to Mr. Fish.
Mexico, March 7, 1874. (Received March 24.)
Sir: On the 2d instant I received a brief telegraphic dispatch from Rev. David Watkins, at Guadalajara, informing me of the assassination on that morning, at Ahualulco, in the State of Jalisco, of Rev. J. L. Stephens, an American citizen, connected with the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. I immediately replied, asking for details, and on the 4th instant I was informed by telegraph that at two o’clock on the morning of the 2d instant the house of Mr. Stephens was assaulted by more than two hundred men, crying “Viva el Cure”— “Death to the Protestants;” that Mr. Stephens was killed by them in a brutal manner, his body badly mutilated, and his head cut into several pieces, and his house plundered. The cause of this outrage, it will be seen by reference to the telegraphic dispatch, is attributed to religious fanaticism.
I at once called in person upon the minister of foreign affairs, and presented him a note, (inclosure 1,) with copies of the telegraphic dispatches referred to, expressing the confident expectation that whatever measures could properly be taken by the federal government of Mexico for the investigation and punishment of the crime would be at once adopted.
The minister, Mr. Lafragua, informed me that the government had been early advised of the event by the governor of the State of Jalisco, and that prompt and vigorous measures had been taken to arrest and punish the criminals; that the town was occupied by three hundred troops, and order restored; that the principal assassins and two priests had been arrested, and that a judge had been dispatched to the district with an extra corps of clerks to insure a speedy investigation and trial. The official dispatches which appeared in the Diario Oficial of yesterday are herewith inclosed.
I am, &c.,