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File No. 838.00/577.
Port au Prince, July 17, 1911-1 p. m. Mr. Furniss reports that Government officers admit that a strong undercurrent is developing against the administration and he doubts the ability of the Government to control the situation in case of an outbreak. The Government has chartered a German vessel, which will arrive at Fort Liberté to take the President on board to-morrow; its destination is unknown, but is presumed to be Cape Haitien or Port au Prince. I'lle No. 838.00/576.
JULY 17, 1911–3 P. M. Mr. Furniss is advised by the Haitian authorities that a telegram has been received announcing Gonaives in the hands of the revolutionists. The situation makes the presence of a war vessel desirable at Port au Prince. File No. 838.00/584.
JULY 20, 1911–9 A, M. The President arrived unexpectedly at Port au Prince yesterday. He contemplates forming a new cabinet at once and hopes to stem the tide. Practically all of the north is in the hands of the revolutionists. File No. 838.002/4.
JULY 20, 1911—12 noon. The minister reports cabinet changes that will further injure status of the present administration. He was advised yesterday by the Haitian Government that the cities of St. Marc and Gonaives would be bombarded; he protested against such action unless carried out in accordance with The Hague convention.
all of , new estedly at JULY
Flle 838.00/587. .
JULY 21, 1911. Mr. Furniss has been informed by the commander of the Petrel that unless he has information from Gonaives by the next day he would leave for that place and would remain for 18 hours. Telegraphic communication with Gonaives is interrupted, and the diplomatic corps considers the presence of a war vessel necessary, as the Government is tottering. File No. 838.00/592. The Secretary of State to the American Minister.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, July 22, 1911. Mr. Knox informs Mr. Furniss that the department approves his July 20, noon. Instructs him to persist in the attitude therein indicated and to inform the Government of Haiti that the United States will hold Haiti strictly responsible for any damage that its citizens may sustain as a result of violations of these stipulations.
File No. 838.00/590.
Port au Prince, July 22, 1911. The towns to the north and within 10 miles of Port au Prince have fallen, and it appears impossible for the Government to survive many hours longer. File No. 838.00/589.
JULY 23, 1911. The minister is informed by the Haitian Government that it has been decided to blockade Fort Liberté, Gonaives, and St. Marc. He has replied that the blockade must be effective to be respected.
File No. 838.00/594.
JULY 24, 1911. At a meeting of the diplomatic corps to-day it was decided to inform the President of Haiti of the seriousness of the situation and ascertain if ample measures have been taken to prevent pillage and firing in the streets and for safeguarding the life and property of foreigners; the President affirmed that he had sufficient force to guarantee protection. The yacht American has been turned over to the Haitian Government, but the American crew remains aboard. The minister asks to be advised as to their status.
File No. 838.00/602.
JULY 27, 1911. It is persistently reported that Aux Cays, the home town of the President, has revolted; the situation is becoming more serious, as other towns in the west have revolted; sentiment is strongly in favor of Simon leaving the country at once; most of the cabinet are of this opinion but are afraid to advise him; prominent men state that Simon's remaining complicates the situation; may prevent competent respectable persons from obtaining control of the Government and may lead to unnecessary bloodshed; this opinion the minister shares. He has been asked to inform the President of the true conditions and to advise him to leave, but has refused to do so, stating that he can take no such step. Congress is hurriedly passing numerous concessions because of better terms offered, and it is impossible to keep track of legislation. The consul at Port de Paix reports quiet there, but thinks the committee incompetent to maintain order.
File No. 838.00/603.
JULY 28, 1911. Mr. Furniss says that in a long interview with the President the latter stated that a revolt that was attempted at Aux Cays the day before was prevented by Government forces, with several casualties. The President expects Jeremie and vicinity, which revolted under a false impression, to lay down arms; the cruiser Antoine Simon is there, and while the President realizes that the situation is serious he will not surrender the Government until it is absolutely necessary. He has little confidence in the officials surrounding him and fears they will desert at the approach of danger. He seems to rest his hopes upon Aux Cays, but will await return of the gunboat from the south before deciding what he will do. · If it becomes necessary for him to leave Haiti the United States will have to use a strong hand to prevent incendiarism, massacre, and pillage. In view of the numerous candidates to succeed him he feels sure that they will engage in active combat, and thinks it especially desirable that the United States should be prepared to prevent this. The President renewed his promise to prevent the soap monopoly. The Peoria reports Gonaives and Port de Paix quiet, and states that an American company at the latter place was delayed in loading a ship because the revolutionary committee insisted upon collecting duties instead of allowing payment to an agent of the bank, as the law requires.
File No. 838.00/607.
JULY 31, 1911. At a meeting of the diplomatic corps held on this date the German minister was of opinion that Simon should be requested by the diplomatic corps to leave; the French minister was absent on account of illness; the Cuban and Dominican representatives were against the proposition, although the latter was in favor of taking some action if the Government attempted further executions; the British representative was uncertain.
File No. 838.00/612.
August 1, 1911—10 A, M. Mr. Furniss reports the capture by the revolutionists of Lacoupe, a town 5 miles away in the mountains and overlooking Port au Prince. The President in an interview this morning admitted that Aux Cays was held by revolutionists; he discussed the seriousness of the situation but seemed to think he had a chance to overcome the revolution, stating that all was not lost until Port au Prince was captured. The generals around the President show apathy and will not fight if it becomes necessary, the secretary of the interior having called to acknowledge this. A British war vessel has arrived at Port au Prince.
File No. 838.00/611.
August 1, 1911—1 P. M. President Simon has informed the diplomatic corps that he is ready to resign and requests three days armistice to arrange his affairs and embark on merchant vessel. The diplomatic corps is treating with revolutionists.
File No. 838.00/609.
August 1, 1911—3 P. M. The President has requested permission to embark on an American war vessel pending the arrival of the merchant vessel on Friday. The minister asks instructions.
File No. 838.00/610.
August 1, 1911—6 P. M. Local revolutionary leaders have promised diplomatic corps to respect armistice.
File No. 838.00/619.
August 2, 1911—11 A. M. The main water supply to Port au Prince has been cut off by the revolutionists; they have been informed by the diplomatic corps that it must be repaired at once, as their action is a violation of the armistice. The Government is attempting to obtain all available funds from the bank and has been advised by the diplomatic corps that the armistice comprehends no movement by military or naval forces nor any withdrawal of funds from banks, and that the regulation of current expenses will be a matter for future Governments. The diplomatic corps will use every endeavor to embark the President at the earliest possible moment and arrange a committee to protect the city, as otherwise there is grave danger.
Alle No. 838.00/609.
The Secretary of State to the American Minister.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, August 2, 1911–1 p. m. Mr. Knox instructs Mr. Furniss in reply to his August 1, i and 3 p. m., that he may accord temporary refuge to President Simon in the legation if necessary to save innocent human life.
File No. 838.00/615.
The American Minister to the Secretary of State.
Port au Prince, August 2, 1911–4 p. m. The President embarked this afternoon on the Haitian war vessel formerly the American and will await arrival of the merchant vessel on Friday. The city is in charge of a committee of public safety composed of prominent men, who have guaranteed the safety of life and property.
File No. 838.00/618.
August 3, 1911—7 A. M. The German war vessel landed about 40 men at 10 o'clock, although there was no apparent necessity for such action, as from personal observation the streets were quiet and deserted.
File No. 838.00/620.
August 3, 1911—6 P. M. The President and his family have left the harbor on a Dutch vessel bound for Jamaica; the committee has been recognized on the basis proposed by the diplomatic corps and quiet prevails.
File No. 838.00/625.
August 4, 1911. Important military positions were given to Firminists by Simon on the eve of his departure and they are now in control. Several attempts have been made to form committees of public safety that would inspire confidence, but without success, as the Firminists continue to dominate. This makes the situation serious, as Leconte is nearing Port au Prince at the head of the army and will be opposed by local armed force. The diplomatic corps has been unable to conciliate cliques. Pillage, incendiarism, and combats in the streets should not be allowed and in the interest of humanity and to protect life and property of foreigners the minister requests instructions for such contingency. Flle No. 838.00/625. The Secretary of State to the American Minister. [Telegram-Paraphrase.]
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, August 5, 1911. Mr. Knox instructs Mr. Furniss, in reply to his August 4, to caution American citizens to observe a strictly neutral attitude and to refrain from all participation in political matters. Telegraphic instructions are being sent to the commanding officer at Port au Prince. Flle No. 838.00/625. The Secretary of State to the Secretary of the Navy.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, August 5, 1911. SIR: I have the honor to inform you that the Department is in receipt of a telegram from the American minister at Port au Prince to the effect that immediately prior to his departure former President Simon entrusted important military positions to sympathizers of Gen. Firmin, who are now in control; that several attempts have been made to form committees of public safety capable of inspiring confidence, which have failed because the Firminists continue to dominate; that this makes the situation grave, as Gen. Leconte at the head of an army is now approaching Port au Prince and it seems inevitable that he will be opposed by the local armed forces. The minister adds that the diplomatic corps has been unable to conciliate the different factions, and requests instructions in the interest of humanity in order that he may protect life and property