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always been pleased to show me in the said matter, thus contributing in an efficient manner to bring the affair to a satisfactory conclusion.”
Mr. Guzman, Nic. min., to Mr. Gresham, Sec. of State, Dec. 28, 1894, For.
Rel. 1894, App. I. 360.
was as follows:
year was due to the efforts of the Nicaraguan authorities to endeavor to
free us from the slavery in which we were; “Whereas we have agreed wholly to submit to the laws and authorities of
Nicaragua for the purpose of forming part of their political and atinin
istrative organization; • Whereas the lack of a respectable and legitimate government is always the
cause of calamity to a people, in which condition we have been for so
long a time; “Whereas one of the reasons of the backward condition in which we live
doubtless was the improper use of the revenues of the Mosquito territory, which were employed for purposes which had nothing to do with
good administrative order; “Whereas although the constitution of Nicaragua provides for all the neces
sities and aspirations of a free people, we, nevertheless, desire to retain
special privileges in accord with our customs and our racial disposition. “In virtue of all the foregoing, in the exercise of a natural right, and of our
own free will, we hereby declare and
“ART. 1. The constitution of Nicaragua and its laws shall be obeyed by the
Mosquito people who shall be under the protection of the flag of the
Republic. "Art. 2. All revenues that may be produced by the Mosquito shore district
shall be invested for the benefit of that district, and we reserve our own financial autonomy; but the said revenues shall be collected and admin
istered by the officers of the treasury of the supreme Government. "ART. 3. Natives shall be exempt from all military service in time of peace “Art. 10. The people shall promulgate their local regulations in assemblies
and war. “Art. 4. No tax shall be levied upon the persons of Mosquitos. “ART. 5. The right of suffrage shall be enjoyed by both males and females
who are more than eighteen years old. “ART. 6. The native communities shall be under the immediate control of
the inspecting chief and of the alcaldes and police officers in their
respective localities. "ART. 7. None but Mosquito Indians shall be elected to fill the said offices. “Art. 8. Alcaldes and police officers shall hold their positions so long as they
shall enjoy the confidence of the people, but they may be removed by
order of the intendant or by popular motion. “ART. 9. When the alcaldes and police officers enter upon the duties of their
offices, the chief inspector shall admister the oath of office to them, for which purpose he shall make use of the following form: ‘Do you swear by God and the Bible to exert yourself in behalf of the happiness of the people that have elected you, and to obey and execute the laws of Nicaragua?' The person to whom this question is addressed shall reply, “Yes, I swear.'
over which the chief shall preside, and such regulations shall be submitted for approval to the superior authority of the national Govern
ment on the coast. "Art. 11. In token of gratitude to General I. Santos Zelaya, the President of
the Republic, to whose efforts we owe (enjoy) the privilege of enjoying our liberty, the district which has heretofore been known as the Mos
quito Reservation shall henceforth be called the Department of Zelaya. Done in the hall of sessions of the Mosquito convention this 20th day of
November, one thousand eight hundred and ninety-four.
undersigned hereby certify that they were present at the session of the
“R. CABEZAS, “ Intendant-General of the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua. “ Before me,
“ JOSÉ MARIA MONGRIO,
• Secretary of the Intendant's Office." By a circular telegram addressed by the President of Nicaragua to the Presi
dents of the other Central American Republics, in May, 1899, it was announced that the Mosquito Indians had renounced the special rights reserved to them by the foregoing “resolution," or convention. (Mr. Hay, Sec. of State, to Mr. Merry, min. to Nicaragua, June 3, 1899, MS. Inst. Cent. Am. XXI. 492, acknowledging receipt of Mr. Merry's No.
263, of May 18, 1899.) The Indians of the Riti-pura hamlet sent a petition to the American consul
at San Juan del Norte, protesting against the “Act of Reincorporation," and the abrogation of the convention of 1894. (Mr. Hay, Sec. of State, to Mr. Merry, min. to Nicaragua, No. 252, July 3, 1899, MS. Inst. Cent. Am. XXI. 507, enclosing copies of two dispatches from the consul at San Juan del Norte, Nos. 256 and 257, June 27, 1899.)
In a note to Mr. Guzman, Dec. 31, 1894, acknowledging the receipt of his note of the 28th and the accompanying copy of the act of incorporation, Mr. Gresham said: “Having already, upon information received from the United States minister at Managua and our naval commander at Bluefields, as well as from yourself, orally expressed my satisfaction at this outcome of a situation which for nearly a year has demanded careful consideration, I take this opportunity to state the gratification it affords this Government to see the voluntary and orderly accomplishment of this important step by the native Mosquito Indians themselves.”a
The National Legislative Assembly of Nicaragua, Feb. 27, 1895, approved the resolution of the Mosquito convention.
Mr. Bayard, in a dispatch of Dec. 22, 1894, stated that “there was the most open expression of satisfaction at the foreign office upon the
a For. Rel. 1894, App. I. 363.
For. Rel. 1895, II. 1034.
reported voluntary incorporation of the Indians with the rest of Nicaragua”; and denied, on the written authority of Lord Kimberley, a rumor that the Mosquito chief, who was in Jamaica, had been informed that the British authorities would not recognize the new order and had been notified to hold himself in readiness to return to Bluefields.a
“In last year's message I narrated at some length the jurisdictional questions then freshly arisen in the Mosquito Indian strip of Nicaragua. Since that time, by the voluntary act of the Mosquito Nation, the territory reserved to them has been incorporated with Nicaragua, the Indians formally subjecting themselves to be governed by the general laws and regulations of the Republic instead of by their own customs and regulations, and thus availing themselves of a privilege secured to them by the treaty between Nicaragua and Great Britain of January 28, 1860."
President Cleveland, annual message, Dec. 2, 1895, For. Rel. 1895, p. xxxi.
The British Government appears, however, to have reserved its opinion as to the effect of what had been done. In a note to Dr. Barrios, Nicaraguan envoy at London, of Feb. 26, 1895, in relation to the arrest and expulsion of British subjects, Lord Kimberley stated that Her Majesty's Government, until that matter had been disposed of, were not prepared “to discuss any questions with regard to the treaty of Managua and the recent proceedings in the Mosquito Reserve”; but that, so soon as the demands in relation to the former matter had been satisfied, he should "be prepared to receive and consider in a friendly spirit any representations on those questions which the Nicaraguan Government may desire to make to Her Majesty's Government.”
By a convention signed at London November 1, 1895, it was agreed to constitute a mixed commission “ to fix the amount due to British subjects in respect of injury caused to them or their property or goods in the Mosquito Reserve, owing to the action of the Nicaraguan authorities in the course of the year 1894.” It was provided that the commission should be composed of a British representative, who must be well acquainted with the Spanish language; a Nicaraguan representative, who must be well acquainted with English; and “a jurist, not a citizen of any American State.” Should the two governments be unable to agree on this jurist he was to be named by the President of the Swiss Confederation. The commissioners were to sit in Bluefields, and to decide the claims before them “in accordance with the principles of international law, and the practice and jurisprudence established by such analogous modern commissions as enjoy the best reputation.” By a protocol annexed to the convention, it was provided: “Her Majesty's Government will not support the claim of any person before the commission unless they consider him to be a British subject; and, on their part, the Nicaraguan Government will accept such status as duly established, subject to the production by them of proof that the claimant is not entitled to it in contemplation of English law."
a For. Rel. 1894, App. I, 359–360.
For. Rel. 1895, II. 1028.
For. Rel. 1896, 307–310.
submit to that of Nicaragua a proposal to conclude, in connection with
Jan. 29, 1900, MS. Inst. Cent. Am. XXI. 619.)
the yment of customs dues, see supra, $ 21, vol. 1, p. 49 et seq.
IV. AMERICAN ROUTES AND GRANTS.
For information concerning old and new interoceanic canal routes, projects and companies, in America, see Keasbey's Nicaragua Canal and the Monroe Doctrine, at the various pages indicated in the index. Much will also be found there in relation to railway projects.
The Government of New Granada granted to the Panama Railroad Company the exclusive right to construct a railroad across the Isthmus of Panama. The Attorney General of the United States expressed the opinion that this exclusive right was not violated by a grant made by New Granada to the Chiriqui Company to construct a railroad across the Isthmus of Chiriqui. He added, however, that the question was geographical rather than legal, and that any other person was as good a judge of it as himself.
The position taken by the Government of the United States in the matter was that the United States felt a deep interest in all ways of communication between the Atlantic and Pacific, and that if a railroad could be authorized and made across the Isthmus of Chiriqui without interference with existing rights or violation of the good faith of New Granada, it would be of great value to commerce, and of especial value to the United States, so that the President would be glad to render it any proper assistance within his reach. The President also desired that the Panama Railroad Company should “obtain all suitable facilities from New Granada for the prosecution and extension of its great and increasing traffic. In any conflict of interest between the two companies it is not our duty to interfere. We wish them both success, and, in the opinion of the Attorney General, there is good reason to believe that this success may be accomplished without any material conflict between them.”
Mr. Cass, Sec. of State, to Mr. Jones, min. to Colombia, May 4, 1860, MS.
Inst. Colombia, XV. 303; Black, At.-Gen., Sept. 19, 1859, 9 Op. 391.
by him, January 17, 1860, to Mr. Henry S. Sanford, with a view to obtain
referred to questions as to tonnage taxes and taxes on mail matter. In a report to his Government, June 24, 1881, Mr. Pereira, secretary of the
Colombian legation at Paris, referring to the circumstance that he had found M. de Lesseps engaged on a certain occasion in conversation“ with the North American general, Mr. Henry Shelton Sanford,” speaks of the latter as the same who went to Bogotá in the years 1860 and 1861, with the double charge of representing there the North American Gov
ernment and the Panama Railroad Company.” (For. Rel. 1881, 359.) In 1864 the minister of the United States at Bogotá was instructed to use
his good offices to secure from the Government of Colombia an extension of the franchises of the Panama Railroad Company. (Mr. Seward, Sec. of State, to Mr. Burton, min. to Colombia, Aug. 17, 1864, MS. Inst.
Colombia, XVI. 99.) “The suit of Colombia against the Panama Railroad Co. for the possession
of Manzanillo Island has been decided by the Supreme Court of Colombia in manner entirely favorable to the company. (Mr. Wharton, Act. Sec. of State, to Messrs. Barlow, Larocque & Choate, May 11, 1891, 181 MS. Dom. Let. 663. See, also, supra, S 344.)
“The Mexican Government having on the 5th of February, 1853, authorized the early construction of a plank and rail road across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, and, to secure the stable benefits of said transit way to the persons and merchandize of the citizens of Mexico and the United States, it is stipulated that neither Government will interpose any obstacle to the transit of persons and merchandize of both nations; and at no time shall higher charges be made on the transit of persons and property of citizens of the United States than may be made on the persons and property of other foreign nations, nor shall any interest in said transit way, nor in the proceeds thereof, be transferred to any foreign government.
“The United States, by its agents, shall have the right to transport across the isthmus, in closed bags, the mails of the United States not intended for distribution along the line of communication; also the effects of the United States Government and its citizens, which may be intended for transit, and not for distribution on the isthmus, free of custom-house or other charges by the Mexican Government. Neither passports nor letters of security will be required of persons crossing the isthmus and not remaining in the country.
“When the construction of the railroad shall be completed, the Mexican Government agrees to open a port of entry in addition to the port of Vera Cruz, at or near the terminus of said road on the Gulf of Mexico.