« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
have been sufficient to forbid any such inference: "With regard to Texas, we avow that we wish to see slavery abolished there, as elsewhere; and we should rejoice if the recognition of that country by the Mexican Government should be accompanied by an engagement on the part of Texas to abolish slavery eventually, and under proper conditions, throughout the Republic. But, although we earnestly desire and feel it to be our duty to promote such a consummation, we shall not interfere unduly, or with an improper assumption of authority, with either party," (either Mexico or Texas,) "in order to ensure the adoption of such a course. We shall counsel, but we shall not seek to compel or unduly control either party. So far as Great Britain is concerned, provided other States act with equal forbearance, those Governments will be fully at liberty to make their own unfettered arrangements with each other, both in regard to the abolition of slavery and to all other points." The Undersigned, &c.
The Hon. J. C. Calhoun.
(5.)-Mr. Calhoun to Mr. Pakenham.
Department of State, Washington, April 27, 1844. THE Undersigned, Secretary of State of The United States, has the honour to acknowledge the receipt of the answer which the Right Honourable Mr. Pakenham, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of Her Britannic Majesty, was pleased to make to his note of the 18th instant, relating to the despatch of Lord Aberdeen, of which a copy was left with the late Secretary of State, Mr. Upshur, by his request.
He regrets that Mr. Pakenham has fallen into an error in supposing that the Undersigned intended, by introducing the statistical facts in reference to the comparative condition of the African race in the States of this Union, where slavery has been abolished, and where it is still retained, with the accompanying remarks, "to expound the subject of slavery," and to "defend it as it exists in The United States."
If Mr. Pakenham will have the goodness to recur to the note of the Undersigned, he will find, on a reperusal, that his intention in introducing the details, instead of being that which he attributes to him, was to correct what the Undersigned believed to be a misconception on the part of Her Majesty's Government, as set forth in Lord Aberdeen's despatch. His Lordship seems to be of the impression that the objection of The United States was not to the policy of Great Britain in reference to abolition, as avowed by him, but to the means which might be resorted to for its accomplishment; and that, if slavery should be abolished in The United States, by the influence and exertions of Great Britain, without using what he is pleased to call "secret" or undue means," it would be an act of
humanity to the African race, and in its consequences would neither “disturb the internal tranquillity of the States" where it exists, nor "affect the prosperity of the Union." The object of the Undersigned, in introducing the statistical information referred to, was to correct this erroneous impression, by showing, from facts drawn from unquestionable sources, that the condition of the African race in the States which had abolished slavery was far worse than in those which had not; and that, of course, Great Britain could not consummate in The United States what she avows to be the object of her policy and constant exertions to effect throughout the world, without rendering the condition of the African race in the slaveholding States much worse than it is, and disturbing their "internal tranquillity and the prosperity of the Union."
That such was the intention of the Undersigned, he hopes will be evident to Mr. Pakenham on a reperusal of his note; and not, as he supposes, to "expound the subject of slavery," or to "defend it as it exists in The United States." He is the more solicitous to correct the error into which Mr. Pakenham has fallen in this particular, because the intention which he attributes to the Undersigned would be incompatible with the principle which regulates The United States in their intercourse with the rest of the world; that is, to leave all other countries, without interference on their part, to regulate their own internal relations and concerns as to each other may seem best, without permitting any to interfere with theirs. He could not, consistently with this well-established principle of their policy, permit any question, belonging exclusively to the internal relations or concerns of any of the States of this Union, to be brought into controversy between this and any foreign Government whatever.
The Undersigned regrets that Mr. Pakenham should entertain the impression that the Government of The United States did not appreeiate at their full value the explanations of Her Majesty's Government on the subject of its policy in reference to Texas. He would repeat (what he had supposed had been explicitly stated in his note to Mr. Pakenham) the assurance that this Government fully appreciates the spirit of frankness and good faith in which the explanations were furnished. If they have failed to allay the anxiety which it had previously felt on the subject to which they referred, it was because they were accompanied by an avowal on the part of Her Majesty's Government, in reference to the abolition of slavery generally, and to Texas in particular, calculated to defeat the object which the explanations were intended to effect. It was not possible for the President to hear with indifference the avowal of a policy so hostile in its character, and dangerous in its tendency, to the domestic institutions. of so many States of this Union, and to the safety and prosperity of the whole. Nor could he abstain from declaring his regret at the
avowal, consistently with that frankness and sincerity which have ever characterized the conduct of this Government in its intercourse with other countries.
The United States, in concluding the Treaty of Annexation with Texas, are not disposed to shun any responsibility which may fairly attach to them on account of the transaction.
The measure was
adopted with the mutual consent, and for the mutual and permanent welfare, of the 2 countries interested. It was made necessary, in order to preserve domestic institutions placed under the guaranty of their respective Constitutions, and deemed essential to their safety and prosperity.
Whether Great Britain has the right, according to the principles of international law, to interfere with the domestic institutions of either country, be her motives or means what they may; or whether the avowal of such a policy, and the exertions she has made to consummate it in Texas, do not justify both countries in adopting the most effective measures to prevent it, are questions which The United States willingly leave to the decision of the civilized world. They confidently rest the appeal on the solid foundation that every country is the rightful and exclusive judge as to what should be the relations, social, civil, and political, between those who compose its population; and that no other country, under the plea of humanity or other motive, has any right whatever to interfere with its decision. On this foundation rest the peace and the harmony of the world.
The Undersigned has again referred, in conformity with the request of Mr. Pakenham, to the portion of Lord Aberdeen's despatch to which he has pointed his attention, with the view of rebutting the inference of the President that Great Britain has endeavoured, through her diplomacy, to effect the abolition of slavery in Texas, by making it one of the conditions on which Mexico should acknowledge her independence. He is constrained to say, on a careful reperusal, that he can discover nothing in it calculated in any degree to weaken the inference of the President. His Lordship avows that Great Britain wishes to see slavery abolished in Texas; that she would rejoice if the recognition of that country by the Mexican Government should be accompanied by an engagement on the part of Texas to do so, and that she feels it to be her duty to promote such a consummation. If to these emphatic declarations the fact be added, that Great Britain, at the very time they were made, was engaged in negotiating with the Mexican Government, in order to obtain from it a recognition of the independence of Texas, and that she declined to unite with France and The United States in a joint effort for that purpose, it is surely not a forced or unfair inference to conclude, without calling in the aid of other evidence, that she used, in con* Page 262.
ducting it, all the legitimate means of diplomacy, backed by her great influence, to effect an object, in the accomplishment of which she acknowledges she took so deep an interest, and to which she obviously attached so much importance. Nor does the Undersigned regard the declarations of Lord Aberdeen, that Great Britain would not interfere unduly, or with any improper assumption of authority, that she will counsel, but not seek to compel or unduly control either party, as in any degree weakening the inference of the President; nor does he consider the remarks of Mr. Pakenham as a denial of its truth. The Undersigned, &c.
The Right Hon. Richard Pakenham.
J. C. CALHOUN.
(6)-Messrs. Van Zandt and Henderson to Mr. Calhoun. [May 16, 1844.] THE Undersigned, &c. in reply to the note of Mr. Calhoun, Secretary of State of The United States, have the honour to submit for his information the following facts in relation to the origin and history of the alleged armistice between Mexico and Texas, to which he refers.
By the terms of a Convention concluded between Texas and Great Britain, on the 14th November, 1840, the British Government agreed to offer its mediation for the settlement of the difficulties between Mexico and Texas, upon the basis of the recognition of the independence of Texas by Mexico. In pursuance of this Convention, the mediation of Great Britain was tendered to, and declined by Mexico, information of which was communicated to the President of Texas. Afterwards, in the year 1842, representations were made by Texas to Great Britain, France, and The United States, requesting their joint interposition for the settlement of the difficulties between Mexico and Texas. To this request, the Governments of France and The United States indicated their ready willingness to accede. The British Government, however, for reasons deemed by it sufficient, declined to be thus associated, suggesting, at the same time, that each might act separately. Subsequently, the Texan Chargé d'Affaires in London was informed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the British Government, that the mediation, as before pursued, was utterly hopeless, and that Her Majesty's Chargé d'Affaires in Mexico had been directed to propose a new feature in the same to Mexico.
In the month of May, 1843, in reply to the representations upon the subject made by Her Britannic Majesty's Chargé d'Affaires in Mexico to General Santa Anna, the latter indicated his willingness to agree to a suspension of hostilities, and to receive commissioners from Texas, to treat on the terms of a peace. This fact was communicated by Her Britannic Majesty's Chargé d'Affaires in Texas to the President of Texas, on the 10th of June, 1843, who, on the 15th
* Vol. XXIX. Page 84.
of the same month, issued his proclamation for an armistice,* annexing certain stipulations by which it should be terminated. When these were communicated to General Santa Anna, through the British Chargé d'Affaires, he declined to assent to them, suggesting that it would be better that the terms, duration, &c. should be arranged by commissioners appointed by the respective Governments for that purpose. Information of this was communicated to the Texan Government, both through the British Chargé d'Affaires in Texas, and in a communication from General Woll to General Houston, in which it was stated, in substance, that he (General Woll) was authorized by General Santa Anna to appoint commissioners to meet any persons similarly commissioned by Texas to arrange the proposed armistice. In pursuance of this, the Texan commissioners were appointed, and proceeded to Mexico. They were instructed that no arrangement made by them would be binding until approved by the President. When the agreement entered into by them was submitted to the President of Texas, he declined approving it. Referring to Texas as a department of Mexico was a sufficient reason for its prompt rejection, and precluded all possibility of official action under it.
The negotiations having thus terminated, and this agreement being held to be null and void, there is at present no subsisting arrangement of any character between Mexico and Texas.
The Undersigned, &c.
The Hon. J. C. Calhoun.
ISAAC VAN ZANDT.
J. PINCKNEY HENDERSON.
(7.)-General Almonte to Mr. Calhoun.
Mexican Legation, Washington, March 6, 1845. THE Undersigned, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of the Mexican Republic, has the honour to address the Honourable John C. Calhoun, Secretary of State of the United States of America, with the object of making known to him the profound regret with which he has seen that the general Congress of the Union has passed a law giving its consent, and admitting [prestando su consentimiento y admitiendo] into the American confederacy the province of Texas.
The Undersigned had flattered himself with the idea that, on this question the good judgment and sound counsels of the citizens most distinguished and most intimately acquainted with the conduct of the public affairs of this Republic would have prevailed in the deliberations of the Legislative body and of the Executive of the Union. Unfortunately, however, it has been otherwise; and, contrary to his hopes and his most sincere prayers, he sees consummated, on the part of the American Government, an act of aggression the most
* Page 251.