« PreviousContinue »
original of his credential letter, of which he had sent a copy two months earlier.34
On December 6, Torrens had written from Philadelphia telling of the reception of the President's annual message, which contained the declarations destined to become famous as the Monroe Doctrine. He quoted the significant clauses, said they were very popular and were applauded by all the public papers, and declared they meant that the United States would break their neutrality in case any power should aid Spain to conquer America. Already ships were ordered to the Gulf of Mexico to watch developments.35 cente de los Estados Unidos de America; y reconociendo con agradecimiento las amistosas disposiciones de los patriotas ciudadanos de dhos. Estados, confia que no considererá odioso el hacer mencion particular del individuo que ha dada las pruebas mas relevantes del interes que toma en nros. negocios. "Por tanto se ha servido resolver que el Supremo Poder Ejecutivo haga presente al Honorable Enrique Clay, los satisfactorios que han sido al Congreso de la Nación Mexicano, sus activos esfuerzos en apoyo de los derechos de nra. Nación, en que ha manifestado su amor á los interesos de la humanidad y a la libertad de los pueblos, en cuya virtud se le suplica acepte este testimonio de su más sincero agradecimiento, como una ligera prueba de su consideración y respeto á sus conocimientos políticos."
34 Torrens to Secretario, Washington, 26 de enero de 1824, La Diplomacia Mexicana, II, 72.
35 Torrens to Secretario, 6 de diciembre de 1823, La Diplomacia Mexicana, II, 67.
A study of the character of and evolution of the Monroe Doctrine is not necessary here, though its connection with the subject matter of this and the two following chapters is very close. Numerous special treatises on the subject are easily available.
About a month before Monroe's famous message was read in the United States Congress, the Mexican foreign minister, Alaman, had read to the new Mexican Congress a memorial setting forth the state of that country's relations with other powers. He declared: "During the first steps of our political existence, our foreign relations have necessarily been very limited; for while our attention was occupied with domestic dissensions, it was not possible for the nation to be represented with the requisite dignity and consistency to render it respectable in the eyes of other nations. Our independence has nevertheless been solemnly recognized by the United States. The friendship and good understanding with that nation continues undisturbed."36
It was not the intention of the new government to leave the post at Washington filled merely by a chargé. Steps were taken to send again a fully accredited minister plenipotentiary. Zozaya, who had returned to Mexico after one winter at Washington, was not sent back as he had thought he would be. He had been the representative of the empire. The new republican government chose a new man to represent it. The first that it selected was Colonel Melchor Muzquiz. He was appointed in April, 1824, but various circumstances delayed his departure, and finally he de
36 Alaman, Memoria que el Secretario de ... Relaciones presenta al Soberano Congreso . . . 8 de noviembre de 1823. Poinsett, Notes on Mexico, 311, quotes a translation of the same. The translation given in British and Foreign State Papers, X, 1070, is dated November 1.
cided that it would be impossible for him to go.37 A few days after the resignation of Muzquiz had been accepted, Pablo Obregon was appointed in his stead. This was early in August, 1824. Preparations were made for his early departure.38 His credentials were signed on August 30.39
Obregon was thus the fourth minister plenipotentiary whom the various governments in Mexico had accredited to the government of the United States. He was the second actually to reach his post, and the first who really had any important dealings with the administration at Washington. The real beginning of
37 Bocanegra, Memorias . . de México Independiente, I, 299; Alaman to Torrens, 7 de abril de 1824, La Diplomacia Mexicana, II, 78. For the decree of Congress of 8 de abril de 1824, approving the appointment of Muzquiz, see Coleccion de Ordenes y Decretos de la Soberana Junta y los Congresos, III, 41. Secretario to Torrens, 10 de julio de 1824, MS., Relaciones Exteriores, announced that it was impossible for Muzquiz to go and another would be appointed.
38 Secretario to Torrens, 21 de julio de 1824, tells of the resignation of Muzquiz and the selection of Obregon. The latter's commission was dated 4 de agosto de 1824. The approval of Congress bears the same date. Obregon's acceptance is dated 5 de agosto de 1824. All of these documents are in MS., Relaciones Exteriores. The congressional approval is in Coleccion de Ordenes y Decretos de la Soberana Junta y los Congresos, III, 63. On October 2, Torrens in Washington acknowledged the receipt of the letter of July 21. Torrens to Secretario, 2 de octubre de 1824, MS., Relaciones Exteriores; and La Diplomacia Mexicana, II, 85. See Bocanegra, Memorias . . . de Mexico Independiente, I, 323, and Zavala, Ensayo Historico, I, 299, for brief discussions of Obregon's appointment.
39 President of Mexico to President of the United States, 30 de agosto de 1824, MS., Relaciones Exteriores.
the Mexican legation dates from his arrival. The first article of his general instructions reminded him of the fact that the government to which he was going had so early recognized the independence of Mexico, and instructed him to cultivate and strengthen the friendly relations thus established, avoiding every motive for complaint or discord. The first article of his secret instructions told him how these friendly relations might be strengthened. President Monroe's message at the beginning of the last session of Congress, he was told, indicated that the United States was disposed to make common cause with the other independent governments of the American continent in resisting the threatened aggression of the Holy Alliance. He was to learn what assistance Mexico might expect from the United States in case of an attack by the European powers, and was to use his influence to further any tendency that he might discover to help the new governments. He was to appoint and supervise the Mexican consuls at the various ports of the United States and on the frontier posts through which immigrants from the United States were entering the Mexican republic. He was to fix regulations for issuing passports to such, and see that none entered Mexico without passports. He was also to issue regulations for the shipment of goods from ports of the United States into Mexico, and through his consular appointees enforce those regulations. His instructions concerning treaties of amity, commerce, boun
daries, and other matters will be studied in the subsequent chapters dealing with those subjects.40
On September 26, he embarked at Mocambo, near Vera Cruz; and on October 20 he landed at New York.42 On October 22 Torrens wrote from Philadelphia to Adams announcing Obregon's arrival at New York and saying that the new minister would soon proceed to Washington. Obregon and Torrens together arrived in Washington on November 15. The latter introduced the former to Secretary Adams on the 17th when arrangements were made for the formal presentation of the new minister to President Monroe. On the following day, November 18, the presentation ceremony occurred, completing the recognition of Obregon as minister plenipotentiary.**
40 Instrucciones de Obregon, Mexico, 30 de agosto de 1824, and Instrucciones mui Reservadas, MS., Relaciones Exteriores.
41 Obregon to Secretario, Mocambo, 26 de septiembre de 1824, MS., Relaciones Exteriores.
42 Obregon to Secretario, New York, 21 de octubre de 1824, MS., Relaciones Exteriores.
43 Torrens to Adams, Philadelphia, October 22, 1824, MS., Department of State, Notes from the Mexican Legation, I.
44 Obregon to Secretario, Filadelfia, 26 de noviembre de 1824, MS., Relaciones Exteriores; and Torrens to Secretario, Filadelfia, 27 de noviembre de 1824, La Diplomacia Mexicana, II, 86. Obregon to Adams, Washington, 16 de noviembre de 1824, MS., Department of State, Notes from the Mexican Legation, I, announces his arrival at the capital. The credential letter declared: "Animados como siempre del más vivo deseo de continuar y estrechar las relaciones amistosas que felizmente existen entre estos y esos Estados, y que debe hacer mui firmes y duraderas la identidad de las intereses de una y otra nación hemos resuelto nombrar al Exmo.