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Q. And that is all t^ A. All that 1 expected him to get was the rec-
ords of the company.

Q. But he went out as agent T — A. Yes ; went out as my agent to
get the records of the company. He said he knew all the parties at the
mines ; he had been to the mines, and I think he said that he had for-
merly an interest in the mines, and that if— as I recollect he said — if I
would look up the findings I would see that they only claimed for a cer-
tain number of shares in the mine. They did not claim for the whole
mine, and that those shares that were not claimed under the award
were his. That is as I understood him to say.

Q. Now, what other employments have you made in connection with
the prosecution of this claim under your contract T — A. Under my con-
tract T Well, I employed Mr. Lines under that contract, and set him
to work at once, and I went tu work myself to hunt up in every way. I
took the letters when they came, read them over. I wrote to Colonel
de Lagnel

Mr. Foster. Well, we object to a general inquiry as to what he has
done.

The Chairman. The inquiry was not as broad as General Slaughter's
testimony. The inquiry is what other contracts he made with persons
to obtain evidence Y

Mr. Foster. Well, we object to that, unless they can specify the
parties and show they have some relation to this inquiry.

Mr. Wilson. Why, that is in relation to this inquiry, because it is

The Chairman. I think that it is.

By Mr. Wilson :
Q. Well, what other persons f — A. I don't recollect employing any-
body else ; don't recollect employing any human being.



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THE LA ABBA SILVER MINING COMPANY. 919

Q. You never employed any attorney or agent except the two you
have named Y — A. No, sir.

Q. Did you employ or authorize the employment of these detectives
in New Yorkt — A. No; I did not, but of course I approved it after it
was done

Q. You knew nothing about it at the time! — A. No, sir; not at the
time.

Q. Yon met the man Fisher who was here this morning, I suppose, in
New Yorkf — A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did he accompany you to the Mexican minister? — A. I think he
did. I was trying to recollect this morning. 1 think he did. We had
a conversation t6gether, and I think he did, but I don't recollect.

Q. Do you recollect what occurred? — A. I did not take him to the
Mexican minister with a view of his telling the Mexican minister any-
thing, because when he mentioned to me the $25,000, it was a question
that I dismissed immediately; that I had no idea— my only object in
going to New York was to prosecute, and that was all.

By theCHAiBMAN:

Q. Prosecute what? — A. Prosecute Mr. Exall.

Q. For what! — A. For perjury. I thought I could get the evidence
showing he had been guilty of perjury, and I went to Judge Grandon
and consulted him about the law as to perjury. My whole object was
to get evidence to bring him to trial.

By Mr. Wilson :

Q. Do you know any other agents that were employed in New York
than Fisher and Weed 1 — A. I do not. I do not even recollect much
about; Mr. Weed. I went to New York. When I first went there I am
not sure whether it was Weed or Fisher that went with me to get the
signature of Exall certified to in the press-letter copy-book. I took the
press-letter copy-book with me and went over to New York and wanted
to get evidence that that was the signature of Exall to these letters,
and went around with some detective ; whether it was Fisher or Weed
I don't know, but Mr. Lines gave me a letter to him, I think, and I
hunted him up and went with him around to these gentlemen to get
them to certify to the signature.

Q. Then you know of no other agents in New York than Mr. Fisher
and Mr. Weed ! — A. None other, and Mr. Weed, I don't know that I
ever saw him ; I don't recollect.

Q. Did you have any correspondence with Green while he was in
Mexico ! — A. Green wrote me a letter telling me that he had sent this
book.

Q. That is all the correspondence? — ^A. That is about all; yes; I
don't recollect any other. Yes ; he wrote me a letter, too, when he first
arrived at the city of Mexico, that he had been detained there and
would leave the next day; that he had seen nobody and would leave
the next day. I directed him to get letters to certain people in Mexico —
letters of introduction — so as to facilitate his movements, and he wrote
that he had arrived, but had not been able to see any one. I think that
was the substance of his letter. I think that was about all.

Q. Did he write anything to you about obtaining testimony at Ma-
zatlan ? — A. I think not.

Q. Depositions* or affidavits? — A. I think not. In fact, I know he
did not

Q. And did he say anything about his interview with Dahlgren ? —
A. No, sir; nothing at all.



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9i&J THE LA ABBA SILVER MINIKG COMPANY.

Q. Have you the letter that Green wrote to you while he was in
Mexico t — A. No, sir; I think I sent all the letters I had from Green to
Mr, Linos. I don't recollect, but I did not keep them. I don't know.
There was nothing in the letters at all, and I did not keep them.

Q. Well, you have not them nowt — ^A. No, sir.

Q. I wish to ask you whether that is the only agreement you have
with the Mexican Ghovernmentf — ^A. That is the only agreement in this
case.

Q. I am confining myself to this case. I do not want to meddle with
the Weil case, because I have nothing to do with it f — A. That is all, sir ;
no, I hare no agreement.

Q. Have you any letters, general, from the Mexican minister in re-
gard to this matter! — A. Yes; I have a good many letters, but I don't
think any of them are of any importance whatever.

Q. Well, I did not ask you anything about their contents or any-
thing of that kind, because there may be a question

A. Well, 1 have been writing to Mr. Marisca},o£f and on, semi-private,
semi-official letters.

Q. Have you from any other officer or official of the Mexican Gov-
ernment letters f — A. No, sir; I think not

Q. Have you brought with you any papers in connection with this! —
A. No; I was just going to say to the committee that I would have
brought all the papers of every kind and description, but I got a tele-
gram from Mr. Foster that the committee was about to adjourn and not
to delay coming; so I thought, knowing that copies of these papers were
here, and the others, what I had, were of no importance whatever, I
came off without them.

Mr. Foster. I would like to say here that I was not aware of the
existence of any such letter as this at the time that I telegraphea to
General Slaughter. I did it in the interest of the investigation, to get
him here as speedily as possible.

The Chairman. I asked you to do it, Greneral Foster. 1 recollect
that very well.

Mr. Foster. And I had lio knowledge of these papers and it threw
me off uiy guard, as I would not have asked him to come without bring-
ing those papers if such a request had been made ; in fact I would have
objected to such a request if I had had an opportunity to do so.

By Mr. Wilson :

Q. Are you going back to Mobile ? — A. Yes.

Q. Immediately after we adjourn f — A. Yes.

Q. I do not want to hurry you off on Washington's birth-day or any
thing like that. — A. Yes; I am going off immediately.

Q. Well, could not you send those papers to Senator Morgan, so that
if on inspection we find any thing there we want to put in we could raise
the question at least as to whether or not they are competent evidence.

By the Chairman:

Q. I first ask you whether you are willing to submit your correspond-
ence to the committee f — ^A. I do not wish to unless the committee
desires.

Q. The committee have no desire about it. In the case of Kilbourne
I understand the Supreme Court held that mere private papers, that
did not touch in any way the case, the committee had no right to com-
pel the production of by the witness.

By Mr. Wilson :
Q. I am entirely agreed to that, and I would not, if it was a matter



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THE LA ABBA SILVER MmiNG COBiPANT. 921

that was simply between him— a mere private matter — ^between him
and somebody else, of course I would not insist upon it, unless there
was somethinisr that actually bore upon the very question that is in dis-
pute here ; I recognize the doctrine

The Chairman. I do not see how any admission of an agent of the
Mexican Government, unless he had some connection with the mines
out there, some personal knowledge of what occurred at the mines,
would produce any impression as evidence. It would be his opinion
about things.

Mr. Wilson. No ; I am not talking about that. I am talking about
what may or may not have been done by the Mexican authorities.

The Chairman. To get evidence?

Mr. Wilson. Yes; to get evidence. That is what I am talking about.
For instance, General Slaughter had this contract. Now, they are un-
dertaking to execute this contract, and whatever was done as between
any Mexican officials in contemplation of this

The Chairman. There is another rule that I do not know whether
to apply in absolute legal strictness to General Slaughter's position, but
be held toward this Mexican Government, under this contract, a confi-
dential relation, and he might have a right to suppose that anything
said to him might be respected under that coniidence.

Mr. Foster. It was upon that basis that I object to his calling for
correspondence between the Mexican minister and General Slaughter.
This correspondence, if it existed, it is natural to suppose, related to
the policy to be pursued in this investigation. It did have very much
the relation of couusel to principal.

Mr. Wilson. Well, it does not come within the rule of the law.

The Chairman. Well, I will just say this about it: If General
Slaughter sees proper to send to the committee any papers that relate
to this subject the committee will consider them and determine then,
when they see the papers, what they will do. There is no particular
paper pointed out ; nothing communicated as to any act of the Mexi-
can Government in procuring testimony that was at all improper, as far
as I have heard, and I can not say in advance that I would put the
I>apers in the record, or would not, and can not say I would require him
to produce them, and unless

Mr. Kennedy. I think we would be willing to leave it with the
Chairman.

Mr. Foster. Well we would like very much to have the same arrange-
ment made on the other side, if possible. If we could get the books,
papers, and correspondence that your company possessed, we would be
delighted.

The Chairman. I asked General Slaughter what his function was.
It is not the mere fact of his occupying the function of an attorney-at-law
that creates confidence and gives the protection that that rule of law is
designed to give, but it is the confidential relation.

Mr. Kennedy. Does not that apply to General Adams and La Abra
Company as much as it does to General Slaughter and the Mexican
Government !

Mr. Foster. I suppose it does, but General Adams is not here.

Mr. Lines. You have chosen to have General Adams's contract spread
on the public records of courts. That is where we got it.

Mr. Kennedy. No, you got out of Mr. Garth and Mr. Baldwin both,
not only that there was a contract between Adams and La Abra Com-
pany, but that he was to receive one- third of the award for his services
in collecting the testimony in Mexico.



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922 THE LA ABBA SILVER MINING COMPANY.

The Ohaibman. Yes; but you see, Mr. Kennedy, General Adams went
around with his interpreter and clerk and personally examined the wit-
nesses in the presence of the different consuls, which depositions are to a
considerable extent attacked here with being corrupt. Of course the
agent who was present taking the deposition is open to be impeached
in any way in the world that evidence can impeach a man, and if yon
can show that Mr. Slaughter took testimony, depositions, anything of
that sort, if you can prove here this agreement or what his agreement
with the company was, I will let that go in.

Mr. Kennedy. Well, how about Alfred A. Green, who is a subagent
of the general; I do not know about any testimony impeaching General
Slaughter's conduct at all, but I do know that we have affidavits going
to show that this man Green tried to suborn perjury in Mexico. We
have those affidavits and that is one reason why we are anxious to have
Green before the committee.

The Ghaibman. Well, you shall have Green. Just give his name and
address now, and we can send tor him immediately by telegraph.

Mr. W^iLSON. Well, now so far as General Slaughter is concerned I
am perfectly willing under the circumstances that be shall, if he is will*
ing to do it, send these papers to the committee, and then we can de-
termine the matter.

The Chairman. Send any papers you choose to me. General Slaugh-
ter — I do not require it of you, send them to me and I will protect you.

The Witness. 1 do not think there will be any trouble.

The Chairman. Well, send them on and I will see that you are pro-
tected.

Mr. Foster. I want to say that Mr. Lines's name has been connected
with this investigation repeatedly. The counsel for La Abra Company-
have brought his name into this investigation through copies of hia
letter or copies of letters which purported to be his, and in other ways
his name has been used frequently. Mr. Lines is ready to be sworn and
answer any question that the committee may see proper to put to him.
I feel it is incumbent upon us to afford the committee this opportunity.

The Chairman. Well, Mr. Lines is a lawyer and knows, of course,
the bearing of what has been said about his management or conduct of
this case would be, and I am entirely willing to give him an opportunity
to make any statement and to be sworn if he pleases.

Mr. Kennedy. I suppose, Mr. Chairman, he waives his privilege as
counsel if he is sworn.

The Chairman. I do not know anything about that



TESTIMOliT OF KOBEET B. LINES.

Mr. Robert B. Lines, sworn and examined.
By the Chairman :

Q. Now, Mr. Lines, you can proceed in your own way and state any-
thing that you think is necessary to show your connection with these
several transactions which have been brought into the evidence in this
case in respect of obtaining papers or depositions which have been sub-
mitted to this committee. — A. Since my engagement in this matter

Q. By whom! — A. First by General Slaughter, and subsequently by
the Mexican Government. Perhaps 1 should preface my statement by
saying how that came about. At the time I was engaged with General
Slaughter there was a conference between him and Mr. Mariscal, min-



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THE LA ABBA SILVER MINING COMPANT. 923

ister of Mexico, and myself, and it was understood tliat when Mexico
should find a forum in which to present her case in this matter I was
to appear as one of the counsel for the Mexican Government. Since
that employment I have never at any time in conversation or in corre-
spondence with anybody sought to obtain oral testimony/ or I should
say, perhaps, offered or proposed to offer any compensation to anybody
for furnishing oral testimony on behalf of the Mexican side of the case.
The first thing that struck me upon examination of the case was the
declaration of the umpire that neither books nor reports had been— ~

Mr. Kenio:dt. Mr. Chairman, 1 do not think the witness should give
us his views of the case.

The Chairman. The witness is going to say, as I understand him, as
to what drew his attention to the necessity of getting the books and
the papers of La Abra Company.

Q. What was itf — A. The declaration of the umpire in his award
that no books and papers had been produced, and no reason had been
given for there non-production; that was what led me to advise that
probably books and papers were in existence and could be procured
from some person who was or had been an agent or officer of the com-
pany. In addition to that was the fact, which was then well known,
that in the other case, which has been referred to, documents purport-
ing to be original books and letters had been produced by General
Slaughter. My efforts, therefore, so far as they related to the procur-
ing of testimony, were directed solely to securing documentary evi-
dence, and mainly to securing documentary evidence of that character.
By that I mean evidence which, as I conceived the case and understood
the declaration of the umpire, had been suppressed by the claimant be-
fore the commission, and therefore competent under the well known
rule of law on the subject of new trials. I do not think that I will say
any more at present unless in response to questions.

Q. Did you ever offer any money or reward to any person for pro-
ducing documents f — A. I never did, sir; neither directly nor through
an agent.

Q. A letter of yours, or a letter that Mr. Kittelle said he understood
had been written by you, has been referred to. It has not been pro-
duced, but he has given his recollection — certain extracts which he said
were communicated to him or read to him by Mr. Fisher

Mr. Kennedy. Weedf

By the Chairman :

Q. Or Mr. Weed. Have you any recollection of writing a letter of
that kind to Weedf — A. I never wrote a letter to Weed in my life.

Q. Never did! — A. No, sir.

Q. Do you know Weed at all! — A. No, sir.

Q, Did you ever see him ? — A. Never.

Q. Or ever have any correspondence with him of any kiudf — ^A. !No,
sir.

Q. Well, did you write any letter to Fisher in which a proposition
'w^as made to pay money to Exall for any purpose I — A. No, sir.

Q. Did you ever authorize Fisher or Weed or any other person to
make an offer to Exall of money for giving his testimony or producing
documents that might bear upon this case? — A. I authorized — or per-
haps I should say requested — Fisher, upon learning that he had <^ lo-
cal^" Exall, as he phrased it, to ascertain, if possible, it Exall had
papers or books, authentic and original, of La Abra Company. I said
to 31r. Fisher, either at that time or subsequently, that If such evidence



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924 ^ THE LA ABRA SILVER MINING COMPANY.

of a documentary character could be found in the possession of Mr.
Exall or of anybody else, that I should certainly recommend to the
Mexican minister or to General Slaughter that it be purchased and paid
for, and I had in my mind then the illustrious precedent which had just
been given by the United States Government in reference to tbe pur-
chase of papers in Canada (of General Picket, I think it was), for which
an appropriation had been made by Congress; and I thought it a safe
precedent for me to follow, and also think it a perfectly straightforward
and honorable course.

Q. Had the papers that were obtained by Green in Mexico then
been secured! — A. At the time of my first interview with Fisher noth-
ing had come, to my recollection, from Mexico as the result of Green's
efforts.

Q. Well, had any other papers come from Mexico t — ^A. I think not,
sir.

Q. Well, had you any reference to records of the company kept in
Mexico that you were trying to get, or were you trying to get records
that were kept in New York t — A. I supposed that Exall, after I learned
that he was in New York, might have papers that he had brought with
him from Mexico, or might have papers belonging to the company in
New York. In either case I thought it was a fair subject of negotia-
tion. I might add, if no further question occurs to the cbairman, that
I was of the opinion that the proper course, or the most eftective course,
would be to procure indictment of the principal persons coucerned in
what I thought to be a fraudulent claim, and I studied the subject up
jomewhat in company with General Slaugbtet; I think we visited a
gentleman from Mobile, who was then practicing law in New York City,
at the New York Hotel.

Q. Judge Grandin f — A. Judge Grandin, yes. Whether he is alive
now or not I do not know. By him we were recommended to retain a
gentleman in New York, whose name I do not care to give unless the
committee desire it, who was said to be an intimate friend of the district
attorney. We did not consider that recommendation, but did visit the
district attorney. I think I went on several occasions, and I thought I
had foand authority in an old reported case; the case of Roget vs. The
State, for laying an indictment against Exall, Adams, and Ely, perhaps —
those whom I considered to be the prime movers in the conspiracy. The
matter of tbe indictment for perjury I am not at all clear about. I do
not remember that that question was ever considered in relation to pro-
ceedings in New York. I do remember that I had a consultation with
the district attorney of the District of Columbia, Governor Wells, on
the subject first of the conspiracy indictment ; some of these affidavits
having been here and

Mr. Wilson. What is the purpose of all this statement!

The Witness. Well, I am ready to stop at any moment.

The Chairman. Mr. Lines was going on, not under any question that
I had asked him, but to make a statement which I supposed had some
purj)ose. I do not know myself what it is.

The Witness. Well, it simply shows my attitude in the matter as
one of the people referred to.

By the Chairman :
Q. Well, 1 understand you to say, Mr. Lines, that you expected to
prosecute Exall for perjury if you found you had a legal foundation for
proceeding! — A. My idea was to bring an indictment against all the
parties concerned for conspiracy. I find a letter from Mr. Phelps, dis*
trict attorney



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THE LA ABBA SILVER MINING COMPANY. 925

Q. You need not put it on record. — A. Well, the answer of the dis-
trict attorney was not encooraging, and he said he would not recom-
mend it.

Q. On the ground was it that he could not maintain it ; some legal
difficulty t — A. That the crime was, under the statute, one affecting the
course of justice in the courts of the State; that the statute would only
provide for the punishment of conspiracy. If you will allow me, I will
refresh my memory.

Q. Oh,yes, refresh your memory with whatever you please. — A. That
it referred only to the conspiracy to maintain a suit in the courts of the
States.

Q. And not of the United States ? — A. Not before a commission of
this character. As to the statutes of the United States on that subject,
I was advised by the district attorney in Washington that there was
none.

Q. Well, thereupon you abandoned, I suppose, your purpose to prose-
cuty anybody for conspiracy ?— A. Perforce ; yes, sir.

Q. Is there anything else you wish to state about this case f — A. £
do not recollect anything at present.

The Ghaibman. You can examine him, Mr. Kennedy.

By Mr. Kennedy :

Q. You say that you have two contracts with the Mexican Govern-
ment, if I understand you f — A. I beg your pardon ; no, sir; I will repeat
what I said if you wish.

Q. Yes, I understood you to say that you had one with Mr. Slaughter
and one with the Mexican Government! — A. Well, I do not think I
referred to them as contracts. I had a contract with Mr. Slaughter,
and an understanding, at the time I undertook the matter, that when
a case should be prepared upon which Mexico proposed to move in the
matter, requiring the assistance of counsel, that I should be one of the
counsel, and that was a mere verbal understanding with Mr. Mariscal.

Q. I would like to ask you whether the contingency that was under-
stood between you and Mr. Mariscal, to wit, the opening of a forum for
the Mexican Government, in which counsel would be necessary or de-
sirable, whether that has happened ? — A. Well, I am a little in doubt
as to that, Mr. Kennedy. I think^-considering this committee as a
forum — I think this is the drst place where we have reached the taking
of testimony.

Q. Whatlwanttogetatis this: That outride of your employment by
Mr. Slaughter, you are now acting under that understanding which you
have mentioned with the Mexican Government f — A. There is in the rec-
ord a note from the Mexican minister to the Secretary of State intro-
ducing myself as one of the couni^el of the Mexican Government.

Q. That is all. I have no desire to press that any further. Now, you
have said, if I understand you, that you did advise the purchase oi any
documents as distingui^^hed from depositions which might be of service
in impeaching La Abra award. Is that right t — A. I think I said that
I should have done so, and so stated to Mr. Fisher.



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 136 of 156)