Mr. Foster to Mr. Snowden.
Washington , November 29, 1892 .
Sir: With reference to my instruction No. 25 of 3d instant, relative to American missionaries at Ponape in the Caroline Islands, I now desire to call your attention more specifically to the amount of indemnity which it is believed they are entitled to receive.
Accompanying Commander Taylor’s report, transmitted to the legation October 7, 1891, is a schedule (Appendix II) of mission property destroyed, and its value, amounting to $11,114. It is understood that Commander Taylor is personally cognizant of its reasonableness. Mr. Rand’s statement of the mission lands of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions at Ponape, for which reparation should also be made, accompanies the same report. (Appendix X.)
Commander Jewell, who visited the eastern Caroline group in 1887, states in his report of November 25 of that year (copy of which is herewith [Page 514] inclosed), that during his visit to Ponape the governor assured Mr. Doane that the question with regard to the land taken at Kenan should be settled to the latter’s satisfaction, but that he was not prepared to go into the matter at that time, and that Mr. Doane accepted the assurance of the governor as satisfactory. You will observe from Mr. Rand’s statement that an agreement was subsequently reached between Governor Cadarso and Mr. Doane, whereby the Spanish authorities were to pay $2,000 compensation for the Kenan land.
As regards the indemnity due for the personal injuries to Mr. Doane, you will see by reference to a letter of the secretary of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions to this Department, dated September 24, 1888, transmitted to the legation October 10, 1888, and a later letter of April 17, 1889 (copy of which is transmitted herewith), that the immediate pecuniary damage occasioned by Mr. Doane’s arrest and deportation is variously estimated at from $1,000 to $3,000. (See also generally letter of the American Board of Commissioners of Foreign Missions to the Department November 13, 1889, transmitted to the legation November 25 of that year.)
In view of all the facts it must be admitted that the sum of $25,000, which the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions ask in full remuneration of their pecuniary damage is very moderate. (Letter of January 23, 1891, copy inclosed herewith.) This society from the beginning has, according to its published reports, expended $733,843 in establishing and carrying on its missionary work in the Caroline Islands. (Letter of American Board of Commissioners of Foreign Missions to the Department March 18, 1891, transmitted to legation October 12, 1891.) The fruits of the expenditure of this immense sum have been, to a large degree, destroyed by the action of the Spanish authorities. The sum of $25,000, which the board now ask, would barely cover the actual property taken and destroyed, without taking into consideration the great injury done its mission work and interests. I trust that the sum proposed may commend itself to Her Majesty’s Government and be deemed to afford a reasonable basis upon which to settle the claim.
I am, etc.,