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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tions of Granger, taken by the Mexican Government in its own behalf,
were also filed before the Commission.

The Chairman. Were they before the Commission !

Mr. Kennedy. Yes; all before the Commission.

Mr. Foster. It will be a more complete statement when I add— —



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THE LA ABRA SILVER MINING COMPANY. 675

Mr. Kennedy. Mine or yours 1

Mr. Foster. Yonrs will be more complete when I add that Granger's
depositions filed by the claimant were two in namber^ and they both
bear date in 1870, and no deposition of Granger's filed by the claimant
bears date 1872.

Mr. Kennedy. Now, Mr. Chairman, I think my friend^ Mr. Foster, is
laboring ander a misapprehension. The witness can explain that per-
haps, but my understanding is

Mr. Foster. He knows nothing of the records.

Mr. Kennedy. I am speaking by the record, and I do not interrnpt
you when you are making your speech. My understanding is that in
1870 Granger was examined before Mr. Slsson at Mazatlan, and that
the question which arose between Granger and Adams, as testified to
by the witness, was in regard to whether Granger had said thus and
so in the deposition which had been taken at that time on behalf of the
company.

Mr. Lines. What time, Mr. Kennedy f

Mr. Kennedy. 1870.

The Witness. I can name two important witnesses who were present
and heard the whole thing.

The Chairman. Give the names.

The Witness. Dr. J. P. Stork, my assayer; he heard the whole busi-
ness, and he took an interest in it, and I don't know what term to use
unless it is bulldozing. He assayed all the ores of Tayoltita.

By Mr. Kennedy :

Q. What is his address f — A. I don't know.

Q. Is he living f — A. He was a year ago.

Q. Don't you know where he is f — A. I heard of him last down in
Chihuahua, where he went to put up a mill, but I can ascertain and let
Senator Morgan know.

Q. Who is the other witness ? — A. The other one is a young man^ the
machinist who brought all the machinery over from Tayoltita.

Q. What is his name f — A. He is an Englishman. His name is Will-
iams.

Q. Where is he now !— A. 1 had a letter from him in Brooklyn about
three months ago. He came back to the United States. He told me
he was going to return to Central America. I have his letter there and
can give it when I get back to Trenton.

Q. Well, one of your witnesses, you think, is in Central America, and
the other is down in Chihuahua? — A. 1 don't know where he is, but
those are the two men who were present and know more about it than
I do, because they paid attention to it.

Mr. Lines. I suppose it is proper to say that we never heard of these
witnesses before.

The Witness. And they are the men who acted under my orders
and tore that machinery down and took it over to Tayoltita. Dr. Stork
is the assayer and has the records of aU the assays and work for the
five years while I was there.

By the Chairman :
Q. At San Dimasf— A. Tes.
The Chairman. Well, let us get along.

By Mr. Foster :
Q. Do you know whether these two gentlemen you have named were
at San Dimas or Tayoltita during the time La Abra Company was
working the mine f — A. No, sir ; they were under my regime.



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676 THE LA ABRA SILVER MINING COMPANY.

Q. Yes ; you are speaking of your regime. — A. But they heard this
testimoDy as given at that time.
Q. Tes; I anderstand. Following your signatare, as priuted is



Witness :

(Signed), H. Diaz Pena.

Do you know who H. Diaz Pena was! — A. Yes, sir.

Q. Was he present at the taking of your deposition by Adams f — A.
fle was. He took the notes ; Adams had a sheet of paper and wrote
too, but Pena did the writing. He was his amanuensis or private sec-
retary.

Q. Was he employed by Adams f — A. He was.

Q. Did he have any official relations with the consulate so far as you
knewf — A. No, sir; I think he had none.

Q. Did he accompany Adams in his first visit to the hacienda at San
Dimas that you described f — A. Before the rainy season f

Q. Yes. — A. lie did; he came in with him.

Q. Then follows—

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 18th day of September, A. D. 1872.
'^Signed) Isaac Sisson,

V. S. Consul.

A. When I signed the blank sheet of paper Sisson was present, and
wrote or it was written :

Sworn to au<l subscribed before me this 18th day of September, A. D. 1872.

Sisson was present. I handed him that blank sheet of paper.

Q. Well we will inquire more particularly about that hereafter.

Mr. Kennedy. I want to ask the witness, Mr. Chairman, if it is
true.

Mr. Foster. Well, you can ask the chairman.

Mr. Kennedy. I am just going to ask the chairman if he will not
allow me to ask this witness a question under the circumstances of the
case. This testimony impeaches the personal integrity and official con-
duct of a consul of the United States.

The Chairman. Who was the consul !

Mr. Kennedy. Isaac Sisson. He was acting under the instructions
of the Department of State of the United States in taking testimony
to be used on behalf of our citizens before this United States and Mex-
ican Commission. Kow 1 want to ask this witness this question:
Whether he swears that in such a proceeding he signed his name on a
blank piece of paper and took an oath before Almighty God in the
usual form.

Mr. Foster. Well, he will not answer that at present.

The Chairman. Wait a moment.

Mr. Foster. I submit the question to the chairman.

The Chairman. The witness has already stated that he did sign his
name to a blank piece of paper; that he gave it to Mr. Sisson with the
understanding that Mr. Sisson would have it csopied precisely as he had
given a memorandum which had been prepared by Pena as the writer
under General Adams's direction. He stated also that he did not re-
member whether he had taken the corporal oath or not.

Mr. Kennedy. He just said he did, and my question is in regard to
that.

The Chairman. I speak of the early part of this examination ; he
said he did not remember.

Mr. Kennedy. Oh, yes; that is true.



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THE LA ABBA SILYEB MINING COMPANY. 677

The Chairman. He said he did not reiueinl)er whether he had taken
the corporal oath or not. Kow he states he was sworn.

Q. Now, I ask yon what time jou were sworn before yon gave yoar
deposition f — ^A. I recollect when I wrote my name. I have seen the
(locament and I recognized my name. 1 handed it to Sisson. I said.
'< Consul Sisson, 1 pat this in your charge, to have this transcribed ana
written, the rough notes," supposing, of coarse, as a colleague of mine,
as one consul for another, that he would act for me. 1 had just re-
ceived information that imperatively called me away. It was absolutely
necessary to go. I could not delay. It was not my business to tell
them that. When I took this to him he said, <* You swear that this is
the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth f" I said, ^^ I
do.''

By Mr. Kennedy:

Q. Alluding to the blank sheet of paperf — A. Alluding to the testi-
mony I had given.

Q. And signed a blank sheet of paper and handed it to him? — A.
That is it.

By Mr. Poster :

Q. t>id you not state that you signed the testimony written down by
Adams?

Mr. Kennedy. I have no objection to the question, but

The Witness. I did not say

The Chaibman. I will have to take this myself.

Q. You now state that you were sworn f— A. Yes; that I was sworn
at first f

Q. No ; yon state that you were sworn. When the consul that ad-
ministered that oath to you did so, did he have in his hand or did you
have in your hand a paper to which that oath applied f — A. No, sir.

Q. What statement was it that you had made that you swore on that
occasion was a true statement? — A. I told you that I had a long and
tedious interview with Adams, and that I gave a deposition, which was
corrected, numerous corrections, whole lines cut out, and that he said,
^^ This is not fit to hand in as testimony."

By Mr. Kennedy:
Q. Who said that f — A. Adams. After I had dashed my pen through
it he said, '' This is not fit to hand in as testimony." I said, '^ No, of
course, it is not; it was not fit before I drew my pen through it." I
said, *' I have got to go ; I can not stay any longer ; I have got an im-
perative letter that calls me away." He said, ^^ What can we do f " I
said, ** I don't know." Sisson had come in with a letter-book or letter-
presH, or what not, and I said, <* I will sign a blank sheet of paper and
deliver it to Consul Sisson. He is to have transcribed the testimony
which I have given, which is all I can do."

By the Chaibman :

Q. Now, Captain, nothing had been transcribed at the time yon took
that oath t— A. No, sir; not one word.

Q. Of course, then, you swore to the original statement drawn up by
Peiia, but as amended by you f — A. As amended by me.

The Chaibman. Very good. That settles this.

Mr. Kennedy. Now, Mr. Chairman, will you ask him —

By the (Chaibman :
Q. Did you affix your signature at all after that single blank sheet



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678 THE LA ABRA SILVFU MINING COMPANY.

of paper; did you sign your Dame twice! — A. No, sir; I don't think I
did, because it was in such bad shape that I would uot.

Mr. Kennedy. Well, we will see when we get the document.

TheGHAiBMAN. AU right; we will see when we get the original
paper.

Q. Ton have looked at the paper siuce yon have been heref — ^A. I
have.

Mr. Foster. I continue :

CONSULATR OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,

Port of Mazailan, MexioOf $8 :

If Isaac Sisson, ooosul of the United States of America in and for the port of Ma-
zatlau aud the depeDdencies thereof, do hereby certify that I have no interest, direct,
contiugent, or otherwise, in the claim of ** La Abra Silver Mining Company," in sup-
port ofwhich the foregoing testimony is taken ; that I am not the agent or attorney
of said company, nor of any person having such interest ; that I am competent and
duly authorized under the laws of the United States, and by special orders fh>m the
Department of State for the same, to take depositions to be used in evidence before
the Joint American and Mexican Commission, in session at Washington, nnder the
treaty of July 4tb, 1868; that Charles B. Dahlgreu, the witness herein, personally
appeared before me, at my consular office in Mazatlan, State of Sinaloa, Mexico, on
the day and at the time hereinbefore stated, aud that he was by me first duly sworn,
as a witness on behalf of claimant, to state the truth in answer to said interrogato-
ries, propounded by me, touching the merits of the above -entitled cause, as hereinbe-
fore set forth, and was thereafter duly examined, and that the foregoing testimony
was given by him, and thereupon reduced to writing by H. Diaz Pefia, in m^ pres-
ence ; and I further certify that said H. Diaz Pefia, who transcribed said testimony,
has no interest, direct, contingent, or otherwise, in the said claim, and is not the
agent or attorney of said claimant, nor for any person having such interest ; and 1 do
further certify that said Charles B. Dahlgreu, the witness aforesaid, is what he rep-
resents himself to be in the foregoing deposition, and that he is a man of the highest
respectability, well known to business men of Mazatlan as a competent and respon-
sible person, and that full faith and credit may be given to all of his acts, and to his
testimony in this cause; that the foregoing deposition, when completed, was carefully
read over by me to said witness, before signing, in presence of the snbscribing wit-
nesses, and waM by me corrected in every particular desired by him, and he then and
there declared his testimony as hereinabove set forth.

Given under my hand, and the seal of this consulate, the day and date above men-
tioned.

(Signed) Isaac Sissok,

U, 8, CouBul.

[Seal of the T7. S. consaliite for MaEatUm.]

I want to ask you, Captain Dahlgren, whether the consul read to you
any interrogatories ; were any interrogatories propounded to you by the
consul at that time in Mazatlan f — A. No, sir.

Q. I want to ask whether the foregoing deposition, or any deposition,
when completed, was carefully read over by the consul, Isaac Sisson, to
you! — A. NOySir.

Q. Before signing! — A. No, sir; not one word. I never saw the
deposition after the rough notes.

Q. I want to ask you A. Until day before yesterday or a few days

ago.

Q. I desire to ask you whether, in the presence of the consul, you
corrected any deposition presented to you by him! — A. Never; never
one word, sir.

Q. I will ask you whether you declared to the consul that the forego-
ing deposition which I have read, or any deposition, was declared by
you to be your testimony ! — ^A. When I handed him this paper

By Mr. Kennedy :
Q. What paper !— A. The blank sheet of paper with my name on it
He said : ** Hold up your right hand," and said words to this effect: "This



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THE LA ABRA SILVER MIKING COMPANY. 679

IB the trathy the whole trath, and noting but the tratht" I said, ^^It
is."

By Mr. Foster :

Q. And it was to that paper only that yon declared yonr conformity
as being your testimony.

Mr. Kennedy. Will you let me ask yon a question f

The Chairman. Well, he has stated that, gentlemen, I think, fifteen
times in this examination, and I can not permit it to be gone into any
further.

Mr. Foster. Mr. Chairman, I desire to state that if we had the re-
sponse of the Secretary of State to the request which I understand you
have made, I would now present the deposition on file, but I will re-
serve the right to do that when we are able to have it before us.

The Chairman. With that reservation do you close your examination f

Mr. Foster. On this point.

Q. When did you first become acquainted with James Granger f — A.
When I first reached San Dimas, in July, 1870.

Q. What was Granger's occupation at that time f — A. He had been
book-keeper for my predecessor, Balph Martin, and I retained him in
that position during the five years and two months that I was there.

Q. Are you familiar with Granger's handwriting f — A. Oh, yes, sir ;
I would know it anywhere.

Q. Did you learn anything from Granger as to the conduct of La
Abra Company and its affairs? — A. After this examination (I had been
there a couple of years and of course bad heard of the end of La Abra
Company, but I never paid much attention at all) I said, ^^ Granger,
what is all this trouble about!"

Mr. Kennedy. Now, one moment please, Mr. Chairman. I want to
object to anything that Granger said after he left the employment of
La Abra Company. I don't think he ever was employed so as to be an
agent in the legal sense to bind the company.

The Chairman. 1 know ; but after the employment ceased, after he
left the employment of the company, I don't think anything he said
would be relevant.

'Mr. Foster. Mr. Chairman, my object is to impeach Granger's testi-
mony before the Commission. He has given a deposition before the
Commission in which he goes into a detailed account of what occurred
at the hacienda.

The Chairman. You mean an examination wnen he was personally
present.

Mr. Foster. When he was personally present at the mine.

The Chairman. That he there gives a history of occurrences as he
witnessed them and you want now to prove counter-statements f

Mr. Foster. Made by Granger in that respect.

The Chairman. How could that be competent evidence unless predi-
cate be made.
Mr. Foster. We have proved that Granger is dead.

The Chairman. Well, does the death of the witness create any excep-
tion to the rulef Here, now, you want to impeach a witness by intro-
ducing declarations of his made at a different time, and to a difierent
person, the subject-matter of which you say contradicts what he swore
to in that examination when be was living. It is very clear you could
not do that in that way, without first giving Granger the chance to say
whether he had or had not said such a thing to Captain Dahlgren. His
being dead I don't think makes any difference.



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680 THE LA ABRA SILVER MINING COMPANY.

Mr. Foster. He occapies the attitude before this committee of be-
ing a wituess before the Commission, and also a representative of tbe
company; he was left there by Exall.

The Chairman. Now, if you can show that, at the time of these dec-
larations, Mr. Granger was in charge of the business of the company,
and had an unexpired employment, that might make it competent, bat
put it entirely on different ground than that you now put it on. Yoq
are no^^ seeking to impeach the witness by contrary declarations, of
which he had no notice at all, and I think the witness should know the
time and place of making the declarations, so that he could make any
explanations he might wish about it. Some man might, for virtue
sake, even lie to another of matters he had testified about, or was about
to testify about, and when his attention was called to it say, ^^I deliber-
ately informed that man falsely, because I knew he had no business to
know what I knew about this transaction, and I thought he was trying
to get it out of me for an improper purpose." I do not think I could
let that in.

Mr. Foster. You will bear in mind, Mr. Senator, that we have proven
a letter-book, and it shows that Granger was lefb in charge of Uie ha-
cienda by Exall.

The Chairman. Well, any letter of Granger's written during his em-
ployment there will, in my judgment, be competent evidence, althoagh
Mr. Kennedy insists that Granger was not in the employment of that
company in any such way as to make his declarations evidence against
it. r differ with him on that. I think the evidence does show that
Granger had such connections with this business as that his declara-
tions would be competent while he was engaged in the transaction of
any of the business of the company. After he had passed out of the
employment of the company his declarations of what he had done be-
fore, although they contradict what he swore to before the examination,
it seems to me, would not be competent. It could only be competent as
a predicate for impeachment, and that predicate has not been made.

Mr. Kennedy. Now, Mr. Chairman, there is a fact that has not been
brought U> your notice by the other side, and it is this: In 1870 Granger
was examined as a witness on behalf of the claimant. Two years af-
terward, twice or thrice after that. Granger was examined by the Mex-
ican Government, which had had notice and knowledge of his original
deposition in favor of the company. Now, I submit that when the
Mexican Government exercised its right so carefully and repeatetiiy to
put this witness to the test by examining him on their side, that it
is utterly incompetent for the Mexican Government and its agent to
offer anything more from Granger on that sybject.

The Chairman. Oh, I think a man can be examined for the purpose
-of impeaching his own deposition. I think so. I think if a man gave
a deposition in your behalf formerly, then I, being your antagonist in
the case, when I came to examine him again to prove what he swore
before was not the truth, I would not be bound to give credit to the
man's veracity by putting him up the second time, for the reason that I
put him up for the very purpose of showing that he had committed per-
jury. Some man might even be willing to admit that he had committed
perjury and go to the penitentiary for it.

Mr. Kennedy. True, but let me give you a case. Suppose it ap-
peared in a motion for a new trial that part of the evidence on which
a new trial was sought for was the testimony of a man who had been
three times examined by the party who was seeking to re-open the judg-



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THE LA ABRA SILVER MINING COMPANY. 681

menty woald the ooart for a moment entertain sach a groand as that for
opening the judgment f

The Chairman. It might not, Mr. Kennedy ; but this is not a court
sitting here now. It is neither the Senate, nor is it the court to whom
this bill seeks to refer this whole question for re-examination. We are
here in the capacity of a subcommittee or commission to take the evi-
dence admitted, and I only rule out those parts of it that are obviously
illegal, leaving it to the general committee and to the Senate to say
how far they regard thbse matters which depend upon the technical
principles of law or other value as evidence. Let us get ahead with
this. I want to try and get through with it if I can.

By Mr. Foster :

Q. I have in my hand the letter-press book of La Abra Company, as
proven before the committee, and I direct your attention to the letter
on page 189, Captain Dahlgren, and ask you to tell me in whose baud-
writingisthat letter and whose is thesignature f — A. (Examining book.)
Why, that is James Granger's letter and handwriting and signature.
I never saw Exall's writing.

Q. There is another letter if I can find it.

Mr. Kennedy. Is the book indexed f

Mr. Foster. No.

Mr. Kennedy. Well, you can prove that any time. I will not object
to that.

Mr. Foster. Mr. Chairman, will you allow me to ask the witness to
give any statements of Granger's relating to his operations, what he
did at Tayoltita after Exall turned over the affairs of the company to
him and he remained in charge f

The Chairman. If he was then in charge at the time he made the
declaration, yes. If not, no.

Mr. Lines. Well, that question, Mr. Chairman, might depend ui)on
tlie force to be given to the letter of Exall upion leaving the mines,
which is very short.

The Chairman. Has that been proven ?

Mr. Lines* This is proven.

Tayoltita, FeVy 21«<, 1868.
Mr. James Granger :

Sir: Ab oiroumstances are of snch a nature as to compel me to leave for Sau Fran-
cifloo, and probably for New York, to inquire into the intentions of this company, I
plaoe in yonr hands the care and charge of the affairs of the La Abra S. M. Co.,^ to-
gether with its property.

You are invested nereby with aU power confided to me, of course acting in all your
transaotiona with an eye to the interests of the company.

This will, to you, should occasion require it, be ample evidence of the right pos-
sasaed by yon to act in their behalf.
Very respectfully,

Charles H. Exall,

Adm'r La Abra S. M, Co.

The Witness. And I can confirm that.

The Chairman. That is a very broad anthority, if Mr. Exall had the
ri^ht to give it.

Mr. Kennedy. That is the point, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Garth
swore

The Chaibman. I believe that Exall was the agent of that coro[)any.
That is my conviction on the testimony. There is a good deal ot testi-
mony on that subject, and my conviction is a fixed one that he left
Granger there as the agent of that company, and it was legally done.



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682 THE LA ABRA SILYER MINING COMPANY.

Now, anything he said or did while he was there in that ci^acity is
competent evidence.

Mr. E^ENNEDY. I agree with yoa on year premises.

The Chatbman. Bat anything he said after he had left and had gone
into the employment of the San Dimas Company is not evidence, in my
jndgment.

Mr. Kennedy. That is the point, and the evidence shows that
Granger was book-keeper for the San Dimas Company at the time be
made the alleged statement. ^

By Mr. Foster:

Q. What was year experience with theanthorities of San Dimas dar-
ing yonr residence there as to their conduct towards yonr company f

Mr. Kennedy. Mr. Chairman, is it relevant what the coDdnct of the
anthorities was towards this gentleman f

The Chairman. Oh, I think the general bearing of the Mexican au-
thorities to the miners is competent, because that is one of the reasons
alleged by this company why they quit this mine. The very question
in the case is whether they qnit with threat or whether they quit be-
cause they could not make any money.

Mr. Ejbnnedy. Well, you can not prove a negative.

The Chairman. Oh yes, you can. You can prove a hollow by prov-
iug two hills. Of course, you can do so.

Mr. Kennedy. What I mean is, if the Mexican authorities were as
kind as possible to Captain Dahl^:«n, it does not follow

The Chairman. Well, I will ask if Mr. Foster thinks that any

The Witness. You want to understand what my experience was in
that connection.

Mr. Foster. Just read the question to connect the answer.

The stenographer read the question, as follows :

Q. What was your experience with the aathorities at San Dimas during yonr resi-
dence there as to their conduct towards yonr company f

A. My experience was that of my two predecessors and my four suc-



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 105 of 156)