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Mr. Gresham to Mr. Baker. No. 187.]
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, June 13, 1894. SIR: Your dispatches of May 21 and 28, 1894, have been received. They both relate to the case of Argüello, the murderer of William Wilson at Rama.
It will be gratifying to the President to learn that his just expectations have been fulfilled by the visitation of the condign displeasure of the Nicaraguan Government upon the culpable officials whose connivance frustrated the immediate ends of justice by effecting the cul. prit's escape; and it would be additionally satisfactory to be informed that Argüello has been retaken and that the course of law in this singularly aggravated case will be assured. I am, etc.,
Mr. Guzmán to Mr. Gresham.
Washington, July 9, 1894. SIR: As I have had the honor to state to you orally on more than one occasion, my Government is firmly convinced that the Government of the United States bas received erroneous reports as well relative to the murder of the American citizen Wilson as in regard to the supposed complicity of the commissioner of Mosquito, Señor Lacayo, in the flight of the criminal Argüello.
The homicide in question aroused the greatest indignation in the Government and in the people of Nicaragua, and public opinion was at once pronounced against the perpetrator of that horrible act.
Commissioner Lacayo acted from the first with energy and diligence, and, faithfully interpreting the wishes of our Government, ordered the speedy capture of the delinquent and his continement in the most secure prison which exists in the reservation. At the same time he reported the unfortunate occurrence to the superior authority and expressed the sentiments of sorrow awakened in him by that monstrous crime.
From the investigations made by my Government there is not found even the slightest suspicion that Señor Lacayo may be responsible in any way whatever for the escape of Argüello, an event which he sincerely laments, as every honorable man would do under similar circumstances, It is known that the commissioner, as well as the other Nicaraguan authorities, has made and is making all possible efforts to accomplish the capture of Argüello, his subjection to trial, and his punishment as he deserves. In the meanwhile he is being tried in contumaciam, in conformity with the prescriptions of our laws.
Zealous as my Government has ever been that the administration of justice in Nicaragua be speedy, effective, and equitable, it can but feel a lively interest, and does in fact so feel, that the murder of a foreign citizen shall not go unpunished. Consequently, your excellency must rest assured that all needful means and recourses will be invoked for the apprehension of the fugitive delinquent, thus averting the impunity of the author of the horrible act of which the American citizen Wilson was the victim.
Your excellency is not unaware that my Government decreed the removal of Governor Torres as soon as he was suspected of complicity in the flight of Argüello, and that step was taken before Mr. Baker brought to the knowledge of our minister of foreign affairs the purport of your excellency's note of the 12th of May last, thus conspicuously demonstrating that it acts with rectitude and severity in the punishment of the guilty.
In so far as relates to Charles Noyles, my Government has already ordered that he be put on trial. Thus, it may be affirmed that nothing has been left undone on the part of Nicaragua to cause justice to follow its course in respect to the bloody crime committed by Argüello.
In view of the foregoing statements and given (dada) the innocence of Commissioner Lacayo, so far as the flight of the delinquent is concerned, my Government believes that that of the United States, upon learning the truth of the facts. will reconsider and withdraw the request that Señor Lacayo be removed from his post, as an act of friendship toward a sister Republic which has ever looked up to this great nation as the safeguard of the sovereign rights, autonomy, and independence of the Latin-American peoples.
Knowing the uprightness of views which characterizes President Cleveland, and in view of his high sentiments of justice manifested under all circumstances, my Government thinks that upon informing himself of the true state of things he will wish to offer to my country an additional proof of friendship and sympathy by acceding to that which Nicaragua asks through me.
I beg your excellency to be pleased to bring this matter to the high knowledge of His Excellency the President of the United States, and to accept, once more, the protests of my bighest consideration.
Mr. Guzmán to Mr. Gresham.
Washington, July 27, 1894. SIR: As I had the honor yesterday verbally to inform your excellency that I would do, I now send you two documents which go to show that my Government has acted with the utmost rectitude and good faith in the case of the murder of the American citizen, Wilson, which is so much to be deplored. All possible efforts have been and will continue to be made in order to capture the offender, for, as I have repeatedly assured your excellency, my Government earnestly desires to prevent so heinous a crime from going unpunished. I reiterate, etc.,
[Inclosure 1.- Translation.]
BLUEFIELDS, April 2, 1894. HONORABLE SIR: I have the honor to transcribe to you a communi. cation which I have this day addressed to the inspector-general of the Atlantic coast:
While you are at Rama, engaged in the performance of the duty which I this morning had the honor to assign to you, I wish you to devote special attention to securing the arrest and imprisonment of the criminal Norberto Argiiello, who murdered the American, Mr. Wilson. This is urgently required by justice and by the necessity of giving a warning to others who may be criminally disposad. I trust that you will spare no pains to attain this end.
In bringing the foregoing to your notice, I take pleasure in further stating that I have sent a telegram, via San Juan del Norte, to the minister of justice, requesting bim to communicate with the judicial authorities of all places in the interior where the aforesaid criminal may be arrested, and that I have sent
a circular note to the governors of San Juan del Norte, Rio Grande, Prinzapolka, and the district of Cape Gracias a Dios. With all consideration, etc.,
(Inclosure 2.) Mr. Madriz to the Governor and Intendent of San Juan del Norte.
BLUEFIELDS, April 2, 1894. SIR: Norberto Argüello, who killed an American citizen, has escaped from the jail at Rama. If he comes to San Juan del Norte arrest hiin and send him under a strong guard to the governor (of Pol.) of the district of Siquia, who is the proper magistrate to take cognizance of his case. Your obedient servant,
(Inclosure 3.- Translation.)
BLUEFIELDS, June 20, 1894. SIR: I have learned that Norberto Argüello, who has committed the crime of murder, is at Bocas del Toro. This criminal made his escape from the jail here on the 9th ultimo, and the aggravating circumstance in the case is that this is his second offense, he having previously escaped from the jail at Rama. Argüello killed an American citizen named William Wilson, and, owing to the fact that the murdered man was a foreigner, the act has given rise to a difficulty with the Ameri. can Republic. In view of the cordial relations existing between the Government of Columbia and that of Nicaragua, and of the fraternal bonds which have united the two nations, I have thought that a request from me would be favorably received by you, especially since public justice has been doubly outraged by the criminal, and since the credit of the Nicaraguan authorities may be said to be at stake, inasmuch as they are charged, although unjustly, with partiality in this matter.
I beg you, in virtue of the foregoing, to be pleased to issue orders for the arrest of the aforesaid Argüello, and to place him in secure custody until the minister of foreign affairs can present a formal demand for his extradition. Offering you reciprocity in similar cases, I have the pleasure, etc.,
R. CABEZAS, Commissioner,
WITHDRAWAL OF CONSUL BRAIDA'S EXEQUATUR.
Mr. Baker to Mr. Gresham.
Managua. (Received April 1, 1894.) With telegraph down and low water in river, communication with Bluefields uncertain and almost impossible. Government here without late advices. Braida went to Bluefields to report facts of situation. Have heard nothing from him. British brought Nicaragua soldiers away and disarmed them. By agreement mixed commission of seven governs temporarily. American merchants dissatisfied. British troops on ship. Nicaragua withdrawn exequatur from Braida. Important you send judicious successor immediately.
Mr. Gresham to Mr. Baker, No. 160.1
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, April 26, 1894. SIR: In yours of March 20, you report the complaint made to you by the Government of Nicaragua that Mr. Braida, the U. S. consul at San Juan del Norte, has been in active sympathy with the British armed occupancy of Bluefields.
The Department approves your letter to Mr. Braida of March 19, calling for a statement of his action, and especially commends the following passage of that letter:
I deem it my duty to caution you against doing anything by word or deed which could properly be construed into unfriendliness to the Government of Nicaragua, or to its claim of sovereign rights over that territory [the Mosquito Reservation).
Your later telegram of April 1 reported that the Nicaraguan Government had withdrawn Mr. Braida’s exequatur.
In a dispatch dated March 26, reporting his correspondence with you on the subject, Mr. Braida says:
Furthermore, I beg to state that, having been without instructions, I have not “acted" at all, and have most conscientiously restricted myself to maintain order and peace and to quiet the prevailing excitement during day and night. I was in duty bound not to make ourselves a party in the arrangement between Great Britain and Nicaragua, knowing that [the] arrangements they were about to enter into would be detrimental to the best interests of the United States, and also against the most vitalinterests of our citizens residing and doing business in the Mosquito Reservation.
In his letter to you of March 26, Mr. Braida disclaims any action inimical to Nicaragua.
It is proper that you should, upon receipt of this instruction, if you have not already done so, invite from the Government of Nicaragua a 1ull statement of the grounds upon which it has withdrawn the exequatur of Mr. Braida. It is desirable that this Department's appreciation of Nicaraguan action in this regard should not rest upon mere inference. I am, etc.,
W. Q. GRESHAM.
Mr. Gresham to Mr. Baker. No. 170.)
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, May 12, 1894. SIR: I note what you say in your report of the Mosquito situation, dated the 2d instant, concerning the revocation of Consul Braida's exequatur.
The Nicaraguan minister has advised me of its temporary renewal along with that of his British colleague, Mr. Bingham.
I am disposed to await the result of the formal inquiry which my instruction of the 26th ultimo directed you to make, and meanwhile I am reluctant to attribute to the course taken by Nicaragua the biased motives you apprehend, and am content to suspend judgment until the full facts shall be elicited. I am, etc.,
W. Q. GRESHAM.
Mr. Uhl to Mr. Baker.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, June 14, 1894. SIR: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your dispatch dated May 28 last, in which you recite a conversation bad by you on the 21st of May with the President of Nicaragua relative to the restoration of Mr. ,Sigmund C. Braida to his office as consul of the United States at San Juan del Norte, in the conduct of which he was suspended some weeks ago in consequence of the withdrawal of his exequatur by the Nicaraguan Government.
The President informed you that he had temporarily restored Mr. Braida’s exequatur; but you replied that at the time of Mi. Braida's "removal from office" you had appointed" Dr. Henry De Soto consul in his stead, that the Nicaraguan Government had recognized Dr. De Soto as such consul, and that Mr. Braida could not be restored to the office without first procuring Dr. De Soto's resignation, which step you did not regard as advisable until and unless Mr. Braida's permanent restoration should be assented to.
The withdrawal of Mr. Braida's exequatur did not operate as a removal from office, but only as a suspension of his authority to perform the duties thereof. No vacancy was thereby created which required filling by the appointment of another person; and, furthermore, a minister has no authority to appoint a consul. The President of the United States alone is authorized to appoint a consul, and then by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. Your authority extended only to the temporary installation of an unofficial person to preserve the consular archives and to perform such duties as in the emergency he might lawfully undertake without authorization according to law. Your action in designating Dr. De Soto to act in Mr. Braida's stead, and in obtaining local permission for him so to act, was in legal effect nothing more than appointment of a custodian of the consulate and archives during the suspension of the regularly appointed officer. The restoration of Mr. Braida's exequatur, therefore, whether temporary or permanent, would operate as a rehabilitation of his suspended authority to perform consular functions and qualify him to supersede Mr. De Soto in the custody of the office, without the for. mality of a resignation or other express determination of Mr. De Soto's connection therewith.
You are therefore instructed to assent to the President's offer to restore Mr. Braida's exequatur, and to permit him to resume charge of the office. I am, etc.,
EDWIN F. UHL.
PROTECTION OF MORAVIAN MISSION AND MISSIONARIES IN MOS
Mr. Baker to Mr. Gresham.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Managua, October 22, 1894. (Received November 13.) SIR: In acknowledging receipt of your No. 251 of September 25, 1894, relative to the fears expressed for the safety of the Moravian Mission and missionaries in the Mosquito territory, I have the honor to