Mr. Tassara to Mr. Seward.

The press in this country has published a decree of the dictator of Peru, dated Lima, 2d of January, the text whereof is as follows:

“All foreigners who serve on the Peruvian ships of war, or Chilian, or any other of the powers allied with Peru and Chili, whether belonging to the marine or intended for crusing, shall be considered as naturalized Peruvians. In all such cases naturalization is obtained by the simple fact of the acceptance of his services.”

As the honorable Secretary of State will know, this decree, as well as that issued by the government of Chili, to which the undersigned has incidentally referred in former notes, cannot invalidate the rules universally recognized, of international law, which require naturalization previously to going on a criuse, nor the regulations of the government of Spain by which it is required that the crews of Chilian criusers, and consequently of Peruvian, should be composed in greater part of subjects of the respective nations, in accordance with the same rules, nor, in fine, the treaty in force between Spain and the United States according to which the subjects of both countries who may cruise against the respective governments are subject to the penalties of piracy. The effect of such decrees can be no other than to lead estray the ideas of citizens of this country on the true nature and serious consequences of the act they may commit by cruising under the Chilian and Peruvian flags, on the false supposition of a naturalization which is unfounded either on the rules of international law or the provisions of treaties.

The undersigned avails of this fresh occasion to offer to the honorable Secretary of State of the United States the assurances of his highest consideration.


Hon. William H. Seward, &c., &c., &c.