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4. I do not want negroes for my own use. I want to make them proprietors of the soil. I would sell all my lands on the Suya to the government of the United States, to be resold or distributed by the latter among the free negroes. I would do still more. I would provide them with food during the first year, furnishing all necessary, provisions at Guayaquil prices.
5. This plan would bring about a satisfactory solution of the two great problems which now agitate North America and the whole world, the one of a social character, the abolition of slavery, in which civilization is highly interested, and the other of an economical nature, concerning the production of cotton, without which thousands of families would be exposed to starvation.
6. By being colonized on the banks of the Suya the negroes would retain their freedom, and, at the same time, they would raise cotton, thus satisfactorily solving the two problems above referred to.
7. There is no yellow fever on the Suya, no cholera, nor any other epidemic. Only intermittent fevers are known there, to which, however, the black race is not subject. White persons can get rid of them easily by a proper use of quinine.
8. The laws of Ecuador, as you know, are very favorable to immigration. For the first ten years the new settlers are exempt from all kinds of contribution. Nevertheless, they are allowed to elect their own municipal authorities, their local officers, &c., &c.
9. The adoption of such a plan would be an additional tie of friendship between Ecuador and the United States.
10. The growing prosperity of California is greatly interested in the welfare of Ecuador, on account of the exchange of the northern products of the former for the tropical products of the latter.
In order to arrive at a proper knowledge of the importance of the river Suya, I would suggest that you or the government of the United States send a commissioner to explore those regions, only comparable to the banks of the Nile in their prodigious fertility.
I value the acre at $30. I could sell about 50,000 acres.
Availing,myself of this opportunity to offer my services to you, I have the honor to remain, &c., &c., &c.,
BENIGNO MALO. F. HASSAUREK, Esq., fr., fr., 8c., Quito.
Mr. Seward to Mr. Hassaurek.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, November 6, 1862. Sir: Your despatch of October 2 (No. 42) has been received. Mr. Benigno Malo's proposal to sell extensive tracts of land to the United States, with a view to a settlement of freed Africo-Amerericans thereupon, cannot be considered by the President, for a special reason, namely:
The President has no authority, by law or treaty, to provide for the colonization of that class of persons, except he shall first have obtained in some sufficient form an agreement from the government of the country where such colonization is proposed to be effected, to receive and protect the colonists in all the rights of freemen. It would belong to the governinent of Ecuador to propose such stipulations before a proposition like Mr. Malo's could be considered. I am, sir, your obedient servant,
WILLIAM H. SEWARD. FREDERICK HASSAUREK, Esq., 8c., fr., fr.. Ecuador.