No. 434.

Mr. S. L. Phelps to Mr. Frelinghuysen.

No. 206.]

Sir: In my No. 204 I informed you that the minister of foreign affairs had transmitted voluminous papers relating to legal proceedings had in the case of the murder of Owen Young. Inclosed is a copy of the minister’s letter, with translation, and of my reply to it, and also copies of the papers sent me.

[Page 591]

I have not thought it necessary to translate more than the inventory made of the property left by the victim, as my summary of the court proceedings, contained in the note to the minister, embraces the practical results reached through them.

I have, &c.,

[Inclosure 1 in 206.—Translation.]

Mr. Urrutia to Mr. S. L. Phelps.

I have the honor to inform your excellency that the minister of justice has sent to this office an official communication on the 12th of the present month, accompanied by all the documents which refer to the assassination of the North American citizen Mr. Owen Young, certified copies of which I remit to your excellency with this communication. The documents referred to will persuade your excellency that the authorities, executive and judicial, of the department of Cajamarca proceeded to fulfill their respective obligations as soon as they had notice of that unfortunate affair.

With regard to the proceedings followed to discover the author of the killing of the said Young, I must say to your excellency that the annexed copy, marked No. 3, contains the work done by the judge of Pacasmayo up to the latest date of the last mail, and that said magistrate pushes the proceedings in the matter with activity and assiduity in order to arrive at a knowledge of the real culprit, and to apply to him the punishment he deserves in conformity with law. I am compelled, moreover, to observe to your excellency that in your esteemed communication of the 7th of the present month relative to the same matter you affirm that since the 6th of October last, on which date your excellency gave me notice of the killing of Young, up to the first date cited, “three months have passed without the authorities having adopted positive measures for the punishment of the assassin, nor even for the investigation of the facts concerning the admitted crime.” It is evident that your excellency may not have had a clear recollection of the various official letters which I have addressed to that legation upon the death of the said Young, and for this reason I hasten to recall to your excellency the date of and extracts from each one of them.

The 13th of October last past I communicated to your excellency that there had been issued from this ministry instructions most appropriate and forcible for the apprehension and punishment of the murderer of Young. The 22d of November I advised you that the undersigned had reiterated his orders for the institution of legal proceedings against and punishment of the soldier who, according to the indications of your excellency, was the author of the murder referred to. The 9th of December I informed your excellency that the minister of justice, in compliance with the instructions emanating from this office, had asked of the judge of Pacasmayo the proceedings of the prosecution ordered to take place in said province in regard to the crime mentioned, and finally, the 13th of the same month of December past, I transmitted to your excellency the official communication in which the before-mentioned minister communicated to me, in reply to an inclosed note of the 28th November, that he had addressed himself anew to said magistrate in order that by return mail he might remit a detailed statement of the judicial proceedings referred to, and that is what appears from the annexed copies. This series of communications passed to your legation by the ministry under my charge, and shows my Government has been solicitious and firm since the perpetration of the crime mentioned for the discovery of the author, of it, in order to apply to him adequate punishment.

I improve, &c.,

[Inclosure 2 in No. 206.]

Mr. S. L. Phelps to Mr. Urrutia.

Sir: I have perused with care the communication and accompanying documents relating to the murder of Owen Young at the hacienda of Tecapa, which your excellency did me the honor to address me under date of the 16th ultimo, although delivered [Page 592] at this legation on the 28th of that month. In this note occasion is taken by your excellency to express the view that the voluminous papers inclosed with it indicate commendable energy on the part of the authorities of Peru in the prosecution of the case, and one at variance with the intimation made by me that indifference on their part seemed manifest. It is with regret that I find in these papers rather a confirmation of my fears in that regard and cause to apprehend that my Government may not consider that effective measures had been taken for the apprehension of the assassin by the Government of Peru up to the 22d December, the last date given in the examination of witnesses.

On that date, briefly stated, the case was thus: The murder occurred September 27 last; the sub-prefect and military commander of the province of Pacasmayo reported the murder to the judge of the proper court of the province September 28, and directed proceedings to be taken. October 2 a medical examination was held upon the body. My note furnishing intelligence of the murder and giving the facts and names of witnesses, other than soldiers of the Government, was addressed to your excellency October 6, and the facts then given by me were corroborated by the witness examined in December, the verification of their testimony bearing date December 31. An inventory of property of the murdered man was made December 21. On that date and the 22d such of the witnesses as had been in the employ of Owen Young were examined and testified to facts as stated in my note.

The foregoing summary seems to embrace all the action had up to the end of the year 1884, three months after the assassination. Those persons pointed out as having knowledge respecting the murderer had not been examined.

As appears by the report of the sub-prefect at Pacasmayo one hundred soldiers were engaged in the fight with the montoneros at Tecapa, more or less of whom were witnesses of the murder or have knowledge of the assassin. The entire force is implicated, and these men are accomplices while concealing the facts and shielding the criminal. Yet not a soldier or officer, so far as appears, has been examined; not one arrested up to the 1st ultimo. Every man of them, if such measure were necessary to reach the truth, should have been arrested long since, and held for the crime as abettors until exculpated by evidence.

I am entirely conscious of the difficulties ordinarily attending such prosecutions in a country so disturbed as Peru unhappily has been, but in this particular instance the authorities were in position to act summarily and vigorously, and should have followed up the report of the sub-prefect of Pacasmayo and the subsequent medical investigation by immediate examinations, not only of the people at Tecapa, but they should have proceeded at once to find the criminal iii the ranks of the army where he was known to be.

Accept, &c.,

[Inclosure 3 in No. 206.—Translation.]

Primary Court of Claims of the Province of Pacasmayo.

Containing a certified copy of the official inventory of the effects of the American citizen, Owen Young, and provisional trust, made the 18th of December of the current year.

Judge of the primary court of claims. Dr. Don José A. Urtéaga.

Registrar, the undersigned notary public of the state.


Primary Court of Claims of the Province of Pacasmayo.

I certify that in compliance with the verbal order of the judge of first instance of the province of Pacasmayo, Dr. Don José Asencio Urtéaga, I proceed to make a certified copy of the proceedings on the inventory of the effects of the late American citizen Señor Owen Young, Don Julio Silva being the custodian of said effects, whose papers copied literally are of the following tenor:

Official order appointing the person to make an inventory of the effects of the late Young previous to placing them in trust and appointing a day.

The sub-prefect of the province not having up to this date answered the note which I addressed him in order that he might seal and place provisionally in trust the effects and the house of the deceased American citizen, Mr. Owen Young, the court established itself at the hacienda Tecapa, in the house which was inhabited by the aforesaid deceased, for the purpose of proceeding to make inventories and the consequent trust, and in as much as up to date no interested party has presented himself to whom pertains [Page 593] hereditary rights, being mindful of the urgency of the case and in guarantee of the rights of those who are lawful heirs, by the authority in me vested, I appoint as an expert Don Felipe Matute, anticipating his acceptance and oath, and of the custodian of the effects, Don Julio Silva, according to him as compensation the fees which the law allows to executors of wills, and Sunday, the 21st of the current month, is designated as the day appointed for the transaction of the business.


Notification to the expert, Don Felipe Matute.

On the same day, and at 2 o’clock of the same, was made known to Don Felipe Matute the foregoing order.

Signed and certified.


Another to the custodian, Don Julio Silva.

On the proper day, and at 1 p.m., was made known to Don Julio Silva the foregoing order.

Signed and certified.

  • SILVA.

Oath of the expert.

On the same day, and at 2 p.m., appeared in court Don Felipe Matute, with the object of taking the oath required by law, and it having been duly administered, he voluntarily agreed to discharge well and legally the duty which had been committed to him, and signed by the judge and certified.

  • F. MATUTE.

Oath of the custodian.

On the proper day, and at 2.30 p.m., appeared in court Don Julio Silva, with the object of taking the oath required by law, and it having been duly administered, he voluntarily agreed to well and legally discharge the duty which had been committed to him, and signed by the judge and certified.


Act of those who took the inventory.

At the hacienda Tecapa, on the 21st day of the month of December, 1884, at 12.30 p.m., met his honor the judge of the primary court of claims, Dr. Don José Asencio Urtéaga, associated with me, the undersigned notary public, an expert, Don Felipe Matute, and of the custodian, Don Julio Silva, with the object of making an inventory of and placing in trust the effects of the deceased American citizen, Mr. Owen Young, and an inventory was made in the following order: Five sacks of cotton, 19½ sacks of rice in the hulls, 8 yokes, 2 iron beams, 2 carts, 6 chains, 1 steelyard for weighing wood, 1 grindstone, 1 American plow, 1 house of two rooms, one of wood and the other of Guayaquil cane; 1 hanging clock, 1 sideboard, 1 table, 6 lamps (used), 1 small table, 3 halters (used), 1 portable clothes-rack, 1 pair pincers, 1 bullet-mold, 1 paring-chisel, 1 whetstone, 1 file, 1 chisel, 1 large hammer and 1 small one, 1 small iron bedstead and 1 bed, 1 American chair, 2 arm-chairs, 1 hair-cloth chair, 1 lantern, 10 turkeys, 7 ducks, 15 chickens, 2 pails (used), 3 large hogs, 1 plow of the country, 1 large field of alfalfar, another small, the whole comprising 1 fanegada (8 acres); 4 yokes, 2 cows, 3 calves, 1 horse, 1 donkey, 1 young bull, 12 axes (used); and there being no more effects to inventory, his honor terminated the proceedings, directing the custodian to take charge of the effects according to the law of trusts, and the following was signed by his honor before me, of which I certify.

The following sums due are added to the inventory of effects: from the peon Francisco Escurra, three hundred soles paper; Pedro Escurra, two hundred soles paper; and of others, which are evident, from a book amounting to one thousand three hundred and ninety-four soles paper, of which also I certify.

  • F. MATUTE.
    Notary Public of the State.
[Page 594]

At the same time, being present the judge of the primary court, there appeared before him the young man, George Young, who said he was the natural son of the deceased Owen Young, for whose benefit he was holding the effects of which an inventory had just been made. The judge demanded of him, first receiving from him the customary oath, that he should point out the other effects said to have been the property of his father, and he explained that besides those effects cited, which constitute the work in the proceeding, there should appear also those pertaining to a pasture of the same hacienda, and added on that day he had opened an American trunk, which was deposited in the house of Kauffmann, and found therein several pieces of gold which appear in the document which Don Remigio Saco holds in his possession. With that he concluded the act and signed the oath with the judge. I certify.

  • ANDRÉS ALVAREZ, Actuary.

Fact of having added the extrajudicial inventory of part of the effects of the late Young.

I certify that at this point is added the extrajudicial inventory made on the part of the effects of the late Owen Young, it having been presented by Mr. George Young, who is said to be recognized as the natural son of the deceased, and the judge of the primary court of claims, Dr. Don José Ascencio Urtéaga, having ordered it, follows the judicial proceedings of the intestate; and that the aforesaid document added to it as follows:

Extrajudicial inventory.

San Pedro, December 23, 1884.

Andres Alvarez, actuary.

The children of the late Owen Young, having desired to know the contents of a trunk deposited in the house of Messrs. Kauffmann & Co. in this port, and which belonged to said deceased, I proceeded, in the presence of those who sign below as witnesses, to make an inventory of the contents of the trunk, which resulted as follows: Two pounds sterling, one piece of Bolivian gold ($2), 5 pieces of Chilian gold ($1 each), 58 soles, and 30 cents, silver money, and one Chilian $2 gold piece, one link button, broken, and one hair guard, broken; and the quantity found being so counted, the articles mentioned were delivered to Mr. George Young, the son of the late Young. To which we sign in Pacasmayo the 21st of October, 1884.


  • Remigio Saco.
  • Manuel F. Herrera.
  • Alexandro Rodriquez Guerra.
  • A. W. Goudard.
  • Kauffmann & Co.

As it appears in the original of this case, which remains in my possession, in case it becomes necessary to certify and verify them.

Corrected and compared in the presence of the judge.

Notary Public of the State.


Chief Clerk.