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 58 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 58 of 156)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

to tell the tnith, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, deposes and says, as fol-
lows: I reside at nnmber 246 Third street, in the city of San Fiancisoo, State of Cali-

S. Doc. 231, pt2 25

Digitized by VjOOQ IC


I know Job u Cole, who has made the foregoiDg depositioD ; that he is a credible
witneasy and hiu deposition is entitled to fuUtaith and credit; that I have no inter-
est in the claim to which the foregoing testimony of said John ColerelatcH, and that
I am not the agent or attorney of any person having snoh interest.

(Signed) Aaron Brooks.

Subscribed and sworn to before me this fifteenth (15th) day of March, A. D. 1870.
[seal.] (Signed) Gbo. E. Wuitney,

Clerk and Cammi$$ioner of the United 8ial€9 Cireuit Court for the diatriot of Calif ami4i.

Doc. No. 27.

Deposition on hehalfof the claimant, Ahra Silver Mining Company vs. The IfnUed Statee

of Mexico.

Depoiition of Juan Frandsoo Gamboa^ to be used before the Joint CommisHon of the United
States and the Republic of Mexico^ sitting at Washington, District of Columbia,

United States Consulate, Port of BIazatlan,

State of Sinaloa, Bepublic of Mexioo, es.

Before me, Isaac Sisson, Commercial Agent of the United States of America, for the

Eort of Mazatlan and the dependencies thereof, personally came Jnan Francisco Gam-
oa, who having been duly sworn ivccording to law to speak the trnth, the whole
truth, and nothing but the truth, as a witness on behalf of the claimant, deposed as

My name is Juan Francisco Gamboa ; forty years of a^e ; I was born at San Ygna*
cio, State of Sinnloa, Republic of Mexico; I reside at Limon, in the said district of
San Ygnacio, and I resided there dnring the occurrences with regard to which I have
been prodnced to testify ;«my occupation now is, and always has been, farming busi-
ness and transporting proviHious and other articles for the niining companies in the
States of Dnraugo and Sinaloa, also purchasing and selling provisions, &c,

I am acquainted with the works oi the Abra Silver Mining Company at Tayoltita
in the minonil of San Dimas, State of Duraugo, Mexico. I was acquainted with the
principal em[:loyee8 of the said company at the time they were in operation at Tay-
oltita, during the years 1H65, 1866, 1867. and up to the time the company abandoned
the said mines, which I think was in tne month of March, 1868. I know that some
mule trains belonging to the company, which were loaded with a large quantity of
provisions and other articles, were taken, and it was said that this was done by' the
Republican army, but I did not personally witness it. I heard it said at tht» rime of
the capture of a mule train belonging to the said company, which was loaded with
provisions and otber articles for their operatives in the said mines. As the head mule-
teer was lost, and never seen afterwards, it was supposed that he had been killed by
those who captured the muhis. I also heard of the murder of Grove, at a place
62 called Arrayo del Cuudalero, between San Ygnacio and the company^s mines in
Duraugo; but I know nothing, personally, of the facts of the murder, exct»pt
from general nearsay.

I know that the Abra Silver Mining Company was the owner of rich and finable
mines at Tayoltita, and the vicinity. They were considered as being very abundant
in silver ores, of the best quality. I know that their machinery was of the best kind,
and tbat when they were compelled to abandon it that they had everything ready to
work the mines and silver ores on a large scale.

Tbat they had extracted and transported to the reducing works belo*>4(ing to them
a large quantity of rich ore, which, judging from tbe size of the heap wh«oh I saw go
into the mill and the outhouses, and which was cleansed and ready for reducing, was
not less than from six to ei^ht thousand cargas of ores. It appeared to me very rich
in silver, and ore which might produce from three to eight marks per carga, or even
more ; that I was on the spot at the time, or a little before they abandoned it; that
I had a contract for supplying the said company with provisions for their employees,
such as lard, com, jerked beef, &c. I also had a contract for transporting oree from
the mines to the reducing works, and frt>m the mill to the outhouses, when they were
working at Tayoltita, made with Su{)erintendent Exall, at a stipulated price per
hundred cargas ; but the breaking up and driving away of the said company rendered
it impossible for me to carry out my contract. The lost time that I was there which
it appears to me, was in the month of February, or a little before their expulsion'
Mr. Exall told me that it would be impossible to carry out the contract with uie in
consequence of the conduct of the authorities, who were troubling and interfering

Digitized by VjOOQ IC


with the compMiy'8 operations to snoh an extent, and in saoh a manner, that he
would be compelled to abandon the work at the minea, to save his life; that he conld
not pay me the contract, and as there were no personal guarantees there for life or
property, he would be compp.lleii to abandon his operations and the idea of his carry-
ins out his contracts with me, and others.

F'romtbe information afterwards obtained from my countrymen and friends at Tay-
omtOf I was convinced that what Superintendent Exall told me was correct, and that
there really existed among the authorities and people of Tayoltita, and in all the dis-
trict of San Dimas, a firm intention and determination to rid themselves of the com-
pany, by any means. I am satisfied, from what I saw and heard from the anthorities
and people, that it would have been impossible for the company, or their American
efflployees, to have continued their mining operations in that district, with the least
hope of safety, or gnarantees for their life or property. It was currently said there
that the richest ores belonging to tho company, and the best which they had col-
lected at the mill, were openly and with impunity stolen by the Mexicans, and that
certain authorities of the district protected these persons iu carrying off the ores, and
that Superintendent Exall did not dare to leave the reducin<x works to prevent them.

I do not know that the statements of these persons at Tayoltita are correct, but
eoming firom my own countrymen, and being made at the time, I may, and do say,
that I then believed them to be correct. I know that the expulsion of the said com-
pany oconrred shortly after, and both Americans and Mexicans with whom I con-
versed upon the subject, shortly after the occurrence, attributed the abandon-
63 ment of the ores, stores, mines, and pro^rty of the Abra Silver Mi nine Com-
pany to the interference of the anthorities of the district, and their instigating
the people to the commission of the depredations, which I have stated, which re-
salted in the abandonment.

I know that one of the other American mining companies in that part of the coun-
try lost two of their principal employees, who were killed, and the rest were driven
away from their work. I also know that of the many foreign mining companies in
that district, who commenced operations with good prospects, one only remains,
whose offlfsers, I believe, are not Americans, but Englishmen, and probably the share-
holders. For some unexplained cause* the American mining companies who have
worked in this part of Mexico have not met with much opposition in investing their
large capitals, and in puttine up their machinery, but they have been compelled to
leave the country before realizing anything from their undertakings, and some of
them, as the Abra Silver Mining Company, before they had completed their prepara-
tions for extracting and redncing the ores.

I have no interest, direct, indirect, or contingent, in the claim in support of which
I have given this deposition, nor am I the agent or attorney of any person who has.
I have given my deposition, becanse it appears to me an net of justice towards the
company, and have made it in Spanish, in order to see what I was signing, although
I have the uttermost confidence in Mr. C. F. Galan, the interpreter.

Juan Francisco Gamboa.

Sobscribed and sworn to before me, on this 14 th day of May, 1870.

Isaac Sisson,
U, 8. Com, Agent
[Seal of the U. S. Consul. 1

[Here follows, in the original, the affidavit of the interpreter, Chas. F. Galan, tljat
this witness was properly and lawfully examined by the consul, and to the signing
by witness.]

[Here follows, in the original on file, the certificate of the United States consul to
the lawful taking of this deposition, and that he knows the affiant, Gamboa, person-
ally and by reputation; that he is a man of good character for truth, and a credible
witness; and that his statements are entitled to full faith and belief.]

Doc. No. 19.

Jn the matter of the Claim for Datnages of *'La Jbra^^ Silver Mining Company against The
United States of Mexico. Deposition of William G. S, Clark. To he submitted to the
Mixed Commission of the United States 4" Mexico. In session at Washington City, D. C.

UwiTKD States Consulate,

Port of MazatlaHy State of Sinaloa^ Republic of Mexico^ ss :
Personally appeared before nie, Isaac Siuson, United States commercial agent in and
for the port of Mazatlan and its dependencies, William G. S. Clark, introduced as a
witnea on the part and behalf of ''La Abra Silver Mining Company," claimants in

Digitized by VjOOQ IC


the above-entitled matter, and having been by me irst duly sworn, aooording to la ^,
deposes and says:
That he was bom in England, as he believm; that he is, and has been for many
years, a citizen of the United States of Mexico ; that he is now iit'ty-ehree year^

64 of aee ; that he resides at Camacho, in the district of Mazatian, in the State of
Siualoa, in the Bepublio of Mexico; that he has resided at said Camacho for

seven yeard last past; that his occupation is, and has been for the past ten years, that
of a merchant an • farmer, or planter; that he resided at said Camacho, and was so
engaged in planting, and trying to raise cotton and com, and also carrying on mer-
cantile business, during the events about which he is here called upon to testify : and
that he was also encaged, a portion of that time, in forwarding machinery and sup-
plies to *'La Abra Silver Mining Company," at Tayoltita, in the miniug district of
San Dimas, State of Durango, Mexico; the said company employed deponent, and
one John Cole, also of Camacho, to receive and forward a large ten-stamp mill, for
crushing silver ores, or metals, besides a large amouxit of machinery fur the same, 4^7
goods, provisions, stores, and supplies of all kinds needed by said La Abra Company,
In carrying on their heavy works of silver mining, at said Tayaltita. I was also em-
ployed in forwarding machinery and supplies for a company called, I think, the
''Nuestra Se&ora de Guadalupe Qold and Silver Mining Company," of the same dis-
trict, and for other companies^ in the State of Sinaloa; and depenent further states,
that he is, or was, well acquainted with the said La Abra Silver Mining Company,
its agents, or superintendents, and with many of the subordinate employees of said
company, while carrying on their mining operations at said Tayoltita ; that he knew
General Thomas J. Bartholow, Colonel C.e Lagfial, and Charles H. Exall, the first,
second, and third su];>erinteDdents, and, as he believes, all the superintendents that
have ever been employed by said company.

And deponent further says, that while he was so employed, in the work of forward-
ing said machinery and supplies to said La Abra Silver Mining Company, to their
works in Durango, in the spring, or summer, of 1866, he was a witness to certain ex-
actions, or ** presiamoSf" from said company, by the different commanding oi&cers of
the district of San Ygnacio; that, at one 'time in particular, while said De La^el
was superintendent of said company, he, deponent, had a large amount of provisions
under his charge for said company, and which was to have been forwarded to their
mines in Tayoltita, but one Colonel Donate Guerra, of the Republican army of Mexico,
then commanding that district, levied upon said supplies a tax of six hundred dollars,
(1600,) before deponent could forward them, as directed by said superintendent of
La Abra Company, and that said tax had to be settled and paid by deponent before
said Colonel Guerra would permit said goods to be forwarded; that deponent men-
tions this as only one of many of the ** preatamoa," or forced loans paid by said ''La
Abra Silver Mining Company," upon the demand of the various military chiefs of the
Republican army luoresaid.

Deponent recollects of a number of other forced loans of this kind, imposed upon
said company, but cannot state the amounts with aocuracy, as the same were not
paid by mm.

Deponent further states, tlmt on the occasion mentioned, when the said Colonel, or
General Guerra compelled the payment of said ^* prestamo," before deponent could get
said supplies from the possession of the military, he was detained fur four days oy
said actfi of the military', and that, in consequence of this delay, a barrel, or carga of
oil, for the mill and machinery of said La Abra company, was so injured by the shrink-
ing of the casks, that the s lid oil had all run out of the casks, when delivered by said
military commander, and that in consequence fhereof, said company was deprived of
thenecessary oil for theirsaid macbinerv, for many weeks thereafter, as Mazatlan

65 was then in possession of the French troops, and by a Ktrin^en t order of the com-
mander of tne Libt^ral army, no person was allowed, under lieavy penalties, to

enter the port of Mazatlan for some months thereafter; that the French commander of
Mazatlan issued, about that time, an order, forbidding that any kind of goods or sup-
plies should leave the port, iulajid,nuder equally heavy penalties. That said super-
intendent of La Abra Company came back to Camacho, a few days after the loss of
said carga of oil, and tried, in every possible wav,to procure permission of the said
commander of the Liberal troops of that district, to visit the port of Mazailan,or the
lines of the French, with a view to making an effort to gain admission to the Mazat-
lan market-, in order that he might supply the place of hhuX oil, so much needed by
said company, which had been lost or stolen while in the forced possession of said
General Donato Guerra, but be was refused such permission; and deponent further
says, that he beard said superintendent of La Abra company complain, at the time,
that even that circumstance, trifling as it might appear io tbosei not acquainted with
the nses and value of such oil for machinery, had caused a coir^ilete paralysis in the
work of putting up said machinery at their iniuin<; hacienda, as the same had become
wet and rusty, in transporting it to the mines, and could not be put in working order,
in the absence of that material.

Digitized by VjOOQ IC




And depoDent further saya, that he knows of other abusefi of said company by the
military anthorities aforesaid ; that in the early part of 18G«), an employ ep of said com-
pany, whoso name, deponent believes, was GJeorgo Scott, (called •*Scottie,") who
was on his way from Mazatlau to the works of the company iu Diiraugo, was met in
the road by an ariiud party of the said military, between Mazatlan and deponent's
residence in Camacbo, and said armed party of troops, of the Republican army of
Mexico, did, by force of arm», take from said Scott, •r **8oottie," abont twelve hun-
dred out of three tbonsand dollars in gold coin, ($3,000,) Mexican ounces, lt<7^ ounces,]
which money belonged to said **La Abra Silver Mining Company," and was being
transported to said company by the said ^^Scottle," wno appealed to deponent to
visit, with him, the headquarters of the army in that district, and to ask (j^eneral
Gnerra to return said money, or to receipt for it, in order that he might have some-
thing to return to said company ; that deponent did so visit General Guerra's head-
ters, with the said '* Scott ie," but was informed by the commanding officer that he
oould cot give up said money. After said Scottie had wasted two or three days to
obtain som^ kind of acknowledgment of the taking of said money, he became dis-
gusted, and returned to report the facts to his company at Tayoltita. Said General
Gnerra denied that he knew of the whereabouts of said **pre8tamo," or forced
loan, and said general stated to deponent, in this conversation, that his army needed
all the supplies that could be found anywhere, and, in substance, be said it did not
matter in whose possession he sbouM find supplies, or anything else actually needed
* f the army, that they must be taken, and that the same should be paid for at the

ose of the war then pending.

Deponent charged his memory with the promises of remuneration ft>r the so-called
*'prestamos," as deponent had suffered in that way, to a considerable extent, by the
oraers of the same anthorities, and by other exactions from officers of the same army.
And deponent further says that ho has beard, from reliable authority, that a
66 nomber of trains belonging to said "LaAbra Silver Mining Company" were cap-
tared and converted to the use of said army ; that said trains of mules were
loaded down with provisions and supplies for the use of the employees of said com-
pany, when the same were captured and pressed into the said army of Mexico, that
said mule trains and supplies were captured by suid militaiy, while on the road be-
tween Mazaltan and the said mountain district of San Dimas.

Witness did not see said captures made, birt from common report, at that time, as
well by Mexicans as Americans, he is perfectly satisfied that those depredations upon
the property of said company, were made as reported at the time, but to what extent,
or of what value of such supplies, deponent will not undertake to May. Directly and
indirectly, said company must have suffered heavy losses and injuries by such captures,
for said company employed a srreat number of men, some of whom had families de-

Knding npon those supplies, wnich could not be obtained in the mines ; and deponent
lows of other, and more flagrant acts against the lives of their employees, and dep-
redations npon the property of said company, by the said authorities, such as the
capture of a train of mnlesand supplies belonging to said company, and the murder
of its conductor, or captain in charge of the same, from the tact that he, the said
OAptain, or quartermaster, has never yet been heard from nor found ; and of still
ftDother, of the murder of another captain, or conductor, of one of the mule trains of
sftid oompany, who was, at the time, traveling alone, and not in charge of his train
of mules, and whose name deponent believes was Oravet and whose mutilated body
was found where he had been foully and cruelljr murdered, at a place called *'Can
de'ero Creek ; " that this last-named occurrence is well known and acknowledged, he
believes, by all citizens and anthorities in Sinaloa and Durango, and cannot be de-
nied ; that said Grove was supposed to have a large amount of said company's money
in his possession, and that the scouts belonging to said army followed nim from San
Ignaeio to the place where his body was found, a number of bullets having passed
into and through his body, mangling and mutilating it at a fearful rate.

Deponent further says that the machinery shipped or forwarded to said company at
Tayoltita, was a very large ten-stamp mill, and all the necessary machinery thereto
belonging ; that said company was frequently compelled to pay forced loans, or ** pres-
tamoe," levied npon their said property, machinery, and supply trains, while the
same were passing through from Mazatlan to their mines in Tayoltita, Durango, to
the knowledge of deponent. But although deponent was cognizant of many of said
forced loans, while he was so engaged in the work of forwarding said machinery and
supplies, still he cannot recollect the several sums so exacted and paid, nor the names
of tne officers of said army who made those exactions, with sufficient certainty to be
able to testify on the subject of forced loans, satisfactorily to himself or to said com-
pany, except in the cases already named.

And deponent further says, that the plantations of said John Cole, and deponent
were made by said La Abra Company their headquarters for receiving and forward-
ing of machinery and supplies to their mines and larsc mining operations aforesaid,
M Camacho was^ at that time, Just outeide the so-oiJled *< Imperial lines;" and, by

Digitized by VjOOQ IC


reaBou of this business iDtiiuacy with said company, he was well acquainted with tha
affairs of the company, and their treatment aH>re8aid.

Dep tfaent further says, that he has no interest, direct, contingent, or other-

67 wi^e, in the claim of La Abra Silver Minins Company against the Bepnblio

of Mexico, to 8upx>ort which his testimony is uere given, and that be is not the

agent or attorney of said company, nor of any person naving such interest. And

further this deponent says not.

(Signed) William G. S. Clabk.

Sworn to and subscribed before me, this 14th day of May, A. D. 1870.

[u. 8. coNBUiJiR 8KAL.] (Signed) Isaac Sisson,

U. S. Commercial Agent,

Republic of Mexico, State of Sinaloa,

Port of Mazallan, Office of the U, S. Coneulate, m :

I, Isaac Sisson, commercial agent of the United States of America, in and for the
port of Mazatlan, aud its depeudencies, in the Republic of Mexico, do hereby certify,
that William G. S. Clark, whose deposition is herein above contained, attended be-
fore me, at the office of the United States consulate, in said port of Mazatlan, Mexico,
on this, the 14 th day of May, A. D. 1870, and that he was publicly and duly sworn
by me, according to law, to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing bat the
truth, and thereupon lie deposed and testified, in answer to the foregoing questions,
as hereinbefore set forth ; that said deposition was carefully read by me to said Will-
iam G. S. Clark, and that he thereafter confirmed and signed the same in my pres-

And I do further certMy that I am competent, by the laws of the United States of
America, to administer oaths, and that I have special instructions from the Depart-
ment of State of the United States of America, to take the depositions of witnesses,
in behalf of citizen claimants of the United States against the Republic of Mexico,
to be used in evidence before the Joint i ommission of the United States of America
and the United States of Mexico, appointed under and by virtue of the convention
of July 4th, A. D. 1868 ; and I do further certify, that said deposition was reduced to
writing by C. Lanusa, iu my presence, and that said Lannsa has no interest, and is
not the agent or attorney of any person having an interest iu said claim.

And 1 do further certify that I know, and am personally acquainted with William
G. S. Clark, the above-named afiiant, and I certify to his respectability, and to his
credibility as a witness, and that his statements are entitled to full faith and

And I do further certify, that I have no interest, direct, contingent or otherwise,
iu the claim to which said deposition relates, and that I am not the agent or at-
torney for La Abra Silver Mining Company, nor for any person having such in-

Given under uiv hand, and the seal of the consulate of the United States of Amer-
ica, this the 14th day of May, A. D. 1870.

[seal of the u. 8. consulate.] (Signed) Isaac Sisson,

U, 8, (Jommerdal Agent,

Doo. Ko. 23.

In the matter of the claim for damages of La Abra Stiver Mining Company against the
United States of Mexico ; deposition of James Granger on behalf of claimants to be
submitted to the Joint Comminsian of the United States and Mexican RepubliCj in session
at Washington City, D. C.

United States Consulate, Pokt of Mazatlan,

State of Sinaloa, Bepublio of Mexico, ss :
Personally appeared before me, Isaac Sisson, UnittMl States commercial
G8 agent, in nud for the port of Mazatlan and its dependencies, James Granger, a
witness iuirotluccd on the part and behalf of claimants, who having been first

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 58 of 156)