Mr. Olney to Mr. Taylor.

No. 503.]

Sir: I transmit herewith copies of communications received from our consul-general at Habana in relation to the maltreatment of José Manuel Delgado, a citizen of the United States, residing in Cuba, who seeks indemnity from the Government of Spain for a lawless and outrageous attack made upon him at his home, near Bainoa, Cuba, on the 4th of March last, by order of the Spanish General Melguizo. The papers inclosed are copies of the consul-general’s dispatches:

No. 2837, March 24, 1896, containing a sworn account of the affair, by Jose Gregorio Delgado, the claimant’s father, a sworn statement by the claimant himself, and a report on the nature of the claimant’s injuries, by Dr. D. M. Burgess.
No. 2841, March 28, 1896, containing a copy of the consul-general’s protest to the Governor General of Cuba against the outrage perpetrated on the claimant.
No. 2877, April 11, 1896, containing the formal complaint or memorial of the claimant, and certificate of Dr. Romero y Leal and Dr. Diaz, of the Spanish hospital corps, as to his injuries.
No. 2907, April 23, 1896, containing the sworn statement of Venancio Pino, who was a witness of the outrage on the claimant and is the sole surviving fellow-sufferer with him.1

The claimant and his father were the lessees of a sugar plantation near Bainoa, in the province of Habana, and resided on it. On the morning of March 4 last the insurgent General Maceo and his troops camped at the house of the claimant for the purpose of getting breakfast. On being shown certificates of American citizenship by the claimant and his father, Maceo assured them against harm. Before Maceo and [Page 587] his men had finished their breakfast they were attacked by Spanish troops. The claimant, his father, and certain laborers who were near the dwelling house all took refuge there and closed the doors. In a short time Maceo withdrew and a squad of Spanish troops under Captain Villanueva rode into the house, drove all the inmates out, and then took the claimant and seven of the laborers on the place to a point half a mile distant, where they were awaited by the general of the Spanish forces, whose name was Cayetano Melguizo. At the request of the claimant, his father and the women were left at the house. On reaching General Melguizo the claimant exhibited papers showing his citizenship of the United States, and assured the general that he had been strictly neutral. Immediately upon learning that the claimant was a citizen of the United States, General Melguizo struck him three times with his hand, saying, “Just as I will shoot you, so would I shoot the American consul. I care nothing for all those papers of American citizenship.”

General Melguizo then ordered Captain Villanueva to take the claimant and the seven laborers to the rear and shoot them. This order the captain immediately proceeded to carry into execution. Tying his prisoners together with a rope and standing them up against a stone wall, he ordered his soldiers to fire upon them. At the first volley the claimant fell with a scalp wound. Knowing that his life depended on simulating death, he lay as if dead. The captain then ordered his men to finish their work with machetes. They fired another volley before obeying that order, and a bullet penetrated the buttocks of the claimant as he lay upon the ground. He was then struck with a machete over the head on the right side of the face and again on the neck. The soldiers fired again, either at him or at his companions, and one bullet grazed his head. They then turned him over to search his pockets, and discovering that he was still breathing, they gave him another tremendous stroke with a machete and left him, saying, “Now he is surely dead.”

Of the seven companions who were shot at the same time all were killed except one, Venancio Pino, whose affidavit accompanies this dispatch as a part of the evidence in behalf of the claimant.

The claimant was found later still alive, and was taken in charge by his father, who, on learning that the Spanish troops were searching with intent to kill all persons who might be able to give testimony concerning the horrible crime they had been guilty of, took his son to a distant place and hid him in a cane field, where the father and desperately wounded son remained four and a half days without medical aid, bedded upon the ground, exposed to the weather, and dependent on one old man for food.

Through the efforts of our consul-general at Habana, as fully appears in the evidence, the Captain-General had the claimant brought to Habana, where he was received by his relatives and taken care of. The nature and extent of his injuries are described by Dr. D. M. Burgess, United States sanitary inspector at Habana, and by Drs. José F. Romero and Albert J. Diaz, of the Spanish hospital corps. Their reports show that the claimant narrowly escaped death, and that his wounds were serious at the dates of the respective reports.

The claimant’s only offense, and the immediate provocation of the murderous attack upon him, appear to have been the fact that he was a citizen of the United States, and that he presented papers bearing the signature and seal of the United States consul-general in Cuba, which were given him to insure his protection from harm by the Spanish authorities in Cuba.

[Page 588]

The rights of the claimant under our treaties with Spain are fully set forth in the consul-general’s letter to the Governor-General of Cuba. The case is one of deliberate attempt to murder a citizen of the United States. There is no reason to doubt the truth of the statements made by the claimant and in his behalf, and this Government expects the Imperial Government of Spain to disavow the act of General Melguizo, to punish him and his accomplices in this crime, and to pay the claimant a suitable indemnity for the injuries inflicted upon him. The case calls for prompt and effective action on the part of Spain.

I am, etc.,

Richard Olney.
[Inclosure 1 in No. 503.]

Mr. Williams to Mr. Rockhill.

No. 2837.]

Sir: I beg to acknowledge the receipt of the Department’s telegram of to-day reading:

Williams, Consul, Habana:

Your 2827 to 2830 received; press for information about Dygert’s arrest and my instructions of 17th. Also report about Delgado; delay inexplicable.


To which I have answered as follows:

Assistant Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.:

Have asked again to-day for information Dygert’s arrest. Am preparing exposition to Governor-General in accordance instructions 17th. Yesterday obtained certificate medical examination Delgado. Declarations and certificates go to-morrow’s steamer.

Williams, Consul-General.

In this connection, and with reference to my dispatches Nos. 2814, 2819, 2829, and 2830, dated respectively the 11th, 13th, and 18th instant, in relation to the case of Dr. José Manuel Delgado and his father, I now beg to inclose the copies and translations of the declaration made before me on the 14th instant by Mr. José Gregorio Delgado, and that of Dr. José Manuel Delgado made on the 18th instant; and to say also that I have deemed it more convenient and conducive to a good understanding of the case by sending these documents to the Department together, being in that way connective, and not detached, as they would have been had I sent them separately. Besides, from the grave nature of this case I have judged it prudent to obtain a certificate of medical examination as a confirmatory proof of the sworn declaration of Dr. José Manuel Delgado. This certificate was only delivered to me yesterday, Monday, though dated the 20th. Again, I have had it translated by a competent Spanish physician, for in addition to the translation of the declaration of the younger Delgado I needed it as a fundamental proof upon which to base my complaint to the Governor-General against the unlawful acts of General Melguizo. All these documents have had to be prepared with care and discernment. There has been no delay in this case. To the contrary, it has kept the entire personnel of the office on the go ever since knowledge of it was first had.

I am, etc.,

Ramon O. Williams,
[Page 589]
[Subinclosure 1 to inclosure 1 in No. 503.]

Deposition of José Gregorio Delgado.

On this 14th day of March, 1896, before me, the undersigned, consul-general of the United States of America at Habana, personally appeared Mr. José G. Delgado, a citizen of the United States, and, being first duly sworn, deposes and states as follows:

My name is José Gregorio Delgado; I am a widower; 70 years of age; a citizen of the United States, residing lately in this island on the plantation “Dolores,” sometimes called “Morales,” in the town of Bainoa, province of Habana, which, with my son, Dr. José Manuel Delgado, I rented about November, 1893, for the purpose of growing cane and produce, and also the raising and breeding of stock, and during the past three years have lived on said place, causing trouble to none and unmolested by anyone.

On the 4th of March last, at about 11 o’clock in the forenoon, an insurgent force, under command of the insurgent Gen. Antonio Maceo, and numbering about 6,000 to 7,000 men—blacks, whites, and mulattoes, and even a company of about twenty or more women armed with revolvers and machetes—suddenly came on the place in the batey. My son and myself left the house to meet them and inquire the reason of their presence. We met a group, apparently of officers, whom my son addressed, asking who they were, and they replied, “We belong to Maceo’s army;” and on their asking who we were we showed them our American papers and stated that we were American citizens and lessees of the place. Maceo was pointed out to me, and he assured me that we would receive no damage from his forces. These were so numerous as to occupy about two caballerias of land, showing great activity, collecting fuel and building fires to cook breakfast; and Maceo gave me to understand that his force would depart immediately after their breakfast. Maceo and a number of his officers took possession of the house, had a table set, and their breakfast served in the main room. From the first we stated our American citizenship, and that we were neutrals and could not oppose their force.

While finishing breakfast shots were heard, probably from the outposts, and all hands suddenly jumped to their feet. I heard Maceo call a bugler and give him orders, which seemed to set everybody in motion, and they left the house precipitately. We that remained in the house closed the doors and windows and heard several volleys and then scattering shots; we could not tell where they came from, and some broke the tiles of the roof. As soon as the shooting commenced seven of the “colonos,” all white men in our employ, rushed into the house from the rear for protection. They had been ploughing, and were in bare feet. The firing probably lasted but ten or fifteen minutes, and when it ceased I opened the front door, and there rushed in three women, the mother, sister, and wife of one of the “colonos,” Gregorio Pino, seeking protection. I left the house to ascertain what had happened. I left by the front, and almost at the same time my son and the “colonos “left by the rear. There were fires in the fields all around, and the cattle had been left standing in the yoke, and they went to look out for them. I walked about thirty paces and noticed that two Spanish cavalry soldiers were advancing at a trot along one side of the purging house and on the other side a captain of cavalry and one man. The first shouted to me, “Why are you running away?” and I answered, “I am not running away; I wanted to know what you want.”

They passed me toward the house and went under the porch. I followed them. At this moment my son returned with the colonos, who again sought refuge in the house. The captain ordered a soldier to “go in and drive out everybody,” and, still mounted, the soldier, followed by his captain, rode their horses into the hall and the captain ordered everybody, women and all, out of the house. I then took out my American papers and called his attention to them, saying, “Captain, we are Americans and neutrals.” But the captain replied, “I don’t care for that; that’s the worst about you” (lo peor que V. tiene). At the same time my son made his appearance, and the captain ordered him forward, and my son showed his papers, claiming the same as I did—that we were Americans and neutrals—only to receive the same order, to “go on.” My son then asked, “Where do you take us?” and was answered, “To the general, who wants to see you.” We all started, men and women, and had walked a dozen paces when the captain ordered the women to remain behind and for the rest of us to go on. We had walked hardly another dozen paces, and had not really left the house precincts, when my son spoke up to the captain, saying, “Captain, let my father stay behind with the women.” And the captain said, “All right, but you go on.” I then remained behind with the women, and we did not stir’ from the place for about twenty minutes, when we heard a discharge of several rifles, followed immediately by another, then several scattering shots. I ordered the women to go [Page 590] into the house and sit down. We remained here about three hours, in mortal dread and tribulation, and then, as no one came near us. I left the house to take the road to find out what had happened. I met one of our colonos, Venancio Pino, a man of 68 years, bathed in blood, and holding his wrist with his left hand, as he had a bullet wound in his right shoulder and two bullet wounds in his head—scalp wounds. I asked him with dread what had happened, and he answered, “They have killed them all” (Todos los han matado). “And my son?” “First of all.” I took him to the house and bound up his wounds, and he again told me that all had been killed.

I was alone in the house with the wounded man and the women; the Chinese cook and an old negro servant had disappeared. I tried to persuade some of the women to go to the next house for help, but they were so fear-stricken they did not dare to leave. I then, got out by the rear of the house, crossed a banana field and several lots. I saw two men at a distance; they were two more of the colonos in my employ who were coming to see what had happened. I told them, and we came back to the house together. They remained with the wounded man, and I left the house again. I met a neighbor on horseback who called out to me to come and succor my son, as he was still alive. I gave him a cot bottom and he went to get some poles to make a litter, and I went to the house to get blankets, a mattress, cloths, cologne water, and rum, and hastened to the spot where I was told my son was lying with the others who had been killed. My son had already been assisted into an old cot bed, conscious, but nearly spent from loss of blood. I gave him some rum to revive him, and asked how it happened, and he replied, “Those barbarians have cowardly killed me;” and spoke no further from weakness.

I can not remember how he was taken back to the house. The bodies of the six colonos that were killed lay about. One of them, Lito Guerra, a boy of 14, lay close to the cot upon which my son had been placed, and I noticed he had bullet wounds and his face was cut in several places by machetes. The remaining bodies were also “macheteados.” Upon reaching the house my son’s clothing was cut off and I saw that he had three wounds from a machete on the neck and forehead, and that a ball had apparently gone through his buttocks from right to left and another had given him a scalp wound on the top of the head. I also picked up a bullet which fell from his clothing, and I suppose was the one that went through him. My son recovered somewhat, and, being himself a physician, gave me directions what to do to dress his wounds.

The two following days we remained in the house, the women attending to Don Venancio Pino and I to my son. I was then informed by the same man who had helped my son that it was said that the Spanish troops intended to return and would finish him and kill me also, so that no one should give testimony against them; and he advised me to hide in the bush (manigua), and the same night he returned with others and insisted upon taking my son and myself away with them, carrying my son on the same cot bed and I on horseback. We reached a place of shelter within a cane field, unknown to me, at about 2 o’clock in the morning, and remained here about four days and a half. The only shelter my son had was some boards or a leanto over his cot, covered by palm branches, and I lay on palm branches on the ground. A very old man, whom I did not know, was the only means of support we had, for he brought us milk, broth, and food regularly. I found means to write several letters to the United States consul-general, and sent them to him, and I learn that they reached him. I received a letter from Mr. Williams, the consul-general, Wednesday night, to the effect that he had provided a safe conduct for my son and myself and the promised safety of the captain-general to bring us to Habana. I proposed then to leave the next morning, but the old man who had been attending us said we must leave at once. We were then taken from the cane field, leaving at about 9.30 at night, and reached my house at about 1 o’clock the next morning, drenched through by heavy rains. Here I found that the wounded man, Pino, had been taken away by his sons and that my two missing servants had made their appearance. We passed Thursday here, and yesterday morning (Friday, March 13) I started for Habana, having received another letter from Consul-General Williams, with an inclosure of a copy of General Weyler’s order. At the railroad station the storekeeper informed me that a major with an escort had come for me, and not finding me had withdrawn.

I came to Habana without anything further occurring, and went to the house of my nephew, Eduardo Delgado, where I am now stopping. My son remains in my house on the plantation.

José G. Delgado.

Before me:
Ramon O. Williams,
United States Consul-General.

A true copy.

Ramon O. Williams, Consul-General.
[Page 591]
[Subinclosure 2 to inclosure 1 in No. 503.]

Deposition of José M. Delgado.

On this 18th day of March, 1896, before me, the undersigned, consul-general of the United States at Habana, at No. 5 Prado street, in this city, the place of his temporary residence, personally appeared Mr. José Manuel Delgado, who, being first duly sworn, deposes and says as follows:

My name is José Manuel Delgado; I am 46 years of age; unmarried; am a physician by profession; I am a native of Cuba and a citizen of the United States, where I resided from the year 1856 until 1877; since that time I have resided in this country, engaged in agricultural and medical pursuits. Over three years ago my father, José Gregorio Delgado, and myself rented the plantation or farm called the “Dolores,” also known as the “Morales,” from the name of its primitive owner, and here we were engaged in raising cane for sugar making, and also the raising and breeding of stock, without experiencing any molestation whatever.

On the 4th of March, at about half-past 10 in the morning, the insurgent forces under command of the insurgent General Antonio Maceo, numbering about 4,000 to 5,000 men, as I was informed by the doctors who accompanied them, all mounted, arrived at the dwelling house of the farm; they made known their intention to remain long enough for breakfast, and some of them took possession of the house, where they intended to have breakfast served to the leaders. My father and myself hastened to show to General Maceo our papers accrediting ourselves to be American citizens, telling him we were neutrals, and consequently could not oppose him with force. He assured us that no harm would be done to us, and, as I heard afterwards, gave strict orders to all the men on the place to remain in their houses, else they might endanger their lives by not obeying them. I heard afterwards that all the surrounding potreros were full of insurgents. Maceo told me, also, that no harm would be done to our property; that he only wanted to take breakfast on the place and then leave. He brought his own breakfast, but asked permission to use the kitchen. He and his officers, some fifteen or twenty, took possession of the main hall and had their breakfast served. Maceo also cautioned me against laying information against him to the Spanish troops, for then if anything happened to him he would return and burn our fields.

As they were finishing breakfast, about 1 o’clock, we heard scattering shots at some distance that seemed to come from the direction of the northwest of the road to Cassiguas and Bainoa, and the potrero belonging to José M. Aguirre y Alentado. Maceo ordered all his forces to mount; the firing increased for about fifteen minutes, some of the bullets striking the houses of the batey. In the meantime all the colonos or workmen on the place ran for protection into the house, and Ave immediately shut the doors and windows. We heard the bugles of the insurgent forces, and they shortly disappeared.

After about ten or fifteen minutes, everything seeming to have quieted down, we opened the front door and saw that several of our cane fields were burning in the direction where we supposed was the column of Spanish troops that had attacked Maceo. Seeing that the fields were burning and fearing that the oxen yoked to the plows, which were abandoned by the workmen, would be burned if not attended to, I and the men who had been plowing and who had taken refuge in the house went out by the rear of the house to save the oxen, and as we returned to the house, and about twenty minutes after the cessation of the shooting, Capt. Augusto Villanueva, a captain in the volunteer squadron of Jaruco, and a sergeant named Ricardo del Valle, son of the municipal judge (justice of the peace) of Cassiguas, and a negro volunteer whom I recognized as named Gregorio, the town bell-ringer, with some fifteen or more men suddenly made their appearance in our house, entering mounted into the very rooms and, at the muzzles of their carbines and revolvers, told my father and myself and the wife and two daughters of Mr. Venancio Pino, who had taken refuge in the house, to follow them. My father and I told him that we were American citizens, neutrals, and peaceful citizens, and we both produced and exhibited our American papers—I my passport, issued by the Department of State, and my father a copy of his citizenship certificate, but he replied that he had nothing to do with that; ordered us all to leave the house, and drove us all out—my father, myself, the three women mentioned, and the following-named persons, who were all white men and colonos or workmen in our employ: Venancio Pino, 70 years of age; Gregorio Pino, his son, 37; Simon Guerra, 15 years; Lito Guerra, 13 or 14 years; Juan de Dios Tavio, 20 years; Yreno Tavio, 17 or 18 years, and Juan Rodriguez, about 16 or 17 years of age.

He told us he was going to take us to the general, and to “go forward.” I begged him to leave some one of the women to take care of the house, and he then said, “Let the women stay”; and I then asked him to let my father, Mr. José Gregorio [Page 592] Delgado, an old man, over 70 years of age, remain with the women, and the captain said, “Let him stay with the women”; and the remainder of us were driven ahead to meet the general of the column, who, I learned afterwards, was General Melguizo. He was stationed in the crossroads or place called Cuatro Caminos, about 1,000 or 1,500 yards distant from the batey of the plantation.

When we arrived in presence of the general I showed him ray American passport, and also a letter received from the United States consul-general at Habana in relation to the requisition of our horses, and told him that my father and myself were the lessees of the place; that all the cane then burning belonged to us; that we were American citizens; and I then produced our papers. No sooner had I stated that we were citizens than he became enraged, and struck me three times with his open hand over my head and face, knocking off my hat, which I picked up. He was mounted at the time, and I on foot, and he said—I give his actual words in Spanish: “Lomismo que le fusilo á V. le daría cuatro tiros al consul americano, á mi no me importa nada todos esos papeles de ciudadanía americana.” (Just as I will shoot you, so would I shoot the American consul. I care nothing for all those papers of American citizenship.) All this in a tone of the greatest contempt. He called the before-named Captain Villanueva and ordered him with twelve men to take the prisoners to the rear—myself and the other seven persons named being understood to be the prisoners. This Captain Villanueva and the file of men took us about fifty yards to the rear, while the Spanish column went in the direction of Bainoa. The captain ordered us to be tied together by the arms, making a line of us against a stone fence backed by some bushes. Then he ordered his men to shoot us; and with the first discharge, and due to our natural struggles, the rope broke and separated us as we fell. At the first discharge of their carbines I fell face down and fully conscious, although I felt that a bullet had grazed my head; but I wished to feign that I had been shot.

The captain ordered his men to use the machete, and they first made another discharge. I felt a bullet strike me in my right buttock which passed to the trocanter of the left femur, and the gullet was afterwards found in my clothing when it was cut off me. Then I was struck with a machete over the head on the right side of the face, as I lay face down, simulating death. The weapon broke in half by entangling itself with the bushes and stone fence before reaching my face. I felt another stroke of the machete on my neck. They fired again—two or three volleys more—probably directed against the others, but I felt another bullet graze my head and strike on the stone fence. Then they turned me over to search my pockets for money. As I was turned over I kept my eyes closed and my arms in a stiff, constrained position, simulating death, but I heard one of the volunteers say, “He is breathing still as his vest is moving and he has a good color yet—give him another machetazo.” I still lay as if dead, knowing that my life depended on it, and I felt a tremendous stroke, and heard them say, “Now, he is surely dead,” and they left, having done the same to the other victims who lay all around me; then I lost my senses. The troops appeared to be in haste to join the column again, and seemed to fear the return of the insurgents. When I came to I found myself in my own room in the house of the plantation, and was informed that myself and old Venancio Pino were the only ones that had escaped, the others having been riddled with balls and innumerable machete cuts, and presenting a horrible appearance.

I remained in the house and was cared for by my father; the women looked after old Venancio. At the end of two days we heard from the country people that the Spanish soldiery was searching for the wounded in all the houses in the vicinity for the purpose of having them disappear—that is, of killing us—so that we could not testify against their horrible crime. During all this time I was attended solely by my father, and without any medical assistance whatever, except what aid my father gave me by my own directions.

Knowing the danger we ran by remaining in the dwelling house, my father determined to hide me and himself in the canefields, and was aided in this by the help of some charitable country people, who took us a long distance—where, I have no idea—to a canefield, where we remained four days, exposed to the inclemency of the weather, and from which I contracted a bronchitis which, with my wounds and loss of blood, put my life still more in danger and in a very critical state for recovery. My only shelter were several cross sticks on end over the cot bed on which I lay, and they were blown down by high winds on the third night. My father lay on the ground on palm branches and covered himself with others. An old countryman looked after us and brought us food, and was the means which my father used to send several letters to the United States consul-general at Habana, informing him of our critical condition and begging him to come to our assistance. At the end of these four days my father received by the hands of a messenger a prompt reply from Consul-General Williams, notifying him that he had seen the Captain General on the matter, and been promised that I would be protected from further harm. With this guaranty we resolved as soon as we received the letter to return to the house on the plantation and wait there for my transfer to Habana to have proper medical attendance, [Page 593] which up to this time I had not received. We were then taken back to the house that same night, Wednesday, the 11th March. My father went to Habana the second day after, and on Sunday he returned with a hospital steward and others. I was taken on a litter, in charge of the Caballeros Hospitalarios, to Bainoa, and from this place by rail to Habana, arriving at this, my present residence, at 9 o’clock that evening, and have since been properly attended to by physicians, and received the care and attention of relatives.

José Manuel Delgado.

Before me:
Ramon O. Williams, Consul-General.

A true copy.

Ramon O. Williams, Consul-General.
[Subinclosure 3 to inclosure 1 in No. 503.]

Mr. Williams to Dr. Burgess, United States sanitary inspector, Marine-Hospital Service.

Sir: I have to request that you will please call at your earliest convenience at the house No. 5 Prado and make a professional examination of Dr. José Manuel Delgado, a citizen of the United States, who arrived here on Sunday evening last, and is now lying at said house suffering from bullet and machete wounds received on the 4th instant on his plantation near Bainoa; and that you will report to this office under your own hand in writing the result of your examination.

Very respectfully, etc.,

Ramon O. Williams, Consul-General.
[Subinclosure 4 to inclosure 1 in No. 503.]

Dr. Burgess to Mr. Williams.

Sir: In accordance with your request of the 18th instant, to the effect that I should call at No. 5 Prado, in this city, and make a professional examination of Dr. José Manuel Delgado, an American citizen, who, on the 4th instant, had received bullet and machete wounds at his plantation in Bainoa, on this island, I have the honor now to report that I have examined said individual, and that I found on his person the following wounds: First, a gunshot wound about 1 centimeter in diameter, the ball having entered the right gluteal region about 2 inches below the right trochanter and having traversed the posterior walls of the pelvis, passed out on the left side in the vicinity of and just above the left trochanter. Second, an abrased surface on the crown of the head (now nearly healed), apparently caused by a projectile of some kind. Third, an incised wound, beginning in front of the lower lobe of right ear and extending obliquely about inches in length, and extremities of the incision now rapidly closing. This was a deep and very dangerous wound and came near involving the carotid artery and other important structures, as well as the trachea. Fourth, another incised wound, now nearly closed, about 2 inches in length, in front part of right auricular region and crossing at right angles the severe wound just mentioned. Fifth, another incised wound, now almost or quite healed, beginning in right occipital region and passing obliquely downward and to the left about 2 inches, terminating about the middle of the posterior portion of the neck.

All of the wounds are apparently doing well, and as sixteen days have elapsed since they were received, three of the lighter ones can be said to be nearly or quite well. The region of the place of exit of the ball of the first gunshot wound, or the one through the gluteal and pelvic region, is very troublesome to the wounded person, as any motion there causes severe cramps and convulsive action of the muscles of the thigh, leg, and even of the foot. The ball in its course probably injured some nervous trunk or filaments, and as it is indented and twisted it doubtless impinged against some osseous structure, possibly in the left trochanteric region. This wound at present is the most serious of all, and is not yet without risk of septic fever, blood poisoning, or other complication.

Very respectfully,

D. M. Burgess, M. D.,
United States Sanitary Inspector, Marine-Hospital Service.
[Page 594]
[Inclosure 2 in No. 503.]

Mr. Williams to Mr. Rockhill.

No. 2841.]

Sir: In continuation of my dispatch No. 2837, of the 24th instant, and series, relating to the case of Dr. José Manuel Delgado, an American citizen, I have now the honor to inclose for the information of the Department a copy, with translation, of the communication I addressed to the Governor-General on the 26th instant, and which I delivered into his hand yesterday, in complaint against the summary order for the execution of said citizen given by General Melguizo, in command at Bainoa, and carried out by men under his command, having only missed in the fullness of its intent by what might be called a miraculous intervention.

I have also complained in the same communication to the Governor-General because of the threat uttered by General Melguizo against the person of the incumbent of this consulate-general, both complaints being based on the treaty provisions existing between the United States and Spain.

I am, etc.,

Ramon O. Williams,
[Subinclosure to inclosure 2 in No. 503.]

Mr. Williams to the Captain-General of Cuba.

Excellency: By order of my Government I have the honor to call the attention of your excellency to an atrocious outrage committed on a peaceful and law-abiding American citizen in the person of Dr. José Manuel Delgado, who, with seven of his workmen, Spanish subjects, as appears from his sworn statement, made before me on the 18th instant, was taken under arrest on the 4th instant by Capt. Augusto Villanueva, of the Jaruco volunteers, at the plantation “Dolores,” alias “Morales,” place of his residence, near Bainoa, province of Habana, and upon being conducted by the force under the command of the said Captain Villanueva, composed of a sergeant named Ricardo del Valle, son of the justice of the peace of Casiguas, and a negro volunteer whom Dr. Delgado recognized as one named Gregorio, church bell ringer of Jaruco, together with 15 or 20 more men, into the presence of General Melguizo, commanding in that district, the latter, being on horseback and Dr. Delgado on foot, besides upbraiding him in disgraceful language and slapping him over the head and face, said, on Delgado showing him certain papers issued from this consulate-general, that he cared nothing for them; and that he was as ready to shoot the consul-general of the United States as he was to shoot Delgado himself. He thereupon ordered Captain Villanueva, with 12 men, to tie Dr. Delgado, with the other persons mentioned, and to carry them to the rear to be shot.; and he was shot with them and his head and face cruelly hacked with a machete in the hands of one or more of the volunteers, and then left as dead on the spot where he fell; but by what may well be called a miraculous intervention, he and one of the workmen, named Venancio Pino, have survived, the rest having been killed outright.

To the end that your excellency may inform yourself of the facts attending this outrage against Dr. José Manuel Delgado, I acccompany herewith a translation of the said declaration made by him before me on the 18th instant at his temporary residence, No. 5 Prado street, in this city, and also one of the report, dated the 20th instant, of Dr. Daniel M. Burgess, United States sanitary inspector, attached to this consulate-general, who at my request made a professional examination of the wounds inflicted on the body of Dr. Delgado in verification of the latter’s declaration.

And now, excellency, in order that the responsibility incurred by General Melguizo, in consequence of this extra limitation of authority on his part, without example or precedent, by the shooting of this peaceful American citizen may be clearly understood and fixed, I must call the attention of your excellency to the mutual treaty obligations entered into by the Governments of the United States and Spain, regarding [Page 595] the rights of the respective citizens and subjects of the one nation while sojourning within the dominions and under the protection of the laws of the other, and which, as parts of the supreme law of each country, are to be solemnly observed by all the functionaries of both Governments.

Accordingly, article 1 of the treaty of 1795, reaffirmed under article 12 of the treaty of 1819, between the United States and Spain, reads as follows:

“There shall be a firm and inviolable peace and sincere friendship between His Catholic Majesty, his successors and subjects, and the United States and their citizens without exception of persons or places.”

But, excellency, notwithstanding that Bainoa is in the Island of Cuba, and therefore within the dominions of His Catholic Majesty, yet General Melguizo, an officer subordinate to your excellency, and in defiance of the treaty obligations of Spain, mid without the knowledge of your excellency, has not only placed himself above his superior hierarchical authority with contempt of the civil or ordinary jurisdiction, but even above the sovereign authority of Spain itself, by ordering the execution of a death sentence, pronounced by himself alone, in the person of this American citizen, breaking thereby in the most contemptuous manner this article of the treaty of 1795, which declares there shall be a firm and inviolable peace between the citizens of the United States and the subjects of Spain, without exception of persons or places. General Melguizo has, therefore, violated the treaty in its said article, which I have had the honor to cite.

Again, article 7 of the treaty of 1795, also reaffirmed by article 12 of that of 1819, says:

“It is agreed that the citizens or subjects of each of the contracting parties, arrested for offenses committed within the jurisdiction of the other, shall be prosecuted by order and authority of law only, and according to the regular course of proceedings usual in such cases. The citizens and subjects shall be allowed to employ such advocates, solicitors, notaries, agents, and factors as they may judge proper, in all their affairs, and in all their trials at law, in which they may be concerned, before the tribunals of the other party; and such agents shall have free access to be present at the proceedings in such causes, and at the taking of all the examinations and evidence which may be exhibited in said trials.”

But General Melguizo, in the exercise of his limited functions as the military commander of a small district, has assumed an autocratic authority; for he has disregarded and trodden under foot, as it were, all the safeguards solemnly stipulated by the United States and Spain for the protection of their respective subjects and citizens against the acts of intemperate authority.

If General Melguizo had any charges to make against Dr. Delgado he should have arrested him, placing him subject to the orders of your excellency to be tried in accordance with all the provisions of the protocol of the 12th of January, 1877; but instead of doing this he has disregarded all limitations to his authority and has superimposed his own action and volition over the authority of the Governor-General of the island, the supreme Government of Spain and its treaty with the United States, by ordering the execution without trial of this American citizen, thus flagrantly violating article 7 of the treaty of 1795, as also the protocol of the 12th of January, 1877.

I must also call your excellency’s attention to the threats made by General Melguizo toward the person of the incumbent of this consulate-general, who is always appointed by the President of the United States, with the sanction of the National Senate, and accepted by the royal exequatur signed by His Majesty the King of Spain. For, excellency, under article 19 of the said treaty of 1795 between the two nations, their respective consular officers shall enjoy the privileges and powers enjoyed by those of the most favored nation, thus placing them reciprocally in the United States and in the dominion of Spain on an equality with the consular officers appointed by France, Germany, Great Britain, and other nations, all of whom are granted by treaty the right to be protected by the Government by which they are received while in the exercise of their official functions. Therefore due correction should be also meted to General Melguizo for his threat against a recognized foreign representative.

Excellency, it is clear and unquestionable that in accordance with the treaty stipulations above cited, were an officer of the Army of the United States to order the execution of a subject of Spain in the same unheard-of manner in which General Melguizo has ordered the execution of this American citizen, that the Government of Spain would have the right to demand from the United States immediate reparation for the violation of the treaty, with punishment of the offender or offenders.

Therefore, excellency, complementing the special instructions of my Government, I have to ask that immediate measures be taken by your excellency for the visiting of condign punishment on the offending General Melguizo and soldiery; also that due care be taken of Mr. José Manuel Delgado, with suitable reparation to him, and that the action of your excellency be instant and conspicuously exemplary.

I am, etc.,

Ramon O. Williams, Consul-General.
[Page 596]
[Inclosure 3 in No. 503.]

Mr. Williams to Mr. Rockhill.

No. 2877.]

Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith the copy of a statement made before me by Mr. José Manuel Delgado, a citizen of the United States resident in this island, in which is embodied a claim against the Spanish Government for $200,000 as an indemnity for personal damages by reason of an outrage committed on him by the Spanish troops, from which he narrowly escaped with life, which act occurred on the 4th of March last, and has been fully reported to the Department in my previous dispatches. * * *

I am, etc.,

Ramon O. Williams.
[Subinclosure 1 to inclosure 3 in No. 503.]

Mr. J. M. Delgado to Mr. Williams.

Sir: The undersigned, José Manuel Delgado, respectfully represents:

That he is a native of this Island of Cuba, having been born at Sagua la Grande on the 20th of December, 1850, and is consequently 46 years of age; that he is a duly naturalized citizen of the United States, having resided in said United States from the year 1856 until 1877, and that he became naturalized by attaining his majority in said United States.

That he is a physician by profession, and since his return to Cuba in 1877 has been engaged in the practice of his profession and agricultural pursuits, having leased, about three years ago, together with his father, José Gregorio Delgado, a plantation or farm called the “Dolores,” also known as the “Morales,” and has since then been engaged with his father in raising cane for sugar making and the raising and breeding of stock.

That on the 4th of March last he was the object of a brutal and unprovoked outrage by the Spanish troops under the orders of General Melguizo, by whom he was ordered to be shot to death, and that he was shot and macheteado by them and left for dead.

That the particulars of this attempt upon his life he has sworn to on the following 18th of March, 1896, in a statement made by him before the consul-general of the United States while still lying abed, wounded and almost incapable of moving, at his temporary residence, No. 5 Prado street, of this city, to which he was removed from Bainoa on the preceding 15th of March, by the orders of Captain-General Weyler, obtained through the intercession of the United States consul-general.

That he refers to said statement, which he herewith reproduces, as well as that of his father, José Gregorio Delgado, also made and sworn to before the said consul-general on the 14th day of March.

That although said statements were no more than the declarations or affidavits made by his father and himself respecting the occurrences of which they were victims, he doth now make formal protest as a citizen of the United States against the Government of Spain for the insults and brutal outrage of which ho was the object from the Spanish troops, under the orders of General Melguizo, on the 4th day of March last, and doth further declare that he should receive full indemnity for the personal damages caused him by said troops on said 4th of March, by shooting him, cutting him with machetes, and leaving him for dead, which acts were carried out by said troops on his person without any cause, reason, or provocation therefor whatever, and with disregard and violation of all law; this deponent solemnly declaring under oath that he had violated no law whatever of Spain in these dominions, and that he has observed from the beginning of the revolutionary disturbances now agitating this island the strictest neutrality.

That for the aforesaid acts of brutality committed by said Spanish troops, from which he is not assured that he will ever recover, not only on account of the gravity of the wounds themselves, but also from the exposure and want of proper attendance, from which he suffered a number of days, he demands, apart from what his Government may demand for reparation of its honor, a pecuniary indemnity not less than $200,000 in American gold, and the payment of all charges; with which, notwithstanding, he can hardly consider as sufficiently compensated the personal damages [Page 597] caused him, and the moral and material sufferings occasioned by the great danger to his life, not yet secure, and the temporary or absolute recovery of his health and the resumption of his habitual occupations.

This deponent further submits, as a part of this protest, the medical certificate regarding his wounds and condition, issued by the chief physician of the Order of Hospitaller Knights, Dr. José F. Romero Leal, and Don Alberto J. Diaz, subinspector of said order, which was encharged by Captain-General Weyler with the care of bringing this deponent from Bainoa to Habana, as stated.

That he also presents herewith, as in part corroborating this statement, the certificate given by the subinspector and surgeon, respectively, of said Order of Hospitaller Knights, Don Alberto J. Diaz and Dr. Fernando Plazaola, of the operation performed by them of the amputation of the right arm of Don Venancio Pino, who is referred to in the declarations of the deponent’s father and himself as the only survivor, besides the deponent, of the outrage committed by the Spanish troops on March 4, as stated.

That he will endeavor by all means possible to obtain the statement of said Pino, in order to present same as part of this statement and in corroboration thereof.

Wherefore this deponent respectfully represents that he should be indemnified by the Government of Spain in the sum he claims, and relief to such further extent as he may be entitled to.

José Manuel Delgado.

United States Consulate-General, Habana, Cuba, ss:

On this, the 7th day of April, 1896, before me, the undersigned, United States consul-general at Habana, personally appeared Mr. José Manuel Delgado, to me known, who, being duly sworn, deposes and says that the facts set forth in the foregoing statement are true.

Witness my hand and official seal, date as above.

Ramon O. Williams, Consul-General.

A true copy.

Ramon O. Williams, Consul-General.
[Subinclosure 2 to inclosure 3 in No. 503.—Translation.]

Certificate of Drs. Diaz and Romero y Leal.

We, José F. Romero y Leal, professor in medicine and surgery, president inspector-general, member of the order of Spanish Knights Hospitallers of St. John the Baptist, and Dr. Alberto J. Diaz, subinspector of said order, do hereby certify that we have examined and healed by first intention an adult white person named José Manuel Delgado, native of Sagua la Grande, 45 years of age, single, a physician, and resident on the farm “Morales,” alias “Dolores,” situated in Bainoa, who showed an incised wound of 7 centimeters long, beginning in the right auricular region and terminating in the angle on the same side of the lower jaw, involving the skin, cellular tissue, and muscles of said region; another incised wound above the one just described, 2 centimeters long, beginning in right horizontal position and forming, with the one just described, a right inner angle; another incised wound, 4 centimeters long, beginning in the right occipital region and passing obliquely downward to the left, terminating in the middle of the posterior portion of the next; a gunshot wound, with round borders, of a centimeter in diameter, situated in the right gluteal region, and the projectile of which, bordering the organs contained in the abdominal cavity, has its passing-out orifice in the left trochanter region, having injured in passing the trochanter. The prognostic of these injuries is considered as serious.

  • A. J. Diaz.
  • J. F. Romero y Leal.
[Subinclosure 3 to inclosure 3 in No. 503.—Translation.]

Certificate of Drs. Diaz and Plazaola.

Don Alberto J. Diaz y Navarro and Don Fernando de Plazaola y Cotilla, subinspector and physician, respectively, of the Order of Knights Hospitallers of St. John the Baptist, do hereby certify that at noon of this day they proceeded to operate upon Don Venancio Pino, a native of this province, about 70 years of age, married, and a resident of the town of Bainoa, who prsented a comminuted fracture of the right humerus, caused by a gunshot wound which he received nineteen days previously. At the act of operating, and after having attempted the amputation of the [Page 598] member at the upper third, proceeded to perform complete excision of the arm, as the bone was completely destroyed as far as the articular cavity.

The same person also presented several gunshot (three) wounds on the bioccipital parietal region, which only involved the hairy scalp and are of slight injury, but the first described is considered grave or serious.

A. J. Diaz,
Fernando de Plazaola.

[Inclosure 4 in No. 503 the same as inclosure in No. 121 to Mr. Dupuy de Lôme, April 30, 1896.]

  1. See inclosure to No. 121, April 30, 1896, to Mr. Dupuy de Lôme, page 585.