The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 28, July 1924 - April, 1925 Page: 39
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Recognition of Diaz Government by United States
fication be retroactive in its enforcement.14 In reply, Secretary
Fish, at the same time that he gave Mr. Foster discretional power
to recognize the Diaz provisional government, instructed Mr.
Foster informally to point out the inexpediency of such an act
and to express regret "at the effect of the measure upon those
interests of citizens of the United States who may have entered
into contracts with the Lerdo government." He concluded as
If, however, the policy avowed should be insisted upon and
carried into execution, it is not expected that, for the present,
at least, you will regard this as an international question.15
From the above it seems that Secretary Fish proposed that
possible claims of United States citizens arising from the repudi-
ation by Diaz of the contracts of his predecessor would be of
secondary consideration as compared with both the collection of
a $300,000 installment of an indemnity and the recognition of
the Daz government by that of the United States.
The above instructions were ill-timed to say the least. The
same day that they were drafted in Washington, Mr. Foster in
Mexico City was advised by Sefior Vallarta, Minister of Foreign
Relations in the Diaz Cabinet, that $300,000, covering the first
installment of the Mexican indemnity, had already been sent to
Vera Cruz for shipment to the United States, but that Mexico
would take advantage of Secretary Fish's offer of December 20,
18,76, and, at Vera Cruz, would deduct from the $300,000 the
$57,000 expense account balance in favor of Mexico.'" Mr. Fos-
ter of his own initiative made this communication the basis for
an express understanding between himself and the Mexican For-
eign Office that the acceptance of the indemnity by the United
States would in no way involve the question of recognition.' In
the end, however, the Diaz government, when it realized that the
acceptance of the indemnity from its own agent in Washington
might, in some quarters, be considered as tantamount to recog-
nition by the United States, obligingly arranged for payment to
be made through Sefior Mariscal, the Mexican minister accred-
"'Foster to Fish, Mexico, Dec. 8, 1876, in ibid., p. 386.
"Fish to Foster, Washington, Jan. 19, 1877, in ibid., pp. 394-395.
leFoster to Fish, Mexico, Jan. 20, 1877, in ibid., p. 395.
'1Foster to Evarts, Mexico, June 20, 1877, in ibid., p. 412.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 28, July 1924 - April, 1925, periodical, 1925; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101087/m1/43/: accessed October 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.