Mr. Hollister to Mr. Seward.
Sir: I have the honor to state that I have received your two dispatches, Nos. 7 and 8, and that I shall strictly follow the suggestions which I find in them. * * * *[Page 364]
There can be, in my opinion, no doubt as to the ultimate success of the government here in putting down the rebellion. The Haytien ship of war Alexandre Petion, which has been so long detained in the United States, arrived on the 19th instant, and on the 20th instant went to Petit Goave and sunk the Sylvain, a government ship which had been betrayed, and was then in the hands of the insurrectionists. The boats of the Alexandre Petion picked up and saved about seventy of the crew of the Sylvain. A few were drowned and a few swam ashore.
The Alexandre Petion also found at the same place the Liberté, another ship of war, which had been in a similar manner placed in the hands of the revolutionists, and fired on her, and it is believed that the shots received would have sunk her, had she not got ashore and been burnt by those who had charge of her. As these two ships, so destroyed, constituted the entire naval force of those who are in arms against the government, and as the president has recently fitted up a new ship of war, and as the armament of the Alexandre Petion is quite formidable, he will be able to reach the headquarters of every insurrectionary chief in any seaport of the country. I have, therefore, no doubt that he will soon retake Meragoane, Jeremie, Aux-Cayes, Jacmel, and St. Marc. The other ports in the hands of those acting against him are of minor importance and must soon fall. In this way the seaboard of the whole country will, I think, very soon be opened to the commerce of the world, and business will be restored. Still, the situation is quite critical. I will keep you advised, from time to time, of the state of affairs here, and I beg you to think that in relation to contending parties I shall not intermeddle or do anything not authorized by the known policy of our government. I do not disguise from you the fact that my sympathies have for a long time been with President Salnave. I do not think that any one of the chiefs in arms against him could manage the affairs of the country any better than he does, and I have not been able to discover that he is the tyrant and murderer that he is represented to be by his enemies. His principal fault, on the contrary, appears to be that he has been too credulous in putting his ships and forts into the charge of persons who have betrayed their trust, and that he has been more forgiving than the President of the United States would have been under similar circumstances during the administration of Mr. Lincoln. He is certainly a man of marked ability, great determination, and force of character.
I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.