File No. 312.112M22/32.

The Brazilian Minister in charge of American interests to the Secretary of State.

No. 149.]

Sir: With reference to the death of John B. McManus, for which an indemnity of $160,000 Mexican currency was paid by the Government of the Convention on the 29th day of March last, I have the honor to enclose herewith the following documents.

Assuring you [etc.]

J. M. Cardoso de Oliveira.
[Inclosure 1—Translation.]

The Brazilian Minister to the Post Commander, General Salazar.

My Dear General: In pursuance of our conversation, I have the honor to inform you of the facts relative to the death of the American citizen J. B. McManus. At about 9 o’clock this morning a group of Zapatistas appeared at this gentleman’s stable on San Antonio Abad Street and forced open the entrance door of his house after having broken the seals which the Consulate of Brazil [Page 867]had caused to be placed thereon and without any respect to the American flag over said house. Mr. McManus was thereafter killed on the roof of his house, which was then looted. As this deed constitutes a grave offense that may greatly injure your cause, in view of the American citizenship of the deceased, who was well known in this capital, I beg you to proceed to an immediate investigation and punishment of the guilty, in order to attenuate as far as possible the bad effect of this deed upon the American colony and the Government of the United States of America, and upon the Government of the Republic of Brazil on account of the violation of the seals of its Consulate.

I am sure you will give this case all the attention it demands, and I am [etc.]

J. M. Cardoso de Oliveira.
[Inclosure 2—Translation.]

The Post Commander to the Brazilian Minister.

Mr. Minister: This office has received your letter of yesterday, in reply to which I have the pleasure of informing you that the requests therein made have been complied with.

I have [etc.]

Amador Salazar.
[Inclosure 3—Translation.]

The Brazilian Minister to the Chief of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Don Ismael Palafox.

Mr. Chief: I have the honor to enclose herewith a copy of a letter dated the 11th instant which I sent to General Amador Salazar, Comandante Militar of this post, relative to the assassination of the American citizen John B. McManus, which letter contains the data that this Legation has been able to obtain in regard to the facts. I earnestly request, under telegraphic instruction that I have received from the Department of State at Washington, that you immediately order an investigation in order to place the responsibility and apply appropriate punishment of those found guilty, and that you also arrange as soon as possible the manner of indemnifying the family of the deceased, which consists of his widow and four young children.

I avail [etc.]

J. M. Cardoso de Oliveira.
[Inclosure 4—Translation.]

The Chief of the Department of Foreign Affairs to the Brazilian Minister.

In reply to your excellency’s note of the 13th instant relative to the assassination of the American citizen John B. McManus, I have the honor to thank your excellency for the copy of the letter that you sent to General Amador Salazar.

I am glad also to inform your excellency that, as requested, orders have been issued for the immediate investigation for the purpose of placing the responsibility and punishing those found responsible for the assassination, and that the Mexican Government will endeavor to alleviate the situation of the widow and children of Mr. McManus by means of a pecuniary gift.

I avail [etc.]

Ismael Palafox.
[Page 868]
[Inclosure 5—Translation.]

The Chief of the Department of Foreign Affairs to the Brazilian Minister.

Learning verbally from your excellency that my note of the 16th instant had not reached your hands, I have the honor to repeat it, as follows:

Mexico, March 16, 1915.

In reply to your excellency’s note of the 13th instant relative to the killing of the American citizen John B. McManus. I have the honor to thank your excellency for the copy of the letter that you sent to General Amador Salazar.

I am glad to inform your excellency that, as requested, orders have already been issued for an immediate careful investigation for the purpose of placing the responsibility and duly punishing the person or persons who may be found responsible for the homicide.

At the same time I wish your excellency to know how greatly we deplore this sad affair, which the Mexican Government and people have heard of with profound pain, both on account of the deed itself and of the fact that it concerned an American citizen, since it is well known that a great sympathy exists in Mexico toward North American citizens, who have fraternized with us so intelligently.

We are not unaware of the moral obligation to alleviate the sad situation of the widow and minor children of Mr. McManus, and for this reason I wish to express to your excellency the readiness of the Government to aid them pecuniarily by means of a donation in keeping with the needs of those injured.

I avail [etc.]

Ismael Palafox.
[Inclosure 6—Translation.]

The Brazilian Minister to the Chief of the Department of Foreign Affairs.

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 20th instant, relative to the killing of the American citizen John B. McManus.

While thanking you for the expressions of condolence therein, I take pleasure in informing you that I have telegraphed the substance of your said note to the Department of State at Washington.

I avail [etc.]

J. M. Cardoso de Oliveira.
[Inclosure 7—Translation.]

The Chief of the Department of Foreign Affairs to the Brazilian Minister.

Referring to the correspondence and interviews relating to the death of the American citizen John B. McManus, I have the honor of informing you that the President of the Sovereign Revolutionary Convention, charged with the Executive Power—

Deploring the unfortunate event that caused the death of Mr. John McManus, and considering that the sad condition of the widow of Mr. McManus imperatively requires immediate relief for her distress;

Considering that the rarity and painfulness of the case justify the Government in acting promptly, efficaciously and of its own accord in order to make clear the respect due from it in regard to the lives and interests of foreigners;

And, finally, considering that the abnormal conditions in which the Republic is placed make it entirely impracticable for those interested to present their claims in any other form—

Has decided, with the proviso that such decision shall not serve as a precedent in any case whether identical or similar, that the sum of one hundred sixty thousand pesos ($160,000) shall be paid to the widow and children of the deceased American citizen John B. McManus, in full compensation for the material damage caused them by the violent death of which Mr. McManus was the victim, [Page 869]which sum will be delivered to the widow upon her express renunciation for herself and her minor children of all action in this connection to which she may consider herself entitled, such renunciation to be made through the agency of your excellency.

Orders have already been given to the foregoing effect, and the said sum is now at your excellency’s disposition, and your excellency will please inform me whether Mrs. McManus will accept it on the condition stated, so that it may be delivered at once, and’ it is requested that your excellency will act in the matter as intermediary.

All the foregoing without prejudice to the continuation of the legal inquiry and the imposition of due punishment upon the person or persons who may be found responsible.

I avail [etc.]

Ismael Palafox.
[Inclosure 8—Translation.]

The Brazilian Minister to the Chief of the Department of Foreign Affairs.

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 26th instant, relative to the payment of the compensation which the President of the Sovereign Convention, charged with the Executive Power, is ready to make to the widow and minor children of the American citizen John B. McManus on account of his violent death.

In reply, in the name of the Government of the United States of America, which I have the honor to represent here, as well as in behalf of the widow and children of McManus, and for myself, I hereby manifest to you the sincere gratitude that we feel toward the President of the Convention, charged with the Executive Power, for the promptness, liberality and efficacy with which the satisfactory settlement of this matter has been made.

In pursuance of the terms of your note, I communicated to Mrs. McManus the desire of your Government that she expressly agree as to the sum, and renounce for herself and minor children any action to which she might think herself entitled in this connection; in response, I have the honor to transcribe the answer of Mrs. McManus as follows:

Mexico, D. F., March 29, 1915.

Señor J. M. Cardoso de Oliveira,
In charge of American interests.

Mr. Minister: In reply to your letter of the 29th instant relative to the indemnity of $160,000 which the Mexican Government is willing to pay for the material injury that we have suffered by reason of the violent death of my husband, Mr. John B. McManus, I have the honor of saying to you that if the said payment is made today, in bills of forced circulation, for the present I accept said indemnity in my name and in the names of my minor children, preferring that the payment be made in the form of a check in my favor drawn by the Government of the Republic. In case the payment is made on this date, I consider for the present that I receive the sum of $160,000 as full indemnity for the material injury caused to us by the violent death of which my husband was the victim, renouncing for myself and in the name of my minor children any action to which I might have a right in this matter.

I remain [etc.]

Ruth G. Wood, Widow of McManus.

Witness:
D. A. McAuliffe.
S. F. Fuller.

I avail [etc.]

J. M. Cardoso de Oliveira.
[Inclosure 9—Translation.]

Receipts.

Received from the General Treasury, by order of General Roque Gonzalez Garza, President of the Convention, Charged with the Executive Power, the sum of One Hundred Sixty Thousand Pesos ($160,000) in a check Series [Page 870]P No. 162425, dated today, on the Banco Nacional de Mexico, payable to the Señora Viuda de Mac Manus, said sum being the amount agreed upon for the payment to said lady and her minor children for the violent death of Mr. John B. McManus.


J. M. Cardoso de Oliveira,
Minister of Brazil, in charge of American interests in Mexico.

[Untitled]

Received from Mr. J. M. Cardoso de Oliveira, Minister of Brazil, in charge of American interests in Mexico, the check referred to in the foregoing receipt.

Ruth G. Wood, V’da de McManus.

Witness:
Charles B. Parker
,
Carlos Alberto Yoniz Gonsillez.
[Inclosure 10.]

Mrs. McManus to the Brazilian Minister.

My Dear Mr. Minister: I wish to thank you for the great kindness which you have shown me during the past eighteen days, by securing in so short a time the liberal indemnity from the Mexican Government which was deposited to my account this morning.

No one can realize the anxiety from which this relieves me, left as I was without adequate support for my four small children. You have accomplished what seemed to all Americans an impossibility, and I have no words in which to express my gratitude.

With sincerest wishes [etc.]

Ruth W. McManus.