active in the Federalist cause were beginning to become disillusioned with an enterprise that left them so poor.
The very day that the convention finished its work Canales opened negotiations with Arista with the object of ending the war. From Mier he wrote Arista on January 28:
My very dear Sir. I have had the pleasure of talking to my Uncle D. Francisco yesterday, who has assured me of the good faith with which you discuss soothing our differences for the sake of our country sufficiently unhappy now with such aberrations of its government. I am disposed to end a war, the longer it lasts, the more terrible are the symptoms it presents. Only you and I can agree upon the method of ending it. We will discuss in private the means of attaining so noble an object. . . . I desire to speak with you and to acquaint you of the real character of our revolution. We are not really fanatics; as it is of little importance to the villages what kind of government the Republic has.
The Federalists, he continued, wanted respect, protection, and security to persons and property, which the government of Cuernavaca did not give. Canales proposed a truce pending conferences with Arista to acquaint him with the character of the revolution.
To Canales' invitation to negotiate, Arista replied from Cadereyta most emphatically, "no." "Each paragraph of your letter of the 28th . . . ends," he said, with "an insult to a legitimate government which by debt and opinion I respect and defend. Never have you used a style so caustic, mixing it with ideas of compromise." Canales' sincerity was made suspect by the fact that he showed neither meekness nor a desire to make some sacrifice to gain peace; his only anxiety was for the towns of desolate Tamaulipas and Nuevo León. This attitude, combined with Canales' conduct in uniting gangs and forcing those now tired of the fight to continue piling up corpses, was too much for Arista to understand.
Your style of writing and your actions have given me to understand that what you wish is to impose laws upon a legitimate government, recognized and respected by all nations. . . . I have permitted you some acquittals in your former letters because I know the surprises to self-esteem by making
15. Lic. Canales to Gen. D. Mariano Arista, Mier, Jan. 28, 1840, in El Ancla, Feb. 28, 1840.