The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 20, July 1916 - April, 1917 Page: 210
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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
from the best informed sources, Henderson did 'not think that
he would be able to obtain recognition for Texas, unless the
difficulties then approaching a crisis between France and Mexico
should make it advantageous to France to take such a step.8
Hence he did not press for an answer until the 26th of May,
when he learned through newspaper reports that the French were
blockading the Mexican ports. Seizing this opportune moment,
Henderson addressed a note to Count Mole asking for an inter-
'In 1827, France made a provisional arrangement for a treaty of amity
with Mexico which granted to French citizens in Mexico "most favored
nation" privileges. Various unsuccessful efforts were made to get the
Mexican government to conclude the treaty. Certain French citizens in
Mexico had claims against the government for damages. Among these
was a baker whose shop had been sacked in 1828 by a Mexican mob.
The Mexican government took no decisive steps to settle these claims. In
1838 France's patience became exhausted, and on January 16, 1838, the
French representative at Mexico, Baron Deffaudis, decided to withdraw.
He instructed French citizens in Mexico to make an invoice of their
goods, as this would be of use in forming the basis of a damage claim
in the event of the destruction of their property. In March a French
squadron arrived in Mexican waters. On March 21, Deffaudis gave an
ultimatum to the Mexican government. It demanded the payment by May
15, at Vera Cruz, of $600,000 for the settlement of the damage claims
of French citizens. The Mexican government, moreover, was not to ob-
struct the payment of certain loans due to Frenchmen which did not
happen to be listed in these claims. Certain Mexican officials charged
with having connections with outrages against Frenchmen were to be
removed. Frenchmen were to be exempt from forced contributions an,1
were not to be excluded from retail trading without proper indemnity.
The Mexican government was given until April 15 to make a reply, but
failed to give a satisfactory answer. On April 16, diplomatic relations
were suspended, and a blockade was declared -on Mexican ports. In Oc-
tober Rear-Admiral Baudin arrived at Vera Cruz with additional ships
and power to make a settlement with Mexico. On November 17, he held
a conference at Jalapa with Cuevas, Minister of Foreign Affairs, but as
he could obtain no satisfactory terms, he left Jalapa, and decided that
unless his terms (which were in the main like those of the ultimatum)
were accepted by November 27, hostilities should be begun. The Cham-
bers of the Mexican congress refused to terms of Baudin. On November
27, the French squadron bombarded San Juan de Ulua, which fell on
November 28. As the blockade worked a hardship on British trade,
Pakenham, the English Minister to Mexico, offered mediation, and on
March 9, 1839, a convention and treaty between France and Mexico were
signed by which Mexico agreed to pay $600,000 in six months for the
settlement of French claims prior to November 26, 1838, and to give
French citizens the same rights as were held by citizens of the most
favored nations. (A. Debidour, Histoire Diplomatique de L'Europe, I,
360.) Indemnity for Mexican vessels which had been taken by the
French, and the payment of compensation to expelled Frenchmen were
to be referred to arbitration. San Juan de Ulua was to be restored to
the Mexicans after the ratification of the treaty. (Bancroft, History of
Mcxico, V, 186-205.)
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 20, July 1916 - April, 1917, periodical, 1917; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101070/m1/216/: accessed September 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.