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wanton outrages inflicted upon him. His conduct was in all respects legal, circumspect, and respectful to the public authorities, and to individuals; yet he was imprisoned by both parties, loaded with irons, thrown into the most loathsome dungeons, kept from starvation while there by the charity of his countrymen, his assassination attempted, his health by a wanton exposure in a sickly climate and season destroyed, and his mind for a time became partially alienated in consequence of his severe mental and bodily sufferings. No particular cause for this barbarous treatment has ever been assigned, though sought for at the time by the sufferer and his friends; none has since been alleged.”
The American commissioners awarded “ for imprisonment, barbarous treatment, loss of health, and suffering in consequence thereof,” $10,000, and “for loss of his employment, and expenses resulting therefrom, the sum of,” $6,000. The umpire, February 23, 1842, rendered an award in accordance with that of the American commissioners.
Comunission under the convention between the United States and Mexico of April 11, 1839.
Olaimants were the owners of certain merHammonds' Case. chandise which they were transporting from
St. Louis, in Missouri, to Santa Fé, then (in 1828) in Mexico. It had been transported in a wagon most of the way, but because of mountains and bad roads it became necessary to transfer a portion of the goods to pack horses. While these were on their way to the custom-house in Santa Fé, in charge of a Mexican driver employed for the purpose, they were seized on the pretense that he intended to smuggle them, and without any judicial proceedings or trial whatever were sold and the proceeds converted by the Mexican authorities.
The American commissioners awarded damages for the taking of the goods and the umpire sustained them.
The claimants also asked damages for alleged wrongful action of the customs authorities in 1830, in withholding permits for the transportation of goods. It seems that they at the time took some action against the authorities, the precise nature and results of which were not disclosed. The American commissioners awarded $500 on this score, with interest, but the umpire disallowed it.
Eli E. and Jervis S. Hammond v. Mexico: Commission under the convention between the United States and Mexico of April 11, 1839.
“ The claimants above named, citizens of Bolles's Case. the United States, being temporarily domiciled
at Monterey, in California, in the year 1840, were, with some sixty or seventy other foreigners, forcibly seized and imprisoned by order of the governor of California upon the pretext that they had attempted to excite an insurrection. The prisoners were placed on board a Mexican vessel and carried to Santa Barbara, where they were confined about ten days. They were then sent to San Blas where they were again confined as close prisoners. From the latter place they were sent to Tepic, where they were brought to trial before a Mexican tribunal, by which they were fully acquitted and discharged. During the whole time of their imprisonment they were treated with extreme harshness and cruelty, and frequently refused the means of subsistence for several days together. From this inhuman and barbarous treatment many of the prisoners would doubtless have perished, but for the charitable interposition of strangers, who furnished them with food and by other means mitigated their sufferings. The claimants upon their return to Monterey, after their acquittal, found the little property which they had left confiscated by order of the governor, and they were left without any means of subsistence. The seizure and imprisonment of the men appears to have been wholly without cause, as there was not the slightest evidence to show that they had taken part in the political disturbances of the country. It was a wanton act of arbitrary power and without even the color of law to justify or excuse it, and could have been prompted only by unfounded suspicions or a hatred of foreigners. In the opinion of the board the claims * * * are valid, and the same are allowed accordingly.”
Cases of Joseph Bolles and John Christian : Opinion of Messrs. Evans, Smith, and Paine, commissioners, December 4, 1850, under the act of Congress of March 3, 1849. Anaward was made in favor of Bolles for $2.821.25$1,850 principal, and $971.25 interest; and in favor of Christian for $1.374.50–$902 principal, and $172.50 interest. Awards were made in other cases growing out of the same transaction. All these awards were for losses of property. It appeared that the Mexican Government at the prisoners' release offered an indemnity for their imprisonment, amounting in some cases to $250 and in others to $300 or $400, and that, with the exception of one Isaac Graham, they accepted it, through the American minister at the City of Mexico, reserving, however, their right to claim for loss of property. Graham's case was the most aggravated of all, “He was," said the commissioners, “shot at and wounded, cut with a sword, and
in various ways treated with exceeding cruelty and indignity. He was possessed of considerable property and was doing a profitable business as a distiller, and sustained great loss in consequence of his long absence." He refused to receive the amount that was offered to him. The commissioners awarded him for injuries in person and in property $38,125-principal $25,000 and interest $13,125.
About the time of the invasion of Sonora by Hannum's Case. Crabb and his followers from the United
States, in 1857, claimant, a citizen of the United States, was arrested and taken before the proper authorities for examination on suspicion of complicity with the filibusters, but was discharged after a brief detention. The commissioners dismissed the claim. “Claimant,” said Mr. Wadsworth,“ seems to have had a fair hearing and a reasonably prompt acquittal and discharge. * * * I do not think the action of the authorities in the premises, under the surrounding circumstances of alarm and danger, created by the action of citizens of the United States, forms any just ground of claim by the United States." A. B. Hannum v. Mexico, No. 321, convention of July 4, 1868.
The commissioners, Mr. Palacio delivering Ballenger's Case. the opinion, refused to allow a claim growing
out of the prosecution of certain citizens of the United States in Mexico for carrying Mexican doubloons (gold coins) from Durango to Mazatlan, on the coast, without a permit, the laws of Mexico prohibiting the carrying of coined money from the interior of the country into the seaports, unless a written permit should have been previously obtained. “The Mexican authorities,” said Mr. Palacio, “by complying with these legal provisions, have injured nobody and limited themselves to fulfill their duty.”
Charles D. Gibbes, Exr. of Henry Ballenger, v. Mexico, No. 134, convention of July 4, 1868, MS. Op. I. 136.
In 1854 President Santa Anna issued a deHalstead's Case. cree reviving a Mexican law of 1828, forbid
ding foreigners to enter or travel in Mexico without passports, subject, if they were found without them, to arrest and detention, unless they could prove that their omission was not culpable. The occasion for reviving this law was found chiefly in the attempts made from the United States by Walker and other filibusters to invade Spanish-American countries. After the revival of the law, one Halstead went from San Francisco to Acapulco, tben in the possession of General Alvarez, to obtain a cargo of corn. He had no passport. After remaining at Acapulco for several days he went to Manzanillo, but failing to obtain a cargo there went to Colima, in the interior, where he was informed that the corn could be purchased. At Colima he was arrested for being without a passport, the penalty for which was a fine of $20 and imprisonment for ten days.
The commissioners being unable to agree, the case was referred to the umpire, Dr. Lieber, who said:
“At a period when civil commotions were chronic in Mexico and when America almost looked with shame upon Walker's repeated piratical attempts to establish a “military democracy,' as he called it, in countries with which his country was at peace, at this period Halstead entered Mexico without a passport, committing not “a criminal violation of the laws of Mexico'-passports are a matter of policebut an offence for which he was arrested according to the laws of Mexico. He was legally arrested and kept legally in prison for a couple of weeks, but he was held a prisoner for something like four months, plainly not according to right and justice.”
A. H. Halstead v. Mexico, No. 18, convention of July 4, 1868, MS. Op. I. 251. The umpire having decided that Halstead was illegally detained in prison, the commissioners awarded him $1,600.
“William Collier resided for fifteen years in Collier's Case. Mexico, chiefly, or wholly so, at Tepic, in the
Mexican State of Jalisco, on the coast of the Pacific. Claimant (Collier) was the superintendent, or director, as it was called there, of a cotton factory, belonging to the firm of Barron, Forbes & Co. In January 1856 the unfortunate country was once more disturbed after the expulsion of Santa Anna and during the attempts made to settle a government of the Liberals. * * * Barron and Forbes were expelled from Tepic; the cotton factory was assaulted by some persons who were driven away, but the business went on, when, toward the end of January, Collier attracted the displeasure of the Mexican national guards and of the authorities, perhaps by discountenancing the entering of the people occupied in the factory into the national guards, a body of volun. teer militia, or by other acts, real or merely suspected. According to his own statement he did not act wisely toward the Mexican authorities. Claimant, as appears from several of his own letters on the docket and from the answer which he re
ceived from Mr. Gadsden, the American minister at Mexico, seems to have been of a temper pot too placid or patient, which may very naturally have contributed to the feelings or views entertained by the Mexican authorities toward him.
On the 28th of February Collier and his brother-in-law, Hale, were assaulted and robbed. Collier was wounded, whether severely or not does not appear, by a man, Jesus Gutierrez Garcia (called acting adjutant of the national guards), saying, as it is given in the papers on the docket, that he committed this crime at the instigation of José Landeros Cos, commandant of the guard, and of someone else, in order to ascertain whether Collier and Hale carried any interesting papers about them. (See paper No. 39 and others.) The whole statement is somewhat undefined, and, what seems surprising, not plainly mentioned again in the claim for damages.
“On the 2d of April Collier was arrested by Pens, the political chief, at the request of Acibo, the prosecuting fiscal or public prosecutor, and confined at the barracks of the national guard until April 5th-three days—when he was discharged on parole, and after forty days more the whole prosecution was abandoned. While Collier was imprisoned the factory was searched, the arms which Collier kept by license from the authorities for the protection of the factory were seized, and it is mentioned that during this search people outside the factory called, "Death to the foreigners !' and `Death to Guillermo Collier! Everything indicated a suspicion, prob. ably a pretty general suspicion, against Collier, either that he favored the cause opposed to those then in power, or that he was not loyally disposed toward Mexico or its rulers in general, we have no means of ascertaining which, at this distance of time and space.
“We have, then, two alleged wrongs complained of, the robbery of Collier by Garcia, and Collier's detention in the barracks for three days, while, as the learned commissioner of the United States urges, the constitution of 1824, in force in April 1856, declares that no one shall be detained on suspicion only (solamente por indicios) for more than sixty hours. I have not the constitution of 1824 with me, but I readily admit the citation. * * * But it appears that there was no constitution existing at the time claimant was arrested. The federal constitution of 1824 ceased to exist in 1853, and from that date to February 12, 1857, there was no constitution in