Mr. Romero to Mr. Seward

Mr. Secretary: I have the honor to transmit to you, for the information of the government of the United States, copies of two letters received to-day from General Porfirio Diaz, commanding the eastern military division of the Mexican republic, dated at Atoyaquillo, State of Oaxaca, the 2d of February last—one of which is addressed to the President of the republic, and the other to me—reporting his late movements against the enemy, and the precarious condition in which he finds himself for want of means.

I avail myself of the occasion to renew to you, Mr. Secretary, the assurances of my most distinguished consideration.


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

No. 1.


Very Dear Friend: I received your estimable favor of the 18th of December to-day, and with it the communications to which you allude; the others you mention have not reached me yet.

I enclose you an open letter to the President; it and the one I wrote to Mr. Godoy, of which you must have a copy, contain the chronicle of my movements up to this time; you can refer to them.

I am sorry that you have to speak to me in such a positive way in regard to means; it deprives me of hope for the future. You say the loan “has not realized our hopes;” so I must say my hopes are gone, too. As I am in want of money, also, I can do nothing. You may be sure a very small sum now would be worth more than millions hereafter; for my men are discouraged for want of pay, and those who come to me I am obliged to send away, because I cannot arm them and support them.

* * * * * * * * *

Tehuantepec was attacked by Figueroa and the Juchitecs, and I attacked Tlaxiaco on the 6th of January: these are the only two battles this year. There was a rising in Miahuatlan on the 24th, and the rout of traitors at Silacayoapam on the 28th. Now a serious expedition is coming against me, and it is to be seen how I am to meet it. The annexed letter will give you an idea of my situation, and show you the scanty means I have to resist the Austrians and traitors that are coming down upon me.

I remain your affectionate and sincere friend,


The Citizen Matias Romero, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of the Mexican Republic in Washington.

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No. 2.


Much Esteemed and Respected Sir: Yours of the 10th of November last only reached me to-day, and with it the copy of your order restoring me to my former command. It is authenticated by our minister in Washington, and I will make known its contents to the officers commanding in different parts of the line.

You may imagine how much I need resources, and the great good I could do if I had them; but, if your situation in that particular is as bad as mine, I ask no help, only I must let you know that I need it, and will do what I can with my ragged men and their old muskets.

I send a report of my operations, from my liberation to the first of the year, to Mr. Godoy, and as he may have transmitted a copy to you, I will only relate what occurred in January.

An attack on Tehuantepec aroused Juchitan from its apathy, if it did no other good; and after what has happened, it will not soon submit to the empire again. My agents in Mihuatlan and Ejutla aroused themselves on the 24th of January, and sent me the Austrian traitor officials of the former place as prisoners.

I had an encounter on the 6th with the enemy, in the suburbs of Tlaxiaco, and obtained a few arms and horses. They lost four killed, eight wounded, four prisoners and many missing, I threatened Nocchistlan, too. My object was to bring the greater part of the forces from Oaxaca to Mixteca. In this I succeeded. I then marched to Miahuatlan, leaving a small force here, under Leiva, to prevent the enemy from going to Oaxaca from Mixteca.

On the 28th of January a party of traitors attacked Silacayoapam, and was repulsed by our national guards, leaving their leader dead upon the field. Some arms were obtained by this victory.

I might now take advantage of the people’s exasperation, but I have no means to arm and support them, and that injures my influence and disheartens the people. You must not believe that the forces I have are well armed; many of them only have lances, for that is the weapon most easily and cheaply made.

I have seen the decree prolonging the presidential term, and bringing General Gonzales Ortega to trial. The news was well received here; only Ruiz and our enemies, who hoped for a domestic disturbance, murmured, when they thus saw their expectations disappointed. Our friends in Oaxaca were more enthusiastic in regard to this matter than when they expressed their adhesion for us on another occasion.

Continue to write to me.

Ever at your command, with sincere esteem,


Citizen President Licentiate Benito Juarez.