Correspondence of Robert Toumbs, Alexander H. Stephens, and Howell Cobb, Vol. 2, ed. Ulrich Bonnell Philips. Washington D.C.: American Historical Association Annual Report, 1913, p. 399-400.
ROBERT TOOMBS TO W.W. BURWELL. L. C.
WASHINGTON, GA., Mch 30, 1857.
MY DEAR SIR, Your letter of the 22nd inst. is recd. And I am obliged to you for the kind interest you take in my personal affair with Davis. I am very glad it is settled, and the mode is one to which from the attitude I have held in the matter I could at no time [have] objected.
You are right about the Mexican mission. I had a very long and satisfactory interview with Buchanan about our Mexican policy, in which I was happy to find he generally concurred. I advised him to send Benjamin to Mexico, of which he seemed to think well. He spoke some of Cuba also- I told him England, Spain and Mexico were his three important missions, the others were mere feathers for peacocks and genteel [illegible] friends. My proposition to him to acquire Cuba was to get American citizens to buy up the Spanish debt to British subjects, which now amounts to about 200 millions of dollars and can be bought at 17 per cent, or thirty-four millions for two hundred, and then negotiate for payment to our citizens, and if not done to force it by running “negro law” on Spain. If we can do this and get a charter from the Rio Grande to Tiberon from Mexico before we buy Sonora and secure the Tehauntepec route, we shall do pretty well for four years. The charter, etc., must be gotten before we buy, to get ridd of grants for the Northern and Central Pacific routes which the North will insist on before they would give us such a charter and proper grant. The Tehauntepec route can be secured by Benjamin in Mexico in a week. I sent for [Hargess?] and had a long talk with him on Mexican affairs and very readily agreed to cooperate in both objects. I am a good deal urged to undertake this Cuban business in England, but I do not like to leave the Senate. Do not mention this to a single soul but tell me what you think of it. It is my decided strong conviction that I ought to be on this side the water and it is my present purpose to act on it. If I should go away I should by all means wish you at Washington. Indeed I hope this summer to make that arrangement any how. I am obliged to [go] to Texas in about a fortnight but return again about the 1st of June. All quiet in Georgia, some anxiety about our nomination for govr., but it will pass away after the convention. My election comes off this fall, but it doe snot seem as tho’ there will [be] any serious opposition to me.