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tion, he will come to Washington and bring the drafts of the Mexican government.
Will you do me the favor to say whether you are willing that the present administration should carry into effect the understanding beiween your predecessors and Mr. Marks? And oblige your obedient servant, Very respectfully,
BEN. E. GREEN. Hon. DANIEL WEBSTER,
Secretary of State.
WASHINGTON, September 2, 1850. Sir: I have received your letter of the 31st ultimo, stating that your friend, Mr. I. D. Marks, had closed a contract with the Mexican government for the payment of the instalments due by the United States to that government, pursuant to the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ; and inquiring whether I was willing that the present administration should carry into effect the understanding upon the subject between my predecessors and that gentleman.
In reply, I have to inform you, that I have found no papers or evidence in this department showing any such understanding with Mr. Marks or any other person. A few weeks ago a definite arrangement on this subject was made with Messrs. Baring Bros. & Co., Howland & Aspin vall, and Corcoran & Riggs, the eminent bankers who have heretofore been employed in reference to the instalments paid to that government, during the administrations of Presidents Polk and Taylor. I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
DANIEL WEBSTER. BENJAMIN E. GREEN, Esq.,
I had previously written to Mr. Marks, announcing the death of General Taylor, but expressing a confidence that, as the arrangement proposed was mutually beneficial to both governments, there would be no objection to its consummation on the part of the new administration; and supposing that the Mexican government would, as it did, act at once on the receipt of that information, I was in daily expectation of the arrival of a messenger with the drafts. Conceiving that the contract mentioned by Mr. Webster, however binding on him, was not binding on Congress, I thought it my duty to apply to Congress, and obtain, if possible, an amendment to the appropriation bill, directing that the noney should be paid in the manner desired by the Mexican government. I therefore, as attorney for Mr. Marks, drew up and submitted a memorial to the Senate and House of Representatives, explaining the nature of the proposition submitted on behalf of the Mexican government, a copy whereof is hereto annexed, marked A.
This was the proposition which was submitted by my father and myself, on behalf of the Mexican government, to enable that government to carry into effect a contract made with Mr. Marks, and other important measures dependent thereon; and this was the sum of the
petitions which we addressed to Congress, not in our own names or in our own behalf, but as attorneys of Mr. Marks and on behalf of the Mexican government.
The foregoing correspondence between myself and Mr. Webster, and the memorial of Mr. Marks above offered in evidence, were read in the Senate, and printed in the Senate proceedings in Appendix to Congressional Globe, 1st session 31st Congress, pages 1373 and 1376; and this memorial and several others, all to the same effect, and containing the saine and no other proposition, were submitted by me to Mr. Bayly, as Chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means. To show the previous understanding with the late American cabinet-on the strength of which the Mexican government had entered into the arrangement with Mr. Marks, and the grounds on which I asked that the wishes of Mexico, as to the mode of payment, should be regarded and gratified-we requested Mr. Bullard of Louisiana, Mr. Marks's representative, to call upon Mr. Clayton, the late Secretary of State, for a statement of the antecedents. A copy of Mr. Clayton's reply was furnished to Mr. Bayly, as chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means, and the original is here offered in evidence:
NEWCASTLE, DEL., December 16, 1850. SIR: I have this moment received your letter of the 14th instant, and, in reply to it, I have the honor to inform you, that some time in the latter part of last winter or early in the spring, General Duff Green informed me that Mr. Marks could effect an arrangement with the Mexican government for the payment of the two last instalments of the Mexican indemnity under the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, reserving to the United States a premium of 44 per cent.-ihe money to be paid on drafts by the Mexican government on our treasury. I had previously endeavored to negotiate with the Mexican minister at Washington for the payment of the second instalment (for which an appropriation had been made by Congress) upon this basis; my object being to take the matter out of the hands of speculators by paying the money directly to the government of Mexico. An offer, through Mr. Rosa, to the Mexican government to pay that instalment, deducting the export duty (5} per cent.) on specie in Mexico, was declined by that government. When the second instalment had been paid or arranged, Mr. Marks's proposition was made verbally to me by General Green, and as it offered a good premium and secured the indemnity from speculators, I thought well of it, but made no contract whatever on the subject; yet I forthwith told General Green that if the President approved it I would apply to Congress for the necessary appropriation to enable us to pay the money for the third and fourth instalments directly to the Mexican government, without the intervention of speculators or brokers; thus saving the premium of 44 per cent., and the interest to accrue to us, and protecting Mexico against the enormous discount 10 which it was said she had been and would be again subjected.
But when I mentioned the subject to General Taylor, he declined to bind himself by any agreement before Congress should make the appropriations for the instalments. Of this I informed General Green, who afterwards held some conversation with the President himself, of which I know nothing.
You will observe, then, that I made no agreement about the matter, and had no authority to make any. But I have no doubt, that in consequence of the communication I made verbally to General Green, Mr. Marks was encouraged to urge the Mexican government to enter into the arrangement he had proposed. Had he succeeded in obtaining it while I was at the head of the State Department, I should have urged the President to ask the requisite appropriations from Congress. to carry it into effect.
Mr. Webster was not informed of this proposition by me, as we happened not to have conversed on the subject; at least I have no recollection of having spoken about it to him. Indeed, while I remained at Washington, I did not learn that Mr. Marks had succeeded in any negotiation with Mexico about the matter. I recollect that Mr. Letcher, at the close of my service in the department, wrote that he could negotiate with the Mexican government on the subject.
While I was in the department I declined all negotiation with brokers in regard to this indemnity, not considering that my duty; but I did negotiate with the Mexican government on the subject of part of the second instalment through the minister. One objection which I communicated to General Green, as the friend of Mr. Marks, to any contract with Marks, was, that it was not my province to negotiate with any one but a minister on the subject, and that if I did attempt it I might embarrass Mr. Letcher. I think I told him to say to Mr. Marks, that if he went to Mexico, and assisted, or acted in concert with Mr. Letcher, so as to obtain the terms he had proposed, I would not hesitate to advise the President to ask of Congress the appropriation necrssary to perfect such an arrangement. I should not have hesitated. In haste, respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN M. CLAYTON. Hon. H. A. BULLARD.
I certify that the above letter is a true and correct copy of the original.
C. W. CARRIGAN, Clerk. A copy of this letter, also, I furnished to Mr. Bayly, for the express purpose of showing to him that neither to Mr. Clayton originally nor at any time had my father made any proposition on his own behalf; that he had always acted, and that all his propositions had been, on behalf of the Mexican government, or as the friend and attorney of Mr. Marks, with whom the Mexican government had made a contract which it was very desirous of carrying into effect; and that from first to last it was contemplated that payment would be made by the United States directly to, and receipts taken directly from, the Mexican government, acting through its duly-authorized agent; that neither I nor my father was to have anything to do with the payment; and that he, Bayly, was in error in representing the contrary to the House. Besides the communications above mentioned, made to him in his official character as chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means, I also called at his house to explain this matter to him verbally. No propo
sition was ever made by my father, on his own behalf, or on behalf of himself and others, to contract with the United States for the payment of one dollar in Mexico; yet Mr. Bayly, from first to last, though frequently informed that he was mistaken and in error in so doing, persisted in endeavoring to create an impression, by his remarks in the House of Representatives, that the aforesaid proposition, submitted by us on behalf of Mexico, was a proposition by Duff Green to contract with the government of the United States for the payment of these instalments. At the first session of the 31st Congress, he said, alluding to the proposition submitted by us on behalf of Mexico :
“ The proposition was by General Green, on behalf of himself and some persons in Mexico.” (See Cong. Globe of that sess., p. 1853.)
And at the first session of the 32d Congress (see Cong. Globe, p. 215) he said, alluding to the same proposition :
“ It was the proposition of Duff Green to pay three and a quarter millions of dollars, and in that proposition he offered to do it for onehalf per cent. less than anybody else. The Committee of Ways and Means did not believe that Duff Green was the man to pay three and a quarter millions of dollars in the State of Mexico."
Mr. Bayly knew from the beginning that Duff Green had made no such proposition. Being interrogated by Mr. Boyd, of Kentucky, whether it was the wish of the Mexican government that the money should be paid in a different way, and whether that different mode of payment would not result in a profit to the United States of seventy to eighty thousand dollars, he commenced to state the case truly, so far as Duff Green's agency therein was concerned. He said:
“I am informed that there has been no proposition made to this gorernment by any officially recognised agent of Mexico. There has been a proposition made to this government through a gentleman who represents himself as acting for the government of Mexico, but I am told he has no credentials. I do not want to refer to the individual; he is a gentleman for whom I entertain a good deal of personal respect. But I am authorized to say that there has been no official communication whatever. The Mexican minister has made none. There has been one made by a citizen of this country, professing to act on behalf of the Mexican government.”
Being pressed by Mr. Disney to say whether he, (Bayly;) bad any information, official or unofficial, that the Mexican minister was authorized to receive and receipt for the money, he evaded that inquiry; and, in disregard of what he had stated but a few minutes before, he represented that the proposition submitted was one by Duff Green, “ on behalf of himself” and some persons in Mexico.
Mr. Bayly knew that the money would be paid through Messrs. Corcoran and others, if the amendment asked for in the memorial here with offered in evidence should be defeated. He also knew, and stated to the House of Representatives, that Messrs. Corcoran and others allowed to the United States three and a half per cent. only as premium; and, as four and a half per cent. was offered by the proposition submitted on behalf of the Mexican government, he also knew that from $60,000 to $70,000, in the way of premium, besides a much larger amount in
interest would be saved to the United States by the acceptance of the latter proposition.
Question. Have you anything further to say, in reference to the testimony submitted by you as to the 1st specification in charge 2d ?
Answer. A portion of the remarks of Mr. Bayly were made in my hearing, and a portion I derive from the record. I have failed to make a distinction in the testimony. I wish to say that my knowledge of the remarks made by Mr. Bayly, as to the proposition made by Duff Green, quoted from Congressional Globe, 1st session 32d Congress, page 215, is derived from the record. These remarks were not within my personal knowledge, as I was not on the floor of the House at the time, being absent from the city.
Question by committee. Is the testimony you are about to offer derived from your own knowledge ?
Answer. No; it is from the record. I refer to Congressional Globe, second session thirty-first Congress, page 681. Mr. Bayly said: “But Mr. Marks and his associates have been memorializing Congress, and they have addressed themselves not only to this House, but also to the Committee of Ways and Means, insisting that we should carry out the arrangements they have made."
I refer to Congressional Globe, lst session, thirty-second Congress, pages 377 and 378, a letter from the Mexican minister, Don Luis de la · Rosa, to hcnorable Daniel Webster, of February 17, 1851:
Mr. de la Rosa to Mr. Webster.
Washington, February 17, 1851. The undersigned, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of the republic of Mexico, has the honor of addressing himself to the honorable Secretary of State of the United States, for the purpose of informing him that it is with regret he finds himself compelled to occupy once more the attention of the said Secretary on the subject of certain drafts which have been remitted by the Mexican government upon that of the United States. This subject is connected with the contract of Mr. Marks with the government of the undersigned, for raising funds upon the mortgage of the indemnity which the United States are paying to Mexico.
The official communication which the undersigned has just received from the aforesaid Mr. Marks, in which he speaks of a claim for indemnification, which he believes himself entitled to present against Mexico, and the duty which devolves on the undersigned, to avoid the prevention of such claim, have reduced him to the necessity of treating once more with the Secretary of State on this disagreeable subject.
With this object in view, the undersigned thinks it proper to embody certain facts in this official note :
Before being made acquainted with the fact that the Secretary of State had made a contract for the payment of the funds of the indemnity, the Mexican government had, on its part, entered into another