Mr. Bayard to Mr. Thompson.
Washington, January 2, 1889.
Sir: Your No. 237 of the 20th ultimo has been received, and I have pleasure in approving your prompt and energetic protest addressed to Mr. Margron on hearing of the arrival at Port au Prince of a crew destined for the steamer Haytien Republic and of a scheme to take the vessel out of Haytien jurisdiction and turn her over to a court in the United States or elsewhere.
The departure of the crew in question from New York by a steamer of the Atlas Line was generally reported here a few days before the sailing of the Galena and Yantic, and while the proceedings in that city wore surrounded by an air of mystery, much the same as at Port au Prince, it was intimated that the purpose was to tender the Haytien Republic to the Government of the United States, subject to a renewed proposal for adjudicating the legal status of the vessel. A more logical [Page 494]inference, however, was that the object in sending this crew to Port air Prince was to put them on board as a prize crew and carry the vessel into some neutral port and attempt to secure there a judicial decision recognizing her status as a lawful prize. It is probable that your latter dispatches will show the true character of the proceeding.
There was, however, in the step so taken by Mr. Preston, or with his cognizance, enough to excite apprehension lest any delay in the arrival of our national vessels at Port au Prince might give an opportunity to carry it into effect and thus add complications to the case.
Your protest of the 19th ultimo appears to have been most timely in preventing action on that day, and the arrival of the Galena and Yontic early the next morning ended that phase of the case by the prompt delivery of the Haytien Republic to her owners.
I am, etc.,