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tion that he did not keep the letter or letters received by him from the
Department.

Mr. Foster. He also said that he had made search for them before
he came and was not able to find them.

Mr. Kennedy. That is right. I had entered on the record a consent
from La Abra Compaiiy that copies ft'om the State Department might
be offered in evidence, subject, of course, to objections against their ad-
missibility. Now, as the witness is here and going away, I ask you,
Mr. Chairman, to let him make a brief statement of the circumstances
under which his resignation was sent in.

The Chairman. If you choose to take that course, Mr. Kennedy, of
course it is all right, but I will feel bound not to let these letters go in
the record unless they are produced and the witness has an opportunity
to explain them.

By Mr. Kennedy:

Q. Mr. Sissou, make a brief statement of the circumstances attending
your resignation. — A. Well, I left Mazatlan for home here. I left with-
out a leave of absence. I had been intending to resing and quit for quite
a while. I was sick at the time; that is, there was something growing on
™y ^y©; I was getting blind. I came home here and went to Dr. Ag-
ue w, in New York. He wrote to the State Department and stated the
diflBculty, that I would have to have an operation performed, and asked
a leave of absence for me for thirty days, and they granted it.

Q. After you were in this country f — A. After I was here.

Q. And without a leave of absence! — A. Yes; and they granted thai
after the operation was performed. In about two weeks, when I could
go out, I came on here.

Q. To Washington ! — A. To Washington. J was up to the State
Department ; everything appeared to'be all straight. I saw Mr. Hunter;
never a word said about it. I told him, if I recollect aright, that I was
going home the next night or the next morning.

Q. Home! — A. To New York. This was along about the middle of the
afternoon, I should judge ; and in the evening about 9 o'clock, I should
say, 1 found a dispatch there, or letter, addressed to me, stating that
my resignation would be accepted. That is all. I never heard any-
thing said about anything being wrong officially, and invite all the search
that can be made in regard to that.

Q. During the eight or nine years of your consulate, let me ask whether
you ever had any difficulty of any sort with the Department of State or
any of your superior officers in regard to your accounts? — A. Not any,
sir.

Q. Or anything touching your official conduct! — A. Not anything, sir;
and in regard to that, I can state a little more if you want to hear it.

Mr. Kennedy. No; I think that is sufficient.



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THE LA ABRA SILVER MINING COMPANY. 823

Mr. Foster. Mr. Chairman, I sappose that we can not go into this
matter by way of cross-examination just now. I desire to give the wit-
ness full opportunity to protect himself. Mr. Kennedy has substan-
tially stated what he has testified in regard to his correspondence, that
he received it. He has named the dates of letters. He does not re-
member the dates accurately but fixed them probably correct; that he
has searched for papers but is not able to find them. I propose to make
application for the correspondence in regard to the resignation of Mr.
Sisson and the report upon which the request for his resignation was
based. And I would state in this connection that I think it is entirely
pertinent in this investigation that we should know the circumstances
under which the consul who took the deposition in this case — took all
the depositions at Mazatlan, of which he says there are twenty or twen-
ty-five, and who had relations with General Adams, the representative
of this company — that it is pertinent to this investigation to know the
circumstances under which this consul retired from office and the rea-
sons therefor.

Mr. BIennedy, I think it is, Mr. Chairman, if those reasons touch
the character of the witness for truth and veracity and are connected
with this deposition.

Mr. Foster. There is something involved besides the consul's reputa-
tion for truth and veracity. From the examination that has occurred
to day there is plainly a question as to the manner in which he dis-
charged his duty as a representative of the Government of the United
States, and that we want to look into.

The Chairman. At all events, gentlemen, I think it is my duty to
grant the application, and I will make it to the State Department. I
supposed as this examination was going on you had copies of all these
papers here and could submit them to the witness, but Mr. Sisson must
have a full opportunity to see those papers and hear them read.

Mr. Foster. For that reason I present it now before we close the ex-
amination.

Mr. Kennedy. May 1 suggest, Mr. Chairman, so that the witness may
not be detained here very long, the Department of State be requested
to answer as soon as possible.

Mr. Foster. The counsel for Mexico request the committee to ask the
Department of State to send to the commiitee copies of all the corre-
spondence relating to the request of the Department for the resignation
of Isaac Sisson as consul at Mazatlan, Mexico, and of the report upon
which the request for his resignation is based.

Mr. Kennedy. Will you let me ask the witness one question f I would
like to ask the witness to state whether when he received the request
to resign his position and sent in his resignation his attention was in-
vited to any report or to any charge that had been made against him.
I would like to get that out of him now.

The Chairman. He can state that.

• The Witness. No ; my attention was not called to any charge or re-
port made against me.

By Mr. Lines :

Q. Mr. Chairman, the witness has corrected himself somewhat as to
dates. I want to ask when he first met Mr. ExallT — A. Well, it was
after — come to think about it, I think it was on my second return
there.

Q. In 1868! — A. Yes; soon after I arrived —no it must have been 1870,
I think; 1869 or 1870.

Mr. Lines. I was trying to help you out.



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824 THE LA ABRA BILVEB MIKING COMPACT

By the Chairman:
Q. It was tbe time when Exall waa returDing from that coantry I—
A. I think it was.

The subcommittee acyonrned antil tomorrow^ Friday, Fefarn^ry I65
ftt 10 a. m.



The Senate of the United States,
Committee on Foreign Relations,

Washingtonj D. 0., February 15, 1889.
The committee met pursuant to adjournment. Present: Senator
Morgan, chairman ; Hon. John W. Foster and Mr. Bobert B. Lines, of
counsel for the Government of Mexico, and Mr. Crammond Kennedy,
of counsel for La Abra Silver Mining Company.

TESTmOinr or DAVID J. GABTH— Becalled.

Mr. Kennedy. Senator McDonald was to be here this morning to
continue his examination of Mr. Oarth, but he has not yet arrived.

The Chairman. What was the last question put to Mr. Garth t

Mr. Kennedy. I can state the exact point in dispute.

Mr. Foster. If it would be any convenience to counsel, and in order
not to waste time, I can examine Mr. Garth as to the letter-book, which
I could tiake up and suspend when the Senator comes in.

The Chairman, Very well ; go on.

Mr. Foster. I will suspend my examination when the Senator comes
in.

Q. Mr. Garth, Mr. McDonald asked you to examine the letter-book
of the company at the mines, and he especially directed your attention
to the letters which were pasted in the book. Ton identified, as I re-
call your testimony, all the letters of De Lagnel addressed to you that
were pasted in the book ; that is, you recognized them as letters yoa
had received from him f — A. I don't remember particularly about it.

Q. Now I want to ask you

Mr. Kennedy. Might I suggest that, as we have Mr. Garth's testi-
mony printed here, it would obviate any doubt if you would just take
the book.

The Witness. Probably that would be better.

Mr. Foster. Well, I have an extra copy here, so that you can have
one for your own use.

The Witness. If you will just name the page probably it will save
time.

Mr. Foster. Just look on page 269 of that book. You will see a
letter printed there from Tayoltjta, July 6.

Mr. Kennedy. No ; I did not mean that, Mr. Foster. I wanted you
to invite the attention of the witness to his testimony in regard to the
identification of those letters. This is the letter itself that you refer to
now.

Mr. Foster. I stated that as a matter of fact simply to refresh his
memory.

The Chairman. There is no objection to it. It is simply a request
of Mr. Kennedy that you shall make your question a little more to suit
him.



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THE LA ABKA SILVER MINING COMPANY. 826

Mr. FosTEB. I will do it.

The Oh AIRMAN. I wish yon woald just proceed with your examina-
tion. I do not want the record lumbered np. Go right on and examine
him your own way, and if there is a qaestion made as to the legality of
a qaestion I will pass npon it

By Mr. Foster :

Q. That printed copy is found in the letter-book, page 87, if you de^
aire to look at it. What I want you to do is to look over that letter, if
yon have not yet road it, are not familiar with it, and say whether you
can recall anything of that letter which will enable you to say whether
you received it from De Lagnel.— >A. What page is itf

Q. In the letter-book it is page 87.

Mr. Foster. Mr. Chairman, the State Department has sent an an-
swer to your request for papers in regard to Mr. Sisson, and yon might
go on with that.

The Chairman. Tes, we will do that.

Mr. Foster. In the meantime, Mr. Garth, I will refer to another
letter on page 279.

The Witness. Dated the 7th of September f

Mr. Foster. Yes, September 7. Just go over those carefully and
refresh your memory by examining and see if you remember to have
received them.

TE8TIM0HT 07 ISAAC SISSOV— Examination resumed.

Mr. Foster. (Examining papers from the State Department.) The
request is apparently complied with in the production of all the papers
asked for except Mr. Sisson's reply to the letter of the Department
asking for his resignation.

The Chairman. Well, we can go on with what we have got and ask
him- with reference to these. A copy of that letter can be furnished
afterward.

Mr. Foster. I present now the letter of the Department of Decem-
ber 2, 1874. Shall I read it f

The Chairman. Yes.

Mr. Kennedy. Mr. Chairman, of course this is all taken subject to ob-
jection, and I have the law here in regard to the method of impeaching
witnesses, to which I would like by and by to draw the attention of the
committee.

The Chairman. I understand that it is not offered to impeach the
testimony of the witness directly, but it is offered to show the standing
of the witness with the Department as a public officer.

Mr. Kennedy. I should think, if it was anything, it would be im-
peaching evidence.

The Chairman (to Mr. Foster). Did I understand you to make the
distinction yesterday?

Mr Foster. Yes.

Tlie Chairman. Have I correctly stated itt

Mr, Foster. You have. My object is to show his standing as a pub-
lie officer. He is there discharging duties as a public officer, under in-
structions from the Government.

The Chairman. Well, we will hear it and then decide whether or not
it is to go into the record.



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826 THE LA ABRA JILVER MINING COMPANY.

Mr. Foster (reading) :

Dbpartmbnt of State,
WashingUm, December 2, 1874.
.Sir : I have to acquaint yon that for reasons satisfactory to the Departmeut it is^
deemed necessary to make a change in the ofiBce of cousal at Mazatlan.

It will accordingly not be advisable for you to retnm to yonr post with the inten-
tion of resuming tne dnties of yonr office.

Under these circumstances the Department will be pleased to receive yonr resigna-
tion.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

Hamilton Fish.
Isaac Sisson, Esq.,

Consul of the UnUed Statee at MazaUan,

now at Litkgow, Dutcheee County, N. T.



RoTAL Hotel,
Fortieth Street and Sixth Avenue,

New York, December 4, 1874.
Sir : After eight years' residence in Mazatlan as consul of the United States of
America, I have the honor to tender to you my resignation, at the same time thank-
ing yon from the bottom of my heart for the kind consideration you have extended
to me during that period. Business causes my return to Mazatlan ; any communi-
cation fh>m the Department will be received at that place.
I have the honor to remain , your obedient servant,

Isaac Sisson.
Hon. Hamilton Fish,

Secretary of State, Washington, D. C,



No. — .] Department op State,

Washingtony December 5, 1874.
Sir: Tour communication of the 1th instant, tendering your resignation of the
office of consul of the United States at Mazatlan, Mexico, has been received, and,
in reply, I have to inform you that your resignation has been accepted.
I am, sir, yonr obedient servant,

Hamilton Fish.
Isaac Sisson, Esq.,

Hotel Royal, Fortieth Street and Sixth Avenue, New TorJc.

[The chairman, after consideration, decided to admit the foregoing letters.]

TE8TIM0HT OP DAVID J. GARTH.— Examination resumed.

Hod. Joseph A. MoDonald appeared as one of the couusel for La
Abra Silver MiniDg Oompany.

Tbe Chaibman. Mr. McDonald, in your absence Mr. Foster took up
a different branch of Mr. Garth's examination in regard to some letters
of Exall. Do you propose to proceed with that now, Mr. Foster?

Mr. Foster. I think we had better let the Senator go on. I had
hardly begun it.

The Chairman. You will proceed, Mr. McDonald, with your questions.

Mr. M0D0NAI.D. The questions which I have asked, upon what we
olaim was a cross-examination, and which were not passed upon by the
subcommittee at the time of adjournment, are found on page 222 of the
printed testimony, and embraced simply these points : I desired to
have Mr. Garth state whether the statements which Mr. Exall had
sworn to in his deposition, as to the causes that had compelled the aban-
donment of the mines and his return to New York, and the circum-
stances as he detailed them there, were the same in substance that he



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THE LA ABRA SILVER MINING COMPANY. 827

had stated to Mr. Garth when he arrived in New York ; and my pur-
pose in asking these questions was twofold; first, as supporting Mr.
Exall by pro jf, if I could, that he had made statements elsewhere out
of court, as we call it, that corresponded with the testimony that ho had
given in court, or in his deposition. As I regard the testimony sub-
mitted by the counsel for Mexico as tending to impeach Mr. Exall, I
therefore claim the right to sustain him.

And, then, as asecoud reason — perhaps amore important one, although
I put it second — to show that Mr. Garth, so far as be represented La
Abra Mining Cprapany, and his associates, who acted in connection
with him in regard to that matter, acted in good faith in going no far-
ther in endeavoring to secure or operate their property after the repre-
sentations made to them by this last agent of theirs, and that the aban-
donment was on account of the agent's representations and their belief
in their truth.

The Chairman. Now, just read the question yon propose to put to
him.

Mr. McDonald. Well, the question is this:

Mr. McDonald. Now, I want to read these two qnestions and answers (Mr. Mc-
Donald read as foUows) :

Question No. 6. Why did said company cease its work and operations at said
mines f State the reason, if von know. — A. Becanse I and the men nnder my superin-
tendence working at the said mines were compeHed to qnit and to abandon the com-
pany's mining operations and property ; becanse the interference, annoyance, and mo-
lestation we received during the progress of the work rendered success m it impossible
and rendered a continuance of the work dangerous to persons and property, and in-
tolerable, if not absolutely impossible.

Question No. 7. State in what the annoyance, molestation, and interference con-
sisted, and from whom they came, and when they occurred, and how you were com-
pelled to abandon your said work and the mines of said company; state fully. — A.
The feeling and prejudice of the authorities, both military and civil, and of both
the local and national authorities, at Tayoltita, and in the States of Durango
and Sinaloa, were very inimical to us. It was currently reported by the Mexican
authorities and citizens, and we were accusfd of meanly coming there for the pur-
pose of purloining the silver and gold of Mexico with which to enrich the United
States, and finally of* stealing the States of Durango and Sinaloa from Mexico by
annexation of the same to the United States; and this feeling and prejudice soon took
an active hostile form, and our lives were threatened by both the citizens and the
troops of the legitimate Government of Mexico, under President Juarez, its pi-esent
chief uittgistrate. Those threats were frequently made, and we were in constant fear
of our lives ; and in pursuance of these threats one of the employes working for said
company was actually killed while coming up from Mazatlan with a train of mnlea
for said company, and we were finally driven off and compelled to abandon our min-
ing operations by said authorities. The civil officers of the legitimate Governoient of
Mexico, under President Juarez, also harassed and annoyed us, and interfered with
the continuing of the mining operations of said company.

I was arre8te<l by the order of the local magistrate or judge of Tayoltita, whose
official title, as I uuderstood, was "Juez,'' and thrust into prison and sentenced by him
to a fine of $50, and imprisonment for two months. I had no trial, nor even an
examination, except by him personally, and do not know for what I was arrested
or impriHoned ; but I hero state positively thut I had not committed any act, crime,
or oflense against the laws or people of Mexico, or anv citizen or soldier of the same,
nor against any of therauthonties, local or national. I was released through the
personal infiucnce of a Mr. Grangtr, who had to promise payment of the saia fine;
no good reason ever having been given me for my arrest or release. I had frequently
applied to the proper military and civil authorities of Mexico, both in Sinaloa and
Durango, for re<lreshiind protection against the violence stated, bnt was rudely denied
by both in every case, and could get neither; and these threatened acts, and the acts
of violence were encouraged and connived at by said aothorities, if not actually in-
stigated by them, which fast I believe to be the fact also.

By reason of these facts it was very difficult to keep men there at work, and the
prosecution of the work was greatly hindered and delayed, and it finally became ut-
terly impnossible to continue the mining operations of the company; and I was com-
pelled, with my men, to give up the same entirely, and to abandon the mines and all
the mining implements and property of the company, to save our lives. I can not



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828 THE LA ABRA SILVER MINING COMPANY.

state dates and names with any degree of certainty; Mexican names are liard for me
to remember. The Imperialist soldiers^ and citizens sympathizing with their cause,
also threatened and interfered with ns, for the reason, as they stated, that we were
in sympathy with the legitimate GoTernment of Mexico under President Jnarez : said
interference occurred at various times during the whole progress of the work wnile I
was superintendent, and we were finally compelled to abandon the company's mines
aud property about Marcn 20, 1868.

The military authorities of the Liberal Government of Mexico, or those acting in
that capacity, seized upon our mule trains on the road from Mazatlan to our mines in
the State of Durango, loaded down with provisions and stores for the use of the em-
ployes of said company, and they, the military, appropriated them to their own use,
upon the ploa that they were not provided for, and must have them as a military
necessity. Large numbers of our mules and thousands of dollars' worth of our stores
and provisions were captured in this way by the said military during the progress
of the war there.

And finding it little or no better at the close of the hostilities, indeed it was even
worse in the mines, for then they seemed to tarn their whole attention to what they
called a purpose on our part to annex Durango to the United States. And it was in
vain that we protested that we had no such intention. The report had become gen-
eral, and we were so harassed that it was impossible to oontinne our work with safety,
as I have before stated. The military under Maximilian frequently captured our mules
and stores in the same way and shamefully abused our men who were conducting the
tra ns. They assigned as a reason for so doing that we, the said company and its
employ^, were republicans, and hostile to the interests of their so-called Imperial
Government, which was true.

Aud BO, between the two fires, we had no protection, neither of the contending par-
ties respecting oar rights under the law, but both of them robbing us. Large quan-
tities ot silver ore was taken or stolen from our mines after we had taken it oat, and
such were the threats against us that we did not dare to go out and defend it, as we
would Lave been in great danger of losing our lives by so doing. The ores so taken
were the very richest, and those containing the largest amount of silver. The capt-
ures or robberies of our males and stores, of which I have spoken, occurred at various
times daring the latter part of 1866 and the early part of 1867 ; that is, the most of
them occurred during the times stated and principally by the liberal authorities.

Now, I ask the qaestion whether that, in substance, is what Mr. Exall
reported to him and to his associates when he came to New York after
leaving the mines!

The Chairman. Ton can ask the witness to state what Exall re-
ported to him on coming back from the mines, and see how far his
memory will coincide with the statements yon read or any other state-
ments.

Mr. McDonald. Well, my question is a little more direct than that^
Mr. Chairman, and made so to meet the twofold purpose that I have
stated. The rule, I know

The Chairman. The purpose is right. Senator; I have no doubt your
purpose is right.

Mr. McDonald. The rule, I know, is not always laid down in the
same way in different States. Now, in my own State, where the pur-
pose of the testimony is to support a witness or to contradict a witness
as far as may be proved that he has made out of court statements that
do not correspond with statements that he has testified to in court, it
is competent to quote the statements made in court to the witness and
ask him if that is what was said, in substance, by the party who is sub-
ject to impeachment.

The Chairman. Well.

Mr. McDonald. And that was the rule that I was following here.
You know you are very likely to follow the rules of your own courts
when you are dealing with questions of evidence of that kind. Then
the rule is otherwise stated and viewed in other States that the form
that the chairman has suggested is the proper one, of asking, after
stating fully what the witness has testified to — of asking the witness on
the stand to state what the witness had said to him — so as to compare
the two statements in that way.



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THE LA ABBA SILVER MINING COMPANY. 829

The Chairman. That is what I propose to do. What is the fonn of
the qnestion that you propose to patt

Mr. MoDoNALD. My qnestion is whether that is sabstantially what
Exall stated to him and his associates when he returned to New York
after leaving the mines in the spring of 1868.

By the Chairman:

Q. What is yoor answer? — A. That is sabstantially so.

Q. Now, Mr. Oarth, before we go any farther, what is sabstantially
the statement made by Mr. Exall out of your memory, without refer-
ence to any book at all f — A. Well, he came back and stated

Q. State it fully now. — ^A. Became back and stated that he had left
Mexico because it was impossible to carry on the mines and the busi-
ness there safely ; that their life'and property, on account of the inter-
ference of the authorities — and because, furthermore, that he had been
imprisoned there^that he did not consider his life safe, and that he
left the property and returned home. That was the

Q. That is exactly what you state about that, is it f— A. Sir t

Q. Is that all he stated to youf — A. There is more of it, but

Q. Well, your recollection I want to get. — ^A. Well, that is my recol-



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 124 of 156)