Mr. Mathews to Mr. Evarts.
Tangier, July 20, 1879. (Received August 28.)
Sir: I have the honor to inform you that on the 9th instant the Sultan Muley Hassan made his entry into Mequinez, after having subdued the Kabyle of Benimteer. This Kabyle had refused submission to the authority of the Sultan. His Majesty, on approaching them, sent [Page 844] a message saying that he had come to punish them severely for their revolutionary conduct and character, and that he expected that they would submit to his authority before he took more serious measures. The Benimteer Kabyle, fearing the consequences, immediately dispatched a deputation of the principal Moors of the place to His Majesty’s camp, and sacrificed several head of oxen before His Majesty’s tents, promising to obey His Majesty’s order in every respect.
The Sultan imposed upon them a fine of $150,000 and 500 horses, and ordered that 500 respectable people of their Kabyle should proceed with him as hostages for their future good conduct; all claims against the Kabyle for robberies said to have been committed by them they are to make good. Some of the other Kabyles in the neighborhood interceded in their behalf.
Yesterday at ten o’clock a royal letter was read in the mosque here, in the presence of the governor and other Moorish authorities, in which His Majesty made known the results of his expedition to the Benimteer Kabyle, and a salute of twenty-one guns was fired from the batteries of the town in celebration of the event.
It is reported that great sickness prevails among the troops of the Emperor’s army. The mortality reached 300 in one day, which compelled the Sultan to withdraw his forces from Mequinez, in which city a great panic exists, and the well-to-do inhabitants are abandoning the city in great numbers. It is not known yet the nature of the disease, whether it is the reappearance of cholera or the prevailing malignant typhus which of late has made such a havoc in the inhabitants of Morocco.
The Moorish Government is fortifying Tangier on a large and improved scale. They intend in a few days to mount six 20-ton guns on the batteries of the town; they have demolished part of one of the forts and rebuilt, to suit this heavier ordnance. Foreign engineers direct the works.
I have, &c.,