The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 27, July 1923 - April, 1924 Page: 9
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The Negotiation of the Gadsden Treaty
better for the commercial relations of the two countries to "dis-
pense with all consular appointments unless Americans of . . .
character and capacity; well informed on the obligations imposed
by their commissions, can [could] be secured." He said that the
high duties and prohibitions imposed by the Mexican government
tended to foment smuggling and contraband trade, in which Amer-
icans frequently participated; and when they became involved in
difficulties with the Mexican authorities, they invariably sought
the protection of their government. Unless American consuls
exercised firmness and discretion in such cases, they were likely
to commit their government against the law instead of in its
Two weeks later, Gadsden went still further and indicted the
entire consular system of the United States as applied to Mexico.
He charged many consuls with being ignorant of the Mexican code
and of Mexican port regulations. He said that they "too often
combine with and become the partisans of those who have incurred
responsibilities in the violations" of this code and these regu-
lations, "more than nine tenths of the issues on private claims"
arising from "palpable disrespect" of the law.7
The diplomatic contest in whicl Gadsden was for several
months to be a not unwilling participant, began in the latter days
of August, when a complaint from the Mexican minister of for-
eign relations, Manuel Diaz de Bonilla, with reference to excesses
committed by Americans on the Chihuahuan frontier presented
an opportunity, perhaps in line with his policy of intimidation,
for conveying the information that the recently appointed governor
of New Mexico had been accompanied to his post by a military
force sufficient to cope with the problems in the region. This note
and rumors to the effect that two thousand American troops had
been sent to New Mexico led Bonilla to make an uneasy inquiry
as to the significance of the movement. Whereupon Gadsden re-
sponded with the assertion that they had been despatched for the
purpose of assisting the governor "to preserve order on the
Meantime, something of the tactics of Gadsden's protagonists
'No. 5, September 17, 1853.
8Bonilla to Gadsden August 20, 30, and 31, 1853; and Gadsden to
Bonilla, August 22 and 31, and September 1, 1853.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 27, July 1923 - April, 1924, periodical, 1924; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101086/m1/15/: accessed July 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.