No. 209.
Mr. Foster to Mr. Fish.

No. 378.]

Sir: The country continues in much the same condition as reported in the last dispatches upon current events. Disorders and local revolutionary movements are prevalent in different portions of the republic, but they have not been able to make head against the federal troops, being driven from the field and scattered wherever they congregate in any considerable numbers, in many cases to gather again in the mountains to repeat their petty depredations upon defenseless towns and travelers. The disorders in the State of Michoacan, noticed in previous, dispatches, still continue, but do not appear to have gathered strength, although the government thus far has not been able to suppress them. General Escobedo, division commander, was sent to that locality more [Page 392] than two months ago to direct the movements of the federal forces, but the guerilla warfare is still carried on with about the same results as heretofore, the rugged nature of the country making it very difficult to put an end to it.

The discontented and revolutionary elements in the country have apparently been operating without any system or concert of action, but recently there appears to have been something of concentration upon Gen. Porfirio Diaz, the leader of the unsuccessful revolt against President Juarez in 1871–’72. He was a member of the last congress, and has recently been residing in this capital; and it is alleged that the administration made overtures to him a few months ago to accept a foreign appointment, which he rejected. In December last he left the country and went to New Orleans and thence to Brownsville, Texas, and is now reported as on the American side of the Rio Grande, in communication with revolutionary leaders in Mexico, concocting a rising against the present government.

The Diario Oficial has announced that his departure from the country was without any known business-object, and that his movements give occasion for suspicions of disloyalty. A pronunciamiento has recently appeared, purporting to have been issued by him, but its authenticity is doubtful, and his friends in this city deny that he is its author.

The State of Sonora has been for three months past distracted by insurrections against the State government, the one headed by General Serna and the other by the Yaqui Indians, an industrious agricultural tribe living in the south part of the State. Serna’s operations have been in the northern part of the State. His band was driven over the line into Arizona by the troops of Governor Pesquiera, and it is reported that he has again returned to Mexican territory, influenced, in part at least, by the movements of the American commander in Arizona.

There are conflicting reports as to the success and defeat of these revolutionary movements at this date, but as yet unconfirmed.

The contest has heretofore been participated in only by the local forces of the State but the general government has just despatched a federal force from this city, via Acapulco, to interpose its authority to restore order.

The consul at Guaymas reports business as utterly prostrate in the State in consequence of these troubles. Reference has heretofore been made in my dispatches to the political differences which exist in the State of Jalisco between the adherents of the federal and State administrations.

A double set of senators and deputies was sent up to the Congress of the Union representing the two parties, and, as already stated, the members representing the state party were rejected. The contest was thus remitted to the state, where the election for the state legislature was held in December last. Double elections took place, and two legislatures were chosen, representing the two parties. These legislatures are now in session in the city of Guadalajara, and their conflicting exercise of authority is creating much excitement in that State, and a certain disquiet elsewhere in the republic. On the one side the federal supreme court has been appealed to, and on the other a decree has been passed impeaching the governor, and with a view to his deposition. Meanwhile federal and State troops are concentrated in the State capitol, and an armed conflict is feared. It is charged that this concentration of troops has left the other districts of the State unprotected, and that they are ravaged by robber bands.

The subject of the election of President of the republic for the next [Page 393] term, which occurs in July, is attracting much attention in the public press and political circles. A number of newspapers have favorably announced Mr. Lerdo as a candidate for re-election, and others have taken strong grounds against his candidacy, some alleging that the party which supported his first election was pledged against the principle of a second presidential term, and others taking the ground that his re-election will result in a revolution. No other candidate has as yet been announced.

It may be of interest to notice that, before the close of the last session of Congress in December, the minister of finance stated that he expected to provide in the next budget of appropriations for a compliance with the terms of the treaty with the United States in relation to claims, anticipating a balance against Mexico, which would require an annual appropriation of $300,000.

Sr. D. E. de Muruaga y Vildosola, the new Spanish minister plenipotentiary, presented his credentials to the President on the 23d of December, and Mr. Rudolph Le Maistre, minister resident of Germany, received on the 7th of January.

I am, &c.,