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United States Department of State / Index to the executive documents of the House of Representatives for the second session of the fiftieth Congress, 1888-'90

Mexico,   pp. 1087-1317 PDF (103.3 MB)

Page 1087

                              No. 745.
                      Mr. Connery to Mr. Bayard.
 No. 239.1               LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
                  Mexico, October 4, 1887. (Received October 12.)
   SIR: A case which is attracting some attention here at present is the
 murder of an American citizen named Leon Baldwin, superintendent
 or manager of the Valenciana mines at or near a place called Ventanas,
 in the State of Durango. I deem it my duty to report the case for your
 consideration, though I do not feel authorized to initiate proceedings
 with a view to securing the punishment of the assassins, or of obtaining
 compensation for the widow of the unfortunate victim.
   About the middle of last August Mr. Baldwin, while making a tour
 of a group of mines belonging to a number of American capitalists,
 was fired upon by some parties concealed behind rocks close by the
 Ventanas mines. He was badly wounded, but managed to escape into
 a tfinnel near by, and soon after was informed by the foreman of the
 mines that the assassins threatened to put to death several of the un-
 armed workmen unless they brought forth the superintendent. Mr. Bald-
 win directed the foreman to go out and endeavor to compromise with the
 bandits, authorizing him to promise the payment of any reasonable sum
 of money by the company provided they would desist from further hos-
 tilities, and withdraw peacefully. This the foreman did, and aftera
 parley with the ruffians, reported to Mr. Baldwin that his offer was ac-
 cepted. Not to go into unnecessary details in this preliminary state-
 ment of the case, I will merely add now that Mr. Baldwin, desiring to
 save the lives of his men, and believing that the prime object of the as-
 sassins was to secure money, went out of the tunnel and confronted his
 assailants. He was thereupon placed upon a mule and led a short dis-
 tance away. A few minutes later on five shots were heard and some of
 the miners rushing down the road in the direction of the noise, found
 Mr. Baldwin lying dead with a bullet in his brain. The assassins had
 disappeared. This is, in brief, the story of the outrage as related to,
   If I may believe other statements made, this is only the last of a
   series of outrages in the same locality, and by the same organized band
   of assassins commanded by a notorious outlaw named Eraclio Bernal,
   Two or three other superintendents of the same mine, also Americans,
   have lost their lives in a similar manner, and it is said that the gov-
   ernor of Durango was notified in each case and warned that efficient
   measures should be taken to protect the lives and property of the people
   in the employment of this mining company.
   I have heard much more about the doings of the bandits of Durango,
   but I deem it prudent, at present, to confine myself to this simple nar-
   ration of what have been represented to me as the undoubted facts in
- the case of the unfortunate Leon Baldwin.

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