No. 345.
Mr. Foster to Mr. Evarts.

No. 890.]

Sir: On the 4th of the present month the Mexican minister of public works and colonization made a contract with Messrs. W. Iberri & Co. for the colonization of the island of Oiare in the Gulf of California, oft the coast of the State of Sonora, between the mouths of the Yaqui and Mayo Rivers. The island to be colonized is, on a direct line, say 250 miles from the American frontier, and by the coast line much more distant.

The second article of the contract reads as follows:

2d. Sonora being a frontier State of the Mexican Union, the company of W. Iberri & Co., in conformity with the existing laws and regulations regarding colonization, shall not admit as colonists the natives of the foreign nation (the United States) which borders upon said State, nor the naturalized citizens of the said nation.

In answer to Department dispatch No. 486, I had occasion to quote in my No. 756 the Mexican law prohibiting American citizens from acquiring public lands in the frontier States. From the foregoing quoted article, it “would appear that the executive gives the said law such latitude of construction as to prohibit Americans from being accepted as colonists in said States, or the islands adjacent thereto, by companies organized for colonization purposes, while foreigners of all other nations are received as such.

I have, &c.,