No. 483.
SeƱor Navarro to Mr. Evarts.


Mr. Secretary: I have the honor herewith to inclose a copy of a note addressed by the governor of the State of Chihuahua to the department [Page 818]of foreign relations of Mexico, with which note was inclosed a petition from the attorney of the colonists of Ascension, in which it is stated that the inhabitants of that settlement continue to suffer from the depredations committed by the band of American thieves under the leadership of the notorious outlaw Robert E. Martin.

These documents, together with those which I transmitted as inclosures to my note of the 18th of October last, will serve to enable the Department of State to adopt such measures as it may think proper for the apprehension and punishment of that band, which has become a terror to the inhabitants of those districts.

I have, &c.,


The governor of Chihuahua to the minister for foreign affairs.

The citizen Juan M. Zuloaga, the lawful attorney of the colonists of Ascension, as he has shown by a duly executed power of attorney bearing date of August 30, 1880, has addressed a petition to me, of which I have the honor herewith to transmit to you a copy.

You will thereby see that the inhabitants of that infant colony continue to suffer from the depredations committed by the bands of American thieves who are led by the notorious outlaw Robert E. Martin, who has been acquitted and set at liberty by the district judge of this State.

As the statements therein made are well known to be true, I beg that you will be pleased to request the President of the Republic to instruct our representative at Washington to address the Government of the United States asking that the aforesaid outlaw may be arrested and puuished for the crimes which he is committing, for, if this is not done, the result will be that the inhabitants of the colony, who now number more than 200, will be forced to abandon it, which would be a most unfortunate thing, inasmuch as one of the surest means to prevent the depredations of Indians is the increase of population on the frontier.


Juan M. Zuloaga to the governor of Chihuahua.

Citizen governor of the State of Chihuahua:

I, Juan M. Zuloaga, representing the settlers of Ascension Valley, have the honor to set forth the following facts:

Being actuated by the most earnest desire for the prosperity of the colony which I represent, and taking into consideration the outrages which have recently been committed on that desert frontier, as is shown by the communication of the municipal board of that settlement, which I herewith inclose for your information, it is impossible longer to remain indifferent to the scandalous deeds which are constantly perpetrated by Texan outlaws, who, with entire impunity and in considerable numbers, commit unheard-of and premeditated outrages, not only against the colony, but also the neighboring villages, to such an extent that, if the unblushing boldness of these bad men is not speedily checked, the germ of licentiousness will become developed, and the consequence will unquestionably be the absolute demoralization of these unhappy districts, or, what is still more probable, the total ruin of all the inhabitants, for they have already lost all their horses, and the greater part of their neat cattle, and it may verily easily happen that, being discouraged by their terrible situation, they may be forced to abandon their homes, although such a step would entail a great sacrifice upon them, for the establishment of that which has cost them dear, they having been obliged, not only to establish it at their own expense but to undergo many long and weary labors, hardships, and privations, during which they have been constantly harassed by Indians and bands of Texan marauders, both of whom inhabit [Page 819]the wild regions of the North American frontier. The Texans referred to now possess in those vast solitudes large numbers of cattle which have been stolen from the farmers of this State.

Such is the situation, Mr. Governor, and the people of Ascension and Janos, being unable to remedy the evil, appeal to you for protection, for if this is not extended to them, a future lies before them which is very far removed from that peace and tranquility to which every community should aspire.

In the district of Mosquitos, which is the limit of the United States territory, seven dead bodies of Mexicans were recently found, who had been basely murdered by the Texans. The perpetrators of this horrible crime, as is invariably the case, escaped scot free.

At Carrizalillo, which is within the territory of the United States, one of these outlaws was found with 200 head of cattle, and in consequence of the armed conflicts which occurred, first at Agua del Perro, with the colonists of Ascension, and afterwards at San Simon with the people of Janos, that individual drove his cattle to unknown localities, and at once resolved to put himself at the head of a band of outlaws in order to carry on the business of cattle stealing. Such is the situation of those districts, and their only hope is that the supreme government will lend them its timely aid.

If the outlaw Martin, who is the leader of these Texans, had not been unjustly acquitted, we should now be at peace; though Martin was arrested by order of the government, he was protected by the district judge, and we, whose blood is now being shed, are to-day suffering the fatal consequences of that protection.

What I ask is but justice, and I solemnly declare that I am not actuated by malice.