Mr. Langston to Mr. Evarts.
Port au Prince, Hayti, July 26, 1879. (Received August 7.)
Sir: As you have been already advised, here as in Cape Haytien, Gonaives, and St. Marc, as the revolution seemed to succeed and the President resigned, a committee was formed, called “Le Comité d’Ordre Public.” The committee here, as those in the other places named, has done good service in the maintenance of order and general quiet. Composed of the representative men of the republic, it has conducted its affairs, in the main, with special wisdom and efficiency, and deserves popular gratitude.
According to a dispatch addressed to the diplomatic and consular agents of the several governments represented in this city, it has attempted, perhaps without due thought, to organize at least a sort of provisional government. What the source of its power is, for this action, it is impossible to say. A copy of the dispatch sent to this legation, with translation, and a copy of the reply returned, are herewith inclosed.
To-day, however, the army of the north the revolutionary army, with the commander-in-chief of the revolutionary forces, General H. Hérrissé, at its head, made formal entry into the city and assumed entire control; the Comité d’Ordre Public, as well as the citizens generally, yielding a ready submission.
For this army, the people have been waiting patiently, since the 17th instant, when President Canal embarked; and the citizens and residents of no city could have behaved themselves in a more orderly and becoming manner, for such period, than those of Port au Prince. Some one has remarked that they do better without than with a chief executive.
But the army being present, it accords with past usage that the leaders of the revolution provide, at once, a provisional government, with a chief. It is said that this will be done with reasonable dispatch. This is probable; for there appears to be considerable harmony and purpose existing among the chief men of the country with reference to the responsibility and duty which rests upon them.
It is reported that General Hérrissé said yesterday, in his address to the committee of reception, that he was neither a National nor a Liberal; that he came to drive Canal from power; that he found him gone; and it was his duty to give the people protection and good government.[Page 579]
When attempt was made yesterday to disembark Bazelais from the English man-of-war, the Boxer, lying in this harbor, on which he has remained since his departure from the Spanish consulate, in which he took refuge, the sentiment of the revolutionary army, as well as that of the major portion of the people, was found to be against it, and he was not permitted to come ashore. The popular sentiment seems to be positively set against the toleration of any disturbing cause or influence at this time.
I am, &c.,