Mr. Smythe to Mr. Gresham.*
Port au Prince, Haiti, January 22, 1894.
(Received January 29.)
Sir: I inclose herewith the testimony forwarded to me by Consul Meade, relating to the incident at Azua. This shows the affair practically as reported to me by the commander of the Kearsarge, and is the only official intelligence I have received except the brief dispatch which I forwarded to you.
It seems right to consider, first, that the vessel was anchored at a closed port; second, that the whole countryside was in arms trying to apprehend or prevent the escape of the parties who had assassinated the governor of the province; and, third, that the mate, instead of proceeding boldly to the shore and making inquiries as soon as he saw a few men with arms in their hands turned the bow of his boat to the vessel and retreated, thus confirming the suspicions of the ignorant soldiery in the belief that the vessel was either concerned in the uprising or was there (in a closed port) to carry away the assassins of the governor.
I have unofficial information that the mate is well, and the seaman, Smith (who, it seems, is a Swede), is recovering rapidly.
I have, etc.,
P. S.—I have just learned that it will be impossible to copy the evidence, etc., for this mail, and hence I send this dispatch to give the Department an idea of the situation. My opinion is that no discourtesy was intended to our flag, but think a reasonable indemnity should be demanded for the wounded sailors, unless the circumstances debar them from remuneration.
The papers will follow in next mail, and can then be connected with this dispatch.
Very truly, your friend and servant,