"I had no personal desire to leave Grenada; and for some time positively objected; but influenced by the chief citizens of Grenada (your own friends) the venerable fathers of the church, the tears of your own sisters, and your daughters, I consented to visit you, accompanied by Don Juan Ruiz, the Secretary of War, and your superior in office, bearing the olive branch of peace; and a proposition from the commander-general of the Democratic forces, to make you the provisional President of the Republic. When it was stated you were absent, I desired to return to this place. Judge my surprise, when I was informed by the Prefect and Governor, that I should not return, my life threatened, and my person (with my secretary, servant, and the national flag) imprisoned in the quartel under strict guard.
"For this violation of the laws of nations and my personal rights, I protest, and be assured, General, that my Government will hold you and your Government to a severe responsibility for such law less conduct.
"You further inform me that 'you will not be responsible for what may happen to me for my personal safety,' and that you will inform Governor Marcy, the Secretary of State, and the newspapers of New York of my conduct in this matter. In reply, I inform you that when I have kept my word of honor to the Governor of Rivas to remain here two days to await your reply, I shall return to my post at Grenada; and that I do not request, nor have I ever expected, you to be responsible for my personal safety. The flag of the United States is sufficiently powerful for my protection, backed as it is by a patriotic President and thirty millions of people.
"I have myself fully informed Governor Marcy of all these matters; and feel in no way responsible to you and the newspapers of New York for my official conduct.
"JOHN H. WHEELER,
"Minister of U. S. A. near
"the Republic of Nicaragua."
As I left Rivas a parting salute from a heavy cannon was fired at us, which struck near us an adobe gate, and covered us with dust and dirt, but with no other effect than to make us mend our gait in retreat.
On my return to Grenada, General Walker called on me. On learning the cause of my delay, my imprisonment by Zatruche, he expressed but little surprise, but remarked quietly, that he expected I would come to grief; and "it would have been a fortunate event had Zatruche carried out his intention to shoot me; for then," he added, "your Government must have resented such outrage, and taken my part." This was cool, rather than consoling, and characteristic of Walker, who looked upon men as the mere titulary pawns of the chess board, to be moved and sacrificed to advance the ambitious plans of others. His conduct can only be justified or apologized for by the fact that he was at the time in imminent peril himself. The enemy had now the possession of that portion of the country on which the Transit Company had their route. From this reservoir he could only receive reinforcements. The enemy, exasperated to madness, and infuriated by defeat in every battle by an inferior force, their capital taken, their President and Cabinet fugitives, were ready for the most desperate deeds. The agent of the Transit Company, Judge Cushing, as already stated, was seized and the office broken open, and his life jeopardized. The steamer, loaded with passengers from New York and San Francisco, was fired on by Fort San Carlos, to the imminent peril of every one on board, and several persons killed, among them Mrs. White, of Sharon, New York; and many wounded, among them J. G. Kendrick, then of Cincinnati, Ohio, now of St. Louis. Many whose names were unknown were found murdered, with their throats cut, and their bodies robbed even of their elothes. The steamer, unable to pass the fort at the outlet of the river, or to land at Virgin Bay, on the 22d Oct., 1855, came to Grenada, with 250 passengers, to claim the protection of the American Minister. To add to the misfortunes, the cholera was raging among the crowded passengers. A committee called on the Minister for relief, and I went on board. Such a scene I never before witnessed.
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