Mr. Langston to Mr. Frelinghuysen.
Port-au-Prince, Hayti, May 20, 1882. (Received June 23.)
Sir: I have the honor to state that since writing my dispatch yesterday, No. 467, in which I refer among other things, in dwelling upon the President’s return to the capital, to his having delivered a brief address at the National Palace, such address has appeared in L’Œil of this date. This journal is semi-official, and in its political character and relations a stanch and reliable representative of the administration.
As being the very last utterance of the chief executive, embodying his views with regard to the present condition of affairs in the department of the Artibonite, the north, and the northwest, his purposes and plans for the future in dealing with those who disturb the public peace, as well as his opinion of those persons who, having learned, it may be incorrectly, of his determination and order to arrest some two hundred men and one hundred and fifty women in Port-au-Prince, have left the [Page 362] country within a few days to seek protection in foreign countries, I have the honor to transmit, as herewith inclosed, and as published in the L’Œil of to-day, the President’s address, with translation.
It will be perceived that the extreme sentiments of this address, like those of the two discourses delivered at the Cape, seem to have been received with the most cordial applause. It may not be amiss, in this connection, to state that of the forty men condemned at St. Marc by military commission twelve are as yet undisposed of. In a brief editorial article L’Œil of this day explains why these persons have not been executed, quoting, in support of its statement in this regard, the terrible words, as it characterizes them, employed by the President himself on last Tuesday at St. Marc. For some time past, in fact for the last three years, pamphlets written and published by persons hostile to the present government, in exile at Kingston, Jamaica, or St. Thomas, containing treasonable sentiments, violent criticisms of the government, and aspersions of its personnel, tending to bring it into contempt and to destroy its authority, have been sent from the places named and put in circulation in this country. Such a pamphlet is that of Jacot, mentioned specially by the President in his second discourse at the Cape.
L’Œil states, as translated, that “each pamphlet sent into Hayti will provoke the execution of one of those condemned to death by the special military council of St. Marc”; and adds that the “advertisement is positive.”
These men seem, then, to be held in pledge as hostages for the good behavior, in the respect indicated, of persons in exile, who have heretofore occupied themselves in writing against the government.
While it is true that the President does not refer in terms, in his speech herewith transmitted, to this particular topic, its general scope and drift would seem to cover it. He says he has been pressed to extreme measures, and since he has commenced he will continue.
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I have, &c.,