Mr. Powell to Mr. Hay.
Santo Domingo, February 24, 1902.
Sir: I have the honor to state to the Department the arrival of Gen. Maximo Gomez, Cuban general, in this city. The Government is extending to him its hospitality as a mark of honor and respect. As a testimonial of their regard, they have allowed him to view one of their sacred treasures, by exposing to him the casket containing the bones of Christopher Columbus and permitting him to handle the same. The casket containing the relics of the discoverer of America rests under a line monument in the cathedral in this city. Your representative also had the honor to be invited to be present, and at the time was introduced to General Gomez.
For further information of the Department [I would say that], these relics are inclosed in a casket made of composite metal, the box being 18 inches by 10 inches, and about 12 inches deep. There are numbers of bones in the box. It also contains the ball that was said to be imbedded in the leg of Columbus, received in an engagement, and never extracted. They claim from this evidence presented that the present relics are the mortal remains of the early discoverer, and not those that were removed from Havana a few years ago; one of these relics your representative had the pleasure of holding for a few moments.
This metal box is inclosed in another having glass sides, and the two in a strong steel casket, protected by doors of the same metal, the whole resting, as I have stated, under a handsome marble monument inside of the main entrance of the cathedral which bears his name.
I am informed this was the fifth time that these relics have been exposed to public view. After a short time, to allow the general public to see them, they were returned to their resting place.
I have, etc.,