No. 314.
Mr. Jackson to Mr. Bayard.

No. 266.]

Sir: The inclosed copies of note addressed by me to Mr. Mariscal, and of his reply thereto, with translation of the latter, will indicate the action I have felt myself called upon to take, in the matter of the imprisonment [Page 699] at Paso del Norte of Mr. A. K. Cutting, an American citizen. Having learned from the United States consul, Mr. Brigham, that the Department had been fully advised by him of the affair, I shall take no further step in the matter unless I be instructed by yourself to do so.

I am, &c.,

[Inclosure 1 in No. 266.]

Mr. Jackson to Mr. Mariscal.

Sir: I am in receipt of an official communication from J. Harvey Brigham, esq., consul of the United States at El Paso del Norte, accompanied by affidavits of several persons, from which it appears that, on the 23d of June last, Mr. A. K. Cutting, an American citizen of respectable character, was imprisoned in that city, by order of the judge of the second court, Hon. Roque Castañeda; that the place of his incarceration is “loathsome and filthy”; “that he is locked up with eight or ten other prisoners * * in jail for various offenses * * in one room 18 by 40 feet, with only one door, which is locked at night, making it a close room in every respect, there being no other means of ventilation. The room is filthy and unwholesome, with only a ground floor.”

The affidavits further establish the facts that Mr. Cutting is not only able to give ample security from the best and wealthiest men of the city for his appearance to stand his trial, but that he actually offered such bail and it was refused; that he thereupon applied to the United States consul for protection, which Mr. Brigham undertook to extend in a respectful note addressed to the judge, but that his interposition met with contemptuous silence, and that Mr. Cutting has been retained in jail despite of it.

The affidavits further show that the only offense charged against him is the publication of a “card,” addressed “to Emigdio Medina, of Paso del Norte,” in a newspaper published in El Paso, which reflects upon the character of the latter.

It is not my purpose in this note to discuss the question whether a Mexican court can take jurisdiction of an offense committed upon the soil of Texas, nor to enter into the merits of the controversy between Mr. A. K. Cutting on the one hand, and Mr. Emigdio Medina on the other. I learn that these matters have been submitted by Mr. Brigham, the consul, to the Department of State at Washington. My object is simply to direct the attention of your excellency to the fact that an American citizen, of respectable character, charged with no serious crime, but with acts which, even if he be guilty, constitute the simplest of misdemeanors, is now undergoing a very severe punishment before conviction, and after offering the best of security for his appearance to stand his trial; and that his health, and even his life, are placed and held in jeopardy, despite of the efforts of an official representative of his country in his behalf. But for this serious aspect of the case I should have awaited instructions from my own Government before approaching your excellency on the subject, and do so now only for the purpose of praying that proper relief may be extended to Mr. Cutting at the earliest moment and through the speediest practicable channel.

I seize, &c.,

[Inclosure 2 in No. 266.—Translation.]

Mr. Mariscal to Mr. Jackson.

Mr. Minister: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your excellency’s communication, dated the 6th instant, relative to the imprisonment in Paso del Norte of Mr. A. K. Cutting, and to state that by advice of the President I to-day address the governor of the State of Chihuahua recommending him to see that prompt and due justice be administered, to the alleviation of the rude situation in which Mr. Cutting is found, as well as all else permitted by the laws.

Promising to communicate to your excellency as soon as received the reply of the said governor, it pleases me to renew, &c.,