The Confederate Diplomatic Mission to Mexico


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#22
CSA diplomacy was not very diplomatic in general.
Mr. Toombs suggesting to Mr. Yancey that he subtly threaten Britain with a cotton embargo may have been asking for the impossible.
Representative Mason trying to represent to Foreign Sec'y Russell, when questioned in London in 1862, that everything was fine in Missouri and Kentucky, and the situation in West Virginia was mere pretention, was not wise.
But inexperience people are likely to commit rookie mistakes.
 

trice

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#23
From CONFEDERATE WESTERN AMBITIONS by W. H. WATFORD in Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 44, No. 2:

Mexico was then in the midst of one of its periodic revolutions, and a state of near anarchy encouraged a long-threatened intervention by European nations. Under these conditions, Union and Confederate diplomatic agents in Mexico were seeking to advance the interests of their respective governments.

The most important Confederate official was John T. Pickett, accredited to the Juárez government. Before leaving Richmond, he had written his predecessor in Mexico, John Forsyth, that the destiny of the new Confederacy lay "southward," pointing out to him the "immense advantages" which would accrue to the Confederate States from the "boundless agricultural and mineral resources" of Mexico. In Mexico City, he learned that the United States had been given permission to march troops across Mexican territory. He began to threaten military reprisals, declaring on one occasion that a large Confederate force was moving towards El Paso with the intention of occupying Arizona and New Mexico, and that if the United States took advantage of the offer, war would probably ensue between Mexico and the Confederate States. Meanwhile in his dispatches to Richmond, he was urging the Confederacy to take possession of Mexican territory.
 

trice

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#25
Well keep in mind France was invading Mexico and Napoleon III wanted to intervene on the side of the Confederates with British support in meditation/recognition of the Confederate States of America.
Yep. Which Napoleon III expected would help him hold onto the new Empire in Mexico.
 
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#26
I am thinking it would have been tough to make allies of Mexico when you had people like Senator Albert Gallatin Brown saying "I want Cuba, I want Tamaulipas, Potosi, and one or two other Mexican States; and I want them all for the same reason -- for the planting and spreading of slavery."

I'm sure it's tough to build relationships when Confederate leaders were calling for conquest at the same time.
 

trice

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#27
I am thinking it would have been tough to make allies of Mexico when you had people like Senator Albert Gallatin Brown saying "I want Cuba, I want Tamaulipas, Potosi, and one or two other Mexican States; and I want them all for the same reason -- for the planting and spreading of slavery."

I'm sure it's tough to build relationships when Confederate leaders were calling for conquest at the same time.
Of course, there were a bunch of people in Mexico siding with the French as they invaded the country in an attempt to put an Austrian nobleman on a throne in Mexico City. I guess it depends on what kind of people you want for your allies.:smile:
 
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#28
Of course, there were a bunch of people in Mexico siding with the French as they invaded the country in an attempt to put an Austrian nobleman on a throne in Mexico City. I guess it depends on what kind of people you want for your allies.:smile:
True, just saying that when a governments leaders are saying they desire to take over your country to expand slavery to it, it probably doesn't help building a relationship.
 

USS ALASKA

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#29
In Mexico City, he learned that the United States had been given permission to march troops across Mexican territory. He began to threaten military reprisals, declaring on one occasion that a large Confederate force was moving towards El Paso with the intention of occupying Arizona and New Mexico, and that if the United States took advantage of the offer, war would probably ensue between Mexico and the Confederate States.
Wow sir, in a purely Union-centric Machiavellian sense, this works on so many levels. A small expendable Union force is sent to exercise this permission for the singular purpose of engendering that exact Confederate response. An enraged Confederacy gathers together limited and scarce resources to punish Mexico and advances - thereby distracting Mexico from her own internal squabbles and unites her peoples to repulse the foreign invader from their homeland. Suddenly, another fight-to-the-death adversary emerges with their own highly focused reasons to 'kill Confederates' in an area that the Union could not have brought about that concentration (and expenditure) of Confederate forces. Could there be a better outcome for the Union?
341

Dang,
USS ALASKA
 
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major bill

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#30
It always seemed to me that Napoleon III was up for most anything as long as the costs to France were low and the rewards high. France had the army and navy to take Mexico if they so desired. The issue was that the future of France was in Europe and the Germany and Italian unification and growing power. Napoleon III wanted Mexico on the cheep and would have supported the Confedercy if he could do so on the cheep.

It appears to me that Napoleon III would have been more than happy to aid the Confedercy as long as England supplied most to the military forces and most of the money. To put it bluntly, the British supply the majority of the blood and money while France picks up some of the crumbs at a very low cost.

This is not to say Napoleon III was overly shady or anything of the kind. I think Napoleon III knew that France could not risk supremacy on the European continent to gain advantage in the Americans.
 

USS ALASKA

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#31
I am thinking it would have been tough to make allies of Mexico when you had people like Senator Albert Gallatin Brown saying "I want Cuba, I want Tamaulipas, Potosi, and one or two other Mexican States; and I want them all for the same reason -- for the planting and spreading of slavery."
Sir - I mean absolutely no disrespect but the pro-forma CWT question has to be... "Do you have a source for that?" I'd like to read it...

Thanks,
USS ALASKA
 
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#32
Sir - I mean absolutely no disrespect but the pro-forma CWT question has to be... "Do you have a source for that?" I'd like to read it...

Thanks,
USS ALASKA
No Prob, anytime!

I read that in James McPhersons Pulitzer winning book "The Battle Cry of Freedom" which he sources from Speeches, Messages, and Other Writings of the Hon. Albert G. Brown p 594-5 It was what Senator Albert Gallatin Brown of Mississippi said in regard to the several filibuster expeditions to Central America.

He had always been a staunch supporter of spreading slavery. He was known for two things. His desires to spread literacy and slavery...

Here's his speech to the Senate in 1860 about a week before his state seceded as well.

https://almostchosenpeople.wordpres...very-in-the-territories-caused-the-civil-war/
 

jgoodguy

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#33
Mr. Toombs suggesting to Mr. Yancey that he subtly threaten Britain with a cotton embargo may have been asking for the impossible.
Representative Mason trying to represent to Foreign Sec'y Russell, when questioned in London in 1862, that everything was fine in Missouri and Kentucky, and the situation in West Virginia was mere pretention, was not wise.
But inexperience people are likely to commit rookie mistakes.
Particularly slave owners used to absolute control.
 

jgoodguy

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#34
Wow sir, in a purely Union centric Machiavellian sense, this works on so many levels. A small expendable Union force is sent to exercise this permission for the singular purpose of engendering that exact Confederate response. An enraged Confederacy gathers together limited and scarce resources to punish Mexico and advances - thereby distracting Mexico from her own internal squabbles and unites her peoples to repulse the foreign invader from their homeland. Suddenly, another fight-to-the-death adversary emerges with their own highly focused reasons to 'kill Confederates' in an area that the Union could not have brought about that concentration (and expenditure) of Confederate forces. Could there be a better outcome for the Union?
341

Dang,
USS ALASKA
Sort of like what happened in Kentucky.
 

jgoodguy

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#35
The Confederate Diplomatic Mission to Mexico - EIU
Emphasis mine.
Luck of a battle outcome went against the CSA.
Pickett was heading to a Mexico torn apart by yet another Civil War. Benito Juárez, the leader of the liberal, anticlerical popular majority, was fighting the opposition party, the Conservatives, composed of property owners and good churchmen, devoted to the restoration of the hierarchy and its ravished lands.22 The United States government formally recognized the Juárez regime as the legitimate government in Mexico after Juárez defeated the Conservatives, led by Zuloaga. This was bad news for Pickett and Toombs. If Zuloaga were to have won the civil war, the prospects of Mexican recognition of the Confederacy and the restoration of a European monarch on the throne of Mexico would have improved dramatically. Davis and Toombs decided to send Pickett despite the challenges. They still needed that relationship with the Mexican government to ensure victory over the Union. Forsyth noted in a March 20, 1861, letter to Davis that “recognition by Mexico would follow that of European powers as a matter of course.”23 Pickett would not be working alone in his mission to Mexico; John Forsyth of Alabama and John Slidell of Louisiana would be joining him. Pickett was no stranger to Mexico either. He served as U.S. consul at Vera Cruz between 1856 and 1859, after left the army and bounced around the Caribbean for a time.24 These three men were among the most qualified men in North America to take on Mexico. And luckily for the Confederacy, all three of these men would join the secession movement and resign from their posts in the United States government to join Jefferson Davis.
Yes, that is the Corwin of the Corwin Amendment. Corwin was an opponent of the Mexican war which was remembered by the Mexican government. Pickett was representing a South that wanted to conquer Mexico.

The Confederates aimed to open and friendly relations with the people of Mexico as soon as possible. They wanted to be in Mexico City and have a relationship with the Mexican government before the Americans could gain any sort of diplomatic advantage over the Confederates.25 Toombs was looking for Pickett to feel out Mexican merchants and traders on the subject of privateering. Pickett, however, never had the opportunity because the American diplomat sent from Washington D.C. arrived soon after Pickett. The Union sent Thomas Corwin to Mexico to thwart any attempt by the Confederacy to establish a relationship with Mexico.26 In his instructions from Seward, Corwin was to “not allude to the origin or causes of our domestic difficulties in your intercourse with the government of Mexico.”27 Seward and Lincoln thought it best that the difficulties at home were downplayed in order to help Union diplomats on the ground. Corwin was the one man the Confederacy did not want Lincoln and Seward to appoint to Mexico. Pickett hated Corwin with a burning passion. Corwin was originally from Kentucky, like Pickett, however, Corwin moved to the North and served as the Governor of Ohio in 1840 and secretary of the treasury under President Millard Fillmore. Corwin quickly became an outspoken critic of slavery; his name was detested all throughout the South.28 Corwin took his antislavery rhetoric a step further when he was elected to the Senate in 1845. There, he attacked President Polk’s actions and motives during the Mexican- American War. Corwin’s outspoken nature won him favor in the North, but he was labeled a traitor in the South.29 Pickett had Central American experience, but his affiliation with the Confederacy would prove a handicap. The South dreamed of having a Central American and Caribbean empire once they gained their independence. Mexico took note of this and remembered this when Pickett arrived.30​

Corwin was a very good choice. End the end the Confederates could offer threats, promises and hopes, but the US could offer money to keep the official Mexican government afloat.

Corwin was charming, a born diplomat. His challenge to the Mexican American War in the late 1840s helped his case dramatically. The Mexicans took to Corwin almost instantly. Pickett had to convince the Mexican government that Davis was not the threat; Lincoln and the Union were the ones to fear. Pickett and the Confederacy could offer greater protection to Mexico than the Union could. The Mexican-Confederate border was the only part of the Confederate coast not covered by the federal blockade. It could be here that supplies could be smuggled into the Confederacy and cotton and other exports could be shipped to Europe from Mexico.31 The Confederates also had leverage over the Mexicans. Across that same frontier that goods could be shipped and traded, troops could be moved as well. The Confederacy could easily invade Mexico, should Davis feel the need.32 Pickett wanted to be friendly but forceful with the Mexicans. As an opening gesture, he drafted a letter comparing Mexico and the Confederacy in order to persuade Mexico that Davis and the South were not the hostile, dangerous ones. Pickett noted how both nations were rooted in agriculture, used similar forms of labor systems, and mutually feared northern aggression. He also noted that the political upheaval in Mexico resembled that of the Confederacy. Uprisings in both nations were founded in political freedom from an oppressive government.33 Pickett’s letter was picked up by the Mexicans five days later. He was granted a personal, not official, audience with Zamacona, the Mexican Minister of Foreign Affairs, at his home.34 In his seven months in the country, that would be his only interview with a Mexican official. President Juárez never met with the Confederate delegation, and his ministers gave the Confederates a wide berth as well. Pickett managed to set up a meeting with a Mexican official but had not obtained anything even mildly resembling an alliance or trade agreement with Mexico. The main reason Juárez resisted meeting with the Confederates was that he was busy meeting with Corwin on a regular basis. The Confederates could give the Mexicans promises and hopes, but the Union could give the Mexicans what they really needed, money.
 

jgoodguy

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#37
I don't know if this has been referenced earlier post in the thread, but I found it interesting.

Letter from Colonel John T. Pickett, of the Southern Confederacy, to Senor Don Manuel De Zamacona, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mexico

Article by Mary Wilhelmine Williams in The Hispanic American Historical Review

From the above.
Just can't make this stuff up.

Early in 1861, Colonel John T. Pickett of Virginia was sent to Mexico as the diplomatic agent of the Confederate States. He soon found that, while Corwin, the minister from the United States, and the people from the North who happened to be in the country were in high favor, he himself was regarded with coldness and suspicion. The unfriendliness of the Mexicans towards him and his government was augmented by the efforts of the Northerners, with one of whom-"an unlucky pill-vender by the name of Bennett"-he got into a quarrel. Bennett refused to respond to a challenge to a duel and the Southern diplomat went to the former's place of business and, after calling him a liar, struck and kicked him. This incident resulted in Pickett's arrest by the Mexican authorities on the charge of assault and battery. Pickett claimed immunity on the basis of his diplomatic character, and, this being refused him, finally secured his release from jail by means of bribery. In December he left Mexico, by which time the government of the Republic had virtually ceased to function, and the European creditors of the hapless nation had begun to crowd it badly.​
 

USS ALASKA

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#38
Also from the above.
"Just can't make this stuff up."

3.jpg


"...late U. States..." Late?

"...preservation of peace..." As long as we give you our land...

"...between two neighboring nations..." You're a nation now...other than by self-proclamation, according to whom?

"...obnoxious permission..." So now with the insults. I'm rude and stupid...

"...claimed to exercise jurisdiction..." Claimed? You either do - or you can't / won't. Claimed?

"...with a friendly remonstrance..." Or else...so now with the threats...

I realize one has to read this through the veil of diplo-speak but wow. This is just one paragraph. Was the Ems Dispatch this inflammatory?
446

Cheers,
USS ALASKA
 

trice

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#39
From the above.
Just can't make this stuff up.

Early in 1861, Colonel John T. Pickett of Virginia was sent to Mexico as the diplomatic agent of the Confederate States. He soon found that, while Corwin, the minister from the United States, and the people from the North who happened to be in the country were in high favor, he himself was regarded with coldness and suspicion. The unfriendliness of the Mexicans towards him and his government was augmented by the efforts of the Northerners, with one of whom-"an unlucky pill-vender by the name of Bennett"-he got into a quarrel. Bennett refused to respond to a challenge to a duel and the Southern diplomat went to the former's place of business and, after calling him a liar, struck and kicked him. This incident resulted in Pickett's arrest by the Mexican authorities on the charge of assault and battery. Pickett claimed immunity on the basis of his diplomatic character, and, this being refused him, finally secured his release from jail by means of bribery. In December he left Mexico, by which time the government of the Republic had virtually ceased to function, and the European creditors of the hapless nation had begun to crowd it badly.​
John T. Pickett seems a very strange choice to be a diplomat negotiating friendly relations with Mexico. In Cinco de Mayo: What Is Everybody Celebrating? by Donald W. Miles, the description of Pickett has him associated with insurrections in Hungary and Cuba, as well as a follower of William Walker in raids into northern Mexico. Described as crude and insolent, with a disregard for Mexican officials and instructions from the Confederate government that encouraged him to bypass the Juarez government to deal with local authorities.
 

USS ALASKA

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#40
The story of a critical intelligence finding almost unrecorded in the history of French intervention in Mexico during and after the Civil War is reconstructed here from official records in the National Archives.

A CABLE FROM NAPOLEON

Edwin C. Fishel

The years 1864-67 saw the United States facing one of the severest international problems in its history: an Austrian prince ruled Mexico and a French army occupied the south bank of the Rio Grande. It was toward the end of this period that the Atlantic cable went into permanent operation. Thus the United States had both the motive and the means for what was almost certainly its first essay in peacetime communications intelligence.l

The nation had emerged from the Civil War possessing a respectable intelligence capability. Union espionage activities were generally successful, especially in the later stages of the war; Northern communications men read Confederate messages with considerable regularity (and received reciprocal treatment of their own traffic from the rebel signalmen); and there were intelligence staffs that developed a high degree of competence in digesting and reporting these findings.
2

With the war over in 1865, this new capability was turned against Napoleon III and his puppet, Emperor Maximilian of Mexico. In the struggle to get the French army out of North America and Maximilian off his throne, this government had the use of an intelligence enterprise which, though conducted on a small scale, turned out to be very effective. Up to the last weeks this intelligence operation consisted of competent reporting on the part of espionage agents and diplomatic representatives; but when a crisis developed at that point, these sources were silent, and it was a cablegram from Napoleon to his commanders in Mexico that yielded the information needed by the nation's leaders.

As an intelligence coup the interception and reading of this message were hardly spectacular, for it passed over fifteen hundred miles of telegraph wire accessible to United States forces and, contrary to later assertions that it had to be deciphered, it appears to have been sent in the clear. Nevertheless, the event was an outstanding one in the history of United States intelligence operations, not simply because it represented a beginning in a new field but also because the message in question was of crucial importance....


The rest of the article can be found here...

https://www.cia.gov/library/center-...ence/kent-csi/vol2no3/html/v02i3a12p_0001.htm
613

Cheers,
USS ALASKA
 

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