No. 285.
Mr. Bayard to Mr. Walker.

No. 81.]

Sir: I inclose copy of a letter from Mr. Leonard Myers, of Philadelphia, relating to the claim of the Panama Star and Herald against the Government of Colombia.*

As this case does not fall within the lines of the negotiations begun some time ago in reference to the settlement of claims for destruction of property during the disturbances on the Isthmus, it is hoped the Colombian Government will consider and adjust the claim on its merits and without reference to the method of disposing of other classes of claims.

I am, etc.,

T. F. Bayard.
[Inclosure in No. 81.]

Mr. Myers to Mr. Bayard.

Dear Sir: Your polite reply this day received informs me that the claim of the Panama Star and Herald was presented by our minister at Bogota to the Government of Colombia, and that the minister of the latter Government suggested that it be presented with others growing out of the disturbances of 1885 in the Isthmus to the claims convention for the creation of which negotiations are still pending.

I am much pleased that no authority has been given to our minister to assent to this proposition.

I had the honor in my letter of May 23, 1887, to write you that the wrong done to the Panama Star and Herald was not until 1886 and did not arise out of the disturbances of the previous year.

The outrage was an independent one, not caused by insurgents, but a seizure by the authorities themselves. It does not fall within the scope of the Congressional inquiry of February 16, 1887, your reply to which was made on the 19th of that month.

It was natural that Colombia should endeavor to postpone a settlement, just as she wishes to postpone the creation of the claims convention which is contemplated.

My clients, however, who are on the spot, have reason to believe that if we refuse to place this claim with those to which it has no relation Colombia will settle it and was prepared to do so. This arises from a Government offense, and I respectfully urge that whether it arose from misapprehension or error of judgment, we may fairly call upon Colombia to make redress without waiting for the ascertainment of claims founded upon the actions of her citizens.

I beg that you will instruct our minister to make this distinction and to use his best endeavors for the settlement of the Star and Herald claim.

I am, with regards, very respectfully, yours,

Leonard Myers.
  1. For previous correspondence relative to the case of the Panama Star and Herald, see Foreign Relations 1886, pages 168176.