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menced, amid the most frightful oaths and cries of "Death to foreigners!"
At the time of the attack there was another foreigner in the house, but he made his escape from a window, and fled to Tacubaya, where he gave notice to a friend of Mr. Beale (Mr. Bueron), who proceeded to Naples. When he arrived he found the place deserted by the murderers, and poor Beale quite dead. The body was brought to this city the same day, and examined by physicians named for the purpose by the Government. The wounds were numerous, made by fire-arms, swords, knives, &c. The head was laid open in two places, and disfigured by bruises, cuts, and gunshot wounds, in the most horrible manner. In the breast were 4 wounds, two by fire-arms, and two by knives or swords. Both arms had wounds, and two deep incisions, apparently made by sword thrusts, were found in the lower part of the body. The corpse altogether presented a most shocking spectacle, not that alone of the victim of murderers, but of cowardly fiends who had wreaked upon it their envenomed hatred. The funeral of Mr. Beale took place the day following, and, notwithstanding a drenching rain, the attendance was numerous.
The victim of this atrocity was a British subject of many years' residence in this country, who had always been noted for his pacific and inoffensive character. He had never taken any part in the politics of the country, and it is not known that he ever so much as expressed an opinion in favour of one party or the other. When warned a few days before his death of the existence of danger, he laughed at the idea, and urged his entire neutrality as a guarantee that no one would molest him. He was a hard-working man, and the new village where he resided owed its name and existence to his untiring industry and enterprise. He was a charitable man, as is well-known by everybody, for, although unmarried, he had a considerable family made up of poor orphan children, who were fed, clothed, and cared for through his industry. His last act of kindness to Mrs. Wylie proves the true character of the deceased more than anything else. His first thought was to save the aged and infirm, and then go to face the danger.
The death of this unfortunate man has, with reason, created a deep feeling of alarm amongst the foreign residents of this place, who cannot longer look upon their situation but as precarious in the extreme. Had many others fallen as Mr. Beale has fallen, there might have been some explanation of the act-that they had been partisans, meddlers with the affairs of the country, or some of the many base reasons which have been advanced to palliate the murder of others of our countrymen. But here nothing of the kind can
be advanced. Mr. Beale was a foreigner" (a British subject), and
for being such has been murdered. The fact cannot be changed. We have not only the testimony of a child who witnessed the murder of Mr. Beale, and heard the threats of the assassins, but we have the fact that the houses of other foreigners in the same place were broken into, inquiries made for the owners, and, when they were found absent, the repetition of the same cries of "Death to foreigners!" and threats to come back and murder them also. It was providential that no others shared the fate of Mr. Beale. The authors of this atrocity are supposed to be of the clergy forces scattered through the valley. This is natural to suppose, although the fact will probably never be proved. It matters little, however, of what force or party they are. It is alarming enough to know that they have murdered one of our countrymen, and have threatened to serve all of us in the same way, and that they are still at large to do as they please.
Nothing can be done as far as we can learn, to bring the criminals to justice, and we fear that it will be the fate of this case to pass like those of Staines, Gibson, Duval, Egerton, Bodmer, and others -one wail of horror, a home and hearth desolated, one or two formal stereotyped protests, and eternal silence. Surely we are an abandoned people. But the most terrible part of our abandonment is the anxiety-which no foreigner can free himself of as to who may be the next victim.
(Inclosure 2.)-Sir C. Wyke to Señor Magarola.
Mexico, July 8, 1861. I YESTERDAY learnt with feelings of horror and indignation, which I will not attempt to describe, the barbarous murder of a British subject named Beale, at a farm called "Napoles," by a party of 30 or 40 men, who after destroying their victim left the house without removing a single article from it, thereby proving that their sole motive was vengeance against a man universally known as kind-hearted and inoffensive, and who had never taken any part in the dissensions which distract this unfortunate country.
His son-in-law, who lives in Tacubaya, on hearing what had occurred searched in vain throughout the village for some legal authority to proceed to the spot with him in order to verify the facts and draw up a procès-verbal duly proving the crime, and the circumstances under which it had been committed. Failing in his object, he next applied to the British Consul in this city, who on addressing the authorities here was informed that the corpse must be brought into Mexico, as there was no person competent in Tacubaya to perform the legal formalities necessary to be fulfilled in such a case as this.
It is perfectly incredible that the Government should thus leave [1861-62. LII.] U
a place like Tacubaya, within 3 miles of the capital, inhabited by thousands of people, and containing much valuable property, totally destitute of any authority whatever, either civil or military, to protect the lives of those who have every right to claim the protection of a Government which is bound to watch over them.
In bringing this dreadful case to your notice I must request that you will immediately inform me what steps have been taken for the detection and punishment of the assassins who have committed this murder, and let me know at the same time what measures have been adopted to prevent outrages of a similar nature being again perpetrated in a place close to the gates of the capital.
If I had supposed Tacubaya had been thus left defenceless, I should have warned all my countrymen to leave a place which everybody thought was under the direct and immediate protection of the General commanding the district. In conclusion I must again urge on you the necessity of giving me an immediate reply to the demand I now address you, not only for the sake of justice to the deceased, but also for the due protection of those British subjects still resident in the actual vicinity of the city.
I avail, &c.
C. LENNOX WYKE.
(Inclosure 3.)-Señor Magarola to Sir C. Wyke. (Translation.) National Palace, Mexico, July 8, 1861. BEFORE receiving your Excellency's note of this day's date the Government had been informed of the assassination committed on the person of the English subject Beale, and had in consequence ordered all the necessary measures for the investigation of the deed and the prosecution of the culprits so soon as they should be arrested.
The Government itself, full of indignation at this crime, desires that its authors should suffer condign punishment, and has again given orders to the General-in-Chief and to the Governor of the district to take active measures, and to inform this Department of what has already been done, and what it is their intention to do, not only in this case, but also about the matter which your Excellency was pleased to lay before me.
As soon as the information referred to has been received in this department I shall have the pleasure to transmit it to your Excellency, assuring you in the meanwhile that this. Government will spare no effort, as far as it may be in its power, to give its protection to the life and property of the inhabitants of the district.
Sir C. Wyke.
I avail, &c.
LUCAS DE PALACIO Y MAGAROLA.
No. 18.-Sir C. Wyke to Lord J. Russell.—(Received August 29.) (Extract.) Mexico, July 26, 1861. AFTER a perusal of the despatches I had the honour of addressing to you by the last mail, your Lordship will, probably, not be surprised to learn that this Government, encouraged by the apparent impunity with which they stopped payment of the assignments stipulated for by the agreements entered into with Captains Dunlop and Aldham, should have gone a step further, and suspended all payments assigned to their foreign claimants by the British, French, and Spanish Conventions.
This scandalous and dishonest act was announced in a new financial law issued by Congress on the 17th instant, and published in newspapers and placards in the form of a Decree, by the President's order, on the 19th.
In this document, of which I have now the honour to inclose a translation, your Lordship will perceive by Article I that all payments, including the assignments destined for the London bondholders and the foreign Conventions, are suspended for the space of two years. By Article XIII the "contra-registro," or duty on consumption of all foreign merchandize, is doubled within the federal district during the Government's good pleasure, to enable them by these means, and those procured by a tax on tobacco, to pay off in preference the debts contracted since the 29th of May last, as well as those they may incur for the expenses entailed on them in maintaining the public peace, or, in other words, carrying on the civil war.
These are the two Articles of the Decree that directly affect foreigners the others bear more upon native interests, such as Articles XII and XIII, by which the Government is authorized to place an impost on tobacco, and to augment by 50 per cent., up to the end of December next, the excise duties on national products within the Federal district, comprising an area of 89 square miles, with a population of about 300,000 souls.
The "Junta," mentioned in Article VI, is what we should term a special finance committee appointed for the reduction of the national debt by means of funds accruing from property formerly belonging to the Church and other corporate bodies. Two members of the Junta are to be named from the different creditors of the State; but those foreigners to whom such an appointment has been offered have refused it with indignation.
Such is the scheme by which this Government propose to free themselves from their engagements towards foreign Powers, and to procure money sufficient to enable them to go on in the old scrambling, disorderly way, living from hand to mouth by augmenting duties,
levying contributions, and repudiating engagements which they are bound in honour to fulfil.
The same evening that this Decree was published, I wrote a note to Señor Zamacona, Minister for Foreign Affairs, asking him whether it was really authentic, as I could not bring myself to believe that the Government actually meant thus to set at defiance an international obligation such as the British Convention, which could not be put on one side at the will of one of the Contracting Parties, unless with the sanction of the other, and this too without in any way announcing their intention of doing so to this Legation.
In his reply of the 21st, herewith inclosed, your Lordship will perceive the very lame attempt he makes to account for this important omission, for even the visit to which he refers was made 24 hours after the Decree had been placarded in the streets of this capital.
The second note, dated the 21st, translation of which I likewise inclose, is the one announcing the publication of the Decree, to which he alludes in the first note as having been already sent to me, but which in reality only reached me an hour and a-half after I had received the other. My letter of the 22nd refutes the arguments he uses to justify the Decree, and contradicts the insinuation that I must have known of its being about to be issued. My note of the 23rd is an answer to the official announcement of the Decree, by which I solemnly protest against it, and warn Señor Zamacona that unless this obnoxious measure is withdrawn in 48 hours I shall suspend all further official intercourse with the Mexican Government until I receive instructions from Her Majesty's Government with reference to this matter.
The full 48 hours having expired without my having received any answer whatever to this communication, I again addressed him on the evening of the 25th, formally suspending my relations as I had threatened to do. An hour later I received two notes from his Excellency, by the former of which he endeavours to make out that there is no necessity whatever for the step I have taken, and requests me, therefore, still to maintain my official relations with this Government; this was in answer to my note written on the evening of the 23rd, and the latter, in reply to the one of the 25th, complains that the full term of 48 hours was not accorded, for my note, which was written the day before at 5 o'clock, had not been received by him until 7 P.M. As in the first of these Señor Zamacona states the impossibility, according to his view of the case, of withdrawing the Decree, I could not, after the announcement of my determination, reply to him officially, and I therefore answered some incorrect statements contained in his note by a private letter, copy of which I have the honour likewise to inclose.