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Mr. McLeod to Mr. Webster.
East GALVESTON, November 30, 1850. Sir: In compliance with the enclosed request of General William L. Cazeneau, a well known and highly respectable citizen of Texas, residing at Eagle Pass, I have the honor to enclose to you the statement of himself and other citizens of that place, authenticated here by Mr. Brown, before a notary public, respecting the abduction of a citizen of Eagle Pass, and his forcible deportation into Mexico.
The facts of his abduction are fully set forth in the statement, and Mr. Brown informs me that the plea of Mr. Mead was, that Rios was a peon, (a relation of debtor and creditor in Mexico, which you understand,) and that he had a right to take him back to his master. As the peon has a right under their law of transferring his obligation to any one who will advance the amount of his debt, General Cazeneau, in whose employ he now is, (or was,) would willingly have paid it if any such was due. He would also aid as a citizen in the execution of the treaty in regard to persons escaping from labor, under the officers of the law; but he objects, as I learn from Mr. Brown, to the high-handed act of Mr. Mead in arresting a man claiming to be an American citizen, having his family and children in our Territory, and pursuing his ordinary labor here; and this without a shadow of authority for the act, or proof of the charge alleged.
The family of Rios are in great distress, as they anticipate some severe punishment upon him from the Mexican government, and their only consolation is the hope which General Cazeneau has held out to them of your interposition in their behalf. I have the honor to be, &c., &c., &c.,
H. McLEOD. Hon. Dan. WEBSTER,
Secretary of State.
EAGLE Pass, November 14, 1850. My Dear Mc.: I have now but a moment in which to request your friendly acquaintance with my esteemed neighbor Mr. Brown, who will hand you the enclosed and give you all the details until I have time to write by mail. We have at present no officer here to authenticate our signatures, but Mr. Brown can certify. We shall forward affidavits through Governor Bell when Van Ness returns.
Ever your friend,
WILLIAM L. CAZENEAU.
EAGLE Pass, November 12, 1850. We, the undersigned, citizens of Eagle Pass and Piedras Negras, near Fort Duncan, in the county of Kinney, and State of Texas, hereby demand a legal investigation into the crime against the laws and authority of the United States of which we now make complaint.
We charge one Dennis Mead, of Piedras Negras, with kidnapping the body of one Manuel Rios, a resident and head of family in the American settlement at Eagle Pass, and aiding in his forcible abduction from the
soil and protection of the United States in the manner stated as follows, viz: the said Manuel Rios, not being charged with any offence against the laws or peace of the State, went, on the morning of Sunday, September 29, 1850, from his domicil at Eagle Pass to the settlement of Piedras Negras, in the course of his own lawful pursuits. Being at Piedras on the day named, and guiltless of offence against any law or citizen of the United States or accusation of crime against any law or citizen of Mexico, he was attacked on the open highway of Piedras Negras by Dennis Mead, of said Piedras Negras, in Kinney county, who by force compelled the said Manuel Rios to refrain fronı self defence and submit to have his hands tied by said Mead, and be carried across the Rio Grande into the Mexican terri. tory and conveyed into the interior, still bound, and always supplicating the protection of American laws, from which he had been taken against his will by the threats and armed force used by said Dennis Mead and his accomplices. The witnesses present when the said Manuel Rios was thus kidnapped, bound, and carried away in violation of the peace and authority of the United States, were Hilavio Banderas, Ramon Perez, and others, residents and citizens of Piedras Negras; so that we, your informants, do know and believe that full proof can be had of the details of the crime wherewith we charge the said Mead, when the investigations demanded by the law shall be instituted by the officers charged with this duty.
We, the complainants in this case, therefore pray that you will insti. tute such investigation at the earliest day, that the truth may appear before the delinquents escape justice.
STATE OF TEXAS, County of Galveston:
Personally appeared betore me, James P. Nash, notary public in and for the State and county aforesaid, John B. Brown, one of the signers of the above documents, who, being duly sworn, says that the above signature of John B. Brown is his own, and that he witnessed every signature except that of James Campbell, with which, however, he is well acquainted, and believes the above to be genuine; and he further solemnly swears, that he believes the facts set forth in the statement to be true; and that they would have been sworn to at Eagle Pass at the time of making the declaration, but for the want of a proper officer before whom to make the affidavit, that settlement being new, and not yet organized under the law.
In testimony of which I hereunto set my hand, with the [L. 8.] impress of my official seal, this 30th day of November, A. D. 1850.
JAMES P. NASH, Notary Public, Galveston county.
THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY,
The proceedings of a court-martial on Commodore Thomas Ap Catesby
Jones, and certain correspondence between the Secretary of the Navy and Commodore Jones.
FEBRUARY 24, 1851.
Ordered to be printed.
Navy DEPARTMENT, August 27, 1851. ŞIR: In compliance with a resolution of the Senate, adopted February 24, 1851, I transmit to you, herewith, "a copy of the record and proceedings of the naval court-martial recently held at Washington for the trial of Thomas Ap Catesby Jones, a post captain in the navy; together with copies of the correspondence between the Secretary of the Navy and Commodore Jones, relating to his arrest and trial, between the 7th day of September, 1850, and the 18th day of February, 1851, inclusive."
The department respectfully requests that you will cause it to be furnished with twenty printed copies of the record, &c. I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WILL. A. GRAHAM. Asbury Dickins, Esq.,
Secretary U. S. Senate.
Record of the proceedings of a naval general court-martial, begun and
holden at the navy-yard in the city of Washington, in the District of Columbia, on Monday, the sitteenth day of December, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty, by virtue of a precept signed by the honorable the Secretary of the Navy of the United States, the original whereof is hereunto annexed, marked A, and which is in the words and figures following, to wit:
“ To Captain CHARLES STEWART,
“ U. S. Navy, Washington, D. C: “ By virtue of the authority contained in the act of Congress, approved the 23d of April, A. D. 1800, for the better government of the nary of the United States, a haval general court-martial is hereby ordered to convene at the navy yard, Washington, D. C., on Monday, the sixteenth day of December, eighteen hundred and fifty, or as soon thereafter as practicable, for the trial of Captain Thomas Ap Catesby Jones, of the navy, and of such other persons as may be legally brought before it.
“The court is to be coniposed of the following named officers, any five of whoin are empowered to act, viz: “ Captain CHARLES STEWART, U. S. N.
6. WILL. A. GRAHAM,.
Secrelury of the Nary. “Navy DEPARTMENT, November 19, 1950."
NAVY-YARD, CITY OF WASHINGTON:
MONDAY, DECEMBER 16, 1850—12 o'clock, m.
The court convened in pursuance of the foregoing precept.
Present: Captain Charles Stewart, U. S. N., president; Captain Lewis Warrington, U. S. N , Captain John Downes, U. S. N., Captain George C. Read, U. S. N., Captain Henry E. Ballard, U. S. N., Captain William B. Shubrick, U. S. N., Captain Lawrence Kearny, U. S. N., Captain John D. Sloat, U. S. N., Captain Matthew C. Perry, U. S. N., and J. M. Carlisle, esq., judge advocate; Captain Thomas Ap Catesby Jones, of the United States navy, being also in attendance.
The precept herein before set forth was produced by the president, and read aloud by the judge advocate.