On July 27, 1915, the day on which Haiti’s convict-president, Vilbrun Guillaume Sam, was murdered and his dismembered body dragged through the streets of his capital, the U. S. armored cruiser Washington, flagship of Rear Admiral William B. Caperton, arrived at Port au Prince and landed a small force of bluejackets and marines which occupied the city and restored order with little resistance from the population. Haiti was destined to remain under the beneficent control of American forces of occupation for the next 20 years.
On August 19, Admiral Caperton received the following code message from Washington:
Navy Department, Washington,
August 19, 1915