페이지 이미지

Mlle No. 882.51/283.

The Secretary of State to the British Ambassador.1


Washington, December 21, 1911. EXCELLENCY: Referring to previous correspondence with reference to the negotiation of a loan for the rehabilitation of the finances of Liberia, I take pleasure to transmit herewith, for the information of your Government and as a substitute for all preceding proofs, a copy of the final revise of the agreement for Government refunding loan, in the form in which it was approved by the Legislature of Liberia and signed by the President of that Republic on the 18th ultimo.

The Department has found it necessary to introduce into the bankers' agreement à number of changes in order to insure the cordial approval of all the governments concerned in the customs receivership to be established as security for the loan. Besides the changes which were made necessary by the increase of the amount of the loan to $1,700,000, several changes in form were made which have the effect of making the receivers advisers of the general receiver in a more intimate sense than was contemplated by the original agreement and by the loan act of 1911.

The Liberian Government has appointed as general receiver Mr. Reed Paige Clark, who expects shortly to leave the United States for his post.

It is thought that the conclusion of the contract for the loan will be completed in the near future, when your Government will be asked for its formal acquiescence in the agreement and for the appointment of its receiver under the terms of the contract. I have, etc.,

P. C. Knox.

1 Mutatis mutandis to the French and German ambassadors.




NOTE.—The events directly tributary to the following correspondence go back at least as far as April 2, 1903, when, organized oppo sition to the Government of President Díaz having appeared at the State elections of Nuevo León, the State authorities suppressed a large but pacific demonstration of Oppositionists at Monterrey, not without bloodshed. In 1905 the Nuevo Leonese elections again impending, the opposition formed “Benito Juárez Democratic Clubs," which ramified through the State. A State convention was called, which out of prudence was held in the City of Mexico, where a platform was drafted with “No reelection for governor or municipal presidents” as its chief plank. This convention attracted national attention, as did the occurrences of election day, which showed the futility of opposition at the polls.

The opposition received new strength in 1908 in consequence of a statement of President Díaz to James Creelman, published in the March number of Pearson's Magazine, where the President was quoted as declaring, “No matter what my friends and supporters say, I retire when my presidential term of office ends, and I shall not serve again. * * * I welcome an opposition party in the Mexican Republic. * * * If it can develop power, not to exploit but to govern, I will stand by it.” This interview encouraged the formation of the No reelection or Antireelection Party, and hastened the publication (October, 1908) of Francisco I. Madero's book, “La Sucesión Presidencial," which voiced that party's sentiments and had for its immediate object the formation of a public opinion against the reelection of President Díaz in 1910.

how armed themsearrison at Las after losing severalyn

While such pacific propaganda was going on, many revolutionists, not content to await the result of the 1910 elections, gathered on the border, and occasional armed conflicts occurred on or close to the boundary line, as when on June 26, 1908, some 40 men, who had somehow armed themselves on the American side of the border, attacked the Mexican garrison at Las Vacas, opposite the railway junction at Del Rio, Tex., withdrawing after losing several men and exhausting their ammunition. Such attacks, shared in by men of considerable education and ardent political partisanship, added greatly to the tasks of the United States Federal officers, whose regular work had been to deal with cattle thieves, smugglers, and fugitives. Of the vigilance of these officers President Díaz spoke as follows on September 16, 1908, in his message to the Mexican Congress:

When attacks were made on small border towns by bands of outlaws the Washington Government has not only concentrated forces along the boundary line to prevent the fleeing marauders from seeking refuge in American territory, but has also instituted prosecutions for violation of the neutrality laws against individuals who had made plans in the United States for raids into Mexico. (For. Rel., 1908, p. 604.)

But successful cooperation with the Mexican Government was made difficult by the inability of the Government of the United States legally to arrest propagandists or forbid traffic in arms and ammunition, where there was no breach or no procurable evidence of a breach of the neutrality statutes.

The problem for both Governments was aggravated by a general antipathy in Mexico of Americans, largely caused by a special dislike of those Americans who, for business reasons, were coming into Mexico in steadily increasing numbers. Responded to in kind, this mutual border feeling was intensified by the attacks across the line. Out of such conditions started various local or State organizations of Americans, such as the Texas Rangers. These naturally attracted the fire of the bolder Mexican outlaws, and on July 31, 1910, border rancor was greatly inflamed by the killing of Ranger Lieut. Carnes and Constable West by a body of Mexicans who crossed the Rio Grande at San Benito, Tex., made an attack and escaped across the river into Mexico. Feeling ran high in Texas on this occasion, but was not expressed in reprisals until precipitated by the act of an alleged Mexican citizen, Antonio Rodriguez, who for the rape and murder of an American woman was burned alive at Rock Springs, Tex., in 1910. This caused in turn fresh reprisals by Mexicans, which were now directed not only against the persons of American citizens, but also against the United States Government as represented by consular residences, the flag, and the like. Demonstrations both peaceful and violent were reported from far within the interior of Mexico.

Meantime the prediction of the Antireelection Party that President Díaz would run again, in spite of what he had declared to Creelman, was realized. The President, who was 80 years old and had been President for 34 years, announced his candidacy for his eighth term, which would begin November 30, 1910, and last six years. He had selected for Vice President Don Ramón Corral, leader of the “ Científicos" and thoroughly unpopular. Gen. Bernardo Reyes, governor of the State of Nuevo León, who had been minister

et Meantime thuld run again, Presiden

of war on President Díaz's staff, was reported to be opposed to the reelection of Vice President Corral, and many persons advocated that Gen. Reyes himself be elected Vice President. In the midst of the campaign Gen. Reyes went to Mexico City and, soon after, to Europe on a special military mission.

The opposition nominated Francisco I. Madero, of Monterrey, for President. Madero came from a very wealthy and very influential family, most of whom had always been staunch supporters of President Díaz, and, although they greatly respected their distinguished relative, many of the family openly declared in favor of Díaz. Francisco Madero had written a book, above referred to, which had had a wide circulation, and which emphasized the probability that a Corral administration would be even worse than the Díaz régime. It said:

The nation can never separate the name of Señor Corral from the iniquitous Yaqui war. * * * He answers perfectly all the requirements that the President desires his successor to possess, and the nation must not hope anything from him but a prolongation of absolute power, with the fresh aggravations that he will have to employ in order to impose his authority (p. 262). The problem, therefore, is reduced to this: Which is the best for the nation, the continuation of the present absolutism or the introduction of democratic practices? (p. 292).

The book was well written and its author was also a fluent speaker. During the 1910 campaign he went about for months, urging the people to rise against the existing tyranny and fight with what weapons they could find for the reestablishment of constitutional government.

The election date was June 26, 1910. On June 5, in the midst of his campaign, Madero was arrested at Monterrey on a charge of having concealed a fugitive from justice-Roque Estrada, Madero's own secretary, and habitually in Madero's house. Madero was taken to San Luis Potosí, where he was convicted of sedition, held until after the elections were over, and then, through the efforts of friends, released on 8,000 pesos bail, with restriction, however, to the limits of San Luis Potosí, where he was kept under observation. (File No. 812.00/351.) Other Antireelectionists were similarly treated. Some escaped and fled to revolutionary centers in the United States, where their writings and other activities greatly emboldened the revolutionists. Two of these, Ricardo and Enrique Flores Magón, were indicted by the United States Federal grand jury for violating the neutrality laws; Ricardo was convicted and imprisoned ; Enrique continued writing widely quoted articles. (File No. 812.00/350.)

The tasks of the United States Federal officers were greatly increased when, on October 6, 1910, Madero escaped from San Luis Potosí to San Antonio, Tex., general headquarters of the revolutionary junta (file No. 812.00/351), and was at once announced in the press as its president and leader of the revolution. (San Antonio Express, Oct. 11, 1910, file No. 812.00/352.) A few days later, in a manifesto addressed “To the American people," he declared that all he asked was “the hospitality which all free peoples have always accorded to those from other lands who strive for liberty." (File No. 812.00/353.)

Madero came prepared with a specific revolutionary program, which had long been maturing, known as “The Plan of San Luis

accorded was the "To the Ame 2:00/352.) Aution. (San An the

Potosí," in which the cause and purpose of the rerolution are set forth. Madero's Manifesto and the Plan of San Luis Potosí.

(Estracts-Translation.'] Our beloved land has come to one of those historic moments when extreme sacrifices must be made for liberty and justice. * * * An intolerable tyranny oppresses us, with no alternative but a shameful peace based on might instead of right * * * obedient to the single will, or caprice of Gen. Porfirio Díaz, who in his long administration has shown his chief aim to be his own continuance in power at whatever cost. * * * The evil of such a government, under which organized expression of opinion is impossible, was greatly ag. grarated by the determination of Gen. Díaz to name his successor, and by his choice of Señor Ramón Corral as that successor the eril has now become unbearable. Accordingly many Mexicans, with no recognized political standing—for no man during these last 36 years could acquire it-have resolved to regain for the people their sovereignty.

We who have so resolved have organized, among others, the National Antireelectionist Party, whose slogan is “An honest ballot and no second term." The two principles comprised by this slogan are the only ones whose application can save the Republic from a dangerous extension of the dictatorship which grows daily more despotic and immoral,

The Mexican people have rallied to the standard of this party, sent their delegates to the national convention, which it shares with the Nationalist Democratic Party, and nominated Dr. Francisco Vázquez Gómez and me for Vice President and President. * * * My campaign was a triumphal march, for the magic words “An honest ballot and no reelection" electrified the people throughout the country and made them resolve to put those two principles into effect. The moment, therefore, came when Gen. Díaz perceived the situation and, realizing that he could not meet me to advantage in a lawful contest, put me in prison before the election, which was fraudulently conducted, violence, even to the filling of the jails with unoffending freemen, being employed to enforce the frauds.

The Mexican people protested against the illegality of that election, and in doing so employed, each in its proper turn, every recourse offered by the law of the land, going finally before Congress, hopeless as it was to do so; for the people well know that that unlawful body obeys implicitly the will of Gen. Díaz. * * * They knew, indeed, that in following me at all outrage awaited them; but nevertheless, for liberty's sake, they went with admirable stoicism to the polls, ready to face any affront. ..

It was necessary to take those fruitless steps-party organization, appearance at the polls, conduct of the election strictly within the prescribed procedure. By this orderly conduct we expected to show to the world that the Mexican people are able to use the instruments of democracy. They were, however, not allowed to use them; and they clearly show by their present attitude that they know I should have been elected if their electoral rights had been respected, and that they do not recognize the Government of Gen Díaz

By virtue of this knowledge and attitude, by virtue of the national will, I hereby declare the recent elections illegal and the Republic, therefore, without a legitimate government. I hereby provisionally assume the Presidency of the Republic until the people shall have nominated, according to law, their governing officials. In order to do so, they will have to remove from power the audacious usurpers, and I should display a dishonorable weakness and a betrayal of them were I to fail to lead those that have trusted me and by force of arms compel Gen. Díaz to respect the will of the nation.

The present Government, although deriving from violence and fraud, will enjoy up to the 30th of November next a certain aspect of legality in the regard of foreign nations, since it has been tolerated by the Mexican people. But it is imperative that the new administration, deriving from the fraud of the old, shall be prevented from usurping and entering into power, or shall, at least, find most of the nation in arms against it.

Therefore I appoint 6 o'clock of Sunday night, the 20th of November next, as the time for an armed uprising, according to the following

1 González y Domenech. La Revolución y Sus Héroes, pp. 213-225. 44773°-F R 1911- 28

« 이전계속 »