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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 3, 1912

Liberia,   pp. 649-701 PDF (18.7 MB)

Page 649

File No. 882.032/4. 
 N0TE.—The message of President Daniel Edward Howard was communicated
to the Liberian Legislature December 12, 1912, and was transmitted to the
Secretary of State by the American Chargé d'Affaires, Mr. Ricard C.
Bundy, December 19, 1912. 
 The first item I desire to call your attention to is the commission appointed
by my predecessor to delimit the Anglo-Liberian boundary between Liberia
and the Colony of Sierra Leone. Mr. J. E. Barnes, the then director of public
works, was appointed as chief commissioner, with instructions to proceed
to the field of operations of the commission and associate with himself Mr.
J. W. Cooper, commissioner for the Tengea district, and the chief of said
district. He was advanced £200 sterling for expenses and equipment,
and instructed that he would be furnished with carriers and laborers by Commissioner
Cooper, to whom orders to that effect had been sent. Mr. Barnes left for
Sierra Leone in November, 1911. 
 On January 1 of the present year he wrote your Executive that the previously
reported unrest of the natives on the boundary had apparently subsided and
the Sierra Leone Government desired that the work of the commission begin
at once. On the 4th of the same month the whole commission proceeded to their
work, as from the reports of Commissioner Barnes, and continued up to about
the middle of February. 
 About this time it was reported that some of the cairns erected by the commission
had been destroyed by Liberian officials, which caused a cessation of the
work and created a very serious and acute situation, the details of which
need not here be gone into. I may mention, however, that, growing out of
the demands made upon us at the time to have Messrs. Lomax and Cooper off
the Anglo-Liberian boundary within a given time, as it was alleged that they
were determined to prevent by force the prosecution of the work of delimitation,
we despatched the Honorable Isaac Moort to the border for the purpose of
hastening the return to Monrovia of Messrs. Lomax and Cooper, who had, previous
to any complaint being filed by the British Government, been recalled on
January 2T. Upon the arrival on the border of Colonel Moort it was discovered
that these men were at Vonjama, on the Franco-Liberian boundary, and had
been away from the Anglo-Liberian boundary since February 27, shortly after
the arrivat of the Secretary of State, who had been sent to that section
for the purpose of inquiring into the alleged killing of eight native chiefs
by Lomax and Cooper. 

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