No. 190.
Mr. Langston to Mr. Frelinghuysen.

No. 492.]

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.,

[Page 364]
[Inclosure in No. 492.—Translation.]

Seventy-ninth year of the Independence. Section of Justice.


The secretary of state of the department of justice to the commissaries of the government of the civil tribunals of the republic.

Mr. Commissary: For some time frequent reclamations have reached us from ministers and consuls of foreign powers accredited near the Haytien Government, for bad treatment of foreigners located in various parts of the republic.

Desirous of avoiding all reclamations of this character, the government invites you, in cases of strifes between Haytiens and foreigners and of offenses on the part of the latter, to take every precaution, and to comply strictly to the law.

No reproachful word, no threat, no brutality should be employed at the time of arrest for crime, misdemeanor, or offense. The law, Mr. Commissary, ought to be invariably your guide, and in cases not requiring prompt measures you should act only after you have made reference thereof to the superior authority, except it being well understood in cases of flagrant misdemeanor.

You will transmit instructions in this sense to Messrs. the judges of peace of your jurisdiction, who on their part will cause the provisions of the present circular to be observed by all the agents put under their orders and having to do with the judicial police.

Acknowledge to me the due reception of the present, Mr. Commissary, and accept the assurance of my very distinguished consideration.