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ture, and was using every effort on his part to prevent such."

In the latter part of June, 1827, Poinsett was publicly and violently arraigned in a long manifesto issued by the legislature of the state of Vera Cruz. It declared that "a sagacious and hypocritical foreign minister as zealous for the prosperity of his own country as inimical to ours," being jealous of Mexican prosperity which would soon eclipse that of his own country, and jealous also of the friendly relations of Mexico with Great Britain which might prove disadvantageous to the interests of the United States, had established the York Masons, a hundred times more dangerous than twenty battalions of the tyrant of Spain. For an invading army would be met as an enemy by a united country; but the Yorkinos had been organized to destroy the Escoceses and the consequent internal dissensions were diffusing a want of confidence throughout the country, dividing it against itself. It declared that the Escoceses well deserved destruction for their ambition and centralist tendencies; but that many moderate men of that faction had been displaced that their positions might fall to their more ambitious opponents. It declared both Yorkinos and Escoceses injurious, and demanded the enforcement of laws already existing which prohibited all Masonic associations.10

Poinsett to Clay, November 15, 1826, MS., Department of State, Despatches from Mexico, II.

10 Manifesto of the Congress of Vera Cruz to the Mexican Nation, June 19, 1827, translation covering twenty-six manu

A short time after this violent attack, Poinsett published in Spanish a pamphlet which he called " An Exposition of the policy of the United States toward the Republics of America," replying to the charges in the manifesto. He reviewed at length the uniformly friendly policy of the United States and of himself for Mexico, and declared that far from being inimical to the prosperity of Mexico or the other republics the United States "are desirous to see their neighbors wealthy and powerful in order that they may be more efficient allies and more profitable customers." He quoted from a discourse which he had himself pronounced in favor of the recognition of these states in which he had expressly refuted the argument that their prosperity would hurt the United States. Further the United States were far from thinking the friendship of Great Britain for Mexico injurious to them. On the contrary the United States invited Great Britain to join them in recognizing the new states; and when that was not done urged Great Britain to follow their example, and rejoiced when she did. In answer to the charge that he was con

script pages, enclosed with Poinsett to Clay, July 8, 1827, MS., Department of State, Despatches from Mexico, III. A printed copy in Spanish is in the volume of Duplicate Despatches from Poinsett. The manifesto declared also that many Iturbidistas were members of the York lodges, and that their purpose was to bring about the return of the empire with Iturbide's son at its head. This Poinsett considered too absurd to need argument. It is, however, a fact that later Iturbidistas cooperated with the Yorkinos; but that was probably because Bourbonistas cooperated with the Escoceses.

trolling the prevailing party in the federal government, he argued that the vexatious delays in his negotiations proved the falsity of it. He declared that he had had no part in the perversion of the Masonic lodges to political purposes, and that since they had been so perverted he had withdrawn from their meetings. He insisted that he had not interfered with the internal concerns of the country unless advocating the superiority of republican institutions and explaining the workings of United States institutions be considered interfering.11

In his long letter of July 8, 1827, already mentioned, Poinsett explained to Clay the situation and the events that led up to it. He said he had abstained from demanding satisfaction for this unprovoked and unjustifiable insult because the state of Vera Cruz had recently committed acts of rebellion against the sovereignty of the federal government and was then maintaining a defiant attitude. There was hardly any way short of civil war that the federal government could have forced the state to give satisfaction. If he had demanded satisfaction and had not promptly received it he would have been compelled to demand his passports and leave the country, placing the United States

11 Poinsett's Exposition of the Policy of the United States toward the Republics of America, dated July 4, 1827, enclosed with Poinsett to Clay, July 8, 1827, MS., Department of State, Despatches from Mexico, III. A printed copy in Spanish is in the volume of Duplicate Despatches from Poinsett. It is also in print in pamphlet form, though rare. English translations of it were printed in various newspapers at the time. The manuscript copy covers sixteen pages.

and Mexico in collision, which he thought the governing faction in Vera Cruz desired. He regretted that the legislature of Vera Cruz had thus violated the law of nations and every principle of decency and good faith by publishing suspicions derogatory to the character of a friendly nation and the reputation of a foreign minister But they were also guilty of violating the federal constitution. The maintenance of the federal form was sure to involve the central and local governments in disputes concerning sovereignty. The other states were giving proofs of attachment to the federal government and the state of Vera Cruz would have to submit. The general government had lamented the attack but was slow in acting and hitherto had lacked the energy to make itself obeyed in the state of Vera Cruz. He said the errors of Mexico ought to be viewed with indulgence. Their long period of political tutelage to Spain and their lack of experience in dealing with foreign nations was their only excuse. It was not strange that they should confuse the duties and rights of different organs of government. He said he had always made every effort to show the friendly disposition of the United States, and rendered cheerful service to those who applied for advice or assistance in the framing of laws or in understanding the working of constitutional principles. He had uniformly exhorted them to submit to any temporary evil rather than resort to violence. This conduct had drawn upon him the odium of those who sought to overthrow liberal institutions. The neces

sity for thus defending his conduct was painful, he said, but there was no alternative.12

Before this explanation had been received at Washington, Sergeant had returned from Mexico where he had gone to cooperate with Poinsett in the mission to the congress at Tacubaya, the unsuccessful attempt at a continuation of the Panama congress of the preceding year. President Adams entered in his diary on August I the statement that "Mr. Sergeant thinks not favorably of the proceedings of Mr. Poinsett during his residence in Mexico." Adams also says that Sergeant had handed him a private letter from Poinsett in which the latter said he had received an intimation from the President of Mexico that his recall would be demanded.13 Obregon wrote his government that in a conference some time in August Clay had expressed disapproval of Poinsett's conduct in so far as he had mixed in the internal affairs of the country. When the news of the Vera Cruz attack first arrived, about the middle of August, the National

12 Poinsett to Clay, July 8, 1827, MS., Department of State, Despatches from Mexico, III. This letter covers twenty manuscript pages. Much of it is occupied with a review of the origin, composition, and principles of the Scottish party, of the part Poinsett had taken in the organization of the York Masons, and of the political activities of the Yorkinos to counteract that of the Escoceses. See above, this chapter.

Rivera, Historia de Jalapa, II, 426, gives a brief study of the Vera Cruz Manifesto and the attendant rebellious movements in the state of Vera Cruz. Most of the other Mexican historians cited in notes 4-6, above, also discuss the manifesto. 13 Adams, Memoirs, VII, 312.

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