No. 488.
Mr. Hay to Señor Navarro.

Sir: Adverting to your note of the 28th of August last, I have now [Page 822]the honor to inclose, for the information of your government, a copy of a letter recently received from his excellency the governor of Texas, with its accompaniment, touching the complaint of the governor of the State of Chihuahua, respecting one Robert Martin and others, accused of committing outrages on both frontiers.

Accept, &c.,

Acting Secretary.

Mr. Roberts to Mr. Evarts.

Sir: I have received a letter from your office, of 11th of September last, about depredations committed by a band of robbers, which was said to be operating on both sides of the Rio Grande, headed by Robert Martin. I received another also of 3d instant, referring to the same matter.

Upon getting the first letter, I set about finding out about the grounds of complaint by having the adjutant-general of this State, Hon. John B. Jones, to communicate with Capt. George Baylor of our frontier force at Ysleta, near El Paso. For sometime he was engaged with the United States troops in pursuing Victorio and his band of Indians, and could not give this subject his attention. Upon returning to his camp at Ysleta, he made what search and inquiry he could, and reported the result to the adjutant-general of the State, General John B. Jones, a copy of which report I herewith respectfully forward to you.

I beg leave to add that Capt. George Baylor is an officer of considerable military experience, and a gentleman of fine intelligence and good character, and was placed in command of our frontier force in that distant region on that account. He has heretofore co-operated with the Mexican authorities, civil and military, in the suppression of any marauding parties on the Rio Grande, and has made an express arrangement with said authorities for that purpose. All that any of said officers in that portion of the country have to do to get his efficient aid at any time is to call on him and give him the proper information. We have no State force so near the Rio Grande at any other point. But the same arrangement can be made with any of our officers of the frontier force by simply asking their co-operation at any time.

The officers and men of our frontier force, denominated frontier battalion and special police force, are made by law peace officers of the State, with power to execute criminal process and make arrests as other peace officers, and their principal use now is to arrest criminals who flee to the frontier. But it must be recollected that they must have legal authority to make arrests of criminals the same as any other peace officers. I hardly think that the Mexican authorities understand that. That police force of ours have no more right to arrest the so-called band of robbers without legal authority than a sheriff and his posse would have under like circumstances.

I can say truly, however, that we are using that force most efficiently in arresting criminals of all sorts found on our extensive frontier, and with them will give any practicable aid in our power to break up bands of thieves and robbers that infest the borders of Texas and Mexico.

Respectfully, yours, &c.,

[Appendix to inclosure.]

Captain Baylor to General Jones.

Sir: Your letter in regard to depredations committed on citizens of Mexico by bands of robbers in Sierra la Hache, received, and should have been answered sooner, but came during my absence after Victorio, and since I have been trying to learn something definite in regard to the matter.

[Page 823]

The man Martin was sentenced here by Judge Allen Blacker to serve a term of five years in the penitentiary for highway robbery, and escaped from the guard afterwards with some eight other prisoners, and has been living in Mexico ever since, moving from one town to another in the northern portion of Chihuahua, in Conception, Janos, and thereabouts, and I think, with a mixed band of white men and Mexicans, has been stealing cattle and horses in Carraletas, Casas Grandes, and that section, and running them into Arizona and New Mexico.

There are no mountains named La Hache in Texas between here and Presidio del Norte that I know of, except the Sierra La Capara is sometimes so called, 25 or 30 miles southeast of San Lucero, in Mexico, but I was there when with General Tarasas in September last, and there was no sign of any band being there. I am satisfied his band of men are the same who stole cattle from Carraletas and were followed by men sent out by George B. Zimpleman and four or five of them killed. I have written to the sheriff of Pima County, at Tucson, Arizona, about the matter, and may hear something from him.

Yours, &c.,

Captain, Commanding Company A.
  1. For note referred to, see Foreign Relations 1880, page 786.