817.00/6331: Telegram

The Chargé in Nicaragua (Hanna) to the Secretary of State

154. The bandits have been committing depredations in the Matagalpa area since June 1. They raided the hacienda of William Hawkins, an American, on June 1 but were driven off by the guardia, one bandit being killed. They raided the hacienda of Harry Trewin, a British subject, on June 2. These haciendas are approximately fifteen miles from Matagalpa. Mr. Alexander Sullivan, an American citizen, and his niece were reported to be in danger on his hacienda and a strong patrol of marines was despatched to escort them to Matagalpa.

Twenty property owners of various nationalities including Americans have telegraphed to President Moncada requesting him to “take [Page 571]energetic measures not taken up to now to protect them in this terrible situation” and have furnished the Legation with a copy of the telegram. The British Chargé d’Affaires here is disturbed by the occurrence and has conferred with General Williams and me concerning measures that may be taken to insure the safety of numerous British subjects in that region.

General Williams sent Colonel Backstrom to Matagalpa today to take charge of the situation. The marine forces in that area have not been reduced recently and General Williams says that they will be increased if necessary to meet the situation adequately.