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the atlantic coast  •  1931A, p. 1
Jan 1 — Feb 11, 1931

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 FIRST HALF of 1931 on Nicaragua's Atlantic Coast region, housing materials dated in the 46 days from January 1 to February 15.

     The year 1931 dawns with Sandino gearing up for an anticipated offensive into the heart of the Atlantic Coast region, though of course the Marines & Guardia know nothing of his plans.  The first hints come in a series of telegrams in late January reporting on Sandinista depredations at Sacklin and elsewhere along the middle stretches of the Río Coco, though these initial reports are largely dismissed as the work of a small band of “outlaws” on a “foraging expedition.”  In early February, copies of a Sandino manifesto surface in the small village of Kum on the Coco — in Spanish, addressed to “Los Obreros y Campesinos Nicaragüenses,” and more than two months old.  The pro-Sandino sympathies of local “big man” Adolfo Cockburn of Sacklin receive particular attention (7 & 9 Feb) — attention that will intensify in coming months and lead to Cockburn’s death at the hands of the Guardia before the year’s end.  Of greater interest to the Marines & Guardia are the deteriorating economic conditions along the Coast, especially inland from Bluefields in the banana-growing zones around Rama, where an intense struggle is unfolding between independent banana growers (organized into a Planters Association) and the large fruit-buying firms (2 & 6 Feb).  The case of Conservative attorney Pedro Pablo Pérez Gallo in Puerto Cabezas (13, 17 & 23 Jan) and the missives of the Moravian Church (1 Jan, 5 Feb) also merit close attention.


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.     1 January 1931.
Letter from Guido Grossman to the Members of the Provincial Board, Moravian Church, p. 1. 
[date uncertain, ca. 1 Jan. 1931]      "To the Members of the Provincial Board. My opinion on the various points of the suggestions of: Bro. Haglund, Stortz and Heath in regard to the financial re arrangements of the Province. ¶ Dear Brethren:- many thanks for the various minutes which you sent me, it was interesting reading, some of the ideas were old friends, which we had spoken of and dismissed again in the G.M.C. 1920. ¶ I do not share the opinion expressed namely: that the Indians do not understand the financial arrangements in our province. I am quite sure, yea I know; those who do desire to understand it, they do understand it, and those who do not like to understand it will neither understand even the new suggested arrangement. This must have also been the opinion o those brethren who suggested “Carta Abierta”? for if the Brethren are convinced that the Indians do not understand the financial arrangements of the present, how could they sign that paper, which shall be published in which the Indians are ask [sic] to certify, that we have not taken from them [undure] money? ¶ To my opinion this Carta Abierta will do more harm than good, that the Church takes money from the people is a slogan of the enemies of Christ, one can hear it everywhere, not only in Nicaragua but everywhere, terrible things are printed nowadays against Christ and His church, and I am sure that Carta Abierta will not convince our enemies, I am rather inclined that it will harm us. They will say that: we, the “Parsons” suggested or even forced the Indians to sign this paper, and thus it will be only water upon their mill to drive their wheel against us. Let us remember, those who do talk against us are enemies of Christ, and nothing will convince them except the Holy Spirits and He will convince them, not of our faults or rights but of their own sin.) ¶ Point 1. The collection at the H.C. has never been a real friends of mine, and I would be very glad if we could find something better. The expenses must be paid and must be paid by the congregation. It is suggested that it shall be paid out of the church collection, but there are outstations who hardly have sufficient collection in three months to pay the H.C. Expenses. I speak now only of the Bread and of the Wine, but according to my opinion the outstations, or the district this would perhaps be better, should gradually also bear the expenses which are envolved [sic] by travelling to the outstation. It was also suggested that the collection on H.C. should be called and announced as a “Poor Fund” . Don’t you think that this will create a terrible confusion among our people? Would that not be just a weapon for more criticism. Would the Indian not expect, when he drops one dyme [sic] into the plate when next Saturday he cannot buy his coffee and sugar, regard himself as extremely poor, the parson has to give him one dollar out of the poor Fund to what he thinks he needs. Then if we refuse it, they will see again in the “poor fund” and new income for the ”Parson”? ¶ I personally think this in regard to church dues and collections, if we do what we think it is right in the sight of God and if we use the contribution only for the benefit of His work, let us do it. Nevermind what the enemies say. As long as we do God’s will, we . . . "

2.     1 January 1931.
Letter from Guido Grossman to the Members of the Provincial Board, Moravian Church, p. 2.  
". . . should not be afraid, and we will never find a system, through which the enemies of Christ will not find some cause to criticize. Therefore as these new suggestions in regard to the Collections at the Holy Communion do not convinces me that they are better, I would remain by the method, which we had hitherto, until we find something whereby we could do away safely with the present system. ¶ Point 2. To pay Church Dues is a duty of every church member. This we have to hold fast, this is necessary for the development of our Province, with the aim of a self supporting province, however far of this aim may be yet, yet we have to have it in view. We are all convinced that our congregations have to do even more as they do now. I have been speaking with many a one of our church members, of whom I thought I could pay attention to their opinion, I have not found one Indian who complained that we extract too much on church Due. I have been speaking with men in different walks of life, among them also “Spaniards” and I have not yet found one, who criticized u for expecting from the Indians to pay $1.50 annually. In the contrary one fund it extremely low. ¶ It is a duty of each church member we all agree in that, that he pays his dues. Then if it is a duty, then we should also see that a church member fulfills his duty. If not, what then? According to the new suggestion they shall be permitted to continue to come to communion, but they shall be deprived of the right to attend or vote any congregation meetings (council). Of course we have to explain it to them that they are not permitted to vote because they do not pay their church dues, that again will bring on ill feeling with the same effect, namely criticism. Perhaps if a member pay only one dollar a year and after having been asked whether this was all what he could do, he may be released of the rest and not be forwarded as a debt to the next year. But I am convinced of a member persistently neglects his duty as a church member, he or she cannot remain a church member, that means a full member. ¶ Point 3. This is a good suggestion, and if I would have remained pastor of the Bluefields congregation, I would have introduced this in Bluefields long ago. I am sure this will help us and our members among the creoles as well as among the Indians. But I would suggest that Bro. Heath or Bro. Danneberger might write a letter to all the station, or better still Br. C. C. Shimer as Warden and that it is translated into Miskito. This letter should explain clearly why the change is made and what the change means. By such a letter, which is then read by the various missionaries to his station and outstation, the guarantee that the same idea is conveyed to all members. The individual missionary can still ad some explanatory words, if he feels it necessary. ¶ Point 4. It is not quite clear to me what that all means. "The church contribution as well as the Sunday collections" "entirely at the disposal of the local congregation acting through its church commitee." This seems to me impossible, this would be too much liberty to a congregation whose existence still depends largely on the support from abroad. As I understand it, that congregation would have liberty to use the church dues as well, if that church sees it necessary it may use it then for local purposes only, Church building, etc.? The church dues should remain under the entire control of the Warden of the Privince, and the P.B. and if our esteemed Home board agrees that then out of the Church dues the . . ."

3.     1 January 1931.
Letter from Guido Grossman to the Members of the Provincial Board, Moravian Church, p. 3.  
". . . salaries of the Native ministers should be paid, the evangelists are mostly paid by “Friends or their own missionary” also travelling expenses and such expenses which will release the general treasury. I too think it would help us to show clearly what the Province is doing and also what aid the province receives still from abroad. ¶ Point 5.6. Nothing special to mention. ¶ Point 7. I have not changed my mind since 1920 when this question was dismissed. This concerns only non-members, and I cannot see why we should not as from these who desire our service a fixed sum for that service, which we render to them. The suggestion that we ask from them “thanks offering” is a very ideal thought but in practice it will come out to the same thing. ¶ I again wish to state my opinion that I do not think that the Bandits and our enemies do not wish to harm us, because we extract too much money from our people, but the deepest reason for their slander and persecution is : because we preach Christ and Him crucified. ¶ In regard to the school in Pearl Lagoon I agree in principle and Bro. Wolff has been speaking to me already on that principle when I passed through Bluefields. But before we jump we have to look twice and see how we manage it. Have we the men. That school needs a proper trained man, a school man. Bro. Wolff is the only one whom we have at hand to take charge of that school. He is going on furlough next year. Will he come back? Although the Doctor in Tubingen has found nothing which would make her not to return to Nicaragua and yet I have still my doubt whether she will return. Then before he could be the principle of that school he would have to get a better knowledge of Spanish. ¶ Before I close this letter I would like to express my opinion on the work among the “Spanish Speaking People” on the Atlantic Coast. ¶ I think you know me and that I have never let an opportunity slip, when I can do something in that line, by distributing tracts out, but for a proper organized work among that lass of people, we have neither money or not the men. We have not sufficient money to do our work among the Indians why to burden ourselves with still more work. ¶ You, dear Brother Shimer, mentioned in your letter June 20th to employ Senor Gutierrez in our work. First of all have we a right to pay $25.00 monthly which is giving for “the furtherance of the Gospel among Heathen” to use it for work among Roman Catholics? I think no, you may think differently, Bro. Heath I know thinks quite differently. Furthermore Sr. Gutierrez and especially Sra are very strong Baptist in their view. Shall we then support him and permit him to work according to his own view? Or has he agreed to our handbook? If we permit him to work according to his own view, will that not bring about talking. In San Pedro Sula just this Baptist question brought almost a split among the members of the San Pedro Sula congregation. ¶ You write, dear Brother Shimer, “but it is high time that we are up and doing something that is distinctly Spanish” I am sorry but I cannot see that. We are not sent to the “Catholics” The Central American Mission is, and that Mission has made itself responsible for the coast of Nicaragua. They say we would like to do it, but we cannot do at present, for we have not men nor means. Neither have we. We could only commence distinct active . . ."

4.     1 January 1931.
Letter from Guido Grossman to the Members of the Provincial Board, Moravian Church, p. 4.  
". . . work among the “Spaniards” on the expense of the present work which we have already, and you know as well as myself, that we lack already means and men to do the present work. ¶ Or will our esteemed Board in Bethlehem increase the budget for distinct Spanish work? I personally could only agree to commence distinct active work among the “Spanish Speaking Inhabitants of the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua, if our Board stands the expenses of the Special men and special means for that work, otherwise no. ¶ I have written candidly about these various matters, it is my opinion which I have expressed. ¶ With my best greetings ¶ very fraternally yours, ¶ (signed) Guido Grossman ¶ Copies are sent to: ¶ Br. S. H. Gapp ¶ Br. C. C. Shimer ¶ Br. O. Danneberger. ¶ Dear Bro. Gapp:-- I hope you have reached home safely. We are so far well, only conditions develop rather seriously in Germany. One does not know what is going to happen next. Feeling against the Government and France is growing dangerously bad! But we know we are in His hands. With my best greetings, very sincerely yours, Guido Grossman"

1.     3 January 1931.
Record of Events, December 1930, Eastern Area.  Col. John Marston, Bluefields, to Jefe Director GN, Managua, p. 1.   
"January 3, 1931 ¶ Subject : Record of Events, December 1930, Eastern Area. ¶ Reference: General Order No. 140- 1929. ¶ -2- ¶ C. MILITARY OPERATIONS. (Continued) ¶ 18 Dec Two Marine amphibians, Lieutenant YOUNG, Staff Sergeant WOODS, USMC, pilots, Captain SCOTT, GN, Mr. HEPBURN passengers, arrived from MANAGUA. ¶ 19 Dec Two Marine amphibians, Lieutenant YOUNG, Staff Sergeant WOODS, USMC, pilots, Captain SCOTT,GN, Mr. HEPBURN passengers, departed for MANAGUA. Captain WOOD inspected Seventh Company and Headquarters Detachment, at BLUEFIELDS. ¶ 29 Dec Colonel MARSTON inspected Seventh Company and Headquarters Detachment at BLUEFIELDS. ¶ 31 Dec Lieutenant RIEWE returned from duty establishing post at NEPTUNE MINE, via PRINZAPOLKA. Captain WOOD inspected Seventh Company detachments at EL BLUFF and PUNTA GORDA. ¶ 2. Military duties performed. Military police of the Eastern Area and military training of personnel. ¶ 3. Contacts. No enemy contacts during the period. ¶ D. POLICE OPERATIONS. ¶ 1. See Departmental Reports. ¶ 2. General Police Conditions. QUIET. ¶ E. INTELLIGENCE. ¶ 1. General state of territory occupied. QUIET. ¶ 2. Military situation. No known enemy in this Area. ¶ 3. Economic Conditions. The general economic condition of the East Coast remains, in a very poor sate. The logging, sawing and lumber mill business in PUERTO CABEZAS is being closed down, and will through several hundred natives in the unemployed. The fruit industry in the BLUEFIELDS section has made further curtailments and limited orders for fruit on account of the poor market conditions in UNITED STATES. This action will deprive many independent growers in the PUNTA GORDA district from their regular incomes. The business firms in BLUEFIELDS continue to reduce their stocks of merchandise and their holidays orders, this year, were less than one fourth of the quantities which have usually been ordered. There are three projects on this coast which seem to hold some promise for improvement [...]"

2.     3 January 1931.
Record of Events, December 1930, Eastern Area.  Col. John Marston, Bluefields, to Jefe Director GN, Managua, p. 2.   
" […] -3- ¶ SUBJECT: Record of Events, December 1930, Eastern Area. ¶ E. INTELLIGENCE. Economic Conditions. (Continued).. in labor conditions. They are, work on the RAMA-MANAGUA HIGHWAY, construction of the PEARL LAGOON CANAL, and possible resumption of business between independent fruit growers and the AMERICAN FRUIT CO., or its successors. THE CUKRA DEVELOPMENT COMPANY report that the current year will see a substantial increase in customs revenue, in BLUEFIELDS, which will be derived from importation of merchandise. The surplus of merchandise in the hands of this company have been reduced so low that new stocks will have to be imported at an early date. ¶ 4. Friction between Guardia and Civil populations, NONE, with the exception of the murders of two rasos in the Ninth Company. See Department of Northern Bluefields separate reports. ¶ Civil attitude toward Guardia: In general GOOD. Attitude of press toward Guardia: FAVORABLE. ¶ 5. Political Situation. QUIET. ¶ 6. Weather. Moderate rains and cool temperatures, favorable to drills, exercises and patrols. ¶ 7. Condition of roads and trails, such as exist, and including trails in NEPTUNE MINE region: VERY GOOD. ¶ 8. Condition of telephone and telegraph communications: GOOD. ¶ F. CONFISCATION OF ARMS. See Departmental reports. ¶ G. TRAINING. The standard training schedules have been carried out with satisfactory improvement. Special attention during the period has been devoted to emergency drills, preliminary rifle practice exercises, and skirmish drill. There is a noticeable improvement in the discipline of the troops, and a reduction in number of punishments. […]"

3.     3 January 1931.
Record of Events, December 1930, Eastern Area.  Col. John Marston, Bluefields, to Jefe Director GN, Managua, p. 3.   
" [...] -4- ¶ SUBJECT: Record of Events, December 1930, Eastern Area. ¶ H. MISCELLANEOUS. ¶ The total reductions in enlisted strength of the Area during the month have been ten (10), caused by deaths, desertions and discharges. ¶ Lieutenant RIEWE completed his duty in connection with establishment of the post of NEPTUNE MINE, and returned to his regular station in BLUEFIELDS. This officer reports that the Guardia personnel are suitably quartered, and properly rationed. This detachment was thoroughly instructed in taking defense positions, and a routine of drills and instruction put into effect before this officers returned, leaving the detachment in charge of First Sergeant Wilfred A. DASH, #960, GN. ¶ The following inspections made during the period, revealed satisfactory conditions and training of troops: ¶ By the Area Commander: Seventh Company, BLUEFIELDS. ¶ Headquarters Detachment, BLUEFIELDS. ¶ By The Area Inspector: Seventh Company, BLUEFIELDS. ¶ Headquarters Company, BLUEFIELDS. Seventh Company, EL BLUFF. ¶ Seventh Company, PUNTA GORDA. ¶ (Signed) JOHN MARSTON"

7 January 1931.
Memorandum for Area Commander, Lt. C. A. Davis, Bluefields.   
"7 January 1931 ¶ Memorandum for the Area Commander: ¶ With respect to the comfort and welfare of the personnel of the Headquarters Detachment it is believed that the establishment of an Exchange where the men might receive credit to the extent of one third of their monthly pay would materially contribute to their contentment. ¶ The large majority of the Guardia have acquired the habit of smoking American cigarettes but due to the recently added government tax the average man must forego the pleasure of smoking except on pay day and for the day or two following—An Exchange operated at cost would reduce the price of cigarettes and preclude the necessity of the men seeking credit from the shops in town. ¶ Again—the Exchange would enable the Guardia to purchase necessary toilet articles which they now deny themselves and might develop the candy habit which would in all probability curb in some the craving for liquor. ¶ (signed) C. A. Davis First Lieutenant, GN Comdc..Hq. Det.. E. A."

10 January 1931.
Program of Organization and Operation of the Misquito Industrial Corp, H. A. Grant Watson, Bluefields.  In cable from Stanford London, Managua, to British Foreign Office, London, p. 1.    
"That a Delegation of Seven (consisting of Indians and Creoles) be sent to the President and Congress at Managua with a petition which shall request the grant of a special Charter to be given to the above name Corporation which shall embody all the rights and privileges accorded the Indians and Creoles of the Nicaraguan Atlantic Coast by the Harrison Altamirano Treaty. ¶ There shall be appended a request for other privileges which shall be necessary for the promotion and development of Industrial, Commercial, and Educational Enterprises. ¶ Should the above mentioned charter be granted, “The Misquito Industrial Corporation, shall be immediately organized, which shall be an All Native Industrial, Commercial, and Educational concern consisting of a stock of not less than 50,000 shares at $50.00 per share. ¶ The Corporation shall promote develop and improve industrially the Educational, Agricultural, Mineral, Commercial and Economical possibilities of the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua. ¶ The Agricultural Department shall cultivate extensively such production as wil yield the most profit economically the development of the different branches of this department shall be operated in conjunction with Industrial Institutions. ¶ A. CEREALS., Rice, Corn, Beans and Pease, for Home and Foreign market. VEGETABLES. Such as will prosper in climate. Home Market. ¶ TROPICAL VEGETABLE, Home market. ¶ FRUITS, COCOA, COFFEE. –(Foreign market) CITRIC FRUIS, and other marketable fruits. ¶ PINEAPPLES, COCO NUTS, SUGAR CANE. ¶ MODERN MACHINERY AND POWER MILLS SHALL BE INSTALLED TO CLEANSE AND PREPARE PRODUCTS FOR MARKET. ¶ BANANAS., This staple product will necessitate a large Sea going loading plant consisting of Steam Power Barges Motor Tugs, and steel and wooden lighters equipped to facilitate transportation to point or station of loading. ¶ TIMBER CUTTING. Machinery and Mills shall be installed for the manufacture of Lumber. ¶ CATTLE AND POULTRY farming. Foreign cattle and poultry shall be imported to improve native breeds. ¶ Factories shall be established with modern equipment for the manufacture of biproducts. ¶ Factories shall be established with modern machinery for the manufacture of furniture, Casava Starch, Sugar, basket making, Shoe making. Tailoring, Ladies Millinery and Tailoring, Tool Handles, coconut Oil, Coco Nut Mats. ¶ DRY DOCK and SHIP WAYS for building and repairing loading Plants and coastwise and rive service with machine repair shop. River steam service consisting of Stern Paddle wheel steamers, which will be placed on navigable Rivers. ¶ COMMERCIAL INDUSTRY., Office, Commissaries, Warehouses and Wharves shall be established wherever it is profitable and necessary. SCHOOLS., Two Industrial (Institutions) institutes capable of accommodating 300 pupils shall be established in two different districts. Elementary schools shall be established wherever the Corporation establishes an agricultural station. ¶ Hospitals, One large general Hospital and Dispensary shall be erected. One special Hospital for Pulmonary Diseases. Branch Hospital shall be erected wherever the Corp., establishes an agricultural station. Mining Industry., the exploiting of the mining district shall be carried on by prospecting for the different minerals which have up to the present been undiscovered. ¶ Special privileges which he Corporation shall request in their petition to the Nicaraguan Government which shall be established for the improvement of Commercial and Educational enterprises. Establishment of two Radiographic stations for sole use of Corporation and Industrial Instruction. [...]"

10 January 1931.
Program of Organization and Operation of the Misquito Industrial Corp, H. A. Grant Watson, Bluefields.  In cable from Stanford London, Managua, to British Foreign Office, London, p. 2.   
"[...] Sheet No. 2. ¶ Telephone system throughout Corporation farm. Two aviation Stations for instruction of aviation to pupils of Institute. ¶ Steamship service consisting of two or more (if necessary) modern equipped Steamships of approximately 2,000 tons cargo capacity, oil burners (--) screws Speed., of approximately 16 ½ knots is also contemplated for importation to foreign market. ¶ SPECIAL PRIVILEGES ¶ (--) for unrestricted navigation of rivers, lakes, adjacent seas and air of, Nicaragua, by floating property of the Corporation. ¶ (---) the Corporation exploit by agriculture in different rural districts ¶ (--) any hectares of land as their capital will allow. ¶ (---) the Corporation be granted permission to build Miniature Railroads to facilitate transportation of products."

13 January 1931.
Confidential Report on Pedro Pablo Perez Gallo, Capt. H. N. Stent, Puerto Cabezas, to Col. John Marston, Bluefields.   
"CONFIDENTIAL. 1. The subject name man GALLO practices as a lawyer in this port. He is a Conservative. He is a constant troublemaker, and among the more intelligent natives here he has that reputation. He misses no chance of attempting to embarrass the Guardia even to the extent of sending radios to the Court of Appeals in Bluefields which are either deliberately misleading or false. ¶ 2. This man presents himself and volunteers himself to handle as a lawyer any case whereby he may, through misquoting the law, place the Guardia in a bad light. Upon every possible occasion he attempts to have printed newspaper articles derogatory to the Guardia. Among the less intelligent natives, GALLO poses as a lawyer with a consummate knowledge of the law and impresses them, by quoting laws showing wherein the Guardia is oppressing them, and depriving them of their rights. It has been reported to me that upon more than one occasion GALLO has made speeches agitating against the Guardia, but I have been unable to catch him in such (---) as yet. ¶ 3. For your information, GALLO sent messages to the Court of Appeals in Bluefields in the cases of Jose Angel Gonzales and Candilaria Lopez, both of which did not state true facts, and the letter was a falsification. Also Gallo initiated all the letter writing in the case of Dr. Mongalo. ¶ 4. Gallo has become such a constant nuisance and bad influence against the Guardia and the Government in General in this port, that his removal is requested. It is recommended that authority be secured to transport this man to either Managua or Leon, where his activities will be more restricted, and where he will be under surveillance. H N STENT"

17 January 1931.
Confidential Report on Pedro Pablo Perez Gallo, Lt. W. W. Benson, Puerto Cabezas, to Col. John Marston, Bluefields.  
"1. Pedro Pablo Perez Gallo has been the direct cause of the release of Jose Angel Gonzales.  He volunteered to serve Gonzales as his attorney, and the result is Gonzales’ release on bond furnished by the Gallo himself.  Gallo’s interest in the case is neither monetary nor a desire that Gonzales receive justice, but is purely an effort to embarrass the Guardia Nacional.  Gonzales has neither money nor opportunity of obtaining any in the near future. Gallo’s radios to Bluefields in this case cost more than $10.00.  ¶  2. Since the release of Andres Calderon, Jose Calazan and Jose Angel Gonzales, Gallo’s attitudes have been one of dictatorial condescension.  He had made himself so obnoxious around this office that he was this date ordered to get out and stay out, unless he was sent for, or unless a prisoner asked that he be called as his attorney.  Gallo has no sense of dignity of a member of his profession, nor does he exhibit any of the qualities of courtesy so common among that natives of his country.  ¶  3. The point of the whole report on Gallo is that it is his sole desire to embarrass the Government and the Guardia.  Very few of the better class of citizen associate with him.  Sr. Arana, Conservative Candidate for Deputy in the November election did not recognize him in any way.  The other lawyers here, Dr. Luis F.M. Acevedo and Dr. Eudoro Baca, do not associate with Gallo, nor do they use their positions to place the Guardia in an unfavorable position. Lieutenant Darrah states that in the past Drs. Acevedo and Baca have aided him materially, but at no time has Gallo done anything but attempt to complicate matters.  Gallo’s position is positively anti-Government, anti-Guardia, and pro-anything else that will embarrass the Government or the Guardia Nacional."

22 January 1931.
Request for relief from duty with the Nicaraguan National Guard Detachment, Col. John Marston, Bluefields, to John A. Lejeune, Major General Commandant, Washington D.C.  
"1. It is requested that I be relieved from duty from the Nicaraguan National Guard Detachment upon the completion of two years service on May 1, 1931. ¶  2. The above request is occasioned by the fact that my present assignment and any other assignment in Nicaragua to which I am liable, involves complete separation from my family, and it is my belief that two years service in Nicaragua, under present conditions, is the extreme limit of time in which an officer can render a full measure of service."

23 January 1931.
Pedro Pablo Gallo and his connection with criminal cases under the jurisdiction of the District Court, Puerto Cabezas.  Col. John Marston, Bluefields, to Jefe Director GN, Managua.  
"1. The attached enclosures are descriptive of a condition of affairs in Puerto Cabezas which should be corrected.  Pedro Pablo Gallo is a rather clever man.  He caused the Guardia some anxiety in Bluefields last year when he was practicing before the local courts. His tactics were the same as those he is now using in Puerto Cabezas.  The liberal provisions of the law which permit the granting of release on bail to almost any civil prisoner when almost any citizen, with or without property, will go his bond, makes it possible for an “abogado” to remove a prisoner from the custody of the Guardia Nacional at any time.  ¶  2. It is believed that Gallo should be removed from the scene of his present activities if this can be done legally and without too much trouble. It should be borne in mind that the man usually acts within the law.  The chief objection to his methods is he obviously is out to embarrass the Guardia Nacional on every possible occasion."

26 January 1931.
Letter from Gen. C. B. Matthews, Acting Jefe Director GN, Managua, to Charge d'Affaires, US Legation Managua, conveying telegram from Col. John Marston, Bluefields, Re Albert Fagot.
   "Albert Fagot Agent United Fruit Company at Cabo Gracias and forty years residence there arrived here today and states he discounts reports Cabo Gracias is threatened and believes depredations reported are committed by band of men recently discharged Puerto Cabezas. He has heard and believed rumors that Sandino has fifteen hundred well equipped men in Honduras with which he plans vigorous campaign and possible general revolution in coming dry season with Segovia probable scene of action. Marston 14324 JAN. 31."

27 January 1931.
Telegram from Bragmans Bluff Lumber Co., Puerto Cabezas, to Navy Department, forwarded to Department of State.   
"Two hundred well armed Sandinist bandits are in the Saclin district of the Wanks river, their object being looting, destroying property and capturing Americans.  It is reported that they are preparing to attack Logtown at end of our railway.  Consider the situation warrants immediate protection by gunboat."

27 January 1931 (5 p.m.).
Telegram from US Consul Sumner, Managua, to Sec. State Washington D.C.  
"Department's telegram of 10 January 27 1 p.m. Guardia Headquarters informs me that it has information that there are bandit groups in the Saklin section. The strength of the bandit forces is not known.  A guardia patrol of one officer and 17 enlisted men cleared Puerto Cabezas yesterday for Saklin on combat patrol.  An airplane reconnaissance of the vicinity of Puerto Cabezas and Saklin has been arranged for January 28.  The strength of the Guardia forces in the vicinity is approximately as follows:  Puerto Cabezas 5 officers and 43 enlisted, Toledo Wye 11 enlisted, Neptune Mine 10 enlisted.  Guardia Headquarters has information from Special Service Squadron that a gunboat will arrive at Puerto Cabezas January 28. Sumner."

31 January 1931.
Record of Events, January 1931, Eastern Area, Col. John Marston, Bluefields, to Jefe Director GN, Managua, p. 1.
  " . . . Military Situation: NO KNOWN ENEMY FORCES IN THIS AREA.  ¶  2. Military duties performed. Military police of the Eastern Area and military training of personnel.  Combat patrol sent to Wanks River to develop bandit situation in that section.  ¶  3. Contacts: none.  ¶  D. Police Operations  ¶  1. See Departmental reports.  ¶  2. General police conditions are quiet.  ¶  E. Intelligence  ¶  1. General state of territory occupied: QUIET.  ¶  2. Military situation. NO KNOWN ENEMY FORCES IN THIS AREA  ¶  3. Economic conditions.  The economic depression is slowly getting worse.  Conditions in the Department of Northern Bluefields will get much worse since the BRAGMANS BLUFF LUMBER COMPANY is drastically curtailing operations and will close this large saw-mill in PUERTO CABEZAS in February. Fruit orders are still small, those the UNITED FRUIT ship calls regularly every week for its cargo of bananas.  An independent company is still experimenting with a twice-monthly cargo of bananas purchased on the Escondido, Rama, Mico, and Siquia rivers. Receipts in the BLUEFIELDS customs house have fallen off with no promise of immediate recovery.  The extreme poverty of the “mozo” class is becoming increasingly evident. Petty crimes have not noticeably increased but such a condition can be looked for at any time.  ¶  4. NO FRICTION BETWEEN THE GUARDIA AND CIVIL POPULATION.  ¶  5. The political situation is QUIET.  ¶  6. Weather: good.  Occasional “northers” make coastwise travel uncomfortable.  ¶  7.  Roads and trails, such as exist, are in their best conditions.  River travel excellent.  ¶  8. Conditions of telephone and telegraph communications are fair.  The important telephone line from BLUEFIELDS to EL BLUFF goes out of commissions two or three times a week owing to its poor condition.  The present line consists of part underwater cable and part spliced exposed wires of various kinds which are frequently torn down during the high winds of this season.   The line should be overhauled and the exposed wire replaced with cable.  This is an urgent matter since the military situation as well as the local commercial . . . "

31 January 1931.
Record of Events, January 1931, Eastern Area, Col. John Marston, Bluefields, to Jefe Director GN, Managua, p. 2.  
" . . . F. CONFISCATION OF ARMS.  ¶  See Departmental reports.  ¶  G. TRAINING.  ¶  Training continues with satisfactory progress.  ¶  H. MISCELLANEOUS.  ¶  The Eastern Area has lost 3 officers and 5 enlisted men cue to discharges and transfers during the month of January.  ¶  The following inspections made during this period revealed no irregularities of note:  ¶  By the Area Medical Officer:  Ninth Company, PUERTO CABEZAS.  Seventh Company, PUNTA GORDA. . . . "

1.     2 February 1931.
Conditions in the District of Rama, Department of Southern Bluefields.  Col. John Marston, Bluefields, to Jefe Director GN, Managua, p. 1.   
"The following letter from Colonel J. Marston, G.N., Commanding the Eastern Area, is quoted as of particular inerest concerning some of the economic conditions in the District of Rama: ¶ “GUARDIA NACIONAL DE NICARAGUA, CUAREL GENERAL, Area del Este Bluefields, Nicaragua. 2 Fe. 1931. ¶ From: The Area Commander. ¶ To: The Jefe Director. ¶ Subject: Conditions in the District of Rama, Department of Southern Bluefields. ¶ Reference: (a) Radio Message #12431 Jan 31 JD to AC, EA. ¶ “1. The frequent mention of the Planters Association of Rama in despatches and letters originating in this office leads me to believe that a brief outline of the activities of this association and the conditions existing on the Escondido, Siquia, Mico and Rama rivers may be desirable. ¶ “2. For a number of years, up until last spring, two fruit companies were purchasing bananas in competition with one another on the above mentioned rivers. The companies were the Cuyamel Fruit Company and the American Fruit Company. The former owns a number of large banana plantings on the rivers but augmented its own crop by purchasing 5000 to 6000 stems weekly from independent planters. The American Fruit Company bought in the same market (not owning any land itself) about 4000 to 5000 stems weekly. The price per “count bunch” (a theoretical stem having nine “hands” of bunches) was about 50 cents. While this competitive buying was on, Angel Mallona, a naturalized Nicaraguan of Spanish birth, organized most of the independent planters on the four rivers into an association with the view of demanding and getting higher prices for the fruit sold to the two buying companies. ¶ “3. There are hundreds of small planters on these rivers raising from ten to twenty stems of bananas a week. A few [...]"

2.     2 February 1931.
Conditions in the District of Rama, Department of Southern Bluefields.  Col. John Marston, Bluefields, to Jefe Director GN, Managua, p. 2.   
"[...] 3. There are hundreds of small planters on those rivers raising from ten to twenty stems of banana a week. A few are larger landholders and some raise as many at 150 to 300 stems weekly. The dues to the association were $1.00 per week from every member, regardless of the amount of fruit sold. I think two or three hundred planters joined the association originally. Mallona, who is not a planter but a merchant of considerable means living in Rama, was the man who managed the field work of the association, and Senator Sandoval of Bluefields, who owns a small plantation himself near Rama, was the Bluefields manager. Both, I believe, receive a salary from the association. A number of “river captains” were appointed, for the most part non-planters, who ”ran” the association’s affairs on the rivers. ¶ “4. Last spring the Amerian Fruit Company failed and has not resumed operations. It still owes a large sum of money for fruit purchased from planters. The Cuyamel Fruit Company was absorbed by the United Fruit Company which immediately adopted a retrenchment policy and has ceased to purchase “outside” fruit from any but those independent planters with whom the old Cuyamel company had contracts. For at least six months, the independents sold no fruit for exportation. Three or four months ago, the Mexican Traders Steamship Co. sent a small ship here and made an experiment of buying bananas from the association for 65 cents per count bunch, the association to(--) the leading. The men in Bluefiels connected with this experimental cargo found that the association was unable to load fruit properly and much of the original cargo was damaged by handling. This , at least, is the contention of every person interested in the shipment (excepting, of course, the association). I understand the association allowed the planter (- - -) cents a stem for the fruit he delivered and retained 35 cens to cover salaries and costs of loading. The profits from loading were to be divided among the planter members on a pro-rata basis. ¶ “5. The orginal ”contract” (verbal only, I believe), called for three shiploads at two-week intervals. These load- [...]"

3.     2 February 1931.
Conditions in the District of Rama, Department of Southern Bluefields.  Col. John Marston, Bluefields, to Jefe Director GN, Managua, p. 3.   
"[...] 5. The original “contract” (verbal only, I believe) called for three shiploads at two-week intervals. Those loadings were duly accomplished and the contract expired. The Mexican Trader Steamship Company then offered to buy fruit at 30 cents per count bunch and assume the loading themselves. This is the center and nub of the entire controversy. Many planters wanted to accept the offer of the company, but the association declined and issued an ultimatum that no member should cut fruit for anyone who would not purchase from the association officials. The “river captains” passed the word that all fruit cut for the Mexican Traders would be “cut up” (destroyed with a machete). This is easily accomplished since bananas after cutting are placed on the river bank at designated places for the boat or barge making the pick-up. The planter may be absent for extended periods packing in bananas from the plantation lying back from the river. Conference after conference was held, the representative of the Mexican Traders Company finally stating he would return to the United States and discontinue any further attempts to make a deal with the planters. At this juncture, the Jefe Politico received authority to issue his proclamation. Encouraged by this move, the Mexican Traders Company representative ordered another ship to Bluefields and it successfully picked up a very good cargo at 30 cents a stem. The recent “trouble” occurred last week when the river captains of the association passed the word up the various rivers that it would not allow any fruit to be delivered to the ship expected in Rama next week. The association undoubtedly did issue this statement but I am inclined to think it was merely a bluff. The Jefe Politico, however, acted promptly and properly, and hailed the association chiefs into Bluefields where they were warned that the proclamation “stood” and the deportation would follow any attempt to encourage disorder on the rivers concerned. ¶ “6. This morning I had all the men in my office and endeavored to explain to them the economic phases of their problem and advised them that any price was better than none under the depressed conditions now existing on the coast. I assured them that there was no prospective customer other than the Mexican Traders Company and recommended that they endeavor to reach an agreement with it until competitive companies entered the field. I anticipate no further trouble. (signed) John Marston."

2 February 1931.
Depredations of the "bandit" group on the Wanks River.  Col. John Marston, Bluefields (conveying radio message of Capt. Wood, Puerto Cabezas) to Jefe Director GN, Managua. 
 "I have a radio message from Captain Wood in Puerto Cabezas, which lists the following depredations committed by the group of outlaws recently reported on the Wanks (Coco) River:  At Craza: one murdered Indian.  At Kisalaya: eight shotguns stolen.*  At Waspook: two thousand dollars in merchandise and money.  At Aguasbila: forty cattle taken.  At Sangsang: six hundred dollars loss in merchandise, etc.  At Ulwas: four hundred dollars in merchandise, etc. From Antonio Alvarez, itinerant merchant: two thousand dollars in merchandise.  Captain Wood adds that it was a foraging expedition and the group consisted of twenty-eight (28) men.  No report as to their probable identity has been received.  I very much doubt that they came from Segovia.   //   *Muzzle loading "pigeon" guns adapted soley for small game."

4 February 1931.
Transmittal of copies of the Sandino Proclamation found in CUM, Lt. W. W. Benson, Puerto Cabezas, to Col. John Marston, Bluefields, p. 1.   
"DEPARTMENT OF NORTHERN BLUEFIELDS ¶ GUARDIA NACIONAL DE NICARGUA ¶ PUERTO CABEZAS, NICARAGUA ¶ 4 February 1931 ¶ From: The Department Commander. ¶ To: The Area Commander, Eastern Area, Guardia ¶ Nacional de Nicaragua, Bluefields, Nicaragua. ¶ Subject: Transmittal of copies of the Sandino Proclamation found in CUM. ¶ Enclosures: Four (4). ¶ 1. Transmittal herewith are Four (4) copies of a Sandino proclamation found in CUM, on the COCO RIVER, and forwarded to this office by the Collector of Customs in CABO GRACIAS. ¶ W. W. BENSON ¶ 1st endorsement. ¶ Headquarters Eastern Area, Guardia Nacional de Nicaragua, ¶ Bluefields, 5 February 1931. ¶ From: The Area Commander, Eastern Area ¶ To: The Jefe Director ¶ 1. Forwarded. One copy of the proclamation has been retained for the files of this office. ¶ (signed) JOHN MARSTON"

4 February 1931.
Transmittal of copies of the Sandino Proclamation found in CUM, Lt. W. W. Benson, Puerto Cabezas, to Col. John Marston, Bluefields, p. 2.   
"MANIFIESTO A OBFREROS Y CAMPESINOS NICARAGUENSES. ¶ Es muy sensible para los observadores del exterior, el converserce de la ingrata indiferencia con que nuestro pueblo aparenta mirar el saqueo y asesinato en nuestra Republica, por mercenarios soldados al servicio de Banqueros yanquis en Nicaragua ¶ Los pueblos siempre han sido nobles y generosos, pero arrastrados por el POPULACHO, quien los ha humillado cuando ha querido, los ha lanzado a destrozarse pueblo contra pueblo para provecho y satisfaccion del mismo populacho. ¶ Sin embargo, soy el primero en decir que nuestro generoso y noble pueblo, no es que sea indiferente a su propia desgracia. No. Nicaragua esta pasando por un terrible periodo de confusion. La confusion ha sido la base fundamental de la obra criminal de los politicos de oficio, principalmente en los pueblos jovenes, como los de nuestra AMERICA RACIAL. ¶ Populacho: quiere decir, escoria del pueblo, ambiciosos, hombres de instintos criminals, es decir, son la remora y dolor del pueblo. ¶ AHORA BIEN: A ese populacho monstruo, pertenecen nuestros politicos profesionales quienes estupidamente se han creido con el derecho de imponerse y contratos con poderes extranos extranjeros en nuestro nombre. ¶ Cuando por esos abusos de nuestros mandatarios hemos protestado nos han disuelto a balazos, han destruido a nuestros hogares, han asesinado a nuestras mujeres y a nuestros hijos, es decir, han sembrado el luto y el dolor en nuestro pueblo. ¶ Hasta hoy, la espada de dos filos que nos han blandido los politicos de oficio, es la ignorancia. ¶ El populacho sabe que, teniendo al pueblo en la ignorancia, combate al pueblo con el pueblo. ¶ La politica Norteamericana en Nicaragua, es la primera persona en nuestra destruccion y verguenza.. ¶ El partido Conservador, es la siguiente persona. ¶ Y los dirijentes del Liberalismo desclerado, completan la Trinidad, de asesinos de nuestro pueblo. ¶ PUEBLO HERMANO: Si el invasor asesino ha encontrado un incondicional aliado en el populacho nicaraguense, nosotros tambien, los hijos del pueblo tenemos el deber de unirnos y combatir a nuestros verdugos. ¶ NUESTRO Ejercito Defensor de la Soberania Nacional de Nicaragua, compuesto de los hijos del pueblo, se desligo de los politicos profesionales desde el 4 de Mayo de 1927 cuando en Tipitapa, Boaco y Teustepe el populacho Nicaraguense, descaradamente pretendio entregar desarmando a nuestro pueblo, en manos del asesino yanquee invasor. ¶ Desde aquella Dolorosa Epoca, el pueblo nicaraguense representado en nuestro Ejercito, se improvise sus Jefes, y me supe en honra haber sido designado su Jefe Supremo, y nos hemos defendido como hombes libres. ¶ Venid hermanos: dadme la mano y libertemonos para honra de las venideras generaciones y ejemplo de los otros pueblos oprimidos. ¶ CUARTEL GENERAL DEL EJERCITO DEFENSOR DE LA SOBERANIA NACIONAL. ¶ PATRIA Y LIBERTAD, NOVIEMBRE 20 DE 1930. ¶ (Firma original) A. C. Sandino, ¶ Cesar Augusto Sandino. ¶ Un sello."

1.     5 February 1931.
Patrol Report, Lt. Clyde Darrah, 9th Co. Guardia Nacional, to Col. John Marston, Bluefields, p. 1.

2.     5 February 1931.
Patrol Report, Lt. Clyde Darrah, 9th Co. Guardia Nacional, to Col. John Marston, Bluefields, p. 2.

3.     5 February 1931.
Patrol Report, Lt. Clyde Darrah, 9th Co. Guardia Nacional, to Col. John Marston, Bluefields, p. 3.

5 February 1931.
Letter from G. R. Heath, Moravian Church Station, Kaurkira, Nic., to Br. Gapp, Cape Gracias, p. 1.  
"Dear Br. Gapp, ¶ Thank you for your letter of January 14th. Br. Shimer is quite right about the matter of my salary, as I had already explained to Br. De Schweinitz: but I thank the Board for its kindly feeling. ¶ There is some slight inaccuracy about the information forwarded to you about Kaurkira. We began to CUT (not to plant) posts on November 18th: I think it was Friday 21st when we began to plant. The house we made was simply a “longhouse”; that is, a structure consisting of posts and a thatch roof. It will be used as a camp and carpenters’ work-shop at first; but may be improved into the first school or church later on. The difficulty at Kaurkira is that there is nothing at all there which can do the work of boards. Lumber is cheap enough here; (at C. Gracias), but as you know, the customs regulations between the two countries form a troublesome barrier, even though native products are free from duty. However, we hope to get over that difficulty soon; but it will cause us much extra expense. Meanwhile I was in Kaurkira again from January 20th to 28th, evangelizing, getting better acquainted with the people and preparing more fully for the building operations. ¶ Now let me also thank you for your longer letter of November 14th. I was not aware that I had mentioned the “Own Missionary” policy: if I did so, it was a slip for “Our Evangelist”, which is quite a different matter. Since the question has been raised, however, permit me to suggest that I think “Own Station” (or “Own School”) would be better than “Own Missionary”, the missionary in charge of that particular branch of work becoming “Own Missionary” for the time being. Take my own case. I was for a few years “Own Missionary” for Fairview, which raised nearly half my salary. But from 1904 till to-day I have also been “O.M.” for the Living Waters Missionary Union of Eastbourne, England, which contributes $240 annually. Their grant followed me from the Indian work to Bluefields in 1910; back again to Indian work in 1914; to Jamaica in 1926; and back again to the Indian work in 1930! ¶ But as to the Evangelists. I quite understand that it is very interesting for a group or a person at home to take up the support of an Evangelist. But it is demoralizing to the worker and still more so to the native church to be so entirely dependent on the Home Board. Our book of Order says that when a certain defined amount of progress has been made towards self-government, THEN there shall be made in our Provincial Accounts a definite distinction between native and foreign funds. I venture to hold very strongly, with Bishops Hamilton and Hennig, that THAT DISTINCTION SHOULD BE MADE FROM THE VERY FIRST. We can indeed tell our Indians with a clear conscience that no part of their annual church contributions goes into our own pocket; because the sum total of these contributions is scarcely sufficient. I believe, to cover the sum total of other expenses apart from missionaries’ salaries. But our present system of accounting, and the clear words of our Brotherly Agreement make it pretty plain that the Administrative Board (S.P.G.) makes itself responsible for ALL expenses, and that our members are obligated to assist in bearing ALL these burdens. Now I urge that FROM THE FIRST it be made clear to our Honduras Indians that they have nothing at all to do with the missionary’s maintenance or home; but that they bear the sole responsibility for supporting native teachers and evangelists. If this burden is really too much for them, a grant in aid, well-defined and strictly temporary, could be made by the Home Board. But Indian workers should be strictly the agents of the Indian churches, not the paid workers of a foreign board. It will obviously be difficult to put this policy into force in Honduras apart from Nicaragua: but I would rather it were . . . "

5 February 1931.
Letter from G. R. Heath, Moravian Church Station, Kaurkira, Nic., to Br. Gapp, Cape Gracias, p. 2.  
". . . done there only than not at all. It is very tempting to me to take advantage of privately-proffered generosity and ask for the support of one or more evangelists; but I am convinced that I should be making a mistake if I were to do so: a mistake that would revenge itself in later years. I realize that the course I have mapped out will put the spiritual quality of our work to a very severe test; but it seems to me that if I shrink from that test I should be lacking in faith and courage. ¶ It may possibly happen that the native brethren may have to bear heavy responsibility sooner than we expect or desire. By the time this reaches you, you may already have heard rumours of fresh bandit outbreaks: and with the present greatly disturbed condition of the whole world we do not know what it may all lead to. As far as I can ascertain, attacks have been made on Krasa (near Asang), San Carlos, Sangsang, Waspuk, and Sakling (near Bilwaskarma). Br. Allen Mueller, who is in charge of the Asmussen shop at Waspuk, and acts as our catechist (evangelist) there, is just now in town. He reports that the store was cleaned out; but that no personal violence was done to him, except that he was deprived of one or two of his belongings. He has heard, however, that the Evangelists Leopold Omeir and Ignatius Maibit were robbed of all they possessed, and that one or more of our Krasa Christians were killed: but these rumours lack confirmation. It is certain that Anaiyo at Wirapani, Dannery Downs at Bilwaskarma, and the Haglunds at Wasla were left unmolested. It is claimed that the bandits have retired again to the hill-country. The captain of this band is a former acquaintance of mine: but perhaps he would not care to know me in these days. May I beg you very earnestly not to publish in the church papers anything more than the most necessary meager statement of facts, and that only when the facts are well authenticated? We do not know for certain yet what happened above Waspuk. As Christians, we cannot but abhor all violence, and I trust we shall not be afraid to say so. But this whole bandit movement is more complicated than appears on the surface, and probably has a great deal of political significance. The wildest rumours are afloat, among which the most emphatic sometimes are mutually contradictory. Some say that the murder of Jose Lleset was unauthorized, and that the perpetrators have been punished. It is generally agreed that Lleset brought the trouble upon himself. Some say that no Indians or missionaries or other neutral people will be molested, unless indeed they offer resistance. Others say that all Americans are to be wiped out, and that our Christians will suffer because they belong to an “American mission”—this I can scarcely believe. But everyone agrees that the whole movement is directed against the American marines: and here I think is where we must keep out of politics. Have you read “Dollar Diplomacy”, by two authors whose names I forget? If not, by all means try to get hold of it: very coldly and dispassionately it gives what seems to be a true account of the situation down here, in many cases citing the official documents in full. But besides this general issue, there are a number of personal grievances which cause rancor. The earlier marines, under Major Butler, behaved well, I can testify to that as concerns the years 1910 and 1912. But it is claimed that those who have been here more recently behaved very badly. Some are said to have been recently lynched in Corinto for outraging Nicaragua women On this river there is a little place –or rather, there WAS—called Kilali, some days above Bocay. It is claimed that when the marines were up there, they had a rather disastrous encounter with the Sandinistas in that district. Afterward in the mistaken belief that Kilali was a bandit camp, they bombed the place and destroyed all the inhabitants. I do not know whether the story is true; but IT IS BELIEVED; and so long as it is believed it will never be forgiven. In the midst of this confusion it is good to know that we are in god’s hand, and therefore in deepest reality safe. Br. And Sr. Stortz are well; and the Doktormairin (Miss Kreitlow) will be with them for the rest of this month. ¶ With kind regard in which my wife joins, Yours faithfully, ¶ [signed] G.R. Heath"

1.     6 February 1931.
Conditions in the District of Rama, Department of Southern Bluefields.  Col. John Marston, Bluefields, to Jefe Director GN, Managua, p. 1. 
 Re Planters Association of Rama.

2.     6 February 1931.
Conditions in the District of Rama, Department of Southern Bluefields.  Col. John Marston, Bluefields, to Jefe Director GN, Managua, p. 2. 
 Re Planters Association of Rama.

3.     6 February 1931.
Conditions in the District of Rama, Department of Southern Bluefields.   Col. John Marston, Bluefields, to Jefe Director GN, Managua, p. 2.   
Re Planters Association of Rama:  Enclosed flier:  "BANANO BARATO Y A LA FUERZA.  Contra el Jefe Político Gilberto Lacayo Bermúdez, selling out to the Mexican Fruit Company, forcing planters to sell for 30 cents a stem, using Violence, Power & Force against the poor planters of Rama.  In Panama bananas are worth 60 cents.  Bluefields.  /s/  A. Mallona, Alberto Guillén, Alberto Alvarez, Jesús García, Dámaso Sánchez.  Tip. Cines Caribe, Bluefields."

6 February 1931 (n.d.).
Radiogram from F. Espinoza, Fiscal Agent Rama, to National Assembly Deputy Mr. Juan Cajina Mora, Managua. 
 "Translation:  ¶  Four soulless jews had badly informed Mr. Mallona on account of being President of Planters Association, who refuses to sell bananas at thirty cents.  ¶  Mallona is imprisoned and he is only complying with instructions of the Association.  ¶  Emphatically I deny and I swear to the Lord that there is nothing as a bad intention among the planters against any person. They are surprised at the good faith of the Government.  It’s seen with repugnance that the Guardia Nacional meddles in their business without motive.  In Bluefields it’s badly ignored the harm done by obligating the planters to sell their bananas at thirty cents.  Within a year the Nicaraguans will have no plantations.  ¶  The Government should investigate through a commissions, the facts of the actions before proceeding.  ¶  When the “American Fruit Co.” ran away, who swindled the planters and employees, neither the authorities, nor the public protested.  But now that there is another company that wants to carry of the bananas, everybody yells, and makes false reports just because the Planters defend themselves.  Publish it.  You can speak with friends, and the President."

 

7 February 1931.
Excerpts from a Confidential Letter from Capt. H. N. Stent, Puerto Cabezas, to Col. John Marston, Bluefields, p. 1.  
"Puerto Cabezas, 7 February 1931 ¶ My dear Colonel Marston:-- ¶ The most startling information which I have received is that there are disloyal guardia here and that some of them made a statement at Logtown, prior to the departure of Darrah’s patrol to Sacklin, that they would not fight bandits but would join them if they could. This ties in with one or two other statements made by guardia during the past six months. The Logtown business was reported to me the night Captain Wood left (for Bluefields). These reports have been, to a certain extent, vague and I’m having considerable trouble tracing them, but will eventually. The search has narrowed down to a few guardia, and as usual, the reason for this discontent must be found. I believe someone has been working on the guardia from the outside. Inasmuch as they are Conservatives (the guardia) for the most part who are suspected, I lay the cause probably somewhere in the neighborhood of Gallo or Arana or perhaps others I don’t know. (Gallo is the lawyer about whom the Area Commander, Eastern Area,, has already submitted a report.) There is a strong Conservative element here and although the Conservative candidate Arana professes his loyalty, I neither trust him or his family. I am not worried about this situation but I have two very severe lessons with disloyal guardia before, and I don’t believe in taking chances.*****. There is no danger of a mutiny but we will have to be watchful in the case of future patrols until we locate the guilty parties. ¶ Now there is the case of Adolfo Cockburn of Sacklin. Wood no doubt told you of Darrah’s experience with him as regards his expressed sympathy with Sandino My informants told me night before last that this is positively true; that he, Cockburn, controls the Indians in his vicinity; that he is a very close friend of Abram Riviera and that when the bandits last came to Sacklin they greeted him (Cockburn) with open arms. His goods were the only ones not molested and he went armed with the group on the friendliest terms. Furthermore, he came to Logtown a couple of days ago on the pretense of wanting work, was denied and returned to Sacklin. On top of that a white man by the name of GREEN who possessed a pistol, stole two shotguns and another pistol, a couple of mules and with a native woman, started for the river, openly stating he was going to join up with the bandits. By prompt action, we captured him after a short pursuit, with arms and mules to boot. He is now being held as a bandit prisoner and your instructions are awaited. ¶ COCKBURN, however, is still at large and we have made no effort to capture him because I am certain as soon as we had him we would have Gallo on our hands again. [...]"

7 February 1931.
Excerpts from a Confidential Letter from Capt. H. N. Stent, Puerto Cabezas, to Col. John Marston, Bluefields, p. 2. 
 "[...] We would then have to release him and this would hurt us greatly. He has no intimation that we suspect him, I don’t believe. During the past month two very suspicious characters came to Logtown under the pretense of looking for work, and then disappeared. Both came over from Sacklin and both were foreigners; one an Austrian or German and the other of uncertain nationality, probably European. Information points to a strong group, well armed, in the Patuca River district with an outpost near Tilba Falls where they can see up and down the river for long distances. Indians also say there are more between Bocay and Santa Cruz on the Coco (Wanks). The Patuca River outfit is composed of all nationalities and are, of course, out of reach on Honduranian territory . I believe that arms are being smuggled to the Segovias and Jinotega thru there. Any attempt on them from this end would be doomed to failure but I have strong hopes of being able to intercept the next group that comes down the river. With this in view, I have sent out a couple of Indians from Logtown who are out of work and have promised them a reward for timely information. Also the Indians are stirred up over the killing of two Indians by the last group of bandits and the theft of many of their shotguns. ¶ What do you recommend that we do in the case of COCKBURN? I’ve tried to make the case clear. He is in league with the bandits but I doubt if we can make a civil court see it an what would be done with him if we did? Respectfully yours, H. N. Stent."

9 February 1931.
Report on Henry GREEN and Adolfo COCKBURN, Col. John Marston, Area Commander, Eastern Area, to Jefe Director GN, Managua.  
"9 February 1931 ¶ Subject: Henry GREEN and Adolfo COCKBURN. ¶ Enclosures 3. ¶ 1. The three enclosures are forwarded for the information of the Jefe Director. ¶ 2. The Area Commander, Eastern Area, has never received any instructions which cover instances like those described. When, for reasons of public security, I have attempted to hold individuals as “military prisoners” or have arrested men for investigation, either civil lawyers or the courts themselves, by intervention through Managua, have placed me on the defensive and I am now at a loss as to how to proceed in such cases. GREEN is being held as a military prisoner until I have received instructions in regard to his case. COCKBURN will not be disturbed until further instructions are received unless he definitely commits an act which involves him with the outlaws of the Coco River district. ¶ 3. It should be remarked here that the courts of the East Coast, with few exceptions are perfectly willing to permit the Guardia Nacional to handle cases of outlawry, banditry, etc., but civil lawyers, by falling back on the criminal code, persistently offer legal obstructions and not infrequently, by appealing to senators or deputies, bring into play enough governmental interference that practically results in the immediate release of the men under investigation. There have been no convictions by jury trial in Bluefields since May, 1929, except one case of a guardia turned over to the Criminal Court for trial during my leave of absence in the United States. It is obvious that the courts cannot be relied upon to handle properly such cases as may be turned over to them for trial. ¶ (signed) JOHN MARSTON"

11 February 1931.
Deserting of Four Guardias from Neptune Mine, 1st Sgt. Wilfred A. Dash, Neptune Mine, to Dept. Commanders, Bluefields & Puerto Cabezas.

11 February 1931.
Special Report (Deserting).   1st Sgt. Wilfred A. Dash, Neptune Mine, to Col. John Marston, Bluefields, p. 1.  
(Evidently a follow-up report after the first, above, was found to be inadequate.)

11 February 1931.
Special Report (Deserting).   1st Sgt. Wilfred A. Dash, Neptune Mine, to Col. John Marston, Bluefields, p. 2.

 

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12

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