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But primarily we must be released as quickly as possible from the shadow of the mistaken conditions of the letter above referred to, and to that end I submit the petition to your Government.
Pardon me if I modestly suggest in conclusion, that a company which has paid you $150,000 in gold and has expended over $3,000,000 under your concession, might well invoke your kindly forbearance and its continuance under more serious faults than yet appear against us in Nicaragua. Urging upon you that the emergency calls for your promptest action, I am, etc.,
DANIEL MACAULEY, Agent of the Maritime Canal Company of Nicaragua.
MURDER OF WILLIAM WILSON.
Mr. Baker to Mr. Gresham. No. 248.]
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Managua, April 10, 1894. (Received May 15.) SIR: I cabled you the news of the shooting of a Mr. Wilson, an American, by the Nicaraguan military governor at Bluefields. received no particulars. I called upon the authorities here for an explanation, and I inclose the response of the Government. I have, etc.,
(Inclosure 1.- Translation.) Mr. Rivas to Mr. Baker.
Managua, April 3, 1894. MR. MINISTER: The minister of the interior has addressed himself to this secretaryship informing it that the commissioner of the Mosquito Reservation has given him notice that on the 20th of last March, about 10 o'clock in the evening, Mr. Norberto Argüello, police inspector, temporarily in charge of the Government, seriously wounded the American citizen William Wilson.
In bringing to the knowledge of your excellency this deplorable incident, of which my Government has not, as yet, any details, it is my duty to manifest to your excellency that Mr. Argiiello was immediately deposed, and that the commissioner appointed Col. Luis Cartin in his place, who will carry on the legal prosecution so that the culprit may be punished.
The Government on its part, desirous that full justice be administered in the affair, has sent, through the honorable minister of the interior, telegrains to San Juan del Norte and Bluefields, of which I inclose to your excellency an authorized copy.
I will not close this communication without deploring what has come to pass, and without manifesting that, as soon as the Government receives information which it has called for, I will again address myself to your excellency. I am, etc.,
R. MAYORGA RIVAS. FR 94
APRIL 2, 1894. MR. COMMISSIONER OF THE RESERVE,
San Juan del Norte: Recommended to the governor and comptroller.
With much regret the executive has been informed of your telegram, dated the 31st of last month, in which you give an account of the wound inflicted on the American citizen, Wilson, by the temporary governor, Argüello.
The Government trusts that the courts of justice of San Juan del Norte will know how to fulfill their duty by investigating the aforesaid act and puuishing the offender.
The Government does not approve of the practice which has been observed on the coast of withdrawing the high functionaries to send them on commissions; much less if these are substituted by employés of inferior category, who may not possess all the qualities which those dignitaries require.
The President trusts that, owing to the lamentable accident to Wil. son, the cordial relations which Nicaragua happily cultivates with the United States of America may not be impaired. He hopes that the superior authorities of the littoral will see that complete justice be done in the trial of the deed against Wilson, and that in the future they may know how to avoid, with prudence and caution, occurrences of this nature. The minister of the interior by the law,
MATUS. This is a true copy. Managua, April 3, 1894,
M. C. MATUS.
APRIL 2, 1894. GOVERNOR AND COMPTROLLER,
San Juan del Norte: With grief the executive power has been informed of the dangerous wound inflicted on Mr. Wilson by an officer of that port, and, through me, commands that you make the courts proceed with all possible energy and activity in the repression of that crime. The minister of the interior by the law,
MATUS. This is a true copy. Managua, April 2, 1894.
M. O. MATUS.
Mr. Gresham to Mr. Baker. No. 161.]
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, April 26, 1894. Sir: It is desired that you take advantage of your visit to Bluefields to investigate the killing of William Wilson, a citizen of the United States, by the Nicaraguan governor of Rama, on March 22, and secure, if possible, the arrest and trial of his slayer.
From Mr. Braida's dispatches it appears that Wilson was a drayman in the employ of Messrs. Brown & Harris, at Rama, and slept above their shop to protect their property. About 10.30 p. m., on March 22, an attempt was made by several persons, among them a policeman, to arrest a drunken man on Brown & Harris's doorstep. Wilson came downstairs in his night shirt, and seeing the scufflers at his door ordered them away, pusbmg the policeman off the doorstep. The Nicaraguan governor of the city, Don Norberto Argüello, attracted to the spot by the tumult, drew his revolver and shot Wilson in the back as he was retreating up the stairs. He fell, mortally wounded, whereupon a policeman (an American negro, named Charles Noyles) attempted to shoot him after he was down, but was prevented by a bystander. Noyles was arrested.
• The governor ordered the wounded man to be taken to the barracks. A resident physician, Dr. A. L. Chapman, was summoned by Wilson's friends, and asked permission to send a boat to Bluefields for another doctor. The governor refused to allow this. Wilson died at 6.45 the next morning, about eight hours after being shot.
Mr. Braida, on learning these facts, applied on the 25th ultimo to Señor Madriz, who had just arrived at Bluefields as the special commissioner of Nicaragua, and asked that Argüello be arrested. Señor Madriz promised to send General Cabezas to Rama to deal with the matter.
It appears that Argüello was not arrested, but made his escape a few days later, with the connivance, it is asserted, of the local police. Some policemen were arrested for assisting his escape, but were subse. quently released. The policeman Noyles, who had attempted to dispatch Wilson after the governor bad shot him, was at last accounts under surveillance.
This incident, which has naturally produced a most painful impres. sion, calls for prompt and energetic action on the part of the authorities to secure the apprehension and trial of Argüello. You will express the President's earnest hope that full justice shall be done. I am, etc.,
W. Q. GRESHAM.
Mr. Baker to Mr. Gresham.
UNITED STATES LEGATION, Bluefields, May 11, 1894. (Received May 21, 1894.) Sir: I desire to submit to you a letter from Gen. C. A. Lacayo in regard to the escape from prison in this city of Norberto Argüello, who rests under the charge of deliberately murdering an American citizen named William Wilson, at Rama, on the night of the 22d of March last. I also submit three affidavits made by three reputable young men personally known to me, going to show that on the day the prisoner walked . away from the jail he was seen both in the forenoon and the afternoon lounging outside of the jail uuguarded. His cell door was open on the two occasions referred to, as was the outside door of the jail, and the prisoner went and came at his pleasure. A woman, known as his mistress, had been permitted to come and go with perfect freedom, and she bad, it is stated to me on good authority, been with him for the past several days. This last fact was admitted last evening by Gen. Lacayo, and in the
same conversation he stated that she had $300 or $40(!, and had undoubtedly bribed the jailer to allow him to escape.
I now most respectfully submit that the dignity of the United States maken it incumbent upon the Government to demand in unequivocal terms the removal of Gen. Lacayo from this post. I am, etc.,
(Inclosure.— Translation.) General Lacayo to Mr. Baker.
BLUEFIELDS, May 10, 1894. HONORABLE MINISTER: Last night, between 7 and 8 o'clock, I was very disagreeably surprised by receiving notice of the escape of two prisoners from the jail of the city; and, inquiring who they were, was informed that one of them was Norberto Argüello, accused of the murder of the American, William Wilson.
This incident is very disagreeable to me, as I gave very explicit orders to the governor of police of this town to keep the criminal in close con. finement.
This employé assures me that the orders he gave the jailer could not be more clear. Immediately on receiving this information I called the governor of police with the object of employing all necessary activity for the capture of Argüello, and to return him to jail. There are enough people assisting the police to capture the criminal by guarding the various points in the bush and the outlets close to the city, and to intercept his passage to another point.
Besides, I have written to the authorities of the Republic in the interior, so that the criminal will be captured wherever found.
In this incident I have fears that there is a hidden hand, an enemy of Nicaragua, lent as an instrument to raise difficulties with a friendly Government.
You must believe me, and in the name of my Government I promise that Argüello shall be tried according to our laws and in accordance to justice.
The case was following its course. The criminal has been examined, and after his confession of faults, and on Friday, the 11th instant, was to have been taken to Rama for final trial before a tribunal of justice. With my highest considerations, I have the honor to sign myself,
CARLOS A. LACAYO.
Mr. Gresham to Mr. Baker. No. 109.)
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, May 12, 1894. SIR: Instructions were addressed to you on the 6th ultimo, at Bluefields, directing you to investigate the killing of William Wilson by the Nicaraguan acting governor of Rama on the 22d of March last, and to secure, if possible, the arrest and trial of his slayer.
Since then the report of Captain Watson, of the San Francisco, on the same subject, has been received, as also your dispatch of May 2, on the general situation at Bluefields, in which reference is made to the Wilson murder.
As it appears from your dispatch to be doubtful whether, in view of the irregularity of mail communications with Bluefields, you will have then received my instructions of the 26th yltimo, I send you a duplicate copy thereof.
Captain Watson's report, and the evidence in the case, leave no doubt that Wilson was shot by the acting governor of Rama, Norberto Argüello, without provocation; that Noyles, one of his policemen, was accessory to the murder and was himself only prevented from actually dispatching Wilson by the snapping of his cartridge; that the dying man was most harshly treated by his unfeeling jailers; and that the promises of the superior agents of Nicaragua touching the arrest and punishment of the murderer have not been kept.
Notwithstanding these specific orders stated to have been given by Señor Madriz to Governor Torres, of Rama, to arrest Argüello and hold him for trial, the governor bas permitted the murderer to go at large. It is notorious and uncontradicted that Argüello has been at liberty in the town of Bluefields under circumstances which establish the culpability of Governor Torres in sheltering bim from the consequences of his crime, and emphasize the indifference of the superior Nicaraguan agents to their plain duty in the matter. More than this, Governor Torres has replaced Argüello's accomplice, Noyles, in active police service, he having been, as you report, promoted to the position of chief of police of the town of Rama.
The whole business is marked by such contempt for the most obvious dictates of justice, and such disregard of the simplest obligations of international duty, as to call for urgent and solemn protest on the part of this Government.
I am directed by the President to instruct you to demand that the Government of Nicaragua shall manifest its disapproval of the conduct of its officers in terms admitting of no misapprehension. You will ask that the culprit, Argüello, be brought to immediate trial, that his protector, Governor Torres, be dismissed from office, that the murder. er's accomplice, Noyles, be dealt with according to his deserts, and that besides the atonement so to be made by the Government of Nicaragua for the action of its agents in this case, it shall adopt such measures as will leave no doubt of its sincere purpose and ability to protect the lives and interests of the peaceable citizens of the United States dwelling in the reservation, and to punish crimes committed against them.
Captain Watson's report shows that he fully understands his duty in the premises and is prepared to perform it. Your course in fulfillment of this instruction should make it clear that you, as well as Captain Watson, are obeying the instructions of this Government. I am, etc.,
W. Q. GRESHAM.
Mr. Uhl to Mr. Baker.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, May 14, 1894. SIR:
The additional affidavits you submit abundantly con. firm the Department's judgment upon the evidence previously reported, and establish the justice of the demands in every particular which Mr. Gresham's instructiou of the 12th instant directed you to make. You now state that you have 6 a pledge that the petty military governor of Rama shall be deprived of his office.”
It will be gratifying to learn that this pledge had been fulfilled in advance of the reasonable demand you were instructed to make, and it is confidently expected that the further assurance given you of the prompt trial of the guilty parties and their consequent punishment upon conviction will be faithfully observed.
Adding that the views and wishes of this Government in relation to this aggravated case may be best made known by reading to the min. ister for foreign affairs Mr. Gresham's instructions of the 12th instant, furnishing him with a copy thereof, and that it is assumed you will have followed the usual course, I am, etc.,
EDWIN F. UHL.