Mr. Sampson to Mr. Hay.

No. 103.]

Sir: The attached inclosures, 1, 2, and 3, are largely self-explanatory.

No. 1 is copy of letter received from two American Protestant missionaries in Quito.

Immediately on receipt of it I wrote a letter to this Government, accompanying it by a translation into Spanish. Otherwise its contents might not be known by officials for two or three days, until the translator got ready to translate it. I then delivered it in person, to see its effect, which was most salutary and effective. I was then given positive assurances, orally, by the minister of foreign affairs (and Vice-President and Acting President Cueva, who happened to be present) that prompt and active steps should be taken for the protection of American missionaries and the punishment of offenders.

This personal assurance was followed by a very satisfactory official answer. (See inclosure 3.) Unofficially I have learned that soldiers were detailed to go to the cathedral and other churches to hear if any more denunciation of Protestant missionaries should be indulged in, while police were sent to protect their homes. They have suffered no further molestation. Nine arrests have been made and the offenders are in jail awaiting trial.

Missionaries in China or Turkey were never in more imminent peril. Prompt, decisive action of the Government is all that averted a killing of the missionaries here—nine in all.

I have, etc.,

Archibald J. Sampson.
[Inclosure 1.]

Messrs. Tarbox and Fritz to Mr. Sampson.

Dear Mr. Sampson: It having come to our knowledge that the priests were using the pulpit of the cathedral to excite the people to kill us, we asked a friend, Señor Pablo J. Guteirez, to go and listen to what was being preached.

To-day at the noon service a priest by the name of Matens gave a most inflammatory address, using the following significant language:

“If the Virgin Mary does not convert them it is necessary that they be taken out of the city, and if not, they must be destroyed.” Last Wednesday similar language was used. Already we are seeing the fruits of such malicious words, for Thursday evening last a large crowd came to our house, bent on mischief, using the most [Page 260] threatening language, such as “Kill the Protestant devils,” etc. Everything indicated that we would have suffered bodily harm if the police had not interfered and driven them away. Our windows also have been stoned.

In view of the above facts, we, as American citizens, feel it necessary to ask you to take what steps you may think proper to stop such preaching and to give us proper protection for life and property.

Yours, faithfully,

  • E. B. Tarbox,
  • W. G. Fritz,
    Christian and Missionary Alliance of New York.
[Inclosure 2.]

Mr. Sampson to Mr. Peralta.

No. 66.]

Sir: I have in my possession unquestioned proof of outrages perpetrated against the house and person of Protestant missionaries in this city, citizens of the United States, within the last week by citizens of Ecuador; and more, that within the same time Catholic priests have publicly proclaimed in the cathedral of this city in the hearing of many people that these “Masons,” meaning “Protestant missionaries,” “must be stopped preaching, must be gotten rid of in some way,” by such language inciting fanatical and evil-disposed persons to take their lives.

I now officially advise you of these outrages, and notify you that if harm comes to any of said citizens of the United States the Government of the United States will consider itself as the injured party, and govern itself accordingly.

Prompt, concerted, efficient action on the part of your Government can stop such preaching, punish the offender, and prevent insult and harm to citizens of the United States.

If you desire my cooperation in any manner, please advise me at once.

I have, etc.,

Archibald J. Sampson.
[Inclosure 3.—Translation.]

Mr. Peralta to Mr. Sampson.

No. 43.]

Mr. Minister: I have carefully noted your kind dispatch, No. 66, in which your excellency notified me of the danger that threatens the Protestant missionaries in consequence of the preaching of some Catholic priests.

In answer, I have the honor to communicate to your excellency that I have to-day sent to the illustrious archbishop of this archdiocese to put a stop to such irregularities; and also to the general director of the police, ordering him to inflict the punishment provided by law for such wrongs.

I have, etc.,

J. Peralta.