Ambassador Clayton to the Secretary of State.

No. 2708.]

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the Department’s telegraphic instruction of the 14th instant relative to the question of protection, by the Mexican authorities, of the Yaqui Copper Company against alleged threatened Indian outrages upon said company.

Pursuant to said instruction, I called upon Mr. Mariscal yesterday, and, after discussing the Yaqui Indian question, so far as relates to American citizens and their interests, I left with him a copy of said telegraphic instruction.

I called Mr. Mariscal’s attention to the fact that the Indian outrages of late appeared to have been directed almost entirely against Americans carrying on legitimate business in the state of Sonora; that my information from various sources was to the effect that, while the state authorities had adopted very drastic measures against the apparently peaceful Yaquis employed as laborers on the plantations of Mr. Carlos H. Johnson and others, they had not, in any case where Americans had been massacred, made any effective pursuit of the band or bands responsible for the same; that my information had impressed me strongly with the belief that all of the massacres referred to were perpetrated by the same roving band of wild Indians; that, from the accounts of the different massacres given by different eye-witnesses, the band or bands were comparatively small; that, with great respect for the governor of Sonora, my information impressed me strongly with the belief that his drastic measures against the apparently peaceful Indians had been barren of results. I remarked that the local authorities had, at least in one instance (that of Carlos H. Johnson), denied to an American, who had been a great sufferer growing out of said depredations, the right to bear arms for the defense of himself, family, and employees; and, under such circumstances, it would seem but just and proper that the Mexican authorities should break up the small band or bands of Indians who have so long terrorized the region in question.

Mr. Mariscal replied that, at present, they had 100 soldiers in the disturbed region; that they had given orders to increase this number to 200; that the great bulk of the Yaqui Indians had been deported from Sonora to Yucatan; that he would transmit by telegram, to the governor of Sonora, a copy of your aforesaid telegraphic instructions, with proper recommendations, and that he would communicate with him by letter the views that I had just expressed to him.

He informed me that he had in the course of preparation, and early delivery, a note to me, in reply to mine upon this subject of the 11th ultimo. This note grew out of your instruction No. 1220, of the 1st ultimo, inclosing a copy of a communication from the Mina Grande Mining Company, and out of a communication to this embassy, under date of the 28th of January last, from the Yaqui Smelting and Refining Company.

* * * * * * *

I have, etc.,

Powell Clayton.