to Mr. Blaine
Guatemala City , May 27, 1881. (Received June 17.)
Sir: I have to inform you of the following state of affairs in Nicaragua:
Several weeks since the government, through its local officers, compelled a lot of Indians resident in the department of Matagalpa, which is about 125 miles from Leon, in the mountains, to perform some public work, as is usual with most of the republics of Central America. Dissatisfaction arose among them, and an open difficulty occurred, which resulted in the Indians occupying the town of Matagalpa for some two days. After this they were driven back, and, assembling in the mountains to the number of some 6,000 or 7,000 men, threatened an invasion of the lower country. Five hundred troops were dispatched at once from Managua to Matagalpa. The officers in command soon learned that the Jesuits were at the bottom of the insurrection, upon [Page 107] information of which the government had them conducted under guard to Managua.
The town of Leon is the headquarters of the Jesuit establishment, and great excitement immediately began therein. Large numbers of men, women, and children, with all sorts of weapons, assembled, crying, “Down with the government,” “Long live the Jesuits,” &c. The crowd were meditating an attack upon the cuartel, which contained about 70 soldiers. They were prevented in this, however, by a number of foreigners and the quieter class of citizens. Some lives are reported as being lost, however, in street fights.
Soon after this 400 government troops arrived at Leon with the purpose of restoring order and carrying out a decree of expulsion against the Jesuits. My latest advices up to the 14th instant represent a state of great perturbation, with a possibility of serious trouble.
Should further events require it, I shall promptly advise you of their nature.
I have, &c.,