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Message to the House of Representatives

January 14, 1863

To the House of Representatives:

The Secretary of State has submitted to me a resolution of the House of Representatives of the 5th instant, which has been delivered to him, and which is in the following words:

Resolved , That the Secretary of State be requested to communicate to this House, if not in his judgment incompatible with the public interest, why our minister in New Granada has not presented his credentials to the actual Government of that country; also the reasons for which Senor Murillo is not recognized by the United States as the diplomatic representative of the Mosquera Government of that country; also what negotiations have been had, if any, with General Herran, as the representative of Ospina's Government in New Granada, since it went into existence.

On the 12th day of December, 1846, a treaty of amity, peace, and accord was concluded between the United States of America and the Republic of New Granada, which is still in force. On the 7th day of December, 1847, General Pedro Alcantara Herran, who had been duly accredited, was received here as the envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of that Republic. On the 30th day of August, 1849, Senor Don Rafael Rivas was received by this Government as charge d'affaires of the same Republic. On the 5th day of December, 1851, a consular convention was concluded between that Republic and the United States, which treaty was signed on behalf of the Republic of Granada by the same Senor Rivas. This treaty is still in force. On the 27th of April, 1852, Senor Don Victoriano de Diego Paredes was received as charge d'affaires of the Republic of New Granada. On the 20th of June, 1855, General Pedro Alcantara Herran was again received as envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary, duly accredited by the Republic of New Granada, and he has ever since remained, under the same credentials, as the representative of that Republic near the Government of the United States. On the 10th of September, 1857, a claims convention was concluded between the United States and the Republic of Granada. This convention is still in force, and has in part been executed. In May, 1858, the constitution of the Republic was remodeled, and the nation assumed the political title of "The Granadian Confederacy." This fact was formally announced to this Government, but without any change in their representative here. Previously to the 4th day of March, 1861, a revolutionary war against the Republic of New Granada, which had thus been recognized and treated with by the United States, broke out in New Granada. assuming to set up a new government under the name of "The United States of Colombia." This war has had various vicissitudes, sometimes favorable, sometimes adverse, to the revolutionary movements. The revolutionary organization has hitherto been simply a military provisionary power, and no definitive constitution of government has yet been established in New Granada in place of that organized by the constitution of 1858. The minister of the United States to the Granadian Confederacy, who was appointed on the 29th day of May, 1861, was directed, in view of the occupation of the capital by the revolutionary party and of the uncertainty of the civil war, not to present his credentials to either the Government of the Granadian Confederacy or to the provisional military Government, but to conduct his affairs informally, as is customary in such cases, and to report the progress of events and await the instructions of this Government. The advices which have been received from him have not hitherto been sufficiently conclusive to determine me to recognize the revolutionary Government. General Herran being here, with full authority from the Government of New Granada, which had been so long recognized by the United States, I have not received any representative from the revolutionary Government, which has not yet been recognized, because such a proceeding would in itself be an act of recognition.

Official communications have been had on various incidental and occasional questions with General Herran as the minister plenipotentiary and envoy extraordinary of the Granadian Confederacy, but in no other character. No definitive measure or proceeding has resulted from these communications, and a communication of them at present would not, in my judgment, be compatible with the public interest.


Abraham Lincoln, Message to the House of Representatives Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/202822

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