Mr. Rives to Mr. Chang Yen
Washington, May 15, 1888.
Sir: Referring to previous correspondence exchanged by the Department with you in relation to the reported murder, in May, 1887, of a party of Chinamen engaged in mining on Snake River, in Oregon, I have the honor to communicate to you for your information copy of a letter in relation to the occurrence, written by the honorable James H. Slater, of Joseph, Oregon, formerly a Senator of the United States, to Mr. L. L. McArthur, United States attorney for the district of Oregon, which letter has been sent to this Department for such use as may be proper.
You will observe that Mr. Slater makes important statements touching the necessity of securing evidence against the six men who have been indicted recently for the killing and robbery of the Chinamen in question. It seems probable that much aid in the indicated direction might be rendered to the authorities of the State of Oregon having jurisdiction in the premises by the Chinese consul at San Francisco, who has heretofore interested himself in tracing out the authors of this grievous crime and endeavoring to procure their trial and conviction.
The crime having been committed against the laws and peace of Oregon, [Page 402] and the indictment against certain of the alleged murderers having been found by the criminal courts of that State, there is no present occasion for Federal jurisdiction in the premises, or for interference to procure testimony on the part of the judicial officers of the United States. The Chinese consul at San Francisco and his agents, with the witnesses to the facts mentioned is your previous note, will, I am sure, be afforded every courtesy and facility by the authorities of the State of Oregon, of whose energetic disposition to take advantage of every opportunity to further the ends of justice Senator Slater’s letter affords gratifying proof.