The seizure of Haiti by the United States a report on the military occupation of the Republic of Haiti and the history ...


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The seizure of Haiti by the United States a report on the military occupation of the Republic of Haiti and the history of the treaty forced upon her ..(signed by 22 lawyers agst. Occupation)
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New York : s.n., 1922


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The Seizure of Haiti

United States


New Orleans
New York
Philadelphia ,
New York
Charleston, S. C.

New York
New York
New York
New York
Washington, D. C.
New York
St. Louis

3 West 29th Street, New York, N. Y.
Endorsed and Distributed by
637 Munsey Building, Washington, D. C.
APRIL, 1922

a? Ooo~

Every material statement made in this document is derived from the
Official Report of the Hearings before a Select Committee of the
United States Senate pursuant to Senate Resolution 112, authorizing an
inquiry into the occupation and administration of the territories of the
Republic of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. These hearings 'took
place from October 4 to November 16, 192r. The official record of the
proceedings has been published by the Government Printing Office. The
facts disclosed are not only a part of the history of Haiti but most of
them are established by testimony, by public documents and official com-
munications and reports passing between the Secretary of the Navy, the
Honorable Josephus Daniels, Rear Admiral William B. Caperton, United
States Navy, and other officials. It is intended that the facts recited
shall supply their own commentary. It is hoped that a recognition of
the truth will lead to the adoption of the logical remedy.

F ROM 1804 to 1915 Haiti was a sovereign state under a republican
form of government. As a recognized sovereign nation she be-
came a signatory to The Hague Convention of 1907. She won her
independence from France in 1804. She was deprived of it in 1915
by the United States. Since then we have been in virtual control of
her territory, our marines have been in military occupation of the
country, and the former republic has been stripped by us of every
vestige of her sovereignty. This startling condition has been brought
about under cover of a convention between the United States and the
Republic of Haiti bearing date September 16, 1915, but not ratified by
Haiti until November 11, 1915, under circumstances that will be pres-
ently detailed.

The population of Haiti is somewhat less than three million. It is
largely illiterate, and except in the more important towns there is no
middle class. There is an upper class, comparatively small numerically,
but highly educated and cultured. As a colony Haiti suffered all the
horrors of cruel slavery, with the consequence that a century of inde-
pendence has not effaced the fear of foreign encroachment and domi-
nation. As a measure of protection against alien control, the several
constitutions of the republic have embodied provisions rigidly exclud-
ing foreigners from the ownership of land. From an economic stand-
point conditions have been and are exceedingly primitive. From time
to time there have been internal political dissensions resulting in dis-
turbances. It is noteworthy, however, that no American citizen has
been injured in person or property by the people of Haiti; nor have
any other foreigners been molested, even when internal conflict oc-
curred. Foreign investments have at all times been respected, the
interest on Haiti's foreign debt has been scrupulously paid, and her

relations with other governments have been free from adverse criticism.
She has never manifested hostility to the United States and has given
no occasion for our intervention in her affairs.
Haiti has, however, been long suspicious of possible attempts by the
United States to gain a foothold in or complete control over her terri-
tory. From 1847 on, the United States has in fact made several at-
tempts to obtain control of the harbors of Samana Bay, on the eastern
coast of the Dominican Republic, and of Mole St. Nicholas, on the
northwest coast of Haiti, for avowed use as naval bases. Haiti con-
sistently declined to consider either a cession or lease of any part of
her territory to the United States. Nevertheless, in 1891, our Govern-
ment sent Admiral Gherardi with a considerable fleet to Port au Prince,
the capital of Haiti, to treat for a cession or lease of Mole St. Nicholas.
The Haitian Government objected even to a discussion of the proposal,
and our fleet was withdrawn.
On six occasions during 1914 and 1915 the United States made
direct overtures to Haiti to secure control of her custom houses and
their administration. All of these efforts proved futile. In the mean-
time a number of revolutions were in progress in Haiti, similar in
character to those that have frequently occurred in Mexico and in
various Central American and South American countries, and frequent
changes in governmental administration took place.
Vessels belonging to our navy frequently entered Haitian waters.
In the latter part of 1914 our Government offered assistance to the then
President of Haiti, in view of a threatened revolution, upon conditions
which were rejected. In October, 1914, Mr. Bryan, then Secretary of
State, wrote to President Wilson:
It seemed to me of first importance that the naval force in Haitian waters
should be at once increased, not only for the purpose of protecting foreign in-
terests, but also as evidence of the earnest intention of this Government to settle
the unsatisfactory state of affairs which exists.' [Italics ours.]
In accordance with this program additional vessels were dispatched
into the vicinity of Haiti. In November and December, 1914, the State
Department communicated various terms, including the control of the
custom houses of Haiti, as conditions upon which a newly chosen Presi-
dent would be recognized by our Government. Haiti again declined
these conditions.
On December 10, 1914, the United States Minister in Haiti formally
presented to the Haitian Government a project looking to the control
and administration of the Haitian customs service by our Government.
This likewise proved unacceptable.

On December 17, 1914, without preliminary warning, a force of
United States marines was landed at Port au Prince from the U. S. S.
Machias. These marines proceeded to the vaults of the National Bank
of Haiti, and forcibly seized and carried away $500,000, which were
transported on the Machias to New York. This money was the prop-

erty of the Haitian Government and had been deposited in the bank for
the redemption of its paper currency. This bank was a French corpora-
tion, four-fifths of its capital stock being owned or held in France and
the remaining one-fifth by New York banking interests. This institu-
tion was the sole depository of the government funds and was vested
with the privilege of issuing notes. The Haitian Government at once
protested against this violation of its sovereignty and asked for an
explanation, which was never vouchsafed.
In March, 1915, the United States sent a special mission to Haiti to
negotiate for American control, which was again refused. This was
followed in May, 1915, by a further commission, which presented to
the Haitian Government a project for United States military protec-
tion and intervention, arbitration of claims made by foreigners, and
the prohibition of the cession or use of Mole St. Nicholas to any other
government. To this proposal the Haitian Government presented a
counter-project for financial and military aid, carefully drawn to limit
absolutely the extent and duration of military aid by the United States
in suppressing internal disorders. These proposals again came to

On July 27, 1915, revolutionary disorders broke out at Port au
Prince, during which the assassination of the President followed a
massacre of political prisoners. For the moment there was no Haitian
Government, but even during these disturbances no foreigners were
molested. On the following day American naval and marine forces
in Haitian waters, under the command of Admiral Caperton, landed
and occupied Port au Prince, and shortly afterwards took possession
of the other principal ports and towns in the republic. During this
period the Admiral's official messages to the Navy Department state
specifically that he had acquired and exercised control of the internal
situation and that governmental functions were being carried on by a
body of citizens acting under his directions. A few days later he
directed this committee of citizens to resign and gave orders for the
restoration of the government treasury service to the National Bank
of Haiti, from which it had been removed previously by the Haitian

The Admiral's daily reports to Washington reflect with startling
frankness the situation at the Haitian capital, the march of events
looking to the realization of expectations, and the influence exerted
by the United States in the election of the new President and in the
negotiation and, acceptance of a treaty.
The Haitian Legislature, consisting of a Chamber of Deputies and
a Senate, was in session and was about to proceed to the election of a
new President to fill the existing vacancy, but under orders from our
State Department, Admiral Caperton twice induced the Chambers to
postpone the election. American naval officers at the capital can-

vassed the political situation carefully. Several prominent and uni-
versally respected Haitian citizens were asked to be candidates for the
Presidency, but all refused. One of them, M. Lger, former Minister
at Washington, characterized by Lord Pauncefote as "the ablest, most
accomplished diplomat I have known,"3 refused upon the ground that
he was for Haiti, not for the United States, and that he would have to
wait and see what the United States would demand of Haiti in order to
be in a position to defend Haitian interests. When Sudre Dartigue-
nave, the president of the Senate, proclaimed himself a candidate for
election to the Presidency of the Republic and offered if elected Presi-
dent to accede to any terms which the United States might name, in-
cluding the surrender of customs control and the cession of Mole St.
Nicholas, Admiral Caperton notified Washington of the fact. He
advised that the breaking up of the bands of revolutionaries by the
forces of the United States was imperative if the United States desired
at this time "to negotiate a treaty for financial control of Haiti."4 The
State Department, "by the instruction of the President," requested the
Navy Department to send a sufficient force of marines to control the
situation absolutely, and Caperton was instructed that the United States
favored the election of Dartiguenave.5
The policy that had been formulated at Washington was ex-
pressed in a message wherein the Navy Department directed the Ad-
miral by proclamations and otherwise "to assure the Haitian people that
the United States of America has no object in view except to insure,
establish, and help maintain Haitian independence, and the establish-
ment of a firm and stable government by the Haitian people. .
It is the intention to retain United States forces in Haiti only so long
as will be necessary for this purpose."'
In the meantime, the State Department had advised the American
Minister at Port au Prince of the procedure that he was to pursue to
assist the Haitian Congress in electing a President, saying that the
United States would expect to be intrusted with customs control and
such financial control as might be deemed necessary. The night be-
fore the election, American naval officers informed the Senators,
Deputies, and candidates for President of the intentions and policy of
the United States, as instructed.
On August 12, 1915, M. Dartiguenave was elected President, Ad-
miral Caperton's chief-of-staff being on the floor of the voting hall
and American marines guarding the approaches. The election was free
in the sense that the Deputies and Senators who voted were not
terrorized by revolutionary groups, but on the other hand the situation,
precipitated by the events of July 27 and 28, was such that the naval
and marine forces under Admiral Caperton clearly exercised a strong
influence in favor of Dartiguenave. American intervention was a
fait accompli; American military control was growing from day to
day. The State and Navy Departments were kept fully informed of all
developments, and the presence and activities of our naval forces were
specifically directed from Washington.
On August 14, 1915, two days after the election of Dartiguenave,
the State Department notified the American Legation at Port au Prince

to submit to the Haitian President at once the draft of a treaty pro-
viding for control of customs and finances and military intervention
by the United States. The Legation was instructed to advise the
Haitian President that "the Haitian Congress will be pleased to pass
forthwith a resolution authorizing the President-elect to conclude,
without modification, the treaty submitted by you."7 The Legation
complied. A carefully formulated draft of a treaty, unquestionably
prepared for the occasion with manifest deliberation, was accordingly
submitted on August 17, 1915. Negotiations for its acceptance and
ratification were unremittingly carried on by Admiral Caperton and
his naval officers in conjunction with the Legation.

This elaborate document begins with a preamble which, in the light
of the facts related and those about to be recounted, is the height of
irony. It declares:
The United States and the Republic of Haiti, desiring to confirm and
strengthen the amity existing between them by the most cordial cooperation in
measures for their common advantage, and the Republic of Haiti desiring to
remedy the present condition of its revenues and finances, to maintain the tran-
quillity of the Republic, to carry out plans for the economic development and
prosperity of the Republic and its people, and the United States being in full
sympathy with all of these aims and objects and desiring to contribute in all
proper ways to their accomplishment, have appointed for that purpose
By its terms the President of Haiti is to appoint, upon the nomina-
tion of the President of the United States, a general receiver, to collect,
receive, and apply all customs duties on imports and exports accruing
at the several custom houses and ports of entry of the Republic of
Haiti. Upon nomination by the President of the United States the
President of Haiti is to appoint a Financial Adviser, who shall be an
officer attached to the Ministry of Finance, to give effect to whose
proposals and labors the Ministry will lend efficient aid. The Financial
Adviser is, among other things, to devise an adequate system of public
accounting, to aid in increasing the revenues and adjusting them to the
expenses, to inquire into the validity of the debts of the Republic, to
recommend improved methods of collecting and applying the revenues.
The Government of the Republic of Haiti is to provide by law or
appropriate decrees for the payment of customs duties to the General
Receiver, and to extend to the receivership and to the Financial Ad-
viser all needed aid and full protection in the execution of the powers
conferred and duties imposed. All sums collected and received by the
General Receiver are to be applied, first, to the payment of the salaries
and allowances of the General Receiver, his assistants and employees,
and expenses of the receivership, and the salary and expenses of the
Financial Adviser; second, to the interest and sinking fund of the
public debt of the Republic of Haiti; and, third, to the maintenance of
a constabulary, and then the remainder to the Haitian Government
for the purposes of current expenses. The Republic of Haiti is not to
increase its public debt except by previous agreement with the Presi-

dent of the United States, and shall not contract any debt or assume
any financial obligation unless the ordinary revenues of the Republic
available for that purpose, after defraying the expenses of the Gov-
ernment, shall be adequate to pay the interest and provide a sinking
fund for the discharge of the debt. The Republic of Haiti is not,
without a previous agreement with the President of the United States,
to modify the customs duties in a manner to reduce the revenues there-
from, and is to cooperate with the Financial Adviser in his recom-
mendations for improving the method of collecting and disbursing the
revenues and for new sources of needed income. The Haitian Govern-
ment obligates itself to create without delay an efficient constabulary,
urban and rural, composed of native Haitians. This constabulary is to
be organized and officered by Americans appointed by the President of
Haiti upon nomination by the President of the United States. These
officers are to be clothed with the proper and necessary authority and
to be upheld in the performance of their functions. The constabulary
shall, under the direction of the Haitian Government, have supervision
and control of arms and ammunition, military supplies and traffic
therein, throughout the country. The Government of Haiti agrees
not to surrender any of its territory by sale, lease, or otherwise, or
jurisdiction over such territory, to any foreign Government or Power,
nor to enter into any treaty or contract with any foreign Power that
will impair or tend to impair the independence of Haiti. The treaty
is to remain in force for ten years from the exchange of ratifications,
and for a further term of ten years, if for specific reasons presented
by either of the parties its purpose has not been fully accomplished.
The obligations assumed by the United States are contained in the
The Government of the United States will, by its good offices, aid the Haitian
Government in the proper and efficient development of its agricultural, mineral,
and commercial resources, and in the establishment of the finances of Haiti on
a firm and solid basis.

On August 19, 1915, Admiral Caperton was notified that the State
Department desired him to assume charge of the ten principal custom
houses in Haiti, to collect the customs dues, to use the funds for the
organization of a constabulary and temporary public works, and to
support the new Haitian Government. The funds were to be deposited
in separate accounts in the name of Admiral Caperton, the United
States Government holding these funds "in trust for the people of
Haiti."9 Admiral Caperton carried out these instructions and between
August 21 and September 2, 1915, seized the custom houses at the
ten principal ports. For several months naval officers collected all
customs dues and made all disbursements. This deprived the Haitian
Government of all income whatsoever, since the custom houses were
practically the sole sources of national revenue.

In response' to the order of August 19, 1915, Admiral Caperton
sent a long message to the Navy Department, reading in part as follows:
Following message is secret and confidential. United States has now actually
accomplished a military intervention in affairs of another nation. Hostility
exists now in Haiti and has existed for number of years against such action.
Serious hostile contacts have only been avoided by prompt and rapid military
action which has given United States control before resistance has had
time to organize. We now hold capital of country and two other important sea-
The seizure of the custom houses aroused the strongest opposition
on the part of the people, and the Haitian Government, in a series of
notes addressed to the American Charge d'Affaires, protested vigor-
ously against the violation of its sovereignty. No explanation or
apology was ever offered by the Government of the United States.

In the meantime, the Haitian Government was considering the
draft of the treaty submitted to it on August 17, 1915. The Presi-
dent was favorable to the treaty, but opposition to it was growing in
the Cabinet and the Chambers due to "fear of sentiment throughout the
country against the American customs control, propagated constantly
during the last few years by the faction leaders.""1 The President and
the Cabinet thereupon threatened to resign for this same reason. Ad-
miral Caperton recommended to the Navy Department that in the
event of the resignation of the new Haitian Government, a military
government should be established, with an American officer as mili-
tary governor, adding, significantly: "Present is most critical time in
relations with Haiti, and our decision now will, to a great extent, de-
termine future course. If military government is established, we would
be bound not to abandon Haitian situation until affairs of country are
set at right and predominant interests of United States of America

By the early part of September, 1915, the augmented forces under
command of Admiral Caperton were in complete control of all the
principal towns and routes in Haiti, had seized all the sources of na-
tional revenue, had the custody of all the national funds, and were en-
gaged in expending them directly, without turning over any portion of
them to the Haitian Government. Public order and the public purse
were altogether in the mastery of the Navy Department. On Septem-
ber 3, 1915, Admiral Caperton declared martial law in the city of Port
au Prince, by proclamation, in which he announced:
In order to afford the inhabitants of Port au Prince and other territory
hereinafter described the privileges of the Government, exercising all the func-
tions necessary for the establishment and maintenance of the fundamental
rights of man, I hereby, under my authority as commanding officer of the forces
of the United States of America in Haiti and Haitian waters, proclaim that

martial law exists in the city of Port au Prince and the immediate territory now
occupied by the forces under my command.
I further proclaim, in accordance with the law of nations and the usages, cus-
toms, and functions of my own and other Governments, that I am invested with
the power and responsibility of Government in all its functions and branches
throughout the territory above described; and the proper administration of such
Government by martial law will be provided for in regulations to be issued from
time to time, as required, by the commanding officer of the forces of the United
States of America in Haiti and Haitian waters.
The martial law herein proclaimed, and the things in that respect so ordered,
will not be deemed or taken to interfere with the proceedings of the constitutional
Government and Congress of Haiti, or with the administration of justice in the
courts of law existing therein; which do not affect the military operations or
the authorities of the Government of the United States of America .13
On September 8, 1915, Admiral Caperton sent to the commanding
officer of the battleship Connecticut in northern Haitian waters, the
following message:
Successful negotiation of treaty is predominant part present mission. After
encountering many difficulties treaty situation at present looks more favorable
than usual. This has been effected by exercising military pressure at propitious
moments in negotiations. Yesterday two members of Cabinet who have blocked
negotiations heretofore resigned. President himself believed to be anxious to
conclude treaty. At present am holding up offensive operations and allowing
President time to complete Cabinet and try again. Am therefore not yet ready
to begin offensive operations at Cape Haitien but will hold them in abeyance as
additional pressure.14
Naval officers were constantly urging the members of the Haitian
Government to accept the treaty pointing out the necessity of its ac-
ceptance without modification. The treaty was finally signed by the
Haitian Government on September 16, 1915, and although not ratified
by the United States until May, 1916, a modus vivendi, providing for
the immediate application of the treaty, followed.

Under the Haitian Constitution, the treaty, to be binding, had to be
ratified by the Senate and the Chamber. To facilitate its prompt rati-
fication, the Haitian Government asked for an immediate assurance
that the United States would procure a temporary loan to the Haitian
Government, and represented that it had no funds at its disposal even
to pay salaries and current expenses. No such assurance was received,
but exercising further pressure upon the Government, Admiral Caper-
ton under instructions from Washington, seized a consignment of un-
signed bank notes intended for the Haitian Government, notifying the
Navy Department that the notes so seized would be signed by the Na-
tional Bank and turned over to the Haitian Government "immediately
after ratification of the convention."'5 This was done in spite of the
fact that the issue of these notes had previously been authorized by the
Haitian Government. The Admiral and the Charge d'Affaires sep-
arately requested the authorities in Washington to permit the former to
turn over to the Haitian Government funds sufficient for current ex-

penses and for the payment of back salaries. The Admiral informed
President Dartiguenave that "funds would be immediately available
upon ratification of the treaty." The President seemed utterly dis-
couraged by this action and humbly pointed out that the delay in
ratifying the treaty was not due to any lack of effort bly himself or his
Cabinet; that the withholding of funds only furnished another weapon
to those opposed to the treaty, and that if the United States Government
persisted in withholding all funds ratification would become so difficult
that he and his Cabinet would resign "rather than attempt the fight in
the Senate under this handicap."16
Finally, on October 3, 1915, Secretary Daniels authorized Admiral
Caperton to arrange for the payment to the Haitian Government of a
weekly amount necessary to meet its current expenses, with the further
statement: "Question payment back salary will be settled by Depart-
ment immediately after ratification of treaty."17 The Navy Depart-
ment inquired several times of Admiral Caperton why ratification of
the treaty was being delayed and received the reply that since the
Admiral had continually received assurances that a majority in the
Senate favored the treaty, he had "refrained from taking any steps
which might appear as using force to secure ratification.""' On Octo-
ber 6, 1915, the Chamber of Deputies ratified the treaty. It was still
necessary to obtain the ratification of the Haitian Senate.
In the meantime, the funds collected at the several custom houses
were being applied by the naval collectors to defray the expenses of the
constabulary, of public works and the like. No payment of the interest
charges on the Haitian public debt was made, although the receipts of
the customs service had previously been lawfully pledged by prior
Haitian governments. In fact, the treaty provisions for the use of
customs funds for this purpose immediately after paying the expenses
of the receivership, were never complied with by the American Receiver
General until 1920, notwithstanding the fact that sufficient funds were
realized from the customs to meet the demands of other categories of
expenses which, according to the treaty, were subordinated to the
foreign loan service.
On November 3, 1915, Admiral Caperton, referring to the treaty
and to its criticisms, pointed out to President Dartiguenave that "the
only objections are unimportant technical points and abstract principles.
These and other details can be arranged later."'"

On November 5, 1915, the Senate Committee made a report on the
treaty accepting some of its provisions and suggesting modification of
others. A few days later the Hector, one of the American naval vessels
in Haitian waters, at the instance of Admiral Caperton, made a special
trip to bring one Francois, "who will be elected to fill vacancy" from
Cape Haitien to Port au Prince in order to secure his vote for the
ratification of the treaty, because in the language of the Admiral: "Ab-
solutely essential all possible votes for ratification be secured."20

On November 10, 1915, the Secretary of the Navy gave the Admiral
the following explicit and unprecedented instructions as to what he
was to say and do:
Arrange with President Dartiguenave that he call a Cabinet meeting before
the session of Senate which will pass upon ratification of treaty and request
that you be permitted to appear before that meeting to make a statement to
President and to members of Cabinet. On your own authority state the follow-
ing before these officers: "I have the honor to inform the President of Haiti
and the members of his Cabinet that I am personally gratified that public senti-
ment continues favorable to the treaty; that there is a strong demand from all
classes for immediate ratification, and that treaty will be ratified Thursday.
I am sure that you gentlemen will understand my sentiment in this matter, and
I am confident if the treaty fails of ratification that my Government has the
intention to retain control in Haiti until the desired end is accomplished, and
that it will forthwith proceed to the complete pacification of Haiti so as to
insure internal tranquillity necessary to such development of country and its in-
dustry as will afford relief to the starving populace now unemployed. Mean-
while the present Government will be supported in the effort to secure stable con-
ditions and lasting peace in Haiti, whereas those offering opposition can only
expect such treatment as their conduct merits. The United States Government
is particularly anxious for immediate ratification by the present Senate of this
treaty, which was drawn up with the full intention of employing as many
Haitians as possible to aid in giving effect to its provisions, so that suffering may
be relieved at the earliest possible date. Rumors of bribery to defeat the treaty
are rife, but are not believed. However, should they prove true, those who ac-
cept or give bribery will be vigorously prosecuted." It is expected that you
will be able to make this sufficiently clear to remove all opposition and to secure
immediate ratification. Acknowledge. Daniels.2 [Italics ours.]
The Admiral complied with this command. In view of the express
and covert threats thus conveyed, on the following day, November 11,
1915, the treaty was ratified by the Senate.
From the beginning of August, 1915, until long after the so-called
ratification of the treaty, the situation in Haiti can best be described in
the words of Admiral Caperton: "The status of our administration in
Haiti was at this time purely one of military control."22 During this
period offensive military operations were conducted by our forces
against Haitian revolutionaries which resulted in considerable loss of
life to the Haitians, under circumstances which will not be now dis-
Although war has never been declared by us against Haiti and there
has been no possible cause for war against her or her people during the
greater part of the six years following the ratification of the treaty,
martial law has been maintained in Haiti by our marines, and martial
law is in force there today. Repeated trials and sentences by our
provost courts and military commissions have taken place there.
The Haitian Chambers were dissolved in 1917, for the second time
since the invasion, and no elections have taken place in nearly five years.
Not a few Haitians welcomed the original offer of our friendly aid in
July, 1915, as a means of escape from the chaos of the moment. First
disillusioned by our seizure of their national revenues and funds, and
then by the successive coercive steps taken by the United States, they
were long ago thoroughly disappointed not only by the lack of any

constructive policy instituted in their behalf but by the suppressive.
measures which completely violated the spirit of our professed inten-
tions. Knowing that the treaty was imposed by duress and that it has
not been adhered to by the United States the people of Haiti are now
demanding its abrogation, the abolition of control by martial law, and
the restoration of their national institutions suppressed during the years
of the occupation. Under a subsequent protocol for a loan the receiv-
ership of customs and the financial control are to be retained during
the life of the loan. Haiti is thus, under the present status, tied hand
and foot to the United States, under a treaty forced upon her by mili-
tary occupation, by coercion and duress, by fear of the consequences
of martial law, and by the forcible seizure, the placing under an em-
bargo, and the withholding of all her national funds and pecuniary
Commentary upon this said chapter in American history is superflu-
ous. A stain has attached to our national honor, which, unless speedily
expunged, will become an indelible blot. For this great nation to
play the part of a bully toward another, weak in material resources
and physically powerless to maintain its sovereign rights against incal-
culable odds, is nothing short of political immorality. The command
of self-restraint leads one to refrain from drawing parallels, and a
desire to avoid all sordid considerations does not permit a reference
to the economic injury that our country would inevitably sustain were
it to delay further the undoing of this stupendous wrong.

In the spring of 1917 the Senate and Chamber of Deputies were in
session engaged in considering the draft of a new constitution for the
country, submitted by American officials. Much opposition existed to
several provisions of the proposed constitution, chiefly to one which
would allow foreigners to acquire and own land. The President and
Cabinet favored the draft; a deadlock was imminent. Thereupon the
President dissolved the Chambers. Since then there have been no
elections to and no sessions of the Chambers, which in consequence are
now defunct. Such semblance of government as remains in the hands
of the native Haitians is exercised by the President, a Cabinet, and a
Council of State, whose members hold office solely during the pleasure
of the President. It is common knowledge in Haiti that the present
Government owes its continuance in power solely to the support and
presence of our marines.
The term of President Dartiguenave will expire on May 15, 1922.
Under the Haitian Constitution the President is chosen by the Senate
and Chambers in joint meeting; the Senators and Deputies are chosen
by direct popular vote in January of an even numbered year, indicated
by presidential decree. No call for an election in January, 1922, was
issued and there can therefore be no session of the Chambers in April
to elect a President for the new term commencing May 15. There
will thus exist either a vacancy or, without constitutional authority, the

present incumbent, or a nominal successor, will be appointed by the
Council of State. In any event, after May 15, 1922, the Government
will be even less representative than it has been since the treaty. It is
not unreasonable to assume that Washington could without difficulty
induce the Haitian Government to proceed to the election of Chambers
and of a successor to President Dartiguenave at an early day. It is
only with such a new Haitian Government that any negotiations for a
realignment of Haitian-American relations or for an adjustment of
Haitian finances can fairly be carried on. To negotiate with the Gov-
ernment of President Dartiguenave would be in keeping with the meth-
ods employed in 1915 to force acceptance of the treaty. The continu-
ance of this state of affairs is intolerable to those proud of American
traditions and moved by the spirit of liberty and justice.

From the foregoing summary of the salient facts as to our inter-
vention in Haiti and descriptive of the present status of the Haitian
Government we deduce these general and specific conclusions:
1. The presence of our military forces in Haiti after the disturb-
ances of July 27-28, 1915, had quieted down was violative of well-
recognized American principles.
2. The seizure and withholding by our forces in 1915 of Haitian
national funds was a violation of international law and of the repeated
professions by responsible American government officials of our posi-
tion and attitude toward Latin-American republics and weaker govern-
3. The imposition and enforcement of martial law without a decla-
ration of war by our Congress and the conduct of offensive operations in
Haiti by Admiral Caperton prior to the acceptance of the treaty by
Haiti were equally clear violations of international law and of our own
4. The methods employed by the United States in Haiti to force
acceptance and ratification of the treaty framed by the United States,
namely, the direct use of military, financial, and political pressure.
violate every canon of fair and equal dealing between independent
sovereign nations and of American professions of international good
5. The maintenance in Haiti of any United States military force
or of the control exercised by treaty officials under cover of the treaty
of September, 1915, amounts to a conscious and intentional participa-
tion in the wrong of the original aggression and coercion.
6. The present native Government of Haiti, chosen in 1915, unsup-
ported by any elected representatives since 1917, being now at the end
of its term of office, no negotiations should take place with such Gov-
ernment which involve the future of Haiti or which can in any material
respect affect its future.

7. The functions of a department of colonies and dependencies
assumed by the Navy Department and conferred on it by mere execu-
tive action are unauthorized by Congress or by other sanction of law,
and should be condemned as essentially illegal and as a usurpation of
8. We declare, without qualification, that the honor and good name
of the United States, the preservation of the sovereignty and the cher-
ished liberty of Haiti and her right to fair dealing on the part of the
United States, as well as the possibility of assuring the continuance in
the future of honorable and amicable relations between our country
and Latin-America, based on trust and confidence, all require:
(a) The immediate abrogation by the United States of the treaty
of 1915, unconditionally and without qualification.
(b) The holding of elections of representatives to the legislative
bodies of Haiti and of a President by the free will of the people at an
early day.
(c) The negotiation of a new treaty with a new Haitian adminis-
tration for friendly cooperation between the United States and Haiti
upon such terms as shall be mutually satisfactory to both countries
and by the methods that obtain between free and independent sov-
ereign states.

1 Official Report of hearings before a Select Committee of the United States Senate pursu-
ant to Senate Resolution 112 authorizing a special committee to inquire into the Occupation
and Administration of the territories of the Republic of Haiti and the Dominican Republic,
p. 338.
2Ibid., p. 122. Ibid., p. 334. 1" Ibid., p. 381.
SIbid. p. 320. o Ibid., p. 335. Ibid., p. 383.
'Ibid., p. 313. 11 Ibid., p. 336. 18 Ibid., p. 387.
Ibid., p. 315. Ibid., p. 338. "1 Ibid., p. 391.
Ibid., p. 313. 1' Ibid., p. 348. 20Ibid., p. 393.
Ibid., p. 327. 14 Ibid., p. 353. = Ibid., p. 394.
Ibid., p. 204. Ibid., p. 381. Ibid., p. 404.

kiuh^ '

FREDERICK BAUSMAN of Seattle is a former judge of the Supreme
Court of Washington and senior member of the firm of Bausman, Old-
ham, Bullitt & Eggerman.
ALFRED BETTMAN of Cincinnati, formerly City Solicitor of Cincinnati
and Special Assistant U. S. Attorney General, is a member of the firm
of Moulinier, Bettman & Hunt.
WILLIAM H. BRYNES of New Orleans is the senior member of the firm
of Brynes, Mooney, Booth & Norman, a former Louisiana State Sena-
tor and a member of the State Constitutional Convention of 1921.
CHARLES C. BURLINGHAM of New York is senior member of the firm
of Burlingham, Veeder, Masten & Fearey, has been president of the New
York Board of Education and was United States delegate to the Inter-
national Conference on Maritime Law in 1909.
ZECHARIAH CHAFFEE, Jr., is professor at the Harvard Law School.
MICHAEL FRANCIS DOYLE of Philadelphia was special agent of the
Department of State to care for American citizens in Europe at the
beginning of the war, and acting counselor in 1915 of the American Le-
gation, Switzerland, and of the American Embassy, Vienna.
WALTER L. FLORY of Cleveland is a member of the firm of Thompson,
Hine & Flory.
RAYMOND B. FOSDICK of New York is a member of the firm of Curtis,
Fosdick & Belknap. He was chairman of the Commission on Training
Camp Activities of the War and Navy Departments in 1917-1918.
FELIX FRANKFURTER is professor at the Harvard Law School, for-
mer law officer of the Bureau of Insular Affairs, War Department,
Major and Judge-Advocate, O. R. C., and ex-Chairman of the War
Labor Policies Board.
HERBERT J. FRIEDMAN of Chicago is a member of the firm of Kelly,
Friedman, Schwartz & Doyle, and was a member of the Federal Indus-
trial Commission in 1918.
JOHN P. GRACE is Mayor of Charleston, S. C., and a member of the firm
of Logan & Grace.
RICHARD W. HALE of Boston is senior member of the firm of Hale
& Dorr.
FREDERICK A. HENRY of Cleveland is a former judge of the Court of
Appeals of Ohio and a member of the firm of Snyder, Henry, Thomsen,
Ford & Seagrave.
JEROME S. HESS of New York is senior member of the firm of Hardin &
WILLIAM H. HOLLY is a Chicago attorney who has given especial atten-
tion to the history and development of constitutional law.
CHARLES P. HOWLAND is a New York attorney.
FRANCIS FISHER KANE, senior member of the firm of Kane & Runk of
Philadelphia, is former United States District Attorney for the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania.
GEORGE W. KIRCHWEY of New York has been dean of the Albany
Law School, and from 1891 to 1916 successively professor of Law,
dean of the Law School, and Kent professor of Law at Columbia Uni-
versity. He is a director of the American Society of International Law.
LOUIS MARSHALL of New York has been for years prominent in legisla-
tion and legal reform, member of three New York State Constitutional
Conventions, chairman of the Committee on Amendment of Law of
the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.
ADELBERT MOOT of Buffalo is ex-president of the New York State Bar
Association and a member of the firm of Moot, Sprague, Brownell &
JACKSON H. RALSTON of Washington is the senior member of the firm
of Ralston & Wills, was counsel in the first case submitted to the Per-
manent Court of Arbitration at the Hague, umpirenamed by the United
States for the Italian claims against Venezuela in 1903 and is the author
of "International Arbitral Law and Procedure."
NELSON S. SPENCER of New York is a member of the firm of Spencer,
Ordway & Wierum. He is president of the City Club of New York.
MOORFIELD STOREY of Boston, member of the firm of Storey, Thorn-
dike, Palmer & Dodge, has been president of the American Bar Asso-
ciation, the Massachusetts Bar Association, and the Bar Association
of the City of Boston.
TYRRELL WILLIAMS is dean of the Washington University Law School
at St. Louis.