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

. (page 14 of 156)
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 14 of 156)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


The next thing was to get rid of the lead from the mass. This was
done by this little bone and furnace in the muffle. That was carefully
watched to see when this lead was fully absorbed by the bone or cupel,
because as you approach completion if you have too much heat, if I
recollect right, or are careless, it spits and you would lose a weight, and
although it is very small, still it would be lost in the calculation. The
very moment you see a little rainbow appearance over this melted ball in
the cupel the time has come. You cool it gradually, remove it and you
weigh it, taking fine accurate weights. It being weighed, you then have
a ball, a little button or mass having silver and gold in combination, if
there be gold in the ore. You take that weight and then to get rid of
the silver and leave only the gold trace, you take a little tube^ drip this
with nitric acid heated over a light, and you see a slight ebullition irom
the flame.

The silver then is reduced by the acid to chloride of silver, and it
leaves a little fragmentary particle, dark, that you would not notice. It
looks like a little infinitesimal rag, so small you have to be careful in
turning the tube off j and in order to bring that back to the brightness
of gold you restore it to the furnace, heat it again, and it restores the
brilliant appearance of the gold. You weigh that. Then you have
weighed your silver in combination with the gold, and you have obtained



Digitized by VjOOQ IC



76 THE LA ABRA SILVER MINING COMPANY.

what the weight was of the total mass, and yoa weigh your gold when
it comes out and you see what is the proportion, deducting one from the
other. It is a simple calcnlation of the rule of three ; as one is to so and
so, so is the result. I have not done it for twenty years.

Q. Now you are not a chemist ? — A. No, sir ; do not profes ^ to be.

Q. Who was this man who taught you this ! — A. Gol. William C.
Cullens. He was once professor of chemical and natural philosophy
in the Military Institute of Virginia, and was at West Point as assist-
ant professor of natural philosophy.

Q. How many times during that six weeks did you visit him for the
purpose of taking instructions ? — A. I could not say, but I went as fre-
quently as I could. •

Q. Tell us whether it was onpe or twice a week ! — ^A. I won't say
whether it was once or twice ; frequently.

Q. Half a dozen times during the six weeks f — ^A. Yes ; more than
that.

Q. About how many times? — A. You are pressing me for a given
number. I won't answer any given number. I went as often as opjior-
tunity allowed, for I had every incentive to do so.

Q. All the instructions you had on that subject you got in that period
of six weeks f — ^A. The whole of it.

Q. Now tell the committee how many different specimens of metal .
yon assayed while you were thus taking instructions f — A. I had no
other but the one specimen submitted — ^this piece Mr. Garth gave me —
that I recollect of his ore.

Q. Now, in all the experiments that you made there, or all that you
did in the way of acquiring information, that was all confined to one
single piece of metal f — A» No ; I do not say that. I had but one speci-
men from Mr. Garth. He broke a piece off a piece he had on his man-
tlepiece and gave me.

Q. Did that show a large yield of silver! — A. It did.

Q. Now, did you make any tests on any other metals than that piece
of ore you got from Mr. Garth t — ^A. The question never occurreil tA>
me until you put it. I do not know what metals they were Colonel Cul-
lens had. He gave them to me simply to manipulate the ore whilst he
stood by, watching.

Q. Did he ever teach you any other processes than the one yon jast
described! — A. No, sir.

Q. And if there was any other process that was necessary to be
used in respect of ores other than that specimen of Mr. Garth's you do
not know it ! — A. I know there are other methods. One is the analyti-
cal method, that I never could learn because I had not the physical
power. I tried in San Dimas to learn to use a blow-pipe, but I could
not do it because I could not keep up a continuous expiration. It is
necessary, or at least desirable, to have that in order to ascertain what
components there are in a little lump of metal presented to you.

Q. And if there are any other methods required in order to test other
characters of ores you do not know anything about them t — A. I do not
pretend to know.

Q. And if you came across a piece of ore that required a different
treatment than the one you described, you would not know how to go
about treating it t — A. I do not pretend to. I do not know what yoa
are arriving at, but, if you will permit me to state, I think I can simplify
what you are getting at.

Q. Well, you had better answer my question and not assume what
I am trying to get at. Now you went to Mexico. What did you find



Digitized by VjOOQ IC



THE LA ABRA SILVER MINING COMPANY. 77

there in the way o( ores on the patio! — A. I found an ore coming from
the La Luz ; tbat was divided, a large and smaller pile, and away over
there again wjis a deposit of ore from another mine, El Cristo.

Q. From what mine did this specimen come that you saw in New
York, and, as you say, you made your test off — A. If I recollect aright
—I am not positive — my recollection is that it was from La Luz.

By Mr. Lines :
Q. That is, you were told so f — A. Tbat is the impression I have
always had in my mind, and have now, that it was from the La Luz
mine.

By Mr. Wilson :

Q. You had no specimen from any of the other mines ! — A. No, sir ;
I never saw any other specimen from Mexicx) until I went there.

Q. Are you able to state to this committee that the minerals that
came from the La Luz and from these other mines are precisely the same
ill their chemical combinations f — A. I am not. I do not think they
were, because the appearance of the ores is different ; they look different.

Q. So that your test of tbis specimen from the La Luz might not apply
to the other ores that came from the other mines f — A. 1 do not know
anything about it.

Q. You say tbat the ores api)eared to be different in th^ir chemical
constituents ! — A. The appearance, I say. I merely speak of the ap-
pearance to an untutored mind as mine was at the time. The ore that
came from El Oristo had a reddish appearance and free gold oftentimes.
The ore from La Luz was a gray one. This specimen that Mr. Garth
bad showed brilliantly what might be called silver glints ; I am not
sure.

Q. Are you prepared to state to the committee that the instructions
that you had on the specimen of ore you had in New York would enable
you to actually assay and determine the quality and value of the other
orest — A. I have never pretended it.

Q. And you do not pretend it now!— A. I do not; never did.

Q, Now, when you got down there, you found ores from the La Luz-
on the patio and some fi*om other mines, from the Oristo f — ^A. From
the Cristo.

Q. And you found them in two piles f — A. Yes, sir.

Q. One described as ffrst class and the other described as second
class! — A. Yes, nir ; that gradation related only to the La Luz — a com-
paratively small part as compared to the whole there — the one called
first class ore, which in general terms wivs suppose<l to run up very high.

Q. llow many tons were out f — A. I could not pretend to tell you how
many tons.

Q. You will have to give us your best estimates I — A. You have offi-
cial statements, I believe. I could not do it.

Q. You were there on the ground and saw it, and you are here giving
your information to the committee, and we want your best estimates
now as to how much of this firstclass La Luz ore there was on the patio
when you went there t — ^A. It was comparatively small as compared
with the whole.

Q. You say comparatively small. Was there one hundred tons, or four
hundred, or five hundred! — A. No, sir.

Q. How much ! — A. You are asking me for a positive statement I
tell you it is an impossibility. 1 do not propose to do it

Q. Mr. Bartholow preceded you there ! — A. Yes, sir.

S. Doc. 231, pt 2 7



Digitized by VjOOQ IC



78 THE LA ABRA SILVEK MINING COMPANY.

Q. lie writes about it —

From La Liiz w<; have taken oat ^'^ ' rons, and the quantity mined weekly has been
Increased to an average of 30 tons.

Does that refn^Hb your recollection ii8 to the condition of things
there ! - A. No, sirj 1 know he hatl large trains running when I arriv^.

Q. And they haa not crushwl any ore out, had they f— A. No, sir.

Q. And it was put up on the pile 1 — A. Yes, sir.

Q. And you have no reason to belii»ve, from what you saw there, that
his stiitement is not a correct statement as to the quantity f — A. I do
have reason to think, but I can not be positive; but I know I thought
the amount overestimated.

Q. Do you mean the quantity overestimated f — A. The quantity on
hand.

Q. Are you prepared to say now there was not 400 tons from the La
Luz there lying on the patio when you went there! — A. No, sir, I will
not guess. 1 cannot estimate tons by sight.

Q. You will not state that there w^vs any less than 400 tons i — A. i
do not mean to make any positive statement on the subject. .

Q. Well, you saw it there continually did you not! — A. Every day '

Q. Every day.— A. Yes.

Q. And having thus seen it day by day, can you give the committee
no estinnite of the amount of that La Luz ore that was on that patio f —
A. No, sir; I cannot. If I did it would be simply guess-work, nd there
is no use indulging in anything of the kind. I will not do it; I have
answered you honestly. If I had any intelligent idea I would give it
to you without any hesitation.

Q. Well, now give us some idea of this second class orej the quan-
tity of it that was there.— A. That was the large pile. The firstclaBS
ore laid in a little pile in the corner.

Q. You say it was a little pile ; say how big it was. — A. A little pile
as compared with the other.

Q. Now you are very free to use the word little pile. I want you to
tell us what the dimensions of that pile were. — A. The smaller pile^
then, of the two.

Q. I know ; but this is going in the record. I want to know the size
of both. — A. I can not give you feet and inches.

Q. Was it 20 feet!— A. No; I can get it better this way. It laid
against the back of the wall that surrounded the patio, so that you
could stand and look over. It was a wall like that, for instance (iudi
catingj. I could stand and look over it. It laid against that; it rose
as it came away from the wall and fell off slanting in every direction
with an irregular base line.

Q. Can you give us an idea of the size of that base line! — A. No; I
could not tell you how long that patio was to save my life, althou|;:Li 1
saw it. If asked to-day whether it was 200 or 300 feet on the siilcs I
could not tell you. 1 have a picture of it in my mind, but it would t>e
only guess-work.

Q. I am only particular because you say it was a little pile. — A. 1
simply mean to say that it was small ins compared with the larger pile ;
that was a very large pile.

Q. Now give us the size of the big pile. IIow many tons in that f —
A. I don't know. The only information 1 had up to the time L ^^ent
there is what General Hartholow sttites.

Q. Was there 1 ,000 tons in it ? — A. I do not suppose there was, becaase
it was not represente^l anything like it.

Digitized by VjOOQ IC



THE LA ABRA SILVER MINING COMPANY. 79

Q. llow was it repre«cuted f — A. I have seeu two stateujeut^. I have
ieeii 400, ainl 200 also, stated by General Bartholow as the amount being
there.

Q. As ihe amoaot beiu^in the large pilef — A. No; that amount of
ore.

Q. In the large pile or the small one f — A. The two, I presume.

Q. Don't you know he stat^l, as I have jnst read to you, there were
400 tons of the La Luz ore f

By Mr. Dolph :
Q. 1 understand both these piles were La Luz ore ! — A. Certainly.
I did not want to say it, but you drive me to the iK)int. 1 saw two state-
ments about ores, because he contradicted what he said. I do not want
to be put in any i>osition of contradicting myself by making a state-
ment, and then afterwanis when I am making another, 1 don't know.

By Mr. Wilson :
Q. But I am not putting you under any duress at all. I simply want
the committee to know the facts.

By Mr. Dolph :
Q. I want to ask the witness a question. Have you stated in your
testimony so far that the La Luz ore which was on the patio was in two
piles? — A. Yes, sir; there was no ore on the patio save the La Luz so
far as I remember ; certainly not when I went there. The Gristo was be-
yond the mill, piled up by itself many feet away.

By the Chairman :
Q. An entirely different locality ! — A. Entirely different locality.
The La Luz was near the house in the square, right back of the build-
ing, and the other was bryond, the interval being occupied by the mill.
By Mr. Wilson :
I find in one of Bartholow's letters this :

Our ore pile is rej^alarly and steadily increasing; the stock on band in lietweeu
550 and 575 tons.

Mr. Lines. Let me ask you if you accept that letter in preference to
the affidavit of General Bartholow madi^ before the committee.

Mr. Wilson. Oh, I am not accepting anything.

Mr. Lines. Where he said he mine<l about 200 tons of ore which
were carefully assorted for beneficiation, "and their value in pure
silver was from 3 to 15 marks per carga, or an average of 8 or 9 marks
per carga. This I know to be true from exi>erimental assays of aver-
age lots as assorted and tested by me.''

Mr. Dolph. Permit me to make a suggestion. If tliese two l>ookK
the counsel read from are before the committee I suppose they are sufli-
ciently official to be before the committee for some purpose. Of course
the question as to the fact can be obtained by reference to the ti^sti
mony in the case if it becomes material. If this witness has made any
statement in his present examination or any other examination, or not
under oath, that would be a proper subject to call his attention to: but
is it a legitimate examination to say that when some other person has
8tate<1 in his testimony or under oath, or in some connection, that such
and such was the fact, to follow that up to ascertain his recollection as
to the amount of ore !

Mr. Wilson. He is under cross-examination and 1 have asked him
about a fact which was right there before him for a year and more, and
he says, ^^ I can not tell," etc., and I want to refresh his recollection.



Digitized by VjOOQ IC



80 THE LA ABRA SILVER MINING COBiPANY

Souator DoLPH. I aui uot criticisiu*? tbo extent to which that qaee^
tiou is pressed or as to whether the witness is supposed uow to remem-
ber and to be abk^ to give an estimate of the number of tons in an irreg-
ular pile of rock. 1 was only suggesting as fo whether t4iat was really
the pro|K'r method of examination and soon, that Mr. Bartholow in
some letter, which 1 do not know whether it is before the committee
or not, has said it was so many tons, whether anything is gained by
expressing it in that shape.

The Chairman. It occurs to me that General Bartholow's statement
there about 500 tons of ore in stock would relate to the La Luz ores
and also to the El Oristo pile. This witness is sin^aking now, as I no
derstand it, of the ores upon the patio as they came from the La Lux
mines, the Cristo lieing some feet away and at a different locality. It is
probable that there were 600 tons of ore.

Mr. Lines. Bartholow says, on page 26 —

Up to April 1 oar oro from the La Lnz 7 El Cristo luiues, say at that t4iDe 5O0
tous, 400 of which was ou the patio, had cost $9,000.

The Chairman. We can not possibly stop to hear this argued ]neee-
meal as we go along. What we want is to get the facts thin witness
knowd, and whatever General Bartholow stated of course the attention
of the committee can be drawn to in due season. I suppose the purpose
is to get at what he estimated the weight of these ores, the size of the
pile from the best means of information he had at the time.

Mr. Wilson. That is all.

Mr. DoLPH. The counsel will see the drift of my objection. As soon
as you read from one letter of General Bartholow the counsel on the
other side read another letter from Bartholow, and we get nothing but
controversy on what Bartholow said.

Mr. Wilson. I was going to ask him in one moment, and 1 will do so
now, if General Bartholow did not at some time tell you about how much
ore was there on the patio in these different piles t — A. If he ditl, I do
not remember it ; he may have said so ; I do not pretend to say be did
not tell me so. I make no such denial, but I do not recollect it.

Q. Ilave you an impression he did tell you about how much was
there t — A. I have no impression about it at all. My mind has not re-
verted to these things for years. There were at the hacienda books
that showed dav by day the delivery. Whenever a train came down
the sacks were thrown out, weighed, entered on the book, and the clerk
brought the book back and hung it up.

Q. And you ha<l access to the book t — A. 1 had, and I think it Wiis
that book my attention was called to by some one who questioned the
(luantity. 1 think I must have gone to that l>ook to get the basis of ni>
belief tliat there was an overestimate of what was there.

Q. Now, your attention, therefore, was particularly called to the qnuu
tity there! — A. Yes, sir.

Q. Called to it by the book f— A. Yes, sir.

Q. Called to it by your seeing it f — A. Yes, sir.

Q. But you can not give the committee any definite idea as to the
quantity there! — A. No, sir; I can not answer; one or two hnndreil
tons.

Q. And if anybody has stated the amount there you are not prepare* I
t^ deny it ! — A. 1 do not pretend to say that. 1 make no assertion on
that.

Q. Now, when you got down there did you assay any of this ore your
self!— A. Which!



Digitized by VjOOQ IC



THE LA ABRA SILVER MINING COMPANY. 81

Q. This La Luz. — A. Soon after getting there — 1 coald not say
whether I took Bpecimeus from both, but 1 know I did from that, be-
cause that was right in sight — I asked, I think, Mr. Hardy, who was
the book-keeper and store- keeper — in fact he was the only one I could
appeal to after the others went away — and he had some ores reduced,
which I took down on mule-back, forded the stream

Q. 1 will come to that after awhile. 1 want to know whether you
yourself, having had the La Luz specimen in New York

Mr. FosTBB. No ; he has not said so.

By Mr. Wilson:

Q. Well, what was reported to be the La Luz specimen in New York,
and having taken your lessons in sissaying in New York on that speci-
men, after- you got down there I want to know whether you made any
assay of any of that La Luz there at the patio or hacienda t — ^A. No, sir ;
there were no means of assaying at the hacienda.

Q. You say that at the hacienda you, having no facilities, made no as-
say yourself 1 — A. I could not do it.

Q. But what you did do was to have Mr. Hardy or somebody else to
reduce A. Bruise down into powder.

Q. Exactly ; 1 do not know what the technical term is, but then yon
pulverized it 1 — A. That is it exactly.

Q. About how much did he pulverize t — A. Well, the pulverization
was done in a stone mortar about that high and about that size [in-
dicating].

Q, 1 do not care how it was — how much did he pulverize t — A. I sim-
ply saw the instrument in which it was done, and scarcely remember
that. It was handed to me. I took an irregular mass of it ; you do not
want a great mass. He took a much larger quantity to be pulverized
in order to get the general truth of what was in it, and he gave me a
portion which I took in a package down with me on the saddle-mule to
this place, La Puerta.

Q. Very well, I don't care about the method, but you got some pul-
verized and carried it to this other placet — A. In that condition.

Q. What did you do with it when you got it down there t — A. I had
it assayed.

Q. Did you assay itt — A. I think he first and then I. I think we
both assayed.

Q. Well, did you make an assay yourself t — A. Whether I did it
wholly myself or not I could not tell. We were working in combina-
tion there and the results were satisfactory.

By Mr. Dolph :
Q. Were you working together when the assay was madet — A. Yes,
sir : right at the scales and the furnace together. I may have weighed
and he may have weighed, and I would go to the furnace and he would
go to the furnace.

By Mr. Wilson •

Q. Did you do it according to the process you learned in New York t
— A. Exactly.

Q. You say the results were satisfactory t — A. I can not even recol-
lect now the men that examined it ; but I recollect the result was satis-
factory. I do not mean to say it gave $1,300 or any thing like that, but
it was satisfactory in a general sense. I was not led myself to regard
it as unsatisfactory — as showing danger ahea4- I do not mean to say



Digitized by VjOOQ IC



82 THE LA ABEA SILVER MINING COMPANY.

I ever saw aoy $1,300 on% because that would arrest attention. What
ever the facts were, Mr. Garth had them.

Q. The results were encouraging t — A. Perfectly satisfactory.

Q. Now, you went down there for the purpose of making that test by
an assay, and you had had Mr. liardy to take out ore that would show
fair results. Is that what you asked fori — A. I asked him to have
some of that ore bruised for me. I do not know that 1 gave him any
specific instructions, tie was the only one 1 could turn to to have the^^
things done. 1 aske<l him, as he ha<l the whole knowledge, to get a
proper man and have that ore prepare4l for me (bruisecl); that 1 wanted
to go down to the only place I knew easily accessible — La Puerta — and
make the assay and see what it was worth.

Q. Now, if that was a fair average of that pile of ore, that was satis*
factory to you t — A. Yes, sir.

Q. And gave good promise for the future t — A. Yes, sir.

Q. Which pile did that come out oft — A. That 1 can not tell you, for
1 did not see it taken.

Q. You (<o not know whether it came out of the first class or seoond
class t — A. I was told by some one, 1 don't know where I got the in-
formation, that it was not taken out of the second class. I wanted the
second class because the first was reputed so rich that it seemed to be
indubitable. 1 did not have any thought of it at all.

By Mr. DoLPH :
Q. Do you know yourself where it did come froml — A. No, sir; I
did not see it selected or bruised.

By Mr. Wilson :

Q. If it did come from the second class, then that second class was
satisfactory and gave promise of good results! — A. Ye^, sir.

Q. Now, did you make any other assay t — A. No, sir ; there were no
means of assaying. 1 did not go there again. I recollect going over to
San Dimas to learn to assay. Whether 1 hail a piece of the ore 1 can
not say ; but it was a mere fire assay we were trying then, and I do not
believe I made another one until just lu^fore 1 left; that wiis another
ore— the El Oristo.

Q, Well, I do not want to get that yet. — A. Well, the La Luz 1 never
tried again.

Q. Now, can you tell the committee what that sissay that you did
make yielded, or would make that ore yield, to the ton, approximately ? —
A. 1 can not; but that information Mr. Garth can give you, 1 think.

By the Chairman :
Q. Did you communicate that to Mr. Garth f — A. 1 think 1 muBt
undoubtedly have done it.

By Mr. Wilson :

Q. Well, you can not now — although you made it yourself or helped
to make it, and were particular to have it made in onler that you might
understand what that ore Wiis worth, and what the prospects in the
future were -you can not now tell what that showed in the way of yield
of metal to the tout — A. No, sir; 1 would not pretend to give you the
figun-8. I can not do it.

Q. You can not do it approximately ? — A. 1 can not; because when
you attempt to approximate, it is mere guesswork and worth nothing.
. Q. And so yon would have to testify l>efore any court that might
summon you. — A. Wherever 1 was asked, I would say the same thing.



Digitized by VjOOQ IC



THE LA ABBA SILVER MINING COMPANY. 83

Q. Now, how long after you got there did you make this assay f — A.
It must have been withiu a month or six weeks, for the rainy season
(uime on, which raised the stream and impeded travel so much that I



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 14 of 156)