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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,
Merico, 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, Sc. 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. Harsous & 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 government 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 obtaithe money, or be able to recall my receipt, which I gave as follows:
“$274,664 67. Recivi de la tesoreria general la cantidad de doscientes setenta y cuatro mil seis cientos sesenta y cuatro pesos sesenta
y siele 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
with an English house here of the highest standing, (then successfully prosecuting a claim of considerable amount on this government,) by which they assumed the collection of the $274,664 67 due to me as the representative of the American claimants, in addition to their own claim, and agreed to pay over to me the proportion to which I was entitled, gradually, as recovered by them from the Mexican government. Confident as I felt with respect to the propriety of this course, I did not, however, rely exclusively on my own judgment; for, before taking any step, I detailed to Mr. Shannon (then residing here as the minister of the United States) the facts which I have now mentioned to you, and received his entire approbation of the measure by which I proposed to protect the interests intrusted to my charge. In consequence of this arrangement, vouchers against different branches of the public treasury for the sum of $274,664 67 were handed over to the English capitalists; in return for which I gave the government a receipt for the same sum, as if actually paid—this operation being in fact an exchange of documents, in perfect accordance with the established rule and practice of the financial department here, and the value of my receipt remaining inseparably connected with that of the vouchers given in exchange.
I have to regret that an arrangement designed solely for the benefit of my constituents, accomplished with difficulty, and which gave so fair a promise of success, has not yet realized the expectations which led to its adoption. The revolution effected in December last year overthrew General Santa Anna's government, and transferred political power to another party in this country, who, adopting a purer policy than their predecessors, have nevertheless found themselves involved in financial difficulties of enormous magnitude, and, as a consequence, the vouchers assigned as a payment of the American claims for $274,664 67 remains as yet dishonored; and though still held by the English house referred to, these parties (as will be perceived by the letter from them which I annex) jusly regard the transaction between us as valid only in the event of this government fulfiling its engagements to them.
I have myself great confidence in the good faith of the present Mexican cabinet, and I am pursuaded of their desire to settle this claim at the earliest moment possible. Had no efforts been made by me to effect the recovery indirectly of the two instalments which form the subject of this letter, the situation of the claimants would be in no respect better, for nothing could have been paid by this government ; and in the absence of any extraordinary measure by the government of the United States to effect the collection, I still regard the chances of payment as improved by the steps which I have taken, and from which I have neither sought nor derived any private advantage. I have the honor to be, sir, your most obedient servant,
EMILIO VOSS. Hon. John SLIDELL, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
of the United States of America, &c., Sc., $c.
Page 9. Messrs. Tayleur, Jamison & Co., to Mr. Voss, December 17, 1845.
Messrs. Tayleur, Jamison & Co. to Mr. Voss.
MEXICO, December 17, 1845. DEAR SIR: In conformity with your desire to be informed of the actual position of the orders received by us against various departments of the public treasure for the two instalments due by this government, in July, 1844, to the American claimants, the collection of which has been assumed by us, we have to inform you, with regret, that up to the present date not a dollar has been paid on account of those documents. The government having failed to comply with its engagements to us, we of course can make no anticipation to you on account of those orders, but we continue our efforts to effect the collection; and, persuaded as we are, that temporary financial difficulties only have produced this want of punctuality on the part of the government, we are far from despairing of success.
Should you, however, prefer receiving back the documents, which areOrder on the treasury for bills arising from maritime duties at Mazatlan, payable here..
$160,000 00 Order on Manning & Mackintosh for funds proceeding from forced loan.
60,000 00 Order against circulation and export duties of specie at this custom-house..
50,000 00 Part of an order on the tobacco revenue..
274,664 67 we hold them at your disposal, or that of any party whom you may name to receive them. We are, dear sir, yours respectfully,
TAYLEUR, JAMISON & CO. EMILIO Voss, Esq.
Pages 10 and 11. Report of the ministers of the treasury on the petition of Mr. Voss.
Report of the ministers of the treasury upon the petition of Mr. Voss.
E. S. pide D. Emilio Voss, en esta instancia, que le sea devuelto el recibo que dió à tesorería general por la cantidad que importaron los dos plazos cumplidos en 30 de Abril y 35 de Julio del año proximo pasado por
el prestamo forsozo destinado al pago de los Estados Unidos. Es verdad que la cantidad á que se refiere Voss no le fué dada en efectivo por esta tesorería; pero se le expidieron ordenes para su pago por
esta oficina considera que este negocio debe tenerso por terminado, y no puede accederse á su solicitud de devolverle el recibo, pues además del trastorno que se naturalmente en la cuenta y razon, hasta cierto punto padeceria el credito de la nacion, pues teniendo ya