Mr. F. W. Seward to Mr. Hollister.
Sir: I inclose a translation of a communication to this department of the 30th of September last, from Jacmel, signed by L. Tanismaine and ten others, calling themselves the committee of public safety, and of a protest which accompanied it, represented to have been addressed to you, against a bombardment, on the 20th of September, of the town of Petit Goave, and the sinking of two war steamers, the 22d of December, and the Liberté, by a war steamer under the American flag. The destruction of these vessels by the Alexandre Petion is mentioned in your dispatch No. 10, of the 22d of September, which, however, is silent upon the subject of the bombardment of Petit Goave.
It is supposed that the committee of public safety referred to may wish it to be believed that because the Alexandre Petion did, as they allege, fly the United States flag upon that occasion, this government is responsible therefor. They consequently threaten to take severe measures against all vessels under that flag, until justice shall have been done them. This department has no other information than that contained in the letter of the committee, that the Alexandre Petion did fly our flag. If, however, the statement of the committee should be true, the act referred to was probably adopted as a stratagem of war. You will make inquiries upon the subject, and if you should ascertain that the statement is well founded, you will address a note to the minister for foreign affairs of Hayti, protesting against a proceeding which was unauthorized, and which may lead to a fulfillment of the threat referred to.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
Gideon H. Hollister, Esq., &c, &c., &c.