No. 484.

Mr. Lewis to Mr. Bayard.

No. 11.]

Sir: I have the honor to transmit inclosed copy of a note from the minister of foreign aifairs, with a translation thereof, dated 14th instant, in reply to my communication of the 27th June last.

I think it more than likely, from my conversation with Mr. Stover, one of the missionaries, that they will not be further disturbed, and that a good portion of their goods have been restored to them. They evidently appear satisfied that, as a result of the action taken by the Government of the United States, no further molestation will occur.

I have, &c.,

[Inclosure in No. 11—Translation.]

Mr. du Bocage to Mr. Lewis.

In answer to the note which your excellency addressed tome on the 27th ultimo, in regard to the expulsion of the American mission residing in Bihé and Bailunda, I have the honor to communicate to your excellency that as soon as the note was received from your excellency’s predecessor of 17th November, 1884, to which your excellency referred, I asked from the minister of colonies the expedition of the necessary instructions for the purpose of redressing such wrongs as might have been unjustly inflicted upon the said mission by the Sobas and the natives of Bihé and Bailunda, and to punish the guilty, in case the suspicions of the American board [Page 646] should be confirmed—that a Portuguese subject had been the secret instigator of the violence exercised against the missionaries. In due time the minister of the colonies informed me that the governor-general of Angola had ordered inquiry to be made by the governor of Benguela as regarded the occurrence.

The results of the inquiry made did not justify the assumption that the events so worthy of censure could be attributed with justice to any acts of the Portuguese subject, Edward Braga. It seemed more probable that the inbred covetousness of the Sobas and natives was the only cause of the serious occurrences which it was unhappily impossible to avert. I was informed that the governor had interposed his influence for the purpose of restoring to the American missionaries the property of which they had been so violently despoiled. I was also advised that in compliance with the petition of Mr. Robert S. Newton, vice-consul of the United States at Loanda, and of Mr. Walter, president of the American mission at Benguela, that the governor-general had written to the Sobas of Bihé and Bailunda letters pressingly recommending the missionaries—letters of which they themselves were the bearers. The vice-consul and Mr. Walter appeared satisfied with the measures adopted. I gave verbal notice of these facts to your excellency’s predecessor, who was to have communicated them to his Government.

I hasten to inform your excellency that I will attempt to procure further information as regards any facts which may since have occurred of which to-day I am ignorant.

I avail, &c.