No. 423.
Mr. Foster to Mr. Fish.

No. 260.]

Sir: Referring to my dispatches numbered 252 and 255, on the present situation of the republic, I have to report no further armed outbreaks than those already noticed in the State of Michoacan. These opponents of [Page 889] the government have assumed no greater proportions than that of guerrilla bands, but they are still able to maintain a kind of military organization, in spite of the efforts of the federal troops to suppress them.

In addition to the forces already operating against them, it is announced that re enforcements have been ordered from the garrison in this city. I inclose herewith a copy and translation of the revolutionary plan under which they claim to be operating, which will, in some measure, indicate the basis upon which the reactionary or church party might attempt to overthrow the existing government, if it could count upon success. But it is hardly probable, however, that the present movement will amount to anything more formidable than a mountainous guerrilla warfare, which with reasonable energy may be soon suppressed.

General Rocha, who is now “in quarters” (constructive arrest) at Celaya, in the interior, has written a letter, in which he denies that he ever had any conference or complicity with the conservative or church party, and pledges his unalterable devotion to the liberal party and principles.

The situation of the country may still be considered somewhat grave, in view of the religious antagonism on account of the passage of the law enforcing the reform measures and the departure of the Sisters of Charity, added to the general prostration of business, but the government claims its ability to preserve the peace and enforce obedience to the laws.

I am, &c.,

[Inclosure in No. 266.]

Plan of the revolutionists in Michoacan.

[From “The Two Republics,”—Translation from the “Diario Official,” March 15, 1875.]


Whereas the constitution which now rules us has been imposed upon the people by force of arms and contrary to its express wall; the men who hold authority over us have violated to the extent that already we are not able to say that we are constitutionally governed; defrauding the popular vote and mocking the national sovereignty, they have, for their own profit, become possessed of the offices, usurping the public power; they have wounded the religious sentiment of the nation; they have regulated and erected into a system the persecution of Catholicism, the religion of a majority of the Mexican people; they have attacked the national and civil liberty of the citizens, constituting a tyranny in no manner acceptable to those who have the pride of being called free men:

We, exercising the right which aided our fathers in defending the liberties of Mexico, have thought it our duty as men, as Christians, and as citizens, to proclaim the following plan:

  • Article 1. From this time there is an end to the observance of the federal constitution of the United Mexican States, sanctioned the 5th of February, 1857, its amendments and additions, and the law which regulates them, as also to the observance of all those codes which from that code shall have emanated.
  • Art. 2. The lawyer Sebastian Lerdo de Tejada ceases in the exercise of public power, and all the functionaries of the legislative, political, and judicial system who, contrary to the express will of the people, now form the personnel of the government of the Mexican Republic.
  • Art. 3. This plan, once being adopted by a majority of the Mexican nation, steps shall be taken to appoint a President ad interim of the republic. The election shall be made by a convention of representatives called by the general-in-chief of the forces who may assist this plan, in the place most convenient in the judgment of the said chief.
  • Art. 4. The President ad interim shall at once become invested with ample faculties in all the branches of the public administration, but under strict obligation to respect the Catholic religion, the individual guarantees, to attend to the security and independence of the nation, and to promote whatever may conduce to its prosperity and aggrandizement.
  • Art. 5. As soon as the President ad interim may enter upon the exercise of his functions, he shall appoint, without delay, a plenipotentiary near the Holy See, invested with the necessary powers to negotiate a concordat, which, tranquilizing the conscience, may regulate the effects of the acquisition of ecclesiastical property in virtue of the so-called laws of reform.
  • Art. 6. Two months after having entered upon the exercise of his functions, the President ad interim shall convene an extraordinary Congress, which shall attend exclusively to establishing the nation under the form of a popular representative republic, and to revising the acts of the present government, as also those of the provisional executive, of which art. 3 treats.
  • Art. 7. The constitution shall recognize as the state religion the Catholic apostolic Roman religion, granting to it all those rights and all those liberties inherent in its nature, and indispensable for the exercise of its high and elevated mission upon the earth, as also for the maintenance of the charity and harmony which ought always to reign between spiritual and temporal powers, without sacrificing their respective independence.
  • Art. 8. The principal chief who may sustain in each State this plan shall at once call a convention, composed of representatives of the municipalities, in order that they may elect a governor ad interim, and he shall exercise the necessary powers for organizing the public administration in his respective territory.
  • Art. 9. From this time there is an end to the observance of the so-called stamp-laws, the regulations of the national guard, and of the poll-tax and personal taxes which rule in some States. The general government and subordinate governments of the States, during the short period of their interim, shall reduce the corps of public employés to the number strictly necessary for efficient public service, and shall moderate the imposts and taxes, taking into account to this end the very urgent demands of the administration and the state of misery in which the extravagant government which now rules its destinies has left the people.
  • Art. 10. All those who shall oppose the present plan will be treated as enemies of the people and of the national independence; those chiefs of the army who adhere to it shall be recognized in the grade in which they appear in the military register on the date of their adhesion.
  • Art. 11. This plan shall be modified if the majority of the nation think it proper.

God and order.