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held in power for the space of three years the Church party, enabling them to keep the country during this time in a state of civil strife, and to prolong a struggle with the government of Juarez which otherwise might have been ended in three months. It gave to this party, moreover, the opportunity to do certain acts and commit certain enormities which, in 1861, the three great powers of Europe thought a sufficient pretence to justify an armed intervention in the affairs of Mexico. These acts and enormities were the forcible seizure of the British bondholders' money by Miramon, November 16th, 1860, the making of the Mon-Almonte treaty, so called, with Spain, and the decree of October 29, 1859, known as the Jecker Bond Contract.

The rebellion by which the Church party had lifted Miramon into power had been sustained by the money of the clergy. It was reasonable to suppose that the hoards of wealth accumulated in the Church would continue to maintain it. Not so, however. About the middle of September, 1860, the supply gave out. So Miramon, with no scruples certainly, and with but little fear of the consequences, resolved to seize upon £152,000 sterling, belonging to English bondholders, which had been deposited in the safes of the British Legation, doubly protected by the British flag and by the seals of the office bearing the arms of England. General Leonardo Marquez was charged with the expedition. Under his orders Colonel Jauregui, at the head of a party of armed men, broke into the house of the Legation, and in spite of the English flag, English seals, and the protest of the Spanish Minister, who happened to be present, took away the £ 152,000 sterling deposited there for safe-keeping by the agent of the bondholders. · About a month before this, Miramon had called together twenty-six capitalists, and had told them in pretty plain terms that he must have £100,000, with which he undertook to whip General Ortega, wlio had defeated him forty days before near the town of Silao. But this money was not enough; the Liberal army was pressing him on all sides; his mon were exasperated by their wants and defeats. So he resolved upon and accomplished the robbery of the house of the British Legation. This was substantially the ground of England's complaints against Mexico.

A year before this event occurred, September, 1859, the insurrectionary government, through Almonte, concluded a treaty at Paris with Spain, known as the Mon-Almonte treaty. This treaty recognized the validity of certain Spanish claims denied by the constitutional government. To understand the conditions of this treaty, it is necessary to bear in mind that the Mexican debt has always been divided into two branches, the internal and the external debt. The one is a privileged debt, the other subject to the fluctuations which have disturbed the government for the last forty years. The internal debt is made up of sums due to the citizens of Merico, and the government has always held that nothing could direst it of its character of a debt essentially Mexican, and to be paid in any event. The Spanish government contended that the bonds of the foreign debt, bought by foreigners in the market at the lowest price, should be placed on the same footing with the privileged debt owed by the government to its own citizens. This demand had always been resisted ; hence arose a conflict between the two governments, which, in 1857, under the presidency of Comonfort, had resulted in the temporary suspension of payment of the whole Spanish debt. But the insurgents, in order to testify their gratitude to Spain, whose sympathy had been with them, authorized Almonte to comply with this claim, so that one of the results of the triumph of the reactionary party was the MonAlmonte treaty. Upon the overthrow of the insurrection, the treaty, of course, fell to the ground. The constitutional government gave notice that it could not recognize any of the acts of the rebellion, and certainly not the treaty. This was substantially the ground of Spain's complaint against Mexico.

We now come to consider the Jecker Bond Contract, the pretext which France seized upon to justify her invasion of Mexico. Jecker was a needy Swiss banker, who came to Mexico to build up his fortune, and who in twenty years by foreigu commerce had amassed three millions of pounds. In possession of a sum so considerable, he plunged into a variety of industrial schemes, and by his speculations in 1857 he became embarrassed. But there was at that time in Mexico another man still more embarrassed. That man was Miramon.

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The Church was drained; the Liberal army was on one side of him, his own rapacious troops on the other. With empty coffers he turned to Jecker for money. The two concocted a scheme to replenish the coffers of both. It was this. On the 29th of October, 1859, a decree was published in the name of the reactionary administration, creating a paper issue of £3,000,000 sterling. By the articles of this decree, the bonds issued by it were to be received in part payment of all taxes and duties which should be imposed. It was also provided that they should bear an annual interest of six per cent, that half of the interest should be guaranteed for five years by the house of Jecker, and that the holders of old bonds could convert them into Jecker bonds by paying into the hands of Jecker a sum of twenty-five per cent for the “ revalidation" of bonds of the old internal debt, twenty-seven per cent for bonds created by the law of November 30, 1850, and twenty-eight per cent for the bonds created by the famous Peza law. Jecker, then, was the banker whose signature was to authorize the issue of the bonds. £3,000,000 were to be issued by him, but the whole amount the scheme was ever calculated to produce in the gross was but £750,000. Of this sum Jecker, for conceiving and carrying out the brilliant idea, was to receive five per cent, or one twentieth of the total issue; in other words, £150,000. He was also to receive and hold the interest which was to be paid for the loan, which was £450,000, so that in reality all that could ever get into the hands of Miramon, supposing that the contract had been carried out in accordance with the decree, was £150,000. But the contract was not carried out according to the terms of the decree of October 29, 1859. It was violated by Jecker himself. It was modified to suit his convenience. Both Jecker and the reactionary government made and unmade, acoording to their interests, the agreements they signed; but, above all, they materially altered the basis of the legislation under which they acted. Finally Jecker proposed, and Miramon accepted, a modification of the contract, by which the administration was to receive nominally the sum of £287,554. Of this sum £123,785 only was to be hard cash; the balance was made up of £73,600 for clothing furnislied the army by Miramon's nephew, of bonds, bills, credits,

– in fact, the scoriæ of all stock-jobbing operations in Mexico for the last forty years. For this sum the public treasury undertook the reimbursement of £3,720,000. In other words, Miramon was mortgaging the public revenues of the country for an indefinite period, for the purpose of hiring money at the rate of about ninety per cent. The whole transaction shows that the contract was the desperate .expedient of an expiring rebellion. It was not carried out, however, according to the last modification ; Jecker failed to execute his part of it. About the middle of May, 1860, the house of Jecker suspended payment, and the bonds passed into the hands of his creditors.

It is true that each of the allied powers made other charges against Mesico. In 1859 Marquez ordered the frightful massacre of Tacubaya. On the 8th of April, this man, with six thousand soldiers and forty pieces of artillery, laid siege to that place. At noon the same day, Miramon made a junction with him. Having carried the intrenchments and laid waste the village, they both went straight to the hospital, where the wounded of both sides lay huddled together. They found here seven surgeons, generous and devoted men. Marquez seized them, and in cold blood slaughtered them, together with all the wounded prisoners. Among these seven surgeons was one of English descent. But at the time the English Minister not only made no protest against the inhuman act, he did not think it worth the while to mention the fact; and if the British government was afterwards informed of it, it was through private correspondence.

Spain made the dismissal of M. Pacheco another ground of complaint. Juarez entered the capital, January 11, 1861, and immediately afterwards gave summary notice to the Spanish Ambassador, to the Papal Nuncio, and to the Ministers of Ecuador and Guatemala, to leave the Mexican territory, in consequence of their declared hostility to the lawful government. This act was rendered necessary by the circumstances, and justified by the conduct of the ambassadors. It in no way violated international law, for if governments may refuse admission into their territory to foreign agents on the ground of suspicion that they are in league with its enemies, a fortiori they may VOL. CIII, - NO. 212.


dismiss them when these suspicions by overt acts have been changed into certainty. It was to the lawful government established at Vera Cruz that M. Pacheco should have presented his credentials. Instead of doing so, he had chosen to remit them to the chief of the rebellion. He thus divested himself of his ambassadorial character, and became identified with the party whose fortunes he was bound to share.

France was not by any means behind the other two powers. She had another claim against Mexico. It was for the sum of $12,000,000, being the grand total of all reclamations, good, bad, and indifferent, made on account of various alleged wrongs committed by Mexico up to the year 1861.

But it is evident that the seizure of the British bondholders' money, the refusal to carry out the provisions of the Mon-Almonte treaty, and the plump repudiation of the Jecker contract, were the main pretexts upon which the three powers relied to justify their combined attack upon Mexico.

With respect to these grounds of complaint there is this much to be said, applicable alike to all. They were the acts of an insurgent government, done while the constitutional government was in existence, and against its protest. They could not therefore be binding upon that government. The constitutional government, so long as it existed, represented the nation. It alone had power to make contracts, sign treaties, or issue decrees, and as a consequence hold the nation to their performance. This point is beyond all possibility of dispute. It becomes an imperative necessity, therefore, to demonstrate that the real government had succumbed under the assaults of the reactionary party, before France, England, and Spain can be justified in their course.

As the last two powers have left France alone to carry on the war, it becomes necessary to say a few words more about the Jecker contract. It is readily seen that it was a transaction between the firm of Jecker and a revolutionary party, undertaken for the purpose of subverting the legitimate government. Jecker, therefore, committed the grave fault of contracting with an insurrection incapable of contracting. The whole thing was void ab initio. As a result, if the rebellion failed, Jecker must go down with it, for no government could be compelled to pay

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