Friday, March 13, 2015

March 13, 1895: Antonio Lorenzo and Francesco Ranchetti

As promised we continue to follow the two day lynching of the Italian miners. We continue with articles from The Leavenworth Times (Leavenworth, Kansas) dated March 14, 1895:  


DENVER, Colo., March 13—Governor McIntyre to-day received simultaneously from Washington and from the Italian Consul at Denver, inquiries concerning the Walsenburg lynchings. The communication from Washington was a telegram from the acting Secretary of State asking for particulars; and that from acting Consul Cuneo at this point was a demand for protection for any Italian citizens who might be in danger in Walsenburg. Immediately steps were taken by the Governor to comply with both requests and telegrams were sent out. To Washington the Governor telegraphed such particulars as he then had, and promised the fullest protection to all. He also stated that it is probable that the Italians lynched are American citizens; that he had directed the sheriff to protect his prisoners and maintain order; and that he had a report from the Colonel commanding the nearest place that he could put troops aboard cars in two hours.


Following is a copy of the communications passing between Governor McIntyre's departments and the acting Italian Consul:

DENVER, March 13.

To His Excellency A. W. McIntyre, Governor of Colorado:

Sir:—I have from reliable authority that, at or near the town of Walsenburg, Colo., between 12 and 2 o'clock, two Italians were taken from the jail by a mob and lynched; and also that there are seven more men, supposed to be Italians, still in the custody of the authorities of Huerfano county, who are threatened to be treated in like manner.

Therefore, I, Joseph Cuneo, Acting Italian Consul, for this district, call on you as Governor of the State to take such steps as may be necessary to insure protection for the life and property of the Italians in custody of the authorities in the said Huerfano county.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant.

[Signed]  J. CUNEO, N. D.
Acting Italian Consul.

DENVER, March 13th, 1895.

SIR:—Replying to your communication of March 13th, 1895, just received, I have the honor to say that I have telegraphed to the sheriff of Huerfano county for information concerning the alleged lynching, and to protect his prisoners and will take such further steps as are necessary and can be taken within the authority conferred on me by law, to insure protection to the life and property of the Italians in custody in the said Huerfano county, the same as if they were American citizens.

I have the further honor to say that it is not yet known to me that the Italians in question are not American citizens.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,


To Dr. J. Cuneo, Acting Italian Consul.

The report of the sheriff to the governor related that one Italian had been killed en route to Walsenburg and that two had escaped. Whether they are dead or not, he did not know. Two others were killed in the jail.

Governor McIntyre immediately sent the following telegram in reply:

Walter O'Malley, Sheriff Huerfano County, Walsenburg, Colo:

"Wire me at once whether you are maintaining order and protecting prisoners and whether you have sufficient to prevent further mob violence and whether excitement has abated. You are expected to prevent recurrence of violence to prisoners. Take every precaution to protect life and property and as soon as possible ascertain who composed the mob doing the lynching and as soon as practicable arrest them."

A. W. MCINTYRE, Governor.


DENVER, Colo., March 13.—Dr. Cuneo, the Italian consul of this city, had not, up to a late hour this afternoon, been officially notified of the affair at Walsenburg. As all the Italians belong to a National Benevolent association, he is expecting full reports from the scene of the affair, from responsible parties. Then he will communicate with the Italian minister at Washington and await instructions.

If the men who were killed by the lynchers are not American citizens, he will take charge of whatever property they may have for the government he represents. The doctor had no information at hand to form any opinion whatever about the affair.

The Springfield Leader (Springfield, Missouri) dated March 16, 1895:

Embarrassing to Uncle Sam

Walsenburg, Col., March 15.—Only one of the Italians lynched for killing Saloonkeeper Hixon was an American citizen. This fact is very embarassing [sic] to the United States, as a demand of the Italian government for reparation is sure to follow and will no doubt be large and emphatic.

According to another paper, two of the men were American citizens. Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder

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