George Washington Crichfield.

American supremacy; the rise and progress of the Latin American republics and their relations to the United States under the Monroe doctrine online

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Secretary of State of this kind. What was Mr. 01ney*s idea, — to
let the Haitian authorities lock the man up, or put him as a stowaway
in some cattle-ship and send him to Australia or China ?

Mr. Olney's letter of February 18, 1896, to Mr. Smythe is another
good sample of the hectoring tyro, who knows little more about the
inhabitants of Latin America than he does about those of the moons
of Jupiter, if they have any :

"I have received your No. 180 of the Sd instant, reporting that on the
previous day one Dahlgren Lindor, a political refugee, had resorted to your
legation for protection, that you had notified the Haitian foreign office, and
requested the 'usual courtesy' to be allowed to place him on an outgoing
vessel. In reply I have to say that this government's uniform and emphatic
discouragement of the practice of political asylum has been made known to
your legation by repeated instructions. No right to protect such persons,
by harboring them, or withdrawing them from the territorial jurisdiction of
their sovereign, is or can be claimed on behalf of the diplomatic agencies of
this government It was proper for you to notify the foreign office of the fact



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of Mr. Dahlgren Lindor's uninvited lesort to your legation, but your request
for the 'usual courtesy' to permit you to place him on board some cutting
vessel is not understood. If the departure of this or any other Haitian subject
is voluntarily permitted by his government, no propriety in your intervention
to put him on board an outgoing vessel is discernible. If the Haitian govern-
ment should exercise its evident right to refuse you such permission, you
would be placed in a wholly indefensible position. The 'usual courtesy' of
which you speak appears to be only another name for the practice of that
form <^ alien protection of the citizens or subjects of the State which this
government condemns. Whatever the result of your request, you should at
once notify Mr. Dahlgren Lindor that you can no longer extend to him your
personal hospitality. You can most certainly, under your standing instruc-
tions, accord him nothing more."

Without commenting on the unnecessarily discourteous character
of Mr. Oloey's language, the instructions themselves are absurd and
nonsensical when applied to a country like Haiti. A man is pursued
because of suspected enmity to the government; if caught, he is shot
on the spot ; his only hope of saving his life is to seek refuge in some
foreign legation, and Mr. Olney comes along and shouts, "Turn him
out." A man who has brains enough to be Secretary of State ought
to know that our legation in a country like Haiti must conform in some
measure to the practices of other legations; that thousands of lives
have been saved that otherwise would have been sacrificed in a bar-
barous manner by merely affording temporary asylum in the lega-
tions; that men seek asylum to-day who are to-morrow running the
government; that, again, other men who have been in power and who
are now overthrown escape a murderous mob by flying to the lega-
tions of France, Germany, England, or the United States. Usuidly,
when passions have time to cool, Uie avengers find that, after all,
they reaUy did not want to kill the persons they were pursuing. A
few days in the legation helps to make things quiet.

Mr. Powell, for instance, in reporting a forcible entry of his lega-
tion made by the Haitian authorities on August 2, 1899, which he
promptly and sternly rebuked, demanding the instantaneous return
of the fugitive arrested, said : "Arrests have been made by the whole-
sale to-day; each legation has several that have fled to it for protec-
tion ; many of the leading citizens are in prison, and no one feels
safe."

On such occasions wholesale slaughters are not infrequent Un-
der such trying circumstances, when the American minister does his
best to prevent useless scenes of bloodshed, perhaps exposing his own
life to grave danger, it must be galling to have some Secretary of the
calibre of Richard Olney dictate him instructions in the language
above quoted.



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rV. Guatemala establishes a Dictatorship, and
' Secbetabt Batabd is Happy

The following letter to Franco Lainfiesta, Guatemalan Minister
in Washington, explains itself:

DspARnfENT or Statb, WABHiNaroN, NoTember 0, 1887.
Sir, — I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your note of the 22d
ultimo, announcing that the National Assembly of Guatemala, convoked the
26th of June last, has approved, by acclamation, the course of His Excdlency
Manuel Lisandro Barillas in proclaiming himself Dictator. The sympathy
of the people of Guatemala, thus expressed through their chosen representa-
tives, so largely in favor of General Barillas, affords a gratifying assurance
that those forms of stable administration which are essential to the peace,
happiness, and prosperity of any self-govemed people, and which the United
States government hopes that of Guatemala may abundantly enjoy, will be
conserved through the agency of the present Executive of that Republic

(Signed) Bayaro.

Great and immortal is humbug ! Sad, indeed, would be the straits
of diplomacy if there were no language of hypocrisy and subterfuge
and deceit ! Or was the Secretary of State honest and sincere in his
statements ? Did he really believe that the violent act by which an
unprincipled and dangerous military adventurer, Barillas, overthrew
all constitutional forms and seized supreme power through a de-
bauched and brutal army composed mostly of unpimished assassins,
through which Barillas placed the life and property of every man in
Guatemala at the mercy of his own vrill without redress, — did the
Honorable Secretary of State really believe that that act, approved
by a military rabble appointed by Barillas himself, "affords a grati-
fying assurance that those forms of stable administration which are
essential to the peace, happiness, and prosperity of any self-governing
people, and which the United States hopes that Guatemala may
abundantly enjoy, will be conserved through the agency of the present
Executive of that Republic"?

V. Argentina's Strange Views as to its Authoritt to inter-
fere WITH the Official Duties of Foreign Representatives

In the latter part of 1899 the bubonic plague broke out in Argentina.
An attempt made at that time by the Argentine government to impose
local restrictions on the representatives of foreign governments in the
matter of their official reports to their own governments and the issu-
ance of bills of health to vessels bound for their ports is worthy of note,
as showing the peculiar mental obliquity of Latin-American statesmen,
even of the most advanced countries.

The Argentine authorities on January 24, 1900, issued a decree



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idating to quarantine regulations in which some very extraordinary
provisions were found. 'Die fifth article of the decree said :

"Until an official declaration has been made of the existence of an exotic
disease in Argentine territory, no national or provincial functionary, nor any
foreign agent accredited to the national government, may affirm in any docu-
ment the existence of such disease, whatever may be the data or reports which
are thought to justify the assertion."

American Minister Francis S. Jones, under date of February 8,
1900, from Buenos Ayres, called our government's attention to the
decree, which further provided :

"According to the sixth article, the office of prefect general of ports is to
advise all subordinate offices that no vessel is to be allowed to leave an Argen*
tine port bearing on its bill of health any statement of the existence of exotic
disease in the republic until the National Executive shall have declared the
same by decree."

The seventh article forbids the Board of Health from supplying
any information about investigations carried out for the purpose of
diagnosis without permission from the ministry of the interior.

The eighth article provides for the dismissal of any national
official who, before declaration of the existence of exotic disease has
been made by the President, shall affirm its existence in the press or
in any official document, and says that

"the functionaries or agents of foreign nations who commit a similar trans-
gression against the sanitary dispositions of the country will be denounced
to the government in whose service they are in the manner prescribed by
international law."

Here, then, is a country, professing to stand at the head of South
American civilization, which proposes to dictate the kind of reports
which foreign ministers and consuls may send to their governments ;
which proposes to override the laws of those countries prescribing the
duties of consuls, by endeavoring to compel such consuls to give dean
biUs of health, falsely and fraudulently, and even though the consul
knew the plague to exist, provided the "President" had not decreed
it to exist

Secretary of the Treasury Lyman J. Gage, in conunenting on this,
Aprill28, 1900, says:

"I am advised by the Surgeon-General of the Marine Hospital Service
that the enforcement of the provisions of the Act of February 15, 1893, re-
quiring that vesseb at any foreign port clearing for any port or place in the
United States shall be required to obtain from the consular officer of the
United States at the port of departure a bill of health, is very necessary.
This law further provides that the said consular or medical officer is required,
before granting such du[^icate bill of health, to be satisfied that the matters
and things therein stated are true. Therefore a United States consul, being
reasonably well satisfied in his own mind that an epidemic disease exists at



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590 AMERICAN SUPREMACY

the port to which he is accredited, althou^ not so notified by the local ao-
thorities» cannot, either legally or oonscientioasly, state that such disease does
not exist, and sign the biU of health to that effect Hence he must refuse to
issue a bill of health, and leave the vessel subject to the penalty of $5000 on
arrival at a port of the United States without a bill of health."

The Diplomatic Corps of Buenos Ayres was called by Mr. Barring-
ton» its dean, the British minister, at \be instance of the Frmdi
minister, to draw up a joint note of protest.

The American minister, Francis S. Jones, did not join» ''not
wishing in any way to lessen or impair the friendly attitude of the
officiab of the Argentine government, toward the legation on the one
hand, and toward me personally on the other.'* In plain En^ish,
Mr. Jones had a good ''soft ** job, and he liked it, and did not want to
run any chance of losing it on account of a question of this nature.
The fact that the quarantine law of the United States made it the duty
of the consuls and consular agents of the United States to report, every
week, the sanitary condition of the port or place where they were
stationed, was not suflScient to justify Mr. Jones, in his own opinion, in
joining the protest

Mr. Barrington, English Minister, and Mr. Cavalcanti, Brazflian
Minister, called on Dr. Yofre, Argentine Minister of the Interior,
who was very profuse in his expressions of politeness, said several
things about several subjects, but maintained that the decree could not
be changed. On March 12, 1900, the American minister in a despatch
announced the appearance of the plague in Buenos Ayres, and the
entire government of Argentina was quarantined against, so that the
pretensions of Argentina to control the official reports of foreign
ministers and consuls to their own governments were never directly
combated.

VI. WrrHDBAWINO THE EXEQUATUB OF A CONSULAB AOENT

The following letter to the Secretary of State explains itself :

No. 148. Legation of the United States* Guatemala, and Hoodimi.

GuATBiALA, Juty 81, 1807.

Sir, — I beg leave to report to you that I reoeiyed a note yesterday from
the minister of foreign affairs, informing me that the President had seen fit
to withdraw the exequatur of Mr. Florentin Sousa, United States Consular
Agent at Champerico.

I confess that I was somewhat surprised. I think that a more courteous
way of getting rid of a consular officer might have been employed. As to
what the charges against him are, up to the present time, I have not the
slightest idea.

I will authorize Mr. S. F. Lord to act as consular agent for the present

I wired Mr. Souza, asking him if he knew why the action had been taken.
In his reply, which I received this morning, he states positively that he knows
no cause for such action, and requests that I will investigate the matter.

D. Lynch Pbingud, Charg^ d'Affaires.



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Mr. Pringle addressed a letter to Jorge Mufioz» Secretary of State
under Barrios, saying that he was surprised at the removal of Mr.
Souza, as he was unaware of any cause, and added: "Will yoiur
Excellency kindly furnish me with the reason for this action on the
part of his Excellency the President?" Secretary of State John
Sherman disapproved of this request by Mr. Pringle, in a note dated
August 18, 1897, saying that a government has a right to withdraw a
consular exequatur witiiout assigning any cause.

VII. Unfted States Consuls in Nicaragua

Press despatches of the following character are frequent ; th^ show
how our " Sister Republics ** treat our consuls :

"WashingUm, Aug. 16, 1005. — When all the facts are received at the
State Department, it is poasiUe that the United States government will not
accept, without protest, the action of the Nicaraguan goveniment in cancelling
the exequatur of Consul Donaldson at Managua. The information at hand
is to the effect that Donaldson was acting in behalf of an American company,
the Albers Brothers, of which L. C. Croger, of Philadelphia, is president
It is said that valuable property of this company was in danger of destruction
at the hiuids of citizens <k Nicaragua, and the consul was endeavoring to
secure protection for it when he is alleged to have offended the President
This property is said to be ten days' journey by any means of communication
from the Nicaraguan capital. Minister Merry is sending a full report by



What would happen if the United States did protest ? What does
a Dictator care for a protest?

VIII. How San Salvador treats Untted States Consuls

Henry R. Meyers, United States Consul at San Salvador, on
August 2, 1890, attempted to send the following telegram to Secretary
Blaine:

"General Ezeta's troops commenced assault on San Salvador, without
notice, on the 30th; on 81st broke open consulate, pulled down and carried
away flag. I escaped through holes made in bri<^ waU, running for life
throu|^ heavy firing two miles; consulate and residence totally destroyed.
Consider my life unsafe here; leave for Washington on 5th."

The authorities of San Salvador would not permit Consul Meyers*
despatch to be sent. They preferred to write the cable despatch them*
selves. Benjamine Molino Guirola, Secretary General, dictated the
fdlowing:

••Secretary Blaine, Washington.

**With regard to the hordes of Indians, commanded by the revolutionary
General Rivas, that had taken the military quarters here, and by an assault



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592 AMERICAN SUPREMACY

which ksted two days, troops of the gp/vtmoeni retook them. In so doing
they took possession of the consulate, and during the fight eyer3rthing in the
ofl&oe and private residence was kMt, including flieig whidi was then hoisted.
Order has been re-estaUished ; the constituted authorities <^er me security
and regards* but I fear farther on I may not be entirely satisfied, and have
resolved to leave."

Mr. Consul Meyers declined to allow Ezeta*8 allied govemmoit to
write his messages to the State Department He was entirely cut o£F
from all communication, even with the minister, and was not allowed
to leave the country without a pass, *' which, if requested, would be
granted and my exequatur would be withdrawn.*' He returned to
the United States broken in health by the hardships he had endured.

IX. How ouB "Sister Refubuc" Venezuela treats
American Consuls and their Wives

Many a luckless American who has been left to rot in a Latin-
American dungeon has felt bitter against the American consul who
did not help him out. The fact is, the American consul in those coun-
tries is not able to protect himself and his own family from, outrage.
Let him attempt to extend any reasonable aid to his countrymen in
trouble, even under direct instructions from Washington, and his
exequatur is cancelled by the reigning Dictator and he b ordered out
of the country.

One case of this kind, by no means exceptional, veas that of United
States Consul Luis Goldschmidt, at La Guaira, Venezuela — a
gentleman of the highest standing, and rightfully r^arded as (me of
the very best consuls we have ever had in Latin America.

On January 19, 1900, Mr. Goldschmidt wrote Mr. Francis B.
Loomis, American Minister at Caracas :

"On January 1, 1900, at about 6 o'clock p. m., while walking up the
'Calle de Leon* to my residence with my wife, one of the soldier police met
us, and when within four or five yards from us, he fired his carbine without
cause or reason. This was sufficient cause to frighten any woman, and my
wife immediately said to me that she felt a pain in her che^ as though some-
thing had struck her. I replied that probably she only imagined this, as I
thought the man had fired toward the ground. However, when we reached
our home, my wife opened her dress, and showed me a bleeding scar, left by
something which had struck her, and also showed me that whatever it was
cut through the dress and the underdress, cutting the skin.'*

Another incident reported by Mr. Goldschmidt was the following:

"Yesterday, January 18, 1900, at about 9 o'clock p. m., after a walk down
town in company with my wife, I returned home, and when I reached the
Church Del Carmen, which is very near my residence and directly in front
of the house of Mr. Aristides Bello, *perfecto de policia,' I was stopped by



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INEPTITUDE OF AMERICAN DIPLOMACY 593

a soldier or polioeman, who asked me if I carried any arms, as he had orders
to search eveiybody for arms. I told him that I was the American consul,
that I liyed close by, and that I should not aUow him to search me, protest-
ing at the outrage. He, however, insisted, and tore open my coat in spite at
my protest, and did not permit me to proceed for some time."

On May 12, 1900, Mr. Goldschmidt requested the State Depart-
ment to transfer him from that consulate to some civilized country.
He said:

**I owe it to my self-respect, I owe it to my wife, to take her out of a place
where daily insults are offered without the authorities showing the slightest
disposition to protect the representative of a friendly nation or his family,
and where, if you protest against such treatment, they only laugh and con-
nive at the doings cdP the transgressors. . . . I now know that I cannot expect
protection to life for myself and wife, and that insults and annoyances are
only encouraged by the authorities."

Mr. Groldschmidt here narrated two incidents:

*'On Friday evening. May 4, at about 6.80 p. m., whfle returning to my
residence, accompanied by Mrs. Goldschmidt, we reached a point near the
Carmen Church where the street is only about six feet wide. Right at that
point four young men were loitering, talking and completely occupying the
passage, with the exception of a few inches on either side of them, whidb we
had to choose to pass through. We succeeded in passing, when one of the
four loudly asked why I had pushed against a boy who was standing with
them. I re[^ied that if they were gentlemen, they would have allowed a lady
to pass without so much trouble, and added that I had not pushed the boy.
Thereupon my interlocutor began to abuse foreigners in general and ourselves
in particular. After a few words from me, I started to push him aside and
go on, when the same fellow jumped with a motion to his hips as if to draw
a revolver. I did not give him time to draw, but struck him with my cane,
and he desisted, and troubled us no more. ... I did not know my aggressor,
but found out the next day that he was a son of a Mr. Golding, and a nephew
of the former vice-consul at this place, and that he was a leper, although he
showed no outward sign of it"

The next incident reported was as follows :

"On May 9, 1900, while taking a walk along the sea-wall at about 5.S0
p. If., accompanied by my wife, Mrs. R. Schunck, and two children, a young
man alighted from a bicycle directly in front of us aU, and at a distance <^
about ten yards drew his revolver from his belt, which he carried in plain
si^t, and amid curses said he was going to shoot me. Continubg brandish-
ing his revolver, he frightened the ladies accompanying me to such a degree
as almost to completely prostrate them from nervous excitement, when a
man stepped up from behind and took hb arm, and, with another man who
arrived later, succeeded in starting him away from the scene without disarm-
ing him. This fellow turned out to be another son of the same Goldin^^
under the mfluence of liquor, and a noted rough."

VOL.U — S8



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594 AMERICAN SUPREMACY

Mr. Groldschmidt protested to the Venesuelan au&orities, and
they promised at once to arrest the assailant, and finally iep<Mrted
that they had arrested and expelled him from the city, — a palpable
falsehood, for Mr. Goldschmidt saw him a few days afterwards enjoy-
ing full liberty. After reciting the humbug and double-dealing of the
Venezuelan authorities, Mr. Goldschmidt adds :

"You cannot wonder at my decision when such farces are enacted with
the American consul, and when neither his life nor that of his famQy can for
one moment be considered safe; and if the authorities lau|^ at such proceed-
ings, what can be expected from the ordinary Venezuelan citizen whose hatred
for any foreigner is very nuiriced, and who take particular pains to show their
hatred upon every occasion in La Guaira ?"

Secretary Hay, under date of June 7, 1900, wrote to Mr. Loomis :

'*! deem it unnecessary to review the several statements found in the cor-
respondence accompanying your despatches, but I cannot refrain from say-
ing that they have been read with surprise and regret, because of the apparent
indifference of the local authorities at La Guaira ... to afford Mr. Gold-
schmidt that measure of personal protection which is his due. It is di£Bcult
to comprehend how such acts as those complained of are permitted. The
threatening of the life of a peaceable citizen, and that man a consular repre-
sentative dp a friendly power, cannot be treated with indifference or lightly
pushed aside, and the government of the United States will hold that of
Venezuela to a strict accountability for any harm or insult that may be wan-
tonly inflicted on Mr. Groldschmidt"

Secretary Hay's letter was, of course, sound, but dignified epistles
will not cure the evil of La Guaira. It is an ulcer at the base of the
mountains, a cancer on the continent of South America. '"Without
the shedding of blood there can be no remission ** ; and if there is ever
to be a regeneration of La Guaira, it will be effected only through the
shedding of blood, and a great deal of it. Secretary Hay did not want
Mr. Goldschmidt to leave La Guaira, and he kept him there three
years longer; but at last the State Department either had to transfer
him or accept his resignation. He was sent to Nantes, France; and
certain it is that no poor suffering sinner who had just been redeemed
from purgatory ever appreciated a change with greater rejoicing and
thanksgiving.

X. Abtlum in Amebican Legations

On April 10, 189S, Mr. Patrick Egan, United States Minister,
Santiago, Chili, wrote to Secretary Gresham, referring to despatehes
oi Mr. F. R. McCreery, Charg^ d'affaires ad interim, in which he
informed the department of an unsuccessful attempt at an uprising on
December 11, and of a suspension for nine months oi the law of in-
dividual guaranty.



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INEPTITUDE OF AMERICAN DIPLOMACY 595

'*Sinoe that time there have been oonstant rumors of conspiracies, and
preparations on the part of the Baknacedistas, or» as they call themselves, the
Democracia, with the object of overturning the present government; and the



Online LibraryGeorge Washington CrichfieldAmerican supremacy; the rise and progress of the Latin American republics and their relations to the United States under the Monroe doctrine → online text (page 67 of 79)