Mr. Langston to Mr. Frelinghuysen.
Port-au-Prince , August 7, 1882. (Received Aug. 22.)
Sir: I have the honor to advise the Department that on the 3d instant there occurred an engagement between the forces of the Government and the insurgents of Jacmel, in which the former were driven from the city, which they had entered, with a very heavy loss in. killed and wounded. The loss of the insurgents is also said to have been very considerable. The exact number of killed and wounded on either side is not known.
The sad event, however, connected with this affair at Jacmel is the fact that, after the soldiers of the Government had been repulsed, the [Page 594] insurgents shot some fourteen or more prisoners—as report has it—persons who had been arrested at the outbreak on the 23d of last month in Jacmel, and imprisoned because they were loyal to the Government of the country, and who have been held since as hostages against any attempt of the Government to subdue the rebels of that city. Among the number, of the persons thus arrested, imprisoned, held, and finally shot were J. Veriquain, the chief of the aides-de-camp of the President of the Republic, an excellent officer and a man very much respected, a delegate of the Government at Jacmel at the time of his arrest; P. Aristide D6sir£, the ex-commandant of the arrondissement of Jacmel, about to be reinstated when arrested; William Jean-Jacques, fils, acting commandant of the arrondissement, and some eleven or twelve others, said to be patriotic and faithful citizens, of more or less prominence and influence.
The Government, in a proclamation published yesterday afternoon, has declared its determination to avenge the death of these citizens at once, in the just and deserved punishment it will inflict upon those and their abetters, who have shot these innocent but loyal and worthy citizens and officers.
Profound popular excitement prevails now throughout the country, and it is very apparent that, with Miragoâne, Jérémie, and Jacmel in arms, with the demonstration made at the latter place on the 3d instant, the time has come for the Government to act in its defense and protection with wisdom, decision, and energy. It still, apparently, enjoys popular confidence, and all parts of the north seem to remain perfectly quiet. * * *
I am, &c.,