No. 921.
Mr. Buck to Mr. Bayard.

No. 376.

Sir: I herewith inclose copies of papers relative to the outrages perpetrated against Mr. V. H. Mac Cord, at Arequipa, in June, 1885. They consist of a letter from Mr. Richard Gibbs, the United States minister to Bolivia, dated July 17, 1885; a letter from Mr. Mac Cord to me, dated July 24, 1885; and Mr. Mac Cord’s protest, made before the British vice-consul at Arequipa June 16, 1885. Notwithstanding the dates, these papers have only been presented to me within the last few days.

In connection, however, I refer Department to my No. 48, of October 30,1885 (see also Department’s reply in its No. 41, of December 8, 1885); thus will appear explained why this matter has not been before officially presented. The reasons at that time existing have continued until a recent date; when the action of the Peruvian Government in seizing the railroads which Mr. Thorndike held, and of which Mr. Mac Cord was his general manager, relieved these gentlemen from the restraint of conflicting interest and prudence which hitherto had induced them to avoid an issue on the subject with the Government of Peru.

Mr. Mac Cord is at present consular agent of the United States at Mollendo, latterly commissioned November 12, 1886. (See Department’s Register, page 31.)

Mr. Mac Cord states in a letter to me of May 14, 1888, that he was at the time of the outrage, viz, May 12, 1885, consular agent, under appointment dated February 10, 1883, made by Mr. Partridge, then United States minister to Peru, and was recognized as such at Arequipa February 20, 1883; and he incloses the certificate of his said appointment with his recognition, signed “Valcárcel,” under the stamp of the minister of foreign relations, Peru. Of this I presume Department has its own record.

From Mr. Gibbs’ letter it seems Mr. Mac Cord had previously tendered his resignation as consular agent, though my understanding is, at the time of the events complained of he had not been advised of its acceptance.

I am, etc.,

Chas. W. Buck.
[Page 1367]
[Inclosure 1 in No. 376.]

Mr. Gibbs to Mr. MacCord.

Dear Sir: Your favor of 8th instant was duly received and contents noted.

I would advise you to make your protest as an American citizen, for the very fact of your having sent in your resignation, which must be on file somewhere, would, I think, debar you to claim as a consular agent and you had better be on the safe side. The protest should have been made at the time of the outrage or as soon after as possible, and a heavy claim, say 100,000 soles, as damages, at least, against Peru and all whom it may concern in any manner or form.

I advise you to give a detailed account of the whole matter and forward it immediately to Mr. Buck, the new minister at Lima, if you can not go in person, which would be preferable. You may as well make a big row about it at once, and the sooner the better. I can not say anything about it at present, as the affair is not in my country or post, but when I arrive at Lima I will have something to say, and more if I ever get to Washington. I send file of New York Herald up to June 1. Am awaiting my successor and hope to be on the way soon.

Yours, sincerely,

Richard Gibbs.
[Inclosure 2 in No. 376.]

Mr. MacCord to Mr. Buck.

Sir: I take the liberty to inclose herewith certified copy of a protest made by me before the British vice-consul in this city on the 16th day of last month, and beg you to advise me what further steps should be taken, if any, in order to make a claim for the outrages committed against my person, as set forth in the said protest.

I have the honor to be, Mr. Minister, yours, respectfully,

V. H. MacCord.
[Inclosure 3 in No. 376.]

Protest of V. H. MacCord.

By this public instrument of protest, be it known and made manifest to all whom it may concern that on the sixteenth day of the month of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighty-five, personally came and appeared before me, Alexander Hartley, esquire, acting British vice-consul at Arequipa, in the Republic of Peru, Victor Hugh MacCord, a citizen of the United States of North America, acting superintendent of the Arequipa, Puno, and Cuzco Railroads, who deposeth as follows: In consequence of the political events transpiring in this department of Arequipa since the eight instant, the prefect, Colonel Don Manuel San Roman (appointed by General Caceres), had caused all the engines to be retired from the Mollendo division and concentrated in this city. On the eleventh instant the said prefect ordered an engine and train of cars to be put at the orders and under the charge of Sergeant Major (Sarjento Mayor) Enrique Valdez for the purpose of conveying troops somewhere on the Mollendo division, which order was immediately complied with. During the absence of this train from Arequipa, namely, on Friday, the twelfth of June, by the perfidy of the engineer and the carelessness of the officer in charge, the engine ran away and joined the opposing forces at Mollendo. Notwithstanding the fact of the train having been put in charge of the commander of the troops and there being absolutely no blame attachable to any employé of the railway except the engineer, who ran away, the aforesaid MacCord was immediately imprisoned in the San Francisco barracks, where he received the following official note from the prefect, reading textually:

Prefectura del Departamento, á 12 de Junio de 1885.

Señor MacCord,
Superintendente de los Ferro-Carriles:

Dicte U. por telégrafo todas las ordenes del caso para que la línea férrea entre Cacheudo yla Joyaquede inutilizada completaraente. Tiene U. para ello plazo hasta mañana muy temprano para que esta órden terminante se cumpla; pues, estaudo comoestá U. en poder de la autoridad, que tieue que cuuiplir su deber en estas circumstancias, [Page 1368]el mero hecho de pasar de la Joya en direccion á esta ciudad la máquina fugitiva, me pondrá en el caso de fusilarlo sin la mas pequeña dilacion, pues U. es el único responsable de lo acontecido.

Dios gue.a Ud.

Manuel San Roman.

At the foot of the same official note the following instructions were given, reading textually:

Señor A. Tamayo, Pte:

Sirvase dictar las medidas mas eficaces para cumplir la órden del Señor Prefecto arriba indicada.

V. H. MacCord,
Cuartel de San Francisco, fecha ut supra.

Some time after the receipt of the note an officer came to the cell and advised the prisoner to arrange his affairs, as there was an order to shoot him within an hour, and less than half an hour afterwards he was marched out to the parade ground and stood up before a file of soldiers armed with rifles, and asked if he wished to say anything, as he was to be shot. He replied that he had committed no crime, and had nothing to say. Thereupon the officers, three or four in number, retired a short distance and appeared to consult among themselves for a moment, when one said, “It is not good to kill a man,” and they then led the prisoner-back to the cell. In the mean time some friends, seeing that some of the officers were under the influence of liquor, and fearing for the life of the prisoner in such a place, had gone to the prefect and asked to have the prisoner changed to some other place of confinement, and at about midnight he was transferred to the “Cuartel de los Ejercicios.” On the following day, June the thirteenth, the prisoner was verbally notified by the sub-prefect, Don Francisco Llosa, that by order of the prefect he must pay a fine of ten thousand soles for the escape of the engine, and that it must be paid at once or severe measures would be taken against his person to compel payment, that no delay would be allowed, and to the end that his orders might be strictly and rigidly carried out the prisoner would be remanded to the “Cuartel de San Francisco.” Reply (also verbal) was returned, saying that it was entirely unjustifiable to impose a fine implying culpability without even a semblance of an investigation, and that a trial was asked for in order to establish the facts and show who was responsible for the escape of the engine. It was not allowed, and at about seven o’clock in the evening the threat of returning the prisoner to “San Francisco” was carried out.

In view of this proceeding, after what had transpired there the night before, the entire foreign colony resident in this city, headed by the consular corps, went in a body to the prefect’s house and obtained from him a promise to have the prisoner confined in some other place which offered more security for his life, and that he would be given a prompt trial in accordance with the law of the country. The first was speedily complied with and the prisoner transferred to the Cuartel de la Maestranza” the same evening. The following day, June fourteenth, notice was given by verbal message from the prefect that if the ten thousand soles was not paid before three o’clock in the afternoon the “extreme measures” threatened would be applied, and the fine increased to “fifteen thousand, and if delayed longer to twenty thousand soles.” Reply was made reiterating the demand for trial and protesting against the illegality of the fine, and non-fulfillment of the promise of prompt trial made the night previous to the consular corps and to the several members of the foreign colony, which had not been kept: nor has this been done up to the time of entering the present protest. All was ignored, and only threatening replies were received. Convinced of the arbitrary proceedings which were evidently to be employed to compel the payment it was suggested that the amount of the fine be deducted from the balance due the railway by the Government for work done. This was also refused. On the morning of the fifteenth of June word was brought that by order of the prefect the prisoner MacCord should not be allowed either food or water, and that every article of furniture be removed from his cell, which order was forthwith carried out. The cell was a damp one, with a brick floor, and the prisoner was compelled to stand, as everything, even to a rough stone, which might have served as a seat, was taken away. Without anything to eat or drink since the previous day, it was impossible to stand this, and every exertion was now made to procure the money, which had to be borrowed, as, on account of the almost complete paralyzation of traffic for nearly a year past, owing to political disturbances, the company was unable to earn sufficient to even pay its workmen. Thanks to some of the commercial houses of this city, the money was raised, and at three o’clock in the afternoon the prisoner was allowed to go at liberty.

It appearing by the foregoing deposition that the laws of the country have been [Page 1369]defiantly infringed by an authority who, not being a judge, imposes fines and executes punishments arbitrarily and in violation of the laws, and by keeping a prisoner over the time allowed by law without submitting him to the proper tribunal for trial, and subjecting him to barbarous and inhuman treatment whilst so detained:

I, Victor H. MacCord, do make this my formal protest against the arbitrary and abusive proceedings of the aforesaid prefect of Arequipa, Colonel Don Manuel San Roman, and do declare that the ten thousand soles in silver coin were paid under pressure of violence and reserving the right to make claim to a higher authority and to the tribunals of justice of the country, and to appeal to diplomatic ways, if necessary, in defense of my own personal rights and in protection of the interests confided to my care.

V. H. MacCord.

Thus protested and declared in due form of law, at Arequipa aforesaid, the day, month, and year first before written.


Alex. Hartley,
Acting British Vice-Consul.

I, Alexander Hartley, esquire, acting British vice-consul at Arequipa, do hereby certify that the foregoing is a correct and exact copy of the original instrument of protest entered in the archives of this vice-consulate.

Alex. Hartley,
Acting British Vice-Consul.