Mr. Baker to Mr. Gresham.

No. 47.]

Sir: After the peace of Sabana Grande the whole country apparently not only acquiesced but applauded. A President and cabinet were agreed upon by the respective parties and the new administration set about rectifying abuses which had grown up in the Government, addressing themselves in general to the task of creating a better condition of public affairs. But this naturally peace-loving people has again been plunged into another unfortunate internecine struggle.

The President of the Republic, Señor Machado, and his chief cabinet minister, Señor Sanchez, both citizens of the Leon country and sympathizers with that political and local sentiment, had, in company with Gen. Avilez, the general of the army, made a visit to Leon. As they were about to depart from the city an attempt was made to capture and imprison these gentlemen. Machado and Sanchez were quite easily captured, but Gen. Avilez seemed to think his duties demanded him at the capital, so he eluded arrest, and arrived at Managua some three days later.

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This rebellion was headed by Col. Anastacio J. Ortiz, who had been placed in command at Leon as military governor on the recommendation of Gen. Zavala. By depriving the Republic of its President and chief minister, as well as its commanding general, they hoped to throw the Government into anarchy. And in this they substantially succeeded.

Business is paralyzed, the farms are again robbed of the labor necessary to make crops, communication with the seacoast by rail is cut off, prices of all commodities have extravagantly increased, and Americans and other foreigners doing business in this country are disappointed and disheartened.

While I shall hold myself in readiness to aid by patient counsel and friendly offices in the establishment of peace again I shall not be forward in offering my services. I shall hope, if the occasion should arise for mediation, to be able to find some guarantee that the terms of any compact entered into another time will be respected.

On yesterday, Sunday, the 16th, the three remaining members of the cabinet, viz, Vigil, Gomez, and Castillo, called a meeting of principal citizens of Managua, Masaya, Granada, Jinotepe, Leon, and Rivas for consultation. The meeting was held at the palace at 12 o’clock. Gen. Vigil presided. He stated the public situation and the object of the meeting. The three members of the cabinet found that divided authority during a crisis lacked the necessary unity and vigor to handle and defend the interests of the country; therefore he desired to gather the sense of the country upon the question of the present cabinet resigning its power and depositing the same in the hands of a single man. Minister Gomez followed in a similar vein, and proposed that the power be placed in the hands of Gen. Joaquin Zavala, an ex-President and distinguished citizen of Nicaragua. The suggestion was received with cheers, and a motion to that effect was unanimously and enthusiastically adopted. Thereupon a decree issued to that effect.

I am, etc.,

Lewis Baker.