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No. 14.-Sir C. Wyke to Lord J. Russell.-(Received July 29.) (Extract.) Mexico, June 28, 1861. THE past month has been fertile in events not only tragic in themselves, but terrible also from affording convincing proof of the degradation to which this unfortunate Republic has been reduced by the vindictive spirit of contending factions.
My correspondence by last mail informed your Lordship that the Church party was still in arms, led by ex-President Zuloaga and his Lieutenant-General Marquez, who, at the head of between 2,000 and 3,000 men, were enabled not only to hold their ground, but actually to drive the Government troops before them and ravage the whole valley of Mexico.
On the 2nd instant news reached this city that Marquez had seized and shot Señor Ocampo, one of the leading men of the Liberal party, and recently their Minister for Foreign Affairs, who for the moment had retired from public life and was living quietly on his estate in the country. This intelligence caused the greatest excitement here, and gave rise to threats of vengeance against those unfortunate members of the Church party who were confined in the prisons of this city.
The feeling of hatred against them became so strong that their relatives flocked to the different Legations and implored our intercession with the Government to protect the lives of the prisoners against the fury of the rabble. The French Minister, as doyen of the Diplomatic Corps, called a meeting of the different foreign Agents resident here, when it was unanimously agreed that we should seek an interview with the President, calling on him in the name of humanity to save these unfortunate persons, and at the same time to vindicate the authority of his Government against the attempts of that violent party in the State which meditated the commission of such a crime.
His Excellency received us very graciously, and stated that we need not be under the least anxiety, as he had already given orders for the guards to be doubled at the different prisons, besides adopting other measures to frustrate the evil intentions of those who wished thus to disgrace themselves and the country to which belonged.
The President kept his word, for that very night when the rabble rushed to the prisons they were kept in check by the military, and obliged to disperse without effecting their object.
This interview took place on the 4th instant, and there were present at it, besides the President and the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, the Ministers of France, England, Prussia, The United States, and the Chargé d'Affaires of Ecuador.
In the Congress stormy debates followed, and General Degollado,
another distinguished member of the Liberal party, asked for a command in order to pursue Marquez, and revenge the death of his former colleague. His request was granted in the midst of the the greatest enthusiasm, and in a few days he marched at the head Whilst of a division towards Toluca in pursuit of the enemy. reconnoitring with a small party on the 16th instant, he was surprised by General Galvez, his party was dispersed and cut to pieces, and he himself killed.
The news of this event on reaching Mexico only added fuel to the fire, and General Ortega marched at the head of a strong body of Government troops to repair the disaster. Marquez retired before him from the 14th to the 23rd. The pursuit was hotly maintained, and General Valle, the most promising officer of the Liberal party, marched with 1,500 men to try and intercept Marquez and force him to action. The latter by a masterly manœuvre joined Galvez, and with the united forces fell upon Valle, utterly routed and dispersed his forces, took him prisoner, shot him, and then hung his body on a tree. But one of the Government officers escaped to tell the tale; the others, with many of the poor soldiers, were butchered after the action.
These tidings spread terror in this community; the National Guard was called out, and the city has been declared under martial law. On the 25th a party of 400 of Marquez' men forced their way into the suburb of San Cosmé, and at one time it was thought would have captured the city, as they were supposed to be the vanguard of a much larger force. After carrying away some of their party who were prisoners in that part of the town, they retired with the loss of only one man killed and a few wounded.
These events, by proving the miserable improvidence of the present Government, have completely discredited President Juarez, and his retirement is now looked upon as an absolute necessity for the good of the commonwealth. As a preparatory step towards it, General Ortega has been elected Vice-President, in order to succeed to the Presidential Chair when Juarez resigns. Ortega, I fear, will do no better.
Congress has voted 10,000 dollars a-piece for the heads of Marquez and 6 other Chiefs of the Church party; but there is no probability of the money being called for, which' is so far fortunate for the credit of Congress, as that sum is not at present to be found in the National Treasury.
I do not enter into details of persons carried off from here by Marquez to be either shot or ransomed, because by so doing I should only unnecessarily increase the length of this despatch, but will merely add, that nothing I can write would give your Lordship a correct idea of the miserable and disgraceful disorder which now
reigns here, and which is only another proof, if one were wanted, of the utter incapacity of these people to govern themselves.
The Church party are daily gaining ground, and, it is feared, may eventually succeed in capturing this city and driving the present Government again into the Provinces, thereby renewing all the horrors of a civil war which has devastated this unfortunate country for the last 3 years.
The Guzman Ministry resigned 10 days ago, and such are the difficulties of the situation that no men have been yet found who are willing to take their places. In the meantime business is brought to a standstill, and any note one has to address to the Foreign Department remains unanswered. Lord J. Russell.
C. LENNOX WYKE.
No. 15.-Earl Russell to Sir C. Wyke.
Foreign Office, August 21, 1861. I HAVE received and laid before the Queen your despatches of the 24th, 25th, 27th, and 28th of June, and I have to convey to you the entire approval of Her Majesty's Government of your conduct as therein reported.
Her Majesty's Government have read, with much concern, your account of the deplorable condition of Mexico, but Her Majesty's Government cannot accept that condition as an excuse for the want of good faith shown by the late acts of the Mexican Government, and by the tone of Señor Guzman's correspondence with you.
It appears to Her Majesty's Government to be useless to continue negociations with that Government, either as regards the repayment of the proceeds of the conducta robbery, or the money stolen from the British Legation, or the non-fulfilment of the Aldham and Dunlop compacts; and Her Majesty's Government will accordingly, in such manner as they shall deem most suitable, adopt more active measures to obtain redress.
I have now to instruct you to demand, in the first instance, of the Government of Mexico, that in the ports of Vera Cruz and Tampico Commissioners shall be placed, who shall be named by the British Government, for the purpose of appropriating to the Powers having Conventions with Mexico the assignments which those Conventions prescribe, which shall be paid out of the receipts of the maritime Custom-Houses of the Republic; including in the sums to be paid to the British Government, the amount of the conducta robbery and the money stolen from the British Legation.
You will also require that the Commissioners shall have the power of reducing by one-half, or in any less proportion, the duties now levied at those ports.
If these terms are not complied with, you will leave Mexico, with all the members of your Mission.
Sir C. Wyke.
I am, &c.
No. 16.-Earl Russell to Sir C. Wyke.
Foreign Office, August 21, 1861. WITH reference to your despatch of the 24th June, and its several inclosures, I have to state to you that Her Majesty's Government must insist on the restoration of the 660,000 dollars stolen from Her Majesty's Legation, and that if that money is not restored, friendly relations between the two Governments cannot be maintained. I am, &c.
Sir C. Wyke.
No. 17-Sir C. Wyke to Lord J. Russell.-(Received August 29.)
By the inclosed extract from this day's "Mexican Extraordinary" your Lordship will perceive that another British subject has been murdered, under circumstances of peculiar atrocity.
The deceased's nephew, after searching in vain throughout the village of Tacubaya for some sort of legal authority to take a deposition on the spot, and perform the usual formalities necessary in such a case, was obliged to have the body removed into this city, when he reported to the British Consul what had taken place, requesting him to acquaint the authorities therewith in order that some steps might be taken for the apprehension of the offenders.
Mr. Glennie had considerable difficulty in overcoming the apathy of the officials, both military and civil, for murder has now become a matter of such every-day occurrence that it excites little or no attention; at length, however, he succeeded, and, the usual forms having been gone through, the body was next day interredMr. Walsham, Mr. Glennie, and a numerous body of British residents following it to the grave.
On becoming aware of what occurred, I addressed, in the absence of any Minister for Foreign Affairs, a note to the Official Mayor of that department, copy of which I have herewith the honour to inclose, together with a translation of his reply thereto, by which your Lordship will perceive that they were shamed into affording some protection to a place that ought never to have been left defenceless, and also that they promised to take measures for detecting the authors of this atrocious crime.
It is impossible to give your Lordship an idea of the state of anarchy and disorder into which this country is plunged under the misrule of this incompetent Government. The high roads all over the Republic are swarming with robbers, and murders are constantly
committed in the most frequented streets of the capital, without the culprits ever being, in any one instance, either captured or punished.
I shall spare no effort to ascertain who were poor Beale's assailants; but, if I even succeed, there is not a chance of their being brought to justice, for crime is now triumphant, and no judge would dare, under existing circumstances, to vindicate the law, which, in matters of criminal jurisdiction, has become a dead letter. I have, &c.
Lord J. Russell.
C. LENNOX WYKE.
(Inclosure 1.)-Extract from the "Mexican Extraordinary" of
July 11, 1861.
NEWS TOPICS. THE daily events of Mexico have become so alike that one is induced to ask, on getting up in the morning, "Who has been robbed ? ""Who has been murdered ?"
Since our last publication the event that has caused most sensation has been the murder of Mr. H. M. Beale, one of the very oldest British residents of Mexico, at his residence at the village of Naples. The news of this melancholy event reached here early on the morning of the 7th, and caused that degree of horror and alarm (not surprise) which similar events are likely to create amongst people who exist in a state of anxiety for their own lives and property.
The facts of this murder are as follow:-About 11 o'clock on the night of the 6th a force of some 25 or more men on horseback made their appearance in the village of Naples. They were well armed, and came in with a trumpet sounding. Soon after entering the place which by the way is an embryo village of 5 or 6 houses— they made a descent upon the house of Mr. Beale, which is the principal one, and commenced to fire at the windows and doors. All the inmates of the house appear to have been in bed. Mr. Beale was awakened, and it is believed was wounded by the first discharge. He at once got up, and rushing to the room of an old lady (Mrs. Wylie) who was stopping with him, took her to the roof of the house for safety. He then descended to the lower floor, and, being unarmed, spoke with the assailants, who had then broken into the house, and offered them the liberty to take what they might wish, supposing, as he had a right to do, that he could have no mortal enemies, and that their object was merely to rob.
In reply to his offer and assurance that he had no arms, he was told that they only sought his life "as a foreigner," their mission being to kill foreigners, and not to rob. This declaration was followed by some remonstrance on his part, when he was struck upon the head with a sword, and the work of assassination com