Mr. Preston to Mr. Bayard.

The undersigned, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of the Republic of Hayti, has the honor to bring the following facts to the notice of the honorable Secretary of State of the United States:

The steamer Carondelet, laden with arms and munitions of war, was seized on Wednesday, the 6th instant, by the United States district court for the southern district of New York.

The case was set down by the court for the Saturday following, the 9th instant, with the consent of the district attorney; the time allowed, in view of the importance of the matter involved, was quite insufficient. The case was thus heard without any preparation save that resulting from the evidence or facts which the undersigned had been able hastily to collect; consequently, owing to his not having requested the court to allow him sufficient time to collect all the details, together with the evidence in support of his facts, the honorable district attorney was unable satisfactorily to establish the guilt of the suspected steamer.

It is true that the case, which was begun on Saturday morning, was adjourned until the following Tuesday; this extension, however, was manifestly too short, and yesterday, the 13th instant, the evidence of the United States was so insufficient that the district attorney declared that he would carry the case no further. The decision against the seizure was thus assured, and it was rendered immediately.

In order to secure a different result, and even, the lawyers employed to defend the vessel and her cargo admitted the offense in their private conversations, the neutral, which in this case was the United States Government, should have taken the affair in hand and have made an investigation itself, showing something of the energetic skill and talent in preparing a case of which the undersigned was witness in 1883, when the case of the United States against the Mary N. Hogan was tried.

In fact, as the undersigned had the honor to remark in his note of the 25th ultimo to the Secretary of State of the United States, according to the letter of international law, as it has been understood and interpreted by the United States themselves, a neutral should exercise all due diligence “in its own ports and waters, and as to all persons within its jurisdiction, to prevent any violation of the foregoing obligations and duties.” (See Treaty of Washington, Article VI.) This point, however, having been elucidated in the note addressed by the undersigned to the honorable Secretary of State on the 25th ultimo, there is no need of his discussing it again; suffice it to say, therefore, that in case of the Carondelet the district attorney at New York formally declared to the undersigned that he had no means of seeking for the facts. Consequently, on this essential point, the undersigned can not regard the action of the United States Government as having met the obligations that were imposed upon it; this Government did not exercise “due diligence.” Doubtless the skillful and honorable officers of justice made the best use of the evidence hastily collected by the undersigned or under his direction, but it can not be admitted that the neutral in the case now under consideration sufficiently fulfilled his obligations.

As it was, the evidence indicated or suggested by the legation of Hayti was the only evidence that was considered.

The undersigned now comes to the steamer Madrid, to which reference [Page 523] was made in the note which he addressed to the honorable Secretary of State on the 25th ultimo.

It appears from the testimony of Henry R. Kunhardt, jr., of the firm of Kunhardt & Co., as given yesterday in the case of the United States against the Carondelet, that the Madrid was purchased by him, that it is being converted by him into a vessel of war, and being put in a proper condition to receive its armament.

This matter has been arranged with Nemours Auguste. Kunhardt declared, moreover, that Nemours Auguste had deposited with the firm of André, Giraud & Co., of Paris, a sum on which he (Kunhardt) is authorized to draw in order to re-imburse himself for his advances; that any surplus that may be due him will be paid at Samana, Santo Domingo, whenever the Madrid shall be delivered.

The undersigned scarcely need remind the honorable Secretary of State who Nemours Auguste is. A letter from Nemours Auguste, addressed to the Secretary of State of the United States, appears in Executive Document No. 69, which was communicated to the United States Senate on the 15th ultimo. (See No. 190, pp. 235 et seq. of the said document.) It is therefore admitted that the Madrid has been bought and paid for by Nemours Auguste; that the money is the Haytian rebel money is simply a matter of technical proof; in order to establish this nothing but a moral delay is needed, sufficient for the production of ample evidence in legal form.

In the meantime, the undersigned has learned that the steamer Madrid will probably sail on Saturday morning. He therefore requests that the collector of the port of New York may make use of the discretionary powers which are conferred upon him by section 5290 of the Revised Statutes of the United States, and that he may detain the Madrid provisionally. To this effect the undersigned begs the honorable Secretary of State to cause immediate instructions to be given to the said collector by telegraph.

At the same time, the undersigned asks that positive instructions may likewise be given to the competent district attorney, such instructions as may authorize that officer to use the due diligence which international law imposes upon a neutral.

The undersigned, on his part, will place all the evidence that he has already obtained or is likely to obtain, establishing the nature of the whole transaction relative to the steamer Madrid, in the hands of the officers of justice of the United States.

The undersigned can not conclude this note without adding the expression of his conviction that the honorable Secretary of State of the United States will appreciate, as he does himself, the necessity of causing the neutrality of the United States to be respected by all.

The undersigned has, etc.,

Stephen Preston.

Testimony of Henry B. Kunhardt.

Henry B. Kunhardt, jr., being duly sworn and examined as a witness for the libellants, testifies:

By Mr. Rose:

Q. What is your business?—A. General commission merchant and steam-ship agent and general business.

Q. You were served with a subpœna duces tecum this morning to produce?—A. No, sir, I was not; but I came here as I understood you would like to see me and I am willing to testify. I have not been served with a subpœna.

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Q. Have you been out of the city for a few days?—A. I was last evening with my brother in Lawrence, who has a mill, and I came back by the night train in order to be here this morning in case I should be wanted for anything.

Q. When did you leave the city before?—A. I left the city by the 3 o’clock train on Monday and arrived in Boston at 9 o’clock. I went the following day to the mill in Lawrence.

Q. Answer my question.—A. Yes, sir.

Q. Who is C. P. Kunhardt?—A. C. P. Kunhardt is my cousin, first cousin.

Q. Has he been lately employed by you?—A. He has been lately employed by me.

Q. In what capacity?—A. In—to supervise work which I didn’t know anything about and he did.

Q. Also as paymaster?—A. Also as paymaster.

Q. Where and to pay what men?—A. Well, he has been here in New York and in Brooklyn and in— —

Q. I don’t care anywhere excepting, has he been paying men on the Madrid?—A. He has; yes, sir.

Q. Have the repairs and alterations and work that has been done on her been done under your directions?—A. Under my orders.

Q. Under your orders?—A. Yes; I didn’t know technically about the things.

Q. You had the contract to make these repairs and alterations and changes?—A. Well I don’t know what you call contract, you see; if you will define it a little I will be glad to reply.

Q. How did you become to be interested in having the repairs to the Madrid made and done?—A. I was interested in it because I was asked if I was willing to send down a boat to strengthen them.

Q. Send down a boat to strengthen them?—A. To strengthen them to the South; strengthened to serve as a gun-boat.

Q. Who asked you if you were willing to do that?—A. A man by the name of Nemours Auguste.

Q. Do you know for whom he was acting?—A. I know what he told me he was acting for, yes, sir.

By Mr. MacFarland:

Q. What is the answer?—A. For the Government of the Republic of Santo Domingo.

Q. That is what he told you?—A. Yes, sir.

By the Court:

Q. You said “send down,” send down where?—A. Send down to Santo Domingo.

Q. Was any port named in Santo Domingo?—A. Either Port au Platte or Samana, at our option.

By Mr. Rose:

Q. And you undertook that contract?—A. Most decidedly; the way I executed it——

Q. Answer my question?—A. Yes, sir.

Q. How much were you to get for it?—A. I was to get a sum of money to be paid, the balance to be paid down there on delivery of the vessel.

Q. The balance on delivery of the vessel?—A. Yes, sir.

Q. Has he paid any part of the sum that you were to receive?—A. Part of the sum has been deposited, yes, sir.

Q. Where?—A. In Paris.

Q. Subject to whose draft or check?—A. Subject to our indorsed drafts.

Q. To your indorsed drafts?—A. Yes, if you like I will explain the thing further.

Mr. MacFarland. Is it necessary to go into these private transactions? I don’t think it is quite fair.

The Witness. I am willing to answer anything about the transaction.

Mr. MacFarland. I don’t know that he has any objection to the inquiry.

The Witness. It is a commercial transaction.

Q. With those moneys you have paid for these repairs?—A. Not with one cent of those moneys did I pay for the repairs on the boat.

Q. You paid for it with your own moneys?—A. Every cent.

Q. And to get repaid by the moneys deposited in Paris?—A. No, sir; I said that was a deposit.

Q. How are you to get the moneys back that you have paid?—A. I am to be paid on the delivery of the steamer at Samana for the balance of the contract.

Q. At Samana?—A. At Samana or Port au Platte. I chose Samana.

Q. How much have you received?—A. Well—

Mr. MacFarland. Wait a moment. I don’t know whether you have any objections to answering the question, but if yon have them I ask the court whether it is necessary to interrogate the witness about it.

The Court. Will Mr. Kunhardt first state whether he prefers not to answer.

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The Witness. I prefer not to answer any commercial transactions. I don’t see whose business it is except if the court orders it.

Mr. Rose. If he objects to it, I don’t wish to press it.

Mr. MacFarland. As to the main facts there is no desire to conceal the slightest circumstance about them.

The Court. It wouldn’t make any difference in the legal question whether the account was a few dollars more or less.

By Mr. Rose:

Q. This deposit in Paris was made by whom or to be made by whom?—A. I want to be correct. By different merchants in different places in Europe, who were to accept certain drafts.

Q. Drawn by whom?—A. I don’t know; I didn’t care either.

Q. But was it to be made by Mr. Nemours Auguste?—A. The deposit was to be finally made, arranged by Mr. Nemours Auguste certainly.

Q. And how much was to be deposited there, was it to cover anything else than your dealings here that you know of?—A. Not a cent, didn’t cover it either. No, I said the balance was to be paid on delivery of the steamer at Samana.

Q. I understood you were to have the whole of the money deposited in Paris?—A. The whole of what money?

Q. To pay for the repairs.—A. No, sir; I never said it; I said this was a deposit and that he paid that deposit, and the balance of our bill was to be paid on delivery of the steamer at Samana,

Q. By whom?—A. By the Government of the Republic of Santo Domingo.

Q. Name the person that was to pay you?—A. I do not know; I do not care.

Q. Was that contract in writing?—A. No, sir; they won’t get the ship if they don’t pay, that is one thing I know.

Q. Is Mr. Auguste a Dominican?—A. I do not know; I believe he is from Paris, but I do not know.

Mr. MacFarland. I beg that you won’t state anything that you do not know, but simply state what you know.

Q. Where does Mr. C. P. Kunhardt live?—A. Somewhere in Twenty-third street. If you want him he can be had right away.

Q. Hasn’t Mr. Auguste ever said to you that he represented the Government of Hippolyte?—A. Never, sir.

By Mr. O’Connell:

Q. Where was this money to be deposited in Paris, the sum you have mentioned?—A. At the firm of André, Giraud & Co. I do not know the exact address.

Q. What was the sum of money?—A. The court has ruled that I needn’t answer that question.

Mr. Rose. The court hasn’t ruled.

The Court. You may state proportion of the whole price, that will be sufficient.

The Witness. Not one-half.

The Court. Less than one-half.

The Witness. Less than one-half.

Q. Have you had conversations with him?—A. I have known him for ten years; why yes.

Q. How recently?—A. This morning.

Q. Do you know what his business is in this country at present?—A. No, sir.

Q. He didn’t tell you, did he?—A. He didn’t tell me.

Q. At any time?

Mr. MacFarland. Wait a moment. The line must be drawn somewhere as to this sort of testimony, and I raise the objection. It is not a proper way of interrogating the gentleman.

Mr. O’Connell. If your honor please, this testimony is very important to us. This Mr. Frederic Elie is the agent, the representative in this country of the rebel Hippolyte, and he is engaged in purchasing arms and munitions of war for that person.

The Court. You can ask this witness whether he knows any facts showing that.

The Witness. Ask me, please.

Q. I ask you if Mr. Elie has stated to you at any time what his business was in this country?

Mr. MacFarland. Unless the gentleman must answer that question I object to it.

A. Yes, sir.

Mr. MacFarland. I object to the steam-ship Carondelet and her cargo being embarrassed by some conversation which Mr. Kunhardt had with some one from Hayti.

The Witness. I am perfectly willing to state my conversations with Mr. Elie have been for the sale of coffee; he asked me if I got 16 cents for coffee; I told him I could not get more than 15¾, and wanted to sell it in order to make my commission.

Q. Did Mr. Elie deposit any money with your house?—A. Not one cent.

Q. Did Mr. Auguste deposit any money with your house?—A. Not one cent. I told you that Mr. August deposited in Paris.