Mr. Bayard to Mr. Thompson.
Washington, December 10, 1888.
Sir: In further reference to the matter of the steamer Haytien Republic, and supplementing my instruction No. 137 of the 30th ultimo? with which I transmitted copy of my note of the 28th November to Mr. Preston, communicating to him the decision reached by this Government upon the question, I now inclose for your information copy of a letter addressed by me to the honorable the Secretary of the Navy on the 7th instant, in which, by direction of the President, I requested that a naval force should forthwith proceed to Hayti to receive the Haytien Republic, under the determination aforesaid, and to protect endangered interests of our citizens in that country. With this letter I also send copies of such of the inclosures therein mentioned as have not already been communicated to you.
Since my letter to the Secretary of the Navy I have received Mr. Preston’s response to my note of the 28th ultimo. It contained a proposal that the Haytien Republic shall be given up on condition of being brought to the United States by a naval vessel, and being there turned over to our courts for adjudication of her alleged violations of neutrality and the alleged rights of her captors thereunder. This proposal I declined, and at the same time informed Mr. Preston that the courts of the United States were open to foreign Governments, their agents, or private citizens to test any rights known to the law.
I am this morning in receipt of a telegram from Mr. Preston, who states that he is empowered, as he proposes to do toward the end of the week, to sign a protocol for the surrender of the Haytien Republic.
Preparations for the departure of the U. S. S. Galena to-morrow morning, under instructions to receive the Haytien Republic from those holding her in custody, being fully made, it is not deemed necessary to delay her departure and the restoration to her owners of the Haytien Republic in order to confirm the conclusion already reached by this Government in the premises.
The commander of the U. S. S. Galena, in the execution of the instructions he has received, will confer with you as to the proper disposition of the Haytien Republic after she has been released.
I am, etc.,