Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, With the Annual Message of the President Transmitted to Congress December 7, 1896, and the Annual Report of the Secretary of State
Mr. Taylor to Mr. Olney.
Madrid , December 14, 1896 . (Received Dec. 28.)
Sir: In further reference to your No. 505, of June 2, 1896, and my No. 601 of the 6th ultimo, relative to the case of the brothers Glean, I have the honor to inclose herewith a copy, with translation, of a note received from the Spanish Government in which the grounds for the arrest of said brothers Glean and other considerations upon the same subject are set forth.
I am, etc.,
The Duke of Tetuan to Mr. Taylor.
Palace , November 20, 1896 .
Excellency: As I had the honor to inform your excellency in my note of the 1st of October last, I duly asked my colleague, the minister of ultramar, to furnish me the information necessary to give a full answer to your kind note of the 14th of September of this year, relative to the case of the American citizens, William Glean and Lewis Glean.
I have not yet received that information, but I hope that the minister of ultramar will not be long in sending me the same, which I will transmit to your excellency as soon as received. In the meantime I take the liberty of inclosing herewith the data which the minister of war has just furnished me, which your good judgment will surely appreciate as showing the correct behavior of the Spanish authorities in the island of Cuba and the loyalty with which they comply with the dispositions of the protocol of January 12, 1877.
As your excellency will see by the inclosed copy of the formal report of the captain of the local mounted guerrilla of Sagua la Grande to the military commander of the district of las Villas, the detention of the brothers Glean, William and Lewis, originated in confidential information received by that authority to the effect that in the night of October 12 last, an insurgent force was to meet in the property “El Porvenir,” so that several individuals might add themselves to it, among whom was Mr. William Glean, who was to take command of the force. To prevent this the captain of the guerrilla, with the force under his command, went to said property, “El Porvenir,” on reaching which and after the proper precautions were taken, he demanded Mr. Glean to open the door. Mr. Glean, knowing that he who called was the captain of the Sagua la Grande guerrillas, who had gone there to fulfil superior orders, refused to do so during fifteen minutes, and when after that time he opened the door a mounted force came out of the house which, as the only answer to the guerrilleros’ order to stop, gave the separatist cry of “Cuba!” immediately followed by a volley, after which they escaped.
Therefore it is fully proved that Mr. William Glean had given shelter within his house to insurgent forces.
Besides, the captain of the guerrillas having questioned that gentleman in regard to the men and to the saddled horses that were in the house, he (Mr. Glean) answered that there were only his brother (Mr. Lewis) the colored man (Manuel Fernandez), and himself. In spite of this and due search having been made in the presence of Mr. Lewis Glean, Mr. Lucio Martinez Mesa was found, armed with a revolver, hiding between two walls in the form of a box, and with a plank for lid. There were also found a double-barreled gun, a sword, two machetes, a tin with gunpowder, five pin-fire cartridges, and finally two horses saddled and with bits on, belonging one to Martinez Mesa and the other to Mr. William Glean. That is to say, while it was suspected that Mr. William Glean intended to go to the insurrection, he was found, together with, his brother, Mr. Lewis, sheltering within his house some rebellious force and hiding an armed man after having denied his existence, having in his power several arms and ammunition, and with his horse and that of the man he had been hiding ready to start.[Page 657]
Under such conditions is the detention of the brothers Glean arbitrary? I will leave to your excellency’s sense of justice and to that of the United States Government to answer that question.
That much in regard to the fact of the detention of the claimants. As to the treatment received by them during their arrest, I shall have to engage your attention but for a short time in order to convince your excellency of the good sense and even indulgence of which the Cuban authorities have given proof with the brothers Glean.
By the copy of the communication addressed by the governor of the national jail of Sagua la Grande to his excellency the general of the Third Brigade of the Division of las Villas, which I herewith inclose (marked No. 2), your excellency will see that the American citizens William and Lewis Glean were not kept without the privilege of communication with friends for more than a day, from the 13th to the 14th of April, and that after their incommunication was raised, on their mere request they were permitted not only to be by themselves in an independent room, but also to have another prisoner at their service. In this position, which was not at all humiliating, they remained for a little over a month, and on May 17, on account of that being His Majesty the King’s birthday, they were placed in provisional liberty, together with their companion Martinez, without any other obligation than that of reporting periodically to the court of justice, according to both the ordinary and extraordinary Spanish penal laws.
What I have just stated has been acknowledged as true by the claimants themselves, who, in a letter dated the 11th of August last and addressed to General Weyler, a copy of which I inclose, they textually say:
In regard to the treatment accorded to us at the jail, we have no other complaints to make than those we have already made. Otherwise we are grateful for the delicate and genteel treatment we have received at the hands of His Excellency General Montanes and the military judges who judged us.
Have the kindness to read that letter and you will observe that the only complaints made by the brothers Glean on account of their stay in the jail are of a purely subjective character. They only refer to the torments of a moral kind which are unavoidably suffered by all prisoners, and of which no responsibility may be thrown on the lawful apprehender.
Before I proceed, I must state that as soon as the brothers Glean and Martinez Mesa were placed in liberty, the latter availed himself of the opportunity to join the insurgents.
In regard to the time elapsed between the detention of the brothers Glean and the transfer of their case to the ordinary jurisdiction, I will confine myself, Mr. Minister, to state to you that the different stages to which questions of competence are subjected by the Spanish laws upon the subject, to which I referred in my note of the 17th of August last, relative to the present case, make it impossible to render an immediate decision upon those incidents. At present it is less possible than ever to make those decisions rapidly on account of the difficulty of communications in the Island of Cuba, and of the extraordinary amount of work which those authorities have to attend to.
Already in my above-mentioned note I had the honor to call your excellency’s attention to the fact that clause first of the protocol of January 12, 1877, provides that citizens of the United States residing in Spain, its adjacent islands, and colonial possessions * * * shall not be judged by any special tribunal, but only by the ordinary jurisdiction, except in the Case that they shall be taken with arms in hand, and that therefore the incidents of competence, instead of contravening [Page 658] that principle, tend to give it a just interpretation, because by them is decided in a concrete manner the question of the nationality of the prisoner, which is the basis of the inhibitory order, which could not be based upon the statement alone of the party interested.
This stated I will proceed to examine the point relating to the material damages which the brothers Glean suppose to have suffered.
As your excellency will see by the inclosed copy of the letter addressed by said gentlemen to General Weyler, the American citizens William and Lewis Glean complain of the losses which they have suffered in their estates El Porvenir and San Jorge.
Well, Mr. Minister, the fact is quite proved by the inclosed certificates of the mayor of Sagua la Grande that the brothers Glean have never been the owners of said estates, but they have only leased them for a short time. It must be observed that at the time of their detention they were only the lessees of the one called “San Jorge,” the contract relative to “El Porvenir” having expired in 1895.
Thus, leaving aside all that relates to the estate “El Porvenir,” there would only remain for examination the fact alleged by the brothers Glean of the ransacking of the one called “San Jorge;” but the terminating statements of the parties inhabitating the neighboring houses and the circumstance that that supposed event was not reported to the mayorship of Sagua permit an absolute denial of the statement of the claimants.
Finally, I will take the liberty to observe that as the incommunication of the brothers Glean lasted but a day, on the termination of that state they might have appointed some person to manage the prisoners’ property in their name. If they did not do so, theirs is all the blame for the abandonment of their property.
The Government of His Majesty hopes that that which your excellency so worthily represents at this court will understand the foregoing considerations and, appreciating them in their full value, will recognize the correct conduct of the military authorities of the Island of Cuba and the sincerity with which Spain contributes to its friendly relations with the United States.
I avail myself, etc.,
[Seal of division of las Villas, Third Brigade, Chief of Staff.]
E. M. Mayor’s office of Sagua la Grande.
Excellency: I received yesterday the respectful communication of your excellency, in which you are pleased to ask information as to whether Messrs. William and Lewis Glean are proprietors or lessees of the properties “Porvenir” and “San Jorge,” which properties, according to them, were ransacked during the th0ree days which elapsed after their imprisonment on the 13th of March last, and in consequence thereof I am pleased to state to your excellency that from the examination of the antecedents applied for it appears (1) that the ranck (ranch?) San Jorge was sold by Don Eulogio Prieto on March 27, 1896, to Don Francisco Escuma, the former retaining only the dwelling house and a fraction of land of media caballeria (less than one-fourth acre); (2) that on the 17th day of December, 1892, and by a public deed executed before the notary, Don Esteban Tome y Martinez, Mr. Escuma sold the ranch San Jorge to Mina and Quintana Society, present owners of the property; (3) that William and Lewis Glean were lessees of the annexed house and lands, which belong to Don Eulogio Prieto, from September 30, 1895, until the middle of April of this year, when Messrs. Mina and Quinatana took charge of the same by a lease; (4) that, as may be verified with inclosed certificate, Messrs. August, William A., and Lewis M. Glean were lessees of eight caballerias on the sugar plantation “Nanchita,” called also “Macun,” which they named “Eli Porvenir,” this agreement [Page 659] being canceled on August 14, 1895, before the instructing judge in the executive proceedings instituted by Don Francisco S. de Lamadrid, and continued by his sons, Don Francisco, Don Tomas, and Dona Maria Teresa, against Lucio Gallegos, Messrs. Glean ceasing to be lessees from that date; and (5) that in this mayor’s office there is no antecedent whatever showing that either before or after the 13th of March, last the “San Jorge” and “Porvenir” properties have been plundered, as no verbal or written report has been given of such a fact.
The registrar of the property, of whom I asked information, stated that from examination of his register no property appears to have been registered under the name of Messrs. William and Lewis Glean, neither as owners nor as lessees, for the entries which have been found as the result of the investigation are now null. The antecedents show that the Glean Brothers ceased to be lessees of the ranch named “Porvenir,” and about the middle of April of this year ceased to be lessees of the “San Jorge” ranch, and that at present no property whatever is known to belong to them nor be leased by them. With regard to the plunder—which they could only have suffered in “San Jorge,” because it is the only one which they had on lease in the month of March of the present year—I have inquired from Don Gregorio Izaguirre, attorney of Mr. Prieto, and from Don Juan Quintana, the owner of the adjacent property, and both of them state that they have no knowledge of such an occurrence, which circumstance, together with the fact that no report has been sent to this mayor’s office, leads the undersigned to suppose that no such plunder has taken place. All of which I have the honor to communicate to your excellency in the discharge of my duty and in reply to the courteous communication of your authority referred to at the beginning of this writing.
God guard your excellency many years.
Sagua la Grande, September 15, 1896.
Emilio Noriega, his excellency the general of brigade of the division of las Villas; Villa. A copy: The captain of staff, Salvator Ortiz. Seal of the army of operations, Island of Cuba, division of las Villas, Third Brigade, Military Staff. A copy: The colonel of the rank of second lieutenant-colonel, chief of the Military Staff ad interim; Teofilo de Garamendi. Seal of Captain-General’s office of the Island of Cuba.
The jailer of the national jail of Sagua la Grande to the general of the Third Brigade of las Villas division.
Excellency: In compliance with the orders given in your excellency’s superior communication of to-day’s date, I have the honor to inform you that the brothers Glean—William and Lewis—entered this establishment on the 13th of April of the current year, and by the military commander of this place were placed at the disposition of the instructing judge, first lieutenant of the Galicia battalion, Don Este-ban Velo Lodeiro, as prisoners without the right of communication, on suspicion of being rebels; said instructing judge raised the incommunication of the prisoners, and on the application of the same they were placed in an open room with two chairs and one servant from among the prisoners who volunteered to perform this service, and they continued in this situation until May 17, when, by order of the military commander of this garrison, they were provisionally released.
This is all the information I have to furnish to your excellency’s superior authority in compliance with the order contained in your already mentioned superior communication.
God guard your excellency many years.
Copy No. 3. Seal of the division of las Villas, Third Brigade, Chief of Staff. Copy which is mentioned. Seal of the local mounted guerrilla of Sagua la Grande. No. 95.
I have the honor to inform you that through confidences obtained a party of insurgents was to have met in the farm “El Porvenir”—that is to say, in the grounds of the demolished sugar plantation “Macun,” on yesterday night, and that ten or twelve men were to join them from this town, among them two from Habana, who had been here for some days and whose names could not be ascertained, it being my [Page 660] duty to acquaint you that through references received this party was to he commanded by Mr. William Glean Tentres. In consequence of this information, I set out with sixty men of this guerilla and the subaltern officer Mr. Angel Cantero, taking the left border of the river Sagua on foot with a view to avoid our forces being seen, supposing they had detached some force to the gate situated on the road leading from this town to the sugar plantation “Santa Ana.” On reaching the house—that is to say, the meeting place—it was thought proper to surround the dwelling house, placing at the same time forty men in a line facing the road which leads to the house. In this position I decided to call Mr. Glean in order that he should open the door with a view to make a scrupulous search, which he refused to do for fifteen minutes, in spite of my having informed him that I was the captain of the guerrilla of the Sagua, who came with the object of carrying out superior orders; and when the doors were thrown open the forty men above mentioned gave the order to halt to a mounted force which answered “Cuba!” for which reason the section fired on them, and they fired back with a single volley, taking to flight, After this I inquired of Mr. Glean what men were in the house, and whether they had any harnessed horse. He replied that there were no more men than his brother, Mr. Lewis, the mulatto man Manuel Fernandez, and himself, and under the circumstances a search was proceeded with, made in the presence of the brother of the above-mentioned William.
This search resulted in finding the citizen Mr. Lucio Martinez Mesa hidden between two partition walls in the form of a box, and with a board as a kind of lid, armed with a revolver of the Smith system, and lying down, who, on being discovered, tried to stand up, having been summoned by the undersigned to throw himself face downward. This he did, beseeching, “Mr. Carreras, for God’s sake!” and at the same time threw the said revolver at his feet without losing the horizontal position. The search continued, a double-barreled gun, a sword, which Mr. Glean said belonged to his late father, two machetes, one tin box with powder, and five revolver cartridges, pin-firing, being found. Upon the search being brought to a close, I ordered Mr. Mesa to leave the place where he was hidden, and upon his being asked how it was that he found himself in that place and in such a manner, while he was in town some hours before, he said that on hearing that Mr. Rogelio Tomasino and Lawyer Ramon Garcia had been arrested, and that it was also contemplated to detain Mr. Lewis Mesa, he did not doubt but they would do the same with him. In consequence thereof the interior of the house was searched and two harnessed horses were found, one of them belonging to D. Rogelio Martinez Mesa and the other to Mr. William Glean, both of them with the bridles on. For this reason the four above-mentioned persons were arrested and brought to this town in absolute confinement, the above-mentioned articles being brought with them. We arrived at this place at 3 o’clock a.m., and went out again one hour after with the same mounted force to make a reconnoissance in the neighborhood of said property. No other traces were found except those showing that the enemy’s forces had been posted at the gates above referred to, at a crossing of the railway line, where they left a great quantity of cane bagasse and signs of having retreated by that place, crossing by the house occupied by Teodoro Carballo, in the direction of Zamagua.
This is all I can state to your excellency for the purposes you may have in view.
God guard you many years.
Sagua, April 13, 1896.
The Captain Benito Carreras. Flourish. Lieutenant-colonel military commander. Villa. A copy: The military commander, José Canuty Coll; the captain of the military staff, Salvator Ortiz. Seal of the army of operations, Island of Cuba, division of Las Villas, Third Brigade, Military Staff. A copy: The commander of the rank of lieutenant-colonel, second chief Military Staff, Teofilo de Garamendi. Seal of the Captaincy-General of the Island of Cuba. Military Staff. A copy,
The mayor of Sagua la Grande to his excellency the general chief of the Third Brigade of the Division of Las Villas.
Excellency: In reply to the respectable communication of your excellency, dated the 8th instant, requesting information in reference to the landed properties possessed in this municipal district by the brothers William and Lewis Glean, and the complaints which they may have brought forward for the damages suffered in the same during the present war, I have to state to your excellency that on examination of the assessment books there appears under the name of heirs of Don Francisco R. Glean, the sugar plantation “Panchita” known by “Macun.” But although the [Page 661] transfer of said property is not recorded in the registers, it has changed hands diferent times and it was lately adjudged to Messrs. Radelat and Arenas, the papers about this transfer being now in the Governor-General’s office; and they contain no complaint whatever for the damages which they might have suffered through the war now raging in the island.
Besides the above statement I must make known to you that in the register of cattle property under the charge of the mayor’s office some animals appear to be registered under the name of Glean Brothers,
God guard your excellency many years.
Messrs. William and L. M. Glean to General Weyler.
In reply to the following questions transmitted to us by his excellency, the General Montanez, instructing us to acquaint your excellency with our complaints for the grievances and cruelties suffered during our imprisonment and the damage suffered by us in our properties, we answer the following: That on the 12th of April last we were arrested by the Captain D. Benito Carreras in our farm the “Porvenir,” between 9 and 10 o’clock p.m., taken to the jail and placed in confinement during thirty-eight hours; after which time our first deposition was received, when we were informed that proceedings had been instituted against us for rebellion. After Mr. Carreras had scrupulously searched our residence, when we were taken to jail he was informed that we were American citizens and we protested against such outrage. He was informed that our property was left to the mercy of the public, and that some one would have to be responsible for our losses. Our farms were left without any one in charge during three days; the valuables and all our property therein contained were ransacked, our crops destroyed, and the other implements of industry, such as bee hives, cow houses, our cow, horse, hogs, sheep, sucklings, and accessories, etc., disappeared. We suffered the hardship to be conducted by an armed force and placed between criminals in a jail; we suffered the disgrace which befalls a person of sensitiveness; we suffered all that may be suffered by any person who is flung among and shut up among criminals, being so well known among respectable persons of this town. We suffered during thirty-nine hours, without the presentation of any witnesses, the moral and mental tortures of so grave a charge as the one brought forward against us.
On the 17th of May last we were provisionally set free, thrown into the town utterly resourceless and without any means of gaining a livelihood, and forced to present ourselves every third day to the military judge, until July 5, when our case was transferred to the ordinary court. From that day to date no steps have been taken in our case. Having lost all we had, and our resources being exhausted and there being nobody to assist us, we applied to our consul, asking him to request your excellency to terminate our case and to allow us to sail for the United States, where we could receive the protection of our family and acquaintances.
We can not name the authors of our losses. We beseech your excellency to do us justice and to grant our just petition.
With regard to our treatment in jail, we have no other complaint than those we have set forth, and we are thankful for the delicate and chivalrous treatment we have received from his excellency the General Montanes and the military judges who have tried us.
God guard your excellency many years.
Your obedient servants,
- William A. Glean.
- L. M. Glean.