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 144 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 144 of 156)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

erty of the Americans, they were owned by D. Jnan Castillo de Valle and D. Tgnacio
Maniarrez, to whom they were productive of tome profiU, but to what amount he does
not know. * • • That the American company directed their attention to the Bo-
sario mine on aeoaunt of what it yielded to its former ownere, Castillo and Mapjanes.

Bartolo Rodriguez, who had been in the employ of the company, tes-
titled {ibid., p. 414) :

That he has known the mineral of Tayoltita for fifteen years ; that the owners wete
D. Jnan Caitillo and D. Yenacio Mai^arrez, who worked the mines that have been
mentioned to him mthprojli, and that these afterwards sold them to the American
Company. * * * That it is true that the American company gave their attention
to the Rosario mine on account of knowing ^ yield ofeUverthai D, Juam CasHUo toot
obtaining therefrom.

liainon Agnirre testified {ibid.j p. 415) :

That it is more than fifteen years since he became acquainted with the mineral dis-
trict of Tayoltita ; and that he knows the owners of the mines that have been named
over to him to have been Juan Castillo de Valle and D. Tgnacio Maigarrea, who af-
terward, with the hacienda and everything connected therewith, sold the same to the
Americans ; that said mines yrere productive of^grofX to said Castillo and Manjarres,
but to what extent he can not say, as he is not informed. * • * That the American
company gave the most of their attention to the working of the Rosario mine htoau%e
ihey were aware of the amount of silver extracted therrfrom (y Meeere, Juan Castillo and D.
Ygnaoio Manjarreg.

Aquilino Galderon, who also had been in theemploy of the company,
testified (p. 416) :

That he has been acquainted with the nfineral districts of Tayoltita for several
years; that D. Juan Castillo and Ygnaoio Manjarres were the owners of the mines
which have been named over to him, who sold the mines and haoiendae to the Amer-
icans in the year 1865; that when Messrs. Castillo and Ma^jarr m were working the
mines he was aware that they prodnced good profile.

Refiigio Fonseca testified also to '^good profits" {ibid.y p. 416), and one
of the former owners, Ygnacio Maujarrez, deposed as follows {ibid., p.

That he has been acquainted with the mineral district of Tayoltita for fifteen years;
that in the year 1854 he and his partner, D. Juan Castillo de VaUe, became the own-
ers of the first- mentioned of the mines that have been named over to hun, and that
during all the time that said mines were worked by them they produced good protttBup to the
year 1865 ; that they sold the mines and haciendas to an American company oaUed the

Francisco Torres, one of three witnesses brought np firom Mexico by
the Mexican Government, testified before the sabcommittee on Janaary
24, 1889, that he worked as a refiner for Castillo del Valle about a year
before the sale of his mines to the company. On his direct examina-
tion Torres testified that the Kosario mine was full of water while he
was working for del Valle— more than a year before the sale — and that
all the others were in a bad condition, except La Luz, which was in
operation (ibid., p. 505) ; also that the result of his ^^ beneficiating " was
^^ ver>^ good,'' but that he could not tell what was the quantity of ore
out of which this result was obtained {ibid., p. 506). On his cross ex-
amination he testified that when he was w«)rkiug for del Valle ^^ he saw
ore proceeding from different mines to be beneficiated in some other
part of the hacienda " {ibid., p. 521), and that ^« he thought that most of
the material on which he worked came from Bosario » (tWi, p. 624).

Digitized by VjOOQ IC


He also testified that the bricks of silver refined by him wei^lietl fmrn
6 to 10 poands each ; that sometimes a brick was the result of oue day's
work and sometimes two days' work, but that he did not refiue every
day, aud that sometimes there were intervals of three or four weeks ;
he came and went between his home and del Valleys hacienda, but was
more in the hacienda than at home (ibid.^ p. 522-624). This same wit-
ness testified that La Abra mine had been ^^ worked for the last four or
five years by Don Ignacio Maujarres, who had pat in $50,000 or (60,000,
and lost all without taking out any metal at all." But it appeared sub-
sequently that the question of profit or loss was still open^that Man-
jarres was tunneling La Abra mine upon an extensive plan and was not
extracting ore {ibidn, p. 514).

The high opinion that Manjarres seems still to entertain of the value
of at least one of thii mines formerly belonc^ng to the Abra Company,
and the fact that during the last seven or eight years he has spent from
$50,000 to $60,000 in tunneling that particular mine so as to reach the
veins below the old workings, were brought out in the examination
of Eugenio Somera, another of the three witnesses who came up from
San Dimas and were examined on behalf of the Mexican (Government
before the subcommittee, last January, through an interpreter {ibid.^ p.

Q. Aakhim when he was last in La Abra laine.— A. I^wt monfch; tlie time he left

Q. Ask him to describe the tnnnel that he has testified was in prop;ress of constrao-
tion in that mine. — A. They are making a tnnnel in the direction m>m west to east,
following the vein. There are already made abont 200 meters. He explains that the
tannel runs abont SOO meters in that direction, and there are branohee to the left and
to the right of abont the same length.

Q. Ask him whether all of this tnnnel is on La Abra mine property.— A. AIL

Q. What has been the expense of tanneling operations np to date t— A. He does not
know exactly, but he thinks it not less than^,000 or |60,000.

Q. Ask him whether tlie proprietor, if it is the proprietor that is making the tonnel,
has been taking out any ore for benefioiation.— A. Not even an ounce.

The same witness testified to the experience and repatation of Ygnaoio
Manjarres in mining, as follows :

Q. Ask him what experience in mining ICaoJanee has had*

The INTBRPRKTBR. He asks to what time yon refer.

Mr. KxNNBDT. I mean In his whole life.

A. He save he is a practical miner.

Q. Ask him how old Manjarres is.— A. ScTcnty yean.

Q. Ask him if he is liTing now.^A. He is living, and a strong woiking man.

Q. Ask him if there is anybody In the San Dimas district beuer informed in regard
to the past history and present condition of the Tayoltita minea than this man Man-
jarres.— A. No.

Another witness, produced by the Mexican Gtovemment and ex-
amined at the same time, named Ramon Hermosillo, testified that he
knew Maiyarres and thought him ^^ a man of great e3q[»erienoe.''

Testimony of witnessea for the Mexican Chvemment as to the unlawfid in-
ter/erenee of the looai a/ntkarities wiik ike operations of the company at
ike mines.

In his first deposition for the Mexican Oovemment. taken at San
Dimas, August 23, 1871, before Judge Qniroz, the i^oresaid James
Granger testified as follows {ibid.y p. 418) :

Being interroffated as to whether it is pnblic and notorions that the Amerioan com-
pany of the " Aura," as well as the other companies that hare worked mines in this
mineral distric^ have carried on their operations withont having been tronbled by any
disturbances whaterer on the part of the populace or military, and whether American

Digitized by VjOOQ IC


oitiseni ue now working the CandAlarU and Bolallot miDes withont being intermptod
by any one in their labora, and without baring any reaaon to complain of said au-
thorities, and whether, on the contrary, if they do not have all the proteotioD thsl
these authoritiea can giro them, the same as any other enterprise nnder Mexican man-
agement T

He answered and said : That in regard to what is contained in this interrogatory,
he knows that the principal oMl authoritiff D. Marcos Mora, when he occnpied that
position in this district, molested the Ahra Compamy hy meddling with them in regard to
th^ manner of working which they had adopted, and that when D. Nicanor Peres was
judge in Tayoltita, be arreeted, withont having ang reaeony the enperimtendaUt Mr. Exall ;
that in 1866, according to a letter which he saw from the military commander, Jesns
Valdespino, this person asked $1,200 from the Abra Company, bnt that he does not
know whether the company pidd it or not.

The same witness in his secoDd deposition for the Mexican Gtovem-
ment testified (ibid., p. 425) :

That he does not know what acts of yiolenoa were committed against the employ^
of the company or against their interests ; that in answer to the question as to
whether he knows that the Mexicans took Bome lotn of mules loaded with provisions,
and appropriated the same to their own use, he responded that he heard it said that
durine the reyolntion between the French and Mexicans, some mules, loaded, bad
been lost, bnt that this was before the deponent came to Tayoltita.

Oompare the earlier deposition of this same witness on behalf of the
company in regard to the hostility, annoyances, and interferences on
the part of the local aathorities (ibid.j pp. 352-357).

Qnadaiupe Soto, who was local jadge at Tayoltita while the company
was engaged in mining at that place, was examined on behalf of the
Mexican Government at San Dimas, July 24, 1872, before Jadge Qniros,
and testified as follows (ibid., p. 435) :

Q. When yon were Judge in Tavoltita, in 1867, did yon direct and issue the com-
munioatioDs dated, respectively, the 5th and 4th of July, copies of which have been
shown to you, and which appear on page 6 of these proceedings T — He replied that he i$
certain of having issued such communications to the aaminietrator of the **Jhra " eetabUMh"
ment, and that he did so because there had been a rising of the people to compel him
to, * * On this deposition being read to him, he added that the communications
which he issued were in consequence of the fact that heeidee the disturbance on the pari
of the people, he had received orders to that effect from the politiealcihi^, Marcos Mora ;
all in consequence of the failure of the superintendent to contract with the opera-
tives for working the mines ; he afiOrmed and ratified a)] the preceding statementa.

These orders will be hereafter considered.

TesUnumy of toUneases far the Memoan OavemmerU as to the arrest and
imprisonment of 0. H. SxaU^ tka oompanj^s superintendent at the

Befhgio Fonseca, examined on behalf of the Mexican Oovemment by
Jndge Quiroz, at San Dimas, Jnly 22, 1872 {ibid., p. 434), testified that
Exall, superintendent of the company's mines, was arrested and im-
prisoned for three days by Jadge Nicanor Perez, and that he did not
know whether the said Exall had made any application to the aathori-
ties of the State.

N. A. Sloan, whose deposition was taken before Jndge Qairoz at San
Dimas, in behalf of the Mexican Oovemment, on the 9th of Ootoberi
1871, testified (ibid., p. 426):

That the sunerintendent had heen imprisoned without knowing for what; he said
that he knew be had been a prisoner in the Jail, and that he understood that his im-
prisonment was because, or, ratlier, aooording to what he saw of the affidr, it was
because the Judge went into the hacienda to speak to one of the peons who was at
work there, and the superintendent thereupon put him out, from wmch it resulted that
the said Judge immediately went to his house and ordered the superintendent to be
oailad hafara hifli, whan he $mU htm isjfriesn.

Digitized by VjOOQ IC


The aforesaid James Granger, in the third of his depositions for the
Mexican Ctovemment, testified to the arrest and imprisonment of the
soperintendent as follows {UncL^ pp. 434, 435):

Being asked what he knew abont the impriaonment of the raperintendent of the
mining eetablishment of Tayoltita, what was his name, how long he was imprisoned,
by what Judge, and what was the resalt of tks appUoaHon whieh the latter mode to the
auikori^ee of the State, he replied that he was a witneee to the arrest, and that his name
was Charles R Ezall ; that he was imprisoned fbr two or three days beoanse he re-
proved Judge Nicanor Peres for haying removed from one room to another in the
establishment of the company, and he knew that the superintendent had eomptakned to
the governor of Dnrango^ bnt that he does not know with what result.

It will be interesting and snggestive to compare the aceoonts of Ex-
alPs arrest and imprisonment given by Qranger in his depositions on
behalf of the Mexican Government with his account of the same occor-
rence in his earlier deposition on behalf of the company ; bot before
quoting from these, it may be proper to qnote what is said on thlssab-
ject in the majority report of the committee (p. 12) :

One of the specific acts alleged to establish the char|{e of hostility on the part of the

Mexican authorities is the imprisonment of the supenntendAPt, Exall. In his depo-

, sition before the commission Exall states that he was arrested by the local Judge ;

that without any form of trial or knowledge of his offense he was sentenced to two

months' imprisonment, fined |50, and thrust into prison.

In a letter whioh Exall wrote to the prefect at San Dimas, the oflloial superior of
the local Judge, a oopy of which is found in the letter-book, aU the details as to the
causes of the arrest are set forth. His own account as there given contradicts his
deposition, and shows that his detention must have been of a trMal character. The
evidence does not show that he was actually imprisoned. It was an arrest under which
he was detained for am hour or so, and was not of sufficient consequence to be men-
tioned in his correspondence wilfti the New York office, and does not appear to have
interfered with his duties as superintendent.

An examination of ExalPs letter to the prefect at Ban Dimas, written
from Tayoltita, January 7, 1868 (about two months before the abandon-
ment of the mines), shows that Exall was sHll under arrest when he
mdde this appeal for protection. The letter was written on the same
day that the arrest was made. In this letter, after detailing the dr-
cnmstances minutely, Exall says :

I asked if he intended putting me in Jail please to do so. as I had a headaohe, and
wished to lie down. He then gave me permission to go to the hacienda, but to consider
myself atill A<sjpH«9iier, and (to be) at his house whenever ordered. • » • But
for being a prisoner 1 would conie and see you in reference to the matter, but unfiirta-
nately necessity compels me to write. (Appendix, pp. 31S, 317.)

It is evident that this letter was not intended to describe, and could
not possibly have described, the duration of the imprisonment. The
letter was an appeal for release from illegal detention then existing,
and which had already lasted more than ^^ an hour or so." Exall was
evidently anxious, and with good reason, to find out how much longer
he was likely to be kept in duress. When the isolation of that mining
district is considered, and the inflammable character of the population,
the circumstances attending the saperintendent's arrest are worthy of
the careful attention of Senators who may have to act in this case. The
deed was evidently done to humiliate the superintendent publicly and
to magnify the local magistrate's power. This appears from the follow-
ing passage of ExalFs letter, referring to tlie judge who had made the
arrest :

He had ooUected around his house a number of men, and in the house preparations
bad been made as if resistance was expected and force miffhtbereqaired. • • * i
uHked him if he had gotten through with me, as I desired to return to the hacienda
He replii'd, yes, he had finished. Mr. Sloane and I then left and bid him good-by.
Am we reached the ooiridar he said ha neyar wanted to laa am in bit hoaia axoapt on

Digitized by VjOOQ IC



official bosineas. To this I replied, " Very well, sir,'' and tarned io leaw. He called
me back, saying not to go ; if I did he wonld Bmdaforise after im, and they would tkooi,
and insiited on my letarningtothe bonae. I did ho, without any remark. He then
said I was his prisoner. I then reqaested to know what was to be done. He said he
would put TM la 4aU until he could recelTe instrnotions firom San Diinaa. I remained
passive, and he then gaTe>^2< lieoMe to kU tongue^ dbuiing mein the most vioUni language,
(Appendix, p. 316.)

The effect of such an exhibition of arbitrary power as this among sach
a population can readily be imagined. What happened afterwards ap-
pears from the testimony; and the first thing to be noted is that the
prefect did not interfere an ExalVs behalf. Jast how long he was impris-
oned seems to be a matter of some donbt. The Mexican commissioner
Zamacona, in his opinion upon La Abra claim, says that ^' it is proved
by the statements of four unimpeachable witnesses " that Superintend-
ent Exall's imprisonment ^^ only lasted four days." (Ex. Doc No. 103,
H. B., Forty-eighth Oongress, first session, p. 40.)

What happened after bis fruitless appeal to the prefect is thus related
by James Qranger in his deposition for the company, ma<le at Mazatlan
before the United S.tate8 commercial agent May 14, 1870 (Appendix, p.

In the month of December, 1867, or January, 1868, the superintendent, Charles EL
£xaU, was avrested and imprisoned by the "Jnez conciliador " of Tayoltita, Nioanor
Perez, on a mere pretext, without any reasonable cause whaterer. The particnlars
are as follows : Mr. Exall was occupied in a priyate room, and in private conversa-
tion, and while so engaged, said Jnez, or Judge, Perez, entered the store at the ha-
cienda^ and without speaking or askins permission, be passed into a private store-room
a4Joining, and Mr. Exall observing this, stepped to the door of said store-room, and
in a polite manner addressed said Perez, saying that no one was allowed to enter
said store-rooms without license, and if he had any business to please communicate
the same to him. Said Perez came out of said store-room in a great rage, and asked
Mr. ExaU if he thooght he, Perez, was a thief, or wanted to steal anything. Mr. Kxall
denied any such idea, and stated that, in requesting him to leave the private store-
room he was merelv carrying out the general rules or the company.

Said Perez would listen to no explanations, and when he went out remarked that
he, ExaU, should hear from him. About half an hour after, an order came to the
hacienda for Mr. ExaU to attend, forthwith, before the said Juez, or Judge, Perez,
which orderMr. Exall obeyed, and upon entering said court-room said Judge Perez com-
menced a tirade of the mo»t infamoue pergonal abuse of said Exall, without allowing ex-
planation or JuBtifi6ation, eenteneed said ExaU to pay a fine of I think, about fifty dot-
Mrs, and impriaonmeKt for two months,

ExaU was confined in the hacienda until the next moruing, when he was sent for
by said 'Muez," who did look up $aid Exall in an old empty house, with the declared in-
tention of sending him to San Dimas to complete his sentence. Said Judge remarked,
at the same time, that he could not permit Exall to ride even his own mule to San
Dimas ; that he should treat him the same as he would treat any common prisoner.

When I went to visit said Exall in his prison, the next moruing, I found him busily
engaged in killing fleas that were troubling him. It was a filthy place. By personal
influences I brought to bear, and by securing the payment of the fine imposed upon him,
I managed to get Mr. ExaU released. All the ahove'l mtnessed myself.

A few weeks after this occurrence, on a Saturday, the superintendent, ExaU, re-
ceived from said Judge Perez an order directing him to attend at bis *' jnez-gado''
(oourt-room), and the same evening, at seven (7) o'clock, Mr. Exall, in obedience to
said order, went to the court-room, where he found assembled a large number of the em-
ployees of La Abra Compan^s mines, and otherti, and in their presence the said Judge pro-
ceeded to lectare said Exall upon the manner in which the business of said company
should be carried on, and he threatened that if the superintendent or company did
not work in the mode and manner to please the authorities they should be deprived
of ihelr property, and forced to flee the country ; all of which was said in my hearing^
and although I have only stated a few circumstauces that came under my direct
observation, showing the animus of the authorities and people of this district, these
are not by any means to be taken as all that took place, nor even as the most vexa-
tions. It was the daUy, and almost hourly annoyances and interruptions. Every
pretext that could, by any means, be made the basis of a suit or exaction was availed

BzalPs own aocoant of his arrest and imprisonment as given in his
deposition on behalf of the company, before Mr. Justice Barnard of the

Digitized by VjOOQ IC


snpTeme coart of ]^6W Yorky December 2, 1869, is as follows {iJnd.^ p, '

The oiYil officers of the legitimate GoTemment of Mezioo ander Pierident Jnares
also harassed and annoyed ns, and interfered with the oontinning of the mining opera-
tions of said company. I was arrested by the order of the locSl magistrate or jiidge
of Tayoltita, whose official title, as I understood, was '' Joes," and tlumst into prison
and sentenced by him to a fine of fifty dollars, and imprisonment for two montiis. I
had no trial, nor even an examination, exoept by him personally, and do not know
for what I was arrested or imprisoned ; but I here state positirely that I had not com-
mitted any act. crime, or offence against the laws or people of Mexioo, or any oitisen
or soldier of the same, nor against any of the authorities, local or national. I was
released through the personal inflnenoe of a Mr. Granger, who had to promise pay-
ment of the said fine ; no good reason ever having been given me for my arrest or
release. / had frequmtly applied to the proper military amd dvU amikariUM of Meaoioo,
both in Sindloa and Durango, for redress and protection agakut the violence etaUd, hit woe
rudely denied by both in every case, and oould get neither: and these threatened acts, and
the acts of vlnlenoe, were encouraged and connived at by said anthorities, if not
actually instigated by them, which last I believe to be the fact also. By reason of
these facts it was very difficult to keep men there at work, and the proseontion of the
work was greatlv hindered and delayed, and it finally became utterly impossible to
coutione the mining operations of the company; and I was compelled, witin my men,
to eive up the same entirely, and to abandon the mines and all the mining implements
and property of the company, to save our lives.

It does not appear to the andersigned that there is any oonfliot what-
ever, as suggested in the majority report, between the letter which
Exall wrote on the day he was arrested, to the prefect, at San Dimas,
and the foregoing acconnt extracted from his deposition, l^or will it be
now contended by members of the committee, in view of the statement
of the Mexican commissioner, Zamacona, and the testimony of Mexican
witnesses, that '^ the evidence does not show that he (Exall) was aetuaUy
imprisoned j^ or that the detention was ^'of a trivial oharaeter^ — only
^' an hour or so^ — and '' not of sufficient consequence to be mentioned in
liis correspondence with the New York office."

If the letter-press copy-book contains all his correspondence with
the New York office, Exall only wrote one letter, as saperintendent,
after his release from confinement at Tayoltita, and that was written
to Mr. Garth on the 24th of Jannary, 1868, at Mazatlan. There may
have been a reason why Exall did not allude to his imprisonment in
that letter, but the reason was not the one suggested in the majority
report of the committee, if an affidavit which Exall made shortly, before
his death (Appendix pp. 943-945), and to which the minority report
makes no allusion whatever, is to be credited. That affidavit under-
takes to explain certain discrepancies between. some of his later letters
as superintendent and the depositions which he subsequently made in
support of the company's claim before the joint commission. This ante-
mortem affidavit of his will be further considered hereafter, in connec-
tion with his letters as they appear in the company's letter-press copy-

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 144 of 156)