Morning, Capitol with J. Hellen, House of Representatives, Mr. McLane of Delaware,
Mr. Powell,1 evening at home.
1. The House was debating the propriety of sending United States representatives to the
Inter-American Congress at Panama. McLane wished to forbid our ministers from discussing
“any proposition of alliance, offensive or defensive, between this country and any
of the South American Governments.” Alfred A. Powell, of Virginia, agreed that “every
thing in the shape of a pledge” to the Latin American states should be avoided, but
he emphatically endorsed the sending of the mission, which was “demanded by high and
important considerations, bearing directly upon the special interests of the Union”
(Register of Debates in Congress, 19 Cong., 1 sess., 2:2011–2029).