« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
say that, wbile he reflected upon the decided intention of General Taboada and that of other friends whom Senor Santa Anna bad in Vera Cruz, and while he reflected that the affairs of Mexico could have no other favorable solution than that which Senor Santa Anna had proposed to give, by means of himself as their leader, with the influence of his name and his gift of command, he (Senor Vidal) was persuaded to write to General Taboada to ask him to tell Senor Santa Anna frankly, without the loss of a moment, if the situation at Vera Cruz could be commanded till Santa Anna's return; and if that could be done, whether Senor Santa Anna might expect better success in the realization of bis undertaking. Senor Vidal proceeded to say that he thought it indispensable to remind General Taboada and his party that they ought not to permit the Maximilian military forces to be delivered np to their enemies, (meaning the republican besieging army,) bearing in mind that those enemies do not know how to pardon nor to keep their promises ; and that the besieged forces would surely be sacrificed as soon as they should be disarmed. That the safest way, in fact the only way, was that which had been pointed out to General Taboada by Senor Santa Anna. That it was Senor Santa Anna's intention to return to Vera Cruz without delay in a war steamer or merchant steamer. He advised General Taboada to let this notice serve as a guide to him in the management of affairs. Senor Vidal proceeded further to ask why Senor Santa Anna was not assisted by General Taboada on the night of the 8th and 9th, as he expected to have been.
Señor Vidal wrote on the same 11th of June, on board the Virginia, at Sisal, a letter which was addressed to Charles Rayman, Spanish consul in Vera Cruz, but which by its tenor seems to be intended for General Taboada. In this letter Señor Vidal stated that it was the intention of Senor Santa Anna to proceed from Sisal to Havana, to see what kind of aid, direct or moral, the captain general of Cuba would furnish him. With this letter Senor Vidal transmitted a card to be delivered to General Mauzano, the captain general at Havana. Senor Vidal proceeded to say that the chief object of his present writing was to ask the Spanish consul to deliver an enclosed card to General Manzano, and request him to ascertain the dispositions of those who were capable of aiding: him. If they were ready and could do any good, then Senor Santa Anna would soon return to the front of Vera Cruz. Senor Vidal went on to say that all must have known that Senor Santa Anna's arrival at Vera Cruz was not only opportune and efficacious, but necessary and was indispensable. He proceeded to say: "I may obtain permission for Senor Santa Anna to remain in Cuba for a month.” If not, he would be obliged to go back to St. Thomas. At all events, the Spanish cousul was to understand, there, that Senor Santa Anna was ready to save Vera Cruz, and raise the siege by gaining Benavides over to his party," and thus prevent much bloodshed in the city, and then go to the aid. of the brave men (meaning the Maximilian army) who were struggling for their lives in the capital of Mexico. Alas for Vera Cruz, woe to Mexico, if unfortunately Senor Santa Anna should not be understood.” Senor Vidal went on to say: "Our present fears are that the vessel we are expecting from the United States to Vera Cruz, not finding Senor Santa Anna's party there, might fall into the hands of some United States agents, and suffer all the indigoities which that nation, the United States, is heaping upon Senor Santa Anna and his party.” That that party were taking all precautions at Sisal and were cruising about; but as there had been two stormy nights, the vessels might have passed each other without discovery. That in such an event, if the expected vessel should have arrived, and the troops on board of it should wish to land, then the Spanish consul would put the Irish battalion in the castle of San Juan, and the riflemen in the city, till the return of Senor Santa Anna, when he could march them into the country to shun the maladies peculiar to the Mexican coast. Senor Vidal went on to say that in the failure of that ex
Ex. Doc. 20-9
pedition they would not only lose the cost of the expected vessel, which was over $200,000, but the opportunity of aid, without reckoning the difficulties that they had already had to overcome in organizing that expedition. Senor Vidal went on to say that on the nights of the 8th and 9th, the Virginia was for more than two hours behind the castle of San Juan, from midnight till after two o'clock, with the lights and signals which had been agreed upon the Galleguilla shoals. That the noise made by blowing off steam and other movements must have been heard at the castle; that the sea was calm and the weather cloudy. “Why, then,” he asked, " did you not come to the place agreed on? We did everything we could. After two o'clock we put to sea.”
He closed with saying that it (the letter) was not to be suffered to go out of the correspondent's possession, though his name was not put upon it for fear of risking the loss of his situation.
On the 12th of June, being the same day on which it is alleged by Mr. Na phegyi that the Virginia was boarded and "Senor Santa Anna forcibly removed from that vessel at Sisal, Senor Santa Anna wrote a letter on board of the Virginia, which he addressed to General Mathias Peraza, governor of the State of Yucatan, at Merida. In this second letter to General Peraza, Senor Santa Anna referred to his first letter forwarded by Colonel Mendez, and presumed that it was then in the hands of his correspondent, General Peraza, together with the documents it contained. Senor Santa Anna then proceeded to say: “ I was awaiting your answer, when Colonel Medina, the military commander at this port, presented himself to me on board, and informed me that you invited me to land. I immediately began to get ready to accept your invitation, and commenced by shaving myself
. The captain of the vessel (Captain Deaken) informed me that I could not land, as his orders from the cominander of the American war steamer (Commander Roe) were, that I might land on neutral ground, but could have no pretext to set foot on Mexican territory. This caused an altercation between Colonel Medina and the captain of the Virginia. Finally, the captain yielded, and I was allowed to disembark, not, however, without protest," (by Captain Deaken.)
Senor Santa Anna proceeds in his letter to General Peraza : “ Now, I am at your disposal, and I hope I shall soon see you, as this commander” (meaning Medina) “ has promised me I could. I wish my good intentions may give a happy result; and I do not think Mr. Salazar Illarequi will be so timid as to reject my generous mediation for the complete establishment of peace
in this State of Yucatan. But if he persists in an obstinate resistance, an old veteran places himself under your orders to be sent wherever you think he can be of the greatest service to the nation." There seems
reason to question the authenticity of these letters. If authentic, they prove that at the port of Sisal, whether exactly within the Mexican jurisdiction or just beyond it, General Santa Anna was in command of the same military armed expedition against the republic of Mexico, which he had prepared within and conducted from the shores of the United States to Vera Cruz, in violation of their neutrality laws, and in derogation of the relation of amity and friendship, and also-so far as the sphere of moral influences is concerned—within the relations of aliies. They prove also that although Captain Deaken, perhaps in the interest of New York creditors, protested, Senor Santa Anna voluntarily disembarked at Sisal, and went into the camp of the defenders of the republic of Mexico. During a considerable part of the period in which Mexico has been the theatre of civil war, armed military and naval force has been maintained by the United States on the Rio Grande and in the waters around the ports of Mexico, among other purposes, to prevent and defeat invasions of that republic by any military and naval expeditions which might be set on foot in the United States. We are officially in formed that Senor Santa Anna, after having landed at Sisal in conformity
with his engagements, was sent forward by the military commandant at Sisal to the care of General Peraza, the governor of Yucatan, and is detained in cus. tody, with a view to the safety of the republic of Mexico.
Upon this review of the facts, it seems proper that the government should wait for further and more definite information before entering upon communications in relation to the complaint of Mr. Naphegyi with the government of Mexico. That nation seems at last to have triumphed over all its internal and foreign enemies, and to have reached a crisis when, if left alone, it may be expected to restore tranquillity, and to reorganize itself upon permanent foundations of union, freedom, and republican government. Only some great national injury, wrong, or offence would justify this government in suddenly assuming a hostile or even an unfriendly attitude toward the republic of Mexico.
WILLIAM H. SEWARD.
CORRESPONDENCE OF MR. ROMERO ON RECENT EVENTS IN MEXICO.
Mr. Romero to Mr. Seward.
WASHINGTON, January 5, 1867. My Dear Mr. SEWARD: Some time ago you desired me to inform you when the city of Zacatecas should be occupied by the national forces of the republic. It gives me pleasure to-day to be enabled to comply with your request, the information having been communicated to me by President Juarez in a letter dated Chihuahua, December 9, 1866, received yesterday, in which he writes as follows:
“On the 29th of November, Governor Don Miguel Auza took possession of the city of Zacatecas; I received last evening his official report of the fact.” I am, very truly, your obedient servant,
M. ROMERO. Hon. William H. SEWARD, 80., 80., 8c.,
Washington, D. C.
Mr. Romero to Mr. Seward.
Washington, January 26, 1867. Mr. SECRETARY: I have the honor to send herewith to you, for the information of the government of the United States, various documents, which show what is the latest aspect which French intervention presents in Mexico, and the so-called empire of the ex-Archduke Maximilian. Among them I permit my, self to call your attention to the letter dated at the city of Mexico the 8th of December last, and continued to the 26th of the same month, because it was written by a well-informed person. I hope the narative it contains may be read with interest by the government of the United States.
I avail of this opportunity, Mr. Secretary, to renew to you the assurances of my most distinguished consideration.
M. ROMERO. Hon. W. H. SEWARD, &., ., sc.
[Translation.] Index of documents which the Mexican legation sends, with note of this date,
to the Department of State of the United States.
1866. 1 Dec. 8 Letter written at the city of Mexico, relating what occurred between Mari.
milian and his so-called ministers and councillors on the 26th November
and following days. 2 Dec. 8 Letter of Maximilian to D. T. Lares, explaining to him the reasons why
he convoked his so-called congress to Orizaba. 3 Dec. 10 Issue of a circular from Lares, called minister of foreign relations of Maxi
milian, showing that the latter reckoned upon the French army continu
ing to sustain him. 4 Dec. 10 Extract from La Patria, ministerial newspaper of Maximilian, announcing
that General Bazaine had given orders to deliver material of war to the
troops Marquez was organizing in defence of that usurper. 5 Dec. 19 Circular of General Bazaine, inviting the French soldiers fighting under
the banners of Maximilian to return to their country with the expeditivo
ary corps. 6 Dec. 19 Publications of French agents, showing the disagreement which exists be
tween them and the emperor, (so called, ) in relation to the custom-house
at Vera Cruz, which the French held in possession. 7 Jan. 8 Notice by the French legation in Mexico, inviting resident French who
wish to return to their country to embark with the expeditionary corps.
All intrigues have been useless; all the blood shed has been ched in vain ; falsehood, perfidy, baseness, and flatteries, and threats, and the perspective of a military future capable of seducing him who in heart loves Mexico, all, all have been used with ability to upset the man who grasps the standard of independence, and the man remains at his post.
Three months ago the idea was to erase the name of Juarez from the flag of the independents, and to substitute therefor that of Gonzales Ortega. To this end, Bazaine called on several liberals, giving them carte blanche to conspire against the empire on condition of abandoning Juarez. All was useless; there are no Ortegaists; if there had been they were ashamed; but the capture of the general upset this last illusion. It is necessary to regard Juarez as re-established in the capital. If a treaty of peace has to be made between Mexico and France that treaty must bear the signature of Juarez. This is what the French have come to understand after four years of war, and is it not very natural they should trip and hesitate rather than fall ? But all this that I am writing, you know, if not better, at least as well as I do. I am going to give you some news that by few channels could reach your knowledge. I will speak to you of the conferences at Orizaba between Maximilian and his council of state. Nothing has been published beyond the resolution of the grandduke to return to the capital.
On Saturday, 24th of last month, the councillors reached Orizaba to the number of sixteen, notwithstanding the counsel is composed of thirty and more members, and on Monday, 26th, they had their first session. Maximilian did not present himself to preside over it, as was to be expected. M. Lares, the soul of the imperial government, had authority to do so. He began by reading a letter from the archduke addressed to the council, which in substance said as follows: That he had an intimate conviction that he ought to retire from the country, returning to it through the medium of that body, the only one existing, all its liberty to frame in the manner it may judge most convenient its own constitution; that such conviction rested on reasons more or less incontestable, and which, in fact, made the empire an impossibility; Among these reasonings and facts you have here the principal ones. That the French agents had intimated that France had an understanding with the United States to end the question of Mexico on the basis of a republican government; that the condition of poverty in which the public chests were found was such that it was impossible to meet its most pressing and urgent obligations without recourse to violent exactions; that for the same reason there were no elements for raising an army sufficient to make head against the dissidents, who not only occupy important cities at a distance, but growing in boldness daily, come already to a very short distance from the capital ; and, finally, that his personal misfortune, that is to say, the sickness of his wife, filling his heart with bitter grief, bad completed the series of calamities. The letter ends by announcing his resolution to abdicate in the midst of the council of state.
The letter having been read, Lares thought proper to make some explanations, and said that the resolution of Maximilian was not definitive; that although French agents had, in effect, declared what the letter expressed, they had not done so officially, and added that he was authorized to receive General Castelnau, and would give assurance that he had no other mission than to ratify in words that which at various times lately Napoleon had written to Maximilian, to wit: That the present situation of Europe prevented him from continuing to lend him bis aid in any way, and obliged him to withdraw his troops after a short time, which General Castelnau was authorized to fix. He said, lastly, that both Castelnau and Bazaine had offered him both artillery, arms, and ammunition in considerable quantity on condition that Maximilian would return to Mexico and continue at the head of the government.
This declaration surprised all, because it was generally believed that the French had refused to deliver armament.
A committee of the council was appointed, which on the following day should report their opinion. Fonseca, Vidaurri, and another whose name I do not recall, composed that committee. The report was presented and concluded, as might be expected, by requesting the archduke to return to Mexico and to continue to govern the empire.
Five of the council voted for the report, and, as I understand, the three ministers, who were present; against it, eleven councillors, of whom one, Cortez Esparza, did so absolutely; and ten, among them, Silicio, Victor Perez, Manuel Cordero, Linares, and Luiz Mendez, explained their vote by saying in substance that Maximilian ought, before abdicating, to guarantee, in I know not what manner, the interests created by the empire.
Larez, the interpreter on this occasion of the council, and of Maximilian, charged himself with giving account of this and of the result of the deliberations, and on the next day returned to preside over the sitting, and read a second letter from the archduke.
This new letter said that Maximilian, before taking a definitive resolution, and supposing the vote of his councillors, wished them to solve for him that day the following questions :
1. If the government could count upon such resources as to be able to face the situation without recourse to violence and arbitrary action ?