No. 656.
Mr. Thompson to Mr. Bayard.

No. 206.]

Sir: August 29 last I received for my signature a circular dispatch from the French minister, who, as dean of the diplomatic and consular body, constituted himself an authority to write to the provisional government in the name of all foreign representatives at this capital that, having heard there were cases of yellow fever, he wished that the soldiers brought to this city be returned to their homes, as the streets were dirty and so many men present would lead to great danger in case of the fever spreading. Then, in the body of the dispatch, he said words to this effect: If our request to send away the troops is not complied with, we shall be obliged to refuse giving clean bills of health to vessels leaving for foreign countries, which will certainly be detrimental to Hayti in her foreign relations abroad. I refused to sign such document because, in my opinion, it is not an affair of the Government—vis-a-vis of bills of health. If yellow fever or any other contagious disease exists to that extent that I can not conscientiously give a clean bill of health, I would never enter into a compact with the Government, saying if they complied with an hygienic idea of mine, then I would in return give clean bills of health even if pestilence existed.

Now, this dispatch, signed by all the foreign representatives but myself, is the talk of the city; they say it is but political capital, a ruse, to insist on the sending away of Thélémaque’s army, and thus weaken Thélémaque and strengthen Légitime. It is admitted by all as being simply a political move.

It is known that there were cases of fever brought here by a French sailing vessel from Marseilles, probably yellow fever. Of the eleven cases three died; the rest of the crew are at the French hospital, while the ship has been placed outside of communication in quarantine. The disease has not spread from whence it commenced and the other sufferers appear to be convalescent.

There have been no other cases reported since; in fact, doubt exists as to the nature of the disease.

I have, etc.,

John E. W. Thompson.