James Monroe

Special Message

May 06, 1822

To the Senate and House of Representatives:

I transmit to Congress translations of two letters from Don Joaquin d'Anduaga to the Secretary of State, which have been received at Department of State since my last message communicating copies of his correspondence with this Government.


Don Joaquin de Anduaga to the Secretary of State.


PHILADELPHIA, April 24, 1822.

SIR: As soon as the news was received in Madrid of the recent occurrences in New Spain after the arrival at Vera Cruz of the Captain-General and supreme political chief appointed for those Provinces, Don Juan O. Donoju', and some papers were seen relative to those same transactions, it was feared that for forming the treaty concluded in Cordova on the 24th of August last between the said General and the traitor, Colonel Dr. Augustine Iturbide, it had been falsely supposed that the former had power from His Catholic Majesty for that act, and in a little time the correctness of those suspicions was found, as, among other things, the said O. Donoju', when on the 26th of the same August he sent this treaty to the governor of Vera Cruz, notifying him of its prompt and punctual observance, he told him that at his sailing from the Peninsula preparation for the independence of Mexico was already thought of, and that its bases were approved of by the Government and by a commission of the Cortes. His Majesty, on sight of this and of the fatal impression which so great an imposture had produced in some ultramarine Provinces, and what must without difficulty be the consequence among the rest, thought proper to order that, by means of a circular to all the chiefs and corporations beyond seas, this atrocious falsehood should be disbelieved; and now he has deigned to command me to make it known to the Government of the United States that it is false as far as General O. Donoju' published beyond his instructions, by pointing out to it that he never could have been furnished with other instructions than those conformable to constitutional principles.

In compliance with this order of His Majesty, I can do no less than observe to you, sir, how unfounded one of the reasons is in your note of the 6th instant for the recognition by this Government of those of the insurgent Provinces of Spanish-America--that it was founded on the treaty made by O. Donoju' with Iturbide--since not having had that power nor instruction to conclude it it is clearly null and of no value.

I repeat to you, sir, the sentiments of my distinguished consideration, and pray God that you live many years.


Don Joaquin de Anduaga a to the Secretary of State.


PHILADELPHIA, April 26, 1822.


Secretary of State.

SIR: I have received your note of the 15th instant, in which you are pleased to communicate to me the reasons which induce the President not only to refuse to His Catholic Majesty the satisfaction which he demanded in his royal name for the insults offered by General Jackson to the Spanish commissaries and officers, but to approve fully of the said chief's conduct.

Before answering the contents of the said note I thought it my duty to request instructions from my Government, and therefore without delay I have laid it before them. Until they arrive, therefore, I have confined myself to two observations:

First. If in my note of the 18th of November last I said that as General Jackson had not specified the actions which had induced him to declare the Spanish officers expelled from the Floridas criminal, nor given proof of them, I thought myself authorized to declare the accusation false, I did not this through inadvertency, but upon the evident principle that every person accused has a right to declare an accusation destitute of proof false, and, much more, an accusation not pretended to be proved. This assertion of mine does not presume that I am not persuaded of the merit of the said General and of the claim which he has upon the gratitude of his country; but although it is believed the duty of his country to eulogize and reward his eminent services, yet it will be lawful for the representative of a power outraged by him to complain of his conduct. I can not persuade myself that to aggravate my said expression you could have thought that I had been wanting in due respect, it not being possible for that opinion to have entered your mind, when by his orders Mr. Forsyth had sent to the Spanish minister on the 1st of September last a note, in which, complaining of the Captain-General of the island of Cuba, he accuses him of dishonorable pecuniary motives in not having delivered the archives, without giving any proof of so injurious an assertion; and I must remark that the rank of General Mabry in Spain is at least as elevated as that of General Jackson in the United States, and that the services performed by him to his country have rendered him as worthy as he of its consideration and respect.

Second. Although you are pleased to tell me that part of the papers taken from Colonel Coppinger are ready to be delivered, which the American commissioners, after having examined them, have adjudged to be returned to Spain, I do not think myself authorized to admit their return in this manner, but in the mode which I demanded in my note of the 22d of November last.

As I have seen by the public papers that the President has communicated to Congress the note which you were pleased to address to me, dated the 15th instant, and that it has been ordered to be printed, I take the liberty of requesting that you will have the goodness to use your influence that this my answer may be treated in the same manner, that Congress and the public may be informed that if I have not answered the first part of it as respects the general business, it is only to wait for the instructions of my Government, but that I have answered what was personal.

I renew to your sir, the sentiments of my distinguished consideration.


James Monroe, Special Message Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/208086

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