Mr. Langston to Mr. Evarts.
Port au Prince, Hayti, July 17, 1879. (Received August 2.)
Sir: I have the honor to advise you that this country is to-day in the midst of an extended and formidable revolution.
While the southern part seems to be peaceful and loyal to the Canal administration, the north is in arms and persists in changing the government at all hazards. Already Cape Haytien, Gonaïves, and St. Marc have passed from the government to what seems now to be the fixed revolutionary condition.
It is also said that the forces of the revolutionary party are being organized and will be at an early day led against the capital, which many claim will be able to offer but a feeble defense on behalf of the government. It is a fact that since the defeat of Bazelais and Paul with their followers in this city, the administration has shown the smallest purpose, and but a modicum of energy. Meanwhile it seems that the revolutionary party has worked, fought, won victories, and, as stated, is now advancing on Port au Prince.
It has been reported for the past twenty-four hours that the President will present to the secretaries of state, as the constitution permits, within a very few days—perhaps the next forty-eight hours—his resignation, and leave the country. This he will be compelled to do, or fight, and, it may be, lose his life. And now, with the general feeling which seems to exist with regard to him and his administration, it would appear that, unless he is sure of large and reliable support, unless he is in possession of intelligence with regard to support which is not generally known, the wisest course for him to pursue is to resign. This course will certainly save general bloodshed and destruction of property, and it may, and probably will, save the life of the President himself.
So far, however, I have heard no word from the President or his advisers with respect to any purpose on his part to resign; and he may yet in earnest and vigorous combat demonstrate his purpose and power to [Page 570] hold his official position to the close of the presidential term, ten months hence.
On the 9th instant the English man-of-war Boxer anchored in this harbor, and, in addition to giving a very significant guaranty of protection to English interests here, has played an important part in the matter of embarking refugees from the different legations and consalates. The leaders, Bazelais and Paul, and some eighteen of their men have already gone; and it is reported that there are some thirty or forty more upon the Boxer awaiting passage by the regular steamers to Jamaica.
So far there has been no difficulty experienced in connection with the embarkation of these men. They have all been embarked, however, in the night season, and without government military escort.
The leaders of the movement in this city being sent away, quiet and order would be even now measurably restored, were it not for the reports which came yesterday, from the places already named, as having fallen into the hands of the insurgents, that they are proposing an early attack upon the capital.
No one can as yet speak with certainty as to the final result; but it looks now very much as if a change of administration was inevitable, and near at hand.
I am, &c.,
P. S.—I have just learned that the President has just presented his resignation, and will leave immediately.