Mr. Bayard to Mr. Curry.

No. 231.]

Sir: I transmit for your information, in connection with former correspondence, a copy of a letter from the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, at Boston in reference to affairs in the Caroline Islands.

As suggested in the letter, instructions have issued looking to the establishment of a consular agency at Ponape, if thought expedient. Our consul at Manila will consider the matter.

I also inclose a copy of a letter from Mr. H. A. Stimson, and of minutes which accompany the same, adopted at the annual meeting of that board on the 4th instant, relative to the arrest of the Rev. Mr. Doane by the authorities at Ponape, and a copy of my reply.

I am, etc.,

T. F. Bayard.
[Inclosure 1 in No. 231.]

Mr. Smith to Mr. Bayard.

Dear Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the reception on this day of your favor of the 13th instant. I desire at once to express my very hearty satisfaction in view of the promptness and energy which our Government has taken in regard to affairs in the Caroline Islands. I am also specially grateful to you for the information contained in this communication. Word was received by me on Monday last by cablegram from Japan to the effect that the Ponapeans had killed fifty Spaniards, and also that the ship Essex had been sent from Yokohama to Ponape to look after American interests there. I am very glad to receive confirmation of this last fact from your communication. I trust that the report of the number of Spaniards who have been slain by the natives is exaggerated. I am led to expect this the more from the fact that a communication has just met my eye that was published in the Spanish press not long since to the effect that the natives on Ponape rose against the Spanish authorities on the 5th of July last, and, having slain the governor and wounded three of the soldiers, the remainder of the Spanish force took refuge upon the boats in the harbor. As I have intimated in a former letter to you, we are fully assured that our missionaries on Ponape have not only had nothing whatever to do in the way of inciting the natives to this result, but we are fully assured that they have done everything in their power to dissuade the natives from such sanguinary measures. We can only explain the rising of the natives upon the supposition, which is recognized as probable in the Spanish press, and, as I suppose, also at the Spanish court, namely, that religious persecution in some form has goaded the natives to this extreme measure. It is greatly to be regretted that such an outbreak should have occurred; it will make more difficult all measures looking to the settlement of relations in the islands. I am greatly relieved that a United States man-of-war has been sent to the scene; it will have an excellent moral effect in every way, and I trust will prevent bloodshed and violence.

I note the suggestion in your communication bearing upon the difficulty of receiving information from the islands, resulting from the fact that there is no consul [Page 408] or other representative of the United States stationed near the Caroline Islands. Allow me to raise the inquiry whether the events of these past months do not make a call upon our Government to establish a representative at Ponape. The advantages of such an arrangment would be many and important, and I do not think that great expense need be involved in the arrangement. It would seem to me wiser for many reasons that such official representative should not be one of the missionaries employed by our board. Mr. Voigt, the United States consul at Manila, in a communication which met my eye, suggested a Mr. Bowker, now resident on Ponape, a citizen of this country, who would creditably represent the Government there, and who would be acceptable in such position to the Americans—missionary and other—who are resident on that island. Considering the large interests which Americans have in these islands, resulting from the thirty-five years of successful missionary work carried on there, and the remarkable state of advancement to which these labors have brought so many of the inhabitants, it would seem not an extravagant or unreasonable thing for our Government, in view of present dangers and complications, to establish an official representative near the seat of the Spanish Government in these islands. I believe that I have in former letters sufficiently stated to to you the losses and special expenses created by the arbitrary proceedings of the Spanish authorities on Ponape. I am informed in a recent dispatch received from Madrid that the Spanish Government is said to have given pledges that it will fully meet the demand of our Government for indemnity. If this is indeed the case, and if adequate security for the future can also be afforded, we shall feel that justice is done and a great end gained.

You will learn by an official communication sent from the officers of this board, and adopted at the annual meeting of the board at Springfield, Mass., last week, with what sentiments the gentlemen who compose this corporation view the action of Spain in this case, and with what hope and confidence they look to our Government for protection and redress. It gives me great pleasure to add to such an official expression my own personal sense of the energy and wisdom with which the reasonable demands of our Government have been brought to the attention of Spain and the correspondence with reference to settlement carried forward. I shall await further information, which you promised to send me, with very lively interest and confident hope.

I am, etc.,

Judson Smith.
[Inclosure 2 in No. 231.]

Mr. Stimson to the President.

Dear Sir: The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, at its annual meeting in Springfield, Mass., October 4–7, 1887, adopted the inclosed minute and instructed me to lay it before you, asking for your kind attention.

I am, etc.,.

Henry A. Stimson,
Recording Secretary.

The American board has learned with surprise and indignation of the unjust arrest and imprisonment of Mr. Doane in April last, and of the interruption of work in the Micronesian mission which has followed upon the establishment of Spanish authority on Ponape.

It recalls with devout thanksgiving the wonderful results of thirty-five years of Christian work in those islands; the gathering of nearly fifty churches, with 5,300 members—a greater number of communicants than are found in any other mission under its care; the establishment of six high schools for the training of native preachers and teachers, and of forty common schools, with more than 2,800 pupils, and the transformation of the people from naked and warlike savages to orderly, peaceful, and industrious communities. In view of the interference of the local Spanish authorities with all this work, and of the violent treatment of Rev. Edward T. Doane, against all reason and national right, it calls on the Government for the most prompt and energetic action to obtain reparation for wrongs already endured, and especially to secure ample protection for the missionaries and the prosecution of their beneficent work for the future; and it assures to the Government in these measures the indorsement of the nation and of the Christian world.

Eliphalet W. Blatchford.
Presiding Officer.
[Page 409]
[Inclosure 3 in No. 231.]

Mr. Bayard to Mr. Stimson.

Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of 21st instant, and of the “accompanying minute” adopted at the annual meeting of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions at Springfield, Mass., on the 4th instant, relative to the arrest of Rev. Mr. Doane, the American citizen and missionary, by the Spanish authorities at Ponape, and to say in reply that the Department has done and is doing everything practicable to secure protection to Mr. Doane and his associates in labor.

I am, etc.

T. F. Bayard.