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 84 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 84 of 156)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


Digitized by VjOOQ IC



THE LA ABBA SILYEB MINING COMPANY. 503

Mr. Kennedy. Well, suppose yon examine him in a preliminary way
upon t^at point. I just want to know what his status is.

By Mr. Foster (to the interpreter) :
Q. Ask the witness whether he is certain that the deposition that he
gave of which he speaks was in relation to this claim of the American
company against the Mexican Government or some other business? —
A. He says he gave a deposition in an investigation which the Gov-
ernment of Mexico made to find out how the estate or property had
been destroyed.

By the Chaibman :

Q. Who was the commissioner or notary before whom that deposition
was given f— A. He says that he does not remember the name, but he
was a competent judge to make this investigation.

The Chaibman. You can proceed now with your examination, Mr.
Foster.

By Mr. Foster :

Q. Ask him to state his name, his age, his residence, and his occupa-
tion — ^A. Francisco Torres; sixty-one years; San Dimas; miner and
refiner of metals in his own property and in others.

Q. Where was he born and where has he passed his life f — A. He
was bom in Tayoltita and passed his life in San Dimas; he has been
away from there, but permanently residing in San Dimas.

Q. Has he spent part of his life in Tayoltita f— A. He has spent in
Tayoltita a little more or less.

Q. In what has he been engaged during his life f — A. Working in
his profession aforesaid and managing his own property.

Q. Does he regard himself as well skilled in the knowledge of metals f

Mr. Kennedy. One moment, please. If you are going to lay a found-
ation for examining him as an expert, I suggest that, instead of taking
his own judgment, you question him in regard to his education and
experience in that business.

The Chaibman. It would be better to lay the foundation that way,
General Foster. Ask him what has been his experience in the mining
of metals, of silver and gold.

The Intebpbeteb. He says that in that locality he has a very well
established reputation as an expert in these matters, but he does not
know whether it is founded upon his own merits or upon the popular
feeling there.

Q. Well, he can tell what experience he has had. — ^A. He has repeated
the same statement he made before; they consider him expert, but he
does not know whether that is well founded or not.

By Mr. Fosteb :

Q. Well, we are not asking him now as to whether he is an expert,
but what his experience is, and you will explain that a little more in
detail, because he evidently does not understand the question ; what
his own experience in mining has been ; what he has done in that di
rectionf — A. He seems not to have understood the question. He ha&
answered saying that he has undertaken work in several mines, that i&
some cases he has succeeded in making money out of them, and in some
others the enterprise has been a failure, but that everybody calls him
to do work.

Mr. Fosteb. I suppose the committee will allow me to ask a leading
question to bring him to the point Has he ever worked in a minei
taking out the metal, during his life^



Digitized by VjOOQ IC



L ABBA SILVER MINING COMPANY.

in mines and bad worked with the ore.

tfAN:

: him on behalf of the committee to state briefly

[)rked in.

[le has worked only the mines named, Bolanos

lelaria, and also in Tayoltita.

B :

are f — A. In the mines La Loz and La Array an

ed Bosario.

I:

ed his statement abont the mines f — A. Yes.

e as near as he can recollect when and for aboal

t capacity he worked in these mines. Yon under

y capacity !

[lether as a refiner or assayer !

s laborer, refiner or assayer, superintendent, oi
ays that in the mines of Tayoltita he has worker
d in the other for several years; can not state par
He says that his work has been at the head of th<
it has been as superintendent of the mine.

ft:

>prietor ! — A. Having laborers under his direction
\ he when he began to work in the mines first t—
born in the mine, and spent his childhood witl
work as a miner when he was twelve years old.
extracting metals from the mines when he was £
ber that f — A. He was worked in a way, sometimei
mes in his own business.

rs did he work in the mines in extracting meta
th ! — A. He has been personally working in the
elve years old, and in this time he has also been en
a refiner.

capacity has he been connected with mining opera
the metal from the mines during all his life ! — A
taking the ore he has worked with that ore, anc
metal that was there ; I suppose this was as meltei

er he has also worked mines as the proprietor o

such capacity as that.

) has said that already.

some as proprietor and some other as superintend

lers.

b:

er he was ever engaged in the mines at Tayoltifa
were owned by Don Juan Castillo de Valle.— A
, but not in the mine, but in the hacienda, working
sting the silver.

you mean f About what time was that that hi
le Valle at Tayoltita !— A. He says before he sole
American company.
t)out the year when he was there; was it immedi



Digitized by VjOOQ IC



THE LA ABRA SILVER MINING COMPANY. 505

ately before, or how long before !— A. He says about one year before that
sale.

By Mr. Dolph :

Q. Ask biiu if be means to say be worked tbere for tlie period of one
3'ear just prior to tbe sale, or tbat bis last work was a year before the
sale ! — A. He says tbat be lueaus tbat he worked for Don Castillo de
Yalle when nothing was spoken of tbe sale, and tbat the sale took place
one year after he bad been working tbere.

Q. Did he continue to work up to the time of the sale! — A. No; he
did not continue to work until tbe sale.

By Mr. Foster :
Q. Tbat is, his work was done a year before! — A. A year before.

By Mr. Dolph :
Q. No, I am not quite certain of that ; how long before the sale did
he quit w^oi king for Castillo de Valle ! — A. He ceased to work one year
before the sale.
Mr. Kennedy. Now, 2Senator, will you ask him how long he did work f

By Mr. Dolph :
Q. Yes, ask him bow long he did work for De Valle t — A. About two
months.

By Mr. Foster :

Q. After he left the employment of Castillo de Valle where did he
go!— A. He went to work atBaluarte in San Dimas.

Q. How far is San Dimas from Tayoltita ! — A. Two hours and a half.

Q. Did be have general knowledge of tbe condition of the mining
operations in Tayoltita during tbat time tbat be lived at San Dimas! —
A. He says be knew almost all about it, because they are places very
near each other, and all is known among the neighbors, and the laborers
communicate to each other all tbat transpires in the locality.

Q. Now ask him what was tbe condition of the mining business of
Castillo de Valle at Tayoltita while he was engag-d in working for
him ! — A. He says tbat tbe condition was rather bad one of the mines
was full of water.

Q. Well, tninslate terminando. — A. He says the business was almost
at an end.

Q. Go on about the Rosario; tell the rest of his answer, what he said
about tbe Rosario? — A. He says tbat the mine at Bosario was full of
water, and tbat all tbe others were in bad condition except La Luz,
which was in operation.

Mr. Dolph. I suggest, Mr. Interpreter, tbat you had better stop the
witness whenever you have got as much as you can translate and keep
in your mind. I think I should stop him from talking when you have
got to that point.

The Interpeeter. I did not know I was authorized to do that.

Mr. Dolph. Then let him know when to proceed. You can inform
him in your own way, before another question is asked, that when you
have as much as you can translate you will stop him, and then when
yon signify it, beciin go on again, so tbat he can go on with his an-
swer to the same question. I think you will satisfy the counsel better
by that conrse.

By Mr. Foster :
Q. It is impossible to remember when be talks so mncb. What was
the character of the metals being taken from the mines at tbat time!



Digitized by VjOOQ IC



lA ABBA SILVER MINING COMPANY.

rill yoQ allow me to suggest that yon had i>etter

[1, 1 was speakiDg in general.

you mean in the whole district of San Dimasf

I mean the mines of Castillo de Yalle, working at
s engaged,
hat is it; that is why I made the suggestion.

BB:

odify it so as to suit you, and also not to go over

gone over. What was the character of the metals

1 Luz mine f

B. When he worked there !

iust answered the question that the only mine they
A Luz mine ; I want to ascertain what was the qual-
from La Luz mine at the time he was working there

r. Chairman, the witness has testified that he stopped
ore del Valle sold to the American Company, and
bo 8an Dimas. Now Mr. Foster asks the witness
iter of the ore that was taken out of La Luz. I sup-
e time that the witness was in the employ of de

t that into the question.

lat is all right. I simply want the witness not to

s. He says that he can not say what was the charac-
the ore taken from that mine, because his work was
ral after refined. That ore seems to be submitted
y refinement, and then went to his hands, and for
be can not say what was the nature or the charac-
e.

:b:

d it give upon his beneficiatingf — A. He says that

?ood.

hole of it, ^'but he could not tell what the amount

ell, let the interpreter say what the witness says.
I. The witness says that he can not give the amount

SB:

' is it not ! — A. Yes ; the amount out of which he
which he calls good.

general report as to the condition of the mines at
i)y Castillo de Yalle to La Abra Company f
r. Chairman, we object, of course, to that. Mr. Fos-
\ own witness that the witness stopped working for
roperty was sold, and general report in San Dimas,
lis witness went, would be no evidence whatever as
fcer of de Valle's property.

las already stated that he was within two hours'
hs in frequent communication, and the operatives
&o all the time. My question is to show what the
these reports were. In all mining districts it is
It the general character of the negotiation or bus-
ply to show that



Digitized by VjOOQ IC



THE LA ABBA SILVER MINING COMPANY. 507

Mr. DoLPH. The question, I do not think, would be a competent one
in a legal proceeding. It would not be competent to show the vsAue
of property in that manner.

Mr. Foster. I only desired to give it for what it was worth — what the
report in the community was.

Mr. Lines. Pardon me one moment The whole of the testimony
which was produced before the commission in behalf of the company
was of that character, was of the general valuation placed upon these
mines, etc. Now, if this be considered in that light, I submit that while
it might not be entirely competent evidence in any ordinary proceeding
at law, yet, considered in connection with the character of the testimony
on which tiiese awards were made, I think it is quite as competent as
that was.

Mr. DoLPH. Can the counsel, without trouble, refer me to the testi-
mony?

Mr. Foster. We can refer you to not less than twenty witnesses who
made declarations as to general reports.

Mr. DoLPH. While counsel are looking up the matter I will ask the
witness a few questions to see if there is not a better way to get at the
matter. Ask the witness how often he was at the hacienda at Tay oltita,
between the time he quit work for Castillo de Valle, and the time La
Lnz mine was sold to the American company.

Mr. Kennedy. If the Senator will pardon me I think that if the wit-
ness is to be examined on the value of La Luz mine or any other mine
of del Yalle, the question should be, what examination, if any, he made*
of the ores taken from that mine, whether he took them out himself,
and whether he made an assay. I need not say to you, Mr. Chairman,
that of all properties in the world the value of mining property is the
most uncertain, and, even with all the appliances of science, very dif-
ficult to determine.

While I am on my feet I would like also to say, in answer to what
Mr. Lines suggested, that instead of the value of this property having
been approved before the commission by general report, the company
gave testimony to show to a cent what they spent, what they paid for
the different mines that were purchased, and also what they paid for
machinery, how they transported their machinery over the mountains,
and they made such proofs as would have been competent to go to any
jury in Christendom.

Mr. DoLPH. I think the witness may answer the question.

The Intebpbeteb. He says that he has gone there several times ;
sometimes two months, sometimes two months and a half, but often go-
ing from San Dimas to Tayoltita.

Q. Ask him whether or not, during the time he was in the employ of
de Yalle, he was in La Luz mine, and had an opportunity to inspect,
and did inspect, the ore that came out of the mine. — A. He says that
he had no opportunity to examine the nature of that ore.

By Mr. Kennedy :
Q. In the mine I — A. In La Luz, the ore taken out of La Luz.
Mr. DoLPH. Well, he has not answered the question whether he was
in the mine.

By Mr. Fosteb :
Q. Fix the time; when he was working there f — A. When he was
working for Castillo de Yalle he was not in the mine.

By Mr. Dolph :
Q. Was he ever in the mine f



Digitized by VjOQQIC



LBRA SILVER MINING COMPANT.



g his life ! — A. He says that he has worked in
he mine was sold to the American Company.

— A. He says that he has worked on his own
lis own money there.

[ioz ; yes, sir.

r:

Y went away from La Abra or firom Tayoltita! —

he company left La Abra mine.

a Mining Company left Tayoltita ! — A. He says
abandoned La Abra mine he went to work there
Don Santiago Granger.

he worked at the hacienda nnder de Valle, he
the patio that had been brought from La Luz
lid not see the ore taken from the mine,
^ork in the mine on his own account after the
d abandoned the mine ! — A. Between two and

jounsel.) I will hear what you have to say about
fore the commission as to the common report in
he mine.

Ration is that this company went to Mexico and
upon the reports which they had had of their
reat extent. They made some examination them-
timony of William fl. Smith,
hat page !

ge 546 of this publication !
t is your page, Mr. Lines !
idred and seventy-nine. He testified that he
(tillo de Yalle to sell these mines, and he says
nant's testimony) :

WD, and generally spoken of as exceedingly valaable prop
bhe mines of San Dimas. All, or nearly all, of the veins
at Tayoltita, were owned by, and constitnted the prop-
ly are somewhat famous in history, having been favorably
imboldt in his Book of Travels (** Essai Politique ")» &Qd
by the British explorer. Ward, in reference to this same
lows (Ward's Mexico, pages 559 and 573) :
iving that sort of testimony.

sufficient for my purposes.
^ three or four other references here,
jtion certainly would not be a competent one if the
due of the property, but as the questions under
than that, and it is alleged that the award was
Qony, I think, it appearing that testimony was
ommission as to common report concerning the
s question is competent, but I will receive it for
to be stricken out on consultation with the other
imittee.



Digitized by VjOOQ IC



THE LA ABRA SILVER MINING COMPANY. 509

Mr. Kennedy. Will the chairman allow me to say just one word f
Mr. Lines, whose testimony was it yon read from !

Mr. Lines. William H. Smith. He had been del Valleys agent to sell
the mines. There are one or two more extracts here that I might put
in.

Mr. DoLPH. It appearing that the testimony of one witness as to
common report was received before the Commission, I think that is
safficient for the committee.

Mr. Foster. Following Mr. Lines, here is the testimony of Oaptain
Dahlgren, who came there after the company had left. He says — I am
reading from page 404 of this book, page 115 of the claimants' book of
testimony :

Question 9. What is the character of the mines owned and worked by said ''Abra
Company" at Tayoltita, which yon have named, so far as regards their richness of metal,
and sapply of the same t — Ans. It is good. They are undoubtedly among the best and
most valuable of all the silver mines of Mexico, and some of them are not unknown
to fame for their rich and abundant productions. I refer more particularly to "La
Abra," " El Rosario," " La Talpa," and " El Cristo " veins, etc.

Mr. DoLPH. I think that is an entirely dififereut question. I un-
derstand the question you read calls for the knowledge of the witness.

Mr. Foster. Here is another witness, John Cole, on page 55 of the
claimants' book of testimony. He states 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 he knows the fact that fifty thousand
(150,000) dollars in gold coin was paid, etc.

Mr. Lines. Here is one more.

Mr. DoLPH. Well, I hardly think it is necessary to continne the in-
quiry. Those questions and answers might refer to the actual knowledge
of the .witnesses ; that would present a very dififerent question from the
one propounded to this witness, but it appearing, so far as I am now in-
formed, that one witness before the joint commission testified to com-
mon report as to the value of the mines, in view of contradicting him,
this answer may be received.

Mr. Kennedy. I wish to say a word, Mr. Chairman, on that very
point which you suggest, namely, whether the testimony which Mr.
Lines has read is testimony based upon general report or upon the per-
sonal knowledge of the witness. Now it seems from the testimony
itself, which I have now before me, that this man Smith had th6 most
intimate personal knowledge not only of the mines in regard to which
the witness has been examined, but also in regard to another and one
of the most important mines of the company. He says that he lived in
San Dimas, Duraugo, from 1861 to 1868. He says also that his occu-
pation was that of a miner; that he worked in amine 5 miles from La
Abra; and then when he speaks of the report in regard to the mines, or
rather in regard to their public reputation, you will notice that he
quotes from Baron Humboldt, who had personally examined the min-
eral districts of the country, and he also quotes from volume 1 of Ward,
who was a famous mineralogist, and who has written on that precise
subject. The quotation is given here. Now I submit, with all respect,
that that is entirely different testimony from asking a man who lived
at San Dimas what was the general report in regard to the value of the
mines at Tayoltita, and then suggesting, as Mr. Foster did, as a reason
why that question is asked, that laborers were coming and going between
the two places and were reporting to each other what they knew. The

S. Doc. 231, pt 2 84



Digitized by VjOOQ IC



LA ABBA SILVER MINING COMPANY.

in a case like this in not testimony that is worth

re is no difiference in principle between asking a
irsonal knowledge of a fact what common mmor or
to a matter and asking a witness who has no per-
le same qaestion. The stenographer wiU read the
1 it will be received, subject to be passed upon by
'hcD the committee is full.
' read the question^ aa follows :

aeral report as to the condition of the mines at the time of the

9 to La Abra Company f

^on have already examined him on the condition of
e has said that the mines were fall of water.
; I am asking now what was the common report of
I mines at the time that Castillo del Yalle sold the
}ompany f

the general opinion was that the mines were very
nothing.

translate estar en borra t —A. He says that estar en
e a very thin vein of metal, which did not give suf-
dxpenses.

lease, ask the witness whether he visited the mines
I the time La Abra company was working them ;
le was; two or three times. He can not give the

approximately the date of the last visit he made
ceased to work ! — A. He says that the last visit he
ks was in 1867.

lie month approximately f — A. He thinks it was in
r October,
an account of what he saw and heard daring that

^ne moment, please. Mr. Chairman, he ought not to
luring that last visit, but he ought to be asked what
lestion is so vague, that 1 am afraid the witness will

ant to leave it free for him to testify without asking

ms.

ggest that counsel modify the question and ask him

kw in regard to the mine, and what he was told by

bs of the company there, if anything.

iot put it all together that way. 1 think he will be

ggest also that it will be better to divide it.
■EB:

bate what he saw was going on at the mines at that
that in his last visit the mine was in its last mo-
is of the mine was almost paralyzed,
anything by any oflficer or employ^ of the company
liness!

Itrike out " employ^," if you please, Mr. Chairman ;
company might not be anything but a laborer, and,
>t be an agent.

EB:

10 that person was !



Digitized by VjOOQ IC



THE LA ABBA SILVER MINING COMPANY. 511

Mr. DoLPH. Well, I suggest, Mr. Foster, that you leave out the in-
quiry in regard to an employ^, and put that as a separate question;
so that, in ruling upon it^ it may be considered without being compli-
cated with the other portion of the answer.

By Mr. Foster:

Q. Let me first follow up the former question by asking if there was
any reduction of metals going on at the time of that visit! — A. There
was no work done at that last visit. He says that Don Santiago
Granger told him that they were expecting to receive resources to begin
work again.

Q. f^m where ; from abroad or from the mine! — ^A. He thinks from
the company

Mr. Kennedy. One moment, Mr. Interpreter. I would like to have
it noted, Mr. Chairman, if it please you, that the question whether
Santiago Granger in September, 1867, was or was not such an employ^
of the company as to make his statements bind the company, is reserved
for further ruling.

Mr. DoLPH. This whole examination is not proceeding as satisfac-
torily as it shonld. It is very difficult, in the first place, to examine a
witness through an interpreter. Counsel may object to the answer of
a witness ; that will be the only way that his objection can appear of
record.

Mr. Kennedy. The objection then is, may it please yon, Mr. Chair-
man, that in September or October, 1867, Santiago Granger was not
such an employ^ of the company as to be, by the fact of his employ-
ment, an agent of the company ; and hence what he said to the witness
is inadmissible, and can not bind the company.

Mr. DoLPH. The examination will proceed.

By Mr. Foster :

Q. Ask the witness when he ma^e his next visit to the hacienda,
Tayoltita; how long after this visit of which he has been giving an
account. — A. He says that he has not gone back to the hacienda, but
that two or three months afterwards be went near the hacienda to a
house there, and that Don Santiago Granger came to see him there.

Q. It was at Tayoltita; this house was in Tayoltita !

A. He says that the house is between 16 and 20 yards from the ha-
cienda.

Q. In Tayoltita!

A. In Tayoltita.

Mr. Kennedy. Mr. Foster, ask him what hacienda, please; there are
two or three of them, you know.

By Mr. Fostbb :

Q. What hacienda I

A. He does not know exactly the name of the hacienda, but that
the people there call it Tapacoya.

Q. No ; but what I want to know is what was the hacienda that he
refers to j was it the hacienda of La Abra Compauy !

A. The hacienda which La Abra Company bought from Don Juan
Castillo deValle.

Q. It was the principal hacienda of the company, was itt — ^A. It was
the principal, where the machinery is.

Q. On the first visit that he made, the visit that he made in Septem-
ber or October, who was in charge of the company as superintendent



Digitized by VjOOQ IC



512 THE LA ABRA SILVER MINING COMPANY.

or administrator f — A. He says that it was in charge of a gentleman
whom the people called El Mudo, the mnte or silent

Q. It appears in Exall's deposition before the commission that he
was known among the people as El Mndo. At the last visit, that he
has jnst been speaking of, who was in charge of the hacienda as super-
intendent, or representative of the company f
The Interpreter. After that El Mndof
Q. No; this last visit that he has jost been speaking off

By Mr. Kennedy:
Q. At the little honse near the principal hacienda when he saw



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 84 of 156)