Mr. Barclay to Mr. Bayard.
Department of State,
Monrovia, October 4, 1887.
(Received November 21.)
Sir: The Hon. Charles H. J. Taylor, minister
resident and consul-general of the United States to Liberia, having
given official notice to this department under date of the 26th ultimo
of his immediate departure for the United States, I have the honor, by
direction of the President, to address you again on the subject of the
claims advanced by France to certain portions of the territories of the
Republic embraced between Cape Palmas and the San Pedro River, and to
inclose for your information copy of a dispatch, with an inclosure,
received from our chargé d’affaires in Paris, dated 8th September last,
in which he informs this Department in a letter lately received from the
French ministry of foreign affairs that the minister refuses to settle
the matter in question with the minister of the United States, on the
ground that our chargé d’affaires being the only agent acknowledged to
represent the Republic of Liberia in France, the minister of the United
States can not act for our Government.
Mr. Carrance further informs us that he has interviewed Mr. McLane on the
subject, and, while acknowledging that the United States take the utmost
interest in the matter, intimates that it is necessary that our
Government send him immediately “a special power to settle the question,
and full orders necessary to come to this conclusion,” etc.
Referring to the latter portion of the third paragraph of your esteemed
dispatch of the 14th October, 1886, with relation to that “little
natural fear on Mr. Carrance’s part that you (we) might credit in the
wrong quarter the good result of his official efforts and services,” I
would remark that that natural fear of Mr. Carrance alluded to in that
communication seems to be greatly increased, since he has persistently
endeavored to have our Government ignore the reasonable intervention of
our next (best) friend, and to place the solution of the matter entirely
in his hands, notwithstanding the admission made to this department two
or three years ago “that he was on best terms of
friendship with all the French Government men.”
In this connection I am directed by the President to inform you that so
great is the confidence which he feels in the kind exertions of the
Government of the United States on behalf of Liberia in this matter,
that if the conduct of Mr. Carrance should constitute an obstacle in the
way of an amicable settlement of the matter, he would feel no reluctance
whatever to remove that obstacle, and leave the question to be finally
settled between the French Government and that of the United States,
acting on behalf of the Republic of Liberia.
Soliciting an expression from you as to the correctness of the
information furnished by Mr. Carrance,
I have the honor, etc.,
Mr. Carrance to
Paris, September 8,
Excellency: I have the honor to inclose
herein copy of a letter which Mr. Flourens, minister of foreign
affairs, has addressed mo concerning the claim the minister of the
United States in Paris has been commissioned to put forward on your
As your excellency will read, the minister of foreign affairs refuses
to settle the matter with the minister of the United States, stating
that, as I am the only agent acknowledged to represent the Republic
of Liberia in France, this agent can not act for your
My only wish being the welfare of Liberia, I went to see Mr. McLane,
minister of the United States, to let him know of the letter I had
just received from Mr. Flourens, as this gentleman requires me only
to interfere in the matter.
My opinion is that we will agree together and will come to a
conclusion satisfactory to Liberia, for the United States take the
utmost interest in the matter, but it is necessary that your
excellency should send me immediately, and by wire if possible, a
special power to settle the question and full orders necessary to
come to this conclusion.
Your excellency knows me well enough to be aware that in every point
I take and uphold the interests of Liberia, which are as dear to me
as my own, and in this matter I feel the more confident that I shall
be backed up by the minister of the United States, although I shall
have to settle alone with the French Government.
I hope we will come to a satisfactory solution, but so as to act
quickly it is necessary that your excellency should send me by the
shortest way the full necessary orders and power.
In this expectation, I have, etc.,
Mr. Flourens to
Monsieur: I have had occasion to inform
you, in the month of July of last year, of a proposal made to my
department by the United States minister at Paris, in favor of the
State of Liberia, in regard to the incident caused by the calling of
a French man-of-war at Beriby.
Mr. McLane, under orders from his Government, has just addressed to
me a new communication, in which, always taking into consideration
the interests of the Republic of Liberia, he proposes to us to
determine precisely the frontier line between the eastern provinces
of this state and the neighboring French possessions.
Though we are never disposed to reject the idea of a natural boundary
(delimitation de nature) to prevent any
difficulty with a country with whom we have sentiments of sympathy,
it seems difficult to receive overtures which have not an official
character, and that have not yet been regularly addressed by your agency.
I will he, therefore, very much obliged to you to inform me if you
have been charged by the Government which you represent in France to
transmit to us propositions tending to the determination of the
common frontier, and I await your reply before having an
understanding with the minister of marine upon the subject of the
measures it might be proper to take, with a view of regulating, if
necessary, the question which the minister of the United States has
thought it his duty to call to my attention.