No. 277.
Mr. Fish to Mr. Nelson.

No. 311.]

Sir: I transmit for your information a copy of a dispatch of the 26th of December last, addressed to this Department by Mr. Schuchardt, the commercial agent at Piedras Negras, relative to predatory incursions of Indians from Mexico into this country.

The federal government of that republic appears to be so apathetic on this subject, or so powerless to prevent such raids, that sooner or later this Government will have no other alternative than to endeavor to secure quiet on the frontier by seeking the marauders and punishing them in their haunts, wherever these may be. Of course we should prefer that this should be done with the consent, if not with the co-operation, of Mexico. It is certain, however, that if the grievance shall be persisted in the remedy adverted to will not remain untried. It is not, however, expected that for the present, at least, you will make a formal representation to that government to this effect.

I am, &c.,

Hamilton Fish.

Mr. Schuchardt to Mr. Fish.

No. 94.]

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt on the 25th of December of your dispatch No. 35, dated November 2,1872, relative to the immigration of hostile Indians from the United States to Mexico, and the views of the honorable Secretary of the Interior on this subject. Said dispatch was directed via Santa Fé, N. Mex., which accounts for its delay on the road.

A short time after I wrote my No. 87, dated September 1, 1872, this State (Coahuila) has returned to her constitutional condition, and the office of gefe politico is abolished. The gefe politico of this district, who at the time treated with those Indians, has since retired to private life, and there the question about their admittance into this country rests. The actual government of this State, it seems, has not taken any notice of the matter, as I am not aware of any measures taken by it to prevent the Indians from coming, or to compel them to leave the country, or to move farther to the interior of it.

The apprehension expressed by the honorable Secretary of the Interior that these Indians desire to go into the States adjacent to the United States for the purpose of establishing a city of refuge, to which they can flee after committing depredations [Page 644] and outrages upon citizens of the United States, has already proven well founded. A month ago a party of these very same Lepans and Comanches (as such they were recognized) made a foray on Texas, swept the country east and north of Laredo clean of horses, took some cattle, and also captured several boys, of which one escaped; after this they recrossed to Mexican territory and encamped on a place called “Los Arboles,” whence they came to the Mexican town “El Remolino” to dispose of their plunder.

It is the custom of the country that, by direction of the government, the horses of the Indians are from time to time branded with the brand of the corporation, and thus declared good and transferable property, and then they can be bought by anybody.

The Indians, after a raid, once on this side of the Rio Grande, feel secure, knowing very well that they cannot be pursued by our troops across the line. The Mexican government, who is not disposed or is too weak itself to prevent the raiding of the Indians into the United States territory, at least should not object to the crossing of our troops when pursuing them into their places of refuge in Mexico. The Indians once knowing that the Rio Grande is not any longer an impediment to our troops to keep on the pursuit, even across the river, they very soon would agree to go to a reservation; and as they know well that they cannot expect much from the Mexican government, they probably would surrender to the United States. As it is now, it seems natural that the Mexican government is responsible for what depredations the Indians, harbored in this country, commit in Texas.

I am, &c.,

United States Commercial Agent.