No. 407.
Mr. Foster to Mr. Fish.

No. 224.]

Sir: With my dispatch No. 211, of the 27th ultimo, I transmitted a translation of a note from the Mexican minister of foreign affairs, in which he informed me that he had recommended the governor of the State of Jalisco to take the measures which he might deem efficacious for giving the security which the laws guarantee to Messrs. Watkins and Morgan, Protestant missionaries at Guadalajara, friends and companions of the late Rev. John L. Stephens.

I now transmit a translation of a note from the minister, Mr. Lafragua, and its inclosures from the governor of Jalisco, stating that Messrs. Watkins and Morgan are enjoying complete security in their persons and ample liberty in the exercise of their worship. These declarations are based upon the communication of the governor and the letter of Messrs. Watkins and Morgan, to which latter your attention is specially directed.

I am, &c.,

[Inclosure in No. 234.—Translation.]

Mr. Lafragua to Mr. Foster.

Sir: As a result, for the present, of the communication which was made to the governor of the State of Jalisco, in order that he might impart every kind of security to the gentlemen, Watkins and Morgan, friends and associates of the deceased Rev. John L. Stephens, who was assassinated at Ahualulco, of which I speak in my note of the 26th ultimo in reply to that of your legation, under date of the 18th of the same month, I have the honor of inclosing herewith a copy of the communication which I have received from the said governor of Jalisco, and its inclosures, which consist of communications exchanged between the said government and the before-mentioned gentlemen, Watkins and Morgan, in which it may be seen that they are enjoying complete security in their persons and ample liberty in the exercise of their worship.

This I have the satisfaction of communicating to your excellency as a result, for the [Page 847] present, of your said note of the 18th of November last, and promising to give you any other information which I may receive in relation to this case.

I reiterate to your excellency the assurances of my regard and attentive consideration.


His Excellency John W. Foster,
Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States of America.

[Subinclosure 1 in No. 224.—Translation.]

The governor of Jalisco to Mr. Lafragua.

No. 3478.]

To the Citizen Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mexico:

In reply to the official communication of the section of America of your department, which, under date of the 26th of November last, it was pleased to direct to this government, inserting therein part of one from the minister of the United States in Mexico, relative to the complaint which the Pacific Theological Seminary of Oakland, California, had sent up to the American Government, on account of the insecurity of the Messrs. Watkins and Morgan, as also that the assassination at Ahualulco de Mercado has remained unpunished, I have the honor to state to your excellency, that on the part of this government all suitable and efficacious measures have been ordered for the apprehension and punishment of the murderers of Mr. Stephens. In numbers 21 and 27 of the official paper, which I inclose to you, there appears what were its measures and their result. This government thinks that it has done what its duty demanded of it for the punishment of the criminals. As your department will see from the “expediente” published in that periodical, the government, since April last, denied the pardon and commanded the penalty of death to be executed upon the condemned authors of the murder, but the court of the district ordered the execution to be suspended, on the 24th of the same April, which order the government obeyed, as was its duty. Since that date these criminals have been at the disposition of federal justice in virtue of an “amparo” which they asked, without, up to the present, the matter being settled.

If the criminals have not suffered the punishment to which they have been condemned, it is not through the fault or delay of the government of the State, which can do nothing more in the matter, as, since April, it has been under the jurisdiction of the federal tribunals, as in former communications has been stated to your department.

As soon as this government received the present “excitative” that it should take such efficient measures as would give to Messrs. Watkins and Morgan the security which the laws guarantee to them, I addressed to them the communication marked No. 1, to which the one marked No. 2 is a reply.

By these communications your department will see that there have never been wanting to those citizens the guarantees which the laws of the republic grant them, and that always this government has caused these guarantees to be given, even in the midst of the excitement which the events of Ahualulco de Mercado caused, the executive having then afforded the Protestants of the State the special protection which the circumstances for preventing criminal attempts like that at Ahualulco might make necessary. From the foregoing, your department will see that Messrs. Watkins and Morgan, as well as all citizens who adhere to the evangelical, or any other worship, live in Jalisco with full guarantees, and that those who profess a religion different from the dominant one in the country have no ground for complaint against this government.

Independence and liberty.

  • F. G. REISTRA,
[Subinclosure 2 in No. 224.—Translation.]

The secretary of the State of Jalisco to Messrs. Watkins and Morgan.

No. 1.]

To Messrs. David F. Watkins and G. F. G. Morgan:

By order of the supreme court, I have the honor to address you, through the present communication, asking that you may be pleased to state if you have and have had [Page 848] from the government of the State all the necessary guarantees for your personal safety and the practice of your worship, and if it is true that the same government has afforded you all the protection which the laws grant to foreigners and their worship.

Independence and liberty.

[Subinclosure 3 in No. 224.]

Messrs. Watkins and Morgan to the secretary of the State of Jalisco.

No. 2.]

We are advised of your attentive communication, under date of to-day, in which you ask that we state if we have had the necessary guarantees for our personal security and the practice of our worship, and if it is true that the supreme government has afforded us all the protection which the laws concede to foreigners; and in reply we have the honor to state to you, for the satisfaction of the citizen governor, whom we esteem, that from the moment that we had the pleasure of setting foot upon the territory of this State, we have had and at present enjoy all the guarantees which the laws concede to foreigners, and very particularly the security of our persons, by the protection which, without our deserving it, the supreme government has afforded us. For what has been said, and as now the occasion is offered, we beg you to so state to the citizen governor, giving to him thanks for the attention which, thus far, he has shown us, offering to him, at the same time, the assurances of our regard for his person.

  • G. F. G. MORGAN.