Mr. Langston to Mr. Frelinghuysen.
Port-au-Prince, July 12, 1883. (Received July 30.)
Sir: The condition of the Government, as regards the present revolutionary movement, does not seem to improve. It is true that the country generally, especially in the north, seems to be at peace and in favor of the existing administration, and it seems to be true that the President is not losing in popular esteem; but little, if any, progress has been made in putting down the insurgents at either Miragoâne or Jérémie, and, with business greatly prostrated in all parts of the country, especially in this city and the chief open ports, the Government is feeling most keenly its want of funds to meet the ordinary existing and accumulating demands against it and the outlays connected with its endeavors to maintain the public peace and subdue those ‘in arms against it.
As far as funds are concerned, up to this time the Government, by guaranteeing any loans made to it by the National Bank of Hayti or the merchants of the country in the pledge of its customs revenues, has been able to secure from time to time several considerable amounts; so that it has not felt within the past ninety days the pecuniary pressure which it may have to meet within the next few weeks, should the [Page 590] revolutionary movements in the country be continued. Already, if reports which seem to come from authoritative sources be true, the Government has exhausted its means of guaranteeing its obligations to those of whom it borrows, and is compelled to make its appeal to the bank and merchants to aid it upon its promises to pay, according to its ability as discovered in its probable future incomes. What will be the result of such appeal is yet problematical. However, the national bank is the creature of this administration, and therefore may be expected to give reasonable support to it in an extraordinary emergency; and the merchants of this city, not to mention those of the other large places of the Republic, have shown themselves, at all times since his election to the presidency, entirely friendly to President Salomon; and they may respond to any solicitations of his for funds in such measure of liberality as to aid him to the extent of his more immediate and pressing necessities.
To-day the Government is seeking a loan of $50,000 from the bank and the merchants of this city, to meet in part its obligations in connection with the purchase of a war vessel, which it is said will at an early day arrive in Haytian waters from the United States, as purchased of some citizen of our country. It is said by those who claim to be advised on the subject that the response to the Government in this particular will be sufficiently prompt and generous as to make it feel, in view of the support thus given, financially and even morally strong.
As regards the real condition of the Government with relation to the revolution now prevailing, it may be said that a commission, consisting of four prominent Haytian gentlemen, accompanied by a representative of the French legation in this city, visited within a few days past the city of Jérémie, and in the name of the Government advised the insurgents there to submit themselves to the constituted authorities and yield obedience, as in duty bound, to the Government. Such advice, however, was not accepted by the insurgents, they insisting that the President was oppressive and tyrannical in his conduct towards the people, and that they should insist on his abdication.
The condition of affairs about Jérémie between the forces of the Government and the insurgents is shown, as claimed, in a bulletin* * * in the official section of Le Moniteur of the 7th instant. In this bulletin the Government professes to give to the public the condition of the army operating against J6rernie, as well as certain other places named, located in the arrondissement of Grand Anse. It is not true, however, that the city of Jérémie now finds itself pressed for imported provisions, as stated in this bulletin; for since this publication was made the Alvena, one of the larger ships of the Atlas line, has gone to Jérémie in spite of the blockade, and delivered considerable cargo taken at Kingston, Jamaica, including, according to report, a large quantity of arms and ammunition.
In writing me on the 9th instant Mr. Rouzier, our consular agent at Jérémie, says, in speaking of Pestel and Gorail, two small towns near Jérémie:
In Pestel and Corail the Government troops have been three times defeated, the defenders of the towns capturing some arms and ammunition. They [the Government troops] have not made their appearance here yet. The men here swear that they will give them the warmest’reception they have ever had, and that if they do not attack they will go out to meet them.
* * * In this bulletin the Government says nothing of Miragoâne. It is understood that no fighting is being done there at this time, while [Page 591] the insurgents still remain in possession of the place. It is claimed, however, that Bazelais and his companions in revolt, as well as the people generally remaining in Miragoâne, are now without provisions and water, and becoming sick and enfeebled for the want of proper food and drink. Indeed, many women and some men have already left the town, and report, it is said, that the insurgents there cannot maintain their position, if left to themselves, more than ten or fifteen days longer. But such statements are to be taken with many degrees of allowance.
* * * On the 2d of July there was a false alarm made as to a rising supposed to be occurring in this city No revolt took place here and no unusual disturbance occurred in the prison. Within an hour from the commencement of what at first appeared to be a revolutionary movement, everything became usually quiet in Port-au-Prince and has remained so.
The business depression prevailing at this time in this country is cer-/tainly alarming and without prospect of early improvement; and yet z the great body of the people seem to be entirely patient with the present administration of the government, hoping, seemingly, that it may be able finally to restore public peace.
I am, &c.,