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The Chairman. Well, I suppose there is no harm to prove that he
swore to it once before.

Mr. Staples. Kot at all, but that deposition contains other matter
besides this.

By Mr. Foster (to the witness) :
Q. Is that deposition your deposition? — A, You do not object to my
looking at the signature f

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The Ohatkman. Oh, no.

The Witness. That is my signature.

By Mr. Foster:

Q. Did yon make that deposition I— A. That is my signature.

Q. Who wae your commissioner, do you recollect t — ^A. 1 think his
name was Sawyer. I recollect the gentleman who went with me, Mr.
Heydenfeldt, Judge Heydenfeldt's son.

Mr. Staples. What is your object, Mr. Foster, in proving that book t

Mr. Foster. I do not know that it is necessary to explain it.

Mr. Staples. I know, but if you will tell us what your object is, we
may agree to let it go in without objection.

Mr. Foster. As I have already stated, my object was to save the
time of the committee.

The Chairman. This deposition came here through the State Depart-
ment, having been filed there by the Government of Mexico, I supposc^
I have not looked it over, but I suppose it is ex parte^ is it not, Mr.

Mr. Foster. Yes.

Mr. Staples. Then the proposition of the gentleman, therefore, is to
introduce an ex parte affidavit in evidence when the witness himself is
present and can testily himself.

Mr. Lines. Well, let us ask whether he swore to certain things before.

Mr. Staples. Well, you prove it as a whole, and there are objection-
able things in that deposition that I do not propose to let in.

Mr. Foster. The committee can say whether it is proper to go in.

Mr. Staples. Of course.

The Chairman. Gomplaint has been made here in the protest that
there has been too much lapse of time in this case, possibly too much
delay. The fact that this subject was taken up by the Government of
Mexico, as I infer it was from that deposition, and the evidence was
taken in this way before a notary public, would have probably some
tendency to show that that Oovernmeut at least was active iu trying
to lay before the Congress of the United States or before the Depart-
ment of State the facts as they were understood, but that deposition
was not taken by authority of any resolution of either House of Con-
gress, or, as I am informed — ^I have not read it except in print — I have
seen it before I suppose

Senator Brown. Where was it taken f
' The Chairman. San Francisco. But Ishouldthink the witness would
have a right to say that he swore to that state of facts before the no-
tary pubUc without its being evidence, and if his statement now con-
tains the same facts, of course we would have no need for that depo-
sition, except to show that that matter had been investigated, and that
his statements were made at a time when his memory was fresh and he
would have a right to refer to it to refresh his memory. Do you offer
the deposition in evidence. General Foster?

Mr. Foster. My question now was, whose deposition is it?

The Chairman. That is as far as you go now t

Mr. Foster. I propose to have him recognize that as the deposition
given by him in San Francisco, and I propose to follow that by another

The Chairman. I think you can proceed with your examination.

Senator Brown. I think the witness has a right to identify that as
his deposition.

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Mr. Staples. We do not object to that at all.

The Ohaibman. That is as far as it goes at present — to identify it.

By Mr. Foster (to the witness):

Q. Answer that. Do you identify that as yoor deposition ? — ^A. Ex-
cuse me, I have not read it over. It is in manuscript. I can not answer.
That is my signature. There may be fifty leaves put in or left out.

The Chairman. Well, just look through it and see.

The Witness (after examining the paper). Tes, sir; it is my depo-

By the Chairman:

Q. Is that the same book to which your deposition was attached at
the time you gave it? — A. I did not see it attached in this form. If
you will permit me I will tell you

Mr. Foster. The Senator asks is that the same book ?

A. This is the same book that was presented to me in the court-room
in San Francisco. I recognize the letters. 1 recognize Mr. Gartn^s
letters in his handwriting.

Q. For what purpose did you use that book while you were superin-
tendent of the La A bra Mining Company t — ^A. That book was supposed
to contain letters relating to the business of the hacienda there to home
parties or to others who had interest

Q. Press copies of the letters t

By the Chairman :
Q. The book contains press copies? — A. These are press copies of
letters ta&en, written there to the home office or persons having bust
ness relations with the hacienda.

By Mr. Foster:

Q. Will you examine the letters from pages 69 to 153, inclusive, signed
J. A. de Lagnel, and state by whom those letters, of which they are cop-
ies, were written ?— A. (Examining the book.) Do you want to know
which letters I recognize as mine ?

Q. I want to know if the letters signed J. A. de Lagnel, from page
69 to 153, are yours. By whom are they writtent Take them in lump,
and if there are any you have doubt about, probably the shortest way
is to refer to them. Take it between those pages with such exceptions
as you choose to make.

The committee adjourned until 10.30 a. m., September 25, and the
Chairman announced that counsel desiring to examine books and papers
connected with the examination^ could do so in the presence of the clerk
of the committee.

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10 the la abra silver mining company

Senate op the United States,

gommitieeon foreign relations,

Washington^ D. C, September 25, 1888.
The sabcommittee met parsuant to adjoarnment. Present, Senators
Morgan (chairman), Dolph, and Brown ; Messrs. Samuel Shellabarger,
J. M. Wilson, and John Staples, of counsel, and Sumner Stow Ely,
secretary of the La Abra Silver Mining Company, and Hon. John W.
Foster and Robert B. Lines, representing the Government of Mexico.


The Chairman (Senator Morgan). Does any gentleman desire to
suggest anything before we proceed with the examination of the wit
ness t

Mr. Foster. Upon a<\journment yesterday the witness was pending
an answer, which I suppose he is prepared to give.

The Chairman. The question was: *'I want to know if the letters
signed J. A. de Lagnel, fix)m page 69 to 153, are yours. By whom are
they written t Take them in lump, and if there are any you have doubt
about, probably the shortest way is to refer to them. Take it between
those pages, with such exceptions as you choose to make." JSTow, you
can proceed with your answer.

A. The letter on page 100, 1 think, was written by Norton.

Q. Will you explain who Norton is?— A. He was an employ^, and
spoke Spanish, and wrote for me in Spanish. I wrote for him in English
and he would write it in Spanish.

Q. He was an employ^ of the company t — A. Yes, sir. Page 101 is
written by Norton. Page 125 is very indistinct, but I think it is mine.
Page 137 is very imperfect, but I think it is mine. Page 138 is Norton's.
Page 144, neither written nor signed by me, but from the signature and
position in the book think it to be undoubtedly ExalPs. I can not recog-
nize it, but 1 think it is from its position, because I have letters subse-
quent. All the other letters contained within the book between those
numbers named are mine.

By Mr. Foster:

Q. Does that include letters which appear to be inserted and not
pageil I — A. Yes, sir.

Q. Please explain the cause of the insertion of those letters as pasted
in the book! — ^A. They were written away from the hacienda when 1
was absent on business; copies brought back and pasted in the letter-
book by me for preservation.

Q. Will you examine the letters on pages 176 and 189 and state, if
you know, by whom they were written? — A. (After examination.) The
first page, 176, that is written, I think, by Granger.

By Mr. Staples:
Q. What is the date of that letter?— A, Eighth of November, 1867 ;
Tayoltita, 8th of November, 1867.

By Mr. Foster:

Q. Now page 189? — A. That is written by the same — by Granger, I
think. I believe it to be.

Q. State who James Granger, the writer of those letters, was; what
relation he bore to the company* — A. Grangei was — i do not know

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where be is from or who he was, but be appeared at the hacienda with
Mr. Exall— a friend of Mr. Exall.
Q. When Mr. Exall caniet — A. Yes, sir; they came together.

By Mr. Lines:
Q. What time was that? — A. I can not tell you; about the fall of
1867; in the fall of 1867, I think. I can not tell you without reference.

By Mr. Foster:
Q. Do you mean 1866 or 1867? — A. Just wait; let me think. I think
in 1866. It was in the year 1866; in the fall of 1866, for I left in the
spring of 1867.

By the Chairman :

Q. Was Exall your successor in the management of the business? —
A. Yes, sir.

Q. Appointed by the company ? — ^A. He came out with letters from
the company. He did not have any appointment from the company, but
had authority, and was the only man I could turn it over to.

Q. He was the man to whom you turned over the business? — A.
Yes, sir. He was sent by Mr. Garth as an assistant without any speci-
fied position, and was recommended by Mr. Oarth.

By Mr. Foster:

Q. Was Granger an employ^ of the company during the time you
remained there? — A. I do not think I was paying him any salary. He
had been living at the Hacienda ever since his arrival, at first as a
guest, and, needing a book-keeper, he being an experienced one, acted
in that capacity, but I anticipated that Mr. Exall would take him regu-
larly into his employ and give him a salary. 1 do not recollect ever
making any engagement. If I did so it has escaped me.

Q. State whether the letter-book, fit>m the beginning up to page 153,
appears now in the same jstate in which it was when you left the mine.
— A. Do you want me to examine this letter by letter ?

Q. Ko ; the general condition of the book.

The Chairman. Examine it so that you are satisfied you can make
a correct answer to the question.

The Witness. Well, the only way is to examine the pages. (After
examination.) Yes, sir, I find the original numbers all in and nothing

By Mr. Foster :
Q. To whom did you deliver the letter-book when you left the mine ? —
A. I take it for granted, without recollecting, that 1 gave it to Mr.
Exall. It is the only thing I would have done. I do not remember
the occurrence, but I must have given it to him with all the books to-
gether in the desks.

By Mr. Staples:

Q. Yon have no recollection on that subject? — ^A. No, sir.
By Senator Dolph :

Q. You did not take it away ? — A. No, sir; I did not.

Q. Or deliver it to anybody else ? — A. No, sir ; I never took the book
oat of the office where it was kept from the time I received it until the
time I left.

Q. You turned the property over to Mr. Exall. How did you do it?—
A. 1 made receipts, an inventory of the property, and turned it over to

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By Mr. Foster :
Q. Have you preserved any of those receipts or invoices, or did they
remain in yonr possession T — A. No, sir ; I gave the papers I brought
home to Mr. Garth.

By the Chairman :
Q. When was that' — A. That, I think, was in the month of May ; it
must have been May, 1867.

By Mr. Poster :
Q. Ton will please examine the letters in the front of this letter-book
attached to your deposition given in San Francisco, dated May 10,
1867; May 20, 1867 ; May 30, 1867 ; June 10, 1867 ; July 10, 1867 ; July
20, 1867 ; August 10, 1867; October 10, 1867, and state if you know by
whom they were written and signed.— A. (After examining the letters.)
All of these letters that 1 hold in my hand that have been named were
written and signed by Mr. Garth.

By the Chairman:

Q. What is his given name? — A. David J.
By Mr. Foster:

Q. Who was David J. Garth : in what relation did he stand to the
company? — A. Mr. David J. Garth I always understood to be the
treasurer of the company.

Q. You are iamiliar with his handwriting? — ^A. Yes, sir. I do not
know that I could recognize it away from those letters, but I recognize

By Mr. Dolph:

Q. To whom were the letters written? — A. To me, I think. The first
is to Mr. Exall, one that he must have brought with him.

Mr. Foster. They are all addressed to Mr. Exall.

The Witness. I supposed they were letters to me. 1 did not look at
the heading of them (reexamining). They are all addressed to Mr.

By Senator Dolph :

Q. Did you ever see Mr. Garth write ? — ^A. I do not recollect any
writing done in my presence.

Q. Did you ever receive any letters from him ; carry on any corre-
spondence ? — A. Oh, yes ; for a year.

Q. How many letters, probably, did you receive from him and an-
swer? — A. Well, sir, 1 could not say how many, but I will give you an
idea. He wrote almost every opportunity, sometimes three times a
month. I received letters delivered to me at the same time written on
the 10th, 20th, and 30th of the month, about the days the Pacific
steamer would go.

By Senator Brown:

Q. What was his position? — A. He was the treasurer of the com-
pany in New York ; but letters came irregularly to me, and sometimes
would be delivered in a bundle, and there would be letters a month

By Senator Dolph:

Q. State whether or not those letters were in answer to letters written
by you; continuous correspondence? — A. Yes, sir.

Q. Then you are willing to state you are familiar with his handwrit-
ing? — A. Yes. I have no doubt I can recognize his handwriting.

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Q. These letters, yoa say, are in his writing f — A. There is only one
here attached; that is the one of Jaly 20, and I notice that it differs
somewhat in character. That is his general character of writing, but
that is more

Q. What do you wish to say about that letter! — A. Nothing, except
that is the only one that would caut^e me to hesitate' a moment.

Q. Who is that signed by ? — A. Signed by D. J. Garth. 1 have no
doubt it is his.

Q Do you recognize the signature t — A. Yes ; it is his. It is more
carelessly written than the others, but it is his.

Q. To whom is it addressed? — A. It is addressed to me, sir.

Q. What is the date? — A. Oh, I see my name is in the attest. It is
addressed to Mr. Exall, July 20.

Q. It is addressed to Mr. Exall July 20 of what year t— A. 1867.

Q. Was that while you were at the mine or after you left! — A. That
is £^ter I left. I left there in the spring.

By Mr. Foster :

Q. Please state by whom you were employed for the company as
superintendent. — A. I was employed by Mr. Hearn, the president of
the company, after an interview with and in the presence of the di-
rectors, or some of them ; I do not know how many. There were some
gentlemen in the room.

Q. Was Mr. David J. Garth present ? — A. That I can not say. Mr.
Hearn took me down to an office in Wall street, and whether Oarth
accompanied us or not I do not know.

Q. State your interviews, if any, with Mr. Garth preliminary to and
following your employment by the company.

Mr. Staples. What was your question ?

Mr. Foster. Narrate the interviews which he had, if any, with David
J. Garth, preliminary to and after his engagement with that company.

The Chairman. You mean, of course, with reference to his employ-
ment t

Mr. Foster. In reference to his employment.

By Mr. Staples :

Q. Was your contract in writing with the company f — A. I could not
tell you. I think it must have been.

Mr. Staples. Well, we object to any contract outside of a written

Mr. Foster. I will state to the committee that my object in asking
that question is to give his experiences, the experience which Mr. de
Lagnel had as superintendent of the company, his relation to the of-
ficers, and I propose to follow it up by asking him to give his experience
at the mines, so that the committee can judge somewhat as to the con-
dition of the company and the conduct of these men and the instruc-
tions they gave him and how he carried them out.

Mr. Staples. Well, if those instructions were in writing, that is the
best evidence.

Mr. Foster. It will appear when he answers the question.

Mr. Staples. He has already stated his contract was in writing with
the company.

Mr. Foster. He says he don't know.

Mr. Staples. He says he thought it was.

Mr. Foster. Even then, I suggest to the committee if his contract
was in writing it would be desirable for the committee to know what

S. Doc. 231, pt a 3

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instnictioDS he received and what occurred between him and the com-
pany before he went out and during his engagement.

Mr. Staples. Well, it those instructions were in writing that is the
best evidence of it.

Mr. Foster. Nothing has been said about any instructions being m
writing by the witness.

The Chairman. Have you got your objections all down t

Mr. Staples. Yes; so far as

The Chairman. 1 suppose the witness can answer the question, and
we can consider the question as to whethei we shall put it in the report
or not.

Mr. DoLPH. Well, that might be done^ and we would simply take
everything he decides to offer, whether pertinent or otherwise, and
therefore might prolong this investigation with much impertinent matter.
I do not suppose this inquiry goes alone to the terms of the contract be-
tween the company and this witness. He states that he acted as super-
intendent of the mine for a year in fact. I do not know that the terms
of that contract will be pertinent to the inquiry, but it probably goes
to the information which the officers of this company had as to the
character and condition of this mine both before this gentleman took
charge and during his superintendency, and at the time that it was
urged in their petition before the commission they were deprived of
possession; and in that view I think if Mr. Garth is a member of the
company, authorized to speak for it, his statement would be pertinent
to this inquiry.

Mr. Foster. The object of this inquiry is not to show his engagement
with the company, but to show the condition of the company as he learned
it from the officers. It may be well to say to the committee that while
Mexico alleges that there was no basis for this claim as against her, be-
cause there was no evidence of violence used in driving this company
away from Mexico, at the same time it is proposed to show that the
company, by its own act and by its own management, had become bank-
rupt, and gave the reasons why it voluntarily abandoned the mine, and
we propose to commence to do that by having this witness state what
occurred in New York when he was engaged by the company and after
he went out to the mine and after he returned. I supposed the commit-
tee wanted to get at those facts. I do not know how far the committee
propose to extend the breadth of this inquiry. I suppose they want to
go that far at least.

Mr. Staples. I understand, then, that the gentleman desires to prove
by this witness that after he went out of office in 1867, I think

The Witness. In 1866.

Mr. Staples. You went out of office in 1867 — he had certain inter-
views with Mr. Garth.

Mr. Foster. Not after.

Mr. Staples. You do not propose to push your inquiry as to any-
thing that happened after he was out of office f

Mr. Foster. I do not propose to ask him any question as to his rela-
tions with the company after he ceased his connection with it.

Mr. Staples. I presume any statement of fact he makes as to things
he knew himself would be proper.

Mr. Foster. Learned from the officers of the company.

Mr. Staples. But I do not very well see how the declaration^! of the
treasurer of the company would bind the company unless he was author-
ized to speak for it

Mr. Foster. I apprehend the witness, if he is ready to answer the

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qaestion, will state his knowledge as to his employment learned from
the treasurer, and I want to know what he learned from the treasurer.

Mr. Staples. The witness stated, 1 think, a moment ago, in answer
to Senator Morgan, that he was employed by the board of directors;
that the board of directors ordered his employment.

The Witness. I was taken by the president into a room in Wall
street, where he said he could not employ me at once uutil he con-
sulted some gentlemen, and he walked down Wall street into some
office, and there were some gentlemen present. I think Mr. Knuckles
was present. It was a peculiar name, and so I remember it; and I
think he was the one, too, who rather objected to my going. There
was a little discussion in the room, and finally it was decided to let
Mr. Hearn <letermine the matter for himself, and he returned with me
to Mr. Oarth's office and made the engagement I presume there
ujust be a written contract, but I do not recollect.

Mr. Shell ABABGEB. Now, I want to enter, if you please, another
objection in addition to the one suggested by my associate, Colonel
Staples. This seems to be now the threshold of an entry upon the
matter of the original merits of this case as they were tried originally,
and is distinguishable from what we have been going over listening to
in this : that what we have been upon hitherto seems to have special,
perhaps exclusive, relation to what has been called through this long
controversy the newly-discovered evidence. Now we seem to be about
to enter upon the question of what the mine was like, what the condi-
tion of the business was, and other facts bearing upon the question of
actual loss, the question, I will say, of being driven away, the original
questions in the case tried before.

The questions tried some fifteen years ago or so are now to be entered
upon by this subcommittee, as I understand the question of my friend
Colonel Foster. My point is, that that ought not to be done, even in
the view that has been most earnestly and persistently urged by Mexico,
that she is entitled to produce here, in order to induce a new trial, that
kind of newly discovered evidence and facts bearing upon the reason
for its not being produced originally, and all that. She was entitled
to do that upon the principles applicable to the applications for new
trials, etc. Now, this that you are entering upon is not that, but it is
something totally different. It is to enter upon the broad, general field
of the question of damages, and the extent of the damages, and the
torts that arise, the right of action, etc.

I of course do not know what the committee is designing to do. The
resolution of the Senate is broad and general, defines nothing, gives
you license to go where you please, as far as its language is concerned,
and all that. I have now made a statement for the purpose of putting
ourselves and keeping ourselves right upon the record and saying that
against such a procei^ing and inquiry as that, going back to the orig-
inal merits, I, on behalf of the company, protest and object, and ask
that the Senate and its committee shall not enter that field.

The Chaibman. I understand that the object of this examination
is to develop the facts connected with this mine for the purpose of
ascertaining whether the arbitrators who made this award were imposed
upon by the fraud and perjury of the witnesses who testified in support
of this claim. In order to ascertain that matter it seems to me that we
must inquire into what was the condition of the mine at the time these
gentlemen bought it, not only its actual condition, but what they be-
lieved that condition to be, for if they knew it was a bad mine it is
hardly probable they would have bought it. If it was believed it was

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a bad mine they would not have bought it. The probabilities are that
they believed that it was a very valuable mine, and whatever declara-
tions any of the interested parties made in regard to the condition, as
they believed it to be, of the mine seem to be relevant As to the
conditions upon which they acted, if it turned out afterwards to be bad,
why that might be a reason to shift off the responsibility upon other

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 5 of 156)