Mr. Chase to Mr. F. W. Seward

No. 9.]

Sir: I have the honor to enclose herewith a copy of a note (No. 1) from the prefect of this city, and my reply thereto, (No. 2,) by which you will perceive that the imperial minister of foreign relations instructs the prefect to cause the commissions of all consuls to be presented to him, and, in the event of non-compliance, the offender is to understand that he is to abstain from all consular privileges.

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You will doubtless recollect that I was recognized by President Juarez at San Luis Potosi, and as my commission will be examined in this office to-morrow, I shall withhold that recognition from the ruling authorities here, and I am apprehensive that difficulties may be thrown in my way to prevent the exercise of my consular prerogatives, and I beg that you will be pleased to instruct me as to the proper course to be pursued, so that I may carry out the views of our government should my fears be realized.

I have reason to believe that the whole force of the ministerial despatch upon this subject is aimed at this consulate, in order that the question of consular recognitions may be at once contested between the imperial government of Mexico and that of the United States.

I have the honor to be, sir, with great esteem and respect, your most obedient servant,


Hon. Frederick W. Seward, Assistant Secretary of State, Washington.

Mr. De la Serna to Mr. Chase

No. 1.]

Mr. Consul: The political chief of this department, from the city of Victoria, advises this prefecture, in a note dated the 2d instant, as follows:

“His excellency the minister of state and foreign affairs advises this chief political prefecture, under date 18th January ultimo, what I here copy. ‘It has come to the knowledge of the ministry that there are persons in the territory of the empire who are acting as consular agents without having obtained the customary exequatur, neither from his Majesty’s government nor from that of the old Mexican republic, before its departure from this capital, contravening, by so doing, the established usages and violating the laws relative to this matter . Your honor will be pleased to invite, in a very attentive manner, the persons who are exercising those functions in the territory under your command, in order that they may present to you their patent or authorization, and after taking notice of the same you will give an account of its result. Those who do not present these documents, you will make them understand they have to abstain from all consular functions. Your honor will take care of the strict compliance of this ordinance, and you will give an account to this minister of the abuses of this kind which they may have committed or may commit.’ And I enclose it to you, in order that in that district it may be strictly complied with, giving me an account of its results.”

And I have the honor to communicate it to you for your knowledge and the end herein expressed.

God guard you for many years.


The Secretary, P. S. Garera.

Mr. Consul General Of the United States of the North, Present.

Mr. Chase to Mr. Serna

No. 2.]

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 11th instant, in relation to consuls, and in reply thereto I have to acquaint you that in the month of December, 1836, I took charge of this consulate as vice-consul, was promoted by the President to the rank of consul in August, 1842, and to the rank of consul general in the early part of June, 1863, and that the respective commissions are now filed in this consulate, subject to your inspection, should your honor deem such inspection necessary.

I have the honor to be, with the highest consideration, sir, your most obedient servant,


Hon. Jesus de la Serna, “Prefecto Publico” of the Southern District of Tamaulipas, &c., &c., &c.