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industrial or commercial factory unlicensed" should be closed unless the license should be taken out in three days. The cigar factory was accordingly closed by the chief of police, in execution of this decree. The deposition of Morales shows that he was required by the chief of police to carry the sign “to the station house." Morales proves by his own deposition, (and no objection has been made to this proof,) that he is a naturalized citizen, a native of Cuba. This fact of obliging him to carry the sign was well calculated to produce a feeling of indignation and resentment. But it is not perceived how it could affect the claims of the company, or alter the fact that the closing of the cigar factory was in pursuance of a law to which all persons in Paraguay owed obedience.
The evidence shows, that there was no seizure or confiscation of the property. It was perfectly competent for the company to have reopened the factory on the same day, by merely complying with the terms of the law, which imposed no other obligation, than that of applying for the license, required in all cases, and paying $16 for the stamp, without at the same time defying the government, by using the prohibited title.
The saw-mill at San Antonio was in the same condition with respect to this law. But in addition to this, there were other and more serious difficulties, provoked entirely by the indiscreet and unjustifiable conduct of the company's agent, Mr. Hopkins. In this connection it may be proper to make an extract from the statement or memorial of the company, which is appended to the Senate report, at page 66. They say:
“Notwithstanding unforeseen delays, upon the arrival of the expedition at Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay, in October, 1853, the agents of the company were received with the greatest favor. Permission to purchase land was conceded by the President; the use of the government barracks was granted to the company, free of expense, for the use of their employés; a loan of money was made upon the credit of the company for a term of two years; a large number of persons were impressed by the government, and paid by the company, to work in their cigar factory and other establishments.
“The President, Lopez, accepted, in his official capacity, the presents sent him by the company, and granted many other extraordinary facilities for their operations. In verifi
: cation of these statements, we refer to the affidavit of W. E. Hines, general cashier of the the company in Paraguay, hereunto annexed.
“The government of Paraguay has never denied, but makes a boast of these faots. We give an instance of its de. crees for our benefit, and also the letter accepting and return. ing presents.
"The justice of peace of Ipiane will select from the natives of the suppressed community ten men, bachelors or married, of good conduct and assiduous in labor, and will deliver them to the citizen of the United States, Mr. Edward Augustus Hopkins, to be destined to work for him during one year in his establishment at San Antonio, with the monthly wages of three dollars, which he offers to pay, and providing victuals, upon the condition that every Saturday, after concluding the labors of the day, they can retire to their lodgings, and will present themselves the following Monday at daybreak; and that they will receive said salary every two months, on condition, also, that if any one of the ten individuals should happen not to be of good character required, they will be withdrawn, with less wages for the days they have had hire in proportion to that assigned to men of labor, and will be supplied by men capable of performing the labors of the contract, it being recommended to said justice of peace to make the best choice of workmen. The same order will be understood on the same terms by the justices of peace of Guarambaré.??
This is the account which the claimants themselves give of the reception they met with. It appears by the evidence, (and there is no contrariety on this point,) that Mr. Hopkins, acting for the company, attempted to procure a title to the government barrack and appurtenances, which he was then occupying by favor. All the proceedings are appended to the record, as well those under which Mr. Hopkins claimed as those subsequently instituted by the government. They speak for themselves. Without recapitulating them minutely, it might suffice to say, that Mr. Hopkins never applied for, or obtained, any license or permission to purchase the land, which was necessary, in the case of aliens, even where the povernment was not directly concerned, as in the instance of property occupied as a national barrack; that he never had
but of his own authority, di. rected the line to be run so as to include the barrack; that he actually inclosed it, and with it, a public road, the only one leading to the port; and that he refused to evacuate the barrack when requested so to do by the government, which had gratuitously loaned it to him.
The proceedings instituted by the government resulted in a decree, declaring the land where the barrack stood to be the property of certain infants, from whose mother, the widow Bedoya, Mr. Hopkins had purchased it for the sum of seventyfive dollars. That this was the whole purchase money has not been denied. The requisite steps were not taken to divest the infants of their title, or to authorize the holding of the land by aliens.
The real estate of the company was also embraced in th beforementioned mortgage, and consisted of about twelve acres of land at San Antonio, purchased from different indi. viduals, costing $237.50, and also the cigar factory at Asuncion, costing $2,500.75. To the factory, the title had been perfected by deed registered, and possession given, and the assent of the President endorsed thereon, authorizing them as foreigners to hold the land as required by the laws of Paraguay.
The President esteemed the position of the barrack as an important point for the defence of the State against the incursions of the Indians from the opposite side of the river, and thought the most realy mode of getting out of the difficulty with Mr. Hopkins was to pay him back double the consideration money, which was submitted to him. He (Hopkins) desired time to consider of the subject, that he might himself make some proposition. Before he did so, the irregularity of the title was made known to the President, and a decree was passed, declaring his deed void, and that the property was necessary for public use, and directing the money to be refunded. It was offered to him, and declined. The President then took possession of it as public property for the re-establishment of the barrack, and it was immediately occupied by his soldiers.
Whether the decree and other proceedings were right or wrong, so far as it concerned the rights of the widow and children, it could not be considered unjust to the company; their titles had not been perfected, and could not have been, except with the assent of the President, and besides they were his tenants in the barrack, by sufferance, and could set up no opposing claim to his title, and they had mortgaged the lands to secure the payment of a much larger sum than they were worth—and their title was sold under a decree made according to the laws of Paraguay, and the full value applied toward the payment of the mortgage debt, leaving a balance of the loaned money still due and unpaid, of over six thousand dollars.
It is further alleged that they were indirectly compelled to give up their business and leave the country, by the ty. rannical and oppressive decrees of President Lopez. One of the most complained of was the prohibition of "all meetings of foreigners, except for the ostensible purpose of visiting, and innocent diversions are forbidden by day or by night." This was evidently designed to prevent the assemblage in the city of sailors and others accompanying the ships in port, which often ended in riots and bloodshed; and not for the purpose of preventing foreigners from meeting and transacting their ordinary business, as is alleged. There is no allegation that any such meeting for business, or for any lawful purpose was in fact interrupted. Of the same character was the prohibition of any person from wearing arms, or being out of their houses after night without carrying a lamp.
These were mere police regulations, which President Lopez had an undoubted right to establish, and it was the duty of the citizens of the United States, resident in Paraguay, to obey them; which might have been done with but little trouble.
It was known to Mr. Hopkins, that the objection of the President was to himself and Morales, on account of their misconduct, and that no objection would be made to any other citizen of the United States. It is strange that decrees so easily complied with should have been made an excuse for abandoning the interests of the company now represented so valuable, and that the voluntary abandonment of such of the property as Hopkins could not conveniently take with him, or convert into money, should now be made the basis of heavy damages against Paraguay.
It has also been urged that President Lopez offered to pay a large sum of money, ($250,000,) and that the amount of damages
could not fall short of that sum. It appears, from the statement of Commissioner Bowlin, already alluded to, that when the offer was made, President Lopez declared there was little or nothing due the company, and that the offer was made to buy his peace.
Propositions for a compromise of contests between con tending parties, are not and ought not to be considered as an
admission of the liability of the party for anything, much less the amount offered and rejected, in any subsequent stage of the proceedings.
It should be a source of gratification to the government of the United States as well as its citizens, that Commissioner Bowlin, after having received prompt and full satisfaction for the insult offered the flag of the United States, and the injury done to our citizens on board the Water Witch, consented to a reference of this pecuniary demand of the United States and Paraguay Navigation Company to arbitration, where justice would be more likely done to the parties, than by an attempt to coerce the payment of such a claim with musket and sword.
It has been painful to observe, in the course of this examination, the ingenuity displayed in making so strong a case prima facie for the consideration of Congress and the executive government, founded upon ex parte representations of those most deeply interested in the claim, by a studied perversion of the laws and decrees of the Republic of Paraguay, and by the enormous, if not criminal exaggeration of the demands of this company, constantly growing larger by the skillful preparation of their accounts, and the studied and malignant assaults upon the President and people of Paraguay, and that too for the mere purpose of putting money into the pockets of those claimants.
It has always been the pride and glory of the government and citizens of the United States “to submit to nothing wrong." from any government or people, but, at the same time, demand of them “nothing but what is right;" and the day is far distant, as I sincerely hope, when East India fortunes are to be accumulated, with their approbation and sanction, by the plunder of feeble States, extorted from them at the cannon's mouth.
For the reasons above given, I am clearly of opinion that the award should be in favor of the Republic of Paraguay, and against the claimants, who have not established any right to damages upon their claim. All of which is respectfully submitted,
C. JOHNSON. WASHINGTON, August 10, 1860.