No. 210.
Mr. Bassett to Mr. Fish.

No. 188.]

Sir: I have the honor to report that another outbreak against the existing government of Hayti occurred on the night of the 3d instant, at Gonaives, under the supposed leadership of one Gallumette, a black man, who, in some sense, represented the smothered but implacable hostility of his class against the present authorities here.

It appears that late in the evening of that day a body of some thirty men suddenly fell upon the military posts of the town, and by a series of well-directed and well-followed-up assaults, had succeeded by midnight in carrying every position of importance, except the arsenal. This they attacked with vigor and persistence, but they were repulsed and held at bay by the government forces, who, during the night, acted solely on the defensive. At day-dawn they took the offensive against the insurgents, and after a two hours’ energetic engagement drove them from all their positions and put them to rout.

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In the course of the engagement a few (I do not know how many) fell on both sides, and a few were wounded. Of those of the insurgents who at first escaped, some fled to the woods, some sought other places of concealment, and some were subsequently captured. These last have, as far as I have yet ascertained, all been summarily executed. The number thus dealt with is not far from twenty. Our consular agent at Gonaives writes under date of March 4, instant, “in the course of the day seven persons were executed, without any trial whatsoever, and a further lot of executions on the same arbitrary principle is to take place to-morrow.”

When news of the uprising reached the neighboring town of St. Marc it occasioned there the greatest excitement and alarm. Troops were hastily collected and put under marching orders. The citizens were summoned to arms, and at last dates great confusion and turmoil prevailed there still.

Intelligence of the affair reached Port au Prince on the 5th instant, and caused very marked excitement and commotion. The war-steamer Mont Organisé (formerly the Florida) was hastily dispatched to the north with soldiers and munitions of war. A little coasting-steamer, La Rouillonne, was hurried off with a government deputation of inquiry. A cabinet meeting was improvised, and President Saget issued two proclamations, (which are herewith inclosed,) one declaring Gonaives in a state of siege (i. e. under martial law) and the other summarizing the occurrences from a government stand-point, and making a brief appeal to the Haytien people. It is noticeable that in this proclamation, as in the one issued on the occasion of the Cinna Leconte outbreak at Cape Haytien, in March of last year, (see my No. 120, of March 25, 1872,) the President gives emphasis to the statement that the insurgents rallied under the cry of “Vive Salomon.” It is not believed here that the name of General Salomon was used either on the one or the other occasion in the manner indicated. The friends of General Salomon (see my Nos. 178 and 179, of the 17th ultimo) here all assure that he is utterly incapable of seeking power by means of this kind of insurrection.

I expected to receive on the 10th instant fuller particulars of the affair at Gonaives from our consular officers there and at St. Marc, but the inland post from the north has been kept back up to this hour of writing. I think it safe to conclude, however, that this second bold attempt at the overthrow of Saget’s government has been successfully met and put down. And I cannot do better than to quote in this connection a remark from my No. 120, of March 25, 1872, in these words: “But neither President Saget nor his most sanguine friends really feel, I judge, that in view of the wide-spread dissatisfaction and discontent, there is now perfect security against similar movements in the not very distant future.”

I have, &c.,