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Commodore Dunlop has reported that he had been joined in the Challenger by the Mersey, St. George, Sanspareil, and Barracouta, and that it was his intention to proceed direct to Vera Cruz, in command of the British portion of the allied expedition to Mexico.
I am, &c. E. Hammond, Esq.
W. G. ROMAINE.
(Inclosure 1.)-Commodore Dunlop to the Secretary to the Admiralty. SIB, Challenger, off Cape St. Antonio, Cuba, January 1, 1862.
I HAVE the honour to transmit herewith, to be laid before the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, an extract from a letter from Captain Von Donop, of Her Majesty's ship Jason, reporting the arrival at Vera Cruz of the Spanish portion of the allied expedition against Mexico, the landing of the Spanish troops, and the occupation by them of the Castle of San Juan d'Ulloa and town of Vera Cruz.
I am, &c. The Secretary to the Admiralty.
(Inclosure 2.)-Captain Von Donop to Commodore Dunlop. (Extract.)
I FOUND the Fort of San Juan d'Ulloa, and the forts north and south of the city of Vera Cruz, nearly dismantled, all the guns, with a few exceptions, having been dismounted, and together with their carriages, powder, musketry, and various other stores, sent some 20 miles into the country, where, I understand, they remain for want of carriage to take them further.
On the 8th, about 1 P.M., the first division of the Spanish expedition, consisting of 11 steamers, passed this, and anchored at Anton Lizardo. The following morning the Spanish ship Conception, taken some time since by the Mexicans, and lying dismantled off Vera Cruz, was wilfully set fire to and burnt to the water's edge.
On the 10th, about noon, the second division of the Spanish expedition, consisting of 9 men-of-war and 6 transports, passed this, and also anchored at Anton Lizardo. As this portion of the squadron appeared to be commanded by a Rear-Admiral, whose flag was flying in a paddle-wheel steamer, I saluted him with 11 guns as he passed the anchorage, which was duly returned. The same afternoon I availed myself of the polite invitation of the captain of the French frigate Foudre to accompany him in bis gun-boat, for the purpose of paying the Spanish Admiral a complimentary visit.
During our visit, the Admiral informed us, that some time on the following day, he intended informing us as to wbat bis orders and intentions were with regard to Mexico. We were received on
board with great politeness, and on our quitting, both the English and French flags were saluted with 9 guns.
The following day, about noon, the Spanish Admiral came up to the anchorage in a gun-boat, and after paying the Foudre and Ariadne a visit, came on board this ship, and proposed that a conference should be held on board the Foudre, and if convenient to me at once, which I assented to, and, after saluting him with 13 guns on quitting, I went on board the Foudre, where the Conference was held, at which were present the Spanish Rear-Admiral with his secretary, the Captain of the Foudre, and myself. At this meeting the Admiral informed us that some months since Spain had ordered an expedition to be fitted out for the purpose of obtaining redress from Mexico for the various and numerous insults Spain had received from that country.
That when the expedition was (with the exception of two frigate daily expected from Europe) fully equipped, news reached Cub: that, in all probability, both England and France would join Spaii in the expedition.
The two frigates having arrived, and everything being in readi ness, the Governor-General of Cuba ordered the expedition to leavi for Mexico, and the Admiral was desired, in the event of falling in with any of Her Majesty's ships, or those of the French Imperia navy, to ask their co-operation in demanding possession of the For St. Juan d'Ulloa and the city of Verą Cruz, as it had been th original intention of Spain to take possession of these places as guarantee, before it was known that England and France intende to take part in the expedition against Mexico, and that should th surrender of these places be refused, he purposed taking them þ. force.
I declined taking any part in offensive operations agains Mexico, as I had no orders to that effect; the captain of the Foudr also declined taking any part.
The Admiral then informed us that it would have afforded hir great pleasure to have had our co-operation, but as we had no order to act he should demand, in the name of Spain, the surrender the castle of San Juan d'Ulloa and the city of Vera Cruz, givin 48 hours for decision, but the holding of these places should be o behalf of England, France, and Spain jointly. If the Mexican declined to surrender, he should use force to compel them.
In taking these measures, the Admiral pledged himself that i taking and holding these places, Spain would only do so for thes Powers;
That in the event of the allies arriving, no opposition would made by Spain to their landing any number of men in these plac and holding joint possession;
That the Spanish forces would not advance beyond the walls of these places, and only act on the defensive till the arrival of the allies;
That any funds found in the public treasuries would be reserved for the disposal of the allied Powers;
That Spain would not enter into any Treaty with Mexico till the arrival of the allies;
That Spain pledged herself to protect all foreigners and their property to the utmost of her power;
That in the event of a blockade being found necessary, it would only be in force to the exclusion of Mexican vessels ;
That should Mexico make any resistance to the castle and town being taken by Spain, it might be necessary to cause the removal of the various merchant-ships now at anchor between those places, but that directly Spain got possession, the vessels would be permitted to resume their former position.
As I am fully aware of the great hatred the Mexicans in general bear to Spain, I asked the Admiral why he could not postpone operations till the arrival of the allies, who, I felt convinced, would be well received, and no opposition offered to their landing and taking quiet possession of the town and fort.
To this he replied that, in the first place, his orders compelled him to commence operations against Mexico'; and, secondly, that the health of the troops compelled their being landed at once.
I then suggested to the Admiral that as, in all probability, the entire Mexican Government would evacuate the town and fort directly they received his summons, I feared by so long a period as 48 hours being given, anarchy and riot would probably prevail in the town during the interval of the summons and the actual taking possession, which might be attended with great risk to foreigners.
To this the Admiral replied that he should regret exceedingly if any foreigners suffered, but he feared he could not well give a shorter summons.
Thus ended the conference, and I think if Spain acts up to her pledges, her taking temporary sole possession of these places cannot be of any material consequence, whatever may be the future intentions of the allies.
On the 15th, about 3 P.M., a squadron of 12 Spanish steamers anchored between us and the main, evidently intending to land a portion of their troops, as 3 gun-boats (row) were sent in-shore to protect the disembarkation; but about 5 the breeze and sweli having considerably increased from the northward, the intention was abandoned, and during the night the squadron resumed its former position off Sacrificios.
On the 16th, about 4 P.M., two paddle-steam frigates, one bearing
the Admiral's flag, proceeded from this and both anchored close on the south-west side of the Fort of San Juan d'Ulloa, where they remained for the night.
On the 17th, the Spanish troops commenced landing both at the town and the fort, and at noon the Spanish flag was hoisted on all the forts of Vera Cruz, and also in the Fort of San Juan d'Ulloa, where it was saluted with 21 guns by the Spanish Admiral off Vera Cruz, and also by the Spanish Commodore off Sacrificios.
The disembarkation of troops has continued, though it has been considerably delayed by fresh northers setting in during the afternoon. I should think about 3,000 have been landed.
Shortly after the Spanish Commodore bad saluted the Spanish flag on the Fort of San Juan d'Ulloa, be sent to inform me that had he known the Admiral intended saluting he would have given me notice, but he was only following his superior orders.
I did not consider it necessary to salute, as by so doing I felt I should be insulting the Mexican Republic. As yet the French frigate has not saluted.
The town continues to be perfectly quiet, though about 5,000 inhabitants appear to have quitted it: all the shops are open.
An efficient police is established, who have already apprehended numerous thieves.
I communicated with Her Majesty's Consul yesterday, who does not need any assistance. Commodore Dunlop.
No. 2.- Earl Russell to Lord Bloomfield. (Extract.)
Foreign Office, February 5, 1862. WITH reference to the subject of the offer of the Crown of Mexico to the Archduke Maximilian of Austria, I have to instruct you to inform Count Rechberg that it is the intention of Her Majesty's Government to abide strictly by the terms of the Convention of the 31st of October,* concluded between Great Britain, France, and Spain, relative to the intervention in Mexico. Lord Bloomfield.
No. 3,- Earl Cowley to Earl Russell.—(Received February 8.) (Extract.)
Paris, February 5, 1862. I OBSERVED to M. Thouvenel that I was bound to inform Her Majesty's Government if I had any reason to believe that the stipulation of non-intervention in the internal affairs of Mexico, which had been introduced into the Convention of the 31st October, 1861, was possibly about to be overstepped. M. Thouvenel replied that
• Vol. LI. Page 63.
the Imperial Government would certainly not attempt to impose any Government whatever on the Mexican people. Earl Russell.
No. 4.- Sir J. Crampton to Earl Russell.—(Received February 9.) (Extract.)
Madrid, January 30, 1862. In obedience to your Lordship's instructions I have communicated with Marsbal O'Donnell and Señor Calderon Collantes upon the subject of your Lordship's despatch of the 23rd instant.
My first interview was with Marshal O'Donnell.
As soon as I had read to his Excellency your Lordship's despatch, he said that he observed, with satisfaction, that the ideas and intentions of the Spanish Cabinet in regard to Mexico were entirely in accord with those of Her Majesty's Government.
With respect to the departure of the Spanish expedition from the Havana before it had been joined by the English and French forces, it was a circumstance caused by the distance of the scene of action from the seat of Government, and the consequent failure of the timely arrival of its instructions to the officer in command of the Spanish forces, modifying those of which he was already in possession, the nature of which had never been concealed from Her Majesty's Government, or that of France. His Excellency referred to General Gasset’s proclamations to the army and to the inhabitants of Vera Cruz of the 17th December last, as showing conclusively that the Spanish Government never entertained an intention, either of making a conquest of Mexico, of setting up any particular Government there, or of furthering any views of exclusive interest. He could see nothing in this to cause uneasiness, but rather a proof that the Spanish Government at no time entertained views at variance with the conditions of the Convention which they afterwards signed with England and France.
With respect to the preamble and the Article of the Convention which defined what our intervention is intended to do, and what it is not intended to do, Marshal O'Donnell observed that it was unnecessary to refer to the text of the Treaty, inasmuch as he was fully acquainted with its terms and penetrated with its meaning, from which he had never intended, or now contemplated, to depart in the slightest degree.
He was fully aware, and had uniformly declared, that the allied forces are not to be used for the purpose of depriving the Mexicans of the right to choose their own Government. Such were the conditions of the Convention with England and France, and such, he would add, was bis opinion of what the principle of an intervention in Mexico ought to be, long before that Convention was signed, and when an intervention by Spain alone had been decided upon. I