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the belligerents, and it was hoped they would prove efficacious; but I regret to announce that the measures which the ministers of the United States at Santiago and Lima were authorized to take, with the view to bring about a peace, were not successful. In the course of the war some questions have arisen affecting neutral rights; in all of these the ministers of the United States have, under their instructions, acted with promptness and energy in protection of American interests."
President Hayes, annual message, Dec. 6, 1880, For. Rel. 1880, xiii.
See, also, President Hayes, annual message, Dec. 1, 1879; President
Where the American minister at Port au Prince, in conjunction with the other foreign representatives there, offered, in the name of the Haytian Government, certain propositions to insurgents, pledging that Government to a certain course of action, he was instructed that the paper delivered to the insurgents could be regarded, so far as the United States was concerned, only as the personal and unauthorized expression of his individual opinion, although, even in this light, the failure of his good intentions was regretted.
Mr. J. Davis, Act. Sec. of State, to Mr. Langston, min. to Hayti, No. 210,
It was stated that, after the killing of President Barrios in battle on April 2, 1885, Mr. Hall, the American minister in Central America, by the exercise of his good offices prevented the assumption of a military dictatorship in Guatemala by General Barrundia, and that he had been instrumental in prevailing upon the Guatemalan Government to adhere to legal measures, and had advised, as a step towards peace with Salvador, the appointment of a new ministry. It was further stated that the efforts of the legation had been directed towards preventing a renewal of hostilities with Salvador and threatened anarchy in Guatemala, and that strict neutrality had been maintained throughout. It appears that on the night of April 3, 1885, the members of the diplomatic corps at Guatemala city met, at the solicitation of the Guatemalan minister of foreign affairs, at the legation of the United States, the minister of foreign affairs and the minister of war being present. After discussion, the foreign ministers united in a telegram to the presidents of the five republics of Central America, recommending an armistice for one month. The President of Salvador declined this proposal, but expressed a wish for a definitive peace. The members of the diplomatic corps then came together again at the legation of the United States and formulated a proposal that the five governments should join in a declaration of peace and friendship without conditions or reclamations of any kind, and that an absolute amnesty should be conceded
to all who were in any way implicated in political matters relating to the war. This proposal was at once accepted by the President of Salvador as well as by the President of Guatemala. Peace was also proclaimed between Salvador and Honduras. On April 18, 1885, the legislative assembly of Guatemala adopted a resolution of thanks to the diplomatic corps for its friendly mediation.
For. Rel. 1885, 99, 100, 103, 112, 114, 117, 118, 123.
In his No. 377, June 26, 1885, Mr. Hall reported, with reference to the
Mr. Hall's No. 377, of June 26, 1885, is printed in For. Rel. 1885, 130.
See, also, Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, to Mr. Pringle, No. 305, Nov. 18, 1885,
"The traditional attitude of the United States towards the sister Republics of this continent is one of peace and friendly counsel.
“When as colonies they threw off their political connection with Europe, we encouraged them by our sympathies. By the moral weight of our official declarations we prevented intervention, either to restore old political connections with Europe, or to create new ones. The policy we then adopted has been since maintained. While we would draw them nearer to us by bonds of mutual interest and friendly feeling, our sole political connection springs from the desire that they should be prosperous and happy under the republican form of government which they and we have chosen. We aim to be regarded as a disinterested friend and counselor, but we do not assume to impose our wishes upon them, or to act as arbitrator or umpire in their disputes unless moved to it by the wish of both parties, or by controlling interests of our own."
Mr. Frelinghuysen, Sec. of State, to Mr. Trescot, special envoy, No. 7,
See Mr. Evarts, Sec. of State, to Sir E. Thornton, Brit. min., Sept. 24,
On July 26, 1890, Mr. Blaine, with reference to the war that had been declared by Guatemala as existing with Salvador by reason of the invasion of Guatemalan territory by Salvadorean troops, instructed Mr. Mizner, the American minister in Central America, to tender the good offices of the United States for the friendly adjustment of all the differences between the states of Central America, and added that, while the United States was prompted by impartial and earnest friendship and desired not to exercise any constraint, it was its wish to make an end of a situation not only destructive of the peace of its neighbors, but injurious to the common interests of all. On August 17, 1890, the members of the diplomatic corps in Central America presented bases of peace between Guatemala and Salvador. Certain provisions of the document were objected to by Salvador, but, on the strength of an explanation made by the members of the diplomatic corps, the terms were accepted and peace was subsequently declared.
For. Rel. 1890, 39, 90–96, 100-104, 106, 113, 121.
"I have to thank you for the full and interesting statement, presented in your dispatches Nos. 8 and 10, of the respective dates of May 23 and 31, showing the course of the revolution in Nicaragua and the adjustment of the controversy by means of the peace commission which you were happily instrumental in bringing about.
"Your course in this relation merits my cordial approval. You appear to have rightly understood the policy of this Government, which is at all times disposed to lend its impartial good offices, or those of its diplomatic agents, to the honorable adjustment of issues of peace or war in neighboring communities, whenever acceptable to both parties; and it would seem that the tender of your mediation was not made without previous knowledge that it would be equally welcomed by the titular Government and the revolutionists. In the commission itself you appear to have acted merely in the neutral capacity of a presiding officer, concerned only in reaching a harmonious result, and regarding the facts of the situation without advocating the claims of either side. It is pleasant to know that your friendly course has deserved the commendations alike of the retiring Executive and of the party which has succeeded to power."
Mr. Gresham, Sec. of State, to Mr. Baker, min. to Nicaragua, No. 27,
Mr. Baker acted as president of the peace commission, the other members
"The correspondence growing out of the effort of this Government to make known to China and Japan its willingness to contribute
its kindly offices toward the restoration of peace between them has reached a stage where a review of the facts and circumstances becomes proper.
“The disposition of certain powers more immediately affected by the war to bring about its termination found expression in a proposal conveyed to this Government by the British chargé d'affaires of the 6th ultimo, inquiring whether the United States would be willing to join England, Germany, France, and Russia in an intervention between China and Japan on the basis of Korea's independence being guaranteed by the powers and the payment to Japan of an indemnity for the expenses of the war.
"This important inquiry was considered by the President, who directed reply to be made on the 12th ultimo that, while he earnestly desired China and Japan should speedily agree on terms of peace alike honorable to both and not humiliating to Korea, he could not join the powers mentioned in such an intervention.
"The subsequent qualifying statement by Mr. Goschen, on behalf of his Government, that the intervention contemplated would be limited to diplomatic action, and would only take place in the event of a suitable opportunity presenting itself for the adoption of such a course, did not alter the President's judgment.
"With a few exceptions the record of our diplomatic history shows no departure from the wise policy of avoiding foreign alliances and embarrassing participation in guaranteeing the independence of distant states. The United States may, however, consistently with that policy, lend their aid to further the efforts of friendly powers unhappily at war to compose their differences whenever they concur in expressing a desire for our impartial mediation.
"In several interviews had at the State Department with the Chinese minister prior to the 6th instant, Mr. Yang Yü made known the earnest desire of his Government that the President, in accordance with the general policy of the United States and following notable precedents for such action, should use his good offices toward bringing the war to a close. The offer of the President, as telegraphed to you on the 6th instant, was accordingly made, but not until I had satisfied myself, in the course of frequent friendly conferences with the Japanese envoy, that the benevolent and impartial motives of the President were fully comprehended and appreciated by Japan.
"My statements to both the Chinese and Japanese ministers in the course of these interviews made it clear to them that the United States have no policy in Asia to be endangered by the war, and that thus occupying a position of absolute and impartial neutrality toward the belligerents, the President, however solicitous to see the restoration of peace, would in no event go beyond acting as a mere peacemaker upon the request of both parties.
"Before sending my telegram of the 6th instant to Mr. Dun, I submitted it to Mr. Kurino, who expressed approval and manifested appreciation of the frank and considerate course I had pursued and of the friendship which the President's action displayed toward Japan.
"As you have already been informed, the instruction to you was forwarded on the 6th instant, and was on its way to Peking several hours before your telegram, received on the night of the 5th, communicating the Yamên's note to you of the 3d instant, was placed in my hands.
"The latest information from Tokyo leaves no doubt that the Japanese Government understands the way in which the President's coincident offers came about, and is aware that the purpose was simply to have the two Governments know that the President would be disposed to mediate should such mediation be acceptable to Japan as well as China.
"With the response of the Japanese Government expressing appre'ciation of the President's amicable desire and indicating readiness to consider any direct proposal for peace made by China through the United States legation at Peking, the matter now stands."
Mr. Gresham, Sec. of State, to Mr. Denby, inin. to China, Nov. 24, 1894,
A copy of this instruction was sent to Mr. Dun, min. to Japan, for his
Mr. Gresham's telegram to Mr. Dun of Nov. 6, referred to in the instruction, was as follows:
"The deplorable war between Japan and China endangers no policy of the United States in Asia. Our attitude toward the belligerents is that of an impartial and friendly neutral, desiring the welfare of both. If the struggle continues without check to Japan's military operations on land and sea, it is not improbable that other powers having interests in that quarter may demand a settlement not favorable to Japan's future security and well-being. Cherishing the most friendly sentiments of regard for Japan, the President directs that you ascertain whether a tender of his good offices in the interests of a peace alike honorable to both nations would be acceptable to the Government at Tokyo." (For. Rel. 1894, App. I. 76.)
The telegram to Mr. Denby, of Nov. 6, was as follows:
Prompted by that sincere friendship which the United States constantly desire to show toward China, the President directs that you intimate his readiness to tender his good offices toward bringing the present war with Japan to a close on terms alike honorable to both nations should he be assured that such a tender would be
acceptable to both." (For. Rel. 1894, App. I. 76.).
The telegram from Mr. Denby, of Nov. 3, received after the foregoing telegram was sent, was as follows:
"I send by telegraph at the expense of China the following:
"The Princes and Ministers of the Tsung-li-Yamên to His Excellency Charles Denby.