No. 184.
Mr. Langston to Mr. Frelinghuysen.

No. 461.]

Sir: As you have been advised already by this legation, President Salomon is at present in Cape Haytien, called there by rumors from that quarter of the republic of impending revolutionary movements. Leaving the capital on the 12th ultimo, after making short stops at St. Marc and Gonaives, at both of which places he was received, as reported, by the local authorities and the people in the most enthusiastic manner, he arrived on the 15th of last month at the Cape. His reception there is not described in the journals of the country as even cordial. In Le Moniteur it is stated that he was met at the wharf by the troops of the garrison of the Cape, and that they and the troops who had arrived with his excellency paid their respects to him as he left the ship.

On the 16th ultimo, accompanied by his cabinet and Generals Tirésias Simon Sam, commandant of the arrondissement of Cape Haytien; Jean Jumeau, commandant of the arrondissement of Gonaives; Turenne Jean Gilles, commandant of the arrondissement of Port de Paix; St. Fleur Paul, commandant of the arrondissement of Marmelade; Seīde Télémaque, commandant of the arrondissement of Grand Riviere of the North, the President attended church at the Cape, where a grand mass was celebrated by the bishop of that place. Then, after a review of the troops and a circuit of the city, repairing to the palace, he delivered to an assembly composed of the civil and military authorities of the place the most remarkable discourse perhaps that has ever been pronounced in Hayti. A copy of this discourse as published in the official section of Le Moniteur of the 22d ultimo, with translation, is herewith inclosed and transmitted to the Department.

The circumstances which lead one to characterize this as a remarkable discourse are the circumstances under which and the place where it was pronounced, the extreme loyal sentiments which it contains, and the frankness and fearlessness of their utterance. Here for once the chief Executive of the republic meets the plotters of treason face to face in their strongest hold, and in manly earnestness declares his purpose to hold them in subjection and obedience to the law, compelling them to respect and observe the peace of the country. His interruption of the commandant of the arrondissement of the Cape, General Tirésias Simon Sam, and his severe indirect criticism and accusation of him in the midst of his friends and his soldiery, in the presence of many persons hostile to the present government, who would have been only too glad to secure [Page 352] such a leader as that general, was not only courageous but under the circumstances as overwhelming as it was unexpected.

The demonstrations of assent and applause which distinguished the utterance of the extreme loyal sentiments of this address are in an important sense noteworthy. And it is true apparently that like assent and approval thereof prevail now among all classes of the loyal people throughout the country.

With regard to the substance of the address, it is only necessary to refer to the declarations that for two months past, while there has existed peace in all other parts of the republic, there has prevailed disturbance at the Cape; that the President seeks the cause thereof; that he will not leave until he finds and removes it; that he will not tolerate two states in the republic, but will maintain the national unity; and that the condition of the Cape is such, preventing the progress of the country so largely by hindering the government from, giving attention to those things which concern the public administration, that it is intolerable.

After such examination of affairs at the Cape and thereabout as he deemed practicable, on the 23d of last month the President, by virtue of the power conferred upon him by the constitution and the law, put, by his order published in the official section of Le Moniteur of the 27th of last month, a copy of which with translation is herewith transmitted, the arrondissements of Cape Haytien, Trou, and Fort Liberté under martial law.

There have been arrested as concerned in revolutionary movements to be made at the Cape, some twenty or thirty persons, among whom, and the most prominent, is Senator Monpoint. It is reported that several persons who fear arrest have taken refuge in the consulates of the Cape, and that General Tirésias Simon Sam has been relieved of his command of the arrondissement. Such reports, while they need confirmation, are probably true.

It will be fortunate for this republic should the measures adopted by the government to secure good order and quiet at the Cape and in the surrounding country prove to be effective. Peace, good order, and industry constitute to-day the prime wants of the country.

At present six arrondissements of the republic are under martial law. In December last, the arrondissements of Port-au Prince, Jacmel, and St. Marc were put in such state by order of the government, and in connection with a revolutionary movement, which was discovered on the 8th day of December last, at St. Marc, fifty-two persons, some at Port-au-Prince, some at Jacmel, and others at St. Marc, were arrested, who, during the last month, have been tried by a military commission, sitting at St. Marc. Six of these persons were released; six were convicted and sentenced to nine years’ confinement each in the penitentiary; and forty were convicted and are condemned to death.

It is said by some that the government will certainly have these persons executed; by others a contrary opinion is entertained and as earnestly expressed. It is to be hoped that it may be found consistent with the peace and tranquillity of the country, and conservative of the good name and power of the government, to find another mode of disposing of such persons than execution.

I have, &c.,

[Page 353]
[Inclosure 1 in No. 461.—Translation.]

Address of President Salomon at a public audience, held at the palace at Cape Haytien on the 16th ultimo, as published in the official part of Le Moniteur, April 22, 1882.

My Friends: It is eleven months only since I left the Cape, and here I am forced to return to this place. This time it is not for the pleasure of visiting you that I come here, but to perform a task which my duty as President of Hayti imposes upon me.

For about two months, in fact, the various reports which I have received have obliged me to give special watchful attention to the city of the Cape. The situation of this city is by no means satisfactory. While tranquillity obtains throughout the republic there is agitation at the Cape.

According to the report which is made me daily and what I know, I understand that there is something to be done here, and it is to do that that I am in your midst.

To-day I come to witness by view before acting. If there is a sore I will examine it, I will probe it; and be persuaded, my friends, that I will not quit the Cape until I have applied a remedy thereto. (Prolonged applause.)

Every time the courier arrives at Port-au-Prince from the Cape, I am forced to assemble my cabinet, and I never do so when I receive news from other parts of the country. The city of the Cape, then, is an obstacle, the only obstacle to the progress of the country. The city of the Cape alone hinders the progress of the entire republic, and seems willing to keep it in check. (Demonstrations of assent.)

Such a state of affairs cannot continue, and I come here, my friends, to put an end thereto.

All the troops of the department of the North are under arms, which brings to the public treasury outlays the more heavy as our present resources are very straitened.

It is impossible that a condition so abnormal should be prolonged. I, the President, will not allow that there be a state in a state. Made President of the Republic of Hayti and not of a part of the republic only, I will not allow for any reason that there be two republics in the country. I do not permit and will not allow that the-national unity be severed. (Thunder of applause and prolonged vivats.)

The Cape hinders, arrests the progress of the country. Thanks to it, my government is absorbed in politics and is given no time to occupy itself, as it could wish with the concerns of the public administration. Such condition is intolerable.

This is all I have to say to you to-day; very soon I will convoke you, my friends, and I will address you more at length. I do not do it at this time because I have not as yet had the time to examine well the condition. (Renewed vivats.)

After these expressions of his Excellency, the President of the republic, General Tirésias Simon Sam, commandant of the arrondissement of the Cape, employed the following words:

Truly, President, the Cape hinders and arrests the progress of your government. For three weeks we have been under arms, and it is only, thanks to our threatening attitude, that the enemies have not dared—— (Interruption.)

The President of the Republic. You speak of enemies, general, but you ought to know them, you ought to know why all the troops of your arrondissement are under arms. As for me, it is necessary that I know these enemies. Yesterday the magistrat communal, in wishing me welcome, spoke to me of the healthy part of the population; it is necessary that I know the unhealthy part, I have come here to know the whole and I will not leave you until I have known and regulated it. (Renewed applause and repeated cries of “Long live the President of Hayti!”)

These utterances of his Excellency, the President of the republic, were warmly applauded by the assembly.

[Inclosure 2 in No. 461—Translation.]


Salomon, President of Hayti,

In view of articles 197 and 198 of the constitution and the law of the 13th of April, 1880, upon the state of siege;

Upon the advice of the council of secretaries of state;

Has ordered and does order as follows:

  • Article 1. The arrondissements of Cape Haytien, Trou, and Fort Liberté are declared to be in a state of siege.
  • Art. 2. The present order shall be printed, published, and executed by the secretaries of state, each in that which concerns him.

[Page 354]

By the President:

The secretary of state of justice and of worship, charged with the portfolio of the interior,


The secretary of state of finances, commerce, and foreign relations,


The secretary of state, of war, and of marine,


The secretary of state of public instruction and of agriculture,