No. 376.
Mr. Bassett to Mr. Fish.

No. 308.]

Sir: Asking reference to my Nos. 284 and 296, I have the honor to state that although we are within one week of the date fixed by the constitution of this country for the retirement of President Saget, the situation of affairs here still continues to be without any satisfactory prospect of an adjustment which will free the country from apprehensions of impending irregularities, commotion, and perhaps civil strife.

General Domingue was called by the President to the capital, which he entered, amid some enthusiasm and with a numerous escort, on the 19th ultimo. He is still here, and so far has conducted himself in a modest, sensible, and unobtrusive manner. The senate organized its session with its constitutional majority on the 13th ultimo. But up to this moment, in spite of every effort, the chamber of deputies has failed to secure an organization, so that it is pretty well settled now that there will at present be no National Assembly, and consequently there can be no constitutional choice of a successor to President Saget. The senate has declared itself in permanent session, it has sent massages to the executive, and it has adopted remonstrances and entreaties touching the conduct of the deputies who refuse to join in an organization of the house of representatives. But, in spite of all, the fact is fairly before them and the country that, without technically infringing upon the constitution of 1867, twenty-six deputies or eleven senators can at any time completely arrest and block up the whole course of legislative action, and that at least twenty-six deputies have chosen this course of action, to which they firmly adhere. Thus the so-called “liberal” party, finding themselves foiled and powerless at every turn, and having tailed in their attempts at reconciliation with the Dominguists, (see my No. 296,) are now addressing themselves to the Saget party, beseeching President Saget to remain in power “until a constitutional election of a successor.” But President Saget, though flattered and courted by the “liberals,” has not yet pronounced himself, and continues evidences of friendship for Domingue, though it is true these evidences may be only personal.

It is thus conceded on all hands here that Hayti is even now in the midst of a political revolution, which will probaly lead to an early appeal to force. It seems to be conceded also that a provisional government, and perhaps a constituent assembly, must now be called, for a revision of the constitution, and, perhaps, the choice of a President. It was such an assembly that chose Salnave President in 1867. Meantime it is possible, even probable, that General Domingue may be proclaimed chief of the state by the armies of the republic.

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I am, &c.,