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find that your excellency has not given him the example. The United States can confidently appeal to the history of the events of the last twenty years as affording the most conclusive refutation of the charges of usurpation, violence, fraud, artifice, intrigue, and bad faith, so lavishly scattered through the note of your excellency.
It has never been pretended that the scheme of colonization of the territory of Texas, by citizens of the United States, was suggested by their government. It was in conformity with a policy deliberately adopted by that of Mexico, and she must accuse herself alone for results which the slightest foresight must have anticipated, from the introduction of a population whose character, habits, and opinions were so widely divergent from those of the people with whom it was attempted to amalgamate them. There is no ground for the assertion that “the United States, profiting by the generosity with which their citizens had been invited to Texas, and resolved, sooner or later, to take possession of that territory, encouraged emigration thither, with the view that its inhabitants, changing the character of colonists for that of masters, should seize upon the territory for the purpose of transferring it to the United States." It is true that no obstacles to this emigration were interposed by them, for it has ever been one of the most cherished articles of the political creed of the American people, that every citizen has the absolute and uncontrollable right to divest himself of his allegiance, and to seek, if he think proper, the advancement of his fortunes in foreign lands. Stimulated by the gratuitous allotment of lands to emigrants, and by the similarity, approaching, with the exception of religious tolerance, almost to identity, of the political institutions of the Mexican republic to those under which they had been reared, the population of Texas soon attained a developement that authorized the demand of a privilege which had been solemhly guarantied to them by the constitution of 1824-admission into the Mexican union as a separate State. A convention was held, and a State constitution formed, in conformity with the provisions of the fundamental compact of 1824. It was presented to the general congress, with a petition to be admitted into the union; the application was rejected, and the delegate imprisoned. Soon after, the constitutional congress of Mexico was dissolved by military force; the same arbitrary power convened a new congress, by which the federal constitution was abrogated, and a consolidated or central government established in its stead. Texas, as she had an unquestionable right to do, refused to acknowledge the authority of a government which had been imposed upon the other States by a successful military usurpation.
The compact which had bound her to the Mexican republic was dissolved; and, an abortive effort having been made to reduce her to subjection, she, on the 31 of March, 1836, declared herself an independent republic, and nobly sustained that declaration on the battle field of San Jacinto, by the complete defeat and destruction of a numerous and well appointed army, commanded by the president of the Mexican republic in person. She then demanded the
recognition of her independence, and asked to be annexed to the United States. The language of President Jackson, in a communication by him addressed to Congress on the subject, affords.a striking illustration of the good faith and forbearance towards Mexico which has ever characterized the conduct of the United States. He advised that no change should be made in the attitude of the United States, “if not until Mexico herself, or one of the great foreign powers, should recognise the independence of the new government, at least until the lapse of time, or course of events, should have proved, beyond cavil or dispute, the ability of the people of Texas to maintain their sovereignty, or to uphold the government constituted by them.” These overtures on the part of Texas were pending for several years, but were not entertained by the government of the United States until the period had arrived when, in the language of President Jackson, above quoted, the lapse of time and course of events had proved, beyond cavil or dispute, the ability of her people to maintain her separate sovereignty. Her independence must be considered as a settled fact, which cannot be called in question. Nearly four years since, Mr. Webster, then Secretary of State, in a despatch to the minister of the United States at Mexico, said: “ From the time of the battle of San Jacinto, in April, 1836, to the present moment, Texas has exhibited the same external signs of national independence as Mexico herself, and with quite as much stability of government. Practically free and independent; acknowledged as a political sorereignty by the principal powers of the world; no hostile foot finding rest within her territory for six or seven years; and Mexico herself refraining for all that period from any further attempt to re-establish her own authority over the territory;" three additional years of inaction on the part of Mexico elapsed, before the final action of the United States upon the question of annexation, with the assent of the same Senaie whose prudence, circumspection, and wisdom, your excellency so justly eulogizes. And if any additional sanction could have been required to a measure so evidently just and proper, it has been afforded by Mexico herself, who, through her minister of foreign affairs, Mr. Cuevas, authorized by the national Congress, on the 19th of May last, declared: “ The supreme government receives the four articles above mentioned as the preliminaries of a formal and definitive treaty; and, further, that it is disposed to commence the negotiation as Texas may desire, and to receive the commissioners which she may name for the purpose.” The first condition was, “ Mexico consents to acknowledge the independence of Texas.” True it is, that, by the second condition, Texas engaged that she would stipulate in the treaty not to annex herself, or become subject, to any country whatever. When it is recollected that this preliminary arrangement was made through the intervention of the ininisters of Great Britain and France, consequent upon the passage of the act of annexation, it cannot be denied that it was intended to apply solely to the United States; and that, while Mexico acknowledged her inability to contest the independence of Texas, and was pre
pared to abandon all her pretensions to that territory, she was in- , duced to make this tardy and reluctant recognition-not by any abatement of her hostile sentiments towards her (so called) rebellious subjects, but in the hope of gratifying her unfriendly feelings against the United States.
The undersigned cannot but express his unfeigned surprise that, in the face of this incontrovertible evidence that Mexico had abandoned all intention or even hope of ever re-establishing her authority over any portion of Texas, your excellency should have asserted that “ Texas had been an iniegral part of Mexico, not only during the long period of Spanish dominion, but since its emancipation, without any interruption whatever during so long a space of time;" and, again, that "the United States had despoiled Mexico of a valuable portion of her territory, regardless of the incontrovertible rights of the most unquestionable property, and of the most constant possession.” How weak must be the cause which can only be sustained by assertions so inconsistent with facts that are notorious to all the world; and how unfounded are all these vehement declamations against the usurpations and thirst for territorial aggrandizement of the United States! The independence of Texas, then, being a fact conceded by Mexico herself, she had no right to prescribe restrictions as to the 'form of government Texas might choose to assume, nor can she justly complain that Texas, with a wise appreciation of ber true interests, has thought proper to merge her sovereignty in that of the United States.
The Mexican government cannot shift the responsibility of war upon the United States, by assuming that they are the aggressors. A plain, unanswerable fact responds to all the subtleties and sophistries by which it is attempted to obscure the real question; that fact' is, the presence in Mexico of a minister of the United States, clothed with full power to settle all the questions in dispute between the two nations, and among them.that of Texas. Their complaints are mutual; the consideration of them cannot be separated; and they must be settled by the same negotiation, or by the arbitrament which Mexico herself has elected. With what reason does Mexico attribute to the United States the desire of finding a pretext to commence hostilities? The appearance of a few ships of war on the Mexican coasts, and the advance of a small military force to the frontier of Texas, are cited as evidence that the declarations of a desire to preserve peace are insincere. Surely it. cannot be necessary to remind your excellency that the menaces of war have all proceeded from Mexico; ard it would seem that the elevation to power of its actual government was too recent to have afforded your excellency time to forget the ostensible reasons for which that which preceded it was overthrown. The crime imputed to the then president--a crime so odious as to justify his forcible expulsion from the presidency, to which he has been but a few months previous elected with unparalleled unanimity, and in accordance with all the forms of the constitution:-was that of not having prosecuted the war against Texas, or, in other words, against the United States-a crime, of which the enormity was aggravated
in a ten-fold degree, by his having accepted the proposal of the United States to negotiate. To suppose that the present government has not always intended, and does not still intend, vigorously to prosecute an offensive war against the United States, would be. to insinuate the degrading charge of making declarations which it did not design to fulfil, with the unworthy motive of supplanting a rival.
With these avowed intentions on the part of Mexico, and, so far as words can constitute war, that state actually existing, with what fairness can she complain of precautions having been taken by the United States to guard against the attacks with which they have been menaced; so far at least as their very moderate peace establishment would permit them to do so? Are they patiently and meekly to abide the time when Mexico shall be prepared to strike, with due effect, the threatened blow?
Your excellency has alluded to the internal dissensions of Mexi. co, and accused the United States “ of taking advantage of them, beguiling its vigilance by protestations of friendship, bringing into play every kind of device and artifice, and appealing alternately to intrigue and violence." Were the disposition of the United States such as your excellency is pleased to attribute to them, they would have eagerly availed themselves of the opportunity afforded by tie first refusal to receive the undersigned; and certainly nomoment more propitious than the present to carry their ambitious schemes into effect could have been selected. Instead of availing themselves of it, they have, with a degree of forbearance that by many, perhaps by most impartial observers, will be considered humiliating, repeated the overtures for negotiation which had been rejected under circumstances the best calculated to offend national pride; and this most conciliatory advance, made by the aggrieved party, is said by your excellency to be an attempt which he cannot permit himself to call by its proper name, (una tentativa que el infrascrito no se permite calificar.) This reserve is remarkable, when contrasted with the terms of vituperation so freely employed in other parts of the note: or is it that your excellency could discover no epithet sufficiently energetic to stigmatize an offence so enormous as a renewed proposition to enter upon negotiations?
The undersigned has already exceeded the limits which he had prescribed to himself for reply. The question has now reached a point where words must give place to acts. While he deeply re-. grets a result so little contemplated when he commenced the duties of his mission of peace, he is consoled by the reflection that no honorable efforts to avert the calamities of war have been spared by his government, and that these efforts cannot fail to be properly appreciated, not only by the people of the United States, but by the world.
The undersigned begs leave to renew to his excellency Don J. M. de Castillo y Lanzas the assurances of his distinguished consideration,
JOHN SLIDELL, His Excellency Don J. M. de Castillo Y LANZAS,
Minister of Foreign Relations and Government.
Mr. Slidell to Mr. Buchanan.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Jalapa, March 27, 1846. I expected to have received my passports by the mail of this day, as an order to furnish me an escort was forwarded to the commanding general at this place by the mail which reached here on the 24th instant, and the fact of their having been issued had been announced in the journals of the capital. They have not appeared, and, as I have no letters from our consul, I am induced to believe that, from some misapprehension, they have been forwarded to Vera Cruz. I shall accordingly proceed thither to morrow, embarking immediately for the Balize, if my anticipation be correct; if not, I shall remain there until I have heard something definitive on the subject.
Letters from Mazatlan of the 4th instant state that Captain Frémont, with his corps of observation, arrived at Suter's settlement, on the Sacramento, early in January. He is said to have discovered a good wagon road to Oregon, which is much shorter than any heretofore travelled. He has gone to Monterey, in Upper California, leaving his corps on the Sacramento.
I am informed that the council of government has been deliberating on the question of issuing “patentas de corso," or letters of marque, in anticipation of hostilities with the United States. I do not learn that any final decision was made.
Parres, the Secretary of Hacienda, has resigned; ererything indicates a speedy breaking up of Paredes' government; several journals openly advocate the return of Santa Anna, and his restoration to power. The failure of Paredes to enforce against the editors his menaces of deportation to San Juan de Ulloa, or Acapulco, affords the best evidence of his weakness. He wants the power, not the will.
General Almonte has been appointed minister to Great Britain.
Letters by the mail of to day state that Paredes has found himself at last compelled to come out with a proclamation denying the intention of establishing a monarchy which have been charged against him; that the document had already been printed, but my informant could not procure a copy.