to Mr. Morgan.
Washington, June 23, 1881.
Sir: Your No. 183, of the 1st of April last, after referring to the recent complaints based on the impressment of American citizens into the Mexican army, requests instructions as to the amount of damages which you are to demand from the Mexican Government therefor, inasmuch as you are “not able to determine to what amount their demand should be limited.”
In reply, I may observe that the Department finds equal difficulty with yourself in determining a limit within which to confine the demand for indemnity in such cases. The different personal interests involved therein, and the different amount of damage to business pursuits sustained, make the attempt to assess the indemnification by a fixed standard inequitable. The proper course seems to be for you to take the several cases, according to their circumstances and the status and character of the claimants, and advise the parties as to the amount proper to be claimed by them. The ease with which you have access to the facts of each case, joined to your own judicial training, make this course just and proper.
I am, &c.,