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but there is no safety in reasoning from probabilities or analogies as to the course of public men in this country: If, however, I should now be received, I think that my prospects of successful negotiation will be better than if no obstacles had been opposed to my recognition in the first instance.
[Enclosure No. 1.]
Mr. Slidell to Don J. Castillo
JALAPA, March 1, 1846. The undersigned, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Mexican republic, had the honor, on the eighth day of December last, to address to his excellency Manuel de la Peña y Peña, then minister of foreign relations, a copy of his credentials, with a request that he might be informed when he would be admitted to present the original to the President of the Mexican republic. On the 16th December, the undersigned was informed by Mr. Peña y Peña that difficulties existed in relation to the tenor of his credentials, which made it necessary to consult the council of government thereon, and on the twentieth of the same month, he was advised by Mr. Peña y Peña that the Mexican government had decided not to recognise him in his capacity of envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary.
To these communications of the minister of foreign relations the undersigned replied, under dates of 20th and 24th December, refuting the reasoning by which the refusal to recognize him was attempted to be sustained, vindicating the course pursued by his government, and declaring his intention to proceed to Jalapa, there to await instructions adapted to an emergency so entirely unlooked for. He has now received these instructions.
The President of the United States entirely approves the course pursued by the undersigned, and the communications by him addressed to the Mexican government. Had the then existing government continued in power, as no alternative would have remained, the undersigned would have been directed to demand his passports, the President of the United States would have submitted the whole case to Congress, and called upon the nation to assert its just rights, and avenge its injured honor.
The destinies of the Mexican republic, however, having since been committed to other hands, the President is unwilling to take a course which would inevitably result in war, without making another effort to avert so great a calamity. He wishes, by exhausting every honorable means of conciliation, to demonstrate to the civilized world that, if its peace shall be disturbed, the responsibility must fall upon Mexico alone. He is sincerely desirous to preserve that peace; but the state of quasi hostility which now exists on the part of Mexico is one which is incompatible with te dignity and interests of the United States; and it is for the Mexran government to decide whether it snall give place to friendly negotiation, or lead to an open rupture.
It would be idle to repeat the arguments which the undersigned had the honor to present in his notes of the 20th and 24th December, above referred to. He has nothing to add to them, but is instructed again to present them to the consideration of the President ad interim of the Mexican republic, General Mariano Paredes y Arrillago.
The undersigned begs leave to suggest, most respectfully, to your excellency, that inasmuch as ample time has been afforded for the most mature reflection upon the momentous interests involved in the question of his recognition, as little delay as possible may occur in notifying him of the final decision of his excellency the President ad interim. He cannot but indulge the hope that it will be such as to result in the establishment of cordial and lasting amity between the two republics.
The undersigned avails himself of this opportunity of presenting to his excellency Don Joaquim Castillo y Lanzas the assurances of his distinguished consideration,
JOHN SLIDELL. To his Excellency Don JOAQUIM CASTILLO Y LANZAS,
Minister of Foreign Relations and Government.
Mr. Buchanan to Mr. Slidell.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, March 12, 1846. The duplicate of your despatch No.6, of the 6th ultimo, and your despatch No. 7, have been received. In the latter you state that you shall anxiously await my definitive instructions by the " Mississippi.” It is not deemed necessary to modify the instructions which
you have already received, except in a single particular, and this arises from the late revolution effected in the government of the Mexican republic by General Paredes.
I am directed by the President to instruct you not to leave that republic until you shall have made a formal demand to be received by the new government. The government of Paredes came into existence not by a regular constitutional succession, but in consequence of a military revolution, by which the subsisting constitutional authorities were subverted. It cannot be considered as mere continuance of the government of Herrera. On the contrary,
the form of government has been entirely changed, as well as the high functionaries at the head of the administration. The two governments are certainly not so identical that the refusal of the one to receive you ought to be considered conclusive evidence that such would be the determination of the other. It would be difficult, on such a presumption, in regard to so feeble and distracted a country as Mexico, to satisfy the American people that all had been done which ought to have been done to avoid the necessity of resorting to hostilities.
On your return to the United States, energetic measures against Mexico would at once be recommended by the President; and these might fail to obtain the support of Congress, if it could be asserted that the existing government had not refused to receive our minister. It would not be a sufficient answer to such an allegation that the government of Herrara had refused to receive you, and that you were therefore justified in leaving the country, after a short delay, because, in the meantime, the government of Parades had not voluntarily offered to reverse the decision of his prede
The President believes that for the purpose of making this demand, you ought to return to the city of Mexico, if this be practicable consistently with the national honor. It was prudent for you to leave it during the pendency of the late revolution, but this reason no longer continues. Under existing circumstances, your presence there might be productive of the most beneficial consequences.
The time when you shall ask to be received by the government of Parades is left to your own discretion. The President thinks this ought to be done speedily, unless good reasons exist to the contrary. Your demand ought to be couched in strong but respectful language. It can no longer be resisted on the ridiculous pretence that your appointment has not been confirmed by the Senate.
I transmit you, herewith, a sealed letter from the President of the United States, accrediting you in your official character, to General Parades as President ad interim of the Mexican republic. An open copy of the letter is also enclosed, which you will communicate to the minister for foreign affairs, with a request for him to name a time for you to present the original to the acting President
In regard to the time of your departure from the Mexican republic, the President is willing to extend your discretion. In the present distracted condition of that republic, it is impossible for those at a distance to decide as correctly what ought to be your course in this particular as you can yourself upon the spot. The intelligence which you have communicated, that the department of Sinaloa Bas declared its independence," " that the garrison of Mazatlan has pronounced against Parades,” and “that the authorities of the departments of Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, Chihuahua, Michoacan, and Queretaro have protested in strong terms against the usurpation of Parades, and, refusing to continue in the exercise o their functions, have dissolved," may well exercise an influence
your decision. Indeed, you suppose that appearances justify the belief that Parades will not be able to sustain himself until the meeting of the constituent congress; that his government will perish from inanition, if from no other cause.
In this critical posture of Mexican affairs, it will be for yourself to decide the question of the time of your departure according to events as they may occur. If, after you shall have fulfilled your instructions, you should indulge a reasonable hope that by continuing in Mexico you could thus best subserve the interests of your country, then you ought to remain, provided this can be done with honor. The President reposes entire confidence in your patriotism and discretion, and knows that no temporary inconvenience to yourself will prevent you from performing your duty. It may be that, when prepared to take your departure, another revolution might be impending, the result of which would enable you, by a timely interposition, to accomplish the great objects of your mission. Besides, in the present distracted condition of Mexico, it is of importance that we should have an able and discreet agent in that country to watch the progress of events, and to communicate information on which the department may rely. Jalapa is probably not so favorable a position for observation as the city of Mexico.
Mr. Slidell to Mr. Buchanan.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Jalapa, March 18, 1816. On the 15th instant I received from the minister of foreign relàtions a reply to my communication of the 1st instant, of which you have already been advised.
It is a peremptory refusal to receive me in the capacity of envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary. I have consequently, in conformity with your instructions, applied for my passports, and, 80 soon as they are received, I shall proceed to Vera Cruz, there to embark for New Orleans. Í send you copies of the note of the minister of foreign relations, and of my reply.
The state of affairs in this country has not materially varied since . I had the honor of addressing you on the 1st instant. The downward course of the Paredes government is continued with accelerated speed. I do not think that he can sustain himself until the period fixed for the meeting of his constituent congress; and I should not be surprised at his ejection from his usurped power at a much earlier day. My letters from the capital all concur as to the extreme precariousness of his tenure of office, and the great excitement that exists not only there, but throughout the departments. The apprehension of his intention to introduce an alien
monarchy has excited the public mind to a degree of which I had not considered it capable.
I am at a loss whether to ascribe his refusal to receive me, at a moment when his position is so critical, to the dread of having the pretext which he had so successfully used against Herrera employed against himself, or to a reliance upon foreign intervention. Perhaps his motive may be a mixed one.
As to any changes of rulers in Mexico, I look upon them as a matter of great in difference. We shall never be able to treat with her on fair terms until she has been taught to respect us. tainly was proper to place us in the strongest moral position before our own people and the world, by exhausting every possible means of conciliation; but here all amicable advances are considered as indicative either of weakness or treachery.
The next movement will probably be a "pronunciamento” of the federal party sustained by a portion of the army. It is said, and (strange as it may appear) on good authority, that the expelled dictator Santa Anna will be invited to head this liberal movement.
The leading military men are in his favor, and, should he accept the invitation, he will have little difficulty in putting down Parades.
[Enclosure No. 1.-Translation.]
Mr. Castillo y Lanzas to Mr. Slidell.
National Palace, Mexico, March 12, 1846. The undersigned, minister of foreign relations and government of the republic, has the honor to acknowledge receipt of the note addressed to him from Jalapa, under date of the 1st instant, by his excellency John Slidell, appointed minister plenipotentiary and enToy extraordinary of the United States of America.
So soon as the said communication was received by the undersigned, he proceeded to communicate it to his excellency the President'ad interim; and he, after deliberately considering its contents, and maturely meditating upon the business, has seen fit to order the undersigned to make known to Mr. Slidell, in reply, as be now has the honor of doing, that the Mexican government cannot receive him as envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to reside near it.
And here the undersigned might terminate his note, if reasons of great weight did not convince him of the necessity of making some reflections in this place; not through fear of the consequences which may result from this decisive resolve, but through the respect which he owes to reason and to justice.
It is true that this warlike display with which the American Union presents herself—by sea, with her squadrons on both coasts; by land, wi:h her invading forces advancing by the northern frontiers;