October 23, Friday. Only a portion of the Cabinet present and but little done. The Missouri difficulty discussed, etc.
Late this afternoon the Secretary of State made me a formal visit and introduced Mr. Bruzual, who comes to this country as Minister Extraordinary from Venezuela, and the Secretary of the Legation. Mr. Seward proceeded to say that the disturbances in Venezuela prevented our Government from recognizing Mr. B. for the present, but that he would soon be accredited. In the mean time he wishes to purchase a naval vessel for the use of his government. Mr. Seward said Venezuela was at peace with all the world, the purchase therefore would be proper and did not, in any way, compromise our Government, and he wished me to give Mr. B. a letter to Commodore Stribling at the Philadelphia Navy Yard to assist him, or to designate an officer who would. I made a suggestion or two in regard to the propriety of this proceeding, but Mr. Seward, who had to dispose of his as yet unaccredited minister, who is to receive official assistance, said it was all correct, perfectly proper, wrote me the address desired, that there should be no recognition or mention of Mr. B. as minister.