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This protest and the earlier dispatch of Mr. Evarts to Mr. Welsh were
considered and repelled by Lord Salisbury, and the payment of the
$5,500,000 was made by the United States as provided in the treaty.
If between the rejection of the protest and the payment of the award
the Government of the United States, by its minister at the court of St.
James, had entered into a contract with a British subject, engaging his
services to obtain evidence of fraud in the preparation of the proofs
upon which the award was founded, and agreeing to pay him a per-
centage of the amount from the payment of which the United States
might be eventually relieved, there can be no doubt how the proceeding
would have been regarded by the British Government — especially if the
British subject with whom the contract was made should, in accord-
ance with its terms, have addressed a petition to the British Parliament
or appealed to its members in promotion of legislative measures against
the award.

Of course, the Government of the United States would never for a
moment entertain the idea of such a course of procedure^ but sometimes
a clearer view of a certain line of conduct may be obtamed by suppos-
ing an analogous case with a change of parties.

General Slaughter sends an agent to Mexico.

It appears from the testimony of General Slaughter that the agent
whom he employed to go to Mexico, in accordance with the terms of



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1020 LA ABRA SILVER MINING COMPANY.

his contract with the Mexican Government, was Mr. Alfred A. Green —
the same person who had made a deposition on behalf of the company
before the Joint Commission, and had preferred a claim, nnsnccessfnlly^
on his own bebalf, against the Mexican. Government before the same
tribunal. Previous to this adverse decision, Mr. Green, who had been
much in Mexico and spoke the language fluently, had assisted General
A. W. Adams in taking depositions on behalf of the company in Mexico,
but afterwards quarreled with him in regard to compensation. This
quarrel is described in ex-Consul Sisson's testimony before the subcom-
mittee {ibid.j p. 801). General Slaughter had met Green in Mexico.
How they met again in Washington and came to an agreement in this
Mexican business is told by General Slaughter as follows {ibid.^ p. 914):

Q. Do you know a man by the name of Green f — A. Yes.

Q. Did yon employ him to asalst yon t — ^A. I sent Green to Mexico to get that press
letter copy-book.

Q. When was that t~A. That was a short time after I signed that contract. I sent
him immediately afterwards. I had never seen Green since I met him in Mexico. I
had never hear i of Green being in the case at aU. I accidentally met Mr. Green here
in Washington, and I had known him in Mexico, and known his brother very well. I
walked over to Willard's with him and took a drink and asked him if he knew any-
thing abont this bnsiness. He told me he did and went on to tell me what it was ;
said he thought it was a fraud, and all that sort of thins.

Q. We do not care anything abont that. — A. I asked nim, ''Green, can yon K^t me
the evidence of this thing f '' He says, " Yes, I can.'' Bays 1, " Would yon be willing
to go to Mexico and get these papers for me t '' He said, " Yes: I would.'' I said,
" When will you got" He said, "Any time." "Very well," says I, " I will pay your
expenses and send you out there and give you so much if you will go out and get
these papers." And I sent him, and he furnished the Mexican Government — did not
furnish me— but in reply to my sending him out there this press letter copy-book was
sent back through the Mexican Government to Washington^ directly here. It did
not come to me at all.

Q. Now, did yon have any written agreement with Green as to what he was to dof

Mr. Foster. I object. I think we have got to a point where we must object. * * *

Green went down to Mexico on this mission, and while he was in ISan
Francisco he met Gapt. Charles B. Dahlgren and told him that Adams
had boasted that '^ ho had obtained Dahlgren's signature (to his depo-
sition in behalf of the company) by the use of a good round sum of
gold.'' Dahlgren seems to have believed that Adams, who was largely
interested in the award, had made such a statement as that, and he
thereupon wrote the letter to Mr. Robert Lyon (Lines) of November 12,
1877, which has been printed in the *<new evidence offered by Mexico''
as proof that Dahlgren's deposition had been " forge '." Dahlgren was
examined by the subcommittee, and his examination will be alluded
to hereafter. Counsel for the claimant offered affidavits to prove that
Green had endeavored to suborn peijury in Mexico in his employment
under his contract with General Slaughter, for the purpose of impeaeh-
ing this award, but the offer was refused by the subcommittee on the
ground that the afOidavits were ex parte. To this, counsel replied that
the affidavit of William R. Gorham of March 23, 1872, alleging that
Green did not sign his deposition which was submitted to the Joint Com-
mission on behalf of the claimant, was ex parte, and that it bad not been
followed up by the Mexican Government in producing Gorham or Green
before the subcommittee, and that it was not fair, after having made
such a charge in the formal presentation of its case to the Department
of State and to Congress, and having had the benefit of the consequent
suspicion, to leave it in that shape. It appears, however, that before he
entered into the service of the Mexican Government, under the Slaughter
agreement, his character had been assailed by the agent of Mexico in
his motion before the umpire for a new hearing of the claim. In his



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LA ABBA SILVER MINING COMPANY. 1021

attack npou the company's witnesses (to which the umpire rather drily
allades in his denial of the motion) Sefior Avila remarked (Ex. Doc.
No. 103, House of Bepresentatives, Forty- eighth Congress, first session,
p. 90): .

Neither can be considered an a respectable witness Alfred Qreen, the pretended
Uberator of Mexico, who tried to detraad that nation by presenting a fraud alent
claim.

General Slaughter employs an attorney in Washington who employs de-
tectives in New York.

While Green was trying to liberate Mexico from paying all or part of
La Abra award, under his subcontract with General Slaughter, by col-
lecting '* newly-discovered evidence ^ in the vicinity of the mines, an-
other subagent of General Slaughter was at work for the same pur-
pose in this country. This was Mr. Robert B. Lines, who testified be-
fore the subcommittee as to his employment by General Slaughter (Ap-
pendix, p. 922). And General Slaughter also testified that he '^ em-
ployed Mr. Lines soon after signing the contract " (ibid.j p. 914). Thomas
J. Fisher, a New York detective, testified before the subcommittee that
he was employed by Mr. Lines in that city early in the year 1878 (ibid.j
p. 879) <' to make the acquaintance (of Exall) and find out if possible from
Exall what the facts were ; take means to do that."

In his direct examination Fisher testified {ibid.j p. 882) that he might
have given Exall to understand that if he would unswear what he had
sworn to before the Commission, it would be of advantage to him ; but
that ^^ General Slaughter was very anxious to obtain these facts /or the
purpose of having Exall indicted.^ Fisher said it was a pretty hard
thing for him to say what his instructions were; that he did not remem-
ber of any particular instructions given him at the time (i6td., p. 884) :

Q. Were you anthorised to offer him any thing f— A. I never was. Of coarse I re-
^rted and told General Slaughter what he bad said and the amount that was men-
tioned. That was talked over, and General Slaughter diBHncily said to me that he did
not want to negotiate for a thing, or did not want any proposition made^ unless he knew juet
exactly what were in his possession— find out what he had in his vossession.

Q. **The amount mentioned.'* By that do you mean the |25.000 f— A. Tes.

Q. Mentioned hy Exall f — A. Mentioned by Exall and Kittelle both.

Q. Was there any formal offer on the part of Bir. Exall or Mr. Kittelle in relation
to the sale of documents ; if so, what was it f — A. Yes, there was on the part of
ExaU.

Q. Please state what it was. — A. Mr. Exall proposed

Mr. Rennrdt. Just say what he said.

The Wctness. WeU, Exall said that if there was an offer made of $25,000 for these
papers and documents that he had he would produce them, or that was what he said
in substance.

• # • • • • • .

Q. What did General Slan^hter say to yon, if any thing, as to any expectation of
getting evidence out of Exalrs mouth to convict him of perjury f

• »•*«*•

The Witness. I don't remember that Greneral Slaughter gave any instructions to get
it in any particular way. The object was to get it. I don't remember whether

Q. To get evidence that would convict Exall of perjury t— A. Yes.

Q. Now, Mr. Fisher, in these conversations which you had with Exall or Kittelle
did you say any thing to either of them as to any protection to be afforded to ExaU
from criminal prosecution f— A. No, sir ; I don't remember that I ever did. I don't
think I ever did.

Mr. Fisher also testified on his direct examination (ibid.^ p. 823) that —

The first intimation of documents came from Exall himself. The first that I ever
heard in relation to there being any papers or valuable documents in existence came
from Exall himself.

a Doc. 231, pt 2— —66



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1022 LA ABBA SILVER MINING COMPANY.

Bat being cross-examined with reference to a time prior to his ao-
quaintauce with Exall^ Fisher testified as follows (iMd., p. 857):

Q. Now, can yoa tell us Bubstantially what it was that Mr. Lines said to yon at that
first interview ; not the very words, but the substance of it f — A. Well, I«remember
that he spoke to me in relation to tnis claim, and that an effort was to be made to set
it aside or open it, and that they wanted to have evidence on that point ; secure evi*
dence of this award being an unjust one.

Q. Now, what did he say, if any thing, about Exall t~A. Well, mv impression is
that he told me that Ezall—at least, I know that he told me that Ezall had been con-
nected with this companv as an officer or secretary ; that he held a position in the
company. I forget exactly what it was, but that he held a position in the company
and wasliabU to hare hooka and paperB and documents in relation to it that would show ike
exact state of affairs ; the exact amount of the loss that had been sustained by these parties.

And, being pressed in regard to General Slaughter's alleged purpose
of having Exall indicted for perjnryi Fisher gave the following testi-
mony {ih%d.y pp. 888, 889) : '

Q. Now, what steps, if any, were you instructed to take to show that Exall's testi-
monv was peijury f — ^A. Well, as I remember it, my instructions were directed partio-
ularly toward getting these papers and documents that be had.

Q. Well, how did you expect to prove Exall's alleged peijury by documents in Exall's
posseasion that you wanted him to turn over to you f — ^A. WeU, I had not any knowl-
edge of what these papers and documents were ; he never stated what they were, ex-
cept he stated they were very important and very valuable to the party that General
Slaughter represented.

• ••••••

Q. What did vou say to Exall in regard to the testimony that he had already
given f — A. Well, I have not any recollection that I ever spoke to ExaU in relation
to any testimony he had ever given. I don't think I did. I don't know that there
was — I am almost positive there was not anything said on that point, whether Exall
knew that I knew that he had testified I have no knowledge.

Q. Do you mean to say that there was never anything said by Exall to you or by
you to ExaU in regard to the position in which ExaU wou& jflaoe himself by gidng vou
documents or any testimony showing that he had previously penured himself 1 — ^A. Well, I
believe there was — my recollection is that there was sometnine said upon that iK>int|
that the documents that he had in his possession would put him in a false position.
There was something said upon that, I rememberi but what it was exactly I can not
recall.

Q. Well, bow did you meet that objection f

• • • • • • •

The WrrNBSS. Well, it would be pretty hard for me to say what I told him. I was
liable to tell him a good many things for the purpose of getting evidence out of him.

• • • • • • •

Q. Certainly. Now^ I ask you what yoa did teU him t— A. Well, I could not state
exactly what I told him.

Q. Well, give us your best recollection t~A. Well, I could not tell you firom memory
what I told liim. / have not any doubt that I told him it could be arranged saUsfadorily,
so that no harm would come to him, I have no doubt I told him that I have no doubt that
Idid.

Prior to Fisher's examination George W. Eittelle had testified before
the subcommittee that he had consented to be introduced to the de-
tectives, Fisher and Weed, in New York, at the request of Mr, Ely, for
the purpose of finding out what their object was in approaching Exall,
and who were their principals ; and Kittelle had produced a letter writ-
ten by Fisher to Exall while these negotiations were in progress. When
Fisher was examined he did not know that this letter was in evidence,
and, in his cross-examination, he was at first quite positive that he bad
never been notified by Mr, Lines or Oeneral Slaughter, or otherwise in-
formed, that the Mexican minister, Mr. Zamacona, was expected to be



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LA ABBA SILVER MINING COMPANY. 1023

present at a oonfereDce on tbis basiness in New York. Fisher's letter
to Exall is as follows (ibid.^ p. 774) :

New York, February 4, 1878.
Deab Bib: The Mexican minister is expected to arrive in this city either to-morrow
or Wednesday, aod I shoald like to see you before I eee Mm, Will yon please let me
know what time aod place it would be convenient for yon, and I will call upon yon f
Please address me by bearer or in care of the door-keeper of the Broad street entrance
of the Stock Exchange.
Yonra^ respectniUy,

THOBfAS FiSHSR.

Charias Exall, Esq.

After reading: tbis letter Mr. Fisber was examined as to his purpose
in writing it, as follows {ilnd.j p. 908) :

Q. Exactly. In other words yon wanted to get a little more definite information in
regard to these papers before yon commnnicated with the • Mexican minister as to the
1:^,000. Is not that so f

TLe Witness. I say that I did want to get from Exall information before I com-
manicated about the $26,000.

By Mr. Wilson:

Q. Well, you had already received from him the statement that he had these
papers t—A. Certainly.

Q. You had already received from him the statement that he thought they were
worth 125,000 to the Mexican Qovemment t — A. Yes, that he thought so.

Q. That he claimed they were worth that; you had received that f— A. Yes.

Q. But you had not received any definite information as to what the papers con*
tained t^A. I had not.

Q. But yon had communicated before this time to Mr. Lines or to General Slaughter
what Exall had said to you about these papers f~A. Undoubtedly.

Q. Yes, you had communicated that to General Slaughter and Mr. Lines f — ^A. Yes.

Q. Veiy weU: but you were not able to communicate to them vrhat the papers con-
tained or give tnem very definite information as to what they were 1 — A. No, sir.

Q. And yon wanted to get a further interview with him in respect to these papers t-^
A. Yes

Q. And so von wrote him this letter ; is that it f •— A. Well, I don't remember exactly
what the object was in writing that letter to him, but it was something in relation to
that.

Q. Well, you wrot« him this letter after yon had received all this information f— A*
From him t

Q. Yes.— A. Undoubtedly.

Q. And after ^ou had communicated what you had received from him to Mr. Lines
and General Slaughter f — A. Yes.

Q. Now, you say to him that ** the Mexican minister is expected to arrive in this
city either to-morrow or Wednesday, and I should like to see yon before I eee him,"
and you sa^ that when yon wrote that letter von wrote it with a purpose of getting
more definite information about these papers 7 — ^A. I did.

Q. We will leave that right there. Now, will yon tell ns who paid yon for your
•ervices in this matter f — A. Mr. Lines.

Mr. Lines^s negotiations toith Mr. Elder.

Mr. Lines at tbis time was also negotiating with another former em-
ploy6 of the company, Mr. A. B. Elder, for documents which be claimed
were in bis possession, and Mr. Elder bad sent a letter which he had
receired from Mr. Lines to General Bartbolow, who, it will be remem-
bered, was one of the company's stockholders, and its first superintend-
ent at the mines. In tbis letter, which is dated at Washington, Jan-
nary 17^ 1878, Mr. Lines alluded to the negotiations which he was
conducting, through the detective Fisher, with Exall in New York, as
follows {ibid.^ p. 635} •

Exall is in New York. I have not his addreis, but my agents are in oommonloft-
tion with him, and he shows, as I am informed, a disposition to purge himself of the
false swearing into which he was undoubtedly led by older rascalt.

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1024 LA ABBA SILVER MINING COMPANY.

The expression — " to purge himself^ — used by Mr. Lines at the time,
shows that he and his principals — General Slaughter and the Mexican
minister — were trying to induce Exall to ^^unswear" what he had sworn
to in his depositions on behalf of the company before the Joint Commis
sion^ and swear to a different state of facts. In his own testimony and
in his examination of Mr. Elder, Mr. Lines was careful to discriminate
between documentary evidence, which he admitted he wohld have ad-
vised the Mexican Government to purchase, if of the kind desired, and
one's own affidavit, which he held could not properly be purchased. Hi'
also said that when he wrote to Elder that Exall was showing a dispo-
sition " to purge himself,'' he did not use the expression in its technical
sense. But Mr. Lines's unstudied statement in his contemporaneous
letter to Elder, taken in connection with Mr. Kittelle's positive testi-
mony on this point {ibid.j pp. 768, 772, 773), and the probabilities in-
dicated by the situation, would show conclusively that it was new testi-
mony from Exall himself, under oath, as well as any books or papers of
the desired character he might possess, that the Mexican Government,
by its agents, was trying to obtain. On this point Mr. Lines testified
as follows {ibid. J p. 928):

Q. Now, yoa go on to say, referrinjp; to Exall : ''And he shows, as I am informed,
a disposition to purge himself of the raise swearin>;, into which he was undoabtedly
led by older rascals.'' Who was it that gave you that information f — A. Mr. Fisher.
He informed me that ExaU claimed to have papers, documents, and to be willing to
furnish them.

Q. No; but von say that *'he shows a disposition to purge himself of the false
swearing." What did yon mean by that f — A. Well, I did not use that in the techni-
cal sense. I was not corresponding with a lawyer, and I meant merely that Exall
showed a disposition, as I was informed, to furnish testimony which would show the
truth of the matter.

Q. Well, do I understand you that if a man who had eteom faUelg woe willing to eell
dooumenU in hie poeseeeion for a good round price that you would call that pnroing
himnelff—k, I would not call it so in a conversation between you and me, but in a
letter of this kind I might do so. That was all I meant, at least, by the expression.

Bnt Mr. Elder, who was produced before the subcommittee as a wit-
ness on behalf of the Mexican Government, had written to General
Bartholow, inclosing an alleged ^'verbatim ^ copy of a portion of another
letter received by him from Mr. Lines, which reads as follows (ibid., p.
636):

[Copy of a lAttor from B. B. Lines to A. B. Elder, eopled by A. B. Elder].

Verbatim,'^ Washinoton, D. C, February 17, 1878.

Tour avidenoe backed by these memoranda in view of Tonr position ought certainly
to be conclusive. Snndell said in Sept. the ores were all there. The lobby in behalf
of the Co. finding itself unable to suppress investigation is now trying delay it with
more snccess. Just when it wiU commence is still uncertain. Let ine know what
yon will furnish the memoranda mBom to by you and Exall letter for.

Exall is in N. Y. and I think in a few days we shall have his papers. My agents are
in communication with him in N. T., and he is weakening very rapidly. I shall be
glad to forward to him anything you may offer. I do not know hia address, as every-
thing is done throogb my agents.

There is much in the letter not in this.

[In pencil:] B. B. Lines.

I0UI8,

A. B. Elder.

I have an offer to go to China. Silver mines there. Do yon want any stock in the
Co.t The prospects are good. May be so ; dividends.

It is only fair to Mr. Lines to say that in his testimony before the
subcommittee he said (ibid.^ p. 930) :

These words, ''ticorfi to by you,*' I am very positive, were not in any letter I ever
wrote to Mr. Elder.



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LA ABBA SILVER MINING COBiPANT. 1025

In one of his own letters to Genital Bartholow, Elder states plainly
what the Mexican authorities wanted from him and what they had offered
him for it. He had fixed th6 price at $10,000, and the following was
evidently intended to draw out a bid of something over $8,500 for his
wares (tftuL, p. 039) :

Lone Pons, Caju, April 5, 1878.
General Bartholow :

Dear Sir : Yours of the 24th ult. come duly to hand and contents noted. I sent
to you a few days since a postoral card asking the return of Mr. Lines's letter. If yon
have not already started it you need nut be in a hurry about doing so. In a letter
from Washinffton a few days since they, through an agent, have offered $1,500 Isas
ihan 1 asked them ; they want my depoHtion and tne letter and memoranda, and I think
I will accept, as I have been losing in the sheep business for the last year.

As for the Co. for China, it is not perfected yet. I will let yon know more of it
soon.

Hoping, yours truly,

A. B. Elder.

Elder's letters to Mr. Lines had been printed in the ^' New evidence
offered by Mexico " with certain insinuations and charges against the
company, the falsity of which was shown by Mr. EldePs cross-exami-
nation before the subcommittee, as follows (ibid., p. 693) :

Q. Now, I wish to direct the attention of the witness to the statement of the Mex-
ican Government on pase 428 of Ex. Doc. 103, under the title of '* New evidence of-
fered by Mexico." I will read you a sentence or two :

'' Herewith are transmitted the originals of certain letters addressed by A. B^ Elder,
the assayer for La Abra Company, to the Mexican minister and Mr. Robert B. Lines.
Mr. Elder desired to find a market for the knowledge which he possessed of the affairs
of La Abra Company. He was informed that if he had any documentSi clearly au-
thentic, bearing upon the case, there might be room for a negotiation, but that affidavits
were not regaraed as purchasable. Mr. Elder claimed to have such papers, and was
asked to produce them and name his price. This, as his letters show, he failed to do,
and the correspondence with him was dropped. He appears, however"— And this
is the point to which I invite your careful attention — '^He appears, however, to have
found a market for the letters addressed to him in reply by Mr. Lines." Now, I want
to ask yon whether it is a fact that you ever found any market anywhere for the let-
ters addressed to you by Mr. Lines T— A. Never in the world, sir.

Q. Is there the slightest foundation in fact for the assertion of the Mexican Govern-
ment which I have just read to you T Did you ever offer any of Mr. Lines's letters for
sale to 'anybody? — A. Never.

Q. Did yon ever receive anything for any of Mr. Lines's letters from anybody T —
A. Not one cent.

Q. Did anybody ever offer to pay you one cent for any of Mr. Lines's letters T— A.
Never.

Elder not only contradicted thus explicitly the intimation in Mex-
ico's ^'New evidence" that he had fonnd a market for the letters ad-
dressed to him by Mr. Lines, but he also testified to the falseness of the
charge which the Mexican Government had made against the company
as follows (ibid.y p. 595) :



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 151 of 156)