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 57 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 57 of 156)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

years eighteen hundred and sixty-six, (1866,) and eighteen hundred and sixtv-seven,
(1867,) and eighteen hundred ana sixty-eight, (1868, 7 was divided between said ranch
in Sinaloa, and the minins district of San Dimas, in the State of Durango, in the
Repablio of Mexico ; that his family resided at the time of the events hereinafter
named, in eighteen hundred and sixty-six, (1866,) eighteen hundred and sixty-seven,
(1867,) and eighteen hundred and sixty-eight, (1868^) upon the said ranch, or planta-
tion^ in Sinaloa, but about one-half of his time, during the years named, was devoted to
mining in said district of San Dimas, in the State of Durango, and on the road be-
tween Mazatlan, Sinaloa, and said district of San Dimas, in the State of Durango,
Mexico, as hereinafter set forth; that he is now temporarily in San Francisco, on
business, and will return to his residence in Sinaloa by the first steamer to Mazatlan.

That lie is now, and was in eighteen hundred and sixty-six (1866,) eighteen hun-
dred and sixty-seven (1867,) and eighteen hundred and sixty-eight (lti66,) part owner
of the "Nuestra SeQora de Guadalupe Gold and Silver Mines," and a share-holder in
the mining company of that name ; these mines are situated about one and a half to
three miles from Tayoltita, in the mining district of San Dimas, in the State of Dn-
rango, Republic of Mexico ; that he worked said mine in connection with said com-
pany, for three years, until interfered with by the authorities, and they were
compelled to leave there.

Deponent further says, that he knows the mines, and works at Tayoltita, in said
distnct of San Dimas, which belonged to, and was owned by said La Abra Silver
Mining Company. That the said Guadalupe mine, in which deponent was interested,
ia situated about one mile and a half to two miles from the works of " La Abra Sil-
ver Mining Company,'' at Tayoltita. And deponent further says, that he is one
55 of the oldest American miners in that district, and the said Guadalupe mining
company was one of the oldest incorporated American mining companies in
said district; that he is well acquainted with all the mines in said district, and
especially with the mines at or near Tayoltita, and that he knows that the said " La
Abra Silver Mining Company '^ wae, in the years eighteen hundred and sixtv-six
(1866,) eighteen hundred and sixty-seven (1867,) and eighteen hundred and sixty-
eight nS^,) one of the largest, and their machinery one of the best and most exten-
sire of any in that mining district, either of the native or foreign companies; that
he aaaisted the '* La Abra Silver Mining Con pany,'' to transport their heavy and

Digitized by VjOOQ IC


excellent stamy mill and maohinery, from Mazatlan, Sinaloai to their said mines in
Bam Dimae, Dnrango, in eighteen hondred and sixty-six (1866,) and eighteen hundred
and Bixty-seven (1667;) that he had the control of the forwarding of said machinery
and supplies, by three, and sometimes four male trains, owned by. and in the employ
of said La Abra company, consisting of about forty (40) mules to the train, sometunea
a few more, and at other times a few lose, but never less than thirty (30) mules to
each train, so engaged in packing the stamp mill, supplies, and machinery, from Ma-
zatlan, State of Binaloa, to the mines of the said *' La Abra Silver Minine Company,"
at Tayoltita, in the aforesaid district of San Dimas, State of Durango, in the years
eighteen hundred and sixty-six (1866,) and eighteen nundred and sixty-seven (1867 ;)
that said mules, machinery, and supplies, were the property of the aforesaid ** La
Abra Silver Mining Company," and they were of the very best quality.

The machiner^r and supplies of said company, of every description, was transported
over the mountains from Mazatlan to Durango, a distance of about one hundred and
sixty-five (165) to one hundred and seventy (170) miles, on mules' baoiu, over one of
the most dangerous and worst n>ads that he ever saw^over mountains and preci-
pices, and through wild rarines. The machinery and suoplies for the companv, so
transported, dunng the years eighteen hundred and sixty-six ( 1866) and eighteen hun-
dred and sixty-seven, (1867) must have cost the said company not less than one hun-
dred and seventy-five thousand ($175,000) dollars, and the stamp mill, including the
tools, implements^ sheds, outhouses, and improvements of all kinds on the said prop-
erty, in the Judflmient of deponent, must have cost not less than three hundred
thousand (|300,(^) dollars, i^nd they may have cost much more than that amount ;
that of said property, five veins, owned and opened by *' La Abra Silver Mining Com-
pany," and known respectively as *' La Luz," <* Cristo," '< La Abra," *^ Rosario," and
*' Tapia" are of the richest in the State — ^a fact which has also been mentioned by Mr.
Ward in his history of Mexico; that be knows the fact that fifty thousand ($50,000)
dollars in gold coin was paid by said La Abra Silver Mining Company, throuKh (Gen-
eral Thomas J. Bartholow, of St. Louis, Missouri, and David J. Garth, of New York,
to Don Juan Castillo de Valle, of Ban Dimas, in said State of Durango, Mexico ; and
he believes, but does not know the fact of his own knowledge, that said Don Juan
Castillo de Valle had a good Mexican title to said property, and good right to sell
and dispose of the same, — it was so understood by everybody he knew in that dis-

Deponent further says that he is personally cognizant of the fact that Charles
H. Exall, the last superintendent of the said *'La Abra Silver Mining Company,''
was driven away from their mines, together with his American employees, and
was compelled to abandon the same by the influence and connivance of the au-
thorities of the district of San Dimas, and by the conduct of the troops
56 of the Liberal Government of Mexico, acting under President Juarez, who, to
the knowledge of deponent, seized upon three of the mule trains of said com-
pany, during the years eighteen hundred and sixty-six (1866) and the early part of
eighteen hundred and six^-seyen, (1H67,) and converted the same, together with all
the supplies packed npon them, to their own use, or the use of their Government :
and npon one occasion, one of the o£Qcers, an American, in charge of one of the saia
mule trains was killed by the said troops for attempting to defend the property in his
charge ; he was acting quartermaster of said train at the time.

Deponent says, he has heard Mexican soldiers, in said Liberal service at that time,
boast of this murder, and Justify it upon the ground that " the supplies were needed
for the army, and they could not secure them without killing the quartermaster," as
the officer in charge was called j that an officer of the said Mexican army, who stopped
over night with deponent at his said ranch in Sinaloa, sometime in the summer or
fall of eighteen hundred and sixty-seven, (1867,) with a troop of Mexican soldiers,
referring to the aforesaid murder, told deponent that it would " learn the gringos "
( foreigners ) a lesson ; that when they ( the troops ) wanted anything in future they

Srobably would not be denied, as they had been, by the quartermaster of ''La Abra
ilver Mining Company's pack trains;" that the officer referred to was acting as
captain, commanding said troop, and had at the time about forty (40) men under his

Deponent asked him if he knew anything in reference to the above-named occur
rence, when he replied in substance as above stated ; and said Mexican officer also
told deponent, in the same conversation, that the capture of said mule train was
ordered by his superior or commanding officer in the said Liberal army of Mexico ;
and he also added, with seeming regret, that he was very sorry the said officer or
quartermaster of the mule train was killed, but that they must have provisions and
sum>lies for their army at whatever cost, and politely gave his word, and the usual
pledgei of Mexican authcritieSf that all damages for property taken from Americans for
the use of their army should be paid for by his Government.

Deponent further says, he is positive that the said '* La Abra Silver Mining Com-
^y" oonld not have recommenced work on the said mines, afb^r Mr. Exall, the superin-

Digitized by VjOOQ IC


tendent. had been oompelled to abandon them in the month of March or April, eight-een
hundred and sixt^-eignt, (1868,) which oompalsorv abandonment deponent knows to
be the fact, and trom what he was able to p^ather from the aathoritiee and citizens of
the said district of San Dimas, it is his opinion that neither the aforesaid ''La Abra
Silver Mining Company,'' nor any other American company, with similar machinery
and prospects, could have returned and worked the said mines in peace and without
interference from the Mexican local and national authorities, or. at least, without the
sure connivance of said authorities with Mexican citizens, to deprive them of their
property ; that all the American companies with which he is acquainted in the said
district of San Dimas, ezceptingJ|only one, have been driven off and oompelled to
abandon their mines and mining property, by the connivance of Mexican authorities,
and for the want of that protection which was promised tbem by the proclamations
of the Mexican agents^ in California and other States of the American Union, and
by the decrees of rresident Juarez himself ;. that under those decrees, millions of dol-
lars were invested in mining operations in that part of Mexico; that he knows

57 the protection offered Americans, and other foreigners iu eighteen hundred and
sixty-five (1865) and eighteen hundred and sixt^-six, (1866,) and guarantees

and pledges of protection made by Mexican authorities, to Americans especially,
have been violated by said authorities, and that a decree from President Juarez,
withdrawing the protection that induced said Americans to invest their capital there,
left them to the mercy of selfish Mexican citizens and authorities, as he has stated ;
that during the years eighteen hundred and sixty-six, (1866,) and eighteen hundred
and sixty-seven, (1867,) and up to March or April, eighteen hundred and sixty-eight,
(1868,) it was a common report in that district, among Mexicans and Americans, that
said " La Abra Company " were annoyed and in constant trouble on account of the
jealousy and hostility of the Mexican authorities, and that thev had to leave there :
and deponent knows the fact himself, that said company was hindered and delayea
in their said work by the interference of said authorities, civil and military, iu
connivance with some of the citizens there, which occurred frequently during the three
years mentioned. That he knows the fact that the said La Abra Company had taken
out and left upon the ground, in April, eighteen hundred and sixty-eight, (1868,) large

Suantities of rich silver ores, as he believes, from one thousand tons to fifteen bun-
red tons, and that nearly all of the richest and most valuable of the same were taken
off by Mexicans, and carried away from said mines, after superintendent Exall had
been forced to abandon the same, in March, or the early part of April, eighteen hun-
dred and sixty-eight, (18G8;) that deponent has frequently seen tbem packing off said
ores from the works of said company, in sacks upon mules backs, in Manm, April,
and May, eighteen hundred and sixty-eight, (1868,) and they must have taken off
largely more than two hundred and fifty thousand, ($250,000), dollars worth of the
said ores, independent of, and above the cost of reducing tbe same to bullion. Depo-
nent believes the said company, at the time they abandoned the same, had out about
twelve hundred (1,200) tonsof said silver ores, which would have yielded said company,
in his opinion, not less than from one hundred dollars ($100) to a thousand ($1,000)
dollars per ton of pure silver, and the richest of said ores would have averaged more
than two thousand ($2,000) dollars per ton, after its reduction ; that while said Exall
was still there, trying to work said mines, in February and March, eighteen hundred
and sixty-eight, (1868,) Mexicans were packing off said ores by ni^bt and day, but he
did not dare to go out and defend them, as his fife was threatened if he had attempted
it; that deponent has heard those threats made by the official prefect of San Dimas,
Macario Olvera, and deponent was informed, and he believes from common report at
the time, that one.Comilo Perez, the local judge of San Dimas, in October or Nov-
ember, eighteen hundred and sixty -eight, (1868,) stated that lie had contributed to
the driving away of said ** La Abra Silver Mining Company," and that he boasted
of the fact; and the prefect of San Dimas, Macario Olvera, told deponent that the
said compauy were compelled to leave there, in the spring of eighteen hundred and
sixty-eignt, (1868,) and that if they oame baok, he, the eaidprefeotf toould have them driven
off iigain.

Deponent further says, that said company was very unpopular with said Mexican

authorities and citizens, for the reason, as was generally believed there by Americans,

that said company had commenced their mining operations on so grand a scale, and

with prospects of realizing a splendid fortune so (quickly, that Mexican authorities

and citizens grew desperately jealous and envious of them, and their conduct, in

58 March and April, eiffhteen hundred and sixty-eiffht, (1868,) proved conclosively
to deponent tnat said authorities never intended to permit said La Abra Silver

Mining Company to realize any profits from their heavy outlays and expenditures
upon their said mines ; for the support of this conclusion, deponent says that he heard
the statement of the said prefect, Macario Olvera. of said district of San Dimas, who
told deponent, he thinks it was in the month of October or November, eighteen hun-
dred and sixty-eight (1868,) or about that time, that said La Abra Silver Mining
Company had been corax>elled to quit their said mining opeiations on account of the

Digitized by VjOOQ IC


hindranoes and annoyanoeB occasioned bv the interference of said military anthori-
UeSi in captnrinj^ their supplies and mnles, on the road between Mazatlan and San
Dimasy as aforesaid, and also because, as said prefect told deponent, it was the fixed
determination of himself, and other Mexican authorities there, never to permit said
La Abra company to carry out of the country a dollar's worth of said silver and gold ;
and the same official told deponent that the feeling there, in San Dimas, by Mexican
citizens and authorities, against said company, was so bitter, that he knew they
never could return and recommence operations there with safety to life or property ;
that they should be driven away if they attempted it. This conversation took place,
between deponent and the said prefect, at said town of San Dimas, in the said district
of San Dimas, he thinks, in October or November, eighteen hundred and sixty-eight,
(1866,) — he is certain it was in the fall or winter of eighteen hundred and sixty-eight,
(1868:) - deponent says, it might have been as late as December^ eighteen hundred
and sixty-eight, (1866,) or January, eighteen hundred and sixty-nine, (1^69.) Depo-
nent was, and is yet, well acquainted with said Olvera, and on friendly ternis with
him, bnthe knows the said prefect is an enemy to, and hat-es the said "La Abra Sil-
ver Mining Companv;" that he denounced them as '* Dirty American Gringos," and
the said prefect, wnen deponent, at one time, consulted him, by request, as to the
safety ana protection of saia company, should thev attempt to repossess themselves of
their mines, as they thought of trying to do, declared to him, deponent, that if said
company ever attempted to return there, or to recommence work upon their said mines
in that district, he would have them sent away faster than they were driven off be-
fore, or words to that effect in the Spanish language, and he made the following re-
mai'ks: ''Let them dare to return, and I'll fix them so they they won't get away quite
so safely as before; " and again, he said, *' they can't work that machinery in this
district, and their safest plan is to stay entirely away from Mexico," or words to that
effect; he thinks, those are the ybtj words, spoken in Spanish by him, as properly
interpreted by deponent, in the English language ; that those unkind words made an
impression upon his mind, never to be forgotten, and deponent advised one of the
members of La Abra Silver Mining Company, of the same, soon thereafter. Deponent
says, that those remarks, and all others maide to him by said authorities, or citizens,
were always made to him in the Spanish language, which he has spoken and under-
stood well, for the last twenty years, having resided in the Republic of Mexico daring
that period, most of the time, and always conversing, as he did, freely with Mexicans
in their own language ; that he has resided principally in Mexico since the close of
the Mexican war, in which he was a soldier in the United States service.

Deponent further says, he knows the fact that the trains of mules were captured
59 by the said military authorities, from La Abra Silver Mining Company, on the
road from Mazatlan to San Dimas, and that these captures, to his knowledge,
took place three several times in 1866 and 1867. and that the quartermaster of one of
them, in charge, was killed as aforesaid : and tnat he has information of the capture
and loss of several other mule trains belonging to said company, engaged in packing
provisions and supplies for them, as aforesaid, which captures were reported to have
been made by the military authorities of the Republic of Mexico, but that he knows of
his own i>ersonal knowledge of only the three trains that he has mentioned as having
been so taken, but that he believes the fact that the other trains of mules and valu-
able supplies were taken from said company, as reported at the time, not less than
six (6) or seven (7) times during the years eighteen hundred and sixty-six, (1866,)
eighteen hundred and sixty-seven, (16G7,) and tne early part of eighteen hundred and
sixty-eight, (1868,) as he has heard M 'xican soldiers belonging to the army of that
Republic boast of said acts, and they laughed about La Abra Company having made
good quartermasters and commissaries (proveedores) for supplying tneir army, and
they justified the same on the usual plea of military necessity.

The mnles captured from the said company, as aforesaid, were of the largest and
best quality of mules ; they were worth as mucn money as any mules in that country;
about one hundred and twenty (120) of them were so captured, to his knowledge.

I have never known said company to own a poor or bad mule, or a poor horse.

Mules at that time were worth much more than they are now, as they were in de-
mand for the use of the army as aforesaid, and mules of that class, even now, in time
of peace, are very valuable for packing ; that such mules packed what Mexicans
called a ''carga,'' (300 pounds,) and in many cases while packing machinery, as for
said company, they haa to pack as high as five hundred (500 lbs.) pounds, which in
many cases was the weight of a single piece of the same. He does not know the
amount or value of the supplies taken from said trains, but it was a common report
amongst Mexicans there, at the time of the forced abandonment of said mines and
property by said company, that they had lost mules, pack saddles, and supplies, in
the three years named, to the amount of seventy-five thousand (|75,000) to one hun-
dred thousand ($100,000) dollars.

Deponent believes that two of the six or eeven trains heretofore mentioned, which
were so captured from said company during the years named, were captured by the
so-called "ImperialistB,"

Digitized by VjOOQ IC


Deponent has been reliably informed that snob was the case, bnt of this last-named
fact he is not certain, as his information is from common repoit.

Deponent says he does not know, of his own knowledge, and cannot estimate accu-
rately, the loss to said company by the capture ofsaidmuTo trains, and other sapplies of
which he has spoken, bat he believes itujust have been as much or more than was
reported as aforesaid. And deponent farther says that thoir losses by said forced
abandonment of their minesaiid mining property, and the ores stolen from them before
and after the saitl abandonment, together with all investments made by them for
mines, machinery, stamp-mill, honses, patios, mill-race^, bnildings, and other improve-
ments, and for all the labor of opening thoir mines in that district, if consequential
damages arc taken into consideration and account, and in estimating the dam-

60 a^pes of all thoy might have realized, if thoy bad bo4jn permitted by said author-
ities to have completed their extensive works, and to have continued said min-
ing operatious to the present day, at two million dollars ($2,000,000) at least, and that,
of this sum, nearly one-third of the amount must have actually been paid out by saia
company, iucliiding all their investments, and expenses, and interest upon the ssme
to this time.

Deponent farther says that he has no interest, direct^ contingent, or otherwise, in
the olaim of said company, to support which his deposition is here given, and that he
is not the agent or attorney of any person having such interest, and that upon the
happening of no event wonld he be entitled to any pare of the sum which may be
awarded to said company by the commissioners. And further, this deponent saith not.

(Signed,) John Cols.

Subscribed and sworn to before me, this, the fifteenth day of March, A. D. eighteen
hundred and seventy, (1870.)
[8BAL.] (Signed,) Gko. E. Whitnky,

Cltrk and Commui»iomer of //w United Statcn Circuit Courts

IHstrivt of * ali/omia,


City and County oj San FrancUco, §§ :

I, Qeorge E. Whitney, commissioner of the United States circuit court for the ninth
circuit and district of California, and clerk of the same, do hereby certify that John
Cole, whose deposition is hereinabove written, attended before me, on this fifteenth
day of March, A. D. eighteen hundred and seventy, (1870,) at the United States cir-
cuit court rooms in the city and county of San Francisco, and was publicly and duly
sworn by me, in accordance with the laws of the United States of America and the
State of California, to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, in
the above- entitled matter ; and thereupon he deposed and testified as herein set forth ;
that said deposition was carefully read to said John Colo, by me, and that he there-
after signed the same In my presence.

I do hereby c ertify that said deposition was taken by me in the city and county
of San Francisco, in the State of California, in the United States of America ; that 1
am competent to take depositions, by the laws of said State and of the United States :
that 1 have no interest in the claim to which the testimony of said John Cole, in saia
deposition, relates, and that I am not the agent or attorney of said La Abra Silver
Mining Company, claimants in the above- entitled cause, nor for any person having
snch interest.

I do further certify that said deposition was roiluced to writing by Kicbard T. Hill,
in my presence, who has no interest, and is not tbe agent or attorney of any person
having an interest in said claim.

Audi <lo further certify, that I do not know John Cole, tlu» aliove-namod affiant,
bnt I do know Aaron Brooks, of. Sun Francisco, who certifies below, upon oath, to the
goo<l cliararter for troth and cre«HI»ility of said John Colo as a witness ; and I hereby
certify to thu credibility of said Aaron Brooks for truth and veracity, and that his
testimony is entitled to full faith and credit.

Witness my hand, and these;;l of the said Unite<l States Circuit Court, for the ninth
circuit and district of California, at San Francisco, in said district, this fifteenth day
of March, A. D. 1<?70.

[^EAL.] (Signed) Oko. E. WmxincY,

Clerk and Commi^ffioner of the United iSlates Circuit Court,

IHstrictof California.

61 Unitkd Statksof Amkkica 8tatk of Caufornia, )

City and county of San tVanoisco : S

Aaron Brooks, of San Francisco, being pnblicly and duly sworn according to law,

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 57 of 156)