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United States Department of State / Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, with the annual message of the president transmitted to Congress December 2, 1902
(1902)

Dominican Republic,   pp. 381-385 PDF (283.8 KB)


Page 381

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC. 
VISIT OF GEN. MAXIMO GOMEZ TO SANTO DOMINGO, DURING 
WHICH RELICS OF CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS WERE EX 
HIBITED. 
Air. Powell to Air. Hay. 
No. 306, Santo Domingo series.] 
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES, 
Santo Domingo, February 24, 1902. 
 SIR: I have the honor to state to the Department the arrival of Gen. Maximo
Gomez, Cuban general, in this city. The Government is extending to him its
hospitality as a mark of honor and respect. As a testimonial of their regard,
they have allowed him to view one of their sacred treasures, by exposing
to him the casket containing the bones of Christopher Columbus and permitting
him to handle the same. The casket containing the relics of the discoverer
of America rests under a fine monument in the cathedral in this city. Your
representative also had the honor to be invited to be present, and at the
time was introduced to General Gomez. 
 For further information of the Department [I would say that], these relics
are inclosed in a casket made of composite metal, the box being 18 inches
by 10 inches, and about 12 inches deep. There are numbers of bones in the
box. lit also contains the ball that was said to be imbedded in the leg of
Columbus, received in an engagement, and never extracted. They claim from
this evidence presented that the present relics are the mortal remains of
the early discoverer, and not those that were removed from Havana a few years
ago; one of these relics your representative bad the pleasure of holding
for a few moments. 
 This metal box is inclosed in another having glass sides, and the two in
a strong steel casket, protected by doors of the same metal, the whole resting,
as I have stated, under a handsome marble monument inside of the main entrance
of the cathedral which bears his name. 
 I am informed this was the fifth time that these relics have been exposed
to public view. After a short time, to allow the general pub. lic to see
them, they were returned to their resting place. 
I have, etc., 
W. F. POWELL. 
381 


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