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that, having the army in his favor, he intended to organize a new 명 government in his own way.
On the 20 January Paredes entered the capital with his troops, those already stationed bere joining his triumphal march. On ihe same day, a junta of military officers, convened by him, met and established a plan of provisional government, to be administered by a President elected by a body composed of two notables from each department. These notables, nominated by Parades, met on the following evening, and, as you may readily imagine, unani mously elected him President, and, on the 4th instant, he took the oath of office. By the plan of the junta of officers, a constituent Congress was to be convened, with unlimited powers, for the esta blishment of a new government, the mode of election to be announced within eight days. Before the expiration of the eight days, the President issued a proclamation, stating that the details of the organization of the constituent Congress could not be prepared within the limited period, but that they would be prom ulgated as soon as possible. The proclamation is filled with protestations of liberal principles, and of the determination of its author to retire from public affairs so soon as the organization of the new government will permit him to do so. The papers which I have sent you present the details, into which I do not consider it necessary to enter, because no safe inference can be drawn, from any of the published declarations of Paredes, as to his real intentions. He had given the most earnest assurances of his fidelity to Herrera, and, after he raised the standard of revolt, had repeatedly, and in the most solemn manner, declared his fixed intention not to occupy any place in the government; but all his movements indicate that his purpose, for several months past, has been to place himself at the head of affairs without control or limitation. He had successfully cajoled the leaders of the revolution into an opposite belief, and now finds himself strong enough, for the moment at least, to act without them. They looked upon him as an instrument, and find him a master. It is thought by many of the best informed persons here, that the revolution was gotten up chiefly by the friends of Santa Anna, who are still numerous and influential, and that, had they not been outwitted by Paredes, the way would soon have been prepared for his return from exile and restoration to power.
Paredes has formed a cabinet composed of General Almonte, as Minister of War; Messrs. Castillo y Lanzas, of Foreign Relations; Parres, of Hacienda, and Becerra, 'of Justice, &c. With the exception of Almonte, they have not hitherto occupied any very prominent position in public affairs. Mr. Castillo y Lanzas was, some years since, chargé d'affaires at Washington. He is an intelligent and well educated gentleman, and were be permitted to exercise any control, would, as I have reason to know from free conversations with him at a time when he had no idea of being ap. pointed to his present place, be decidedly favorable to an amicable adjustment of all questions pending between the two governments.
I will not hazard any conjecture as to the probable duration of the power of Paredes. In his recent movements he has manifested tact and energy. While exercising dictatorial power, he has abstained from all ostentatious display-he has not established himself in the national palace, where the Presidents have always resided-he moves about unattended.
The civil authorities throughout the country have generally acquiesced in the new state of things, but they will be prepared to throw off the yoke, if they can secure the co-operation of a portion of the troops. Arista, who commands on the frontier of Texas, is the only generalnow openly opposed to Paredes. His command has been transferred to General de la Vega.
But the greatest difficulty with which Paredes has to contend is in the state of the finances. . Indeed, I do not see where means can possibly be found to carry on the government. The annual expense of the army alone exceeds twenty-one millions of dollars, while the entire net revenue is not more than ten to twelve millions. The amount of the public debt cannot be ascertained with any degree of precision; but it does not fall much, if at all, short of one hundred and fifty millions. On a small portion of it partial payments of interest are occasionally made; for the balance no provision whatever is thought of. The best index of the state of Mexican credit is the price of a class of securities, on which the interest, at the rate of 6 per cent. per annum, had until recently been paid with some degree of regularity, and for which a part of the import duties, supposed to be sufficient, had been specially hypothecated. They are now nominally at 25 per cent., but if offered in any quantity would not command 20 cents on the dollar. While there is a prospect of war with the United States, no capitalist will loan money at any rate, however onerous. Every branch of the revenue is already pledged in advance. The troops must be. paid or they will revolt, and any attempt to reduce the military establishment would probably be attended with the same result.
You will be surprised at the prolongation of my stay in the capital. During the progress of the revolution the roads were infested by robbers, and scarcely a diligence passed on that to Vera Cruz without being plundered. Immediately after the entry of Paredes, I applied verbally, through our consul, to the commandant general for an escort to Jalapa, but was informed that there were no disposable troops on the road. Mr. Castillo took possession of the department of foreign affairs on the 6th instant, when Mr. Black, at my request, addressed him a written application for an escort. Mr. Castillo, on the 8th instant, replied that public order not having been yet completely restored, the force necessary for the escort could not be spared, but that it would be given when the state of political affairs would permit it, of which the consul should have timely notice. I send copies of these notes, (Nos. 1 and 2.) Nothing has since been heard on this subject. I shall not be surprised to receive, in a day or two, notice of the escort being at my disposition. When received, I shall proceed,
without delay, to Jalapa. If there be any disposition on the part of those now in power to reconsider the decision of their predecessors, I feel satisfied that my absence from the capital will tend rather to accelerate than to retard its manifestation. I learn from good authority that my notes to Mr. Peña y Peña have been submitted to the council of government, but have not yet been considered.
I send the letter of Mr. Peña y Peña, addressed to you, which, being sealed, I declined forwarding until furnished with a copy. I have taken the liberty of breaking the seal. You will find the letter to be a brief summary of his note to me of 20th December.
P. S.-15th January. Mr. Black has received from Mr. Castillo notice that an escort will be furnished when required by me. I shall leave on the 17th instant, accompanied by Mr. Parrott.
[Enclosure No. 1.-Translation.]
Mexico, December 20, 1845. The undersigned, minister of foreign relations of the Mexican republic, has the honor, in answer to the note which the honorable Secretary of State of the United States did him the honor to address to him, under date of the 10th of November last, making known to him the diplomatic mission with which his excellency the President of the said States had intrusted Mr. John Slidell, near the government of this republic, to say, that, as the proposition made to this government by the American consul on the 13th of October last, that it should hear the propositions which the government of the United States might make for terminating the differences unhappily subsisting between the two republics, was accepted with the express condition that the person charged to make those propositions should come invested with powers ad hoc for that purpose; and, as those which have been conferred upon Mr. Slidell give him the character of envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary, to reside in the republic, he cannot be admitted by this government to perform his mission, inasmuch as, in the actual state of interruption of the relations between Mexico and the United States, it was necessary, before the reception of a minister of that class, that the questions which have arisen from the events in Texas should have been settled definitively, in a conciliatory and honorable manner; to this object, solely and exclusively, should the mission of Mr. Slidell have been directed; and under this supposition, as distinctly stated, the government of the undersigned was ready to receive him.
In the note this day addressed to that gentleman, are explained the reasons on which this refusal is based; and it is also declared that no variation has taken place in the sentiments expressed by
the undersigned to the consul of the United States in his confidential note of the 14th of October last; on the contrary, those sentiments are repeated; and he would have the utmost satisfaction in treating with Mr. Slidell, so soon as he should have presented credentials which authorize him exclusively to settle the differences existing between the two countries. If this object could be attained, there would be no inconvenience then in receiving him in the character of minister resident near the government of the undersigned.
In addressing the present note to the Secretary of State of the United States, the undersigned, having no doubt that the just motives which determine his excellency the president not to receive Mr. Slidell in the character in which he presents himself will be properly appreciated, seizes this occasion to offer the assurances of his distinguished consideration.
MANUEL DE LA PEÑA Y PEÑA. Hon. JAMES BUCHANAN,
Secretary of State of the United States.
Mr. Buchanan to Mr. Slidell.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, January 20, 1846. I have the honor to transmit, herewith, your commission as envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Mexican republic, under the appointment made by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.
Your despatches Nos. 2 and 3, under date, respectively, the 30th November and 17th December, have been received; and I shall await the arrival of others by the “Porpoise” with much solicitude. Should the Mexican government, by finally refusing to receive you, consummate the act of folly and bad faith of which they have affoz ded such strong indications, nothing will then remain for this government but to take the redress of the wrongs of its citizens into its own hands.
In the event of such a refusal, the course which you have determined to pursue is the proper one. You ought, in your own language, so to conduct yourself as to throw the whole odium of the failure of the negotiation upon the Mexican government; point out, in the most temperate manner, the immediate consequences of so unheard of a violation of all the usages which govern the intercourse between civilized nations; and declare your intention to remain in Mexico until you can receive instructions adapted to the exigencies of the case. This sojourn will afford you an honorable opportunity to watch the course of events, and avail yourself of any favorable circumstances. which, in the meantime, may occur. Should a revolution have taken place before the 1st of January, the day appointed for the meeting of Congress, (an event which you deemed probable,) or should a change of ministry have been effected, which you considered almost certain, this delay will enable you to ascertain the views and wishes of the new government or administration. The desire of the President is, that you should conduct yourself with such wisdom and firmness in the crisis, that the voice of the American people shall be unanimous in favor of redressing the wrongs of our much injured and long suffering claimants.
It would seem to be the desire of the Mexican government to evade the redress of the real injuries of our citizens, by confining the negotiation to the adjustment of a pecuniary indemnity for its imaginary rights over Texas. This cannot be tolerated. The two subjects must proceed hand in hand; they can never be separated. It is evidently with the view of thus limiting the negotiation that the Mexican authorities have been quibbling about the mere form of your credentials, without ever asking whether you had instructions and full powers to adjust the Texan boundary. The advice of the council of government seems to have been dictated by the same spirit. They do not advise the Mexican government to refuse to receive you; but, assuming the fact that the government had agreed to receive a plenipotentiary to treat upon the subject of Texas alone, they infer that it is not bound to receive an envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary without this limitation.
In the meantime, the President, in anticipation of the final refusal of the Mexican government to receive you, has ordered the army of Texas to advance and take position on the left bank of the Rio Grande; and has directed that a strong fleet shall be immediately assembled in the gulf of Mexico. He will thus be prepared to act with vigor and promptitude, the moment that Congress shall give him the authority.
This despatch will not be transmitted to you by the “Mississippi.” That vessel will be detained at Pensacola for the purpose of conveying to you instructions, with the least possible delay, after we shall have heard from you by the “ Porpoise," and of bringing you home, in case this shall become necessary.
Mr. Buchanan to Mr. Slidell.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, January 28, 1846. Your despatches, dated the 27th and 29th December last, (erroneously numbered 2 and 3, instead of 3 and 4,) were received at *bis department on the 23á instant.