Mr. Muruaga to Mr. Gresham.


The undersigned minister plenipotentiary of Her Majesty the Queen Regent of Spain has the honor to transmit to the honorable Secretary of State the inclosed report of Mr. Schuyler, consular agent of Spain at Fernandina, Fla., which corroborates the suspicion of Mr. Borden’s complicity in the equivocal and questionable transactions connected with the yachts Lagonda, Amadis, and Baracoa.

Relying upon the assurances which, according to the press, have been given by Mr. Taylor to the Spanish Government that the American Government will cause a strict watch to be kept upon expeditions carrying arms, the undersigned takes the liberty to call the attention of the honorable Secretary of State to the probable or simulated shipment of said arms via the port of Philadelphia.

The undersigned avails, etc.,

E. de Muruaga.
[Page 1189]

Extracts from report of Mr. Schuyler, Spanish consular agent at Fernandina, Fla.

Sir: I wrote you hurriedly last night, and wired you this morning, that the suit of Kimbal-Mantell was settled, the ease dismissed, and the arms, etc., released from attachment, as I wrote you a few days ago was likely to be the case at any time. The arms, etc., upon being released by the sheriff were immediately, during the night, removed back to Borden’s warehouse, and I have reason to believe that they were, or will be, at once shipped by rail from here; I know not where, but suspect to Philadelphia. I have interviewed the custom-house this morning and find that there is no vessel in port that is at all likely to be concerned in the matter, and that night there was an empty car standing before the Borden warehouse. There may be some further developments during the day, and if so, I will advise you. The whole negotiations have been conducted very quietly, and the closing of the case last night came quite unexpectedly, taking us by surprise. I was unable to be present at the settlement, on account of other imperative official duties, but I was kept advised. The attorneys for plaintiff are Cooper & Cooper, of Jacksonville.

March 8.

Sir: All the arms, ammunition, etc., that were stored in Borden’s warehouse have been removed and shipped from here by railroad; their destination I do not know. The work was done at night, and all employed in it are very secretive; nothing can be learned from them, but the warehouse was empty.

March 5.

Sir: I am in receipt of your esteemed favor of the 28th ultimo, and have given the matter referred to due attention. I was previously under the impression that all the arms, ammunition, and accouterments received here by Mr. Borden were under attachment in the Kimbal-Mantell suit, but I find that not to be the case, a portion only—sufficient to secure the claim in the suit—was attached and unmoved from Borden’s warehouse. These are still in the hands of the sheriff, stored in a building at some distance from the warehouse. The remainder are in the warehouse, in Mr. Borden’s possession, and he may be disposing of them; in fact, though I can not as yet get evidence to prove it, I am satisfied he is disposing of them; to what extent I can not at present say. In the suit referred to, Kimbal v. Mantell, Mr. Borden was garnishee, and required to show under oath what property, possessions, or effects he had in his possession or control belonging to said Mantell. To this he yesterday made answer that he had nothing so belonging. This is a denial on his part that the arms, etc., are the property of Mantell, and hence they lie there without any apparent owner and subject to be removed without any responsibility. The suit in attachment is not returnable until July next, but I learn incidentally that the matter is in process of compromise, in which case dismissal of the suit and release of the property may at any day be accomplished. The owner of the property, whoever it may be, has means and is desirous of settling the suit and getting possession of the same. Mr. Borden is very little in the city, spending most of his time in Jacksonville, as I understand, and any disposal of the arms, etc., must be made through a third party. The correspondent of the secret agency to which you refer may gain more details in the case than I can, as my position is well known and information carefully secreted from me, but the information given above I have obtained from first hands.