Count Vinci to Mr. Hay.


Mr. Secretary of State: The acting royal consul at New Orleans telegraphs me to-day that, after a close investigation, he has succeeded in obtaining ample evidence showing that the five persons who were barbarously lynched at Tallulah, La., on the 20th July last, were all Italian subjects.

The acting consul informs me at the same time that he has already sent me a report on the subject, accompanied by documentary evidence.

From a previous investigation made in the city of Tallulah itself by the Italian consular agent at Vicksburg, Miss., with the cooperation of a special agent of the royal consulate at New Orleans, it was already known to this royal embassy that all the said Italian subjects were put to death by popular fury without receiving from the local authorities that protection to which they were entitled. Three of them, who appear not to have taken any part in the attack which was the cause of the lynching, were confined in jail at the time when the mob seized them, and were, consequently, intrusted to the direct custody and responsibility of the American laws and authorities.

Their names are as follows: Giovanni Cirano, of Tusa; Francesco, Carlo, and Giuseppe Diffatta, of Cefalo; and Rosario Fiducia, also of Cefalo.

In communicating to you the foregoing I have the honor, by order of my Government, to again call your excellency’s attention to this horrible deed of blood committed upon Italian subjects, to whom the treaties in force ought to have secured the protection of the laws and authorities of the United States.

His Majesty’s Government relies upon the assurance given to it by your excellency, through this royal embassy and through the United States embassy at Rome, that the Federal Government will do everything in its power to have justice done. It can not, however, refrain from recalling the fact that the perpetrators of similar crimes have [Page 447] never heretofore been brought by the competent authorities before the courts and tried.

For this reason my Government calls upon the United States Government to use all the means at its disposal to cause the competent authorities, in order to give just satisfaction to the requirements of humanity and justice, to make an effectual search for the authors and instigators of the Tallulah lynching, to bring them to trial, and at the same time to take all necessary steps to prevent the recurrence of such atrocious crimes.

If this should not be done, the Royal Government, as I have already had the honor to remark to your excellency, would experience a disagreeable and painful impression from it.

Knowing the high sense of justice by which your excellency is always actuated, I cherish the confidence that I shall speedily be enabled to inform my Government that the United States Government has neglected no means of having all those who took part in the massacre of July 20 discovered and brought to trial.

I avail myself, etc.,

G. C. Vinci.