Mr. Corwin to Mr. Seward.

No. 18. ]

Sir: Yesterday I received your despatch No. 37. The first of the two conditions upon which a loan may be made, as set forth in your despatch, I have reason to fear will be very difficult of arrangement.

I have understood that both France and England have declined to accept our proffered guarantee, alleging as a reason that they deem it improper to complicate their Mexican affairs with those of any other government. Acting on this state of fact, the Mexican government proposed to me that they could afford to part with enough of their revenue to secure the interest on their foreign debt, provided when this was done they could be sure of the aid of our credit to them of a given sum, to be paid in such payments as the exigencies of their government might require. With a view to comply with their request, and at the same time to get rid of intervention by the allies, I so arranged the treaty (a copy of which I sent to the department) that the whole amount to be loaned should be paid to Mexico at such times and in such amounts as to avoid the probability of a bad use being made of these funds. The payments would have been so small that the actual and proper necessities of the government would absorb them. But I shall await the action of the Senate before I agree to any proposition that may be submitted to me.

As you will have seen a preliminary treaty has been made, a copy of the articles is herewith enclosed. I have the strongest assurances that the English and Spanish commissioners are determined to “adhere to the text of the triple treaty,” and the copy of the preliminary arrangement seems to give proof of the sincerity of this declaration. But while I rely strongly on these assurances, coupled with the acts of the commissioners to which I refer, I cannot understand how these friendly acts consist with the sending of 6,000 additional troops here after the Emperor has been, or might have been, fully informed of all that has been done or said here. It is possibly capable of explanation upon the supposition that a better treaty for France may be made in the presence of these troops than could be obtained in their absence.

Thus far not a hostile gun has been fired ; and the troops now here are quartered in healthy positions, and are said to be the guests of Mexico. Negotiations are to open at Orizaba on the fifteenth of April. It will be easy to know the ultimate end of this enterprise when the propositions of the allies, in detail, are submitted. It is not improbable that the recent northern victories may have some influence in mitigating the rigorous demands of Spain, and perhaps of France also. I speak from a very careful investigation made by myself, when I say that the money demands of England are in the main, if not altogether, just. I am not surprised that her patience is exhausted. Those of France are comparatively small, very small, so far as they arise out of previous treaties; and those dependant on claims of more recent date, and not included in former treaties, are, as presented, so enormously unjust as to be totally inadmissable as to the amounts claimed. The treaty with Spain made by General Almonte is said to be an outrageous fraud, but I know nothing of the facts except from report—too vague to be relied on All these are now to undergo a scrutiny, which I hope may end in a reasonably just arrangement.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

I shall write more fully by the courier, via Vera Cruz, who leaves on the 25th instant.

I am your obedient servant,


Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State of the United States, Washington, D. C.

[Page 731]


Senor Teran to the governors of the several States of Mexico.

To the citizen governor of the state of————

I have the honor to enclose to you a copy of the preliminary stipulations signed by the citizen Manuel Doblado, minister of foreign relations, and by the commissioners of the allied powers, and which have been this day approved by the citizen president of the republic.

The commissioners of said powers, in view of the circumstances of the country, and of the explanations given by the government respecting its resources, its strength, and the stability which assure to it the consummation of the reform made in all nations at the expense of sacrifices more sanguinary and lasting than those which it has cost the republic, but the more solid basis among all of them of its stability, peace, and prosperity, have comprehended that the subjects of their governments do not need the support of force to enjoy the guarantees which treaties insure them, and, keeping aloof from the internal policy of the nation, will be content to treat upon the pending claims and existing differences between said powers and the republic.

As the constitutional government is willing to satisfy these claims to the extent that justice requires, and hopes that said powers will place a like limit to their demands, it flatters itself that all the foreign questions of the republic will obtain a prompt and satisfactory adjustment. After this it will be enabled to devote itself exclusively to put a stop to the few remaining causes of misunderstanding and disorder which the recent glorious war of reform has left behind it; and, by securing more and more the security and welfare of both citizens and foreigners, it hopes the era of prosperity will dawn in the republic which everywhere has followed the reform.

The citizen president, whose faith in the destiny of the nation has never faltered, confides in that you and all the inhabitants of your state will sustain him, by seeing that foreigners shall enjoy complete security in their persons and property, and that the public spirit may be sustained, as heretofore, firm and resolute, in the event, which he does not anticipate, that an amicable settlement of the questions about to be discussed should not be realized.

I renew to you my esteem and consideration.


Preliminaries agreed upon between the Count de Reus and the minister of foreign affairs of the Mexican republic.

1st. Inasmuch as the constitutional government, which actually governs throughout the Mexican republic, has manifested to the commissioners of the allied powers that it does not need the assistance which they have so generously offered to the Mexican people, it having within itself the elements of power and public opinion to sustain itself against any intestine revolution, the allies immediately enter upon the ground of treaties to draw up all the claims which they have to present in the name of their respective nations.

2d. To that end, and the representatives of the allied powers protesting, as they do protest, that they do not attempt anything against the independence, [Page 732]sovereignty, and integrity of the territory of the republic, the negotiations will be opened at Orizaba, to which city the commissioners will repair, and also two of the ministers of the government of the republic, excepting in the case that, by mutual consent, it should be agreed upon to appoint representatives delegated by both parties.

3d. During the negotiations the forces of the allied powers shall occupy the three towns of Cordoba, Orizaba, and Tehuacan, with their natural radii.

4th. In order that it may not, even in the most remote manner, be believed that the allies have signed these preliminaries in order to procure for themselves the passage of the fortified positions which the Mexican army holds, it is stipulated that, in the unfortunate event of the breaking off of the negotiations, the forces of the allies shall withdraw from the aforesaid towns, and will again occupy the line which is in front of said fortifications in the direction of Vera Cruz, the principal extreme points being those of the Paso Ancho, on the Cordoba road, and the Paso de Ovejas, on the Jalapa road.

5th. Should the unfortunate event occur of the breaking off of the negotiations and of the withdrawal of the allied forces to the line indicated in the preceding article, the hospitals which the allies may have there shall remain under the safeguard of the Mexican nation.

6th. On the day on which the allied forces shall commence their march to occupy the points mentioned in article 2d the Mexican flag shall be raised in the city of Vera Cruz and upon the castle of San Juan de Ulloa.

La Soledad, nineteenth of February, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two.






The above preliminaries are approved.

A. DE SALIGNY. The above preliminaries are approved.


Mexico, February 23, 1862.

I approve these preliminaries, in virtue of the ample powers with which I am invested.

BENITO JUAREZ, President of the Republic,
JESUS TERAN, Minister of Foreign and Home Affairs.