Mr. Bayard to Mr. Curry.

No. 238.]

Sir: I transmit for your information, in connection with former correspondence, a copy of a dispatch from Manila, containing references to the recent disturbances at Ponape, Caroline Islands, and copy of a letter of Rev. Mr. Doane, the American missionary there.

I am, etc.,

T. F. Bayard.
[Inclosure in No. 238.]

Mr. Voigt to Mr. Porter.

No. 190.]

Sir: Since my last No. 188, of 28th ultimo, I was handed, as coming from the commander of the Spanish transport returned hither, on 22d ultimo, the inclosed letter of Missionary Doane, dated Ponape, 5th ultimo, descriptive of the events that occurred there during his involuntary absence. There were likewise delivered to me seven other letters from Mr. Doane and the other American missionaries remaining on that island, in order that I might forward them to destination, he having no stamps there for franking, etc., which I am complying with to-day. I should say that the authorities here held back Mr. Doane’s correspondence for reasons of their own, eight or nine days; as I ought to have received what was anxiously expected that much earlier instead of on the very last day of September.

Nothing further to add in respect of the expedition fitting out at this time. It seems, however, the captain-general is going to exercise due care with regard to our missionaries, there being detailed, I understand, a very gentlemanly official who speaks English, for the purpose presumably of conferring with Mr. Doane and availing of his valuable aid in settling difficulties on the island of Ascension; that is, after the programme of Spanish retribution has been enacted. They have an immense white elephant on their hands in those Carolines; no end of great outlay and extremely problematical advantages for many years ahead.

I have, etc.,

Julius G. Voigt, Consul.
[Page 412]
[Inclosure in No. 190.]

Mr. Doane to Mr. Voigt.

My Dear Sir: You will, I know, want a few lines from me telling of the issue of my return. We had a fine run down, good weather—more than that—most delightful weather all the time. The run to Yap was in good time; from there to Ponape we slowed down, but still did very well.

But alas, alas! reaching Ponape, the sad news was brought to us of the killing of the governor, his doctor, secretary, and others, in all some twenty-five persons, by the natives. It all grew out of the governor’s oppressive acts and the conduct of certain foreigners. One is now a prisoner to be taken to Manila—the worst man I ever saw on this island. For years he has been carrying on his wicked work. Another fearfully bad man, a Spaniard, was killed. Skillings, who asked to be appointed United States consul to Ponape, was obliged to flee Ponape to an island 60 miles distant. He kept leading the governor into mischief. Another man, one Kehol, has also fled. A German, who was free, very free, with his bad advice to the governor, has fled. The German Government ought to shut him up. So much for all these bad characters; once so lawless here, now either dead or in prisons, or fugitives. Surely “The mills of God grind slowly, but they grind exceeding fine.” For a quarter of a century God had borne with them, but at last his anger has flashed forth as a burning sword.

As to the governor, it was his own doings that brought on him his sad fate. Oppression, severe, continued, degrading to high chief, then finally sending off to a certain place a squad of soldiers twenty in number to bring to him some chiefs who had returned; a Spaniard with them who had long been on the island, an awful wretch, told these chiefs if they did not hasten up the Governor would sew up their mouths, then hang them all. This naturally terrified the chiefs; they were slow to move; the word was given to the soldiers—fire! two natives fell dead, three wounded; the guns once emptied the living natives rushed on the company, and with clubs, stones, etc., killed every one of them; then, frenzied, the natives rushed in, surrounded the governor’s residence, which he had fortified; then firing began, the ship in the harbor sending over shells. Finally, early in the morning of the 4th of July, the governor saw the odds were against him; he fled from his fort, running foolishly for the sea, and unknowingly right into the arms of the natives. They chased him, killed him in the water. Here the matter ended. A sad, sad fate to such an oppressor; a sadder fate to his evil counselors; a sad blot on the island; she is bathed in blood.

I am now working hard to get property restored the natives found lying about; for the Spanish soldiers threw away their guns, some in the sea, some in the woods. The natives show a sorry spirit for what has been done, showing a clean record the trouble began with the hot-brain governor also. They are willing to bring in the things taken, and I frankly tell them this is the only thing for them. They are disposed to take my word.

Ponape looks like an island swept by a terrible cyclone, or a better figure is, like an ulcer that has broken and ejected all of its matter, then healed up. Certainly this applies to the beach-comber element that has been swept off out from the island.

Of course the Government with you will be terribly excited, and will at once, to say the least, send here a force to know the whole matter, and reduce to submission all that are refractory. But of these I know of none. May Spain show a kind spirit to her erring children, whom one of her high officials has led into evil.

I have given you the main facts of this affair.

I trust you are enjoying good health. Should you wish to use these facts in any public way, let me ask my name be not used too publicly.

I remain yours,

E. T. Doane.

P. S.—A large mail is awaiting me with the acting governor, I presume from the States, evidence of your kindness in hastening them along.

Please forward as directed the inclosed letter.

E. T. D.