Mr. Langston to Mr. Blaine.
Port-au-Prince, Hayti, May 7, 1881. (Received May 20.)
Sir: If one would consider the general aspect of affairs in this republic at this time, he could do no better than to commence by noting the interest that is just now being discovered both by the people and the government in the matter of improving and advancing the agriculture of the country.
Since the establishment of the new ministry of agriculture and the appointment of Mr. Légitime thereto, the impulse given to this branch of industry, so important and essential to the national prosperity, has been sensible and general.
In proof of this fact, it is to be stated that, on the first instant, the féte of agriculture observed regularly, according to custom, throughout the country, in all the larger places, was, perhaps, on this occasion, more generally and enthusiastically celebrated than upon any anniversary during the past five or ten years.
The celebration of the féte in this city, was imposing and interesting. It may be true that there was connected with it needless military display. The army, the national guard and the local police, in uniform and with their respective commanding officers, both at the Place Pétion and on the Champ de Mars, where the exercises took place, were largely and conspicuously represented, while the salvos of artillery were too frequent and annoying.
On this occasion, however, the considerable company of men and women, bearing specimens of sugar-cane, coffee plants, cocoa and cotton, was not wholly obscured in the larger class of the military and the police. For, gathered immediately about the altar of the country, surrounded by soldiers and policemen at Place Pétion, where they were addressed in the absence of the President by the honorable Secretary of State of Agriculture and where the prizes awarded were delivered, the agriculturists appeared to good advantage and their presence was impressive. And then, as gathered in front of the agricultural exposition building, now in process of erection by the government, on the Champ de Mars, where they joined in celebrating the te deum, their position was conspicuous, and their conduct, as they gave audience to the archbishop who conducted the religious exercises and addressed them, was appropriate.
Both the address of the secretary of state and that of the archbishop were instructive and edifying.[Page 643]
The celebration of this anniversary must, on the whole, be regarded as very creditable, and it is to be hoped that the additional impulse which it must give to the purposes of the people and the government, in this behalf, may prove to be salutary and effective.
If peace shall continue, founded upon general popular content, there can be no doubt that the agricultural interests of Hayti will be greatly advanced under the present administration. To-day, if we consider the apparent power of the administration, and the apparent popular regard and confidence entertained with respect to it, there may be attributed to the peace at present prevailing here something of an enduring and improving character. In this view, one may predict the amelioration of Haytian agriculture.
I am, &c.,