Mr. Hollister to Mr. Seward.
Sir: I have the honor to state that the government of Hayti has notified me that several ports of this country will be bombarded at any time after the 31st of October last, at the discretion of the President. I have [Page 368]sent to the secretary of state a written remonstrance against such a proceeding without giving twenty-four hours’ notice of the time fixed upon for the bombardment. This remonstrance seemed necessary, as I had no ships of war to protect American rights in any of the ports subject to the order of the government, as above stated. If I had the opportunity to visit the towns thus exposed, I think I could save many lives and much property; as it is, I am powerless. The British government has ordered a ship of war to remain here, at the disposal of Mr. St. John, until the insurrection is brought to a close. The same order has been made by the governments of France and Spain. As it is, I am obliged to remain here and await the result. I earnestly beg you, if it is possible, to send me the Gettysburg or Penobscot, or some other means of conveyance, so that I may visit Jacmel, Petit Goave, Jeremie, Aux Cayes, St. Marc Gonaives, and Cape Haytien, and, if possible, prevent the loss of life and the destruction of property which is very likely to follow. I do not wish to cavil at the policy of the Haytien government, or to complain of the construction put upon the law recognized by civilized nations in such a case: I leave that to your judgment. At the same time, I could do no less than remonstrate. I think that Salnave is certain to succeed, and is the only man here who is fit to rule the country.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.