Mr. Bassett to Mr. Fish.
Port au Prince, April 17, 1874. (Received April 25.)
Sir: Referring to my No. 284, of the 23d of February last, and to my No. 296, of the 9th instant, both relating to the present condition of public affairs in Hayti, I have the honor to state that all attempts at reconciliation between the opposing political parties, up to this moment, have proved unavailing, and that, on the whole, the situation seems so critical that I feel warranted in taking the responsibility to request that a war-vessel of our Government be directed to touch here as soon as possible, under such orders as may allow it to rest in these waters a few days, according to need, and to afford, under the laws, the protection to our interests which circumstances may appear to demand.
The mere friendly presence of foreign men of-war in the principal harbors of countries like Hayti, during times of civil commotion and domestic inquietude there, often, and generally, exerts a remarkable influence in favor of moderation and humanity.
I may add that, according to the best of my information and knowledge, my colleagues of Great Britain, of France, and of Germany, have made of the authorities of their respective governments requests similar to that which I herein make.
I am, &c.,