Mr. Merry to Mr. Hay.

No. 446.]

Sir: I beg to inclose herewith excerpt from a letter dated June 28, received from Acting Consular Agent D. W. Goodman, at Bluefields, Nicaragua, relating to the censurable action of Judge Roman in connection with the Bingham trust fund.

In accordance with advice in Department dispatch No. 292, dated December 15, 1899, I presumed that the case was being satisfactorily settled at Washington. This, with the assurances of Messrs. Sanchez and Salcedo, secretary and subsecretary of foreign affairs, personally given me at Managua, that instructions had been sent Judge Roman to consent to the repayment of the fund to the Bluefields merchants, appeared to me a final and satisfactory conclusion. The unexpected action of Judge Roman impresses me as a slight to the United States Government which deserves severe censure. I had the honor in my No. 439, dated June 25, to call the attention of the honorable Secretary to the recent letter of Her Britannic Majestys’ Consul Bingham in connection herewith, and respectfully beg reference thereto.

With assurances, etc.,

William Lawrence Merry.
[Page 816]

Mr. Goodman to Mr. Merry.

No. 446.]


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Some time ago, before I assumed the duties of this office, a suit was brought by the Nicaraguan Government against the American merchants in the court of Judge Roman of this place anent the Bingham fund. Three weeks ago an officer of that court visited each merchant and read to him a “sentence” to the effect that the court had decided that they must pay the contested duties to the Nicaraguan Government and all charges incurred in the suit. The merchants were asked to sign an acceptance of this sentence, which they properly refused to do. On being informed of the above facts by the merchants, I immediately notified Mr. Sorsby and applied to Judge Roman for a copy of the “sentence.” He politely promised it, but so far I have been unable to get it, as each day that I call for it I am asked to call to-morrow As far as the merchants know, no further action has been taken in the matter.

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Very respectfully, yours,

Duke W. Goodman,
Acting United States Consular Agent.