Mr. Powell to Mr. Hay.

No. 616.]

Sir: I respectfully inform the Department of the course of events up to the time (9 a.m.) of closing the mail. At present everything is quiet. The Government is still making arrests, though a few have been released. Many that are supposed to be suspected have been secluded by their friends until the excitement is over.

The number now confined in prison is 69, though many more have been arrested but released. These men will no doubt be exiled by a decree of the Government. The President has sent me word (orally) that none would be executed. The most prominent of the men arrested is C. Fouchard. He was at one time the minister of finance under President Salomon; upon the death of President Hippolite, was candidate for the office of President, at the time General Sam was elected, but withdrew in his favor. He is one of the wealthiest men in the Republic and has a large number of friends, but lately he has taken no part in politics. His arrest has therefore caused great surprise.

The Moniteur (the official organ), with an official statement of the Government’s action, appears to-day. I inclose it.

The foreign secretary, Mr. St. Victor, sent me an official communication late yesterday, requesting the number of persons who have sought our protection. I have not yet answered the communication. I have been informed the Government intends to issue a decree expelling those it has arrested and confined, as well as those that have sought refuge in the several legations, each of which have several. If such a decree be made, I shall promptly cable for instruction before recognizing it.

The financial condition is still grave; but was temporarily relieved by a loan of $200,000 by the bankers. This has had a tendency to relieve the situation greatly. I think the Government will, within a few days, realize the only steps to secure permanent security and allay the present feeling will be to consolidate their debts into one, retire the paper currency, and reduce the tariff on imports and exports, especially that on coffee. To do this they will have to secure a large loan and place the revenue derived from their customs, with the control of their custom-houses, as a guaranty for the repayment of such a loan, into the hands of a syndicate.

The surrender of their custom-houses they have heretofore refused. If they take this step, alluded to above, they will endeavor to float such a loan in the New York market. This will relieve the situation and bring immediate permanent relief.

I have, etc.,

W. F. Powell.
[Inclosure 1.]
[Extract from Le Moniteur, August 5, 1899.—Translation.]

secretary of state of the interior and of the general police.

During the course of the week several citizens whose conduct was subversive to the order of established things have been placed under arrest. Encouraged by the moderation of the Government that they took for weakness, they gave themselves to a most active propaganda, discounting in advance the success of their machinations [Page 383] and prognostications to all who would listen to them—the near downfall of the Government.

The duty of the authority was all marked out in such conjunctures; it has had apprehended these agitators by the police, and will not delay to deliver them to their natural judges. In fact, already the preliminary formalities of all the judicial information have been fulfilled in their regards.

Let the peaceable citizens reassure themselves! The Government, that always knows to distinguish the good seed from the tare, promise the greatest and most efficacious protection to their persons and their property. Imbued with its duties and conscious of its rights, it will not draw back before any measure proper to assure the interior peace and to give the most absolute security to all those who live under the shadow of the institutions that the nation has freely given itself.

[Inclosure 2.]

Mr. St. Victor to Mr. Powell.


Mr. Minister: I have the honor to inform you that the Government of the Republic has charged me to inquire of you the persons who have been able to seek refuge at your legation.

I would be, in consequence, much obliged to you to let me know the names of those refugees.

Please accept, etc.,

B. St. Victor,
Secretary of State for Foreign Relations.