Mr. Langston to Mr. Evarts
Port au Prince, Hayti , March 18, 1878. (Received March 30.)
Sir: I have the honor to advise you that for the past four days, commencing last Thursday morning at one o’clock, the city of Port au Prince has been in the most intensely excited state of revolution. The President has been absent for several weeks. During his absence the revolutionary condition of which I speak was precipitated. The arsenal, located in the southwestern part of the city, was first taken, then the Fort National; the former by General Lafontant Chevalier, commandant de la place; the latter by General Tanis, aîné, the commandant of the department of the west. The arsenal was very speedily recaptured; but the fort was held by the insurgents till yesterday at one o’clock in the afternoon, when the President returned and Tanis and his forces evacuated; whereupon the government forces immediately took command.
The insurgents, upon leaving the fort and arsenal, have taken refuge in the various legations and consulates. The leaders of this insurrectionary movement, Generals Tanis and Chevalier, have taken refuge under the Liberian flag, in the residence of General Amitié Ville Lubin, chargé d’affaires of Liberia. The government has already demanded their surrender, with the threat that, if not delivered, they will be taken by force. It has not, as yet, been determined to deliver them up; and it may not be the case that the government will attempt to take them by force. Such proceeding, under the present administration of the government, and in this country, would be singular enough. Three of the subordinates of General Tanis’s force have taken refuge under the American flag and in our legation. I hope to be able to manage their case with-out great difficulty.
To-day all is quiet again, and President Canal, who was received on his arrival yesterday in a most enthusiastic and cordial manner, is apparently “master of the situation.”
I write in great haste, at this time, promising full and detailed statement of the whole matter in an early dispatch.
I am, &c.,