No. 219.
Mr. Foster to Mr. Fish.

No. 427.]

Sir: The meetings of the electors chosen by popular vote on the 25th of last month were held on the 9th instant in the different electoral districts, as far as the disturbed condition of the country would allow. As anticipated, the large majority of the votes were cast for Don Sebastian Lerdo de Tejada for President of the republic, and from the returns thus far received it is inferred that a sufficient number of districts have participated to conform to the constitutional requirement of a majority vote to constitute a choice.

It is currently reported that the leader of the revolution, General Porfirio Diaz, who had been defeated on the Rio Grande by the forces of General Escobedo, having recrossed into the United States and taken passage in disguise on the steamer of the Alexander line at New Orleans, landed at Vera Cruz on the 27th ultimo, and joined the revolutionists in that State in safety; but up to the present date he has made no military movement indicating the truth of the report, or of his presence among his adherents.

An event which has attracted the public attention in a special manner has been the recent action of the federal supreme court in requiring the release from imprisonment of Albert Bianchi, one of the editors of the Monitor Republicano. About two months ago this gentleman was arrested by the governor of the federal district, under instructions from [Page 408] the President in the exercise of his “extraordinary faculties,” upon the charge that he had been guilty of inciting the public to insurrection, or at least to disturbance of the public order, in writing a dramatic play, and taking part in its performance in one of the theaters of this city.

The play was a bitter satire and attack upon the present government, and the effect of its representation was alleged to be to create disorder and encourage the rebellion. Mr. Bianchi was sentenced, without trial, to one year’s imprisonment. The act was denounced by the opposition newspapers as a gross outrage upon the freedom of the press and a violation of all the personal guarantees of the constitution. An application was made to the supreme court for “amparo,” a proceeding in the nature of a suit of habeas corpus, and the supreme court ordered his release. The governor obeyed the order of the supreme court so far as to take him from the prison where he was confined, but immediately upon passing from the door Mr. Bianchi was re-arrested and returned to the prison, it was stated, upon a new charge, and without trial sentenced to one month’s imprisonment. The executive, in a communication addressed to the supreme court, through the department of the interior, (Gobernacion,) claimed that the arrest of Mr. Bianchi was entirely warranted by the “extraordinary faculties” granted by Congress, and that the last action of the executive had been acquiesced in by the supreme court in a similar case, citing the precedent. The supreme court, however, again ordered the release of the prisoner, and directed the federal judge of the district to proceed against the governor for contumacy. For a time it was feared there would be an open resistance by the executive to the court and a resulting armed conflict, but fortunately no such lamentable event occurred. The order of the supreme court was obeyed, and Mr. Bianchi placed in complete liberty. It is gratifying to note in this occurrence the progress in this country of respect for law and of recognition of constitutional guarantees.

Within the past few days the government forces have achieved a number of successes. A considerable band of revolutionists under General Donato Guerra has been defeated in the State of Jalisco; and the defeat and capture of Treviño, the chief of the pronunciados in Nuevo Leon is reported. On yesterday an engagement occurred near Cordova, resulting in the defeat and capture of General Fidencio Hernandez, the leader of the revolutionists of the State of Oaxaca.

I am, &c.,