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he is accredited. Mr. Stephen Preston was the Haitian Minister at Washington continuously for nearly twenty years, and during a third of that time, he was the dean of the diplomatic corps there. His immediate predecessor, the late Gen. Alexander Tate, and his wife are still favorably remembered by the older officials in the American capital. Mr. Hannibal Price, the recent minister, maintained the good impression left by his predecessors. The minister at Berlin, M. Delorme, has already won fame as a littérateur at Paris, and it is an acknowledged fact that all those. whom Haiti has chosen for her diplomatic service have proved themselves to be men of character.
As far as the general public knows, there are pending between foreign governments and Haiti no questions of sufficient importance to affect her dignity, menace her autonomy, or interfere with the free working of the ordinary machinery for administering her internal affairs.
It may be stated that, in the long run and in her own way, Haiti always meets every financial obligation, and it is confessedly a fact that she has sometimes consented to pay and has paid claims which no great powers like France or Great Britain would have been expected to recognize. It is believed that she has taken this course in order to avoid what seemed at the moment like possible complications with foreign powers which, at times, as she has thought, have appeared to be only too ready to take advantage of her comparative isolation and weakness. In these instances, she has apparently feared some ulterior designs on the part of the interfering great power. For example, during the last years of Gen. Salomon's administration, Great Britain sent a commissioner (Mr. Hill) backed up by a display of force to demand a prompt settlement of the claims of British subjects. Haiti became so convinced that the ulterior object of that demand was to secure a footing on some remote part of her territory (L'Ile de la Tortue) that she invoked the friendly offices of the United States in her behalf.
Aside from these claims for pecuniary indemnity, Haiti has seldom on her hands important international questions, though to her, as to other independent states, these questions do sometimes
Great stress was laid on the recent negotiations for the cession or lease to the United States of the Môle St. Nicholas for a naval station. The importance which Haiti attached to these negotiations, all friendly as they were on the part of the United States, grew partly out of the unmistakable national sensitiveness which permeates all classes there about the most jealous conservation of her autonomy.
“I know very well," recently said the President of Santo Domingo, "that what the great powers think they need, they must sooner or later have. But if they take time to decide about making the initial request, they must give us time to decide whether we can grant it. It will be found that in reference to all matters of international moment, the people of Haiti are not altogether insensible to or incognizant of the tendency of things, the march of events, the spirit of the times."
For years, there have been pending between the two Republics of the island questions the settlement of which they have repeatedly declared to be "absolutely necessary to the pacific development, the progress, and prosperity of the two peoples," and in 1874, there was negotiated and concluded between the two powers a treaty which has some features of reciprocity. According to this treaty, certain special neighborly relations were to be established, and most particularly, there was to be a free exchange of products between them over the frontier and otherwise, and as the balance of that traffic was presumed to be in favor of Haiti, she agreed to pay to her neighbor a certain stipulated sum for eight years from that date as a compensation for the probable losses which would come to the revenues of Santo Domingo in consequence of the free exchange of products provided for in the treaty.
The latter power claims that this indemnity, now running up to nearly $1,000,000, has never been fully paid, and claims also that the old "treaty of the boundaries" of 1776 needs a readjustment. Several attempts have been made to come to an understanding over these matters. In February, 1890, the Presidents of the two Republics had a formal meeting on the outskirts of the commune of Port au Prince to discuss amicably the existing disagreement. Later on, in the same year, the Dominican President, with manifest impatience at delay, convoked the Cuerpo. Legislativo (Congress) in special session over the matter. Finally, Haiti, in December, 1890, sent an imposing commission of plenipotentiaries, all able and experienced men, to the Dominican capital, there to come to a friendly settlement of the long-standing difficulties. The effort, as had all previous ones, failed, and the questions between the two Republics are still pending. The facts are that, by a sort of long-continued tacit consent or acquiescence, the boundaries are taken to be where the two languages begin to commingle, and that no power short of a strong standing force is likely to hold in check effectually the traffic over the frontiers, all the people living there being deeply interested in it. Still it is not thought that the relations of friendship and good neighborhood will be seriously affected by a continuance of the status quo, however much it may appear, from time to time, to be a source of irritation.
The German element in Haiti is important, not so much on account of its numbers as of its orderly intelligence and energy, which have created important German interests there, and the German Emperor has, within the past year, promoted his representative to the grade of minister resident. Through him, His Majesty has proposed a treaty of peace, friendship, navigation, and commerce, having for its principal basis "the most-favored nation clause.
The diplomatic and consular officers of every grade in Haiti
are there treated, as indeed they should be, with special consideration and respect. They enjoy in that country at least as great an influence by reason of their official character as the same grade of officials enjoy in any other country in the world. Their rights and immunities are strictly observed, and their official representations always command serious attention.
Haiti took measures to be properly represented at the World's Columbian Expositon at Chicago. Appropriation of money was made for that purpose, and early in 1892, she appointed two commissioners to the Exposition, who were charged to make the necessary preparations. One of them is Frederick Douglass and another is Mr. Clark A. Preston, who was for many years secretary of the Haitian legation at Washington. The Haitian building and the very creditable exhibit at the Exposition are the results of these arrangements.
FACILITIES OF COMMUNICATION AND FOREIGN COMMERCE.
The principal convention of the Universal Postal Union was signed at Paris in 1878. Haiti formally became a member of the union in 1880, and she is in the full enjoyment of all the mail facilities which the membership implies, but she comes under the provision which allows to some countries a charge of 10 cents instead of 5 on letters weighing one-half an ounce or less and addressed to Europe or the United States. She has also a safe and regular inland postal service at established postal rates.
She is, moreover, in touch with the outside world by means of the submarine telegraph which was completed and opened for operation at Port au Prince December 30, 1890, though long before that, there was a cable station at the Môle St. Nicholas, and lines of telegraph are in process of binding together her inland towns and cities.
Aside from the large numbers of foreign sailing vessels which visit, and some of which are always to be found in her ports, there are several lines of steamers running upon regular schedule time between her principal ports and New York, Europe, Venezuela, Colombia, some of the ports of Central America, Mexico, and the islands of the Antilles. They are: