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from Guadalajara, who is here on his way to Vera Cruz to embark for England, tells me that in his native place (some 300 leagues nearly from Mexico) all are in favor of continuing the war, at least there is but a handful of the opposite sentiment. But in the city of Mexico, where he passed a month, there is a very strong party in favor of peace.. This I consider good evidence of the state of public opinion, on that face of it which is likely to catch the eye of persons of his class-intelligent and modest lads of the age of 17 or 18.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Secretary of State.


P. S. On the occasion of transmitting this correspondence with General Scott, I should do him injustice, although he could not be injured thereby, with any person at all conversant with his character, were I to omit to mention that, so far as "respect" for the government can be proved by such outward acts as bear the same relation to this sentiment which genuflexions and upturnings of the eyes bear to religion, nothing could have been more perfect than the proof afforded in my case of the sincerity with which he professes the established creed upon this point. Not only was I met on the road, as we approached the city, by General Scott's aid-decamp and the chief of the quartermaster's department, deputed by him to conduct me to the quarters which he had caused to be secured for me, but I was subsequently called upon by the governor, in compliance with orders from the general-in-chief, to offer me a guard, (which I declined, there being no necessity for it.) So far, therefore, as ceremonial goes, and attentions to my person, as that of "a functionary of the government," nothing could be added to the proof, which it receives in this shape, of respect for its authority.

Major General Scott to Mr. Trist.

[Enclosure in No. 4.]

Jalapa, May 7, 1847.

SIR: I have just received your note of yesterday, accompanied by communications to me from the Secretary of War, and one (sealed!) from the Department of State to the minister of foreign affairs of the republic of Mexico.

You are right in doubting whether there be a government, even de facto, in this republic. General Santa Anna, the nominal presi

dent, has been, until within a day or two, in the neighborhood of Oriziba, organizing bands of rancheros, banditti, or guerillas, to cut off stragglers of this army, and, probably, the very train, all important to us, which you propose to accompany into the interior; the safety of which train has detained me here and caused me a high degree of solicitude. Hence I regret that Colonel Wilson, commanding at Vera Cruz, has allowed himself, a second time, to be persuaded to detach, to bring up despatches, (for your accommodation,) a material portion of the force I had relied upon as the escort of that train. The other detachment to which I allude came up some days ago to escort Lieutenant Semmes, of the navy, duly accredited by Commodore Perry, to the Mexican minister of foreign affairs, to negotiate the exchange of Passed Midshipman Rogers, now a prisoner of war. That matter, also, seems to have been considered too important to be entrusted to my agency! But, to return to the actual government of Mexico. Señor Anaya, is, I believe, president, ad interim. But you may have learned that the Congress, after hearing of the affair of Cerro Gordo, passed many violent decrees, breathing war, to the uttermost, against the United States; declaring that the executive has no power, and shall have none, to conclude a treaty, or even an armistice, with the United States, and denouncing as a traitor any Mexican functionary who shall entertain either proposition. I have communicated a copy of those decrees to the War Department, and, until further orders thereupon, or until a change of circumstances, I very much doubt whether I can so far commit the honor of my government as to take any direct agency in forwarding the sealed despatch you have sent me from the Secretary of State of the United States.

On this delicate point, however, you will do as you please; and when, if able, I shall have advanced near to the capital, I may, at your instance, lend an escort to your flag of truce; and it may require a large fighting detachment to protect even a flag of truce against the rancheros and banditti who now infest the national road, all the way up to the capital.

I see that the Secretary of War proposes to degrade me, by requiring that I, the commander of this army, shall defer to you, the chief clerk of the Department of State, the question of continuing or discontinuing hostilities.

I beg to say to him and to you, that here, in the heart of a hostile country, from which, after a few weeks, it would be impossible to withdraw this army, without a loss, probably, of half its numbers, by the vomito; which army, from necessity, must soon become a self-sustaining machine, cut off from all supplies and reinforcements from home, until, perhaps, late in November-not to speak of the bad faith of the government and people of Mexico-I say, in reference to those critical circumstances, this army must take military security for its own safety. Hence, the question of an armistice or no armistice is, most peculiarly, a military question, appertaining, of necessity, if not of universal right, in the absence of direct instructions, to the commander of the invading forces; consequently,

if you are not clothed with military rank over me, as well as with diplomatic functions, I shall demand, under the peculiar circumstances, that, in your negotiations, if the enemy should entertain your overtures, you refer that question to me, and all the securities belonging to it. The safety of this army demands no less, and I am responsible for that safety, until duly superseded or recalled. Indeed, from the nature of the case, if the enemy, on your petition, should be willing to concede an armistice, he would, no doubt, demand the military guaranty of my signature, for his own safety. Should you, under the exposition of circumstances I have given, visit the moveable head-quarters of this army, I shall receive you with the respect due to a functionary of my government; but whether you would find me here, at Perote, Puebla, or elsewhere, depends on events changeable at every moment.

The sealed despatch from the Department of State I suppose you to desire me to hold until your arrival, or until I shall hear farther from you.

I remain, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,

N. P: TRIST, Esq., &c., &c., &c.


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Mr. Trist to Major General Scott.

[Enclosure in No. 4.]

JALAPA, May 20, 1847.

SIR: The enclosed reply to the tirade against our government, which you saw fit to put into the shape of a letter to me, (I regret exceedingly that it did not receive a more appropriate form and direction, by being made up, at once, into an "article" to adorn the columns of some reckless partisan press,) was commenced at San Juan del Rio; where, after taking time to recover from the amazement which your letter occasioned, and coolly to reflect upon its extraordinary character-as I have repeatedly done since on the journey-I passed nearly the whole night in writing, so desirous did I feel to dismiss the unpleasant subject from my mind. Having motives also for wishing that my reply should reach you before my arrival here, I purposed finishing it at the first place where it could be resumed. With this view, when we reached El Encero, I got out my writing materials, intending to pass the greater part of the night in this labor, and that of taking a copy. This design having, however, been defeated by the alerte which we had there just about sunset, causing Col. Riley to order the advance of the train, with which I was, to retire from its position in and around the house and out-buildings; the completion of my task has, from this and subsequent causes been unavoidably delayed until now.

I was, most assuredly, not sent to Mexico for any such purpose as that of engaging in a correspondence with you; above all, in one of the nature of that which I have so unexpectedly found forced upon




me; and I doubt whether the government will approve of my having allowed myself to employ any portion of my time in it. Certain I am that this would be censured, but for the fact that your letter found me under circumstances rendering it impossible that I should occupy myself upon the object for which I was sent here. The same excuse will not exist hereafter; and even if it should, numberless other good and sufficient reasons will always exist to compel me to decline the honor of maintaining a correspondence with


The communication, from the Department of State to the Mexican minister of foreign relations, transmitted to you by me from Vera Cruz, has been returned to me, since my arrival at this place, by your military secretary, Lieut. Lay. So soon as I shall be enabled to ascertain that the condition, of the government of this country is such as to admit of its delivery, it will be again placed in the hands of the general-in-chief of our forces for that purpose. Upon recurring to your letter, I find both its tone and its matter, with respect to the transmission of this communication, so perfectly in keeping with the rest of it, and especially with the light in which you have seen, fit to consider me that of an emissary of the Secretary of War, through whom and to whom you may "say" whatever your honor suggests that I deem it necessary to make a special endeavor, in regard to this very important point, to bring down your thoughts from the lofty regions into which they have soared to the one alone appropriate to such plain matters of business as I am charged with.


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You say that some time hence, perhaps, "I (you) may, at your 1.(my) instance, lend an escort to your (my) flag of truce; and it may require a large fighting detachment to protect even a flag of truce against the rancheros and banditti," &cznia je I


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Now, sir, in reply to this, all I have to do is to deliver to youas I hereby do in writing-(and this for the second time, unless my first letter was far more engmatical than I believe it could seem to any honest men, who, upon their conscience and honor, should be called to respond to the questions, whether you had or had not, in this instance, been guilty of a wanton contempt of orders; and whether this offence had or had not been aggravated by the character of the pretences under which the contempt was indulged in, and the contumacy sought to be covered up)-I have, I say, sir, to deliver to you this message from your commander-in-chief, the President of the United States, to wit: "When the communication, bearing the seal of the Department of State, and addressed 'to his excellency the minister of foreign relations of the Mexican republic,' shall be placed in the hands of the general-in-chief of the United States army in Mexico, it is the will, order, and command of the President of the United States, that the said communication shall forthwith be transmitted to its destination under a flag of truce; which flag of truce is to proceed from the headquarters of the army, and is to be a flag of truce from the generalin-chief. It is to be protected by such escort as the general-inchief shall deem necessary and proper for its security against a


dangers of the road in general, (including those from 'rancheros and banditti' in particular.) Whether the escort necessary and proper for the purpose shall, in the judgment of the general-inchief, be a corporal's guard, a company, a regiment, or a brigade; such necessary and proper escort, whatever it may be, is to be furnished. The President, at the same time, commands that the general-in-chief shall not, for the sake of carrying out this order, do aught which may jeopard the existence of the army, or interfere with any movements or operations whatever which he may deem necessary or expedient for the most vigorous possible prosecution of the war. The transmission of the communication above referred to is at all times to be deemed a secondary consideration to any of those just mentioned; but it is also to be deemed at all times paramount to every thing else, and, so far as may be compatible with them, the utmost attention is demanded to it."

This, sir, is the order and command of the President of the United States, which-standing as I do to him, for this special purpose, in precisely the same relation that one of your aids-de-camp bears to yourself, when entrusted with a verbal order from you to a subordinate officer-I do hereby convey to the general-in-chief of the


You will now, sir, I trust, understand, when the communication referred to shall again be placed in your hands, that greatly deficient in wisdom as the present (and indeed any democratic) administration of the government must necessarily be, it has not, in this particular instance, fallen into so egregious a blunder as to make the transmission and delivery of that communication dependent upon the amiable affability and gracious condescension of General Winfield Scott.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

To Major General WINFIELD SCOTT,


General-in-chief of the U. S. Army in Mexico.

Mr. Trist to Major General Scott.

[Enclosure in No. 4.]

May 9, 1847.

SIR: Your letter of the 7th instant, directed to me at Vera Cruz, and transmitted by Captain Kearney, has met me at this place, on my way to the head-quarters of the United States army in Mexico, where my instructions require me to be, and for which I set out from Vera Cruz yesterday, in company with Captain Grayson of your staff, a gentlemen to whose kind attentions I am already much indebted.

In the exercise of the discretion left me, as to the precise time for proceeding to head-quarters, I should probably have decided

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