Mr. Hall to Mr. Davis.
Havana, November 15, 1873. (Received Nov. 21.)
Sir: Referring to dispatch No. 305 of 14th instant, and series from this consulate relating to the case of the steamer Virginius, I now accompany a copy of a communication addressed by the commandant-general of the eastern department to the British vice-consul at Santiago de Cuba, in reply to his request in behalf of the British commodore at Kingston and the governor of Jamaica, to suspend the execution of the British subjects found on board that steamer. I regret that I am unable to send the Department a translation of this important document.
The British consul-general at this place has communicated to his government substantially the following:
Chase begun and capture effected on the high seas. Sixteen British subjects of the crew of the Virginius were shot 7th instant at Santiago de Cuba, in spite of the governor of Jamaica and the commodore’s protest to the governor, through the vice-consul. Her Majesty’s ship Niobe arrived there the next day. Seven British subjects remain, six of whom are under age.
In consequence of the foregoing information, furnished me by that officer, I telegraphed the Department this morning as follows:[Page 1072]
Havana, November 14.
The executions reported 12th instant fully confirmed by British consul at Santiago de Cuba and consul-general here. Sixteen of crew were British subjects, and were executed notwithstanding the intervention of the governor of Jamaica and the British commodore. Papers yesterday publish accounts of the execution of fifty-seven other prisoners, and that only some eighteen will escape death. No official report received.
In an inclosure I transmit the names of the crew of the Virginius; those marked with an asterisk (*) are the names of the British subjects executed.
I have no other information to add to-day other than that I have nothing later than the 9th instant from Santiago de Cuba, and nothing to confirm the report of the execution of the fifty-seven of the prisoners said to have taken place on the 10th instant, but I have no doubt whatever of its truth.
I am, &c,