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Dissensions had now brought the country to the brink of civil war, and no time was to be lost in averting it. Measures were adopted to hasten the meeting of congress. With the view of restoring peace between the sections, and of rendering harmless disturbing elements without resort to arms, the junta at Guatemala concluded to despatch trusty commissioners to the provinces where secession was rife, who were to prevail on them to send deputies to the general congress. Other agents were to be despatched to Mexico to watch the turn of events at the capital." What good results those agents might have accomplished, it is impossible now to say. They had no occasion to try their efforts. Events in Mexico succeeded one another with such rapidity, and their influence on Central America was so powerful, that, even among the best patriots, many made up their minds to coöperate toward the union, carried away by the idea that only under the ægis of the northern empire could peace, safety, and stability be secured.

Costa Rica, we have seen, was in fact out of the field; at any rate, it had no share in the political strife. The provinces of Guatemala proper and Salvador were the only ones, at present, which together with Granada, in Nicaragua, and some portions of Honduras, attempted to preserve an independence from Mexico under whatever form of government might be adopted in that country. The idea of annexation to Mexico had been, however, growing popular from day to day in Guatemala. The important section of

27 towns. The population was computed at between 60,000 and 70,000, besides the three nations of heathen Indians in the mountains and northern coasts, and known respectively as indios de la Talamanca, indios del norte, and indios Mosquitos, all quite numerous. Córtes, Diario, 1813, xix. 404-5. In 1813 the deputy from Costa Rica in the Spanish córtes petitioned for a bishopric; but at the time of the separation the matter had not been acted on. Mendez, Mem., 7.

21 Juan de Dios Mayorga and the provincial of la Merced, Fray Luis García, were selected for Comayagua; the prelate of the Franciscans, Fray José Antonio Taboada, for Leon; the prebendado José María Castilla, Pedro Molina, and José Francisco Barrundia, for Mexico. Marure, Bosq. Hist. Cent. Am., i. 37-9.

ITURBIDE'S EFFORTS.

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Quezaltenango adhered to the scheme, on the 13th of November, inviting Suchitepequez, Sololá, and Antigua Guatemala to follow the example, which they did soon after. And Cirilo Flores and Antonio Corzo, who in later years figured as most prominent champions of democracy and suffered martyrdom for their cause, then supported the action of Quezaltenango.

It was contended that Central America, after throwing off the Spanish yoke, acquired, with independence, the right of forming such associations as might be mutually beneficial. This doctrine was warmly advocated by a large portion of the reflecting class. Under such circumstances, Guatemala and Salvador, hemmed in as they were between provinces that had already become annexed to Mexico, could not maintain an absolute independence.

Iturbide had large ideas of imperial sway, and was bent on the acquisition of entire Central America, aided efficiently, as he was on this side, by the aristocrats and other dissentient elements, who, perceiving the insignificance they would come to if the nation finally became constituted under a democratic government, which their opponents were aiming at, labored with might and main to defeat the plan.22 They won over with money and fair promises a part of the people, and with Gainza, who expected high rank and offices from the new empire, bound Central America hand and foot, as will hereafter be seen.

22 Some of them asked for titles, decorations, and other rewards for their services in harnessing their country to Mexico's imperial car. El Progreso, Apr. 11, 1850. The organ of the empire spoke of the chimerical ideas of the republicans and federalists, adding that the opposition to them was large, and to be found in the officials, the higher classes, and indeed all sensible persons, who well knew how small was the number of the educated among them. It claimed that the journals published in Guatemala expressed the views of only a few deluded men, whose ranks were becoming thinner every day. That same organ had given to the public certain letters from the ayuntamiento of Comitan, in Chiapas, objecting to the 2d art. of the Guatemalan acta of Sept. 15th, on the ground that the country had no resources to sustain a separate government, which had been evident since the yearly allowance of $12,000 ceased; superadded to which, they said, the safety of Mexico might be imperilled should Spain at some future time recover posses sion of Cent. Am., which the latter, if independent, could not prevent, and vindicate her authority over the former. Mex., Gaceta Imp., i., Nov. 24 and Dec. 8, 1821, 202-7, 281-2.

The junta consultiva was much perplexed in view of the situation. The imperialists daily became more insolent and exacting. At this critical time-November 28th-Gainza laid before it a letter 23 from the generalissimo, making allusion to the much abused second article of the acta de independencia, and declaring that Guatemala was not able to occupy as yet a place in the family of nations, and should therefore link her fate with Mexico. Whereupon the junta, at the suggestion of the marqués de Aycinena, hastily answered that the popular wishes must be ascertained before adopting any action; promising to send the proposal at once to the ayuntamientos and local authorities, with instructions to call on the people to give a formal expression of their will on the subject. This promise was kept in a measure-the ayuntamientos, not the people, were given one month's time to manifest their preference.25

Soon after the arrival of Iturbide's messenger, the persecution of republicans was begun. The rough element of the population, instigated by their adversaries, during the night insulted them at their homes.20 Any one who either by word or writing opposed the

23 Dated Oct. 19th, and brought by José de Oñate.

24Guatemala no debia quedar independiente de Méjico, sino formar...un gran imperio bajo el plan de Iguala, y tratados de Córdoba: que Guatemala se hallaba todavía impotente para gobernarse por sí misma, y que podría ser por lo mismo objeto de la ambicion extranjera.' Marure, Bosq. Hist. Cent. Am., i. 39-41. The aristocrats, now sure of Iturbide's aid, grew bolder in their plotting. Squier's Trav., ii. 378; Montúfar, Reseña Hist., iv. 35-9. Iturbide directed the conde de la Cadena, on the 20th of Nov., to write very courteously to Mariano de Aycinena, who was well connected and had addressed a communication to the liberator. Bustamante, Cuad. Hist., vi., no. 187, 28; Montúfar, Reseña Hist., iv. 20-2, 35-9.

25 The circular directed the ayuntamientos to read at a public sitting Iturbide's letter, and express their opinion upon each point embraced in his proposal. Their answers as to whether they wanted annexation at once, or to await the action of congress, were to be in Guatemala city on or before the 31st of Dec., 1821. Petén-Itzá, Manif. de la Just., 2. This circular was drawn up by Valle. The elections for members of the congress that had been called to meet in February were to be made as formerly directed. In Guatemala the votes of heads of families were taken at each house by municipal agents in the presence of a notary public, and duly registered. Mem. Rev. Cent. Am., 10-11; Alaman, Hist. Méj., v. 475–6.

26 The exile of Barrundia, Molina, and others was demanded by Pedro Arroyave, síndico of the ayuntamiento. Gainza was suspected of inciting certain imperialists to prefer charges against these parties.

VOTE OF THE AYUNTAMIENTOS.

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plan of annexation was treated as seditious. At last the opposing parties had a scuffle in the streets, on the night of November 30th, which ended in the discomfiture of the republicans engaged in it." Barrundia and Molina were present and exhibited much energy. The latter was in great peril of losing his life.

On the day appointed for the receipt of the returns from the several ayuntamientos—namely, the 31st of December-the junta provisional consultiva proceeded to the count. The result was as follows: 21 ayuntamientos declared that none but the general congress had authority to decide for or against the union with Mexico; 104 favored the annexation at once and unconditionally; 11 approved of the union, provided certain terms, which they appended, were stipulated in the act of incorporation; 32 left the matter wholly to the provisional government; and two declined the connection in toto. Many others had not, for some reason, returned any answers; or if they had, the government in Guatemala failed to receive them on the appointed day. The result was made known to the regency in Mexico on the 3d of January, 1822, and on the 5th the subject was discussed in all its bearings. Valle moved that the decision should be postponed until the receipt of the returns of the 67 ayuntamientos not yet heard from. Rivera, Calderon, and Alvarado objected to any action. Gainza advocated the acceptance of the aid and protection tendered by Mexico." The junta, disregarding all

27 A number of republicans, when acclaiming their principles near San José church, were fired upon by an armed force patrolling the town with the alcalde Mariano Larrave, and two killed outright, Mariano Bedoya and Remigio Maida. Several were wounded; some arrests were made. Salv., Gaceta, Oct. 12, 1854; Marure, Bosq. Hist. Cent. Am., i, 41–2, 47; Dicc. Univ. Hist. Geog., app., i. 342; Dunlop's Cent. Am., 157.

28 Marure, Bosq. Hist. Cent. Am., i., ap. v.; Alaman, Hist. Méj., v. 474.

Mem. Rev. Cent. Am., 11;

His arguments were not founded on fact. Subsequent events proved it. Men of greater weight than Gainza, such as Mora, Pecchio, and Zavala, have since contradicted his assertions. Zavala said that Guatemala gained nothing by the union, and that it had resources of its own to exist as an independent nation. He added that the provinces viewed with dislike the course

objections adduced, and the marked differences in the opinions of the ayuntamientos, decreed on the same day, January 5, 1822, that the whole of Central America should be annexed to the empire of Mexico, without other conditions than the fulfilment of the plan of Iguala and the treaties of Córdoba.30 In a manifesto of that date, it assured the people that, after obtaining the votes of all the authorities, corporations, and prominent persons, and in view of the census of population formed in September 1821, it was evident that the vote for the union with Mexico had reached a majority in Guatemala proper; and including the votes of Nicaragua, Comayagua, Ciudad Real de Chiapas, Quezaltenango, Sololá, and other towns which had a few days previously declared themselves for annexation, it would be found that almost the whole population had expressed itself in favor of connection. $1 No member failed to record his name in favor of the loss of nationality, though some had, as before stated, suggested that certain guarantees should be required previous to the completion of the surrender.

Gainza issued a manifesto full of generalities, declared there was no further need of electing deputies to congress, and assured the people of a liberal government, and future peace and prosperity.32 Erelong

of the aristocrats at the capital. It could not be otherwise. Where was the advantage of a connection with the city of Mexico, which was almost inaccessible to them? But the rich men of Guatemala would have it, regardless of consequences. Ensayo Ilist. Revol. Mex., i. 186-7.

30 See Hist. Mex., iv. 710, 728-9, this series.

31 The junta had on the 3d indicated to Iturbide that its duty was to annex the country to Mexico; 'como ya se le indicó en oficio de tres del corriente.' Other reasons were given by it for the action taken, the chief one being the necessity of preserving the country's entirety and repose, which had been in danger of a rupture. The names affixed to the manifesto are: Gavino Gainza, Marqués de Aycinena, Miguel de Larreinaga, José del Valle, Mariano de Beltranena, Miguel Antonio Molina, Antonio Rivera, José Mariano Calderon, José Antonio Alvarado, Angel M. Candina, Eusebio Castillo, José Valdés; José Domingo Dieguez and Mariano Galvez, secretaries. Guat., Recop. Leyes, i. 14–16; Marure, Bosq. Hist. Cent. Am., i., ap. iv.-vi.; Montúfar, Reseña Hist.. iv. 18-23, 40-2; Mem. Rev. Cent. Am., 8-9, 11; Bustamante, Cuad. Hist., vi., no. 187, 1-29; Alaman, Hist. Méj., v. 476; Suarez y Navarro, Hist. Méj., 386-7; Lastarría, in La América, 249; Salv., Diario Ofic., Feb. 13, 1875, 4, and March 28, 1876, 603; Rivera, Hist. Jalapa, ii. 218; Squier's Trav., i. 383: Kewen's Nic. and Walker, MS., 33-6; Romero, Bosq. Hist., 103–6.

32 'Las ideas de prosperidad, objeto de la independencia, van á substi

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