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any Arrangement with Spain. Nothing has been concluded between them and this Government, and all Negotiation is suspended.
It is difficult to conjecture what will be the determination of the Cortes and the Executive on this great and interesting Question; when we consider, on the one hand, that they cannot be wholly blind to the just claims, the strength, and resources of America—and view, on the other, the prejudices and illiberality that still exist in a high degree, in the Executive, and a great portion of the Members of the Cortes, and the observation in the King's Speech, "that the Spaniards of both Hemispheres ought to be persuaded there is nothing he desires so much as their felicity, founded in the integrity of the Monarchy, and in the observance of the Constitution.”
As far as I have been able to form an opinion, it is, that the Foreign Powers, during the agitation of the American Question, have endeavoured to prevent any Arrangement between the Parties.
On the 9th instant I received a Note from Mr. Ravenga, one of the Commissioners of Bolivar, requesting an interview with me, (Copy marked D.) to which I immediately replied, (Copy marked E.) stating that I would receive him that very Evening.
In this interview he spoke of his Mission to Spain; he said, that when he left Colombia, he had no idea of meeting with the least obstacle; he had calculated to a certainty that his object would immediately be accomplished. He spoke of the ignorance of this Country of the real state of Spanish America, of their illiberality and their prejudices with warmth, and particularly so of the expression of the King, in his Speech respecting Spanish America. He calculated, he said, upon the friendship of the United States to promote the Independence of the Republick of Colombia; he had a full conviction that he could rely upon it. Mr. Monroe, when Secretary of State, had informed him that all the Ministers of the United States in Europe, had Instructions to advance the acknowledgment of their Independence by Foreign Powers.
I sympathized with him in the unpleasant situation in which he was placed, and feared that the sentiment in Spain was not as favourable as could be desired. He was perfectly justified, I said, in relying upon the good dispositions of The United States. It was their interest and their sincere wish, that the acknowledgment of the Independence of Spanish America should be accelerated. The United States had not only been more forward than any other Power, in pubJishing to the World their wishes with respect to her, but had accompanied them with actions, which certainly afforded the best proof of their sincerity, and among them, I adverted to the Message of the President to the Congress of The United States, at the commencement of its last Session, in which, alluding to the proposed Negotiation between the late Colonies and Spain, the basis of which, if entered upon, would be the acknowledgment of their Independence, he says, “to promote that result by friendly Counsels, including Spain herself, has been the uniform policy of the Government of The United States."
The friendship of the United States, he said, was very grateful to the Republick of Colombia, and he hoped and expected, that, at the commencement of the next Meeting of Congress, the acknowledgment of its Independence would be decided upon; the moment had arrived when all the Powers of the World would see the propriety of it. He calculated that The United States would be the first to take this step ; hoped to see a Confederacy of Republicks throughout North and South America, united by the strongest ties of friendship and interest; and he trusted that I would use my exertions to promote the object he so much desired.
I heartily concurred with him in the hope, that all Governments would resolve to adopt a measure so conformnable to justice; joined with him in the agreeable anticipations of the progress of free principles of Government, of the intimate union and brilliant prospects of the States of our New World. I presumed, I said, it was not necessary to bring to his mind, the high interest felt by The United States in their wel. fare—an interest in which I deeply participated, and desired, as much as he possibly could, the happiness of our Spanish American Brethren. What would be the determination of The United States, at the period of the commencement of Congress, it was impossible for me to foresee; whether they would consider it a seasonable moment for doing that which was so much desired, was a point I could not resolve.
In this interview, Mr. Ravenga confirmed to me what I had previously learned, that his Instructions do not authorise any terms short of the acknowledgment of Independence. I observed to him that I presumed no Arrangement would be made under them, that might have an injurious bearing on the commercial interests of The United States. To this his reply was, that none would be entered into by the Rupublick of Colombia, with Spain, that would not be perfectly reciprocal.
I have, &c. The Hon. J. Q. Adams.
THOMAS L. L. BRENT.
(Inclosure A.)-Plan of Government for Mexico, proposed by
Don Augustin de Iturbide to His Excellency the Count de Venadito, Viceroy of New Spain,
Iguala, 24th February, 1821. Art. I. The Religion of New Spain is, and shall be, the Roman Ca. tholick Apostolical, without tolerating any other.
II. New Spain is independent of Old Spain, and of every other Power, even on our own Continent.
III. Its Government shall be a moderate Monarchy, according to a Constitution to be peculiarly adapted for the Empire.
IV. Ferdinand the VII. shall be Emperor; but if he do not come in person to Mexico, to make Oath before the Cortes, within the time
prescribed by them, the Most Serene Infants, Don Carlos, Don Francisco de Paula, the Arch-Duke Charles, or some other branch of the reigning Family, shall be appointed in his place by the Congress.
V. Until the Meeting of the Cortes, there shall be a Junta which shall have their union for its object, and the compliance with this Plan in its whole extent.
VI. The said Junta, which shall be styled Governmental, must be composed of the Deputies mentioned in the Official Letter of His Excellency the Viceroy, by which it shall be convened.
VII. Until Ferdinand the VII's arrival at Mexico, and his taking the Oath, the Junta will govern in the name of His Majesty, in virtue of the Oath of fidelity taken by the Nation; but, until His Majesty hath sworn, any Orders he may give shall be suspended.
VIII. If Ferdinand the VII. should not deign to come to Mexico, the Junta or Regency shall govern in the name of the Nation, until it be resolved who shall be crowned Emperor.
IX. This Government shall be sustained by the Army of the 3 Guarantees, of which mention shall be made hereafter.
X. The Cortes shall resolve whether the Junta shall continue, or a Regency be substituted in its place, until the arrival of the Person who is to be crowned.
XI. The Cortes shall immediately afterwards establish the Constitution of the Mexican Empire.
XII. All the Inhabitants of New Spain, without distinction of Africans, Europeans, or Indians, are Citizens of this Monarchy, with eligibility to all Employments, according to their virtues or merits.
XIII. The Person of every Citizen and his Property shall be respected and protected by the Goverument.
XIV. The Clergy, secular, and regular, shall preserve all its privileges and pre-eminences.
XV. The Junta shall take care that every branch of the State remain without any alteration, and that all the Officers, Political, Ecclesiastical, Civil, and Military, continue on the same footing as at present. They alone shall be removed who decline entering into this Plan; substituting in their place those Persons who are most distinguished for their virtue and merit.
XVI. A protecting Army shall be formed, under the title of the Three Guarantees, because it takes under its protection: Ist. The preservation of the Catholick Religion, co-operating, with all its efforts, that there may be no mixture of any other Sect, and attacking all the Enemies who may injure it. 2d. The Independence, under the system already manifested. 3d. The intimate union of Americans and Euro, peans;—and guarantees these fundamental bases of the felicity of New Spain; for the preservation of which, each Individual, froin first to last, will prefer sacrificing his life to permitting the infraction of any of them. XVII. The Troops of the Army shall observe the most strict discipline, according to their Regulations, and the Chiefs and Officers shall remain on the same standing as at present; that is, in their respective Classes: with eligibility to such publick Employments as are vacant, or may be vacated in consequence of those who may not wish to follow their career, or any other cause, and those which may be considered as necessary or convenient.
XVIII. The Troops of the said Army shall be considered as of the Line.
XIX: In the same light shall be considered those who may afterwards adopt this Plan. Those who do not delay so to do, those of the former system of Independence, who shall immediately join the said Army, and the Countrymen who may desire to enlist, shall be considered as Troops of the National Militia, and the employment of each, for the interior and exterior security of the Empire, shall be dictated by the Cortes.
XX. The Employments shall be conceded to true merit, in virtue of references to the Chiefs, and in the name of the Nation.
XXI. Until the Cortes be assembled, the proceedings against Cri. minals shall be agreeably to the Spanish Constitution.
XXII. For conspiring against the Independence, Criminals shall be imprisoned until the Cortes decide upon the punishment for that greatest of all Crimes, next to “ lesa Majestad Divina.”
XXIII. A strict watch shall be kept over those who may attempt to create disunion, and they shall be reputed Conspirators against the Independence.
XXIV. As the Cortes which are about to be installed are to frame a Constitution, it is necessary that the Deputies should receive sufficient powers to that effect; and consequently the Electors ought to be informed that their Representatives are to be for the Congress of Mexico, and not of Madrid. The Junta will prescribe just rules for the Elec. tions, and will fix the necessary time for them and the Opening of the Congress; and as the Elections cannot take place in March, the term shall be shortened as much as possible. Iguala, 24th February, 1821.
(Inclosure B.)— Report of a Committee of the Cortes of Spain, to whom
was referred the Disturbances in the American Provinces, with Instructions to propose Measures for their general Pacification. Madrid, 24th June, 1821.
(Translation.) The Special Committee, appointed to propose to the Cortes what it judges most conducive to put a stop, in the most effectual manner, to the disputes and dissensions which unfortunately prevail in the Provinces of America, is duly penetrated with the importance of the charge, and is desirous of corresponding to the confidence with which the Cortes has
honoured it. Few questions of such magnitude can be presented to the deliberation of a Legislative Assembly, and to the decision of a Government, as that which, at present, occupies the attention of the Spanish Cortes. On that decision, and the wisdom of their measures, depend the greatest events; perhaps the tranquillity of America, and the rapid civilization of the whole World.
Spain seems destined to give the World, from time to time, striking examples of grandeur, by turns heroical, or singularly original. The remote Seas and Regions discovered by her Sons, since the time of Columbus, in the 15th and 16th centuries; the renowned valour and martial deeds, which border on the fabulous, of Cortez, Balbao, and Pizarro, did not suffice for her glory; nor that Sebastian del Cano, in his Ship Victoria, styled the Competitor of the Sun, should be the first to sail round the Globe: to complete the measure of it, she added the arts, civilization, and Religion of their Fathers; those vast Regions participated of the benefits enjoyed in Europe, and the Discoverers did not delay in extending to them the advantages derived from their own Country. With what enthusiasm and pleasure (as we are assured by Inca Garcilaso) they assembled, to enjoy in reciprocal union, and to spread, by their care and attention, over the whole of that Country, the first productions of Europe !
The Laws relative to India are an eternal monument of the desire which always animated the Spanish Government, that America should be treated with the same care and equality as the Provinces of Europe ; they provide that its Natives shall be treated, favoured, and de. fended, like the other Subjects of the Peninsula. From such just and prudent policy resulted the advantages which afterwards were derived. Cities were erected which, for their population, beauty, and extension, rivalled the principal Cities in Europe; their products served to augment the traffick and commerce of the whole World: the Sons of America, by their talents and wisdom, enlightened the Country of Mango Capac, and Montezuma; and, not satisfied with spreading their know. ledge over their native Land, they have come to Europe to co-operate in the amelioration and prosperity of the Spains, it being evident that many estimable Deputies from thence, in the preceding and present Cortes, have taken a very active and principal part in the most important discussions. Such are the fruits which have been collected from the civilization and culture which Spain has succeeded in diffusing beyond the Atlantic, and from them is most evident the injustice and levity with which Foreign Writers have spoken of the Spanish domination in those Regions! The disorders and injustice that have existed there have not arisen from the Laws, nor from the interest, or ambition of the Mother Country, but from Individuals, the prejudices of the Age, the evils under which Spain herself groaned, and from the great distance which always rendered null the responsibility of the Go. vernors. But, in spite of this, America continued faithful, and closely