The Confederate Diplomatic Mission to Mexico


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Mar 16, 2016
East Texas Historical Journal
Volume 11 | Issue 1 Article 8

"Confederate Diplomacy and the Texas-Mexican Border, 1861-1865"
by Thomas Schoonover

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Historians of Mexico in the 1860's and students of the relations of Mexico with its Union and Confederate neighbors have noted and discussed the mutual frontier problems during the Civil War years. These problems consisted of Indian raids, bandit activity, disagreements over trade and commercial rights, occasional military confrontations, and political differences arising from the sympathy which Mexican Liberal officials had shown to the Union cause.

Writers on Confederate Texas have not been as broad and inclusive in their treatment of their state. They have all too often discussed the Texas-Mexican border during the Civil War years in a very cursory manner, usually briefly mentioning trade, and occasionally adding to this some notation about Yankee intrusions, or the Mexican bandit Cortina, or some other problem.

However, it is not the purpose of this essay to call the historians of Confederate Texas to task. What they have neglected to investigate and write about has, after all, been investigated and written about by others. The objective of this essay is to call attention to a story of border activity which had remained untold until now. Since an open, friendly border was vital to the Confederacy because of the Union blockade, several Confederate attempts were made to arrive at ''treaty'' arrangements with the Mexican authorities. Thc Mexicans, for their part, wanted friendly border relations to permit an active trade from which they derived considerable customs duties. It is obvious that the Confederacy never received recognition and hence never completed any treaties recognized in international law. Yet, the activity on the Texas-Mexican border produced the need for some agreements to regulate various problems which at times threatened to disrupt Confederate-Mexican relations. In attempting to solve their mutual border problems, Confederate and Mexican officials twice came close to perfecting treaties, which would have implied mutual recognition.



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