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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 7, 1903

Dominican Republic,   pp. 390-405 PDF (6.3 MB)

Page 390

A&. Powell to JJIr. Hay. 
No. 527, Santo Domingo series.] 
Port au Prince, April , 1903. 
 SIR: I have the honor to inform the Department of the political events that
have recently occurred in the city of Santo Domingo, received by the mail
arriving to-day, and which are from reliable sources, no detailed report
having been made by the United States consul-general. 
 The political prisoners confined in the fort in the city on March 23 at
1 p. m., when both the military and civil authorities were at their homes
and about two-thirds of the inhabitants of that city were enjoying their
noon siesta, were released by some one, and to the number of seventy were
supplied with arms and, headed by General Pepin, one of the prisoners, liberated
those who had been confined for various crimes. These people were also given
arms. Among the political prisoners released was Navarro, the former governor
of Monte Christi and the leader in that movement a few months ago, and who
had been captured and confined here; another released by the name of General
Martines. These men and their followers soon disarmed the few guards on duty,
and within a few minutes after their liberation had secured possession of
the fortress. At a given signal the partisans of these people in the city,
who were opposed to the provisional government under General Vasques, made
an attack on the military authorities of the city and afterwards on the police
force, and, being successful in both, secured full control of the city. After
fighting nearly two hours, many being killed or wounded, General Sanchez,
minister of foreign relations, and the postmaster-general, Mr. Castillon,
sought asylum at the American consulate, Mrs. Vasques, the wife of the President,
going to the Haitian legation. General Pichardo, the minister of war, was
made a prisoner and confined in the fortress. Gen. A. W. Gil was named by
the insurgents as the provisional President in place of General Vasques.
A message was sent by the new Government that the minister of foreign relations
and the postmastergeneral were free to return to their homes, which they
did, but learning afterwards that they were to be made prisoners, General
Sanchez secured asylum at the Italian consulate and Castillon returned to
our consulate. 
 The revolutionists, immediately after securing possession of the city, seized
the two Dominican naval vessels, one of which is not much larger than the
steam tugs used in towing on our rivers. She was armed with two cannon and
named the Colon. The other, the Independencia, is of 

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