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he will learn with the greatest satisfaction that his present peculiar and most embarrassing position is the result of unintentional error on the part of the Mexican government.
The undersigned will now proceed, by precise and literal quotatation from the letter of the consul of October 13, to show, in the most conclusive manner, that the government of the Unitei States proposed to send to Mexico an envoy intrusted with full power to adjust all the questions in dispute between the two powers; and that the Mexican government, through your excellency, in the letter of October 15, declared itself disposed to receive the commissioner of the United States, who might come to this capital with full powers to settle those disputes in a peaceable, reasonable, and honorable manner. The consul, in his letter of October 13, said that, in a confidential interview with your excellency, which took place on the 11th October, he had the honor to inform your excellency that he (the consul) had received a communication from the Secretary of State of the United States; and having, in that interview, made known to your excellency the substance of said communication, your excellency, having heard and considered with due attention the statement read from the said communication, stated that, as the diplomatic relations between the two governments had been, and still were suspended,the interview should have no other character than that of a confidential meeting; to which he (the consul) assented, considering it only in that light. That your excellency then requested that he (the consul) might, in the same confidential manner, communicate in writing what had thus been made known verbally; that, in conformity with that request, he transcribed that part of the communication of the Secretary of State of the United States, which was in the following words: “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, entrusted 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."
Your excellency, under date of October 15, in reply to the consul, said: “I have informed my government of the private conference which took place between you and myself on the 1lth instant, and have submitted to it the confidential letter which you, in conBequence of, and agreeably to, waat 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, belonging to this
nation, my government is disposed to receive the commissioner of the United States, who may come to this capital with full powers 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 determination to exact adequate reparation of them, it does not repel nor undervalue the measure of reason and peace to which it is invited by its allversary."
“ 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 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 mission of the commissioner of The United States 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 recall 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."
The undersigned kas transcribed the letter of your excellency at length and verbatim, on account of the discrepancy of dates, to which he has before adverted, in order that your excellency may have an opportunity of comparing it with the copy on the files of his office. Argument and illustration would be superfluous to show that the offer of the United States was accepted by your excellency, without any other condition or restriction than that the whole naval force, then lying in sight of Vera Cruz, should be recalled. That condition was promptly complied with, and no ship of war of the United States has since appeared at Vera Cruz, excepting those which have conveyed thither the undersigned and the secretary of his legation. Nor is it the intention of his government that any should appear at Vera Cruz, or any other port of the republic on the gulf of Mexico, excepting such only as may be necessary for the conveyance of despatches. • The undersigned has said that no other condition or restriction was placed by Mr. Peña y Peña upon the acceptance of the propos tion made through the consul, than that of the withdrawal of the
naval force of the United States from Vera Cruz, because he will not do your excellency the injustice to suppose that any reliance is placed by your excellency on the mere verbal distinction between the terms envoy and commissioner, when the proposition of the United States, and the acceptance of your excellency, alike contemplated the appointment of a person entrusted with full powers to settle the questions in dispute. Indeed, your excellency admits that the title of the diplomatic agent is of no importance, by using the words commissioner and plenipotentiary ad hoc, as convertible
Your excellency repeatedly and expressly admits that the Mexican governinent accepted the proposition of the United States, made through its consul, to send an envoy to Mexico. That proposition was frank, simple, and unambiguous in its terms. If your excellency, acting as the organ of the Mexican government, intended to qualify or restrict in any degree the acceptance of the proposition, such intention should have been manifested in terms not to be misunderstood; and the undersigned uuhesitatingly rejects a supposition, which would be inconsistent with the high respect which he entertains for Mr. Peña y Peña, that our excellency did not intend to respond to the proposition in a corresponding spirit of frankness and good faith.
The answer of your excellency to the consul liaving been forwarded by him, the President of the United States promptly complied with the assurance which had been. given that an envoy would be sent to Mexico with full power to adjust all questions in dispute, by the appointment of the undersigned, thus acting in accordance with the friendly feeling which prompted the government of the United States spontaneously (as your excellency correctly observes) to make peaceful overtures to the Mexican government; for the consul, in submitting the proposition to your excelleney, sairl, in conformity with his instructions, that “if the President the United States had been disposed to stand upon a mere qis of etiquette, he would have waited until the Mexican goven. which had suspended the diplomatic relations between the 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."
The appointment of an envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary, the highest grade of diplomatic agent ever employed by the government of the undersigned, afforded renewed proof, if any such proof could have been necessary, of the sincere desire of the President of the United States to terminate the present unfortunate state of their relations with Mexico. What will be his surprise when he is informed that this additional manifestation of his friendly feeling, invited by your excellency, has been rejected by the Mexican government with contumely? for, notwithstanding the protestations of peace and good will with which the rejection of the undersigned is accompanied, he must be excused if he look to
the acts rather than the words of the Mexican government as the true exponents of its feelings.
There remains another argument on which Mr. de la Peña y Peña bases the refusal to receive the undersigned, which will be briefly noticed. Your excellency says that although it is true that, in the letter of credence of the undersigned, it is said that he is informed of the desire which the President of the United States has to reestablish, cultivate, and strengthen the friındship and good correspondence of the two countries, yet neither that clause, and still less the single word re-establish, is sufficient to give to the undersigned the special character of commissioner, or, what is equivalent, (ó bien sea,) of plenipotentiary ad hoc, to make propositions on the affairs of Texas, capable of establishing peace and avoiding the evils of war, by means of a competent arrangement. Your excellency is pleased to say, that it will not escape the discernment (ilustračion) of the undersigned that the powers of such a plenipotentiary should be relative, adequate, and confined by their terms to the business for which he is nominated, and that the nomination which has been made in his person, conferring upon him the character of a full and general minister of an ordinary plenipotentiary, to reside near the Mexican government, is very far from offering those qualities. The undersigned is free to confess that your excellency has paid an unmerited compliment to his discernment in supposing that this distinction could not have escaped him; for, by the very terms of his credentials, he is not merely an ordinary plenipotentiary, but an enroy extraordinary; and, as such, he is entrusted with full powers to adjust all the questions in dispute between the two governments; and, as a necessary consequence, the special question of Texas.
It is not usual for a minister to exhibit his powers until he has been accredited; and, even then, they are not called for until a treaty is either to be made or concluded, or a particular affair of importance negotiated. Still, had your excellency thought proper to intimate a wish to be informed on this subject, the undersigned would not have hesitated to furnish him with a copy of his powers, by which your excellency would have perceived that the undersigned is, in due form, invested with full and all manner of power and authority, for and in the name of the United States, to treat with the Mexican republic of and concerning limits and boundaries between the United Siates of America and the Mexican republic, and of all matiers and subjects connected therewith, and woich may be interesting to the two nations, and to conclude and sign a treaty or convention touching the premises.
Your excellency says the supreme government of the republic cannot admit the undersigned to the exercise of the mission which has been conferred upon him by that of the United States; but, as it has not in any degree changed the sentiments which your excellency manifested to the consul, in his communication of the 14th of October last, he now repeats them, adding that he will bave the greatest pleasure in treating with he undersigned, so soon as he sball present the credentials which would authorize him expressly
and solely to settle the questions which have disturbed the harmony and good intelligence of the two republics, and which will lead them to war if they be not satisfactorily arranged; which settlement was the object of the proposition of the government of the United Siates, and was the express condition of the Mexican government in accepting it; without it, the undersigned cannot be received in the capacity in which he presents himself, since it would compromit the honor, dignity, and interests of the Mexican republic. The undersigned concurs fully with your excellency in the opinion expressed by him, that the questions which have disturbed the harmony and gooil intelligence of the two republics will lead them 10 war, if they be not satisfactorily arranged. If this, unfortunately, should be the result, the fault will not be with the United States; the sole responsibility of such a calamity, with all its consequences, must rest with the Mexican republic.
The undersigned would call the attention of your excellency to the strange discrepancy between the sentiments expressed in the clause of his letter last cited, and the conclusion at which he arsives, that the reception of the undersigned would compromit the honor, dignity, and interests of the Mexican republie.. Your excellency says that he will bave the greatest pleasure in treating with the undersigned, so soon as the undersigned shall present credentials which would authorize him expressly and solely to settle the questions which have disturbed the harmony and good intelligence of the two republics. What are these questions? The grievances alleged by both governments; and these the undersigned is fully ein powered to adjust. Does the Mexican government, after having formally accepted the proposition of he United States, arrogate to itself the right of dictating not only the rank and title which their diplomatic agent shall bear, but the precise form of the credentials which he shall be permitted to present, and to trace out, in advance, the order in which the negotiations are to be conducted? The undersigned, with every disposition to put the most favorable construction on the language of your excellency, cannot but consider it as an absolute and unqualified repudiation of all diplomatic intercourse beiween the two governments. He fears that the Mexican government does not properly appreciate the friendly overtures of the United States, who, although anxious to preserve peace, are still prepared for war.
Had the undersigned been accredited by the Mexican government, it would have been free to choose the subjects upon which it would negotiate, subject, of course, to the discretion of the undersigned, controlled by bis instructions, to treat upon the isolated question of Texas; and, should it have been found impossible to agree upon a basis of negotiation, bis mission, which was not intended to be one of mere ceremony, would probably soon have terminated, leaving the relations of the two countries in the state in which the undersigned found them. If the undersigned had been admitted to the bonor of presenting his credentials to his excellency the President of the republic, he was instructed to assure his excellency of the earnest desire which the authorities and people of the