Mr. Seward to Mr. Corwin.

No. 46.]

Sir: War, it appears, has been actually begun between France and Mexico. It is possible that it may result in an overthrow of the existing government of the republic, and the inauguration, or attempt at inauguration, of some new system. It is not the interest of the United States to be hasty in recognizing the revolutionary changes which unhappily are so frequently occurring in Spanish America. It is not always safe to judge that a new government [Page 747]among them, under whatever auspices it may arise, will prove satisfactory to the people and become permanent. At the same time, it is neither our right nor our duty to prejudge and condemn any new constitution or administration which the fortunes of internal war may call into being. In view of these considerations, the President expects that you will suspend any definite act of recognition in case of a dynastic change in Mexico, and will refer the subject to his own consideration.

It is proper to say, in this connexion, that the President, in directing these instructions, fully believes that they run parallel with your own convictions of expediency and justice.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,


Thomas Corwin, Esq., &c., &c., &c.