Capture of Monterey, California, by the United States Navy in 1842

[NOTE: This document can be found in Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States Inter-American Affairs 1831-1860 Volume VIII —Mexico, page 563 ]


Waddy Thompson, United States Minister to Mexico, to Abel P. Upshur, Secretary of State of the United States

Mexico, October 3, 1843.

Sir : Since closing my despatch of yesterday, 1 have had a long interview with President Santa Anna. He leaves this city the day after tomorrow, and I thought it advisable to have an interview with him personally as to the new convention; as I was satisfied that without his orders to that effect, nothing would be done. He talked in apparent good faith; but I could bring him to no definite result, and I am more than ever confirmed in the opinion that procrastination will be their policy, and that some strong action on the part of our government will be necessary. He said that I knew the odium, which the contribution to meet the payments of the Convention of January last had caused, and that we must not press them too hard, but give them time to breathe. I told him that we were disposed to do so, if they would liquidate and settle the claims, as we had heretofore shown that we were not disposed to press them improperly.

He conversed very freely with me as to the existing relations between Mexico and England, and I am satisfied that he anticipates a collision. He said that all that England could do would be to blockade them, and that a blockade would be the best possible thing for Mexico. That they had no need of foreign commerce, for their own country supplied them with all the necessities of life; and that a war would deeply injure England, whilst it would be of advantage to Mexico. Whether he was sincere in this, or not, I can not say. He seemed to be so. I told him that if such a war occurred, England would probably seize some portion of their territory, California perhaps, and retain it. ‘‘Oh., said, he, “your Government will not permit that: ” I told him I was not authorised to speak on the subject, but that we should not like to see California pass into the hands-of any great maritime power.

I have the honor [etc.].