The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 22, July 1918 - April, 1919 Page: 292
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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
I. Relations with the Juidrez Government
The Miision of Picletl.-In a dispatch dated May 17, 1861,
Robert Toombs, the Confederate Secretary of State, instructed J.
T. Pickett to proceed to Mexico in order to sound the members
of the Judrez administration on the subject of an alliance for the
purpose of resisting the enemies of both governments. Although
he was not at that time to demand recognition, he was to assure
them, in case he found them favorably disposed, of the readiness
of his government to conclude a "treaty of amity, commerce, and
navigation with that Republic on terms equally advantageous to
both countries." Pickett was instructed, further, to feel the pulse
of the merchants and ship owners on the subject of privateering
and to grant letters of marque and reprisal to those desiring to
obtain such; to remind Mexico of the long standing friendship of
the Southern statesmen and diplomatists; and to express his con-
ficlent anticipation that the Mexican authorities would grant to
armed vessels sailing under the flag of the Confederate govern-
ment the right to enter the ports of Mexico with such prizes as
they were able to capture on the high seas.2
Pickett's conduct in Mexico was of a. piece with that of the
Southern leaders who, had preceded him.3 Somewhat lacking both
in tact and dignity, he was vigorous and pugnacious. Upon land-
ing at Vera Cruz, he took steps to open negotiations with the gov-
ernor of that State, suggesting that it might desire again to as-
sert its independence. On July 28, he wrote from Mexico City
that he had established friendly and confidential relations with
the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The greater part of his plan
would have been accomplished, he thought, had it not been for the
increasing disturbance in the internal affairs of the country.'
Pickett probably had not yet learned of the decree of the Mexican
Congress granting the request of the North for the privilege of
passing troops across Mexico to attack the Confederates in
2J. D. Richardson, Messages and papers of the Confederacy (Nashville,
19015), II, 20-26.
'Butler, Letcher, and Forsyth, for instance.
4T. M. Callahan, The diplomatic history of the Southern Confederacy,
72; J. D. Richardson, Messages and papers of the Confederacy, II, 49.
'House Executive Doc. 1, 39th Cong., 1st sess., 538-542.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 22, July 1918 - April, 1919, periodical, 1919; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117156/m1/313/: accessed May 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.