The same principle of reciprocity which has guided you requires an addition to the fifth article. You are informed that the city suffered a siege during three months, in which many fortunes were destroyed, merchandise having taken out which were partly carried into Texas, and as the proposition contained in said article incudes past acts, it also embrace these goods, stolen from this city by persons who acted under pretext of a political principle.
The second article is of such latitude in its application as to give rise to objections worth of consideration. I suppose that in desiring the absence of political refugees from the frontier it is for the purpose of preventing their influence from disturbing tranquility or hindering in some other way the action of the authorities of Texas or Tamaulipas. In this view it is susceptible of a limitation by applying only to those persons who in fact may violate the neutrality of either territory, in which case, upon the proper application being made to the satisfaction of the State in which the refugees may resider, steps shall be taken in conformity to that article.
The fourth article refers to a duty which the Mexican authorities have not endeavored to evade. On the contrary, they have intended the capture of Zapata's band since the publication of this man's purposes. Their policy is founded on the observance of the principles of the stricter neutrality in the contest between the Southern and Northern States, and it was their duty to arrest those who should arm on the Mexican soil with a view to taking part in that struggle. You will therefore perceive that the acceptance of the said article would give countenance to the calumnious statements made against the Mexican authorities, and cause the belief that any subsequent prosecution of Zapata and his band was owing to your demand and that this demand was necessary to induce the issuance of the corresponding orders. Actuated from the beginning by the best feeling in the suppression of the nuclei of bands to depredate on Texas I took the steps that were to guard against the threatened danger, among which is that referred to in the fourth article. It was not necessary that the Texas authorities should make a demand, because the measures taken were the sequence of the principles which regulated the action of the Mexican Government. They were required of me by a duty of neutrality, and will always be the result of an obligation which existed previous to the exchange of communications between you and this commandancy.
These reflections, which affect the decorum and good name of the authorities of the Republic, make me hope that you will withdraw the article, as the Mexican authorities will not thereby be relieved from the observance of strict neutrality and the consequence which this principle carries with it.
With these light modifications I have no objection to accept your ideas, which are the more acceptable as the authorities of both frontiers, by extending to each other their good offices, will insure tranquillity, re-establish confidence, and destroy the elements of anarchy and desolation which have blasted the towns of the Mexican line.
Be pleased to accept, sir, the assurances of my esteem and distinguished consideration.
Liberty and reform. Heroic Matamoras.