Mr. Thompson to Mr. Blaine.
Port au Prince, Hayti, August 29, 1889. (Received Sept. 17.)
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.,