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Mr. Seward to Mr. Robinson.
No. 2.] - DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, November 12, 1861. SIR: You are appointed a minister to represent the United States near the republic of Peru. This appointment is an overture by this government, under the present administration, to renew the friendly relations with Peru, which had been suspended, on the motion of this government, when administered by the last President, James Buchanan. The Peruvian government may naturally ask and be entitled to an explanation of this change of position on the part of the United States. It is confessed to be unfortunate when any government has occasion to reverse its policy in any material respect, especially a policy of friendship or of hostility towards foreign nations. Inconstancy is always liable to be mistaken for inconsistency, and inconsistency is too often the result of caprice. Moreover, when we come to explain such a change in any case, however necessary it may have been, we shall still find it necessary to explain in such a manner as shall not cause it to be understood that the reconsideration is due to personal or partisan considerations indulged by the government. Keeping these points in view, you will be at liberty to say, in your communications with the representatives and statesmen of the country to which you are accredited, that the President of the United States entertains the opinions that the several states founded on the American continent have common interests arising out of their neighborhood to each other, their common attitudes towards states in the eastern hemisphere, and the similarity of their commercial, social, and political institutions; that owing to the inexperience of mankind in the conduct of republican representative institutions, and the incompleteness of assimilation in the population of these American states, there is always too much danger of faction at home, while faction at home inevitably tends to invite intrigues and intervention from abroad for the overthrow of the American powers with hopes of reconquest from Europe. For these reasons, the President of the United States, without at all reflecting upon the sentiments or the action of his predecessor, determined, on assuming the administration of the government, to resist rather than to yield to influences which might tend to introduce anarchy into any one of the American states, or produce alienation and war between them. In reviewing the causes assigned by his predecessor for withdrawing our representative from Peru, he came to the conclusion that, although serious differences had arisen between the two countries, yet that there was no imperative necessity resulting from those differences for a declaration of war against Peru. Not being able to recommend to Congress the adoption of hostilities against Peru, it seemed to result that the differences between the two states might be accommodated by the two powers in case of renewed and pacific relations.
The questions in difference between the two countries will be a subject of special instruction in a distinct paper. I confine myself in this despatch to instructions for your conduct in presenting yourself at Lima.
You will assure the government of Peru that the United States are sincere and earnest in their friendship and affection for that republic; that they desire its prosperity and advancement, equally for the welfare of its own people and the best interests of civilization; and that consistently with that regard for own rights, which every nation must always cherish which is really independent, the United States will always be found to manifest the most cordial sympathies with the republic of Peru, and with other sister states on the American continent.
I am, sir, your obedient servant, WILLIAM EI. SEWARD. CHRISTOPHER RoBINSON, Esq., &c., &c., &c.
His excellency the President of Guatemala and his ministers, as well as the other officers and gentlemen of the government and country, all express their great friendship for the government and people of the United States, and especially their fervent hope that the present administration might successfully suppress the disturbances in portions of the southern States, and maintain the Union in all its integrity. >k . >k >k >k >k >k >k :k >k >k
I have the honor, &c., E. O. CROSBY. Hon. W. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.
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