Title: "Trouble in Congo State."

Journal: Los Angeles Times

Place of Publication: Los Angeles

Date: October 18, 1904

Place: Congo Free State


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Trouble in Congo State.

Belgian Representative Sees the President.

Intimates English Are "Knocking" for Revenge.

Secret Service Men Guarding Count Cassini.

[By the Associated Press -- P.M.]

Washington, Oct. 17. -- Henry L. Kowalsky of San Francisco, one of the attorneys in this country for the Belgian government today presented to the President a message from the King of Belgium and in answer on the part of the Belgian government to the memorial laid before the President recently by E. D. Morel, honorary secretary of the Congo Relief Association. Mr. Kowalsky later had a conference with the officials of the State Department.

He declares that an effort is being made to make the American government a catspaw in the Congo affair, and he does not believe it will be successful.

In an interview with the Associated Press. Mr. Kowalsky said:

"I presented to the President a letter from King Leopold in reply to the baseless charges of the British humanitarians and also other documents stating the Belgian side of the controversy.

"The testimony of travelers, from the days of Sir Henry M. Stanley to the present time, is unanimous and emphatic in praise of the Congo Free State government. If it were necessary to disprove such inconsistent and palpably false charges as those which try to make it appear that the Belgian officers in the Congo chop off the hands of the blacks whom they are trying to enslave we could bring the statements of such eye witnesses as Maj. James Harrison, Sir Harry Johnston, Mr. Grenfell, Capt. M. D. Bell and Michael Holland, themselves all Englishmen, who assert that the Congo Free State is far more advanced in civilization than British East Africa and Uganda. Cardinal Gibbons has given his testimony also regarding the great work performed by King Leopold in Africa.

"I have also called to the President's attention the fact that all this uproar in England over the atrocities in the Congo is fathered by missionaries whose applications for big concessions were turned down by the Belgian authorities. Not a single charge of cruelty, as I said to the President, has been made except by those who have been seeking material advantages in that region. I told him that this fact and the fact that Great Britain has failed in her effort to open up the Congo question accounts for the attempt now being made to work upon the sympathies of the American people by trumped-up stories of cruelty to the Congo natives.

Cordially Received.

Mr. Kowalsky was cordially received by the President, who expressed his pleasure that King Leopold had thus honored an American. After the matter had been carefully considered by the President and Secretary Hay, a reply will be made to the Congo Reform Association.

After his visit to the White House, Mr. Kowalsky sent a cablegram to King Leopold, assuring him of the President's appreciation of His Majesty's thoughtful consideration.

King Leopold, in his letter to Mr. Kowalsky, a copy of which was left with the President, encloses a statement about the Congo from the Federation for the Defense of Belgian Interests Abroad, and says [illegible] You will, in delivering this communication to the President [illegible] to him on my behalf the feelings of esteem I have for him and the unshaken confidence I place in his spirit of justice and impartiality.

"I have to express the desire that Mr. Roosevelt will kindly take cognizance of this address in your presence so that you may be afforded an opportunity to give him any further information he might wish to obtain from you.

"The foundation and fairness of the case which you have been good enough to undertake will supply you with such numerous and conclusive arguments as to confound the enemies of the Congo Free State."