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witness of some part of the assault upon the crew of the Baltimore, is strongly corroborative of the testimony of our own sailors when he says that he saw Chilean sentries drive back a seaman seeking shelter upon a mob that was pursuing him. The officers and men of Captain Jenkins's ship furnish the most conclusive testimony as to the indignities which were practiced toward Americans in Valparaiso. When American sailors, even of merchant ships, can only secure their safety by denying their nationality, it must be time to readjust our relations with a government that permits such demonstrations.
As to the participation of the police, the evidence of our sailors shows that our men were struck and beaten by police officers before and after arrest, and that one at least was dragged with a lasso about his neck by a mounted policeman. That the death of Riggin was the result of a rifle shot fired by a policeman or soldier on duty is shown directly by the testimony of Johnson, in whose arms he was at the time, and by the evidence of Charles Langen, an American sailor, not then a member of the Baltimore's crew, who stood close by and saw the transaction. The Chilean authorities do not pretend to fix the responsibility of this shot upon any particular person, but avow their inability to ascertain who fired it further than that it was fired from a crowd. The character of the wound as described by one of the surgeons of the Baltimore clearly supports his opinion that it was made by a rifle ball, the orifice of exit being as much as an inch or an inch and a quarter in width. When shot the poor fellow was unconscious and in the arms of a comrade, who was endeavoring to carry him to a neighboring drug store for treatment. The story of the police that in coming up the street they passed these men and left them behind them is inconsistent with their own statement as to the direction of their approach and with their duty to protect them, and is clearly disproved. In fact Riggin was not behind but in front of the advancing force, and was not standing in the crowd, but was unconscious and supported in the arms of Johnson when he was shot.
The communications of the Chilean Government in relation to this cruel and disastrous attack upon our men, as will appear from the correspondence, have not in any degree taken the form of a manly and satisfactory expression of regret, much less of apology. The event was of so serious a character that if the injuries suffered by our men had been wholly the result of an accident in a Chilean port the incident was grave enough to have called for some public expression of sympathy and regret from the local authorities. It is not enough to say that the affair was lamentable, for humanity would require that expression even if the beating and killing of our men had been justifiable. It is not enough to say that the incident is regretted, coupled with the statement that the affair was not of an unusual character in ports where foreign sailors are accustomed to meet. It is not for a generous and sincere government to seek for words of small or equivocal meaning in which to convey to a friendly
power an apology for an offense so atrocious as this. In the case of the assault by a mob in New Orleans upon the Spanish consulate in 1851, Mr. Webster wrote to the Spanish minister, Mr. Calderon, that the acts complained of were “a disgraceful and flagrant breach of duty and propriety," and that his Government “regrets them as deeply as Minister Calderon or his Government could possibly do;" that "these acts have caused the President great pain, and he thinks a proper acknowledgment is due to Her Majesty's Government." He invited the Spanish consul to return to his post, guaranteeing protection, and offered to salute the Spanish flag if the consul should come in a Spanish vessel. Such a treatment by the Government of Chile of this assault would have been more creditable to the Chilean authorities, and much less can hardly be satisfactory to a government that values its dignity and honor.
In our note of October 23 last, which appears in the correspondence, after receiving the report of the board of officers appointed by Captain Schley to investigate the affair, the Chilean Government was advised of the aspect which it then assumed and called upon for any facts in its possession that might tend to modify the unfavorable impressions which our report had created. It is very clear from the correspondence that before the receipt of this note the examination was regarded by the police authorities as practically closed. It was, however, reopened and protracted through a period of nearly three months. We might justly have complained of this unreasonable delay; but in view of the fact that the Government of Chile was still provisional, and with a disposition to be forbearing and hopeful of a friendly termination, I have awaited the report, which has but recently been made.
On the 21st instant I caused to be communicated to the Government of Chile by the American minister at Santiago the conclusions of this Government after a full consideration of all the evidence and of every suggestion affecting this matter, and to these conclusions I adhere. They were stated as follows:
First. That the assault is not relieved of the aspect which the early information of the event gave to it, viz, that of an attack upon the uniform of the United States Navy having its origin and motive in a feeling of hostility to this Government, and not in any act of the sailors or of any of them.
Second. That the public authorities of Valparaiso flagrantly failed in their duty to protect our men, and that some of the police and of the Chilean soldiers and sailors were themselves guilty of unprovoked assaults upon our sailors before and after arrest. He [the President] thinks the preponderance of the evidence and the inherent probabilities lead to the conclusion that Riggin was killed by the police or soldiers.
Third. That he [the President) is therefore compelled to bring the case back to the position taken by this Government in the note of Mr. Wharton of October 23
* and to ask for a suitable apology and for some adequate reparation for the injury done to this Government.
In the same note the attention of the Chilean Government was called to the offensive character of a note addressed by Mr. Matta, its minister
of foreign affairs, to Mr. Montt, its minister at this capital, on the 11th ultimo. This dispatch was not officially communicated to this Government, but as Mr. Montt was directed to translate it and to give it to the press of the country it seemed to me that it could not pass without official notice. It was not only undiplomatic, but grossly insulting to our naval officers and to the executive department, as it directly imputed untruth and insincerity to the reports of the naval officers and to the official communications made by the executive department to Congress. It will be observed that I have notified the Chilean Government that unless this note is at once withdrawn and an apology as public as the offense made I will terminate diplomatic relations.
The request for the recall of Mr. Egan upon the ground that he was not persona grata was unaccompanied by any suggestion that could properly be used in support of it, and I infer that the request is based upon official acts of Mr. Egan which have received the approval of this Government. But however that may be, I could not consent to consider such a question until it had first been settled whether our correspondence with Chile could be conducted upon a basis of mutual respect.
In submitting these papers to Congress for that grave and patriotic consideration which the questions involved demand I desire to say that I am of the opinion that the demands made of Chile by this Government should be adhered to and enforced. If the dignity as well as the prestige and influence of the United States are not to be wholly sacrificed, we must protect those who in foreign ports display the flag or wear the colors of this Government against insult, brutality, and death inflicted in resentment of the acts of their Government and not for any fault of their own. It has been my desire in every way to cultivate friendly and intimate relations with all the Governments of this hemisphere. We do not covet their territory. We desire their peace and prosperity. We look for no advantage in our relations with them except the increased exchanges of commerce upon a basis of mutual benefit. We regret every civil contest that disturbs their peace and paralyzes their development, and are always ready to give our good offices for the restoration of peace. It must, however, be understood that this Government, while exercising the utmost forbearance toward weaker powers, will extend its strong and adequate protection to its citizens, to its officers, and to its humblest sailor when made the victims of wantonness and cruelty in resentment not of their personal misconduct, but of the official acts of their Government.
Upon information received that Patrick Shields, an Irishman and prob ably a British subject, but at the time a fireman of the American steamer Keweenaw, in the harbor of Valparaiso for repairs, had been subjected to personal injuries in that city, largely by the police, I directed the AttorneyGeneral to cause the evidence of the officers and crew of that vessel to be taken upon its arrival in San Francisco, and that testimony is also
herewith transmitted. The brutality and even savagery of the treatment of this poor man by the Chilean police would be incredible if the evidence of Shields was not supported by other direct testimony and by the distressing condition of the man himself when he was finally able to reach his vessel. The captain of the vessel says:
He came back a wreck, black from his neck to his hips from beating, weak and stupid, and is still in a kind of paralyzed condition, and has never been able to do duty since.
A claim for reparation has been made in behalf of this man, for while he was not a citizen of the United States, the doctrine long held by us, as expressed in the consular regulations, is:
The principles which are maintained by this Government in regard to the protection, as distinguished from the relief, of seamen are well settled. It is held that the circumstance that the vessel is American is evidence that the seamen on board are such, and in every regularly documented merchant vessel the crew will find their protection in the flag that covers them.
I have as yet received no reply to our note of the 21st instant, but in my opinion I ought not to delay longer to bring these matters to the attention of Congress for such action as may be deemed appropriate.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, January 25, 1892. To the Senate and House of Representatives:
I transmit herewith, for the consideration of Congress, a communication of the 23d instant from the Secretary of the Interior, submitting an extract from the report of the commission appointed under the act of January 12, 1891, entitled "An act for the relief of the Mission Indians in the State of California," and other papers relating to the exchange of lands with private individuals and the purchase of certain lands and improvements for the use and benefit of the Mission Indians, with draft of a bill to carry into effect the recommendations of said Mission Commission.
I have approved the report of the Mission Commission, except as much as relates to the purchase of lands from and exchange of lands with private individuals, which is also approved subject to the condition that Congress shall authorize the same.
The matter is presented with the recommendation for the early and favorable action of Congress.
Washington, January 25, 1892. To the Senate of the United States:
Referring to a communication of June 11, 1890, concerning the adoption by the Committee on Foreign Relations of a resolution respecting
the claim of William Webster against the Government of Great Britain, I herewith transmit a report of the Secretary of State, with accompany. ing documents, showing the action taken under that resolution.
Washington, January 25, 1892. To the Senate and House of Representatives:
I transmit herewith a report of the Secretary of State, with accompaniments, in relation to the claim of the representatives of the late Hon. James Crooks, a British subject, against the Government of the United States for the seizure of the steamer Lord Nelson in 1812.
The favorable action of the Fiftieth and Fifty-first Congresses upon the bills heretofore introduced for the relief of the claimants makes it proper that I should recommend it anew for the consideration and final disposition of the present Congress.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, January 28, 1892. To the Senate and House of Representatives:
I transmit herewith additional correspondence between this Government and the Government of Chile, consisting of a note of Mr. Montt, the Ghilean minister at this capital, to Mr. Blaine, dated January 23; a reply of Mr. Blaine thereto of date January 27, and a dispatch from Mr. Egan, our minister at Santiago, transmitting the response of Mr. Pereira, the Chilean minister of foreign affairs, to the note of Mr. Blaine of January 21, which was received by me on the 26th instant. The note of Mr. Montt to Mr. Blaine, though dated January 23, was not delivered at the State Department until after 12 o'clock m. of the 25th, and was not translated and its receipt notified to me until late in the afternoon of that day.
The response of Mr. Pereira to our note of the 21st withdraws, with acceptable expressions of regret, the offensive note of Mr. Matta of the uth ultimo, and also the request for the recall of Mr. Egan. The treatment of the incident of the assault upon the sailors of the Baltimore is so conciliatory and friendly that I am of the opinion that there is a good prospect that the differences growing out of that serious affair can now be adjusted upon terms satisfactory to this Government by the usual methods and without special powers from Congress. This turn in the Affair is very gratifying to me, as I am sure it will be to the Congress and to our people. The general support of the efforts of the Executive to enforce the just rights of the nation in this matter has given an instructive and useful illustration of the unity and patriotism of our people.
Should it be necessary I will again communicate with Congress upon che subject