Mr. Plumb to Mr. Seward.
Sir: Upon the return of the national government to this capital, in July last, it was understood, though not officially announced, that it would decline to hold any intercourse with the agents of the powers who had recognized the so-called government of Maximilian.
On the part of the diplomatic representatives of course no intercourse was attempted. Some of the consuls, however, held their exequaturs from a period dating very far back. This was the case with the British consul, Mr. Glennie, who was appointed on the 2d of November, 1853, and whose exequatur was issued by Santa Anna, who was then in power, on the 4th of February, 1854. Under this exequatur he had continued to exercise his functions as consul during all the different changes of government that had occurred.
In August last, however, the question being raised, in the case of an intestate estate in his charge, which was in court, as to whether he was now recognized as in the exercise of such functions, he addressed a note to Mr. Lerdo de Tejada, who replied that he was not so recognized, as this government had decided not to recognize any representatives of any power that had been in relations with the so-called government of Maximilian.
This correspondence was sent to England in September, and instructions have now been returned, which reached here on the 7th instant, for the withdrawal of the members of the late legation and the consul, together with the archives of the legation and the consulate.[Page 392]
When Mr. Scarlett, who was accredited as British minister to Maximilian, left this country in November of last year, Mr. Middleton, secretary of the legation, remained as charge d’affaires.
In April of the present year, in common with the other members of the diplomatic corps accredited to Maximilian, he terminated relations with that so-called government. Since then he has remained here with the members of his legation, while all the other European representatives have left the country; and it seemed to be the expectation that at no distant period relations might be reopened between England and the government of the republic.
I am enabled to transmit to you, herewith, the correspondence that has taken place on this occasion between Mr. Middleton and Mr. Lerdo de Tejada, as also that between Mr. Grlennie and Mr. Lerdo de Tejada, in August last.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.