No. 207.
Mr. Bassett to Mr. Fish.

No. 175.]

Sir: The United States war steamer Wyoming, Commander F. H. Baker, cast anchor in this harbor in the evening of the 25th instant. On the following morning Commander Baker and myself called at the national palace to pay our respects to President Saget. The cabinet was in session when we arrived there, but the president and his ministers nevertheless immediately, and with marked cordiality, received us.

Commander Baker had informed me before reaching the palace that some of his officers, who were on shore at a place called Bizoton early that morning for the purpose of taking solar observations, were treated with disrespect by the populace there. We mentioned the circumstance at the palace, and the minister of the interior, expressing regret at the occurrence, at once sent orders to the local authorities at Bizoton commanding them to see that our officers and men be thereafter treated with all proper dignity and respect.

We also mentioned the fact that Commander Baker was charged by the Navy Department to secure, in whatever might be the proper way, the disinterment of the remains of Doctor Willes, who, as a surgeon on the Seminole, died here in January, 1870, and was buried in the cemetery of Port au Prince. We were assured that every facility should be afforded by the authorities to Commander Baker in the fulfillment of this charge, and the assurance proved afterwards entirely correct.

[Page 456]

The Wyoming sailed from this harbor for Key West, via Gonaives, Mole St. Nicholas, and possibly other points, at daybreak this morning.

It is due to Commander Baker that I should say that he produced an unusually favorable impression both upon the authorities here and upon those of my colleagues whom he met.

I have, &c.,