Mr. Langston to Mr. Frelinghuysen.
Port-au-Prince, June 11, 1883. (Received June 29.)
Sir: The actual and prospective condition of Hayti is still in doubt. Up to this day Bazelais and his accomplices remain in possession andvcontrol of the city of Miragoâne. The arrondissementsof the Grand Anse and Tiburon, with such cities therein located as Jérémie and Tiburon, are in positive and declared rebellion against the Government. These [Page 588] arrondissements and cities, situated in the southern part of the country, especially Jérémie, are no less important in a commercial point of view than in a strategic, whether it concerns the maintenance of the authority of the Government in that section of the Republic or the assertion and support of the rebellion. It is a fact, which all concede, that Jérémie is as strong, if not stronger, in its natural defenses than Miragoâne, while its inhabitants, more intelligent, active and determined, perhaps, than the people in any other part of the country, are earnestly opposed, feven to the point of fighting and dying, to President Salomon.
Whether such opposition be wise or not, the people of Jérémie and the two arrondissements mentioned have declared in their address, lately published, that nothing will please or satisfy them but the abdication of General Salomon.
So far from abdicating, the President has declared the arrondissement of Grand Anse to-be in a state of siege, as well as the city of Jérémie, and has put the port of Jérémie in blockade. Besides, having subdued the insurgent movement which discovered itself a few days ago at Aquin, the President is moving his forces forward against the rebels of Jérémie. A large force of the Government, well armed with weapons lately bought) of Messrs. Remington & Sons and the Winchester Repeating Ai ms Com-! pany, of the United States, surround the city of Miragoâne, preventing I the escape of Bazelais and his insurgent associates, and compelling them to remain shut up in the city.
It is reported from Government sources that there is much suffering and distress among the insurgents and the people of Miragoâne. It is said that provisions are scarce; that water is not abundant; that there is considerable sickness; that so far as possible persons are leaving the city and coming within the lines of the Government forces; that many of the insurgents themselves are becoming disheartened; and that very soon the city will be taken, with the complete rout and capture of the insurgents.
Already much property has been destroyed in Miragoaue, and many lives have been lost and many persons wounded among the troops of the Government and the insurgent forces. Our own consular agent, Mr. F. W. Mitchell, has been obliged to leave his post, and is in this city awaiting the result of affairs in Miragoâne. From week to week, however, for the last forty days the people have been assured that the Government would certainly take possession and control of that city without delay; but so far, as already stated, the city remains in the hands of the insurgents; and while the task at Miragoâne seems to be no less arduous, the general condition of the country seems to be growing critical enough. Yet the Government is still apprantely strong and popular.
Perhaps nothing has contributed so much to the increased general good feeling in favor of President Salomon and his administration of the Government as an address delivered by him on the 3d instant at his audience at the national palace, in which, after expressing in statesmanlike manner and phrase his purpose to maintain the Government, stating and refuting the objections made against him by his enemies, he presented in clear and earnest words his opinions with regard to the treatment of colored and black persons, claiming that, in his administration of the government he had not and should, not discriminate against the one in favor of the other class influenced by any consideration of color. He declared himself as knowing his fellow-citizens of both colors only as members of the great Haytian family, entitled to equal, kindly and considerate treatment, and claimed that in the selection [Page 589] of his office-holders the fact of color, black or mulatto, had no weight with him; that he only sought fitness in character and qualifications, efficiency and fidelity in him whose name might be called in connection with official promotion or service. This address, delivered to a large audience, and published, in substance, in the principal journals of this capital has been made the subject of general and favorable comment, inspiring and strengthening the friends of the President, and frustrating and weakening, to some extent, his opponents.
So far there has been no bloodshed at Jérémie. The taking of the city by the insurgents was accomplished without the firing of a gun, the commandant of the arrondissement simply having his authority as such taken from him, and being sent, when overpowered, to a consulate—perhaps the French—for protection. The troops of the Government, en route to the city, at last advices had not reached it. It is supposed that in the desperate resistance of the insurgents there the bloodshed will finally be great and appalling.
Mr. Rouzier, our consular agent at Jérémie, in a dispatch dated the 8th instant, received from him to-day, in speaking of the approach of the army of the President, says:
I hope it will not come, as the places (in the arrondissements of Grand Anse and Tiburon) are well fortified, and the inhabitants—men, women and children—are all decided to defend themselves to the last. This struggle will be worse than that of Miragoâne.
The Government, nevertheless, seems still to be confident of its power and its ultimate success.
I am, &c.,