Mr. Haentjens to Mr. Gresham.
24 State Street, New York , February 27, 1894 .
(Received February 28.)
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.,
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.