Thursday, April 24, 2014

Today -100: April 24, 1914: Our quarrel is not with the Mexican people

Epithets, Mexican-style: Venustiano Carranza wants to make it quite clear: “in no case will we make common cause with Huerta, whom we consider an usurper, traitor, and assassin.” But he’d rather direct.

Epithets, South Carolina style: Lede Sentence of the Day -100: “Gov. Cole L. Blease [of South Carolina] called Secretary [of War] Garrison ‘a little pug-nosed Yankee,’ Secretary [of the Navy] Daniels a ‘liar,’ and the Minister to Cuba, William E. Gonzales, ‘a half-breed Cuban’ in a speech here to-night, in which he explained that he was not fighting the National Administration at Washington.” The editor of The Columbia Record was the one who wrote that Blease was fighting the Wilson Administration, so Blease has him arrested for libel. Blease is in fact in a dispute with SecWar Garrison, who pulled scheduled military maneuvers out of the state after Blease refused to withdraw something undisclosed he wrote to Garrison in a letter.

Admiral Fletcher invites the Vera Cruz municipal employees to continue working at their jobs, but for the American occupiers.

War Headline of the Day -100: “Bravery of Badger’s Men.” Sounds like a not-very-good children’s book.

Huerta expels the US’s chargé d’affaires Nelson O’Shaughnessy.

And takes over the railroads.

Huerta claims the US only took Vera Cruz by a ruse. See, the American sailors had always been allowed ashore to bathe and stroll the town, but this time they had rifles. That’s Huerta’s story, and he’s sticking to it.

Rioters stone the US consulate in Mexico City, as is the custom, and try to pull down a statue of George Washington.

Woodrow Wilson proclaims that despite his little war, or perhaps because of it, the US’s “feeling and intention” is based on “a genuine friendship for the Mexican people”. His statement, intended to reassure the Constitutionalists, says that US actions are directed only against Huerta in the territory he controls. “We are dealing, moreover, only with those whom he commands and those who come to his support. With these we must deal. They do not lawfully represent the people of Mexico. In that fact we rejoice, because our quarrel is not with the Mexican people, and we do not desire to dictate their affairs.” Wilson has decided to send the regular Army, not just marines and sailors, into Mexico, making it harder to pretend that this is not a war. This is necessitated by the fact that Mexicans are actually resisting the invasion, which was evidently not anticipated.

Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan sent a note to Carranza, asking the rebels not to oppose the US invasion. So now Republicans such as Henry Cabot Lodge, John Weeks, and William Borah accuse the Wilson Admin of collaborating with murderous bandits. Who aren’t even willing to collaborate. Democrats respond that it was Republican demands that the US go to war with the whole of Mexico and not just the Huerta Junta that made Carranza hostile.

Spies are discovered wandering the halls of the building which houses the State, War and Navy departments. Or at least people claiming to be journalists who are suspected of spying for one side or the other in Mexico (that is, there are spies for both sides). So people will now need a pass to enter the building.

Tammany will start recruiting troops. It is rumored that Pres. Wilson will soon call for 50,000 volunteers.

The NYT counts 15 American dead, 58 wounded so far.

Speaking of battles, there is said to be one going on in Walsenburg, Colorado, but the wires are down so information is scarce.

Colorado Lt. Gov. Stephen Fitzgerald calls out the entire state militia after getting some businessmen to guarantee the privates’ pay.

Atlanta police are now holding a negro witness against Leo Frank at his trial, who subsequently admitted that his testimony had been coerced by the police. The cops claim that Albert McKnight has recanted that recantation and is now voluntarily staying at the police station because people have threatened him.

An attempted anti-Mormon meeting is held at Carnegie Hall, intended to be the start of an anti-Mormon crusade nationwide, with demands that Wilson not appoint Mormons to public office, for a constitutional amendment banning polygamy, and for NYC Mayor Mitchel to refuse permits to Mormon elders to preach and to prevent the building of a Mormon tabernacle. The meeting is broken up by Mormons, who attacked the stage after a speech by Frank Cannon, a Mormon apostate who was a US senator from Utah in the 1890s.

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