Mr. Langston to Mr. Frelinghuysen
Port-au-Prince, Hayti , July 13, 1882. (Received July 29.)
Sir: I have the honor to transmit, as herewith inclosed, published in the official section of Le Moniteur of the 6th instant, a circular, with translation, addressed by the honorable secretary of state of justice, Mr. Madiou, to the commissaries of the government of the civil tribunals of this republic, dated June 24, 1882, concerning the frequent reclamations lately presented by ministers and consuls of foreign powers accredited near the Haytien Government, on behalf of foreigners located in various parts of this country, who have been subjected to maltreatment. Being desirous of avoiding all such reclamations, the government asks that in case of strife between Haytiens and foreigners, and in case of offenses committed by foreigners, the officers addressed dealing therewith shall observe every precaution and shall comply strictly with the law. It is said by Mr. Madiou that in case of arrest no insulting word, no threat, no brutality should be employed; that the law should be the guide of the officer invariably; and in cases not requiring prompt action, nothing should be done till after the superior authority has been consulted. The provisions of this circular are to be observed by the judges of the peace, by all agents under their control, and by all having to do with the judical police.
The purpose of this circular is good; and in view of recent occurrences of the character indicated, brought to the attention of the government, considered and adjusted by it, in some instances by the payment of considerable indemnity, its publication would seem to be necessary.
It is only within a few days that a commissary at St. Marc committed a most intolerable outrage upon a British subject, the settlement of which cost the government $500. In this case, for some reason or other, as report gives it, the person maltreated was invited into the office of the commissary, where he was insulted, and when he would leave was ordered to remain, and when he persisted in going was ordered under arrest, and in rough and brutal manner was finally hurried off to prison, where he was detained for five days without charge of any sort being made against him. It would seem that this proceeding was had simply to gratify the bad feeling and designs of the commissary, whom the government at once dismissed in utter disgrace and had imprisoned.
It is a matter of gratification that not many such occurrences have taken place in connection with American citizens residing in this country during the past four or five years.
I am &c.,