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The President relies with confidence on your zeal and ability in executing the important duty committed to your charge.
Mr. Black to Mr. Buchanan.
CONSULATE OF THE U. S. OF AMERICA,
Mexico, October 17, 1845. I had the honor, on the 10th instant, of receiving your communication of the 17th ultimo.
On Saturday evening, the 11th instant, I obtained a confidential interview with the minister of foreign relations of the Mexican republic, in relation to the important charge which his excellenoy the President of the United States was pleased to confide to me, and am happy now to have it in my power to advise my government of a favorable result; the proceedings had with the Mexican government in this affair will be seen by reference to the enclosed documents, Nos. 1 and 2.
No. 1 is a copy of a confidential communication addressed by this consulate to his excellency the minister of foreign relations of the Mexican government; and No. 2 is a copy of the said minister's answer to said communication.
When I handed the aforesaid communications to his excellency on Monday the 13th instant, I requested that an answer might be given as early as possible, and desired to be informed at what time it would likely be given. He promised that on Wednesday evening the 15th, and requested at that time a private interview with me, to be at eight o'clock in the evening, (not at the department, he said, but at his private dwelling,) in order, as he said, that the affair might be kept as close and as little exposed to public view as possible, to avoid suspicion. At the time appointed, I went to his house; he (being alone in his study) received me cordially and politely, and told me the answer was ready, and only wanted his signature, which he placed to it in my presence, stating, at the same time, that he would accompany the answer with some verbal, frank, and confidential explanations; which, after reading to me the answer, he did, in the following manner:
He said that the Mexican government, notwithstanding it felt itself very much aggrieved and offended by the acts of that of the United States, in relation to the affairs of Texas, yet it would appear to be out of place to express these feelings in a communication of this nature; and that, if the government had but itself to consult, the expression of these feelings would have been left out of the communication, as they only tend to irritate; but that I knew, as well as he did, that governments like ours must endeavor to reconcile the feelings and opinions of the people to their public acts; and that I also knew, very well, that a strong opposition were daily calling the attention of the public to, and scrutinizing and condemning every act of, the government, and that the govern ment endeavored to give them as little pretext as possible; and therefore, wished me to make this explanation to my government.
And that, in relation to the qualities he had recommended to be possessed by the person to be sent out by the government of the United States for the settlement of existing differences, it was the wish of the Mexican government, and would be for the good of both countries that a person suitable in every respect should be sent, endued with the necessary qualities, and not one against whom the government or people of Mexico should, unfortunately, entertain a fixed prejudice, which would be a great obstacle in the way to an amicable adjustment of differences.
And that, in order that the coming of the commissioner might not have the appearance of being forced on them by threat, his government wished the naval force of the United States, now in sight of Vera Cruz, should retire from that place before his arrival; and requested that I should inform his government, by a communication, as soon as I should know the fact, of their having left. These things he repeated more than once, and with the appearance of a great deal of earnestness, and enjoined it upon me not to fail to advise my government; and that he communicated these things to me, not as a minister, but as an individual and friend, who wished for the good exit of the contemplated mission.
Notwithstanding my communication to the Mexican government of the 13th instant was of the most confidential character, as well as all the proceedings in relation to the affair, and this at the request of the Mexican minister, who himself enjoined secrecy upon me, and promised the strictest adherence to it, on his part, So you will be able to see what reliance can be placed on the most solemn injunctions of secrecy, as far as this government is concerned.
[Enclosure No. 1.]
Mr. Black to Mr. Peña y Peña. .
CONSULATE OF THE UNITED States,
Mexico, October 13, 1845. The undersigned, consul of the United States of America, in a confidential interview with his excellency Manuel de la Peña y Peña, minister of foreign relations and government of the Mexican republic, which took place on the evening of the 11th instant, had
the honor to advise his excellency that he, the undersigned, had received a communication from the Secretary of State of the United States; and having, in that interview, made known to his excellency the substance of said communication, which contained a reiteration of the sentiments which, at the time of the suspension of the diplomatic relations between the two countries, had been expressed to General Almonte, and which were now renewed, and offered to the consideration of the Mexican government.
His excellency having heard, and considered with due attention, the statement read from the communication aforesaid, and having stated that, as the diplomatic relations between the two govern
ments had been and were still suspended, the present interview - could and should have no other character than that of a confiden
tial meeting, which was assented to, and only considered in that light by the undersigned.
His excellency was then pleased to request that the undersigned might, in the same confidential manner, communicate in writing what had thus been made known verbally. In conformity to that request, the undersigned has now the honor to transcribe, herewith, that part of the communication of the Secretary of State of the United States referred to, and is in the following words, viz: “At the time of the suspension of the diplomatic relations between the two countries, General Almonte was assured of the desire felt by the President to adjust amicably every cause of complaint between the governments, and to cultivate the kindest and most friendly relations between the sister republics.
He still continues to be animated by the same sentiments. He desires that all existing differences should be terminated amicably by negotiation, and not by the sword.
"Actuated by these sentiments, the President has directed me to instruct you, in the absence of any diplomatic agent in Mexico, to ascertain from the Mexican government whether they would receive an envoy from the United States, intrusted with full power to adjust all the questions in dispute between the two governments. Should the answer be in the affirmative, such an envoy will be immediately despatched to Mexico."
T'he undersigned can assure his excellency, that it is with the most heartfelt satisfaction he sees, in the preceding proposition on the part of the President of the United States, (notwithstanding the preparations for war on both sides,) that a door is still left open for conciliation, whereby all existing differences may be amicably and equitably adjusted, and the honor of both nations preserved inviolate, and their friendly relations restored and fixed upon a firmer foundation than they unfortunately have hitherto been; and the undersigned has reason to believe that they will not be blinded tɔ their mutual interest, nor suffer themselves to become the victims of the machinations of their mutual enemies.
If the President of the United States had been disposed to stand upon a mere question of etiquette, he would have waited until the Mexican government, which had' suspended the diplomatic relations between the two countries, should have asked that they might
be restored; but his desire is so strong to terminate the present unfortunate state of our relations with this republic, that he has even consented to waive all ceremony, and take the initiative.
In view of what is herein before set forth, the undersigned is fully persuaded that the Mexican government will not misconstrue the benevolent sentiments of the President of the United States, nor mistake his motives.
His excellency will be pleased to return an answer with as little delay as possible, and, in the meantime, the undersigned avails himself of the occasion to renew to his excellency, Manuel de la Peña y Peña, minister of foreign relations and government of the Mexican republic, the assurances of his distinguished consideration and personal regard.
[Enclosure No. 2.- Translation.]
Mr. Peña y Peña to Mr. Black.
Mexico, October 15, 1845. Sir: I have informed my government of the private conference which took place between you and myself on the 11th instant, and have submitted to it the confidential letter which you, in consequence of, and agreeably to what was then said, addressed to me yesterday. In answer, I have to say to you, that, although the Mexican nation is deeply injured by the United States, through the acts committed by them in the department of Texas, which belongs to this nation, my government is disposed to receive the commissioner of the United States, who may come to this capital with full powers from his government to settle the present dispute in a peaceable, reasonable, and honorable manner; thus giving a new proof that, even in the midst of its injuries, and of its firm decision to exact adequate reparation for them, it does not repel with contumely the measure of reason and peace to which it is invited by its adversary.
As my government believes this invitation to be made in good faith, and with the real desire that it may lead to a favorable conclusion, it also hopes that the commissioner will be a person endowed with the qualities proper for the attainment of this end; that his dignity, prudence, and moderation, and the discreetness and reasonableness of his proposals, will contribute to calm as much as possible the just irritation of the Mexicans; and, in fine, that the conduct of the commissioner on all points may be such as to persuade them that they may obtain satisfaction for their injuries, through the means of reason and peace, and without being obliged to resort to those of arms and force.
What my government requires above all things, is, that the mis
sion of the commissioner of the United States, and his reception by us, should appear to be always absolutely frank, and free from every sign of menace or coercion. And thus, Mr. Consul, while making known to your government the disposition on the part of that of Mexico to receive the commissioner, you should impress upon it, as indispensable, the previous recalí of the whole naval force now lying in sight of our port of Vera Cruz.
Its presence would degrade Mexico, while she is receiving the commissioner, and would justly subject the United States to the imputation of contradicting by acts the vehement desire of conciliation, peace, and friendship, which is professed and asserted by words.
I have made known to you, Mr. Consul, with the brevity which you desired, the disposition of my government; and in so doing, I have the satisfaction to assure you of my consideration and esteem for you personally.
MANUEL DE LA PEÑA Y PEÑA. To John Black, Esq.,
Cunsul of the United States at Mexico.
Mr. Black to Mr. Buchanan.
CONSULATE OF THE U. S. OF AMERICA,
Mexico, October 28, 1845. I had the honor of addressing you on the 17th and 18th instant, in answer to your communication of the 17th ultimo, enclosing to you the answer of the Mexican government to my communication of the 13th instant.
The Mexican government is very anxious to know when they may expect the envoy from the United States; and, also, that I may soon be able to give it the information of the American squadTon having retired from the port of Vera Cruz.
We have rumors every day that a revolution is shortly to take place, but, as yet, things are quiet. Let this go as it will, I think an arrangement is safe, as it has the sanction of the Mexican congress in secret session.