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In the case of the Riel rebellion in Manitoba, in 1885, in which it was reported that Indians and whites from the United States with cannon and munitions were taking part with the Winnipeg insurgents, prompt measures were taken by the United States to prevent the departure of any hostile expedition or the shipment of arms or ammunition across the border.
Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, to Mr. Garland, At. Gen., March 25, 1885, 154 MS. Dom. Let. 609; Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, to Mr. Endicott, Sec. of War, March 28, 1885, id. 618; Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, to Mr. Manning, Sec. of Treas., March 28, 1885, id. 615; Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, to the governor of Minnesota, tel., March 28, 1885, id. 611; Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, to Mr. Endicott, Sec. of War, April 17, 1885, 155 MS. Dom. Let. 132; same to same, April 10, 1885, id. 61.
In December, 1892, complaints were made by the Mexican legation at Washington of the reappearance on the Texas border of the Garza bandits and of raids by them into Mexico. It was alleged that two Mexican officers and four privates were burned by them in a raid on the Mexican side of the river opposite San Ignacio, in which fire was set to the Mexican barracks. Complaints were also made by the Mexican Government of raids at other places. The Mexican Government alleged that the raids would not have occurred but for the lack of United States troops in Texas to prevent violations of the neutrality laws and for the want of care shown in the matter by the local authorities of that State. The United States, on the other hand, maintained that the conditions rendered it difficult to police the frontier, which was a long line, thinly populated, where the nature of the country furnished great facilities for concealment and escape, with a river so easily crossed at any point; that the persons making the raids were organized secretly in Texas and did not appear as organized bodies till they had crossed the river, too late for attack by United States troops; that likewise, on returning from Mexico, they dispersed and scattered over the country, either individually or in small parties, making pursuit difficult, if not impossible, as they never presented an object of attack by troops on American soil; that renewed orders had, however, been given to the American forces for the exercise of the greatest vigilance to prevent any violation of the neutrality laws. Correspondence was also held with the authorities of Texas, with a view to suppress the raiders." It appears that at the close of December, 1892, the total number of troops in active service on the Mexican side of the line was 2,727. The United States forces in the vicinity of the Rio Grande numbered at the same time about 1,800 men."
a For. Rel. 1893, 424-435.
For. Rel. 1893, 435.
From time to time report was made of the capture in the United States of the following bandits: Francisco Benavides, Prudencio Gonzales, Cecilio Echeverria, Isidoc Ereda, Quiocino, Julian Flores, Librado Gutierrez, Dionicio Salaza, Gregorio Jueborro, Clemente Gutierrez, José Maria Moralez, Aniceto Treviño, Fernandez Salinas, Rafael Ramirrez, Tomas Cuellar, Procopio Gutierrez, Amando Garcia, Jesus Sandoval, Chico Procopio Sandoval, Secundino Ramirez, Juan Maldonado, Eslas Ybañez, Juan Guerra, Maximo Martinez, A. Arambula, E. Martivero, Juan Manuel Zarrate, Roman Garcia, Jesus Flores, Pedro Garcia, Delfino Garcia, Eusebio Garcia, Catarino Garcia, Anicilo Vela, Justo Vela, Anciano Sanchez, Felipe Trevino, and Sesstores Lemon."
The Mexican Government suggested that it would be well for the war department of each country to inform the other of what forces it proposed to assign to preserve peace on its frontiers and what system it proposed to adopt for the attainment of this end, so that, by both acting in concert, the purpose of both governments might be more easily accomplished." This suggestion was concurred in by the United States, the fullest cooperation that was possible under the circumstances being desirable.c
In a note of March 18, 1893, Mr. Romero, Mexican minister at Washington, said:
"The circumstance that a considerable number of the bandits who took part in the late incursions into Mexico, after organization in Texas, should have surrendered shows the efficacy of the pursuit of them by the agents of the United States Government, and is in contrast with the leniency manifested during the first two raids, one led by Ruiz Sandoval and the other by Catarino Garza. It is very satisfactory to observe that the active and efficacious pursuit of these bandits is bearing fruit, and I believe that in future there will be no further invasions of a friendly country like those which have occurred in the last three years.'
The Mexican minister having asked for the prosecution under the neutrality laws of one Victor Ochoa, who was charged with having organized a gang of bandits in the United States to commit depredations in Mexico, the Attorney-General of the United States advised that, as the neutrality law "clearly is directed against the invasion of foreign territory by organized military bodies for the purpose of conducting military operations against the foreign government in its political capacity," it was not applicable to common criminals like Ochoa and his associates.
a For. Rel. 1893, 440, 444, 445, 446, 447, 448, 456. For. Rel. 1893, 442.
For. Rel. 1893, 446-447.
d For. Rel. 1893, 445-446.
e For. Rel. 1894, 428, 429.
The Mexican minister in reply called attention to the cases of Benavides, Martinez, and others, who were tried and sentenced in the Federal courts for conducting expeditions very similar, as the minister contended, to that carried into effect by Ochoa."
The Attorney-General subsequently instructed the proper district attorney to prosecute any violation of the neutrality laws on being furnished with any tangible evidence of it, and it was stated that the War Department would also render any cooperation which might be practicable.
The grand jury at El Paso, at the April term, 1894, returned a true bill against Ochoa for alleged violation of the neutrality laws. Ochoa was reported then to be at a hotel in the city of New York."
It appears that after the failure of his attempts in Mexico, Catarino Garza fled to Costa Rica. Subsequently he went to San Juan del Norte, in Nicaragua, where he gathered about him some thirty men, chiefly Colombian exiles, and securing money and a quantity of small arms returned to Costa Rica with a view to make an incursion into Colombia. On the approach of Costa Rican troops he embarked, with his followers, for Bocas del Toro, where they were defeated and Garza and eleven of his followers killed, while the rest were taken prisoners.
Mr. Baker, min. to Costa Rica, to Mr. Gresham, Sec. of State, No. 490,
See, as to the Garza raids, Mr. Blaine, Sec. of State, to Attorney-General,
6. USE OF NEUTRAL TERRITORY AS BASE OF OPERATIONS.
(1) STATION FOR HOSTILITIES.
"As it is contrary to the law of nations that any of the belligerent powers should commit hostility on the waters which are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States, so ought not the ships of war, belonging to any belligerent power, to take a station in those waters in order to carry on hostile expeditions from thence. I do myself the honor, therefore, of requesting of your excellency, in the name of the President of the United States, that, as often as a fleet, squadron, or ship, of any belligerent nation, shall clearly and unequivocally use the rivers, or other waters of as a station, in
a For. Rel. 1894, 429.
For. Rel. 1894, 430–431. c For. Rel. 1894, 432.
order to carry on hostile expeditions from thence, you will cause to be notified to the commander thereof that the President deems such conduct to be contrary to the rights of our neutrality; and that a demand of retribution will be urged upon their government for prizes which may be made in consequence thereof. A standing order to this effect may probably be advantageously placed in the hands of some confidential officer of the militia, and I must entreat you to instruct him to write by the mail to this Department, immediately upon the happening of any case of the kind."
Mr. Randolph, Sec. of State, to the governors of the several States, circular, April 16, 1795, 1 Am. State Papers, For. Rel. 608; 8 MS. Dom. Let. 138.
See, also, Mr. Randolph, Sec. of State, to Mr. Hammond, Brit. min., April 13 and April 22, 1795, 8 MS. Dom. Let. 124, 145.
The circular of April 16, 1795, did "not request that vessels, using our waters as a hostile station should be ordered to depart." but “only that notice should be given to them of our intended demand upon their Government. An order to depart would be inconsistent with the letter of the 9th of Sept. 1793, which concedes to them our ports as a refuge in case of necessity and a resort for comfort or convenience, without limiting the time of their stay."
Mr. Randolph, Sec. of State, to governor of Virginia, May 8, 1795, 8 MS.
Referring to the use alleged to have been made of the port of St. Thomas, D. W. I., for the purpose of capturing neutral vessels, Mr. Seward stated that Commander Craven, U. S. N., had been instructed by the Secretary of the Navy "that it was not proper to make a convenience, in any manner, of neutral territory for the purpose of exercising the belligerent right of search or capture. A capture of a neutral vessel made after standing off and on a neutral harbor, or mouth of a river, or lying in wait within it for the purpose, although actually made beyond the neutral jurisdiction, would not be recognized as valid, and the right of search can not properly be exercised when it is known previously that, whatever the event of the search, the capture would not be lawful."
Mr. Seward, Sec. of State, to Lord Lyons, British min., July 29, 1863, MS.
(2) SALE OF PRIZES.
"The doctrine as to the admission of prizes, maintained by the Government from the commencement of the war between England, France, etc., to this day has been this: The treaties give a right to H. Doc. 551-vol 7—60
armed vessels, with their prizes, to go where they please (consequently into our ports), and that these prizes shall not be detained, seized, nor adjudicated, but that the armed vessel may depart as speedily as may be, with her prize, to the place of her commission; and we are not to suffer their enemies to sell in our ports the prizes taken by their privateers. Before the British treaty, no stipulation stood in the way of permitting France to sell her prizes here; and we did permit it, but expressly as a favor, not as a right. . . . These stipulations admit the prizes to put into our ports in cases of necessity, or perhaps of convenience, but no right to remain if disagreeable to us; and absolutely not to be sold."
Mr. Jefferson, President, to Mr. Gallatin, Aug. 25, 1801, 1 Gallatin's
The sale of prizes brought into the ports of the United States by armed vessels of the French Republic has been regarded by us not as a right to which the captors were entitled either by the law of nations or our treaty of amity and commerce with France."
Mr. Pickering, Sec. of State, to Mr. Adet, May 24, 1796, 1 Am. State Papers.
See, also, Mr. Pickering, Sec. of State, to the President, July 19, 1796, 9
"Prizes made upon the high seas, which may come to the ports of my dominions, shall not be permitted to sell their cargoes, if they consist of prohibited goods; but if they are not of that kind, and are exposed to damage, they shall be permitted to be sold.”
Royal Cedula of the King of Spain, No. 2, June 14, 1797, 10 MS. Dom.
There is high authority for the position that a prize may be carried into a neutral port and there sold, but considerations of expediency should lead the neutral sovereign to exercise his undoubted right of prohibiting such sale. It would be a breach of neutrality to permit a port to be made a cruising station for a belligerent or a depot for his spoils and prisoners. It is not a breach of neutrality to permit a vessel captured as prize to be repaired in our ports and put in a condition to be taken to a port of the captor for adiudication.
Wirt, At. Gen., 1828, 2 Op. 86.
When a foreign belligerent cruiser brings a prize into a neutral port, the cruiser will be required to depart as soon as practicable, and will not be permitted to dispose in such port of the prize or of its goods.
Mr. Clay, Sec. of State. to Mr. Tacon, Apr. 11, 1828, MS. Notes to For.