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   Chapter 22 RELATIONS BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND MEXICO, 1825–1843

The War With Mexico, Volume I (of 2) By Justin H. Smith Characters: 58790

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1. As was mentioned in chap. ii (p. 30), the Spaniards had endeavored to keep foreign ideas out of Mexico, and the people of Protestant countries had been studiously misrepresented-even as having tails. See Smith, Annex. of Texas, 419; 231Butler to Jackson, June 23, 1831; 13Pakenham, nos. 29, Apr. 26, 1832; 2, Feb. 14, 1835; 11Cochelet, Sept. 29, 1829. Evidence without limit could be cited.

2. One does not like to write such things. But (1) if the subject is to be understood, they must be said; (2) they are not as hard as things alleged against the United States by the Mexicans; and (3) they are written of a long past generation. On this point we will confine ourselves to Mexican testimony and testimony from that nation which was on the most intimate and friendly terms with Mexico, had the chief interest there, and enjoyed the lion's share of mercantile profit. In 1823 the minister of the treasury said that only in the case of one state could its financial condition be learned even approximately from the public accounts (11despatch to French govt. about July, 1823). Eleven years later the head of that department announced that it was impossible to ascertain what the legitimate income of the government for the previous year had been (Memoria, 1834). In 1838 the man occupying that post admitted officially that no minister of the treasury since 1822 had possessed sufficient data to make a satisfactory report (Memoria, July, 1838), and the British representative stated that "the most vitally important matters" were "wholly left to chance" by the government (13Ashburnham, no. 37, May 24, 1838). That the national authorities were evasive and jesuitical, resorting to subterfuges, shifting their responsibility upon the legislative or the judicial department, and referring matters repeatedly to distant local officials, is proved by reports of British ministers from 1825 to 1845 (e.g. 13Ward, no. 143, 1826; 13Ashburnham, no. 59, 1837; 13Pakenham, no. 96, 1841; 13Bankhead, nos. 5, 12, 1844). Once at least money was borrowed by hypothecating a fund which the government did not possess (Trigueros in 52Mayer, Dec. 9, 1842). Mortgaged revenues were spent at will (52Zavala to Deputies, Apr. 23, 1829; Bankhead, no. 103, 1844; see also 52Mayer, Dec. 9, 1842). Definite arrangements made with foreign representatives were secretly circumvented (Pakenham, no. 23, 1837; Ashburnham, no. 15, 1838). The Cabinet showed itself capable of breaking a direct promise and even a definite contract (Pakenham, nos. 9, 1843; 44, 1839; Bankhead, no. 86, 1845). The highest authorities were untruthful in word, writing, and print (Pakenham, sep. and confid., Mar. 27, 1828; Id., nos. 32, 1833; 98, 1841; 9, 1843; Bankhead, nos. 12, 1844; 98, 1846. See also Poinsett, no 24, 1825); and they did not scruple to utter injurious calumnies against friendly nations (Pakenham, no. 98, 1841).

Changes of system appeared to make little difference, for these were national characteristics. The most honorable administration of this entire period broke a direct and solemn pledge given to the French minister (Bankhead, no. 86, 1845; see also 56W. S. Parrott, Sept. 4, 1845); and the best journal of the country, El Siglo XIX, told only the truth when it said, December 2, 1845, "All our governments have been dishonest," adding that dishonest methods had been practiced "not only from necessity but from favoritism and for speculative reasons." It should, of course, be remembered that carelessness about truth, justice and honesty was the shady side of Mexican amiability, and that other nations are not faultless.

3. For an account of Poinsett's mission and very numerous citations bearing upon the subject one may refer to a paper by J. H. Smith in the Proceedings of the Amer. Antiquarian Soc., Apr., 1914. 52Poinsett, Contestación. Gamboa, Representación. Causas para Declarar. (Concessions, etc.) Ho. 351; 25, 2, p. 285 (Poinsett). One would suppose that the prompt recognition of Mexico by the United States, our efforts to induce Spain to recognize her (e.g. Amer. State Papers, 2 series, vol. vi, 1006; Ho. 351; 25, 2, pp. 118 (McLane), 119 (Van Ness), 147, 150 (Forsyth); 77Livingston to Montoya, Oct. 1, 1831), and the "Monroe Doctrine" would have earned us gratitude. But these were attributed very generally to a desire on the part of this country to monopolize the western hemisphere (Diario, June 17, 18, 1846), and were offset by our opposition to the cherished Mexican scheme of driving the Spanish from Cuba and by our proposing to have the retention of Havana guaranteed to Spain (see particularly Ward, no. 53, secret and confid., May 29, 1826). Denunciations of Poinsett: e.g. Bravo, Manifiesto, 1828; Sol, Jan. 4, 1830; 261Mémoire; La Ruina de los Mexicanos; Bocanegra, Mems., i, 379, 382, 390; Pakenham, no. 152, 1828; 11Martin, July 26, 1827; 11Cochelet, Aug. 7, 1829; N. Orl. Delta, July 9, 1847. Pakenham (no. 74, Aug. 26, 1829) reported that owing to Poinsett's course and the fact that his government kept him in Mexico, the feeling toward the United States was one of "jealousy, suspicion, and dislike." The prevailing belief was that the United States, fearing Mexican competition, sent him there to paralyze Mexico by exciting dissension (Poinsett, no. 94, July 8, 1827; 52state dept. to Butler, Apr. 1, 1830; Diario, Apr. 17, 1847).

4. Poinsett was attacked by the states of Puebla (Pakenham, no. 98, 1829), Vera Cruz (Manifiesto, 1827), México (Preamble and resolution, 1829), and Querétaro (Pakenham, no. 73, 1827). 296Poinsett to Pres., June 8, 1827. (Protest) 52Clay to Poinsett, no. 25, Nov. 19, 1827. (Failure, attitude) Van Buren to Butler, Oct. 16, 1829 (P. S., Oct. 17). (Sinister, pointedly) Van Buren to Poinsett, Oct. 16, 1829. (No charges) Van B. to P. and to B. (P. S., Oct. 17), Oct. 16, 1829; Bocanegra, Mems., ii, 18–20; 77Montoya, no. 30, Dec. 10, 1829; 296Zavala to Poinsett, June 16, 1827. Poinsett was secretary of war under Van Buren. So. Qtrly. Rev., Nov., 1850, 429. Nueva Conspiración.

5. 52Clay to Poinsett, Mar. 26, 1825; Sept. 24, 1825; Mar. 15, 1827; Van Buren to Poinsett, Aug. 25, 1829. 231Butler to Jackson, June 23, 1831. Poinsett, no. 12, Aug. 5, 1825. (Officials) 52Morfit, no. 7, Sept. 6, 1836; Ho. 35; 24, 2, p. 17. (Ten times) Memoria de ... Relaciones, Dec, 1846, p. 76. (Indians) 13Ashburnham to Backhouse, July 26, 1838. (Victoria) 13Ward, no. 54, 1825. (Trouble) Clay, supra; 135Jackson, several letters to Butler.

6. Poinsett's correspondence with Clay, Van Buren, and Alamán: Ho. 42; 25, 1, pp. 19–29. Amer. State Papers: Foreign Relations, vi (folio ed.). 296Notes in Poinsett papers. Commerc. Rev., July, 1846, 21–4, 27–42 (Poinsett). Poinsett, nos. 12, 1825; 113, 115, 1828; 166, 1829. (Urgency) 52Tornel to Poinsett, June 27, 1827. (Dropping) 77Martínez, Nov. 2, 1837; Poinsett, no. 113, 1828; Adams, Memoirs, ix, 377–8; 52Consul Taylor, Nov. 7, 1829. He dropped the project of buying territory because he saw it would give offence. Treaties and Conventions (Haswell, ed.), 661–3, 675. Ho. 42; 25, 1, pp. 27–8. (Reached, etc.) Ho. 351; 25, 2, pp. 40 (Van Buren to Butler); 190, 285, etc. (Poinsett). Ho. 42; 25, 1, pp. 8 (Clay); 10 (Van Buren); 38 (Butler, Dec. 21); 46–8. (Charged) Filisola, Memorias, ii, 602; Tornel, Rese?a, 79, 80; Zavala, Revoluciones, i, 384; Richtofen, Zust?nde, 44.

Before the paper was placed in Poinsett's hands he knew it would reach Washington too late (to Clay, Apr. 24: Ho. 42; 25, 1, p. 28), and hence it was unnecessary, as it would have been dishonorable and dangerous, to withhold it. (May 10) Ho. 351; 25, 2, p. 202. As the instructions to buy territory were repeated in 1829 (note 5) when Mexico was at war with Spain, it has been urged by some Americans that we showed a mean disposition to take advantage of a neighbor's difficulties. But it is rather kind than otherwise to offer even a low price for real estate when the owner is in straits for cash, and Mexico was free to consult her own interest about selling. The instructions of 1829 were, however, wholly inoperative at that time.

That a people so fond of indirect methods and so destitute of principle in public affairs were suspicious of the United States was not, however, surprising. It was known of course that up to 1819 we had claimed the Rio Grande boundary. When Poinsett found that Victoria and Alamán intended to reassert the boundary pretensions of Spain, he endeavored to discourage them by replying that in such a case the old claim of the United States also would be revived (to Clay, Sept. 20, 1825).

In 1827 members of the Chamber of Deputies expressed the opinion in debate that the United States was at least privy to a recent insurrection in Texas, and a leading newspaper asserted that we had encouraged it (Poinsett, no. 74, 1827). Among the attacks upon the unfortunate Guerrero was the charge-based, it was alleged, upon documents-that he was plotting to sell us territory in that quarter (Pakenham, no. 18, 1831). Bravo, after a visit to this country, brought out a pamphlet in 1829, declaring that "the politicians and journalists" of the United States were "at present occupied about the dismemberment" of Mexico. The following July Bocanegra, minister of relations, hearing of our customary militia drills and armed escorts for traders in the far west, demanded the meaning of these operations, and in spite of sensible reassurances from the American minister, he felt so much disturbed as to commit a real offence against him and the United States by repeating his inquiry (Ho. 351; 25, 2, pp. 288, 292). The next year, when our squadron set out for a cruise in the Gulf, Alamán represented this to Congress as a threatening movement (Filisola, Memorias, ii, 601). A pamphlet issued at New York to point out the value of Texas was attributed to our government (Pakenham, no. 24, 1830), and the Mexican agent at London endeavored to excite the British cabinet regarding the supposed peril of his country (77Gorostiza, Apr. 22, 1830). European diplomatic representatives at Mexico fanned this flame. In particular Ward, the British minister, did his utmost to increase the alarm regarding Texas (nos. 32, 54, 64, 1825). See W. R. Manning in Southwest. Hist. Qtrly., Jan., 1914. For American feeling toward Mexico see chap. xxxvi, note 1.

7. Treaties and Conventions: note 6. Treaties in Force (1899), 389–90. 52McLane to Butler, Jan. 13, 1834. 52Butler to García, Sept. 6, 1833. 231Id., to Jackson, Mar. 7, 1834. Ho. 42; 25, 1, p. 59 (Livingston). Ho. 351; 25, 2, pp. 40–53, 556. 77Castillo, no. 71, Dec. 7, 1833. (Denounced) 77Castillo, no. 2, res., Jan. 22, 1835. The boundary was not run, for the battle of S. Jacinto occurred just after the exchange of the ratifications.

8. Ho. 42; 25, 1, pp. 17, 21; 33 (Butler); 49 (Van Buren). Ho. 351; 25, 2, pp. 190, 210, 287 (Poinsett); 369–70, 410. Foreign Rels., folio ed., vi, 583–600. (Treaty) Ho. 225; 22, 1. Treaties and Conventions (Haswell, ed.), 664–74. Sen. Exec. Journ., iii, 568–72, 605–6. (Dark) Ward, [no. 103], Sept. 9, 1826. (Victoria) Poinsett, no. 12, Aug. 5, 1825. 77Montoya, no. 25, Sept. 19, 1829.

One of the two objectionable articles in the treaty of 1828 concerned the returning of fugitive slaves, and has been characterized by certain writers in the United States as a gross insult to Mexico; but that country had not yet abolished slavery, and her Cabinet, which possessed a full share of pride, accepted the article.

9. Sierra, Evolution, i, 178. 77Montoya, no. 30, Dec. 10, 1829. 52Van Buren to Butler, Oct. 16 (P. S., Oct. 17), 1829. (Friend) 77Tornel, no. 3, res., Mar. 6, 1830; Ho. 351; 25, 2, p. 381; 52Butler, July 9, 1834. 135Butler, Notes on Texas. 135Id. to Jackson, Jan. 4, 1827. 77Almonte to Mex. Leg., Washington, July 22, 1834. (Ignorant) Ho. 351; 25, 2, p. 381. (Careless) 52Ellis, June 25, private; July 16; Oct. 15, 1836; 52Forsyth to Butler, Nov. 9, 1835; to Ellis, Jan. 18, 1837. (Consuls) 52Wilcocks, Feb. 15, 1833; 52W. S. Parrott, Oct. 24, 1835. (Spirits) 52Butler, Aug. 26, 1833.

10. Poinsett reached the conclusion that endeavoring to buy Texan territory would anger Mexico and lead her to seek European support (Ho. 351; 25, 2, p. 286), but Butler stimulated Jackson to take the matter up. 52Butler's correspondence, including letters to and from Mexican officials. Many of these documents were printed with substantial correctness in Ho. 256; 24, 1; Ho. 42; 25, 1; Ho. 351; 25, 2. 296Notes from Butler, Wilcocks and Zavala, to Poinsett. Corresp. with Jackson in 231Jackson papers and 135Butler papers (for deciphering a number of the latter the author is indebted to Dr. E. C. Burnett of the Dept. of Hist. Research, Carnegie Instit.). 77Tornel, no. 3, res., 1830. 77Castillo, no. 8, res., 1835. Sen. Exec. Journ., iv, 488, 502. 52Ellis, May 19; June 25; July 16; Oct. 15, 1836; to Jackson, Aug. 26. Pakenham, nos. 6, 7, 1830; 11, 1836. Barker in Nation, xcii, 600–1; in Amer. Hist. Rev., July, 1907, 788–809. Filisola, Mems, ii, 590, 612. Adams, Mems., ix, 377–8. Benton, View, ii, 659. Bankhead, no. 125, 1845. Mosquito Mex., Aug. 4, 1835.

Butler had some excuse for basing hopes on Alamán, for until the war with Spain ended Alamán wished to be on very good terms with the United States, and later he was in serious financial troubles. Nothing in the documents involves Jackson in Butler's dishonor. The American secretary of state was even less censurable. Our government expressed all due regrets for Butler's misconduct (Ho. 351; 25, 2, pp. 184, 750; Forsyth to Ellis, no. 22, Nov. 16, 1836; 77Castillo, no. 8, res., 1835). (Recall) 77Relaciones to Castillo, Oct. 31, 1835; Ho. 351; 25, 2, p. 719, and 77Castillo, no. 8, res., 1835.

11. Smith, Annex. of Texas, 11–33. 52Butler, May 8, 1836. 231Id. to Jackson, Dec. 14, 1835. Ellis, no. 2, May 19, 1836. Pakenham, nos. 75, 1835; 25, 1836. Ho. 256; 24, 1, pp. 3, 29, 30 (Forsyth); 8 (Castillo); 10 (Monasterio). Sen. 1; 25, 2, pp. 141 (Monasterio); 149 (Forsyth). Ho. 351; 25, 2, pp. 82 (Livingston); 160 (Forsyth); 571–2 (Tornel, Monasterio). Memoria de ... Interior, Jan., 1838. Memoria de ... Guerra, Dec., 1846. México á través, iv, 377, 401–3, 512. L?wenstern, Le Mexique, 78. Richtofen, Zust?nde, 48. The state of Mexican feeling will come up again.

12. The Gaines episode. Van Buren to Poinsett, Aug. 25, 1829. Butler to Jackson, Sept. 26; Oct. 2, 1833; Feb. 6; Mar. 7, 1834. 231Jackson to Butler, Nov. 27, 1833. 58Dickins to Cass, Aug. 20, 1836. 77Castillo, Nov. 10, 1835. 39Gaines to gov. Tenn., June 28, 1836. 52Burrough, nos. 39, 40, 1836. 77Martínez, no. 10, res., 1838. 77Relaciones to Martínez, Oct. 10, 1838. 77Gorostiza, Apr. 25, 29; May 30; July 12, 24; Aug. 18, 19; Oct. 4, 5, 1836. Pakenham, nos. 18, 94, 1836. Sen. 1; 24, 2, pp. 46, 92, 105 (Dickins); 60, 85 (Jackson); 84 (memo.); 32, 44, 68, 89, 91, 100 (Gorostiza); 133–4 (Macomb). Sen. 160; 24, 2, p. 157 (Forsyth). Ho. 256; 24, 1, pp. 3, 28, 29, 31–3, 35, 45 (Forsyth); 6, 11 (Castillo); 15, 21, 23, 25, 27 (Gorostiza); 45 (memo.); 40, 43, 48, 54 (Cass to Gaines); 42, 46–8 (Gaines); 55 (Macomb); 58 (Many); 59 (Green; adj. gen.). Ho. 351; 25, 2, pp. 769–806 (Gaines et al.); 806 (McCall and documents). Jackson, Message, Dec. 5, 1836. Gorostiza, Correspondencia. Reply to Gorostiza: Lib. Cong., Mss. Div., "Mex. War, Miscellaneous." Tex. Dipl. Corr., i, pp. 83 (Carson); 104 (Burnett); 164–5, 177, 202 (Henderson); 175 (Wharton); 156 (Austin); 205 (Catlett). Brown, Texas, ii, 90. Bocanegra, Mems., ii, 736–69. México á través, iv, 378. Calderón, Life, ii, 123. Kohl, Claims, 24. Barker in Miss. Valley Hist. Rev., i, 1; in Amer. Hist. Rev., July, 1907, p. 794 (Jackson thought the Neches was a branch of the Sabine). N. Y. Ev. Post, Aug. 1, 1836. Wash. Globe, Aug. 1, 1836 (Cass). Richmond Enquirer, Aug. 12, 1836. Mobile Commercial Register, June 27, 1836. Nat. Intelligencer, May 5 (Virginian); July 26, 1836. N. Orl. Courier, Sept. 27, 1836 (Fulton). Sen. 189; 24, 2. (Indorsed) Monasterio to Gorost., Dec. 21, 1836, in Gor., Correspondencia. (Erroneously) Smith, Annex. of Texas, 22.

Gorostiza's view, and no doubt that of the Mexicans generally, amounted practically to this (see Forsyth in Sen. 160; 24, 2, p. 157): the essential point was to respect Mexico's territory; by the right of occupation, at least, her territory extended to the well-known Sabine River; the United States forces were therefore bound under all circumstances to remain east of that stream, and should some of our citizens be robbed and murdered, we could call upon Mexico to pay compensation and protect the rest; after almost endless evasions it would appear that she had no power to fulfill her treaty obligations, and therefore, since that fact was known to all the world, she should not be expected to comply with our wishes; and then, should we please, we could declare war. In other words, for the sake, at most, of a technicality, they would have had us quietly see irreparable injuries done that we could have prevented and had known Mexico could not prevent, and then do irreparable injuries ourselves to punish her for her involuntary helplessness.

As for the evidence of danger (which Gaines was instructed to examine carefully), Gorostiza declared it was fabricated in order to excuse the crossing of the boundary and get American troops into Texas-thus giving the rebels at least the moral support of their presence and infringing upon the rights of Mexico (Pakenham, no. 94, 1836; Ho. 256; 24, 1, p. 20; Gor., Correspondencia, xxvii), and he protested that his country was incapable of stirring up the savages against our border (Sen. 1; 24, 2, p. 84; 77Gor. to Relaciones, Oct. 4). But there is not the slightest sign that he made the difficult and extended investigation requisite as a basis for denying the testimony presented to Gaines, whereas he was capable of asserting, more than a month after the battle of San Jacinto, that the news of it was "entirely destitute of authenticity," and stating that he had "reasons for believing it to have been expressly forged in Texas" or at least to have been exaggerated "to the very confines of the ridiculous" (Sen. 1; 24, 2, p. 33). His contention was therefore valueless, and almost equally so was that of certain Americans, against the evidence of danger. One such opinion, however, is entitled to notice. It came from the governor of Louisiana (Macomb: Ho. 256; 24, 1, p. 55). But (1) the governor, who was far from the scene, merely expressed a view unsupported by evidence; (2) there may have been good reasons why he did not wish to have citizens of Louisiana called out, as Gaines proposed, to do arduous and perhaps perilous military service; and (3) it may have seemed undesirable to have the American army, which made a good market in the western part of the state, move to Nacogdoches and obtain supplies there. Gaines appears really to have had adequate grounds for crossing the Sabine. A letter from the Texas secretary of state to the President of Texas (Tex. Dipl. Corr., i, 84), which no one can imagine was "fabricated," shows that Gaines insisted upon having the facts, and that strong evidence was presented to him (see also Bee in Sen. 14; 32, 2, p. 53). May 5, 1836, the National Intelligencer printed a letter dated April 20, which stated that the writer heard, when about six miles from Nacogdoches, that the Indians were coming, felt satisfied the news was correct, and saw the people fleeing in the utmost alarm. It was deemed necessary to divert some of the few Texan troops, desperately needed at the front, in order to ward off the danger from Indians (Brown, Texas, ii, 89, 90). The governor of Arkansas called out forces to protect the frontier (N. Orl. Courier, Sept. 27, 1836). The other evidence cited above in the references, when taken together and fairly weighed in view of the circumstances, has also a very substantial value. The part of it most doubted, probably, is that referring to a Mexican agent engaged in rousing the Indians against the whites; but we have documentary proof that early in 1839 Mexicans tried officially to do this, and employed the very man who was charged with similar activities in 1836 (Sen. 14; 32, 2, pp. 31–6; also 47). See also the 77reply of Relaciones to Martínez's despatch of Oct. 10, 1838. It should be remembered (1) that Gaines, charged with the defence of the frontier against a wily, treacherous and savage foe, could not afford to take chances; and (2) that even fabricated evidence, if it possessed all the marks of credibility, would have been sufficient ground for acting.

But after all the real issue was the good faith of our government in authorizing Gaines (while requiring him to maintain our neutrality) to cross under extreme circumstances the Sabine (Gorostiza in Sen. 1; 24, 2, p. 44; Von Holst, U. S., ii, 584, note 1); and this good faith was clearly maintained at Washington. In the very letter demanding his passports Gorostiza admitted that Forsyth's assurances appeared to dispose of the possibility that Gaines's movement had a bearing on the boundary question (Sen. 1; 24, 2, p. 104). It has been felt that Forsyth was sometimes rather curt with him, but Gorostiza was almost, if not quite, insulting. The Mexicans had some reason to be suspicious and a full right to be on their guard, but they went farther than right and reason warranted.

13. See Smith, Annex. of Texas, pp. 52–63, for a discussion of this subject and references to the sources. Ethel Z. Rather in Tex. State Hist. Assoc. Qtrly., xiii, 155–256. Sen. 1; 25, 2, pp. 133 (Castillo); 135 (Forsyth); 145 (Monasterio). 52W. Thompson to Bocanegra, April 25, 1843. Pakenham, no. 64, 1836. Memoria de ... Relac., Jan., 1838. Mem. de ... Guerra, Jan., 1844.

The situation of Texas after 1836 was precisely the same as that of Mexico from 1821 until recognized by the mother-country in 1836, and during this period she regarded herself and was regarded generally, except by Spain, as independent. Mexicans refused to accept this obvious analogy on the ground that the Mexican revolution was mainly the work of native-born citizens, while most of the Texans had been born elsewhere. But an adopted child has all the rights of a natural child. See chap. iv, note 1.

14. Diplomatic strife, 1842–3. Smith, Annex. of Texas, 38. Bocanegra to Webster, May 12, 31, 1842: Ho. 266; 27, 2, pp. 5, 15. Webster to Thompson, nos. 9, 11, 1842; Jan. 31, 1843. Thompson to Webster, nos. 3, 4 and June 2, 1842; Jan. 5 and no. 15, 1843. 52Id. to dipl. corps, July 30, 1842. 351Tyler to Webster, July 10, 1842. 52W. S. Parrott, private, July 29, 1837. 52B. E. Green, no. 8, 1844. 13Bocanegra to Doyle, April 19, 1843; reply, April 20. 52S. Anna, decree, June 17, 1843. 52Upshur to Thompson, no. 43, 1843. 52Bocanegra to Thompson, Sept. 10, 1842. 76Id., circular, May 31, 1842. Pakenham, nos. 49, 75, 1842. Sen. 341; 28, 1, p. 71 (Thompson). Texas Diplom. Corresp., i; 567 (Reily); ii, 163 (Eve). Memoria de ... Relaciones, Jan., 1844. Diario, Oct. 4, 1842. Thompson, Recolls., 82. Zavala, Revols., ii, 152–3. Sen. 1; 27, 3, pp. 146, 156 (Thompson); 146, 157 (Bocanegra). Ho. 266; 27, 2, pp. 7, 17 (Webster); 5, 15, 19 (Bocanegra); 21 (Thompson). Reeves, Amer. Diplom., 97, 99 (Adams). Smith, Annex. of Texas, 131. (Mexican threats, 1843) Ibid., 42. Richtofen, Zust?nde, 48. 11To Deffaudis, no. 28, Apr. 27, 1836. (The translations of Mexican documents published by our government are cited, unless there is a particular reason for not doing so. In many cases they could be better, but they were for the American government and people the official versions.)

Oct. 4, 1842, the official journal reprinted this from El Provisional: "Who is not aware of that criminal connivance, that stubborn and insolent protection, which-in violation of righteous law and in violation of the treaties with Mexico-is given by the policy of North America to a Department filled with rebels from every land, who are determined to ruin it completely and to soil the dignity and honor of a lawfully constituted government?" Webster made the same protest (against raids) to the Texans as to the Mexicans.

15. 52Thompson, Jan. 5, 1843. 52Id. to Bocanegra, Dec. 30, 1842. Ho. 166; 27, 3, pp. 1–93. Bancroft, Calif., iv, 302–29. 285Narváez to Vanderlhinden, Dec. 10, 1842. Richman, California, 273–4. Bandini, California, 136–8. 13Letter from S. Gabriel, Nov. 11, 1842. Diario, Jan. 7, 1843. 47Jones, Aug. 31; Sept. 1, 1842. Reeves, Amer. Diplomacy, 103–7. 351Letters from J. Tyler to Webster. México á través, iv, 493. Nat. Intelligencer, Mar. 14, 1843. Adams, Memoirs, xi, 346. N. Orl. Bee, Jan. 13, 1843. Memphis Eagle, Nov. 5, 1845.

Jones sailed with the frigate United States and the sloop of war Cyane. After leaving Monterey he proceeded to Los Angeles to meet Micheltorena and explain the affair. Almonte, the Mexican minister at Washington, demanded that an example should be made of Jones, but he was merely recalled-a fully sufficient punishment. Indeed, our government commended his zeal (47Jones to Bancroft, Oct. 3, 1845).

16. Ho. 351; 25, 2, p. 576 (Butler).

17. Sen. 390; 28, 1, pp. 6 (Bocanegra; documents); 9 (Thompson, with extract from treaty). 52Shannon to Rejón, Sept. 30, 1844. Tyler, Message, Dec. 3, 1844, in Richardson, Messages, iv, 334. See also documents cited with reference to the Santa Fe expedition.

18. Ellis, no. 24, June 9, 1840. Forsyth to Ellis, Aug. 21, 1840. 52Memorial of the prisoners, May 25, 1840. 52J. O. Jones to Ellis, June 23, 1840. 52Statements of prisoners, particularly Graham's of May 29, 1840. 52Larkin, Mar. 22; April 20, 1840. 52Legaré to Thompson, no. 36, May 12, 1843. 52Farnham to Ellis, June 23, 1840. Richman, California, 266. 13Palmerston to Mexican minister, Aug. 11, 1841. 11Captain of La Danaide to Cyprey, July 8, 1840. Royce, California, 36. Pakenham, nos. 66, 78, 88, 1840; 37, 118 (merely a scheme to weaken the opposing faction in Cal.), 1841. Memoria de ... Guerra, Jan., 1841. Moore, Internat. Arbit., 3242–3 (a judicial review of the case and award of damages to victims. One of them received $38,125). Pakenham obtained a revocation of the order of expulsion by demanding his passports (no. 88).

19. 45Ranson to Eve, April 28, 1842. 45Bee to Roberts, July 13, 1841. Kendall, Narrative, passim. Yoakum, Texas, ii, 321–3. Garrison, Texas, 245–6. Smith, Annex. of Texas, 37. Sen. 325; 27, 2, pp. 3, 6, 8 (Webster); 19, 29 (Ellis); 33, 100 (Bocanegra); 48, 50 (Falconer; Van Ness particularly); 94 (Thompson). Ho. 266; 27, 2, p. 34 (Thompson). Pakenham, no. 15, 1842. Memoria de ... Relaciones, Jan., 1844. 11To Deffaudis, no. 28, Apr. 27, 1836.

20. Ho. 42; 25, 2, p. 20, 23 (Alamán). Poinsett, June 18, 22, 1825. Martínez, no. 7, 1832. N. Y. Herald, Nov. 11, 1843. Boston Atlas, Jan. 26, 1844. 52Camacho to Poinsett, May 13, 1826. 231Butler to Jackson, Jan. 2, 1833. Sen. 1; 28, 1, p. 36. Tyler, Tyler, ii, 289. Ho. 351; 25, 2, p. 71 (Van Buren, Mar. 1). See also chap. xiv.

21. Upshur to Thompson, no. 51, Oct. 20, 1843. 13S. Anna, proclam., Oct. 5, 1843. Sen. 1; 28, 2, p. 21 (Calhoun). Sen. 1; 28, 1, pp. 30 (Thompson); 31 (decree); 34 (Upshur). Sen. 390; 28, 1, pp. 16, 18 (Thompson). 52B. E. Green, April 8, 1844. 52Bocanegra to Thompson, Oct. 20, 1843. 52Thompson to Bocanegra, Nov. 23, 1843. 52Shannon to Rejón, Oct. 25, 1844. 52Rejón to Shannon, Oct. 11, 1844; Nov. 22, 1845. Bankhead, nos. 1, 4, 1844. 13Foreign Office to Doyle, no. 30, 1843 (While every independent nation has, e.g., an abstract right to close its ports, "the practical assertion on the part of any Nation of an extreme abstract right may, and often does, involve, if not actual hostility, at least a degree of unfriendliness almost amounting to hostility.") France also protested (Green, supra).

22. 13Tornel, order. Sen. 390; 28, 1, pp. 3–15. 52Bocanegra to Thompson, Dec. 22, 1843. 53Almonte, Feb. 6, 1844. 52Shannon to Rejón, Oct. 10, 1844. Sen. 1; 28, 2, p. 21 (Calhoun). 13Doyle, nos. 65, 90 (order executed in Sonora), 1843. 13E. Barron, no. 10, Oct. 19, 1843.

Another objection to the modified order was that, as the British minister maintained in another case, while the general government itself might with justice banish undesirable foreigners, it had no right to delegate such a power to distant subordinates practically exempt from supervision, to be exercised by them as prejudice, caprice, and possibly avarice might suggest and without giving the victim a chance to defend himself or settle his affairs (Pakenham, no. 78, 1840). Thompson was described by his French colleague as inexperienced (11no. 108, 1842).

23. These are too numerous to be catalogued here, but a few can be cited as illustrations. General Terán seized the schooner Topaz and compelled her to transport some of his troops. During the voyage the Mexican officers and soldiers killed the master, and, returning to port, had the crew imprisoned on the charge of having done it. The vessel was held, and property on board seized (Moore, Intern. Arbit., 2992). The schooner Hannah Elizabeth, stranded on the Texan coast, was fired upon by a Mexican vessel of war, and her crew and passengers were put in jail (Sen. 1; 25, 2, p. 85. Ho. 351; 25, 2, p. 167). The Mexicans ass

erted that the schooner was carrying contraband of war; but if so, the Mexican officer did not know this when he opened fire, and anyhow no penalty except the confiscation of the cargo could rightfully have been exacted. Our acting consul at Tabasco was arrested and publicly ill-treated, because he would not legalize documents intended, in his opinion, to defraud an insurance company (Sen. 1; 25, 2, p. 89). The brig Fourth of July was sent to Vera Cruz for sale to the Mexican government, and before the sale was made officers and soldiers took possession of her, ran up their flag, arrested the captain, and disregarded the protest of our consul (ibid., p. 91). A boat-load of seamen from our sloop-of-war Natchez landed at Vera Cruz, became intoxicated while the midshipman in command of them was in conference with our consul, and, as the result of a quarrel with a fisherman, were severely handled by the Mexican guard. As they were now unable to manage the boat in the rough sea, the midshipman, on the advice of the consul, requested the captain of the port to take charge of them over night. The next morning the authorities would not give them up to him, nor was our consul permitted to communicate with them (ibid., p. 93). Two Americans were arrested, maltreated and imprisoned at Matamoros on the baseless suspicion that they intended to visit Texas, and the premises of our consul were forcibly entered, searched and robbed (ibid., 94; Ho. 351; 25, 2, p. 172). A lieutenant of the American revenue cutter Jefferson, going ashore at Tampico to see our consul, was arrested, and his boat's crew were imprisoned. For this outrage the Mexican government removed the responsible officer, General Gómez, but soon afterwards he was given a better post at Vera Cruz, and showed his unchastened spirit in the Natchez affair (Sen. 1; 25, 2, p. 98. Sen. 160; 24, 2, p. 70: Ellis).

24. British complaints were almost numberless: e.g. Ward, no. 77, 1826; Pakenham, nos. 48 of 1827, 119 of 1828, 37 of 1830; 13Ashburnham, nos. 16 of 1837 and 74 of 1838 (a man persecuted with a "tissue of iniquities" for years); Bankhead to Bocanegra, July 4, 1844.

The Foreign Office distinctly stated that contract and treaty rights were denied (13Aberdeen to Mex. min., Nov. 1, 1843; to Pakenham, no. 19, Aug. 15, 1836). 77Dec. 31, 1844, it made this statement: "In Mexico British Subjects have been oppressed, harassed, and maltreated without redress except that which has been extorted by unceasing remonstrance.... The expostulations of Great Britain ... have been with very few exceptions contumeliously set at naught; and the same illegal exactions which have been the subject of those expostulations have been repeated, while yet the former grievance was unredressed." The British minister complained, e.g., that the coast officials annoyed his fellow citizens; that frequently to their injury the constitution was violated by state authorities; that some of them were persecuted, imprisoned, or expelled from the country in defiance of law; that money was extorted from them under threats. A loud 52protest of American ship captains, Campeche, May 26, 1835, illustrates well the tricks and outrages to which our commercial interests were subjected. What abuse and tyranny our citizens were liable to suffer in the interior is shown by the memorial of Augustus Storrs and twenty others, Chihuahua, April 17, 1832, transmitted through C. W. Davis, who was described by our secretary of state, Nov. 24, 1832, as a respectable citizen of the U. S. who had long been practising medicine at Chihuahua (Ho. 351; 25, 2, p. 87). (France) Coxe, Review, 69; Barker in Texas Review, Jan., 1917; Rives, U. S. and Mexico, i, 433.

25. The international tribunal was established under the Claims Convention of 1839, and the national tribunal under the treaty of 1848 and a United States Act of 1849. It should be remembered that the amount of our claims was substantial. The total receipts of the U. S. government for the fiscal year ending with June, 1845, were less than $30,000,000. It is true that many of the claims were exaggerated, and some of them a great deal; but this does not matter, for what the United States asked was an investigation of the demands, not the payment of any one at its face. Still, as the inflation of the claims has been urged as an excuse for inattention to them, a word upon that point is desirable. The amounts demanded in such cases are always made as great as possible, and in the instance of Mexico there were special grounds for exaggeration. Our claimants, so far as just in their demands, were entitled to as high interest as other creditors of that government, and the rate it had to pay was very large. In 1832, for instance, this was four per cent a month (Butler, no. 32, 1832), and in 1844 two per cent a month besides six per cent for brokerage (Bankhead, no. 112, 1844). At such rates longstanding claims mounted high, and when the interest was scaled down to five per cent in the process of adjudication (Sen. 320; 27, 2, p. 237), they naturally seemed to have been exorbitant. Indeed, the claims were entitled to even a higher interest than loans, for a good deal of trouble-sometimes an extraordinary deal-was necessary to prove them. "The authorities here can prove anything," reported even the philo-Mexican Waddy Thompson (no. 4, 1842); and this was only one of numerous obstacles. Probably, too, there was more uncertainty as to eventual payment. Again, if paid at all, the claims were likely to be settled in treasury notes of little value. In fact, all those accepted by the international tribunal already mentioned were actually so payable (Calhoun in Sen. 1; 28, 2, p. 21), and these notes were worth at the time only about thirty cents on the dollar (Thompson, Recolls., 223).

Yet the degree of inflation was much less than has been supposed. The most conspicuous instance was that of W. S. Parrott, who demanded $454,504.01 as principal (Sen. 320; 27, 2). Thompson declared (52Nov. 20, 1843) that Parrott was hardly entitled to two per cent of what he asked; but on inquiry a very different conclusion is reached. Parrott was a sufficiently good man to be employed as consul and confidential diplomatic agent by the United States, yet for some reason he was deeply disliked by the Mexican government, and the courts seemed determined to ruin him (Moore, Intern. Arbit., 3011). He was therefore entitled to punitive damages, but none were allowed him. The cost and annoyance of prosecuting his case were excessive. All the excuses for inflation mentioned above applied in his case. A considerable amount included in his claim had to be thrown out on purely technical grounds; and a large part had to be ignored because (in violation of her agreement) Mexico would not let him have certain specified papers that were needed to prove it. And yet, after all these deductions had been made, our own treasury paid him under the treaty of 1848 the sum of $71,000 as principal (Moore, 1284). In many cases the percentage of inflation was low. For example, in the case of claims aggregating $595,462 the tribunal awarded $439,393 after scaling the interest down to five per cent (Ho. Report 1096; 27, 2, p. 8). In fact the awards were probably a somewhat uncommonly high percentage of the amount claimed in such cases. It has commonly been said (e.g. Von Holst, U. S., iii, 205) that on the conclusion of the war we discharged Mexico from all obligation on account of our claims ($8,491,603) yet bound ourselves to pay only $3,250,000, thus admitting that our claims were nearly three times too large; but the second of these two sums corresponds to only a part of the first (Treaty with Mexico, Arts, xiii-xv: Stat. at Large, ix, 933).

26. Itúrbide seized the cargo of the Louisa, and the Mexican government not only acknowledged the debt but paid a fraction of it (Ho. Report 1056; 25, 2). The Mexican supreme court ordered the money actually realized from the unlawful sale of the Cossack and her cargo to be paid to her master, but it was not paid (ibid.). The decree of the Mexican supreme court of 1821 in favor of this claim was presented in support of it by the U. S. secretary of state, yet that government alleged in Nov., 1837, that the claim had just been "for the first time brought forward" (ibid.). Cox and Elkins furnished supplies to General Herrera (Moore, 3430). Chew and Eckford built war vessels for Mexico (Moore, 3428–9). Parrott made advances on a bill of exchange drawn by Herrera (Moore, 3429). Green supplied money to a war vessel that put in at Key West in distress (Moore, 3425). A sum of money on its way to Peter Harmony, a New York merchant, from his Mexican consignee, was seized by the government (Moore, 3044). Contrary to law, a forced loan was extorted from Ducoing (Moore, 3409). Aaron Leggett carried on an extensive logwood business in Tabasco; but the action of Mexicans in seizing vessels of his for military use entirely ruined him (Moore, 1275), and even Santa Anna admitted that his claim was just (Butler, Feb. 8, 1836). Sixteen bales of wax were confiscated as of Spanish origin, when the fullest certificates, including that of the Mexican vice-consul at New York, proved that it came from Russia (Poinsett in Ho. 351; 25, 2, p. 248). Gahagan was inhumanly persecuted and for a time rendered insane, because in a perfectly lawful and respectful manner he tried to prevent the authorities from illegally appropriating his employer's property (Moore, 3240). Santangelo, a naturalized American, was expelled without trial and thereby ruined, in direct violation of the treaty of amity (Moore, 3333). A case of which the essentials, at least, were simple is also worthy of mention. Evidently to drive him away and get his property, Dr. Baldwin, described by our minister as "a gentleman of great respectability and intelligence" (Ellis, Nov. 8, 1836), was prosecuted on the basis of depositions which a superior Mexican court admitted were forgeries, was falsely charged with murdering a woman and firing on a soldier, was put into the stocks and then imprisoned while suffering from a freshly broken leg, and in short was persecuted by the local authorities for a term of years (Moore, 3235–40). Other cases, though less easily stated, were not less clear; yet Mexico would give no redress. See Forsyth's despatch of May 27, 1837 (Sen. 1; 25, 2, p. 105).

27. This point was taken advantage of by the clever Mexicans to the utmost, and it illustrates one of the great embarrassments encountered in dealing with them. Because they had the words "constitution," "courts," and "law" they pretended to have the realities. It was as if they had coined lead at the mint and required us to accept it as silver, while it passed among themselves for merely what it was. See also Ashburnham, no. 11, 1838. For the character of Mexican courts see vol. i, 12–13.

28. The Mexican government demanded that Baldwin (note 26), for example, should seek redress from the very tribunal that had wronged him (Ellis in Sen. 160; 24, 2, p. 64). In 1834 Simon McGillivray, a director of the United Mexican Mining Company, wrote thus to the British minister: Even when we obtain report after report and decree after decree against the confiscation, already effected, of our property, "we never can succeed in obtaining the enforcement of such Decrees, because the parties against whom they are given are Mexicans of influence or connexion in the place, and we, the claimants for justice, are only foreigners"; and three months later the minister (no. 61, 1834) reported that a letter from the governor of the state "in substance fully admits" this. Once when Baldwin obtained a verdict, the judge would not execute it, and the Doctor had to flee for his life (Ellis in Sen. 160; 24, 2, p. 65). Under such circumstances, to deny the right of injured foreigners, especially the unpopular Americans, to invoke the aid of their governments was plainly unfair, and so France and England held as firmly as did the United States.

29. 11Canning, March 25, 1825. Ho. 266; 27, 2, p. 321 (Webster). This obligation grows out of the benefits conferred by recognition.

30. (Early) Ellis in Sen. 160; 24, 2, p. 68. (Avoid) Ho. 351; 25, 2, p. 40 (Van Buren). (Covered) 231Butler to Jackson, June 23, 1831. (Amicable) Ho. 351; 25, 2, pp. 92 (Livingston); 160 (Forsyth). As the net result of four years of effort Butler was informed that full specifications must be given; yet no attention was paid to a group of cases thus made out and proved (Ho. 351; 25, 2, p. 499). Then he was told that the claimants must come to the treasury department in person, that nothing would be done until all the American claims should have been presented, and that a call from our minister would not advance matters (ibid., 501–3). Evidently all this was to gain time, and it was fairly characterized by our secretary of state as a denial of justice (ibid., 144). In November, 1832, a bearer of despatches from Butler to our government was detained on his way to Vera Cruz by the governor of Perote castle, and was there robbed of his papers, though a passport from the national government established his official character. The case was both simple and outrageous. Our minister insisted upon an investigation; but in February, 1834, he found that (confessedly "on account of some trifling difficulty") it had been suspended, and in the following April was merely informed, in reply to an inquiry, that it was again proceeding (ibid., 462, 470, 517, 521).

31. Sen. 160; 24, 2, pp. 62, 112, 156 (Ellis). 52Forsyth to Ellis, July 20, 1836. 52Monasterio to Ellis, Oct. 21; Nov. 15, 1836. Pakenham, no. 96, 1841. (Withdrew) Ellis, no. 46, Jan. 12, 1837. He gave the fortnight's notice on Nov. 4. Gorostiza, Correspondencia. (Approval) Sen. 160; 24, 2, p. 84 (Monasterio); Sen. 189; 24, 2. Kohl, Claims, 18. Even the philo-Mexican Thompson said that a discussion with that government in writing was as "endless as the web of Penelope" (Recolls., 228).

32. 58Jackson, Mar. 12, 1823 (he thought himself too sympathetic toward Mexico to be our minister there). (Agreed) Ho. 351; 25, 2, pp. 581, 601. Diario, Feb. 2, 1836. Messages, Dec. 5, 1836; Feb. 6, 1837 (Richardson, Messages). Ho. 139; 24, 2, p. 1. Jackson has been said by a certain school of historians to have used our claims (in the February Message) as a bludgeon to force Mexico to sell Texas. But was his temper such that he did not care to assert American rights unless to gain territory? What cession was he aiming at when he enforced our claims against France? And if Mexico felt (as she asserted: Diario, supra) that baseless grievances of ours were to be used as a pretext for trouble, why did she not make haste and refute them? From every sane point of view, indeed, the charge looks absurd. As early as March, 1833, Butler was urged to settle the boundary negotiation at once, lest a step toward independence on the part of Texas should make it impossible to obtain that territory by arrangement with Mexico (Smith, Annex. of Texas, 21); yet now, after four years have passed, and after that province has practically effected its independence, Jackson is accused of trying to compel a cession of it from Mexico. Moreover he was at this very time rejecting the petition of Texas to be annexed (ibid., 63). Besides, in April, 1836, the envoys of Texas at Washington had been instructed to enter a "solemn protest ... against the right of Mexico to sell or the U. S. to purchase [Texas]" (Tex. Dipl. Corres., i, 76). Even more surprising, the charge is made by representatives of the anti-slavery historical school, which denounced Jackson for wickedly conspiring at this precise juncture to help establish Texas as an independent nation by precipitately recognizing her. The truth is that while engaged in no conspiracy, he now favored the recognition of Texas, and hence one could not accept the opposite and inconsistent view even were it otherwise possible to do so. Probably the fact that Jackson had settled our long-standing claims against France by adopting a firm attitude influenced him in regard to Mexico. (Rupture) Memoria de ... Relaciones, Jan., 1838.

33. Ho. Report 281; 24, 2. Sen. 189; 24, 2. 52Buchanan to Slidell, no. 1. Tex. Dipl. Corres., i, 181–3, 187–92 (Wharton); 218–21 (Catlett); 273–4 (Greyson); 284–8 (Hunt). Ho. Report 752; 29, 1. Buchanan, Works, iii, 213, 233, 415.

34. Ellis had taken the legation papers to Washington. Sen. 1; 25, 2, pp. 105, 108, 109 (Forsyth). 52Greenhow, Aug. 12, 1837. Certain historians drawing their views largely from the heated anti-slavery writers of that period have been led to misrepresent our relations with Mexico as much as our conduct with reference to Texas. At this point it has been alleged that the United States required Mexico to examine and settle a large number of complicated cases within a week, which our acceptance of the dilatory reply proves that we did not require. Greenhow was merely directed to say that [for the convenience of the Mexican government] he would remain seven days and bring back any communication it should wish to make (56Forsyth to Greenhow, May 27, 1837). That country, on the other hand, had decreed in May that all pending grievances of the two nations might be settled by arbitration, but that should the United States refuse complete satisfaction of any demands Mexico should present, or delay it beyond the time fixed under the arbitration treaty, commercial intercourse with this country should be cut off and preparations be made for war (Ho. Report, 1056; 25, 2, p. 9; Dublán, Legislación, iii, 392). Sen. 1; 25, 2, p. 111 (Cuevas).

35. Sen. 1; 25, 2, pp. 113–27 (Martínez); 30 (Forsyth). Forsyth to Ellis, no. 3, May 3, 1839. Ho. Report, 1056; 25, 2. In respect to one clear case, already many years old, Martínez promised that "every exertion" should be made to have it taken up by the next regular Congress; but when that Congress met, the minister of relations did not even mention it (ibid.). Mayer, War, 343. Ho. 351; 25, 2, pp. 758 (Forsyth); 759 (Greenhow). Richardson, Messages, iii, 377–9. 53Martínez to Forsyth, Apr. 7, 1838; reply, Apr. 21. 77Martínez, no. 1, res., 1837. Martínez coupled his proposal of arbitration with a demand that the United States should reaffirm our neutrality. This was an affront, but Forsyth merely expressed surprise.

36. The plan of arbitration was first brought to the attention of our government during the latter part of Dec, 1837. Ho. Report, 1056; 25, 2. Ashburnham, no. 42, 1838. (Surprise) 52W. D. Jones, nos. 132–3, 1838. Mexico proposed arbitration to France also, but met with a refusal (México á través, iv, 411). Later, Martínez proposed to give the arbitration a scope that would have included Mexican complaints regarding Texas. To admit such diplomatic and political questions would have made the affair practically endless, and thus have nullified it so far as its essential object, the adjustment of private claims, was concerned; and our government properly refused to accept this proposition (Moore, Internat. Arbit., 1217).

37. Ho. 252; 25, 3, pp. 24 (Martínez), 27. Ho. 190; 26, 1. Moore, Internat. Arbit., 1216–8. Forsyth to Ellis, no. 3, May 3, 1839. To save time, the United States transported Martínez's courier to Vera Cruz, but the man spent about three weeks in making the four-days' trip from the port to the capital (ibid.). 53Forsyth to Martínez, Mar. 16, 1839. (Excuse) Ho. 252; 25, 3, p. 21 (Jones, Jan. 10); Ho. Report, 320; 25, 3. (Disavowed) Ho. 252; 25, 3, pp. 2, 14.

38. Pakenham, no. 60, 1840. (Waived) Memoria de ... Relaciones, Jan., 1841. Moore, Internat. Arbit., 1221–3. Castillo and León declined to take an oath in the regular way, saying that each had administered it to the other. The United States was represented by ex-Senator John Rowan and W. L. Marcy. Rowan was succeeded by H. M. Breckenridge. 52Buchanan to Slidell, no. 1, 1845.

39. Ho. 252; 25, 3, p. 11 (Forsyth). Ho. 57; 27, 1. Sen. 320; 27, 2, pp. 185 (Webster); 22–9, 90, 92, etc. Sen. 61; 27, 1 (Marcy and Rowan, May 26, 1841). Sen. 411; 27, 2 (com. for. rels.). Ho. 269; 27, 2 (Leggett case).

Castillo and León insisted that cases should come before the board only by documents presented through one of the governments-a process likely to consume much time. When Rowan withdrew in August, 1841, and Marcy desired to proceed even under this disadvantage, his Mexican colleagues gained a delay of about six weeks by refusing to do so (Moore, Inter. Arbit., 1235. Sen. 320; 27, 2, p. 254). They falsely asserted that four particular claims, three of which were accepted by our commissioners and the fourth was paid later by our government, had been withdrawn by the American minister at Mexico, and by thus holding them back for some two months defeated them (Sen. 320; 27, 2, pp. 179, 251–3).

Under the treaty, that country was positively bound to furnish the evidence called for in support of the claims, and W. S. Parrott's requisition was the first or among the first made out and forwarded. None of his papers came, however, for seven months, and those received were taken without leave from the custody of the board by Castillo and León, and held back for nearly two months more; a part of them had evidently been mutilated or forged; only about one half of the number specified were furnished, though it was known that all were under the control of the government; and more than 2000 pages actually prepared for transmission seem to have been withheld (Sen. 320; 27, 2, passim). Leggett's case, another of the principal ones, was vitally damaged by documents afterwards fully proved to be spurious (Moore, Internat. Arbit., 1277–8), and as the claimant certainly would not have presented them against himself, they must have come from the Mexican government.

Ho. Report 1096; 27, 2, p. 22: "For the rest, the Committee, while they abstain [as was proper in official action] from imputations on the commissioners of the Mexican Republic, yet cannot but perceive that the instructions under which those commissioners acted, and the course they pursued, in the organization, proceedings, and final action of the commission, were of most questionable validity, and operated to the serious injury of the parties interested." The American commissioners expressed the belief that had the board been acting half the time between Aug. 25 and the day it took up the first case on its merits, all the cases would have been "finally adjusted" (Sen. 320; 27, 2, p. 197). The claims left undecided in the umpire's hands amounted to $1,864,939.56, and those which the board had not time to consider to $3,336,837.05 (Moore, Internat. Arbit., 1232).

Mexico has been given great credit for sending many original documents on a hazardous journey; but, had they been lost, the claimants would have suffered and she would have profited. She had time enough and clerks enough to make this risk unnecessary. Also Mexico has been given great credit for accepting certain indisputable claims growing out of her revolutionary war, which pro-Mexican Americans have declared it was outrageous to present; but as she had formally recognized in 1824 all debts of the revolutionists, there was no escape. Numerous claims failed to be considered because presented too late, but this was doubtless mainly or wholly due to the attitude of the Mexican commissioners, which made it appear more than doubtful for a long time whether it would be worth while to incur the trouble and expense of making up the cases. In fact the notice of the state dept. (Washington Globe, Apr. 16, 1840) that the commission would meet was falsified by the non-appearance of Castillo and León in time (Sen. 320; 27, 2, p. 23). Much time and expense were needed to get papers from Mexico, etc. The Mexican commissioners took the unreasonable ground that all undecided claims, considered by the board, were extinguished (Sen. 411; 27, 2, p. 3).

40. Moore, Internat. Arbit., 1232, 1245. Ho. Report 752; 29, 1. Pakenham, nos. 49, 97, 1842. Ho. 144; 28, 2, p. 20 (Green). Besides the twenty instalments a preliminary payment, covering the interest that would be due, April 30, 1843, on the awards, was to be made on that date (Moore, Internat. Arbit., 1246).

A forced loan was ordered for the payment of the interest and principal of the awards (Voss in Ho. 133; 29, 1, p. 7. Sen. 85; 29, 1; Negrete, Invasión, iv, 327); and the goods of all who would not or could not meet their assessments were confiscated and sold amid the lamentations of the owners and general curses against the United States (Bustamante, Gobierno, 130). Nearly all the proceeds of the forced loan were, however, used for other purposes (Green in Ho. 19; 28, 2, p. 32). Our agent was finally given drafts for the next instalments after the third, and supposing these would be cashed, he receipted for them in full (Buchanan, Nov. 19 in Ho. 133; 29, 1, p. 3); but the government stopped all such payments (B. E. Green, Dec. 17, 1844) and refused to give up the receipts (Ho. 133; 29, 1, p. 11). In short, it pursued a course that was not only dishonorable but positively fraudulent. To make all this the more exasperating, the nation was permitting Santa Anna to expend great amounts.

In the treaty of January, 1843, Mexico promised to make a new convention providing for the settlement of all our outstanding claims, including those not adjudicated by the joint commission. Delay and evasion followed, of course; but in October of that year the British minister severed diplomatic relations with Mexico, and in November, 1843, probably in order to be on good terms with us in case of a war with England, she signed the proposed convention (Doyle, no. 79, 1843). The United States accepted the plan of a joint commission, as Mexico desired, but required that it should meet at Washington. This appears to have been just. The claimants were all Americans, were numerous, had a great number of papers which it was not advisable to take abroad by sea, and could not, without much inconvenience and loss, expatriate themselves for an indefinite period. Another objection was even more serious, perhaps. Pakenham (no. 14, 1842) wrote emphatically to his government that a commission of this kind should not sit at Mexico, because the pressure of public sentiment would not allow the Mexican members to act properly on the claims of aliens, and because the foreign ministers, from whom the actual umpire would almost necessarily be selected, were more or less entangled in similar cases, and therefore would not be thought impartial.

To provide, as Mexico demanded, for the arbitration of private Mexican grievances, which that government admitted unofficially did not exist, would have been to cast a gratuitous aspersion upon ourselves; and to allow the presentation of a national claim on account of Texas (which] also was demanded), besides enabling Mexico to nullify through her pretensions and endless declamations the essential purpose of the treaty, would have been to question the good faith of our official declarations of neutrality, and make it possible for a subject of some foreign power-the umpire-to impose upon us an immense indemnity, which would also have been a monumental impeachment of our honor. No sovereign state would place itself in so dangerous and ridiculous a position. Accordingly the Senate of the United States eliminated these features of the agreement signed by Minister Thompson. The justice of its action Mexico did not undertake seriously to deny, and she promised immediate attention to the subject; but once more she resorted to dilatory tactics, and thus her promise of January, 1843, one important consideration for granting a delay in the payment of our awards, was evaded.

One difficulty needs to be faced here. The United States defended itself for certain breaches of neutrality on the part of American citizens during the revolutionary war of Texas on the ground that they could not legally be prevented; why then could not Mexico plead the legal impossibility of preventing local authorities and citizens from committing outrages against Americans? In reply it may be said (1) that there was no analogy between the two cases. While our government may have asked that such outrages be prevented, its real demand was that compensation be paid; our breaches of neutrality were political offences, and therefore called for different treatment than the civil grievances on which these claims were based; the former could not be proved (Smith, Annex. of Texas, pp. 23–24), while the latter could be; and the former, unlike the latter, could not properly be redressed by the payment of a definite amount of money. (2) We have abundant reason to believe that if Mexico had been able and had desired to present a bill for damages on account of such breaches of neutrality, it would have been examined fairly and promptly by the American government. As a single illustration of the ability of Mexico to pay our claims, it may be mentioned that in 1844 Santa Anna and the Lizardi banking house, in combination, robbed the treasury of about $1,200,000 (Mofras, Explor., i, 65).

41. [This note is missing from the original.]

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