Mr. Snowden to Mr. Foster.

No. 106.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose, herewith, copy of a memorandum submitted to Señor Sagasta, at our first private interview in relation to the Carolines incident, in which are enumerated the guaranties given by the Spanish Government to the United States as to the rights and privileges that were to be enjoyed by the American missionaries in these islands. At that interview I agreed to submit to His Excellency a brief history of the events occurring on the Island of Ponapé from 1852 to 1890.

I also transmit a copy of a note submitted to the Marquis de la Vega de Armijo, secretary of state, giving the amount of money expended by the American Board of Foreign Missionaries in the mission at Ponapé, with the amount claimed as damages for property taken and destroyed.

I have, etc.,

A. Loudon Snowden.
[Inclosure 1 in No. 106.]

Memorandum, submitted at an interview between Mr. Snowden and the prime minister, setting forth the assurances given by the Spanish Government as to the protection that would be accorded the American missionaries in the Caroline Islands. At this interview the note of the Duke of Tetuan, dated January 11, 1890, with other data bearing upon the same subject, was submitted.

In September, 1885, before the right of Spain to the sovereignty of the Caroline Islands had been decided, my Government, after recounting the beneficent work of the missionaries in civilizing the natives, sought to know what protection these American citizens would have under Spanish rule.

In reply the Spanish minister of state gave the amplest assurance that the missionaries would not be molested in their civilizing and christianizing work.

On February 10, 1886, your minister at Washington, Señor Valera, transmitted to the Department of State a copy of the text of a protocol concluded between Spain and Germany, by the mediation of His Holiness, Pope Leo XIII, recognizing the sovereignty of Spain over the Caroline and Pelew Islands.

[Page 575]

In acknowledging the receipt of this communication the U. S. Secretary of State used the following language in addressing the Spanish minister:

“As your Government is aware, the citizens of the United States have been actually engaged in disseminating information among the inhabitants of that quarter with a view to their prosperity, and it is not presumed that their treatment under the rule of Spain, which this arrangement recognizes and confirms as between Germany and Spain (and which has never been contested by the United States), will be any less favorable than that of Germans or other foreigners cormmorant therein.”

To this Señor Muruaga, succeeding Señor Valera as minister at Washington, replied for the Spanish Government, under date of May 4, 1886, as follows:

“Her Majesty the Queen Regent, in conformity with the resolution of her ministers in council, had directed the United States to be informed that the treatment American citizens were to receive in the islands would not be less favorable than that accorded to German or other foreigners.”

The protocol between Germany and Spain, dated Rome, December 17, 1885, gives to German subjects on the islands “the fullest protection to their rights of person and property,” and declares further that “all their acquired rights of property and land shall be safeguarded” (that is, guaranteed).

Under the assurances given by the Spanish Government, under date of May 4, 1886 (before stated), the American citizens on the islands were guaranteed the same rights and protection as that accorded the Germans under the terms of the protocol signed at Rome.

It will thus be seen that before and after the decision of His Holiness the Pope, awarding the sovereignty of these islands, the attention of the Spanish Government had been directed to the work of these American missionaries on the islands and the fullest guarantees had been given by His Majesty’s Government as to the protection of all their rights and privileges and of their person and property.

[Inclosure 2 in No. 106.]

Mr. Snowden to the Marquis de la Vega de Armijo.

Excellency: In accordance with my suggestion at the last interview your excellency was good enough to grant me for a discussion of the Carolines incident, I submit herewith a statement giving the approximate amount of money expended by the American Board of Foreign Missions in establishing and maintaining the mission on the Island of Ponapé as well as a statement of the value of land and buildings in the island, with the value of the property taken and destroyed by the Spanish authorities:

Money expended from 1852 to 1890, in planting and sustaining mission on Ponapé $366,921
Paid in 1891 to missionaries and on ships employed for Ponapé 20,000
Value of land seized at Kenan, being the amount agreed to be paid by Spanish authorities of the island 5,000
Total value of the buildings 25,000
Value of building destroyed by Spanish authorities 15,000
Value of land granted to missionaries elsewhere than at Kenan 30,000
Total $446,921

Provided the missionaries are permitted to return to Ponapé, the American Board of Missionaries ask, as a full compensation for property destroyed and land seized and occupied by Spanish authorities, $25,000.

If the missionaries are not permitted to return, it indicates a loss of all money expended, say, $446,921, and could not in any case be less than $250,000.

I avail, etc.,

A. Loudon Snowden.