Mr. Durham to Mr. Gresham.

No. 192.]

Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your telegram of the 5th instant, instructing me to urge the fulfillment of the Mevs settlement, and to confirm my own of yesterday, asking whether I should accept Haitian paper as offered by the Haitian minister for foreign affairs.

I inclose copies of the correspondence exchanged this week. Inclosure No. 1 is my note to the acting minister stating that this legation considers the matter as closed and asking when I might look forward to the carrying out of the agreement.

On receiving this the acting minister called on me. He offered me $5,000, gold. I replied that the arrangement had been made for $6,000, and that the Government had accepted the arrangement. I told him that I would expose myself to the Department’s displeasure should I accept any reduction. He replied that he would not so expose me and that he would telegraph to the President of Haiti for instructions.

Yesterday I received his note, which I inclose with translation, in which he refers to the matter as closed at 6,000 gourdes, a reduction of 13 per cent, yesterday, with exchange very uncertain. It seemed such small business that I decided not to dicker with him. The written promise to pay was in our possession, and I replied in a note, of which I inclose a copy, asking him to permit me to receive your instructions before formally accepting the modification which his Government had made.

I have, etc.,

John S. Durham.
[Inclosure 1 in No. 192]

Mr. Durham to Mr. Marcelin.

Sir: I am instructed by my last advices from my Government to urge upon your attention the case of Mr. Mevs, and to press for a definite termination of the affair. This legation has for some time past regarded the matter as closed in an amicable [Page 381]way, and the Government of the United States has accepted the settlement. I beg you to give it your early attention, and to advise me when I may look forward to a formal termination.

Accept, etc.,

John S. Durham.
[Inclosure 2 in No. 192—Translation.]

Mr. Marcelin to Mr. Durham.

Mr. Minister: I have the honor to receive the dispatch which you addressed to me the 3d of this month to let me know the latest instructions transmitted to you by your Government relative to the question of Mr. Mevs.

You have had the goodness to let me know equally that your legation has for some time regarded this affair as having been closed in an amicable manner and that the Government of the United States had accepted the settlement reached before the departure of the President of Haiti between your legation and the department of foreign relations.

I shall be obliged to you, Mr. Minister, to be pleased to make known to your Government our entire acquiescence in the proposition which you have made to settle this affair through the amicable means of an indemnity of 6,000 gourdes to the account of Mr. Mevs, which value the department of foreign relations holds from now at the disposition of your legation.

Permit me on this occasion to express to you in the name of my Government the satisfaction which we experience to see terminate amicably the definite settlement of this question, and I will appreciate your being the interpreter to his excellency President Cleveland to renew to him the sincere sentiments of esteem of friendship and of sympathy with which we are animated toward the American nation.

Be good enough to witness to him how much value we attach to the conservation of the good understanding which exists between the Government of the United States of America and that of Haiti.

Accept, etc.,

F. Marcelin.
[Inclosure No. 3 in No. 192.]

Mr. Durham to Mr. Marcelin.

Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your note No. 167 of to-day, in which you express the perfect accord of your Government to a settlement of the Mevs case for 6,000 gourdes, and you inform me that that sum is at the disposal of this legation for Mr. Mevs’s account.

I note also with most cordial appreciation your expression of most friendly sentiments toward the United States.

It will give me great pleasure to repeat your words to the Department at Washington for transmission to the President of the United States.

I regret to say, however, that the previous arrangement for $6,000 having been accepted by the Government of the United States, I do not feel that I have any longer the discretionary power to accept such a material modification as your department now makes in offering 6,000 gourdes. I trust that you will quite understand that I simply do my duty in asking you to permit me to ask for instructions on that point before accepting your modification.

Accept, etc.,

John S. Durham.