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Francisco, transmitted to you by this department under date of March 21, has been brought to your notice by the consul at Mazatlan, and that instructions have been forwarded to the minister of the United States at Mexico. The information has been given to the collectorat San Francisco. I have, &c.,

JOHN SHERMAN, Secretary.

No. 8.

Senator Sargent to Mr. Evarts.


Washington, March 25, 1877. (Received March 26.) SIR: Allow me to call your attention to the inclosed letters of C. Adolphe Low & Co., Parrott & Co., and M. Bromberger, merchants of San Francisco, relating to the seizure of the schooner Montana at Mazatlan, Mexico.

Instant and energetic action is needed to protect the rights of our citizens, whose property is illegally and capriciously detained by a subor. dinate Mexican officer.

I suggest the speediest communication possible with our minister at Mexico, and that the Navy Department instruct any naval vessel available to intervene to protect the interests of our citizens.

The clearest commercial rights of our citizens may be denied, and their property be confiscated by semi-barbarous officials, if this act goes unmolested. Respectfully,


San Francisco merchants to Mr. Sargent.

SAN FRANCISCO, March 16, 1877. Sir: As among your constituents and withal as citizens of our great republic, one of the noblest defenders of which you are, we may be pardoned for intruding on your valuable time, and at the same time most earnestly entreat you to procure for us that relief which shall again reaffirm one of our proud tenets: “ The security of property."

By the inclosed published petition, by us directed to the Hon. Thomas B. Shannon, as other publications by our press on the subject, you will find, that by an unwarranted power and usurped right our property is unlawfully detained at Mazatlan, Mexico, to our great loss and damage.

We have done all we can do in the premises to have relieved from detention that which is ours, but to no avail, and now submit this matter to your most careful and immediate attention, so that by the timely and energetic intercession of the proper authorities at Washington our property may be permitted to proceed to its destination. Your immediate and kindly services herein is most earnestly solicited by Yours, most respectfully,


C. Adolphe Low & Co. to Mr. Sargent.

SAN FRANCISCO, March 16, 1877. Sır: Inclosed we hand you clippings from the Daily Alta of this city, of March 8, 2, 10, which fully describe the detention of the American schooner Montana by the Mexican authorities of Mazatlan. We have made inquiries to ascertain whether the said authorities have any color of right in taking the action they have, but have failed to discover any.

In fact, the custom has been for years to dispatch vessels for Central America with partial cargoes which have filled the balance of their freight capacity with cargo for the intermediate ports, and this is the first instance where a vessel has been spized or detained on any such illegal grounds. That there can be no color of reason in such a demand is clear from the fact that every Pacific mail steamer, to or from Panama, lands and discharges parts of her cargo in Mexican ports.

The owner of the schooner Montana is with the vessel at Mazatlan, Mr. K. E. Eldridge, which is why he cannot at the moment personally apply to Washington for relief.

We understand that the United States steamer Lackawanna has been ordered to Mazatlan, and believe that her visit will result in benefit to our commerce as well as to right this individual wrong. We remain, &c.,


No. 9.

Mr. Erarts to Senator Sargent.


Washington, March 26, 1877. SIR: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of yesterday, accompanied by papers relative to the detention of the schooner Mo tana at Mazatlan.

In reply I have to state that some time since the case was reporiai to the department by the consul at Mazatlan, and an instruction was a: once addressed to the minister of the United States at Mexico apa the subject. It is also understood that at the instance of this deparment the Secretary of the Navy has ordered a man-of-war to that qua: ter to inquire into the matter. I am, &c.,


United States Senate.

No. 10.

Ur. Kelton to Mr. Hunter.

No. 40.)


Mazatlan, March 21, 1877. (Received April t. SIR: I beg to confirm contents of my dispatch No. 39, and to further advise you relative to the case of the American schooner Montana that, by order of the collector of this port, the goods destined for Guatemala have been landed and stored in the custom-house.

The captain of said schooner has entered protest at this consulate against the seizure of the goods.

The collector has consigned the case to the district court.

The schooner has received her clearance from the custom-house and intends sailing to-day.

The opinion of the best lawyers in this port is that the Mexican revenue laws do not prohibit a vessel from carrying merchandise "in tragisits," as the case is termed by the collector, and find no law allowing

the collector of this port to claim duties on goods destined to another country.

The captain of the vessel offered bonds to prove delivery of the goods at the port of San José de Guatemala. I remain, &c.,


United States Consul. Hon. W. HUNTER,

Second Assistant Secretary of State, Washington.

No. 11.

Mr. Foster to Mr. Erarts.

No. 308.]


Mexico, March 21, 1877. (Received April 7.) SIR: The consul at Mazatlan having reported to me, through the consul-general, that the American schooner Montana, en route from San Francisco to San José de Guatemala, was detained by the custoin-house authorities of Mazatlan on the ground that the Mexican laws did not permit a vessel touching at a Mexican port to carry goods " in transito," as they express it, to wit, from San Francisco to a port in Guatemala, in a note dated on yesterday I brought the facts to the attention of the minister of foreign affairs, inclosing the report of the consul on the subject, expressed the conviction that the authorities at Mazatlan had placed a wrong construction upon the Mexican law, and asked the release of the vessel and due reparation for the detention.

Mr. Vallarta has answered my note to-day, saying that he has referred the subject to the department of finance for its action, of which he will inform me. I am, &c.,


(Inclosure 1 in No. 308.)


Mr. Foster to Mr. Vallarta. Unofficial.)

Merico, Varch 20, 1877. SIR: I am informed by the consul of my government at Mazatlan that the American schooner Montana, which cleared from San Francisco, in the United States, for San José, in the Republic of Guatemala, via Mazatlan, having put into the latter port and discharged that portion of the caryo manifested and destined for said port, has been refused clearance by the custoju-house otticials of Mazatlan, and is detained there under the allegation that the laws of " Mexico prohibit sailing-vessels from carrying merchandise in transits.” The captain of the vessel, having waited ten days for his clearance, has signitied his intention to abandon his vessel; and he appeals to this gov. ernment for protection. I inclose the official statement of the consul upon the subject.

It must be that the collector of the custom-house has misconstrued the Mexican law upon the subject, for there can hardly exist therein a prohibition against a foreign vessel, sailing from one foreign port to another foreign port, landing and discharging a portion of its cargo duly cleared and manifested for a Mexican port; nor can the law require that the cargo properly manitested for the foreign port be landed at the Mexican port.

I feel sure that the matter being brought to the attention of your excellency's government, it will at once order the release of the vessel, and that reparation be made for its detention, if it has not already been done. I improve the occasion to reassure your excellency of my high consideration.


年 *


Mazatlan, Verico, February 20, 1877, SIR:

The American schooner Montana cleared in San Francisco for San José de Guatemala, by Mazatlan, with cargo manifested for both ports, arrived at this port on the 8th instant, and noted in lista del rancho" the cargo for San José, about 70 tons. Having discharged the freight inanifested for this port, clearance was requested for San José de Guatemala on the 10th instant and refused by the collector of this port, he allowing that Mexico prohibits sailing-vessels from carrying merchandise in transito"; or, in other words, sailing-vessels are not allowed to land a por. tion of their cargo in a Mexican port and proceed with the rest of their cargo to a foreign port, even when manifested from a foreign port, and desires the cargo manifested in San Francisco for San José de Guatemala to be landed bere; and as it bring no consular (Mexican) invoices, is necessarily subject to tine. Dave, at the request of the captain, demanded in writing the clearance of said vessel, and, in answer, the collector informs me that he has informed the minister de Hacienda of the case, and will not clear her or take steps to remove the cargo until he has instructions how to act from Mexico.

The captain has signified his intention to abandon the vessel, having waited tes days for his clearance, and asks the protection of his government. I remain, &c.,


United States Consul. JULIUS A. SKILTON, Esq.,

United States Consul-General at Merico.

(Inclosure 2 in No. 508,-Translation.)

Ur. l'allarta to Mr. Foster.



Mexico, March 21, 1877. Sir: Your excellency's note of yesterday, relating to the detention of the schoose Montana in the port of Mazatlan, has been transnitted to-day in copy, with that of the accompanying document, to the Department of the Treasury, the matter referred to pertaining to that department.

It will be pleasant for me to communicate to your excellency the resolution which the said department may make known to me, and in the mean time I improve this occasion to reiterate to your excellency the assurance of my high consideration.



No. 12.

Mr. Foster to Mr. Erarts.

No. 509.]


Mexico, March 23, 1877. (Received April 7.) SIR: Referring to my No.508 of yesterday, in the case of the schooner Montana, I now have to report that Mr. Vallarta has informed me verbally that the minister of hacienda has sent notice by telegraph to the collector of customs at Mazatlan that his construction of the Mexican law is not correct, and ordered him to release the vessel at once.

Until the Mexican Government shall have received its official report ! upon the case, I did not feel warranted in urging the demand made in my note of the 20th for reparation of damages. But I will recall the minister's attention to the case in due time. I am, &c.,


No. 13.

Mr. Foster to Mr. Erarts.

No. 514.]


Mexico, March 28, 1877. (Received April 13.) Sir: I am in receipt of department dispatch No. 375 of the 12th instant, relating to the seizure and detention of the American vessels Dreadnaught and Montana by the Mexican authorities of Mazatlan.

Mr. Kelton, the consul at that port, had already reported to me these occurrences, and in my numbers 507, 508, and 509, forwarded by the last mail, I advised you of my action, which appears to be in accordance with your instructions.

I am, &c.,


No. 11.

Mr. Hunter to Vr. Kelton.

No. 19.)


Washington, April 7, 1877. SIR: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your dispatches Nos. 39 and 40; the former relating to the American schooner Dreadnaught, and the latter to the schooner Montana, from both of which vessels the authorities at Mazatlan had exacted port duties on their cargoes, which were destined for ports in other countries.

In reply I have to state that immediately upon the receipt of your No. 39 an instruction was addressed to the legation at Mexico, inclosing a copy of that dispatch for Mr. Foster's information. At the same time application was made to the Secretary of the Navy for a vessel of war to be sent to that port. The Secretary of the Navy complied with the request of this department by ordering the United States steamer Lackawanna to proceed to Mazatlan. This direction was given on the 14th of March, and it is presumed that at the date of your writing your No. 40 the Lackawanna had not arrived.

Before taking further action in the matter the department awaits the result of the proceedings above referred to. I am, &c.,

W. HUNTER, Second Assistant Secretary.

No. 15.

Mr. Thompson to Mr. Erarts.

NAVY DEPARTMENT, Washington, May 10, 1877. (Received May 11.) SIR: I have the honor to inclose for your information a copy of a communication of the 18th ultimo, from Capt. W. P. McCann, C. S. N.,

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