No. 384.
Mr. Bassett to Mr. Fish.

No. 322.]

Sir: Referring to my No. 304 of the 9th ultimo, I have the honor herein to present an outline of the further steps which have been taken in regard to a treaty between the two republics of this island. A day or two after the date of that dispatch Señor Zafra arrived here charged by the government of Santo Domingo to ascertain whether it was the pleasure of the government of Hayti to enter, without unnecessary delay, into negotiations touching the proposed treaty between the two countries, and, if such should be its pleasure, to take knowledge of its disposition as to the manner in which the preliminaries to this end should be arranged. About the same time this government sent on a similar mission to the capital of the neighboring republic General F. Richiez. He was especially charged also there to give intimation of the inclination of his government toward a preference for having the negotiations carried on at Port au Prince.

General Richiez reports that he arrived at Santo Domingo City on [Page 624] the 16th Ultimo, and that he was received the same day by the Dominican minister of foreign affairs and afterward by President Gonzales. In his address to the latter, on the occasion of his reception, General Richiez is reported in the Dominican official journal of the 19th ultimo as saying: “When the republic of which you are now the chief magistrate, fatigued by an oppression which menaced its future, rose up spontaneously to affirm anew its irrevocable resolution to remain free and independent, Hayti trembled with joy.” The general then gives assurance of the full concurrence in this sentiment of “President Nissage Saget,” and President Gonzales in his response makes mention of his high esteem for “President Nissage Saget.”

On the 18th ultimo, President Gonzalez announced to the Haytian envoy that he had decided to send plenipotentiaries to the Haytian capital, there to join in taking up and carrying forward the negotiations for “a treaty of peace” between the two countries. His excellency’s dispatch to this effect is dated the 19th ultimo, and is addressed “to His Excellency, Nissage Saget, President of the republic of Hayti.” In it he says: “Desiring to strengthen the relations of friendship which unite at present our two respective peoples, and to respond to the frank cordiality of the government of your excellency, I have named as plenipotentiaries of the republic the citizens Carlos Novel, Jose Gabriel Garcia, Emiliano Tejera, and Juan Bautista Zafra, to the end that they may, on going to your capital, make there in the name of the republic, with the plenipotentiaries whom your excellency may be pleased to name, a treaty of peace, commerce, &c., which in fortifying our relations will procure peace and well-being to the two peoples.”

The plenipotentiaries arrived here about the end of last month, and were received with the considerate attention due to their rank. Visits were exchanged between them and my colleague of Great Britain, and I think my colleague of France also met them. But, although I walked in the inauguration procession near them, I neither spoke with them, nor did I exchange visits with them, except that Señor Zafra made two friendly calls upon me in company with General Valverde.

As I have intimated in former dispatches, and as I quite anticipated, excuses were found by this government by which it avoided coming squarely to the point of naming on its part plenipotentiaries to join those of Santo Domingo in the work of making the treaty. It was claimed that it might be held that all the machinery of this government was not yet fully in motion $ that it was not yet known with whom the treaty making power might be lodged by the new constitution, and finally that the letters of credence and full power borne by the Dominican envoys were pointedly addressed to Nissage Saget at a date when that citizen was no longer President. The result of all this was that the Dominican envoys yesterday took passage, albeit in an apparently friendly spirit, on the German steamer for Puerto Plata, intending to go thence to Santo Domingo City, there to await future developments relative to the contemplated treaty.

I think I can trace in these proceedings some justification for the opinion which I ventured to express in my No. 304, as to the hesitancy with which this government probably would after all consent to enter upon the work of establishing a full treaty with the Dominican Republic. Indeed I shall not be surprised if no treaty at all be concluded between the two powers for at least some time to come.

I am, &c.,