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which should have been followed in conformity with the reqnirements of the convention between the United States and Spain. Whether authority may have been delefated to, or exercised by, the authorities in Cuba with reference to Spanish subjects, t is not to be supposed that the government of Spain would in any manner sanction the acts of its civil and military officers done in contravention of the rights of citirens of the United States guaranteed by the treaty of 1795, rights which could not be rescinded, suspended, or annulled without the consent of the United States. So far s any such supposition from the views of the President that he is persuaded that it s only necessary to bring to the notice of the government of His Highness the Regent the frequent instances in which the authorities in Cuba have deprived American citirens of liberty, property, and sometimes even of life, without regarding the reciprocal engagements entered into between the two countries, to insure such friendly and prompt iction on the part of Spain as will repair the wrongs already done, so far as they can be repaired, and prevent the repetition of such injuries in the future.
The decree of embargo published by the captain general of Cuba is an extraordinary Xercise of supreme power, outside of the ordinary and regular course of legal and judiial action. If properly exercised with respect to the subjects of Spain and their proprty, it appears to be in plain contravention of the rights secured by treaty to the citizens of the United States. And if we pass from the decree itself, and examine the methods by which it has been executed, it will be found that these also have been arbitrary, summary, and unusual, and contrary to the provisions of the treaty which should bave controlled and regulated the acts of the authorities in Cuba affecting the proparty of American citizens.
The proceedings of the case of Mr. Joseph Hernandez, which are presumed to be the same as have taken place in the other cases enumerated in the appendix to this note, may be cited as an example of the manner in which the decree of embargo has been arried into effect. Mr. Hernandez, a civil engineer by profession, has resided in the United States some twelve years, where he married, and afterward, in conformity with the laws of the United States, became a naturalized citizen thereof. He is the owuer of certain valuable lands in the island of Cuba, situated in the district of Vereda Nueva, and kpown as "El Retiro.” On the 25th of February last a decree was published in the "Gaceta de la Habana," in which it is set forth that “his excellency the superior politiral governor has considered it convenient to declare comprehended in article 1 of the circular of the 20th of April of last year Mr. José de Jesus Hernandez y Macias, who resides abroad. This being an order from his excellency, it is published in the Gaceta for general information, and in order that the competent authorities proceed to seize all his property in accordance with the above-mentioned circular. Havana, 24th February, 1870. (Signed,) The secretary, Cesáreo Fernandez."
It appears, therefore, that the decree of embargo is executed by the same executive authority which issued it. It does not seem to be a law which the courts of justice are permitted to administer. It is rather an edict, enforced by a succession of orders not less extraordinary and imperial than the original fiat on which they are founded. Although it is understood that the courts of law are open in the city of Havana, where the proceedings took place, there is no evidence that the authorities filed any information or complaint against any of the citizens of the United States whose property has been confiscated; it does not appear that any citation was issued or published or served upon the parties, their agents, factors, or attorneys, notifying them to appear and show cause why judgment should not be pronounced against them; nor that they have been afforded any opportunity to be heard in their own defense, either in person or by their advocates, solicitors, and attorneys.
On the contrary, the Government of the United States is informed that the lands and property of many of its citizens have been taken from them without color of law, and in the exercise of the extraordinary functions vested in or exercised for the occasion by the supreme political authority of the island ; that these unusual measures have been enforced against citizens of the United States who were not at the time in Cuba, and who had not been within the jurisdiction of Spain during the disturbances in that island; that they have been deprived of their estates without notice and without a hearing; that from time to time the names of these parties respectively have been publisbod by the executive anthority, with a declaration that their property is embargoed, and thereupon their goods, lands, and tenements have been immediately seized, without opportunity to the persons interested, or their agents, to be present at any inquiry or investigation in regard thereto, or at the taking of any testimony that may have been received and considered in the premises. And it therefore appears to the President that the sweeping decrees of April, 1869, so far as they have been enforced in Cuba against citizens of the United States, are inconsistent with the convention between the two countries; and that the proceedings taken to execute those decrees are arbitrary and unusual, without the safeguards to personal rights and the rights of property which ordinarily accompany the administration of justice in legal tribunals, and which are guaranteed by treaty to American citizens within the jurisdiction of Spain.
And I am accordingly instructed to ask for the restoration to the citizens of the United States of their property and estates, so far as the same has been arbitrarily embargoed by the anthorities in Cuba, in violation of the provisions of the seventh article of the treaty of 1795, between the United States and Spain, and for such reasonale and just indemnity for the wrongful seizure and detention of their property as will compensate the aggrieveil parties. The provisions of the treaty of 1795 seem to have been likewise disregarded by the authorities of Cuba in the arrest, imprisonment, and puuishment of certain American citizens. A brief memorandum of these cases will be found appended to this communication. These arrests are represented to have been arbitrary and without legal process or cause shown; the parties have been placed in close confinement, denied all communication with their friends, and prohibited from consulting such advocates, solicitors, and attorneys as they desired to employ; in a few instances, after an imprisonment of more or less duration, the parties have been released, while others are still held in custody. In some cases the accused have been condemned by a military tribunal, without the opportunity of access to counsel or witnesses, or other means of preparing for their defense, such as accused persons should have enjoyed; and several of these summary trials, when ending in conviction, have been followed by the immediate execution of the sentence of death. The President is persuade! that the government of His Highness the Regent will see in these proceediugs grare violations of the rights secured to American citizens by the treaty of 1795. It is provided by the seventh article of the treaty that the arrest of a citizen of the United States. for an offense committed within the Spanish jurisdiction, shall be made and prosecutel by authority of law and according to the regular course of proceedings usual in such cases; that the accused sball have the aid and assistance of counsel in his trial; ani that such counsel shall have free access to be present at all proceedings in the cause, and at the taking of all testimony which may be produced on the trial. In the cases which I have now the honor to bring to the notice of your excellency, I regret to be compelled to state that none of these safeguards, so essential to the administration of justice and the vindication of innocence, have been observed. So far as relates to the parties concerned there might as well have been no laws, no courts, no establisheri course of legal procedure in Cuba. The arrests, the trials-when trials have taken place—and the poishments inflicted, are all represented to have been exceptional ani arbitrary acts of executive or military authority. In presenting these facts and cos. siderations to your excellency, I am instructed to say that the President hopes that itmediate steps will be taken for the release of all the citizens of the United States who may be held in custody in Cuba, in violation of the treaty of 1795 between the Unite States and Spain; or for their immediate trial under the guarantees and with the rights secured by that treaty.
I am further instructed to invite the co-operation of your excellency in arriving at some decision as to the manner in which the two goveraments may most convenient's ascertain and determine the amount which should come to each claimant for the illegal detention of his person or his property, so that the several parties whose rights bare been violated may receive early and equitable indemnification and satisfaction for the injuries they have sustained. This suggestion is made by my Government in the interest of peace, of justice, and of good will, in order to secure a measure of damages in each case which shall be just as between the two governments.
It is extremely desirable that the investigation should be conducted in the United States. It cannot be done in Spain without subjecting the parties to unnecessary espense and delay. It cannot proceed in Cuba, at present, without subjecting many of their to personal danger. I hope, therefore, it may be agreeable to your excellency ta appoint a time when we may have a conference on this subject, which I do not perm. myself to doubt would have a satisfactory result. If, for example, the government of His Highness the Regent would designate or authorize his excellency the minister cf Spain in Washington to choose one of the Spanish consuls in the United States, or some other suitable person, to act in conjunction with an agent of the United States to be named for this purpose, I am confident that the inquiry could be so conducted with convenience to all parties, and that the conclusions reached would be satisfactory to both governments.
And I am also instructed to express on behalf of my Government, in the interest of the continued good understanding which the United States wish to maintain with Spain, the strong desire of the President that the cabinet of Madrid will confer fresh powers upon Mr. Lopez Roberts, or upon such other person on the other side of the Atlantic as may be selected for that purpose, to arrange with the Government of th: United States the class of questions presented in this note. The authorities in Cuba seem to be clothed with ample power to do the acts which have been the snbject et the present and of foriner comunications; but when redress is sought the matter is transferred to the distant cabinet of Madrid, where it is often found necessary to remand the case to Cuba for information; and thus the most urgent questions, oftes involving the liberty and even the lives of American citizens, are suspended, to the grievous injury of the parties and at the hazard of irritation from the delay, ! which the necessity is not apparent to the impatient sufferer or to the public.
It appears from the note addressed to the Department of State, on the 24th ultimo, by the representative of Spain in Washington, Ñr. Lopez Roberts, that in view of the favorable situation in the island of Cuba, the government of His Highness the Regent deems it no longer necessary to continue the powers heretofore given to Mr. Roberts. And in asking for this suggestion the attention of your excellency, I am directed to state that if the situation in Cuba be so favorable as to render these powers unnecessary, it is hoped that the arrests and embargoes complained of will cease, and that immediate reparation will be made for those that have occurred. The President has respected the Spanish claim of sovereignty over the island of Cuba during the preseut sontest, against a strong sympathetic pressure from without. He has scrupulously performed all the duties imposed upon him by treaties and by international law, to restrain and prevent the citizens of the United States from doing acts prejudicial to Spain. And when it is considered that the struggle in Cuba could not fail to engage he sympathies of a neighboring people who had themselves thrown off the domination of a European power and established a republican form of government, your excellency will appreciate the high sense of public duty which animated the President in thio
Recution of his difficult task. The American Government, while evincing its profound 'espect for the obligations imposed upon it by treaties and its relations of amity with Spain, cannot do less than recognize at the same time the susceptibility with which he people of the United States regard offenses committed at home or abroad against he persons or property of their fellow-citizens. It is therefore incumbent upon the President to insist upon the rights Spain owes to American citizens by virtue of the reaty of 1795, with the same firmness he has manifested on his part in restraining all ersons within the jurisdiction of the United States from acts injurious to Spain.
The treaty of 1795, negotiated on the part of Spain by the Prince of Peace and ratiied during the administration of George Washington, recalls some of the earliest raditions of the cordial and uninterrupted friendship which has been so long preserved etween the United States and Spain.
In the name of these traditions and for the sake of that friendship, I appeal to your xcellency to cause such instructions to be given to the authorities in Cuba as will revent further injuries to citizens of the United States who may be found within hat jurisdiction or who may have property there. There was no moment of the long nd exhausting civil war in the United States when Spanish subjects within our terriory were injured in person or property without due process of law, or were refused Dy of the safeguards which belong to the administration of justice. And Spain wes it to the United States, as well as to her own high sense of honor and of justice, at her sovereignty shall not be used anywhere for the oppression and injury of the itizens of the republic. I avail myself of this opportunity to repeat to your excellency the assurances of y most distinguished consideration.
D. E. SICKLES. His Excellency the MINISTER OF STATE.
General Sickles to Mr. Fish.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Madrid, August 3, 1870. (Received August 17.) SIR: Last night, in the course of a conversation with the president
the council, I referred to my note of the 26th ultimo, addressed to · e minister of state, in regard to the treatment of American citizens [ Cuba, and expressed the hope that it would be agreeable to his kcellency to facilitate a satisfactory settlement of the questions I had resented. General Prim replied that he had already read my commucation, and that it should receive immediate attention; that he opreciated the friendly action of the President, and that he was (tremely anxious to remove every source of misunderstanding between e two countries; that the cabinet had now under consideration some
general rules for the guidance of the authorities in Cuba, which, when made the subject of precise instructions, would prevent the recurrence of similar causes of complaint; that he had no doubt instances had occurred in which, through an excess of zeal, the authorities in Cuba had proceeded without sufficient care and deliberation; and that in all cases of just complaint he was disposed to make proper reparation, He added that I would soon hear from Mr. Sagasta on the subject, and he hoped the action of the Spanish cabinet would be found satisfactory to the President. I remarked that your note to Mr. Roberts of the 9th June had been communicated to Congress; that the long list of grievances complained of had painfully impressed public opinion in the United States, and I was therefore all the more desirous that his excellency should appreciate the importance of prompt action.
I am, &c.,
D. E. SICKLES.
General Sickles to Mr. Fish.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Madrid, August 12, 1870. (Received September 6.) SIR: This being the usual day of reception at the ministry of state, I called upon Mr. Sagasta, with the intention of expressing my hope that I might soon receive an answer to my note of the 26th ultimo. After some conversation in regard to the news of the day, his excellency himself introduced the subject by saying that the delay in his answer had been occasioned by the necessity of obtaining from the ministry of ultramar fuller information in regard to various points that existed in the department of state; that these notes were now completed, and be would prepare his reply as soon as possible.
I said that I was very desirous to be able to transmit to my Government a satisfactory answer at the earliest possible day; adding that your dispatches on the subject had, in accordance with the custom of our Government, been communicated to Congress, and that the list of grievances presented had of course painfully impressed the public opin ion; that this consideration increased the importance of an early and satisfactory solution. I referred to the official accounts of the improved situation in Cuba, and urged this as another reason for the prompt redress of existing grievances, and the prevention of their recurrence in future.
His excellency expressed his hearty assent to these views. He said as soon as he had completed his examination of the questions in Toled. he would invite ine to a conference, and did not doubt we would come to a satisfactory arrangement. I am, &c.,
D. E. SICKLES.
General Sickles to Mr. Fish.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES, San Ildefonso, September 30, 1870. (Received October 18.) SIR: The following cable telegram has been dispatched from this legation, via Lisbon and Valencia Bay : Fish, Secretary of State, Washington :
Minister of state replies to my note of twenty-sixth July that Spanish government will agree to appointment of arbitrators to estiinate damages and fix indemnity to be paid, when certain preliminary conditions shall have been complied with, if it shall then appear that any American citizen has been aggrieved.
These conditions are: First. The claimants must prove their citizenship before the Spanish authorities. Second. Their respective claims must be separately presented, in due form, with parThird. It must appear that the claimants respectively have personally presented their reclamations to a Spanish court, or that the United States consul has intervened . in their behalf, without result.
The answer is long, evasive, and dilatory. Will forward copy by mail with my reply.
SICKLES. MADRID, September 29.
A duplicate copy was forwarded by mail to the United States miniser in London for retransmission by telegraph from that place. I am, &c.,
D. E. SICKLES.
Mr. Fish to General Sickles.
Washington, October 3, 1870.
Repeat from without result to end of dispatch. Opinion on terms eserved till full telegram can be read.
Mr. Fish to General Sickles.
Washington, October 10, 1870. ICKLES, Minister, Madrid : The conditions of the proposed arbitration mentioned in your telegram e entirely objectionable, and cannot be admitted. You characterize lem properly.