Mr. Bassett to Mr. Evarts.
Port au Prince, Hayti, October 23, 1877. (Received Nov. 5.)
Sir: Referring to my No. 524, of the 11th of August last, which outlined a kind of insurrectionary attempt at Croix des Bouquets, I have the honor to represent that since the date of that dispatch there have occurred two other attempts similar in the character of their duration and result.
Inclosure A is the government’s own statement of the former of these, which occurred at St. Marc the 30th ultimo, and I judge the statement to be substantially correct. The other attempt took place on the 16th instant, at a place in the vicinity of Cape Haytien, called Quartier Marin. The government’s statement of it is almost identical with the one given of the affair at St. Marc, and is, I think, also substantially correct. No one has been, in any of these three uprisings, either killed or wounded.
It is thought that the motive in the two latter attempts, which were made by the country people, was first to plunder what is called the Caisse d’Arrondissement, which is supposed to contain fifteen per centum of the government revenues distributed among the different arrondissements for local purposes, and then at the same time to make a demonstration [Page 410] tending to show the dissatisfaction which exists among the uneducated blacks against the government, in consequence of a recent law reducing the rank and file of the army. This law reduces the army from thirty-two regiments to six regiments, and consequently throws out of service and pay many old and ambitious officers, though it increases the pay of both officers and men who are retained in the active service. According to tradition in this country, too, the poorer class of Haytians hold the government responsible for a certain kind of poverty which is just now prevailing among that numerous class. The spirit of revolution, besides, has unfortunately been engrafted into the life of this people. They know of no other means except revolution for the redress of real or fancied misconduct on the part of their rulers and affecting their supposed interests.
But it is my opinion that while there may and probably will be from time to time revolutionary attempts against the present government, General Canal will nevertheless remain in power to the end of his constitutional term.
I am, &c.,