No. 220.
Mr. Bassett to Mr. Fish.

No. 222.]

Sir: Asking reference to my No. 215, of the 19th ultimo, I have the honor to represent that, in consonance with the President’s proclamation, which is explained in that dispatch, elections have been held, or are in progress, in the eight communes that failed in January last to return members of the chamber of deputies and to elect their communal authorities.

The chief interest in these elections was centered in that at Port au Prince. According to the custom prevailing here in such cases, the minister of the interior issues his proclamation directing the elections to be held in the different communes, and then it devolves upon the chief magistrate of each commune to direct the preliminary details of the election in his locality. This commune is entitled to three deputies. The magistrate communal, as the chief communal officer is called, in giving the customary notice for the election here, stated that the voting was to be held for three deputies in this commune, thus attempting to ignore the facts that Mr. Boyer Bazelais had received the majority of votes at the election in January, and that his credentials had been accepted by the chamber of deputies in April. Thereupon Mr. Bazelais appealed to the courts, and for the first time in the history of the Haytien Republic, I think, the courts, in sustaining Mr. Bazelais, gave a decision against the known wishes and policy of the executive in a case involving political issues.

After many interruptions, and some arbitrary arrests of persons at the polls, who were known to be exerting themselves against the executive schemes and plans, the voting was entered upon, and resulted in a complete and overwhelming defeat of the government candidates for the chamber of deputies. It is said, also, that the members of the national guard, and the troops at the special service of the executive, who were brought forward to vote in executive interest, voted in many cases squarely for the anti-government candidates. And even the voting for the members of the conseil communal, (city government,) which was briskly carried on throughout Sunday last, and is still in progress, is said to be so far a complete rout of the government faction. Full returns have not yet come in from the seven other communes; but it is thought that even in them the government candidates have generally been defeated.

But the known urgent plans, purposes, and wishes of the executive in such a case, have never before been so clearly defeated in Hayti, except by revolution. It would thus seem as if the predictions advanced in my Nos. 178 and 179, of February 17, 1873, as to the improbability of General Domingue’s constitutional election to the presidency by a vote of the corps legislatif, in April next, has been much strengthened, and that Hayti can scarcely escape another civil commotion of some sort between this date and that.

I have, &c.,