No. 366.
Mr. Bassett to Mr. Fish.

No. 273.]

Sir: I have the honor to represent that on New-Year’s eve, in response to an invitation extended by the minister of foreign affairs, as well as according to an established custom, I called at the national palace in company with my colleagues, and, as the dean of the diplomatic and consular corps resident at Port-au-Prince, presented in their name the usual complimentary address to His Excellency the President of Hayti. My brief remarks were, of course, given in the French language. In English they were, word for word, as follows, to wit:

President: I am most nappy on this occasion of the beginning of another Hew Year, and for the fourth time during the present administration, to present to your excellency the respectful compliments of the diplomatic and consular corps resident near this government.

In my own name, and in the name of my colleagues, I take pleasure in expressing our united satisfaction at meeting your excellency in full enjoyment of health and all the other blessings of Providence here to-day after your excellency has borne for now almost four years the cares and responsibilities incident to the direction of the affairs of an independent state in the family of nations. We congratulate your excellency, moreover, because peace and tranquillity now prevail everywhere throughout the republic.

President, it is our special wish that the favors of Almighty God may never cease to rest with your excellency, and with all those whom your excellency holds near and dear. We sincerely hope, also, that Heaven may bless the government and the people of Hayti both for the year which is about to commence, and for many years yet to come.

Long life, health, and happiness to your excellency! Peace, success, and prosperity to the republic of Hayti!

In response to my address, his excellency, with much seriousness of manner, thanked the diplomatic and consular corps for the sentiments which had been just expressed to him, and said he wished to bear testimony to all the sympathy with which the honorable members composing, that body had inspired him. He declared that his best efforts should not cease to tend to the maintenance of the good relations which exist between his government and the governments of which they are the representatives in Hayti, and concluded by proposing a toast “to the members of the diplomatic corps,” and “to the prosperity and well-being of the nations which they represent.”

The ceremonies were conducted in the most perfect order, and with great regard to strict formality, but at the same time in a manner which gave unusual satisfaction to both myself and my colleagues.

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I am, &c.,