United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on Fore.

Compilation of reports of Committee ... 1789-1901, First Congress, first session, to Fifty-sixth Congress, second session .. online

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owned them if I had wanted to, and I had the means to work them. I
had all the protection that I wanted from the local authorities ; and, as
a proof of it, I worked those mines for five yeai s, and they are being
worked now, and that Durango Mining Company has been worked
twenty-seven years, and they are now turning out $115,000 a month.
I worked the Gandalaria and the Bolanos in San Dimas. Some people
repeatedly asked me to go over there and take hold of those mines, but
I always declined.

Q. Why did you decline T — A. Because I sent over my right-hand



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660 THE LA ABBA SILYEB MINING COMPANY.

maD to look over the district, and if there was anything good to secure
it

Q. What report did he give youf

Mr. Kbnnedt. I do not think that that is admissible at alL

The Chaibman. lilo.

Mr. Kbnnbdt. That is pare hearsay.

The Witness. My role always is to send ont my right hand man to
look at a property first; and then if he reports favorably on it I go
myself and look at it, and if it is good I take it.

Q. Did yon ever go and examine the Tayoltita mines upon that re-
port f — ^A. No, sir.

Q. Did yon state to General Adams at that time that the mines now
worked by La Abra Company are among the best and most valoable of
all the silver mines of Mexico f — A. No, sir.

Q. Or anything of that pnrport T — ^A. No, sir. When we consider
Zacatecas and Candalaria that woald be the height of folly for me to
make snch a statement, for my book on Mexico, which is a recognized
aathority on the mines of Mexico, wUl bear me oat in what I say, be-
caase all those notes were made at the time I was in Mexico.

Q. I continne the reading at question 10 :

Qaestion lOtb. Did yon, when at Tayoltita, obeerve the piles of silYer ores on the
patios of the company, so ae to be able to state the qnantity and valne of the same f
If so, state it. ,

Ans. I think not ; I did, however, more than once, obeerve said ores. The company
left mjetkt piles of them on the " patios," which they had taken ont and packed do wn
from their said mluos,and the average of them weresaid to beveiyrichofsilyer metal,
with a small percentage of gold; but I also observed there unmistakable evidences
of that which had been a common report for a Ions time, that those piles of ore had
been toni down and the richest of their metals cnlled ont and carried away, leaving
npou those extensive *' patios" the poorest of them, which were scattered over a lar^e
surface, covering, I should say, at least aqnarter of an acre of gronnd. It was said
that the company abandoned about a thousand tons of those metals, but not half of
them remained when I saw them in 1870; and those that were left gave evidences of
having been torn down, culled out, and rejected. I can not state the value of those
that I saw, but 1 think ftom a cursory examination of them that even the poorest
and rejected pieces wonld pay well to beneficiate.

How far does this answer conform to the statement made by yoa to
Oeneral Adams at Mazatlan t — A. I told him that I had observed the
piles of ore on the patio, spread over the whole patio. I also told him
that I sent my assay er over there to sample it, and he did so, and broaght
the sample back to the hacienda.

By Mr. Eennbdt :
Q. What date was that that yon sent him over t — A. When I was
tearing down this machinery in December, 1871, 1 sampled them my-
self.

By Mr. FosTBB :

Q. Aboat December, 1871 f— A. About December, 1871.

Q. Go on with your statement. — A. That was a frequent occurrence,
because we were some time in tearing it down, and I was over there
frequently, and being a mining man, 1 would naturally go over and take
samples from the piles of ore, which I did, and sampled them thoroughly
and if they had been any account I would have worked them up.

Q. Did you make any statement to him at that time to the effect that
the average of that ore was said to be very rich in silver metal, with a
small percentage of gold f— A. No, sir.

Q. Did you make a statement to the effect that there were <^ un-
mistakable evidences of that which had been a common report for a



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THE LA ABBA BILVEB MINING COMPANY. 661

long time, that those piles of ores had been torn down and the richest of
their metals culled ont and carried away t" — A. No, sir.

Q. You were stating that your man made selections from those ores
on the patio t — ^A. Yes, sir.

Q. State the result of your assay. — ^A. My assay was $8 in silver and
$5.50 gold, making $13.50 per ton.

Q. Would you call that very rich in silverand gold t— A. It wouldn^t
pay for working.

Q. Did you say anything to him about the common report that the
ores had been torn down and the richest carried away t — A. No, I don't
recollect that I did ; but you can depend upon one thing, that Mexi-
cans would never leave any rich ores lying around, nor American miners
either, any more than the Treasury Department here would leave sil-
ver dollars lying around.

Q. Did you say:

I can not state the valae of those that I saw, bat I think from a cursory examination
of them, that even the poorest and rejected pieces would pay well to beneficiate.

Did you make any such statement as thatt — ^A. No, sir : I did not

Q. What was the fact in regard to that, from your ooservation in
1871 1 — ^A. That our test was too low a grade to touch.

Q; You mean to work T — ^A. Yes, sir ; to handle. When I say handle,
that means taking them off the place and working them.

Q. State whether the ores that you saw in 1871 at the patio were of
any value for practical purposes. — A. No, sir; $13.50 would hardly
pay the the freight over to San Dimas.

By the Ohaibman :

Q. You mean in Mexico t — A. Yes, sir.

Q. Would it pay in this country f — A. In this country we are work-
ing 70 tons a day that don't work over $15 to the ton. But to take tbat
over tiO San Dimas, over 12 miles, that ore would hardly pay freight.

By Mr. LmBS:

Q. What would have been the cost of reducing it at the patio there,
provided the machinery was all in operation and without carrying it
over to San Dimas f

The Witness. Leaving out the mining partt

Mr. LiNBS. Leaving out the mining.

A. I don't know what the expense would be.

By Mr. Foster:
Q. What would it have cost to reduce the ores on the patio there at
Tayoltitat — ^A. They had rather poor chance there, on account of the
likelihood of it being carried away by flood. But even under favorable
circumstances, with the loss in quicksilver and one thing and another,
I don't see that they could have reduced it for less than $8 a ton ; and
that would not include the shipping of the bullion to Mazatlan, nor in-
clude the mining or the packing down to the hacienda.

By Mr. Lines :
Q. Would there not have been, including all those expenses, an ab-
solute loss on each ton of ore mined and reduced T — A. I worked a low
grade of ore in Gandalaria for a year for a test; 1 worked from 900 to
1,000 tons of ore, and I gave it a good test, bringing everything down
to a business basis, and 1 lost a couple of thousand dollars a year on
$18 and $19 rock. Then I abandoned it and went to other parts of the
mine.



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662 THE LA ABRA tilLVEB MINING COMPANY.

By Mr. Fostbb:
Q. I continue the reading :

Question 11th. What, in your judgment, was the value of the mines, machinery,
stamp-mill and other improvements belonging to and worked by " La Abra ^ Com-
pany, which you have named ; state your opinion of their yalne in March, 1868, and
at the present time, and also the amount of money which that company mast have
expended in said works, in your opinion f

Ans. I should value those mines at not lees than one million dollars, in 1868, and
the company's improvements at half a million more.

Did you make any such Btatement afi that, as far as I have readt —
A. That I should value those mines at $1,000,000 in 1868 1 I was not
there in 1868. I knew nothing about that in 1868, and I never made
any such statement as that.

Q. What do you say to that which follows : <* And the company's im-
provements at half a million more?^ Do your remarks apply to that
as well t— A. They might have spent $100,000 or $150,000 all told in
the whole business; that would be my judgment: they might have
raised more money, but I don't think that in the whole business it would
amount to more than that.

By the Chairman :
Q. Do you mean the machinery t — A. In the machinery, bringing it
up, and everything.

By Mr. Foster :

Q. What do you mean by ** everything 5" all the operations of the
company t— A. The operations of the mine I don't know anything about,
but I mean ail the buildings and everything. That mill may have cost
$40,000 lauded there ; J couldn't state ; if it did cost more than that it
was an outrageous waste. But I say this, that I knew nothing about
that in 1»68, and I never made any such statement about things I do
not know.

Q. The opinion which you now express is simply upon what you saw
at the time and heard from others t

Mr. Kennedy. I object to that.

A. No, sir; my knowledge of the business was irom my confidential
man. Dr. Storch, who was a mining man, and I sent him over to exam-
ine these ores.

Q. I am now speaking about the value of the mines and improve-
ments. — A. Of course, if that was the character of the ore which came
out of those mines, which it was, I certainly would not take hold of a
mine that would not give more than $13 ore, and 1 declined to take hold
of it.

Mr. Wilson. Please do not argue the case as we go along; let us
have the testimony.

Mr. Foster. I am getting an answer to this question ; I continue to
read:

And if they conld have been held and worked by their magnificent machinery and
Btamp-milly withoat interruption, or '* prestamos/' and with anything like an assur-
ance or hope of protection, I would now value them at three or four times that amount.

Q. Did you make any such statement as that to General A. W.
Adams? — ^A. No, sir; I never knew that they had prestamos.

By the Chairman :
Q. What is a prestamos t — A. A forced loan.



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THE LA ABRA SILVER MINING COMPANY. 663

By Mr. Foster:

Q. Did yoQ make any reference to any interruptions which the com-
pany had t

Mr. Kennedy. I want to call the attention of the chairman to the
fact that thin answer is hypothetical :

they ooald have been held and worked by their magnificent machinery and stamp-
etc.

There is no statement in this answer that the witness knew or did
> not know at the time he made it that there had been prestamos.
Mr. Wilson. He says he did not give any such answer.
Q. 1 continue the reading:

If the parts of the stamp-miU could be fonnd and pat together again npon their
gronnds at Tayoltita, and all the machinery there in as good order as when the same
was abandoned by the company, I should value the whole at four to five million dol-
lars, not less than four million ($4,000,000).

What have you to say to that part of the answer as having been given
by you at Mazatlau ? — A. As a mining man I would not make such a
statement.

Q. Did you make such an assertion t — A. No, sir; I never made such
a statement before or since, and I do not believe that I would make such
a statement to put the value of a mine at $4,000,000 when I had not
seen it.

By Mr. Wilson :

Q. I would like to have you state whether yon did or did not make
that statement. I do not want any hypothetical answers or any equiv-
ocal answers to that question ? — A. No; I never said that a mine was
worth $4,000,000 when 1 did not know it.

Q. Did you ever make that statement? — A. No, sir; I never made
any statement of that kind.

xMr. Wilson. That is what I want you to say.

Mr. Foster. Mr. Wilson, you will have abundant opportunity to
cross-examine. That is what be has said two or three times already.

Mr. Wilson. I simply wanted an answer to the question.

Mr. FosTBB. Well, you have got it. Now, I continue the reading:

Bnt I do not believe it possible ever to get that maohiuei^ together again, as the
parts stolen and sold are so scattered over several mining districts in the State, and
much of it partially worn out, or refitted to other machinery, so that it would, in my
opinion, be better and cheaper to repurchase a new stamp-mill and machinery and
bring it there from the United States, than go to the uncertain expense of hunting
np or replacing that which was taken away from them at Tayoltita.

A. If I said that then, I say it now.
By Mr. Wilson :

Q. Did you say it then t — ^A. I might have said it, and that is the
truth, that it would be better to put up a new mill than to hunt up old
pieces — for instance, a retort. We took two of the retorts that were
broken and could not be used over again, and we couldn't do anything
else than bring new ones from the United States. If I did say it, I say
it now.

By Mr. Foster :

Q. The question now is whether you said :

I should value the ores taken out of said mines, and abandoned by that company, in
1868, at half a million dollars, judging from what I have seen there myself, and have
heard stated by reliable miners in that district, and also by common report, or public
opinion, which is seldom in error among practical miners in sach <



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664 THE LA ABRA SILVER MINING COMPANT.

What have you to say as to the ^rrectuess of that declaration T — A.
It says here that ^^ I should value the ores takeu out of said mines and
abandoned by that company in 1868 at half a million dollars." Did you
make any such declaration as that at Mazatlan f — A. No, sir; not from
what I have seen there myself; and then there is my own statement,
made before this examination took place, of that assay (13.50) of the ores
that were taken out.

Mr. Wilson. In order to avoid any future controversy about this
matter, I would like to have the witness state whether he said that thing
in that connection or not.

The Witness. As I told you, my answer to General Adams bas been
perverted, and there is only one thing to do, and that is to bring the
original notes that 1 erased and corrected; bring those sheets of paper;
they will show what Lsaid at that time.

Mr. Wilson. I simply want to know whether you said that or not.

Mr. Foster. He has answered that he did not.

Mr. Wilson. He has answered it in an equivocal way.

The Witness. What I have said or did not say has been changed
and perverted.

By Mr. Wilson :

Q. If you did not say that, then it has been changed.— A. Yes ; it
has lieen changed.

Q. Now, I want to know whether you did or did not say that!

The Witness. Did not say whatf I have answered.

Q. Just what he read to you. You can conform your answer just to
what Mr. Foster has read to you, and you have it right before you,
reading it for yourself. — A. Yes, sir.

Q. I want to know whether or not you said this :

I should yalae the ores taken oat of said mines, and abandoned by that company,
in 1B68, at half a million dollars, judging from what I have seen there myself, ana
have heard stated by reliable miners In that district, aud also by common report.

A. The common report I have got uothing to say about.

Mr. Wilson. I want to know whether you said thatt

Mr. Fcsteb. Did you make any such declaration as that to General
Adams at Mazatlan f

Mr. Wilson, i want to get at what he said.

Mr. Foster. I object to the interruption. If the answers are not sat-
isfactory, you will have an opportunity to cross-examine hereafter.

The Witness. My answers have been perverted so that it is hard to
say. It says here that I said, '^ I should value the ores at half a million
dollars ;" I simply say to that, that if I should value these mines at not
less than $1,000,000, I put them in the same category, when it comes to
judging of tne valueof mines in dollars and cents.

Mr. Foster. Did you make any such declaration as that f

Mr. Wilson. One moment. They say that this testimony has been
perverted, and he is trying to create that impression here. Now, we
have a right to know, when they are putting these categorical questions
to him, whether he said that thing or not, and if he did not say that,
then let him state what he did say. I do not want this witness to come
here and give equivocal answers, about which we may argue hereafter
before the committee. I want to know whether he said that or not;
then if he says be did not say it, let him state what he did say, and we
can cross-examine him upon that.

Mr. Foster. I am conducting this examination now. I have asked
the witness a question, and I do protest against counsel on the other



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THE LA ABBA SILVER MINING COMPANY. 665

side interruptiiig either my questions or the answers of the witness in
the manner in which Jadge Wilson persists in doing. I say that if he
does not understand the answers given by the witness he will of course
have the privilege of interrupting and asking for a more distinct an-
swer, but in the cross-examination hereafter the judge will hate a fall
opportunity to ascertain all that he desires in regard to the knowledge
of this witness.

Mr. Wilson. That is what I am doing.

Mr. Foster. The time has not come for yourcross-examination, and
we do not propose that the counsel shall begin now to intimidate and
worry and annoy the witness.

The WiTNKSS. He does not annoy me a bit

Mr. Foster. Or interpose at this time. If he chooses to do so when
conducting his cross-examination, it is his privilege, but not now.

Mr. Wilson. I simply want to understand what the witness's an-
swer is.

The Chairman. The regular practice in court would be that General
Foster wouhl ask his questions in a form that suited himself, provided
he asked legal questions, and the answers would be taken from the
witness Thereupon the other side would have the right to cross ex-
amine upon those answers and upon any matter connected with them.
But I do not believe that Judge Wilson has the right to take the wit-
ness out of Mr. Foster's hands and to shape the answer

Mr. Wilson. No; I do not.

The Chairman. Unless the answer is going upon the record in some
incorrect form

Mr. Wilson. I only want to know what the answer is.

Mr. Foster. You may ask the stenographer to read it.

Mr. Lines. Suppose you could not understand it at all ; would you
object toitt

Mr. Wilson. Tes. If he put the question in such an unintelli^ble
way that a man of ordinary understanding could not understand it, I
would object to it.

The Witness. There is a question here and an answer; and all these
answer .4 as to whether a portion of the ores were worth a half a million
dollars or whether the whole mine was worth $1,000,000 or whether it
would have been worth $4,000,000 — I put those three distinct lines of
answer into one and say that I never gave any testimony as to the value
of either a portion of those mines or as to the value of the whole mine
to General Adams, and I did not even give him my answer in that way.

The Chairman. That seems to cover it. He gave no testimony about
it.

Mr. Wilson. That was what I was trying to get at. That is all
right.

The Chairman. Pass on with the examination.

By Mr. Foster :

Q. I continue the reading —

The refdse ores which have been onUed over Hnd rejected, and which stiU remaiu
apoD the groand, are worth bat little. They might beneficiate as high as a hundred
thoasand doUars, bnt I think not to exceed that amoant.

Did you make any such declaration as that to General Adams f — A.
I did state that the refuse ores were worth but little.

Q. Did you put such an estimate on their value as $100,000! — A. I
put that ill same category of the values of either a portion or the whole.
But I stated that the refuse ores were worth but httle.



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66(> THE LA ABRA SILVER MINING COMPANY.

Q. Did yoa make any such statement as thatf — A. No, sir; bat I
aaid the refuse ores were worth but little.

Q. (Reading.)

I believe four-fifths of the ores of valae have beeu stolen from the company's patioe
and sold in other places.

Did yon make any such statement as thatf — A. That is as false as it
is possible to put it. I never said that.

Q. (Reading.)

This, too, I only know from common report, which I believe to be true, but from
all the circumstances made known to me by Mexican miners at Tayoltita.

Did you make any such statement as that to General Adams as that
" I believe it to be true"! — A. No, I did not.
Q. Now I come to question 12 :

Question 12th. Do yon know whether Marcos Mora, Macario OHvtra, or other Mex-
ican authorities of San Dimas, in 1866, 1867, and 1868, were enemies to **La Abra"
Silver Mining Company, or whether any of said authorities encouraged Mexionn min-
ers to commit depredations upon said company or their property at Tayoltita, or
whether said authorities, or any of them, incited disturbances, or encouraged the ex-
pulsion of said company from their mines, and from the country, in the years named t

Ans. I do not know of my own knowledge, but I have heard that all those thin^
were done there by the authorities named. I have heard it stated there that Macano
Oil vera, prefect in 1868, and Marcos Mora, whom he succeeded, wore enemies of " La
Abra^' Company, and that they, and some other authorities in the district, acted
badly, and favored the expulsion of La Abra Company, but of this 1 have no personal
knowledge.

Did yon make any such statement as that to General Adams at
Mazatlan t — A. No, sir; I did not. I did not know Marcos Mora or
Macario Olivera, or about any of their disturbance, and I madi* no such
answer to General Adams. I had heard of troubles with the local au-
thorities, but I did not know who was in the right or who was in the
wrong.

By Mr. Wilson :

Q. And you did not say anything about any report to General Adams
either, did youf — A. Of the common report that there was trouble be-
tween Exall and the local authorities, due to his own indiscretion

Q. I am not asking that. — ^A. You asked me what I heard.

Q. No; I did not ask you that. — A. I had no personal knowledge.

Mr. Foster. We object to Mr. Wilson interposing in this way.

Mr. Wilson. Go on.

By Mr. Foster :
Q. (Beading.)

Question. 13th. How many foreign companies were there doins business in mining,
in San Dimas district, in 1866 and T'^, aud how many are now left in the district of
San Dimas f Is there any at all except the Duraugo Company, which yon represent as
superintendent t

Ans. There were a large number of American mining companies in that district in
the years named ; bnt only the Durango Company now remains.

What do you say as to that! — A. I did not reply at all except that
the Duraugo Mining Company was in existence and at work. I under-
stood you wanted me to say whether I gave that testimony or not, and
if I did not give it what I did say. That is what I understand.

Mr. Wilson. No; he asks you in that connection for an answer, and
I would like to have you say whether you did or did not say it.

The Witness. I say no, with the exception of the latter clause, which
mentions the Durango Mining Company.



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THE LA ABRA SILVER MINING COMPANY. 667

Q. (By Mr. Foster.) (Reading:)

QaestioD 14th. How is it that yoar company can remain there without distnrb-
ancesf

Ans. We have had diHtnrbances and difficolties, but we have found it necessary to
submit to all exactions, whether lawful or unlawful, which makes it to the interest
of the authorities to keep us there ; wo have found out how to manage and interest
them, otherwise I suppose my company would be compelled to leave like the others,
without a doubt.

Did you make any such answer as that to General Adams in your
examination at Mazatlauf — A. No, sir; I did not. What I did aay I
suppose I can state now.

Mr. Foster. Yes^ you can state as well as you can what you did
say.

A. I stated that if I bad been disposed to create a quarrel I could
have had all the fight I wanted with the authorities, but that I was not
there for that purpose.

Q. Did you make any statement to the effect that you found it neces-
sary to submit to the exactions, whether lawful or unlawful f-r-A. No,
Hir; 1 submitted to no exactions and had none.

Q. (Beading:)

Question 15th. Do von know Matias Avalos. of said district f

Ans. Tes ; I know him very well ; he is and has been for the last four years in the
employ of tlie Durango Company, of which I am superiutendent ; he is now with me



Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. Senate. Committee on ForeCompilation of reports of Committee ... 1789-1901, First Congress, first session, to Fifty-sixth Congress, second session .. → online text (page 103 of 156)