Mr. Newberry to Mr. Blaine.

No. 205.]

Sir: I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your No. 141 and No. 145, with inclosures, referring to the trouble at Ponape between the natives and the Spanish officials. I have the honor to inclose copies of my official correspondence with the Duke of Tetuan on the subject, and on receipt of reply will at once transmit it to the Department.

I have, etc.,

H. R. Newberry.
Chargé d’Affaires ad interim.
[Page 441]
[Inclosure No. 1 in No. 205.]

Mr. Newberry to the Duke of Tetuan.

Excellency: I have the honor to inclose herewith a copy of a letter addressed to the Department of State at Washington from the secretary of the American Board of Foreign Missions, calling attention to the disturbed condition of affairs at Ponape, and points out the efforts of their missionaries to preserve the peace and improve the relations between the natives and the Spanish garrison. Our newly-appointed consul at that place has received instructions to use his best efforts to promote good will, and to further peaceful relations of the American missionaries and the natives toward the Spanish authorities. It is to be hoped that your excellency’s Government will give their cordial support to our consul to that end, as both he and the missionary organization will have the interest of law and order very much at heart.

I avail, etc.,

H. R. Newberry.
[Inclosure No. 2 in No. 205.]

Mr. Newberry to the Duke of Tetuan.

Excellency: I have the honor to state that I am in receipt of further dispatches from the Honorable the Secretary of State at Washington relating to the late trouble at Ponape, and I desire to request your excellency to give your most serious consideration to the subject at hand, as it is a matter of great importance to my Government. When the Spanish Government took possession of said island of Ponape as a constituent part of the Spanish dominions assurances were given that the American mission property, granted in due form, and held for many years as the property of the American Mission School, be duly respected. But said property has been entered upon, seized, and occupied by the Spanish officials without any compensation for the same, although in pursuance of remonstrances from the United States Government the Spanish Government has agreed to pay $5,000 for damages incurred, not one cent of which has yet been paid. This was for property seized and damaged at Kenan, on said island of Ponape. And now, again, under the protection and permission of the Spanish officials, Catholic priests seize upon property belonging to American residents, and against their protests erect their church within twelve feet, more or less, of the American mission chapel.

I inclose a copy of a letter from Mrs. Cole, giving an account of this unlawful seizure and the trouble which it caused. On behalf of my Government I earnestly protest against the invasion of property, and rights of the Americans at Ponape, and would suggest that your excellency’s Government carry out the agreement made for damages incurred at Kenan, and that in the present instances orders will be issued to the officials of the island to remove all trespassers from the property rightfully belonging to Americans. I beg to again urge upon your excellency the necessity for a prompt adjustment of the difficulty, relying upon the desire of Her Catholic Majesty’s ministers to see justice and fair play given on all occasions.

I avail myself, etc.,

H. R. Newberry.