Minister Dawson to the Secretary of State.
Santo. Domingo , November 18, 1905 .
Sir: Continuing the subject of my No. 182, of November S,a the political conditions in this Republic, I have the honor to report that on the 6th instant the minister of foreign affairs informed me that revolutionary conspiracy had been discovered at Macoris, and that opposition leaders in this city and the neighboring communes of San Carlos, Jaina San Cristobal, Boca Chica, Hato Mayor, and others had been observed to have been for some days in active correspondence. This government feared that a formidable outbreak was imminent in the southern part of the Republic, which probably was being planned in concert with discontented leaders in the north and west.
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The minister then told me that reenforcements had been sent the governor of Macoris; that expeditions would be promptly sent to the headquarters of the revolutionary bands, and a sharp watch was kept by the police in the cities. He hoped that these vigorous measures would quickly discourage the malcontents and prevent the trouble from spreading. In his judgment there was, however, a possibility that the Macoris custom-house might be rushed if a revolutionary band should succeed in defeating or eluding the government expeditions and on reaching the city find no American war ship in port. If one were there the revolutionists would not dare to attack the custom-house. His government would be grateful if the American Government would send a ship to Macoris, so as to be prepared to protect American citizens in case the Dominican Government should temporarily find itself unable to do so.
Independently of my conversation with Minister Sanchez I had heard from nonofficial sources of the trouble at Macoris and the arrests here, and also of disquieting reports coming from other points. As careful an investigation as it was possible to make in the day following my interview with the minister satisfied me that nothing very grave had happened as yet, but that the news of the discords in the Cabinet and of ex-President Vasquez’s opposition to the convention had so [Page 405] encouraged the Jimenistas that many of their rasher members thought their opportunity to strike had come. On the whole, I deemed the minister’s request for a vessel at Macoris justified, in view of the possibility that the situation might suddenly take a bad turn, and I telegraphed you as follows:
Santo Domingo, November 7, 1905.
Secretary of State, Washington:
Revolutionary conspiracy discovered at Macoris. Thirteen arrests there; twelve here; others escaped to the interior. Fifty in arms 15 miles west of Macoris. Dominican Government thinks they may attack Macoris and the movement spread other points. It is reported that conspirators have received funds from New York.* * *. A United States vessel needed Macoris. Jones has informed Admiral.
I have the honor to confirm your reply as follows:
Washington, November 7, 1905.
Dawson, American Legation, Santo Domingo:
War ship ordered to Macoris. If marines required to restore order, there should be first an express and clear request from the Dominican Government that they be landed for temporary protection of life of American citizens which Dominican Government declares itself for time being unable to protect. Upon such request necessary force will be landed. Naval officers will be instructed to act upon notice from you that such assistance has been requested. An immediate understanding on this subject with the Dominican Government seems important.
Upon receiving this telegram I called upon the minister of foreign affairs and told him of its contents. He said that he had always understood that the primary duty of protecting American citizens in the Republic, including those who are employed by his government to collect its costum-house revenues, falls upon the Dominican Government. In view of that duty and of your telegram to me, it remained clearly understood that the American Government would not land armed forces unless the Dominican Government, finding itself unable to protect the lives of American citizens employed in its custom-houses or elsewhere, should request such landing. Up to the present time the Dominican Government had maintained order and its authority in the city of Macoris and its immediate vicinity and at all the other ports of entry, with the exception perhaps of Monte Christi, and he hoped would continue to be able so to do. He had suggested, not the present landing of marines, but only the presence of a ship in the neighborhood so as to be prepared for prompt action in the contingency of a sudden reverse to the government forces.
I thereupon telegraphed you as follows:
Santo Domingo, November 8, 1905.
Secretary of State, Washington:
I have reached perfect understanding with the Dominican Government in accordance with instructions your cipher telegram of this morning. Macoris quiet in the city. No further news from the interior. Mere presence of a United States vessel probably will be sufficient.
On the 10th the U. S. S. Denver reached Macoris, and on the same day the Olympia, with Admiral Bradford on board, anchored at this port. Since that time matters have outwardly continued in statu quo in the cities of Macoris and Santo Domingo. Instead of awaiting an attack and allowing the discontented time to gather in the interior in dangerous numbers, the government has sent several expeditions out [Page 406] after its enemies. One expedition from Macoris encountered an armed band near Hato Mayor. The latter fled and scattered after the exchange of a few shots. A few days later a government expedition from Seybo found another band at El Salto. The telegraphed report of the commandant is very meager, but it is clear he was victorious, and he is confident that he will restore peace in his province within a few days. Expeditions have also been sent from this city to San Cristobal and Boca Chica, but no fighting has been reported. Arrests have also continued to be made.
In La Vega, a few nights ago, there was an exchange of shots in the streets between the supporters of the Horacista governor and some Jimenistas. A well-known guerrilla chief, Nene Cepin, is reported to have been involved and he is now said to be in the woods with some followers.
The Denver will return to Macoris on the 20th. Admiral Bradford, with the Olympia, will remain here a few days. He is thoroughly informed as to the situation, and tells me he will send a ship to Puerto Plata shortly. Thus, all the ports except Azua and Barahona are guarded. These two ports are quiet and there are no signs of trouble in their neighborhood, so there is no further precaution which the Navy can take.
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I have, etc.,
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