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

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in Mazatlan, as muleteer and mozo.

A. That is correct.

Q. As stated at Mazatlan f — ^A. Tes, sir ; he accompanied me.

Q. (Beading:)

Question 16th. What is the character of the said Matias Avalos for truth and verac-
ity, in San Dimas, or where he in best known 1

Ans. It is good. I look upon Matias Avalos as a strictly honest, truthful, and trust-
worthy man. I have frequently entrusted him witb large amounts of silver coin,
which he has alwa^^s brought safely to the company fi-om Mazatlan, and also with
bullion from San Dimas to the mint at Durango, and Culiacan, and he never, as many
others have done, reported a loss, which he might have done without detection or
suspicion ; but his reports are always candid and truthful. He is regarded as a strictly
honest, conscientious, and reliable man.

How far does that conform to what you said at Mazatlan to General
Adams f — A. That is perfectly correct, except that I added that on one
occasion he had lost a $20 piece, which slipped our of his belt. I recol-
lect that perfectly. I said : " General Adams, hi^ never lost but one
piece of money for me, and that was an ounce" ($16) ; and on examina-
tion of what they call in Spanish the '^ rattlesnake ^ (a belt that they
wear aroun«l the waist), we found where it hiul worn through, and he
offered to replace it, which I declined. But that answer is perfectly
correct with that exception.

Q. (Reading:)

Question 17th. Have you heard anything abont witnesses having been suborned by
Mexican authorities of San Dimas, to testify for the defense against their will, and in
contravention of what said witnesses had previously testified to on the part of claim-
ant in this matter, b^ threats of inflicting a fine of one hundred (100) dollars and im-
prisonment if they did not come to court and testify against claimant 1 If you know
of any such case, state the names of such authorities and of the witnesses so threatened
and suborned ; and, if you know, what was the result of the same.

Ans. I have heard of such threats being made by Judge Milan, and by the said
Judge Quiros, who succeeded him in office as chief magistrate of the district of San
Dimas.

Did yon make any such declaration as that to General Adams In
answer to his question ?— A. Yes, sir. I heard General Adams make



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668 THE LA ABRA SILVER MINING COMPANY.

that remark. I have heard statements of sach thnats being made,
and Adams is the one that made them.

By Mr. Lines :
Q. From him you heard it !— A. From him I heard it
Mr. Wilson. Ask him whether or not he made that statement in
that deposition.
Mr. Foster. He says yes.
The Witness. I heard it.
Mr. Foster. And he then proceeds to say

By the Chairman :
Q. You answer that you did make that statement t — ^A. I did make
that statement. I have heard of such threats being made.

By Mr. Foster:
Q. Then you state that they were made to you by (General Adams f
Mr. Wilson. He states that he made the statement, and now he adds
that the statements he heard made were made by Adams.
The Witness. Yes, sir.

By Mr. Foster :

Q. (Beading.)

These threats were made against Matias Avalos and James Oranger. both of whom,
it was said, had previoasly testified on behalf of the claim of '' La Abra" CompaDv;
and I heard Matias Avalos say that said district jndge wrote down a statement for
him to sign, on behalf of defendant, which was against his wiU, and not true in point
of fact ; that said jndge wanted Avalos to retract what he haid sworn to in &vor of
Haid Abra Company, in 1870, and Avalos complained that the Jndge did not fim^^
reading the paper that he wished him to sign, as he, the jnd^e, said there was " too mocb
uoise in the conrt-room." I heard Avalos say that he believed said paper was sent to
Washington, with his name and mark attached to it, as his testimony in favor of
Mexico, to which ho never consented, as he knew that a portion of that part which
had been read to him was not trne.

State whether that in whole or in part conforms to any statement
made by yon to Adams at Mazatlan.

Mr. Wilson. The question is, did he make that statement t — ^A. No;
I did not make that statement as it is there.

Mr. FosTEB. 1 am propounding the question.

The Witness. No; I did not make that statement as it is there.

Q. State in what respect it differs from the statement that yon did
make, according to your recollection.

The CHiUEMAN. Gentlemen, we will have to suspend here now, as I
understand the Senate is in executive session, and I will have to go np
to the Senate Chamber. If it will suit yon, we will meet again at 10
o'clock to-morrow morning (Saturday), and we will try to sit it out.

iMr. Kennedy. Before we adjourn I should like to request that the
committee call on the Secretary of State to produce the original of this
deposition.

The Chairman. I have already done that.

Thereupon the subcommittee adjourned to meet at 10 o'dook to-mor-
row, February 2, 1889.



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THE LA ABBA SILVER MINING COMPANY. 669

Senate of the United States,

Committee on Foreign Relations,

Washingtofiy D. C, February 2, 1889.
The committee met pursuant to call.

Present: Senator Morgan (chairman), Hon. John W. Foster, and Mr.
Robert B. Lines of coansel for the Mexican Government, and Grammond
Kennedy, of counsel for La Abra Silver Mining Gompany.

TESnXOVT OF CHABLES E DAHLOBEH— Continned.

By Mr. Foster :

Q. Page 405, 1 continue to read from the deposition of Gharles B.
Dahlgren, on behalf of claimant, as cited in the examination of yester-
day.

Mr. Kennedy. What answer is that, Mr. Foster 1

Mr. Foster. It is question 17. I continue to read from the answer;

These threats were made against Matias Avalos and James Granger, both of whom,
it was said, had previously testified on behalf of the claim of *' La Abra'' Company ;
and I heard Matias Avalos say that said district judge wrote down a statement for
him to sign on behalf of defendant, which was against his will, and not trne in point
of fact; that said Judge wanted Avalos to retract what he had sworn to in favor of
said Abra Company in 1870, and Avalos complained that the judge did not finish
reading the paper that he wished him to sign, as he, the judge, said there was ^* too
much noise iu the court-room." I heard Avalos say that ne believed said paper was
sent to Washington, with his name and mark attached to it, as bis testimony in favor
of Mexico, to which ho never consented, as he knew that a portion of that part which
had been read to him was not true.

I ask you, Captain Dahlgren, to state how far this answer, as I have
read it, conforms to the statement made by you to General Adams at
Mazatlan f — A. Will the preceding paragraph be a part of it f

Q. Well, you have already testified to that part; yon can include it
if you choose. — A. It reads: "Answer. I have heard of such threats
being made by Judge Milan.'' My reply to that was, and which in-
cludes the first part of the next sentence, I have heard of such threats
being made from A. W. Adams as against his witnesses, but not men-
tioning any names.

Q. What have you to say in regard to this statement which I have
read ! — A. That takes the first part of it. The second comes to Avalos.
Avalos, who was my confidential mozo or servant, told me that he had
been drawn into this thing, or words to that effect, and had made a
deposition, and asked me if any trouble would come of it. I asked him
if he haii told the truth. He said, " Yes.'' I said : " Then no trouble
will come of it.'*

Q. Did you say anything to Adams to this effect :

I heard Martin Avalos say that said district judge wrote down a statement for him
to sign, on behalf of the defendant, which was against his will, and not true in point
of fact t

A. No, sir.

Q. You made no such statement f — A. No, sir.

Q. Did you make any statement of this character :

That said judge wanted Avalos to retract what he had sworn to in favor of said
Abra Company in 1870. and Avalos complained that the judge did not finish reading the
paper that he wished iiim to sign, as he, the judge, said there was ** too much noise in
the court-room t"

A. I never heard any such statement and never made any such state-
ment.

S. Doc. 231, pt 2- U



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670 THE LA. ABBA SILVER MINING COMPANY.

Q. To Adams f— A. To Adams. I never heard anything about *^ noise
in the coart room.''
Q. (Reading:)

I heard Avalos say that he believed said paper was sent to Washington, with his
name and mark attached to it, as his testimony in favor of Mezioo, to n^ich he never
consented, as he knew that a portion of that part which had been read to him was
not trne.

Did yon make any snch statement as that to Adams f — A. No, sir.

Q. Did you ever hear Avalos make any such statement? — A. I
answeied that some time ago, by saying that he told me that he had
made a statement and wanted to know if any trouble would come of it
I did not know which side he was for.

Q. Well, that statement that you then made covers A. Covers all

this thing.

Q. All that Avalos said to you at any timef — A. Tes.

Q. I continue to read from the answer :

I have heard of other and similar oases in this matter, bat I have no personal knowl-
edge of the facts. I believe the statement of Matias Avalos, however, to be trne, for
reasons stated in my answer to one of the foregoing questions (No. — ).

A. ^^ I have heard of other and similar cases in this matter, but I have
no personal knowledge of the facts."

Q. Well, you have heard of them from whom f — A. Of course, I heard
of the case, talked pro and con in my hacienda. We would sit there of
an evening and talk of it.

Q. Well, this relates to threats of the Mexican authorities f — A. Oh,
the whole business from beginning to end; but it was not my business;
I paid no attention to it.

Q. I continue to read from the answer :

I heard the said Granger say that if he had not complied with the demand of the
judge of first instance of San Dimas in testifying against ** La Abra Company," the
claimant, that he knew he would have been compelled to give up his mining interests
in that diHtrict, and leave the country ; which he said he could not aflford to do, and
therefore he was compelled to sign the testimony.

Do you remember making any such declaration as that to Adams at
Mazatlan f — A. No, sir; I never heard of it.

Q. Did you make any such statement as that to Adams at Mazatlan f — ?
A. No, sir.

Q. You state that you never heard of any such f — A. I heard Granger
tell all about it, but he never said he would be driven off out of the
country; just the reverse.

Q. (Reading.)

Question 18th. Have you any interest, direct, contingent, or otherwise^ in the claim
of said ** La Abra Silver Mining Company,'^ to support which your testimony is here
^iven, or are you agent or attorney for said company, or for any person havmg such
interest t

Ans. No, none whatever ; nor am I agent nor attorney for claimant, nor for any
other party in interest.

—A. That is correct; it is absolutely correct.

ir authority to take from Tayoltita the said stamp-mill, ma-
t;y of claimant, and to make use of the same in other parts
ly, or only in writing; and was said property turned over
ir protecting the same as consul of the United States, for
was said authority given to you only as superintendent of
»any, with the privilege of paying the appraised value, and
pay for its use to said authorities, or to Mexido, as a busi-
laid authorities and your company f



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THE LA ABRA SILVER MINING COMPANY. 671

Ad8. The latter is the fact. It was a purely bueiuess transaction between Jud^e
Qniros, representing the Repnblic of Mexico, and myself, as snperintondent, repre-
senting the Durango Mining Company. There was nothing said by Judge QuiroH, to
my recollection, about protecting said machinery, stamp-mill, and other movable
property of claimant. The transaction was not with me as consul ; but, as I have
stated, the propert^r was leased for use to the Dnrango Mining Company, and for a
valuable consideration, with the privilege of paying for the same at an appraised
value by disinterested parties.

You will please state how &r this answer coDforms to the answer^ if
any, given by you to AdamsatMazatlan. — A. My answer to that is

Q. Or was f — A. Was the correspondence between Jadge Qairos and
myself.

Q. Which has been read and testified to as correct f — A. Yes ; that
covers the whole qnestion.

Mr. Kennedy. Let me ask the witness if he put that correspondence
in as part of that testimony f

Mr. Foster. Well, you can ask of me.

Mr. B[ennedy. It is just to save time.

Mr. Foster. I know, but you had better direct your question to me.

Mr. Kennedy. I was directing my question to the chairman. If you
have any objection I will withdraw it. You can go on, Mr. Foster.

The GflAiRMAN. I thought your question was addressed to the wit-
ness.

Mr. Kennedy. No, it was put through you, of course.

Mr. Foster. The letter was put in ; introduced before the Commis-
sion on the part of Mexico.

Q. The last part of that question is — I direct your attention to it —

Was your anthority to take from Tayoltita the said stamp-mill, etc. —

You state that, going to the latter part of the question —

or to pay for its nse to said authorities f

Now I will go back —

And of owning the same, or to pajr for its nse to the said authorities, or to Mexico,
as a business transaction between said authorities and your company f

And the answer is that

The latter is the £EMst.

Did you state to General Adams, in substance, that you are to pay
the Mexican authorities for that machinery and other articles that you
took of La Abra Company! — A. No, sir; I have stated most distinctly
as a business matter in money matters I try to make no mistake ; that I
had asked permission to take it, that it had been refused to me by
Judge Quiros, and that then I took it on my own responsibility as
superintendent of that company, and announced my intention of pay-
ing whoever came forward to claim it is as the proper owner.

Q. I continue the answer —

This authority was giyen to me by Judge Quiros verbally, as well as in writing,
and I have acted upon it in good faith, beneving then, as I still feel justified in be-
lieving, that he must have had authority from the Supreme Qovemment to actio the
premises, or otherwise it is reasonable to suppose that he never would have taken such
a step in the matter as that of selling or leasing out this property, under the circum-
stances, to .be worn out by use.

Did you make any statement of that character to General Adams at
Mazatlan f — A. No, sir.
Q. Here follows

By the Chairman :
Q. Do you mean, captain, that yon did not make any statement to



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672 THE LA ABBA SILVER MINING COMPANY.

him on that sabjectf — A. I did not make that statement to A. W.
Adams.

Q. The statement, as he put it in the deposition, was not the state-
ment you made to him f — ^A. I did not make that statement to A. W.
Adams.

Mr. Kennedy. Of course, Mr. Chairman, we do not admit that
Adams made any statement.

The Ghaibman. I know, but I put it on the basis that somebody did.

By Mr. FOSTEB:
Q. I find the following added in brackets in the deposition as printed
on page 406 :

[« Interlined in the original :" Page 2, lines 16 to 17, the words '* a son ;" pase 2,
lines 29 to 80, the word '* an ; " page 6, lines 17 to 18, the word '* the ; " page 7, lines
5 to 6, the words " the stamp ; " page 7, lines 27 to 28, the word ** said ;" page 9, lines
32 to 33, the word '< them : *' pa^e 11, lines 22 to 23, the word *' be,"

[Erased: Page 1, third line from bottom, " bef. ;" page 4, line 42, "Buena Vista ;"
pa^e 15, line 12, the word *^ said."

['*The above corrections were noted before signing, with the consent of deponent
and in the presence of the subscribing witnesses."]

The Witness. Who are the witnesses t

Mr. Foster. That will appear in a moment.

Q. Now, captain, you have already stated that when yon gave yoor
statement or deposition at Mazatlan, which was written down, yon gave
your answers to questions propounded by General Adams which were
written down by his clerk; after that was concluded you demanded to
see the matter that had been written and thereupon you made numer-
ous changes and interlineations in that writing or paper f— A. I did.
• Q. Will you state whether the changes and interlineations which have
just been read embrace all the changes or interlineations that were
made by or in your presence at that timef — A. No, sir; nor the twen-
tieth part of them. Line after line I cut out — drew my pen through. I
not only drew it through that way but I drew it across the entire page
right that way [indicating], with a big dash. I said, << I did not author-
ize you, sir, to make such a memoranda as that." And I further said
to him, << This appears to me something similar to the investigation in
San Dimas,'' where I had to protect Granger against him.

Q. What was thatf — ^A. Granger was my right hand man, my book-
keeper. He was a man of small stature and not pugnacious at alL
Adams was a big man and attempted to sit upon him. I heard the
noise of the altercation and I had to stop it.

Mr. Kennedy. Mr. Ohairman, I would like to ask whether anything
that Adams did or said, now that Adams is dead, unless it is strictly
relevant to the examination which Mr. Foster is conducting, is to be
admitted by this committee f

The Chairman. Nothing ought to be admitted, Mr. Kennedy, that is
not relevant, but it certainly is relevant to show that Mr. Adams, act-
ing as the agent of this company, made any improper demonstration, if
he made any, towards Granger, or any other witness that he was out
there examining, because one of the very crucial points in this matter
is the question whether or not this testimony that went before the com-
mission was fairly obtained and was reliable.

Mr. Kennedy. Will the chairman allow me to state very briefly
what I understand to be the rule of law upon that point f

The Chairman. Well, I am acting more under the rule of the Senate
in making this investigation, though I have no objection to your stat-
ing it.



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THE LA ABBA SILVER MINING COMPANY. 673

Mr. Kennedy. My nnderstaDdiug is that the declaration of a party
made to a third person is admissible in evidence against the common-
law rule excluding hearsay, on account of some element which the law
considers of sufficient importance to justify setting aside the rale ex-
cluding hearsay. For example, I admit that if General Adams had said
to this gentleman, when this gentleman was testifying, that the deposi-
tion of the gentleman was not to be used before the Mixed Commission
aud as a matter of fact the depositiou was afterwards used before the
Mixed Commission, this gentleman could testify as to what Adams said
on that point at the time, although Adams is dead, because it would be
part of tbe res gestce; but I never heard of any proceeding, even of the
most informal character that had anything judicial in its nature, that
would allow conversations or acts of a party who could not be ex-
amined to defend himself, for any reason, whether he was dead or
absent, being received in evidence, unless they were of the res gestw or
against interest, and I desire to protest most earnestly against any acts
or declarations of General Adams being received here unless it is for
some reason that the law considers good.

Mr. Foster. It is to be borne in mind that the witness proposes to
tell now what he saw and heard between General Adams, the repre-
sentative of the company, and Granger, a witness for the claimant. It
would be proper in various lights, as has already been stated by the
chairman. In addition to that, it woald be proper, in order to impeach
Granger^s testimony, if it had any pertinency in that direction.

The Chairman. Impeach Granger's deposition, you meant

Mr. Foster. Granger's deposition.

The Chairman. I think it very clear that it is the dnty of the com-
mittee to inquire into all the circumstances attending the taking of these
depositions.

The Witness. Ask if, in 1877, 1 could have been before the court;
because I am too well known on the Pacific coast to have a man like
Adams say that he bought me for a good round sum of money.

Mr. Foster. I know you had feeling.

The Witness. I had feeling, and I wrote out, right there on the
spot ; and if I could have come across Adams there would have been
trouble.

Mr. Foster. Well, we will not go into that, because that is a matter
personal between you and Adams.

The Witness. I only say this to show it is twelve years ago (1877),
and I had not heard of this tbiug since; had forgotten it; did not know
that Adams was dead.

The Chairman. It seems to me entirely clear that it is proper to
show what the witness saw in legard to the biking of Granger's depo-
sition and the bearing of Adams towards him.

Mr. Foster. Will the stenographer read the statement f

The stenographer rea<l tbe answer as follows :

A. Granger was ray right-hand man ; he was my book-keeper. He was a man of
BmaU stature and not pugnacious at ail. Adams wiiH a big man and attempted to sit
npon him. I heard the noise of the altercation and I had to stop it.

Mr. Kennedy. There is one thing in which I have no doubt yon will
agree with me, Mr. Chairman, that if this witness is to go into the con-
dnctof Granger and Adams, he should not be allowed to use such words
as these, that Adams ** attempted to sit upon him.^

The Chairman. 1 think the witness had better nse some other phrase.

Mr. Kennedy. No, but my point is not as to the phrase. I don't
care anything about what Adams said ; but my point is that the wit-



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674 THE LA ABRA 81LVEK MINING COMPANY.

ness said that Adams << attempted to sit upon " Granger. The witness
shonld not describe Adams's conduct, but should say what Adams ac-
taally said to Granger, and 1 ask the chairman that

The Chairman. I will be certain to bring that out.

Mr. Kennedy. Bat it is already out.

The Chairman. Well, it will be stricken out of the record unless it
is proper to go in.

Q. What we want to get at, captain, is what Adams did, if anything,
for the purpose of intimidating or in any way controlling Granger f —
A. When Mr. Granger asked to see the testimony Adams read it.

Q. What testimony f — A. The testimony that Granger had given.
And he said, << General Adams, I did not give that testimony." He
jumped up and walked to him with his fist doubled up and put it under
his nose and said, ^'You did give it; do you call me a liart" and
threatened to strike him. And I said, "Get out of here."

Q. That was before you testified at Mazatlan t — A. Yes, I had no in-
terest in this thing at all.

Q. I suppose that was the reason why, at Mazatlan, you were careful
to have your testimony taken down precisely as you gave itf — A. Yes,
sir; I wanted to see it.

By Mr. Foster :
Q. This occurrence you have just related occurred at what placet — ^A.
At my hacienda at San Dimas where he examined Granger.

By Mr. Lines :

Q. Was that the result of that trouble ; that you told Adams to
leave the hacienda f — A. !No, sir. He apologized for it, and I said if he
would not repeat it he might stay at the hacienda. Otherwise he
should go up to the town.

Q. But as to Granger's testimony f — A. I don't know. As I said, it
was not a matter that concerned me, and had my own affairs to look
after.

By the Chairman :
Q. Did you follow it up to see what was the deposition that Granger
made f — ^A. No, sir.

By Mr. Foster :

Q. What was the date of the occurrence! — ^A. I have told you at the
time of his visit, just before the rainy season.

Q. About May or June, 1872 f — A. I could not tell you exactly.

Mr. Foster. 1 simply call attention to the fact that the claimant
never filed Granger's deposition that was taken there.

Mr. Kennedy. What is that, Mr. Foster!

Mr. Foster. I say that the records show that the deposition of Gran-
ger that was taken at that time was never filed by the company, the
claimant, before the Commission.

Mr. Kennedy. Now, Mr. Chairman, as this is a statement of fact,
interiK>lated in the examination of the witness, 1 want to state that the
recoil shows that the deposition of Granger on behalf of the company
was filed by the company, and also that three or four separate deposi-



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 104 of 156)