Mr. Plumb to Mr. Seward.

No. 65.]

Sir: As a matter of information, I transmit to the department herewith a copy and translation of a recent correspondence that has taken place between this government and the agent here of the bondholders, under what has been known as the English convention debt.

It will be observed that two positions are taken by the Mexican government in this correspondence. First, that the convention regarding this debt, being at an end, under the general principle that all treaties with the powers who have recognized the so-called government of Maximilian are terminated, the Mexican government is free to make new arrangements regarding the manner of liquidating the debt and paying the interest thereon, which new arrangements it prescribes; and secondly, such new arrangements being prescribed, the payment back into the national treasury of a sum now lying in the bondholders’ agent’s hands on account of dividends, is required, in order that the same may be applied by the Mexican government under such new arrangement.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


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


Department of Treasury and Public Credit.–Section 2.

The citizen President has well-founded motives for considering insubsistent the treaties which united Mexico with the powers who disowned the republican government of this country and recognized the so-called imperial government which the French intervention pretended to establish, it being those powers who by such conduct broke said treaties.

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As among those treaties figures the English convention, it is in the same case as any of the others, and must in consequence be considered as insubsistent.

The government, however, does not for this deny the obligation of the national treasury to pay the legitimate, and recognize titles of this extinguished convention. All that it denies is that such obligation retains an international character, and that the terms of payment stipulated in a no longer existing arrangement should subsist.

In virtue of the liberty which it now has to fix these terms as may appear best, it has considered it convenient to determine that the redemption of the titles of the extinguished English convention be proceeded with by public auctions. The first of these auctions will be held with the fund of $29,649 08, which existed in the hands of Mr. Glennie, as communicated to this ministry by his note of the 7th of November last, and which is now deposited with you, as Mr. Glennie has further communicated in his note of the 19th instant. That amount you will therefore deliver immediately into the general treasury.

The subsequent public auctions will be held with the funds which will be opportunely designated, there being only and exclusively admissible for the redemption the titles of the extinguished English convention which are recognized as legitimate by the republican government, and those titles are to be preferred for the redemption which are tendered by the most favorable bidder, i. e., those that are offered at the lowest price,

As in the archives which are in your charge, there should exist the coupons which have been paid, you will be pleased to deliver them at the general treasury, together with the corresponding account of what has been redeemed up to this date of the capital and interest of the extinguished English convention.

By direction of the citizen President I communicate this to you for your intelligence and the consequent ends.


Messrs. Barron, Forbes & Co., &c., &c., &c.


Sir: Your official communication of the 21st instant has been delivered to us to-day. In it you have been pleased to inform us of the disposition of the supreme government with regard to the English convention, and we are directed to immediately deliver into the general treasury of the nation the funds which Mr. Glennie deposited in our house, appointing us at the same time agents ad interim of the said convention.

We do not doubt that the supreme government, comprehending the embarrassing position in which we have been placed by the dispositions of the citizen President, will not take it amiss if, before complying with the order that has been addressed to us, we take the opportunity to call a meeting of all the creditors, in order that they may be informed of the terms of the said supreme order which has now been communicated to us.

We shall do this with all the haste which the urgency of the case requires, and in the mean time, protesting our respect and consideration.

We are, &c.,


Citizen Minister of Treasury, &c., &c., &c.


Sir: In compliance with what we had the honor to submit to you in our communication of the 24th instant, a meeting of the creditors of the English convention has been held to-day and the official note of your department of the 21st instant has been read.

Informed of the contents of it, the gentlemen who attended, and who jointly represent the majority of the credits, agreed unanimously to the following resolution, viz:

“The meeting does not consider itself authorized to take into consideration the points treated of in the note of the supreme government of the 21st instant, and in consequence limits to request the government, through Messrs. Barron, Forbes & Co., to be pleased not to proceed with the proposed public auction, leaving the funds remaining in the deposit where they now are.”

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On soliciting you to communicate this resolution to the citizen President, hoping that he will be pleased to accede to the wishes of the meeting, on our part we have to add that we shall occupy ourselves in forming as quickly as possible the account of capital and interest redeemed to date, and at the same time we will deliver into the general treasury the coupons which, have been paid in accordance with the disposition in the note of the 21st instant above mentioned.

In the mean time be pleased to accept the assurances of our respect and consideration.


Citizen Minister of Treasury, &c., &c., &c.


Department of Treasury and Public Credit.–Section 2.

Notwithstanding what you state in your note of the 27th instant, with reference to the petition which the meeting of creditors resolved to make, that the funds which you received from Mr. F. Glennie as belonging to the English convention might remain in the same deposit, the citizen President has directed that it be said to you in reply, that for the reasons expressed in the note addressed to you by the supreme government on the 21st instant, through this department, the determination with regard to the delivery of the funds which you have to make into the general treasury of the nation be carried into effect.


Messrs. Barron, Forbes & Co., &c., &c., &c.


Sir: Our desire to act in accord with the parties interested in the English convention has led us to delay our reply to the communication which you were pleased to address to us under date of the 28th ultimo, informing us that the citizen President has not thought it convenient to accede to the desires of the meeting, but has directed that the determination with regard to the delivery into the general treasury of the nation of the funds belonging to the said convention shall be carried into effect.

In view of this reiterated disposition, and the desires of the majority of the parties; interested in the convention being already known, it is our duty to proceed at once to the delivery referred to; but before effecting it we beg you to be pleased to inform us, if in giving us the corresponding receipt for our security we can count upon its being expressed in it, that we make the delivery under Compulsion of the supreme government, and protesting in the name of the parties interested in said convention against an act which they regard as prejudicial to their rights.

We do not doubt that the citizen President, comprehending the object we have in asking this explanation, will exonerate us from any intention of raising embarrassment, or of passing the limits of a just defense.

We do ourselves the honor of reiterating to you the assurance of our respect and consideration.


Citizen Minister of Treasury, &c., &c., &c.