Mr. Foster to Mr. Durham.

No. 87.]

Sir: This Department has been advised by the vice-consul-general of the arrest and confinement at Port au Prince of a respectable American merchant, Mr. Frederick Mevs, under aggravating circumstances.

It is desired that you will terminate the leave of absence you are now enjoying and return to Port au Prince for the purpose of investigating this affair and taking such action with the Government of Haiti as the circumstances may require.

The Secretary of the Navy has been requested to transport you to Port au Prince in a vessel of the Navy, and, if public business requires it, to also transport you from Port au Prince to San Domingo City. You will, however, delay the vessel as short a time as possible in this service.

You are instructed, after ascertaining the real facts of the arrest and confinement of Mr. Mevs, to lay the matter before the Government of Haiti, if the circumstances warrant it, and ask for such action on its part in reparation of this injury to an American citizen as, in your discretion, may seem proper.

I am, etc.,

John W. Foster.