No. 37.

Mr. Fish to Mr. Bayard .

[Extract.]
No. 349.]

Sir: I had this afternoon a visit from Count de Borchegrave d’Alténa the King’s secretary, who said that the King, having taken the title of Sovereign of the Independent State of the Congo, and that State having as yet no diplomatic agents accredited abroad, he had been charged by the King to inform me that Mr. Edmond van Eetvelde has been appointed administrator-general of the department of foreign affairs of the Independent State of the Congo. He said that owing to the fact that the relation of the new State and Belgium being exclusively personal, he, as the King’s secretary, had been charged with the mission of making Mr. van Eetvelde’s appointment known to me, with the request that I would communicate it to you, and also to request me to transmit an original letter to the President from the King notifying the latter’s assumption of the title of Sovereign of the Independent State of the Congo of which he furnished me with an office copy as well as the original.

Count de Borchegrave also left with me two open letters addressed to you by Mr. van Eetvelde, one notifying you of his appointment and the second giving you the official guarantee of the neutrality of the new State and defining its limits in accordance with the general act of the recent conference at Berlin.

* * * * * * *

I transmit herewith the originals and translations of all the documents, excepting Count de Borchegrave’s letter to me, of which I inclose a copy and translation. They are duly enumerated in the list of inclosures. I have only to add that I believe this method of making the communication has been chosen in order to more fully mark the distinction between the new title and that hitherto borne by the King.

I have, &c.,

NICHOLAS FISH.
[Page 58]
[Inclosure 1 in No. 349.—Translation.]

The King to the President .

Very Dear and Great Friend: The Government of the Republic of the United States of America was pleased to recognize the flag of the International Association of the Congo as that of a friendly nation. At the time of the signing of the general act of the conference of Berlin, the president and the members of that high assembly, on receiving the adhesion of the Association to the acts of the conference, manifested their sympathy for its enterprise. To-day that the position of the Association is fixed in an international point of view, that its territorial constitution is established, and that its mission has received valuable encouragements, I am prepared to bring to your notice and to that of the Republic of the United States of America that the possessions of the International Association of the Congo will hereafter form the Independent State of the Congo. I have at the same time the honor to inform you and the Government of the Republic of the United States of America that, authorized by the Belgian Legislative Chambers to become the chief of the new State, I have taken, in accord with the Association, the title of Sovereign of the Independent State of the Congo.

The union between Belgium and that State will be exclusively personal. The new State, I am firmly convinced, will fulfill the expectations of those powers which have in a measure greeted in advance its entry into the family of nations. I shall endeavor to guide it in that course, and I entertain the hope that you will be pleased, as well as the Government of the Republic of the United States of America, to facilitate my task by giving a favorable reception to the present notification.

I eagerly seize this occasion to offer you the expression of the high esteem and of the inviolable friendship with which I am,

Very dear and great friend, your sincere friend,

LEOPOLD

Edm. van Eetvelde,
Administrator-General of the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Independent State of the Congo.

[Inclosure 2 in No. 349.—Translation.]

Count de Borchegrave to Mr. Fish .

Mr. Minister: The King charges me to inform you that His Majesty has named Mr. Edmond van Eetvelde as administrator-general of the department of foreign affairs of the Independent State of the Congo.

His Majesty will be obliged to yon to kindly convey to your Government the fact of this choice, and to transmit to it the inclosed letter of the administrator-general.

I beg you, &c.,

The Secretary of the King:
Count P. de BORCHEGRAVE d’ALTÉNA.
[Inclosure 3 in No. 349.—Translation.]

Mr. van Eetvelde to Mr. Bayard .

Mr. Secretary of State: I have the honor to inform you that the King, Leopold II, Sovereign of the Independent State of the Congo, has deigned to name me administrator-general of the department of foreign affairs of that State.

I shall be happy to see established between the Government of the new State and the Government of the United States of America agreeable relations equally profitable to the interests of both countries, and I shall neglect nothing on my part to stamp them with this double character.

Expressing the hope that you will be pleased to grant me your kind confidence, I eagerly seize this first occasion to offer you, Mr. Secretary of State, the assurances, &c.

EDMOND van EETVELDE.
[Page 59]
[Inclosure 4 in No. 349.—Translation.]

Mr. van Eetvelde to Mr. Bayard .

The undersigned administrator-general of the department of foreign affairs of the Independent State of the Congo is charged by the King, sovereign of that State, to inform Mr. Bayard, Secretary of State at Washington, that in conformity with article 10 of the general act of the conference of Berlin, the Independent State of the Congo Hereby declares itself perpetually neutral, and claims the advantages guaranteed by chapter III of the same act, at the same time that it assumes the duties which neutrality imposes. The district of the neutrality will apply to the territory of the Independent State of the Congo, included in the limits resulting from the treaties successively concluded by the International Association with Germany, France, and Portugal, treaties notified to the conference at Berlin and annexed to its protocols, and which are thus determined, viz:

On the north.—A straight line drawn from the Atlantic Ocean and joining the mouth of the river which runs into the sea at the south of the bay of Cabinda near Ponta Vermelha to Cabo Lombro;

The parallel of this last point prolonged to its intersection with the meridian of the confluent of the Culacalla with the Luculla;

The meridian thus determined to its meeting with river Luculla;

The course of the Luculla to its confluence with the Chiloango (Luango Luce);

The Chiloango River from the mouth of the Luculla to its most northern source;

The (crête de partage) dividing line of the waters of the Niadi Quillon and of the Congo, to beyond the meridian of Manyanga;

A line to be determined and which, following as much as possible a natural division of the ground shall terminate between the station of Manyanga and the cataract of Ntombo Mataka, at a point situated on the navigable portion of the river;

The Congo as far as Stanley Pool;

The median line of Stanley Pool;

The Congo to a point to be determined on the river above Licona Nkundja;

A line to be determined from this point to the seventeenth degree of east longitude from Greenwich in following, as far as possible, the line of the watershed of the basin of the Licona Nkundja;

The seventeenth degree of east longitude from Greenwich to its junction with the fourth parallel of north latitude.

The fourth parallel of north latitude to its junction with the thirtieth degree of longitude east from Greenwich.

On the east.—The thirtieth degree east from Greenwich to the height of 1° 20ʹ of south latitude.

A straight line drawn from the intersection of the thirtieth degree of east longitude with the parallel of 1° 20ʹof south latitude to the northern extremity of Lake Tanganyka;

The median line of Lake Tanganyka;

A straight line drawn from Lake Tanganyka to Lake Moero along 8° 30ʹ of south latitude;

The water course which unites Lake Moero with Lake Bangweolo;

The western bank of Lake Bangweolo.

On the south.—A line drawn from the southern extremity of Lake Bangweolo to its meeting the twenty-fourth degree of longitude east from Greenwich, and following the dividing line of the waters (crête de partage) between the waters of the Congo and those of the Zambesi;

The dividing line of the waters which belong to the basin of Kassai between the twelfth and sixth parallels of south latitude;

The sixth parallel of south latitude to its point of intersection with the Quango

The course of the Quango as far as its meeting with the parallel of Nokki;

The parallel of Nokki as far as its meeting the meridian which passes through the mouth of the river Uango-Uango;

The course of the Congo from the confluence of the Uango-Uango to the sea.

On the west.—The Atlantic Ocean between the mouth of the Congo and the river which flows into the south of the bay of Cabinda, near Ponta Vermelha.

EDMOND van EETVELDE.