No. 483.

Mr. Lewis to Mr. Bayard.

No. 10.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose copy of a letter addressed by me to the minister of foreign affairs regarding the instructions received by me from the Department of State (No. 6, dated 8th June), in reference to the ill treatment received by the missionaries at the hands of the natives of the west coast of Africa. I have seen Mr. Stover, one of the above-mentioned missionaries, who passed through Lisbon on his way to his former post, and he tells me that they will all return, and have no fears for their lives, but he thinks it doubtful whether they will be able to recover anything from the native king on account of their losses. My impression is that they will not again be disturbed. That seems to be the impression of Mr. Stover also.

So soon as I receive a reply from the minister of foreign affairs to my note of June 27 it shall be forwarded, with translation, to the Department of State. * * *

I have, &c.,

[Page 645]
[Inclosure in No. 10.]

Mr. Lewis to Mr. du Bocage.

Your Excellency: I beg leave to call your excellency’s attention to a note addressed to your excellency by my predecessor on November 17, 1884, and to which I find no reply. That communication took notice of certain events of grave import to both the United States and Portugal, which had taken place on the west coast of Africa.

It appears that at Bihé and Bailunda, two districts under the control of the Portuguese Government, lying inland some two hundred miles, there were five missionaries, with their families, citizens of the United States, living peaceably and quietly, and only attending to their missionary labor—that of preaching and teaching. These men were forcibly driven from their homes and only allowed to take with them what they could carry, the rest of their property being appropriated by the natives. After a long and tedious journey they reached the Portuguese province of Benguela, on the coast, losing on the way what little they had taken. It is alleged upon what seems to very good authority that the King of Bailunda was instigated to this course by a Portuguese trader named Edward Braga, who, being jealous of these missionaries, determined to have them driven from the country, and succeeded in poisoning the mind of the King of Bailunda against them.

Redress has been promised, but as yet has not been done; and I am instructed by the Department of State to call the attention of His Majesty’s Government to the fact, and ask that this matter shall be looked into with as little delay as possible, and redress given to these citizens of the United States that have been treated so badly.

I avail, &c.,