No. 554.
Mr. Fish to Mr. Cushing.

No. 5.]

Sir: I inclose, herewith, for your information, a copy of a dispatch of the 12th ultimo, No. 43, and of its accompaniments from Mr. Hall, consul-general of the United States at Havana, relating to the decree of the captain-general of the island of Cuba, declaring that island to be in a state of siege.

I am, &c,

[In closure.—Translation.]

Decree declaring a state of siege.

Don Joaquin Jovellar y Soler, lieutenant-general of the national armies, captain general, superior political governor of the island of Cuba, general in chief of the army of operations and director general of all the arms and institutions of the same, &c., in the exercise of the powers on me conferred, do hereby decree the following:

  • Article 1. From the publication of this decree the island of Cuba is declared to be in a state of siege.
  • Art. 2. Those guilty of the crimes of rebellion, sedition, and similar offenses against the interior security of the island and public order, their accomplices and abettors, and those guilty of willful murder, shall be tried by ordinary court-martial and sentenced according to the penalties prescribed by the articles of war.
  • Art. 3. Those who commit the crimes of simple homicide, robbery, theft, arson, smuggling, fraud, and forgery against the state, and other common offenses, shall, as heretofore, be tried by the common courts of law, reserving, however, to myself to transfer for trial and sentence by court-martial all those the gravity of whose offenses may demand it, or in which such a course may be deemed expedient, requiring, also, that the judicial authorities shall notify me within the shortest time possible of the cases pending which, in their judgment, from their importance, demand such proceedings.

And in order that this decree shall have due observance, and come to the knowledge of all the inhabitants of the island, the same shall be inserted in the public journals, published in the usual form, and circulated with rapidity throughout the island.