Mr. Corwin to Mr. Seward.

No. 19.]

Sir: I avail myself of the kindness of Dr. Bennet, who leaves at four o’clock to-morrow morning, to advise you of the present state of affairs here.

The allies are encamped in healthy positions on the table-land between Vera Cruz and Mexico. When the additional French troops arrive they will have in this country from fifteen to twenty thousand troops.

The conditions upon which I am instructed to aid Mexico will forbid me to do anything which Mexico can accept, for the following reasons: First. If (as I am instructed) the allies are to be satisfied and leave, before the desired aid is given, the public lands and church property will have to be given to them as [Page 733]security for the performance of treaty stipulations, so that the United States then would have no security for any loan of either her credit or money, and I have not yet been authorized to advance either money or credit upon the national faith of Mexico. Secondly. Mexico wants money now, pending negotiations with the allies.

These allies have said they come here to establish order and restore peace. They wait only for a plausible reason, or perhaps a pretext, to interpose their armies on one side or the other. Since they landed, the various insurrectionary chiefs have united all their forces, numbering about three thousand men. They are said now to be at Yguala, about two hundred and fifty miles from this city. To subdue these guerrillas effectually, men, and consequently money, are wanted; and this money cannot be raised here without resorting to forced loans, and the fear of this has caused those having money, for the last two years, to send their money and effects out of the reach of the government. If, then, this fragment of the church party is not put down very soon, it is feared France, and perhaps Spain, will unite in restoring it to power, and their reason given to the world will be that peace must be given to disturbed Mexico, and this was their mission.

If Mexico were able now to keep up her forces on the line to Vera Cruz, and pursue the united forces of the church party with effect, then the allies nor either of them could have no apology for armed interference.

My fear is that if the allies ever take the field to establish a government here that Mexico will henceforth be a European colony in fact. If they should, by treaty, get control of all the public lands, the same effect will, though not certainly, yet probably, follow.

We have a rumor here that New Orleans has surrendered to the north. I fear it is not true, though from intelligence recently received here from the armies of the west I had hoped New Orleans would soon be in our hands. I remain your obedient servant,


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