Obrazy na stronie

32n CONG.....2p Sess.

Tehuantepec Graut-Mr. Seward.


considering that they declare the intention of the established in another direction, it will be much that for long distances, and for heavy productions Government to vindicate its honor and protect the more difficult to change it than to guide it now. and merchandise, a water communication will rights of its citizens, and considering, too, that it is Independently of all private or local advantages, compete with them. In the great line of commuperhaps better not to commit ourselves ioo far on this is a great national question, and is of national | nication, then, where the heavy commerce of the the subject when a new Administration is coming importance. It has been discussed for years. It || world is carried on, I take it for granted—and I in, but to leave the matter open to it, and consid-is not one of those ephemeral schemes which pro think history will show I am right—that when by ering, further, the distracted situation of Mexico at duce an excitement for a day, and then are passed one route we have a railroad communication of this time, I am willing to vote for them as they over forever. Before we made our treaty with some two thousand miles, and by another water are. But, under different circumstances, if the Mexico, its importance was perceived. Before we communication, a large portion of the heavy comAdministration now in power was to continue long, had our possessions upon the Pacific, its import merce will be transported by the latter. I take it and I thought there was any uncertainty about ance was well judged of by our Government. for granted that provisions, flour, tobacco, pork, our future course, I should wish to make them Measures have been taken to protect our rights and other heavy articles, would never, at this day, stronger.

there, and nothing should now induce us to abate if you had a railroad established from New York I stated, in the commencement of my remarks, our claim, or prevent our exercising our rights. to San Francisco, be sent over it. We find that that I would not discuss the definitive title, or the || Certainly the inducement is greater now to insist on shorter routes they are sent by water commuimportance of this road to the interests of the upon them. And I will ask, Mr. President, if nication in preference to the railroad, and we United States. I shall not do so to any extent; there is not something taking place in that coun know how distance increases the difficulty. but there are some considerations which I wish to try which will make it still more important to our In regard to this route interfering with the prooffer to the Senate with regard to the importance interests that we do this? Are we not likely to posed Pacific railroad, I would further remark, of the road. The advantages of it can scarcely have struggles and difficulties in regard to Central that it is a very general observation, when a railbe overrated, or too much considered. It is im America? Are we not to have a contest in regard road is proposed to be constructed in the United portant to us and to the world, in two points of to the subject of colonization on that coast, con States, that we think it is doubtful whether the view. It is not simply desirable as a means of trary to treaty stipulations, as I think? I shall business of the country is sufficient to justify it. communication between one part of this country not go into the discussion of that subject now; it But let it go into operation, and in a little while and another. As such, it would be very valuable is not necessary to do so. But there is a pending we find the business of the country increases, and and desirable; but it has a broader and more im- question; there is a question relating to all that another is established, running in a similar direcportant sphere of influence than that. It is to be part of the Isthmus through which the other route tion, and perhaps another, and all are employed. a means of communication for the world. Admit, I passes. Difficulties and disputes may arise, and | The establishment of a railroad gives an impulse then, for the sake of the argument, that we are to I wish to keep this route. 'I do not know that to the trade which is carried on over it. Be not have a railroad within our own territory,–I have there is any attempt at colonization, or the estab- | afraid, then, that if you establish this Tehuantepec no objection to that, as I shall presently show,- lishment of positions in the Gulf of Mexico proper; route, you will have no use for the Pacific railroad. it will not interfere at all with this road. I shall but I wish to avoid any question which may arise | Believe me when I tell you, that, with California show that this will be a route not only for the hereafter. But if we temporize, if we forbear, and going on so rapidly as she is, and the trade with United States, but for the whole world. There | permit ourselves to be insulted, how do you know the East and the islands of the Pacific increasing, are other possessions and interests besides ours but that to-morrow, or the next month, or a week when this new route for the commerce of the upon the Pacific, and there is other commerce to after you adjourn, you may see a proclamation of world is fully in operation, you will not only find be accommodated, and there is other business to the British Government, announcing that they use for it, but for your railroad to the Pacific, and be done there besides that of our own.

have established a British colony upon the Gulf other routes which may be established. It is, then, of great importance to the world to of Mexico, or upon the other side of the continent, I think, then, these resolutions ought to pass. have this route opened so as to have the most and near Tehuantepec! I do not see why they They certainly are as mild as any gentleman can practicable, and easy, and speedy communication should not do it, if we do not vindicate our rights, | wish. I hope there will be no suggestion from between the two oceans at a point near the middle and say that this position is important, not for any quarter to abate anything from them, because of the continent. Independent of any advantage ourselves alone but for the whole world, and it I think that could not be done without injury to to our commerce, it is a matter of great importance || shall be kept in such a condition that it cannot be our interests. We have taken the position now to the whole world. The route is at a point near converted to any hostile purposes. Without going that it is our duty to interpose in this matter to the center of the American continent, where the into the argument as I'might upon this point, i protect the rights of our citizens. We have said goods which are transported from one side to the think these considerations are sufficient to show io the whole world that this is an important route, other can be easily taken to every important com the advantage of this route in the particulars to that vast interests are involved in it; and we have mercial port. It will be the great thoroughfare of which I have referred.

even suggested, in our discussions among ourthe word. I shall not enter into a comparison of But again: I cannot see any reason in the world selves, that it is important to our national defenses. this route with the Panama route, or the Nicara --and I hope such an idea will not be taken up If, after all this, we abate anything from them, I guan route, or any other. I believe this is de- | by anybody-why the pressing of the Tehuante think the consequences will be injurious. Hence cidedly better than any other route. Long ago, pec route should be considered hostile to the Pa it is that I have urged that these resolutions should as many as three years ago, an application was cific railroad. I certainly have no such feelings. be taken up and passed at this session. I do not made to the Government of the United States to I do not think they are entertained by any one. expect any rash or precipitate action of the Governfavor the Panama route. I then offered very fully || I feel, and perhaps 'my constituents feel, as great ment. I do not expect that by the passage of the my opinion, and demonstrated, as I thought, very an interest in that road as anybody else; because, resolutions anything harsh or injurious will be satisfactorily, that this was a more proper route in all probability, an important branch of it will done to Mexico; but I wish her to understand that than the Panama, and nothing has been shown pass through my State. I will, therefore, go as we will vindicate our rights in this matter. I wish since that time to prove that my opinion was not far as any member for that road, and will devote her to know that we distinctly understand our rewell founded. It has a better climate, is nearer my exertions to carry that bill through as speedily | lations to her, and will protect the rights of our to our possessions, and is easier reached from all as possible. But still I cannot be insensible to citizens. I do not pretend to say what particular our Pacific ports; and, as was alleged by the Sen the fact that there are great difficulties in the way. measures ought to be adopted. I am perfectly ator from Virginia, (Mr. Masun,) it is important It is best that we should not shut our eyes to these willing to leave that to the Administration which to us because it leads directly to the greai Medi- | difficulties. I would be willing to do as much as is coming in; but I do think, before this Conterranean of America, in which, as he very prop any man to surmount them, but it is so stupen- | gress, in which this question originated, closes, erly observed, no nation has a right to plant a dous a work that it will take years to complete it. it is proper that the Senate of the United States single gun except Mexico and the United States.

If you put the work in motion, and commence should proclaim to Mexico and to the world It is, then, of immense advantage to us. This great operations upon it, and if they go on most pros that they will sustain the President in the course inland sea is of great importance, and will con perously and have no drawback whatever, I sup: which he takes, and will never submit that these tinue to be more and more important as we become pose no member now here will say that a railroad insults, this offensive disregard of the rights of advanced in civilization. Sir, look at the map, car will run from the banks of the Mississippi to our citizens, shall go unpunished or be acquiesced and see the advaniage we possess. I have it laid the Pacific ocean in California in less than ten down here in a line. Take the Cape of Florida, years. It would be a very favorable anticipation Cuba, and Yucatan, and you will find this is not io suppose such a thing. Now, ten years in the only an internal sea within three days' sail from national affairs of the United States, particularly any part of it to the mouth of the Mississippi river, when you consider what has been done in the which is in itself a Mediterranean, but we have last four or five years, is a period of time which SPEECH OF HON. W. H. SEWARD, this immense sea so nearly shut up by islands may be productive of results of almost an age.

OF NEW YORK, already, by the Cape of Florida, Cuba, and Yuca Shall we submit, then, to the inconveniences of ian, that a few vessels stationed'in favorable posi- || the long voyages, the sickness, and troubles, and on the Resolutions reported from the Committee

IN THE Senate, February 8, 1853, tions would make the whole as much an island sea exposure incident to them, that would be necesas it could possibly be. sary before we could have the Pacific railroad

on Foreign Relations, in regard to the TehuanMr. President, it is a matter of some consequence completed? I think not. I think even when that tepec Grant. to have this great line of commerce of the world work is completed it will not dispense with the Mr. SEWARD said: Mr. President, history will established now, where in future the riches of the Tehuantepec route. It will still be a great thor- ) elucidate this subject, if we can adjust the lens so Indies are to pass, instead of by the lines of travel oughfare of commerce, and, in some degree, of as to concentrate its rays. The great occupation heretofore used, and where our own local interests passengers also. I know-I am as conscious as of the nations of western Europe, from the beare so deeply involved, especially as it relates to any man of the advantages of railroads. I am ginning of the fifteenth century to near the close the ports of New Orleans and Pensacola. It is of conscious of the great advantages which they have of the eighteenth century, was colonization and the immense importance to have the route established in expedition, and in the carrying of light freight; establishment of empire on the American continow, because if the line of trade once becomes Il but I am also conscious—and 'I think I am right~ || nent. The year 1775 witnessed the opening of the



32n CONG.....20 Sess.

Tehuantepec Grant-Mr. Seward.


first act in the great drama of the decolonization of that Texas might remain an independent Power, || ciple, but who seems, nevertheless, to have been all this continent, the end of which is not yet. By or put itself under the sovereignty of some Euro- || the time a centralist at heart, had attained the prothe treaties of 1783, to which not only the revolting | pean State, which would prevent its annexation visional executive power. During his administraand belligerent colonies of Great Britain and Great io the United States. But these expectations sig- || tion, Don José Garay, a citizen of Mexico, and a Britain herself were parties, but also France and nally failed; and in 1845, Texas came into the favorite of the Dictator-for all Dictators have their Spain, Great Britain, who was the most able to United States with possessions, then understood | favorites, and I am sorry to say that Santa Anna keep her American possessions, resigned thirteen by most of us, to reach only to the river Nueces. || is not the most pure of that class of magistrates of her principal colonies on this continent, not so The war with Mexico which grew chiefly out of Don José Garay, and other members of his family, much because of her weakness, as because of that annexation, and out of the attending border obtained from Santa Anna, besides the monopoly their own already maturing strength, and the question, resulted, as we all know, in the direct of opening the passage across the Isthmus of Teaid which they derived from the intervention of dismemberment of Mexico, and the annexation to huantepec, four other monopolies—one, the excluFrance.

the United States of what remained to Mexico of sive right to navigate with steam the Rio Grande; Leaving out of view some sparse and unimport- | the State of Texas, together with the States of a second, the exclusive right to navigate the river ant settlements of Russia, the North American New Mexico and Upper California, by which the Panuco; a third, the exclusive right so to navigate continent was now divided between Great Britain, United States advanced to the bank of the Rio the river Muscala or Zacatula; a fourth, the excluwhich retained all the regions that laid between the Grande, and across the continent to the shores of sive right of connecting Vera Cruz by railway with St. Lawrence and the lakes and the north pole; the || the Pacific ocean.

the city of Mexico; connected with a fifth, an areria United States, which reached southwardly to the We have thus seen the action of one great or assessment upon the customs of the port of Vera borders of Louisiana and Florida, and indefinitely | American idea upon Mexico; that was the idea of Cruz. I am informed that the products of that westward towards the Pacific; and Spain which re national aggrandizement. But at the same time, | averia have exceeded $1,000,000. With that vast tained the remainder, consisting of the provinces or another great American idea was operating indi sum of money a railroad has been made from Vera colonies of the Floridas, Louisiana, and New rectly for the embarrassment of Mexico, and that Cruz towards the capital of Mexico to the length Spain, now called Mexico. The United States

was the idea of civil liberty, guarantied by insti- l of thirteen miles and no more, within a period of were then governed by fixed, domestic, constitu- tutions of federal republican government. The ten years. tional, representativesystems and habits of govern- United States from the first, or from an early day, It was on the 1st of March, 1842, that Don José ment. They had long been in the enjoyment of determined that there should be no European colo- || Garay approached the Dictator with a precious them, although not of political independence; and nial power remaining on this continent which they offering of the incense of flattery. He reminded the government they thue enjoyed, rested upon the could prevent or remove, and, therefore, they fos- Santa Anna that he had caused the Mexican people foundations of popular education, freedom of the tered a spirit of revolt in Mexico; and when Mex. to look to his administration as one of a new and press, toleration of conscience, and above all upon | ico, in her revolution, or after her revolution of gigantic advancement in the career of national the sacredness of personal rights, secured by com 1821, arrived at the point where she must definitely aggrandizement. Hesuggested to him that the great mon law and statutory safeguards borrowed from choose her form of government, the United States project with which the world had been engaged England, of the rights of trial by jury, and habeas recommended to her, with success, the principles for near three centuries, of opening an interoceanic corpus.

of federal republicanism, which were adopted. communication across the continent, was yet to On the other hand, the Spanish provinces had | The short-lived Empire of Iturbide was abolished; be undertaken, and declaring that the mind was been governed from the first by a foreign despotic and in 1824, Mexico adopted a Constitution, bewildered with the difficulty of embracing in Power. The subjects of those provinces were which, in its most important characteristics, is one comprehensive view the astonishing conseignorant of any system or principle of representa- | identical with our own." During the twenty-ninequences that must follow so great an achievement, tive legislation, or of freedom of the press, or of years which have since elapsed, Mexico has had he concluded that a great revolution would take toleration of religion, or of guarantees of personal no repose. She has been rent often and in every place in the commercial, and even in the political liberty. The United States had no elements of part by the struggle between the North American || affairs of all nations when it should be effected; wealth except a soil of varied fertility, the more principle of federalism, and its antagonist, the Eu and that the epoch which should see it effected common and useful minerals, and access on one ropean principle of centralism. The people will would be more memorable than that of the disside to the sea. The Spanish provinces, on the bear no government but a federal one. Some wise covery of the continent, and the name of him unother hand, had a more prolific soil in a climate of men in Mexico have continually maintained that der whose auspices it should be consummated, surpassing healthfulness and beauty, with rich no other government than a central one can be up would be at least as glorious as that of Columbus. mines of the precious metals which Providence has held there. The army has decided the contests And then Don José Garay proposed, of course, so sparingly distributed, and access to two oceans. as bribery or caprice has swayed its chiefs. The that he should be authorized to undertake this The United States were practically a homogene- || history of Mexico since 1824'is only a history of grand work. The execution of the work was ous people, consisting of homogeneous States. the contest between these organic principles. The committed by Santa Anna to his favorite, with The Spanish provinces had a population, three | central principle has partially prevailed, for periods vast concessions of land and privileges, by a confourths of which were native Indians, one eighth amounting in the aggregate to eleven years; while tract made under the decree of the date which I Creoles, and only the remaining one eighth Euro- | the federal republican principle, and the constitu- have mentioned. It is claimed by the Committee peans.

tion of 1824, has prevailed during the remaining on Foreign Relations that thai contract, after The experiment of independence and self-gov. || nineteen years. The war between the United having passed through the hands of intermediate ernment in the United States was completely suc States and Mexico ended, as you remember, with British assignees, has come now to be vested in cessful; and with it came immediately a rapid prog the treaty of peace, commonly called the treaty of the hands of American citizens, and that it is still ress in national wealth and prosperity, attended by Guadalupe Hidalgo.

in force; while the Mexican Government refuses to an increase in the advance of population unknown I invite now the attention of the Senate to two allow it to be executed by them. The assignees in the experience of mankind; a tide formed of provisions contained in that treaty. In the fifth have appealed to this Government to put forth irs natural increase and perpetually swelled by Euro- || article is the following provision:

power to enforce upon the Mexican Government pean immigration. On the other hand, the prov “ The boundary line established by this article shall be re the duty of carrying it into effect. The committee, inces of Spain remained nearly stationary. Theyligiously respected by each of the iwo Republics; and no in this view of the

case, have submitted the resochange shall ever be made therein, except by the express caught from the United States the passion for lib

lutions which have been read. and free consent of both nations, lawfully given by the erty, without, however, obtaining the elements by General Government of each, in conformity with its own

My first remark upon these resolutions is, that which it could be preserved. They proposed to

the responsibility of adopting them is a very great secure for themselves the institutions of civil lib

The twenty-first is in the following words, to one. They are somewhat vague in their language. erty; but they borrowed the form only, while the wit:

But inasmuch as they pronounce that there shall spirit which gave it life refused to attend it.

“ If unhappily any disagreement should hereaster arise

be an end to pacific negotiations, except upon a These were the relations, and these the condi- between the Governments of the two Republics, whether condition which it is not expected Mexico will tions of the United States and of Spanish North with respect to the interpretation of any stipulation in this assent to, a review of existing relations in the America at the commencement of this century.

treaty, or with respect to any other particular concerning
the political or commercial relations of the two nations, the

event of her expected refusal, and finally that such This century has thus far exhibited two political said Governments, in the name of those nations, do prom

measures shall be adopted as the dignity of the processes, continually going on upon this continent. ise to each other that they will endeavor, in the most sin country and the interests of our eitizens shall reThe first, that of general decolonization; and the cere and earnest manner, to settle the differences so arising;quire, they look towards, although they do not

and to preserve the state of peace and friendship in which second, that of a decay of Spanish American power, the two countries are now placing themselves; using, for

distinctly point at, some measure of hostility, of and the aggrandizement of the United States of


end, inutual representations and pacific negotiations. I reprisal, or of war. It seems to me that the Senate America. Spain ceded Louisiana to France in And if, by these means, they should not be enabled to come is not now in a proper condition to assume that 1800, and in 1803 France conveyed it to the United to an agreement, a resort shall not, on this account, be had responsibility. One third of this body will go out States. Apprehensions were felt at that early day | Republic against the other, until the Government of that to reprisals, aggression, or hostility of any kind, by the one

in less than thirty days from this time, and their in New Spain that the United States might advance which deems itself aggrieved shall have maturely consid- | places will be filled by those who are not now here. 80 as to encroach upon that territory; and those ered, in the spirit of peace and good neighborship, whether A resolution adopted when the Senate is changing, apprehensions were fearfully confirmed when the

it would not be better that such difference should be settled United States, having first taken possession of porby the arbitration of commissioners appointed on each side, ion of the Senate through the next Congress.

may convey advice which will not remain the opinor by that of a friendly nation. tions of the provinces of Florida, obtained, in 1819, proposed by either party, it shall be acceded to by the other, Again: the President of the United States is a coa relinquishment of them by Spain. Texas was unless deemed by ii altogether incompatible with the nature ordinate power with the Senate in the conduct of for a time uninhabited, and seemed to promise

of the difference, or the circumstances of the case." foreign relations. He has the responsibility' dithat it would remain a barrier for New Spain, or

In 1842, before the war between the United vided with us; and we are not now in a condition Mexico, against the United States. Becoming rap- | States and Mexico occurred, General Santa Anna, to have the benefit of his advice, and to give to idly peopled, nevertheless, Texas asserted its in a brave, talented, and energetic soldier, who has, | the country the benefit of his share of the respondependence, and then the hopes of Mexico for its during his long and active political career, some sibility which is to be assumed; for the present own security and safety resied upon the chance || times given a compelled assent to the federal prin- || President will go out in less than thirty days, and


And should such course be

320 CONG.....20 Sess.

Tehuantepec Grant--Mr. Seward.


of taxes.

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within that time a new one will come in, whose | ting the grant. The grant, then, has been abroga- President, extending this contract for two years; opinions are quite unkħown.

ted and is void, unless the contrary can be shown. and we have, in the first place, the Constitution of "It would be discourteous to the incoming Chief | The Committee on Foreign Relations have under- || Mexico declaring it void. Here is one ground Magistrate, under such circumstances, to conclude taken to show the contrary; and they took three upon which the Constitutional Congress, on the ourselves by an action like this. This discourtesy positions. First, that the Congress of Mexico had 22d of May, 1851, abrogated the decree of Salas. by itself would be a matter of small moment; but no power to repeal the decree of Salas. Second, It is now necessary to go back in the history, in all national transactions, discourtesy between that Salas was the Government de facto of Mexico, to bring into review another ground. Santa Anna, coördinate branches of the Government is liable and that his acts, as such, bound that nation, es- in 1842, was President under the bases of Tacuto result in permanent differences of opinion, in |pecially when an interest had become vested in a baya, and the conventions of Estanzuela. By the controversies; and by such controversies in this foreigner. The third is, that Mexico has, since sixth basis of Tacubaya, all the decrees to be case, we should embarrass the incoming Adminis- the decree of Salas, recognized the existence and made by the President were directed to be subtration. It is quite apparent that the probability of the validity of the grant, notwithstanding the Con- mitted to the first Congress, (a central Constituadopting any right and effective measure would gressional decree of repeal. I shall briefly notice tional Congress,) that they might be approved or be diminished by a disagreement between the Pres- these replies in their order. The first position of rescinded. The grant to Garay was made of ident and the Senate. These objections would | the committee is, that the Congress of Mexico had course subject to that basis. So also was the seem to me to be conclusive for the postponement of no power to repeal the decree of Salas. By the other extension which was made previously to the these questions, unless those who press their con- Constitution of Mexico, the Federal Constitution one granted by Salas, in his decree of the 5th of sideration now can guarantee that the course which of 1824, if in force at the time, not only had Con- | November, 1846. Santa Anna neyer submitted bey recommend will receive the approbation of gress power to repeal the grant, but no power but the decree of March 1st, 1842, (by which the orithe incoming President. If they are able to give Congress had authority to make any such grant. ginal grant was made,) to Congress, and so that is such a guarantee, and will produce the evidence I refer the Senate to the fifth section of the Con- grant was held for that reason to be void by the of it, this objection will be removed.

stitution of Mexico, which Constitution is here: Congress, which abrogated it on the 22d of May, But, Mr. President, if it be the pleasure of the “Sec. 5., art. 47. Every resolution of Congress shall

1851. Senate to proceed in the consideration of these have the character of a law or decree."

It will be said that Santa Anna had abrogated questions, ihen I have to examine their merits as "Art. 49. The laws and decrees shall be for supporting that sixth basis of Tacubaya. The facts are, briefly as I can. In the first place, I ask the Sen

the National independence; the union of the States, and
peace and order; to maintain the independence of the

that on the 3d of October, 1843, Santa Anna ate to take notice that all these resolutions assume States; to secure an equal proportionment in the assessment

issued a decree to the effect that the responsibility but I admit not without a fair show of argument

of the acts of the Provisional Executive to Confirst, that the American assignees of Don José * Art. 50. The exclusive powers of Congress shall be the gress, created by the bases of Tacubaya, and the Garay have a complete, perfect, and absolute title

Part 2d. To augment the general prosperity, by decree-

conventions of Estanzuela, was merely a responsi to the right to open a communication across the ing the opening of roads and canals, and their improve- || bility of opinion, that none of his acts could be annulledIsthmus of Tehuantepec; and secondly, that Mex- ment, without preventing the States froin opening or im. and that the contracts entered into by the Provi, ico unreasonably and unjustly refuses to permit || curing for a limited time to inventors, impravers, or those proying their own; establishing posts and mails; and se

sional Executive were in violate. them to do so according to the terms of the grant who introduce any branch of industry, exclusive rights to

It will be seen that even this decree recognizes which they exhibit.

their respective inventions, improvements, or introduc- the bases of Tacubaya, because it treats of the My first answer to these assumptions is, that tions.”

responsibility of the Executive, which was estabthe contract under which this title is claimed, and

This is the Constitution of Mexico, and the lished by the bases of Tacubaya. Then this deupon which it is founded, expired by its own lim- Executive power to make such a grant upon the

cree of Santa Anna was not a subversion of the itation eighteen months after the grant was made. Isthmus of Tehuantepec was reposed in Congress, | Central Constitution and sixth basis of TacuThe Senate will please take notice that this grant and was never in the President, according to that baya, but only a palpable perversion of them, was made by General Santa Anna on the first day Constitution. But what is more, the power of for the purpose of increasing his own adminisof March, 1842; that the surveys were to be made Congress was limited. Congress, while it had an trative power. Did that stand? Was that left by Garay within eighteen months; and that the exclusive power to make canals and railroads the law of Mexico? No. On the first day of work was to be actually commenced within twen- without interfering with the States, had no power April, 1845, the first central constitutional Conty-eight months, which would expire on the first to open the Isthmusso as to interfere with the rights | gress of Mexico was in session; and this decree day of September, 1844. 'So the period of limit of the States of Vera Cruz and Oaxaca which of Santa Anna, absolving the Executive from reation has arrived and passed, it being admitted occupied it. The provisional President, Santa sponsibility to Congress, came under review, and on all hands that that limitation was the condi- | Anna, who had come into power in an interreg- | they on that day adopted an act revising and abtion of the grant. The contract then is void, un- num of the Constitution of 1824, under certain rogating this decree of Santa Anna, and declared less it has been shown by the Committee on conventions called the conventions of Estanzuela, that his responsibility was a direct one; that no Foreign Relations that it has been since renewed

and certain bases, called the bases of Tacubaya, act of the Executive was valid unless it was subor extended. The committee say it has been modified and adopted by those conventions, had mitted to Congress; and that no act was valid that extended; and they produce a decree of Gen- || in 1842 given to his favorite a grant, which, for

was submitted to them and rejected, or not aperal Santa Anna of the 28th December, 1843, by want of compliance by the grantee with its con- proved by them. So, then, the central Constitution which it was extended to the first of July, 1845. ditions, had expired and was void.

was in force on the first of April, 1845, and the ExWell, the extension is at an end, for that day In 1846, the Government established by Paredes, ecutive power was limited to the making of conalso has passed. So the contract has then ceased, and administered by Bravo, was in power. A

tracts, subject to approval by Congress; and the unless it has been still further extended. The com

revolutionary movement, distinguished as the Rev- | original grant to Garay was, by virtue of the mittee say that it has been further extended by a

olution of the Citadel, deposed Bravo and recalled bases of Tacubaya and this Constitution, rendered decree of Salas, the Provisional President of Mex- || Santa Anna, then in exile, and ad interim advanced void, by reason that it was not submitted to Conico, dated fifth November, 1846, by which the Salas, a brigadier general, to the Supreme Exec- | gress and approved by them. time for commencing the work was prolonged to utive power. He came into that office on the I am aware that this examination has led us the fifth November, 1848, within which time the fourth of August, 1846, and limited his own powers through a tempestuous season, in which civil govcommittee say the title vested in the American

by the terms of the plan of the Citadel, and pro- ernment was often overborne in that unhappy fraassignees, and the work was actually commenced. claimed the reëstablishment of the Constitution ternal Republic. But I have shown that during the Now, it will be seen, in the first place, that the of 1824. Here is the decree of Salas, which I have

time of the extension of this grant by Salas, the lecommencement of the work before the fifth of translated and copied from the book of the decrees gislative power was in force, and that in that respect November, 1848, was indispensable to the con- of the Mexican Republic, which lies before me: the Constitution was in absolute effect. I ask the tinuance of the contract, even on the assumption of the committee. The committee say that the work "Ministry of Foreign Relations of Government and Police.

Senate now to consider two propositions. First, “ His Excellency the Señor General in Chief in the ex

that every citizen and every foreigner knew, or was begun within that time. I have not been ercise of the supreme Executive power, has directed to me

ought to have known, of the limitations of this grant able to find proof that it was begun in the papers the following decree:

when taking an assignment of it, and that he knew which have been sent to us by the President. ' In- " José Mariano de Salas, General of Brigade and Chief

he took it at whatever hazards attached to it by deed I think it quite clear, from all the papers

of the Liberating Republican Army, in the exercise of the
Supreme Executive power, to all whom these presents may

virtue of the Constitution and the reserved power submitted to us, that even the preliminary surveys come: Know ye, that in consideration of the state in of Congress; and the second, that the constitutionwhich were to be made within a period of eighteen which the Republic is now found, he has been moved to al Government of the United States, and especially months from the date of the grant, were never decree the following:

the Senate of the United States, is bound to make, actually made; but however this may be, on the

" Art. 1. Until the new Constitution is published, that of 1824 shall govern in all that is not in conflict with the

and will make, every fair and just and liberal in22d of May, 1851, near three years after the de- execution of ihe plan proclaimed in the citadel of this cap- tendment in favor of the wounded constitution of cree of Salas prolonging the contract, the Con- ital on the 4th of the present month, and that the present a people, who have struggled with so much fidelstitutional Congress of Mexico enacted a decree state of affairs of the Republic will permit.”

ity, and so much energy, through seasons of anin these words:

Thus Salas was in power, acknowledging the archy at home and of aggression by a foreign “The decree of November 5, 1816, (the decree of exten- Constitution of 1824, and self-bound to support it, Power, to preserve a Constitution modeled and sion by Salas,) is declared null and void, because the pow. when, on the 5th of November, 1846, he made a copied after our own. It is not here that I expect ers with wbich the Provisional Government of that period wasinvested were insufficient to authorize it. Accordingly

decree, extending an already expired grant, which to see intendments prevail in favor of dictators and the Government will see that this declaration is rendered

was equivalent to inaking the grant itself, which usurpers even in Mexico. in every respect effective in regard to the privilege granted grant was in direct conflict with the Constitution. The honorable and distinguished chairman of to Dou José de Garay."

He exercised no absolute power, but a qualified the Committee on Foreign Relations (Mr. Mason] Here, then, is a grant made on the 1st day of dictatorial power, which was limited by the Con- has already furnished his replies to this argument. March, 1842, by the Provisional President of stitution and by the bases of what was called the First, he says that the Constitution of 1824 Mexico, and here is a law of the Congress of Act of the Citadel.

contained a provision that the Congress should Mexico, passed on the 22d of May, 1851, abroga- We have, then, the decree of Salas, Provisional il have no power to pass an ex post facto law, and 320 CONG....20 Sess.

Tehuantepec Grant-Mr. Seward.


that Congress should have no power to pass a sioner alluded in making this reply was the grant State, that they should meet with no embarrassments, but law impairing the obligations of contracts. I re- of Garay, and the assignment to Manning, Mack

on the contrary, be treated with all hospitality, he has

been pleased to direct that his wishes should be communijoin: A law of Congress refusing consent, which | intosh & Snyder, of which the Mexican Gov

cated to you, as I now have the honor to do, officially; reit was stipulated that Congress might give or re- ernment then had notice; which assignment, as peating, at the same time, the assurances of my esteem. fuse, is not an ex post facto law. A contract which I have before shown, was an assignment of the

God and liberty!

LACUNZA. by its terms is not valid if Congress shall dis- lands conceded with the right, and not of the right

His Excellency the Governor OF THE STATE OF OAXACA, approve, is not impaired by the decree of Con- to open the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, which last- There is nothing in the letter, nor in the orders, gress refusing to approve it. Secondly, the chair- | mentioned right, according to the notice which

which recognizes the validity of the Garay grant, man replies that Salas, nevertheless, was the had been served upon them, expressly remained

or of any title of any assignees under it. It is Government de facto of Mexico, and that his acts in Garay. This is a sufficient angwer until the utterly preposterous to ground upon this act of bound the Republic of Mexico, especially where commitiee can show that the Mexican Govern- courtesy and hospitality by the Mexican Minister foreigners had obtained an interest." I rejoin, with ment knew that some other assignment had before of Foreign Affairs, a recognition of the validity of great respect, that Salas was not an absolute that time been made conveying the privilege, and

the grant to Garay, or the assignments to those President, nor even a President at all; but he was that notice of that assignment had been received who claim under him. de facto the head of the Government, subject to by the Mexican Government. But suppose the

The committee rest their assumption, fourthly, the Constitution of 1824. He obtained power, I | Mexican Commissioner did make a statement

upon the facts stated by them, as follows: confess, irregularly; but he exercised it under the which was unintentionally, or even intentionally

«. This is not all: the Government of Mexico at once as

sented to enter into negotiations for the proposed treaty; Constitution, and was thus a limited and consti- | erroneous in point of fact, would that statement

and a convention for the joint protection of the work thus tutional Executive.

divest Mexico of her right? The law of estoppel to be executed by American citizens, as assignees of the But the Committee on Foreign Relations make which prevails between individuals in conducting Garay grant, was concluded at Mexico, in June, 1850, and

sent to the United States. To this convention certain moda still further reply, which is, that the Mexican | their own affairs has never been, and never can

ifications being suggested by the Secretary of State, at Government has, since the 6th of November, 1846, be, applied to the intercourse between nations who

Washington, it was returned to our Minister in Mexico, the date of Salas's decree, recognized the exist- are passive, and whose communications with each and the whole terminated by a new convention, signed at ence of this grant, and the validity of its assign- | other are always carried on by agents possessing Mexico, on the 25th of January, 1851, with the approval o

President Herrera. This last convention was ratified by ment to the American claimants. 'I shall exam- such measure of capacity and of virtue as they

the Senate of the United States, and returned to Mexico, ine with great deference the evidence which they may happen to obtain.

and finally rejected by the Mexican Congress, in April, give of this recognition. The committee rest their The committee rest their assumption, thirdly,

1852." assumption, first, upon the fact that in 1846 and upon the facts as stated by them, that,

The committee do not mean to be understood 1847, the assignment of the grant to Manning &

After the assignment of the grant to the present Amer

it would be discourtesy to them, it would be unMackintosh was duly notified to the Government ican holders, the Minister of the United States in Mexico fair to suppose they meant to be understood—that of Mexico, and on their complaint President Her

was instructed by his Government to apprise that of Mex- the facts that the President of Mexico signed one

ico of the desire of this company to commence their work rera issued orders to the governors of Oaxaca and

treaty, which was sent to the United States and by a thorough survey of the Isthmus; and the Minister was Vera Cruz to prevent the cutting of mahogany on further instructed to make overtures for a treaty securing rejected by them, and then signed another and the granted lands by any others than those acting to the enterprise the joint protection of the two Govern- sent it to the United States, and it was accepted by under their authority.. I rejoin: The notice given

ments. The Mexican Government, as we learn from the them and returned to Mexico and rejected by the by Manning & Mackintosh to the Government of

correspondence of Mr. Letcher with the Mexican Minister
of Foreign Relations, made not the slightest opposition in

Mexican Congress, which had power to reject it, Mexico, and relied upon by the Committee on "forwarding passports, and issued orders to the departments constituted a recognition of any fact recited in Foreign Relations, is not produced. It is not here. of Oaxaca and Vera Cruz, not only to avoid interposing either of those incomplete treaties. That would No assignment has been produced except that made

any obstacles in their way, but, on the contrary, to afford be to draw the recognition of the validity of a

them aid and hospitality, on the 26th of July, 1847, which was an assign- | adds, were accordingly sent, the ports thrown open for

The engineers,'Mr. Letcher

claim from an attempt to negotiate a settlement of ment by Garay to the British proprietors, Man- | their supplies, and more than 8100,000 have been expended

it. All pretense that Mexico has in any way ning & Mackintosh, and Snyder & Co., and which in surveys, opening roads, &c., besides a large sum of compromised herself by this negotiation will disnotice was given to the Mexican Government after *money in furnishing inaterials,'" &c.

appear from the case when I shall show the his. the decree of Salas, and was an assignment express- Will the Senate look into these papers? They tory of them. The first treaty was made during ly limited to the lands ceded by the grant of Santa will find that although we have the letter of John the time of that good, just, and true old man, Anna, and it excluded the privilege of opening | M. Clayton, Secretary of State, of the date of Zachary Taylor, and in the time of the adminisThe assignment was made under the conditions ter in Mexico, informing him that Mr. Hargous guished and accomplished diplomatist and just annexed to the grant of Salas; and the assignees had notified the Department that he was the rep- | negotiator, John M. Clayton. Here is the first took the benefit of the acceptance of the notice | resentative of the claim in this country, and had article of the first draft of the treaty which was with an express acknowledgment that the right | employed engineers whom he wished to send to sent to Mexico: to open the Isthmus of Tehuantepec remained in Mexico for the purpose of making surveys, and “ ARTICLE 1. Individuals upon whom the Mexican Gov. Garay, and had not been at all ceded to the assign- requesting Mr. Clayton to give such instructions,

ernment may have bestowed or may bestow the privilege of

constructing a road, railroad, or canal across the Isthmus ees; and consequently, whoever held it after that yet we have not the letter written by Mr. Letcher of Tehuantepec, and those employed by them, shall be properiod held it subject to the condition prescribed to the Mexican Government asking for the pass- tected in their rights of person and property from the inin the decree of Salas-that foreigners taking the ports and instructions; and so we have no evi- || ception to the completion of the work." benefit of the assignment, should be denacional. dence whatever of what communication was made, Not only is there no recognition of the Amerized.

and upon what communication by Mr. Letcher to ican assignees of the Garay grant, and no recogBut what was the effect of these orders of Her- || the Mexican Government it was that the passports | nition of that grant itself in this article, but there rera, the President of Mexico, to the Governors of || and the orders to the Governors of Oaxaca and is a careful exclusion of any such statement. Oaxaca and Vera Cruz? They were orders to Vera Cruz were given. Without this knowledge, Here is the fifth article of that treaty of Mr. prevent depredations and trespasses on those lands | unless the passports which were obtained, and the Clayton's: by-anybody except those who claimed to have ob- orders which were issued, recognized the validity

"ART. 5. In any difference which may arise between tained them under the grant ceding the lands to of the grant, the transaction implied no recognition the undertakers, either the present or the fulure, of the Garay; but it appears that the Government of | of a right. I will not trespass upon the Senate by

work, whicb may involve the loss of the right to the privi Mexico at that time understood that those claim- | reading these Spanish passports. They are like

lege, the complaining party shall draw up a statement of

its pretensions and motives, and a similar statenient shall ants did not claim the right to open the Isthmus, all other passports, mere printed circular letters of he drawn up by the other party, and both statements shall and only asked protection for the enjoyment of protection, given by a Mexican consul at New be sgbmitted to two arbiters who hold no diplomatic aptheir lands. That protection and enjoyment of Orleans to foreig.ers traveling into Mexico. They pointment or commission, and who reside in the Mexican

territory. One of these arbiters shall be appointed by the their lands has never been denied by Mexico. | are such as any American citizen, whether engi

holders of the privilege and the other by the Government of But even if this were not conclusive, there is neer, or any other belonging to New Orleans or

Mexico; and these two, in case of disagreement, shall apanother point. If the President of Mexico could to New York, obtains from his own Government point a third, with the qualifications above required, and not make such a grant, he had no power to make whenever he sees fit to go abroad.

from the decision of these arbiters there shall be no appeal an admission, the effect of which would be to es- Here is the letter of the Mexican Minister of

or recourse whatsoever. Of all other questions which may

arise the Mexican tribunals shall take cognizance." tablish the grant. If the President of the United | Foreign Affairs to Mr. Letcher, which accompaStates should admit that half the State of Maine, nied a copy of the orders issued to the Governors: || General Taylor and Mr. Clayton; and then also

But then came into power the successors of or any part of it belonged to Great Britain, that admission would not affect the boundary line of

Mexico, April 5, 1850.

, } reappeared Mr. Peter A. Hargous, a merchant, Maine in the least.

ESTERMED SIR: I have the honor to inclose to you a copy claiming to be the representative of this grant; and

of the order of this day, directed to his Excellency the Gov- then it began to appear that there was a speculaThe committee rest their assumption, secondly, ernor of Oaxaca, for the object which it expresses ; another tion behind this great enterprise, more important upon the fact that,

copy of the same will be sent to the commandant general of
the said State.

to the Government of the United States, and more “ In 1847, whilst the treaty of peace was under negoti- I basten to give information of the same; repeating my

objectionable to the Government of Mexico, than ation, Mr. Trist, the Commissioner on the part of the United Stales, by instruction from his Government, proposed self your attentive servant, who kisses your band,

the enterprise itself. Here is precious evidence of

J. M. LACUNZA. a large money consideration to Mexico for a right of way His Excellency R. P. LETCHER, &c., &c.

it: On the 26th day of August, 1850, Peter A. across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, and was answered

Hargous wrote a letter to the Secretary of State, in that Mexico could not treat on this subject, because she

And here are the orders themselves:

which, after reviewing the treaty of Mr. Clayton, had, several years before, made a grant in one of her own

Mr. Lacunza to the Governor of Oaxaca. citizens, who had transferred his right, by authorization of

which had then been remitted by Mexico duly the Mexican Government, to English subjecis, of whose

Mexico, April 5, 1850. rights Mexico could not dispose." },

Most EXCELLENT SIR: Several American engineers hav.

signed by the Ministers of the two Governments, ing been appointed for the purpose of examining the possi- || he said, (referring to Mr. Letcher:) On this point the Mexican Government ex

bility of opening the communication between the two seas, " I trust, therefore, that you will pardon me for suggestplains, thai the grant to which their Cðmmis

by way of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec; and desirous as is | ing that it might be advisable, that he should be officially bis-Excellency the President, during their travels in your informed of the movements abovo adverted to, and in321 CONG.....20 Sess.

Tehuantepec Grant-Mr. Seward.


act such terms."

to one.

structed to lose no time which can be saved, in bringing the power to take the whole or any portion of our territory sion of this grant by an assignment which was his negotiation to a speedy and satisfactory close.”

you may think fit; we have not the faculty to resist.

We Mr. Webster complied with this request of have done all we could do to satisfy your country, and to

made upon the express and published condition

of an absolute denationalization; and yet we are Mr. Hargous, and made a new draft of a conven

* What is required of us we cannot graut. If Mr. Webster interposing in their behalf upon the ground of tion, carefully recognizing the Garay grant. Here knew our exact condition, if he knew the precarious ten- the very privileges of alienship, which they reis the first article of it: ure by which we hold power, the violence and strength of

nounced to acquire the rights, and we are claiming “ ART. 1. The person to whom the Government of Mex

the opposition, the refractory spirit of the States, and the ico may have granted, or may in future grant the privileges peculiar prejudices of our people, surely he would not ex

rights for those who, if they have an assignment,

are held by it to have renounced altogether their for constructing a road, railroad, or canal, across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, pursuant to the decrees of that Gov. But Mr. Webster did exact. Castilian pride citizenship of the United States. We are required ernment of the 1st of March, 1842, 91h of February, 4th of October, and 29th of December, 1843, and 5th of November,

gave way. Arista and his ministers succumbed, to make reprisals or war against Mexico for vio1846 ; all those employed in the works of construction, and and the Tehuantepec treaty, with its odious re

lating their rights under that very contract. Let all others who may reside on the territory within the limits citals, was signed. And now for the result. Hear

us see how, in point of fact, the assignees stand defined by the grant according to the terins of the grant it. the report of the Minister, Mr. Letcher:

in regard to this assignment. You will take nosell, shall be protected in their persons and property from the commencement of the work until its completion, and


tice that no assignment was ever publicly known,

or communicated to the Mexican Government beduring the period for which the privileges are granted.”

Mexico, April 8, 1851. The decrees here recited are those which con

“Sir: The Tehuantepec treaty, I regret to say, was re- fore the decree of Salas extending the grant; but

jected last night by the Chamber of Deputies, a bare quorum after the decrees of Salas, Garay made known to veyed the grant to Garay. So Mr. Webster re- being present, in a few minutes after it was submitted by

the Mexican Government that before the decree he jected the treaty drawn by Mr. Clayton, sent to

the Governinent for consideration, by a vote of seventy-one Mexico and accepted there, which did not recog

The result, so far from being a matter of surprise

had made an assignment to Manning & McIntosh, to me or to any one else in this country, was most confident- and Snyder & Co. They have never produced that nize the Garay grant, and sent back a treaty which ly anticipated. The few Deputies who were favorably dis- previous assignment to this day. It is not among did, in express words, recognize it, and he in-posed towards the measure, knowing perfectly well that

the papers before us. Whether such a one was structed Mr. Letcher to try to get this treaty

they would be instantly denounced as traitors to their coun-
try in case they voted for it, deemed it expedient to absent

ever made, and whether it was fraudulent, whether adopted by Mexico. On the 22d of October, 1850,

themselves from the Chamber when the vote was taken. it contained what they said of it, or not, there is Mr. Letcher reported his ill-success in these words: “ Such was the intemperate and uncompromising hostil- no evidence; but the only evidence they have is a

“I submitted to the notice of the Minister of Foreign Re- ity to the Garay grant, that no Mexican in or out of the lations the several alterations you desired to make to the

title by an assignment subsequent reciting that Chamber, not even those who held a direct interest in it, Tehuantepec treaty, expressing at the same time the confi- dared 10 whisper a single word in its support. In fact, the they had a transfer made before the decree. Here dent hope that bis Excellency would find no difficulty in Deputy who voted for the ratification declared his judgment is the notice which Garay gave to the Mexican readily yielding his assent to eacb and all of them. In reply was opposed to it in every particular, but fearing its rejec- Government of the assignment which he had made to this observation he remarked, his Government had been tion might occasion another war between the two countries,

to those parties: most severely and shamefully censured for agreeing to the he felt compelled to vote for it. treaty as it not stands ; that he was sorry to say it was

« It is altogether impossible to make a treaty having the “ With these views, (those concerning colonization,) I quite unpopular in his country; that he himself had been least connection with the Garay grant."

succeeded in concluding a contract with the house of Messrs. denounced as a vile traitor for the part he had taken in it; still he was resolutely determined, he said, fearless of all

That is Mr. Letcher's report. And now I ask

Manning & McIntosh and Snyder, & Co., independent of

that for constructing a way of communication between the consequences, to do any and everything he could to carry my honorable friend from Virginia where it is in

two seas, by which contract) those gentlemen are to introout in good faith, a measure of so much importance to the these negotiations that he finds that Mexico rec- duce settlers on the lands.” two Republics.” ognized the validity of the Garay grant?

The fifth article in that very deed of assign" A further discussion of an hour ensued. He adhered I have no hostility to the Garay grant, or to

ment recited that Garay did not convey to them, most obstinately and fiercely to his objections. Whereupon

its assignees, or to their enterprise. I therefore but actually reserved to himself, the right to open I took the liberiy to tell hini, in very plain language, I was shall hold my own mind in reserve to form a

the Isthmus, in these words: pot at all satisfied with his opinions, or with his reasous; favorable judgment upon them in future, instead and therefore requested to be heard before the President and

« That by this transfer on the part of the covenanter, his Cabinet upon the points in dispute.” of endeavoring to bring other Senators to the

Don José Garay, it is not to be understood that he confers Sir, I should like to see what answer the minis- | assignment is unavailing; and I will now present conclusion that the grant is invalid, or that the upon Messrs. Manning & McIntosh and upon Snyder &

Co. any right whatever to carry On NAVIGATION FROM ter of any Power on earth would receive who the deductions I make from the case, which I have

ONE SEA TO THE OTHER;" should come to the Secretary of State of this na

thus traced out by history and argument, in a And then grunts them the navigation of the tion, and tell him that he was not at all satisfied negative form, to wit: First, that the Committee on little river on this side of the Isthmus, (Coatzacohearing before the President and Cabinet! What Foreign Relations do not show that the American alcos,) so far as may be necessary to the enjoy

ment of their lands; and then adds, as a further is just and right for one Power, is just and right | the Isthmus of Tehuantepec; and, secondly, that and superlative precaution, an additional reservafor another. If we exact justice or courtesy from they do not show that the validity of the grant has tion of non-interference with his privilege of interthe strong, we should concede it to the weak. Mr. been recognized by Mexico since its abrogation oceanic communication. On the 13th of JanuLetcher obtained his hearing before the President, by the Mexican Congress.

try, 1849, to wit: two months after the expiration as will be seen from his report in these words:

Here I might leave the question; but in that of the two years of extension allowed by the de" To this he cheerfully agreed ; and the next day at 11 o'clock was the time fixed upon for this meeting by the

case I should leave undone what it is the duty of cree of Salas, Manning & McIntosh announced permission of the President. At the appointed moment, I

some Senator to do-exhaust the subject and pre- to the Mexican Government, “that Don José Grefound the President and his Cabinet all in attendance. They sent fully the grounds of the votes which must be ray had transferred to their house the privilege of congave me a cordial reception, and the most attentive and

given against the resolutions before the Senate. structing a way of communication between the two seas respectful hearing imaginable, for an hour and a half; and upon taking leave, I was assured, in the kindest manner,

You will perceive that hitherto I have assumed, || by the way of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.' should have everything I desired that they could possibly | in this argument, two things: first, that the grant ceiving this note, the Mexican Government a:ted degive mic."

to Garay was assignable; and secondly, that an cidedly and promptly, reminding the assignees that ( The chief arguments urged against the amendments in

assignment was made by Garay which has come that part of the grant was untransferable, and also question appear to be these :

to be vested in the hands of American citizens. that ihe whole grant was extinct; the last extension "]: That they infringe upon the sovereignty, the honor, Proceeding upon these assumptions, I ask you to granted by Salas, like all the preceding ones, having the dignity, and national pride of Mexico.

take notice of another important point in the case. expired without commencing the work. “2. To adopt them would be at once to paralyze, to disgrace, and in short to overthrow the present administration.

It is indisputable that whatever conditions Salas It remains on this point only to say, that what“3. That a treaty with such provisions would be rejected

attached to his decree, entered into the assignments ever title any American citizens may have, they by the Mexican Congress (probably) without a single dis- when made. Let me show you the conditions im- have only the same title which Manning & Mcsenting voice, and therefore would be of no use to the United | posed by Salas:

Intosh and Snyder & Co. had, with all its imStates, whilst at the same tine it would be the ruin of the party in power."

Art. 13. It shall be an express condition in all con- perfections on its head.

tracts with colonists, that they sball renounce the privileges I shall omit the question whether the original Mr. Letcher then appears to have tried what of their original domicil so long as they reside in the coun

grant of Santa Anna to his favorite Don José Gavirtue there was in threats. Here they are: try, subjecting themselves to all the existing colonial regu" Since the final decision was had, the President and lations which are not in conflict with the present law.

ray, of the privilege of opening the Isthmus, was

"Art. 14. The enterprise shall submit for the approval assignable. The Mexican Government say that every member of his Cabinet, have manifested the deepest of Government all contracts which it shall make for the in- it was not; that Garay was intrusted to execute a concern lest you should be displeased at the result, Gen. troduction of families and laborers, and it shall keep a puberal Arista, who is the master-spirit of the Government, is

great national work as a mere agent. If such a exceedingly uneasy. Every day or two a message is sent

lic and authentic register of all its transactions in respect to by some of the members of the Cabinet expressing regrets all matters of colonization.”

question as that should arise in the United States,

what should we say? The President of the Uniand hoping I am not dissatisfied. The only answer I have

I have translated these conditions from the record | ted States every day issues commissions to indiinade is, Mexico has committed a great error.

of the decree which is before me. Let me show | viduals to perform certain duties. Congress every “It may also be proper to add, during the various discussions which took place in relation to the points in dispute,

what was the contemporaneous exposition of them | day pass 'laws authorizing individuals to build Lavailed myself of a suitable occasion to say, in the event | given by. Salas, and which accompanied the ap- || custom-houses, &c. I would like to know who Mexico refused to enter into a fair treaty for the protection proval of the assignment. Here it is: of the enterprise, my Government, in justice to her own

there is in Congress, or out of it, that would admit citizens, who had made large investinents in the under

According to the spirit of the aforesaid law, this renun- that an administrative officer, or an architect upon taking, was determined to take the atrair into her own ciation must take place in the most positive and conclusive

a public building, has a contract which he can ashands."

manner on the part of the settlers, so thal, whatever cir

cumstances may happen, and whatever measures these may sign to a foreigner, and thereby convey to a foreign Now, let us hear the answer of this exotic and require, neither the selllers aforesaid nor the proprietors Power the right to tell us that we must execute the wind-shaken branch of the ancient and chivalrous may not, in any case, nor for any cause, plead alien priv

contract with its subjects. family, which, on its native peninsula, once gave ileges, nor any other privileges except those which have been

Mr. DOWNS. ( would ask the Senator to laws to both hemispheres. Here it is; and it will try to which both their persons and their property must be granted, or may be granted, to then by the laws of the coun

state, if this contract be not assignable, why it was remain imperishable as the answer of an oppressed, subjected; and without this requisite they will not be ad- that the Mexican Government declared to Mr. but high-minded, and generous people:

Trist that it was assignable, and that it had been " Your Government is strong; ours is weak. You have Here are American citizens claiming the exten- 1 assigned? Is not the Mexican Government as

On re


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