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Condition of Spanish South America.
ordered to return to Mexico by forced marches, in rights of which they had unjustly been deprived, the expectation that Iturbide would now attack no good was to be expected ; and we see it emthe capital. Similar orders were also sent to ployed from its very commencement in destroying Colonel Margues, in whose division was a prin- the constitutional regimen, of which it did not cipal part of the insubordinate regiment of the leave a vestige, and in substituting the most arbi" four military orders.” The male inhabitants of trary and tyrannical system that it is possible to Mexico, from the age of sixteen to fifty, were also imagine; all of which was fomented and sancordered to enrol themselves in the militia, without tioned by a body that Novella bad created, with exception or distinction of persons, and every pos- the denomination of the “ Junta Consultiva," sible precaution was taken to prevent a surprise composed of a few individuals who had contriand maintain the city until such time as an an- buted with their money to place the power in bis swer should be received to despatches that had hands, were furious at seeing approach the expibeen sent to Spain, or troops should arrive that ration of their authority, and with sentiments dia. were expected from the Havana.
metrically opposed to the system of liberality and All this, however, was not sufficient to allay philanthropy at present predominant. the rancor that a certain part of the community At the time these scenes of horror were transhad conceived against the Viceroy, nor to con- acting in the capital, and to which I myself had vince them of his upright intentions, or extin- like to bave been a victim, notwithstanding the guish the sparks of insubordination I have already great prudence I observed' in my deportment, a hinted at in some of the European troops, which, bloody occurrence took place in Vera Cruz in confrom the first, was more immediately directed at sequence of the storming of that city by a party his person than at the Government. A report of troops commanded by an inconsiderate but was, therefore, industriously circulated that he brave young officer named Santa Ana, who scaled was in secret correspondence with Iturbide, and the walls and got complete possession of the town, that there was no real intention to defend the but was afterwards obliged to retire with grea! city, notwithstanding the preparations that were loss, his soldiers having abandoned their arms with ostensibly making for its protection; the whole a a view to plunder, and the inhabitants setting prelude to the scandalous revolution of the 5th of upon them when in that defenceless state. July, which had for its object the arrest of that The city of Puebla de los Angeles, the largest most excellent man, and, without doubt, was ac- in the kingdom except Mexico, next attracted the complished by dint of money paid by the mer- attention of General Iturbide, in front of which chants to the officers that took part in the affray, was a large army of Independents composed of who had the temerity to secure the persons of the divisions of the Conde de la Cadena, Herrera
, their colonels and other principal military men Bravo, Filisola, and others, that only awaited the opposed to their project, to assault the palace and orders of their General to make the attack, and lo make a prisoner of the Viceroy, and afterwards prevent which, and the loss of may valuable lives
. the audacity to place against its gates and the he went in person, preferring, in all cases, the corners of the principal streets, for the informa- plan he had from the first adopted of reducing tion of the public, wl were so many witnesses his enemies by means of persuasion and negotiaof their atrocity, a paper setting forth ihat he had tion rather than by force of arms. The fåte of of his own accord, and at the respectful petition Puebla was all-important to the Government in of the officers of the European regiments
, deliv- the critical situation in which it found itself ered the political and military command of the being one of the chain of fortified towns tha! kingdom io Field Marshal Don Francisco Novel- connect Mexico with Vera Cruz, to which port la, the person they had pitched upon as the leader it had resolved to retire with the European pari of the faction.
of the army and inhabitants, in the event of This gentleman had under his command the not being able to sustain itself in the capital various corps of artillery and engineers that ex - Puebla was, therefore, well garrisoned, served isted in the kingdom; and as his education and y with an excellent park of artillery, and defended occupation until now had been altogether con- with many cannon of a large calibre, so that its fined to that line, you will readily imagine him commander-in-chief, Brigadier Don Ciriaco Llano, entirely upfit for the discharge of the arduous the Marquis de Vivanco, and other experienced and complicated duties of Viceroy of these exten- officers stationed there, had, until the last, salsive provinces.
guine hopes of being able to defend it. Iturbide. Indeed, he himself was sensible of his incom- however, called to his assistance a part of the petency, and very prudently declined the offer; as army he had left in Queretaro, and surrounded unsuitable, however, as he was, there was no other the city with so many troops that resistance would person they could avail themselves of that was have been nothing short of an act of madness; it less so, and the same necessity that compelled therefore capitulated. them to name him obliged him to accept the ap On the surrender of Puebla, the army of Iturpointment. From a Government consiituted by bide, which had now augmented to the number the insubordination of a few soldiers that had the of about eighteen thousand, and which was comvanity to compare their iniquitious conduct with posed entirely of veteran troops that had beca the noble enthusiasm of the Spanish nation, which, disciplined in the King's service, and had gone tired of obeying tyrants that abused the goodness over to him clandestinely, or joined him on the of their monarch, rose in a mass to recover the fall of the various cities he had conquered, re
Condition of Spanish South America.
ceived orders to march in separate columns to ship, as he does in the conclusion of his letter ; different towns in the neighborbood of Mexico, while the intrusive Novella and his Junta Consulwith the intention of manifesting to the Govern- tiva, in imitation of their barbarous predecessors, ment of that city the folly of any further resist- Vanegas and Calleja, were persecuting with unance. It was, however, entirely in vain that relenting fury, and almost to death itself, those the General had adopted this prudent measure; that communicated with the Independents, or in in vain that one or two praiseworthy citizens had whose possession should be found any of their ventured to reason on the subject with Senor seditious writings; proscribing the chiefs of the Norella; and in vain that he was assured he revolution, and heaping upon them every species could not rely on more than one-third part of of reproach and ignominy ! the troops that composed the garrison. War! Bui the scene bad changed; the star of liberty war! was the cry of him and his Junta Consul- that rose in our own country had happily spread tiva, and the motto they wore on their hats, and its influence in the more Eastern and Western that worn by all their officers and troops, was, hemispheres, and displayed to the world the crim"Vivir y morir fieles y utiles.”
inal conduct of the Caligulas and Neros that had Iturbide, after having rested a few days in Pu- for such a length of time dishonored Spain and ebla, and partaken of the effusion of gratitude abused human nature. manifested towards him by the good people of This letter of O'Donoju, with another that he that city, was on the point of leaving it, with the wrote to Senor Novella, was sent by Iturbide to intention of fixing his headquarters near the town the Mexican Government, accompanied with a of Chalco, and directing from thence the attack proposal for the suspension of arms until such that was to have been made on Mexico, when he times as the definitive treaty should be signed in received a letter from Lieutenant General Don Cordova, the city named by Iturbide as the point Juan O'Donoju, who had recently arrived at Vera of conference. Novella would, however, hear Cruz, informing him that he had been named by nothing of the sort, and the letters were declared the King of Spain Captain General and political spurious, notwithstanding that Senor Alcocer, a chief of the Kingdom, and had accepted the ap- venerable curate of this city, who had been intipointment at the solicitation of his friends, the mately acquainted with O'Donoju in Spain, proved representatives of America in the Cortes of Spain; to the Junta the identity of the signatures, by that he had risked his health and life, and sacri- showing others that he had in his possession ; ficed his convenience, at a period when he intend- which contumacy on the part of Novella exased to retire from the public service, without any perated Iturbide so much that he set off for Corother desire than that of acquiring the love and dova, leaving orders with his Generals for the esteem of the people of New Spain, and without immediate occupation of the towns of Tacuba, other sentiments than those of tranquillizing the Tacubaya, Azcapuzalco, and Guadalupe, neither disastrous inquietude that reigned in the king- of which was distant more than half á league dom-not by consolidating or perpetuating the from Mexico, and all of them in possession of the despotism that existed, or prolonging the colonial European troops. dependence, falling into the errors or imitating This was an unexpected circumstance to Nothe defects of many of his predecessors in sup- vella and the Junta, who had the folly and vanity porting a system of government, the tyranny and to suppose they could frighten the Independents injustice of which arose from the barbarity of the from the execution of their plan by means of the age in which it was established, but by reforming silly proclamations they almost daily issued, in the ideas of the misled, calming the passions of which they affected to despise their pumber, chalthe exasperated, and pointing out to the people lenged them openly to commence the attack, and generally the mode of obtaining with security, declared the Generals Luaces and Llano traitors and without the horrible sacrifice they were mak- to their King and country for having surrendered ing, the happiness which the illustration of the the cities of Queretaro and Puebla. The heroes era in which ihey lived had induced them to seek of Tepeaca, Cordova, and Toluca were, however, after, and which no rational person could disap- not so easily scared, and a column of fifteen hupprové. He also required Ilurbide to appoint a dred men sent by Colonel Bustamente against place at which they could have an interview, and Azcapuzalco presented to the inhabitants of Mexrealize the sincere and ardent desire he had to ico the sight of a most bloody and desperate action prevent the evils and misfortunes inseparable to a that took place between them and an equal numstate of hostility, until such time as the treaty ber of the regiments of Castile and military orders they might conclude, founded on the basis of the that composed the garrison of Azcapuzalco, the plan published in Iguala, should be ratified by the result of which was at least six hundred killed King and Cortes.
and wounded, and the abandonment of the town What a blow was this to the existing Govern- by the Europeans. A few days after, an attempt ment of Mexico, and to those that preceded it was made to dislodge the Europeans that were since the year 1810! what a contrast to their ini- stationed in Guadalupe, by means of cannon quitous and shameful mode of proceeding! The placed on a neighboring hill; and while this opewise and beneficent O'Donoju, reading the public ration was carrying on by a part of the Independpapers of the Independents, applauding the enter-ents, and others were taking possession of Tacuba prise of their hero Iturbide, confirming his ideas, and Tacubaya, from both of which towns the Eucommending his virtues, and desiring his friend- ropeans had retired, an aid-de-camp arrived with
Condition of Spanish South America.
a copy of the treaty of Cordova, concluded be there was scarce a soul to be seen. In this state tween General O'Donoju and Iturbide, and an of things, the Generals O'Donoju and Iturbide arorder from the former to Sr. Novella, command- rived at Tacubaya, and the former had an intering him to obey him as Captain General of the view with Sr. Novella, in the course of which kingdom, to cause him to be recognised as such he gave him to understand the impropriety of bis by the troops, to cease all hostilities from the in- conduct in resisting the legitimate authority as stant he should receive the order, and to adopt / long as he did, the impossibility of defending the measures for the evacuation of the city. This city, and the certainty of the massacre of the Euperemptory mandate on one side, and near ap- ropeans, should it be taken by assault; remonproach of the Independents on the other, placed strated with him respecting the insubordination af Novella, the Junta, and their European troops in the troops, pointed out to him the illegality of their an awkward predicament; inasmuch as, if they conduct, and enjoined him to prevent the effusion obeyed the order, they would be subject to arrest of blood, by exercising the little influence he had and trial for the scandalous imprisonment of the with the subaltern officers and soldiers, in the unlate Viceroy; and if they refused compliance, to derstanding that he would not take upon bim 10 be treated as rebels against the King's authority; scrutinize their conduct in the arrest of the late their object, therefore, was to shelter themselves Viceroy, but leave them to exculpate themselves from the punishment they had justly deserved in in the best way they could on arriving in Spain. the best manner they could. And, with this view, The following day news was received of the suralthough they were perfectly convinced of the render of the city of Durango and General Cruz presence of O'Donoju in the kingdom, and of the to General Negrete, after an obstinate resistance
, reality of the treaiy signed in Cordova, they in the course of which many lives were lost, and nevertheless affected to doubt the truth of one and the declaration of independence in the western inthe other, alleging that all might be a stratagem ternal provinces, under the command of Field of Iturbide; and on this frivolus pretext refused Marshal Alexo Garcia Conde; so that if the solto evacuate the city. On the deposition of the diers of Novella had before any hope, it now enConde del Venadito, the Junta Provincical Ay- tirely disappeared, and, in order to avoid a disuntamiento, and other bodies corporate, hesitated graceful capitulation, were obliged to acknowledge to acknowledge the authority of Novella, but were the supruinacy of General O Donoju, obey his obliged to do so eventually, from the fear of the orders by evacuating the city, and march to that bayonets he had at his command.
of Toluca, there to wait until it was convenient Now, however, that they were surrounded by for them to embark. the Independents, and backed by O'Donoju, they To complete the independence of the kingdom, openly protested against his proceedings, and, in there was now wanting the declaration of the consequence, he was obliged to ask for an armis- province of Merida de Yucatan, which followed tice, and compelled to send one of the Junta Con- almost immediately the surrender of Acapulco, sultiva to Puebla to ascertain, as he said, the iden- the castle of Perote, and Vera Cruz; the two for tity of the Captain General. This envoy, who mer of which capitulated soon after, and the lathad hitherto been one of the most strenuous sup- ter has, without doubt, ere this followed their exporters of the measures of Novella, and one of the ample, advice having been received yesterday by most active members of the Junta, received such the Government that it was on the eve of surrena fright from the lecture O'Donoju gave him, that dering. The province of Guatemala, which has he immediately returned, explained fully to No- always been a separate Viceroyalty from that of vella all that had passed, and forever aftewards Mexico, was also sensible of the general impulse ceased to meddle in the matters at issue. Novella and, desirous of becoming an integral part of the was also inclined to succumb, and would have re- Mexican empire, has likewise sworn independence
, nounced his employ, had it not been for fear of which, without doubt, will extend to its neighbor the troops ; he having lost all authority, and they ing provinces, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, having usurped the command, so the city was in and Veragua, so that we may from this instap the utmost anarchy and confusion, and dreading consider North America, with the exception of at every instant a general massacre and pillage, Canada, as divided into two grand and important with which it had been threatened daily for near commonwealths, that may, with the aid of those a month, and which would most assuredly have that are forming in South America, be able, in succeeded had it not been for the proximity and the course of time, to give the law to the opposite number of the Independent army, that cut off all continent. possibility of escape for the European troops, I am very far from believing myself possessed whose idea was to commit all sorts of enormity, of the qualities necessary to treat with the energy rob what they could, and take the road for Vera and exactness that it merits a subject of the imCruz.
portance of that on which I have ventured to Things had got to that pass that it was impos- write, and certainly should not have bad the sible to confide in a servant, and dangerous to do temerity to have touched upon it, bad it not been so in a friend ; every thing like social intercourse for the particular situation in which I found my was at an end ; those that could with any sort of self, an eye-witness of all that passed
, and from convenience leave the city, fled : and those that the conviction I have ever been under, that each were obliged to remain, sought security in their individual is bound to contribute towards the houses ; so that, in this once populous metroplis, I good of his country to the utmost of his ability,
Condition of Spanish South America.
be it great or small. With this view, therefore, ready named, and now preparing to go to WashI shall
, now that I have finished my narrative, ington, where I have no doubt he will be received take the liberty to add a few remarks, and to say, and acknowledged as the representative of a free in the first place, that the revolution which I have and independent nation; the Mexican empire beattempted to describe is not one of those that have ing so at this time to all intents and purposes, in been accomplished by means of unbridled pas- the first place, by the unanimous wish and consions, cruelty, rancor, or revenge; but, on the con- sent, power and authority, of its inhabitants; and, trary, has, from its commencement, been accom- secondly, by the treaty signed at Cordova, between panied with brotherly love, patriotism, disinterest- the Generals O'Donoju and Iturbide, thé deputed edness, truth, and good faith; so that the more I agents of Spain and ihis empire. reflect on its origin and progress, the more is my Your most obedient, humble servant, admiration excited, and the more am I tempted to
JAMES SMITH WILCOCKS. exclaim that America has produced two of the greatest heroes that ever existed- Washington and Iturbidle
. Secondly, that the new Government is Treaties concluled in the city of Cordova, on the 24th established on a sure and solid foundation, the
instant, between the Senors D. Juan O'Donoju, Liens people being highly delighted with it, and the sub
tenant General of the armies of Spain, and D. Auordinate chiefs, officers, and soldiers having one
gustin de Iturbide, First Chief of the Imperial and all implicitly followed the example of moder
Mexican Army of the Three Guarantees. ation set them by their magnanimous leader, who, The independence of New upon Old Spain beto obviate strife, envy, and emulation, has abso- ing declared, and it having an army capable of lutely refused the crown, and insisted that the supporting this declaration, the provinces of the Emperor shall come from Spain, as he first pro- Kingdom being subdued by it, the capital, where posed in the town of Iguala. Indeed, the plan the legitimate authority had been deposited, being ihere published has been adhered to with the most besieged, and when there only remained for the religious scrupulosity, except the slight variations European Government the fortresses of Vera Cruz made in it by the Treaty of Cordova, at the sug- and Acapulco, dismantled and without the means gestion of General O'Donoju; and the empire is, of resisting a siege well directed and which would in consequence, now governed by a regency of last some time, Lieutenant General D. Juan O'Donfive of its most distinguished and enlightened oju arrived at the first port with the character and statesmen, who have elected General Iturbide, authority of Captain General and superior politPresident, and appointed him commander-in-chief cal chief of this Kingdom, appointed by His of the land and sea forces, and by a convention Catholic Majesty, who, being desirous of avoiding of thirty-six of the principal personages in the the evils which afflict ihe people in vicissitudes of empire, as respects, talents, rank, and riches. The this sort, and trying to conciliate the interests of independence is to be sworn in this city on the 27th both Spains, invited the first chief of the imperial instant, and the Cortes are to meet on the 24th of army, D. Augustin de Iturbide, to an interview, February next, the anniversary of the declaration in which they might discuss the great business of in Iguala. In the mean time, the convention will the independence, by loosening without breaking be employed in enacting the most salutary decrees; the chains which united the two continents. The and anong those already passed is one declaring interview took place in the city of Cordova, on the commerce of this empire free to all nations; the 24th of August
, 1821 ; and the first with the another
, doing away all the arbitrary taxes, impo- authority of his character, and the latter with that sitions, and excises imposed by the former Gov- of the Mexican empire, after having conferred at 'ernment; a third, reducing the duties from sixteen length on what was most proper for both nations, to six per cent.; a fourth, for the encouragement considering the present situation and the last ocof the miners, relinquishing to them the quota of currences, agreed upon the following articles, silver formerly paid to the King, with other imposts which they signed by duplicates, to give them all that amounted to seventeen per cent.; so that the force of which documents of this sort are camany poor minerals that could not be worked be- pable, each one keeping an original in bis possesfore, can now be used to advantage; and a fifth, sion for the greater security and validity: recognising and making the new Government re
1. This America shall be recognised as a soversponsible for the debt contracted by the old one, eign and independent nation, and shall in future of thirty-six millions of dollars.
be called the Mexican Empire. That there is a strong bias in the minds of the 2. The Government of the empire shall be a people of this country in favor of the Government constitutional limited monarchy. and citizens of the United States in preference to 3. There shall be named, to reign in the Mexiall other nations, is beyond a doubt; and that the can empire, (after the oath which the fourth articonvention, of which four-fifths are native Amer- cle of the plan points out,) in the first place, the icans, and the Regency, which is composed en- Senor D. Ferdinand Víí., Catholic "King of tirely of them, are actuated with the same senti- Spain, and, upon his renunciation or non-admisments, is also certain. On this subject I have had sion, his brother, the Most Serene Senor Infant various conferences with the leading members of D. Carlos; upon his renunciation or non-admisthe Administration, whose sentimenis will be fully sion, the Mosi Serene Senor Infant D. Francisco explained to you shortly by Don Juan Manuel de de Paula; upon his renunciation or non-admisElizalda, the Minister Plenipotentiary that is al- ' sion, the Most Serene Senor D. Carlos Luis, In
17th Con. Ist Sess.-67
Condition of Spanish South America, fant of Spain, formerly heir of Etruria, now of the executive power, and which shall govern in Lucca; and upon his renunciation or non-admis- the name of the movarch, until he shall take the sion, he whom the Cortes of the empire shall sceptre of the empire. designate.
12. The Provisional Junta, being installed, shall 4. The Emperor shall fix his Court in Mexico, govern provisionally according to the existing which shall be the capital of the empire.
laws, in every thing not opposed to the plan of 5. Two commissioners shall be appointed by his Iguala, and until the Cortes form the constitution Excellency General O'Donoju, who shall go to of the State. the Court of Spain to place in the royal bands of 13. The Regency, immediately after being apSenor D. Ferdinand VII. a copy of this treaty, pointed, shall proceed to the convocation of the and the exposition which shall accompany it, for Cortes, agreeably to the method which the Prothe service of His Majesty first, while the Cortes visional Junta of Government may determine, in of the empire offer him the crown, with all the conformity to the spirit of the twenty-fourth arformalities and guarantees which a business of so ticle of the said plan. much importance demands; and entreat His Ma
14. The executive power is vested in the Rejesty that, in the case of the third article, he deign gency, the legislative in the Cortes; but as it has to notify their Serene Highnesses the Infants, happened for some time before that they were mentioned in same article, in the order in which united, that both may not again fall under one they are named; interposing his benign influence authority, the Junta shall exercise the legislative that one of those personages designated from his power, first in the cases which may occur
, and august house may come to this empire, inasmuch which cannot await the meeting of the Cortes: as the prosperity of both nations is concerned in and then shall proceed in accordance with the Reit; and for the satisfaction which the Mexicans gency: secondly, to serve as an auxiliary and will receive in adding this to the other bonds of consultive body to the Regency in its determinafriendship with which Spaniards can and desire tions. to be united.
15. Every person who belongs to a society, the 6. There shall be immediately appointed, ac- system of government being changed, or the councording to the spirit of the plan of Iguala, a Junta try passing into the power of another prince, re composed of the first men of the empire for their mains in the state of natural liberty to transport virtues, for their stations, for their fortunes, au- himself, with his fortune, to what place he pleases, thority, and judgment, of those who are desig- without there being any right to deprive him of nated by the general opinion, the number of whom this liberty, (unless he shail
have contracted some may be very considerable, that the union of lights debt with the society to which he belonged, by may insure the success of their determinations, crime, or in other ways known to publicists,) in which are emanations of the authority and pow- this case Europeans are admitted into New Spain, ers which the following articles grant them. and the Americans resident in the Pevinsula ; con
7. The Junta, of which the following article sequently, they shall be free to remain, adopting treats, shall be named the Provisional Junta of this or that country; or to demand their passports. Government.
wbich cannot be refused to them, for removing 8. Lieutenant General D. Juan O'Donoju shall from the realm in the time prefixed, bringing or be one of the Provisional Junta of Government, carrying with them their families and effects, but in consideration of the convenience of a person of satisfying, at the departure of the last, the estabhis rank taking an active and immediate part in lished duties of exportation, or which may hereafthe Government, and from its being indispensable ter be established by competent authority. to admit some of those who were designated in 16. The former alternative shall pot have place the said plan, in conformity with its very spirit. with respect to public officers or military men
9. The Provisional Junta of Government shall who are notoriously disaffected to the independence have a President appointed by itself, and whose of Mexico; but these shall of necessity quit this election shall take place in one of its own mem-empire within the term which the Regency may bers or not, who shall have an absolute plurality prescribe, carrying away their property, and of votes; and if an election does not take effect paying the duties mentioned in the preceding at the first voting, they shall proceed to a second article. scrutiny, beginning with the iwo who may have
17. The occupation of the capital by the troops together most votes.
of the Peninsula being an obstacle to the realizing 10. The first step of the Provisional Junta of of this treaty, it becomes indispensable to over; Government shall be, to publish its installation, come it; but, as the first chief of the imperial and the motives which upite it, with the explana- arıny, uniting his sentiments to those of the Mextions which it may consider proper, to illustrate to ican nation, is desiruus not to take it by force, bethe people their interests, and the mode of pro- cause there are abundant resources, noiwithstandceeding in the election of deputies to the Cortes, ing the valor and constancy of the said Peninsular of which mention shall be made hereafter.
troops, for the want of means and ability to sup11. The Provisional Junta of Government shall port themselves against the system adopted by the appoint, after the election of its President, a Re-whole nation, Don Juan O'Donoju offers to use gency, composed of three persons, either of its own his authority that the said troops nay complete members or otherwise, in which shall be vested I their departure without the effusion of blood, and