67TH CONGRESS, SENATE. RErORT
2d Session. ( No. 794.
INQUIRY INTO OCCUPATION AND ADMINISTRATION OF
HAITI AND THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.
AranI 20 (calendar day, JUNE 26), 1922.-Ordered to be printed, with illustration.
Mr. ODDIE (for Mr. McCoRM~CK), from the Select Committee on Haiti
anmthe Dominican Republic, submitted the following
[Pursuant to S. Res. 112.]
The select committee of the Senate to investigate the occupation
and administration of territories of the Republic of Haiti and of the
Dominican Republic by American naval forces presents herewith a
report upon the occupation of Haitian territory and the relation of
the United States to the Governnme~of .aiti.' -" '
SThe Island of Haiti, midway between Cuba aad. Porto Rico sup-
ports a population as numerous as that of Cuba fab'ut three and a
quarter million souls) upon a teiritory-about three-quarters as large
as that of Cuba. It is thereforeioiteworthy in considering the eco-
nomic and social condition of the inhabitants of the Island of Haiti
that during recent years the export and import trade of the island
has averaged perhaps one-tenth of the volume of Cuban foreign trade.
Porto Rico, with a territory equal to one-fifth of that of the Island
of Haiti and with a population of about a million and a quarter, has
exported and imported about twice as-much as has the neighboring
While the Cuban interior may be reached from all ports by con-
aecting railways, and while Pqrto ftico is bpyered with a network of
splendid highways, and ..wjlt's potts *r'e.'unid by a coastwise
railway system, the wbBsle a'of Haiti prior to.thie' oming .of the
Americans in 1915 hWfd abbolitely no through and thblrotis~ highways
and no railways ot I *~i an half a doeer unremlnerative, essful,
and incomple of traci rinii g int al. rpm differat.points
f the coast. In country withouit'highw~i 'aid without ail~ays,
and n which even the few trails were impassable during unseasonable
weather, it is not surprising that agriculture, industry, and trade all
languished and that the overwhelming majority of the population has
been utterly poor and illiterate.
2 INQUIRY INTO HAITI AND DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.
THE ECONOMIC ATROPHY OF HAITI.
Improved roads are an index to the industrial development oft
any country. J_
The French prior to 1800 had built about 550 miles of public roads
in Haiti. Some of thesewere said by French writers to equal the best
highways in France leading to the Versailles. The Haitians overthrew
the French in 1804. The roads fell in disuse. The torrential rains .
which visit the island and the tropical vegetation which grows rapidly :
in the island soon made these roads for the most part almost impass-
able. When the Americans took possession there were not to exceed -
210 miles of these French roads which were passable by wheeled
vehicles even in dry weather.
The American authorities since their intervention in 1915 have
built 385 miles of new construction and repaired 200 miles of old
construction. Such highways as were passable even in dry weather
were for the most part along the coast line. With these exceptions
there was no way of getting to or from the coastal cities and towns
to the interior except over trails through the forests no more clearly
defined -than were the Indian trails through the virgin forests of
America before the white man had set foot therein.
Women and burros were the burden bearers of the country. All
products which were brought into the market or taken into the
interior from the coastal cities and towns were borne by the women
carrying their burdens upon their heads or upon the backs of their
The territory of the Republic of Haiti comprises one-third of the
area of the island, the other two-thirds being included in the terri-
tory of the Dominican Republic. Three-quarters of the total popu- -
lation of the island inhabits the one-third of its area, which is subject
to the sovereignty of the Haitian Republic.
There are two distinct social entities in Haiti-two Haitis as it
were. One living in the coastal cities and towns. About 2 per cent,
and certainly not exceeding 5 per cent, of the total population repre-
sents the wealth and culture of the island. They embrace the gov-
erning class. They do not divide politically as our people do.
The dividing line politically is between the "outs" and the "ins."
A substantial army has been maintained by the government.
Without it in the past no government could have come into exist-
ence or could have maintained its existence for any length of time.
The "outs" seeking to get in have never hesitated to make an
alliance with the Caco or bandit chiefs and organize revolutionary
forces to march against he .pital at any time they thought to be
propitious. *:.: : : ...
The other:.ery distinct elemfent8 et ae s 95 per cent or more
of the evt.:ppopulation. They constititet6ie.-peasant class. They
can neitierrSad nor write. They.have no coliplion of government.
They liaee' been the.A'piws (t:id oterning cs,.' Their condition
is trtAl pathetic. Vatudrly ei; ous-and kind, witJijroper training
and education they can become prosperous cultivators, capable of
guarding their own interests.
Before the American marines landed in 1915 men did not dare to
leave their humble homes in the interior recesses of the island lest
I:rUIRY INTO HAITI AND DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.
they should be impressed into military service by either the govern-
ment or the revolutionists. They knew not what hour of the day or
the night they might be seized by military officers or Caco chiefs, taken
from their homes and forced into service.
Their animals and the products of their little gardens were con-
tinuously being confiscated without compensation, and when the
women took their produce to the markets in the cities and towns
they were never certain that the little money they received for it
would not be taken from them.
Now conditions are changed. Naturally, the peasants want Haiti
for the Haitians. But at the same time, with very rare exceptions,
the peasant class realize that since the American intervention
for the first time in their history they are free from impressment
into military service. They are no longer plundered by Cacos and
bandits, and they are secure in the possession of their families and
Haitian government prior to 1915 afforded neither protection nor
service to the Haitian people. The Haitian peasait was burdened
with heavy taxes, and for the most part no account was kept of the
receipts or disbursements. No police protection was furnished the
people in the interior. Hospital facilities in the cities and towns
were inadequate and insanitary. No internal improvements were
made for the benefit of the people.
One single disclosure made during the course of the hearings in
Port au Prince will be interesting. It is typical.
Doctor Sylvain, president of the Union Patriotique, was before the
committee. He was asked concerning their educational system. He
testified that the Republic of Haiti had compulsory education in the
island since 1864; and yet only 2 per cent of the people can read
and write. What a commentary on Haitian administration!
Under Haitian government teachers of music were hired who could
not tell whether a sheet of music was right side up or upside down;
teachers of drawing who could not draw a picture of an ordinary
bucket; and in their courts subordinate judges who could neither
read nor write. And it may be said that no other branch of govern-
mental activity was far in advance of their educational system.
One word as to the material progress of the peasant class. Before
the American intervention few of the Haitians had ever seen a plow.
The peasant class had never seen and did not know how to use a shovel.
At first when shovels were given to them for use they would take
them to a pile of gravel, pick the gravel up in their hands, put it in
the shovel, and then carry it to the place where it was intended to
be placed. When the American marines began road building in the
island, a schooner with road-building machinery was docked. In the
hold of the vessel were 60 wheelbarrows. A captain of the marines
in charge of the road building sent the foreman, a Haitian, with
60 men to bring the wheelbarrows to the place where the road build-
ing was in progress. After a time he looked for the men with the
wheelbarrows. He saw them carrying the wheelbarrows on their
heads instead of wheeling them.
The committee does not refer to these conditions in a critical
spirit, or for the purpose of humiliating the Haitians, but because
4 INQUIRY INTO HAITI AND DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.
it is necessary that the American people shall know conditions as they
are in order to enable them to determine hat ought to be done at
present and in the immediate future, and the committee says this
looking solely to the benefit of the Haitian ople and without any
purpose, direct or indirect, looking to any material benefit to be
derived by the Government of the United States from its temporary
control or occupation of the island save and except such as would
come to us as the benefactor of an unfortunate people. )
No review of the condition of Haiti can be just to its inhabitants
which does not recognize existing anomalies and the antecedent
historic facts which explain the economic and political backwardness
of a people among whom may be found groups whose cultivation,
education, and capabilities are comparable with corresponding ele-
ments of society in more advanced countries.
At the time of the overthrow of the French government and of the
expulsion of their French masters by the Haitians there were among
the former slaves to whom the government of the country fell few
who were literate and absolutely none who were so trained in public
affairs or who were so skilled in tropical agriculture as to make pos-
sible either the successful maintenance of civil order or the necessary
continued development of the country's agricultural resources. Thus
the Haitians labored under insuperable handicaps. There were among
them for all practical purposes no trained agriculturists and adminis-
trators, no engineers and educators. Haiti had no means of educating
her people or of developing men competent to govern. Misgovern-
ment and revolution ensued, and as a consequence Haitian trade,
by comparison with that of the other West Indian Islands, dimin-
ished. Haiti drifted, as it were, out of the currents of commerce.
During the six score years of Haitian independence there have been
a dozen constitutions. The people have lived under self-styled
monarchs as well as under military dictators and self-constituted
Since the Haitians gained control in 1804 there have been one series
of revolutions after another. Part have been successful, part un-
successful. Since 1804 there have been 29 chiefs of state. Otto
Schoenrich in his work on Santo Domingo says:
It is to be observed, however, that of the Haitian executives only one completed
his term of office and voluntarily retired; of the others, four remained in power until
their death from natural causes; 18 were deposed by revolutions, one of them commit-
ting suicide, another being executed on the steps of his burning palace, and still
another being cut to pieces by the mob; five were assassinated; and one is chief
magistrate at the present time.
The disorders to which Haiti has been subject since the achieve-
ment of its independence attained such destructive frequency during
the last decade before the American intervention in 1915, that in
the space of 10 years no less than eight presidents assumed office
(it would be a mistake to say that they were elected) for the nominal
constitutional term of 7 years each. Three of the eight fled the
country; one was blown up in the presidential palace; another died
INQUIRY INTO HAITI AND DOMINICAN REPUBLIC. 5
mysteriously, and according to popular belief by poison, while two
were murdered. The last Haitian President who held office before
the landing of the American forces was Sam, who had caused several
scores of political prisoners to be massacred as they huddled in their
cells. He himself was dragged from the French Legation by a mob,
his head and limbs were torn from his body to be carried aloft on
sticks and bayonets, while his bleeding trunk was dragged through
the streets of the capital city.
It will not be wondered that under conditions thus indicated the
irrigation works and highways built by the French disappeared, fer-
tile sugar plantations vanished, coffee cultivation ceased, and that
the country made no progress, material or social, political or economic.
The mass of the people-gentle, kindly, generous-their peace and
property threatened rather than secured by the so-called authorities,
sought such quiet as they might find by hiding in the'hills, where they
have lived in a condition of primitive poverty and ignorance. Not
only did the sugar and coffee plantations disappear, but almost all
true agriculture, all organized cultivation of the soil, except as little
patches of yams and plantains maybe called such, ceased. The coffee
crop, which is the principal article of Haitian export, is gathered from
the wild trees-sprung from the stock planted by the French over a
hundred years ago. The domestic animals include wretched swine,
poor cattle, poultry of scrawny Tropic strains, and little asses which,
as saddle or pack animals, served as the sole means of conveyance or
transport in the country until the arrival of the American forces.
NO REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT IN HAITI.
In brief, before American intervention there had been no popular
representative or stable government in Haiti. The public finances
were in disarray, public credit was exhausted, and the public revenues
were wasted or stolen. Highways and agriculture had given way to
the jungle. The people, most of whom lived in wretched poverty,
were illiterate and spoke no other language than the native
Creole. The country and its inhabitants have been a prey to
chronic revolutionary disorders, banditry, and even during periods
of comparative peace to such oppressive and capricious governors
that the great mass of the people who, under happier circumstances
might have become prosperous peasant farmers, have had neither
opportunity nor incentive to labor, to save, or to learn. They had
no security for their property and little for their lives. Voodoo
practices, of course, were general throughout the territory of the
This view has been contested by certain Americans who, equally
ignorant of the facts and indifferent to them, have given voice to
general and unsubstantiable charges which if credited would blacken
the good name of the American Navy and impugn the honor of the
American Government. It is, however, the view of your committee,
and is supported by those informed and impartial investigators o0
Haitian conditions, whose opinions have come to the attention of youm
6 INQUIRY INTO HAITI AND DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.
Lest this summary of Haitian conditions be considered prejudiced
or overdrawn, the committee quotes the following from the report of
the Haitian Commission of Verification of Documents of the Floating
But neither the Pressoit-Delbau Commission, nor the successors of Mr. Barjon in
the position of paymaster of the Department of the Interior have been able to tell the
Secretary of State for Finance what has become of those archives. Only one fact
remains, from all the preceding, and it is to be remembered; that is, that the said
archives have disappeared, and that they remain unfindable, for a cause which the
commission is not in a position to verify nor to comment upon. *
This great question of the revolutionary debts-of the revolutionary debt of
Davimar Theodore above all-constitutes the most delicate and certainly the most
painful of the work of the commission. Without doubt, we have not the mission,
Mr. Secretary of State, to judge the motives, interested or not, which determined and
guided the conduct and the acts of such a chief, of such a political group, in the course
of the years forever ill-omened before the month of July, 1915. In any case, this mis-
sion is not imparted to us, if at least we confine ourselves to considering strictly and
narrowly our attributions of commissioners charged to investigate the arrears of the
floating debt. *
This expression "revolutionary debt" carries in itself its condemnation, by reason
of the lugubrious ideas which it awakens in the mind. From the moment that our
internal torments had to have as a final consequence the issuance of certificates of
indebtedness of the State, to the profit of their authors of all classes, or, which means
the same things, the flood of favors to the detriment of the national treasury, a
premium was thus created to the profit of Haitian revolutionaryism. And it is thus
that we have attended in these recent times this sad pageant marking the pages of
our history; the revolution of the day being an appeal to the revolution of to-morrow;
insurrection never disarmed, always erect and campaigning, perpetually assailing the
supreme power, and never stopping but to divide the spoils of the hour, after the
enthronement of the new idol which it was to undermine and overthrow.
In presence of the figures at once scandalous and formidable of the debt called
revolutionary and in view of the deplorable conditions in which the different original
notes were issued, whether at Ouanaminthe, at Pignor, at St. Michel, at Cape Haitien,
at Port-au-Prince, and even at Kingston (Jamaica), finally a little everywhere; some
in Haitien gourdes, the others in American gold, pounds sterling, or in francs-the
commission thinks it opportune to make without offense or passion the following
remarks which it offers for the meditation of the country. *
There is no really productive work without the help of capital.
But when the loan is contracted for an unavowable purpose, having for motive the
arming of the citizens of a country against their fellows, sustaining a disastrous and
debasing war, sowing terror in all the social levels, with a view of satisfying personal
ambitions-oh, then the conditions are not longer the same, and we find ourselves
here in face of a hidden operation.
Incontestably, wherever civil war has passed it has sowed destruction, disunion,
and death; cities devastated, factories destroyed, families reduced to the most fright-
ful misery, the pleasant fields of the north transformed into charnal places three or
more years ago; all these horrors worthy of the times of antiquity and of savage hordes
have caused and still cause the raising of cries of pain and of indignation, and retell
for ages and ages the cruelty of the political leaders who conducted directly or indi-
rectly the bands of madmen and who excited them to carnage in the sole and unique
purpose of seizing the power for the purpose of better assaulting the Public Treasury.
The country can not make itself the accomplice of such financial disorder having
hidden behind it crime and immorality.
The mass of notes issued, the considerable number of individuals who had or who
arrogated to themselves the power of issue, and who unscrupulously, without restraint
or the least reserve, thus compromised the future; the colossal figure to which these
issues mounted have necessarily given birth in our mind to this question of palpi-
tatinginterest, In what case can the recognizances issued be considered sincere? In
what case are they not sincere? In other terms, when is it that the amounts sub-
scribed have been really paid? When is it that we are found in the presence of
fictitious values represented by notes of complaisance? .
INQUIRY INTO HAITI AND. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.
Revolutions are possible only on the condition that their authors find interested
persons to finance these criminal enterprises. [Unhappily with us the hard and
honest work was always the exception, the revolutionary politics the rule, the great
industrX which attracted to it and monopolized all-energy, intelligence, and ca-
pacity. Therefore, there came a moment when the sole preoccupation for each
energy employed, each intelligence searching its way, each capacity desirous of
exerting itself; it was to clothe himself in revolutionary livery in which a campaign
was instituted to gain access to the public treasury
Testimony taken by the committee shows how the chronic anarchy
into which Haiti had fallen, the exhaustion of its credit, the threat-
ened intervention of the German government and the actual landing
of the French naval forces, all imperiled the Monroe Doctrine and
lead-the Government of the United States to take the successive
steps set forth in the testimony, to establish order in Haiti to help
to institute a government as nearly representative as might be, and
to assure the collaboration of the Governments of the United States
and Haiti for the future maintenance of peace and the development
of the Haitian people. /
Your committee believes that doubtless the American representa-
tives might have done better and that they have made mistakes, which
in the light of experience they would not make again; that as will
presently be indicated in more detail, not only did the treaty fail to
take cognizance of certain reforms essential to Haitian progress, but
that in the choice of its agents and the determination of their respon-
sibilities, the Government of the United States was not always happy.
THE OCCUPATION AND THE TREATY.
Thehistory of thelanding of American naval forces in Haiti and of the
intervention of the United States to establish a government as repre-
sentative, stable, and effective as possible, is set forth at length in the
public hearings of the committee. The navalforces of the United States
landed in July, 1915, when the country and more particularly the
capital, after the murder of President Sam, had fallen into a condi-
tion of anarchy. The diplomatic representatives and naval forces
of the United States made it possible for the Haitian Assembly to
sit in security. The American representatives in the opinion of
your committee influenced the majority of the Assembly in thu
choice of a president. Later, they exercised pressure to induce the
ratification by Haiti of the convention in September, 1915, precisely
as the United States had exercised pressure to induce the incorpora-
tion of the Platt Amendment in the Cuban Constitution, thus to
assure the tranquillity and prosperity of Cuba. At about thu same
time representatives of the United States Navy took over temporarily
the administration of the Haitian customhouses, which were then
answerable to no central control, of which the revenues were dis-
posed of at the discretion of the various local customs officers.
The convention of 1915 provides that a receiver general of customs,
a financial advisor, and directors of public works and sanitation shall
be nominated by the President of the United States and appointed
by the President of the Republic of Haiti. It provides, furthermore,
for the organization and discipline of an adequate force of con-
stabulary or gendarmerie under the direction of officers nominated
by the President of the United States, but commissioned in the
8 INQUIRY INTO HAITI AND DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.
service of the Haitian Government by the President of the Republic
Your committee has sought carefully to measure the benefits
accruing to the Haitian people as the result of the convention, and
to determine wherein the American Government or its representa-
tives had failed in their duty and to advise as to the correction of
mistakes or abuses in order that the maintenance of American forces
inHaiti may be terminated as soon as possible.
/Peace, sure and undisturbed peace, hasbeen established through-
otHaiti for the first time in generations.J In former years men who
were peasants-countrymen-were never seen upon the trails or in
the market towns. They feared to appear lest they be pressed into
the wretched and underpaid forces of the Republic or of revolu-
tionary pretenders. Women only were found, driving pack animals
or carrying burdens on the trails, and chaffering m the market
places. The men were hidden in the hills. To-day, as old travelers
will bear witness, for the first time in generations the men have
come down freely from their hidden huts to the trails and to the towns.
Conformably with the terms of the treaty, the Haitian customs have
been administered by the American receiver efficiently and honestly,
whereas in the past, by common confession, the administration of
them was characterized by waste, discrimination, if not by peculation.
The Minister of Finance has acceded to the disbursement of revenues
under American supervision. Finally, although the Haitian Govern-
ment has declined to employ Ame can experts in the administration
of internal revenues, nevertheless under the insistence of the financial
advisor and despite general business depression, the sum of internal
revenue collected has increased threefold, although the internal
revenue laws are unchanged. J
There has been very little criticism of the collection of customs under
American supervision or of the American receiver general. The
financial advisor has been the object of bitter attack, partly because
of his personal relations with Haitian officials partly because under
instruction of the Secretary of State he wit eld salaries of the
principal Haitian officials as a measure of coercio and partly because
he has been more than once, and for long periods, in Washington,
absent from his post of duty in Port au Prince. In justice to the
financial advisor, it must be said that he was ordered to Washington
by the State Department and has remained in Washington by order
of the State Department to further the negotiation of the loan for
the refunding of the Haitian debt.
THE HATIAN DEBT.
It has been stated that the Haitian Government had never defaulted
on the service of its foreign debts prior to the American occupation.
This statement is not exactly correct, but it is undoubtedly true that
it had exerted itself to an extraordinary degree to maintain the service
of its foreign debts. Your committee is informed that to do this the
Haitian Government had, during the three years immediately pre-
ceding the occupation, floated internal loans at the rates of 59,,56,
and 47, to a gold value of $2,868,131, had defaulted on salaries,
pensions, etc., to the extent of $1,111,280, had borrowed from the
INQUIRY INTO HAITI AND DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.
Bank of Haiti $1,733,000, had issued fiat paper money, and had
borrowed to a very large amount from private individuals at enormous
discounts on treasury notes. The Haitian Government had, at the
time of the American intervention, totally exhausted its credit both
at home and abroad. The amortization of the loan of 1875 was in
arrears. A great deal has been made of the fact that after the naval-
forces took over the administration of the customhouses and after
the outbreak of the Great War, there was a time when, despite careful
administration, both interest and amortization due on the Haitian
debt were unpaid. This is true, but the inability of the Haitian
Government and its American advisers to pay was due to the state of
anarchy into which the country had fallen and to the inestimable
injury to Haitian trade with Europe consequent upon the outbreak of
the Great War. (During the last three years, $5,000,000 of interest
and principal hav' been paid. To-day there is no interest or capital
overdue. The foreign debt has been reduced by one third. On the
contrary, there is a surplus in the treasury and it is proposed to
refund the outstanding debt to the great benefit of the Haitian tax-
The Republic of Haiti owes, largely in France, some $14,000,000,
part of which could have been paid when the franc was at a discount
of 17 to the dollar and which can now be paid while exchange stands
at about 10 francs to the dollar. The Haitian Government has lost
something over a million dollars by delaying the refunding of the
debt. It is still to the patent advantage of the Haitian Government
to refund the debt by borrowing in dollars and paying in francs,
when the francs are worth not 5 for a dollar, as formerly, but 10 for
a dollar. Apart from this, in the opinion of your committee, it is of
primary importance that the proposed loan should be made without
delay, partly because it will afford a sum of money necessary to
finish certain public works including the highway to Jacmel and that
from Las Cahobas to Hinche, but also because under the proposed
terms of the loan, the debt will be a general charge upon the revenues of
the country and those revenues which are now specifically and irrevo-
cably hypothecated to the service of certain loans will be freed from
such rigid hypothecation and the onerous and inequitable revenue sys-
tem of the country can be revised. There is appended to this report
a table showing the contractual charges upon revenues in Haiti. A stu-
dent of the Haitian financial system will be struck first by the charges
upon exports (indirect and direct) and especially by the fact that they
bear very heavily upon the poorest element of the population. If
the debt be refunded as proposed, the revenue system can be revised
and at one and the same time the burden upon the poor can be light-
ened and the export trade can be freed of uneconomic taxes.
It may be added that the new refunding loan, if consummated,
will be made upon better terms than those recently made in the
American markeby European and South American governments.
As the negotiations for the revision of the charter of the national
bank are all but consummated, the committee thinks it unnecessary to
dwell upon the matter further than to say that due to the insistence
of the American State Department and of the vigilant financial ad-
visor, the terms of the new charter are more advantageous to Haiti
than those of the old and that already an end has been put to the fluc-
10 INQUIRY INTO HAITI AND DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.
tuation of the currency, in which foreign merchants and exporters spec-
ulated to their own advantage and to the injury of the Haitian peasant.
It is because of this last that certain foreign financial interests, that
is, interests neither American nor Haitian, have covertly, persist-
ently, and perhaps corruptly, opposed the determination of the new
bank charter and the stabilization of the currency.
As was indicated earlier in the report, when the American naval
forces were landed in Haiti in 1915 the fine highway system left by
the French had disappeared. In 1917 the commander of the occu-
pation, in collaboration with the Haitian Government, invoked the
Haitian law requiring the inhabitants to work upon the highways.
This was the forced labor or corvee upon the roads. The law re-
quiring the inhabitants to maintain roads was in principle not unlike
some of the highway statutes of our own States. It had not been
enforced for decades when, at the instance of the American naval
command in Haiti, the Haitian Government invoked it in July, 1916.
At first this step appears to have met with no opposition from the
natives. On the contrary, under the tactful management of the
gendarmerie command at that time, encouraged and stimulated by
the enthusiasm of the American officers, they were eager to open a
highway from the north to the south of the country. It is the almost
unbelievable truth that with the decay of the French roads it was
impossible for a vehicle to traverse any section of the roadless republic.
People worked with great good will upon those sections of the highway
near which they dwelt. It was only after a year or more, when the
gendarmerie command unwisely compelled natives to leave the neigh-
borhoods in which they lived in order to complete the roads through
the mountains, that discontent and dissatisfaction were first manifest.
It is impossible to say in what measure the corvee contributed to the
armed outbreak in the north. Almost all Haitian revolutions have
had their beginning in the broken country lying between Cape Haitien
and the Dominican border. Here the Cacos had lived for generations,
and hence they marched to make their periodical attacks upon the
capital as followers of one or another revolutionary chieftain. At all
events, when the road law had been invoked for nearly two years, and
when its enforcement had given rise to discontent, for the reasons in-
dicated, Charlemagne Peralte, an escaped prisoner, raised a band of
Cacos in the north, which for some 15 or 18 months carried on a for-
midable guerilla war against the native gendarmerie and the American
CHARGES OF MILITARY ABUSES.
The accusations of cruelty which have been made against members
of the Marine Corps have deeply concerned your committee and
required its full consideration. If cruelty toward the inhabitants
has been countenanced or has escaped the punishment which vigi-
lance could impose, or on the other hand, if false or groundless ac-
cusations have been made, if facts have been distorted, the true con-
ditions should be revealed. Your committee has realized the gravity
of the charges and the importance of impartial investigation and it
has allotted a full portion of its time to the investigation of these
INQUIRY INTO HAITI AND DOMINICAN REPUBLIC. 11
complaints made by or on behalf of the Haitians. Examination
has been made of the records and methods of investigations con-
ducted by the Navy Department. Many witnesses have been heard
in this country and in Haiti, and some scores of affidavits read and
considered. So far as time permitted no one was refused a hearing
and no limit has so far been placed on the number of written com-
plaints in affidavit form.
Much evidence does not appear in the record. This consists of
oral statements made to the committee or to one or more members
in the course of confidential conversations which took place during
the committee's visit to Haiti. If those individuals who made the
statements had not received and relied on the assurance that their
names would not be published, nothing could have been learned from
these valuable sources. Among those thus speaking in confidence
were Haitians of education and influence, Haitians in positions of
great importance, and as well as others in subordinate positions, and
Haitian peasants, Americans engaged in business enterprise and other
foreigners engaged in business or in philanthropic or educational work.
If it had become known that any of these individuals expressed to
the committee views contrary to the then organized opposition to the
American occupation, and its continuance, that individual would at
once be marked for punishment. The consequences to the indi-
vidual during the continuance of the occupation might have been
financially and socially hurtful and if the occupation were to be
withdrawn that person who had said anything in its favor would be
in danger of persecution or loss of his life. These people who talked
to the committee or its members did not know for how long they
would receive the protection of the occupation. Those whose views
they opposed included an influential group who would, temporarily at
least, dominate the country if the occupation were to be withdrawn
in the near future.
The committee has weighed this undisclosed evidence and has
tried to give it its correct weight, but the committee can not in justice
to the individuals disclose their names. One of those who spoke
most impressively and whose opinion was entitled to great weight on
account of long residence and close sympathy with the Haitians said:
If the Government of the United States was to order the marines to quit the island
the last of them would scarcely be out of sight of land until a shot would be fired and
then a revolution.
This opinion differently expressed is widely shared by responsible
people in Haiti. Such can not express their opinions publicly at the
present time, but no correct estimate of the situation can be reached
without their opinions. The report of Professor Kelsey to the Ameri-
can Academy of Political Science, published in the committee's
record shows that he had an experience similar to that of the com-
mittee. We commend Professor Kelsey's report to the close study
of those who are interested in the Haitian problem.
*During the five and one-half years of the occupation, 8,000 indi-
viduals have served in an average force of 2,000 marines maintained
in Haiti since the occupation. It is true that some few of these
individuals have committed crimes affecting the Haitians, the
offenses depending in no way on the military character of the guilty
12 INQUIRY. INTO HAITI AND DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.
parties. The very small number of such individual crimes reflects
credit on the discipline of the Marine Corps. Proper diligence has
been exercised by our military authorities in prosecuting and punish-
ing the criminals. There has, however, been a different class of
accusations-charges of violence committed by American marines
or by the gendarmerie (the Haitian police force organized under the
direction of the Marine Corps) and these charges contain elements
of military oppression or unnecessary severity and recldess cruelty.
These have formed one of the principal fields for investigation by
With few exceptions there are no complaints of such military
abuses in the years 1915, 1916, 1917, and the earlier part of 1918.
Nor are there many such complaints for the latter part of 1919 or
the early part of 1920. All the charges concern times and places
coincident with the phase of organized banditry or '"Caco" outbreak
which became serious in 1918 and was practically suppressed by the
end of 1919. The charges of military abuses are generally limited
to a somewhat restricted region in the. interior of Haiti, namely,
the central plain of St. Michel, in which are the communes of Maissade
and Hinche, the mountains surrounding this plain, and the moun-
tainous region surrounding the town of Mirebalais. This country
is broken and wooded, thinly settled, and very difficult of access.
Both areas are cut up by tangled ravines and barricaded by a con-
fusion of small mountain ranges. Torrential streams add to the
difficulties of travel. For years this has been habitually a revolu-
tionary area and has been subjected for a generation to frequent
destructive operations of irregular revolutionary forces or bandits.
The male inhabitants of the region, if not in active sympathy with
any of these revolutionary forces, were frequently forced to join them
through fear. Peaceful agriculture was next to impossible, and the
result was that a great majority of the inhabitants was lawless and
in sympathy with the "Cacos, as the revolutionary bandits were
called. The recruiting ground for revolutionary expeditions had
always been the central plain and the mountains to the north, along
the Dominican border.
THE "CACO" OUTBREAK.
The causes of the outbreak of lawlessness above referred to are not
altogether clear. The principal instigator was one Charlemagne
Peralte. He had been a leader or chief of the Cacos in the mountains
of the north. He was a man of local prominence and had held
absolute sway over his followers. His career had been "revolution-
ary, but he caused no trouble during the quiet years after the occupa-
tion until in the autumn of 1917, wlen he and some of his followers
took part in an armed attempt at Hinche to rob the house of Captain
Doxey of some public funds which had been received for disburse-
ment. Charlemagne was arrested and convicted by a provost court
and sentenced to a term of imprisonment. He was made to labor
in the streets of Cape Haitien under guard like any other convict,
and this aroused his intense bitterness against the Americans. He
escaped in 1918 and began the outbreak in July, 1918, with a few of
his old followers. His resentment was demonstrated by acts of
INQUIRY INTO HAITI AND DOMINICAN REPUBLIC. 13
violence alike against natives and Americans. He rapidly recruited
followers from the former professional and habitual revolutionists,
and other chiefs, following his example, came from retirement and
recruited bands of their own. The outbreak was as much one of
organized banditry as it was revolutionary, although there re-
mained much resentment against the Americans among the former
revolutionaries. There was resentment also against the continu-
ance of the corvee, and this resentment undoubtedly made recruit-
ment more easy for the bandit leaders. As in former days, also, the
leaders pressed other inhabitants into their service.
The guerrilla outbreak was opposed first of all by the gendarmerie,
which was recruited principally from the same class of population as
the bandits and officered by the United States marines holding com-
missions in the gendarmerie, but by March, 1919, it became clear that
the gendarmerie could not suppress the outlawry without assistance,
and thereupon the Marine Corps took over the greater part of the
burden, although the gendarmerie remained in active service. The
enemy knew their country perfectly. When arms were not in their
hands they could not be distinguished at sight from other inhabitants.
The transformation from peasant to bandit and vice versa could be
made at an instant's warning. There was reason to suspect almost
any male adult of being from time to time engaged in active lawless-
ness and habituated to guerrilla warfare.
The problem was to restore peace and order in this central and
northern mountainous region. The situation did not admit of effec-
tive operations carried on by larger bodies than a platoon or two.
The only practicable method was the one adopted-that of constant
patrolling by parties ranging in number from 4 or 5 men to 30 or 40
men. These small patrols were almost always vastly outnumbered.
They endured tremendous physical hardships. They were frequently
beyond the reach of help and were even out of all communication with
other friendly forces for two or three weeks at a time. They ran risks
and faced dangers such as are endured by beleaguered garrisons. It is
impossible to judge of the accusations which have been made or of the
conduct of the marines or gendarmerie as if they had been engaged on
police patrols in a settled country intersected by highways.
Each patrol was necessarily commanded by an American. At that
time if a patrol of gendarmerie were intrusted to a Haitian sergeant
it was not effective against the bandits, and in default of disciplined
command it might constitute a menace to the inhabitants. There
were not enough commissioned officers of the Marine Corps available
to supply commanders of all these patrols. Many of them were com-
manded by sergeants, corporals, or even privates of the Marine Corps
who were commissioned as captains or lieutenants in the gendarmerie.
To the credit of our country nearly all of these men performed their
duties admirably. Their courage sustained them in the face of danger
and hardship, and their common sense and justice slowly won the con-
fidence of the inhabitants. There were, however, some few exceptions
who failed in their duty. Among these few were commissioned as
well as noncommissioned officers of the Marine Corps. It is against
these patrol commanders that the charges of military abuses are made.
The uprising was subdued by these patrols. With greater endur-
ance and determination than the bandits they kept constantly on the
14 INQUIRY INTO HAITI AND DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.
move. For months there were skirmishes and marches, and the ban-
dits were kept constantly on the run. Many of the bandits took
advantage of invitations to surrender. Those who did so were dis-
armed and were given a safe-conduct card; but some persisted. As
long as a single hostile band was in the field the work remained un-
finished. The leaders of the bandits knew and sometimes even were
on friendly terms with the "notables" or leading men of these remote
sections. As the campaign progressed the marines won the approval
of the humble inhabitants, but they increased the dislike and resent-
ment of those notables who were cacos or were allied with them.
The committee has found that most of the accusations are made
against a small handful of marines. Some of these were most active
and effective against the bandits. Some of the accusations first
brought against them have been entirely disproved, and yet other
accusations spring up against them. In such cases it i5 at least
possible that they are the victims of slander inspired by the intelligent
hatred of the small native leaders whose dominance they destroyed.
The campaign continued through the year 1919. The enemy
bands frequently numbered as many as three or four hundred, *
although their personnel undoubtedly was constantly changing.
By constant pursuit and by attacking on sight regardless of the dis-
parity of numbers, the Americans or the gendarmerie, under the
American command, gradually wore these bands down until they
disappeared. The pursuit and the fighting occurred in the wilder-
ness and it is hard to imagine and impossible to describe the hard-
ships constantly endured by our men. The pursuit under the con-
ditions we have described must have seemed endless, although sur-
renders and casualties and fatigue were constantly reducing the
numbers of the Cacos. It is impossible to give the exact number of
engagements, but it is accurate to say that in one place or another
armed encounters occurred daily. Late in 1919 Charlemagne was
killed in the field. This broke the back of the uprising, but another
principal leader, Benoit, remained in bush for several months until
he also was killed, in May, 1920. After his death the last of the dis-
order was quickly put down.
During all these times at least three-fourths of the territory of
Haiti and four-fifths of the inhabitants were not directly affected.
The remaining one-fourth of the territory to which this discussion
refers, containing the lawless population, was the theater of practi-
cally all military operations, and was the only source of complaints
of military abuses.
These regions are now peaceful. There are no bandits in Haiti.
The inhabitants are leaving the mountain forests to cultivate the
central plain-less disturbedthan they have been within the memory
of living man. It is impossible to determine in exact figures the
number of Haitians killed in this 18 months' guerrilla campaign. B
--fair estimate is about 1,500. The figure includes many reports
based on guesses made during combat and not on actual count
The casualties, whatever they were, undoubtedly included some non-
combatants. The bandits were found resting in settlements where
INQUIRY INTO HAITI AND DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.
they were surrounded by their women and children, or in villages
where they camped and were tolerated by the inhabitants through
fear or friendship. When encountered they had to be instantly
attacked. These conditions largely account for the deaths of the
Such casualties are to be deplored. They were unhappy conse-
quences of the irregular operations. Your committee is convinced
that the suppression of the bandits by patrols was the only method
which would have been effective. It is fair to speculate that if
the bandits had been permitted to continue their depredations,
there would have been a greater number of innocent people killed
and a far greater sum total of misery. During this outbreak the
bandits preyed on the other inhabitants, robbed them, maltreated
them, and burned their houses and crops as they had been wont to
do in the many revolutions before the occupation. The peasants who
were the victims do not now wish for the withdrawal of the marines.
To-day they may work and travel without fear of robbery. Of
this the committee has been convinced by opinions expressed at
first hand by intelligent peasants. These are jealous of their sover-
eignty but have every reason to be and are aware of the benefits of
peace and order, and their first wish is that peace and order by
some means may be assured.
The committee is convinced that cruelty has never been counte-
nanced by the Navy Department or by the brigade commanders of
our marines in Haiti, or the commandants of the gendarmerie of Haiti,
nor has this been alleged to the committee.
It is evident to anyone who reads the testimony of a number of
witnesses that some false and groundless charges have been made,
and that in many cases facts have been distorted and exaggerated.
Fairness compels the further explanation that few, if any, of the
illiterate and ignorant peasants making such charges knew the
difference between what they had seen and what they had heard said
at second or third- hand or on sheer rumor. Utterly untaught in
justice or evidence, they have probably been induced in some cases
to bear false witness. Whether these charges be described as false
or mistaken, it would be wrong to judge those who made them by
American standards. Nevertheless, the testimony of such witnesses
is dangerous unless it is carefully sifted. An illustration will show
In September, 1920, five Haitian gendarmes stated under oath
that Lieut. Freeman Lang, of the gendarmerie, had in the early part
of November, 1918, at Hinche shot a prisoner. One other said he
saw Lang shoot two prisoners. One other said he had seen Lang shoot
five prisoners at different times in October and November, 1918.
All, however, told of the death of one particular prisoner. They all
said the single prisoner had been led from jail and that he had talked
with Lang and had then been killed by Lang at a distance of 10 to
20 paces with a machine gun or automatic rifle. Two added that
Lang told the man he was released and could go home. Some said
the man refused to give information and was therefore shot. Accord-
ing to the testimony of each of these witnesses, it was a cold-blooded
and treacherous killing. All said they had seen it done.
16 INQUIRY INTO HAITI AND DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.
In November, 1920, five of these same witnesses also testified
before the Mayo court of inquiry. On the latter occasion the wit-
ness who had said Lang killed two prisoners testified that only one
man was killed and that he was walking away. Another witness at
the later hearing said that the prisoner was walking, then that he
was running and trying to escape. His first version had been that
Lang had told the prisoner he could go home. Another of these wit-
nesses, the one who said he had seen Lang take five from prison and
shoot them because they would not talk, could not at the second
hearing say whether the prisoners were running or not when they
were shot, and that in two of the cases he did not see the shot fired.
He also gave a different place for one of the shootings in his later
testimony. There were no prisoners missing from the prison at
Hinche at those times. In their later testimony two witnesses made
the date precise, November 4, but one could not tell the year. One
who first testified he saw Lang shoot the prisoner, later said he did
not see Lang shoot the prisoner, only saw the prisoners dead after
hearing the shots. Another first testified that Lang told the prisoner
he could go home, and said two months later that he was a long way
off and could hear nothing that was said. Lang's version, fully sub-
stantiated by Daggette, another marine eye witness, was that the
prisoner, a Caco leader just captured, was taken under guard from
prison to Lang's house to be questioned. He refused to talk and was
led back under guard toward the jail. Lang at the same time had
walked a considerable way toward his office in another building
when he heard the guard fire two or three shots and saw the prisoner
running toward some woods across the square. The guard was
missing his shots and it was dusk.
Lang ran back 30 or 40 yards to his house where there was an
automatic rifle kept set up on the veranda loaded and cocked. He
fired in order to prevent his escape; one shot burst and brought the
running man down dead at a distance of 150 yards. He at once
reported the incident to his superior officer. A circumstance which
discredits the Haitian witnesses is that an automatic rifle is too heavy
a weapon to hold comfortably while standing up to cross question a
witness or to have overlooked while assuring a prisoner he could
walk away with safety. At any rate the Mayo court exonerated
Lang completely of this charge and likewise exonerated him on other
charges brought against him by the same kind of witnesses, charges
that circumstances and positive testimony proved impossible.
These charges were probably inspired.
A reading of the testimony referred to in the Mayo court record
will certainly raise that suspicion. (See Exhibit 5 attached to record
of Mayo court and testimony before that court of Toussaint, Mon-
fiston, Brave, Jean, Rouchon, Lang, and Daggett.)
The committee itself has heard Haitian" witnesses declare they had
seen certain acts and describe them in detail, and then after some
questioning-entirely kindly-say they had been one-half mile or
more away or in another part of the country and had only heard
about it soon afterwards or much later.
A witness named Polidor St. Pierre testified before the committee
at Port-au Prince that he had been tortured in the prison St. Marc in
January, 1919, and that the American marine captain whom he
named had been personally present and directed the tortures. The
INQUIRY INTO HAITI AND DOMINICAN REPUBLIC. 17
witness said that the captain had caused him to be put in irons and
hung up by a rope attached to his handcuffs and passed over a rafter
in a prison cell. He said he thus passed five days without eating or
drinking. The witness next testified that the next morning after the
witness entered the prison the captain caused water to be boiled and
poured down the witness's throat. The actual operation was per-
formed by four gendarmeries, the captain being present.
The witness said that two days afterwards the captain himself
applied a hot iron to various parts of the witness's body, and that
later he received medical treatment from the captain and a surgeon.
The witness said that another Haitian prisoner named Medelus Valet
was present and saw these occurrences, and that this same Valet was
at the time of the committee's hearing imprisoned at Port au Prince.
The committee caused Medelus Valet to be brought before it and
sworn. Before this time neither the committee nor its counsel had
opportunity to communicate in any way with Valet, and had no
intimation as to what his testimony would be. Valet said that St.
Pierre was tortured, that he had been hung up on three different
occasions about one-half hour each by a rope attached to his hand-
cuff, that he had not had water poured down his throat but that he
had been branded. Valet said that this was all done by Haitian
detectives and gendarmes in the absence of the captain, and that
the captain became very angry when he learned of the mistreatment.
He took St. Pierre out of the cell, put him in the prison sergeant's
room and had a surgeon treat him three times a day. (Reference:
Testimony of St. Pierre, record, pp. 857-865; testimony of Valet,
record, pp. 883-885.) These illustrations are not exceptional but
usual, both in untruthfulness of testimony and in the suspicion of
On the other hand, certain instances of unauthorized executions of
captives at the hands of marines or at their command are beyond much
doubt established. The number is small. In fact, after full inquiry
and earnest invitation to complainants to come forward as witnesses
or with affidavits, the committee is to this day reasonably satisfied of
the fact of 10 such cases, of which 2 have been established in the
course of judicial inquiries. Those who were killed had been caught
bearing arms and had been imprisoned. These illegal killings all
took place within the period of six months from December, 1918, to
May, 1919, and all happened in one of the two areas in the remote
interior. Of the three Americans who, as officers, would be directly
responsible, if the facts were judicially established, one (1) was insane,
one (2) is dead, and the other (3), commissioned in the gendarmerie
from the enlisted personnel of the marines, has been discharged from
the service. These three cases call for special mention:
(1) The evidence as to this case is found in the court-martial records
of Privates Johnson and McQuilkin and on pages 737 to 741 of the com-
mittee's record. The American gendarme lieutenant in question was a
private in the Marine Corps, commissioned as lieutenant m the gendar-
merie. The two privates, Johnson and McQuilkin, were court-martialed
because they were members of a firing squad which illegally executed
two Caco prisoners in May, 1919, at Croix des Bouquets in the region
S. Rept. 794, 67-2--2
18 INQUIRY INTO HAITI AND DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.
of Mirebelais. The evidence is clear that these executions were ordered
and superintended by the American lieutenant of gendarmerie. In
the testimony it also appeared as undisputed that these same men had
been present at the execution of still one more Haitian prisoner five
days earlier, also under the orders of the same lieutenant. There is
no doubt but that those who were executed had already been taken
prisoners and were shot without trial. The lieutenant who directed
the executions was not court-martialed because he was found to be
insane. His mental condition was observed at Port au Prince in
July, 1919, at the Naval Hospital, Charleston, S. C., in September
1919, and the Naval Hospital, Washington, D. C., in October, 1919,
and in all cases the diagnosis was dementia precox.
The court-martials of the two privates were upon charges preferred
June 22, 1919, one month after the executions of the Haitian prison-
ers. It was these two court-martial cases which upon being reviewed
by General Barnett, as commandant of the Marine Corps, caused
him to write a letter to Colonel Russell, then brigade commander,
in which the general uses the expression "practically indiscriminate
killings" by marines of natives. General Barnett testified before
the committee (record p. 439) that these two court-martial cases
formed the only basis for his allegation. While there can be no
excuse for the killing of these three Haitians there could have been
no legal conviction of the lieutenant of gendarmerie, who was insane.
(2) Reference in this instance is made to the testimony of Mr.
Spear, formerly a lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps, which
appears in the committee's record, pages 583 to 592, and also to the
record, pages 646 to 647. Mr. Spear, now an attorney practicing in
Nebraska, had enlisted in the Marine Corps and been promoted to a
lieutenancy. While holding this rank he saw service in Haiti. In
May, 1919, he was second in command of a detachment of Marines
near Mirebelais. This detachment was relieved by another, the
commander of which turned over two Haitian prisoners to the
commander of Spear's detachment. The commander of Spear's
detachment understood that these prisoners were turned over to
him with orders to kill one of them.
One of them was shot by the orders of the commander of Spear's
detachment. There were no Haitian prisoners at that time under
sentence of death, and this alleged execution would therefore neces-
sarily be illegal. The detachment commander who directed this
execution was killed in an airplane accident in August, 1920. The
committee finds no reason to doubt the truth of Mr. Spear's testi-
mony, and although the death of this unknown Haitian can not be
regarded as legally established the occurrence can not here go unmen-
tioned. It apparently did not become known to officers in higher
command. There is nothing to show that Lieutenant Spear was in
any way responsible for the death of this Haitian. There can be no
justification for the execution of the prisoner if in fact it took place.
(3) In this case the American in question was, as captain in the
gendarmerie, in direct military control of a relatively small terri-
torial subdivision. The locality was, however, one of importance.
because it was a trouble center for bandits. From time to time
pnsoners were taken in armed encounters or arrested as bandits.
This man admitted to the brigade commander, Brigadier General
Catlin, and to the commandant of the gendarmerie that he had caused
the execution without trial of six prisoners led from jail.
INQUIRY INTO HAITI AND DOMINICAN REPUBLIC. 19
The question of a court-martial on a charge of murder was resolved
in favor of the offender by the brigade commander because the proof
of guilt consisted of the confession, and the confession required
corroboration. Such was the quality of the other evidence available
that the brigade commander doubted whether it would be sufficient
in law. He testified before the committee that an acquittal would have
had a bad effect on the natives, who would have called the trial a
whitewash, while a conviction in a place far away could never have
any effect one way or the other with the inhabitants. He decided not
to risk an acquittal, and without court-martial removed the man
from command and service in the gendarmerie. The man, soon
afterwards discharged from the Marine Corps, has disappeared.
If apprehended he might be surrendered to Haiti at the request of
that Government, but the legality of such surrender would be at least
doubtful. Whether at this late date a conviction for murder on the
testimony of the ignorant and irresponsible native witness from the
locality would be possible or just the committee as a nonjudicial
body can not decide. It feels, however, that there might be a reason-
able doubt. In the judgment of the committee there must have been
some tangible ground for trial and punishment if not for murder, at
least for a lesser offense against discipline. The committee is as-
tonished that a man without sufficient experience or established
character should have been placed in authority in a troubled district.
(See General Catlin's testimony, record, pp. 660-662. General
Catlin's statement, Exhibit 5, Mayo court record, Lieut. Col. A. S.
Williams's testimony, record, pp. 549-550.)
The committee has heard a number of complaints of the burning of
houses of innocent inhabitants by the marines. The witnesses or affi-
ants do not allege nor do they deny that there were cacos or bandits
actually there at the time of the burning. The times and places alleged
in all cases seem, however, to indicate that the houses burned were
palm or wattle huts in settlements infested by bandits. The bandits
were either there or near by in camps or were resting in the guise o.
innocent inhabitants, and the huts were burned by patrols. In some
cases this was undoubtedly a necessary military measure. It is also
quite possible that some habitations were burned without substantial
justification on this ground, but the committee has not learned of any
that were burned at places and times where and when there were not
grounds to suspect that they were used as shelter for the enemy.
CHARGES OF TORTURE.
Accusations have been made of tortures and cruel beatings. Many
of these accusations have been completely refuted; others bear a re-
semblance to types of cruelty well known in Haiti for many years
but foreign to anything known in America. Americans are not given
to mutilating their dead enemies. A charge of mutilation against an
American at once suggests a very close scrutiny of everything the
witness says. Mutilations probably did occur. They may have been
inflicted by the bandits or by the gendarmerie in the absence of white
officers or conceivably by white officers, but the character of the tes-
timony leaves a grave doubt as to the identity of the criminals. The
committee is convinced that these cruel or inhuman acts were prob-
ably never committed by Americans.
20 INQUIRY INTO HAITI AND DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.
Maj. Clarke H. Wells, of the United States Marine Corps, was a
colonel in the gendarmerie and in command of the Northern Depart-
ment of Haiti in the last months of 1918 and until March, 1919. when
he was relieved by the then brigade commander, Brigadier General
Catlin. The manner in which he performed his duty and the subse-
quent investigations of his conduct call for special comment by the
committee. Conditions had gotten out of hand in his department,
which embraced the trouble centers of Hinche and Maissade, and
General Catlin, reaching that conclusion, relieved him. There had
been a mutiny in a gendarmerie station. Specific accusations were
made against Major Wells, and these accusations were examined in
four later investigations. Court-martial charges of a serious nature
were preferred against this officer and withdraw without trial on
account of insufficiency of evidence to substantiate the charges. He
was in a position of high responsibility, and the consequences of any
failure in duty or misconduct on his part would therefore have been
great. The committee finds every evidence of sincere and energetic
investigation of the charges against Major Wells, but it regrets that
investigation was not instituted more promptly or rather at the time
when he was relieved from command of the Northern Department.
A board of investigation took up his case about six months after he
was relieved from command. It is apparent that even then too
much time had elapsed to arrive at the facts. The character of the
testimony adverse to Major Wells does, in the opinion of the com-
mittee, raise such a doubt as to fault on his part as would make
unjust any findings against him.
At the same time the present situation is unjust to the officer in
question if he is blameless. Therefore, the failure to go thoroughly
into his conduct in March, 1919, is greatly to be regretted. The.
truth arrived at then would undoubtedly have cleared up incidentally
many of the other accusations with which the committee has had to
deal because the greater part of the accusations arose in Major
Wells's department during the time of his incumbency.
The specific accusations were:
(1) That he permitted a continuance of a modified form of corvee
after all corveehad been prohibited. Actual knowledge of this on the
part of Major Wells could not be proved, but at Hinche and Maissode
there continued some work on the road which while not technically
forced labor was being done at low wages by unwilling workmen.
This caused serious trouble.
(2) That Major Wells directed the suppression of mention of
trouble in reports to gendarmerie headquarters. Major Wells has
denied this but has stated that he did make an effort to suppress
sensationalism in reports. The testimony is conflicting.
(3) That he gave directions to treat the Cacos with severity and
that he discouraged the taking of prisoners. Some forms of this
accusation are to the effect that he directed that prisoners be killed
and that this was understood to authorize the execution of prisoners
already captured rather than the shooting at sight of armed bandits.
The testimony subsequently taken on all these points is contra-
dictory and confusing especially on the last point. Three gendar-
merie officers were examined at least twice and the statements of
each were very dissimilar on the different occasions. A number of
officers with equal opportunities for observation were examined and
INQUIRY INTO HAITI AND DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.
their testimony was entirely negative. The testimony which was most
damaging, if competent, wc- purely hearsay and on being followed up
was not substantiated. There are indications that the testimony
of some of the officers examined after they had left the service was
biased by prejudice. Other officers examined spoke very highly of
Major Wells's administration.
The record as a whole discloses an earnest effort in September,
1919, by Major Turner, and in January, 1920, by Colonel Hooker and
Major Turner, by the direction of the brigade commander, Colonel
Russell, and in September, 1920, by Generals Lejeune and Butler
by the direction of the Secretary of the Navy, and in October and
thereafter in 1920 by the Mayo court of inquiry to arrive at the facts.
This committee wishes to express its regret that doubt still remains
and its belief that more prompt investigation should have been made.
The committee is not a judicial body. It feels' that it should
make no report definitely accusing any individual of crime unless
that individual has had a trial. The committee can riot try indi-
viduals nor can the committee continue indefinitely in existence.
Since its visit to Haiti the committee has received a number of
affidavits definitely accusing American officers of murder and extreme
cruelty, mostly during the year 1919. The number of officers named
is not large. During its visit to Haiti it heard testimony in which
officers were accused and in which military abuses were attributed
to unnamed American marines. Investigation of some of these
cases has already been made and the committee has the reports.
The committee has referred all other accusations for investigation
by the Navy Department, requesting a report as to facts developed.
It has admitted in evidence all the accusations. Time has not per-
mitted due investigation of and report on the more recently received
accusations. The committee proposes to print all accusations of a
serious nature, but it proposes to reserve such publication until the
results of investigation can be printed at the same time. In this
way it feels it may demonstrate to the Haitians the willingness of
America to receive and air all just complaints, but at the same time
it will safeguard innocent and faithful American officers from
A SUMMARY OF THE FACTS.
On the evidence before it the committee can now state-
(1) That the accusations of military abuses are limited in point of
time to a few months and in location to restricted area.
(2) Very few of the many Americans who have served in Haiti
are thus accused. The others have restored order and tranquillity
under arduous conditions of service, and generally won the confidence
of the inhabitants of the country with whom they came in touch.
(3) That certain Caco prisoners were executed without trial.
Two such cases have been judicially determined. The. evidence to
which reference has been made shows eight more cases with sufficient
clearness to allow them to be regarded without much doubt as
having occurred. Lack of communications and the type of operations
conducted by small patrols not in direct contact with superior
authority in some cases prevented knowledge of such occurrences
on the part of higher authority until it was too late for effective
22 INQUIRY INTO HAITI AND DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.
investigation. When reported, investigations were held with no
apparent desire to shield any guilty party. Such executions were
unauthorized and directly contrary to the policy of the brigade
(4) That tortures of Haitians by Americans has not in any case
been established, but that some accusations may have a foundation
in excesses committed by hostile natives or members of the gendar-
merie without the knowledge of American officers. Mutilations have
not been practiced by Americans.
(5) That in the course of the campaign certain inhabitants other
than bandits were killed during operations against the outlaws, but
that such killings were unavoiable, accidental, and not intentional.
(6) That there was a period of about six months at the beginning
of the outbreak when the gendarmerie lost control of the situation
and was not itself sufficiently controlled by its higher officers, with
the result that subordinate officers in the field were left too much
discretion as to methods of patrol and local administration, and that
this state of affairs was not investigated promptly enough, but that
it was remedied as soon as known to the brigade commander. That
the type of operations necessarily required the exercise of much
independent discretion by detachment commanders.
(7) That undue severity or reckless treatment of natives- was
never countenanced by the brigade or gendarmerie commanders and
that the investigation by naval authority of charges against members
of the Marine Corps displays no desire to shield any individual, but
on the contrary an intention to get at the faces.
(8) That the testimony of most native witnesses is highly unreliable
and must be closely scrutinized and that many unfounded accusa-
tions have been made. It is also felt that in the case of accusations
of abuses committed two years ago now made for the first time, the
delay has not arisen through any well grounded fear of oppression
by military authority, but that many of those accusations in affidavit
form, now forthcoming, are produced at this late date because it is
thought by those who are agitating for the immediate termination
of the occupation that such accusations will create in the United
States a sentiment in favor of such termination. In such cases the
delay in making the charges and in presenting the evidence weighs
heavily against the truth of the charge. All such charges, however,
require full investigation. The committee feels certain that the
necessary investigation by the Navy Department will be thoroughly
conducted, that the rights of those accused will be respected, and
that there will be no suppression of facts. When collected the facts
so obtained may be weighed with the facts alleged in the accusation.
If, when all such evidence is in, the committee has any reason to
change any of its conclusions it will submit with the evidence as
printed such revision of this report on the alleged military abuses as.
may be required.
The committee believes that an important lesson may be learned
from a study of the bandit campaign and the subsequent grave
charges of misconduct. The lesson is the extreme importance in a
campaign of this kind for higher command to require daily operation
reports to be prepared by patrol leaders. In the early days of the
outbreak such reports were not systematically required. Small
patrols would be out of touch with the rest of our forces for days or
INQUIRY INTO HAITI AND DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.
weeks under distressing conditions of service. There is no complete
record of the places they visited or when the visits were made or
who was in command. If such reports or records were in existence,
innocent individuals could instantly be cleared of unfounded charges,
and guilty individuals could be identified with certainty. Such
reports would have been a safeguard to the inhabitants and to the
reputation of the Americans.
AMERICAN EFFORT TO BLACKEN THE NAME OF THE NAVY.
In concluding this portion of the report the committee expresses
its chagrin at the improper or criminal conduct of some few members
of the Marine Corps and at the same time feels it to be its duty to
condemn the process by which biased or interested individuals and
committees and propagandists have seized on isolatAd instances, or
have adopted as true any rumor however vile or baseless in an effort to
bring into general disrepute the whole American naval force in Haiti.
The committee wishes to express its admiration for the manner in which
our men accomplished their dangerous and delicate task.
Patrolling still goes on, although the country is peaceful. For the
last two years or more daily reports have been required. It is note-
worthy that in the last two years or more there have arisen no serious
grounds for complaint.
The confidence placed in the Americans by the Haitian peasants
and the approval frequently communicated to the committee by
those who know and sympathize with the peasants and who are
engaged in philanthropic or educational work among them negative
the idea of any campaign of terrorism against the inhabitants such
as agitators and professional propagandists, Haitian and American,
would have appear.
The acceptance of the status quo, the appreciation of the present
peace and increasing prosperity of the country, by the mass of the
people, is proven by the fact that there are among two and a half
million people only twenty-five hundred gendarmes and less than
twenty-five hundred marines.
A SUMMARY OF FAILURE AND ACHIEVEMENT.
It has been necessary to interrupt the general consideration of the
American occupation in Haiti, in order to review at length the
incidents of the outbreak of 1918 and 1919. The committee is not
prepared to say that the rising of Caco bands in the section of the
country, where for a generation revolution habitually originated,
was encouraged by the corvee. But it is impossible not to condemn
the blunder committed when, under the corvee, laborers were carried
beyond their vicinage to work under guard in strange surroundings.
This was an error of commission like those of omission arising from
-failure to develop a definite and constructive policy under the treaty
or to centralize in some degree responsibility for the conduct of
American officers and officials serving in Haiti under the Govern-
ment of Haiti or that of the United States. The blunder arose,
too, from the failure of the departments in Washington to appreciate
the importance of selecting for service in Haiti, whether in civil or
military capacities, men who were sympathetic to the Haitians and
able to maintain cordial personal and official relations with them.
24 INQUIRY INTO HAITI AND DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.
It may be set down to the credit of the American occupation and
the treaty officials that the Haitian cities, once foul and insanitary,
are now clean, with well-kept and well-lighted streets. The greater
part of an arterial highway system opening up the heart of the
country has been built. The currency, which once violently fluc-
tuated under the manipulations of European merchants, has
been stabilized, to the great advantage of the Haitian peasant.
Arrears of amortization as well as of interest on the public
debt have been paid, as also are regularly paid the salaries of the
smallest officials. The steamship communications between Haiti
and the United States are greatly improved. Trade and revenues
are increasing. The revision of the customs and internal taxes, so
important to the prosperity of Haiti and especially of its poorest
classes, awaits the funding of the debt by a new loan. There is
peace and security of property and person throughout the Republic.
The peasant in his hovel or on the road to market is safe from
molestation by brigand or official authority. A force of 2,500
gendarmes, insufficiently trained to cope with the caco outbreak in
1918, is now admirably disciplined.. As its morale has improved, the
force has become at once more considerate and more efficient in the
discharge of its duties. It is noteworthy that an increasing pro-
portion of the commissioned officers are native Haitians, those pro-
moted from the ranks to be supplemented by others, graduates of
the newly established cadet school. In brief, under the treaty, the
peace of the Republic, the solvency of its Government, and the secu-
rity of its people have been established for the first time in many
WHAT MUST BE DONE.
Nevertheless your committee submits that the American people
will not consider their duty under the treaty discharged if, in addition
to what has been accomplished, there are not placed within the reach
of the Haitian masses, justice, schools, and agricultural instruction.
The treaty itself makes no provision to consummate these things,
necessary to be done for progress in Haiti. There ought to be ap-
pointed a legal advisor to the High Commissioner. It would be an
act of statesmanship and of comity on the part of our Government if it
would send to Haiti a commission comprising a commercial advisor,
an expert in tropical agriculture, and an educator of the standing
and special experience of Doctor Moton of Tuskegee. There ought
to be a survey of the need and opportunity for industrial and espe-
cially of agricultural instruction and development in a country which
depends upon agriculture as its sole source of wealth. Cuba is as
exclusively an agricultural country as Haiti. Like Haiti it pays for its
imports of manufactures by exports of tropical agricultural products.
The per capital foreign trade of Cuba is from twenty to twenty-five
times that of Haiti, and the per capital revenue greater in like propor-
tion. Obviously, with continued peace and order, with the further
building of highways and trails, with instruction in agriculture, the
wealth, trade, and the revenues of Haiti will increase very greatly.
Your committee submits that such an increase in wealth, commerce, and
revenue is necessary to the social and political progress of the Haitian
people. Although at this time a beginning may be made in the
establishment of elementary schools throughout the country, pri-
INQUIRY INTO HAITI AND DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.
mary education can not be made accessible to a majority of the chil-
dren unless the wealth and revenue of the Republic are very much in-
creased. As wealth and revenues increase, schools, trails, and highways
may be extended and as they are extended, in turn, the revenues will
be further enhanced and so enable the further development of the pub-
lic services. At the same time the buying power and the well-being
of the people will increase as under American guidance or control
they have so marvelously increased in Cuba and Porto Rico during the
last generation. It is for this reason that your committee attaches
importance to the dispatch of a commission such as suggested.
In this connection your committee believes it to be the duty of
the American government to advise the Haitian government against
permitting foreign interests to acquire great land holdings in Haiti.
Your committee would point out further that as communica-
tions are opened up and as the peasants are secure in their life
and their property, and as each is able to earn something regularly
from the sale of his little crop, the danger of revolution and banditry
will diminish. It will be possible progressively to reduce the force
of marines in the territory of the Republic and ultimately to intrust
the maintenance of order and peace exclusively to the gendarmes.
Your committee believes that a beginning in this direction may be
made without further delay and that a concentration of the marine
force may be begun and that the aggregate number of marines in the
territory of the Republic may be reduced. It holds, however, that
drastic reduction of the marine force, or its early withdrawal, would
certainly be followed by a recurrence of brigandage and by the organi-
zation of revolutionary bands. The committee urges further that in
connection with the concentration of the marine force in a limited
number of posts, steps should be taken to put an end to the system
of military law under which persons are tried in provost courts for
offenses by the press against public order, or for attacks upon the
military and peace forces within the Republic. These provost courts
to-day do not touch the lives of the overwhelming majority of the
people. It was doubtless necessary to establish such courts, but it is
not consonant with our declared purposes under the treaty to continue
them indefinitely. Their abolition is conditioned upon certain pre-
cedent steps, among them a reform of the courts of first instance.
This last is urgent and important. .
Along the lines suggested. t e *'arn F;La irpid development in
Haiti, moral, social, pqliti.c'a!,. and econiomic,:pi)vid'd. always that
American policy be mirnkQ l.b continuity and by thi .s'.iit.of service.
Not only have certa '.American officers and officials b~ed chosen
for service in Hdit'tU ho were urtaited to their.task, but..rn,en have
been transferreWil'fom resporsillts'W pts' efd.e':they could'veiy well
have learned'th.dauties to wlifch'they had been appointed. 'During
the six years of the American occupation in Haiti there have been
half a dozen chiefs of the Latin American Bureau, half a dozen com-
mandants of the forces of occupation, half a dozen commanders of
the Gendarmerie d'Haiti. The committee holds that the reforms pro-
posed (and heretofore informally suggested to responsible officials)
should be energetically carried out.
So much for an American policy of constructive service to be
rendered by American officials. On the part of Haitian officials
and the literate element of the Haitian people there must be
26 INQUIRY INTO HAITI AND DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.
cooperation with the American officials. Haitians must candidly
realize the meaning of the unhappy events of the last 20 years
and appreciate that in collaboration with America under the
treaty Haiti can develop the wealth necessary to progress, provide
for the general education of her people, and establish a more truly
representative system ef government than she has never known.
There are certain elements in Haiti which can balk and perhaps delay
the rehabilitation of the country. They can not prevent it. They
can do much to further it. The obvious duty of patriotic Haitians
is to uphold their own Government in effectively cooperating with
that of the United States under the treaty, and so hasten the day
when Haiti may stand alone.) The alternative to the course herein
suggested is the immediateW withdrawal of American support and
the abandonment of the Haitian people to chronic revolution,
anarchy, barbarism, and ruin.
Your committee deems it wise to defer
ican Republic in view of the negotiations, happily to begin between
the State Department and the Dominican leaders looking to the
termination of the military government in Santo Domingo.
TASKER L. ODDIE,
ANDRIEUS A. JONES.
,' o- ,,
a' 0 C E A N 0 A T T N T I C, o
SGOAV, Of E LDEOGAE -
,.. p. -. .., ... ,.. ....c s ..
,... Srojr ,' .
SMAR DBE AN TI LLA .....
4T-n RU SI, f l eS Clps. N .
MAP OF THR ISLAND OF HAMI, SHOWING THE TERRITORY OF DO INICAN REPUBLIC AND OF THE REPUBIJBLIC OF HAITI, AND THE EIGkOADS AND TRAIlS THRZ IN, ALL OF WHICH HAVE BEEN BUILT OR OPENED FOR TRAVEL DURING THE PERIO F AMERICAN OCCUPATION.
T Rpt. (l p. )
4[LITARY INTELLIGENCE DIVISION
8. Rept. .1B6, O7- (1%oe p. M.)
Arrears in agreed
Loan of 1910.......
Repairs to streets
of Port au Prince.
Interior debt, 1912..
Interior debt, 1913..
Interior debt, 1914
Loan of June 20,
Loan ofAug. 14,1914.
Lighting in Cape
Lighting of Port au
Wharf at Port au
Jetty at Jacmel.....
Import duties applied in guarantee of debts.
Duties on merchandise, in Wharfage, in American dol-
American dollars: 10 per lars: 10 per cent of surtax,
of surtax, except on du- except on duties collected
ties applied to repairing at Port de Paix and Port
of streets in Port au an Prince.
Duties on merchandise, in Wharfage, in American dol-
American dollars: 15 per lars: 15 per cent of surtax.
Duties on following articles, Duties on merchandise, in
in gourdes: Oils, all kinds American dollars: 25 per
of essences, coal tar, tar, cent of surtax on the du-
matches, rosin, paints; ties enumerated in first
including additional du- column.
ties of 50 per cent and 331
per cent on merchandise.
Supplementary duties on .............. ..........
tobacco: 50.02 per pound
Duties on merchandise, in Wharfage, in American dol-
American dollars: 5 per lars: 5 per cent of surtax,
cent of surtax, except on except on duties collected
duties applied to repair- at Port de Paix and Port
ing of streets in Port au au Prince.
Duties on merchandise, in Wharfage, in American dol-
American dollars: 5 per lars: 5 per cent of surtax,
cent of surtax, except on cept on duties collected
duties applied to repair- at Port de Paix and Port
ing of streets in Port au au Prince.
Duties on merchandise, in Wharfage, in American dol-
American dollars: 5 per lars: 5 per cent of surtax.
cent of surtax.
Supplementary duties on ........................
tobacco: $0.03 per pound
imported; $0.08 per pound
Duties on merchandise, in Wharfage, in American dol-
American dollars: 5 per lars: 5 per cent of surtax,
cent of surtax, except on except on duties collected
duties applied torenairing at Port de Paix and Port
ofstreets nPortau Prince, au Prince, when this nor-
when this portion of the tion of the surtax will be
surtax is available, available.
Tonnage duties at Cape 25 per cent surtax on fore-
Haitian, including addi- going duties.
tional duties on tonnage of
50 per cent and 331 per
Tonnage duties at Gonaives, .....do..................
including additional ton-
nage duties of 50 per cent
and 331 per cent.
Tonnage duties at Port au .....do....................
Prince, including addi-
tional duties on tonnage of
50 per cent and 331 per
Wharfage duties, in gourdes, .....do...................
at Port au Prince, includ-
ing additional wharfage
duties of 50 per cent and
331 ner cent.
Wharfage duties, in gourdes, Tonnage duties at Jacmel,
at Jacmel, including addi- including additional ton-
tional wharfage duties of nage duties of 50 per cent
50 per cent and 331 per and 331 per cent.
Tonnage: 10 per cent
of surtax, except on
duties collected at
Cape Haitien, Go-
naives, Port au
Tonnage: 15 per cent
Tonnage: 5 per cent
of surtax, except on
duties collected at
Cape Haitien, Go-
naives, Port au
Tonnage: 5 per cent
of surtax, except on
duties collected at
Cape Haitien, Go-
naives, Port au
Tonnage: 5 per cent
Tonnage: 5 per cent of
surtax, excent on
duties collected at
Cane Haitien, Go-
naives, Port au
Surplus of duties ap-
plied to lighting of
Cape Haitien and
Port au Prince, after
settlements as pel
28 INQUIRY INTO HAITI AND DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.
Export duties applied in guarantee of debts.
Debt. Export duty. Amount.'
Loan of 1875.......... )uties on coffee, per 100 pounds exported......................... $0. 33
Loan of 186........ ... ...do ......................................................... 1.20
Loan of 1910........................ ................................................ 1.00
Loan of Aug. 14, 1914.. ...do....... .................................................. .05
Repairs to streets of or ....do.2......................................................... .03
Duties on sorted coffee, per 100 pounds exported 8................... .35
Irrigation of Cayesplain Duties on coffee, per 100 pounds exported.......................... .10
Cable company subsidy ....do.............................. ...................... .05
Market and repairs to .....do............................................................. .05
streets of Cayes.
Cathedral at Cape Hai- Duties on sorted coffee, per 100 pounds exported ................... .15
Fouchard debt.......... Duties on cao, per 100 pounds exported........................... 1.10
Duties on logwood, per 1,000 pounds exported..................... .50
Railroad, Plain Cul de 20 per cent duties on cacao and logwood:
Sac. Cacao.... ................................................... .45
Cie. National de Duty on logwoods per l,000 pounds exported ....................... .75
Chemns de fer Haiti.
Do.................. Duties on mahogany, including additional duties rerl,CCO feet ..... '3.00
Do................ Duties on cedar per 1,000 pounds:
Do.................. Duties on gaiac (lignum vitae) per 1,000 pounds:
Wharf at PortauPrince Wharfage duties at Port au Prince.... ..................... .....
Jetty at Jareel ........ Wharfage duties at Jacmel................. ............. ..........
1 In American currency.
2 To the extent eventually of not less than the monthly allowance of $7,000 minimum guaranteed by
I Moniteur 73, dated Sept. 10, 1910: Beginning with the period 1915-16, $9.35 on sorted coffee, and $3.03
on ordinary coffee, which duties are applied to the repair of streets in Port au Prince, will be replaced,
to the extent of the sum guaranteed monthly, by the $0.10 on coffee now applied to the irrigation of the
Cayes plain, as soon as this duty is available.
4 To the extent of $41.280.
5 On logwood originatingat pointsin theinterior 20 kilometers from eithersideofthe railroad, and which,
by means of the railroad, may be brought to a seaport: the excess over 20 per cent of duties on cacao and
logwood aDplied to the P. C. S. will be employed for this application.
Plus 20 per cent and 10 per cent additional.
The export tax on coffee is $3 per 100 pounds. This tax produces approximately one-third of the total
income of the Haitian Government, and is apportioned as follows: I
Pledged to the service of the externalloans................................................... 2.53M
Pledged to the service of theinternalloans................................................. .. .05
Subsidies and loansfor loralimprov'ement.................................................... .23
Remaining to the Government of Haiti for current expenses....................................18I
Therefore- Per ent.
Pledged tothe debts ofthe country................................................................. 93.8
Free for current expenses............................................................................ 6.2
Reduction of debt of the Republic of Haiti from Feb. 28, 1919, to Feb. 28, 1922.
[Expressed in francs.]
Foreign debt of Republic of Haiti as of February 28, 1919:
Loan of 1875:
Capital....................................... 19, 252, 560.00
Interest arrears ............................... 3,529, 636.00
Loan of 1896:
Capital....................................... 37. 638, 500.00
Interest arrears ............................... 8,280,470.00
45, 918, 970. 00
Loan of 1910:
Interest arrears ............................... 11.641,858. 54
75, 662, 858. 54
144, 364, 024. 54
I The tax on coTee herein menti:ied does not in-lude the tax ofS2.50 on sorted coffee, which produces
INQUIRY INTO HAITI AND DOMINICAN REPUBLIC. 29
Against these foreign loans, the following payments had been made up to February
Loan of 1875:
Capital, paid in full........................................... $19,252,560.00
Deferred interest, due Feb. 28, 1919............................ 3,529,636.00
Loan of 1896:
Deferred interest, due Feb. 28, 1919... ........................ 8, 280, 470.00
Loan of 1910:
Capital...................................................... 2, 926, 500. 00
Deferred interest, due Feb. 28, 1919....... .................. 11, 641, 858.54
S56, 931, 024. 54
From February 28, 1919, to February 28, 1922, the internal debts of the Republic
of Haiti had increased $887,339.47, although the amount of $493,910.13 had been
paid against them, which latter amount was made up as follows:
Cie. Haitien de Construction.......................................... $165, 600.00
P. C. S. Railroad..................................................... 75,000.00
Wharf company.................................................. 28,000.00
Interest on bank loan (note)............ ......................... 225, 310.13
Therefore, the net reduction in the entire indebtedness is $5,992,739.43, less
$887,339.47, which leaves $5,105,399.96.
Method of collection of customs duties.
COLLECTED ON MER-
In gourdes: Duties .................... Wharfage (as per Weighing (as per
on merchandise (as tariff) plus addi- tariff) plus addi-
per tariff) plus ad- tionals of 50 per tionals of 50 per
ditionals of 50 per cent and 33J per cent and 33j per
cent and 331 per cent. cent.
In American dollars: Tobacco: Special Plus 25 per cent, 15 Plus 25 per cent, Vis6 on coined
On merchandise- duties in addi- per cent, and 5 15 per cent, and specie, 1 per cent
Surtax on total in tion to that in per cent, surtaxes 5 per cent, sur- ofthe value.
gourdes vised on gourdes, as per ontotalingourdes taxes ontotalin
amount of invoice, tariff, addition- gourdes.
25 per cent, 15 per alsandsurtaxes,
cent, 5 per cent, 1 $0.03 and $0.10
percent. per pound im-
COLLECTED FROM THE
In gourdes: Light- .................... Entry pilot asperr Sanitary inspee-
house(aspertariff) tanff) plus addi- tion (as per
plus additional of tionals of 50 per tariff)plusaddi-
50 per cent and 331 cent and 331 per tionals of 50 per
percent. cent. and33 percent.
In American dollars: .................. 25 per cent, 15 per 25 per cent, 15 per Tonnage, $1 per
Lookout, 25 per cent, 5 per cent cent, 5 per cent ton unloaded-
cent, 15 per cent, 5 surtaxes on total surtaxes ontotal plus additional
per cent surtaxes in gourdes. in gourdes. of 50percentand
ontotalingourdes. 33J per cent.
Converted at 9.5 francs per $1, equals $5,992,739.43.
30 INQUIRY INTO HAITI AND DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.
Method of collection of customs duties-Continued.
Sorted coffee. $2.50 per 100
Cedar: Logs, tl; butts, $1.50,
per 1,000 pounds.
Cacao, $1.75 per 100 pounds,
plus 20 per cent and 10 per
Gaiac: Logs, $1; butts, $1.50,
per 1,000 pounds.
Wharfage (as per tariff)..........................
COLLECTED ON MER-
In American dol-
Coffee, $3 per
$1.50 per 1,000
Exit pilot (as
20 per cent-
and 10 per
Mahogany, $3 per 1,000
feet, plus 20 per cent
and 10 per cent ad-
Various other com-
modities (as per tar-
Tax for putting into port (as
per tariff) plus 20 per cent
and 10 per cent addition-
LETTER FROM HON. ROBERT LANSING, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE, TO THE CHAIR-
MAN OF THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON HAITI AND THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.
WASHINGTON, D. C., May 4, 1922.
Hon. MEDILL MCCORMICK,
Chairman Select Committee on Haiti and Santo Domingo,
Senate Chamber, Washington, D.' C.
MY DEAR SENATOR: Complying with your request for a statement from me regard-
ing Haiti, I beg to submit the following as embodying the contemporary views of the y
State Department on the financial and political disorders in Haiti, which caused a
critical state of affairs during the last days of July, 1915, and on the attitude of the
German Government toward Haiti, because largely upon those two considerations
were based the instructions of the State Department to the United States Legation in
Haiti and, through the Navy Department, to the United States naval commander in
Haitian waters. The events to which I shall refer in this statement were succeeded
by the ratification of the present treaty between the United States and Haiti, which
had for its objects the insurance of Haiti's future welfare upon a permanent basis of
law and order and the prevention of foreign interventionin the future based on political -
and financial disorders in Haiti.
On July 30, 1915, the U. S. S. Connecticut came into the harbor of Port au Prince
just as President Guillaume Sam was being murdered and his body mutilated by an
infuriated mob. This was an act of vengeance for the massacre of some scores of
prisoners in the prison at Port au Prince who were political opponents of Guillaume
Sam's government. The crowds attending the funeral processions of these victims of
tyranny turned from them in a frenzy, dragged Guillaume Sam from the asylum which
he had sought in the French Legation, killed him, dismembered his body, and paraded
through the streets exhibiting the ghastly fragments. Revolutionary forces were at
the time in possession of other principal ports of the country and threatened to attack
the city of Port au Prince. There was no government to preserve order in the city or
in the country. On the contrary, there was anarchy and armed insurrection. Uni-
versal fear prevailed, while the lives of Haitians and foreigners alike were imperiled
by the conditions which existed. The violation of the extraterritoriality of the French
Legation indicated the ruthless lawlessness of the revolutionaries. In the circum-
stances the forces of the United States were landed as a matter of urgent necessity.
The murders and atrocities perpetrated marked the complete breakdown of Haitian
institutions, the culmination of a process of disintegration which had been in progress
for a generation or more. It was evident from the state of affairs that there remained
no possibility of a civilized government functioning without external assistance.
The limit of tolerance for such conditions, which menaced the lives and property of
Americans and other foreigners, was finally reached when the French Legation was
violated. The restoration of order and government in Haiti was as clearly the duty
of the Government of the United States as was the landing of the marines. If the
United States had not assumed the responsibility, some other power would. To
permit such action by a European power would have been to abandon the principles
of the Monroe doctrine. The United States had no alternative but to act, and to act
The process of disintegration above referred to is a matter of common knowledge.
It is enough to say that none of the many Haitian Governments immediately pre-
ceding that of Guillaume Sam was able to maintain itself against revolution. Those
persons who were from time to time in power were irresponsible and arbitrary. The
inhabitants were exploits ere eoed and robbed. So insecure were they in their possessions
and so frequently in danger of their lives that industry throughout the country was
paralyzed. Foreign lives were not taken, but there was such recurrent apprehension
of violence that few years passed without the necessity of United States ships appear-
ing in Haitian waters. Cruisers of foreign powers often came on similar errands, and
on occasions European sailors or marines had been landed. These conditions had
become chronic, and they had, year after year, grown progressively worse. In June
of 1915 a French cruiser had landed a force at Cape Haitien, and these were only
32 INQUIRY INTO HAITI AND DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.
withdrawn when American marines were landed to take their place. After the
invasion of the French Legation France dispatched a cruiser to Port au Prince and
landed a force, which guarded the legation for several weeks without objection on
the part of the United States Government. It was manifest that the danger to foreign
lives in Haiti, which was constantly increasing, made the possibility of European
, intervention more and more probable unless the United States acted.
A default in payments to European creditors presented another danger. Haitian
foreign loans were held by Germans, French, and English, but not to any great extent
v by Americans. The foreign loans were secured by the customs revenues-thus a de-
fault would have given rise to the desire on the part of European Governments to
seize the Haitian customhouses and administer the customs-a situation which. being
of indefinite duration, would have caused serious political complications and been a
grave menace to the peace of this hemisphere and to the immunity from European
interference with American institutions. The finances of Haiti had been growing
steadily weaker, and the a'ilitv to meet her obligations had ceased. Interest on the
public debt of about $20,000,000 had been paid with creditable regularity, but it had
become necessary to borrow from the National Bank of Haiti and to make local forced
loans elsewhere in order to meet these interest payments, and the limit of the ability
to borrow had been reached. Amortization of foreign loans were many years in arrears.
Revolutions had greatly increased the internal and floating debt. Fiat paper money
was being issued but not used and payment of salaries of public employees was sus-
pended. For this state of affairs no temporary remedy could suffice. This financial
situation need hardly be treated here in greater detail.
In this connection, however, there was a more critical state of affairs than has been
generally known. I refer to the attitude of the Imperial German Government in con-
nection with the political disorders and financial traits of Haiti and the pretexts "for
aggression thereby afforded. There was good reason to believe that in the years
, 1913-14 Germany was ready to go to great lengths to secure the exclusive customs
control of Haiti, and also to secure a coaling station at Mole St. Nicholas. It is this
feature that I would particularly call to the attention of your committee.
The United States had no wish to obtain a naval coaling station at Mole St. Nicholas.
The Navy Department had long since definitely determined that a station there was
not desirable, but it was also perfectly clear that a coaling station directly or indirectly
a controlled by another power would be a menace to the position of the United States in
the Caribbean Sea, to the security of the Panama Canal and, consequently, to the peace
of this hemisphere. A privately owned coaling station, whether in the hands of
Americans or Europeans, would have been a danger if ever a coal supply was allowed
to accumulate there greater than necessary for current commercial needs. In case of
war the station and coal stored there would have been subject to capture. In view of
the possible consequences the policy of the United States was clear. It could not look
with favor on a privately owned coaling station at Mole St. Nicholas unless that was
subject to its direct control. Though it did not need and it did not want such a station
for itself, it could not permit a European Government to secure one. The indications
were that Germany intended to obtain one unless she was prevented from doing so by
the United States.
Although French is the official language of Haiti and French customs prevail as
well as the practice of sending the children of wealthy Haitian families to France for
their education there has been, for many years, a strong German influence in the
country resulting primarily from the establishment of German commercial houses at
Haitian ports and the sending of young Germans to gain their livelihood in those con-
cerns. A considerable number of these German residents have intermarried, so I
have been informed, with the Haitians and are closely connected with and more or
less active in the political and social life of the country.
During a number of years the Government at Washington was in receipt of various
reports to the effect that foreign interests were desirous of obtaining coaling stations
at Mole St. Nicholas, and in the year 1911 the Haitian Government at the insistence
of the then American minister eliminated from a contract with a German national for
a coastwise steamship service the granting of rights for a coaling station in Haiti.
In the year 1912 Hon. George von L. Meyer, then Secretary of the Navy, in reply to
a communication from the Department of State in regard to the establishment of a
coaling depot in Haiti for the steamship line of a foreign country, replied, referring
to a communication made by the Navy Department to the State Department in 1910,
to the effect that the Navy Department did not look with favor upon any proposition
to establish so many coaling stations within such a limited geographical radius and
could not contemplate favorably the prospect of having such stations in the hands of
citizens of any of the European nations. The establishment of such stations would
INQUIRY INTO HAITI AND DOMINICAN REPUBLIC. 33
actually amount to the maintenance of a very considerable number of coaling stations
close to our shores, which could be used by foreign vessels of war in the event of
hostilities, and this, the Navy Department believed, should be prevented, if it were
in the power of diplomacy to do so.
In the year 1913, and particularly in the year 1914, information was conveyed to the
Department of State, through official and unofficial sources, to the effect that a German
commercial firm was active in an attempt to secure extensive concessions from Haiti
containing grants sufficiently broad to permit the building of coaling stations at Mole
St. Nicholas, the concessions to be combined with a loan secured by control of the
Haitian customs by the concessionaire. It was further stated that the German Gov-
ernment was back of the German commercial firm making the proposal.
On June 1, 1914, the American minister at Port au Prince reported to the Depart-
ment of State that he was reliably informed that the Haitian Government would enter-
tain a proposition to lease to the United States Mole St. Nicholas on the basis of a cash
payment and a yearly rental. It was further stated that the Government of Haiti
would most probably require, as an essential provision of such lease, that the United
States should pledge itself not to interfere now or at any future time with the collection
or administration of the customs of Haiti and would agree to afford protection to Haiti
against any other nation or nations which might attempt to secure control of the
customs. The minister concluded his telegram with the statement that the German
cruiser Marietta had arrived the day before at Port au Prince.
As the United States was not interested in obtaining a lease of Mole St. Nicholas, no
reply was sent to the minister's telegram.
Meanwhile, during the late winter and spring of 1914, financial conditions in Haiti,
as a result of the political chaos existing, had been rapidly becoming more and more
involved and foreign interests were increasingly anxious to obtain some form of guar-
anty from Haiti that that Government would continue to respect its obligations.
As in most cases of this nature, suggestions were made relative to the collection and
control of the Haitian customs by foreign nationals representing the foreign debtor
interests. The foreign interests referred to were the holders of shares in the National
Railroad of Haiti and in the National Bank of Haiti, and also the holders of the bonds
representing the Haitian external debt. It was also obvious that those interested in
the National Bank, which was controlled by French shareholders, were deeply con-
cerned as to the ability of the Haitian Government to continue its existing financial
policy on account of its outstanding loans.
Although various plans were discussed in the Department of State, which had as
their object the aiding of Haiti and at the same time the protection of the interests of
its creditors by means of a regulation of customs collections and their application,
no agreement was reached between the Government of the United States and the Gov-
ernment of Haiti. However, under date of July 15, 1914, two weeks before the begin-
ning of the World War, the American consul at Cape Haitien informed the department
confidentially that he had learned from reliable source that the German minister at
Port au Prince had telegraphed the German consul at Cape Haitien asking whether
an American warship had landed its forces and taken possession of the customhouse.
On July 18, 1914, Mr. von Haniel, the charge d'affaires of the Imperial German
Government, spoke with the Third Assistant Secretary of State, Mr. Phillips, in
relation to Haitian affairs, and on July 21 Mr. Phillips requested Mr. von Haniel to
submit to him a written memorandum of the views of his Government which he had
orally expressed. On July 25 Mr. von Haniel wrote to Mr. Phillips:
"MY DEAR MR. PHILLIPs: In reply to your favor of the 21st instant and with refer
ence to our conversation of the 18th instant concerning the participation of the Impe
rial Government in a customs control in Haiti, in case such a control would be estal-
lished by the American Government, I beg to say that my Government comprehends
that the American Government, probably for reasons of interior politics, does not
think it desirable, if the most interested European powers participate in an eventual
customs control in Haiti, but the Imperial Government as well has to take into account
the public opinion in their country. Considering our economical interests in Haiti
and the part of the Banque Nationale which is owned by Germans, people in Germany
would not understand, if my Government gave up their claim to participate in such a
customs control. In the opinion of the Imperial Government therefore it will be the
simplest solution if the status quo is maintained.
"I remain, my dear Mr. Phillips,
"Very sincerely yours,
"E. v. HANIEL."
S. Rept 794, 67-2--3
34 INQUIRY INTO HAITI AND DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.
Shortly following the delivery of the note of the German charge d'affaires war
broke out between Germany and France, and the communication was not replied to
until September 16, 1914, when the then Secretary of State, Mr. Bryan, wrote the
following note to the German ambassador, Count von Bernstorff:
"MY DEAR MR. AMBASSADOR: Replying to the note of your Government's charge
dated July 15, 1914, regarding the matter of customs control in Haiti, I beg to say
that the Government of the United States recognizes the large part which German
merchants and German bankers have played in the development of the trade and
enterprise of Haiti and wishes to make this correspondence the occasion for expressing
the pleasure with which it witnesses the employment of German capital and the
activity of German men of affairs in this hemisphere, but represents to the Govern-
ment of his Imperial Majesty that German interests are not the only interests which
have played a conspicuous and highly influential part in the development of the
Haitian Republic and that the Government of the United States is well known to
have taken for many years and without variation of policy and position that neither
foreign influence nor interest proceeding from outside the American hemisphere could
with the consent of the United States be so broadened or extended as to constitute
a control, either wholly or in part, of the Government or administration of any inde-
pendent American State.
"The Government of the United States can not depart from that policy and feels
confident that the Government of his Imperial Majesty will not expect it to do so.
"Probably a participation of the Government of his Imperial Majesty in any method
which might be agreed upon by which the Government of the Republic of Haiti
should be assisted in the orderly, efficient, and economical administration of its cus-
toms revenues did not present itself to his Imperial Majesty's Government as a
departure from the traditional policy of the Government of the United States when
its note of July 25 was drafted. But this Government would regard such a partici-
pation as a very serious departure from that policy alike in principle and in practice.
The Government of the United States regards it as one of the grave possibilities of
certain sorts of concessions granted by governments in America to European financiers
and contractors and of certain sorts of contracts entered into by those governments
with European banking houses and financiers that the legitimate and natural course
of enforcing claims might lead to measures which would imperil the political inde-
pendence, or, at least, the complete political autonomy of the American States
involved, and might issue in results which the Government of the United States has
always regarded it as its duty to guard against as the nearest friend and natural cham-
pion of those States whenever they should need a friend and champion.
"Whatever the Government of the United States might deem it friendly and
wise to agree to with the Government of the Republic of Haiti by way of assisting
her to make good her obligations and escape the risks of default or disorder to her
finances would be done without intending to serve the interest of any citizen of the
United States in preference to the interest of the citizens or government of any other
country. It would be planned for the benefit of all concerned and upon a basis of
absolute neutrality. This Government does not regard its insistence upon an exclu-
sive privilege in matters of this kind, therefore, as a course dictated by selfishness,
but, on the contrary, as a course clearly dictated by a desire for peace and the exclu-
sion of all occasion of unfriendliness with any nation of the other hemisphere. It
is willing to give any pledges of disinterest and impartiality that may reasonably
suggest themselves, but thinks that its best pledge is the course which it has, in
fact, invariably pursued in matters and in circumstances of this kind. Its declared
purpose in this case, should the Republic of Haiti desire a convention with regard
to the administration of her customs revenues, would, as always, be made frankly and
without reservation of any kind, and this it would deem the best evidence of its
friendship and respect for the Government of Germany and the rights of German
citizens wherever American influence may touch them. This is the way of peace and
of mutual accommodation.
"Accept, Excellency, the renewed assurances of my highest consideration.
"W. J. BRYAN."
On the eve of the declaration of war between Germany and Russia the U. S. S.
Connecticut and the German cruiser Karlsrhue were both in the harbor of Port au
Prince. On July 31,1914, the Karlsrhue changed her position in order to screen the
movements of her crew and a number of boatloads of German sailors with small arms
and machine guns left the Karlsrhue and proceeded to the wharf where they landed.
When halfway down the wharf the Germans turned about, returned to their boats,
and went back to their ship. This mysterious action took place at dusk. Shortly
INQUIRY INTO HAITI AND DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.
afterwards the captain of the Karlsrhue came aboard the Connecticut and told the
captain he had received orders to proceed to St. Thomas for coal and asked the cap-
tain of the Connecticut to protect German interests while he was gone. The Karlsrhue
then steamed out of the harbor to begin her commerce-destroying cruise. Shortly
afterwards the captain of the Connecticut was informed by wireless that war between
Russia and Germany had been declared.
There is reason to believe that the German landing party was turned back on the
wharf by the German minister to Haiti pursuant to cabled orders for the Karlsrhue
to leave Port au Prince at once. Thus the local situation was, by the outbreak of
war, relieved of a conflict of interests, which might have caused serious embarrass-
In the month of July, 1914, the Secretary of State sent a draft of a proposed agree-
ment between the Government of the United States and the Government of Haiti
to the American minister at Port au Prince. This agreement, which was modeled
after the treaty entered into between the United States and the Dominican Republic
during the administration of President Roosevelt, embodied the following provisions:
The appointment of a general receiver of customs and his assistants by the Presi-
dent of the United States; the payment of customs duties to the general receiver,
and granting him all protection nthe performance of his duties; the appointment of
the financial adviser to the Government of Haiti: the application of all sums collected
to the payment of interest and sinking fund of the public debt of Haiti. That the
Republic of Haiti would not increase its public debt, except by previous agreement
with the United States. That the United States should have authority to prevent
any and all interference with the receipt, collection, or free course of the customs,
or with the free exercise of powers imposed upon the receivership.
However, a short time after the receipt of the proposed agreement by the minister
a revolution broke out against the government of President Zamor, which, as usual
in Haiti, started at Cape Haitien in the north and proceeded to Port au Prince via
the town of St. Mark. It is interesting to observe in connection with the history
of revolutions in Haiti that they have uniformly been conceived in or about Cape
Haitien and have proceeded along practically the same roads in the direction of the
capital, namely, by way of the strategic town of St. Mark. It has been the estab-
lished belief of most Americans who have been in Haiti, and of American officials
who have been cognizant of Haitian affairs during the past decade, that the majority
of these revolutions have been financed in the north of Haiti by German merchants,
who could expect sufficient financial advantages from the success of the revolution to
warrant the initial outlay.
The revolution against the Zamor government was successful, and Davilmar Theo-
dore proclaimed himself President of Haiti. The Government of the United States
withheld its recognition of Theodore as President of Haiti pending an investigation
of his activities and the incidents in connection with his seizure of the sovereign
power. Before any definite policy in this connection was determined a revolution
against the Theodore government was started in the usual manner and culminated in
the overthrow of Davilmar Theodore and the assumption of the presidency by Guil-
laume Sam. The United States, consistent with its policy in regard to the recognition
of revolutionary governments, refused to recognize the government of Sam, and not
long after Sam had installed himself in the presidential palace another revolution,
headed by one Doctor Bobo, broke out in the north. The resulting conditions alarmed
the French minister, and in June, 1915, a French cruiser occupied Cape Haitien with
a landing party, as has already been stated. Before the revolutionary forces had
actually reached Port au Prince, the massacre of political prisoners above referred to
had taken place and Sam had been butchered.
During the terms of office of these Presidents various attempts were made on the
part of the Government of the United. States through special missions and through
the minister in Port au Prince to obtain from these provisional governments an agree-
ment as to the entrance into some form of convention between the United States
and Haiti. The essential provisions of these conventions were, like the Dominican
treaty, the guaranty by the United States of Haitian independence and of the stability
of the Haitian Government, and the privilege of the United States minister to advise
the Haitian Government in its selection of Haitian citizens as officials of the Haitian
customs service, as the customs revenue was a prize which attracted revolutionists
and their financial supporters.
On account of the state of the country during this period, in which violence and
anarchy were rife, the overtures made by the United States, solely out of a sincere
desire to aid the Haitian people to establish an orderly and law-enforcing Govern-
ment, which would restore stable political and economic conditions in the island,
36 INQUIRY INTO HAITI AND DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.
Admiral Caperton, of the United States Navy, who had arrived with his flagship
in Port au Pnnce on the day of the assassination of Sam, landed a naval force of the
United States and assumed military control of Port au Prince on July 30, 1915. The
admiral and the American charge immediately took steps to cooperate with the
Haitian committee of safety for the protection of life and property in the city and
Various aspirants for election by the Assembly of Haiti for President presented
themselves, among whom the most notable were Dr. Bobo and Senator Dartiguenave.
The American representatives, under direction of the Government of the United
States, discussed with these candidates and with members of the Haitian Congress
the conditions upon which the United States would recognize a Government in Haiti.
These conditions were as follows:
"First. Let Congress understand that the Government of the United States intends
to uphold it, but that it can not recognize action which does not establish in charge
of Haitian affairs those whose abilities and dispositions give assurances of putting an
end to factional disorder.
"Second. In order that no misunderstanding can possibly occur after election, it
should be made perfectly clear to candidates, as soon as possible and in advance of
their election, that the United States expects to be intrusted'with the practical con-
trol of the customs and such financial control over the affairs of the Republic of Haiti
as the United States may deem necessary for efficient administration.
"The Government of the United States considers it its duty to support a consti-
tutional government. It means to assist in the establishment of such a government
and to support it as long as necessity may require. It has no design upon the political
or territorial integrity of Haiti. On the contrary, what has been done, as well as
what will be done, is conceived in an effort to aid the people of Haiti in establishing
a stable government and maintaining domestic peace throughout the Republic."
Congress elected Senator Dartiguenave President on August L2.
On August 14 the Department of State dispatched to the legation at Port au Prince
instructions embodying the terms of a treaty to be negotiated, if possible, with the
Government of Haiti.
On August 17 the charge d'affaires of the United States, complying with the instruc-
tions received from the department, submitted to President Dartiguenave a draft of
the proposed treaty. Negotiations with President Dartiguenave then proceeded.
The President expressed his approval of the terms of the treaty, but for a month was
unable to secure agreement on the part of his cabinet.
On September 15 the charge d'affaires at Port au Prince reported to the department
by telegraph that the Haitian Government had forwarded to the legation a copy of
a formal protest addressed to it by the German minister, in which he stated that the
American occupation and management of customs would be prejudicial to German
interests. To this telegram the department replied that it would seem desirable that
the Haitian Government should reply to the German minister to the effect that
legitimate German interests would be accorded the same equitable azid impartial
treatment as would be given to all foreigners and foreign interests in Haiti.
On September 16 the treaty was signed, and on February 28, 1916, it was ratified
by the Senate of the United States without a dissenting vote and without an amend-
ment being offered. The principal provisions of this treaty were the guaranteeing of
Sthe independence of Haiti, the establishment of a native gendarmerie, the appoint-
ment of an American financial adviser, and the administration of the customs service
It is especially to be noted in connection with those provisions of the treaty that
the Government of the United States, although it had received a proposal from Haiti
to cede to the United States outright without restriction Mole St. Nicholas. declined
to insert such a provision in the treaty and insisted upon the inclusion in the treaty
of an article expressly embodying the idea that no Haitian territory was to be ceded
On September 17 President Dartiguenave's Government was accorded recognition
by the United States.
The situation which confronted the representatives of the American civil and
military forces in Haiti after the revolution, and prior to the recognition of the Darti-
guenave Government, was briefly as follows:
The customhouses throughout the country had been disorganized by an order of
the preceding Government which directed the deposit of funds with private firms
instead of with the Banque Nationale, the legal depositary, and also by the threatened
seizure of the customhouses by armed insurrectionary groups. The government of
INQUIRY INTO HAITI AND DOMINICAN REPUBLIC. 37
President Dartiguenave had not funds available to pay the small number of troops
under its orders and these dissatisfied troops were becoming a menace to peace and
order. The inhabitants of towns in which customhouses were situated were deprived
of their food supply by the hostile armed bands which infested the highways, and
even the water system of Cape Haitien was cut by these brigands. Commerce was
paralyzed and the city populations were starving, for the authority of the Dartiguenave
Government did not extend far beyond the outskirts of Port au Prince.
On August 19, in view of the serious conditions existing, which had been reported
to the Government at Washington, Admiral Caperton received instructions to admin-
ister the customhouses so that the proceeds therefrom might be used temporarily to
provide sustenance for the starving natives by paying them for labor on public works,
to establish a gendarmerie to aid the Dartiguenave Government in the pacification
of the country, and also to prevent the diversion of the public funds of the Haitian
Government into the pockets of unscrupulous persons.
The customhouses were taken over between August 20 and Septembe; 2 as rapidly
as the American squadron commander could place in charge of them American officers
as administrators, and could furnish them adequate protection. The customhouse
at Port au Prince was the last to be taken over on September 2. On September 3 the
prevailing conditions of anarchy called for the proclamation of martial law. There-
after, until the treaty was ratified by both countries, the customs were administered
by the naval forces of the United States. After ratification the customhouses were
taken over by the receiver general, a treaty official.
In October, 1915, attacks were made on parties of United States marines near
Cape Haitien, and thereafter a sharp campaign was carried on against the lawless
bands operating in the Republic which resulted in the restoration of order through-
out the country. Many hundreds of the outlaws surrendered their arms, receiving
a small sum for each rfle, and those who did not surrender were dispersed. With
the restoration of order and the coming into effect of the treaty this period of the
American occupation came to a close.
As may be concluded from the foregoing review of the circumstances leading up
to the establishment of treaty relations between the United States and Haiti, the
Government of the United States was animated by two dominating ideas:
1. To terminate the appalling conditions of anarchy, savagery, and oppression
which had been prevalent in Haiti for decades, and to undertake the establishment
of domestic peace in the Republic in order that the great bulk of the population, who
had been downtrodden by dictators and the innocent victims of repeated revolutions,
should enjoy a prosperity and an economic and industrial development to which
every people of an American nation are entitled.
2. A desire to forestall any attempt by a foreign power to obtain a foothold on the
territory of an American nation which, if a seizure of customs control by such a power
had occurred, or if a grant of a coaling station or naval base had been obtained, would
have most certainly been a menace to the peace of the Western Hemisphere, and in
flagrant defiance of the Monroe Doctrine.
Very sincerely yours,