Chargé Snyder to the Secretary of State.

No. 93.]

Sir: I have the honor to inform you that I have settled the claim of Raymond and Sophie Smith, American citizens, for damages suffered at the hands of government troops during the last revolution, for the sum of $1,500 gold, payable in vales de extranjeros. * * *

I inclose herewith copy and translation of the resolution of the Colombian foreign office settling this claim.

It might be well to remark that this is the only claim to date in which the Colombian Government has paid the full amount requested, even in vales.

I am, etc.,

Alban G. Snyder.


Raymond and Sophie Smith, citizens of the United States of America, domiciled in the municipality of Aguachica, Department of Magdalena, possessed in that municipality a country estate, on which they had plantations of cacao, coffee, a dwelling house, domestic fowls and cattle. It is known in the petition that they observed neutral conduct during the last revolution.

It also appears duly proved: 1st. That forces of the Gramalote battalion, which formed part of the army commanded by General Luis Morales Berti, appeared on said estate of Raymond and Sophie Smith and took various head of cattle and other domestic animals of the corral; 2nd. That later, government forces which were in Ocana under orders of Miguel Quin, civil and military chief of that city, set fire to the house of said Smiths and destroyed the plantations of the estate of Aguachica; 3rd. That revolutionary forces had entered that estate, before the house was burned, and carried off the cattle which had remained there after the Gramalote battalion of the government forces had taken the greater part; and 4th. That seeing themselves without any protection whatever, the Smiths resolved to abandon their estate, and in fact did so abandon it, going to Barranquilla, from whence they afterwards proceeded to the United States.

The foreign character of the claim is proved, and it is also known that after coming to Colombia they bought the lands in the vicinity of Aguachica, built the house which was burned, cleared the land of trees and underbrush, and made the plantations of cacao and coffee which were destroyed. But the claim does not clearly prove how much of the damages and expropriations were caused by the government forces; and therefore, in consideration, on the one part, of the good faith which the claim reveals, and, on the other, that it is a case for the application of Article 2 of law 27 of 1903, deciding in good faith and belief, and bearing in mind the legal proof and form in which it is presented, as well as the rectitude with which it has been pressed by the claimants, the ministry fixes the sum of the indemnity which can be given to the petitioners at $1,500. 00

In consideration of the above it is resolved:

That there be recognized in favor of Raymond and Sophie Smith, citizens of the United States, as the only and definite indemnity for the value of their claim, the sum of $1,500.00 gold, payable in vales de extranjeros.

It is made known that the Honorable Alban G. Snyder, chargé d’affaires of the United States, is authorized to receive the sum recognized, and that the payment should be made to him.

Let it be made known, copied in the respective book, published in the Diario Oficial, and if accepted by the claimants, an authentic copy sent to the ministry of finance and treasury to be paid and placed in the archives.

The minister.

Clímaco Calderón.