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the atlantic coast  •  1929B, p. 1
July - sept 1929

A T L A N T I C    C O A S T    D O C S
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   THIS IS THE FIRST PAGE of documents for the SECOND HALF of 1929 on Nicaragua's Atlantic Coast, housing materials dated during July, August & September, the first three months of Sandino's yearlong sojourn to Mexico.

     The same sets of themes emerging from previous pages infuse this one:  the struggles of Miskitu Indians & other Costeños for their rights as citizens; tensions between the US Marines and local residents on the one hand, and the region's largest US-owned companies on the other; and Marine-Guardia efforts to locate the elusive rebel bands deep in the interior.  Especially noteworthy here are the multi-page documents describing conditions in the mining districts, especially H. D. Alban’s 21 July reports on the La Luz-Siuna & Neptune mines, and Lt. Cresswell’s detailed report of Sept. 13, which includes some illuminating descriptions of Neptune Mine & its history.  Col. Marston’s orders for “Inspections of the Eastern Area” (16 Sept) & his “Inspection of the District of Rama” (22 Sept) also offer many helpful details, while the Marines’ efforts to recruit & train Guardia recruits on the Coast receive attention both in official reports and in The Bluefields Weekly.


PERIOD MAPS

1894 mosquito shore

27 MB, library of congress

1920s Standard Fruit

6.5 mb, US National archives

1928 Rio wanks Patrol

3 mb, us national archives

1931 Moravian

2.4 mb, comenius press

1.   5 July 1929.
"The Mosquito Indian Question," British Chargé d'Affaires Stanford London, Managua, to Mr. Cragie, British Foreign Ministry, London, p. 1.

2.   5 July 1929.
"The Mosquito Indian Question," British Chargé d'Affaires Stanford London, Managua, to Mr. Cragie, British Foreign Ministry, London, p. 2.

3.   5 July 1929.
"The Mosquito Indian Question," British Chargé d'Affaires Stanford London, Managua, to Mr. Cragie, British Foreign Ministry, London, p. 3.

4.   5 July 1929.
"The Mosquito Indian Question," British Chargé d'Affaires Stanford London, Managua, to Mr. Cragie, British Foreign Ministry, London, p. 4.

5.   5 July 1929.
"The Mosquito Indian Question," British Chargé d'Affaires Stanford London, Managua, to Mr. Cragie, British Foreign Ministry, London, p. 5.

6.   5 July 1929.
"The Mosquito Indian Question," British Chargé d'Affaires Stanford London, Managua, to Mr. Cragie, British Foreign Ministry, London, p. 6.

7.   5 July 1929.
"The Mosquito Indian Question," British Chargé d'Affaires Stanford London, Managua, to Mr. Cragie, British Foreign Ministry, London, p. 7.

6 July 1929.
The Bluefields Weekly, p. 1.

6 July 1929.
The Bluefields Weekly, p. 2.

10 July 1929.
Letter from Esperanza Flores, Puerto Cabezas, to Command of the Marine Forces at Puerto Cabezas, p. 1.

10 July 1929.
Letter from Esperanza Flores, Puerto Cabezas, to Command of the Marine Forces at Puerto Cabezas, p. 2.

21 July 1929.
Report on Property Values and Upkeep La Luz Mine, H. B. Alban, Marine Detachment, La Luz Mine, to CO Eastern Area.  
"1. Mr. Peterson, the general caretaker has been in the hills working a personal claim since my return on the seventeenth. A written statement will be procured on his return and attached if he returns before the mail leaves. Otherwise the statement will be sent in by the first available transportation. ¶ 2. I have had the opportunity of reading the engineer’s report made on the properties. I have also seen the drafts which cover the monthly payroll. I have talked to all the men formerly employed here who are still around including the former mine foreman who is now employed at Neptune. My own opinion may therefore be of some value. ¶ 3. There are six buildings in good condition including the one housing the assay furnace and laboratory. These buildings represent an investment of about a thousand dollars and would unquestionably cost twice that to replace. It is said that they would have been destroyed had not several natives loyal to the company persuaded the bandits into believing the houses had been seized by them and no longer belonged to the mine. A more creditable theory is that they were preserved with the idea of future company by bandit headquarters as Sandino was thoroughly familiar with the locality. In either case the buildings need no protection in themselves but do offer an inducement to bandit occupancy. ¶ 4. The mill and all parts therein are a total loss and have no value even as possible spare parts as it is almost certain that in the case of a resumption a different process would be employed and a new type of mill constructed. There is one small turbine in excellent condition which is being carefully preserved. ¶ 5. A water line from a reservoir in the hills is the most valuable asset the company has. It cost between seventy five and a hundred thousand to construct. It could not however be destroyed without considerable time and effort. ¶ 6. The reports of the diamond drill assays indicate that there is about twelve million dollars’ worth of ore averaging $4.80 to the ton in the La Luz property. About ten percent of this is in free gold if the mine were inadequately guarded would be about forty thousand a year. This seems a reasonable estimate. I have in company with Mr. Peterson inspected sixteen spots where a pan of gold bearing earth showed such heavy traces as to indicate that a sluice box would yield two or three ounces a day. One hole had been worked with an average of two ounces a day for a month. Of course no one can attempt to forecast how deep placer deposits will run. ¶ 7. The company now employs two men in addition to Mr. Peterson. One patrols the area daily and the other has charge of the water line. Mr. Peterson received $75 a month, the second man fifty and the third forty. In addition the company has spent about one hundred and fifty dollars this year in keeping up fences and keeping clearing free from brush. ¶ /s/ H. B. ALBAN"

21 July 1929.
Report on Bandit Information, Political Situation and Personality Report on Influential Persons in La Luz / Siuna / Neptune district, H. B. Alban, La Luz Mine, to CO Eastern Area Major C. F. Metcalf, p. 1.  
"During the period I have been here I have visited every family of prominence in the vicinity of LA LUZ or SUINA; and of NEPTUNE, SAN PEDRO, and LIMON, with a view to observing their manner of living, their general attitude and their potential ability as leaders and organizers. With the exception of one man there are no troublemakers in the vicinity. The natives are unusually prosperous. The men run small plantations raising beans, plantain, and corn. They also raise beef cattle. Nearly all the streams have gold bearing sands. The children wash out gold running from fifty cents to two dollars a day each. In the rainy season small flumes are built in all the steams and the gold production is about doubled. All give credit or pay cash. The only chance of any of the people are LA LUZ turning to banditry would be the seizing and closing of the stores by armed bands. This would eliminate any practical market for the small gold producer and cause some hardship. However, even the fish and game of all sorts are plentiful. ¶ The one exception noted above as a troublemaker is a man named Fernandez. Originally from Jamaica, Fernandez is now acting commandante. He is absolutely harmless, has no quality as a leader to speak of, and none at all as an organizer. He is a chronic inebriate and when under the influence of liquor is a nuisance. He attempted to shoot up the town the night before my return from PIS PIS. He fired one shot before he was disarmed by a Marine. He no longer has any weapons. ¶ The situation in the PIS PIS AREA is not so promising. There is no free gold there to be wasted. There is no game within two days journey except occasional foul. There are only small fish in the rivers. The entire area is dependent on the mine either directly or indirectly. There is no cash except what Marines spend, company commissary chits being the medium of exchange. Almost the sole industry is the manufacture and sale of ‘boot-leg’ native liquors. There are four prosperous distillers in the vicinity that I know of. Of course their market depends on the working of the mine. There are two possible leaders – ALTAMIRONO, (a brother of PEDRON) who lives at NEPTUNE, and FERNANDEZ GUTIERREZ, who lives at SAN PEDRO. Each has four or five more or less permanent follows. ALTAMIRANO has no visible means of support. A woman who lives at his house (not his ‘matrimonio’ but a fee lance) pays him a portion of her earnings. He leaves town from eight to ten days every month. He claims to have a small plantation but the woman referred to above says he brings nothing in from it and she has no idea where it is. A boy who lives at the same house says he followed ALTAMIRANO once and he has no plantation in two days journey. The boy believes ALTAMIRANO goes to see PEDRON. Am having a watch kept and will try to have a native trail the next trip. ¶ GUTIERREZ has been arrested twice on charges of murderous assault but no proof was possible. The natives fear him and will speak of him only when absolutely private. The Chinaman, WONG, at SAN PEDRO, told me openly in his store that GUITIERREZ was a very good man. He told me privately in my room that GUITIERREZ was a thief and a murderer and that he then had a pistol. GUITIERREZ had a brother with SANDINO . . . "

21 July 1929.
Report on Bandit Information, Political Situation and Personality Report on Influential Persons in La Luz / Siuna / Neptune district, H. B. Alban, La Luz Mine, to CO Eastern Area Major C. F. Metcalf, p. 2.  
" . . . There is of course no present danger but with these two leaders and about fifty men with no families in the vicinity, if the mine should close down the organization of a bandit band would be no remote possibility. At present indications are that the mine will operate for several months at any rate. ¶ /s/ H. B. ALBAN. "

1.   26 July 1929.
Letter from Major C. F. Metcalf, CO Eastern Area, Puerto Cabezas, to Mr. Irving Moss, Chairman of the Board, Standard Fruit & Steamship Company, New Orleans LA, p. 1.  
"As Commanding Officer of the U. S. Marines in the Eastern Area of Nicaragua, I have certain requests and complaints to make of the Standard Fruit & Steamship Company which under the circumstances I do not feel should be made to anyone in a subordinate position. I am therefore taking the liberty to communicate this matter directly with you in order to avoid it being passed about from one subordinate to another, and action delayed thereon. After careful consideration of the matter during the past three months I do not feel that the services rendered by your Company have been at all what should be expected to a force of United States troops engaged upon the protection of your property in a foreign and highly disorganized country. ¶ I am informed by Captain Shaler Ladd, USMC, of the Marine Barracks, New Orleans, La., who is acting as my forwarding agent for supplies, that the services rendered him in getting supplies to us by your Company have been in many cases very unsatisfactory. He tells me that on several occasions he was notified by your Company that ships were to leave at a certain time and in anticipation of this sailing delivered more or less perishable stores to your ships which became more or less a total loss due to the fact that the ship would not accept them on account of not sailing until a later date. He also tells me that on several occasions he had been notified that a ship was to leave on entirely too short a notice to deliver our supplies to it. On two separate occasions he informs me that it was necessary for him to get Headquarters Marine Corps at Washington, D.C., to exert pressure on your Company in order to get our supplies accepted for shipment. He advises me that the attention paid him by your shipping office with the exception of one individual has been very unsatisfactory. ¶ I can not help but feel that since we are entirely depen- . . . "

2.   26 July 1929.
Letter from Major C. F. Metcalf, CO Eastern Area, Puerto Cabezas, to Mr. Irving Moss, Chairman of the Board, Standard Fruit & Steamship Company, New Orleans LA, p. 2.  
". . . dent upon your ships for supplies and since we are paying you an ample freight rate for transportation of the same, and that we are a military force of the United States, that we should receive as prompt and efficient service as you can render under the circumstances. I do not feel for instance, that the interests of an American tourist or other pleasure seekers should have precedence over any of our people or supplies. In short, I feel that our needs should have priority over all others except possibly your own needs. ¶ As you doubtless know, there is little other excuse for Marines being stationed at Puerto Cabezas other than for the protection of your subsidiary Company - the Bragmans Bluff Lumber Company - and its American employees, and may I add that your company has received this protection at no small cost to the United States Government. ¶ The difference in the attitude of your Company and that of the Cuyamel Fruit & Steamship Company and the American Fruit Company, operating on the East Coast of Nicaragua and serving us with their steamships has been very noticeable. The attitude of these Companies has been to assist Marines in every possible way and in many cases to accept no remuneration for services rendered. The Cuyamel Fruit Company has transported our supplies during the entire time of our occupation of this Coast, to our outposts in the interior without accepting any payment for services rendered. They have never charged us one cent for transporting men wherever their boats and barges ran. They have transported our men and officers while on leave to and from the United States on free passes. Where the United States Government was paying for ocean transportation, either for supplies or men, the usual fare was of course paid to them. The ships of the American Fruit Company have allowed our officers and men traveling on leave to take passage at one half rate. Practically all steamship companies that I am familiar with, give some reduction to service personnel who were traveling at their own expense. ¶ May I ask that you give the matter of poor services on your steamships your personal and prompt attention so that our supplies may be handled expeditiously at New Orleans, and without constant embarrassment to our forwarding agent? ¶ Your steamship rates from New Orleans to Puerto Cabezas and from Puerto Cabezas to Colon are, I believe, in excess of the ability to pay, of Marine Corps personnel traveling at their own expense. Under the circumstances I consider them prohibitive and do not believe that any member of my command will make these trips unless forced to do so. Due to your rate to the United States it has been found impossible for the average man to return by your ships to the United States in many cases even in the event of extreme emergency. If a . . . "

3.   26 July 1929.
Letter from Major C. F. Metcalf, CO Eastern Area, Puerto Cabezas, to Mr. Irving Moss, Chairman of the Board, Standard Fruit & Steamship Company, New Orleans LA, p. 3.  
". . . rate were granted which is not prohibitive, I believe that a considerable number of men and officers in this Area would take passage on your ships while on leave and visit the United States or Canal Zone. No one would ask that you haul our men at a loss but I believe a less expensive rate granted to them would still turn you a profit and would result in considerable travel on your ships. Our people cannot help but feel that a $120.00 round trip rate to New Orleans and return, is overcharging us when we see tourists passing here on your ships making the entire trip to Panama and return at a much lower rate. If you could see your way cleat to grant members of the Marine Corps and Naval Service in Nicaragua, the same rate that you grant your employees I believe that a considerable number of them would take advantage of it. ¶ I have no complaint against your district manager here or against any of his subordinates. Mr McKay’s cooperation with me since I have been in command here has been very satisfactory. The matters that I am asking your attention to rectify for us are those which involve the Standard Fruit and Steamship Company over which your local representative here appears to have very little control. ¶ I am forwarding this letter to you by your district manager here, Mr. John McKay, in order that he may comment freely on the same, and amplify any points in question which he may see fit to do. Trusting that I may receive your prompt attention in this matter, I am, ¶ Sincerely yours, ¶ C.H. Metcalf, ¶ Major, U.S. Marine Corps, ¶ Commander, Eastern Area, Nicaragua"

1.   26 July 1929.
Interview by Major C. F. Metcalf of Fruit Company Managers Mr. Vaccaro & Mr. McKay, Puerto Cabezas, p. 1.

2.   26 July 1929.
Interview by Major C. F. Metcalf of Fruit Company Managers Mr. Vaccaro & Mr. McKay, Puerto Cabezas, p. 2.

3.   26 July 1929.
Interview by Major C. F. Metcalf of Fruit Company Managers Mr. Vaccaro & Mr. McKay, Puerto Cabezas, p. 3.

4.   26 July 1929.
Interview by Major C. F. Metcalf of Fruit Company Managers Mr. Vaccaro & Mr. McKay, Puerto Cabezas, p. 4.

5.   26 July 1929.
Interview by Major C. F. Metcalf of Fruit Company Managers Mr. Vaccaro & Mr. McKay, Puerto Cabezas, p. 5.

6.   26 July 1929.
Interview by Major C. F. Metcalf of Fruit Company Managers Mr. Vaccaro & Mr. McKay, Puerto Cabezas, p. 6.

7.   26 July 1929.
Interview by Major C. F. Metcalf of Fruit Company Managers Mr. Vaccaro & Mr. McKay, Puerto Cabezas, p. 7.

27 July 1929.
The Bluefields Weekly.  
"A NEW EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM, By R. M. Hooker. ¶ The greatest national asset in any democracy is an adequate educational system. Nicaragua is sadly lacking in this respect at present. In a recent book on the late Nicaraguan revolution this startling statement was made, “More than seventy five percent of the population of Nicaragua is illiterate”. Now, what must we expect from such a condition? Yet we in Central America have had civilization for fourhanded years. How can we account for this high rate of illiteracy among our people? Here is the answer: -- Colonial Nicaragua was a land of aristocrats. There were a proportionate number of peons, the reason for whose existence, in the eyes of the aristocrats, was that of working for the upper classes. The sons of the upper families were sent to Spain to be educated, principally in the fine arts. They returned to become governors and other officials in the Spanish American colonies. It was to the interest of the aristocracy to see that the peons were held down. These veritable slaves, and the classes immediately above them, were denied the privileges of a good education. The spirit which prompted such a policy has died out, but the influences remain to the present day in the inadequate system of primary education. In the democracy that we are building up emphasis should be laid on a liberal education for all our citizens, with highly trained instructors on modern pedagogical lines. These instructors should not be overworked. The day for the one room school with one teacher for the entire student body is a thing of the past. We must be well equipped to meet the demands of the age. We must endeavor to develop an educational system that is suited to the nature of our people and or country. In my estimation the best educational program that we in Nicaragua need at present is industrial education—that is, the pursuit of the manual arts in order to make our people skilled artisans and craftsmen. This is the method that people of all civilizations have followed. They were tradesmen, and later as they progressed they developed the higher professions. It has often been said that in proportion Latin America has more lawyers than al the other continents combined. But Latin America cannot point to an engineer like Goethals or DeLesseps, nor to a financial wizard like Rockefeller, nor to an industrial magnate like Ford. Our education will lead to the solution of petty hatreds and acts of disunity which have destroyed the organization of our government on more occasions than one. It will save us from civil strife which really benefits no one but eh eager imperialists the world over. Knowledge is power. The youth of Nicaragua must realize this fact,--that to assume the burdens of self-government on a more efficient basis we must be liberally prepared. We do not object to specialization in education. We advocate it but we believe in giving the youth, for a foundation, a broad education in the arts and sciences, and allowing him to choose his profession after. After his recent visit to Mexico, John Dewey the great American educational philosopher said, “the salvation of Mexico will come through education”. This is true, not only of the land of Montezuma, but also of all Latin America. The Latin Continent has yet to develop her educational system to suit her own needs, and the temperament of her people. It is the writer’s belief that we should endeavour to develop on three lines. We should educate. We should develop a centre or centres of sentiment which will form a rallying post or rallying posts for the continent or the countries. We should industrialize and thus become independent of the tender mercies of other countries."

1.   6 August  1929.
Investigation of disturbance created by Marines in Bilwi, Nicaragua, on July 27th, 1929, with Statements of Witnesses.  Major C. H. Metcalf, CO Eastern Area, Puerto Cabezas, to Gen. Dion Williams, Managua, p. 1.  
"Reference: (a) Second Brigade’s radio 8631-1741, July 1929. ¶ (b) Commander Eastern Area’s radio 8602-1400, August, 1929. ¶ Enclosures: (16). ¶ 1. In accordance with reference (a), a radio report reference (b), was immediately submitted upon receipt of reference (a). ¶ 2. The disturbance reported by reference (a) has since been more fully investigated and signed statements have been secured from all signers of the radio to President Moncada, referred to in Reference (a). A careful examination of these signed statements will show that they refute several of the allegations in the radio to President Moncada. The comments that follow constitute an analysis of that radio based on the statements hereto attached. The statement of Mercedes Saenz refutes the allegation that a group of Marines tried to violate girls under twelve years of age. My investigation showed that these were the girls referred to. Their own mother does not, as her statement shows, make any such allegation. The allegation that Marines broke into the house of Daniel Robleto is refuted partly by the statement of Daniel Robleto, who states that two or three Marines entered the front door to his living quarters. The statement of Antonio Baez states that the Marines entered Robleto’s house by a door that was half open. ¶ 3. Daniel Robleto was slightly injured in the upper lip. While there is no convincing proof that he did so in the statement of Private Frank W. Nell, who took a pair of scissors from him, and the statement of Jose Dolores Arana that Robleto had a pair of scissors in his hand, would seem to indicate that Robleto was the man who stabbed Private Charles E. Pearcy. None of the statements contain any evidence that Robleto’s wife was injured. ¶ 4. The house of Sebastian Arana referred to, is actually a store with several front doors. The second statement of Jose Dolores Arana does not support the allegation that the house in question was broken into, and shows that the only force used to enter the same was to push people out of the way. . . . "

2.   6 August  1929.
Investigation of disturbance created by Marines in Bilwi, Nicaragua, on July 27th, 1929, with Statements of Witnesses.  Major C. H. Metcalf, CO Eastern Area, Puerto Cabezas, to Gen. Dion Williams, Managua, p. 2.  
". . . 5. Dr. Arana was from the evidence contained in the statements attached, assaulted by Privates Charles E. Pearcy and Alfred J. Cerwensky. He did not appear to be injured to any great extent and he makes no allegation to that effect. Dr. Arana’s sister-in-law, Helena Bolanos, was by actual physical examination found to be slightly injured on one wrist. Private Frank W. Nell was tried by Summary Court-Martial for this offense and acquitted. According to evidence contained in the Summary Court-Martial record of that case, and to Helena Bolanos’ statement hereto attached, she and Private Nell and others were attempting to stop the fight between the Marines in question and Dr. Arana. Private Nell or someone engaged in the fight appears to have pulled her by the wrist and caused a slight skin abrasion. Dr. Arana’s wife, Maria Asuncion Arana [sic], suffered a bruise on one leg. It is impossible to determine which Marine engaged in the fight inflicted this bruise. ¶ 6. Robleto as indicated in paragraph 3, was wounded in the upper lip. Private Charles Pearcy was stabbed in the chest under the shoulder, slightly penetrating his lung. He has rapidly recovered and will be returned to duty immediately. ¶ 7. No comment other than that contained in my reference (b) with regard to the conduct of the Guardia Nacional, is considered advisable at this time. ¶ 8. The principal offenders in this disorder, Privates Charles E. Pearcy and Alfred J. Cerwensky, were found by actual examination of a medical officer, to be decidedly under the influence of alcoholic liquor. According to statements of both of them, neither remember any of the incidents which happened during this time. From their state of drunkenness at the time, it is probable that they were not able to remember anything they did for the previous hour or more. Recommendations for their trial by General Court-Martial under all possible charges and specifications growing out of these incidents are being forwarded under separate cover. ¶ 9. This disturbance is the first that has happened between Marines and citizens of Bilwi during the time I have been in command of this Area - the past three months. It appears to be an isolated incident that might happen at any time when men of combative dispositions are under the influence of alcoholic liquor. ¶ 10. A careful examination of the statements attached will show that at least two of the signers of the radio to President Moncada, have no personal knowledge whatsoever of the disturbance. . . ."

3.   6 August  1929.
Investigation of disturbance created by Marines in Bilwi, Nicaragua, on July 27th, 1929, with Statements of Witnesses.  Major C. H. Metcalf, CO Eastern Area, Puerto Cabezas, to Gen. Dion Williams, Managua, p. 3.  
"Statement of Doctor José Dolores Araña, 5 Aug. 1929. ¶ On Saturday, July 27, 1929, at about four o’clock I was here in the store of my brother Sebastian Arana, when I heard some people shouting “They will kill him!”. ¶ I ran outside and across the street where I saw coming from back of the house of Daniel Robleto three marines with Robleto. Robleto had a pair of scissors in his hand, which was taken away by one of the marines. Robleto started to run away and was followed by two marines. They returned and I saw a patch of blood on one of the marines shirts; I do not know his name. ¶ I then returned to my house (the house and store of Sebastian Arana), and one marine had Robleto by the neck, and was kicking and hitting him. I spoke to the marines and said “Do not kick that man that way, leave him alone.” The marine who was holding Robleto let him go and turned and attacked me. I kicked at the marine and we both fell. Then about three marines jumped on me. After that I do not know anything because as soon as I could I ran inside. ¶ The provost guard (marine) was having to use force to subdue one of the marines. ¶ I have no first hand information of the alleged disturbances which are said to have taken place before the incidents that I have mentioned, nor of any other circumstances except as stated above. At the time in question persons in the store of Sebastian Arana attempted to close the three front doors, but two marines entered. ¶ Carlos Vargas, Guardia Nacional, was present at the time. ¶ I do not know the names of any of the marines involved; the only marine that I could identify again is the one who was stabbed. ¶ JOSE DOLORES ARANA"

4.   6 August  1929.
Investigation of disturbance created by Marines in Bilwi, Nicaragua, on July 27th, 1929, with Statements of Witnesses.  Major C. H. Metcalf, CO Eastern Area, Puerto Cabezas, to Gen. Dion Williams, Managua, p. 4.  
"Statement of Maria Asunción Araña, 5 Aug. 1929. ¶ I was in the house of Sebastian Arana and heard noise and confusion in front of the house. I went outside (this was before Doctor Arana went outside) and heard Mrs. Robleto calling my husband, Sebastian Arana. ¶ I went across the street to see what was the matter. The doors of Robleto’s house were closed and I went to the back of that house. I did not enter as Robleto came out and there were four marines in the house. Some marines were following the tailor (Robleto). ¶ I saw Robleto run with the marines after him. ¶ I returned to my house and was standing by Doctor Arana when he spoke to the marines; and when the marines struck at him. When I saw Doctor Arana on the ground, I, with my sister Helena Bolanos, tried to get the marines away. One of the marines kicked me on the leg and hit me on the shoulder. I know one of them, I do not know the others. ¶ The provost came during the struggle and hit the marines to make them stop. When Doctor Arana ran into the house I came inside too. Inside the house one of the marines caught my sister by the wrist and pulled her. This same marine struck Mrs. Robleto and threw her to the ground (this was inside my house). ¶ I was trying to quiet the marines in the store one of them struck the counter with a can of carbide and broke the glass in one show case. ¶ The provost came in at this time and took the marines away. ¶ I can not identify any of the marines except the one referred to above. ¶ MARIA ASUNCION ARANA"

5.   6 August  1929.
Investigation of disturbance created by Marines in Bilwi, Nicaragua, on July 27th, 1929, with Statements of Witnesses.  Major C. H. Metcalf, CO Eastern Area, Puerto Cabezas, to Gen. Dion Williams, Managua, p. 5.  
"I hereby acknowledge receipt of the sum of twenty five dollars ($25.00) from Private Alfred J. Cerwensky. This amount is to cover certain damages to my property on the afternoon of 27 July, 1929, namely, three broken show cases, and I hereby release the said Cerwensky and any other member of the Marine Corps from all liability. ¶ Maria A. de Arana"

6.   6 August  1929.
Investigation of disturbance created by Marines in Bilwi, Nicaragua, on July 27th, 1929, with Statements of Witnesses.  Major C. H. Metcalf, CO Eastern Area, Puerto Cabezas, to Gen. Dion Williams, Managua, p. 6.  
"STATEMENT OF PFC EARL W. BELL, U.S.M.C. (PROVOST) ¶ On Saturday afternoon, July 27, 1928 I met Pvts. Cerwensky and Pearcy at the barber shop across from the cantina run by Cleveland Banard. I talked to them for a few minutes. Both men had been drinking, but did not appear to be drunk at that time. This happened at about 3:45 p.m. I then walked on up the street. There were a number of marines in the cantina run by Rosa Baez. The only ones I recognized were Pvts. Nell and Clanton. I then started for the barracks and had gotten as far as the cantina run by Bolanos when Lieutenant Darrah called me and reported that two marines were causing a disturbance in Bilway. I went back with a woman who had made the report to Lieutenant Darrah. ¶ When I arrived at the scene of the trouble I saw Pvts. Cerwensky and Pearcy attack Dr. Arana. They had him down in the ditch in front of his store when I pulled them off him. Pvt. Pearcy, I noticed, had a blood stain on his right shoulder and a small hole in his shirt. While I was looking at Pvt. Pearcy Cerwensky ran into Arana’s store and started fighting with some people there. I took him out of the store and started both men towards the camp. Pvt. Cerwensky helped me carry Pearcy on into the barracks where we turned him over to the corpsman at the hospital. ¶ The only marines I recognized during this disturbance were those mentioned above."

7.   6 August  1929.
Investigation of disturbance created by Marines in Bilwi, Nicaragua, on July 27th, 1929, with Statements of Witnesses.  Major C. H. Metcalf, CO Eastern Area, Puerto Cabezas, to Gen. Dion Williams, Managua, p. 7.  
"STATEMENT OF ANTONIO BAEZ. ¶ On Saturday, July 27, 1929 at about 4:00 p.m. I was sitting down by the door of my office, next to the house and store of Sebastian Arana, and I noticed three marines coming down the street. They walked up to the house of Robleto. They tried to open one door which was shut, and then went into the house by the other front door which was half open. ¶ A few minutes after that I heard Robleto’s wife call out that “they wanted to kill him” and so everybody went to see what was happening. ¶ As we approached the house we saw Robleto and some marines coming from the back of the house. I noticed that one of the marines had a pair of scissors in his hand. ¶ Somebody told Robleto to run away, and he ran. One or two of the marines followed Robleto. Some time later they came back with Robleto and I noticed that one marine had blood on his chest. I came to the house of Sebastian Arana and when I was inside somebody told me that they were kicking and hurting Doctor Arana, so I went out of the house and I saw Doctor Arana lying in the street and two or three marines were on him. At this time the marine provost arrived and hit the other marines and assisted Doctor Arana to get free from the marines. ¶ I came into the house with Doctor Arana and we went to the back of the house. When I returned to the front I noticed that one of the marines was holding the wrist of Helena Bolanos. The parine provost came into the house, hit the man, and took him away. As this marine was going out he threw an empty can of carbide and broke two glasses in one show case. ¶ I do not know whether or not Helena Bolanos was injured. I was a bruise later on the leg of Mrs. Arana but I do not know how it happened. I do not know who the marines were, and would not be able to identify them. I have no knowledge of what took place inside of the house of Robleto or of any of the other disturbances except as stated herein. ¶ ANTONIO BAEZ”

18 August 1929.
Petition from Philemon Jackson, Syndico of the Bilwi Community, to His Excellency José Maria Moncada, President of Nicaragua, Managua.  
"May it please your Excellency and Government, I the undersigned Syndico of the Bilwi Community as per power vested in me, by the Intendents of Bluefields to hereby respectfully desire to approach and bring before your Excellency and Supreme Government’s notice of a special and very important matter which directly concerns the rights of the Miskito Indians as are contained in the Harrison Altamirano Treaty 1905-1906. ¶ 1. That according to Harrison Altamirano Treaty, Art. 3 public pasture lands will be reserved for the use of the inhabitants in the neighborhood of such Indian village. ¶ 2. That these aforesaid lands have been granted to us surveyed and titled received so per law, therefore considered as the Indians bona-fide property. ¶ 3. That part of said pasture lands we have leased to the Bragmans Bluff Lumber Company, Puerto Cabezas. ¶ 4. That part of held lands in close proximity to those leased to the above mentioned company have been and are leasing in lots by the Syndico to private individuals on which dwellings have been erected and various houses. ¶ 5. That in consequence there of the place Bilwi is now having the appearance of a town. ¶ 6. That it has come to my notice that your Government has declared these said pasture lands a City, and intend to establish a municipality. ¶ 7. That an election was held on Sunday the 18 day of August 1929 at this said Bilway for the purpose of electing a Mayor and other municipal officers who are all Spaniards. ¶ 8. That according to Art. 6 and 7 of the Miskito convention that the election of the Nicaraguan Spaniards would be violating the decree of the Miskito convention. ¶ 9. In view of the foregoing, I hereby beg to enter a solemn protest against the actions of your Government as noticed above. ¶ 10. That your government has overstepped the rights of the Indians thus endeavoring to lay claims to the Indians property without any arrangement has been made with us. ¶ 11. That I the Syndico of my own lands has to be guarded by the police, day and night if not the Spaniards would have killed me as I would not support them in allowing Indians to vote, I am sure that if the Commandante was not an American who sticks to his duties I would be a dead man. ¶ 12. I therefore claim that your Government cannot in view of the Treaty establish a municipality on the Indians property without the proper pre-arrangements, which arrangement would be of such a nature that would highly beneficial to us Indians. ¶ 13. I therefore pray that your Government will give this matter your prompt attention. ¶ 14. Copies of this letter are being sent to the representatives of the U.S. and H. M. Governments. ¶ Thank you in advance. I beg to remain, Your obt servant ¶ Syndico for Bilwi, Philemon Jackson"

3 September 1929.
Report of Conditions on Wangks [Coco] River, Department Commander Capt. H. D. Linscott, to Eastern Area Commander Major C. H. Metcalf.  
"1. It has been reported by the Governor of CABO GRACIAS via the Customs Service that HONDURAN soldiers are occupying WASPOOK, SAULALA, and LEMUS with full instructions from their government. It is further reported that they have prohibited the Indians from cutting logs and it is thought likely they expect to install an administration in those localities. No excesses have been committed by them. ¶ 2. The report does not state whether their occupation extends to the SOUTH bank of the WANGKS RIVER or is confined to the NORTH bank. If the latter, as I believe likely, I believe they are there primarily for the purpose of forcing action on the boundary dispute as some maps show the area to the NORTH of the WANGKS RIVER at the three points mentioned as being in dispute although the HAM MAP shows the river as the NORTHERN boundary of NICARAGUA. ¶ 3. It is probable that I will have more detailed and accurate information within the next forty eight hours as Mr. Downing of the Customs Service leaves on a routine inspection of the customs office at CABO GRACIAS tomorrow morning and will radio me if the report is founded upon facts upon his arrival in CABO GRACIAS. ¶ H. B. LINSCOTT"

5 September 1929.
Letter from Area Commander Major C. H. Metcalf, Puerto Cabezas, to Col. John Marston, Bluefields, p. 1.  
"Dear John: ¶ Our Quartermaster is somewhat concerned about the Johnson Outboard Motors which you hold on memorandum receipt from him, since the enclosed radio from Brigade apparently forbids such issuances of Marine Corps property to the Guardia. ¶ I still believe that since two boats are required for servicing of Marine Corps planes at Bluefields, that you are entitled to necessary Marine Corps equipment for providing that service. However, I do not believe that three motors are necessary for this purpose alone. If you can provide the necessary funds to purchase these motors from the Marine Corps after survey, I believe that we can give you a good price on them and furnish you with a reasonable supply of spare parts gratis. I will await advice from you before taking any action about these motors. If you are unable to buy them, I will request permission from Brigade for you to continue to hold two of them on the same status that they are now being held under. ¶ Both Alban and Linscott have been detailed as members of a General Court-Martial to try four cases here. The court is to meet September 11th or as soon thereafter as practicable. The papers have not arrived and there is no mail service in sight. Native witnesses are involved, one of whom at least, Dr. Arana, is in Bluefields. Other possible delays of trial may come up which will delay completion of these cases. I hope that they will not greatly inconvenience you in reorganizing the Eastern Area of the Guardia. ¶ We are all sorry to hear that Linscott is leaving here, but can see that you are in serious need of efficient help in Bluefields. Alban should prove of considerable value to you as well as First Sergeant Riewe. ¶ I held a real interesting conference with the Vice President of the Standard Fruit and Steamship Company and Mr. McKay, the local Manager of that Company here, a short time ago. My clerk took a brief - stenographic notes - of the conference, and he and I together compiled the enclosed notes which are, I believe, somewhat illuminating in regards to local conditions in Puerto Cabezas and out along the railroad operated by this company. Perhaps I am local in my views, but I sometimes think frankly that you do not consider this locality as important as it really is. I do not know the exact figures, but I should imagine that the population in Puerto Cabezas and on the prop- . . . "

5 September 1929.
Letter from Area Commander Major C. H. Metcalf, Puerto Cabezas, to Col. John Marston, Bluefields, p. 2.  
". . . erties of the Fruit Company here is probably greater than all of Eastern Nicaragua south of the Rio Grande River. As the enclosed notes will show and also the police records of your Guardia here, this community is cursed with an undesirable foreign element and strong racial prejudices on the part of the Nicaraguans against foreign labor which has been imported here. ¶ After considerable study of the question of possible revolutionary movements in Eastern Nicaragua, I am convinced that this company of Marines here supporting your Guardia can prevent any such movements from getting started. I also believe that a ship of the Special Service Squadron on this coast could have the same results. Since it is so distasteful to the cruisers to remain on the Eastern Coast of Nicaragua they will probably use all of their influence to keep the Marines here in order that there will be less reason for them to come to this part of Central America. So it looks as if the Marines will be here for some time, unless the Special Service Squadron ships are required to take over the protection of this coast. ¶ You will note from reading the attached conference notes that the management of the company does not appear particularly willing to make the labor changes which I suggested in order to relieve the strain of racial prejudices which now exists in this community. ¶ I am sending an officer and a small patrol to Cape Gracias by the next transportation in order to make proper arrangements for gathering information from that locality in the future, and to accumulate all of the latest information relative to disturbances in that area. I will send you from time to time, a copy of our intelligence report which will keep you informed as well asI am, about the situation in this area. The report by the Governor of Cape Gracias that the Honduranian soldiers are occupying several towns on the north bank of the Wanks is causing some anxiety here. If the situation does not clear up in the near future, I anticipate sending a patrol up the Wanks to the limit of motor boat transportation, in order to fully develop the situation, to reassure the people along the river, and for the possible morale effect on bandits who may be anticipating action in that vicinity. ¶ Let me know if there is anything that we can do for you here in any way whatsoever. Our Post Exchange is rapidly extending its facilities in order supply more of our wants and our Commissary is functioning very nicely. We will be glad to supply you and your officers from both of these."

5 September 1929.
Letter from Area Commander Major C. H. Metcalf, Puerto Cabezas, to Col. R. Y. Rhea, Managua, p. 1.  
"The enclosed notes are a brief stenographic report of a conference held at my request with Mr. L.J. Vacarro, Vice President of the Standard Fruit and Steamship Company, and Mr. John McKay, manager of the branch of that company at this place. I requested the conference with these gentlemen with the purpose of obtaining their views relative to the needs of protection of American interests in this community. As you know, their company is the only American company of any consequence operating in North Eastern Nicaragua. Their company claims a capital of investment of about $12,000,000.00 which is, I believe, greater than all other foreign capital investment in the Eastern half of Nicaragua. My purpose in calling the conference was not only to get their views as to what protection they felt the need of, but also to see whether or not they could not be persuaded to adopt certain measures which would tend to lessen the need for protection, so far as their property and personnel is concerned. ¶ A brief study of the attached notes will show the attitude of Mr. McKay with regards to the need of protection against future revolutions as well as my own opinion that the danger from revolution is very remote so long as the Marines occupy Managua. ¶ After a careful consideration of all the factors involved, I am of the opinion that one company of Marines stationed here with a reasonable means for rapid transportation to other points on the coast, can prevent or break up immediately after its inception, any revolutionary movement that will likely take place. I believe that a cruiser of the Special Service Squadron on this coast could prevent revolutionary outbreaks or break them up in their very beginning as well as the Marines could. I had been led to believe from statements of a Staff Officer of the Special Service Squadron that one cruiser of that Squadron would be habitually on this coast. Actually, since my arrival here, there has been no ship on this coast for more than three days at a time and then at long intervals. It appears to me under present conditions that a cruiser would be of more probably use here than at Corinto, where I understand one is being kept at all times. ¶ From my acquaintance with officers of the Special Service Squadron I believe that it is very distasteful to them for their ship to be . . . "

5 September 1929.
Letter from Area Commander Major C. H. Metcalf, Puerto Cabezas, to Col. R. Y. Rhea, Managua, p. 2.  
". . . lying off the Eastern Coast of Nicaragua. I cannot say that I blame them for this, but I assume that due to that fact, they will always be anxious to avoid duty on this Coast. ¶ At the beginning of the present activities on this coast in attempting to locate the (mystery ship) I have found myself very much handicapped by the lack of Marine transportation. Schooners can be chartered for about $75.00 a day when one is available. They are of course, slow, and are at times dangerous. If a small naval vessel of any type capable of carrying a few Marines were on this coast, Marines could be shifted to any threatened point in a very few hours. As it is, it is necessary at times to wait several days for a schooner to come along that will furnish us with the necessary transportation. ¶ Reference to the attached conference notes will show that there is a labor and racial situation in this vicinity which is probably conducive to minor future disturbances. The situation is one that was created by the management of the Bragmans Bluff Lumber Company here, by importing a great many West Indian negroes for employment by their company. A great many of these laborers have proved to be trouble makers and some among them have proved to be desperate characters. The worst feature however in this connection seems to be that the native Nicaraguans in this part of the country have a strong dislike for these people, and will likely with a little agitation, create serious racial strife with these West Indian negroes. The Manager here does not seem to be sufficiently interested in my suggestion to gradually eliminate the trouble making labor element from their payrolls. He contends that even though it was a mistake to bring these people from one point of view, it was a necessity. He expects protection from our Government against these outbreaks, even though they were created by the previous management of the Company, and could be eliminated with considerable cost to the Company. My contention is, that our Government does not owe Americans and American capital, military protection when the necessity for protection could be eliminated by the parties concerned if they should take the proper steps to do so. ¶ The enclosed conference notes are not, of course, a complete survey of conditions in this area but are submitted to you for the consideration of the Commanding General for what they are worth."

6 September 1929.
Enlisted School, Progress Of.   Department Commander Capt. H. D. Linscott, Puerto Cabezas, to Area Commander Major C. H. Metcalf, Puerto Cabezas.  
"Reference: Area Comdrs Radio 10305 September ¶ 1. In accordance with reference the below report of the progress of the enlisted school is herewith submitted. ¶ 2. In general the progress of this school has been very gratifying to me. Most of the men who upon enlistment from 1 June 1929 to 8 August 1929, could not sign the enlistment contract, are now signing their names and many of them are able to read and write in varying degrees depending upon the interest and intelligence of the individual. A few are still unable to sign their names but these have been placed upon a modified restricted list and are not allowed as extensive liberty as other men until they can sign to the satisfaction of the Department Commander. Most of the men, especially the Mosquito boys (most of whom enlisted largely for the educational advantages of service in the Guardia) take a great interest in their school work and are making good progress. As a matter of fact I was surprised to find that the Mosquito illiterates made better progress than the Spanish illiterates, due I think to their ambition which even after a year’s contact with me I had not heretofore discovered they possessed. The Spanish illiterates (and a very few of the Mosquitos) have had to be driven to their classes and cut them at every opportunity but my present scheme of modified restriction will, I am sure, soon bring results. This scheme will later be applied to arithmetic, reading, spelling and geography as the school progresses. ¶ 2. In addition to writing, reading and arithmetic and a little geography have been given. I consider the latter especially necessary for the Guardia and find they have a great interest in it. I can conceive of no more valuable soldier than a properly trained and disciplined Mosquito boy with his knowledge of woodcraft and tracking and at the same time an ability to read a simple map and perhaps make a simple sketch. ¶ 4. Random samples of the work of several men who upon enlistment could neither read nor write nor even sign their names, are herewith attached. The worse fault of all the men seems to be a feeling of helplessness when they do not have a copy to follow. ¶ H. D. Linscott"

7 September 1929.
The Bluefields Weekly.  
"Reconstruction" by R. M. Hooker.  

1.   13 September 1929.
Report of Neptune Mine, from 2nd Lt. C. F. Cresswell, Puerto Cabezas, to Major C. H. Metcalf, Puerto Cabezas, p. 1.   
"HISTORICAL ¶ The original Bonanza mines date back about thirty or thirty five years and were owned and discovered by Mr. La Peard who was alleged to have made about two hundred thousand dollars from the mines. The main working of the old mine being in shafts from fourteen hundred to twenty five hundred yards from the present Bonanza mines commissary and bearing about two hundred and fifty degrees. ¶ Upon the death of the first owner, Mr. La Peard who was an American and had a wife in the United States, the mine passed to an illegitimate daughter of Nicaraguan birth. The mine with all work and equipment and the mines now being worked by the Bonanza Mines were sold for twenty five thousand dollars to Bonanza Mines Company. ¶ NEPTUNE ¶ The town is built in a hollow of land at the junction of the La Luz, San Pedro, Limon, Tunki, Big Falls and Brown’s Camp trails. All trails are suitable for bull and mule travel only and at times are impassable. ¶ The town contains about two hundred men, women and children, about one hundred being on the company pay roll. All employees excepting a few departmental heads are paid in coupons issued upon the company commissary. Two people in the town have claims to American citizenship one, Mr. Napoleon, who has been in the area about thirty years and states he does not intend to return to the United States and the second man has an honorable discharge from the U.S. Cavalry and has since been in several Central American revolutions and was known to Jiron when the latter entered Neptune in 1928. The remainder of the population consists of one Dane and one German and the regular quota of Jamaicans and natives. ¶ COMPANY ORGANIZATION ¶ The present Bonanza mines owned by Bonanza Mines Company, Mr. Joseph Warnick of Philadelphia, president; and Mr. John Smeddle, a British mining engineer, whose home is in Fountana, California, manager. . . . "

2.   13 September 1929.
Report of Neptune Mine, from 2nd Lt. C. F. Cresswell, Puerto Cabezas, to Major C. H. Metcalf, Puerto Cabezas, p. 2.  
". . . MINE INDEBTEDNESS ¶ The Bonanza Mines Company bought the Eden Mine, which is about two miles northwest of the Bonanza Mine from the Tenapah Mining Company for a price ranging from fifty thousand to one hundred thousand dollars under one of the following transactions: ten thousand dollars cash, fifteen thousand dollars stock in the Bonanza Mines and twenty five thousand dollars in mortgages; or fifteen thousand dollars cash, thirty five thousand dollars stock and fifty thousand dollars mortgage. ¶ The Eden mine operated by the Tenapah mining company was finally closed out at a loss of three million five hundred thousand dollars. ¶ Eden mine at present is just a pasture and a group of buildings many of which are falling down. ¶ Mr. Springer of Bluefields holds some kind of a power of attorney to operate the mine to pay up and indebtedness of one hundred thousand dollars. Mrs. Clancy of Bluefields is supposed to have about forty thousand and Quan Sing of San Pedro de Pis Pis about four thousand dollars due to them from the mine. ¶ The names of others connected with the mine in different ways are; Mr. Harry Johnson and Petersen of La Luz. ¶ Mr. Springer seems to be the only man concerned with the present operation of the mine. ¶ OPERATION COST AND RETURNS ¶ The cost of operations, overhead, upkeep, expansion and improvement is about seventy five hundred dollars monthly. ¶ The return from the mine in bullion varies from six to eight thousand dollars. It is thought a slight profit is made from the mine from sales of supplies in the company commissary. ¶ EQUIPMENT ¶ Equipment consists of one stamp mill of three batteries. The output is about forty tons daily are valued about eight dollars per ton and eighty percent recovery, and one cyanide plant and assay office. ¶ POWER ¶ Power is furnished by the Big Falls power plant eight miles northwest. This plant was erected and owned by the Eden Mines and sold to the Bonanza Mines. Original installation costing four hundred thousand dollars. Present condition of meters and generators good but sluices and power lines are in very bad condition and will . . . "

3.   13 September 1929.
Report of Neptune Mine, from 2nd Lt. C. F. Cresswell, Puerto Cabezas, to Major C. H. Metcalf, Puerto Cabezas, p. 3.  
". . . necessitate considerable expenditure in near future to continue operation for power at the mines. ¶ BUILDINGS ¶ Houses in the town are on mine property and privately owned, erected or acquired by squatters rights. ¶ MINING CONDITIONS ¶ There is no free gold in the vicinity of Neptune. Panning from good ore with a crusher and amalgamation with quicksilver nets only about fifty cents per day. ¶ FUTURE PROSPECTS ¶ Mr. Smeddle told me the mine would never pay in its present condition, but would have to be enlarged and a new installation put in about one mile distant from the present site. New installations and equipment costing about one million dollars also that a better method of transportation would have to be devised to cut down overhead expenses. The present value he estimated at about fifteen million dollars of gold in the surrounding hill some of which has been worked open and other which is purely estimated value. He also stated he hoped to sell the mine to a British concern and thought Mr. Springer would turn over his power of attorney for the amount of the mining company’s indebtedness to him. ¶ The figures in this report are not authentic but are believed to be a fairly accurate estimate as can be obtained from various sources."

13 September 1929.
Enlisted School, Progress Of.   Capt. Richard S. Reed, Bluefields, to Major C. H. Metcalf, Puerto Cabezas.

13 September 1929.
The Bluefields Weekly, p. 1.  
"The Spirit of Independence," by R. M. Hooker. 

13 September 1929.
The Bluefields Weekly, p. 2.  
"HELP THE INDIANS." 

1.   16 September 1929.
Inspections of the Eastern Area, Guardia NacionalCol. John Marston, Bluefields, p. 1.  
"Subject: Inspections in the Eastern Area, Guardia Nacional ¶ Reference (a) General Order No. 100-29, paragraphs 16, 17 and 24. ¶ 1. The inspections directed in reference (a) are most [desireable] if it is possible to make [them] without neglecting other important duties, and I am in hearty accord with the spirit of the entire General Order. When fully officered, and all officers of the Area are in good health, and no unforeseen interruptions occur, it may be possible to carry out the letter of the General Order referred to. In order, however, that the Jefe Director may be fully cognizant of the conditions in the Eastern Area, the following information is submitted. ¶ 2. In the Department of Southern Bluefields, the following monthly inspections are directed: ¶ Bluefields to La Cruz: time required one week. ¶ Bluefields to the District of Rama: time required four days. ¶ Bluefields to the District of Punta Gorda: time required five days. ¶ Bluefields to Las Perlas (if and when reestablished): time required three to four days. ¶ It is obvious from this table that the Department Commander, if he carries out the order literally, will be absent from Bluefields practically every week in the month. Bluefields is the training center of the Department. Most of the local garrison consists of untrained recruits who must be given intense training and to whom close association with their officers is most essential. At present the Department Commander in Bluefields is having a great deal of trouble keeping up with his local work. Clerical assistance is not dependable and is difficult to procure under any conditions. The preparation of the Department pay-roll is in itself a task requiring nearly a week of careful work which the Department Commander, with his present untrained office force, must give personal supervision. All but two of the posts in the Department are officered by unusually able lieutenants who are free form almost all administrative duties and are able to make frequent inspections of the towns in their districts. While realizing that the inspections ordered in reference (a) should be made if practicable, I feel that if they are made in the Department of Southern Bluefields, the work in Bluefields will suffer. For this Department I suggest that the following inspections be made mandatory: . . . "

2.   16 September 1929.
Inspections of the Eastern Area, Guardia Nacional, Col. John Marston, Bluefields, p. 2.  
". . . of posts not officered by commissioned officers shall be visited by an officer from Department headquarters at least once every month; all other posts in the Department shall be visited by the Department Commander at least once every quarter. ¶ 3. It should be borne in mind that all transportation within the Area is by boats which leave on schedules generally connected with the loadings of the banana steamers, and that it is not practicable to make inspections at any time convenient to the officers concerned. For this reason, there is a decided restriction to the movement of inspecting officers and this fact alone will make it apparent why their inspections will be greatly handicapped and retarded. it is not possible to include two or more districts in one trip. This is also another factor which makes for long delays and much lost time. The officers must return to Bluefields and from there start out into another area on the transportation which first offers itself. ¶ 4. In inspections prescribed for the Area Commander and the Area Executive, the same reasonings hold. If all officers are well and present for duty, and nothing unforeseen occurs to require the personal presence of the Area Commander in Bluefields, it is quite possible that that officer could spend one-half his time in inspections away from Area Headquarters. Such favorable conditions cannot be expected. At present the Department Commander is on the sick-list with malaria, a not uncommon ailment on this coast. The Area Commander is assisting in Departmental work. In addition, he is Disbursing Agent and Commanding Officer of Headquarters Detachment. Clerical help is almost non-existent. The Area Medical Officer is also ill. This means a readjustment of work all around and has thrown additional labor upon every officer available for duty in Bluefields. I have no objection to spending twelve hours a day on Guardia work, and gladly give every ounce of my strength to building up the organization in the days of its infancy, but the fact that this much time must be given now to administrative work indicates that the Area Commander must be in Bluefields a greater portion of the time than fifty percent. ¶ 5. The trip from Bluefields to Puerto Cabezas will take at least ten days. There are seasons of the year (at times rather prolonged) when coast-wise schooners have difficulty in making the trip owing to heavy gales and bad weather, during which times an absence from Bluefields for the period of one month is almost assured at any season of the year. ¶ 6. The work of this Area has kept every officer busy up to the limit of his strength. Even with a full complement of officers, I see no let-up in any individual officer’s case, only a more thorough performance of duty by every one concerned. To superimpose upon our present work mandatory inspections which must be made without regard to conditions within the area is quite appalling to one, in this case myself, who has not yet been able to catch up fully with the paper work that is continually backing up. . . . "

3.   16 September 1929.
Inspections of the Eastern Area, Guardia Nacional, Col. John Marston, Bluefields, p. 3.  
". . . upon the fact that the administrative work of the Area has not been properly organized and requires constant supervision and correction, I request that I be informed whether the inspections required in reference (a) will be made mandatory within the Eastern Area at once or whether the provisions of the General Order referred to will be held in abeyance until the Area is better organized and recommendations can be made in the light of further experience as to the number of inspections to be required of the various Guardia officers concerned."

20 September 1929.
Orders to Honduran Troops Occupying Several Towns On North Bank of the Coco River.  Report from Col. John Marston, Bluefields, to Jefe Director GN, Managua.

1.   22 September 1929.
Inspection of the District of Rama, Department of Southern Bluefields, Col. John Marston, Bluefields, p. 1.  
"1. On 18 and 19 September 1929, I inspected the District Rama, Department of Southern Bluefields, and report on conditions in that district as follows: ¶ [ . . . ] INSPECTED: Rama, Nicaragua, District Headquarters and principal town in that section of Nicaragua. ¶ SIZE OF TOWN: 700 to 1000 population. ¶ CHARACTER OF TOWN: Largest town and chief business center of the District of Rama which includes the territory drained by the Escondido, Rama and Siquia Rivers. ¶ COMMERCIAL ACTIVITIES: Merchandising, wholesale and retail. The town contains a market, and has contains offices of a number of mahogany companies and the American Fruit Company. The offices of the Cuyamel Fruit Company are at Providence, ten miles down the river from Rama. ¶ COMMERCIAL ACTIVITIES OF SURROUNDING COUNTRY: Banana plantations, mahogany camps and cattle farms. ¶ RELIGIOUS ACTIVITIES: The town contains one church. It is Roman Catholic. In this report, it differs from most of the other towns on the West Coast which are chiefly Protestant in religious affiliations. (Note: The priest at Rama is a rather difficult person to deal with and Guardia officer in charge has little to do with him. He mixes in politics and is not particularly popular in Rama. It is rumored that he to be relieved.) ¶ PUBLIC OFFICIALS IN LOCAL RESIDENCE: The Alcalde ¶ The local judge ¶ The Fiscal Agent ¶ (Note: All are cooperating with the Guardia officer in charge.) ¶ Guardia posts in the District of Rama: One (at Rama). ¶ Number of officers: one (Lieutenant Alexander Moldey, GN). ¶ Number of enlisted men: Eleven. The garrison is temporarily reduced by reason of recent transfers. ¶ Authorized strength of garrison: one officer and eighteen enlisted. ¶ Health of command: Excellent. ¶ Condition of clothing: Excellent. . . . "

2.   22 September 1929.
Inspection of the District of Rama, Department of Southern Bluefields, Col. John Marston, Bluefields, p. 2.  
". . . Number of automatic weapons on hand: Two. One Lewis and one Thompson gun. ¶ Condition of rifles and automatic weapons: Excellent. No short front sight; and no missing parts. ¶ Ammunition on hand: Approximately 2000 rounds. ¶ Building occupied as a barracks: The old Commandancia. Two stories high. Frame construction, sheet iron roof. All parts of the building occupied by the Guardia except two rooms on the second floor occupied by the Government telegraph operator and his family. The arrangement is not objectionable. ¶ Condition of building: Good. It needs a few minor repair. ¶ Barracks rooms: Large enough to provide beds for 16-18 men. Clean, well ventilated and well arranged. ¶ Beds: All men provided with native tijeras with mosquito nets and frames. ¶ Kitchen: Clean, free from insects, well equipped. ¶ Meals served: Excellent. Well cooked and nicely served. No complaints about the ration. The 25c ration is adequate for Rama. ¶ Bathing facilities: Shower bath for the men is available at all times. Rain water stored in six gasoline drums is piped to the bath house. ¶ Toilet facilities: Outside privy, well constructed and dry. The place is clean, well limed and practically free from odor. ¶ Storage space: One large room on second floor next to the officer’s quarters is entirely adequate for storage. This room is clean, well arranged and orderly. ¶ Recreational facilities: The barracks building faces the town’s public square which affords a large, grassy level park for outdoor sports. No athletic equipment has been provided. The post requires a volley ball outfit and some balls, bats and a few gloves to practice base ball. ¶ Rifle Range facilities: None. These can be provided at small expense if a range is deemed necessary or desirable. ¶ Jail facilities: Two well constructed cells in which B & W punishments can be carried out are an important factor in maintaining military discipline. Two larger rooms for civil prisoners chiefly inebriates, men and women, come into town on Saturdays and over-extend themselves in the consumption of Government-sold aguardiente are provided on the ground floor. ¶ Punishments: Mild but certain. Lieutenant Meldey knows how to handle his men. ¶ Relations with civil population: Entirely satisfactory. ¶ Complaints received against the Guardia: None. ¶ Official calls made by inspecting officer: On the Alcalde and the Local Judge. Both are men of mediocre ability but are cooperating with the Guardia. ¶ GENERAL OBSERVATIONS AND COMMENTS: Rama, one year ago, was a dirty little village, chiefly noted for its unduly large share of an unruly element of the population who lived on the rivers in the district. Disorder was frequent. The Cuyamel Fruit Company removed its offices from Rama to Providence on account of the town’s bad reputation. Today, Rama is a unique town in Nicaragua. It is really a show place. The town is spotless. It has been properly drained, . . . "

3.   22 September 1929.
Inspection of the District of Rama, Department of Southern Bluefields, Col. John Marston, Bluefields, p. 3.  
". . . every yard is cleaned regularly twice a week, every street is leveled and drained and free from litter, sidewalks generally are in good repair. Most remarkable of all, there are no flies and few if any mosquitos. It is the cleanest town I have ever seen in the tropics. I personally inspected the kitchens in two Chinese restaurants and they were cleaner by far than any kitchen I have ever seen in a similar restaurant in the United States. I saw one fly during my two days in Rama. The people are orderly and apparently contented. ¶ Lieutenant Meldey is an unusually well-equipped Guardia officer. His familiarity with the language and his knowledge of the customs of Latin-Americans stand him in good stead in his present field of activity. He is entirely devoted to his duties to which he applies all his waking moments. I wish every Guardia officer could see the accomplishments of Lieutenant Meldey in Rama as a demonstration of what can be accomplished in Nicaragua in the way of civil improvement, combined with conspicuously successful achievements in training and controlling his Guardia personnel. ¶ 2. I recommend that Lieutenant Meldey be given a letter of commendation from the Jefe Director for his most satisfactory performance of duty while in charge of the District of Rama during the past nine months."

 

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