Mr. Haentjens to Mr. Gresham.


Mr. Secretary of State: I have the honor to state in this dispatch the following facts, which, in conformity with instructions received by cable from my Government, I set forth in my interview yesterday with the honorable, Assistant Secretary of State in your absence.

In the beginning of the month of January last a steam yacht called Natalie left the coast of Long Island (New York State) and proceeded [Page 338] to the port of Savannah, Ga. Arrived at that port, the Natalie, under cover of night, there shipped thirty-two cases containing cartridges, guns, bullets, gun carriages, etc., and furtively sailed away without procuring any manifest or paper from the custom-house.

From Savannah the yacht proceeded to Nassau, where she was until the 9th of February, sheltering under the American flag her contraband of war, and the last telegraphic advices inform me of her presence on the 23d of February at Fortune Island, one of the Bahama Islands.

This expedition, for a long time in preparation by the Haitian refugees at Kingston, and by their accomplices in New York, is conducted by one Antoine Salini, a Corsican naturalized American. His design is to reach Jamaica, there take on board the revolutionary Haitians who have taken refuge on that island, and to effect their landing on the coast of Haiti.

In view of this act of an American vessel secretly sailing from a port of the United States without papers from the custom-house, carrying away arms and munitions of war; in view of the unlawful use made by Salini and his accomplices of the American flag to conceal his contraband of war and facilitate an expedition the purpose of which is to rekindle civil war in a country which entertains friendly relations with the Republic of the United States, the Haitian Government, fully confiding in the justice of the American Government, in denouncing to it these facts requests that it will take such measures as it may deem efficacious toward arresting an attempted violation of international law. Accept, etc.,

C. Haentjens.

P. S.—Herewith I have the honor to forward to you copy of a letter received from Savannah and containing information concerning the cargo shipped by the Natalie. I have not procured affidavits in support of this information in the belief that if obtained directly by your orders, should you think it well to do so, they would be all the more convincing.

C. H.
[Inclosure—Copy of a letter.]

Mr. Farie to Mr. Meehan.

Dear Sir: I have to acknowledge your favor of 24th instant, inclosing cuttings from the New York Herald and World, re yacht Natalie, and beg to confirm my telegram of date saying:

Natalie Herald cutting; in the main true; Capt. Antonio Salini in command; 26 cases cartridges, 5 cases guns, 6 cases gun carriages, shipped Bannerman, Front street, New York, taken on board yacht. Destination or present location unknown.

The yacht arrived here December 31. The master called himself Nelson to some people, but I find from inquiries which I made that he had given his name as Antonio Salini to others. No entry was made at the custom house either of the arrival or departure of yacht.

After arrival here, and while waiting, the yacht was coaled up, taking on board about 13 tons of coal. Some of the coal was in sacks and was piled on deck. She was also well provisioned. Before taking coal on board, however, the master called in John Rourke, of the firm of John Rourke & Son, to examine the machinery. Some changes were recommended, [Page 339] and made, to increase speed of vessel. From all I could gather the changes made increased her speed from about 10 knots an hour to 14 knots.

It was given out here that the yacht belonged to private parties, and was awaiting their arrival here to start with them on a hunting and fishing expedition. The parties were coming from the north.

As regards the shipment of ammunition, I would state that I saw the bills of lading for same. They were shipped by the Ocean Steamship Company’s steamer City of Augusta, appointed to sail January 10, 1894, viz.

First bill of lading.

Goods shipped by Francis Bannerman, 27 Front street, New York City, consigned to Earnest Morrett, Savannah (or Herritt). Box Nos. 4–12, 14–15, 24–34; 21 boxes containing cartridges.

Second bill of lading.

Five cases guns, 3 cases gun carriage and chests, 1 case gun box carriage and chests, 1 case gun chest, 1 case gun carriage.

Third bill of lading.

40–41, 42–44; 5 boxes cartridges.

The consignee here is unknown and probably was an imaginary person. The freight on the packages was paid here and the goods were hauled away after dark on the 20th and shipped on board the yacht from the river side at foot of West Broad street.

The yacht sailed Sunday night. Destination unknown; present location unknown, although the general impression here is that she went direct to the Bahamas.

The master sailed without settling all John Rourke & Son’s bill. There is a balance of $100 or so unpaid, and I understand telegrams were sent to Fernandina and to Pensacola to attach vessel if she put in at these ports.

I return you herewith newspaper cuttings and inclose my bill for services in the matter.

Yours, etc.,

A. L. Farie,
Correspondent Marine Underwriters.