Mr. Bayard to Mr. Strobel.

No. 324.]

Sir: Referring to Mr. Curry’s No. 280, of the 22d November last, relating to the imprisonment of the Rev. E. T. Doane at Ponape, in the Caroline Islands, I inclose a copy of a letter recently received from the Rev. Judson Smith and of the Department’s reply thereto.

You will call the attention of the Spanish Government to the matter in the sense of the Department’s letter to Mr. Smith.

I am, etc.,

T. F. Bayard.
[Inclosure 1 in No. 324.]

Mr. Smith to Mr. Bayard.

Dear Sir: It has been in my mind for sometime to write to you to ascertain what action, if any, has been taken by the Spanish Government in response to the claim presented by our Government for redress and damages incurred in the unjust arrest and deportation and imprisonment of Rev. E. T. Doane, the American missionary resident on Ponape in the Micronesian Islands, about whose case I have had occasion somewhat frequently to communicate with you. Happily, after the first serious mistakes, the Spanish authorities have taken a right view of the matter, and Mr. Doane has been restored to his residence and work, and matters on Ponape at present seem to be in a peaceful and satisfactory condition. But the indignity to Mr. Doane and to American interests in those islands has not received, so far as we have learned, the proper consideration and reparation at the hands of the Spanish Government. This is a matter of so much importance with reference to the future right relations between the Spanish authorities and the American missionaries resident in the Caroline Islands, that it seems to call for the most immediate and vigorous action on the part of our Government. As I understand, a definite demand for reparation has been made. It may be that there has been received also the assurance that such reparation will be made. If so, the matter will doubtless require no further attention. I write to inquire whether our Government is advised that the Spanish Government recognizes the propriety of the demand and is prepared to meet it in a proper way. Mr. Doane was personally subjected to serious indignities and to actual expenses of no inconsiderable amount. Our board has been put to very considerable expense also by reason of this violent and unjustifiable action of Spanish authorities toward Mr. Doane. American interests in the person of Mr. Doane and the work with which he is connected, have received a serious injury. On all these accounts there is the most sufficient reason for ample and prompt reparation by the Spanish Government.

It does not become me to suggest the amount of damage which should be recognized in the adjustment of the matter between our Government and Spain. I am disposed to suggest, however, the amount ought to be such as suitably to mark the extent of the injury received and thoroughly to impress upon all who shall have responsibility in the administration of the Spanish Government in these islands the duty of fully respecting the rights of American citizens and their work in these islands.

In a recent letter from Mr. Doane the information is given that the Spanish governor has appropriated a plat of ground owned by Mr. Doane and occupied by him as his residence, for which no compensation has as yet been made. I think the governor has promised that compensation should be made, but this promise has not yet been fulfilled. I think it does not require argument on my part to show the great importance of dealing energetically and promptly with this first instance of misdoing, both as a mere matter of justice and especially as a means of security for the future. The promptness and efficiency with which our representations in regard to this matter have in former times been received by the Department of State, encourage us to expect that this matter, which is in some respects the most important phase of the whole, will in like manner promptly be taken up and energetically carried through.

I am, etc.,

Judson Smith,
Foreign Secretary American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions.
[Page 421]
[Inclosure 2 in No. 324.]

Mr. Adee to Mr. Smith.

Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 1st instant, in which you discuss the subject of pecuniary redress to be accorded by Spain in the case of the Rev. E. T. Doane, who was wrongfully arrested and imprisoned in the Caroline Islands.

As you state, the representations of this Government to that of Spain, in the case referred to, resulted in the admission by Spain of the wrongfulness of the action of her authorities in those islands, and in the restoration of Mr. Doane to his residence and work. At the same time, however, the Spanish Government requested delay in the matter of indemnity, pending the action of the colonial authorities, and their execution of their design of restoring the property of which the mission had been deprived.

A copy of your letter will be sent to the legation in Madrid, with instructions to inquire of the Spanish Government whether the proceedings of the colonial authorities have not progressed far enough to permit the subject of indemnification to be taken up and disposed of.

As to the amount that could properly be claimed, the Department is not yet furnished with data specific enough to enable it to determine that question definitely.

I am, etc.,

Alvey A. Adee,
Second Assistant Secretary.