Mr. Bayard to Mr. Preston.
Washington, December 4, 1888.
Sir: I have the honor to receive to-day your note* dated yesterday, in which reference is made to the affair of the steamer Haytien Republic, which had been made the subject of a very full communication by me to you on the 28th ultimo, and also on the 1st instant, which latter communication is not yet acknowledged by you.
In view of the exigency created by the most unexpected seizure and detention of this vessel, and the serious circumstances attendant, I am impelled to express my surprise and serious concern at the nature of your reply.
The communication of the Haytian authorities at Port au Prince, made to the United States minister, Mr. Thompson, under date of November 15, 1888, and confirmed by a subsequent note on the following day, defers the case of the seizure and condemnation of this vessel to the decision of the Government—and the language of your own note to this Department, under date of the 28th ultimo, stated your instructions to be to the same effect.
Having, therefore, possession of the history of the case, and the full proceedings of the prize commission taking cognizance of the case in [Page 504]Port au Prince, and having bestowed the most careful and deliberate examination thereon, this Department conveyed to you, under date of the 28th ultimo, the decision of the President, and has sent to the United States minister at Port au Prince a copy of that communication, together with an instruction looking to the prompt restoration of the Haytien Republic to her owners.
Your reply of yesterday does not indicate that acceptance of the President’s decision which was desired and I was entitled to expect, and this I make known to you in ail frankness, in order that you may understand the condition of affairs as viewed by this Department, and which do not admit of long delay or dilatory action on the part of the Haytian authorities.