Mr. Thompson to Mr. Blaine.

No. 307.]

Sir: Monday morning, the 19th instant, at 4 o’clock, the forces of General Hyppolite, under command of General Nord Alexis, attacked La Coupe; the battle lasted long into the day, and during the night [Page 498] the minister of the interior of Légitime, Mr. Maximilien Momplaisir, evacuated La Coupe, leaving the northerners masters of the situation.

Early on the morning of Tuesday I received notice of a convocation of the diplomatic body from the French minister.

At 10 o’clock the different foreign representatives met at the French legation, when we were requested to go to the palace and have the meeting in the presence of General Légitime. When at the palace Légitime said that he had determined to withdraw from the Presidency, and would like the diplomatic and consular body to intervene for the preservation of peace and order. The minister of France, Mr. Sesmaisons, then said that he believed that I was the only man capable of bringing matters to a peaceful termination, now that Port au Prince was completely surrounded by the protesting faction, which included the entire population of Hayti with the exception of this city. In brief, I accepted on condition that I could have full power to treat with General Hyppolite; this was agreed to. Copy of this power and its inclosure, with translations, are herewith transmitted. I then invited the Spanish consul to accompany me, as reported in my No. 306. As it was supposed that the troops of General Nord were then marching down from La Coupe on the city, Mr. Sesmaisons asked me if I would undertake the dangerous mission of going to La Coupe first, in order to have them arrest their progress. This I also accepted, and, accompanied by Mr. Garrido, consul of Spain, started for La Coupe, but the firing at us from the outposts was so rapid that when we reached the foot of the Fort Repoussé we were forced to return. We learned later that they had been decoyed so often was the reason the white flag was not respected.

Tuesday evening we left Port au Prince on the steamer Grande Rivière direct for St. Marc, where we arrived at 3 o’clock, a. m., Wednesday. Hyppolite’s man-of-war L’Artibonite was in the harbor and hailed us. On learning that I was there Commander Killick immediately came on board and conducted us on shore. General Hyppolite left his bed to receive us, and when the report of the object of our mission spread throughout the town, a band of music paraded through the streets; there was dancing and singing in the streets, and every other manner employed to show rejoicing that the civil war was about to end. I sent a special letter to Admiral Gherardi, who was at Gonaïves, telling him my mission, and asking him to repair immediately to Port au Prince.

We returned to this city and gave the reply from General Hyppolite on Thursday morning the 22d instant, about 10.30. Inclosed herein are copies and translations of the correspondence between us.

General Légitime the same day, at about 3.30 p.m., was embarked on board of the French man-of-warKerguélen, which left here on Saturday the 24th instant.

According to the programme the three different corps of the army of General Hyppolite entered this city in the most perfect order the 23d instant, having at their head many members of the diplomatic and consular body, who accepted my invitation to carry out fully the conditions arranged. The French minister and British consul-general refused to accompany us to meet the army; it was just as well that they were not with us, as their presence might have caused a disturbance of some kind, or lent less value to our prestige as foreign representatives.

General Hyppolite, Provisional President of the Republic of Hayti, made his entry into this city on the 27th instant, amidst much rejoicing. After attending the cathedral, where the Te Deum was chanted, en route [Page 499] to the National Palace, followed by his counsellors and at least fifteen hundred horsemen, he passed by this legation and here stopped to salute me and make the acquaintance of my family; he made me a most flattering yet short speech. These were the only places he stopped at on his tournèe through the city.

To-day, accompanied by Rear-Admiral Gherardi and his staff, we made an official call upon the Provisional President. Our reception was most cordial.

The Kearsarge leaves here this evening direct for the Mole St. Nicholas.

From appearances, should General Hyppolite be definitely named President of Hayti, it looks that a new era of prosperity will follow his administration, for it must be admitted that commencing the revolution without any means whatever, while his adversary had every advantage, to so successfully terminate the revolution and hold in his troops who entered victoriously, and who thus far have committed no disorder, shows a superior intelligence in choosing his chief officers, and command in designating to them their duties, together with a strong mind and great will in carrying out his plans and humane desires.

I inclose herein copy and translation of a dispatch I have just received from the counsellor of foreign affairs, which shows for itself the pleasure the provisional government seems to have at the present friendly and peaceable status of affairs after such a long and bloody civil war.

I have, etc.,

John E. W. Thompson.
[Inclosure 1 in No. 307.—Translation.]

Count de Sesmaisons to the members of the diplomatic corps at Port au Prince.

Gentlemen and dear Colleagues:

I have received from Mr. Solon Menos, secretary of state of foreign affairs, the letter which you will find inclosed a copy. The President of the Republic has made an appeal for the assistance of the diplomatic corps to endeavor to bring hack peace in Hayti. Under the conditions, and without any intention of mixing ourselves in any manner in the internal affairs of the country, I think, in accord, moreover, with all of our colleagues, that it is our duty to accede to the desire of General Légitime and of his government, and to request you to kindly act as an intermediator between the general and the chiefs of the revolution.

Only, that there may be no misunderstanding, it is well agreed that you have full power to treat and bring to a solution that will, while giving satisfaction to all, assure the security of the inhabitants of the city, and guarantee order and respect of persons and property.

Accept, gentlemen, etc.,

[Inclosure 2 in No. 307.—Translation.]

Mr. Menos to the Count de Sesmaisons.

Mr. Minister: His excellency President Légitime, agreeably to the advice of the council of the secretaries of state, charged me to request the good offices of the diplomatic corps in view of a new effort to be made toward the revolutionary authorities of the North for the definite re-establishment of peace in Hayti.

You are aware that his excellency has already manifested the intention of withdrawing himself, to put an end to the civil war. The only conditions that were made for his resignation were the guaranty of order at the capital.

[Page 500]

Divers considerations would not permit to treat directly on the terms of security that is due to the city of Port au Priuce. His excellency thinks that the diplomatic corps will not refuse to act as an intermediator to obtain of the revolutionary authorities the formal assurance that order will be strictly maintained, and that persons as well as property will be effectively respected.

Please accept, etc.,

Solon Menos.
[Inclosure 3, in No. 307.—Translation.]

Messrs. Thompson and Garrido to General Hyppolite and his Counsellors.

Mr. Provisional President and Messrs. Counsellors:

We have the honor to submit to you here inclosed the dispatch by which the dean of the diplomatic corps has recognized in us full power to come to an understanding with you on the acceptance of the propositions contained in the note that the counsellor for foreign relations, has remitted on the 7th of August to Messrs. Zohrab and Garrido.

We would be thankful to you to fix explicitly the mode of execution of the said note.

Accept, etc.,

  • Manuel Garrido,
  • John E. W. Thompson.
[Inclosure 4, in No. 307.—Translation.]

Mr. Firman to Messrs. Thompson and Garrido.

Liberty. Equality. Fraternity.

republic of hayti.

Gentlemen: The Provisional Government has authorized me to answer your dispatch of this day, which has been duly received.

Please find herewith a note signed and containing the details of the manner of execution of the note that I have had the honor to remit on the 7th instant to the Messrs. Zohrab and Garrido.

Accept, etc.,

A. Firman.
[Inclosure 5 in No. 307—Translation.]

Programme of the entry of General Hyppolite and his army into Port au Prince.

Liberty. Equality. Fraternity.

republic of hayti.

General Légitime having accepted the counter propositions that the provisional government made to him relative to the entry of the troops of the North and the South into Port au Prince, and having manifested the desire that the hour be fixed at which the entry shall take place, that he may be able to withdraw some moments beforehand, it is agreed that affairs shall be arranged as follows:

Friday, 23d instant, at 9 o’clock in the morning, the commission composed of the commander of the arrondissement, prosecuting attorney, and the magistrat communal, accompanied by the diplomatic and consular corps, will proceed to Port Rouge. There they will meet the army corps commanded by the counsellor of the department of war and marine, which shall make, in the most perfect order, its entry into the city by the St. Joseph’s gates and occupy Fort National, the defences of the palace and its surroundings, the arsenal, and Fort St, Clair.

[Page 501]

On the same date, at 11 o’clock in the morning, ssion, accompanied as above, will go and meet on the Lalue road the army corps, commanded by the counsellor of the department of the interior, which shall make its entry into the capital in the best order and occupy the entire line northeast of the city, Fort National, Fort Dimanche, including Post Marchand.

The same date, at 1 o’clock in the afternoon, the same commission as above will take the army corps commanded by General Antoine Simon, commander of the arrondissement of Cayes, president of the delegation of the provisional government, superior chief of the southern forces, operating against Port au Prince, which shall make its entry in the best order and occupy Fort Bizoton, Fort Mercredi, the fort at the Leogane gates, in fact the whole of the southern line, and all the other posts that may he assigned to it by the minister of war, who shall be the first in authority in Port ail Prince until the arrival of the provisional president of the republic, and of his other counsellors.

The ammunition taken by the commandant of the arrondissement of Port au Prince from the hands of the garrison of that city, conformably to the note of the 7th instant, shall be deposited at the arsenal, under the care of the said commander of the arrondissement, who shall render account thereof on the request of the provisional government.

It is well understood that it is not a question of disarming, that is to say, taking away the arms, but only taking away the ammunition, that becomes useless and even dangerous, once it is agreed that the besieging troops shall enter under arms (armes au bras) into Port au Prince.

The Haytian vessels of war shall be handed over to the counsellor charged with the departments of war and marine.

The whole shall be done loyally and in good faith, under the eyes of the representatives of the neutral and friendly powers who will be disposed to give their assistance for the last stage of pacification of the Republic.

A. Firman.
[Inclosure 6 in No. 307.—Translation.]

Mr. Firman to Mr. Thompson.

Mr. Minister: I have the honor to announce to you that yesterday at noon the Provisional President of the Republic made his entry in this city where the troops of the provisional government have preceded him four days.

Since the departure of General Légitime the whole Republic is absolutely pacified. The perfect order that reigns at Port au Prince, where persons and property are now respected, the upright attitude of the army, and the resumption of business are an evident proof that the country wishes to continue peaceably its work of reorganization in allowing no excess or weakness.

In begging you to have the kindness to inform your Government of this new state of affairs, I take the occasion, etc.,

A. Firman.