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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 650

 It was alleged by the British Government, owing to misrepresentations of
Commissioner Barnes, that the Liberian Secretary of State, then on the border,
had countenanced the destruction of the cairns already mentioned. The truth
of the matter, however, is that, three or four days after the arrival at
Kolahun of the Secretary of State, while at dinner one evening with the officers,
he was inquiring as to the progress the delimitation commission was making,
and Lieutenant Morris mentioned about the destruction of the cairns. He said
that one of the British commissioners alone erected a cairn within six feet
of a town where he had an outpost and that he had ordered its removal, since
the Liberian commissioner was not present to sanction its erection. When
the Secretary of State heard this he censured Lieutenant Morris and ordered
him to return and immecliately replace the stones he had caused to be thrown
 In keeping with your resolution approved January 27, 1912, I despatched
the Honorable C. D. B. King up to the Anglo-Liberian boundary to investigate
the alleged killing of eight chiefs, as well as to inquire into conditions
generally, and sent letters by him to Messrs. 
W. D. Lomax and J. W. Cooper, recalling them from their respective missions.
 On March 23 1 was informed by the British Government that unless Colonel
Lomax and Commissioner Cooper were removed from the Liberian-Sierra Leone
boundary within ten days, the Governor of Sierra Leone would be instructed
to occupy all the territory claimed by Great Britain on the frontier in question;
if necessary, repel force with force and the Liberian Government would be
held responsible for all consequences. This issue was lengthily discussed
by the British representative here and myself. Two days afterward Colonel
Isaac Moort was sent to hasten the return of the officials complained of
and already recalled. This step, together with the very friendly representations
made by the Acting Consul General of the energetic steps the Government was
already making to adjust the disordered state of affairs on the border, did
much to relieve the tension then existing and to maintain that friendly feeling
which obtains up to the present. 
 Secretary King, who, as I have stated, was sent on the border and who was
represented as countenancing the destruction of cairns, was also required
to return to Monrovia to make explanations, for I felt quite certain that
he was innocent of the charge. My letter found him at Vonj ama, whither he
had returned from Zinta, on the Franco-Liberian boundary, to meet an appointment
with Captain Le Mesurier. He wrote that he and both Lomax and Cooper left
for the Franco-Liberian boundary on February 27, and that the latter two
had not been on the Anglo-Liberian boundary since that date. 
 February, March, April and May passed and yet Lomax and Cooper did not present
themselves at Monrovia. Distressing representations concerning the actions
of Lomax and Cooper on the boundary were then made by the British Government
to the American Government, who realizing that this unrectified state of
affairs would inevitably imperil the loan negotiations then pending, urged
your Executive to fulfill the promise to the British Government and have
Lomax and Cooper to immediately return to Monrovia. I again despatched for
them on May 23, sending the Honorable J. L. 

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