Speaking before the Liberal Club last night, Colonel A. T. Marix of the United States Marine Corps sketched the history of Santo Domingo, laying emphasis on the work done by the United States military government in the island.
"The United States took over the management of Santo Domingo in 1916. In the 53 years before that there had been 35 presidents, and as each president was supposedly elected for a four-year term, it may be readily seen that the island was far from being free from political disturbances.
"As soon as the United States took over the government of the island, marines were sent in and Santo Domingo was put under a form of martial law. The first difficulty met with was in disarming the natives, who had been accustomed all their lives to carrying weapons. This was only accomplished by the intimidation of the 'bosses', the native leaders in the different sections of the country".
Becoming a member of the staff of the Military Governor of the island, Colonel Marix assumed the position of Minister of Justice, Education, and Foreign Relations. Special difficulties were encountered in restoring the shattered finances of the state, caused by excessive borrowing from other countries. It was only at the urgent request of France, England, and Germany that the United States assumed charge of the finances, for these powers threatened to seize the custom houses of Santo Domingo if the interest on the loans was, not paid immediately.