« AnteriorContinuar »
In February last, an attempt was made at the city of which were never received ; and of all his correspondence Mexico to take from Mr. W. A. Slacum, protected by a with the Mexican Government and with others, on public courier's passport from this Department, public despatches business, so far as the records and files in the legation will of this Government, addressed io Mr. Butler. The attempt allow you to do. Mr. Butler was repeatedly instructed to failed, but Mr. Slacum was fined and detained for carry- | supply these papers, but the instructions have not been ing official letters on his person, authenticated by the en complied with. The expense of the transcripts required dorsement of this Department, and directed to the chargé will be made a separate charge in your accounts, and will d'affaires of the United States in Mexico.
be accompanied by proper vouchers. During Mr. Weaver's In March last, the schooner Eclipse was detained at necessary detention, you will avail yourself of his assistance Tabascn, and her master and crew maltreated by the au- in making the copies. He has received five hundred dolthorities,
lars on account of his expenses-to Mexico. You will furIn April last, the brig Jane, schooner Compeer, and other nish him with a like sum to defray his expenses on his remerchant vessels of the United States, were forcibly detain. turn to Washington, for which your draft on the Departed at Matamoras.
ment will be honored. You will also notify the Mexican Government that it is . I have the honor to be, sir, your obcdient servant, expected any damage which may have been sustained hy
JOHN FORSYTH. citizens of the United States, in consequence of the recent
POWHATAX Ellis, Esq., embargo at Vera Cruz, Tampico, and other Mexican ports Chargé d'Afaires U. S. A., Mexico. on the Gulf, will be repaired, pursuant to the stipulation in the treaty. The papers now sent, show that the military commandant of Tampico has made the embargo a pretext
Mr. Coleman to Mr. Forsyth. for interrupting or obstructing the correspondence between
ConsulACE U.S. AMENICA AT TABASCO, the commander of the United States revenue cutter Jeffer
San Juan Batislu, May 18, 1836. son and our consul there. For these acts, proper satissaction will likewise be expected. The outrages and indigni- known to the Department the loss of the schooner North
Syr: It hecomes my duty, as vice consul, to make ties comınitted against consuls and other officers of the Uni. ted States, though not more unjust nor attended with cir-amplon, burden 68 38-95 tons, belonging to New York, cumstances of greater hardships ihan those done to individ- five leagues west of the Tabasco river, with a full assorted
William M. McKeige master. She was stranded about ual citizens, are nevertheless to be considered as greater violations of the rights of the United States, and to be rep- safely landed by the officers and crew of said vessel. The
cargo on board for this market, the major part of which was resented accordingly. Though the Department is not in possession of proof of loss to those interested would have been but trilling, had
not the custom-house officers and military taken forcible all the circumstances of the wrongs done in the above cases, as represented by the aggrieved parties, yet the complaints the wreck. The officers and crew of the schovner remon
possession of every article saved, as soon as they arrived at are such as to entitle them to be listened to, and to justify strated against their violent and illegal proceedings, and a demand on the Mexican Government that they shall be
they were immediately assaulted, and the mate was severepromptly and properly examined, and that suitable redress shall be afforded. You will, therefore immediately aildress ly wounded by one of the custom-house officers; the goods
were then abandoned to the said officers and soldiers, and a strong but respectful representation to the Mexican Giov
they at once commenced plundering and secreting the most ernment on the subject of these various injuries. You will
valuable articles. The officers and crew of the schooner also remind it of the numerous other complaints which have proceeded to this city, and made a formal abandonment of been made from time to time, and which still remain unre.
the whole into my hands; and, at the same time, handed dressed. You will likewise set forth the great forbearance
me a list of the goods actually saved from the wreck, as which the Government of the United States has practised
I took the necestowards Mexico, and the friendly and benevolent motives well as the manifest of the entire cargo.
sary steps for the interest of those concerned.
On taking which have led to it; and you will state that the President, finding that this moderation and forbearance, so far from possession, from the custom-bouse officers and soldiers, of
the goods, I found that more than one hall of the goods being appreciated by Mexico, seem only In be met by new
that were saved from the wreck, and left in the keeping of injuries, is constrained, by a high sense of duty, to ask of
the custom-house officers and soldiers, had becn disposed the Mexican Government such reparation as these accumu
of by them, and no account given of the same. I reprelated wrongs may, on examination, be found to require.
sented the circumstance to the proper authorities, but could If, contrary to the President's hopes, no satisfactory an
get no redress whatever; they wink at every outrage or depswer shall be given to this just and reasonable demand
redation committed on Ainerican property by their under within threo wecks, you will inform the Mexican Govern
officers. ment that, unless redress is afforded without unnecessary Jelay, your further residence in Mexico will be useless. I daily to submit to insult and injustice, not only from pri
Since the commencement of the war in Texas, we have this state of things continues longer, you will give formal notice to the Mexican Government ibat
, unless a satisfac- is no prospect of any change, except it be for worse treat
vale citizens, but from the highest authorities; and there tory answer shall be given within a fortnight, you are in. structed to ask for your passports; and, at the end of that
I have the honor to be, sir, your most obedient servant, time, if you do not receive such answer, it is the President's
W. E. COLEMAN. direction that you demand your passports and return to Hon. Johx Forseth, the United States, bringing with you the arehives of the
Secretary of Stale, Washington. legation.
Mr. William A. Weaver, who is sent as a special messenger with this communication, you will detain until you
Extract of a letter from W. E. Coleman, Esq., acting can frame a full report to the Department, as to the state of
consul of the United States at Tabasco, Mexico, to the the business of your mission, as well that under the charge of Mr. Butler as that intrusted to you. You will also send
Secretary of State, dated June 6, 1836. by the messenger, on his return, (if they can be prepared " About two weeks since, I was summoned before an within a reasonable time,) copies of Mr. Butler's despatches, alcalde of this city, and publicly insulted and ill-treatedl, Nos. 14, 23, 52, 53, 54, 58, and 84, the originals of' and narrowly escaped imprisonment, because I refused to
legalize documents to effect insurance at New Orleans that early part of the present year five leagues west of the Ta. were, in my opinion, drawn up to defraud the under- basco river, with a full and assorted cargo on board, the writers; they made inany threats, and said they would do greater part of which was safely landed by the officers every thing that lay in their power to injure me the first and crew of said vessel. The loss to those interested reopportunity
sulting from this accident would have been inconsiderable, “A short time previous to the above, an American sea had not the custom-house officers and military taken ford. captain was unjustly punished and fined by the city au- ble possession of every article saved, as soon as they arri. thorities. There was a move by one of the council to re- ved at the wreck. Against so violent and illegal a proceed. mit the fine; but the question was asked by another, to ing, the officers and crew of the Northampton protested; what country the captain belunged; and, on learning that whereupon they were immediately assaulted, and the mate he was a North American, they replied, that will do; we severely wounded by one of the custom-house officers. Al will not let pass an opportunity to punish these people.' ter this occurrence, the goods were abandoned to the offi.
“I could fill a volume with facts of the tenor of the fore- cers and soldiers aforesaid, who at once commenced plupgoing ; but conceive the above representations sufficient to dering and secreting the most valuable articles belonging satisfy you of the state of things, and of the government of thereto. The officers and crew of the schooner then prothis republic. These acts of oppression are not commited ceeded to the city of Tabasco, inade a formal abandon: by, nor at the instance of, the common people; but by the ment of the whole into the hands of the United States conhigher orders, and those in authority.”
sul at that place, and furnished him with a list of the goods actually saved from the wreck, as well as a manifest of the entire cargo.
On the consul's taking charge of the goods Mr. Ellis lo alr. Forsyth.
which had been left in possession of the custom-house offiLEGATIOy of Tie UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
cers and soldiers, not one-half of those saved from the Mexico, October 11, 1836.
wreck were delivered to him, nor was any account giren SIR : I herewith transmit to you a copy of my note of of the balance. These circumstances were represented to the 26th ultimo, addressed to his excellency the acting
the proper authorities in Tabasco, but they have, up to this Minister of Foreign Affairs, in compliance with your instruc- moment, refused or neglected to give any explanation or tions of the 20th July last, and his answer of the 3d in
redress to the injured parties.
Such illegal, violent, and arbitrary acts on the part of In the discharge of this delicate and highly responsible the officers of the Supreme Mexican Government
, afiectduty, I have been influenced by an anxious desire to pur
ing so seriously the persons and property of those entitled sue thc enor and spirit of your instructions. I have care.
to its protection, furnish a just cause of complaint; and fully abstained from saving any thing that could be viewed
the frequency of their recurrence of late, the indisposition as iinproper, under all the circumstances of the case ; and
of this Government to inquire into them, to graut satisfacI sincerely hope a returning sense of justice on the part of tion for them, or to take proper steps to prevent their rethis Government will induce it to listen favorably to the
currence, can by no means iend to strengthen that spirit
of forbearance with which the President of the United communication thus presented for its serious deliberation. The policy of this nation has been so uniforin, since the
States has hitherto acted towards Mexico; entertaining, is recognition of her independence, in pursuing a long scries
he does, a sincere sympathy for ber domestic troubles, and
an anxious desire to cultivate the relations of peace, of injuries, wantonly and illegally inflicted upon the commerce of every people coming within her reach, and with friendship, and good neighborhood with her Government
and people. oul granting to the injured parties any satisfaction whatever, that it would seem to preclude all hope of a satis
To satisfy your excellency that the above statement is factory adjustinent of our claims. But, lie assured, every
based upon facts, the undersigned will reser to the followpossible exertion, consistent with the honor and interest of ing cases, a majority of which have heretofore been brought our country, shall be used to meet the views of the Presi
to the notice of this Government, and all of which have dent of the United States on this subjcct.
occurred since the conclusion of the treaty of amity, com
I shall endeavor, likewise, lo impress upon the mind of his excellency the
merce, and navigation between the two countries, President ad interim of this republic, the propriely and
On the 31st of December, 1831, an alcalde of Menouljustice of abandoning the policy heretofore practised to
lan), on the Guazcualco river, instituted what is said to wards citizens of the United States trading with Mexico,
have been an illegal, arbitrary, and oppressive proceeding and the great advantages likely to result to both countries against Doctor John Baldwin, a citizen of the United liv eflecting such a change. If, however, I should fail to
States, under color of a suit at law preferrel and carried attain this desirable objeci, (as will probably be the case,)
on against him by a crcature of the alcalde himself. Baldyour instructions relative to what event shall be promptly altercation ensued, and the alcalde ordered him to the
win appeared before the alcalde 10 answer the charge: an obeyed. Duplicates of my despatches los. 19 and 20 are en
stocks; which Baldwin refusing to submit to, he attempted closed.
to escape, anıl was pursued by a party of armed soldiers I have the honor to be, with great respect and regard,
who allended the court. In the race, Baldwin fell, reyour obedient servanl,
ceived an injury in one of his legs, was captured, carried Hun. Joux FORSYI'll,
back into the presence of the court, placed in the ot che, Secretary of Stule, Washington city.
and afterwards imprisoned.
, Maine, was employed by the Mexican Government to Ur. Ellis lo Mr. Jonasterio.
carry troops from Matamoras to Galvestou ligy. The
master and mate were murdered by the soldiers on the LEGATIOs Of tue U. S. or AERICA, Mexico, September 26, 1836.
passage, the crew imprisoned, and the ves-cl scized and
converted to the Mexican service. Thic lindersigned, chargé d'affaires of the United States On the 21st June, 1932, the American schooner Braof America, has the honor to represent to his excellencyzoria was seized in the port of Brazoria, by Join Austin, the acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, that ibe schoover Northampton, burdlen nrarly seventy ions, of and from employed to make an attack upon Anabuac,"iben in the
the Mexican military commandant in 'thải quarter
, and New York, William M. McKeize ma-ter, stranded in the possession of insurgents. During the attack, she was so
injured as to be rendered unseaworthy, and was subse- prohibited. Armed soldiers broke open his gate during his quently abandoned as a total loss ; for which the under- absence, forcibly took a mare and two mules belonging to writers have received no compensation.
him, entered his house with drawn swords, and searched In the summer of 18:32, the steamboat Hidugo, and every room in it, with the avowed object of finding schooner Consolation, belonging to Mr. Leggett, were the consul hiinsell. Hallet and Hull have been released ; forcibly taken possession of by Mexican officers in Tabasco, but to the note addressed to your excellency on the 9th and used by them for their own purposes. The brig Jolm, instant, on this subject, no satisfactory answer has been belonging to the same gentleman, was also detained, and received. money extorted from him. The consequences resulting The schooner Eclipse, Abner Lane, master, of Mobile, froin these acts are represented to have been ruinous to arrived of Tabasco in March last, with a cargo of lumber; the sufferer; and the Mexican Government is clearly and, on being boarded by an officer of the customs below bound, under the treaty, to indemnify him for them. the city, the captain delivered his papers, agreeably to the
In March, 1834, Captain McKeige, of the schooner In- laws of Mexico; he was then ordered on shore, and there dustry, of Mobile, was imprisoned at Tabasco, and an ex- detainel until the ensuing morning. At that time the orbitant fine demanded of him without cause. The pay- officer alluded to made search of the vessel for contraband ment of this fine being made the only condition on which goods, and then sealed the hatches, forecastle, and bulkhe could be allowed to depart, he abandoned his vessel and heads; which being done, a guard was left on board, and cargo to the authorities, who afterwards sold them. the vessel despatched up the river. On her passage up,
In the summer of 1834, the brig Paragon, of New York, she was visited by four or five boats that reported themwas causelessly fired into, on her way to Vera Cruz, by selves as belonging to the custom-house ; but they had no the Mexican armed schooner Tampico. In reply to an ensign or other mark to distinguish them as such. Each official representation on the subject by Mr. Butler, this of these boats overhauled everything on board not under Government promised that the affair should be inquired in. the custom house seal, and forcibly took the ship's provisto; but there is no evidence that this promise has been ions for their own use, leaving the crew on short allowance. complied with.
After the arrival of the vessel at the city of Tabasco, adIn the beginning of May, last year, the answer of an of- ditional guards were placed on board. The captain was ficer, supposed to lelong to the custom-house, who board- then given to understand he might land his cargo; but on ed the brig Ophir, of New York, on her arrival at Cam- the following day the guard was again increased in number, peachy, to an inquiry of the captain as to which of the and he was not permitted to discharge his vessel with her ship’s papers it would be necessary to present at the cus- own crew-laborers having been sent from the shore to tom-house, was accidentally, or intentionally, misinterpre perform that duty, contrary to the captain's expressed ted. in consequence of this, notwithstanding all the pa- wish. After the vessel was discharged, another unsucpers were shown to the boariling officers, the invoices only cessful search for contraband goods was instituted, in the being exhibited at the custom-house, the vessel was seized prosecution of which the cabin and furniture were much and condemned.
broken and otherwise injured; notwithstanding all which, In May, 1835, also, the schooner Martha, from New an exorbitant bill of expenses was presented to Captain Orleans, was seized at Galveston bay by the Mexican arm- Lane for diecharging the vessel as aforesaid, and, upon his ed schooner Montezuma, for an alleged non-compliance refusing to pay the same, and making a formal abandonwith certain formalities of their revenue laws. Four of ment of the vessel, she was seized and he imprisoned. the passengers of the Martha were put in irons under the At the last advices received, the one still remained in close hatches of the Montezuma, and otherwise treated with confinement, and the other fast moored in the river. great barbarity, because of an imputed intention to use In April last, the brig Jane, the schooner Compeer, and their fire-arms against a guard that had been placed over other vessels of the United States, were forcibly detained them on board the Martha.
for a lengih of time at Matamoras. In November, 18:35, the schooner Hannah Elizabeth, of And in May last, the consul of the United States at 'TaNew Orleans, was stranded on the bar in attempting to basco was summoned before an alclade of that city, and enter Matagorda bay. While in this condition, she was required by that functionary to authenticate public docufired into by the Mexican armed schooner Bravo, boarded ments under the consular seal of his office. Upon his reby twenty armed soldiers, under the command of two offi- fusal to comply with this extraordinary demand, he was cers, who forcibly took the master, cres, and passengers ill-treated, and threatened with imprisonment; the alelade from the wreck, pillaged them of most of their clothes, and thereby constituting bimself an arbiter to decide upon the chained them in the hold of the Bravo until their arrival propriety of the discharge of duties confided to an officer at Matagorda, where they were continued in confinement. bearing the commission of a foreign Power, to whom alone Through the urgent representations of the consul of the he is responsible for the faithful discharge of all his public United States at that place, however, all but the captain obligations. were ultimately released ; and although a respectful note The flag of the United States has been repeatedly inwas ad:liessed to your excellency in relation to this trans- sulted and fired upon by the public armed vessels of this action, under date of the 30th of May last, the undersigned Government; her consuls, in almost every port of the rehas not been able to ascertain whether that unfortunate public, have been maltreated and insulted by the public individual (the captain of the Hannah Elizabeth) still re- authorities ; her citizens, while in the pursuit of a lawful mains confined in the dungeons of the Bravo de Santiago, and peaceful trade, have been murdered on the high seas or whether any satisfaction has been offered for an out- hy a licentious and unrestrained soldiery. Others have rage so daring.
been arrested and scourged in the streets, by the military, On the 17th of February last, William Hallett and Zal- like coinmon malefactors ; they have been seized and immon Hull, citizens of the United States, were arrested in prisoned under the most frivolous pretexts ; their property the streets of Malamoras hy a party of armed soldiers, has been condemned and confiscated, in violation of existwho struck Hull in the face with sword, and forcibly | ing treaties and the acknowledged laws of nations, and look both to the principal barrack in that city, where they | large sums of money have been exacted from them, conwere confined upon suspicion of being about to proceed to trary to all law.
These acts of outrage and oppression, Texas. Sentinels were placed at the doors of the consul's with the numerous other complaints which have been residence subsequent to the arrest of Hallett and Hull, made, from time to time, and which still remain unredressunder false pretences, and all communication therewith 'ed, have painfully impressed upon the mind of the Presi.
dent of the United States that the great moderation and Ellis, that he has duly received his note of the 26th ultimo, forbearance which he has, on all occasions, practised to. in which the asks that the Supreme Mexican Government wards Mexico, and the friendly and benevolent motives should take into consideration the different subjects and which have led to it, have not been properly appreciated; reclamations therein mentioned ; but as, in order to do so, and he now feels himself constrained, by a high sense of duty, it is necessary for the undersigned to examine the various to ask of the Mexican Government such reparation as these docuinents touching the cases, some of which are of old accumulated wrongs may, on inquiry, be found to require. dates, he has given instructions that they should be collect
The undersigned is also instructed 10 make known to ed in the Department of State, so that an account of the your excellency that it is expected that any damage which whole may be presented to his excellency the President ad may have been sustained by citizens of the United States, interim ; the result of which will be communicated with in consequence of the recent embargo at Vera Cruz, Tam- all despatch to the Hon. Mr. Ellis: to whom, in the mean pico, and other Mexican ports on the Gulf, will be repair- time, he renews the assurances of his very distinguished ed, pursuant to the stipulations of the treaty.
consideration. The private claims, generally, of citizens of the United
JOSE MARIA ORTIZ MONASTERIO. States, to a vast amount, arising out of flagrant violations of the laws of nations, have been made by my predecessors the subject of repeated and unavailing applications to this
Mr. Ellis to Mr. Forsyth.--Extract. Government for adjustment. After these unexpected pro- LEGATION OF THE UNITED SratES OF AMERICA, crastinations in rendering justice to those who had been
Mexico, October 4, 18:36. invited into the ports of the republic, under the most sulemn guaranties of protection, it cannot be a matter of surprise
Sir: I have the honor herewith to enclose to you the that the United States should ask that their claims may be correspondence (marked A) between the acting Minister
of Foreign Affairs and myself, in relation to the outrage investigated, and acknowledged, if found to be correct.
committed on the Ainerican consal and two citizens of the Every principle of international law, and of equity, requires that remuneration should be granted to the sufferers, United States at Matamoras. From the direction Mr. who have been thus reduced to ruin and beggary by the Monasterio was pleased to give my note on this subject, unauthorized acts of men who have violated the laws and
it was impossible to conjecture, from past experience, when usages which regulate and control the commercial inter- fore, thought it proper to embrace this case in the enomer
a satisfactory answer would be received. I have, therecourse between all civilized nations. Such remuneration is due to that high sense of honor and justice which the ated causes of complaint presented to the Mexican Gos
ernment on the 26th ultimo. undersigned confidently believes will ever anirnate the Mexican Government in maintaining those friendly rela.
To the Hon. Jous FORSYTI, tions which so happily exist between the two republics ;
Secretary of State, Washington City. and permit him to add, it is due to the honor, the interests, and the rights of his own country.
Mr. Ellis to Mr. Monasterio. Many of the cases not enumerated, as well as those now particularly referred to, marked, as they are, by the strong
Ly.gATION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, est evidence of cruelty and injustice, cannot be made a
Mexico, September 9, 1836. matter of controversy at this time, The established prin- The undersigned, chargé d'affaires of the United States ciples of public law, governing the rights of those in of America, has the honur to represent to your excellency, terested, are too clearly defined to leave a doubt upon the that, on the 17th February last, William Hallet and Zalquestions involved in a settlement of the claims now re- mon Hull, (the step-son of the consul of the United States spectrally submitted to the consideration of the Mexican at Matamoras,) citizens of the United States, were arrestGovernment.
ed in the street, near the habitation of the contul of said The undersigned cannot conclude this note without ex- States, by a party of armed soldiers, who brutally struck pressing his assured confidence that the enlightened and Hull in the face with a sword, and forcibly took them to liberal views, and known sense of justice, of his excellency the principal barrack in the city of Matamoras, where they the President ad interim of the supreme Mexican Govern- were contined as prisoners. A short time after this occurment, will impel him speedily to arrange, with entire satis- rence, sentinels were placed at the doors of the residence faction, these alleged causes of complaint against that Gov- of the consul of the United States, and all communication ernment.
therewith prohibited. The undersigned, therefore, in compliance with instruc. Armed soldiers broke open his gate during his absence, tions from the President of the United States, demands and forcibly took out of the enclosure of his private property that full reparation be made to all persons who have sus- one mare and two mules; and afterwards entered the house tained injury in the several cases now set forth; that all with drawn swords, to the great terror of the females of his private claims of citizens of the United States on this family, and searched every room in the building with the Government be proinplly and properly examined, and avowed intention of finding the father of Mr. Hull. suitable redress afforded; and that due satisfaction be given From these facts, it is apparent the outrage committed for the numerous insults offered to the officers and flag of has been attended with circumstances of injury and insult the United States, as hereinbefore represented.
wholly inconsistent with those laws and regulations which The undersigned improves the present opportunity to govern the commercial intercourse between nations, and renew to Mr. Monasterio the assurance of his very distin. which have heretofore been the protection of consuls in all guished consideration. POWHATAN ELLIS. countries. Your excellency must be too well acquainted 'To his Excellency Jose Maria Ortis MONASTERIO, with these laws, not to be aware of the irregularity of the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs. proceedings of the local authorities at Matamoras, in the
instance alluded to, and that they are in violation of the Mr. Monasterio to Mr. Ellis.
rights of a Government on terms of amity with the United
The undersigned will, however, remark, that wben con-
Mexico, October 3, 1836. press conditions, they must be considered as standing on
Custom and usage have ascertained and fixed their immu- / passed between this legation and the acting Minister of nitios, where it has not been done by conventional law; Foreign Affairs. and any infraction of them is justly considered an indignity
I have the honor to be, sir, &c., offered to the country whose commission the consul bears.
POWHATAN ELLIS. The undersigned, therefore, in compliance with instruc- To the Hon. John Forsytu, tions, demands reparation to the injured individuals hero
Secretary of State, Washington city. inbefore mentioned, and due satisfaction for the insult offered to his Government in the perpetration of the arbitrary,
Mr. Ellis to Mr. Monasterio, and, he trusts, unauthorized acts of the commandant gen
LEGATION OF THE U. S. OF AMERICA, eral of the department of Tamaulipas and New Leon.
Mexico, September 15, 1836. The undersigned arails himself of this occasion to pre- The undersigned, chargé d'affaires of the United States sent to his excellency the acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, of America, has the honor to state, that the schooner Peter the assurance of his great respect and distinguished consid- | D. Vroom, E. F. Kelly, master, sailed from Philadelphia eration,
on the 12th of June, 1836, consigned to Crecencio Boves, POWHATAN ELLIS. Vera Cruz, and on the 19th of July next ensuing was To his Excellency Jose Maria Outiz MonasteNO, wrecked on the coast forty miles above Vera Cruz. The Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs.
captain, after taking every precaution to save the cargo of his vessel, came down to the place of his destination, and
noted protest before the American consul, and appointed Mr. Monasterio lo Vr. Ellis.
him agent to dispose of the cargo. This officer despatched [Translation.]
vessels, and conveyed to Vera Cruz the whole of the said
cargo saved from the wreck; and the same was tendered PALACE OF TIE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT,
to the original consignee, who refused to accept it. Said Mexico, September 19, 1836. consignee subsequently made a forinal abandonment before The undersigned, acting Minister of Foreign Afairs, has the mercantile tribunal of Vera Cruz, who thereupon apthe honor to advise the Hon. Powhatan Ellis that his note
pointed hiin agent for the underwriters to dispose of tho of the 9th instant, relative to the outrages committed in
cargo for the benefit of those concerned. To the appointMatamoras against the consul of the United States of
ment of this, or any other agent, the American consul obAmerica, and two other citizens of the same States, by a
jected, and claimed the control of the business, after the party of soldiers, has been this day transmitted to the secrendition of the judgment of the court giving the order of retary of War, for such provisions as he may think fit to
sale. Crecencio Boves, however, renounced his agency dictate in the case.
for the sale of the cargo, and Manuel de Vega was apThe undersigned engages to communicate to Mr. Ellis pointed in his place, with the same powers, and for the the resolution of the said Secretary of War, and in the mean
same object : who proceeded, on the 30th of July, under tinc avails hiinself of the occasion to repeat to him the
an order of the mercantile tribunal, to sell the cargo in assurances of his very distinguished consideration.
question, without the consul of the United States having JOSE MARIA ORTIZ MONASTERIO.
received any official notice thercof. Against this sale ths To the Hon. PowaaTax Lllis,
said consul protested. Chargé d'Affaires of the U. S. of America.
From an examination of the facts in this case, your excellency will perceive that the mercantile tribunal of Vera
Cruz exceeded its just authority, in withholding from the Mr. Ellis to Mr. Forsyth.
agent and consul of the United States that participalion in LEGATION OF THE U. S. OF AMERICA,
the sale of the cargo of the Peter D. Vroom to which he Mexico, October 5, 1836.
was clearly entitled. It is a general duty imposed upon
consuls of the United States, when vessels of the United Sin: The enclosed correspondence (marked C) in refer- States are stranded on the coasts of their consulates, to take ence to the proceedings had before the mercantile tribunal proper measures for saving such vessels, their cargoes and apat Vera Cruz, in the case of the schooner Peter D. Vroom, purtances, and, after deducting the charges and expenses ac. wrecked near that port on the 19th of July last, will inform cruing on the salvage, to deliver over the same to the ownyou of the course I Jeemed it necessary to pursue, with In the performance of this duty, in the case now una view to protect the righis and interests of citizens of thoder consideration, vessels were despatched to the assistance United States, and to resist a inanifest infraction of the of the wreck, and that portion of the cargo not already dewell-established principle of maritime law. What order stroyed was conveyed to Vera Cruz, and tendered, as bethe Supreme Mexican Government may take upon this fore stated, to the consignee, Crecencio Boves; but ho matter, I am yet to learn; as my note under date of the refused to receive it, and thereafter made a formal aban15th ultimo, representing this affair in its true light, has donment. In this state of the case, there being no owner been transferred from the Foreign Office to the Minister of or supercargo present, the master of the vessel, by a uni. Grace and Justice; where, from the evasive policy of this versally acknowledged principle of maritime law, became Government, it may rest unnoticed as long as that referred the agent for the owners and shippers, and had a right to 10 tho Minister of War and Marine in the case of the Han- take such steps as he might deem proper for the benefit of nah Elizabeth.
those interested. In the exercise of this right, conceded The papers (D) show that the court of admiralty at by the laws governing the commercial world, and guaranCampeachy has violated an imperative duty under the tied to him by the seventh article of the treaty of amity, stipulations of the treaty subsisting between the coun- commerce, and navigation, between the United States of tries, to the injury of those interested in the case of the America and the United Mexican States, the undersigned brig Aurora, wrecked on the coast of Sisal, and libelled in is at a loss to conceive how the court of admiralty in Vera that court subsequent to her disaster. This Goverminent Cruz could have overlooked the first pretensions of the complained of the conduct of the American consul in this agent of the master to control the sale, and receive the case, and I immediately wrote to him for a full statement proceeds arising therefron, under the order of the court. of the proceedings. His reply states that, on demand, the If there could be any doubt in regard to the propriety of judge had refused to furnish him with a copy of the rec- the course contended for by the consul, the following doord; in consequence of which, the notes now enclosed 'crees of the Supreme Mexican Government itself will cou
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