"Dartiguenave and the 1915 Treaty" by Arthur C. Millspaugh (1883-1955)

An excerpt from Millspaugh’s Haiti Under American Control, 1915-1930 (1931). Millspaugh served as an American economic advisor in Haiti.

The [United States] Navy Department, instructing Admiral Caperton to allow the election to take place whenever the Haitians wished, informed him that the United States "prefers election of [Sudre] Dartiguenave."

Under the influence of the [opposing] Bobo faction, the revolutionary committee, foreseeing the defeat of their candidate in the election, ordered the dissolution of the National Assembly and was prevented by marines from sealing the door of the Chamber of Deputies. Thereupon, Admiral Caperton directed the revolutionary committee to resign. [Americans] Chargé Davis and Captain Beach were communicating the views of the Department of State to the senators, deputies and candidates; and on August 12 Dartiguenave was chosen President in an election "held under protection of marines."

Military intervention and the presidential election, in the minds of American officials, were closely related to the conclusion of a treaty; and the Department of State took up this question with President Dartiguenave immediately after his inauguration.

The treaty as projected by the [State] Department had in view broader and stricter supervision than that contemplated in the draft of July 2, 1914; and, in addition to clearly specified financial control, new articles were now proposed, including one for a Haitian constabulary to be organized and officered by Americans designated by the President of the United States.

A protocol was to be executed for the settlement of foreign claims; and Haiti, "being desirous to further the development of its national resources," was to undertake and execute "such measures as in the opinion of the

Government of the United States may be necessary for the sanitation and public improvement of the republic," under the supervision of American engineers.

At the same time the Navy Department, on the request of Secretary [of State Robert] Lansing, instructed Admiral Caperton to take charge of the customs houses at all the important seaports, and to deposit the receipts with the bank.