Mr. Bayard to Count von Arco-Valley.
Washington, January 31, 1889.
Sir: I have the honor to inform you that this morning I received a telegram dated this day at Auckland, from Mr. Blacklock, the United States vice-consul at Apia, as follows:
Auckland, January 31.
German consul declares Germany at war with Mataafa and Samoa under martial law.
And not knowing what construction might be given to his authority by the German consul at Samoa under such proclamation of martial law, I deemed it expedient at once to communicate with our minister at Berlin, informing him of the precise language of the telegram from Mr. Blacklock, and stating that a declaration of a state of war by the German Empire against Mataafa and his party in Samoa had been previously communicated through you, and that Prince Bismarck in his instruction to you also stated that the German Government would “of course abide by the agreement with America and England with respect to Samoa, and pay due regard under all circumstances to the rights of those powers as established by treaty.”
Our minister at Berlin was therefore instructed to make it known at the German foreign office that the United States assumes that German officials in Samoa would in this sense be instructed scrupulously to abstain from all interference with American citizens and their property in Samoa, and that no increase or expansion of German jurisdiction [Page 192] over American citizens or their property would be caused by the German declaration of martial law, nor would such jurisdiction be recognized or conceded by the United States.