and the opposing Governor would probably not only annul everything of the kind, but also impose another loan to pay off his own troops. In the interior States they collect such loans through mere force, but as I am urged strongly to lay the matter before you, I thought if you would demand Governor Serna's authority for doing this, it would serve to stop it, as I consider it illegal and wrong in every respect.
All taxes and loans imposed by the Supreme Government have always been paid, but in this instance it is only the caprice of a man claiming to be the Governor of Tamaulipas.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
L. PIERCE, JR.,
United States Consul
[Inclosure Numbers 2.]
HEADQUARTERS THIRTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Brownsville, Tex., December 26, 1863-1 p.m.
His Excellency DON JESUS DE LA SERNA,
Governor of Tamaulipas:
I am this moment advised by the United States consul at Matamoras that on yesterday you notified the foreigners residing in your city of your purpose to imprison them unless they complied with a demand made upon them by you for considerable sums of money, under the pretext of paying the expenses of defending the town against and anticipated attack threatened by troops who claim to be the troops of the Federal and Supreme Government of Mexico.
I am now called on to protect the rights of American citizens, and I propose to do that which I can do for the entire safety of every loyal man, woman, and child of the United States.
The traitors and rebels, the cut-throats and assassins from this side of the river, who have found an asylum in the States of Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon, not only for safety and protection to their persons, but to carry on a trade in cotton and military supplies which feed and keep alive a rebellion which is aiming to destroy a Government which is the best friend of Mexico, are excluded from and will not receive my protection.
I humbly trust the report I have received of Your Excellency's intentions will not be confirmed by events.
I do not imagine that all professions of friendship from Mexico toward the United States are to be considered merely as complimentary words.
Of one thing I will assure Your Excellency, that American citizens are secure from forced loans in their own country, and do not know how to submit to them from any other power on earth. At all events, it will be time for them to submit when they have not the power to protect themselves.
Should the fears of the Americans in Matamoras prove to be well founded, Your Excellency is certainly aware that, under the peculiar circumstances which now surround you, and considering the probability that your acts might not be guaranteed by the responsibility of the Mexican Government to mine in this instance, I could not remain here an idle or uninterested spectator, and I now make peremptory protest against any such action as a forced loan on loyal citizens of the United States.
I request of Your Excellency immediate information as to the right under which you claim to exercise any such arbitrary power over those