No. 211.
Mr. Foster to Mr. Fish.

No. 395.]

Sir: I transmit herewith an article and translation thereof from the Daily Federalista, one of the leading newspapers of this city, upon the present commercial and political condition of Mexico. This gloomy and unfavorable view of affairs is quite commonly entertained, especially in commercial circles, throughout the country.

I am, &c.,



Something more terrible than the revolution should occupy the attention of Mexicans at present. The enormous fall which the price of silver has had lately in European markets, is a lively topic which is given to all Mexican capitalists, to commerce in general, and, it may even be said, to all the nation. The vital strength of the country finds itself seriously embarrassed; all know that the mines are what sustain in Mexico the commercial movement with foreign ports, inasmuch as the agricultural [Page 395] and industrial exportations are insufficient to bring to our markets the necessary goods. Therefore, it is easy now to foresee the time when the greater part of the mines may have to suspend all work because of their not producing sufficient to pay for operating them, except in exceptional bonanzas.

On the introduction of the American trade-dollar, which competes with our eagles, the monetary contracts made in Europe have co-operated with the discovery of prodigiously rich mines in the American Far West to the depreciation of silver. As the first result of this crisis, the Mexican dollar loses its value, bullion is depreciated, exchange on Europe tends to a formidable advance, transactions become difficult, the price of gold rises rapidly, exportations diminish, importations cost more, many houses will close, and foreign goods will become unusually scarce.

If Mexico wishes to resist this prospect of ruin which threatens her, it is necessary that national industries profit without delay by this state of things, and that the interested parties introduce in these industries, at any cost and without delay, the perfections which may give to their products the qualities which they lack; that agriculture be stimulated; that Congress endeavor to secure the immigration so many times promised and frustrated or opposed; that invested capital search among mining-works for objects less subject than silver to those depreciations which are perhaps determinate, such as gold, platinum, quicksilver, iron, lead, copper, and coal.

But what a sad future awaits us! When a sudden catastrophe threatens to dry the principal fountain of our public riches, certain party men, who constitute themselves of their own accord political regenerators, put the country into a disastrous conflagration, add the evils of fratricidal war to those which rapidly come upon us on account of our disunion, and, without caring for other than ephemeral and personal questions, shed human blood in torrents, and drain the forces which are so much needed in order to counteract the enormous pressure of the financial crisis.

For us, the future of Mexico cannot be more gloomy; if civil contests, eternal obstacles to progress and prosperity, do not soon have an end, it will be impossible to attend in time to curing the evils which threaten us; none of the remedies to which it is yet feasible to resort can be employed, and to our present misery and poverty new causes of political and social degeneration will be added. Mexico, now almost in the last place of civilized nations, being inferior to all those of Europe and to a large part of those of America, (as the United States, Brazil, Chili, the Argentine Republic, Peru, and Uruguay,) to the English colonies and other regions of Asia, Oceanica, and Africa, will tend more and more toward barbarism, and if she already has so little imporance in the assembly of nations, she will cease completely to have any.

And we have deserved it; it has been our lot to possess the most rich and fertile soil of the earth, and we are unworthy of that privilege. Let us continue as at present, and the day will come in which we will have to cede our rights to the country to men more skillful, worthy, and cultivated. Sad truth, but the truth.

For God’s sake, let us avert these dangers.