Mr. Corwin to Mr. Seward.

No. 32.]

Sir: Since the date of my despatch No. 31, Mr. Doblado has resigned his position of secretary for foreign affairs, and taken command of a detachment of troops to unite with the corps commanded by the late President Common fort. Doblado, I learn, is to be commander in chief of this army. This force is to first drive a band of freebooters out of the mountains near Guadalajara, and then hold itself ready to protect the government officials should they be driven out of this city by the defeat of Zaragoza’s army, which is to meet the French should they advance on this city.

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The French forces, about seven thousand in number, are occupied and fortified at Orizaba, about ninety miles from Vera Cruz, and one hundred and eighty miles from this city. There are various accounts as to the number of re-enforcements to come from France. One account sets them down at 10,000, the other at 20,000. Adopting either number, they will have much difficulty in reaching this city without defeat or great loss. Zaragoza has now under him full fifteen thousand men, most of them inured to war, especially guerilla war, for which the Mexicans, in general, are well qualified. And this is the very kind of war most useful in harassing an army on a long march through such a country as the French must pass through on their march to Orizaba to this city. If the government should be driven from this place by the failure of Zaragoza to check or repulse the French, then it will fly to the nearest safe position in one of the States, most probably to Morelia, a distance of about two hundred miles from Mexico. Then I am satisfied it is the policy of France to set up some government in the capital, call it the government de facto, treat with it and retire. This, I think, is the most likely to be the end of “intervention,” especially should the French force their way to this capital. If they should not, it is certain, judging from the temper and known characteristics of the French people, that large armies will be sent here, and an idefinite expenditure of money will be required to carry on successively a war of one year or more, to achieve the complete conquest of this country.

If, however, in the meantime the northern forces in the United States shall succeed in gaining a decisive victory over the south, so as to forbid all hope of a division of our Union, I agree with the universal opinion of discerning minds here, both native and foreign, that France will find some honorable way of ridding herself at once from her Mexican troubles. In short, there are satisfactory reasons for believing that the fate of Mexican interests involved in the present contest will be determined favorably, or otherwise, as the tide of conflict in the United States shall set one way or the other. For these reasons all classes here wait with intense anxiety the result of a general battle at Richmond. We have heard nothing from that quarter since General McClellan changed the position of his besieging force, and hope with tremulous uncertainty of mind to get some good news by the forthcoming mail of the British packet, which was due at Vera Cruz yesterday, and will probably reach this city by the 30th instant.

Mr. Fuerute, late minister to France, who was so unceremoniously treated lately by the imperial government at Paris, succeeds Mr. Doblado in the department of foreign affairs here. He is a gentleman of good education, great probity, and fine talent. We here, after reading the British “blue book,” are at a loss to know how the British and Spanish governments can permit the French to give a turn to the objects of the joint intervention at war with the joint treaty agreed to at London; yet they both look on and see the French attempt with arms to overthrow the established government of Mexico, which they both assert is a plain infraction of the treaty agreed to by France with them, upon which basis joint intervention was moved.

If the Mexican government had money to maintain and arms to equip troops, it could easily bring into the field fifty thousand effective men. But they have neither money nor arms ; and hence, in a contest with a rich and warlike nation, they must be regarded as dependent on the justice of a possible conqueror.

I have been asked to send home a supplemental treaty extending the time of ratification agreed on by the treaty of the 6th of April last. This is urged on the ground that a great and favorable change in our situation may take place after the 6th of October next, when the ratification of our treaty (now on the table of the Senate) expires. And, secondly, if it is not likely that the treaty will ever be ratified, while it is pending and not rejected, Mexico will seem to [Page 770]have one friend, and they be left to hope; whereas, if it be rejected, she will be reduced to despair of either friendly feelings or aid from any quarter.

Your obedient servant,


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

A 1, Despatch No. 32.

Sir: The representatives of the United States of America, of the republic of Ecuador, of his Majesty the King of the Belgians, of the republic of Peru, and of Venezuela, have the honor of addressing your excellency with the purpose of seriously calling your attention to the pamphlet recently published in this city by the Seńor Diputado Don Ygnacio Manuel Attimirano, entitled “Some words with reference to Mr. Wagner.”

The unusual manner in which the author of this pamphlet speaks of foreign governments and their representatives accredited to the government of Mexico, using for his purpose language opposed to the usages and customs of all civilized countries in which the consideration due to the high character with which a diplomatic representative is invested is never forgotten—these considerations have induced the undersigned to address to your excellency the present collective note, persuaded as they are that your excellency, as well as the President of the republic, have seen with displeasure the pamphlet to which they refer. The undersigned do not doubt that the Mexican government will take the measures which will be proper not only for the present case, but also those which may be necessary to prevent similar attacks hereafter against foreign representatives; since, if this be not done, it will be impossible to maintain the good harmony and perfect understanding which ought always to subsist between Mexico and frienly nations.

In addressing this note to your excellency, the undersigned would remark that the publication complained of derives its peculiar significancy from the fact that the supreme government of Mexico has assumed the entire control of the public press, and has actually, within the past few months, suppressed the issuing of two newspapers for having published articles which it deemed injurious to the public interests.

The article relative to Mr. Wagner, the minister of Prussia, having been published in pamhhlet form, and afterwards reproduced in two of the public papers of this city, without having been noticed by the public authorities, in the eyes of the world, will, we fear, be looked upon as being approved by the government. The undersigned would therefore most seriously call the attention of your excellency to the propriety and necessity of preventing such attacks upon the representatives of foreign governments resident in Mexico.

The undersigned avail themselves of this occasion to offer to your excellency the assurances of their distinguished consideration.

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[Translation A 2, Despatch No. 32.]

The undersigned, chief clerk of the department of foreign relations and government, in charge of its duties, in reply to the collective note which messieurs the representatives of the United States of America, of the republic of Ecuador, of his Majesty the King of the Belgians, of the republics of Peru and of Venezuela, have thought proper to address to him in reference to the pamphlet which has been recently published in this capital by the deputy, Don Ignacio Manuel Altimirano, has the honor, after having laid its contents before the citizen president, and having received his superior opinion, to inform his excellency Mr. Thomas Corwin and the other worthy representatives who subscribe to the aforesaid communication, that as soon as it was known in this department that this publication had been made, it was ordered that it should be denounced by the censor of the press, agreeably to the law; and that recently, and in deference to the wishes expressed in their joint note, the order has been renewed in like manner that the copies of the said pamphlet be collected together, and that hereafter the same may be done with any other publication of whatsoever character, which may contain anything injurious or offensive to the foreign governments or to their accredited representatives near the government of this republic.

The undersigned avails himself of this occasion to renew to his excellency Mr. Corwin, and to his worthy colleagues, the assurances of his very distinguished consideration.


His Excellency Thomas Corwin, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States of America.

[Translation A 3, Despatch No. 32.]

The undersigned, chief clerk of the department of foreign relations, in charge of its duties, has the honor to transmit to his excellency the envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of the United States of America, for his information and that of his colleagues the representatives of the friendly powers accredited near this government, three copies of the same number of official communications, which, under date of yesterday, the censor of the press, the citizen Francisco Lazo Estrada has addressed to this department, with reference to the articles published against Mr. Wagner.

The undersigned avails himself of this opportunity to renew to his excellency Thomas Corwin the assurances of his very distinguished consideration.


His Excellency Thomas Corwin, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States of America, Dean of the Diplomatic Corps.

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Office of the Censor of the Press for the District of Mexico.

To the citizen., minister of foreign relations and government:

Sir: In virtue of your superior order, which I have just received, I have proceeded to denounce the pamphlet which has positively been published under the title of “Some observations to Mr. Wagner in reference to what has occurred with Mr. Altimirano, by Alfred Chavero,” commanding, also, the judge to collect the copies and to issue the proper orders to prevent its sale and circulation, and also that of any other printed similar document. To that end I have again given notice to publishers of the article relative to the law of the press, which forbids them, under penalties, to consent to the circulation of any printed matter before the censor shall have received the first copy which may be printed. Liberty and reform. Mexico, August 15, 1862.


A true copy.