No. 405.
Mr. Foster to Mr. Fish.

No. 214.]

Sir: In a call which I made yesterday at the foreign office, in relation to matters of an official character, before taking leave of the chief clerk, in the absence of the minister, I referred incidentally to the published statement of Alexander D. Hamilton, whose extradition from Mexico had been prevented through the interference of General Cortina, of Matamoras, in which statement Hamilton alleges that he made a bargain with Cortina to protect him, and that, after being shielded by him in Matamoras, he was sent by Cortina under a guard to one of his (Cortina’s) estates, fifty miles into the interior of Mexico, and thereby escaped the United States detectives; and I added that if this statement was trustworthy, it only confirmed the prevalent impression in the United States as to Cortina’s dishonesty and unfitness for any Official position on the American frontier.

The chief clerk, Mr. Arias, in reply, stated that the attention of the Government had been already attracted to the published statement to which I had referred, and that the war department had ordered an investigation to be made as to the truth thereof, so far as it related to General Cortina. Mr. Arias added that the government had been often embarrassed in getting rid of or controlling such turbulent persons, who had during revolutionary times obtained official positions, but that it was desirous of using all prudent measures to dispense with their services, and especially to remove ail causes of irritation on the Rio Grande frontier.

General Cortina, I am informed, still holds a commission as general in the Mexican army, but is at present en deposite, without a command and on one-third pay, but subject to be called into active service at any time by the government. He is now acting as the mayor or chief municipal official of the city of Matamoras.

Hamilton’s published statement is herewith inclosed.

I am, &c.,

[Page 845]
[Inclosure in No. 214.]

Hamilton, the defaulting treasurer, surrenders.

It will be remembered by our readers that several months ago this man Hamilton escaped into Mexico, and that telegrams reached this city announcing that the fugitive was making his way to this capital; but assurances were given that he would be arrested either on the way of in this city. We now have information that this individual, after many trying ordeals to escape clutches of Madam Justice, has surrendered to the authorities in New Jersey.

By the same intelligence we learn that Hamilton crossed the Rio Grande, as stated, and traveled through the country to this capital under the talisman of Cortina. We extract from Hamilton’s confession the following:

“In Matamoras I staid at Happy Jack’s hotel, and fearing arrest I sent for General Cortina, mayor of the town, and I made a bargain with him. The nature of that transaction I refuse to divulge. He promised to protect me. The next day the sheriff of Cameron County and the American consul at Matamoras came to see me. Cortina put me in charge of two officers, and smuggled me out of the back door into his own house. While I was there, Inspector Murphy came in and had an interview with Cortina. I laid in bed not six feet away while Murphy and Cortina were bargaining for my return. Cortina offered to give me up for $20,000. The following day I was sent under a guard to one of Cortina’s ranches, fifty miles out of town. There I received a telegram from my father to return, but I was closely guarded;”

Hamilton says in the spring he went to San Luis Potosi; thence to the city of Mexico, Vera Cruz, Havana, New Orleans, and to Liverpool. We will give the confession in full in our next. How he got out of Cortina’s clutches or why he was not surrendered he does not say; but it is presumable that the secret is in that “transaction” with Cortina, which he would not divulge.