Mr. McMath to Mr. Seward

No. 31.]

Sir:* * * * * *

I presume the United States consul at Gibraltar has advised you of the appearance of Asiatic cholera at that place. It appeared there in July, but did not assume an epidemic form until about the 25th of August; and during September the mortality reached thirty per day, in a population of twenty-five thousand, civil and military. It is now declining gradually. I am glad to state up to this time it has not appeared either in this city or on our coast; and as the rainy season has commenced, it is not probable it will visit our coast this year. On the 25th of August our board of health, (composed exclusively of the diplomatic corps,) by a vote of four for and three against, cut the communication with Gibraltar, and thus prevented the English government supplying the garrison with bullocks from this empire. By reason of this measure, her Britannic Majesty’s minister withdrew for the time from the board, and reported its proceedings and the vote of each member to his government. The French minister being one of the four, a few days since I was informed confidentially, by her Britannic Majesty’s minister, that Earl Russell addressed himself to the French government, and asked that instructions might be given to the French minister to co-operate with her Britannic Majesty’s minister, and on questions touching supplies for Gibraltar vote with the latter. To-day the board opened communication with the garrison, and established a quarantine of observation of six days on all vessels arriving from that port. On this measure the minister for France voted with the English minister. In consequence of the adoption of this liberal regulation, the Spanish chargé d’affaires ad interim withdrew from the board.

It affords me pleasure to inform you that our relations with his Majesty the Sultan continue to be of the most friendly and satisfactory nature.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington.