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I also refer to the following from Executive Document No. 144, second session twenty-eighth Congress:
Page 23. Extracts from a letter of the Hon. Waddy Thompson, minister plenipotentiary to Mexico, addressed to the President of the United States, and dated Mexico, May 16, 1843.
( Copy of letter.)
Mexico, May 16, 1843. My Dear Sir: I have the happiness to inform you the first payment has been made under the late convention. The money was raised by a forced loan, which has caused great excitement, even to fears of exciting to a revolution.
In September last I received from you a power of attorney to receive the money for these awards, containing a clause authorizing me to appoint a substitute or substitutes. This power was sent me not only unsolicited, but unexpected and undesired by me. I received at the same time a dispatch from Mr. Webster, in which he uses the following language : "It is presumed that, if there had been a market in the United States for exchange on Mexico, and the treasury had been acquainted with persons of repute there, accustomed to the transaction of financial business, the usual course in such instances would have been taken, and drafts payable in the funds specified in the convention would have been drawn on the Mexican minister of finance in favor of such banker or merchant who might have been authorized to receive them. Under existing circumstances, therefore, that department has determined to employ you for that purpose," &c. These remarks of Mr. Webster, together with the power given me to appoint a substitute or substitutes, I regarded as a suggestion to transfer the actual agency to some banker or merchant, if I knew any such who could be safely trusted with it, and as I did know a house here of the highest “repute, and accustomed to the transaction of financial business," I at once determined to employ that house to receive and remit the money, and on the 8th of November wrote the Secretary of the Treasury, accepting the agency and informing him of my determination to appoint as “substitute" the house of L. S. Hargous.
Page 13. Power of attorney from John Tyler, President of the United States, to Benjamin E. Green. John Tyler, President of the United States of America :
To all who shall see these presents greeting: Know ye, that, reposing full confidence in the integrity and prudence of Benjamin E. Green, Secretary of the Legation of the United States at Mexico, I do hereby empower him to demand and receive from the proper authorities of the Mexican republic the money due the United States by that republic, on the 30th of this month, pursuant to the second article of the convention between the two governments, of January 30, 1843; and I do hereby further empower the said Benjamin E. Green, on the payment of the money aforesaid, to give full acquittances for the same; and he is further authorized to appoint a substitute or substitutes, to act for
him in the premises, in as full and ample a manner as he is by these presents authorized to do; and I do hereby ratify all his acts, and the acts of his substitute or substitutes, in the premises.
In testimony whereof I have caused the seal of the United States to be hereunto affixed. Given under my hand, at the city of Washington, the twenty-sixth
day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hun[L. s.] dred and forty-four, and of the independence of the United States the sixty-eighth.
JOHN TYLER. By the President :
JOHN C. CALHOUN,
Secretary of State.
Page 25. Letter of Hon. John C. Spencer, Secretary of the Treasury, to Ben. E. Green, chargé, &c., dated Treasury Department, April 26, 1844.
April 26, 1844. SIR: It is the wish and direction of this department that any payment made you under the convention with Mexico, may be transmitted hither under the arrangement made by General Thompson with the house of Hargous, Brothers and Co. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. C. SPENCER,
Secretary of the Treasury. BENJAMIN E. GREEN,
Chargé d'Affaires of the United States of America.
Page 5. Letter from Mr. Thompson to Mr. Bocanegra, April 28, 1843.
Mr. Thompson 10 Mr. Bocanegra.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Mexico, April 28, 1843. The undersigned, envoy extraordinary, and minister plenipotentiary of the United States of America, has received the note of his excellency José Maria de Bocanegra, minister of foreign relations and government, of the date of this morning, conveying the very agreeable intelligence that the money is now ready in the treasury to make the first payment under the convention of the 31st of January. The undersigned has fully empowered Mr. Emilio Voss to receive the same, and grant acquitances therefor; and he requests that the money be paid to him.
The undersigned cannot forbear to express his gratification at this result, justifying as it does, the assurances which he had given to his government of the good faith and punctuality with which he was confident that Mexico would comply with the stipulations of the convention.
The undersigned has the honor to renew to his excellency José
Maria de Bocanegra, minister of foreign relations, &c., the assurances of his most distinguished consideration.
W. THOMPSON. His Excellency JOSE DE MARIA BOCANEGRA,
Minister of Foreign Relations and Government of the Mexican Republic.
Page 15. Letter of Mr. Green to Mr. Monasterio, July 24, 1844.
Mr. Green to Mr. Monasterio.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Mexico, July 24, 1844. The undersigned, chargé d'affaires ad interim of the United States of America, had the honor, on the 4th of May last, to address his excellency, J. M. de Bocanegra, on the subject of the instalment due on the 30th of April, under the convention of the 31st of January, 1843. In reply, Mr. de Bocanegra promised, under the date of the 6th of May, that the money should be paid the following day. This promise, however, was not complied with; and the undersigned, after waiting on the convenience of the Mexican government until the 18th, found himself again under the necessity of addressing a note to his excellency the minister of foreign relations upon the subject
. By note of 23d, in reply, Mr. de Bocanegra assured the undersigned that the minister of hacienda had two days previously issued an order directing the payment of said dividend to Don Emilio Voss, the agent empowered to receive the same. The issuing of this order was a mere question of fact, about which the undersigned would have supposed there could be no mistake. But the money not having yet been paid, the undersigned is forced to believe that his excellency the minister of foreign relations was mistaken in saying that the order had been issued, as well as in saying that the payment would be made on the 8th of May.
This instalment fell due on the 30th of April, now nearly three months ago ; and though the undersigned is by no means disposed unnecessarily to press the Mexican government, he feels it to be his duty to protest, and he does hereby most solemnly protest, against this failure and delay of payment, as a manifest violation of the solemn engagement entered into by Mexico in the convention of the 31st January, 1843, above referred to. The undersigned avails himself, &c.
BENJAMIN E. GREEN. His Excellency Jose Maria ORTIZ MONASTERIO,
Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, fc. Page 21. Report of the Hon. George M. Bibb, Secretary of the Treasury, to the President of the United States, January 25, 1845.
January 25, 1845. SIR: I have the honor to submit to you the following report on the inquiries contained in the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 31st ultimo, requesting you to furnish certain information in relation
to the instalments of indemnity payable by Mexico under the convention with that republic in April and July last.
This department can only furnish the information called for as to “ who is the agent of the United States to receive said payments ; under what authority he exercises the power of agent; and whether any or what information has been received from said agent on the subject.”
On the 6th of August, 1842, the honorable Waddy Thompson was apprized that he had been appointed by you the agent of the United States to receive the whole of the indemnity. The power conferred on him and then transmitted, authorized him to appoint a substitute ; and by virtue of that authority he substituted the house of L. S. Hargous & Co., by whom all the instalments heretofore paid were received and transmitted to the United States.
In April last, B. E. Green, esq., then chargé d'affaires of the United States, was specially empowered to receive the instalment falling due on the 30th of that month; and he was instructed by this department to make a similar arrangement with Messrs. Harjous & Co., as had been done by the Hon. Waddy Thompson. This power was not intended as a revocation of that to the latter gentleman, but merely to present and meet any objection that might be urged to the substitution of Messrs. Hargous & Co. being considered by the Mexican government as at an end after Mr. Thompson had returned to the United States. The power to that gentleman was considered by the department as permanent until revoked, as will appear by the documents annexed to this report. The letter of Mr. Green, herewith submitted, states all the information on the subject of those instalments which has been received from him since his appointment. I have the honor to remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEORGE M. BIBB,
Secretary of the Treasury. To the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
I also offer in evidence the following from Executive Document No. 133, first session twenty-ninth Congress :
Page 5. Mr. Voss to Mr. Parrott, Mexico, October 17, 1845.
MEXICO, October 17, 1845. MY DEAR SIR: At your request I hand you copy of receipt given by me to the Mexican governinent for the two instalments due on the 30th of April and 30th of July, last year, and on account of which I have not yet received a single dollar, but I hold such security as warranted me at the time to give it, and have no doubt that I will eventually obtain the money, or be able to recall my receipt, which I gave as follows:
“$274,664 67. Recivi de la tesoréria general la cantidad de doscientes setenta y cuatro mil seis cientos sesenta y cuatro pesos sesenta y siete centaras, importe de los dos trimestres vencidos de las reclamaciones de los Estados Unidos.
“ EMILIO VOSS. - Mejico, Setiembre 20, 1844.” I remain yours, very sincerely,
EMILIO VOSS. W. S. PARROTT, Esq., Mexico. Pages 7 and 8. Mr. Voss to Mr. Slidell, Mexico, December 17, 1845.
Mr. Voss to Mr. Slidell.
Mexico, December 17, 1815. SiR : In answer to your inquiries respecting the occurrences which took place here in September, 1844, with reference to the two instalments of the American claims due in April and July of that year, and respecting the receipt given by me to the Mexican government for those instalments, I have the honor to submit to you the following statement of facts:
For the avowed purpose of liquidating the recognized American claims, General Santa Anna, the head of the Mexican government, in May, 1843, decreed the collection of a forced loan, to be distributed in certain proportions through the departments of this republic, and paid at periods corresponding to those stipulated in the convention to that effect with the government of the United States. This measure, essentially unpopular, could only have emanated from a government as absolute as that of Santa Anna then was, and, even with the aid of his unlimited powers, was very imperfectly enforced, while the temptation to a misapplication of the funds collected amidst the difficulties by which Santa Anna was surrounded is sufficiently obvious. From these concurring circumstances, the Mexican government was absolutely unable to pay the instalment which became due in April, 1844; and in July of the same year, when another instalment should have been paid, the incapacity of the government to fulfil its engagements had become still greater. The arrears due at that period on the American claims amounted to $274,664 67.
About this time public attention was directed to the Texan question with renewed force; and amidst the angry excitement which it occasioned, the press found a popular theme for complaint in the payment of the American claims, and freely advocated its discontinuance. From private information, I had reason to know that many members of Congress entertained similar opinions, and to fear that a law to that effect would be passed. These embarrassing circumstances continued, without any prospeet of amendment; and my applications to the treasury were evaded or disregarded till the latter part of August, 1844, when, despairing of obtaining any direct payment, and war with the United States being apparently decided on here, I reflected on the course which, in the discharge of my duty to the American claimants, would be best calculated to secure their interests, and I considered it a very fortunate event that I was enabled to make an arrangement