Mr. Romero to Mr. Seward

Mr. Secretary: I have the honor to transmit you the copy of a communication I received to-day from Mr. Lerdo de Tejada, minister of foreign affairs of the Mexican republic, dated in the city of Chihuahua the 21st of November last, informing me of the return of the constitutional government of Mexico to that city.

I also send you a supplement to No. 121 of the official paper of that government, published the same day with the circular of the minister of relations to the state governors, informing them of the restoration of the federal government in Chihuahua, and an article describing the enthusiastic demonstrations with which President Juarez was received by the inhabitants of that city.

Recent events in Chihuahua give the best proof of the instability of the edifice the French are trying to erect in Mexico. On the last of August a considerable French army approached the city, and the national government was compelled to abandon it; the invading army took possession of, but could not hold it, and soon afterwards left; constitutional order was established the same day, without the aid of any armed Mexican force, in the place or near it; the chief of the nation soon returned, and was received with the greatest demonstrations of joy, as the true representative of national independence, a blessing they now appreciated the more as it was so near being lost.

I must also remit to you the copy of a letter written from Chihuahua, the 27th of October, by the Mexican citizen Jesus Escobar y Armendariz, who was formerly attached to this legation, and was a victim of French persecution on account of his patriotism in Chihuahua, the 16th of September last, the anniversary of Mexican independence, and to whom I referred in my note of the 12th of November last to your department.

The simple account Mr. Escobar y Armendariz gives of the sufferings he endured by reason of his love for his country, and his resolute determination not to submit to the absurd pretensions of the invading tyrant, show the exact feelings of the Mexican people in regard to French intervention, and that like him, there are many other citizens whose sufferings are not known to us.

I profit by this occasion to renew to you, Mr. Secretary, the assurances of my most distinguished consideration.


Hon. William H. Seward, &c., &c., &c.

[Page 47]
No. 1.


Department of Foreign Relations and Government, Bureau of Relations–Section for America–No. 393.

As you will see by the circular issued yesterday from this department, and inserted in the printed paper accompanying this note, the President of the republic left Paso del Norte the 13th of this month, and reached this city yesterday, where he has determined to fix the residence of the national government for the present.

You will also see in the same paper an account of the public demonstrations on the reception of the President, which furnishes a new proof of the patriotic sentiments of the generality of Mexicans against French intervention.

I protest to you my attentive consideration.


Matias Romero, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of the Mexican Republic.

No. 2.

[Supplement to No. 121 of the official paper of the constitutional government of the Mexican republic, Chihuahua, November 21, 1865.—Translation.]

Department of Foreign Relations and Government.


The citizen President of the republic left El Paso del Norte the 13th of this month, and arrived in this city to-day, where he has determined to locate the national government for the present.

The foreign invader remained but a few days at a time at any place in the very patriotic State of Chihuahua, and soon withdrew, without leaving a single officer to organize a government. He has thus been obliged to confess his inability to extend his dominion over the State and keep it; and that if, unfortunately, he found a few ungrateful children in Mexico, he found the great majority rejected the foreign yoke, that has only been imposed where bayonets could penetrate. The temporary plan of intervention will soon disappear from every part of the territory.

The President of the republic has returned to this capital amid the greatest patriotic demonstrations of its citizens; and he will continue to do his duty, as he always has done, in adversity as in prosperity, sustaining the cause of independence and the institutions of the republic.


Citizen Governor of the State of——.

No. 3.


Reception of the President of the republic in the city of Chihuahua.

The return of the President of the republic to, the capital of this State, where he arrived yesterday morning, has given a new impulse to the well-known patriotic sentiments of the inhabitants of this city.

The governor of the State, the city council, and a large number of distinguished citizens went out as far as Nombre de Dios to receive the supreme magistrate of the nation.

This procession met that from El Paso, with the supreme government. The President’s carriage, containing himself and Governor Luis Terraza, took the lead.

Crowds of people afoot, on horses, and in carriages, joined the procession all along the road and went as far as the northern limit of the city. There were many ladies in carriages. On the way from the city boundary to the national palace streamers of national colors were fixed on staffs at intervals. The national guard, composed of merchants and artisans, formed a square and received the chief magistrate of the nation with great honor. The doors and windows of the houses were decorated with curtains. The houses, the streets, the roofs, the squares, the church of San Francisco, and the college were crowded with people, who gave unequivocal evidence of the pleasure they took in a celebration which seemed a solemn vindication of outraged national rights. The ringing of bells, the bursting of rockets, and [Page 48] other demonstrations of political enthusiasm completed the beautiful picture we are attempting to delineate.

The entry to the national palace presented a still more imposing sight, as beautiful as unusual. The principal ladies of the city, numbering more than fifty, elegantly dressed, were arranged in two rows, waiting for the President of the republic. Venerable matrons and young beauties contributed their homage of exquisite delicacy to the representatives of patriotic nationality, which it was almost impossible to behold with dry eyes.

When the patriots and ladies had assembled in the principal hall, young Julio Jaurrieta read a feeling and sympathetic poem to the President, congratulating him on his constancy and abnegation. The interpreter for the ladies’ congratulations had the special recommendation to be one of those deserving young men who provoked the anger of the French and suffered their insults for having celebrated the 16th of September last with expressions of dislike to foreign rule.

President Juarez, deeply moved, expressed his thanks for these attentions, and praised the ladies of Chihuahua, saying no nation could perish whose inhabitants had mothers, sisters, and daughters, such models of virtue and patriotism.

Before the ladies withdrew, the President of the republic requested them to join him in a toast, in which he wished again to express his gratitude for the attentions of the fair sex, examples worthy of imitation by those who ought always to respect the supreme authority.

The poor of the city, in their turn, came to greet the President, who was much pleased at this demonstration of esteem.

At two in the afternoon a sumptuous table was spread by the governor and military commander of the State, to welcome the President’s return to the city. It was attended by the refugees accompanying the President and the notabilities of the city.

This banquet, elegantly arranged and served, was prepared by the first ladies of the city, who wanted to offer this additional testimony of their esteem for their worthy President.

At table many toasts were drunk to the President of the republic, to the ministers of relations and government of justice and the treasury, to the State governor, General Ignacio Mejia, Judge Laureano Muñoz and many others.

Most of the toasts were in honor of Chihuahua, for her noble conduct in opposing the invasion and French intervention, not only with arms, but morally, refusing to act with them in any way, so that they had to retire without organizing a government, and followed by a few vile traitors. The other toasts were to the happy return of the President of the republic to the city; for the prompt conclusion of the difficulties; to the memory of Generals Meoqui and Ojinaga; to the men who celebrated the 16th of September; to their distinguished companion and patriot Jesus Escobar y Armendariz, the victim of French fury; for the punishment of the unfortunate Ojinaga’s assassins; and for brave citizens everywhere who are disposed to sustain the glorious work of preserving national independence.

The dinner closed about dark, and the greatest cordiality and animation reigned through the entire repast. At night the whole city was illuminated.

The 20th of November, 1865, will be a memorable day in the history of Mexico, on account of this celebration, showing the good will and enthusiasm, the exquisite delicacy of the capital of the State of Chihuahua, after letting the invaders know that brute force is not enough to subject national will, in receiving the President of the republic, whose athority, without coercion, rests solely upon the love of the people, a love which he will always try to win and to merit, with the firm determination to consecrate all his cares and labors to the post that has been conferred upon him, and to defend the independence and sovereignty of the nation.

No. 4.

Mr. Escobar to Mr. Romero

Much Esteemed Friend: On the 16th of September a mass was said at the tomb of Hidalgo, attended by the greater part of the citizens of Chihuahua. The ladies clad in mourning, a flag at half-mast, and black crape in token of a nation’s mourning, and that of the State for the death of the young governor, Ojuraga, were the sole adornments of the altar; tears and flowers were the offerings to Hidalgo.

This was worth more than a victory to the national cause, although I was the victim. I was dining with twenty of my friends, on the evening of the 16th, celebrating, in our way, the anniversary of independence, when the police fell upon us, with orders to arrest me—me only—as the leader of the movement; but my friends would not leave me, but all agreed to go to prison with me. Then the judge came, seized our flag, the prime offence, and sent us to jail, where we remained eight days, when all were set at liberty but me, who had to pay [Page 49] a fine of one thousand dollars. General Brincourt sentenced me to one month’s close confinement at hard labor, and could not be induced to release me, though the merchants liberally offered large sums of money to procure my discharge. So I had to sweep the streets for a month; at first the square, and then the street where the general lived. Ladies came out to give me flowers, and I was having a good time in the streets where I had to work, when, to stop it, an order was issued, commanding any lady to be taken to prison who offered me flowers, or any other attention; and the time was discounted, and 1 had to begin again every time I admitted such attentions. So these attentions were postponed till I should be liberated; but, alas, who could tell when that would be? When my term of service was out, instead of being set at liberty, I received an order of banishment because (and the judge read the despatch to me) I had openly refused to submit to the empire. In fact, I had told the general frankly I could not adhere to a government so opposed to my principles, particularly when he had said he would respect opposing opinions, and not prosecute those who entertained them; and he positively promised, after confessing that I was subject to no penalty for what I had said, that I should not be molested provided I kept the peace. This was necessary, as I had to be tried by court-martial on the 1st of this month if I did not present myself. The fact is, I am yet in prison, waiting for my order to depart, without knowing where I am to go; but most probably with the general and his troops, who have begun to evacuate to-day, and will all be gone by the day after to-morrow. Mazatlan has also been evacuated; the object seems to be to concentrate the forces against the firm resistance of the native patriots. All the government officials of the empire leave with the French, as they would not be safe a single day without them. They have a great dislike to me, and who knows what is to become of me in their hands? My friends think me in great danger, but I can remain calm and firm, and will not hesitate an instant, as I consider it my holy duty to resist. If they release me, I will instantly quit them. I greet you with, my friends. I have time for no more; it is scarcely prudent to do this.

Adieu, my good friend; and may our country remain independent.


Mr. Matias Romero.