate friends. A few were executed singly, but the greater part 
in groups of from six or eight or ten up to the number of 83, which was the bighest 
number executed one day. On a single day, the 22d of August, there appeared in the 
list of persons executed 44 victims with whom I had a personsd acquaintance, and on 
other d!ays there appeared 10^ 20 or other large numbers who were equally my friends, 
and scarcely a day passed during several months in which some one of^my friends is not 
mentioned as having died a natural death in prison, which means simply being tortured 
to death* I am a witness myself to the treatment of these prisoners, I have seen the 
torture inflicted on repeated occasions, as I shall detail hereafter, have suffered it myself. 
These hundreds of prisoners suffered torture, causing their death in manv instances, for 
the purpose of extorting confessions. I believe that not a single one of these victims 


ever volimtarily confessed himself guilty of any conspiracy. And it would have been 
absurd to have done so, because every person at all acquainted with the condition of 
things in Para^pay knows very well that under the peculiar system of espionage so vig- 
orously and umversall^ carried out, officers of the government being ex officio spies upon 
each other, brother being spy upon brother, Mend upon Mend, husband upon wife, no 
such thing as a conspiracy could iH>8sibly have existed. The theory of that government 
has always been that the President should know everything that is passing in the bo- 
som of families. I have within my reach a great amount of evidence which I could 
present in support of this fac t, if the committee desire it. The official documentspublished 
by the house coming from the different agents of the government in Paraguay in years 
past, the reports published in Buenos Ayres and Bio Janeiro papers, coming irom officers 
of other legations as well as those in Paraguay, andlettters wMchhad beenpublishedfirom 
credible witnesses in Paraguay, all go to support this view of the case — ^that a con- 
spiracy is a thin^ absolutely impossmle in that country. And yet there is no country 
in the world in which there has been for the last few years so large a number of imputed 
conspiracies. During the dictatorship of Dr. Francia, which lasted firom 1816 to 1840, 
he executed on different occasions all the most important, wealthy, talented inhabitants 
of the country to the number of 80 or 100 heads ot families upon the charge of compiracy. 
During the dictatorship of the late president, Carlos Antomo Lopez, fatner of the pre- 
sent Jmurshal Lopez, another conspiracy was supposed to have been found out, for which 
another installment of wealthy and influential citizens lost their lives. At the com- 
mencement of the dictatorship of the present Marshal Lopez still another comspiracy 
was said to have been discovered, in which many of the most prominent men of the 
country were implicated, their head being the priest Maiz, who was one of my judges! 
Their offense was, that they had not realty favored the election of Lopez as Presidentj 
Although the Congress which elected him gave the unanimous suffrages of all its mem- 
bers for LopeZj that did not satisfy him ; he knew that the unanimity on the sur^u^e 
was really iictitious; that among the members of the Congress who gave their votes 
for him; many of them did so under compulsion, the Congress being watched by the 
military authorities and every mode of influence being brought to bear upon it, which 
was well known to persons living in Paraguay. During all these years it is not too 
much to say that almost every foreigner who had any pecuniary interest, anything to 
constitute wealth in that country, mua lost his life and his prop^i)y, and every native 
family possessed of any wealth or influence in the state has suffered confiscation on the 
execution of its leading members. Not a person has remained alive in Paraguay of 
any social rank or position or intelligence. It has been a massacre of all that was 
respectable and influential in that country &om time to time, all upon the absurd 
charge of congpiraey. 

The phantom of government which, when Marshal Lopez took the fleld, was left at 
the capital in charge of the Vice-President and the four ministers of state, with the 
d^erent clerks constituting these departments, was not even permitted to continue in 
existence. All the members constituting this government were arrested en masse on the 
13th of July last, on the same day that Mr. Masterman and myself were first demanded. 
The employes of the government, to the number of eighty or one hundred, were arrested 
on that day and conveyed in irons to the headquarters of the army, where the^ were 
put to the mockery of a trial. A minority of them were tortured to death witmn the 
next two months and the rest executed. Among the list of the victims of Lopez, as 
published from an original manuscript found in his encampment, it appears that Lopez 
has made an indiscrminate slaughter of all those who were his best Mends and sup- 
IH>rters during the war, including the editors and publishers of all the fimr newspapers 
which were published in Paraguay in support of Lopez's war policy. This was at different 
times £rom July until December, there being some executions almost every day, and 
almost every day one or more persons being reported as having died a natural deaihy 
which is another mode of statement for being tortured to death in prison, as I said 

To proceed with my own narrative, afber being allowed to lie upon the ground for 
about half an hour, on reaching the encampment of Lopez about noon, on the 4th of 
September, 1868, Mr. Masterman and myself were called for by the sergeant of a com- 
pany of soldiers to be taken before the so-called tribwMiXs, We were in the last stage 
of exhaustion,, as previously mentioned, having been then for more than 24 hours with- 
out food, and not being destined to receive any until night-f^, making 36 hours in all. 
Being lame and stiff, and scarcely able to move, we were whipped on by soldiers, derided 
and jeered by them with the continual exclamation in the Guarani language of ''move 
on, move on.'' Mr. Masterman was taken before the military tribunal and I before the 
so-called ami tribunal, the latter being the one of highest rank. The negro servant 
who accompanied us was litterally fl&gged to death; he died two days later. These 
tribunals held their sessions each of them in a mud hut within the encampment of 
Lopez. I found the tribunal before which I was taken to consist of six or eight military 
officers, as I supposed them to be, though I afberwards learned -that all oi those who 
were really officers of the army were not members of the tribunal, but were merely 


fpeetators on that oecaeion. Bat as they all wore military uniforms I supposed them 
»t that time to be all officers and members of the tribmial. Two of them were priests, 
disguised in the uniform of offlcers, and these were really the persons ccmstitatinj^ thad 
tnbunal. A third priest was secrc^iary, and otii^ persons wearing military unxmrms 
were present as spies or spectators^ I was interrogated^ after taking an oath, by a man 
api^asently about forty years of age, in military uniform, of slender figure, with rather 
an intellectuial appearance, whom laiterwards learned to be the chief inquisitor, the priest 
called Father Maiz, but whom I then supposed to be a military officer. I was asked my 
ncmie, and how I came to that encan*pment, to which I replied, I had come <m horsebace 
in the plight in which he then saw me. I was then asked if I knew for what I had 
been imprisoned; I replied that I had learned by not^ addressed to Mr. Washburn, 
that I was accused of some grave crime, the nature of which was not stated, and tha>t I 
had understood in the same way that I was charged with signing a paper, as member 
and secretary of a committee which had agreed to assassinate Marshs^ Lopez, and sub* 
stitute another government in the country with the assent of Ihe officers of the allied 
fbrces. ** I knew these ^Ebcts concerning the accusations from publications made in the 
official paper. I had no other meeuis of knowledge, and being completely innocent of 
these accusations, I could have no reason for knowing why I was arrestea other l^an 
the official notes which I had seen." The priest then replied : ''And how is it that 
when we have such perfect proof of your gmlt, when we know that you have been one 
of the worst of those who have taken part in this conspiracy, that you have been one of 
the leading members of the committee or^nieed to take measures for the overt^uow of 
the sovemment of Marshal Lopez and for his own assassination, when your accomplices, all 
ei whom have been imprisoned before you, have confessed their guut, and you yourself 
have seen extracts from their statements which havebeen previously sent to the minister 
for his information, in which these parties have not only confessed their own criminality, 
but have accused you also; how is it that you have tibe audacity to pretend- to deny 
your guilt f You ou^ht to understand that when we have brought you before (Ms 
tribujml your guilt is an ascertained fact. You are not brought here to make any- 
defense of yourself. You are brought here mmply for t^e purpose of clearing up by your 
own confession and your own depositiona the fEftcts in the case connected with your 
eomplieity in the conspiracy. As to your guilt we know tiiat already, and we shall not 
aJlow you to endeavor to diodge the point.'' I was then asked again if I would confess 
myself to be guilty. I repli^ that I would not, ''that I had ^ways been during my 
entJze residence in Paraguay perfectly loyal to the gov^mment, had never taken any 
step which could justly be complained o£ by the government; l^at so far as relates to 
the ^fuarrel between Paraguay and Brazil concerning the question of boundaries and of 
the balance of power i^ South America, I had sympathized with Paraguay and had done 
what I could to sustain the Paraguayan cause in miat aspect of the case; tiiat as to the 
accusation of compiraey^ it was absolutely fS^se, no matter who might have testified to 
the charge. This was all recorded as my protestation of innocence. I was then asked' 
if I knew Dr. Carreras, and if I knew Mr. Hodriguezj and then each one of five or six 
others who were charged as being principal persons in the coniq»iracy, and whom, as. I 
afterwards learned^ were named as members of the oommUtee to whicn I was accused of 
having belonged, and which mdnded two of the members of Lopez's cabinet, his own 
brother, Benito, and two or three foreign gentlemen who had resided in the country. 
I was asked if I knew these persons. I* repued in each case in the affirmative, stating 
exactly how far I hod known each of these gentlemen. I was then interrogated the 
second time how it was i)ossible, I having sta^ that I was well acquainted with each 
of these individuals, and they having confessed that they were members of the con- 
spiracy in which I was dieeply involved, holding an important post therein, for me to 
iMve the audacity to maintain my innocence. I replied* that "I knew nothing about 
any such committee or any such conspiracy; that other people might say what they 
Mked, but I would speak the truth. That as I had been sworn on my ^itrance to the 
tribunal to speak the truth, in accordance with the tonus of my oath I was resolved 
to tell the truth, and nothing but the tmth.''' I then insisted upon their recording for 
the seocmd time my protestations of innocence^ which was done. 

Aft^ that, the two priests, as members of the tribunal, appealed to me again, saying 
that it was entirely useless for me to maintain my innocence; " It waa well known 1 
had been led away by Mir. Wa^bum, who was the genius <^ evil for the Paraguayan 
nation." It was intimated to me by insinuation, that by developing aU I knew about 
Mr. Washburn's machinations as connected with the consjpiracy, I might lighten my 
own sufferings and the guilt which they considered as attaohmg to me in the case. They 
said to me that they knew I had a most wonderful memory; that I was perfectly 
acquainted with all that hod taken place in the matter m>m first to lost ; that jD 
had condncted the corresp<mdence in a great measure; and they expected from. me a 
liill and detailed statement of all the fecte and circumstances^ saying that by so ^mg 
I might render a service to the government which might go very for to mitigate my 
own position. They d!esired= me therefore to stote ''aft the facts in regaaKl to the^ 
maBeavem of this vn*etch Waehbum, who hod Just got away &om the country by the 


Bkin of his teeth/' They expreesed themselTes very bitterly against BIr. Washbnniy 
who had been charged by the prisoners preyiously tortured aod forced to confesa, with 
being at the head of the conspiracy. The plan of proceeding was simply this : these 
prisoners were obliged to invent some story, and were desirous of attaSiing as much 
blame as they could to parties who they knew to be beyond the reach of the Paara'- 
goi^an government ; it being their plan to protect as far as possible the innocent pris- 
oners who were then within the dutches of Lopez. 

By Mr. Obth : 

Q. Do you know whether or not tiieee confessions were made with the assent of Mr. 
Washburn, in the case of the persons who had been previously arrested? — ^A. It was 
not with ^ understanding on the part of Mr. Washburn, because at the time of these 
arrests Mr. Washburn had no knowledge of a charge of conspiracy ; but in the case 'of 
Mr. Masterman and myself, as I have l^fore stated, we had an unoerstanding with Mr. 
Washburn just previous to our arrest. Mr. Washburn, referring to the notorious fiict 
that fEdse declaxations had been made by our friends, most probably under torture, 
said that we might very likely be spared suffering to a certain extent by our accusing 
Mm. and that if necessary for the purpose of prolonging our lives, or mitigating our 
sumsrings, we might accuse him ofanyihiHgy and might say anything or everythfng against 
him that circumstances might demand. I resolved not to do so except in the last 
instance, and under the most absolute necessity. And in order to prevent such a neces- 
sity, I repeatedly appealed to my oath, stating to the members of this tribimal that by 
virtue or the dlM^eaness of my oath I could not do otherwise than protest my innocence. 
One of the priests finally said to me, '^I regret very much, Bliss, that you givens 
so much trouble. Your companicm, Mr. Mf»terman, has aJready confessed. He has 
not given us half as much trouble as you have." Mr. Masterman subsequently informed 
me that the same thing was said to him, that I had already confessed. In point of 
fact I believe Mr. Mastennau's confession preceded mine by perhaps two or three hours. 
I repeftted my protestation of innocence, which was twice taken down before I would 

So on. This priest than said: ''We have a way of treating refractory criminals which 
rings them to their senses in a very short time. You may believe my word, you will 
not be able to persist in your contumacy very long, if we are obliged to resort to this 
treatment. You will be obliged to endure horrible sufferings if you continue to persist. 
You know the charges. What do you say f Are you innocent or guilty V^ 1 replied 
"I am innocent." And I continued to protest my innocence, upon which the two 
priests left the room and went out to consult, leaving me in the presence of one or two 
military officers, one of wh<Hn was a former acquaintance of mine, M«^r Serrana 
While they were out he enpostulated with me. He said : " You know. Bliss, that I 
have known you before, ana would like to do something for you, but it would be per^ 
fectly useless for you to attempt to hold out. You will be obu^ed to confess, and your 
lot will depend a great deal upon your conduct before this tribunal. If you make a 
plain straightforward statement, confessing your guilt, and giving frill particulars, you 
may commend yourself to the benevolence of Marshal- Lopez, and may probably 
have your life spared. Otherwise there is no hope for you. If what is called the pro- 
cess or record of the trial shows that you remained firm in your protestations of inno- 
cence, ^ving a great deal of trouble to the officers of the tnbunal, there is no hope for 
you." I then inquired of one of the priests who came in to expostulate with me whether • 
ne could sive me any positive guarantee that in case I complied with their demands 
they would respect my life. They said they could not make any positive stipulation 
to that euffect, but that I would certainly be entitled to hope for clemency upon the part 
of Marshal Lopez by telling the truth^ that is to say, by confessing myself guilty of 
the conspiracy. All this time tiiey contmued to denounce Mr. Washburn, and call upon 
me to make statements concerning him. After a cood deal of reflection, extencQng 
amid these altercations through several hours, and having undergone fearfrd physictd 
suffering. (I was not Ihrnivat to what was ordinarily oallM torture ; but the treatment 
I had sufiered was aetualfy greater torture to me than that I endured on any other occa- 
sion;) havinj^ been tstken to that tribunal and kept for 12 mortal hours without any 
food, and tfcus after having been denied food for 24 hours previously, with my manacles 
on me which had become painfbl beyond endurance, eating into the flesh ; what I suf- 
fered was to me torture beyond anything I afterwards endured, although not technioaUjf 
called torture. I say, that, having endured all this, and after reflection, I finally came 
to the conclusion that I would confess in a general way and throw the blame of every- 
thing on Mr. Washburn ; 4ihat I would not implicate any one within the reach of Lo}^, 
but uiat I would spin out my statement as long as possible for the purpose of gainii^ 
time until I was sure Mr. WasMmm had left the country, and was out of harm"s way ; 
that I would go into great detail about Mr. Washburn's previous antecedents, thus 
taUemg apainst Urns, and see if it w^re net possible, by throwmg everything upon Aim, to 
palliate the charges .against m;yself and the other victims who had been forced to make 
similar confessions. I l^refore oommenced my statements, going back to the first 
arrival of Mr. Washburn in the country, seven years before. I spun a long story about 
the influences under whioh Mr. Washburn had been appointed. I charged hun with 


having eotne to Paraguay oiiginally in 1861, with the intention of making a fortune 
out of the Hopkins claim ; tlubt he intended to make a hundred thousand dollars or 
more out of that. I went on giving statements at great length ahout Mr. Washburn's 
movements and intentions through his entire life in Paraguay, charging him with qJl 
Borts of crimes and delinquencies, as agreed upon with Mr. Washburm himself. I 

gained time by making these calumnious charges, and at midnight, after beinff 12 
ours before the tribunal, I was remanded to the prison square^ where I was charuea up 
by my fetters to a rope which ran round the square and to which all the prisoners were 
chained at night-fall. Before long a guard came round and I was given some boiled 
beef which I had to eat with my fingers, that being the only mode of eating allowed, 
except on some occasions when they brought me a horn spoon. No knife^or fork or 
any cutting instrument wa« allowed. I might mention, that on arriving at tne encamp- 
ment, all the buckles were torn ofif from my pants, unaer pretence of not allowing any 
metallic substance to remain on my person. 

Ilie next morning at an early hour, probably nine o'clock, I was brought before the 
tribunal again, and on that day, and on each of the four succeeding days, I was up 
before the tribunal, engaged in spinning these romances about Mr. Washburn. Cm 
the first day I was called upon to write those letters to Mr. Washburn which have 
been pubUahed in the United States, and which, of course, were written by order, and 
under the supervision of these officials, although they express on their face that ai my 
ctcn request 1 was permitted to write them. One was written to Mr. Washburn, and 
one purported to be written to my father. My father's real name is Rev. Asher Bliss, 
and nis residence Onoville, Cattaraugus county, New York. In order to hint to Mr. 
Washburn that the letter was not written voluntarily by me, I directed it to Henry BUsSy 
esq., New York dty. The letter to Mr. Washburn I was obliged to rewrite five times 
before it was satisfactory to the officers of this tribunaL It contained statements 
which I knew Mr. Washburn would be aware were incorrect, but which the tribunal 
did not know to be incorrect, and which were intended. to be a hint to Mr. Washburn, 
as in fact they were, as taken by him, indicating under what influences any documents 
coming to him from me in prison were written. Mr. Washburn perfectly well under- 
stood it, as he subsequently told me, and as appears frx>m his correspondence from 
Buenos A3q:es, and elsewhere. He knew what must have taken place to have induced 
me to write these letters, and never felt the least hard feeling in consequence; indeed, 
he has explicitlv approved my conduct under these circumstances. 

This first confession which I made was limited to the assumed fact of the conspiracy, 
which had been gotten up in the first instance by Mr. Washburn. I stated that I was 
an unwilling witness of what was being done; that I had rendered Mr. Washburn 
some assistance, but I denied having taken any important part in the conspiracy. I 
; was allowed to go on manufacturingtliis story for four days. On the fourth day I was 
told that my statements about Mr. Washburn were all very well so faf as they went, 
but that I had been prevaricating; that I had not confessed the frill extent of my own 
complicity with what was. called the revolution, (That was the cant name for the 
supposed conspiracy.) '^I had not confessed my own very great complicity, and the 
very important part I had taken." I was interrogated by the person who acted as 
chief torturer, an officer named Msgor Aveiro, and who was brought into requisition 
whenever the services of any person were needed for that purpose. The plan of the 
' conspiracy, as this tribunal had it, was that 11 individuals, constituting a committer 
at such a place and such a time, had put their names to a certain paper, which I had 
drawn up as secretary, in which they had a^eed to assassinate Marshal Lopez, and 
organize a new government in Paraguay. This was the first intimation I had of such 
a committee. Iknew, before that, I was accused of having put my name to some such 
paper, but who were the other persons who had signed along with me I had no idea, 
and the demand made by the tribunal for the details of this transaction took me by 
surprise. I replied that I knew nothing about it; that I had not seen such a paper. 
The migor said it was useless to deny it; that he knew I had been secretary of the 
committee, and drawn up the paper myself, and then said I would be confrt)nted by all 
the other members of the committee; that they had all confessed their complicity, and 
accused me, and that I would have to confess mine. I again replied that I knew nothing 
about it. During the rest of that day I continued so hold out in my denial of any 
knowledge of this committee. This was the fourth day. At night-fau, after having 
been taiken back to the encampment, where I was kept, I was brought up again alonflt 
with "Dr. Carreras, the Portuguese consul, and an Itahan captain who had be^ a friend 
of mine, also a prisoner, all three of whom were accused of having been members of 
that committee to which I was supposed to have belonged. We were brought up in 
single file. I was taken in and asked if I fitiU persisted in denying my signature to that 
document. I replied: "I do deny it. and I wul continue to deny it." "Oh I" said a 
priest, "we will brinff in witnesses;" and they did bring in tJie Italian captain, who 
being confronted with me, was asked ff it was true that I had signed that paper. This 
man naving of course been previously tortured and forced to confess, said I was one of 
the 11 who had signed it. 1 still stood out and said that I had not. He was then told 


to expostulate 'vdtb me, and he Baid to me sabfitaiitially : '^ Yon know. Bliss, yon signed 
this paper. Why do yon attempt to deny itf All of us will testify to the same fact. 
You Know very well that yon did. Let me bring the dicumstances to yonr mind. 
Don't yon remember that on a certain evening we met together, 11 of ns ; that Manlove 
was to have been there, but did not appear? Don't you remember that you arrived 
last, after we were all assembled?" Said I: ''Who were the individuals that signed 
the paper, and in what order did they signf " He then mentioned the names in order, 
commencing with Benigno Lopez, the brother of the President; then Berges, the 
ex-minister of foreign amurs; then Bedoya, a brother-in-law of Lopez ; then Dr. Carre- 
ras, the Uruguayan prime minister, and Kodriguez, the former charge d'affaires of Uru- 
guay, both of whom had been lately living witii us at the American legation ; then the 
Portuguese c<5n8ul and vice-consul, the former of whom had also been arrested from the 
American legation ; then the Italian captain, who was a witness against himself; then 
two Frenchmen, one being^ chancellor of the French consulate; and lastly, myself. I 
paid great attention to this detail, as it gave me the first clue to the individuals with 
whom I was expected to confess myself to have acted on that committee; and it was 
for that purpose that I requested him to give the order of names in which we had signed. 
Having a eood memory, I was enabled to kee]^ it in my mind for the purpose of making 
use of it whenever I should come to the point of continuing my confession into this 
branch of the conspiracy. 

This captain was then taken away and Dr. Carreras brought in. He was asked, ''Is 
it true that Bliss was one of the eleven who signed that £)cument with youf " He 
replied that it was. and the question was then asked of me, "What do you say to 
thatt" I replied, "It is false.'' Dr. Carreras said to me in a low tone, "it is useless 
to deny it." 

Dr. Carreras was then taken away and the Portuguese consul brought in, being the 
third witness, who was asked simply, "Do you know the prisoner before youf" His 
answer was, " Yes." " Was he one oi the eleven who signed with you f " " Yes." I had 
also ascertained that I would be charged with having received an amount of money 
for my services; in fact that had been stated to me before by the torturer. And I 
wished to ascertain what had been deposed against me; I therefore asked permission 
to cross-examine this witness, to which they assented. I then said to the Portuguese 
consul, "You have testified to my having signed that pimer; I suppose you have also 
said that I received money for itf" "Yes." ne said. "How much money do you pre- 
tend to charge me with having received f' 

The ofilcers of the tribunal breaking in then refused to allow the question to be 
answered, and the Portuguese consul was hustled away. Then turning to me they 
said, "Three witnesses you see have testified against you. You know that two 
witnesses constitute legal proof. We have been very inaulgent towards you, while 
you have been making a fool of us fbr the last three or four days. You have made 
statements upon certani points, but you have not confessed the most important point 
up to the present time. We were under no obligation to bring these witnesses, because 
our own word is sufficient. All the other members of that committee have confessed 
in like manner. Will you now confess your part of the planf " I replied, "No: 
because of the oath I have taken. I admit that three witnesses constitute legal proof, 
and yet they cannot make a falsehood true. And I can mention circumstances which 
would somewhat lessen the worth of their testimony/' "What circumstances do you 
allude tof " Said I, "I idlude to physical torture." There was an exchange of glances 
on the part of the members of tne tribunal; when one of them remarked, "You are 
talking very metaphynoaUy with us." "But we will treat you in a very phyeioal 
manneir. Call In tne mijor," he^said, referring to the officer acting as chief torturer. 
Mi^r Aveiro then came in. He repeated the question, "Do you confess having signed 
that paper f" I replied. "No." He said, "You are trying to make a fool of me. I 
shall not fool with you.'' Whereupon he commenced buffeting me in the face with his 
fists. I stood there in my irons wnile he continued striking me with the fuU wei^t 
of his fist in the face, at every blow asking me^Do you confess f Do you confess f Do 
you confess f" And I answered him, "No." when he got tired of that he drew his 
sword and commenced beating me over the head in like maimer, each blow bringing 
the blood, and asMng me, "1% you confess f" I replied in like maimer, "I do not." 
Until, believing I had done enough to save my conscience and that I should not gain 
anything by enduring ^s suffering any longer, I replied "Yes." "Then dictate to us 
tiie document you signed on that occasion, as we know you were secretary of that 
organization — ^the document in which you promised to assassinate Marshal Lopez and 
to take upon yourselves the direction of the revolutionary movement." Thrown upon 
my wits m tnat maimer I did dictate in a slow manner the document which is pub- 
lidied in one of these couflressional papers, [page 23, executive document 5, part 3,1 
in which I gave the text oi a }>aper agreeing to assassinate Marshal Lopez, provided 
the means were not found of overthrowing him otherwise, and giving each ta the other 
our word of honor not to reveal what had been agreed upon. 
Q. After that had been done what became of youf— A. After that had been done I 


was brought up two or three days ib sacceesion before the tribunal and required to 
give aH the particulars of the organization; which I had been forced to confess I 
belonged to. I was charged with having drawn up a constitution for Paraguay to be 
put in force after the change, of government. I was called upon to dictate the articles 
of that constitution. Believing I might as well give them as good a constitution as 
possible under the circumstances, in case I should be executed and the records of the 
tribunal discovered, I went on on-hand to improvise about tiiirty-five articles of a very 
liberal constitution^ 

Q. Was this the first testimony you had given in regard to that constitution? — ^A. 
Yes ; I had no intimation of it whatever and was obliged to improvise this constitution 
as soon as I was charged with having framed one. I was cross-examined very minutely 
about that constitution and everything taken down in writing with great minuteness 
and carried to the President, as in fact there was almost always present some official 
spectator on the jtart of the Pre^d^ot who carried to him the records of the tribunal, 
ais fast as made. It seems that the President considered this constitution a rather 
incendiary document, as is evident from the fact that he did not allow it to go in 
the records of the tribunal. It was therefore suppressed and does not appear ux>on 
the records as permitted by him to be drawn np, and as now published. I should 
state here that these records as published are false in many respects; nothing is said 
about torture having been applied. In many respects they are deliberately falsified. 
The records state that I requested permission to write to my parents and to Mr. Wash- 
bum, and that it was conceded to me. It should have been stated that I was forced to 
write these letters. The dates of my depositions were in some cases altered. I was in 
some instances required to sign papers bearing date several days earlier and in others 
several days later than the deposition itself ^ould appear. 

By Mr. Swann : 

Q. Were these proceedings published firom day to day while &e trial was goin^on f^- 
A. Ko, sir, they were not. Alter a few days' time I was called upon again and charged 
with having suppressed further important information. I was charged with having 
had communication with others of my fellow-prisoners in a clandestine way and 
especially with having kept from the knowledge of the court very important facts. I 
denied that also and continued to deny it. I knew very well they would apply torture 
again, some new form of torture, as I knew they had several forms. 

By the Chatbman : 

Q. Bo you suppose that Iiopez considered your part in this alleged conspiraoy so 
important as to require his constant personal attention to your statements, to the 
exclusion of other matters t Or do you suppose that his attention was given entirely to 
these matters having nothing else to do? — ^A. He believed my testimony and he 
believed my statements to be more faithful in their details than those of most of the 
other prisoners, for the reason that I was supposed to be secretary of the orgaiiizatioi^ 
and I was known to have a cood memory. For these reasons they supposed mine would 
be an authentic account. I nad been twice obliged by the pressure of events to confess 
what was not true as I had been confessing all slong, but I thought I would again malee 
a stand, that I would not confess anything further now, that if obliged to do it I would 
stand tne torture as long as I could. I had had eight or ten days of enforced idleness in 
which to think about it, and came to the conclusion that I would say nothing more 
unless I was obliged to by pressure beyond my ability to endure. So then I refosed to 
confess anything further and the torture was put in execution. I was seated on the 
ground, two muskets were placed imder my knees and two muskets over my neck, my 
wrists were tied together behind my back and pulled up by the guard; the mudcets 
above and below were connected with thongs fastened around them so as to be readily 
tightened j in some instances they were violently tightened by pounding with a mallet. 
l^ey continued to tighten them, bringing my body m such a position tmvt my abdom^i 
suffered great compression and that I distinctly heard the tracking of the vertebrsB of 
the spine, leaving me in that posture for a long time. In fact after I was on board the 
United States squadron I could never stoop mrward without feeling a twinge in the 
back and in the abdomen. I remained in that position about 15 minutes, the officers 
standing over me watching the effects of their cruel work. At the end of thttt time 1 
was prepared with a new batch of novelties of the most startling character. The priests 
came and stood over me cross-questioning me and extracted from me a general coiufos- 
Eion as to the heads of what they had inquired about, before they released me. After I 
Lad confessed in general, I was taken in that condition before the tribunal, who set to 
work to elucidate the minutise of my new confession. I thought I would try the experi- 
ment of frightening Lopez by representing that the whole world was engi^ged in a com- 
bination against him. I stated to that tnbunal that the allianee of Brazil, the Argen- 
Hrne government, and Uruguay had been dissolved and replaced by a new secret treaty 
of double alliance on the part of Brazil and the Argentine Bc^blic, by which iJfte 
republic of Uruguay was to be sacrificed along with Paraguay, «nd both of them fall a 
prey to the larger powers and to be divided up like Poland. 1 went into geographical 


details, stating .what weie to be the boundaries of each one of these ootmtrieS; and 
to give the tenoi of the treaty, which I had called the doiMe alUanoe between Brazil and 
the Argentine Bepublic ; stating that England, France, and Spain through their diplo- 
matic agents had all been lending their countenance to the alnes, that they were all in 
sympathy with the conspiracy going on against Paraguay, that it had been resolved to 
take possession of the Paraguayan army after the conquest of the country and engage 
it with the Brazilian army in fighting against Bolivia, Peru, and other ac^acent coun- 
tries. In that way I endeavored to oomuse Lopez, who believed every word of these 
statements, and to convince him that he was in a most desperate strait. The evidence 
that he believed it may be found in the fact that afber this he issued a proclamation to 
his army on the 16th of October, the Paraguayan 4th of July, in which ne repeated the 
statement made in my last declarations as to a general combination of most of the 
civilized nations against them and made a last appeal to their {patriotism. 

I should have mentioned that it was mv deliberate design in all these statements to 
exculpate, as fax as possible, all my Mends who were in durance, and never to charge 
them with anything beyond what they themselves had confessed, throwing the burden 
upon those who were absent or upon powerful foreign governments, for the purpose of 
lessening the degree of guilt which I was obliged to attribute to myself and my com- 
panions. Two &ys after making these last astounding revelations, I was invitedy that 
IS to say oomtnandedy to put them into narrative foim idong with all my previous reve- 
lations. They were considered so very imxwrtant that I was desired to express them 
in detail, with such a satirical commentary upon them as could not weU be given 
through the medium of judicial proceeding I was removed from the circle of prisoners 
w> 3re I had been remamins until that tune, to a little straw hut situated a stone's 
tlirow from the tribunal, where I remained with my irons on, but had shelter from the 
weather, which I had not had in any sufficient degree previously. They furnished me 
a rude seat and a little wooden stand with an inkstand and paper, and kept me there 
for the next two months, until my transfer on board the American squadron. I then 
resolved to write against time, believing that so long as I could continue the produc- 
tion of anything startling in my pamphlet my life was reasonably sure of being spared : 
while in case I nnished tiie pamphlet too soon I had no more guarantee for myself, and 
in fact I was threatened with death in case the pamphlet I was to write did not meet 
their expectation. 

I commenced my work, devoting about forty pages to a fictitious biography of Mr. 
Washburn before his arrival in the country, and continuing it down to the conspiracy, 
indulging in as many digressions as I could, especially in the way of criticising Mr, 
Washburn's literaiy efforts, using all the sarcasm that I could command and bringing 
in as many poetical quotations and old jokes that I could remember. In fiict, I made 
a list of such of my favorite passages of poetry as I could recollect, and put it in 
my sleeve for the purpose of mserting whenever available. When there was noth- 
ing in the narrative to suggest a joke, I would go out of the way to improvise circum- 
stances for the purpose of bringing in the joke or the quotation. And believing this 
publication would mevitably fall into the hands of the allies and be interpreted by 
them correctly, I resolved to make it the medium of informing them and all the world 
in regard to the atrocities committed by President Lopez. I have previously stated 
that Air. Washburn had been en^ged in writing a work upon Para^ay, and that I 
had been employed in assiBting him. Under the pretense, then, of giving a synopsis 
of Mr. Washburn's work on Paraguay, I devoted 150 pages to descriptions of the 
character and the enormities of Lopez, which I attribute to Mr. Washburn's pen, 
interspersed here and there with most merciless sarcasm in respect to Mr. Washburn's 
abilities, and especially in regard to this production. 

Q. What became of that pamphlet f — ^A. I have a good many copies of it. Lopez 
gave me forty copies of it on coming away. I was kept writing with a corporal and 
^ard over me some 12 or 14 hours a day. It was good discipline, and taught me 
industrious habits as a writer which I had never been noted for before that time. I 
have written as high as fourteen foolscap pages in a single day under these circum- 
stances, and it should be remembered' that this was written in a language that was 
foreign to me — ^the Spanish language— composed entirely of fictitious matter, inventing 
everything as fast as I went along. You can therefore very readily imagine there was 
some strain upon my intellectual faculties. 

After a short time the printing of the manuscript commenced and continued — a sheet 
or eight pages being printed each day — ^until the completion of a pamphlet of 323 pages, 
quite a large book. The proo& were brought to me every day. I often wrote up to 
the middle of the niffht, and sometimes have been roused at 2 o'clock in the morning 
for the correction of proof, and as I was working against time, I was very particular 
about correcting the proof, often making as many new mistakes as I had corrected. I 
insisted upon the same proofs being brought to me repeatedly, and corrected them fre- 
quently three or four times over. At the last moment when the sheet was ready to go 
to the press I would discover that I had omitted some very important thing, which I 
would insist on interpolating or would put into the margin. On one of these occasions 

10 PI 


I got into a qnarrel with the priest, Father Maiz, having the printing* in charj^e. He' 
protested against so many extracts from Mr. Washbom's book, wmch were m. utter 
condemnation of the administration of Lopez. He said to me : '' Do you suppose we 
are so obtuse as not to see the drift of what you ore doing f Do you suppose we are 
not able to see that you are writing a satire upon Marshal Lopez under pretense of 
quoting from Mr. Washburn's book T That you are anxious to put in everything that 
reflects upon him, and that you sedulouEdy contrive to do so f "Now," said he, "I will 
come in again in the course of an hour, and I advise you to look over your manuscript 
pretty closely in that time, when I shall take it away, and if anything of that descrip- 
tion remains in it you will fare hard. It looks now^ as if you might have to stand your 
trial over again for deliberately falsifying and libelling the character of Marshal Lopez.'' 
As the basis of this charge was correct, being precisely what I had been endeavoring to 
do, i. e.y to give a tme account of Lopez under the nom deplume of WiuMmm^ I concluded 
that my time had come ; but I put the best face upon it^ I could. The pnest left me, 
and I hastily destroyed two or three very stinging bits of manuscript which I had pre- 
pared ; but he did not return. He had previously been in the habit of examining my 
manuscript, everything I had done up to date. But just the reverse of what he had 
threatened to do took place. From that time he never examined my manuscript at all. 
I cannot account for it, but such was the case. He actually gave me greater scope than 
before, and I pursued the same policy a^fterwaids. This same principal inquisitor, whose 
name was Maiz, had himself been imprisoned three years on the clmr^ of having 
headed a former conspiracy, and he ingratiated himself with Lopez by writing a most 
abject confession of his own guilt, and now having greater fannliarity with the con- 
spiracy business than others, he was thought to be a most fitting person to persecute 
persons engaged in new cons^^iracies. 

I had spun my pamphlet out as long as it was possible, and finally brought it to a 
conclusion on the 2d of December ; that is to say, the printing was finished then ; the 
writing had been finished some time before. On the 4th of December I was told that 
Marshal Lopez, out of his unbounded clemency, had determined to mitigate my suffer- 
ing, and a blacksmith was called in to take off my fetters. I had worn my fetters all 
this time, and had been kept on starvation diet, which consisted of a small ration of 
boiled beef twice a day, with a little cake of Mandioca flour, made from the root of a 
vegetable of that country, used as a substitute for potatoes. The diet was insufilcient 
in quantity. I could have eaten at any time twice as much as I received. I was then 
asked what I wotQd do in case I should see Mr. Washburn, or be brought face to £ 
with him. I was asked if I remembered the concluding paragraph of my pamphlet, in 
which I expressed myself as desiring nothing better than to be allowed to go away 
from Paraguay, in order to prosecute Mr. Washburn before his own government for 
malfeasance in o^ce. I declared that I would prosecute Mr. Washburn from one end 
of the world to the other until I had obtained satisfaction from him for getting me into 
that " bad box.'' I replied that I did remember it well, and quoted it. Some further 
faints were then given me that I might, perhaps, be soon set at liberty, though nothing 
definite was said on that subject. I was asked whether I would maintain my consist- 
ency in case I was the recipient of the clemency of his excellency Marshal Lopez. 
A blank book was brought to me, and I was invited to write in it, and asked what I 
wished to write. I said I did not know ; " I was willing to write anything." I was 
set to work writing some epistles in a satirical style, directed to the commander in 
chief of the Brazilian army, tne Marquis of Caxias, which were immediately publisbf-d 
in sheets by order of Lopez. Four days later (on the 8th of December,) I was called 
out of my hut and had an interview with- the inquisitor and head torturer. I was at 
that time, as I have mentioned, without any irons on, they having been removed four 
days before. I was then told that in his most exalted clemency Marshal Lopez had 
resolved to pardon my great offenBi.s ; that a new American minister had arrived there, 
and that as an act of courtesy to this American minister. President Lopez wished to 
pardon me, on condition of my maintaining consistency with my declarations befi)re the 
tribunal, and that I was about to be brought before tne tribunal for the last time ; that 
everything would depend upon my conduct there, and my preserving consistency, I had 
been for three months wearing the same suit of clothes, and of course my pantaloons 
were cut to pieces with the irons. Of course I was fearjfiilly dirty, and covered with 
vermin. A pair of drawers and shirt and some water was brought, and I was requested 
to put myself into a little more presentable condition before oeing csQled before the 
court for the last act. I was told I would find some of my countr^en there. I was 
not told who they were, or for what purpose they would be there. Nothing was said 
about the presence of the American squadron. Nothing was said about a demand hav- 
ing been made for our liberation. I concluded I was going to lie formally sentenced to 
death, and that tMs sentence would then be remitted, and prepared to listen to such a 
process. But no sentence was passed upon me, and my trial never came to a technical 
conclusion. I was brought before the tribunal and found there two of our naval offi- 
cers, to whom I was introduced in a very indistinct way. I understood one to be 
Lieutenant Gommander Kirkland. The other officer's name I did not then catch, but 


ascertained aubseqnently that it was Fleet Captain RamBey, chief of staff to Admiral 
Davis. These officers said nothing to me except to ask my name — *^ Are yon Bliss or 
are you Mastermanf'' I replied, siving my name. The tribunal then proceeded to 
cause all my depositions which had been taken down, during 20 days or more, to be 
read over, occupying the entire afternoon in the jirocess. This took place in the mud 
hut in which the tribunal was held by the two priests I have referred to. These two 
naval officers took seats with the members of the tribunal, with whom they were 
laughing, smoking, drinking brandy, and receiving presents. They seemed to be on 
the most intimate terms with the members of the tribunal, but never saying a word to 
me, or taking any interest in my condition. At various times during tiiis proceeding 
I was called on to acknowledge the genuineness of my signatures to the snccessive 
depositions. I did so^ speaking in Spanish. I was then told b^ one of the naval offi- 
cers to speak in English, and I replied in English, ** That is my si^^nature." At the con* 
elusion of this proceeding we exchanged no farther words, and in the presence of the 
United States officers I was called upon to subscribe to the entire document^ acknowl- 
edging all my sieuatures, and certiiying again to the correctness of the entire deposi- 
tions, on which the members of the tribunal and the officers of the United States navy 
present siffned the record. It was not stated whether or not they signed as witnesses, 
or as members of the tribunal. 

Q. Was Mr. Masterman present? — ^A. Bir. Masterman was waiting outside the hut, 
and the same ceremony was afterward gone tnrough with in respect to him. Mr. Mas- 
terman had also written a pamphlet, but he had not been able to invent anything oi 
importance. His pamphlet consisted only of about 20 pa^es, and containea nothing 
but sheer abuse of Mr. Washburn. As fast as I stated anything supposed to be import- 
ant, other prisoners were called up and made to indorse it. It was a good thing for 
them, as I always kept steadfastly in view the object of making such statements as 
would be for the behoof both of myself and all the other prisoners. Our interests were 
the same. And I never accused either myself or them, except so far as I was obliged 
to do it. During this interview there were present two Paraguayan officers, who 
understood English, so that I could not have spoken freely to the American officers. 
The head torturer sat opj^site me, sword in hand, and with his sinister eyes fixed upon 
me with the most menacing maimer all the time. 

By Mr. Wilkinson: 

Q. Did it occur to you that you could speak right out and deny all these confessions 
before these naval officers? — A. The question occurred to me and I reflected upon it as 
much as I could within the limited time allowed me, but I was then of the opinion 
which I still hold, that my life depended upon my confirming those statements. 

Q. Did you not believe it was in the power of these officers to have protected you t — 
A. No y the presence of these officers would have afforded no protection. I should have 
been ordered out for instant execution. 

Q. Did these officers then leave youf — ^A. They did. 

ByMr. Orth: 

Q. What presents did these naval officers receive t — ^A. Lace-work and other curiosi- 
ties of the productions of the country. I am not a personal witness of that, but Mr. Mas- 
terman was. I have my information from him. 

Q. Did they put no questions to you at allf — A. None, except to ask me my name and 
tell me to speak in English. When I was called upon to verity my signature, I replied, 
** That is my signature." That is all I said and all they said. 

Q. Did they ask you whether your statement was true or false f — ^A. Lieutenant Com- 
mander Kirkland said : " You acknowledge all that to be truef*' I replied " Yes." 

Q. Did he ask you how it was obtained T— A. He asked ilD farther question what- 

Q. Did either of them remonstrate with the officer for keeping watch over you with 
the drawn sword f — ^A. They made no remonstrance whatever. They seemed to be per- 
fectly satisfied with the maimer affairs were going on. 

By Mr. Swann : 

Q. Had you reason to believe that these American officers were under any impression 
. that these statements had been extorted from you f — A. I did not consider it safe for 
me to say a word to that effect under these circumstances. 

Q. Were they under the impression that your depositions were all true? — ^A. If they 
were fools enough to believe so, under such' circumstances, they may have done so ; in 
fact, I suppose they did so believe. 

Q. How long had they been in the country before thist — ^A. They had just arrived. 
They arrived on the second day of that month. This was on the 8th. They had had 
no communication with any foreigner in the country. The foreigners being all in the 
prison, and they knew nothing except what Lopez had told the admiral. Lopez said 
that we had freely confessed our guilt, and apparently succeeded in bamboozlmg him 


Q. You will proceed with your narratiye. — ^A. I was kept in prison two days after- 
wards. During wMch time I was called on to write two or three documents; one of 
them was a leUer of thanks to Marshal Lopez for pardoning me. 

Q. Still there was nothing said of your release having been demanded? — ^A. No; 
nothing whatever, except what I have stated: " What is your uame ?" " Speak in Eng- 
lish." ** Do you acknowledge all that to be true f " That was all that was said to me by 
the American officers. I was in total darkness as to the circumstances of the arrival of 
the American squadron. I did not suppose there was but one steamer there. I supposed 
that the Wasp had come up to bring our new American minister, whose name was not 
told me. 

Q. Was that General McMahonf — ^A. Tes; he was on board the Wasp; and three 
other steamers had also come up. I was proceeding to say that during these two days 
I was made to write a letter thanking Lopez for his clemency in pardoning me. I was 
made to write another letter to the members of the tribunal, in which I was expected 
to praise their impartiality and the benignity with which they had conducted my trial, 
as well as the high judicial qualities they heul displayed. I was also required to write 
another satirical letter to the commander-in-chief of the Brazilian forces, and a letter 
to Mr. Washburn. All of which, except the first two, were printed on separate sheets 
by order of Lopez, as being very important cards for him, and copies of which given to 
me. €to the 10th of December, at about 9 o'clock in the evening, Mr. Masterman and 
myself were mounted upon horses and escorted by a Paraguayan captain and several 
men. We proceeded through by-paths, avoiding passing through the centre of the 
encampment for a distance of about four miles, bringing us to the banks of the river 

Q. You did not return to Asuncion t — ^A. No, sir. Our property, of course, remained 
conftscated in Paraguay. Before I left the head torturer brought me, done up in a large 
sack, 40 copies of my pamphlet, which had just been finished a few days before. I had 
written a letter to Lopez, to which he sent to me a very affectionate verbal reply: I 
had been obliged to confess that I had received $5,000 in silver and $5,550 in currency, 
and I had sent word to Lopez asking what he desired me to do with it. I had said that 
most of it had been taken out of the country by Mr. Washburn, who had probably con- 
fiscated it to his own purposes, but that in case I ever got hold of it I wished to return 
it to the Pars^guayan government. I asked what disposition I should make of it. I 
received an answer that I might have no scruples in using a part of it for the purpose 
of convicting Mr. Washburn; that if my conscience forced upon me the return of the 
rest, I mi^ht return it to the Paraguayan legation in Paris. Just before embarking, 
however, m consideration of the letters I had written and the messages I had sent to 
the President, I received another cordial message from him in which he told me I might 
retain all that money myself; that I need not oe at any pains to return any of it, it 
being understood that I shotdd devote some part of it to the task of prosecuting Mr. 
Wa^bum for his crimes and misdemeanors. At the same time he sent me a few gold 
coins for my expenses on the home voyage. This I accepted, as it would have been 
dangerous to re&se it. I was put on boara the United States gunboat Wasp by a Para- 
guayan canoe at near midnight on the 10th of December. Lieutenant Commander Kirk- 
land was in command of the Wasp. 

Q. Did you meet him on board 7 — ^A. I met him on the quarter-deck as I went up. 

Q. Did he sx>eak to you f — ^A. Mr. Masterman and myself saluted him. His reply was 
to call the master-at-arms and say to him, '^Take these men forward; (that is to say, 
among the crew.) "Put a special guard over them, and do not let them loaf about ; 
keep them together." Mr. Masterman^ who is endowed with a full modicum of English 
pride, and who has been an honorary lieutenant in the English service in the Crimea, on 
the medical staff, flared TiWa,t once. He expostulated with Captain Kirkland, saying : 
"We are not mechanics. jITou call us men. I have been a Heutenant in the English ser- 
vice in the Crimean war, and have enjoyed the same rank in the Paraguayan army. 
You last saw us as cnminaZa, but I hope you suspended your judgment." Captam Kirk- 
land replied : " What would you have us call you t Would you have us call yom Misses P 
Qe saidif we did not like the quarters, we could sleep on deck if we chose. He also said 
that we were to be treated as criminals, and sent as such to the United States. We slept 
on the hard deck that night among the sailors, with a sentry over us. It being the fiiBt 
occasion we had had of conversing with each other since the time of our imprisonment, we 
spent much of the night in conversation and comparing notes. We then learned for the 
mrst time that each of us had been writing a pamphlet, at least so far as I was concerned. 
Mr. Masterman, I believe, did know that I had been writing one, but I had no idea that he 
had been writing one. We compared the statements we nad been writing, and discov- 
ered a wondeifiiu coincidence in the stories we had been inventing; which is to be 
accounted for from the fact that whenever Mr. Masterman disclosed an^rthing supposed 
to be important, I was called upon to confirm it, which I always did, going into mrther 
details in the ^me direction. The same was also true in respect to my statements being 
carried to him, which he always confirmed, taking the cue from me. 

We had now been received on board the United States gunboat as pri8<mer8. The 


officers of the sqnadron in general held no inteTconrse with ns. For 11 months of that 
year we had received no news ontside of Paraguay, except a few items in a private let- 
ter to Mr. Washbnm, and we were in entire ignorance of what had been going on in the 
worldj entirely ignorant of the circumstances of our own relief, ignorant even of the 
tanst of an American sqnadron having arrived, and we were left to learn the news as best 
we could. The following morning we first learned the name of the American minister 
who was on board, and that a squadron of four vessels was present. I then, on behali 
of Mr. Master man and of myself, most earnestly requested to see General McMahon, in 
order to inform him of the condition of things in Paraguay, and especially of Americans 
who were still in prison, five or six in number, and part of whom, I have since learned, 
had already been executed, as the others were at a later day. I made this request 
through the officer of the deck, who brought me the reply that, ''in case General McMa- 
hon wanted to see me, he would send for me P I never heaord anything further from 
him after receiving this contemptuous re^ly. I was never invited to have, nor did I ever 
ask for any interview with Admiral Davis, Captain Bamsey, Captain Kirkland, nor any 
su^rior officer, until the last day of my stay on the American squadron, when I had an 
inlormal interview with Admiral Davis, at his own request; but upon a matter entirely 
foreign to these circumstances. 

By the Chairman : 

Q. Was General McMahon on board the same steamer with yourself f — ^A. He was on 
the same vessel with me for two days. On December 12, General McMahon landed 
tram the Wasp, and the vessel started for Montevideo. As soon as the Wasp got under 
way for Montevideo the guard of Mr. Masterman and myself was taken away, but 
two or three days after our arrival at Montevideo it was placed over us again. We 
were allowed to 'communicate with some of the under-officers of the vessel, but with 
none of the superior officers — ^that is to say, none of them chose to associate with us. 
On our arrival in the road of Montevideo we were transferred to the flag-ship of Admi- 
ral DaviSj the Guerriere. I should mention that we had been kept on the ordinary 
diet of sailors, which is hard sea-biscuit, pork, occasionally beans and rancid butter, 
and once or twice a week an atrocious mixture, which is very appropriately called 
dandy funk, composed of sea-biscuit moistened, mixed with molasses fLad baked. My 
stomach revolted from it. I could not eat anything. I was suffering from dysentery, 
and the diet aggravated the disease. I was an intense sufferer while on board the 

Q. You had no medical attendance f — A. I made known my condition to the physi- 
cian. Dr. Gale, and requested to be allowed a little brandy, which I much needed, and 
on one single occasion only I received a wine-glass full. I requested to be allowed a 
regular ration of rice. The doctor ordered me some on two or three occasions, but not 
regularly, and I still continued unrelieved until I was transferred to the Guerriere, 
when the change of diet effected an instantaneous cure. On board the Guerriere we 
were put into the mess of the wacnuit officers, and the change &om barbarous to civil- 
ized fare^ as I have stated, worked an instantaneous cure. Our diet after this was 
good, being the same that was served at the warrant ofi^cers' mess. I have nothing to 
complain of in that respect. From bein^ a severe sufferer, after being one day on 
board the Guerriere, I found myself surprisingly better. 

WabbinqtoNj D. C, April 26, 1869. 
Examination of Porter C. Buss continued. 

By Mr. Orth: 

Question. What were you told by the Paraguayan authorities prior to your appear- 
jKUce before the judges on the 8th of December, 1868? — Answer. I was told by one of 
''the judges who was accompanied by Msgor Aveiro, a man who acted as chief torturer, 
that a United States gunboat had arrived with a new American minister on board 
whose name was not told me, nor was anything said about the arrival of the squadron 
or of the admiral. This was on the occasion when they informed me that President 
Lopez desired to pardon me and deliver me over to the custody of the new American 
minister, to be dealt with by the justice of my own country : that he had determined 
to do this as a courtesy to the new American minister, and tnat it must be understood 
that it'was with the condition that I should be consistent with my confessions ; that I 
was then to be called before the tribunal for a last act : that was the expression used ; and 
as I have stated, the impression conveyed to my mind on that occasion was that I would 
meet some of my countrymen, but who, or in what capacity, I had no idea, and that the 
last act or ceremony would be to formally condemn me to death, and then remit the 
sentence and turn me over to the American minister. 

Q. Had you been acquainted prior to this time with Lieutenant Commander Kirk- 
land or with Captain Bamsay f — ^I had not. I knew that Lieutenant Commander Kirk- 
land was commander of the Wasp. I had no idea who the other officer was, although 
I understood he was not in command. If his name was mentioned to me it was in such 
a tone that I could not make out who he was. 


Q. How did you know that Captain Eirkland was commander of the Wasp T— A. 
Because he had been up on two previous occasions. I did not know him personally. I 
was told by the fudges, "This is Captain Eirkland.^' And the other officer's name may 
have been mentioned, but I could not identify him. 

Q. Were these officers in uniform f — ^A. They were in uniform, but I, not being 
acquainted with naval uniforms, could not judge as to their rank. I knew they were 
American officers. 

Q. Why did you not in the presence of these American officers, when called on to 
verify your testimony, extorted firom you under torture, state in their presence that it 
had been extorted from you and deny the whole thing? — ^A. Because it would have 
been the signal for my execution. I was fully persuaded as to that fact. I had reflected 
upon it before I came, and came fdlly to that conclusion, which was corroborated by 
exactly similar conduct on the part of Mr. Masterman, and approved by every one hav- 
ing a personal knowledge of the character of Lopez. I was fully convinced that such 
a step on my part would have caused my immediate execution. 

Q. How far were these officers away from their vessels? — ^A. Four miles in a line from 
the river. 

Q. Had they any officers with themt — ^A. None whatever; they were alone. 

Q. When you got on board the Wasp you learned that General McMahon, the Amer- 
ican minister, was there f — ^A. I had previously learned that a minister was on board. I 
did not learn his name until the day following our embarkation on board the Wasp. 

Q. Why did you not, as soon as you learned the American minister was on board, 
communicat-e with him and tell him that your testimony had been extorted from you? — 
A. That is precisely the gravest charge I have to make against these proceedings on 
the part of American officers. I did demand to see the American minister the following 
morning after my arrival on the Wasp. I earnestly requested to see Cfbneral McMahon 
for the purpose of communicating these facts to him. 

Q. Did you inform the officer of the deck of the nature of the information you wished 
to communicate? — ^A. I told him this far, that I was jMssessed of very important infor- 
mation which it was very necessary that General McMahon should know before going 
to his destination. I virished to communicate, as I have already stated, the fact of a 
general imprisonment of all foreigners, and that other American citizens were in the 
clutches of Lopez. I supposed that Admiral Davis and all the other officers of the 
squadron roust know perfectly well from Mr. Washburn the circumstances of my 
imprisonment, but it seems they placed no confidence in Mr. Washburn's statements. 
When I learned that an American minister to Paraguay was on board, I, as a member 
of the American legation,, considered it my duty to communicate with him in any oasCf 
and I was very much surprised that he had not called for me of his own accord before 
this. But on the 11th of^ December, at the earnest request of Mr. Masterman, as well 
as on the promptings of my own opinions, I went to the officer of the deck, whose name 
I do not now remember, but could easily ascertain, and stated to him that I was pos- 
sessed of very important information which I wished to communicate to General 
McMahon before he landed in Paraguay, and that among other things I wished to com- 
municate to him the circumstances of my imprisonment, and that American citizens 
were still in the clutches of Lopez. This officer received my communication very cooly 
and remarked, "We have been informed about all these thin^ beforehand.'' I replied 
that General McMahon could not possibly have the information I wished to give him ; 
that I had information which no one else could possibly possess, and that I wished to 

five it. The officer replied that he would take my message to General McMahon, which 
e did, and returned with the answer, " General McMahon says that if he should wish 
to see you he will call for you.*' The day after that he went on shore without my ever 
having set eyes upon him. 

Q. When did you make your first demand to communicate wittf Admiral Davis? — 
A. I never made any demand to communicate with Admiral Davis at all. I considered 
myself aggrieved by the treatment I received and made up my mind immediately 
that it was a case in which my own dignity would best be consulted by declining to 
make any demand for an interview with Admiral Davis. 

Q. Was Admiral Davis aware of your desire to communicate with Gen. McMahon ?— - 
A. I have no doubt he was, although I cannot certify to the fact. 

Q. Did Admiral Davis remain on the Wasp until you got down to Buenos Ayres? — 
A. He remained on the same vessel with me during the entire time. I was on board 
the United States s(][uadron, that is to say, one week on board the Wasp and five weeks 
on board the Guemere, the admiral's flag-ship ; he was on board the same steamer all 
the time. 

Q. You will now proceed to describe the treatment you received on board the Wasp. — 
A. I mentioned the other day that immediately after arriving on board the Wasp Mr. 
Masterman and myself were put under guard. After the steamer got under way for 
Montevideo, the guard was t*aken off. When we arrived at Montevideo there wa« at first 
no guard put over us and I supposed at that time the guard was merely a precBatio.i 
agamst our communicating with any unauthorized party on shore in Paraguay. I was 


•told when the goard was remoyed. by the officer of the deck, that I was at liberty to 
go about without a guard, but that my movements would be watched and that I wom 
not to communicate with any person outside the vessel. I ^ave my parole that I would 
not do so. On arriving in Montevideo^ December 18, 1 was transferred with Mr. Master- 
man to the flag-ship Guerriere. We were put into the warrant officer's mess and for two 
days there was -no surveillance upon us — ^no officer placed over us. The day after my 
arrival on board the Guerriere I wrote a letter to my parents to be sent by a vessel 
about to sail, and not being under arrest at the time, I stated that fact, implying 
that I had been: under arrest on the Wasp, though I did not expressly so state. The 
object of that letter was to quiet the apprehensions of my parents and to speak as 
lightly as possible of the circumstances with which I was surrounded. I was delighted 
to get from on board the Wasp, where I was kept on the most miserable fare, and to be 
on board a vessel where, for the first time for several years, I could have something like 
a decent diet. I was oveijoyed at the time and wrote in a somewhat jubilant strain. 
My letter has been published and can be referred to by the committee if they desire. 

On the day succeeding, two gentlemen came on board the vessel to see me ; one was 
Dr. Peter Bourse, an American dentist living in Montevideo, a Mend of mine, the other 
was Don Carlos Saguier, also an acquaintance of mine, and a prominent Paraguayan 

fentleman residing in Buenos Ajres, hostile in Ins sentiments, however, to President 
lopez and wishing for his down&lL The gentlemen came on board, as I afterwards 
learned^ and had an interview with some of the officers, but without seeing the admiral ; 
requesting to see me, they were refused permission. They then requested to see the 
admiral. That was contemptuously refused, and they immediatelv left the vessel and 
a non-oommissioned officer was immediately placed in charse of Mr. Masterman and 
m^self^ with orders to keep us together and not to allow us to hold any communication 
with any person l^m outside the vessel, nor to allow us to write any letters or receive 
any letters except by pemussion. That non-commissioned officer .was frequently re- 
lieved of course by others, but the same order was continued in force for about three 
weeks. I am not certain of the exact length of time. Mr. Masterman losing patience 
at the insults to which we were subjected made the effort to ingratiate himself with 
the admiral by a personal interview which he solicited, referring to the fact that he had 
been a lieutenant in the English service, and succeeded so far as to have the guard re- 
moved in respect to himself, he remaining on his parole, and from that time the officer 
placed over us had no further custody of Mr. Masterman. I believed then, and believe 
now, that by taking the same steps. Admiral Davis would probably have taken the 
same course in regard to myself, but I did not choose to do it. I felt greatly ag^eved 
at the conduct ol the admiral towards me, and declined to have any communication 
with him except at his request or order. 

Q. Why did you feel agmeved at the conduct of Admiral Davis f — A. For having 
be^ received on board the United States squadron as a criminal and for having been 
assigned by Lieutenant Commander Kirkland, when I came on board, to the deck of 
the Wasp. Afr. Masterman said to him that he hoped he did not believe all he heard 
the other day when he saw us before the court arraigned as criminals, that he hoped 
he had sasx>ended his judgment at least. His reply was, '^I do not know about that. 
I cannot judge. I receive you here as criminals, and you will have to be considered as 
such until you are proved to be othervsise." Mr. Masterman, in his testimony, has used 
the word cn'mtJial, and to the best of my recollection that is correct. I am not abso- 
lutely certain as to the use of that word. If criminal was not used the word used was 
feUm. I did not say a word in that conversation, but looked on with amazement to see 
members of the American legation treated in that way. 

Q. Was he aware of your connection with the legation f— A. Yes, sir: he was per- 
fectly aware of it-. Bir. Washburn had told him fiduy. Mr. Washburn had then left 
for the United States. After the arrival of the AmericaQ squadron at Montevideo most 
false and calumnious articles concerning Mr. Masterman and myself, proceeding from 
officers of the United States squadron, were published in the papers. I cannot tell what 
officers were engaged in these publications, but they must have proceeded from per- 
sons who came aowa on that squadron, because statements were made which could not 
have proceeded from anybody else. To these calumnious communications we were not 
, allowed to reply, but were expressly told that all our communications would be scruti- 
* ntzed by the authorities, that is, by the admiral and the captain of the vessel. I was 
told this by Captain Woolsey, in command of the flag-ship Gueniere. I was told that 
the admiral, in person, inspected all the letters which I received and which I endeavored 
to send. 

By Mr. Whxard : 

Q. Why did the fact that they were to inspect the letters you sent prevent you from 
writing and replying to these publications f — A. One letter which I received was banded 
to me from the admiral torn open. This was from a Paraguayan officer who had been a 
prisoner of war, and who having seen published a part of my extorted confessions, 
wrote to me to Imow whether they were genuine, and asked me in reply to state the exact 
facts of the case. I sent that letter to the admiral with a reply stating the exact facts 


of the case. The letter was sent to its address and was probably imblished. I hare a 
copy of it which I will submit to the committee. Another letter which I wrote just 
before leaving Montevideo in time to be forwarded before the vessel left, was retnmed 
to me after we had been out at sea three days, with the remark that the admiral had 
not seen fit to send it. 

Q. What was in the letter? — ^A. It was a letter to the father of Captain Antonio Fal- 
con, one of the victims of Lopez who was a folio w-prisoner of mine. I* wrote this letter 
to the effect that, having seen his son in prison, I had just learned that he had lost his 
life. The reply, when this letter was returned to me, was that the admiral could not 
send it except through Captain Kirkland, and that he did not choose to send it through 
him. Tbis letter was written at the suggestion of the fleet-surgeon, Dr. Duval, to whom 
I had mentioned the circumstances, and who told me I ought to write to the parents of 
the young man. He was a young man in whom I had taken a deep interest. This let- 
ter was returned through Surgeon Duval, who indorsed upon the back of the letter 
these facts over his own signature. I have the original letter with the indorsement, 
and I will put it in evidence. It was written sevenil hours before the sailing of the 
vessel; and precisely what was meant by the reply that the admiral could not send it 
except through Captain Kirkland I do not undei'stand. 

Q. Were there any letters making disclaimers in respect to your i^stimony or makings 
statements of the facts in respect to your imprisonment returned to yout — ^A. The 
letter to which I have just referred entered into some details and more or less explicitly- 
stated the fact that we were all of us innocent victims; using pretty severe language 
in respect to the conduct of Lopez and denouncing him as an atrocious monster. I 
may also state that the Spanish commodore commanding a squadron at Montevideo^ 
wrote me a letter which was suppressed; this I know because a few days later whea 
the admiral was absent at Buenos Ayres, a Spanish midshipman came on board to ask 
for an answer to it. I was sent for and spoke with him. 

Q. Were the facts to which you have testified as having ccmmiunicated to Surgeon 
Duval bix>ught to the knowledge of the other officers of the squadron? — ^A. Not by me; 
I have no doubt they were by Surgeon Duval himself, who took an active interest in 
the matter. I never made any overtures to have any intercourse with any of the 
superior officers of the vessel. 

Q. Was the course of treatment towards you changed after your interview with 
Surgeon Duval? — A. Not in the slightest degree ; on the contrary Surgeon Duval wa» 
made to expiate his friendship for us: he was denied permission to go on shore for 
three weeks, (to the best of my recollection,) in consequence of the interest he had 
taken in us. He was the fleet-surgeon and his post was on board the Querrlere. 

By Mr. Swann : 

Q. How did you know that fact? — ^A. From Surgeon Duval himself: he expressly 
stated that he was a sufferer in our behalf, that the admiral had refused to allow him 
to go on shore for three weeks, to the best of my recollection. TMs was while we were 
lying off Montevideo, as we did for nearly a month. * 

By Mr. Orth: 

Q. State what was done to render ^ou comfortable, as far as your physical wants 
were concerned, after this. — ^A. Nothing whatever so fiir as Admiral Davis was con* 
cemed. We went on board the Wasp in the most pitiable condition, in the same suits 
of clothes which we had worn for three months, eaten by vermin, with our pants cut 
in two by the irons we ha4 worn ; for a day or two no movement was made to improve 
our wardrobe ; at last I received a pair of pants from an officer, which was followed 
from time to time by other articles of clothing from others until I succeeded in effect- 
ing a complete change of wardrobe. 

Q. Who were the officers who furnished you these articles? — A. I cannot remember 
all of them ; one gentleman, I think, was Surgeon Gale. Another addition to my 
wardrobe was sent to me anonymously, from one of the officers of the deck who did 
not send his name, and I never knew who he was; probably the cause of not sending 
his name was that he did not wish to be known as favoring us. 

Q. Did you receive any attentions, or clothing, or suitable food from any of the 
principal officers on board the vessel ? — A. No, sir ; I did not. 

Q. Did you receive any visits from any of them? — A. I never received a visit from 
any of them ; I had on two or throe occasions conversations with Captain Woolsey, of 
the Guerriere, after I was transferred to the flag-ship, upon his sending for me. I never 
'^e with Captain Kirkland after the first occasion when he received us on board the 
vV^asp ; I never spoke to Fleet Captain Kamsay at all. Captain Woolsey called for me 
on three or four occasions, in the first instance a day or two after going on board. He 
asked me if I wished to go to the United States as soon as possible or whether I pre- 
ferred to remain on board the squadron until I should hear from the United States. 
He said in case I wished to remain he would give me a ration and give me employment 
so that I could earn something; he asked me, as I remember, if I understood drawing 


t replied that I had not been informed as to my statns and that I conld not answer the 
question immediately. I asked if I woald be allowed to commnnicate with the shore^ 
or to go on shore in that case. He said I would not. This was a day or two after 
beingon board and before being placed the second time under arrest. I then requested 
a short time to think of it. The alternative was this : I had a good many Mends in 
Montevideo and Buenos Ayres; I had some pecuniary interest in both places; it was 
of the greatest importance to set myself right in both places as soon as possible. If I 
could have gone on shore I would have preferred to have done so and to have remained 
there for some time, but not being idlowed that I determined to go to the United 
St^es as soon as possible : when, to Ukj surprise, I was a second time put under arrest. 
Tnft of course obviated all necessity ror an answer on my part. On another occasion, 
after being put under airest, he sent for me to say something in respect to the trans- 
mission of the letters I had written. I do not remember that interview particularly ; 
it involved nothing of importance. I wish to say that Captain Woolsey treated me 
with as much kindness as appeared to be oonsistent with obeying the orders of Admi- 
ral Davis. He held as little mtercourse with us as possible, but he did not treat me 
with any disrespect. I considered his offer thai I would be allowed to remain there 
and that he would give mo employment, as an indication of kindness on his part. 

Q. What difference was there, if any, between the treatment of yourself and of Mr, 
MastermanT — A. Only this, that Mr. Masterman was released from surveillance, having 
given his parole not to communicate with persons on shore. 

Q. What time did you arrive at Biof-*A. We arrived at, Bio the 2l8t or 22d of 
January. I think the 21st. 

Q. And this guard placed over you at Montevideo was withdrawn f— A. It was with- 
drawn a few hours alter we had sailed, but was put on again immediately after our 
arrival in the harbor of Bio Janeiro; the passage navingoccupied five or six days. 

Q. Did you at any time communicate with Admiral Davis f — ^A. I did; on the 25th 
of January, I think ; at all events it was four or five days after our arrival at Bio. It 
had been published in the papers that Bliss and Masterman were on board the American 
squadron as prisoners, not allowed to communicate with any one on the shore, and 
were on their way to the United States to be tried by their government. The same 
statement had appeared in the papers of Buenos Ayres while we were there. Two or 
three days after our arrival at Bio, my friend Geon^e M« Davis, a merchant at Bio and 
formerly attache of the American legation in Brazil at the same time I was connected 
with that legation as private secretary to General Webb, seeing this statement in the 
newspapers on my arrival, of my being a prisoner on board not lulowed to communicate 
with any one on shore, determined to make an effort to see me. He went on board, saw 
Admiral Davis, and asked if he could see his Mend Bliss. I give the conversation as 
stated to me by Mr. Davis. The Admiral replied, ''What! is Bliss your friend f" 
'* Yes," he said. "What do you know about hunt" "I know «W about him." "Tell 
me something about him." Mr. Davis thereupon narrated the principal facts connected 
with my coming to South America, and his own intercourse with me. He vouched for 
my being a person of good character and of literary attainments, mentioned my having 
been formerly well acquainted with the Emperor of Brazil, that I had been on such 
terms with him that on visiting him he would walk up and down the corridor of his 
palace with me in conversation about individuals and about scientific matters. This 
information opened the eyes of the admiral somewhat. The consequence was that 
within half an hour afterwards, and while Mr. Davis was still in conversation with me, 
word came from the admiral that I was relieved from arrest. This was two or three 
days previous to my embarking for the United States. 

Q. Did the admiral seek a personal interview with you after thisf — ^A. He did; on 
the 25th of January, the day previous to my embarking for the United States. Being 
then at liberty to communicate with whoever I chose, I communicated with the steward 
of the admiral, a person who had formerly done some errands for me on shore, and 
made some purchases for me. I had received at Buenos Ayres some effects belonging 
to me which had remained on deposit at Buenos Ayres all the time I had been in 
Paraguay. They came off in a bundle and a box in a very dilapidated state. I desired 
to pack them up in a more convenient form before going on board the merchant 
steamer. I therefore asked the steward to buy me a trunk on shore, giving him the 
monc^ for it and mentioning several articles which I desired him te get. The admiral 
sent lOT moiand met me in the gangway rather abruptly with the question put, "Did 
you ask my steward to buy you a tnmk and other things!" I said, " Yes, sir." "Are 
there any other thinss you want to have bought?" I said, "Yes; there are several 
other things I would like te procure, but that as the time was so limited before sailing 
I should have to forego getting them." "What is it you want to procure t^' Said L 
''Among other things I wish to procure some publications. I was formerly interested 
in the Brazilian Geographical and Historical Institute, I wish to get a set of the 
publications of that society if possible and several other publications relating to the 
war and so forth, and to buy a number of books of a miscellaneous character, in conneo- 
tion with my studies in regard to South America." He then made one or two observer 


tions as to the places where these publications could probably be obtained, mentioned 
to me a bookseller of whom I could very likely get tnem, and remarked, " Would yoa 
not like to go on shore yoni^lff '' I saiiL '^I should like to go very much/' He said, 
" Come and see me to-morrow morning alter breakfast and I will see about ij." I then 
left; having no further conversation uian I have related until the next morning aitei 
breakfast. About nine o'clock I went up to the Admiral's reception room. He came 
in there. Neither on this occasion nor on the previous one did he shajco hands or pass 
any salutation — simply proceeding to business. He now said, ''Well, you have come 
to see about going on shore, have youT" I said, ''Tes, sir.'' Ho said, ''Speak to the 
officer on deck. There wiU be a boat going ashore at (such) an hour." MoutioninJ^ I 
think, half-past nine or thereabouts. ''The steam launch will leave the vessel to mke 
you on board the merchant steamer shortly after one o'clock. Don't fail to bo here 
then." I then went on shore, arriving about ten o'clock and got back promptly at ono. 
I had less than three hours on shore; during which time I had only opportunity to see 
two or three out of a large number of acquaintances. I saw Mr. Milford, a merchant 
there, who is an old friend. I saw the charg6 d'affaires, Mr. Lid^erwood, and also Dr. 
Rainey, an American, who is at the head of a ferry-boat enterprise. To all these gen- 
tlemen I made free communication as to what had passed on board the squadron in 
regard to myself, as to my sufferings in Paraguay, and my innocence of the charges 
against me, also respecting American citizens who still remained in Paraguay in 
prison. They expressed themselves astounded as to the conduct of the admiral and 
completely unable to discover why he should have acted as he did towards Mr. Master- 
man and myself. A little after one o'clock I was called for very suddenly and came 
on board the steam-launch which was to take me to the mail steamer. I was hurried 
off without an opportunity of taking leave of my friends. The officer on deck sa^ng 
to me, " I will make your adieus for you. You need not trouble yourself about that.'' 
I was in the forward part of the vessel sitting talking with a friend when word came 
to me that the launch was ready and that I must go right off now. Surprised in that 
way I had no time to bid good-bye to any firiends on board. One other thing I should 
have stated. A day or two before embarking for Eio I received a note from Admiral 
Davis, which was published in these documents, requesting me to take passage on 
board the United States mail steamer Mississippi to New York, and to communicate my 
arrival there to the State Department. I replied by a letter, which is also published 
in these documents, stating that I accepted ms proposition and that I would report in 
]>erson to the State Department, as in duty bound, being a member of the late Ameri- 
can legation at Paraguay. No promise was exacted of me as to my conduct while on 
board the mail steamer Mississippi, and I made no promise. I went on shore at every 
point where the steamer touched, at Bahia, at Pemambuco, at Parii, and at St. Thomas, 
and communicated with persons on shore at all these places. 

By the Chairman : 

Q. Where did you part with the naval authorities. Admiral Davis, and others T — A. I 
never parted at all with them. I left the ship in the bay at Rio under the circumstances 
I have mentioned. The consuls whom I saw at the ports at which the merchant steamer 
stopped were all of them ea^er to get information from me, and expressed their aston- 
ishment at the conduct of Admiral Davis. They urged me to press upon our gov- 
ernment a full investigation of all the circumstances, which I promised I would do. 
The consul at Par^, Mr. Bond, was an old acquaintance, who came out in the same 
steamer with Mr. Washburn and myself eight years a^o. At his request I wrote a 
letter, giving the principal i)oint« of my history. He said it wa*: most important that 
I should define my position more authentically than I had been led to do on board the 
squadron ; that the officers of the sciuadron were against me ; that I might die on board 
the steamer before reaching the United States ; and that I ought to put on record what- 
ever statement I had to make. At his request, I wrote him a letter, which I authorized 
him to publish, as he said was his intention, in which I stated to lum that aU the con- 
fessions of mine which had been given to the world were extorted from me under the 
circumstances which I have previously stated to this committee, and were all untrue. 
I left that paper in his hands for publication in the Parii papers. I also, while on board 
the Guerriere — a fact which I omitted to state before in its proper place — ^had a long 
conversation with Fleet Surgeon Duval, to whom I communicated full particular^ of afi 
these circumstances, and he embodied them in a great measure in letters to other par- 
ties in Washington, in view of the fact that in case I should die on the passage, as per- 
haps was not improbable at that time, my statements might be known. 

Q. Have you had any commimication with these naval officers since that time t-^A. 
None whatever. 

Q. Nor with the Navy Department f — ^A. I have been at the Navy Department. I waa 
there a day or two before the change of administration, and called upon Secretary- 
Welles, whom I had known in this city eight years ago as a Mend. I was at that time 
misinformed as to the circumstances of the case. If I had been as fully informed as I 
am now, I should not have called upon him, but I had merely seen a letter in which 
Secretary Welles had requested the admiral to proceed with the fleet under his command 


Go Paraguay, as suggested in the letter of the Secretary of State. I supposed the con- 
duct of Admiral Davis could not at all be attributed to Secretary Welles, but that the 
conduct of the Secretary had been such as should be perfectly satisfactory to me. I 
have since seen season to change my opinion in regard to that. I called upon Secretary 
Welles and expressed my thauKS to him for having given these orders. I also called 
upon Commodore Thornton Jenkins, the chief of uie Navigation Bureau, whose name 
had been mentioned by Surgeon Duval as a friend. There was nothing of importance 
in any interview I had at the Navy Department. And I have had no other communica- 
tion with any other person in that department. 

Q. Did Secretary Welles make any remark to youf — ^A. Nothing, except of the briefest 
character. I simply told him that I thanked him for giving these orders ; and upon his 
part he congratulated me for having escaped from imprisonment. 

By Mr. Orth: 

Q. To what circumstances do you allude, which if you had known, would have pre- 
vented you from calling upon him t — ^A. In the first place, I have seen documents signed 
by Secretary Welles, in which it is my opinion he did not show a sufl&cient interest in 
the vindication of the honor of the flag, nor a sufficient sense of the indignity suffered 
by the American legation in Paraguay. He seems to have shown a readiness to accept 
the reports of Admiral Davis without any question, when they ought to have been more 
carefully scrutinized. 

By the Chairman : 

Q. What communications were these T — ^A. I refer to letters of Secretary Welles to 
Admiral Davis, which are published in these documents, and to the impression left upon 
my mind by the reading or these letters. I have no information outside of that. 

Q. Then the impressions you received of that character came from documents which 
are before the committee f — A. Yes, sir. I have no private information from any source 
on that subject. I judge only from the published documents. 

Q. What was your first communication with the government in Washington, and th© 
first steps you took to make known your complaints f — ^A. I arrived here in Washington 
on the 25th of February, and the same day wrote a letter to Secretary Seward, inclosing 
a copy of Admiral Davis's letter to me, stating that " in conformity with the request oi 
Adnural Davis, and as a member of the late American legation in Paraguay, I be^ to 
report my presence in Washington, at the Ebbitt House,'' and that I waited ids furtner 
orders. Two or three days later I received a reply from Secretary Seward, in which he 
used this expression : " The executive government of the United States does not claim 
to exercise any control over you in consequence of the proceedings of Rear-Admiral 
Davis, referred to. I shall, however, be happy to receive from you, or from Mr. Master- 
man, or both of you, any information, either verbally or by writing, in relation to the 
interesting events with which your names had been connected, and would therefore 
suggest to-morrow, March 1, at 12 o'clock, for you to call upon me." Mr. Masterman 
and myself called upon him that day : found him busy, and repeated the call separately. 
Two days subsequently to that I saw Mr. Seward myself alone, and had a short interview 
with him of a few moments in length, which was confined to congratulation on his part 
on my escape from Paraguay. In reference to information about what I had experienced 
he remarked that he was soon going out of office, and it would be well to submit a 
statement to the legal officer of the department. Mr. Seward asking me if I had seen 
him, I said I had not. He then called a messenger, and I was shown to the office of Mr. 
E. Peshine Smith, with whom I had an interview. 

Q. Has the letter of Mr. Seward to you been communicated to the committee f — ^A. 
It hais not. But if desired, I will endeavor to communicate it to-morrow. Upon that I 
made my appeal to Con^ss. I did not go into the details of my experience in Para- 
guay at the suggestion oi Mr. Seward. 

Q. Was any suggestion made as to any reparation to which you might be entitled ?— 
A. I was referred to Mr. Smith, whose name appears on the official register as examiner 
of claims, and I inferred that the supposition of^the Secretary was that I wished to put 
in a pecuniary claim. Mr. Smith seemed evidently to take the same view of the matter, 
as he took the case up in an exceedingly legal and technical manner, cross-questioning 
me in mj interview with him as if he was an attoniey on the opposite side and was 
retained in order not to admit any claim unless he considered it perfectly on the square. 

By Mr. Swann: 

Q. Did you make any claim f — ^A. I made no pecuniary claim, neither then nor at any 
subsequent time. In my petition to Congress I have expressly avoided that. I have 
left the whole matter to the wisdom of Congress for sucn action as in their view the 
honor of the government and justice to us as petitioners may demand, and shall be 
satisfied with such conclusion as Congress may arrive at. 


Washington, D. C, April 27, 1869. 

Porter C. Bliss appeared and contiimed Ms statement as follows : 

In addition to the letters to which I yesterday referred, I have here two letters writ- 
ten by me to my parents and published by them in a New York paper. They were 
written in view of my expected imprisonment and forwarded bv Mr. Washbnm to my 
parents and by them sent to this paper. The following are the letters, prefaced by 
editorial comment : 

[Ftijm. the Fredonia Cenaor.] 


" We received last week a letter from a brother of our friend Bliss inclosing copies of 
his last two letters to his parents. They reveal a sad state of affairs in that distracte'l 
country. It will be seen that Mr. Washburn has done all in his power to save Mr. 
Bliss and his companion from the terrible doom that was apprehended. He left them 
to their sad fate at the latest possible moment, and then only to hasten communication 
with his government, in order to afford reliei if possible. The four vessels of war dis- 
patched to their relief are now on their errand of duty. It will be the prayer of every 
friend of humanity, and particularly of the unfortunate sufferers, that the errand may 
not fail of accompUshment. ^ 

*^ The last time we met our friend was in Washington, he was waiting at the White 
House for an introduction to President Lincoln, from whom he expected an appoint- 
ment to an Indian agency. Senator Sunmer was there to introduce him and secure the 
appointment. His mther being a missionary to the Indians, and he acquainted with 
their dialects, he was being sent out to rescue the traditions of the former native inhabi- 
tants of New England, who had emigrated to reservations for them west of the Missouri. 
He had letters of recommendation from Everett, Bancroft, Longfellow, and many other 
distinguished literary men, to whom he had rendered efficient aid in his researches in 
New England and the Canadas, and also from every United States senator and many 
other public men. His modest demeanor, amiable disposition, high classical attain- 
ments for one of his years, and insatiable thirst for knowledge, hwA. marked him as a 
young man of unusual promise. He was evidently so regarded by the savans who 
sought for him the opportunity to pursue his researches among the red men of the 
forest. The difficulties in which the nation became involved changed his course to a 
South American field. It is very sad that a young man of his promise should be cut 
off in the vigor of his youth, and in the midst of his aspirations for usefulness. May 
Heaven ^ard him from such an untimely fate. 

** We £ive below the letter of the brother, which will explain the circumstances under 
which the letters from Porter were written : 

** * Onoville, CkiUaraugus County, Nw€nii)€r 23, 186a 

'''Eds. Censor: Inclosed I send you two copies of letters written to us by my 
brother. Porter C. Bliss, arrested by the Paraguay government, and as we fear, executed 
ere this. Mr. Washburn, in his letter, expresses no hope for him. We have received 
three newspapers from Buenos Ayres, containing correspondence between Washburn 
and Lopez, and three letters from Porter to different parties ; one of which was handed 
to Wasnbum after he had embarked for home, which was written after he had been 
arrested, and in all probability subjected to torture. Nothing in that letter has any 
weight with us, if, indeed, it was genuine. The allusion to his father, " Henry Bliss, of 
New York,'' was fictitious, as we have no relatives of that name. In his letter to us, 
([which he expected would be the last he would ever write,) he declares solemnly his 
innocence and entire ignorance of any such plot as charged against him. He, I think, 
has sent you one or two letters from South America at different times. As he prepared 
for college at your academy and has many friends there, he re<}uested me to send a por- 
tion of his letter to you for publication in case we hear of his death. We stlQ have 
some hone, but I thought it might be well to send it. His fate has been a sad one. With 
an excellent education^— being master of eight or ten different languages, and having 
gained a vast amount of usefhl information in his travels, and with an unconquerable 
tnirst for knowledge, and ambitious to make his mark in the world, a life of great 

Sromise of usefulness will have been cut off, a sacrifice to the ferocity of a cowardly 
espot, who is described as being a second Nero or Dionysius, who has executed two of 
his own brothers, and whose mother and sister, according to Mr. Washburn, would be 
glad to hear of his death. But my brother's death will not be in vain, I hope ; and I 
feel certain that our government (in whose service I spent three years) will demand and 
ei\force reparation solar as it can be done. 
" * Yours, respectfully. 



''The following are the letters leceiyed firom Porter: 

" ' Legation op thb United States, 

" *A»undony September 5, 1868. 

'' ' Dear Parents and Brothers: — ^I received yonr letter in May last, and answered 
it in June, not doubting that a few months more wonld enable me to return home from 
my long wanderings, and again behold the faces of my kindred. Now that hope is indefi- 
nitely postponed — ^perhaps foreyer. You will probably have learned by the press the 
strange events which have passed here ; events deeply compromising the honor of our 
government, outraged in the person of its ministers and the members of its legation, of 
whom I am one. £i brief, the greater part of the foreign residents in Paraguay are 
charged with having formed a conspiracy against the government and even against the 
life of President Lopez, and were arrested on or about July 13, since which time their 
trial has been going on : but as the proceedings are secret and no communication with 
any of them afiowed, the result is not yet known. At the same time almost all the 
members of the government were imprisoned upon a like charge, and many, perhaps 
all, of them paid the penalty with their lives during the first week of August. Great 
efforts have been made by the govenmont to implicate Mr. Washburn in the alleged plot 
by means of false testimony, said to have been deposed by the principal personages 
accused, and I myself, though a member of the Amencan legation, m which I am trans- 
lator, have been, along with the physician to the lection, an English gentleman named 
MaAterman, charged with what the Paraguayan tribunal calls high treason. We have 
been six or seven times imperatively demanded for trial by this government, and, as Mr. 
Wadibum has constantly asserted the undoubted rights and immunities of legations 
in our favor, they have tnreatened more than a month since to take us by force. 

'^ *■ Eight weeks of alternate hope and fear have passed, which have been filled up by 
a voluminous correspondence between Mr. Washburn and the government, which has 
been published in tne official newspapers. Three days since, Mr. Washburn received 
notice of the arrival in the river of the United States gunboat Wasp, which has come 
to take away the American legation, and this morning he has received his passports. 
But the government of Paraguay has refused passports to Mr. Masterman and myself, 
denying that we were members of the legation. We have had no news or dispatches 
from the States for 12 months, and are absolutely ignorant of aU that has passed, except 
by one or two private letters. Mr. Washburn will embark this afternoon upon a Para- 

Siay steamer to proceed down the river to meet the Wasp, and immediately afber 'iJLr, 
asterman and myself will be seized, and shall sleep to-night in prison. 
" *It is unecessary for me to say that I am entirely innocent, and that I know abso- 
lutely nothing of such a plot. False witness has undoubtedly been produced against 
me, and my innocence is no guarantee against a traitor's doom. I will hope for the 
best, but I am prepared for the worst. I thank God that I have had sufficient strength 
to bear up under tnese weeks of agony, and I am assured that I shall do so until the 
last; and should it come to that extremity, I am, in the words of Bryant — 

" ' Sostained and soothed 
By an onfEdtering trast, approach my grave, 
Like one who wraps the drapery of his conch 
Abont him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.' " 

'' *• I have had great projects for the benefit of humanity and the cause of the diffusion 
of knowledge among men, and I am confident that if my life is now spared it will not 
be a useless one to the world. But God knows best what purposes he has designed that 
I should subserve in my life or my death. His will be done ! 


'* 'Asuncion, September 10, 1868. 

" 'Dear Parents: — ^Mr. Washburn's departure having been unexpectedly postponed 
until to-day, I add a postscript to my letter of the 5th. Every conceivable obstacle has 
been put in Mr. Wasnbum's way by the government. He has been detained on the 
plea OT returning deposits of property made with him bjr many foreigners, and also by 
difficulties concerning the carrying away of money for foreigners. But the Italian consul 
having received everything in deposit, there will probably be no further delay. I think 
I mentioned before that this legation has been surrounded night and day for two months 
by about 20 soldiers in order to seize upon Masterman and myself should we so outside, 
and who will take us in the street when we start out to accompany Mr. Washburn and 
family to embark. We each of us carry with us a satchel with a few changes of linen, 
some bread, some money for our expenses in prison, and a few other articles of first 
necessity. No cutting instruments are allowed, consequently we shall have to eat with 
spoons. No books wQl probably be permitted, however we shall each take a pocket 
Bible at a venture. Our confinement will be solitaiy, and our treatment and fare none 


of the best. I don't say these things to dispirit you, bnt because they are true, and 
will be known sooner or later, and to show you that I am resigned to the worst. Could 
I get letters from you, or some news from the outside world before I am taken, I should 
feel comparatively happy. At all events I do not propose to waste my time in useless 
lamentation, but to have " a heart for any fate." All will be for the best whatever may 
happen, and I have g^eat confidence in the action of our government as soon as the 
case becomes known. In case of being then alive I shall hope for relief from some quar- 
ter about January or February. Very likely the war may be ended bjr that time, 
although the appearances are that President Lopez has made up his mmd to perish 
with the ruins of the nation, and to fight till the last man around him dies. To-day, 
the 10th of September, has been a day of ill omen to me before. Three years ago, and 
again last year, on this date, I had attacks of congestion of the brain, resulting from 
sun-stroke, and which nearly proved fatal in both instances. But, contrary to all 
expectations in both instances, I escaped with life, which is also a good omen; not 
that I am superstitious or a fatalist ; I only note the coincidences. Now that my uncer- 
tainties are over I am calm and almost happy, and, if need be, can cheerfully repeat 
the words of the Polish martyr-patriot Pestel : 

" ' Yes ! it comes at last, 
And from a troubled dream awaking. 

Death, will soon be past, 
And brighter worlds aronnd me breaking.' " 

" ' My dear parents and brothers, farewell ! God bless you, and I will hope for the 
best; we may yet see each other in this world. 


[From a later number of the Fredonla Censor.] 

We find the following communication in the Albany Evening Journal, written by 
Mr. D. J. Pratt, who taught our academy while Mr. Bliss was a student here. It con- 
tains some particulars of Bliss's history, which we did not mention in our local notice : 

"Porter C. Bliss is a son of Rev. Asher Bliss, who was for twenty years a missionary 
of the American board at the lower Cattaraugus station in western New York. In 1852 
Mr. Bliss was released at his own request from this service, and removed to Corydon, 
Pennsylvania, where he still resides. In 1854, Porter, then about fifteen years of age, 
became a student at the Fredonia academy, where he remained, with but little inter- 
ruption, about four years. His pecuniary resources, as may be supposed, were verj 
scanty, and nothing but a quenchless thirst for knowledge and an aptness in its acqm- 
sition which insured success at every step of his progress, could have reconciled him 
to a mode of life in other respects so self-denying. He was especially remarkable for 
literary and linguistic tastes, and fondness for historical and antiquarian researches. 
He was also, both by nature and by parental training, modest and diffident, yet thor- 
oughly honest and upright in his character. His mental and moral endowments 
appeared less conspicuous to strangers on account of a somewhat ungainly physique, 
and in most respects he would be more properly classed with the Abraham Lincolns 
than with the Lord Chesterfields of society. 

" In 1858 Mr. Bliss entered Hamilton College, and the subsequent year went to Tale. 
His scanty resources led him to accept employment in the service of the Massachusetts 
Historical Society, for the purpose of making researches relative to the relics of the 
Indian tribes of New England. While thus employed he discovered and made tran- 
scripts of voluminous manuscripts in Nova Scotia, with which he astonished the savans 
of Harvard University and Boston, a score of whom, including, the president and five 
ex-presidents of Harvard, gave him the most flattering commendations, and recom- 
mended him to President Lincoln as a most suitable person to be appointed to an 
Indian agency at the west. The matter of an appointment being delayed, he accepted 
the invitation of General James Watson Webb, the newly appointed miuister to Brazil, 
to accompany him in the capacity of private secretary — ^the Messrs. Appleton, of New 
York, at the same time securing the benefit of whatever leisure he might command in 
the enterprise of translating and introducing sundry of their publications for the South 
American markets. Meanwhile Mr. Bliss, having abandoned the purpose of graduating, 
was made the recipient of the honorary degree of master of arts by Hamilton College. 
• "Mr. Bliss accompanied General Webb on his outward tour, visiting England and 
France on the route. For several years he has not been in frequent communication 
with his former friends and acquaintances, and but for the events which have recently 
cranspired in Paraguay, might have remained some time longer in ^uict obscurity ; 
though, if his life and health were spared, all his antecedents would give ample assur- 
ance of his being no idle or inefficient worker in the field assigned him. Uis recent 
letters, several of which appeared in the Tribune of the 19th instant, indicate that he 


has been very busily at work in his favorite line of antiquarian and historic research in 
addition to his official and business engagements, of which a voluminous history of 
]^araguay is one of the finiits. How he became connected with the Washburn ministry 
Tte know not, nor what apparent ground there may have been for any accusation 
against him by the Lopez government; but no one who ever knew him well could 
^ent-ertain an idea/ as he himself expresses it, of his ever being accused of high treason 
by any government under the sun. 

" In view of these personal characteristics of Mr. Bliss, as well as ^r the honor of the 
nation, it is to be hoped that the authorities at Washington will adopt — ^if they have 
not already done tms — ^the most rigorous measures to seciure the release of Mr. Bliss 
and his colleague, and the most ample reparation possible for this individual and 
national insult. 

" Yours, &c., 

"D. J. PRATT." 

I also present the following letters which have not heretofore been published : 

"Department op State, 

" Washington, February 8, 1869. 

"Dear Sir: I have received the letter of the 28th ultimo, addressed to you by Mr 
Asher Bliss, on the subject of his brother. Porter C. Bliss, on which you have indorsed 
a request for information. I am not aware that the latter gentleman has reached 
Washington or has returned to the United States. We have received voluminous doc- 
uments from the Paraguayan government, upon which it bases its charge against him 
of conspiracy. These documents have just been translated, and will at once be sub- 
mitted to Congress. As yet, it has been impracticable to examine them sufficiently to 
allow an opinion to be formed how far the charge may be sustained. It is, however, 
supposed that there can be no cause to apprehend a further restraint upon the liberty 
of Mr. Bliss, at least after he shall have returned to the United States. 
" I have the honor to be, dear sir, your very obedient servant, 

" Hon. H. Van Aernam, 

*^Hau8e of BepreaentoHves," 

"Department op State, 

" Washington, December 3, 1868. 

" Sm: Your letter of the 2l8t ultimo has been received, and in reply I have to state 
that Mr. Washburn, late minister to Paraguay, has reported to this department, in a 
communication dated September 26, that two members of his legation, Messrs. Bliss 
and Masterman, were seized by order of President Lopez at the moment of their start- 
ing to accompany him to the United States steamer at the time of his departure. 

"Mr. McMahon, recently commissioned as minister to Paraguay , from Montevideo, on 
the 2Gth of October, informs the department that on the next day he would start for 
Yilletta, headquarters of President Lopez, with Admiral Davis and his squadron, for 
the purpose of exacting such reparation from President Lopez as the honor and dignity 
of the government of the United States may require. 

" In conclusion, he sa3rs that from information he is led to indulge the hox>e that the 
Gentlemen seized, as stated above, had suffered no personal disconuorts other than the 
detention, and that they will soon be restored to the protection of the national flag. 
" I am, sir, your obedient servant, 


"Eev. Asher Bliss, 

" Onoville, Cataraugns County, K, Y." 

"Ebbitt House, 
" Washington, February 25, 1869. 

"Sm: In compliance with the written request of Admiral C. H. Davis, commanding 
Son^ Atlantic squadron, I beg to report that I have to-day arrived in Washington, 
irom Rio Janeiro, by the United States mail steamship Mississippi, and await your 
excellency's orders. My companion in imprisonment in Paraguay, Mr. G. F. Master- 
man, is also here, at the same address, with a similar object. I beg to inclose a copy 
of the communication of Admiral Davis, to which I have referred ; 

" And am, with great respect, your excellency's obedient servant, 

"Hon. Wm. H. Seward, 

" Secretary of StateJ^ 


I — 

By the Chaibman : 

Q. Have you stated to the committee why it was that Mr. Washbnm left yon in this 
condition, and why the naval officer departed without taking more active measures to 
have Mr. Mafiterman and yourself delivered over to them f — ^A. Perhaps not fully. The 
reasons were, in the first place, because Lopez had refused to give us passports : and^ 
secondly, because we were not permitted to embark. The steamer on which Mr. Wash- 
bum embarked was not an American steamer. The Wasp was three miles below in the 
river, below the Paraguayan batteries, and was not allowed to come higher up. If the 
United States gunboat Wasp had made any demonstration at that time for the purpose 
of obtaining our persons she would have been fired on by the Paraguayan batteries. 
Consequently I do not charge the captain of the Wasp with any dereliction of duty 
on that occasion. 

Q. Was the separation of three miles from Asuncion any reason for his leaving yon 
there in prison f — ^A. The question is, what could he have donef I do not see that he 
could have done anything to save me on that occasion. 

Q. Did he make any protest f — ^A. He did not. Mr. Washburn did. Captain Kirk- 
land saw Lopez personidly after Mr. Washburn had embarked on board, but to the best 
of my knowledge made no protest and no demand for our release. That, I think, he 
ought to have done. 

Q. Was there any conversation upon this point; or are there any facts in your 
knowledge why he left the post three miles below Asuncion, and why he did not break 
tlu*ough the blockade, if necessary, for the purpose of procuring your release T — A. He 
made no demonstration of that kind whatever ; and personally, the captain of the 
Wasp, Lieutenant Commander Eirkland, took no steps for our release on that occasion. 
He saw President Lopez the day following the embarkation of Mr. Washburn, accord- 
ing to his report to the Navy Department. But he does not appear to have made any 
allusion whatever to our imprisonment by Lopez. Mr. Washburn did make a strong 
protest, in which he declared that Lopez had put himself beyond the pale of interna- 
tional law by this act. Captain Eirkland, in his report to the Navy Department, makes 
not even any allusion to the fact that two members of the American legation had 
j^mained behind, as you will see by reference to the original document, which has been 
published. I also refer to Admiral Davis's letter to the Navy Department relating to 
the same circumstances. 

Q. There appears in the published documents a letter purporting to be written by 
yourself to Captain Eirkland ; will you explain that letter ? — A. I have already, in my 
testimony, explained fully the circumstances of writing that letter, as well as one to 
my parents and one to Mr. Washburn ; that I was forced to write them both, and that 
the^ made me write one of them five times over before I satisfied them. The papers 
which in one of those letters I am made to demand of Captain Eirkland were the 
history of Paraguay, which I had written while in the service of Lopez, and which I 
incorrectly described in the letter. Mr. Washburn understood the inaccuracy of the 
description and properly interpreted the letter when he saw it. 

Q. Did Lopez want to suppress that document f — ^A. He wanted to suppress it. 

Q. The letter also demands the detention of the Wasp. Were you satisfied with the 
Wasp's departure under the circumstances f — ^A. I had no communication whatever with 
the commander of the Wasp. I had received not a word of news outside of Paraguay, 
except one private letter. For a very long time I was in entire ignorance of the cir- 
cumstances of the case, and could not judge whether it was the duty of Commander 
Eirkland to take such steps or not. The letter there published was just what I was 
compelled to write by the priests composing the tribunal, as also the accompanying 
letter, which, as I have said, I re- wrote five times before it satisfied them as a whole. 

Testimony of George W. Gale. 

New York, October 25, 1869. 
Geobge W. Gale sworn and examined. 

By Mr. Orth : « 

Question. State your name, age, residence, and occupation. — ^Answer. Oeorge W. Gale ; 
age, twenty-nine years ; occupation, physician and surgeon ; residence, Exeter, New 

Q. were you at any time, and if so, between what periods, connected with the 
United States Navy f — ^A. I joined the navy in April, 1882, as acting assistant surgeon : 
was afterward promoted to passed assistant surgeon, and remained in the service until 
about two months ago. 

Q. When did you join the Wasp 1 — A. In August, 1865, in Philadelphia^ and re- 
mained attached to it until January, 1869. 


(^ T^ yrhskt sqiiadron wae the Wasp attaohedf--A. To the South Atlantio aqoBdzon; 

Q« Whete was she stationed, and where did she crnise dnring the time you were 
connected with her f — A. She was stationed, most of the time I was attached to her, at 
Montevideo. She made three or four tripe up the Facagnajy Biver. 

Q. Ib what year f— A. In 186B. 

Q. How £Bur up the Paraguay did she gof— A. A litde aboye Yilleta; that is thefiir- 
thennosir p<»nt we reached on the Paraguay. 

Q. Wbo^ was in command of the "V^p at the time f — A. Commander W. A. Kirk- 

Qi. What did yon understand to be the object in makmg these tripe f-^A. I under- 
stood we went up there to bring down our minister, Mr. Washburn, who was confined 
there ; also to bring down Messrs. Bliss and Masterman. 

Q. Did she make any other trips up the PaiMniay than for these two purposes f-^A. 
Tes, sir ; she earned up Minister McMahon. "[nie first time we went up was to com- 
munioate with our minister, Mr. Washburn, and deUver some official dispatches, as 
I understood. I remember we went up there, and, with a great deal of difficulty, Cap- 
tain Kirkland finally communicated with Mr. Wambnm. We staid there considerable 
time. I do not remember whether we went up expressly for Mr. Washburn or not. 

Q. Did he return with the Wasp on that trip f— A. No, sir. 

Q. Did you see him f^*^A. Yes, sir. 

Q. What time was that trip made in 1868 f — A. I believe it was in September. 

Q. Did you meet with any obstructions going up, from the allied fleet f— A. Tes, sir ; 
we were stopped all along at different points by orders from Lopez. 

Q. I ^eak of obstructions by the allied fleet. — ^A. I rememb^ we had difficulty with 
th^ too. Thej were not willing for us to pass their fleet. 

Q. Tou say after you passed the blockade, you were retarded in your progress by <»- 
ders froxa Lopee f— A. Yes, sir ; we had some difficulty the first time in passing the 
Brazilian squadron. 

Q. At what time did you make your aecond trip up the Paraguay, and for what pur- 
pose was it undertaken f — ^A. I do not remember dates very well ; the first trip I now 
think was in April, and the second trip was in September. 

Q. What wae the object of the second trip f — ^A. It was for the purpose of taking 
Mr. Washburn out of the country if he desired to leave. 

Q. At what point did you receive Mr. Washburn ? — ^A. We received him at Yilleta. 

Q. On your way down did you meet with similar obstructions in consequence of or* 
ders from Lopez f — ^A. Yes, sir ; I think we were delayed more this time than before. 

Q. Did you go ashore ? — ^A. No, sir ; the admiral and the captain were the only persons 
I think that went ashore. 

Q. Do you lecoUect tiie date of your third visit f-— A. It was in the latter part of 

Q. What was accomplished during that trip? — ^A. We took up Admiral Davis and the 
fleet captain. 

Q. Did the Wasp so up alone ?— A. No, sir : there were two other vessels, the Kansas 
and the Pawnee. We also took up Minister McMahon. The farthest points we reached 
were the Angostura batteries. They would not allow us to go up any further. 

Q. Did you go ashore at that time ?<— A. No, sir. 

Q. Minister McMahon was left there f — A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Who did you bring back on your return t — ^A. We brought back Bliss and Mas- 

Q. Had you ever seen either of those parties prior to that time f — A. No, sir. 

Q. Relate now the circumstances connected with Messrs. Bliss and Masterman coming 
aboard the Wasp j what condition they were in physically ; whether they were well or 
otherwise ; whether you treated them professionally ; and any other matter connected 
with their condition up to the time they were transferred to another vessel.— A» They 
came on board about the lOtii of December, in the night. I saw them the next day, I think, 
and found them forward on the berth deck. I understood they^ were under charge of the 
master-at-arms. I had considerable conversation with Bliss. They were in a very 
ragged condition and very dirty, and both were considerably debilitated. Bliss said 
it was caused by the barbarous and inhuman treatment th^ had received from Lopez, 
and he gave me an account of it. He complained to me of a slight pain in his abdo- 
men and of a slight diarrhoea. I wrote out a prescription for him and gave it to the 
surgeon's steward. They were both in a very ragged condition, and I so informed the 

Q. What officers f— A. I cannot recollect any particular one now. I mentioned it to 
them in personal conversation— not officially. * merely mentioned it to them with the 
idea of getting some clothes for them. I gave the steward instructions about what he 

11 PI 


verse with them ; and he gave me to tindeistoiid that they were piiMiiexB. ItoMhun 
that one of them wae unwell, and that it was neoeseary to eonverae with them. I 
mentioned that because I knew I could not talk to prisoners. 

Q. They were then treated as prifionerot-— A. Tes. sir. 

Q. Were they under guard f— A. They were atlowed to walk on deck, both above 
and below. I do not know that they were confined to any particular limits. 

Q. What was the condition of Mastermau's health f— A. Both were very much de- 
bilitatedy and looked as though they had suffered a good deal, both bodily and 

Q. How long were they under treatment f — ^A. There was only one under treatment, 
and that was Bliss. I saw him every day while he was on board ship. 

Q. How long was tiiiat f— A. One week. 

Q. Did he improve? — ^A. Yes, sir ; he said he did. 

Q. What was your opinion ? — A. I thought he did. I did not consider him danger- 
oudy sick. He looked like a person who mid suffered a great deal, and had been ex- 
posed to the sun and weather. 

Q. Were they furnished with all the provisions that you prescribed for them f — A. I 
think they were. I heard nothing to the contrary. I gave the instruotions to the 
steward, and I presume they were carried out. 

Q. Had you all the hospital stores vou desired f— A. I de not remember whether I 
had at that time or not. Sometimes I had not. The vessel was small, and the supplies 
would sometimes run out. I would often purchase articles myself. I had often great 
difficulty in getting my requisitions filled. 

Q. At what point were these men taken from the Wasp f — ^A. At Montevideo. 

Q. To what vessel were they taken T — ^A. The flag-ship Guerriere. While they were 
on board the Wasp, €aptain Kirkland wished me to see Bliss and Masterman, and 
inquire about the manner in which they had been tortured. I saw them and they gave 
me a description of it. 

Q. Did you make any physical examination f — A. I did not, because in questioning 
them they said they had no marks or scars about their persons. From what they said 
to me as to the manner in which they had been tortureo, I knew it would not leave a 
scar. Bliss complained of his spine. He said his back would snap occasionally. He 
did not complain of it particularly as he did not require treatment on board. 

Q. From what you heard in reference to this torture, what efiect do you think it 
would produce f — ^A. It might produce a spinal disease, but as he was erect and walked 
jabeut^ 1 did not consider mm suffering with it. It might, however, result in spinal 
disease eventually. The torture they endured was somewhat similar to the punish- 
ment they used to have in the naw. 

Q. ^' The cracking of the spine f ^A. No ; the tying them down. It was not exactly 
the same, but it was the same style. 

By Mr. Wilkinson : 

Q. You say Captain Kirkland asked yon to make some inquiry f— A. He did, and I 
made the inquiry, and told him what Bliss and Masterman told me. They spoke of 
different modes of torture inflicted on other persons, as pounding the fingers with mid- 
lets. I asked them if they had suffered in tluat way, and they said no. 

By Mr. Swann : 

Q. You say they came on board in a very ragged condition, and that you made appli- 
<cation and they were supplied with proper cl^iin^T — ^Yes, sir. 

Q. Where did you make application — ^to the admiral? — ^A. Ko, sir ; I did not get these 
^clothes from the ship's stores, but from the officers ; I asked them personally. 

Q. Did Mr. Bliss, m speaking of the tortures he had endured, request you to speak to 
;the admiral about them T — ^A. No, sir ; I do not remember that he did. 

Q. He had no communication with the admiral himself ?— A. Not that.I know of. 

Q. In reference to this '^ cracking of the spine," if the spine had cracked so that the 
wBound was even audible, what effsct would it have had upon hJB system ; would it 
not have produced results that might have been fettid to him T— A. He might have had 
ia slight cracking of that description and it not have been £ataL ' 

Q. In what condition did you find the spine t— A. He did not complain of his spine. 
JEe only complained of a slight pain in his abdomen. 

Q. Was that pain in the abdomen produced by the torture or by disease T — ^A. I think 
it must have been produced by the water he drank on shore. He seemed to complain 
more of the torture, however, than anything else. 

Q. In your observation and treatment of the prisoners, what was your impression 
.about their treatment ; were they treated with humanity and kindness on boaid. the 
ship t — ^A. I saw nothing inhuman about it. 

Q. No guard was pliMed over them f— A. They were m charge of the master-at- 

Q. They were allowed freedom of the decks f— A. Yes, sir; I have seen them walking 


Q. Both fbre and oft t— A. I do not remember that. 

Q. Did they have any conversation with any of the officers besides yourself f — ^A. I 
think I was the only officer of the ship that had any oonyersation with them. 

Q. Had they rations regularly distributed to them f— A. I always thought so. Ineyer 
he^d of any difficulty about it. 

Q. Where did they sleep t— A. They slept forward. 

Q. Were their rations the same as those of the menf — A. I gave them, in addition, 
arrowroot and rice. I ordered my steward to do it, and also saw the paymaster about 
it. I suppose they received it. I attended to them the same as I would any one else. 

Q. You nad your instructions firom the admiral to do that f— A. No, sir. I did that 
of myself. If they wanted anything they spoke to me. Once Bliss wanted writing 
paper, which I furnished him. I also gave him some reading matter, papers, &c. The 
admiral gave mesome newspapers also, which I handed them. 

Q. Were there any attempts to communicate with them by outside parties, that you 
knew of, while they were on board f — A. Not that I know o£ 

Q. lYom the description that Mr. Bliss eave you of his situation, and the torture to 
which he had been subjected, did he make out a case that made such an impression 
npon your mind that you thought it ought to be communicated to the admiral, so as to 
put hun in possession of all the facts f — ^A. I did not think of that, because the ad- 
miral was on board himself, and we had Minister McMahon also, and other officers of 
8ax)erior rank to myself. I presumed they would attend to it. 

Q. Did it make that impression upon yon that in your judgment the admiral ought 
to know the situation of these men f — ^A. I explained to Captain Kirkland the treat- 
ment and torture they had endured, and I suppose the admiral knew it. 

Q. Captain Kirkland was captain of the deckf — ^A. Tes, sir; he had command of 
the ship. 

Q. Were these men pennitted to communicate with the men on board f — A. I do not 
remember whetlier they were or not. 

Q. They were held as prisoners f — ^A. I considered that they were prisoners. 

By Mr. Willabd : ^ 

Q. Ton say that Captain Kirkland requested you to inquire of Mr. Bliss about this 
torture f — ^A. He did, and I made known to the captain the result. I think the ad- 
miral was present when I reported it to the captain. 

Q. How long after he waa taken on board!^ was that f«-A. About a day or two, 1 

Q. What effect did the stoiy you told have on these officers f — ^A. I do not know. 1 
did not see any effect. They were not in the habit of informing me of their opinion on 
all points ; but as regards the other officers, they considered Lopez an inhuman and 
barbarous person for treating them in this manner. 

Q. After you communicated this story about their torture and treatment to the ad- 
miral and captain, did it change the relations of Bliss and Masterman on the vessel? — 
A. I did not notice any change. There might have been some change a day or two be- 
fore we reached Montevideo. I do not remember now. 

By Mr. Swann : 

Q. Did you know anything about Bliss or Masterman ; had you been previously 
acquainted with them, or known anything of their personal history f — ^A. No, sir. 
Q. They came to you as strangers T — ^A. Yes, sir. 

By Mr. Wilkinson : 

Q. Did the stories of Bliss and Masterman agree, in their main fiEK^ts, with each 
other?— A. Yes, sir; that is my impression. 

By Mr. Orth : 

Q. What was the state of Mrs. Washburn's health at the time you saw her in Sep- 
tember?— A. It was not very good. I prescribed for her several times while she was 
on board the ship. 

Q. Was her iUnees of a nervous character?— A. Yes, sir. She was confined to her 
cabin part of the time. I heard she was sick afterward in Buenos Ayres. 

Q. What length of time was required to run down from the point where you received 
Mr. and Mrs. Washburn to Montevideo ?— A. About a week, I should Judge. It would 
take longer to go up the river. 

Q. Did the admiral, or General McMahon, or any of the higher officers endeavor to 
ascertain anything of the condition of Bliss and Masterman, or obtain any statements 
from them ?— A. Not that I know. I probably would not know it if they had. It 
would be mere accident if I did. 

By Mr. Willard : 

Q« Did Bliss ever complain to you that he did not receive the rice and arrow-root 
yon say you ordered ?— A. I do not remember that he ever did. 


Q. Have yon read the testimony he gave before this coEimittee f — ^A. I did not see it 
nntil yesterday, and was very much surprised at the nature of it. Bliss always ex- 
pressed Mmself very grateful to me, and just before he left the ship he presented me 
with a copy of his book. 

Q. You say you gave him everything an invalid would require?— A. Yes, sir. I 
tr'^ated him the same as I would anybody else under my care. 

Q. Did you see that your orders to the steward were obeyed? — A. I had no reason 
to believe that they were not. He was a very faithful man, and had been long in the 

Q. Did you not think that the prejudices against these men among the higher offi- 
cers of the ship would thwart your intentions ? — ^A. It did not occur to me at flie time. 
They did not complain to me then, and Bliss, on leaving the ship, thanked me for my 
kindness to him. I gave them everything I thought was necessary. 
* Q. What was the deportment of these men on board the Wasp ; how did they con- 
duct themselves ?— A. In a very proper manner. I heard of no disturbance or comr 
plaint from them. 

Q. You saw no collisions between these men and the ship's crew ? — ^A. No, sir. 

Q. Nor did you hear any taunts^ or anything calculated to make them feel unpleas- 
ant? — ^A. No, sir. 

Q. Did they have marks of fetters on their clothes or ankles ? — ^A. When I inquired 
of them about the torture, I asked if there were any marks or scars about their per- 
sons, and they said there were not. I, therefore, did not examine them. Their pants 
were very ragged, and the lower part of them had the appearance of being torn and 
worn by fetters. I spoke to the officers about their ragged condition in order to get 
some old clothes for their use, but I afterward found that Bliss had a change of 
clothes in his valise on board the ship. 

Q. The treatment that Bliss and Masterman received on board the ship was not such 
OS attach^ of legation should receive ? — ^A. I should think not. 

Q. How long was that trip, from the time these men were received on board until 
you reached Montevideo ?— A. About a week. 


Testimony of L. 0. Carpenter. 

Nbw York, October 25^ 1869. 
Lawbencb C. Carfbnter sworn and examined. 

By Mr. Orth : 

Question. State your name and residence. — ^Answer. Luther C. Carpenter; I live in 
Washington City. 

Q. What is your occupation ? — ^A. A soldier. 

Q. Were you at any time connected with the American navy ; and if so, when ? — 
A. I ^as sergeant of marines. I served two enlistments— eight years altogether. My 
last enlistment was from the 29th of September, 1865, to the 29th of September, 1869. 

Q. Upon what vessel or vessels were you during that time ? — A. 1 was at first on 
board the Chattanooga, afterward transferred to the Sacramento, and aft<«rward to 
the Guerriere. 

Q. At what time were you transferred to the Guerriere ?— A. I think the 17th of 
June, 1867, and remained until the 13th April, 1869. 

Q. Where was the Guerriere in the fi^ of 1868?— A. She left Rio for Montevideo 
under the command of Captain M. B. Woolsey. Bear-Admiral Davis was flag-officer. 

Q. Do you know, or have you ever met, Bliss and Masterman ?— A. I had them in 
charge. We received them from the Wasp at Montevideo, and took them to Bio. 

Q. What time was that ?— A. It was somewhere about Christmas day, 1868. 

Q. How long were they under your charge ?— A. They were under my charge for one 

Q. What do you mean by saying they were under your charge ?— A. They were put 
' under my charge, as I understood, as prisoners. 

Q. From whom did you receive orders to take charge of them, and what were they ? — 
A. I received orders from Captain Philip B. Fendafi to take charge of them ; not to 
allow them to hold communication with any one belonging to the ship ; to allow them 
to hold no communication with the shore ; to write no letters or send them off without 
being first examined by Captain Woolsey. 

Q. Where did you receive these orders ?— A. We were stationed at Montevideo. • 

Q. How long did they continue imder your charge ? — ^A. They were put under my 
charge at first to continue all the time, but the duty was so arduous that I complained 
to Captain Fendall, and he relieved me. They were then put in charge of Sergeant 
Call, and afterward of Sergeant Hope. 


Q. Was that after yoa left Montevideo for Rio f— A. I could not state positively 
whether the ship was at sea or not. 

Q. What was their condition as regards health when yon first saw them f— -A. They 
looked rather miserable, as if they had had a hard time. 

Q. Were they in charge of the snrgeon of the Gaerriere after they came on board f — 
A. I could not state. I saw Dr. Dn vail speak to them^ and they inquired for him several 

Q. Who supplied them with rations t— A. They messed in the forward mess. 

Q. Were they confined to any particular part of the vessel T— A. They were confined 
to the steerage, but on my going with them they could go to any part of the vessel 
they pleased. 

By Mr. Willabd : 

Q. Was this while they were in port? — ^A. I cannot now remember. 

Q. I understand you to say that your orders were to keep them from communica- 
ting with anybody at all f — ^A. No, sir ; it was only to keep them in sight. They were 
allow^ to speak to anybody belonging to the ship's company, but not with the bum- 
boatmen ; that is, men who come alongside of the ship to dispose of merchandise. 

Q. They were not permitted to go ashore? — ^A. No, sir; not during the time I had 
ohiurge of them. i 

X}. Were they permitted to make purchases from the shore ? — ^A. If they wanted any- 
thing from the shore, the purchases nad to be made through me. 

By Mr. Swann : 

Q. Was any attempt made to communicate with them while they were under your 
charge ? — ^A. None at all, except by the bumboatmen who had things to dispose of. 

Q. When you first received these persons, how ^id^ou take care of them f— A. I took 
care of them as a soldier would. I was not harsh with them any more than my oiticrs 

Q. Yon did not imprison them ? — ^A. No, sir ; Masterman was very nervous and f rK>k 
his imprisonment very much to heart. He used to sit in a little room a great deal ond 
write m his private journal. 

Q. Had you known either of these men previously ? — ^A. No, sir ; never saw or hdard 
of them. ' 

By Mr. Orth: 

Q. Did they complain to you at any time of the treatment they were receiving— as 
insufficient provisions, medical treatment, or anything of that kmd ? — A. I could not 
say that they did ; the mess treated them very liberally. They seemed to wish to pay 
their way through as far as they could. 

Q. Had they any money ? — ^A. They had some. I could not say how much. If I am 
not mistaken, Bliss was inquiring whether he could have his passage paid home or not. 

Q. Did you see them frequently lufter the vessel went to sea? — ^A. I saw them &ame- 
times in charge of Serjeant McCall on the forecastle of the vessel. 

Q. How frequently did you see them there ? — ^A. I saw them every day or two. 

Q. While they were in your charge, did they express a wish to have an- interview 
witii any of the superior officers of the ship ? — ^A. Yes, sir ; they had an interview with 
Captain Woolsey, and I believe one or two with Admiral Davis. 

Q. Was any change made as regards the treatment of Bliife and Masterman — any 
difference made between them — etitet they had seen Admiral Davis ?— A. Blisa asked 
for no liberties except complaining of the restraint he was under, but I believe 
Masterman asked for a parole, and got it. Bliss, however, was kept in chaigo of the 
non-commissioned officer all the time until we reached Rio, I think. 

Q. The last you saw of them was at Rio ?— A. Yes, sir ; they went ashore one morn- 
ing before the steamer for the United States went out and were transferred on board it. 

Q. How long were they on board the Guerriere while she was in Rio ?— A. I cannot 
recollect ; about two or three days, I think. 

By Mr. Swann: 

Q. You think that interview between Admiral Davis and Masterman took place ? — 
A. I think that it did. 

Q. You state that they were received kindly by the mess. — ^A. I canno^ state that, 
because I heard bickerings, and I know that Mr. Mack, the gunner, left Uie mess be- 
cause they were there; as also did Mr. Meagher, the carpenter. 

Q. Was it owing to their ragged condition ? — ^A. No, sir ; they had bosn clothed by 
that time. 

Q. Was their deportment offensive or respectful ?— A. They conducted themselves 
gentlemimly ; they both seemed to be gentlemen, so far as I could judge. 


TesUmony of Marius Duvall. 

New Yobk^ October 25, 1869. 
Marius Duvaix sworn and examined. 

By Mr. Orth : 

Question. What is yonr occupation f — ^Answer. Surgeon in the United States Navy. 

Q. How long have you been in the navy t — ^A. About twenty-seven years. 

Q. What is your present position ?— A. I am now on duty at the Norfolk naval hos- 

Q. What is your rank 1 — ^A. I rank with a commander. In the South Atlantic squad- 
ron I was the surgeon of the flag-ship and also surgeon of the fleet. 

Q. Between what periods of time were you connected with the South Atlantic 
squadron f — ^A. Between the summers of 1867 and 1869. 

Q. On board of what vessel were you at that time f — ^A. The flag-ship Guerriere. 

Q. Whose flag-ship was the Guerriere f — ^A. Bear-Admiral C. H. Davis. 

Q. What time in 1868 did you leave Eio for Montevideo? — ^A. Ithiuk we left Rio 
somewhere about the latter part of October, 1868, and we arrived at Montevideo about 
November 4. 

Q. What did you understand to be the object of that voyage t — ^A. The object of that 
visit, as I understood it, was to convey the new minister to Paraguay, (General Mc- 
Mahon,) who had a short time before arrived in Rio. We were to take him down to 
the La Plata, and then up the Paraguay to Asuncion, and see how matters stood there 
in re^rd to Mr. Washburn and his legation. 

Q. Were you at Rio when General McMahon arrived there? — ^A. Yes, sir. 

Q. How long was he detained there prior to Ms departure for Montevideo 1 — ^A. I 
think he arrived about the 20th of October, and the Guerriere, with four other vessels 
of the squadron, left on the. 28th of October — that is the day on which the United 
States mail packet generally arrives. 

Q. Did the admiral expect the acrival of General McMahon at Rio f— A. Not that I 
know of. 

Q. Did Minister McMahon experience any difficulty in procuring transportation down 
to Montevideo on your vessel t — ^A. .No, sir. 

Q. Was there any hesitation on the part of the admiral T-^A. Not that I heard of. 
It was the general topic of conversation on board the ship, for a little while previous, 
about General McMahon going in the vessel with his family, which consisted of two 
unmarried sistors. 

Q. At what time did General McMahon arrive and take passage on the Guerriere f — 
A. I do not know exactly when he arrived, but I presume it was on the 30th. 

Q. What time did he go on board the Guerriere? — ^A. I do not recollect, but it must 
have been some days before she sailed, because he was a patient of mine, and I pre- 
scribed for him. 

Q. You think you sailed about the 28th of October for Montovideo? — ^A. Yes, sir. 

Q. What time did you arrive at Montevideo ? — ^A. On the 3d of November, I think. 

Q. Did the Guerriere remain at Montevideo any length of time ? — ^A. Yes, sir ; she 
remained until the 15th of the following January. 

Q. What became of General McMahon and faioily after you arrived at Montevideo? — 
A. They remained on board the Guerriere until, I think, a few days before General 
McMahon left to proceed, to his post at Asuncion. 

Q. On what vessel did he proceed ? — ^A. He went up in the Was^. I do not recollect 
whether he left the harbor of Montevideo in the Wasp, because lus sisters went up in 
the ordinary passenger steamer that plies between Buenos Ayres and Montevideo. 
The admiral also went up with Mr. McMahon in the Wasp. 

Q. Did you accompany the admiral up in the Wasp ?— A. No, sir. On the passage 
down I asked the admiral for permission to accompany him up on the Wasp, as I 
always make it a point, when in a foreign country, to see as much of the counlnry as 
possible. He said, " Why do you want to go?" I told him I had a new breech-loading 
gun, which I had purchased, and was very desirous of testing its qualities. He made 
me no answer then, but I afterward met him, and he told me there was no room on 
board the Wasp, and that, besides, there was a good deal of fever and ague up there. 
I was surprised at the admiral not letting me go, as he himself was subject to diarrhoea, 
and as it was such a hot climate I thought he would like to have the fleet surgeon 
with him. 

Q. Did he have any surgeon?— A. Yes, the surgeon of the Wasp. 

Q. Did Minister McMahon experience any difficulty in procuring transportation up 
the Paraguay from Montevideo or Buenos Ayres ? — ^A. I do not know. 

Q. You know of no unnecessary detention there. — ^A. No, sir. 

Q. How long after your arrival did the Wasp start up the Paraguay ?— A. We arrived 
about the 3d of November, and the Wasp left with the admiral on the 19th, so that we 
were a little more than two weeks there before the admiral started. 


Q. What time did the Waap letamt— A. The Wasp retained to MonteTideo on the 
18tli of Becemller. 

Q. Were Blias and Masterman broacht down on the Wasp at that time f— A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Had you ever seen them before &at time f— A. No, sir. 

Q. Did you see tiiem on board the Wasp f— A. No. sir. I saw them on board the 
Guerilere on the morning of the 2StA of December. As soon as the admiral told me I 
conld not go np the Paragnay with him. I accepted an invitation that had been ex- 
- tended to me by Mr. Bnshenthal, a prominent banker, to go np on a visit with him to 
Cordova, and I did not get back from this visit nnldl the 22d of December. When I 
^ot on board I learned that Bliss and Masterman were on the vessel, and I went np 
immediately and introduced myself to them, and from that time we had frequent 

Q. What was their condition of health when you first saw them f — A. Mr. Bliss 
struck me as a person who had been suffering very greatly. 

Q. Physically or mentally f — A. Both ; that is, as a diseased person--a person of 
-very precarious health. I judged this from the haggard countenance, the hollow eye, 
the waxen condition of his ears, from his unsteady gait, and the fatigue he experienced 
from conversation. 

Q. Did you make any physical examination f— A. I made no physical examination of 
Mr. Bliss, but I asked hun if there were any marks on his person resulting from the 
treatment he received at the hands of President Lopez, but he told me he had none. 
He then described to me the different modes of torture, and explained to me the suffer- 
ing it had produced in the bowels. But Masterman had told me it had more effect on 
his back mim the strain it put upon the spine. I did not then examine Masterman, . 
but afterward I had certain reasons for examining him. 

Q. Did you prescribe for Mr. Bliss f — ^A. No, sir. 

Q. At any time t — ^A. No, sir. I think when he first came on board Dr. Brown, the 
first a^distant surgeon, prescribed for him. He complained of some pain in the bowels. 

Q. Did you regard that pain in the bowels as the result of the torture, or was it 
fr*om ^ome disease independent of the torture f — ^A. I suppose it was the result, possi- 
bly, oi both. The bad food, privation, and distress of mind which he suffered^ together 
with 1 ne pent-up condition of his body, all operated to bring on this condition of his 

Q. How were thev received and treated on board the Guerriere— as prisoners or other- 
wise Y — ^A. When they came on board the Guerriere on the 18th, the officer receiving 
them ordered them to be placed in the master-at-arm's mess, although both demurred 
to that. 

Q. Why did they demur T — ^A. Because they thought it was not a proper place to put 
them. Masterman had been in the British service, and knew something oi the public 
opinion of the service ; that is, the status which every man occupies, by the place he 
messes in ; and Masterman objected to that more particularly, he having belonged to 
the American legation at Asuncion. He was not content to mess with the master-at- 
arms. An appeiu was taken to the admiral, and during the delay that occurred Cap- 
tain Woolsey came out and told *the executive officer to send the men off the quarter- 
deck into the port gangway, a greater indignity than which cannot be offered to any 
man on board a man-of-war. The port gangway is where all the servants, scullions, 
&c., congregate. 

Q. Was that order carried out f— A. Yes, sir. And in due time the original order 
putting them in the master-at-arm's mess was countermanded; and they were put in 
the forward mess. 

Q. How long were they kept in the port gangway f — A. About two hours. I was 
not on board the ship at the time, but heard it as part of the history of the transac- 
tion. The reputation which had been given these gentlemen by Lopez to the naval 
officers evidently preceded them, and when they were placed in the forward officers' 
mess one of the officers declined to api>ear at the table with them, on the ground that 
they were improper people for him to associate with. 

Q. What naval officers were these T— A. Naval officers of the squadron — certain offi- 
cers I will mention as I go along, because the whole contest that I had (sometimes ill- 
natured and sometimes pleasant) with officers was about the doctrine that these two 
men wer