No. 733.
Mr. Hall to Mr. Davis.

No. 6.]

Sir: I transmit herewith a statement made by the United States vice-consul and the vice-consul of France at Santiago de Cuba, in regard to the action of the authorities of that place, in placing a guard of marines before the consular office on the day of the execution of the captain and crew of the Virginius.

The only reasonable pretext that I can imagine for this act, on the part of the authorities, is that they may have desired to protect the consulate in the event of any popular demonstration against it. There could have been, in my opinion, no other justifiable motive, and naturally they would not confess their apprehensions to Mr. Schmitt.

No information of special interest has been received from Santiago de Cuba since my last communications, further than that the United States steamer Wyoming, Commander Cushing, arrived there on the 15th instant.

I have to-day reported his arrival to the Navy Department.

I would call the attention of the Department to the many articles published during the past ten days, in the papers of this city, relating to the affair of the Virginius. I regret my inability to furnish translations.

I am, &c,


Be it known that on the 7th day of November, 1873, at 4 o’clock p.m., I, the undersigned, E. G. Schmitt, vice-consul of the United States at Santiago de Cuba, in order to report to my Government, as such consular officer, the gross insult which has just been put upon this consulate by the officers of the Spanish navy and army, thereby showing a want of courtesy and behavior contrary to and prejudicial to the community and the privileges which consuls of the United States possess in Spanish countries by virtue of treaty stipulations, have hereby drawn up the following statement of facts to submit to the knowledge of the United States Government, to wit:

On this afternoon, Mr. Alphonse Garrus, French consul at this city, and his chancelier, Mr. E. Vigié, joined me in my consular office and residence for the purpose of seeing Captain Frye and the individuals of the crew of the steamer Virginius, who were condemned to be shot on this day, pass by on their way to execution. Just previous to their leaving the jail, we have noticed a guard of two soldiers of marine infantry and a corporal of the army stationed at the door of this consulate, without any previous notice having being given of any such intention on the part of the authorities.

I immediately demanded of the guard their motives in placing themselves at my door, and politely asked them to withdraw, and was answered that it was in obedience [Page 1079] to an order from the commanding officer of the forces at the jail and in charge of the prisoners, and consequently they formally refused to withdraw.

Wherefore, I do formally protest against this act, and the person or persons responsible therefor, and have drawn up this statement, which, together with the gentlemen before named, I have signed at Santiago de Cuba, the day and year as before written.