No. 402.
Mr. Langston to Mr. Evarts.

No. 328.]

Sir: President Salomon, after spending about a month and a half in the southern part of the Republic, visiting Miragoãne, Jérémie, Aux Cayes, and several other less important places, returned to the capital on last Sunday morning, the 26th instant.

Throughout his journey, it is said that his reception was cordial, enthusiastic, and earnest. He was conducted, as he entered the several larger places visited, often through triumphal arches, bearing always inscriptions and representations honorable to the chief of state. Frequently, a thing by no means common in Haytian history, there were written upon such arches the words, “To the father of the country.” And it does seem to be true, that it is, in such sense, largely, that the great body of the Haytian people regard their present executive. This is an honorable testimony offered to the character and influence of General Salomon, while it may be considered as auguring general and continued peace during his administration.

His reception in this city on the 26th was imposing and warm; the people and the army seemingly exerting themselves to show that even the cities of the south, so proud of the President as native of that section, educated among them, and in such peculiar sense their representative, should not surpass Port-au-Prince and the country about it in demonstrations of appreciations of and devotion to him. Whether entering the city through the triumphal arch situated at the southwestern entry of the city, marching, surrounded by his cabinet and aids decamp, along the streets thereof, attending services at the cathedral [Page 640] where thanks were offered and benedictions invoked, according to the usual custom on such occasions, addressing the people at La Place de la Paix, Pétion, or the Palace, the popular applause which greeted the President was general and ardent.

General peace seems just now to be prevailing in all parts of the republic, and the popularity and influence of the President would appear to be well calculated to work its continuance.

The conduct of the administration in dealing with disloyal subjects of the government, so far, has met popular favor, and has lent additional influence thereto. This fact is especially noticeable in connection with the imprisonment of certain ex-members of the late provisional government, notably Lamothe and Hérissé; the first lately tried and declared innocent, and the latter discharged from his confinement at the same time that General Richelieu Duperval was, about two months ago. The same fact is also rendered noticeable in connection with the late action of the administration in proposing a law passed by the corps legislatif October 23, 1880, for the relief of Ex-President Boisrond-Canal with his cabinet, against whom the provisional government, on the 22d day of September, 1879, had passed a decree. And it is as well noticeable, in connection with the recent imprisonment of General Mentor Nicholas and others, several very prominent merchants of this city, who, as charged, were implicated in a contemplated insurrectionary movement against the government.

But notwithstanding such popularity and influence of the President and his administration, after a year in power, there are certain facts confronting the government to-day calculated to test its wisdom and ability.

In the first place, the government and country are without money, and are in need of it. Both await for the improvement of the general condition, in this regard, the establishment of the proposed national bank. As to the establishment of this institution, at least two opinions exist; one, that it will not be established; the other, that it will be at a very early day. In government circles, it is not only claimed that it will be established very soon, but that its establishment, by bringing into the country a large amount of capital, will foster and advance the general prosperity.

In such pecuniary situation, the government is not now paying the interest due upon the bonds of the Caisse d’Amortissement; and in a late dispatch, which was received at this legation from the honorable acting secretary of foreign affairs, Mr. Archin, in response to one addressed to him with regard to the payment of interest due to certain American citizens from the fund named, he dwells in frank phrase upon the financial embarrassment of his government. And yet, so late as the 9th of last month, according to a statement made in the official section of the Moniteur of the 20th thereof, the government paid, through its secretary of state of finance, at present in Paris, upon the loan of 1875, to its French creditors, the sum of 1,164,814.27 francs, or, as estimated by the government, $218,214.66. Such payment was doubtless made to advance, if possible, the credit of the government in France, where it is expected the loan of the capital for the establishment of the bank may be secured.

The coffee crop, this season, while it is as large probably as usual, of excellent quality and in better condition for the market than it is commonly, will not relieve the pecuniary difficulty referred to, since the price of coffee, here and abroad, by reason of the abundance of the crop, is very low. Indeed, it is reported that every dealer in this city handling [Page 641] such product has and does lose money thereon. One or two of the largest dealers therein, generally, are therefore at present declining to handle the article at all.

The appropriations of the government for the year 1880–’81, to meet the current expenses, aggregate about as much as usual, amounting to $4,053,967.04, distributed as follows:

For the service of the departments of state, finance, and commerce $338,051 00
Foreign relations 244,773 12
War and marine 1,059,185 32
Interior 1,494,567 72
Justice 272,826 50
Public instruction 575,187 88
Worship 69,375 50
Total as stated 4,053,967 04

It is not to be inferred from anything stated that there is, at present, any manifestation of a want of confidence either in the power or integrity of the President and his administration. So far, he seems to enjoy the largest general confidence, and his fellow citizens seem willing to await patiently the promised achievements of his administration.

Having completed his trip in the southern part of the country, it is stated that very soon the President will visit the departments of the north and the northwest. When he will quit the capital upon such a journey has not as yet been announced. Matters of importance and gravity must, however, detain him here for some days.

I am, &c.,