• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Matter
 Cover
 Title Page
 Scope
 Table of Contents
 The country
 Background to intervention
 Intervention and occupation
 Rising discontent with the...
 Insurrection
 Criticism and investigation
 Conclusions
 Appendices
 Bibliography
 Footnotes






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 Material Information
Title: Forgotten My Lais U.S. intervention, occupation and pacification in Haiti (1915-1920)
Portion of title: U.S. intervention, occupation and pacification in Haiti (1915-1920)
Physical Description: 1 online resource (128, 11 leaves) : ;
Language: English
Creator: Dancheck, Leonard H
Publication Date: 1973
 Subjects
Subjects / Keywords: History -- Atrocities -- Haiti -- American occupation, 1915-1934   ( lcsh )
Atrocités -- Haïti -- 1915-1934 (Occupation américaine)   ( ram )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Thesis: Thesis--Judge Advocate General's School, Charlottesville, Va., 1973.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 125-128).
Statement of Responsibility: by Leonard H. Dancheck.
General Note: Title from PDF t.p. (LLMC Digital, viewed on Sept. 27, 2010)
General Note: Original in typescript.
General Note: "April 1973."
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Table of Contents
    Front Matter
        Front Matter
    Cover
        Page i
    Title Page
        Page ii
    Scope
        Page iii
    Table of Contents
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
        Page viii
    The country
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
    Background to intervention
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
    Intervention and occupation
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
    Rising discontent with the occupation
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
    Insurrection
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
    Criticism and investigation
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
    Conclusions
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
    Appendices
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
    Bibliography
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
    Footnotes
        Footnotes 1
        Footnotes 2
        Footnotes 3
        Footnotes 4
        Footnotes 5
        Footnotes 6
        Footnotes 7
        Footnotes 8
        Footnotes 9
        Footnotes 10
        Footnotes 11
Full Text















This volume was donated to LLMC
to enrich its on-line offerings and
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U.S. Army Judge Advocate
General School Library













FORGO T TEN MY LA I S:


U.S. Intervention, Occupation and Pacification in Haiti
(1915-1920)








FORGOTTEN MY LAIS:


U.S. Intervention, Occupation and Pacification in Eaiti
()




A Thesis

Presented to

The Judge Advocate General's School, U.S. Army






The opinions and conclusions expressed herein
are those of the individual student author and do not
necessarily represent the views of either The Judge
Advocate General's School, U..S. .Ary, or any other-
government agency. References to this study should
include the foregoing statement.






by

Major Leonard H. Dancheck, (PRIVATE INFORMATION REDACTED CONTACT UFDC@UFLIB.UFL.EDU for more information), U.S. Army


April 1973


















SCOPE


This article is a case study of the causes
and background of the 1915 United States intervention
in Haiti, the subsequent United States occupation of
the country, the suppression in 1919-1920 of an insur-
rection that developed in opposition to American con-
trol, the alleged atrocities committed during the
suppression, the reaction to the alleged atrocities
by the nation's press, and the investigations of the
alleged atrocities by the Navy, Marine Corps and the
United States Senate.



























*4







TABLE OF CONTENTS


Chapter
I. THE CCU RY. . . . . . . .

Geography
Climate
Economrv
Political and Economic Outlook
Haiti Before 1915

II BACKGROUND TO INTERVENTION . . . .. 13

Development of American Security Interests
American Economic Interests
The Crisis Approaches
Events in Haiti Prior to Intervention

III. INTERVENTION AND OCCUPATION. . . . 31

The Americans Land
American Political Control
The Treaty of 1915
De Facto Occupation
The Intervention in Retrospect

IV. RISING DISCOTTENT WITH THE OCCUPATION.. 42

The Corvee
Political Discontent
Other Discontent
Charlemagne Peralte

V. INSURRECTION .. . .. . . .. 62





Chapter
VI. CRITICISM AND INVESTIGATION. .... ... 79

The Barnett Letter
Ferment In The Press
The Press Leak
""The Chaim Of Military Investigations
The Criticism Continues
The Senate Investigates

VII. CONCLUSIONS

The Past Is Prologue . .. ... 105

APPENDICES. .................... .. 109

The Treaty Of 1915
The Constitution Of 1918
Precept Of The Mayo Court .Of Inquiry
Clco Proclamation
Map Of Haiti and Guide

BIBLIOGRAPHY.. .... . . . . . . . 125












REPORTS UNLAWFUL

KILLING OF HAITIANS

BY OUR MARINES


EVIDENCE OF "INDISCRIMINATE"

SLAYING IS ALLEGED BY BRIGA-.

DIER GE N E R A L BARETT.




COURT-MARTIAL GAVE CLU E

"SHOCKING CO'hDITIONS" RE-

VEALED IN TRIAL OF TWO PRIVATES

--------BLAMES CORVEE SYSTEM.

3,250 IN ALL W E R E SLAIN


--New York Times, October 14, 1920, p. 1.










DANIELS ORDERS

*HAITIAN INQUIRY

AND PLTNISH,14K.T





Courts-Martial for Accused Ma-
rines and Court of Inquiry
on Commanders.





"U ILA;TFUI KILLINGS" FEW





Board of Officers Says They

Were Isolated Cases----

-Genesral Record Good.


DAhNELS NOT IN'FOFJlED


Secretary Says He Had No Knowl-

edge of Barnett Charges

Until Recently.


--Ne-.: York'Times, October 16, 1920, p. 1.





These people are niggers in spite of the thin

varnish of education and refinement. Down in their

hearts they are just the same happy, idle, irresponsi-

ble people we know of.

--BG Littleton Waller to Colonel John A. Lejeune,
quoted in Hans Schmidt, The United States Occu-
pation of JHaiti, 1915-1934. .Rutgrs University
Press, New Brunswick, TNew Jersey, 1971, p. 79.








They are real nigger and no mistake--There are

some very fine looking well educated polished men here

but they are real nigs beneath the surface. What the

people of Norfolk and Portsmouth would say if they saw

me bowing and, scraping to these coons--I do not know--

All the same I do not wish to be outdone in formal .po-

liteness.

.--BG Littleton Waller to Colonel Lejuene, ibid. p. 79.






CHAPTER I

THE COUNTRY

Geography


Haiti lies almost directly south of New York

on the eastern side of the Windward Passage, which sepa-

rates her from the eastern tip of Cuba by 48 miles. The

Republic of Haiti occupies the western third of the.is-

land which Columbus called Hispaniola, and the Dominican

Republic occupies the eastern portion. Haiti has an

area of about 10,700 square miles and an estimated popu-

lation of 4,768,101 according to a statistical estimate

made in August 1969. The Dominican Republic is nearly

twice as large in area, but its population is about two-

thirds that of Haiti.

Appropriately called "Haiti," meaning "moun-

tainous," by the Indians, at least two-thirds of the

country is covered by mountains, which create a massive

background for every Haitian city. The mountains cover

about 8,000 square miles; the plains, about 2,700 square

miles. Largely .because of these formidable heights, the

principal cities are seaports. Port-au-Prince, the capi-









:a' 'nd largest city, has some 240,000 inhabitants.

3ther coastal cities--Cap-Haitien, Gonaives, Jeremie,

2ayes, Jacmel, St. Marc, and Port-de-Paix--have popu-

lations of less than 30,000. Thus the majority of

iaiti's 4,000,000 inhabitants live in the rural areas.

Climate

All parts of the republic have a warm and nota-
1
bly equable temperature. .Frost, snow, and ice probably

do not form anywhere, even at the highest altitudes. The

annual mean temperature at Furcy in the mountains is about

66 F.; at Port-au-Prince at sea-level, about 810. The

h-r dity is rarely so great anywhere as to cause much

physical discomfort. It is probably less than in many

tropical regions. Over a period of.many years, the rela-
0
tive humidity at Port-au-Prince ranged from a low of 630

in February to a high of 750 in October. The daily fluc-

tuation ranged between about 500 at midday and 800 some-
2
where between midnight and 4 a.m.

There are two well-defined wet or rainy seasons,

one in the spring, the other in the autumn. December to

February inclusive are the dry winter months and July is








almost always the driest summer month. Generally the

southern peninsula is well-watered, with 60 inches or

more of rain, except on the southern slope of the western

end. The northern plains and mountains receive more than

50 inches, with as much as 100 on the higher mountains.

Rainfall decreases from 60 inches on the mountains of the

northern peninsula near Port-de-Paix to 20 inches at Mole

St. Nicolas on the western-tip. The eastern central

region has from 40 to 60 inches, but with a sharply marked

dry season. The entire east coast, from Mole St. Nicolas

to the Cul-de-Sac plain at Port-au-Prince, is relatively

dry with 20-40 inches. This semi-arid region extends

from the..coast to the mountains,

Econc1'

The national economy depends on agriculture,

primarily exports of coffee, sisal and sugar. There is

now some light industry, mainly assembly of consumer

articles (portable radios, baseballs) geared to the

United States markets. Tourism has been restored as

an earner of foreign credits since the death of Dr.







3
Francois Duvalier.

Poverty and neglect, the extent of which is

merely hinted at by the absence of a functioning modern

infrastructure, are ineradicably Haitian. Together they

condition the direction of contemporary and future polit-

ical development. The national average per capital gross
4
national product is the equivalent of about $67, the

median is even lower and, according to any of the accepted

indices of national wealth, Haiti ranks at the bottom of

the Latin American and near bottom of most global scales.

Her people are poorer than those of Bolivia, at $164, the

second lowest in the Western Hemisphere; the Dominican

Republic, $230; Barbados, $370; Martinique, $440; Jamaica,

$460; Zambia, $200; and even India, $90. Haitians ranked

on the same scale of relative poverty with Tanzania, $73,

and Chad, $72, and per capital in advance only of such

countries as Botswana, $55, Malawi, $52, and Ethiopia,

$52--and these are all figures for 1965 and 1966, since
5
which time Haiti's relative position probably has worsened.

Haiti's extreme poverty has attracted some

rather bizarre forms of nAerican enterprises. Haitian

government officials, for example, are involved with North





5



.ericans in the export of cadavers for medical schools

in the States and Canada. The opportunity for a steady

supply of product arises from the fact that the usual

death list includes a few people without names and ages

and the rest: Inconnu, male; Inconnue, Femme; Inconnu,

enfant. Very little effort is made to discover the-

names and connections of those found dead, and if no one

claims them, they can be kept in the deep-freeze or em-

balmed and sold as an export commodity. Haitian human

protein, endlessly augmented by a burgeoning population

and atrocious infant mortality, helps to supplement the

diminishing sugar and coffee harvests.

Another business draws blood from donors, re-

turns the red parts, keeps the plasma, and this procedure

can be repeated every few days. For both diagnostic and

treatment purposes, this plasma is very valuable. Hone-

grown American plasma drawn from.skid rows tends to be

of inferior quality, greatly contaminated with distressing

particles such as those that cause venereal disease and
6
hepatitis.









Political and Economic Outlook

Haiti's economic problem is the chronic one

for underdeveloped countries--overpopulation and insuf-

ficient natural resources to create an industrial base..

Despite the American occupation, from 1915 through 1934,

and substantial American assistance following World

War II and continued up to 1962, Haiti remains an impov-

erished and marginal state. Politically, Haiti remains

a predatory and unstable state, ruled by a family oli-

garchy, the Duvaliers, and their shifting coterie.

Haiti Before 1915

During the -eighteenth century the-French

colony of Saint Domingue was the richest and the most

prosperous of the European possessions in the West Indies.

Upon its great plantations, operated by slave labor, was

produced an important fraction of the world's sugar

supply, besides great amounts of indigo, cacao, cotton

and other tropical products. This wealth was concen-

trated, however, in a relatively few hands, and many of

those who owned property lived in Paris and left the

management.of their affairs to overseers. Out of a popu-

lation of more than half a million, there were only 32,000









whites and 24,000 black freedmen. The rest were black

slaves working under conditions so destructive of life

and so unfavorable for reproduction as to require the

constant replenishment of the supply by new importations

from Africa. amongg the whites, there were rivalries and

hatreds between the official class, the creole aristoc-

racy,
All of the whites were set apart by rigid caste dis-

tinctions from the free blacks and mulattoes, although

many of these had been educated abroad and owned
7
plantations and slaves.

The natural enmities between the different

elements in the ruling class found expression in armed

strife when the mother country's control became less

effective at the time of the French Revolution. Each

faction attempted to take advantage of events in France

to improve its own position. The mulattoes, exasperated

by the white colonists' violent opposition to the States-

General's ineffective efforts to remove the restrictions

against them, organized a revolt which was cruelly sup-

pressed. A black uprising in the rich Plaine du Nord

destroyed many lives and much property. France's enemies,









Spain and England, occupied portions of the colony.

Their troops were eventually driven out by a black

leader, Toussaint L'Ouverture, who had formerly served

in the Spanish army but who went over to the French in

1794 and soon after became the real ruler not only of

the French but also of the Spanish end of the island.

In December 1801, when a temporary peace with

England freed his hands in Europe, Napoleon sent a

large army which defeated the black leaders and regained

control of the colony. Toussaint was arrested, by

treachery, and sent to die in a French prison. Yellow

fever, however, almost wiped out the French forces. A

new revolt compelled the evacuation of the island in

November 1803, and on January 1, 1804, the independence

of the Republic of Haiti was formally proclaimed. Those

whites who had not already fled were systematically ex-

terminated. During the long period of almost continuous

civil strife, marked by appalling cruelty and excesses

on both sides, the towns had been burned, the sugar mills

had been destroyed and even the fine residences of the

French proprietors had been torn down stone by stone.









Dessalines, who had led the final revolt,' later

proclaimed himself Emperor of Haiti, and ruled until his

assassination in 1806. The former colony was then di-

vided for a time between Henri Christophe's kingdom in

the north and a Republic under Petion, a-mulatto leader,

in the south, but it was reunited after Christophe's

suicide in 1820. For the next ninety-five years, Haiti

led a troubled existence, disturbed by revolutions at

home, by wars with the neighboring Dominican Republic,

and by frequent military demonstrations by foreign powers

to obtain redress for real or alleged injuries suffered
8
by their nationals.

Although the overwhelming numerical predominance

of the pure-blooded African element always made the black

military leaders a powerful political factor, and fre-

quently enabled them to rise to supreme power, the Re-

public was really ruled, during much of this period, by

a small mulatto aristocracy living in the principal

towns. There was an impassable gulf between this class

and the peasants, who cultivated their small garden

patches in the plains or the hills and whose very lan-

guage, a primitive patois of French-African-Spanish origin,










was different from that of the French speaking elite.

Descended for the most part from slaves who at the time

of the French Revolution had but recently been imported

from Africa, the peasants had inherited none of the

European traditions which were the basis of the culture

of the townspeople. To them, the Government was merely

an alien force, oppressing and exploiting those who

could not keep out of reach of the petty military despots

who represented it in each locality. They knew nothing

of political affairs and for the most part participated

in the civil wars only when forcibly impressed as soldiers

by one side or the other. Entirely illiterate, they

naturally had no conception of the meaning of the ballot.

As this class comprised at least ninety per cent of the

population, it was obvious that real republican insti-

tutions could not exist.

The elite, on the other hand, naturally came

to regard the Government as the patrimony of their own

class. They alone possessed the education and the intel-

ligence which were required in official positions. The

black military chiefs who generally occupied the Presi-









dency were compelled to rely upon them for the greater

part of the work of administration. As the native

business men found themselves unable to compete with

German and other foreign merchants who appeared in in-

creasing numbers with the develope2rt of commerce, and

who derived great advantages from the protection af-

forded by their own Governments, the Haitian upper class

were forced more and more to depend upon the public

treasury for their livelihood." The condition of the

country and the lack of capital made it impossible for

those who owned land to develop it, and agriculture re-

mained almost exclusively in the hands of the peasants.

The ruling class had little interest in the construction

of roads or the improvement of conditions in the rural

districts, and the revenues were expended almost entirely

for the benefit of the city population.

At the end of the nineteenth century, political

conditions in Haiti appeared to have become somewhat more

stable, and successful revolts were less frequent. There

had been a series of strong presidents, and high coffee

prices,--for coffee was by this time the one important

export crop,--had brought a measure of prosperity. Un-









fortunately, however, a new.period of disorder began

about 1908, with the increasing frequency .of the so-

called caco revolutions. The cacos were turbulent,

adventure-loving peasants living in the wild mountain

country along the northern part of the eastern frontier.

Under chiefs who were virtually professional revolu-

tionists, they supported any political leader who wished

to purchase their services, and retired to their homes,

ready for a new revolt, after the government had been

overthrown. The administrations established by their

aid at Port-au-Prince had no forces with which to com-

bat them after the caco armies had been disbanded and

paid off. Revolutions consequently succeeded one an-

other with increasing frequency, and between August 1911

and July 1915 there were six Presidents, none of whom

served so much as a year. During the latter part of

this period, new Presidents barely established them-

selves in office before they were compelled to flee at

the approach of the same caco forces which had placed

them there.









CHAPTER II

BACKGROUND TO INTERVENTION

Development of Ae.jrican Security Interests

,inerican interests in Haiti were linked to

our emerging strategic considerations. These consid-

erations were determined by simple facts of geography.

The influence of geography upon history can hardly be

overestimated. Even now, although the physical barriers

are less obstructive to communications between nations,

it continues to play an important role in national and

international policies. No nation can ignore the con-

sideration of g'ogrSI"- in evaluating the basis of its

historical development.

A glance at the map of the Caribbean Sea pro-

vides the key for a partial understanding of the history

of the island which today comprises the Dominican Republic

and Haiti. Lying almost directly between Cuba and Puerto

Rico, it is not surprising that it would be discovered

by Spain; become intimately involved with any larger

powers in that region; and more importantly be an impor-

tant strategic link between the east coast of North












America, Europe and the Panama Canal. Geographically,

Haiti and the Dominican Republic are at a point com-

manding the entrance to the Caribbean and even the

whole of Central America. This strategic position has

historically meant that both countries would be affected

in some way by the world's great sea powers and expe-

cially the United States. Indeed, if Cuba is only "ninety

miles from American shores," then Haiti and the Dominican

Republic are not much farther. The United States has

long maintained a military-political-strategic interest

in this area which has frequently been referred to as
9
"mare nostrum."

Throughout the first half of the nineteenth

century southern Americans sought to isolate Haiti in

order to prevent the possible spread of "black power"

to the United States, while their cousins from New Eng-

land pushed the sale of fish and rum there as intensively

as they could. However, during the last thirty or forty

years of the century--especially after the recognition

of the republic by the United States in 1862--The Americans

grew more aware of the potentialities of Haiti, and looked









with a covetous eye upon the Mole St. Nicolas, a well-

protected harbor on the northwestern coast of Haiti and

a mere sixty miles across the Windward Passage from Cuba.

American policy essentially consisted of ignoring Haitian

internal probl:r..s and of making absolutely certain that

no foreign power gained control of the Mole. At times

American administrations sought to persuade Haitian

governments to cede the Mole, and there were some in-

fluential Americans who were willing to use martial means

in order to acquire it, but successive Haitian leaders

resisted all blandishments and promised firmly to oppose

any and all encroachments upon Haitian sovereignty. Never-

theless, the American navy successfully visited Haitian

ports in order to protect American life and property on

eight occasions between 1857 and 1900. After the turn

of the century, when the construction of the Panama Canal

made the Mole strategically that much more important, and

when Haitian instability became even more apparent, ships

of the United States Navy interfered on behalf of Americans
10
and American interests an additional eleven times.











In the second half of. the nineteenth century and

the early twentieth century, the general policies of the ..::

United States in this area developed primarily in re-

sponse to three separate, but interrelated sets of events:

(1) the Spanish-American War, which turned the Caribbean

into an American lake; (2) the acquisition of canal rights

in Panama; and (3) the application of the Roosevelt Corol-

lary of the Monroe Doctrine that the United States'would

ensure against European-interventions in the Latin American

and the Caribbe'n area by assuming the burden of policing

those countries in this area that were delinquent in hon-

oring their international debts.

A former Assistant Secretary of State for Latin

American affairs, Mr. Sumner Welles, has provided the

best exposition of our interests in the Caribbean area:

The interest of the United States in the
preservation of peace and in the maintenance
of order in certain of the Republics which
lie to the no=:th of the SoutAh Crnerican con-
tinent is not defined by the Monroe Doctrine
except in the limited sense announced by
President Roosevelt in his message of 1905
to the United States Senate regarding the
Dominican Republic. In the event that there
exists in any of those Republics an 'impotence
resulting in the loosening of the tics of
civilized society,' of so grave a character









as to threaten to make possible the noxious
intervention of some non-American Power, the
United States will use its power to remove
the cause of that peril.
...The protection of the Panama Canal is
a question of vital importance to the Govern-
ment-of the United States. Any chaotic con-
dition in a Republic adjacent to the Canal
which actually, not theoretically, threatens
the security of the Canal must in itself be
cause for action on the part of the United
States....
It may confidently be asserted that since
the acquisition of the Panama Canal Zone by
the United States every American Secretary of
State has regarded the preservation of peace
and maintenance of the orderly procedure of
Government in the region of the Caribbean as
a matter of deep concern to the United States11
[Emphasis supplied by author.]

7 TricaEr Ecor.c.ic Tnternsts

Between 1870 and 1913, the United States in-

creased its share of the Haitian market from 30 to about

60 per cent. Haitian imports from the United States,

primarily in pork, lard, flour, soap, fish, and cotton

textiles, were worth about $6 million, but this figure

represented less than 2 per cent by value of total United

States exports. Nor were American investments of startling

magnitude. Two wasteful railway concessions (of 1876 and

1904) were originally owned by Americans, but by 1910

both had been assumed by German firms. In that same year








James P. McDonald, an American entrepreneur, gained.con-

trol of a comprehensive port improvement and rail network

concession for which the government of Haiti guaranteed

all investors, in exchange for evidence of progress, the

payment of principal and interest on its constriction

bonds. (McDonald had intended to grow bananas along the

line of rail, with Haitians, typically, expecting to de-

fray the bend guarantees by the payment of export taxes

on the bananas.) A New York syndicate led by W. R. Grace

& Co. and numbering among its stockholders several of-

ficers of the National City Bank of New York purchased

half of McDonald's concession, the other half going to

a British syndicate. It was intended that this consor-

tium should build a national railway from Port-au-Prince

to Cap Haitien, but by 1914, when Haiti grew dissatisfied

with the line and refused to make further payments, the

company could claim merely to have constructed three

poorly maintained and badly separated sections of the

railroad. There were lengthy gaps between St. Marc and

Gonaives and Ennery and Bahon; through traffic was im-

possible, three-sets of rolling stock had to be maintained,

what was completed seemed shoddy, and, as if to add insult










to injury, the main section had been sited two miles out

or Port-au-Prince, in the middle of a mire.

;.erican interest in the railway coincided

with and contributed to an involvement in the only other

significant American investment in Haiti before 1915.

The republic's Banque Nationale had been controlled by

French investors since its inception in 1881. It col-

lected the principal revenues of the country, acted as

a depository for official funds and the national pay-

master and, in sum, exerted a control over the republic's

finances which was intended primarily to serve tht inter-

ests of foreign creditors. In 1905, after the discovery

of blatant and outrageous frauds (several men who sub-

sequently became presidents of Haiti were implicated

along with the bank's French directors), the Banque Na-

tionale lost its most lucrative quasi-governmental

functions. In 1909-10, however, after the inauguration

of a new Haitian government, French and German interests

sought a contract for a reorganized Banque which would

enable them to collect Haiti's customs revenues, obvi-

ously the republic's most accessible and most negotiable









financial resource. By this time the Germans in Haiti

numbered about 200. They controlled nearly 80 per cent

of all international commerce (imports of textiles and

consumer goods and exports of coffee), owned the public

utilities in Cap Haitien and Port-au-Prince, the main

wharf in the capital, the Chemin de Fer de la Plaine du

Cul-de-sac (the railway serving the sugar producing area

near Port-au-Prince. In addition, the Hamburg-American

was the principal steamship line serving Haiti. German

merchants in Haiti also were notorious for financing

revolutions that periodically emerged from the North of
12
the country,

The National City Bank, to a large extent be-

cause of the personal interest-of two of its officers in

the national railway, had become equally interested in

obtaining access to Haitian revenues which could easily
13
be earmarked. At the same time, the State Department

in Washington indicated its tunwillingness--for strategic

reasons already implied by the Roosevelt corollary to

the Monroe Doctrine--to accept increased German and French

economic influence in Haiti. They were less opposed to










financial hegemony per se than to the possibility that

such financial stakes would, in the event of future

Haitian instability, provide an excuse for German or

French intervention and occupation of an island com-

manding the Windward Passage. The American government

forcibly made its opposition known to the Haitians as

well as the German and French consortia. Yet, this

antagonism to an agreement "so detrimental to American

interests, so derogatory to the sovereignty of Haiti,
14
and so inequitable to the people of Haiti," failed to

deter the Haitians, many of whom hoped-to profit per-

sonally from signing away their national financial in-

dependence. But it gave the Franco-German consortia

pause. The German banking interests decided-to play a

less dominant role; 40 per cent of the ownership of the

Banque was divided among four American firms, including.

ITatincl City, and the remaining German financial house,

having 10 per cent ownership, agreed to subordinate it-

self to Aerican leadership The French consortium re-

tained a 50 percent stake. Even so, the State Depart-

ment was only with reluctance persuaded by National City

personnel to withdraw its objections to the Banque con-








tract. The department finally acceded to the very pro-

fitable arrangements whereby the new bank would collect

a commission on all monies received and expended on the

government's own account, with a further commission for

pay:-rcnts in foreign currencies, would purchase a French

loan at a mere 72.3 per cent of pay (a recent Dominican

bond issue had been bought at 98.5'per cent), and would

replace the existing and depreciated paper currency with
15
imperfectly secured notes of its own issue. In addition,

the Banque became responsible for the service of external

debts (in which its managers obviously had a distinct

personal interest) and, onerously, the supply--on a monthly

basis--of the operating funds of the Haitian government.

But the State Department balked at Haiti's own willingness

to transfer control over customs revenues to the Banque,

and this provision, which was to become an important source

of friction, was eliminated from the concession as imple-

mented from 1911.

It immediately became apparent that the dir-

ectors of the National City Bank regarded Haiti with

special concern. Roger L. Farnham, a vice-president of








National City, became a central figure in the operations

of the Banque Nationale and the national railway. Still,

overall ._merican investment (in the railway, the Banque,

a cotton plantation, a small copper mine, and other

miscellaneous operations) amounted in 1913 to no more

than $4 million at a time when total American direct in-

vestment in Latin America amounted to $1.7 billion, in-
16
eluding $800 million in Mexico and $220 million in Cuba.

Considered as an.aspect of dollar diplomacy, therefore,

Haiti was of only marginal concern to the United States

before 1915. Yet it was geographically proximate and,

Washington tended to argue, if it fell into the wrong

hands, it would prove a source of acute embarrassment
17
to the United States.

The Crisis Approaches

President Wilson and William Jennings Bryan,

his first Secretary of State, were unusually fearful of

strategic embarrassment in the Caribbean. They persuaded

themselves that interference and intervention in the af-

fairs of smaller countries represented a legitimate exer-

cise of '_'ierican power if the implicit and explicit aims

of each intervention were demonstrably progressive. The





24


Haitian policy of the Wilson administration, although

failing within this rubric and its corollary--that the

introduction of American capital into the Caribbean

would, in accord with a new Gresham's law, drive out the

lucre of Europe--was also directly influenced by the fact

that Bryan depended primarily upon one man--Farnham of

the Banque Nationale, the railway, and National City--
18
for information about Haiti. At the same time, Farnham

and his colleagues contributed to the continued instability

of Haiti (by restricting the income of the Haitian govern-

ment and causing defaults on debts) in an attempt to com-

pel the introduction of an American run customs receivership
19
and, ultimately, American intervention. There was the

Dominican precedent, and there is abundant evidence that

Farnham continually pressed the short-lived Haitian govern-

ments of 1912-15 for a voluntary cession of their customs

houses. As a result of his influence upon Bryan, Farnham

was ideally placed to encourage a decision to intervene.

He was able to magnify the threat of Ge m.:in and French

interference, and, after the outbreak of World War I, to

remind Bryan and Wilson of the (then improbable) prospect





25



that Germany would find the Mole St. Nicolas an attractive

coaling station for her warships and an ideal harbor for

her U-boats. Simultaneous, Farnham and the Banque could

tighten the screws internally and stress the dangers of

Caribbean instability when advising Bryan and Wilson.

War in Europe intensified the pressures on Haiti.

As a proportion of the funds of the Banque Nationale were

tied up in France, credit became tighter, and the custo-

mary advances to exporters, and to the speculators, or

middlemen, upon whose efforts the collection of the 1914-

15 coffee crop depended, were largely denied. Combined

with a shortage of shipping, this meant that the movement

of coffee was severely curtailed. Subsequently, too,

France ceased all purchases of the Haitian coffee on which

the republic's economy largely depended. The Banque,

which had always serviced debts before supplying the gov-

ernment with funds for its own purposes, became even more

reluctant to provide monthly "allowances." The Banque

finally promised funds, but only if the government would

accept an American receivership. In turn the Haitian

government, driven by financial necessity and alarmed at









the quality of its three piece railway, defaulted on na-

tional railroad bonds, threatened to seize the line, and

raised punitive loans internally, the majority of which

were subscribed to by the German business houses. Polit-
20
ically, too, Haiti had reached the brink of chaos.

Cacos held successive governments at their mercy and no

single man, or group of men, seemed capable of overcoming

the structural shortcomings of the country. Certainly,

the officials of the Banque, and the equally grasping

German and French representatives, actively undermined

what was left of Haitian stability. By early 1915 the

iachiLnations of these various parties had even resulted

in abortive negotiations for a voluntary occupation.

Bryan and Wilson, pushed by Farnham and frightened that

the Germans and French might--even in the middle of a

distant war--choose to intervene, were disposed to act

preemptively themselves.

Events in Haiti Prior to Intervention

On July 2, 1914, the America Minister at Port-

au-Prince had been instructed to sound out the Haitian

:.ove-rr:;nt regarding its willingness to enter into a







treaty giving the United States control over the Haitian
21
customs. Negotiations had hardly been begun, however,

before a new revolution occurred. The Department of State

had apparently been prepared to uphold by force President

Zamor, with whom it had been negotiating, in order to

bring about not only the signature of the desired treaty

but also an agreement similar to that recently effected

in the Dominican Republic for the holding of an election

under American supervision. The Government fell so sud-

denly, however, that there was no opportunity for such
22
action.

On November 12, 1914, two days after the inaugura-

tion of President Theodore, the American Minister was in-

structed to inform him that he would be recognized when a

commission had been named with full powers to negotiate

with the United States (1) a convention providing for the

establishment of customs control, (2) a settlement of

questions affecting the National Railway and the National

Bank, (3) an agreement by Haiti to give full protection

to all foreign interests in Haiti, and (4) a pledge never

to lease any Haitian territory to any European government








for use as a naval or coaling station. The Department

subsequently added to these conditions a requirement

that a protocol be signed for the arbitration of pending
23
American claims. President Theodore, however, de-

clined to accept the proposed customs control and the

American Minister was instructed that the Government of

the United States had no desire to assume any responsi-

bility in connection with Haiti's fiscal system except

in accord with the wishes of the Haitian Government and
24
that he was not, therefore, to press the matter.

Renewed revolutionary activity soon interrupted the

negotiations again. Mr. Bryan, nevertheless, continued

his effort to apply in Haiti the same policy which had

been followed with apparent if not lasting success in

the Dominican Republic. In November 1914 he had sent

to the American Legation a copy of the so-called Wilson

Plan, with the suggestion that it might serve as a basis
25
for the establishment of peaceful conditions in Haiti,

and on February 20, 1915, he informed the Legation that

President Wilson was sending to Haiti the same commis-

sioners,--Ex-Governor Fort and Mr. Sm-th,--who had re-
26
cently established peace in the neighboring Republic.








The commissioners arrived just after the proclamation of

Guillaume Sam, Theodore's successor, and they returned

to Washington ten days later, apparently without having

carried on any important negotiations with the Haitian

Government. Mr. Paul Fuller, who was sent to Port-au-

Prince about two months later to make a new effort to

negotiate a treaty, appears to have accomplished equally
27
little. It was clear by July 1915 that no Haitian

Government would be likely to accept the measure of con-

trol -:hich the Department of State considered necessary

for the establishment of political and financial stability.

Guillaume Sam had been proclaimed President on

March 4, 1915. A new revolution began almost immediately

in the north, and a large number of persons suspected of

complicity, including many members of prominent families,

were iiprisc::ed in the penitentiary at Port-au-Priice.

On July 27, when an uprising occurred in this city, 167

of these prisoners were massacred by order of the com-

mandir of the prison, who subsequently fled to the Domi-

nican Legation but was found thereby a mob and killed.

On the following day a mob invaded the French Legation,








where the President had taken refuge, dragged him out

of his hiding place, and literally tore him to pieces in

the streets. There was a complete disappearance of con-

stituted authority at Port-au-Prince, for the revolutionary

army was still in the North. A self-appointed revolu-

tionary committee assumed authority in the city but was

unable to control either the disorganized soldiers or the

hysterical populace, and there was intense apprehension

for the safety of foreigners.









CHAPTER III

INTERVENTION AND OCCUPATION

The Americans Land

The manner by which the intervention was ac-

complished established a pattern for Haitian-American

relations. On July 28, 1915, Admiral William B. Caper-

ton, commanding the U.S.S. Washington, landed 330 sailors

and Marines in Port-au-Prince. Meeting almost no or-

ganized resistance, Caperton very quickly gained command

of the city. By the end of the first week, the American

military command had made its presence felt in nearly

all of Haiti's major towns. Within the first six weeks

Marines (there soon were 2,029) had taken over the coun-

try's customs houses and assumed control of its other

administrative organs. By then, too, the Marines had

disarmed and dispersed the 1,500 cacos who had accompanied

a Dr. Bobo to the capital in support of his candidacy for

president.

There had been little organized military op-

position to the landing of United States forces in July,'

1915. Those Haitians who were determined to resist the









United States occupation withdrew into the interior of

the country where a number of caco armies, supporting

the revolution against President Sam and the candidacy

of Dr. Bobo, were already in the field. Subjugating

these bands of poorly equipped guerrillas was the origi-

nal and continuing military objective of the Marine

forces in Haiti.

Caco armies consisted of peasant soldiers who

were enlisted in short-term military adventures by

regional military chiefs in the interior of Haiti, espe-

cially in the wild and mountainous north. The regional

chiefs, self-styled "generals," were allied with urban

politicians who provided funds and political leadership.

Prior to the rAmelrican intervention, cacos had provided

the military punch behind the numerous Haitian revolutions,

serving as mercenary armies on behalf of.successive Presi-

dential candidates. They were armed only with machetes

and obsolete rifles, but possessed great tactical mobility

and were able to disappear into the countryside when pur-

sued by superior forces. A caco soldier was indistin-

guishable from an ordinary peasant once he had discarded










his weapon and removed a small identifying red patch

from his clothing. Cacos.continued to be characterized

simply as bandits in American military reports, irrespec-

tive of the fact that caco efforts were eventually di-

rected solely toward the nationalistic political objective
28
of driving the Americans into the sea.

The initial pacification in 1915 was carried

out by the complementary devices of bribing cacos to turn

in their weapons, and by forceful Marine pursuit and ex-

termination. While the Marine landings and the establish-

ment of American authority in the coastal cities were ac-

complished with ease, the problem of pacification in the

interior was complicated and difficult. Numerous caco

bands remained loyal to exiled presidential.candidate

Dr. Rosalvo Bobo. Cacos interfered with food supplies

to American occupied coastal cities, raided Marine en-

campments, and impeded railroad communications. Pacifi-

cation of these bands was achieved during the six months

following the intervention. Thereafter, with the estab-

lishment of Marine outposts throughout the interior, caco

activities'declined until the American forced labor road

building program of 1918 and the massive Haitian uprising
29
of 1918-19.










American Political Control

Admiral Caperton, on orders from President Wil-

son, had started searching for a suitable President of
30
Haiti. Both President Wilson and Secretary of State

Lansing knew that the American occupation rested upon

no legally secure ground; instead of straightforward

direct rule by the military, they sought to install a

pliable Haitian government which could be counted upon

to cooperate with the United States and, most importantly,
31
to sign a treaty of abnegation. Philippe Sudre Darti-

guenave, the mulatto president of the Senate, offered

himself as president after three other distinguished

Haitians declined to sully their patriotism and Dr. Bobo

had been rejected as a candidate by Admiral Caperton's

chief emissary. "For you," he told Dr. Bobo, "I have

nothing but kindly feelings. .but Admiral Caperton

directs me to inform you that you are not a candidate for

the Haitian presidency. And further, that instead of be-
.32
ing a patriot, you are a menace and a curse to your country."

The election of an acquiescent president was

only the beginning of A,:erican involvement. Widely ex-

pressed disaffection in Port-au-Prince,-and Dartiguenave's









own anxieties, encouraged Admiral Caperton to declare

martial law (censorship accompanied it) on September 3,

1915. And "martial law," as an American editor later

wrote, "is martial law. It cannot be camouflaged into
33
a tea party or a benefit performance." This state,

which lasted until 1929, permitted political offenders

to be dealt with according to American military codes

(military justice in contemporary Haiti, which is widely

used for political offenders, is still based on United
34
States naval regulations).

The Treaty of 1915

Martial law, the threat of military pressure,

and the withholding of budgetary support also facilitated

the passage through the reluctant Haitian legislature on

November 11, 1915 (the United States Senate ratified it

in February 1916) of a treaty which, technically at least,
35
legitimized the occupation.

Under the terms of the treaty the United States

undertook to use its good offices to aid the Haitian gov-

ernment 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. It was authorized to nominate, and Haiti

to appoint, not only a general receiver to supervise cus-

toms lut also a financial adviser. (This article obviated

the difficulty that the United States was then having with

the Dominican Republic over the appointment of a financial

adviser,) Haiti was not to increase its public debt-ex-

cept by previous agreement with the United States, and

undertook to create an efficient Haitian constabulary,

organized and officered by Americans. The treaty stipu--

lated that Haiti agreed "not to surrender any of the ter-

ritory -of the Republic of Haiti by sale, lease, or other-

wise, or jurisdiction over such territory, to any foreign

power or powers that will impair or tend to impair the

independence of Haiti." A protocol with the United States

was to provide for the settlement of all foreign pecu-

miary claims Engineers, nominated by the United States

would lend "efficient aid for the preservation of Haitian

Independence and the maintenance of a Government sRequate

for the protection of life, property and individual lib-

erty." The treaty was to remain in force for ten years









from the date of ratification "and further for another

term of ten years if, for specific reasons presented by

either of the contracting parties, the purpose of this
36
treaty has not been fully accomplished."

De Facto Occuoation

The Haitians who had signed and ratified the

treaty primarily in order to escape foreign military

government even if it meant surrender to a certain de-

gree of civilian supervision were dismayed as months

passed with Admiral Caperton's naval appointees con-

tinuing to collect the customs, dispense the public

funds, and control municipal administration, public

works, sanitation, and other civil functions in addition

to ordinary police duty. Even after the belated arrival

of regularly appointed treaty officials the officers of

the occupation and the constabulary (actually named the

Gendarmerie pursuant to the Agreement of September 16,

1915, between Haiti and the United States establishing
37
this paramilitary, Marine-officered police force)

showed "reluctance" to turn over to them "the functions
38
that properly would come within their cognizance."








When, finally, all the treaty services had been organ-

ized and the Gendarmerie had shown itself capable of

maintaining order, it was expected, on the basis of

American assurances, that the Marines would be with-

drawn, to return only in the event of fresh disturbances,

as had been the case in Cuba, but instead the military

regime was continued in the sense that for nearly twenty

years the ultimate authority in Haiti was vested in

the senior American officer rather than in the presi-

dent of the republic and was derived from Caperton's

proclamation of "martial law" rather than from the

treaty or the Haitian constitution.

Caperton's successors exercised their procon-

sulship from their capital at Santo Domingo, where they

were personally discharging the functions of the Dominican
39
presidency. Their sub-proconsuls for Haiti were the

commanding officers of the Marine brigade, who ruled

the land by ruling the Haitian president rather than by

taking his office themselves. The Gendarmerie, nominally

a treaty service subject to presidential control, but

actually a subsidiary of the occupation, relieved the

Marines of police duty, so that the military government










came into direct contact with the people only through

the provost courts, which continued to enforce "martial
40
law." However, on occasion the brigade commander re-

vealed his absolute power to intervene in any phase of

Haitian affairs without reference to any treaty pro-
41
vision.

American Marine officers who commanded the

gendarmerie were veritable potentates in their re-
42
spective districts. Within their districts, which

numbered eighteen, they exercised normal police functions,

supervised travel and traffic and weights and measures,

prevented smuggling, collected vital statistics, en-

forced the sanitation code, supervised the prisons and,

simply speaking, were fully "in charge" of their rural

fiefs. Like district administrators in colonial Africa,

an officer in the Gendarmerie found himself with virtually

unlimited power. "He is the judge of practically all

civil and criminal cases," wrote a contemporary ob-

server. "He is the paymaster for all funds expended by

the national government, he is ex-officio director of

the schools, inasmuch as he pays the teachers. He con-

trols the mayor and city council, since they can spend









no funds without his O.K. As collector of taxes he

exercises a strong influence on all individuals in the
43
community."

The Gendarmerie was actually controlled and

directed by the Americans, despite the contrary intent

expressed in the formal terms of the Gendarmerie Agree-

ment. In Article IV this police force was to be "sub-

ject only to the direction of the President of Haiti."

Article XI reiterated this, stating the "Haitian Gen-

darmerie shall be under the control of the President
44
of Haiti." The Marine officers in command of the Gen-

darmerie did take up matters directly with the Haitian

President; but the latter, in spite of the agreement,

does not appear to have exercised exclusive superior
45
authority over the Gendarmerie, and the American bri-

gaCde commander frequently gave -orders to the chief of
46
Gendarmerie.

The Intervention in Retrospect

Although the excesses of Vilbrun Guillaume

Sam's government, the resultant disorders in Port-au-

Prince, and the possibility of renewed clashes between

the forces of President Sam and Dr. Rosalvo Bobo, his










sometime minister of the interior, provided the immediate

pretext for the American interference in the affairs of

Haiti, Wilson's government had long before decided upon

the desirability of American occupation and had drafted

the necessary plans. Landing operations were sanctioned

as early as July 1914, notices of an occupation of Haiti,

with spaces for the appropriate day and month, were pre-

pared at about the same time, and there was a "Plan for

Landing and Occupying the City Of Port-au-Prince" which
47
dated from November 1914. American warships crui-ed

in Haitian waters throughout this period, and made their

presence felt during the abortive negotiations of 1915.

Only the departure of Bryan from office in June 1.915,

his replacement by Robert Lansing, who distrusted Farnham

but was also a pronounced German-ophobe, and the out-

break of renewed disorders (any riots would do) were

needed to make the contingency plans real. Wilson de-

clared that the intervention in Haiti was a humanitarian

response to the total collapse of indigenous abilities

to maintain law and order, but a compassionate exami-

nation of the available evidence suggests a deeper con-

cern for America's national interests than for her moral
48
responsibilities in a troubled and disturbed world.









CHAPTER IV

RISING DISCONTENT WITH THE OCCUPATION

The Corvee

The need of highways in Haiti, not only for

military purposes and economic development, but also to

bring the people of the South and North into closer

social relations, was realized by the Americans from the

very beginning of the occupation. Lacking adequate

funds for a major road building program because of the

fiscal pauperage of the client-government, the Americans

revived an 1864 Haitian law, discovered by Major, later

Brigadier General, Smedley Butler, the first Chief of

the Gendarmerie, by which peasants were required to

perform labor on local roads in lieu of paying a road

tax. This law, Article 54 of the Rural Code of the

Republic of Haiti, provided that:

. .public highways and communications
will be maintained and repaired by the in-
habitants, in rotation, in each section
through which these roads pass, each time
repairs are necessary.49

This system, known as the corvee, had its historical

roots in the unpaid labor which French peasants owed

their feudal lords.










The enforcement of this law being in the hands

of the police, the Gendarmerie took the necessary steps

to recruit 13borers. Working parties obtained under

this law, similar in effect to the old road tax laws in

the United States whereby citizens were either required

to pay a certain road tax or work in lieu thereof for a

certain period on the public highways, were called cor-

vees, The majors of the various localities in which

road construction was to take place furnished lists of

the inhabitants in their jurisdictions, whereupon the

Gendarmerie prepared and delivered notification cards

directing these people to report at a designated place

near their homes for work on the roads or, in lieu

thereof, pay a specified tax. The poverty of the inhab-

itants prevented almost all from paying the tax and ob-

ligated them to work instead. The Gendarmerie built

coyvee camps at which these workmen were housed end

furnished with food, drink and entertainment.

In time, the corvee became an impressment
50
system of road labor complete with internment camps.

Orders were issued that no inhabitant should be com-

pelled to perform corvee work outside his own district,










or should be forced to exceed the period of labor re-

quired by law. But in most cases this rule was not ob-

served. Most of the roads constructed ran through

districts that were sparsely populated, and even in

settled districts the inhabitants quite naturally avoided

the corvee if possible. The official system issued cards

notifying the people that on a certain date they must

report for road work or pay a tax. When their three

days' work had been completed these cards, endorsed by

the Gendarmerie officers of the district, were supposed

to be evidence of adequate performance and to exempt the

holder from further work. In most districts, however,

the official system was disregarded. In many instances

cards which had been endorsed were destroyed by Gendarmes.

to force peasants back on the road gangs.

General Butler later described the operation

of the corvel in glowing terms:

Mr. Howe. During the continuance of this
system, until your departure, did you ever re-
ceive any protest against the use of the corvee?
Gen. Butler. I never did, except in the
case of employers who would come and ask that
the dates of the working of the men might be
shifted from one date to another in order that
they might work on the plantations.











Mr. Howe. But there was no protest against
the system?
Gen. Butler. No.
Mr. Howe. How long did the corvee workers
have to work?
Gen. Butler. I do not remember the exact
time prescribed by the law.
The Chairman. That is in the record, in
the statement originally filed by the depart-
ment.
Gen. Butler. They worked exactly according
to the Haitian law, no longer and no less.
Mr. Howe. Did they ever attempt to escape
or run away before their time was up?
Gen. Butler. No; and, in fact, after the
completion of the road to Cape Haitien, it was
with the greatest difficulty that we got 4,000
of them to go home. They were on our hands for
a month, and it worried me to death to get food
to feed them. They enjoyed this dancing; they
enjoyed the food; and they enjoyed the housing.
Mr. Howe. How far away did they live?
Gen. Butler. Right around in the neighbor-
hood; but they liked this collection, they liked
the big assembly, they liked the voodoo dancing,
they liked the visits. . .51


The corvee was inherently offensive to Haitian

peasants, who prized their independence as small land-

hol?;rs and feared the return of slavery at the hands of

white men. As the system became ridden with abuses, re-

sistance increased proportionally. In 1920 Admiral H.

S. Knapp, the military governor of Santo Domingo and

the administrative commander in Haiti, reported to

Secretary of the Navy Daniels that "it appears to be











undeniable" that Haitians had been forced to work out-

side of their home districts, had been kept at work

under guard, and had "been marched to and from their
52
work bound together." The corvee gangs were always

kept under Gendarmerie guard, and native Gendarmes
53
practiced brutality on their charges. The roping

together of workers was especially upsetting to the

peasants, since it recalled legends of French colonial

slave gangs.

Because of rising hostility, the corvee was

officially abolished in August, 1918. The brigade com-

mander's August proclamation informed the citizens:

The time has come to put a stop to further
bloodshed. . .The corvee has been done away
with entirely. Work on the road is entirely
voluntary and will be paid for daily. The work-
men will be free to come and go when it pleases
them . .Any injustices committed by native
or American officials should be reported to
American Military Officials and justice will
be done and the offender punished.54

The succeeding brigade commander, Colonel

Russell, decided on his arrival that, while the corvee

had been a "source of continual trouble" and it was

desirable to discontinue it, this would not be feasible







47


until "certain roads, needed for military purposes, had
55
been opened up." A second and final order abolishing

the corvee was issued in October, 1918.

Despite official termination, the corvee was

continued illegally in the northern and central regions

of Haiti by district Marine commander Major Clarke H.

Wells, who denied continuation of'-the corvee in his
56
reports to headquarters. This.mountainous region had

been the traditional center.of caco activity and was the

area where road construction was most difficult and

most important to military accessibility. It became

the center of the 1918-19 caco uprising and the region

in which most confirmed atrocities were committed.

The reality of the perverted corvee was graph-

ically established by an American missionary, the Rev-

erend Ton Evans, an important witness in the Senate

investigation into the Marine conduct of the occupation.

In sharp contrast to the roseate picture conveyed by

Brigadier General Butler, Reverend Evans described a

brutal system of forced labor attended with physical

abuse:











Mr. Evans. I will say that the corvee
business was brought to my attention not long
after I returned. It was an old custom in
Haiti, but never I think a law. It is custo-
mary in backward countries for farmers, or
those who have their small habitations or
small holdings in Haiti, once or twice a year
to devote two or three days or so to help re-
pair the roads opposite their own farms.
The occupation in Haiti, however, inten-
tionally or ignorantly put a new and alto-
gether an erroneous meaning to it by actually
turning it into an instrument for oppressing
and torturing the Haitian people, and-exciting
their passions, and apparently some times for
no other purpose than to provide then with an
excuse to beat, if not shoot them down. Excit-
able CGndarmes in the United States Marines'
employ and often, under influence of.liquor,
when arresting, roping, then driving along roads,
and mountains as gangs of African slaves rather
than as citizens of the Haiti Republic, whom
the great American Government by a sacred
treaty, had officially pledged to protect, were
very often roughly and brutally handled, for no
native could be expected to voluntarily submit
to such humiliation. From what I have seen and
heard I verily believe that more have met their
deaths through the corv.ee thus illegally prac-
ticed, wilfully or ignorantly, by Marines and
Gendarmes and acquiesced in by those in supreme
cor."':;d and at Washington than were killed in
open conflict with Cacos, if it was not indeed
the chief cause and mainstay of Cacoism.
Senator King. Who did this?
Mr. Evans. The American occupation.
Senator King. Who?
Mr. Evans. There was a captain or lieu-
tenant at every town or village throughout
Haiti in official charge of these Gendarmes
(Negro soldiers), armed and chosen by these
white Marines of the American occupation.
:;Iy of these Marines, and probably most of
the Gendarmes, were fond of drink. The lat-










ter under official orders of the Marines would
catch, arrest, and rope the natives and drive
them to prison, and from prison to work on the
roads, and under such conditions often cruelly
deal with them.
The last Sunday of June, 1918, going on Sun-
day afternoon from Gros Morne's service toward
Jacmel, in the far southeastern part of the
Republic, I met several gangs, altogether per-
haps 60 or 80 or more, and in charge of Gen-
darme officials who rode along side and well
armed. On inquiry from the Gendarme officers,
I was informed that these were paid 1 gourde
or, in American money, 20 cents a week; with-
out any food. It is therefore to imagine how
such ill-paid, ill-fed native driven to work
like these, many miles away from homes and
families as there were, become uneasy, irritated,
and even revolt, which invariably means death.
The Chairman. Will.you give specific in-
stances that you saw yourself?
Mr. Evans. I have repeatedly secn ill
treatment. Both in and outside of St. Marc,
perhaps 2 or 3 miles on the way to Gonaive, I
have seen in the gangs at work men, for merely
turning the head and without the slightest prov-
ocation as far as I could see struck until
actually stunned. Prisoners-from St. Marc working
around the Gendarme barracks, almost opposite
where we lived, I have seen on week days and on
Sunday unmercifully striking the poor native,
and I have walked on and intervened at times on
my way to church with my family.57 [This passage
is garbled in the text of the printed Senate
inquiry.]

Another witness at the Senate investigation,

Brigadier General Catlin, conceded under cross-examination,

but under protest that his knowledge was derived from

third parties, that the corvee was nothing but a mass


forced labor system:











Mr. Angell. You testified, General, that
to the best of your knowledge the cor.ee had
actually been in operation only on the Port
au Prince-CapeHFaitien road. Was that just
your understanding of it, or are you reason-
ably confident of that?
Gen. Catlin. That is my understanding.
I know nothing personally of it; it is only
from hearsay, what I heard in regard to it.
Mr. Angell. Are you able to give us any
estimate of the number of men who had been
engaged at any one time in forced work on
the roads under the corvee?
Gen. Catlin. No; absolutely. As I say,
all my information is hearsay. I heard of
camps of 2,000 men, etc., but that is all. As
to the actual number I have not any idea. Gen.
Butler would be the only man I know of who
could give the actual number, probably.
Mr. Angell. Did you see any of those camps
yourself, or what was left of them, when you
came there?
Gen. Catlin. I saw places which were said
to have camps, one or two.
Mr. Angell. Did you ever hear whether or
not those camps were surrounded by barbed-wire
inclosures? You never heard of any such rumor?
Gen. Catlin. Not barbed wire; no. I heard
they had inclosed camps, and the men were kept
in them.
Mr. Angell. And kept in them by armed guards?
Gen. Catlin. Yes. 58

The corvee disaster was just one grievance

that the Americans had created in their administration

of an unwilling protectorate. Others were to follow.






51


Political Discontent

In the political field, there were sources

of discontent as well.

In 1917 a National Assembly, consisting of

both chambers of the Haitian legislature, was convened

to consider the adoption of a new American-sponsored

constitution. According to the Constitution of 1889,

then in effect, only the National Assembly could alter

a constitution or replace it with a new one. The Haitian

legislature, unlike the Dartiguenave client government,

had repeatedly demonstrated its political vitality and

independence by protesting against and frustrating

American designs. The 1917 National Assembly refused

to pass the American-sponsored constitution. Instead,

the Assembly drafted a new anti-American constitution

of its own, and was in the process of passing this when

proceedings were dramatically interrupted by Major

Smedley Butler, who read a dissolution decree signed

by President Dartiguenave. Butler observed privately

that the Assembly had become "so impudent that the Gen-

darmerie had to dissolve them, which dissolution was










59
effected by genuinely Marine Corps methods." The ob-

streperous Haitian legislature did not sit again until

after the strikes and riots of 1929.

The dissolution of the legislature was nominally

achieved by the action of client-President Dartiguenave.

Dartiguenave actually succumbed to the tirades and per-

sonal pressures exerted by Smedley Butler. In any case,

American authorities had agreed.to dissolve the Assembly

by force if Dartiguenave did not cooperate. The American

minister reported to Lansing:

S. .the Assembly was in every way reac-
tionary and opposed to the best interests of
Haiti, refusing to adopt any article permit-
ting foreign ownership of land in any manner
whatsoever, and when matters in the Assembly
had proceeded thus far. .it was decided in
a conference held at the legation on June 18
. .to prevent the Assembly from passing such
a Constitution by causing its dissolution, if
occasion demanded it, preferably by a Presi-
dential Decree, but if necessary by order of
the Co:Jiander of the Occupation.61

After the dissolution of the Assembly, the

drafting of a second American version of the con-

stitution proceeded, with the participation of President

Dartiguenave, the State Department, Admiral Knapp, the
62
charge d'affaires and the brigade commander. When the

drafting had been completed, -the American officials











decided upon an extralegal plebiscite to vote on the con-
63
stitution.

Although American authorities deplored the

fact that 95 per cent of the Haitians were illiterate,

they were considered capable of casting intelligent

votes. They were given little time to have the con-

stitution explained to them, and they had to approve or

reject it as a whole. A device comparable to that used

in some of the new African states facilitated the

voting--different colors indicated approval and rejec-

tion. Again the Gendarmerie played a key role. Senior

officers sent down the word that "it was desirable that
64
this constitution pass," and Marine officers openly

conducted a campaign in favor of it. The result was
65
a foregone conclusion: 69,337 in favor and 335 opposed.

The Constitution approved in the plebiscite

began with the words "the Republic of Haiti is one and

indivisible, free, sovereign and independent. Its

territory, including the islands dependent thereon, is

inviolable, and cannot be alienated by any treaty or
66
by any convention." It provided for a popularly

chosen Senate and Chamber of Deputies, and for the











election by those two bodies meeting in joint session

as the National Assembly of a President whose term of

office would be four years (as opposed to the previous

term of seven years). Deputies were reduced in number

from 72 to 36, and Senators from 39 to 15. Provisions

were made for a Council of State composed of 21 members

appointed by the President, which in addition to its

regular duties of advising the President, would exercise

the legislature. Freedom of the press, trial by jury,

and the right of assembly were guaranteed. The burning

issue of foreign ownership of land was treated by Article V

of the Constitution, which read: "The right to own

real estate shall be given to foreigners residing in

Haiti and to the societies organized by foreigners for

purposes of residence, and agricultural, commercial,

industrial or educational enterprises. This right shall

cease after a period of five years frcm the date when

the foreigner shall have ceased to reside in the country

or the activities of said companies shall have ceased."

A special article ratified the acts of the American

Occupation. Finally, the Gendarmerie d'Haiti was estab-

lished as the country's only legal armed force.









The escape clause in the American-drafted

Constitution of 1918 lay in Title VIII, the Transitory

Provisions. After establishing the term of the incum-

bent President so that it would expire on May 15, 1933,

Title VIII went on to provide that "the first election

of members of the legislative body after the adoption

of the present Constitution shall take place on Jan-

uary 10 of an even-numbered year. The year shall be

fixed by a decree of the President of the Republic pur-

lished at least three months before the meeting of the

primary assemblies. The session of the legislative

body then elected shall convene on the constitutional

date immediately following the first election." This,

coupled with the provision giving the legislative power

(including the power to elect the President) to the

presidentially appointed Council of State, actually made

it possible for the incumbent President to remain in

office indefinitely and to rule without benefit of an

elected legislature by the simple devices of not-naming

a date for the legislative elections and by packing the

Council of-State with his own men. A final provision










under Title VIII suspended the irremovability of judges

for a period of six months from the date of the promul-

gation of the new Constitution.

Following the adoption of the Constitution by

"plebiscite", more erosion of Haitian sovereignty en-

sued, this time--American control of all legislation.

Following instructions received from the Secretary of

State, Robert Lansing, the American minister in Haiti

(Bailly-Blanchard) began a round of moves in an exchange

of notes to obtain a concession for the submission of

all proposed legislation to the United States for ap-

proval. After much maneuvering between the parties the

President of Haiti acceded to the American demands in

the following note:

The two Governments of the United States
of America and Haiti having concluded, in 1915,
a convention wherein the two Governments agreed
to cooperate in the remedying of the Haitian
Finances, in the maintenance of the tranquil-
lity of Haiti, and in the carrying out of a
program for the economic development and pros-
perity of that Republic, the Secrrtary of State
for Foreign Affairs has the honor to advise
the Minister of the United States that in
conformity with the understanding had be-
tween them any project of law bearing upon
any of the objects of the Treaty, prior to
being submitted to the Legislative Body, of











Haiti, shall be communicated to the Repre-
sentative of the United States for the
information of his Government and if neces-
sary for discussion between the two Govern-
ments.67

In sum, the creation of this adhesive legal

infrastructure served to consolidate the legal and con-

stitutional position of both the occupation and client-

government. It also laid the basis for the American

plan of rehabilitating the Haitian Republic and trans-

forming it into a model democratic state,

Other Discontent

Amongst the elite there were many sources of

dissatisfaction. Patriotism was challenged by a foreign

occupation. Politicians had lost their opportunities

for power and profit. Strict control of finances, the

end of graft, and the requirement that those on the

public payroll actually work were added irritations.

The suspension of elections and'of the National Assembly

caused grave concern. A serious depression increased

hardships for all social classes.

In the economic field there was likewise a

pattern-of friction between Haitians and treaty of-

ficials. A continuing struggle was waged in particular









over the powers of the American Financial Adviser.

Finally, his ultimate control over all fiscal matters

was consolidated in-two agreements: August 24 and
68
December 23, 1918.

Even this failed to solve the touchy problem,

and there followed a direct confrontation. The Council

of State (which had replaced the former National As-

sembly) refused to pass a finance bill strongly favored

by the treaty officials. "By virtue of his authority
69
under martial law," Colonel Russell then took uni-

lateral action on November 13, 1918, to stop all fund

payments to the Haitian government for a period of
70
three months. This step has been cited as proof

that the real power in Haiti "existed in the fact of

the military occupation, apart from any interpretation

of the treaty."71

With all these sources of discontent, the

year 1918 was to reap the whirlwind that had been sown

in many places and in many forms in the years before.

Charlemagne Peralte

Into this explosive situation came a native

rebel leader of considerable talent and great force of












personality, Charlemagne Peralte. Charlemagne was a

clever and resourceful leader, a member of a family for

generations very influential in the central plain, and

to a lesser degree throughout the North. A former caco

chief from Hinche, he had been convicted in January,

1918 of complicity in a caco raid on the Gendarmerie

headquarters there and had been sentenced to five years'
72
hard labor. On September 3, 1918, he escaped with
73
his guard and fled to the mountains. There he rallied

the localca acos, augmented his forces with discontented

peasantry, forcibly impressed into military service

additional reluctant recruits, and raised the cry to

drive the American invaders out of the land. The ex-

isting Haitian government must go too, he said, and to

this end he set up his own "government" with a "cabinet,"
74
"generals" etc. Added to this was a superior system

of intelligence and a fighting force in the field that
75
eventually grew to 5,000 men.

The opening battle came on October 17, 1918,

when 100 cacos attacked Hinche in the night. A stout
76
defense killed thirty-five of the rebels and the rest

fled. The next operation was against Maissade where










77
sixty cacos made an assault on November 10. No Marines

were present here; the ten-man Gendarmerie garrison was

routed and the town was sacked.

Still the commander of the Marine Brigade,

Colonel Russell, was inclined to minimize the threat.

He reported on November 11:

A few bandits are operating in the moun-
tains surrounding the Hinche plain, making
occasional descents down on the plain.
Numerous small patrols have, however, been
sent to this district and a troop of cavalry
is now operating there, and it is hoped that
they will soon be completely broken up.78

-Shortly after this a change in command occurred,

and Brigadier General Albertus W. Catlin ,'hero of Belleau

Wood in France, took command of the Marine Brigade on
79
December 7, 1918.

From here on the tempo of combat quickened.

In the next four months:

more than twenty contacts with major caco
forces were made by the hard-pressed Gendar-
merie. Among these were toe-to-toe battles
at or near Mirebalais again, .Las Cahobas,
and St. Michel. In some instances odds were
20 or 30 to 1; as at Ranquitte, where a
Marine sergeant and two Gendarmes, aided by
a few %w nsmen, held their post against 70
cacos.






61


Thus 1918 started with the corvee and ended in

a blaze of action, as a full scale native uprising ex-

ploded.










CHAPTER V

INSURRECTION

As 1919 began it was estimated that one quarter

of the country and one fifth of the population were in-
81
evolved in the uprising. Charlemagne was in charge of

caco operations in the North, and his right hand man,

Benoit Batraville, was the leader in the central part

of Haiti. In all, some 17,000 natives were subject to
82
their call. It was too much for the Gendarmerie to

handle.

On March 16, 1919, their commandant, Lt. Colonel

Williams, admitted that it had become a full-scale re-

bellion and requested that the Marine Brigade be com-
83
mitted to the campaign. Besides the caco onslaughts,

there were two other key problems: Gendarmerie units

"were in poor shape, with ragged uniforms, ill-kept
84
weapons, and low marksmanship ability," and the Marine

Brigade was at skeleton strength. It had entered the

crucial year of 1919 with just the Second Regiment and

a headquarters unit--a total of only 64 officers and
85
884 enlisted Marines. By the end of March, however,

four companies had been detached from the Seventh











Regiment which were now deployed in trouble spots: two

companies to Hinche, two to Las Cahobas, one to Mire-

balais, and one to St. Michel. Another, and more novel,

reinforcement was Squadron E, Marine Aviation, which
86
came in with thirteen planes on March 31, 1919.

From April to September the revolt continued

at a high pitch of intensity: "Marines and Gendarmes

fought 131 actions ranging from skirmishes to pitched
87
battles." Included were some cases of mistaken iden-

tity, where separate Marine and Gendarmerie patrols

ended up shooting at each other. And still the elusive

Charlemagne (receiving money, food, modern arms, and

information from "certain Germans and Haitians" in
88
Port-au-Prince) eluded his pursuers and continued to

organize the cacos for further battle. His ability

carried the revolt along in spite of the fact that
89
1763 rebels were killed in this four month span alone.

Yet Brigadier General George Barnett, the Commandant

of the Marine Corps, in a report a year later to the

Secretary of the Navy dismissed the whole campaign with

the off-hand observation that "the small revolution









started in the latter part of 1918, under the leadership

of Charlemagne Peralte in North Haiti, continued in a
90
small way throughout the year 1919, ..."

In Haiti, however, the Marine command responded

to the new challenged. New commanders appeared to direct

the Marine Brigade and the Gendarmerie. One officer

was assigned to command operations in the critical
91
northern area. Recognizing that the "existing or-

ganization, strength, and efficiency of both the Bri-

gade and the Gendarmerie had not been adequate to deal
92
with the caco uprising," the new commanders set to

work to reorganize their forces in order to exert more

pressure on the rebels.

Steps were begun to improve the Marines'

intelligence organization; the whole country was

divided into areas of responsibility for better co-
93
ordination of field operations;' more intensive

patrolling was instituted to harry any caco bands as

soon as contact was made; the brigade staff was reor-

ganized for greater efficiency; and living and sanitary
94
conditions of the men in the field were improved.





65


Moreover, the Eighth Regiment was reconstituted on

December 17, 1919, in the United States, ordered to
95
Haiti, and assigned to the Department of the North.

Parallel with these preparations for intensi-

fied -action, an appeal was maTde to the people of Haiti

for cooperation. On August 22, 1919, the Brigade Com-

mander issued a proclamation:

The time has come to put a stop to further
bloodshed. It has been necessary to use stern
measures to repress the disorders .in the North,
and with the recent arrival of military engines
-we can use even sterner methods, but I hope,
with your help, to be able to abandon such
means. I ask your assistance .
The corvee has been done away with entirely

All good inhabitants should give the
greatest assistance to officers and men of
the occupation in suppressing the bandits
96

On September 2, 1919, Rear A.niral Thomas

---Srnowden, -military representative of the United States
97
in Haiti, made a tour of the interior. He reported

that:

A most satisfactory condition was found to
exist. While the bandits were still acting in
-small bands, here and there, they were much
broken up and the leaders were trying to ob-
tain favorable terms of surrender from the
military authorities. The handling of the
operations by the military authorities is
most satisfactory and, while unsettled con-
ditions still exist and will so exist for
,some time to come, matters can be said to be
well in hand.98









Certainly the next event in the caco uprising

was not "most satisfactory." On October 6 Charlemagne

and his assault force had gathered some fifteen miles

outside Port-au-Prince. From there an ultimatum was

dispatched to the British Legation. It demanded that

the diplomatic corps bring about a surrender of the

Haitian government to him, Charlemagne. When no reply

was forthcoming, Charlemagne sent .300 cacos storming

into the capital at 4 A.M. the next morning (October 7,
99
1919).

The Marines and Gendarmerie were waiting for

them. A series of counter-attacks was quickly launched,

and the rebels were driven from the town. An aggressive

pursuit located the caco camp which was immediately

attacked. Numerous weapons, including an artillery

piece were captured, and thirty cacos out of 200 were

killed. But once again the native leader had eluded
100
the net and stolen away.

Clearly the solution lay in trapping and assas-
101
sinating Charlemagne, for it was now obvious that he

would never allow himself to be cornered in a pitched









battle. Accordingly, the Chief of the Gendarmerie is-

sued a brief and pointed order to the commanding officer

of the Department of the North, Major James J. Meade,

"Get Charlemagne." Commenting on this later, Colonel

Wise observed:

It was a pretty big order. It meant running
down one Haitian out of several millions of
Haitians in a country as big as the state of
New York. And that one Haitian was surrounded
by his friends, operating in a country almost
entirely s--.pathetic to him, was protected by
a fanatical body-guard, never slept two nights
in the same place, and must be run down in a
tangled maze of mountains and valleys and jung-
les, of which there were no accurate maps.102

Meade turned to a veteran Marine sergeant,

Herman H. Hanneken, who was serving as a captain of the

Gendarmerie in charge of the District of Grande Riviere

du Nord. It was this area in which the chief caco

strength in the North was concentrated. Hanneken re-

alized that any large-scale forces would be futile,

for they would have to operate in a terrain where

Charlemagne could vanish at a.moment's notice. Guile

was the only possible solution.

Accordingly, he devised a plan which sent

Jean-Baptiste Conze, a well-known citizen of Grande

Riviere, out into the bush, proclaiming allegiance to









caco cause. Well supplied with food, rum, and money,

and based securely at Fort Capois, Conze soon achieved

considerable prestige as a rebel leader. Charlemagne

was originally suspicious of the newcomer, but when a

Gendarmerie attack, led by Hanneken, "failed" to capture

Fort Capois, Charlemagne warmed to his new "ally."

Caco morale rose still higher when word came that the

Gendarmerie captain had suffered a sorely wounded arm,

bandaged and bloodstained.

The time had come for Conze to make his move.

He persuaded Charlemagne to join forces for an assault

on Grande Riviere. The capture of a major town such

as this would be a sensational propaganda victory for

the cacos.

On October 26, Charlemagne arrived at Fort

Capois with 1,000 followers. Conze got word through to

Hanneken that the attack would come on the night of

October 31. An ambush was laid outside Grande Riviere

and strong reinforcements of Marines and Gendarmes

were slipped secretly into town by Major Meade. Some

700 cacos were passed through the ambush as Hanneken,









a Marine corporal named Button (both stained with

burnt cork), and sixteen picked Gendarmes waited for

Charlemagne to fall into the trap.

A messenger from Conze brought the devastating

information that the caco leader was waiting back in

the hills near Fort Capois for news of the assault.

There was only one thing to do. Hanneken and his band

set out to find Charlemagne. It was a desperate gamble,

but they knew the password of the moment. Six caco

outposts let them pass, and then they came to a camp-

fire. Hanneken drew his .45 caliber pistol and put

two shots through the chest of the rebel chief who had

boasted he could not be killed. Button sprayed the

area with his automatic rifle and the men clung to

their position all night, with Hanneken holding tightly

onto the corpse of Charlemagne.

In the morning, Hanneken and his men searched

the area, found Charlemagne's confidential files (which

revealed the names of many highly-placed supporters),.

and then trussed the body on a mule and brought it back

in triumph to Grands Riviere where Meade had easily re-

pulsed the assault.103









There the corpse was photographed, spread-

eagled on a door laid flat on-the ground, so that the

picture could be circulated throughout an illiterate

country as proof of Charlemagne's death. Planes of

Squadron E dropped thousands of these photographs
104
throughout the nation. This picture gave rise to a

belief in Haitian folklore, still rampant, that the
105
Americans had crucified the great caco chief... Han-

neken and Button both received Congressional Medals of
106
Honor.

Immediately following Charlemagne's death,

patrols fanned out to keep any cacos from fleeing to

the central region to join up with Benoit Batraville

there. More than 300 rebels were captured in the en-
107
suing week. Hanneken finished mopping up the Northern

area by assaulting--in earnest this time--Fort Capois.

Under heavy fire they captured and burned the caco
108
headquarters on November 2. This brought peace again

to northern Haiti.

Thus the Brigade Commander was able to report

on December 28, 1919:








The military situation in spite of the
small force at my command is gradually im-
proving, numerous groups of bandits still
exist and are prowling throughout the coun-
try. These must be harassed and finally
run down--a most difficult matter--but
gradually we are working out plans for the
sections and clearing them up, keeping up at
all times the most aggressive action by con-
stant patrolling, 109

The year 1919 ended with 83 officers and 1,261
110
enlisted men of the Marines still on very active duty.

The annual report of the Secretary of the Navy, in

typical official style, made passing reference to

"suppressing banditry and robbery by the criminal and

disaffected elements," but then went on to eulogize

"the development of the country, the education and wel-

fare of the people, improvement in.agriculture, the
111
firm and kind administration of justice."

In the field, a somewhat more realistic point

of view prevailed. Colonel Russell, the Brigade Com-

mander, inaugurated the new year of 1920 with an in-

tensive campaign to crush Benoit, who had been recognized

by the cacos as Charlemagne's heir and now had some
112
2,500 men under his command, and "about twice as
113
many 'part-time' bandits in sympathy with his cause."










Earlier Benoit had received some unusual harass-

ment when the Marine captain commanding at Mirebalais

had devised a novel scheme of attack. Working with two

planes from Squadron E, he had guided the pilots to a

gathering of Benoit's forces, and the planes had come

diving down, machine-guns strafing, and as the terror-

struck cacos scattered, they ran headlong into the

rifle fire of the surrounding Gendarmes. Later this

was supplemented with bombing attacks, using homemade

bomb racks. It was "the first recorded instance of

coordinated air-ground combat action in the annals of
114
the Marine Corps."

As the pressure of ground patrols grew heavier

and heavier, Benoit was forced to make a gesture. At

4:00 A.M. on the morning of January 15, 1920, he dis-

patched 300 of his men, some disguised in stolen Gen-

darmerie uniforms, in direct assault on Port-au-Prince.

The Marines and Gendarmes counter-attacked aggressively.

After suffering casualties of "over 50 per cent," the
115
cacos fled.

A hot pursuit produced another pitched battle

not far from Port-au-Prince in which another segment of








116
Benoit's band was wiped out almost to the man.

The caco uprising was now nearing its end.

Colonel Russell put a price of $1,000 on Benoit's
117
head. Various rebel bands broke up in discourage-

ment, and several important leaders surrendered,
118
leaving only three chiefs with Benoit.

On May 19 a Gendarmerie patrol caught up with

Benoit and, when he opened fire, Marine Sergeants
.119
Passmore and Taubert shot him dead.

So it was that on June 19, 1920, th& Brigade

Commander was able to report: "The pacification of
120
Haiti may therefore be said to be complete."

The Marines employed search and destroy

tactics in the conduct of the suppression of the

insurrection. Their tactics closely resembled those

employed in Vietnam. Small unit operations at the

squad level were the keys to success.

The overall pacification plan is best described

by an extract from the report submitted by the Marine

Brigade Commander to the Commandant of the Marine Corps

in 1920:








5. After carefully considering reports
from all sources I arrived at the following
estimate of the situation:
6. In the North the supreme chief, Char-
lemagne Peralte, had approximately 3,000 men
in the field. Charlemagne further had organ-
ized a so-called government with a cabinet
and ministers and had made many attempts to
get into diplomatic correspondence with
foreign Governments.
7. He used well-considered propaganda
throughout all Haiti to influence the Haitians
against the occupation. He had a well-
organized system of supply and espionage and
further was assisted by disgruntled politi-
cians and others.
8. Charlemagne's object was the over-
throwing-of the de facto government and
driving the whites out of Haiti either by
force or discouraging them to such an ex-
tent that they would withdraw.
9. In the South the bandits, while under
control of Charlemagne, were actually under
the command of Benoit Batraville, a man of
little education but a hero to the Haitians
on account of his lack of fear and his ag-
gressiveness.
10. Benoit controlled about 2,500 men in
the South.
11. Besides the 5,500 men actually in the
field, both Charlemagne and Benoit could from
time to time augment their forces by recruiting
men for raids in certain districts. From all
accounts and from the number of surrenders the
number of men available to Charlemagne and Benoit
to draw from was at least 17,000.

17. My decision was (1) to reorganize the
supply system, provide better accommodations,
food, clothing, comforts, and recreation for
the men in the field; (2) to place every avail-
able man and officer in the field and by a well-
organized and intensive campaign to stamp out
an organized bandit or revolutionary force that
appeared to be growing stronger as time passed.









18. The plan decided on was to take up
the trail of a group of bandits and by a
system of changing patrols follow and pound
the bandits until all semblance of organ-
ization was lost, and further, to make
frequent patrols in all parts of the in-
fected district so 'as not to allow the
scattered groups to rest and reorganize.
19. Propaganda was used to induce the
bandits to surrender and all magistrates
were instructed to publish same at the
public market places.
20. Charlemagne was invited to sur-
render with the alternative of being
killed or captured.

30. It was especially imperative that
before any concerted or well directed op-
erations could be carried on a reliable and
rapid system of communication must be
established.[sic] Additional radia[sicT
stations were established, telephone lines
overhauled, and everything possible done
to improve the system of communications
with the means available. In addition,
airplanes were always at the disposal of
the commanding officer of troops in the
field.
31. In general, the plan of campaign
consisted in dividing the theater of op-
erations into blocks of 25 square miles
eaech[sic]. One of these blocks was then
redivided into blocks of one square mile.
To accomplish this, an entirely new map
of Haiti was made under the direction of
G-2, the intelligence officer, Major
Sheppard. This work consisted of taking
the various old maps of Haiti in existence.
A better one is now being prepared by the
intelligence section.
In addition to the patroling during
the month of all squares within the theater
of operations, on the receipt of information,









whether reliable or not, of the presence of
a group of bandits in any subsquare a partol
was immediately sent to that section, with
instructions to obtain contact and maintain
it until the band scattered. At the same
time other patrols were sent out in order
to cut off any possible line of retreat.121

From October 1, 1919, to October 1, 1920,

there were 298 battle encounters, and 7,608 cacos sur-
122
rendered. Marine strength at the end (June 30,
123
1920) totaled only 86 officers and 1,282 enlisted,
L24-
while the Gendarmerie stood at 2,720.24

All the accounts of the caco uprising vary in

the figures they give for casualties. The "official"

figures in the Senate testimony were:

One Marine officer was killed in action and
two officers wounded in action with Haitian
bandits during this period. Twelve enlisted
men of the Marine Corps were killed in
action or died of wounds received in action
and 26 were wounded. .125

In contrast to this fairly modest toll, the

cacos had suffered a fearful attrition. The "official"

figure was 2,250 dead for the whole period of the Marine

occupation to date (July 28, 1915, to June 30, 1920),

with 2,009 of these coming during the years 1919 and
126
1920.









These "body counts" defy rational explanation.

At the 1921 Senate investigation of the occupation,

General George Barnett, Commandant of the Marine Corps

from 1914 to 1920, was asked to comment on the striking

contrast in Haitian as opposed to Marine casualties

during the first five years of the.occupation. The

General replied:

It was largely like it was in the
Philippines. There were a great many
natives down there who would be friends
to-day [sic] and so-called [sic] Cacos
to-morrow [sic]. They had no uniform,
and it was hard to distinguish [sic] one
from the other, and they were not well-
armed. They were brave, but they would
have no show against well-armed troops,
especially with machine guns, and it is
perfectly natural to suppose that the
.contrast would be very marked and that
a very great number should be killed in
comparison with the number of white
people who were killed.
Mr. Angell. To what extent were
machine guns used, do you know?
Gen. Barnett. I do not. They had
them there and used them if they found
necessity for it.
Mr. Angell. Was there an artillery.
battalion?
Gen. Barnett. Yes; and they like-
wise used airplanes.
Mr. Angell. Do you know to what
extent they used airplanes?
Gen. Barnett. No.
Mr. Angell. Were airplanes used
to bomb out supposed nests of Cacos?








Gen. Barnett. I do not know the par-
ticular uses to which they were put. The
reports which came to the commanding of-
ficer from them would not necessarily
come up here at all.
Mr. Angell. So, in your opinion, the
contrast between the figures of the re-
spective casualties on both sides were due
largely to the superior military armament
and equipment of our forces?
Gen. Barnett. Entirely so, I think.
Every Marine is a good shot, almost of
necessity got to be.127

The official body count may well have included

prisoners, detainees, and innocent civilians illegally

executed, since one officer, Major T. C. Turner, who

conducted a Marine Brigade investigation into the
128
atrocities, estimated that 400 prisoners had been shot.

Subsequent investigations indicated, on the basis of a

chain of admittedly circumstantial evidence that these

were but particularly extreme manifestations of the in-

ability of the Marines to cope with the frustrations

of insurgent warfare in Haiti. Although they overcame

the cacos the Marines probablycaused more devastation

and loss of life than had ten prior civil wars involving

cacos.

The Marine "bandit suppression" was soon to

become a national and a presidential campaign issue.







CHAPTER VI

CRITICISM AND INVESTIGATION

The Barnett Letter

The Commandant of the Marine Corps in 1919

was Major General George Barnett, an extremely hard-

working and conscientious officer. In September of that

year while reviewing the records of courts-martial con-

vened by the First Provisional Brigadu in Haiti, he was

struck by certain allegations made by the defense counsel,

one Lieutenant F. L. Spear, in the trial of Privates

Walter E. Johnson and John J. McQuilkin, Jr.. The two

men were charged and convicted of having struck Haitian

prisoners in their custody, and their defense was that

they had done so in obedience to the orders of their
129
superior offices, a Lieutenant Brokaw. Brokaw had

later shot and killed the prisoners, but was not tried

due to reasons of insanity, for which he was then confined

in a rental institution.

The allegations by Lieutenant Spear were that

"practically indiscriminate killings of Haitians" had

occurred over a period of years. General Barnett became

alarmed at the statement because, as he later explained,









"in all my experience of 44 years in the service I have

taken it as a matter of course that a statement made to
130
me by a commissioned officer was true."

The General immediately drafted an official

letter to the Brigade Commander in Port-au-Prince,

Colonel John H. Russell, Colonel Russell had recently

returned to Haiti, at the express request of Secretary

of State Lansing, for a second tour as Brigade Com-

mander. By virtue of his prior experience he was con-

sidered the most knowledgeable officer on Haitian affairs

then in the service, and what was more, he was known to

have the confidence of the Haitian Government. General

Barnett's letter ordered Russell to take immediate

steps to end "unlawful executions of Haitians" and to

make a thorough investigation of the charges made by

Lieutenant Spear in his argument as defense counsel in

the Johnson-McQuilkin court-martial. This letter was

followed up by a second letter marked "personal and

confidential" on October 2. That letter is quoted in

part:









My dear Colonel:
Since you left here several things have
come to my notice with reference to the affairs
in Haiti, especially in relation to the duties'
of the Gendarmes in the interior. The court-
martial of one private for the kil3-rng of a
native prisoner brought out a statement by his
counsel which showed me that practically indis-
criminate killing of natives had gone on for
some time. .
I was shocked beyond expression to hear of
such things and to know that it was at all pos-
sible that duty could be so badly performed by
Marines of my class . .
SI want personal instructions sent to every
officer and non-commissioned officer, both with
the Marines and Gendarmerie, that conditions
as shown by the evidence in the trial of the
private above referred to must be corrected,
and such action cannot be tolerated for a
moment; and I want every case thoroughly sifted
and the guilty parties brought to justice. I
think this is the most startling thing of its
kind that has ever taken place in the Marine
Corps, and I don't want anything of the kind
to happen again. I think, judging by the
knowledge gained only from the cases that have
been brought before me, that the Marine Corps
has been sadly lacking in right and justice,
and I look to you to see that this is cor-
rected and corrected at once.131

Though the letter had been marked "personal

and confidential," General Barnett had a copy of it

placed in the official files of the Marine Corps Head-

quarters in Washington, along with a copy of his earlier


official letter.







Colonel Russell acknowledged receipt"of both'

letters and responded to the Commandant's letter. He

published a "confidential" order to the Marines in Haiti

on October 15, 1919:

I. The brigade commander has had brought
to his attention on alleged charge against
Marines and Gendarmes in Haiti to the effect
that in the past prisoners-and wounded bandits
have been summarily shot without trial.
Furthermore, that troops in the field have
declared and carried on what is commonly known
to be an "open season," where care is not
.taken to determine whether or not the natives
encountered are bandits or "good citizens"
and where houses have been ruthlessly burned
merely because they were unoccupied and native
property otherwise destroyed.
2. Such action on the part of any of-
ficer or enlisted man of the Marine Corps is
beyond belief; and if true, would be a ter-
rible smirch upon the unblemished record of
the corps, which we all hold so dear.
3. Any officer, noncommissioned officer,
or private of the Marine Corps, or any of-
ficer or enlisted man of the United States
.Navy attached to this brigade, or any officer,
noncommissioned officer, or private of the
Gendarmerie d'Haiti, guilty of the unjustifi-
able and illegal killing of any person whom-
soever will be brought to trial before a general
court-martial or military commission on a
charge of murder or manslaughter, as the case
may warrant.
4. The unjustifiable maltreatment of
natives and the unlawful violation of their
person or property will result in the trial
and punishment of the offender.









5. All officers and noncommissioned
officers are enjoined-to see that the pro-
visions of this order are most strictly en-
forced, and anyone having a knowledge of
the violation of this order and not promptly
reporting it will be considered an accessory
to the crime.
6. This order will be furnished all
commanding officers, and the contents of
this confidential order will be carefully
and fully explained to every officer, non-
commissioned officer, and private in the.
Marine Corps and Gendarmerie d'Haiti in
Haiti.
7. Commanding officers will report
in writing to the brigade commander when
every officer and enlisted man in their
respective commands have been thoroughly
informed and are fully aware of the con-
tents of this order.
8. The chief of the Gendarmerie
d'Haiti will report in writing to the
brigade commander, when every office [sic]
and enlisted man in the Gendarmerie and
coast guard is fully conversant with the
contents of this order.
9. Upon arrival in Haiti, all com-
missioned officers and enlisted men of the
Marine Corps will immediately be fully
informed of the contents of this order
and the commanding officer of units to
which they are assigned will report in
writing to their immediate senior in com-
mand that this has been done.132

Fern:-nt In The Press

In the meantime, another factor emerged in

the burgeoning affair. Certain journals of opinion

began to critize the conduct of the occupation. The









United States by this time was tired of foreign adven-

tures. It longed for a return to the days of freedom

from foreign involvement. The mood of the public had

changed; the pacificism and isolationism of the times

demanded attacks on our foreign adventures. It is im-

portant to remember that this was a period of disil-

lusionment with Wilsonian idealism, including the League

of Nations and other foreign enterprises spawned by the

Democratic administration. One commentator, Walter

Lippman, who lived through those years of turmoil,.

diagnosed the reaction as "the backwash of the excite-

ment and the sacrifice, when the people were war weary

and angry at the disappointing peace which followed the
133
war."

The catalyst in the ferment was Mr. Herbert J.

Seligman's article "The Conquest of Haiti," which ap-

peared in The Nation on July 10, 1920. Mr. Seligman

had made a visit to Haiti earlier in the year and he

returned to the United States with a scathing indictment

of the Marine's occupation:








The history of the American invasion ol
Haiti is only additional evidence that the
United States is among those Powers in whose
international dealings democracy and freedom
are mere words, and human lives negligible
in face of racial snobbery, political chicane,
and :money. The five years of American Occu-
pation, from 1915 to 1920, have served as a
commnentary upon the white civilization which
still burns black men and women at the stake.
For Haitian men, women and children, to a
*ntrber estimated at 3,000, innocent for the
most part of any offense, have been shot
down by American machine guns and rifle bul-
lets; black men and women have been put to
torture to make them give information; theft,
arson, and murder have been committed almost
with impunity upon the persons and property of
Haitians by white men.wearing the uniforms of
the United States. . .In this five years'
massacre of Haitians less than twenty Americans
have been killed or wounded in action . .
The Haitians in whose service United
States Marines are presumably restoring
peace and order in Haiti are nicknamed 'Gooks'
and have been treated with every variety of
contempt, insult, and brutality. .
This militarist, imperialist burlesque
on the profession with which the United
States -entered the war in behalf of weaker
states leaves the Haitians little to do
but to wonder what the United States in-
tends. . In the absence of any plans for
Haiti's regeneration except through'develop-
Sment'of the country by exploiters, the Haitian
may derive what spiritual nourishment he can
from the Wilsonian phrases with which the
134
United States thuggery disguises its deeds.

"The Conquest of Haiti" created a sensation.

The State and Navy Departments were flooded with demands









for information. The National Association for the

Advancement of Colored People denounced the administration's

policy in Haiti. The Republican Party joined in de-

nouncing the Haitian occupation.

On September 18, 1920, Senator Harding, the

Republican nominee for president, created a sensation.

Using the conduct of the Haitian occupation to excoriate

the Administration, Harding stated:

How can we then, in reason and with con-
fidence make sure of fulfilling our mission
on earth? The first step is plain. We must
strictly maintain and scrupulously observe,
in letter and in spirit, the mandates of the
Constitution of the United States. We are
not doing so now. We are at war, not alone
technically with Germany, but actually with
the little helpless republics of our own
hemisphere.
There is this difference. The wars
against the Central Powers were decreed by
Congress in the exercise of the authority
conferred upon it by our fundamental law,
but the wars upon our neighbors in the
South were made and are still being waged
though never declared through the usurpation
by the Executive of powers not only never
bestowed upon him, but scrupulously with-
held by the Constitution.
Of the fact there can be no question.
It is admitted, even boasted of, by the
Democratic candidate for Vice President,
between whom, if elected, and the Presidency
itself would be but a single life.








'You know,' he said to the people of Mon-
tana, as his words were quoted by the press,
'I have had something to do with the running
of a couple of little republics. The fact is,
that I wrote Hayti's [sic] Constitution myself,
and, if I do say it, I think it is a pretty
good Constitution. Until last week I had two
votes in the League Assembly, now Secretary
Daniels has them.'
To the best of my information, this is
the first official admission of the rape of
Haiti and Santo Domingo by the present Admini-
stration. To my mind, moreover, it is the
most shocking assertion that ever emanated
from a responsible member of the Government
of the United States. Talk about self-
determination! Talk about American ideals!
Talk about equal rights for small nations -
fo::2 c:nfession of deeds such as this,
what becomes of the smooth rhetoric of
vaunted righteousness to which we have so
long been accustomed?
True, we know little of the conduct of
these wars of occupation and the imposition
of laws upon our helpless neighbors. The
censorship is no less strict than it was
during the secret conferences and conspiracies
in Paris. Congress has not been informed.
The people are kept in ignorance.
But gradually the torch of truth is il-
luminating those dark places. Practically all
we know now is that thousands of native Haitians
have been killed by Americah Marines, and that
many of our own gallant men have sacrificed
their lives at the behest of an Executive De-
partment in order to establish laws drafted
by an Assistant Secretary of the Navy to
secure a vote in the League, and to continue,
at the point of the bayonet, a- military domi-
nation which at this moment requires the
presence of no less than 3,000 of our armed
men on that foreign soil. 134







The Press Leak

The Administration quickly responded to these

latest charges. The Secretary of the Navy began a re-

buttal. He turned to Major General Barnett who was

Commandant during the critical 1915-1920 period. Bar-

nett had been replaced as Commandant on June 30, 1920,

by General Lejeune. On September 18, 1920, the Secretary

of the Navy summoned Barnett who was on leave to Washing-

ton for consultation. Barnett then.spent until October

11, 1920, compiling a voluminous report of Marine activi-

ties in Haiti during his tenure as Commandant. Documenting

that report were copies of his correspondence with Colo-

nel Russell, including the "personal'and confidential"

letter of October 2, 1919. The complete report was de-

livered to the Secretary of the Navy on October 12, in

the presence of the Assistant Secretary, General Lejeune,

and Mr. Daniels; public relations assistant, a Mr. Jen-

kins. It was released to the press on October 13. Mr.

Daniels was apparently intending to use the Commandant's

report to counter the ever growing criticism of the

occupation. The report, containing the explosive Bar-

nett letter, only led to greater criticism of the occupation

and demands for investigations. Two mysteries surround the

report. Why did Major General Barnett include the confidential





89



letter in his final report when he knew it would be

released to the press? How did a certain reporter have

advance knowledge that the Barnett report contained a

letter from the Commandant which would corroborate news

accounts of atrocities in Haiti?

One inside account of the events was pub-

lished by General Lejeune's aide, Captain John H.

Craige. In a book published in 1934, Captain Craige

related:

The report was turned in .to the office.
of Secretary Daniels. Here Destiny inter-
vened once more. The usually astute Josephus
and his assistants slipped up. Perhaps they
did not see the confidential letter, or perhaps
they failed to realize its significance. In
view of the enormous size of the document and
its apparent innocuousness, no complete copies
were made for the press. Merely a short formal
handout was prepared.
The handout on the report was distributed
at an afternoon press conference. The usual
throng of reporters covering naval activities
was present. Other matters were. discussed.
The Barnett report came in for a few words of
comment.
'Does the handout cover everything of
interest in the report?' queried a reporter.
'I think so,' replied Mr. Daniels. 'I
haven't read it but I am informed that it con-
tains nothing but dry official records.'
One of the men of the Fourth Estate
seemed especially interested. His name was
Clifford Smnith and he was a reporter for the





90


Associated Press. 'I'd like to see the full
report,' he said.
'All right, replied Daniels, 'I'll get
it for you.'
The report arrived. Mr. Daniels patted
its cardboard cover. Had he known what was in
it he would have preferred to caress a rattle-
snake.
'Anybody else want to see this thing?'
said Smith.
The other reports looked wearily at the
huge bulk. 'Oh, no,' hastily replied a chorus.
'You read it if you want and let us know if
there is anything in it worth writing about.'
The conference adjourned. Smith stuck
the report under his arm and went out. After
that his movements became obscure. There was
a rumor later that he knew exactly what was
in the document and where. If he did not he
read and digested the enormous volume with
remarkable speed. At any rate, Smith and
the report vanished without trace for the
rest of the day from the sight of the other
reporters covering Navy matters. 'In the
evening he turned in a story that made the
deckmen at the Associated Press gasp. They
put it on the late wire. The night was far
along then, and it was too late for the
other news services or the Democratic papers
that were supporting the Administration to
do anything about it.
Next day the story blossomed forth on the
front pages of daily newspapers from Maine to
California. There was no rebuttal. It had
made its appearance too late for that. The
yarn was a great 'beat' for the Associated
Press and a major achievement for Mr. Smith.
As a Republican campaign document it was a
masterpiece. The stories in The Nation of
atrocities committed by Marines on Haitians
were quoted in detail and were capped by the
statement from Barnett's letter that in his




. 91
belief 'practically indiscriminate killing
of the natives had been going on for some
time.135

The Chain of Military Investigations

All of the publicity in the nation's news-

papers and magazines, dating from the summer of 1920,

produced a collection of investigations of varying in-

tensity: the findings of a Naval Court of Inquiry-dated

November 9, 1920, an investigation by General Lejeune,

dated October 12, 1920 and one by Admiral Knapp, dated
136
October 14, 1920.

Another investigation was the one undertaken by

Brigade Commander Russell in response to the Commandant's

order of October 1919. This investigation was apparently

completed in March 1920 but was never received in Washing-

ton. Its absence was not discovered until September, 1920

when General Lejeune, the successor Commandant to Major

General Barnet- made inquiries. The Marine authorities in

Haiti claimed that they had mailed the investigation to

Washington but that it must have lost in the mails. This

investigation concluded that at least 400 prisoners in the
137
Department of the North had been illegally executed.

The Naval Court of Inquiry headed by Rear Admiral

Mayo was appointed to investigate the performance of the

Marines in Haiti. It met in Washington in October and

journeyed to Haiti shortly thereafter, arriving in Port-




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