Mr. Squiers to Mr. Hay.
Habana, May 27, 1902.
Sir: Confirming my telegram of 27th instant, I have the honor to report that, in accordance with my instructions, I sailed from New York on Thursday, 22d instant, on steamer Vigilancia of the Ward Line, and arrived here on the following Monday evening, 26th instant, having been somewhat delayed owing to new machinery.
I was met on the arrival of the steamer by Mr. Aurelio Hevia, assistant secretary of state, representing the foreign office; Mr. Stein-hardt, in charge of the Cuban archives; Mr. Yero, acting captain of the port; Major Glennan, of the United States Marine-Hospital Service, and Captain Laborde, chief of the harbor police, who extended to me every possible courtesy.
I called on His Excellency Mr. Carlos de Zaldo, secretary of state and justice this morning, and arranged with him for my audience with the President, which was fixed at 4 p.m.
At the appointed hour I was waited upon by Mr. Hevia, assistant secretary of state, who had been designated to accompany me to the palace. A guard of honor of some thirty troopers also escorted me.
At the palace I was met by His Excellency Mr. de Zaldo, who presented me to the President, to whom I handed my letter of credence and took occasion to say:
The President sends you his most cordial greetings, and desires me to assure your excellency of his personal interest and sympathy in the welfare and prosperity of your people. In these sentiments I beg to join.
To be accredited as the diplomatic representative of the United States near your excellency is to me the greatest possible compliment, and it will be my constant endeavor to so conduct the business of my legation as to draw still closer the ties of friendship which now unite our people.
To which the President replied in Spanish, of which the following is a translation:
As the faithful interpreter of the sentiments of the people of Cuba, permit me—through you—to assure the illustrious President of the United States that our most ardent desires are the happiness and prosperity of the American people and of their worthy President.
At the same time I avail myself of this opportunity to express my satisfaction at your appointment as diplomatic representative of the United States near my Government, since no other person could be more agreeable nor more fit to the end that the friendly relations between both peoples may become the most intimate and cordial.
There were also assembled the principal officials of the Government, executive, judicial, and legislative, to all of whom I was formally presented, as I was afterwards to Her Excellency Madam Palma, wife of the President.
The reception was a most cordial one and intended to impress my Government with the deep feeling of appreciation and regard for the past which the Cuban people and Government seem to feel toward the people of the United States.
During the reception the United States flag was displayed from Morro Castle, the palace, and many of the public buildings.
I inclose a copy of a note of thanks to the foreign office which I hope will meet with your approval. I have no wish to be egotistical, [Page 324]but I desire to win, as soon as possible, the confidence and good will of these people, feeling sure that under these conditions I will be able to render far better services to my Government even than would follow a like position under different circumstances.
I have, etc.,