No. 414.

Mr. Morgan to Mr. Frelinghuysen.

No. 905.]

Sir: In regard to Thomas B. Monahan, a citizen of the United States, imprisoned at Toluca, I inclose herewith a translation of a note addressed to me by Señor Fernandez, of the 19th instant (received today), together with a translation of the document therein mentioned, both referring to the subject now under consideration,

Señor Fernandez informs me that as it does not appear on the register of the department for foreign affairs that Mr. Monahan has been matriculated as a citizen of the United States, the ulterior official intervention of this legation in his behalf would not be admitted.

I am &c.,

[Inclosure in No. 905.—Translation.]

Señor Fernandez to Mr. Morgan.

The department of justice has transmitted to the one under my charge, under date of the 9th instant, a communication from the judge of the district of the State of Mexico, in which the said functionary replies to the charges made against him, referring to the imprisonment of Mr. Thomas Monahan at Toluca. I have the honor to transmit herewith a copy of the document to which I refer. It not appearing in the register of this department that the said Monahan is matriculated as a citizen of the United States of America, I have to inform you, although with respect, that this fact prevents my accepting officially the ulterior intervention of your legation in the case under consideration.

Accept, &c.,

[Inclosure in inclosure in No. 905.—Translation.]

The citizen judge of the district of the State of Mexico, under date of the 4th instant, informs me as follows:

“I have received the note, under date of the 31st of last August, from the department under your worthy charge, in which you transmit a communication addressed to you by the department for foreign affairs, requesting that you ask me for information relating to several acts connected with the imprisonment of Thomas Monahan, upon which, as also upon various motives of complaint expressed with regard to the process which has been instituted against the said accused, the minister of the United States of America has called the attention of the said department for foreign affairs, asking that a judgment be rendered in the case. In reply, I have the honor to inform you that in the first hours of the morning of the 1st of July of the present year, at some distance from the station of Los Angeles, on the Central Railroad, in the territory of the State of Mexico, there was a collision between the trains marked Nos. 1 and 2, which resulted in the death of the fireman, Michael Slatten, who was working on the first-named train.

“Afterwards Thomas Monahan, engineer of the same, was arrested and placed at the disposition of the fifth correctional court of the capital of the Republic, which authority, in accordance with the law, instituted the first proceedings, declaring the party detained a lawful prisoner under the terms established by the federal constitution, and afterwards, in view of the place in which the accident had occurred, ordered that the prisoner should be transferred to this city and placed there at my disposition, through the first political authorities of either capital, which was done, without its appearing from the proceedings, which were likewise forwarded to me, [Page 570] any data from which it would appear that a judge had observed to the prisoner that, notwithstanding that the proceedings had proved his innocence, it was necessary on the part of the same judge to transfer the said Monahan into the hands of the authorities of Toluca.

“Moreover, in the proceedings which were instituted against the said engineer, there is no proof from which it would appear that he had procured the communication of the proceedings or documents which were of importance to him, from which appears the inexactness of the persons who were the informants of the American minister. Neither is there any foundation of any kind for the statement which, has been said, emanated from me, that Mr. Monahan was detained at the instance of the lawyers of the Central Railroad Company. And although the minister asserts (these are bis words) that, after arrest, the prisoner is under the authority of the officers of the Government, and that he is not to be kept in prison at the will or caprice of the lawyer of a private corporation, and in order to shield, if possible, another officer of that corporation, I comply with the dignity of the office under my charge, and my conscience as an honorable man, to protest energetically, which I now do, against the imputation which has now been made against me, even though it was based only on a supposition.

“The fact is that Monahan has been kept in jail without the intervention of foreign influence of any kind, because he was being proceeded against for a crime which, according to our laws, is punished with corporal punishment, as it is homicide caused through fault, and it is not easy for me, in view of the proof of the proceeding, to order in any manner his liberation. It may happen that he will be able to establish his innocence in the course of the proceedings, and that he will be, consequently, acquitted; or, on the other hand, that his culpability be legally proved, in which case he would be sentenced to undergo the punishment due to his offense. But, for the present, nothing can be predicted in the matter. I can only say that, in any event, I shall respect the guarantees that, in treating of a criminal case, the federal constitution concedes, not only to Mexican citizens, but to everybody; and, lastly, convinced as I am of the rectitude that inspires my proceedings, I tranquilly await the revision of these, a revision entrusted by law to the magistrate of the circuit, and, should further responsibility be incurred, to the supreme court of justice of the nation.

“To the keen penetration of the functionary I have the honor of addressing, it will be evident that it is not possible for me to be more explicit in the present communication, because, to be so, I would be putting myself in danger of anticipating judgment, which is prohibited by the law.”

And I have the honor to transmit it to you for your knowledge and in reply to your letter.

Liberty and constitution.

Official Mayor.