The Italian Chargé to the Secretary of State.

No. 1617.]

Mr. Secretary of State: With reference to my telegram of yesterday and to the correspondence exchanged between the Department of State and the royal embassy in regard to the well-known events that took place in North Carolina, I have the honor to inform your excellency that the regular proceedings conducted by the competent judicial authorities resulted in the acquittal and discharge of seven of the nine Italians arrested in connection with the sad occurrence at Marion, N. C.; the jury having disagreed in the case of the other two, they were remanded for a new trial. The leaders of the assailants on that occasion were further indicted for manslaughter, and warrants of arrest and subpoenas were issued against some of the agents of the Carolina company, who, on the strength of pertinent testimony, were found by the local federal magistrate to be amenable to law.

At this stage of the controversy your courteous telegram of the 9th instant, by which your excellency was pleased to advise me of the arrival of the representatives of the South and Western Railroad Company, in the event of my wishing to enter into direct relation with them, came to hand. I answered immediately and accepted the suggestion. I should have returned to Washington had not Messrs. Norment Powell and Caples been so good as to forestall my journey by coming over the next day to see me here at Manchester. Having thus come into immediate contact, they intimated that they had called on me to see about the possibility of effecting out of court a satisfactory settlement of all the questions between the Italians and the company then pending before the courts. I cheerfully tendered my good offices, and we parted on that day with the intention of meeting again shortly in New York after we should have respectively obtained from the parties concerned authority to proceed upon this new course so as to act in consequence. After putting off several appointments at the request of Mr. Powell, I had with him and Mr. Caples, general manager of the Carolina company, several conferences, [Page 933] which culminated in the conclusion of a peaceable compromise between myself as representative of the Italians and them in the name of their corporation. According to the agreement thus formally entered into, the Carolina company has set apart equitable pecuniary indemnities for the heirs of the dead and all the Italians who were, as shown in the course of legal proceeding, the innocent victims of the sad occurrence of the 14th of May at Marion, when they were imprisoned or suffered bodily injuries. It has further reimbursed the costs thus far paid on account of the said sufferers in the administration of justice, and, lastly, has given ample guaranties which, if observed—as there is no reason to doubt they will be—afford full moral satisfaction to the parties injured and assurances that there will be no recurrence in the future of the deplored unpleasantness in the relations between the company and the Italian laborers. Indeed, the company among its many stipulations has promised to dismiss and never again to employ those agents whom the judicial proceedings thus far have shown to be guilty of misdemeanors, ill-treatment and abuse of the laborers, to adopt administrative reforms, and take such measures as will remove the cause of the more serious complaints, availing itself in this of the cooperation of the Royal Italian authorities, and, finally, to visit with effective punishment any abuse that may hereafter come to the knowledge of its manager’s office.

The royal embassy, fully satisfied with these conditions, has promised for its part to withdraw and cause its nationals to withdraw any further judicial or other action against the Carolina company and its employees, and, on the other hand, has declared its readiness to aid, as far as it can, in the performance of the equitable and fair moral obligations assumed by the company. The royal embassy has no reason, under the circumstances, to doubt the honesty of purpose with which these obligations have been entered into, and therefore refrains from insisting upon the requests heretofore made of the Department of State in connection with the controversy in North Carolina.

While I feel confident that your excellency will receive the foregoing information with pleasure, I cherish the hope that you may, for your part, with the special intent of promoting the complete appeasement of feeling and the spirit of harmony so auspiciously inaugurated, shape the action of the Federal Government by means of advice or suitable instructions to whom it may concern in consonance with the characteristics of this new and final phase of the question.

Lastly, may I be permitted to express to your excellency and your most excellent colleague, the Attorney-General, my most sincere thanks for the interest and zeal displayed in the cause of law and justice on this occasion as well as my admiration of the attitude taken by the several subordinate authorities, and especially by Mr. Holton, to whom I wish this token of my gratitude could be made known, all of which have had a part in bringing about the happy result it is my good fortune to record hereby

Accept, etc.,

G. C. Montagna.