Page:Haiti- Her History and Her Detractors.djvu/241

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The Incident of the Nantasket 221

at Boston. His portrait was, in pursuance of a law enacted in July, 1871, placed in the Haitian House of Representatives, and when he died the national flag on all public buildings in Haiti hung at half-mast for three days in token of regret.

In 1872 Captain Carpenter of the United States ship Nantasket, at that time in the harbor of Cap-Haitien, occasioned some concern to the inhabitants of that town. On the 19th of April, without a word of explanation to the Haitian authorities, a party from the man-of-war landed at the Carenage[1] with a howitzer mounted on a gun-carriage. A company of the Twenty-seventh Regiment immediately started out to find out the meaning of it, whereupon the Americans reembarked with their howitzer and returned to the Nantasket. General Nord Alexis, who was at that time in command of the department, wrote at once to the United States Consul at Cap-Haitien asking for an explanation; the reply was that Captain Carpenter's sole object was to find out the time it would take to land and reembark a piece of artillery; proper regrets were expressed to the Haitian Government and the incident was declared closed.

In spite of these few minor troubles with the foreign Powers, peace remained undisturbed, and the term of office of the President was nearing its end when he found himself in a somewhat embarrassing predicament. The House of Representatives and the Senate, which had met in April, 1874, were to assemble in National Assembly in order to elect a new President. There were two candidates for the office: Michel Domingue, Commandant of the Southern Department, supported by Nissage Saget and his followers, and Pierre Monplaisir Pierre, the candidate of the liberal party. In the legislative body the Domingue party was led by Septimus Rameau, a representative from Cayes, whilst Boyer Bazelais, one of the representatives from Port-au-Prince, was at the head of the Monplaisir Pierre faction. In the House of Commons the validity

  1. A suburb of Cap-Haitien.