Mr. Douglass to Mr. Blaine.

No. 45.]

Sir: Article 2 of President Hyppolite’s amnesty proclamation, a copy of which I had the honor to transmit to you under cover of my dispatch No. 14 of the 18th of November last, states that “the individuals accused of murder, of incendiarism, and of other non-political offenses” were not included in the amnesty and would have to answer before competent tribunals.

Nevertheless, several persons, mostly underofficers of small repute, whom public opinion designated as having been concerned in common law offenses under the Légitime administration, hastened to return to the country. But public clamor rose against them to such an extent that they finally took alarm and ran into the foreign legations or consulates, [Page 522] mostly into that of France, where they still are, probably secure from arrest, awaiting an opportunity to embark for foreign lands. None of these men seem to be of political importance.

A notable exception to their case, however, is that of General Boisrond Canal, ex-President of the Republic, who is also in refuge. Although public clamor apparently holds him responsible for some of the evils that have come upon the country since the overthrow of President Salomon, yet there do not appear to be any specified charges against him, as the Government sent a passport in regular form to him at the British consulate, where he still is, awaiting a steamer to take him to the neighboring island of Jamaica.

The public does not manifest much concern over the matter of these refugees, of whom there are, I judge, less than a dozen. I suspect there is a feeling of relief at the prospect of their early departure from the country.

On the 7th instant the minister of foreign affairs, Mr. Firmin, addressed me a note (inclosure No. 1) stating that the Government had been informed that “many individuals” of the class already referred to were in refuge in the legations or consulates, and asking me for a list of such as might be here.

I promptly responded (inclosure No. 2) to Mr. Firmin, assuring him that no refugees were here and that no one had applied for refuge under my flag.

I am, etc.,

Frederick Douglass.
[Inclosure 1 in No. 45.—Translation.]

Mr. Firmin to Mr. Douglass.

Mr. Minister: The Government is informed that many persons are at this moment refugees in the legations or consulates established in this city, because the law pursues (la justice recherche) those whom public clamor has denounced as having committed common law crimes and misdemeanors during the course of the last civil strife in the country.

If this information is correct, I pray you to be pleased to furnish me with a list of the persons to whom you have accorded the protection of your flag.

Be pleased to accept, etc.,

A. Firmin,
Secretary of State.
[Inclosure 2 in No.45.]

Mr. Douglass to Mr. Firmin.

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of this date, in which you state to me that the Government is informed that many individuals are refugees in the legations or consulates in this city, because the courts are seeking for those whom public clamor has denounced as having committed offenses against the common law during the last civil strife in the country, and in which you ask me, in case the Government’s information on the subject be correct, to furnish you with a list of such of these persons as I have received under my flag.

In response to your note, I am happy to state to you that no person or persons whatsoever are in refuge under the flag of this legation, and that no person has applied to me for such refuge.

Be pleased to accept, etc.,

Frederick Douglass.