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United States Department of State / Index to the executive documents of the House of Representatives for the second session of the fiftieth Congress, 1888-'90
(1888-1889)

Belgium,   pp. 24-50 PDF (11.1 MB)


Page 26


26
FOREIGN RELATIONS.
                               (Inclosure 2 in No. 90.]
                          Mr. Billington to Mr. Newton.
                               AMERICAN BAPTIST MISSIONARY UNION,
                                  Stanley Pool, Congo Free State, August
3,11887.
 To the American Consul, St. Paul de Loanda:
   SIR: The above society has a small steamer on the waters of the Upper
Congo for
 the purpose of conveying missionaries and their goods to its stations. It
did not
 occur to us to be necessary to have "papers" on our steamers till
a- few weeks ago. It
 hias, however, recently become necessary. In the first place, for the protection
of
 the mission property, and, in the second place, because that, after the
1st of Septeni-
 ber, 1887, we are compelled to fly the flag of the "Congo Free State,"
but are not
 allowed to fly any other flag until we have the proper papers of our nationality
on
 board.
   In April last when Mr. H. M. Stanley arrived here he applied for the use
of our
 steamer, but our circumstances were such that we could not do as he wished;
lie
 then attempted to take the steamer by force, by placing an armed band at
the en-
 trance of our mission station and another at the place where our steamer
was at anchor,
 and then sent in a letter demanding the instant surrender of the steamer;
in case of
 my not complying, his officers had orders to enforcethe demand at any risk
either to
 myself or those concerned.
 Before anything was done, the chief of the station of the "Congo Free
State" at
 this placeoprotested against Mr. Stanley's action in-the name of the State,
and the
 armed forces were withdrawn.
 The chief of the station of the Free State then applied for the steamer,
but our cir-
 cumstances remaining unaltered we were obliged to refuse. It however became
very
 clear to us, from conversation and correspondence, that the steamer would
be takeui,
 so that we ultimately handed her over to the Free State, under protest,
for Mr. Stan-
 ley's use, for the space of forty-five days. She was kept considerably beyond
this
 time by Mr. Stanley, but after she had been sent away by him, to be returned
to us,
 before reaching here she was seized by another officer of the Free State.
 This seizure took place at the State station Baugala, by Lieutenant Vangele.
This
 officer first applied for the use of the steamer of the English Baptist
Mission, she
 being there at the same time, but being refused he at once marched twenty
armed
 soldiers on board the Henry Reed. His action was protested against by some
of those
 in charge of the steamer, but without effect, and the steamer has not yet-been
re-
 turned to us.
 It was only yesterday that we received the decree of the King respecting
flags, and
 now at once write to ask if you will kindly arrange for us to get the "papers"
as
 early as possible, that we may be able to use the American flag.
 I inclose particulars of the steamer and hope they will meet all requirements.
      I have the honor, etc.,
                                                    A. BILLINGTON,
                            Member of the American Baptist Missionary Union
                                    and in charge of the said steamer Henry
Reed.
                                    No. 26.
                          Mr. Tree to Mr. Bayard.
                                   [Extract.]
No. 282.]                    LEGATION OF THE UNITED          STATES,
                Brussels, December 15, 1887. (Received December 28.)
   SiR: An interesting debate, lasting several days, has just terminated
in the Belgian Chamber on the subject of orders for cannon which have
been given by the Government to the Messrs. Krupp.              Some of the
speakers asserted that just as good guns could be made at the royal
foundry at Liege as those ordered from      Krupp, and that sound policy
dictated that Be'gium should not go to either Germany or France to
procure arms, as she may be on terms of hostility any day with either


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