Unknown to Unknown, 03-07-1823

Summary: Notes on the deposition of Emperor Iturbide. Sovereignty of the people.

[March 7-10 (?), 1823]

In this enlightened century when the March of freedom has opened the eyes of the Intelligent world and desplayed to the People those hidios chains which despotism, and its prime agent, and companion, Superstition and fanaticism, forged in the benighted ages of antiquity, to fetter their bodies for the venal purposes of Royal agrandisement, voluptiousness and crimes and to degrade and hurl their minds to that state of darkness embecility and corruption congenial to the views of the enemies of rational liberty and Social happiness. In this enlightened age I say it is unnecessary to ask in whom the legitimat sovereign[ty] of a nation rests, even the very sycophants of Tyrants agree that the People are the sovereigns and that all power and all Gvt of right originates from them and is established for the common good—and The only legal organ by which the soviren people can express their will is by a free and independent national representation in congress assembled—these principles being acknowledged let us compare them with the present political state of this Empire and examine the events of the day.

The independence of the Mexican Nation having been accomplished, all that there remained to complete their happiness was the adoption of the form of its Government and the consolidation of that form on a firm basis by a Constitution. What steps were taken to effect this object. The author of the plan of Iguala and treaty of Cordova [Iturbide] recognizing the principle above stated that the people were the Sovereigns like a true patriot made one of the bases of his plan that the cortes of the nation meet and form the constitution, accordingly the national representation met and were installed in this city on the 24 Feby. 1822. They proceeded in their deliberations, and collissions soon arose between them and the Generalissimo, who finally wrenched from them by the imposing force of his troops whose bayonets even threatened the lives of those who dared to speak like men, and like freemen, his elleccion as Emperor.

Up to this period [February 24, 1822] Iturbide acted as the liberator of a Nation, as the Heroe of Iguala ought to have acted,— let us now follow him still further, Scarcely had Congress commenced in the discharge of their Sacred duties entrusted to their charge when collissions arose between them and the Generalissimo, who finally wrenched from them by the force of the Bayonet his eleccion as Emperor on the 19 May last—not content with this violation of the sacred Sanctuary of the Peoples rights, he endeavored to make Congress mere tools and engines of his will, by emprissoning the most liberal [and] independent amongst them, thereby reducing the force of the true patriots and hoping by this step to intimidate the balance. In this hope he was deceived, notwithstanding the terrific example of seeing their companions dragged from their beds at midnight by armed soldiers and cast into Prison. Notwithstanding the abuse which was poured upon them by the base hirelings of the Govt through the medium of printed papers, and the hypocrital allurements of Emperial bribes and patronage added to the opinion of the Sycophants who composed the never to be forgotten Junta of the 16 October on which a few men dared to usurp the rights of the Sovereign people by declaring that Nacional representation should be reduced to 60 members Notwithstanding all this, it was found that the illumination of the age, the firmness of freedom had penetrated even into the Hall of a Jesuits Chapel in the City of Mexico and that the Deputies uninfluenced by the recollection that they were sitting in a room where national freedom and justice had on[c]e been bound by priest craft and Fanaticism, or by the threats or allurements of Imperial power, only remembered that they were the representatives of [the] injured and insulted sovereignty of the Mexican nation and [as] such rejected the proposition to distroy themselves, or to give to the emperor a veto on the constitution as he demanded—the consequence of this was that in less than 6 hours after this magnanimous vote was pronounced an Imperial decree was communicated to them through the medium of a military force dissolving them from the moment the decree was presented. This act [of] despotism was viewed by all liberal and enlightened men with the horror and execration it merited, but unfortunately the same force which reared H. M. to the Imperial throne still sustained him in consumating his usurpation, with out arms without military force all that the friends of liberty could do was to weep in silence for the insulted dignity, the lost liberty of the nation. The people were assured by promises of a new Congress and relying on this promise remained quiet, untill a portion of the army animated by that genuine sense of honor and love of justice which characters the true soldier as well the patriot, declared in favor of the national representation, this spark of liberty which was thus emitted at Vera Cruz on the 2d Decr soon kindled into a bright flame and spred with astonishing rapidity over the whole Empire. The people arousd from their lethargy understood the insult they had received by the usurpation of their rights in the distruction of the Congress, and rising in their own majesty claimed from the usurper a restitution of them true to the principles of intrigue and corruption which procured him the Imperial diadem, he dispatched commissioners to the chiefs of the liberating army, and in the mean time used every exertion to collect and marcil [marshal] his troops evidently with the design of supporting his usurpation by force, there need[s] no other proof that such was his intention than the proclamation of his agent the Ecmo Capn Genl Andrade and a few more of his true friends—finding however that there was too much virtue too much patriotism and nobleness in the army, to enslave their country for the agrandisement of one man, he has made a merit of necessity and has convoked the extinguished Congress This Body were cited to meet on Fry day the 7 March, 47 of the members being those who composed the Junta Instituenta and 9 more(?) only met, and H. I. M. attended by the Councillers and ministers entered the Congress Hall at 12 o'clock and declared the Congress reinstated Mexicans let us now pause and ask ourselves why only 47 members attended when it is well known that 115 are in the city and whether it is to be expected that the national representation will or can deliberate freely and safely while the Emperor remains in this city.

In answer to the first question, why so few met is very plain—the members who did not attend knew very well that the E. had no right whatever to disperse them in the first instance, and consequently no right to convoke them they know that the Congress constituente is not nor never was dissolved, its sessions were impeded by arbitrary power, and were therefore discontinued, and that so long as that power exists they can not be resumed either with safety to the members or advantage to the nation, like true patriots therefore they determined not to give even the shadow of a sanction to [the] act of power which dispersed them by obeying a call from the same power to meet—for what can be expected from a man who has not hesitated to trample on them heretofore and force them [to] promote his own views and individual agrandisement in opposition to the true interests of the nation ? Who has not only broken his sacred oaths taken in presence of Almighty God, this same Congress and the nation —who has imprissioned the deputies for no other cause than that of possessing too much virtue for the purposes of despotism and who kicked this same Congress out of doors and trampld on the national dignity for refusing to give him power to make a Constitution suitable to his own purposes of agrandisement and despotism? Who has seized on private property on the highways, in private houses and whereever he can find it—who has—but where shall we stop if all his acts of usurpation are enumerated—Is it be to expected that such a man will permit the national representation to deliberate independently and freely and discuss his own acts of violence and usurpation, and award that punishment due as well to him as to every individual concerned in this gross violation of the nations rights? No fellow citizens force the force of public opinion (which your Emperor has always pretended to respect, but has in fact dispised) has compelled [him] to convene the Congress, and the same acts and intrigue which dissipated it before will do so again, the moment he has the power— The deputies therefore who did not attend have done their duty as becoms them, and the only way in which Congress can or ought to meet [is] under the protection of the Army, and after H. M. shall have been removed beyond the limits of the city and deprived of all command or influence whatever then—untill they can meet under these circumstances, they ought not to meet at all—-