to Mr. Fish.
Mexico , February 28, 1874. (Received March 20.)
Sir: On the 15th instant the President of this republic, Mr. Sebastian Lerdo de Tejada, departed from this capital on a private and [Page 732] unofficial visit to the valley of Cuernavaca and the celebrated cave of Cacahumilpa, in the State of Guerrero. Having extended a personal invitation to the members of all the foreign legations to join him, I, in company with the secretary of legation, Mr. Bliss, accompanied him. His party embraced the governors of eight of the central States of the republic and a number of deputies of Congress and other distinguished officials and citizens. The President received very flattering attentions from the local authorities and people throughout the entire journey, returning to this city on the 21st instant. It is a notable indication of the peace of the central States of the country, that the President and eight governors could absent themselves from their capitals without any apparent inconvenience to the public service.
On the 29th of last month a band of thirty or forty disguised armed men kidnaped an old and well-known citizen of this capital from his hacienda in the suburbs of this city, with the object of demanding a ransom. Energetic measures were at once set on foot by the governor of the federal district to discover the criminals and rescue their prisoner. The place of their concealment in the mountains was found on the 8th instant, but, hearing the approach of the troops, the kidnapers hastily killed their prisoner, burying him while yet alive in a hole prepared for the purpose. A large number of suspected persons were arrested; four men and one woman were found guilty by the courts; the men were executed on the 26th instant, and the woman sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment. The crime of kidnaping, which in past years was quite frequent in Mexico, has nearly ceased, and it is hoped that these summary punishments will have a tendency to repress it in future.
General and Ex-President Santa Anna arrived in Vera Cruz from Havana yesterday. In 1867 a sentence of banishment for eight years was issued against him, but it is understood that the act of amnesty of 1870 releases him from that sentence.
I am, &c.,