No. 321.
Mr. Jackson to Mr. Bayard.

No. 272.]

Sir: On the evening of the 19th instant, immediately after the receipt of your telegram of that date, I addressed a note to Mr. Mariscal, of which I now forward a copy. I thought it wise, for the purpose of avoiding possible delay in his action, to direct Mr. Mariscal’s attention to the fact that his note of 7th instant, relating to Mr. Cutting’s case, was probably before you when the instruction was sent by wire to me, and was therefore not satisfactory.

After making the demand I telegraphed to Mr. Brigham to give me prompt notice of Mr. Cutting’s release. Having heard nothing from him nor from Mr. Mariscal during the 20th, on the 21st I addressed another note to Mr. Mariscal, a copy of which I also inclose, and late in the evening received his answer, of which a copy and translation are now sent. They go by the earliest mail after the receipt of the original note by me, but were anteceded by a telegram, in the following words:

Instant release of Cutting refused. Reasons given at length. Shall I telegraph them?

I also inclose a translation copy of Article 260, Code of Penal Procedure, referred to in the communication from the governor of Chihuahua to Mr. Mariscal, which accompanied the note of the latter to myself.

I am, &c.,

[Inclosure 1 in No. 272.]

Mr. Jackson to Mr. Mariscal.

Sir: I hasten to communicate to your excellency the following telegram, which I have just received from Mr. Bayard, Secretary of State at Washington: “You are instructed to demand of the Mexican Government the instant release of A. K. Cutting, a citizen of the United States, now unlawfully imprisoned at Paso del Norte.”

It is proper for me to state that, upon referring to my correspondence with my own Government, I ascertain that a copy of your excellency’s esteemed note of 7th instant was forwarded to Mr. Bayard on the 8th, immediately upon its receipt, and must, consequently, have been received by him prior to the 19th instant, the date of his telegram.

In making this demand, through your excellency, I beg to renew the assurance of my most distinguished consideration.

[Inclosure 2 in No. 272.]

Mr. Jackson to Mr. Mariscal.

Sir: On the 19th instant I had the honor of making a demand through your excellency upon the Mexican Government, for the instant release of Mr. A. K. Cutting, a citizen of the United States, unlawfully imprisoned at Paso del Norte. This demand was made under directions by telegram from my own Governmentl.

[Page 704]

Although instructed by me to communicate by telegram the fact of the release of Mr. Cutting, up to this moment I have heard nothing from Mr. Brigham, United States consul at Paso del Norte.

For these reasons I apprehend that possibly my note of the 19th instant, though sent by the usual channel, may not have been placed in your excellency’s hands.

In calling attention to this matter I renew the assurance of my most distinguished consideration.

[Inclosure 3 in No. 272.—Translation.]

Mr. Mariscal to Mr. Jackson.

Mr. Minister: Yesterday I had the honor of receiving your excellency’s communication, dated the day before, and containing a telegram from Mr. Bayard, the Secretary of State, addressed to that legation, to demand from the Mexican Government the instant release of A. K. Cutting, imprisoned illegally, as that message said, in Paso del Norte; and to-day there has reached my hands another communication of this morning, in which your excellency, not having received notice that the prisoner had left the jail, supposes that I have not received the first of the said notes.

As soon as I had noted the contents of that communication, I telegraphed to the governor of Chihuahua, re-recommending the matter to him, asking him to advise me as to its status. As yet I have not received a reply to that telegram, up to this hour (2 p.m.), and this I should not wonder at, in fact, as I know that the said functionary has had to address the supreme tribunal of the State, and the tribunal the judge at Paso del Norte. Mr. Minister, these are delays that are inevitable in a country governed by institutions like ours, where the Federal Executive is unable to communicate directly with the local authorities of the States. Much less could it give them orders. To do thus Would imply a positive offense, especially in the case of judges independent even of the administrative power of the State to which they belong, and that offense would be even more aggravated if designed to trample out and peremptorily stop a legal process, instituted by an interested party, as I understand the case of Mr. Cutting to be.

These considerations cannot but have been evident to the judgment of your excellency’s Government, as they refer to the nature of institutions in that particular identical to those in force in the United States of America. I believe, therefore, that only the pressure brought to bear by private persons, or perhaps by an ill-informed press, can have been able to bring about the result that a Government friendly to Mexico, and which up to the present has no complaint against this nation for lack of compliance with its international obligations, should demand in an absolute manner what is, in every light, morally impossible.

In the matter under treatment all has been done up to the present by this Government that comes in the sphere of its facilities; all that can be asked of it while amity and peace reign between the two nations.

Interposed, as has been the moral influence of the President of the Republic, to the end that the case may be conducted with justice, it should be confidently hoped that very soon the matter will be terminated in a satisfactory manner.

I infer this not only from these reflections, but also from the recommendation made by the supreme tribunal of justice of Chihuahua, which your excellency will see in the accompaniment which I have the honor to inclose, and which document I received in original to-day, sent to me in consequence of the communication which I addressed to the governor of that State on the 7th instant relative to the matter.

I am, &c.,

[Inclosure 4 in No. 272.]

Mr. Maceyra to Mr. Mariscal.

[Mexican Republic, Government of the State of Chihuahua, second section, Department of Justice, No. 1339.]

The president of the supreme tribunal of justice of the State, in a communication, No. 733, of the 14th of the current month, says to this Government:

“The supreme tribunal of justice, over which I have the honor to preside, having noted the contents of your esteemed communication, No. 1279, of the 12th instant, in [Page 705] which you are pleased to forward a communication addressed to you by the secretary of state and of the department of foreign affairs, recommending that justice he administered to Mr. A. K. Cutting in the imprisonment of which he complains, under this date the supreme tribunal decreed what I copy, without preventing the second judge of Bravos from administering prompt and due justice in the matter referred to by the secretary of state and of the department of foreign affairs in the communication forwarded by the executive of the State: Let the said second judge report within the term of three days, and through the justice of peace of the district, regarding the acts which said communication mentions, said report in original to be sent to him, recommending the application of the 260th article of the Code of Penal Procedure,” and I am honored in communicating the same to you for your information and in due reply to your note referred to.”

I have the honor to inclose the above to you for your information, and as a resultant on your communication of the 7th instant relating thereto.

Liberty and constitution,


To the Secretary of State and of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Mexico.

[Inclosure 5 in No. 272.—Translation.]

Article 260, Code of Penal Procedure.

Every person detained or imprisoned for an offense whose punishment may not exceed five years’ imprisonment can obtain his liberty under bail, with the consent of the prosecuting attorney; provided always, that he has a fixed and known domicile; that he possesses property, or exercises some profession, industry, art, or trade, and that in the judgment of the court there is no fear that he will escape.