Mr. Romero to Mr. Gresham.
Washington, February 17, 1894. (Received February 19.)
Mr. Secretary: Referring to the conversations which we have had in relation to the claim that has been laid before the U. S. Government by Mrs. Baldwin, wife of a citizen of the United States who was murdered in Durango, Mexico, and to the efforts which have been made by the U. S. legation to induce the Mexican Government to pay an indemnity to that lady, I have the honor to apprise you that I have received [Page 419]instructions from the Mexican Government to inform that of the United States that Mexico does not consider itself under obligations to pay any indemnity to Mrs. Baldwin on account of the death of her husband, because he was the victim of a common crime in which the Mexican authorities were in nowise concerned, and because the perpetrators of that crime have been tried and punished, whereby the obligations of the Government of Mexico in this case were fulfilled.
The condition, moreover, of the Mexican treasury, which has been occasioned by the great depreciation in the value of silver, renders any extra payment very difficult.
Nevertheless, in consideration of the reiterated requests which have been made by you, through me, in order that something may be paid to Mrs. Baldwin, the Government of Mexico has decided to offer, as an act of equity, which is not to establish a precedent, or to imply the recognition of any obligation toward Mrs. Baldwin, the payment to the U. S. minister in the City of Mexico of the sum of $3,000 at the expiration of three months, reckoned from the date of the conclusion of the arrangement with the U. S. Government, and the remainder, until the sum of $20,000 shall have been paid to the aforesaid officer, in twelve monthly installments of $1,416.66 each.
The Mexican Government proposes this arrangement, bearing in mind the fact that a similar one was approved in the case of the indemnity of $7,000 that was paid to Deputy Sheriff Shadrack White, who lost the use of one of his arms in an encounter which took place at Eagle Pass, Tex., on the 3d of March, 1888, between Texan police officers and Mexican soldiers who had come to that place, without authority, in pursuit of a deserter.
Be pleased to accept, etc.,