Short History of Mexico - Arthur H. Noll

Aboriginal Mexico

The earliest authentic date in the history of Mexico is 1325,—generally accepted as the year in which the Mexicans, or Aztecs, ended their wanderings about the shores of Lake Texcoco, and settled upon the site of what was afterwards Tenochtitlan, and is now the City of Mexico. Traditions and myths are sadly mixed up with the realities of these events, as we shall hereafter see; but the best authorities agree in accepting that year as the beginning of Mexican history, and relegating all accounts of the previous occupants of the Mexican Valley to the realm of archaeology. Such accounts can therefore claim no serious attention from the present writer, whose purpose it is to relate only what is actually known of the history of Mexico. Archaeology is no proper pursuit for the hurrying traveller in Mexico. Reserving that for leisure hours at home, he will find plenty of books from which to gather the conflicting theories held by different men as to who were and whence came the Mayas, the Qquiches, the Toltecs, and the Chichimecas; who built the cities whose ruins are the occasion of so much wonder to the travellers in Yucatan,—cities said to have been overgrown with dense forests before the Spanish conquest,—or who built Mitla, the ruined city in the State of Oaxaca; and by whom and for what purpose the so-called "pyramids "of San Juan Teotihuacan were erected, or the similar mound in Cholula.

The seven families of Nahuatlacas who arrived in the lake region of the Mexican Valley in the beginning of the fourteenth century, whom we call Aztecs, or Mexicans, and of whose subsequent movements we have to some extent authentic records, brought with them certain traditions which are partially corroborated by the researches of archeologists. From these traditions it would appear that they had originated in a country unknown save by the name Aztlan (and that merely means "the place of the Aztecs"), and indefinitely located "somewhere north of the Gulf of California," perhaps in the locality where are found the remarkable cliff houses of Colorado and New Mexico.

They began their southerly march about the middle of the twelfth century, and stopped for a time in what is now Arizona of the United States, leaving there certain monuments. The ruins of Casas Grandes attest that they made that a stopping-place also. Again they settled in a country known as Culhuacan, and it is there that they appear to have formulated their religion, adopting as their god of war Huitzilopochtli. That being the name of one of the Chichimecan rulers of that century, it suggests the possibility of their having made a tribal hero do duty as a tribal deity. Huitzilopochtli furnished the nucleus for the subsequent development of the Aztec mythology.

It was under the leadership of their war god that the Aztecs proceeded on their way from Culhuacan, leaving signs of another resting-place in what is known as the "Quemada," about twenty miles south of Zacatecas. At the end of nine years they left the Quemada, and by a very circuitous journey reached the mountain regions of Toluca, and finally arrived in Tula in 1196. Twenty years later they arrived at Zumpango, thirty miles north of the site of their future capital. They were well received by the chief of Zumpango (called by Spanish writers, in their fondness for conferring high-sounding titles upon the chiefs of these early tribes, "the Lord of Zumpango"), and a marriage was arranged between his son and a daughter of one of the Mexican families to whom the Spanish writers (conceiving that the Mexicans had already attained to the dignity of an hereditary government, instead of being a mere roving band) give the dignified title of "Aztec princess." It was from this marriage that the military chiefs of the Mexicans in the succeeding century were descended.

The wanderings of the Mexicans were renewed, and seven years later they passed by way of Tezoyocan and Tolpetas to Tepeyacac (Guadalupe-Hidalgo), then on the northwestern shores of Lake Texcoco. After twenty-nine years of occupancy of this locality they were driven out by the Chichimecas,—a powerful tribe already established in the Valley of Mexico, speaking a language differing dialectically only from that spoken by the Mexicans. They fled to the rocky promontory of Chapultepec, looking down upon the waters of Texcoco. Sixteen years later they sought refuge in a group of islands in the western extremity of Lake Acocolco (Aculco), where they eked out a miserable existence for fifty-two years. The Culhuacas made them slaves; but because of assistance rendered to their masters in the wars between the Culhuacas and the Xochimilcas, they were enabled to regain their liberty, and collected themselves together at Huitzilopocho (Churubusco), and went to Mexicalzingo and Ixtacalco. It was after two years that they proceeded to the selection of a permanent home and the foundation of a pueblo which was to be the scene of their subsequent development.

In the marshy islands near the western borders of Lake Texcoco, representatives of the poor tribe of Mexicans, wandering about in search of a place of rest, saw an eagle standing upon a nopal  (prickly-pear cactus) strangling a serpent. This was received as a sign that the gods had selected that spot for their future home. Accordingly there was established upon that spot, in the year 1325, the nucleus of the pueblo of Tenochtitlan; that is, "the place of the Tenuch"  or nopal. The name by which their pueblo was subsequently called, and by which its successor is now known, was derived from Mextli, which either means the moon, or was another name given to Huitzilopochtli.

Although this legend of the foundation of Tenochtitlan has been so generally accepted as to give to Mexico a design for its escutcheon,—representing the eagle, the serpent, and the nopal,—yet there is a far more plausible explanation given for the selection by the Mexicans of such an unpromising site for their local habitation as the marshy islands of the lake borders. Upon entering the lake region of the Valley of Mexico, they found four tribes already settled there,—the Aculhuas or Texcocans, the Tecpanecas, the Xochimilcas, and the Chalcas. The present towns of Texcoco, Xochimilco, and Chalco mark the sites occupied by three of these tribes. The site occupied by the Tecpanecas was on the western borders of Lake Texcoco, where now stands Atzcapotzalco. These tribes all spoke the Nahuatl language,—the language of the Mexicans,—with only dialectic differences. It became necessary for the newcomers—the Aztecs—to select a place for their home, not only offering them at least a scanty means of subsistence, but also capable of ready defense from the inroads of their neighbors, under their system of warfare. This was afterwards demonstrated as their pueblo grew and causeways were constructed,—at first glance intended only to afford them a ready means of reaching the mainland, but upon closer study really designed to place the pueblo at a greater distance from the mainland. For these causeways acted as dams, and deepened the waters of the lake west of the pueblo,—more especially in the direction of its nearest neighbors, the Tecpanecas of Atzcapotzalco.

Having thus followed the Aztecs through their traditional wanderings, and arrived with them at the point marking the beginning of their history, we find certain attempts to account for the earlier occupants of the high tablelands of Mexico which cannot be wholly ignored, though none of them can with safety be set down as matters of sober history. That which treats of the Toltecs furnishes as a beginning-point the suspiciously early date of 720, and supplies us with the unpronounceable names of a succession of nine rulers, and an account of the destruction of the "monarchy" in 1103. A succession of nine rulers, occupying the throne on an average more than forty-two years each, and altogether nearly four hundred years, bears prima facie  the impress of improbability. The site and ruins of the capital of this so-called "monarchy" still remain at Tula, or, as it was anciently called, Tollan, fifty miles north of the City of Mexico, on the present line of the Mexican Central Railway. The tribe had risen out of the densest obscurity one hundred and thirty years previously, and had spent that length of time in wanderings,—remaining long enough in one locality, fifty-nine miles northeast of the Mexican capital, to bestow upon it the name of Tollantzingo (Tulancingo), the place of the Toltecs, The name Toltecs signifies, according to some, "the builders," and suggests that the title may have been conferred posthumously—so to speak—upon the race by their successors, when the latter came to see the remains of the buildings left by their antecedents.

One notable event in the history of the Toltecs seems well authenticated and is deserving of mention here. It is the discovery or invention of pulque  in the "reign" of the eighth Toltec chief, Tepancaltzin, during the latter half of the eleventh century. Xochitl, the daughter of Papantzin, was the discoverer, and upon being presented by her father before the chief of her tribe, who was not more delighted with the beverage than with the beauty of the discoverer, she was elevated at once to a place in his household. To one who knows Mexico, and what a hold this beverage (the juice of the maguey, Mexican aloe, or agave Americana, in a certain stage of fermentation) has had upon the affections of the people for eight centuries, it will occasion no surprise to learn that to this event is accorded a permanent place in history, while the details of the rebellion where in Tepancaltzin and his "queen" were killed, and the Toltec government was overthrown in 1103, have been allowed to sink into oblivion. From 1103, although Topiltzin, probably the leader of the rebellion, succeeded to the chieftaincy, anarchy seems to have prevailed in Tula, until the fair land of the Toltecs was nearly depopulated by famines, plagues, and wars, and the few survivors emigrated to Yucatan or Guatemala, leaving behind them in Tula monuments to mark them as a race somewhat advanced in civilization. The Chichimecas ("eagles," as their name signifies, according to one of many etymologies suggested) were the successors of the Toltecs. They were less advanced in civilization, and came from Amaquemecan (Amecameca), at the foot of the two famous mountains Popocatepetl and Ixtaccihuatl. An effort has been made on the part of some historians to give to the Chichimecas the earliest place in history, and to establish them in the "kingdom of Huehuetlapallan" with a long line of "kings," the thirteenth of whom, Icoatzin, established the Toltec government by placing his second son, Chalchiuhtlanctzin, in the chieftaincy in the year 720, thus making the Toltec "dynasty" subservient to that of the Chichimecas. But the location of the "kingdom of Huehuetlapallan" cannot be identified, and the events attributed to that "kingdom" would carry it back 1,796 years before the Christian era, and are not even to be regarded as traditions, but are reduced to the character of myths. No reliance is to be placed upon the accounts of the Chichimecas prior to their settling upon the lands left unoccupied by the departure of the Toltecs from Tula. From Tula they wandered off, first to Cempoalla and Tepepolco, and finally reached Tenayucan (Texcoco) on the east side of the lake Texcoco, where they established themselves and elected a ruler, Xolotl the Great (or, as his name signifies, "the sharp eyed or vigilant person"). He is said to have attained to the chieftaincy in 1120. A succession of four chiefs in Tenayucan carries the history of the Chichimecas down to the time of the settlement of the Aztecs at Tenochtitlan; but as one hundred and twelve years are given as the length of the reign of Xolotl the Great, faith in this history is greatly weakened.

It was by Xolotl the Great that the colony of Tecpanecas was established at Atzcapotzalco. It was composed of a tribe or family of Aculhuas, to the two principal "chiefs" of which he gave his two daughters in marriage. This colony was organized, according to the best accounts, in 1168, and either elected a chief or at least accepted one of Xolotl's appointment.

Still another tribe was settled in the lake region, and is accounted for as follows: It was composed of survivors of the Toltecs upon the overthrow of Tula in 1103, who received the name of Culhuas. The place of their settlement still bears the name of Culhuacan. This tribe was destined to play a prominent part in the history of the Aztecs. The first in its line of ten chiefs dated ' his "reign" from 1109.

In the most reckless manner the Spanish writers have employed such terms as "empire," "kingdom," "king," "queen," "lord," and "prince," in their attempts to write the history of ancient Mexico. When any one comes to identify the sites of these "empires "and "kingdoms," and finds them not only completely surrounded by the mountains which enclose the Valley of Mexico, but all bordering upon the marshy shores of a lake scarcely more than fifteen miles in diameter, he sees how little reliance is to be placed upon the many accounts given of the occupants of the Mexican Valley prior to the fourteenth century,—accounts which have been partially harmonized above. Destructive as such a course must be of much of the romantic interest attaching to the early history of Mexico, it is much safer to regard the occupants of the Mexican Valley as petty tribes, probably all of Nahuatl stock, settled in pueblos  or villages so disposed as to afford means of pursuing horticulture, as well as to protect the inhabitants from the incursions of their neighbors. Their political rulers were doubtless no more than caciques, more probably the heads of families. As the house of lumber built by the Toltecs at Tollantzingo was "large enough to accommodate the entire nation," it is not likely that the entire nation at Tollantzingo included more than a few families. So it was, probably, with the Aztecs and their neighbors; and setting out with this in our minds we shall more clearly comprehend what follows in the history of the Aztecs.

It was about thirteen years after the settlement of Tenochtitlan by the seven Nahuatl families that a petty quarrel that had broken out during the previous wanderings of those families bore fruit in a schism, and one of the families established itself at Tlatelolco, while another faction removed to Chapultepec. We find Spanish authors treating these factions as separate and hostile "kingdoms." But Tlatelolco was separated from Tenochtitlan by a narrow canal only, and enjoyed, in common with Tenochtitlan, isolation from the mainland; and Chapultepec was distant only a league from either pueblo, so that there was scant room for hostilities between rival "kingdoms "; and we must reserve for some time our judgment regarding the power or government of any of these families or tribes until the Aztecs, first by confederation and afterwards by victorious arms, gained an actual ascendency in the Mexican Valley.

For a long time the Mexicans of Tenochtitlan subsisted on fish, birds, and such wild vegetables as the marshy borders of the lake afforded. But with the increase of population a need of other commodities grew up. To supply this demand they approached the Tecpanecas for the purpose of securing commercial relations with them, and also to secure the use of one of the springs on the mainland. The desired concessions were made by the Tecpanecas, but on the condition that the Mexicans should pay tribute to them. An inscription upon the aqueduct that now brings the waters from the great spring at Chapultepec to the fountain known as Salto del Agua, in the southwestern part of the present City of Mexico, refers to this peculiar relation of the Aztecs and the Tecpanecas, though in language far from accurate. It states that—

"The course of this aqueduct is that of the aqueduct made by the Aztecs in the reign of Chimalpopoca, who was granted the right to the water of Chapultepec by the King of Atzcapotzalco, to whom the Aztecs were tributary until the reign of Izcohualt (1422-33, A. D.), when they secured their independence."

Besides the tribes which have been mentioned there were others scattered throughout the lands beyond the mountains, shutting in the Mexican Valley. As to the origin of these it would be useless so much as to hazard a guess. The Otomites, "distinguished for their barbarity," occupied the mountains of Ixmiquilpan. The Tarascos, or Michoacanos, occupied a locality distinctly marked by a state name still preserved, their capital being Tzintzuntzan, on the shores of Lake Patzcuaro. The Zapotecas still occupy their ancient seat in the mountains of Oaxaca, and have furnished in the present century one of the greatest characters in Mexican history.

It must not be supposed that all lingual traces of the occupants of Mexico in the fourteenth century have disappeared. Even in the streets of the capital some of the languages then spoken may now be heard. There are nearly two millions of people in the country who speak the Aztec or Mexican language proper; there are two-thirds of a million who speak the Othomi. The Maya-Qquiche is spoken in Yucatan and parts adjacent by about four hundred thousand persons, the Zapoteca in Oaxaca by half a million, and the Tarascan by a quarter of a million in the State of Michoacan. Other languages and dialects are in use, and the whole number of Mexicans speaking native languages (some of them speaking the Spanish also) is very nearly four millions. To the Aztec language the more accurate term Nahuatl  is sometimes applied. Geographical names derived from these ancient languages are aids in establishing some of the facts in the obscure periods of Mexican history. "Cingo" and "an" or "lan" are characteristic terminations in the Nahuatl language, signifying "place." It is generally safe to refer localities bearing names with either of those terminations to the period of the Nahuatl occupancy.

The seven Nahuatl families who composed the settlement at Tenochtitlan were reduced, as we have seen, to five, by the defection of the colonists of Tlatelolco and Chapultepec. Although the names of two "kings of Azteca" have been furnished us by Spanish writers, prior to the year 1375, it is by no means likely that these so-called "kings" were more than great warriors, if indeed they were more than heads of families, or caciques. And it was in the year above-named that the first approach to a governmental organization was effected in Tenochtitlan, and that was by means of the election, by popular vote, of a Tlaca-tecuhtli, which means, literally, "chief-of-men." Acamapichtli ("Handful- of-reeds"), the person selected for this important office, so far from being a king or an emperor, as he is distinctly named in some histories, or an autocrat or despot, as he has been generally represented to us, was simply the head war-chief of the Mexican tribe settled in Tenochtitlan, holding his office for life or good behavior. Upon his successors in office, a little over a century later, when Mexico, at the head of a military confederacy composed of all the tribes of the Valley, was accustomed to levy tribute upon weaker tribes beyond the mountain wall, the further duty was imposed of collecting this tribute. But from the earliest times any tendency on the part of the Tlaca-tecuhtli towards assuming a political dictatorship was held in check by a civil coadjutor, his equal in rank, and whose office was also elective. The principal occupation of the Mexicans was war, and their government may be best described as a military democracy. There was no office or dignity connected with its internal polity that was hereditary. Every office was dependent upon popular vote, and that was influenced by the merit of the candidate on the field of battle. And even the Tlaca-tecuhtli and his civil coadjutor were subject to a still higher authority,—a "council-of-chiefs," of which they were, ex-officio  members, and which was the actual governing body of the Mexicans.

During the twenty-eight years in which Acamapichtli held the office of Tlaca-tecuhtli the population of Tenochtitlan increased and the condition of the pueblo was materially improved. Canals took the place of the irregular water-courses hitherto separating the several islands selected as the site of Tenochtitlan, and the erection of stone buildings is said to have begun. Acamapichtli was the descendant of the Aztec who married in Zumpango. He had two wives, to whom were born the next two "chiefs-of-men" elected by the people of Tenochtitlan. The first of these was Huitzilihuitl ("Hummingbird"), elected in 1403,—four months after the death of his father. His marriage with the daughter of the chief of the Tecpanecas of Atzcapotzalco served to strengthen the commercial alliance between the Mexicans and the Tecpanecas. He also married a daughter of a family of Quauhnahuac (Cuernavaca). It has been stated that a system of jurisprudence grew up during the time of Huitzilihuitl. Upon his death, in 1414, he was buried at Chapultepec ("the hill of the grasshoppers," as its name signifies),—probably the first warrior chief to find a resting place in that historic ground, and to give to Chapultepec the name of "the royal burial place of the Aztecs." He was succeeded in office by Chimalpopoca ("Smoking Shield"), his brother. He died in 1427, a prisoner in the hands of the chiefs of the Tecpanecas and of Tenayucan. These two tribes had joined their arms against Tenochtitlan,—a breach of faith on the part of the Tecpanecas, for by the terms of their commercial treaty the Mexicans and the Tecpanecas were allied for their mutual protection in case of war.

Izcohualt or Izcoatzin ("Obsidian-snake"), the son of Acamapichtli, was next elected Tlaca-tecuhtli, and it was under his military leadership that the Mexicans overthrew the power of the Tecpanecas. For by this time the Mexicans had learned something of war, offensive as well as defensive, and besides wishing to punish the Tecpanecas for their treachery in taking up arms in collusion with Tenayucan against Tenochtitlan, they were anxious to free themselves from the burden of taxation imposed upon them by the Tecpanecas under the commercial treaty. Securing the assistance, therefore, of the Culhuas, who had suffered oppression at the hands of the Tecpanecas, and were willing to enter into any plan for their destruction, Izcohualt with his fighting-men overthrew the treacherous tribe, destroyed Atzcapotzalco (which was thenceforth made the slave market of Tenochtitlan), leaving a remnant of the tribe to settle at Tlacopan (a name now corrupted into Tacuba), thus giving rise to what has been considered the "kingdom of Tlacopan," supplanting the "kingdom of Atzcapotzalco." The local government of the Tecpanecas, established at Tlacopan was not disturbed, but they were made tributary to the Mexicans from whom they had before exacted tribute, and the Mexicans acquired unencumbered possession of the springs at Chapultepec, of which they had long had the use. The Mexicans furthermore controlled the military power of the conquered tribe.

The temporary alliance between Tenochtitlan and Culhuacan for the purposes of this war became a permanent military confederacy immediately afterwards, with the Mexicans as the leading power. The Tecpanecas, by the terms of the conquest, were a party to it. It was but natural that, a career of conquest being thus opened, and the power of the Mexicans having been strengthened by the federation of two other tribes, the effort should be made to extend it. The Xochimilcas, the Chalcas, and the Chinampanecas (the families residing on the Chinampas, or floating gardens), were by a war wholly unprovoked on their part made to submit to the military control of Tenochtitlan and pay tribute to the Mexicans. Whereupon one tribe only in the Mexican Valley remained hostile to the Mexicans,—the Aculhuas of Tenayucan, possibly their equals in military strength. These were brought into the confederacy by treaty, thus avoiding any loss of military strength to either which war would have involved. Tenochtitlan maintained the military supremacy in this confederacy, probably because of the superiority of its defensive position, and thus the Tlaca-tecuhtli of Tenochtitlan became the chief warrior of the confederacy. The local governments of Tenayucan and Tlacopan remained undisturbed, for a time at least, the tribute derived from subsequently conquered tribes being divided between the three confederated tribes in the following proportions,—significant of the relative importance of the three pueblos: to Tenochtitlan and Tenayucan each two fifths; to Tlacopan one fifth.

Izcohualt—who is probably entitled to no more than a portion of the credit for this consolidation of the military powers of the lake region of the Valley of Mexico equal to that of the other warrior legislators, but who nevertheless receives all of it in history by reason of the royal title conferred upon him by Spanish writers—died in 1436 at an advanced age. He was succeeded by Moteczuma I, ("Wrathy Chief"), who was a son of Huitzilihuitl by his marriage with the daughter of the Quauhnahuac chief. He is also called Ilhuicamina, "who- shoots-h is- arrow-heavenward," according to some,—"the scanner of the heavens," or "the star-gazer," according to others,—from which latter it is inferred that he added to his military skill the science of astronomy. His election was the result of the distinction which he won in the wars with the Tecpanecas, the Xochimilcas, and the Chalcas. He died in 1464, and was succeeded in his office of "chief-of-men" by Axayacatl ("Face-in-the- Water") the Terrible, a nephew of Acamapichtli. It had by this time become customary, upon the induction of a new Tlaca-tecuhtli into office, to sacrifice captives obtained in war with neighboring tribes, and raids were accordingly made for that purpose immediately after the election. Moteczuma I. is recorded as having done this, and, following his example, Axayacatl descended upon the Pacific coast and penetrated the territories of the Tecuantepecas as far as Coatulco (Huatulco), a port frequented by Spanish ships the following century. He secured captives in Tochtepec and Huexotzinco, and levied tribute upon both of these pueblos. But the principal event of his military administration was the overthrow of the pretensions of the pueblo of Tlatelolco. It had been reckoned, in the military confederacy, as part of Tenochtitlan. But in the year 1473, Moquihuix, the last war-chief of Tlatelolco, attempted to organize a conspiracy to supplant Tenochtitlan and make Tlatelolco the capital of the confederacy. His wife was a relative of Axayacatl, and divulged his plans to the Tlaca-tecuhtli and sought refuge with him from her husband's wrath. Moquihuix accomplished no more than the destruction of one of the temples of Tenochtitlan, and fell in the battle which ensued. The Tlatelolcans were terribly punished for their leader's temerity. The body of Moquihuix being brought to Axayacatl, he opened the breast, took out the heart and held it up in triumph, then offered it to the gods. The rights of separate government and of bearing arms were taken from the Tlatelolcans, and they were made cargadores  (carriers of supplies) for the Mexicans. They were afterwards relieved from some of the degrading terms of their punishment, and because of a demand for more warriors to carry on the campaigns of the Mexicans for obtaining captives, they were allowed to bear arms.

Axayacatl the Terrible was succeeded in 1477 by Tizoc ("Wounded Leg"), his brother, whose military administration was brief and obscure. One event stands out prominently in the meager annals of his times,—the defeat of the Mexicans in their attempt to carry their arms into Michoacan. Tizoc was poisoned in 1486, at the instigation of the war-chief of Ixtapalapan. His assassins were publicly executed in the great plaza of Tenochtitlan, and he was succeeded by Ahuizotl ("Water-rat"), another brother of Axayacatl, the first event of whose military administration was the completion of the great temple begun in the time of his predecessor. The ceremonies of dedicating this new temple and of inducting the new Tlaca-tecuhtli into office were attended with a barbaric splendor eclipsing anything preceding it. It is said that seventy-two thousand slaves, taken by Ahuizotl in war against rebellious subjects in Tlacopan, and in raids upon the Zapotecas and other tribes, were sacrificed. Hence it is that he is called "Ahuizotl the Cruel" and his name is even now used in Mexico as a synonym for cruelty.

It was in 1498 that Ahuizotl, deeming the waters of Lake Texcoco so low as to endanger the defenses of Tenochtitlan, and also the free intercourse between that pueblo and Texcoco on the opposite shore, ordered the construction of an aqueduct that would refill the lake from the natural reservoirs in Chapultepec. He succeeded, not only in refilling the lake, but in inundating his city,—the floods rising even in his own bed-chamber and endangering his life; from which incident it might seem that his name, "Water-rat," was significant. This is the opening page of a long chapter of struggles with water in the Mexican Valley, wherein the attempt has been made to reduce, rather than increase, the quantity of water.

In 1502 Ahuizotl was succeeded by Moteczuma II, ("Wrathy Chief"), who was the son of Axayacatl the Terrible, and was a truly remarkable character, with whom we have much to do. He was thirty-four years of age, and has been by some described as reared to the sacerdotal life, and hence filled with superstitions not without their influence upon the subsequent history of his tribe. But such a statement seems incompatible with the recorded distinctions won for himself in the wars conducted by his father. In the second year of his military administration he led the armies of Mexico-Tenochtitlan upon a campaign against the Tlaxcalans to obtain captives for sacrifice at the dedication of a new temple, built, or at least completed, at that time. The Tlaxcalans (not composing a republic, as has frequently been stated, but a populous tribe occupying such an admirably defended position in the mountains east of Tenochtitlan as to maintain their immunity from the incursions of the Aztecs) defeated the Mexicans, and in the war the son of Moteczuma was slain. Moteczuma succeeded, however, in leading his armies as far as Michoacan on the north and Nicaragua and Honduras on the south, and caused the Mexicans of Tenochtitlan to be feared everywhere throughout the land.

The Tlaca-tecuhtli of Tenochtitlan, though by no means an emperor or king, was the most prominent personage in the land, and the man of the greatest influence, when the advent of the Europeans changed the entire aspect of affairs. In the year 1517 Francisco Hernandez de Cordova discovered Yucatan, and the following year news was brought to the Tlaca-tecuhtli at Tenochtitlan of ships sailing along the Gulf coast, containing a different race of men from any before seen in Mexico. They comprised the exploring expedition of Juan de Grijalva, the Cuban navigator.

While the public mind was exercised over this sudden appearance of the white men, there were signs in the earth and in the sky which led the Aztecs, naturally superstitious as they were, to look forward to some dread calamity, some important crisis in the affairs of their race and government. There were hurricanes, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions in the Valley of Mexico. A comet appeared in the heavens. There was an eclipse of the sun. The great temple in Tenochtitlan burned without any cause being ascertained. Ominous dreams afflicted the Tlaca-tecuhtli, and it is even soberly stated that one of his near relatives who had died returned from the grave to visit him. All these signs filled the Aztecs with uneasiness, and they could not avoid connecting these phenomena with the extraordinary appearance of the European ships. The uneasiness increased when in the following spring (1519) a small array of Europeans landed upon the coast, directed their march toward Tenochtitlan, and began the series of events which together comprise that fascinating chapter in the history of the New World, known as THE CONQUEST OF MEXICO..

Before entering upon the history of the Conquest, it would be well to look at the pueblo of Tenochtitlan, as it appeared to the Spaniards in the early part of the sixteenth century. Nearly two centuries of occupation by the Mexicans had wrought great changes in the marshy banks of Lake Texcoco, where they had taken up their permanent abode in 1325. The poor pueblo of Tenochtitlan had become a pueblo, comparable—according to the Spanish visitors—with the fairest European capital. The first settlement had undoubtedly consisted of four buildings, each capable of sheltering a large division of the tribe after the defection of the Tlatelolco and Chapultepec factions. The pueblo preserved up to the time of the Conquest four divisions, undoubtedly built up around and upon the four communal houses first erected, these divisions being known as Moyotlan, Teapan, Aztacalco, and Cuepapan,—probably meaning, respectively, "the place of the mosquito," "the place of the god," "the place of the heron's house," and "the place of the dike." These four divisions were succeeded, upon the rebuilding of the city, after the Conquest, by the wards or parishes of San Pablo, San Juan, Santa Maria la Redonda, and San Sebastian.

To the limited amount of ground first occupied, more was added from time to time by filling in; and at the same time the waters were, as we have seen, deepened and broadened on all sides of the pueblo by means of the causeways, designed not so much to provide means of access to the mainland as to isolate the pueblo and increase its defenses.

The earliest built of these causeways was known as Acachananco, and was that running south and connecting with the mainland at Huitzilopocho (Churubusco). From a point on this causeway named Xoloc (near what is now known as San Antonio Abad) another causeway ran to Cuyuacan. A causeway running nearly in direct continuation of the first connected the pueblo with the mainland at Tepeyacac (Guadalupe-Hidalgo) on the north, while the most famous as well as the shortest was that running westerly, nearly at right angles to the other two and connecting Tenochtitlan with Tlacopan (Tacuba). Most probably this last-named causeway separated Moyotlan from Teapan, while the other two causeways formed the dividing line between those two quarters and Aztacalco and Cuepapan. Each of these quarters contained a teocalli  or temple, and at the meeting-place of the three great causeways, and belonging equally to each of the four quarters, stood the great teocalli, pyramidal in form, with its due apportionment of ground surrounded by its great wall of stone,—the coatapantli, or serpent wall. Tepeyacac, Huitzilopocho, and Cuyuacan, the termini of two of the causeways, as well as Ixtapalapan and Mexicalzingo, were military outposts, none of them containing much population. Chapultepec was a sacred spot As we have seen, it furnished the fresh-water supply of Tenochtitlan, and was also used as a place of sepulture. Tlatelolco was the equivalent of a fifth ward of the city, though probably larger than any of the other four. The Chinampas produced the vegetables necessary for the subsistence of the population of Tenochtitlan, and the tributary pueblos far and near furnished the other necessaries of life and all that constituted the wealth of Mexico.

The houses of Tenochtitlan were constructed at first of reeds and bamboo, such as are now seen in some parts of Mexico, even as near the capital as the Chinampa pueblos of Santa Anita and Ixtacalco. Later, turf and adobe  (sun-dried brick) were used, and as we have seen, stone began to be used for buildings in the time of Acamapichtli. We learn from Peter Martyr, of the seventeenth century, that the houses of the common people were commodious, each being designed to shelter several families,—residence by families being characteristic of the' Aztecs. They were of one story only, and had thatched roofs. They were built of stone to the height of several feet, as a protection against the rising waters of the lake. The superstructures were of adobe and timber. Canals to some extent took the place of streets, a broad canal separating Tenochtitlan from Tlatelolco.

Besides the teocallis  there was in each quarter of Tenochtitlan and in Tlatelolco a tecpan  or house for the public business of the quarter, and there was a tecpan  devoted to the business common to all the quarters of the city. Buildings were also provided for the residence of the Tlaca-tecuhtli and his family. Gardens probably surrounded the teocallis  and the tecpanes. But there could have been no such pleasure-grounds in Tenochtitlan as have been described by some writers. In fact, we may well be at a loss to account for the existence of sixty thousand families in Tenochtitlan and Tlatelolco, or even sixty thousand souls (as has been otherwise more modestly reported as the population at the time of the Conquest) within the acknowledged bounds of that ancient place, the pueblo here described.

By reason of its peculiar position and its artificial isolation Tenochtitlan was at the time of the Conquest the strongest military position ever occupied by the Indians. To reduce it, a mode of warfare was required altogether superior to that of the Aztecs.

Probably the generally accepted accounts of the civilization to which the Aztecs had attained at the time of the Conquest are, like those of their national government, greatly exaggerated. They were in the middle status of barbarism, two ethnic periods back of their contemporary Europeans. Nevertheless, they were certainly well advanced in the constructive and decorative arts, and were in the possession of some industrial processes unknown to the artisans of the present day.

The Conquest of Mexico

It was on the morning of Good Friday, April 21, 1519, that Hernando Cortes landed at San Juan de Ulua, now the fortified island off the coast from Vera Cruz. He had left the Island of Cuba under stress of circumstances on the 10th of February, with a force composed of 553 infantry, 16 horsemen with their horses, 110 sailors, and 200 Cuban Indians, all in eleven ships, none of them large. They had in their possession ten cannons and four falconets. The small fleet had touched at the Island of Acuzamil (Cozumel). Here Pedro de Alvarado, the lieutenant of Cortes, who had been a member of Grijalva's expedition, with characteristic impulsiveness, sacked the temples and houses of the Indians. Cortes, with equally characteristic policy, restored to the Indians their property, and then sent messengers to secure the aid of certain Spaniards who had fallen into the hands of the Indians. Though unsuccessful in this attempt, he accidentally secured the services, as an interpreter, of one Geronimo de Aguilar, a Spaniard who had been shipwrecked on that coast several years before.

Re-embarking, Cortes and his followers reached on the 12th of March the Rio de Tabasco, and with his smaller crafts explored the river, disembarking in sight of an Indian town. The natives at first fled, but afterwards collected themselves and gave battle. Cortes, after being repulsed twice, overcame them, and upon closer acquaintance, secured the invaluable services of Malintzin, a beautiful Indian woman, born in Jalisco, but early made a captive among the Tabascan Indians, and thus acquainted with both the Nahuatl language and the dialect spoken by the coast Indians. She was thus able to interpret for Cortes, through Aguilar, until she acquired the Spanish tongue, which she soon did. She was, with a dozen or twenty girls, presented to the Spaniards by the Tabascans, as one of the terms of the peace established between them after the triumph of the arms of Cortes. Malintzin was baptized into the Christian faith, and received the name Marina. She became the trusted companion of Cortes throughout his Mexican campaigns, and was also the mother of one of his two sons, bearing the name Martin.

It was thus equipped with interpreters and some knowledge of the land and its inhabitants, that Cortes reached the island since named San Juan de Ulua on the 21st of April. The next day he landed his troops at Chalchihuecan, the spot where now stands the city of Vera Cruz. Raising the standard selected for his expedition (a black banner bearing the arms of his Emperor,—the Austrian Eagle with the castles and lions of Castile and Leon, with the further device of a crimson cross in clouds of blue and white, and the motto, "Amici, sequamur crucem et si nos fidetn habemus vere in hoc signo vincemus"), he here organized his army. He named an ayuntamiento, and was by this board invested with the title of Captain General. He subsequently founded a city in that locality, bestowing upon it, apparently with prophetic vision, the name of La Villa Rica de la Santa Vera Cruz  ("the rich  city of the Holy True Cross"). The city has been thrice removed, but in the year 1600, in pursuance of orders from Spain, was re-established where first planted and where it now remains.

The Captain-General at once began traffic with the natives, who out of curiosity were drawn to him. He traded off glass beads and other trifles for gold, gems, and articles of curious workmanship. Meanwhile he made a careful study of political affairs in the country, and learned that the natives around him had been subjected to occasional raids by the armies of the Aztecs, and having been beaten by them, were compelled to pay tribute, besides having had to give up their young men as captives for sacrifice; that the Aztecs occupied a high table-land at considerable distance from the coast, and entirely surrounded by mountains. At the same time reports were being forwarded to the Aztec Tlaca-tecuhtli, of the arrival of the strangers, giving minute descriptions of them and of their equipment. Cortes set out with his army to visit what he supposed to be the capital of a rich and powerful monarch. At an Indian town called Cempoalla (Zempoala) he found other tributaries of the Aztecs, who were inclined to establish friendly relations with the Europeans, and strengthen themselves to oppose the claims of the Aztecs to tribute. He learned also of the existence of the Tlaxcalans, a tribe maintaining themselves in the mountains, and hitherto holding out against all efforts on the part of the Aztecs to compel them to pay tribute. He resolved to act at once upon the knowledge thus gained, and (though meeting with opposition in the ranks of his followers, and having to resort to extreme measures in dealing with some Spanish conspirators whom he detected in his camp, and destroying the ships that had brought his troops to Mexico, in order that all possibility of return to Cuba might be given up) on the 16th of August set out from Cempoalla, by a route not readily traceable by modern landmarks (but probably passing through Jalapa, Socochima, Colotlan and Xalatzingo), arriving in due time at the frontier of Tlaxcala. Here he had an opportunity to learn of what stuff the Tlaxcalans were made, and why it was that they had so long withstood the advancing power of the Aztecs. An immense army under the command of a young chief, Xicotencatl, prevented for some time his entering the mountain walls which formed the natural fortifications to Tlaxcala. This was on the 5th of September. But by the superiority of arms and of discipline,—the cannons of the Spaniards sending death and terror into the ranks of the Tlaxcalans,—Cortes succeeded in gaining a complete victory, and afterwards made a treaty of peace, and was on the 22nd received by the Tlaxcalans with distinguished honors.

By one of the terms of the treaty the Tlaxcalans furnished a body of troops to aid Cortes in his operations against the Aztecs. With these he proceeded to Cholula, whither he was unwillingly invited by the Cholultecas after they had for some time ignored him. In Cholula he discovered that a conspiracy had been formed to accomplish the total destruction of the Spaniards. This treachery he summarily punished. Assembling the principal Cholultecas in the patio of one of the buildings, he accused them of treachery, and then made an indiscriminate slaughter of three thousand Cholultecas, from whom the Tlaxcalan auxiliaries received a rich booty, and some of them retired to their own land. Cortes remained two weeks in Cholula and then continued his journey to Tenochtitlan, passing between the two mountains Popocatepetl and Ixtaccihuatl. Some of his soldiers made the ascent of the first-named mountain, much to the astonishment of the Indians, who were thereby strengthened in their belief in the super-human character of the Spaniards. The route pursued by the Spaniards between Cholula and Tenochtitlan is that known to-day by the name of San Nicolas de los Ranchos, through Amecameca.

From the time of receiving the first advices of the approach of the Spaniards, Moteczuma had pursued a vacillating policy,—not knowing whether to oppose them as human enemies or to invite them as gods, whom to oppose would be worse than folly. He did in fact invite; and when Cortes finally reached the pueblo of Tenochtitlan by way of Ixtapalapan, on the 8th of November, 1519, Moteczuma went forward to meet him, with all the ceremony belonging to his high position in his tribe. The meeting took place upon the street now known as Calle de Hospital de Jesus,—a continuation of the southern causeway,—at a point now marked by an inscribed stone in the walls of the hospital. The Spaniards were conducted to the tecpan  built in the time of the Tlaca-tecuhtli Axayacatl, occupying the site of the block now fronting on the street called Santa Teresa la Antigua,—the block now occupied by buildings, formerly a convent, bearing that name.

The first care of the ever-cautious Spanish commander was to examine the pueblo in which he found himself and his soldiers honored guests, but where he might, without due precautions, find himself and them close prisoners. What he found has been already briefly described. The pueblo could not have been more than a fourth of the size of the present City of Mexico, though a population nearly as great, or even greater, has been claimed for it

The Spanish Captain-General set out upon a shrewd policy for the conquest of the territory, whose wealth and civilization appeared dazzling. He was not precipitate, however, but enjoyed the hospitality of Tenochtitlan so long as it lasted, thereby gaining time for laying his plans for the conquest of the land. Meanwhile he urged upon Moteczuma the adoption of the Christian religion; and representing himself as the ambassador of a powerful European king actually claiming jurisdiction over that entire country, he urged Moteczuma to acknowledge himself the vassal of that king. That Moteczuma acknowledged his allegiance to the Spanish king was made the ground of the subsequent treatment of the Aztecs as rebellious subjects. But Moteczuma's acknowledgments must have been somewhat qualified, and he refused to adopt Christianity, and continued to vacillate in his opinions regarding the true character of the Spaniards. The populace, however, decided the point promptly, fully, and, it may be added, correctly. They chafed under the pusillanimity of the chief and the overbearing conduct of the white visitors, whom they knew to be but men.

The incautiously haughty bearing of the white men towards the natives and their religion served to foment constant feuds, Cortes, conscious of the perilous position in which he was thereby placed,—almost in the hands of a powerful race, every man thereof a soldier,—sought to terrorize him whom he mistook for the king or emperor, and who really was the most influential of the Aztecs, and so hold the people in check. In company with Velasquez de Leon, Gonzalo de Sandoval, Pedro de Alvarado, and other lieutenants, he went to the tecpan  occupied by the Tlaca-tecuhtli, where now stands the National Palace. There he charged the warrior with perfidy in some of his transactions with the Spaniards, and demanded that in proof of his good-will towards the white men, and of his dealing with them in good faith, he should surrender to them his person. He was to be the guest of the Spaniards, relinquishing naught of his of official position in the army and government of Mexico-Tenochtitlan. Naturally the War-Chief was astonished by such a bold demand. He demurred; but finally, intimidated by the menaces of Sandoval and Leon, he acquiesced, and accompanied the Spaniards to their quarters, where apartments were prepared for his own occupancy and for a few of the minor chiefs who followed him. For a time Cortes ruled Mexico-Tenochtitlan by means of the imprisoned warrior.

But a new difficulty arose. Word was brought to the Spanish Captain-General that Panfilo de Narvaez, a Cuban, with six hundred followers, had landed at Vera Cruz, with the intention of superseding Cortes and his expedition, in the Conquest. They were acting under the orders of an old enemy of Cortes, the Governor of Cuba. Cortes was therefore forced to withdraw from Tenochtitlan with a small body of troops, leaving the affairs of the Aztec city in the hands of the hot-headed, reckless Pedro de Alvarado. Narvaez was surprised in his quarters at Cempoalla, defeated, and after a parley his six hundred men were added to the troops of Cortes, and with these reinforcements the Captain-General returned to Tenochtitlan.

His return was very opportune; for during his absence the hot-headed Alvarado had become restive and anxious to fight the Indian infidels, for whom he could not conceal his contempt An Indian feast-day, in the month of May, 1520, presented an opportunity for him to visit his cruelties upon them. He had granted them permission to assemble in the great teocalli, on condition that they would come unarmed. At midnight, while the ceremonies and religious dances were at their height, Alvarado, with fifty soldiers, entered, and slaughtered every one of them.

The effect of this act of perfidy was precisely what was to be expected. The whole populace arose and besieged the Spaniards and Tlaxcalans in the tecpan  of Axayacatl. Daily sorties were made, and great loss was inflicted upon the Indians; but it was always with some loss to the Spaniards, who felt the death of one man far more than the Indians felt the loss of a hundred. The situation was becoming very critical, when Cortes returned with the reinforcements secured from the expedition of Panfilo de Narvaez.

The Mexicans were thoroughly aroused, and gathered from the neighboring pueblos for the defense of Tenochtitlan, and to drive out the hated intruders. In vain Cortes applied his military genius to the questions daily presenting themselves. He constructed, movable towers to be filled with soldiers, so as to sweep the housetops as they passed along the streets. Daily attacks were made to keep the way clear out of the city; but the drawbridges over the sluices through the causeway were withdrawn, and just so often as the Spaniards labored hard all day in the faces of the enraged Aztec warriors to fill up these sluices and to level the barricades erected to annoy them, they found the next day their work to do over again.

The populace was especially enraged at the pusillanimity of their chief warrior, Moteczuma, who, instead of retaining his place at the head of the armies of Mexico-Tenochtitlan, and aiding in driving out the hated invaders, had allowed himself to be made the prisoner of the Spaniards. Having defaulted in his duty to his tribe and race, steps were taken to depose him and elect his successor. The choice fell upon Citlahuatzin, the brother of Moteczuma; and he at once placed himself at the head of the Aztec warriors, and pushed forward the measures against the Europeans, and besieged them in the old tecpan.

Cortes, miscalculating the extent of Moteczuma's power over the Aztecs, and probably unaware that he had been deposed and that the Aztec warriors owed their allegiance to another Tlaca-tecuhtli, made one more effort to use him in controlling the surging masses filling the streets in the neighborhood of the quarters of the Europeans. He took the captive to the top of the tecpan  in which he was lodged, that he might address his people. He did address them, commanding them to throw down their arms and disperse, and promising that if quiet were restored to the city the Spaniards would retire from the land. His people listened in silence to the words of their once brave war-chief; but when he had finished, an arrow was shot that struck Moteczuma in the head, and he fell senseless in the arms of his attendants. He was borne off to his apartments, and the strife was renewed. In a few days the deposed and wounded Tlaca-tecuhtli died, either from the effect of his wound, or as some say from cruelties received from the hands of the Spaniards, or (and this is most likely of all) of a broken heart (June 29 or 30, 1520).

With the blow that fell upon the head of Moteczuma, Cortes saw that there was no further hope of his maintaining his position in Tenochtitlan. Calling his lieutenants to a council of war, he announced his intention to abandon the place. Preparations were made as secretly as possible, that the plans of the Spaniards might not be divulged to the enemy, who seemed at the time more quiet than usual. And on the night of the 1st of July, 1520, the Spanish army, with the Tlaxcalan allies, proceeded from the Axayacatl tecpan  and along the street leading to the Tlacopan causeway,—the route being now marked by the streets of Santa Teresa, Escalarillas, Tacuba, Santa Clara, and San Andres. It was at the western end of what is now the street of San Andres that the head of the column encountered the first sluiceway or canal, beyond which lay the causeway. A portable bridge had been provided by the forethought of Cortes, and was thrown across the canal, and the head of the column passed safely over to the causeway and on to the second sluiceway, in front of where now stands the Church of San Hipolito. It was in the midst of the rainy season, the darkness was intense, and the rain was falling in torrents.

The Spaniards were about to congratulate themselves that their movements were unsuspected by the Aztecs, when suddenly on all sides the dreaded war cries were heard, and almost as if by magic they found themselves completely surrounded by the natives. The lake was covered with canoes, each containing warriors. The air was filled with flying missiles. The Aztecs climbed upon the causeway, and engaged in hand-to-hand fights with the Spaniards. Both parties fought in the darkness with the fury of desperation. The rear of the column of retreating Spaniards and Tlaxcalan allies had not yet reached the portable bridge, while the head of the column could advance no farther, on account of the second sluice. When at last the rear had passed over the portable bridge, the bridge was found to be so tightly wedged into the masonry of the causeway that to move it was impossible. A terrible scene ensued. Needless to attempt to describe it. Suffice it to say that the night is known in history as La Noche Triste—the melancholy night.

Cortes dashed into the canal and safely crossed. Others followed him, and thus fought their way, step by step opposed by the infuriated Aztecs, to the mainland. It was at the third canal (the middle of the block beyond the Plaza de San Fernando, now known as Puente de Alvarado), that Pedro de Alvarado, dismounted and sorely pressed by the enemy, placed the end of his pike upon the bodies partially filling the chasm, and vaulted over to the other side, and made his escape.

The shattered remnants of the army of Cortes finally succeeded in gaining the mainland. There in the town of Tlacopan (Tacuba) the Captain-General sat down upon a stone under a spreading ahuehuetl(cypress), and collecting about him the survivors of the terrible conflict, wept over the loss he had sustained of many of his noble companions in arms. The losses attending this disastrous retreat from the city have been estimated at four hundred and fifty Europeans, twenty-six horses, and four thousand Indian allies. The losses of the Aztecs were beyond computation; but the native population of the Mexican Valley and the tributary regions far and near was still ample to keep an opposing force in the field against the Europeans, for every man in all that vast region was a warrior.

The tourist may now follow the track of the retreating Spaniards—by street-car, if he will—out past San Cosme on the Caneria de San Cosme, past Tlaxpana to the village of Popotla ("the place of the broom"), the highway occupying the line of the old causeway. And between the villages of Popotla and Tacuba still stands the arbol de Noche Triste,—the tree under whose branches Cortes summed up the terrible losses he had sustained, and yet in the midst of his bitter reflections resolved to regain the wealthy pueblo that had been once within his grasp.

Seeking a place of shelter from the storm and of rest after the terrible conflict, Cortes discovered a teocalli  upon the hill of Otoncalpolco, twelve miles from Tenochtitlan, near the town Atzcapotzalco ("the ant-hill," the former seat of the Tecpanecas, then the slave-market of the Aztecs, and now an unimportant Indian town). The teocalli  was well fortified and defended by natives. But despite the wounds and fatigues of the Spaniards, an assault was made, and the place was wrested from the enemy. There the Spaniards recuperated. There also the great Captain-General laid definite plans for recruiting his army, capturing Tenochtitlan, and subjugating all Mexico to the crown of Spain.

The now deserted sanctuary of Los Remedios marks the site of this Aztec temple. It was in 1535 that an image of the Blessed Virgin was found there, that had been hidden by a soldier who had brought the same from Spain, and had set it up by the permission of Moteczuma in the great teocalli  of Tenochtitlan. He had not suffered it to remain behind in the retreat from the pueblo. A chapel was built for this image, and it became the great patron-saint of the Spaniards through-out the three centuries of Spanish rule in Mexico. It was brought into the City of Mexico with great solemnity in the time of the Revolution (1810-1821), and was made the generala  of the Spanish armies in their fights with the native revolutionists. Our Lady of the Remedies has always been a bitter opponent of Our Lady of Guadalupe, whose sway over the Mexican natives was subsequently fully established.

Setting out from the temple of Otoncalpolco, and leaving the Valley of Mexico by a northern route leading through Cuauhtitlan and around Lake Zumpango, annoyed the whole distance by the natives, short of provisions and subsisting on horseflesh and even worse fare, the Spaniards, at the end of seven days after leaving Tenochtitlan, encountered at Otumpan (Otumba—thirty-five miles from the capital, easterly, by the present line of railway travel) a large body of Aztecs, who gave battle. It was the final ambush, characteristic of their mode of warfare. The Spaniards were in a sorry plight to assume even the defensive, and the battle must have resulted in their complete annihilation, had not Cortes, Sandoval, Olid, and Alvarado concentrated their attention upon one who seemed to be the principal chief of the combatants. By an heroic effort they caused his fall, and then the Spaniards were masters of the field. The Aztecs fled, and the battle of Otumba was won.

Cortes and the remnant of his army continued on their way to Tlaxcala, where they were well received, notwithstanding the disasters which had overtaken the Tlaxcalans who had accompanied the expedition. Taking time to heal the wounds received in the campaign, and devoting some attention to the relief of the slender garrison at Vera Cruz and to various expeditions against hostile Indians, the Spaniards managed to enter into a firm treaty with the Tlaxcalans, by which further resources were obtained for the final subjugation of the Aztecs. As good fortune would have it, reinforcements arrived from Spain, from Cuba, and from Santo Domingo. On Christmas Eve, 1520, Cortes was able to set out against the Aztecs at the head of an army composed of seven hundred infantry, one hundred and eighteen arquebusiers, all well supplied with ammunition, eighty-six horses, and about one hundred and fifty thousand Tlaxcalan allies. Going by way of Rio Frio and Buena Vista (near Lake Chalco), and securing the allegiance of Ixtlilxochitl, the military chief of Tenayucan, or, as we must now call it, Texcoco, the Captain-General reached that place, and lodged in the tecpan  of Netzahualpilli.

By Spanish historians Texcoco has been described as a kingdom, of which Ixtlilxochitl was the lawful king, but he had been supplanted by his cousin Cacamatzin, the eleventh in a line of monarchs. Precisely what was the title and authority of Cacamatzin, it would be unnecessary to decide. He was certainly not a king, for Texcoco was not a kingdom. He was probably a war-chief, and as such was, under the confederacy, subject to the Tlaca-tecuhtli of Mexico-Tenochtitlan. In the quarrel between Cacamatzin and Ixtlilxochitl, Moteczuma had taken the part of the former, which made Ixtlilxochitl willing to espouse the cause of the Spaniards as against the Aztecs. Cortes established a sort of protectorate in Tenayucan, and maintained Ixtlilxochitl in his position,—making use of him and his followers, however, for his own purposes.

In Texcoco the army of Cortes was thoroughly reorganized, the same being increased by fifty thousand Texcucans, Cholultecas, and Huexotzincas. Some brigantines, constructed in sections by the direction of Cortes in Tlaxcala, were brought hither, put together and launched upon the waters of Lake Texcoco. With these and sixteen thousand Texcucan canoes, Cortes was prepared to attack Tenochtitlan from the lake side.

While these events were in progress another change had taken place in the office of Tlaca-tecuhtli of Mexico-Tenochtitlan. Citlahuatzin had not long survived his election. He had conducted the assault on the Melancholy Night, and had planned the attack at Otumba, but had within a short time thereafter succumbed to the small-pox,—a disease brought to Mexico by a negro in the army of Narvaez, and which had already carried off thousands of the natives. Citlahuatzin was succeeded by Cuauhtemoc, or Gautemotzin, the son of Ahuitzotzin, a Tlatelolcan.

Cuauhtemoc, the last Tlaca-tecuhtli of Mexico-Tenochtitlan, was the most popular warrior of his race, and threw his whole soul into the cause of the people. And he still has a firm hold upon the affections of the Mexican people. A bust of him—its pedestal containing inscriptions on one side in the Nahuatl tongue, on the other in Spanish, reciting his "heroic defense of the city of Tenochtitlan"—adorns the banks of the Viga at a point a short distance from the Mexican capital; and a beautiful monument has been erected, in the Paseo de la Reforms, to him who is generally regarded as the last monarch of the Aztec empire. Mexicans even to-day contemplate his memory with enthusiastic admiration; and aver that if he had earlier been elevated to the chieftaincy, in the place of the pusillanimous Moteczuma, the Spaniards would never have succeeded in making the conquest of the country, the history of three centuries of Spanish rule in Mexico would never have been written, and the Aztecs would still be working out their own proper destiny among the great nations of the earth.

All things being in readiness, Cortes instituted a formal siege of Tenochtitlan. The first division of his army was under the command of Pedro de Alvarado, and was stationed at Tlacopan. The second division, under the command of Olid, was stationed at Cuyuacan, the terminus of one of the branches of the southern causeway. Tepeyacac ( Guadalupe) was the position taken up by the third division, under Gonzalo de Sandoval, The Captain-General reserved to himself the command of the brigantines. Ixtlilxochitl assisted in the command of the allied troops.

Cuauhtemoc was not idle. He strengthened his fortifications, increased the number of his canoes, supplied himself with provisions and cut off the causeways,—not admirable military proceedings, but a siege was unknown to Indian warfare, and Cuauhtemoc did the best that could be done under the system of war known to the Aztecs. He established his headquarters in Tlatelolco, where the deserted church of Santiago-Tlatelolco, with its adjoining ex-convent (now a military prison), remain the most conspicuous buildings in the northern portion of the city of Mexico.

The movements of the besieging army were necessarily slow. The fresh water supply from Chapultepec was first cut off. Thus thirst aided hunger among the Aztecs to win the battles of the Spaniards. By daily attacks, demolishing everything that opposed them, the Spaniards gradually hemmed the Aztecs into smaller and smaller quarters. The canals were filled up with debris, and the daily number of Indians killed was beyond computation. Still they fought with the desperation of men taking advantage of their last chance.

The great feat of the brigantines was the capture of Penon Viejo. What is now a conical hill some little distance from Lake Texcoco was then an occupied island in the lake. The brigantines bombarded it, and the forces under Cortes reduced it. The brigantines also destroyed all the canoes of the Aztecs and drove the enemy from the lake.

All offers of peace were rejected by the Aztecs. Starving and shrunken by disease, breathing the foul air from the bodies festering in the sun throughout the long summer of 1521, seeing their pueblo with its temples and houses disappear under the destructive hands of the Spaniards, and of their ancient enemies, the Tlaxcalans,—the Aztecs obeyed every word of their Chief-Warrior, and fought to the end. Tenochtitlan was in ruins, and only Tlatelolco remained. The whole campaign had lasted eight months, the formal siege eighty days, when on the 13th of August, 1521,—San Hipolito day,—a canoe was seen to leave Tlatelolco and start across the lake northerly. Chase was given by Garcia de Holguin in a brigantine, and the canoe being captured was found to contain Cuauhtemoc, his wife (a daughter of Moteczuma II.), and some of his principal warriors. They were all taken before Cortes, and were at first treated with the respect due to their high position, and the bravery with which they had withstood the attacks of the Spanish.

Thus was accomplished what is usually termed the Conquest of Mexico. It amounted to no more, however, than the occupation of a single pueblo, and the subjugation of the chief tribes in the land. It left other tribes to be conquered, though it placed in the hands of Cortes valuable strategic point whence the whole territory could be ruled.

Military Governors and Ecclesiastics

Upon the capitulation of Tenochtitlan, Cortes took up his residence in Cuyuacan. A house built for him and La Marina shortly afterwards still exists on the north side of the plaza in that town (now called Coyoacan), and is used as the municipal building. From his new headquarters the Captain-General commanded the cleansing of the pueblo he had just captured and despoiled, employing fires to burn the dead bodies lying in heaps in all parts of it. He sought also to relieve the necessities of the famished survivors of the terrible siege. It is hazarded as a guess that 100,000 of the Aztecs had died either in battle or of hunger during the siege.

At once there began a clamor among the Spanish soldiers for the treasures of the Aztecs which had been held out before their imaginations throughout their hardships as the rewards of their perseverance. The amount actually divided among them could not have given them more than one hundred pesos per capita  according to Bernal Diaz, and that was, even if pesos de oro  or gold, were meant, but $1,200, and was disappointing; while if $100 silver were intended, it was a mere pittance as compensation for their two years and a half of risks and toils, of wounds and sickness. To appease their clamoring, Cuauhtemoc and one of the war-chiefs of Tlacopan were put to torture, that they might be made to divulge what disposition had been made of the wealth of the Aztecs. Their feet were covered with oil and roasted before a slow fire. But the torture was heroically borne (by Cuauhtemoc at least, who turned to his companion and in reply to his groans said, "Do not suppose that I am as comfortable as I would be in my bath") and the only admission that could be extorted was that the treasures had been thrown into Lake Texcoco. Search in the lake, however, revealed but a few objects, and those of small value.

The next subject to which attention was given by the great Conqueror was the government of the newly acquired territory. Naturally he established, tentatively, a military government, assuming for himself the titles of Governor, Captain-General, and Chief Justice. He was subsequently confirmed in these titles by the King of Spain, to whom he had diligently reported all his proceedings in the new country, and in whose name he had taken possession of the territory, naming it New Spain.

The building of a city, to be the capital of New Spain, was ordered upon the captured site, against the judgment of several who saw many more desirable locations for a city within the Mexican Valley. It was upon a plan intended to vie with the cities of Spain in splendor that Cortes set out upon the work of reconstruction. The canals were to a great extent filled up. The names of many of the streets in the modern city are our clue to the size of the Spanish city immediately succeeding the overthrow of Tenochtitlan. An irregular circle of streets each named Puente  (bridge) would indicate the limits of the island city. The southern limits must have been in the neighborhood of Puente de San Antonio Abad; the western limits may be traced through the streets named Puente de Mariscala, Puente de San Francisco, and several others on a line therewith; the eastern boundary must have been considerably within the line of the puentes  in the vicinity of San Lazaro; while the narrow dividing line between Mexico and Tlatelolco (though the latter was included within the new city, and reserved for occupancy by the natives) is likewise indicated by a line of streets deriving their names from ancient bridges over a canal.

The lines of the causeways were partially retained within the city. The tourist may now trace the southern causeway from the southeast corner of the Zocalo, or main plaza, through the Calle de los Flamencos, and in a direct line past the Hospital de Jesus to San Antonio Abad (the street, though straight, changing its name with every block,—a characteristic of Mexican streets), near which point stood Xoloc, and the fork occurred in the ancient causeway. If the northern causeway was, as has been said, in direct continuation of the southern, its line within the city has been obliterated, and corresponds to no existing street. Beyond the city limits, it is that highway by which the street-cars now run to the city of Guadalupe-Hidalgo. The western causeway has been already identified. It was the first to be widened, and, in order to make it a sure way of retreat, no sluices were left open in it. That a series of defenses might be obtained, house-building was especially encouraged along its line. The growth of the city in that direction has been the consequence. Along the north side of the Alameda this causeway bears the name of La Avenida de Hombres Ilustres  ("Avenue of Illustrious Men"), in token of its historic memories.

The great teocalli  had been completely destroyed, and its site was permanently set apart for a Christian temple. Prior to the year 1524 a small church was built there. It was intended as a temporary structure merely, and was replaced in a few years by another small edifice. The latter building was, however, of the dignity of a cathedral, Mexico having been erected into a diocese by Pope Clement VII., in 1527, and Fray Juan de Zumarraga having been made its first Bishop.

In the partition of the city by lot among the conquerors, the site of the tecpan  of Moteczuma II fell to the Captain-General, and upon it Cortes built a large, low house, with towers at the corners, intending to use the same as the gubernatorial palace. It was confirmed to him by royal order, and continued in his own and his heirs' possession until 1562, when it was bought by the Spanish government to be used as the vice-regal palace. The present National Palace, occupying the same site, was begun thirty years later, after the original building had been destroyed by fire in a riot. There was also assigned to Cortes a palace built upon the site of the present Monte de Piedad, or national pawnshop.

In the work of reconstruction the Governor employed the services of the Tlaxcalan allies, thus fulfilling the predictions of the Aztecs, as during the siege they beheld their hereditary enemies engaged in the work of destruction under the commands of the Spaniards. "Ay, go on and destroy," they had said; "you will only have to rebuild as the slaves of the white men."

The adventurous spirit of Cortes was ill-suited to the quiet pursuits of government, and he was well pleased when the opportunity came for him to lead an army into Hibueros, as Central America was then called, in 1525. The occasion was an insurrection headed by Olid, who had been appointed governor of that region. It was on the way thither that in Izanca (now called Tabasco) final disposition was made of the brave Cuauhtemoc. He was accused, probably unjustly, of conspiring with others to overthrow Cortes, and was summarily hanged to a cypress- tree; and thus died the last Tlaca-tecuhtli of Mexico-Tenochtitlan, in the twenty-seventh or twenty-eighth year of his age.

Cortes found Olid already dead when he reached Hibueros, and the land at peace; but on his return to Mexico he found that his enemies had supplanted him in his absence, and his life was henceforth principally spent in defending his character from the charges brought against him by those who were envious of his fame. Many false charges were undoubtedly brought against him, and in addition to these his whole career was made the subject of investigation. It was probably from no very good motives that he was made to defend many acts for which we would ourselves condemn him,—the massacre of the Cholulans, the capture of Moteczuma, the torture and finally the death of Cuauhtemoc. Journeys to Spain were made to arrange his affairs and defend himself from the machinations of his enemies. In the intervals of these journeys he made expeditions of discovery and conquest in the neighborhood of Jalisco and the Pacific coast as far as California. In 1529 the Emperor Charles V. bestowed upon him the title of Marques del Valle de Oaxaca, and with it an immense estate comprising the Valley of Quauhnahuac (Cuernavaca), a beautiful and fertile valley a day's ride southwest of the Mexican capital. A cross set up by the great Conquistador to mark the eastern boundary of his vast estate may still be seen at Cruz del Marques. At Cuernavaca, in buildings which still stand, the last three years of his life in Mexico were spent A church which he built also exists there.

The declining years of Cortes were not happy. He gave up Marina to her people on one of his journeys into her native country. His own wife arrived from Cuba, but died soon after her arrival, and his enemies hesitated not to say that he caused her death. Tradition points out a well in Coyoacan in which he is said to have drowned her, but this is clearly a mistake. In addition to the malicious stories proclaimed by his envious enemies, the ingratitude of his sovereign, whose territories and riches he had vastly increased, served to magnify the difficulties of his old age. He finally went to Spain, and was taken seriously ill at Sevilla. Removing to a neighboring village called Castilleja de la Cuesta, he died there the 2nd of December, 1547, in the sixty-third year of his age. He was but thirty-five when he set out upon his career of conquest in Mexico.

His body was first buried in the tomb of the Dukes of Medina Sidonia in the Chapel of San Isidro; but subsequently, in partial fulfillment of his expressed wishes, his bones were taken to Mexico and placed in the Church of San Francisco, Texcoco. In 1629, upon the death of his grandson Pedro, son of the Martin who was born to the Conqueror by La Marina, decided to bury the bones of the Captain-General with the body of his grandson in the Monastery of San Francisco in the City of Mexico. With great solemnity this was done in February that year. In 1794 the bones of the Conqueror were again removed, this time to the Church of Jesus Nazareno, which, with the adjoining hospital, he himself had founded and amply endowed sometime prior to 1524. There a marble sarcophagus had been prepared to receive them. The sarcophagus remains and may be seen by visitors, but in the revolutionary times, the second and third decades of the present century, when everything Spanish was the object of hatred and liable to mob violation, the bones of Cortes were removed for greater safety (on the night of the 15th of September, 1823), and hidden in another part of the church. They were finally removed by Don Lucas Alaman, the famous historian and publicist, and Mexican agent of the Duke of Monteleone, the heir of Cortes, and sent to Italy, where they are now at rest in the tomb of the Monteleones.

The form of government, established by Cortes in Vera Cruz under the name of ayuntamiento  was a very wise provision, and many of its ordinances have been in force in Mexico since the year 1522. In addition to this there was a board of Royal Officials (Officiales Reales)  having charge of the government of New Spain ad interim, in the absence of Cortes. When Cortes fell under the suspicion of the Spanish sovereign there were appointed by the crown Visitors and Resident judges (Jos Visitadores y Jueces de Residencia)  to examine and report upon the charges made against him, and to assume the government in cases of necessity. Finally there were Royal Audiences (Oidores Reales), boards composed of jurists, usually five in number, whose duties were to administer justice and to act as a check upon the military governors; and in case of a vacancy in the head of the colonial government, the President of the Audience filled the post ad interim. There were at first two such audiences, one in the City of Mexico, the other at some distance therefrom, and intended to have jurisdiction along the Pacific coast.

Don Luis Ponce de Leon succeeded Cortes as military governor of New Spain in 1526, but he lived only a few months and was succeeded by a jurist named Marcos Aguilar. The next year Alonzo Estrada and Gonzalo Sandoval were military governors. In 1528 the first Audience was sent out to Mexico, virtually for the purpose of persecuting Cortes. Its president, Nuno de Guzman, was a man of great cruelty and dishonesty, and left an unsavory record behind him on account of his unprovoked murder of the Tarascan chief in Michoacan. In 1529 a second Audience came to Mexico. Its president was Sebastian Rameres de Fuenleal, and this Audience retained the governing power, without accomplishing much of historic interest, until the year 1535, when the first of a long line of Viceroys begun to rule in New Spain.

Meanwhile another important governing power had been established in the land, demanding our attention. As has been mentioned, Pope Clement VII in 1527 erected Mexico into a bishopric and appointed, upon the nomination of Emperor Charles V., Fray Juan de Zumarraga, as Bishop. He received the title of Bishop and Protector of the Indians. When other dioceses were created in New Spain, and the original diocese was advanced to an archbishopric, its first Bishop was correspondingly advanced in dignity. This was by act of Pope Paul II in 1545. From the very first the prelates of New Spain exercised a great influence in the civil affairs of the country. They early won the good-will of the natives. They were empowered to exercise the vice-regal functions ad interim  in certain cases, upon the death of the Viceroy. So that we have the names of no less than ten prelates in the long list of Spanish Viceroys.

In the period now under our notice, from the Conquest to the time of the Viceroys, the ecclesiastical power was taking a deep root in the fertile soil of New Spain, to have there a most astonishing growth for three centuries and more. The most prominent monuments to greet the eyes of the tourists in Mexico at the present day are those relating to the ecclesiastical history of that country. It is necessary, therefore, that some attention be given to that subject.

In point of fact, one of the terms of the contract by which the Spanish kings acquired right to the countries of the New World under the bull of Pope Alexander VI. (May 4, 1493) was the advancement of the Church in those countries. And there can be no doubt that one of the actuating motives of the expedition for the conquest of Mexico was a zeal for Holy Church, and each one of the rough old warriors belonging to the army of Cortes had a desire, along with his love of gold and of adventure, to bring other nations under the sway of the Holy Faith. They were not accomplished missionaries, it must be confessed, and failed most ingloriously in all their attempts to bring the natives of Mexico to a knowledge of the Christian religion. But belonging to the expedition of Cortes was Father Olmedo, a fit type of the soldier priest of the sixteenth century. He not only shrived the soldiers, and said masses for them before going into battle, and gave Christian burial to the slain, but he baptized such of the natives as desired to adopt the new faith, and judiciously instructed all who expressed a desire to learn anything concerning the religion of the Europeans. The destruction of heathen temples, furthermore, was quickly followed by the building of Christian churches. In the case of the great teocalli  of Tenochtitlan, we have already seen the pro-cathedral erected and rebuilt. The Sagrario (adjoining the cathedral) was built in 1524 as the first parish church, for the use of the European residents of New Spain. The present structure is of much more recent date (circa  1749).

Missionaries were among the first colonizers in New Spain. Every ship from the old country brought some of them. They were for the most part members of one or another of the various religious orders. Fray Pedro Gante (Peter of Ghent in Flanders) and five missionaries were among the earliest of these, and they established themselves in Texcoco. And in 1524 the "twelve Apostles of Mexico," as they were called, being twelve Franciscans, appeared in the country. To the most prominent of these, Fray Martin de Valencia, the Superior of the Province, has been given the name "The Father of the Mexican Church." Finding Pedro Gante at his work in Texcoco, they took him with them to the City of Mexico.

It was by the Franciscans, who at once assumed control of the missions to the Indians, that the new city was divided into four sections or parishes, coterminous with the former divisions of Tenochtitlan, and the names of the churches erected in these four divisions supplanted the Indian names formerly given to them. San Juan Bautista, now San Juan de la Penitencia (no longer a parish church), in the market-place of San Juan, gave its name to what was formerly known as Moyotlan, in the southwest; the church of San Pablo on the Plaza San Pablo in the southeast gave its name to what was formerly Teapan; Nuestra Senora de la Ascunsion (now known as Santa Maria la Redonda), on a block bounded by various streets having Santa Maria in their names, in the northwest, gave its name to what was formerly known as Cuepapan; and in the northeast the church of San Sebastian, on the street of that name, gave its name to what had been known as Aztacalco. These four churches were designed for the use of the natives, and were all subordinate to the church of San Jose de los Naturales, near San Juan de la Penitencia. The buildings which first bore the names above-mentioned no longer exist in Mexico, as will hereafter more clearly appear; but the names themselves are historic monuments, and mark sites of deep interest to the tourist. Tlatelolco became the seat of the church of Santiago and of a "college" for the natives, in 1536.

The very year of his arrival, Fray Valencia founded Franciscan monasteries in Huexotzinco, Texcoco, Tlaxcala, and the City of Mexico. The site occupied in the City of Mexico was that said to have formerly contained the natural- history museum of Tenochtitlan,—a tract bounded by the present streets of Zuleta, San Juan de Letran, Coliseo, Colegio de las Ninas, and First San Francisco. The tract is now intersected by the Calle de la Independencia (a monument of an historical event of a later century) and a short street very appropriately named Calle Gante. Upon this tract was erected a magnificent monastery, of which detached portions still exist, and cannot fail to attract the attention of the visitor. The building, however, belongs to a later period. The school of San Juan de Letran was founded in 1529.

The development of the work undertaken by the Franciscans was so encouraging that by 1565 three other provinces had been erected: San Jose de Yucatan, Santo Nombre de Jesus de Guatemala, and San Pedro y San Pablo de Michoacan; and in 1606 two others were added: Santiago de Jalisco, and Nuestro Padre de San Francisco de Zacatecas.

In 1526 missionary monks of the Dominican order arrived in Mexico. Their career was so intimately connected with the history of the country that we shall have occasion to see more of them. In 1533 seven Augustinian monks arrived and took possession of a tract of land in a part of the City of Mexico called Zoquiapan, where now stands the Bibliotheca Nacional on the Calle de San Agustin. Other and less important orders arrived subsequently from time to time.

The tourist will find in the sacred names given to streets in the City of Mexico, and in other cities of the country, lasting monuments to the number of edifices once existing there. The religious nomenclature observable throughout the country likewise testifies to the untiring zeal of the missionaries who followed up the conquest of the country and kept in the front rank of all the schemes for colonization.

To this period belongs the founding of the city of Puebla. Among the twelve Franciscan "apostles" was one named Fray Torribio Benevente, to whom the Indians gave the name of Motolinia ("the poor and miserable"), a name he humbly accepted. He conceived the idea of building a religious city, to be a resting-place for travellers between Vera Cruz and the City of Mexico. Hence, on the 16th of April, 1530, the town was begun on a site "revealed to the Motolinia in a dream,"—he and Juan Salmeron (a member of the Second Audience) being the founders. It was called La Puebla de los Angeles  ("the town of the Angels.") Eight thousand Tlaxcalans were employed in the building, and in a short time and "as though by enchantment" nearly four thousand houses (probably mere huts) were erected.

Precisely how much or how little of sober history enters into the traditions regarding the great Patron Saint of the Indians of Mexico, it would be difficult to say. But as the year 1531 is fixed as the date of the alleged apparition of the Blessed Virgin in Guadalupe, and as the influence of the traditions has been widespread and cannot fail to reach the attention of the tourist, it is proper to relate here what is told concerning Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe.

Prior to the Conquest the Aztecs used the hill of Tepeyacac, at the terminus of the northern causeway from Tenochtitlan, as a military outpost, and had also erected there a teocalli  for the especial worship of Tenantzin, "the mother of the gods." On the 9th of December in the year named above, Juan Diego, an Indian of Cuauhtitlan, was on his way to mass in Santiago-Tlatelolco, where there was one of the numerous Franciscan chapels built through the instrumentality of Padre Gante. Passing the hill of Tepeyacac he heard music, and looking up saw the Blessed Virgin, who directed him to go forthwith to Bishop Zumarraga and tell him, in her name, to build a church upon that hill for the accommodation of all those Indians who lived at such a great distance from Tlatelolco.

The Bishop was gracious but incredulous, and demanded proofs of the apparition which Juan described. Juan went back to report, and was told by the Blessed Virgin to come the next day, when she would furnish the required proofs. Sickness in his house prevented Juan from keeping his appointment the next day, and when the sickness increased and Juan was sent for a priest early on the morning of the 12th of December, he was afraid to cross the hill of Tepeyacac. But as he skirted the eastern side of the hill the Blessed Virgin came down to meet him, told him to feel no anxiety about the sick at his house, but to cut some flowers from the rock at his feet, wrap them in his serape, and show them to no one until he stood before the Bishop. Lo, flowers were actually growing upon the rock whereon Juan stood, and he did as he was told. And when he unwrapped his serape in the presence of the Bishop, a greater wonder was beheld than the flowers gathered from the rock. A beautiful portrait of the Virgin appeared, as though painted upon the serape.

The Bishop could no longer remain incredulous. He forthwith built a chapel where the miraculous flowers had been plucked, and where now stands the Collegiate Church of Guadalupe. The chapel thus built was afterwards enlarged and is now the sacristy of the present edifice. The handsome Collegiate Church itself is the second structure covering the entire site. It was built about the beginning of the eighteenth century, replacing one built about a century previously. The serape  of Juan Diego, with its miraculous image of the Blessed Virgin, is enclosed behind plate glass in a frame over the high altar.

Of the other two chapels at Guadalupe, the Capilla del Cerrito marks the spot of the first appearance of the Blessed Virgin; the Capilla del Pocito encloses the well or spring which first gushed forth during the last interview between Juan and the Blessed Virgin.

The 12th of December was generally observed by the Indians of Mexico as a religious feast almost from the time of the alleged apparition, but it did not receive papal sanction until 1754. Then by papal bull the festival was instituted, and the Virgin of Guadalupe was declared the Patroness and Protectress of New Spain. She became the champion of the Mexicans in the revolt of New Spain in the last century, while the Virgin of the Remedies became the champion of the Spanish troops. The 12th of December was made a national holiday upon the establishment of the Republic in 1824, and Guadalupe has been made a religious center ever since.

The Viceroys of the 16th and 17th Centuries

In one of the rooms of the National Museum, in the City of Mexico, in long rows running along two side walls, hang sixty-two portraits in oil, representing the Viceroys who, for nearly three centuries, ruled Mexico,—some well, some ill, most of them indifferently. As the visitor examines these portraits, he will be apt to conclude that the Spanish Viceroys gave more attention to toilets than to government; that the powdering of hair, the trimming of beards and moustachios, and the ruffling of lace collars, were more in their minds than the affairs of Mexico; and that the portraits would be far more suggestive to a theatrical costumer than to an historian. Rich ecclesiastical garments are depicted in some of these portraits, for ten of the Viceroys were prelates. It is because two of the men whose portraits hang in this room held the responsible position of Viceroy twice, that the number of Viceroys in Mexico is usually given as sixty-four.

There are some strong faces looking out from the dingy frames in these long rows of portraits, and among the sixty-two Viceroys there were some strong characters. Most of them belonged to the Spanish nobility, and possessed long military or civic titles. Some have left enduring records of good or evil; but for the most part, Archbishops, Bishops, Dukes, Counts, and Marquises, have left in Mexico only their names on the long list,—some grotesque autographs attached to official documents,—and their portraits in the National Museum. Yet these long lines of portraits furnish the basis of nearly three centuries of the history of Mexico.

The first of the Viceroys was Don Antonio de Mendoza, Conde de Tendilla y comendador de Socuellanos, who arrived in 1535. He had been distinguished in the wars in Spain against the Moors, and he won still greater distinction by his long, wise, and beneficent rule in Mexico. The record of his administration is the record of the advancement of New Spain in arts, industries, material wealth, and the progress of colonization, commerce, mining, and manufactures. Shortly after his advent the first book printed in the New World was produced in the City of Mexico, from a printing-press imported by him from Spain. It was in 1536 and 1537 that the school of Santiago-Tlatelolco, and a school of music for natives, were founded by Pedro Gante, with the aid of the Viceroy, upon the site now occupied by the military prison.

The Count of Tendilla founded the mint for the production of silver and copper coins, but the copper coins met with no favor from the natives, and were in the year 1541) ?> consigned by them to Lake Texcoco. Merino sheep were introduced into the country, and manufactories of cloth established. The rich mine of La Luz was discovered in Guanajuato, which still produces immense wealth, and the mining town of Zacatecas was settled by the Spaniards. Two cities were founded by the Viceroy which are now beautiful State capitals, and rank among the more important cities of the Republic. The first of these, Guadalajara, was founded in 1541. The cruel Auditor Guzman had attempted, in 1530, to found elsewhere a town, to which he gave the name of Villa del Espiritu Santo de Guadalajara, in honor of his birthplace, and this was moved six years later; but being then in a place distasteful to the inhabitants and exposed to the incursions of hostile Indians, it was by the Viceroy's orders removed to and established in a valley formerly called Atemaxac, where it now stands. The other city was Valladolid, so called in honor of the Viceroy, whose birthplace was Valladolid in Spain. The name was changed in the last century to Morelia, to do honor to one of whom the Republic was proud.

The Viceroy brought to justice the notorious Nuno de Guzman, the President of the First Audience. He was incarcerated in the common prison at the capital. The oppression of Indian slaves under the iniquitous system of repartimientos, begun in the time of the military governors, led to a conspiracy against the Spanish authorities in 1549. Doubtless the Viceroy acted according to his ideas of duty in having the leaders of the insurrection hanged after suppressing the trouble, though we cannot repress our sympathies for the down-trodden slaves of Mexico, the victims of Spanish rapacity.

For three years of the administration of the Count of Tendilla, the name of one of the most remarkable men of the sixteenth century, and one of the staunchest friends of the oppressed Indians, has its place in the history of Mexico. There hangs in one of the galleries of the San Carlos Academy, in the City of Mexico, a superb painting by Felix Parra, entitled "Las Casas Defendiendo Los Indios" ("Las Casas Protecting the Indians"). It has more than a local reputation, for it was exhibited at the New Orleans Exposition in 1884, and attracted much attention.

Bartolomeo de Las Casas, of whose noble efforts to ameliorate the condition of the natives of the New World enslaved by the Spanish Conquerors this painting is such an appropriate monument, arrived in Mexico as Bishop of Chiapas in the year 1544. He was then seventy years of age, and his reputation had been already gained by his steady efforts for more than thirty years to have the vicious system of repartimientos  abolished, whereby the natives of the West Indies and Mexico were distributed as slaves among the Spanish colonists. The honorable title of "Protector-General of the Indians" had been conferred upon him by the Spanish monarch. He had made the cause of the oppressed Indian his own, and by writing and personal application to the court of the Spanish sovereign, he had secured various concessions, none of which, however, proved effectual in wiping out the evil. In coming to Mexico as Bishop of Chiapas, he crossed the Atlantic Ocean for the fifth time. But circumstances were wholly against him in Mexico, and after three years spent in fruitless efforts to enforce his measures among the Spanish slaveholders, he returned to Spain to spend the remainder of his life in the seclusion of a Dominican monastery. He died at Madrid in 1566, at the age of ninety-two.

In 1550 Mendoza, the Count of Tendilla, was promoted to the viceroyalty of Peru, and a worthy successor was found in Don Luis de Velasco, to whose name history has added the enviable title of "The Emancipator." His first official act was the emancipation of one hundred and fifty thousand Indian slaves working in the mines; and in connection with this act he was the author of a noble sentiment. It was uttered in reply to those who objected to this measure as impolitic, and destructive of the mining industry of New Spain. "Of more importance than all the mines in the world is the liberty of the Indians," said the emancipator, showing himself to have been an apt pupil of the noble Las Casas.

He did not succeed, however, in incorporating this principle upon the political code of New Spain, though the mining industries of the country seem not to have been materially injured by his act of emancipation. For the mines of Fresnillo and Sombrerete were first worked in his time, and the invention by Bartolomeo de Medina of smelting by amalgamation, known as the patio  process, was first applied in Pachuca. The reign of the second Viceroy continued for fourteen years, and was beneficent. The Santa Hermandad, a Spanish institution of the former century, designed to suppress highway robbery, was introduced into New Spain; the Chichimecan Indians in the neighborhood of Queretaro were subjugated by Fernando de Tapia, an Indian cacique; and the outposts of Chametli, San Miguel, and Durango were established. The University of Mexico dates its rise from this time. Velasco was brought in contact with the water question, with which his son subsequently had so much to do. An inundation of the capital in 1552 led him to direct the construction of the San Lazaro dike.

Velasco, "The Emancipator," died in Mexico in 1564. In the interim between his death and the arrival of his successor, the Audience, composed of Doctor Ceynos and others, governed New Spain, and found plenty to do in quelling a conspiracy headed by Don Martin Cortes, Marques del Valle, son of the Conqueror by his lawful wife. He was aided by Martin, the Conqueror's son by La Marina.

The Marques del Valle gave a grand reception in his palace on the west side of the plaza (where now stands the Monte de Piedad), on San Hipolito's day, the anniversary of the final conquest of Tenochtitlan. The occasion was the baptism of his twin sons. While the festivities were in progress it was designed to kill all the Spanish authorities, overthrow the Spanish rule in America, and elevate the Marques to the throne of New Spain. The plot was discovered in time to prevent its execution. The Marques and his accomplices, Martin, his half-brother, and Alonzo and Gil Gonzales de Avila, were imprisoned and sentenced to be hanged. The third Viceroy, however, Don Gaston de Peralta, Marques de Fakes, arrived in 1566, and suspended the executions and sent the Marques del Valle to Spain. His property, which was confiscated, was subsequently restored.

In 1568 a Royal Visitor, a man of ferocious character, Munoz by name, arrived from Spain to investigate matters pertaining to the conspiracy of the Cortes family. He sent so many persons to prison and to the scaffold, and otherwise so far infringed upon the prerogatives of the Viceroy, that the Viceroy left the country in disgust. Munoz was recalled to Spain and reprimanded by the King. Peralta vindicated himself of charges preferred against him by Munoz and other enemies.

With the fourth Viceroy, Don Martin Enriques de Almanza, who arrived in 1568, a tragic chapter in Mexican history opens. It was in 1571 that, according to a pious chronicler of the Franciscan order, "the tribunal of the Inquisition, the strong fort and Mount of Zion, was founded in the City of Mexico"; and though Almanza's responsibility for its establishment is not apparent upon the face of the records, history has given him the title of "The Inquisitor."

In 1527 the Spanish Inquisition had been extended to Mexico, so far as the banishment of Jews and Moors from the country was concerned. Two years later a conference of notable men of New Spain, ecclesiastical and lay, was held, and it was decided to petition the Spanish king for the exercise of the Holy Office in the New World, as a safeguard against the introduction of heresies and evil customs into the country through the corsairs who infested the coast, or from the countries with which New Spain had commercial relations. In answer to this petition inquisitorial powers were conferred upon certain persons in succession, and their presence in New Spain seems to have been effectual in keeping down flagrant heresies and open violation of canon law for forty years.

Meanwhile the Santa Hermandad—a sort of national police and civil inquisition—did much to preserve order in New Spain. It was by royal order dated 16th August, 1570, that Don Pedro Moya de Contreras was appointed Inquisitor-General of New Spain, Guatemala, and the Philippine Islands, with headquarters in the City of Mexico. It was his arrival in the country the following year that marked the actual beginning of the work of the Holy Office in Mexico. His jurisdiction extended over all but the Indians. They were wisely exempted.

A small monastery erected by the Dominicans upon their arrival in the country in 1526, but abandoned by them upon the erection of their new and commodious monastery in 1530, was adopted as the headquarters of the Holy Office. It was shortly replaced by another and better building. A subsequent building upon the same site was erected in 1732, It was converted into the Medical School (Escuela de Medicina)  in 1854.

A brasero  or quemadero  (burning-place) was erected upon what is now the western end of the Alameda, but was then the western limit of the city,—the edge of a swamp,—over which the ashes of victims might be strewn. But burning alive was resorted to only in cases of extreme offences. Strangulation in most cases preceded the burning of the victim. The auto de fe  was attended with much pomp and ceremony, as in Spain. How many actually perished by means of the Inquisition is not known. A few notable autos de fe  are mentioned in history. The first was in 1574. Twenty-one "pestilent Lutherans" (probably meaning Protestants merely, without further attempting to classify them) were then burned.

The Inquisition was intimately connected with the Dominican Order in Mexico, as elsewhere, and was a powerful factor in the politics of New Spain down to the time of its final overthrow in 1815.

In 1572 the Jesuits arrived in New Spain, and the following year the first stone of the magnificent Cathedral, now the center of attraction in the Mexican capital, was laid. That the former Cathedral might continue in use while the new one was in process of erection, the new was begun just north of the old. And as the old marked the site of the great teocalli  of Tenochtitlan, that site may now be identified as directly in front of the present Cathedral, probably extending over a large portion of the main plaza, or Zocalo. More than a century elapsed before the Cathedral was completed.

A pest carried off two millions of Indians in the time of Almanza, and an inundation of the capital turned attention again to the necessity of taking steps to carry off the waters of the lakes which constantly threatened the city. It is a subject kept constantly before us in the times of the Viceroys, and even in later days. Almanza pushed colonization so far north as to encounter savage Indians.

The fourth Viceroy was promoted to the vice-royalty of Peru in 1580. His successor, Don Lorenzo Juarez de Mendoza, Conde de Coruna, an affable and honorable man, died in July, 1582, having been in the country less than two years, and having accomplished nothing worthy of mention.

The Inquisitor-General, Don Pedro Moya de Contreras, was, upon the death of Alonso de Montufar, advanced to the vacant archbishopric, and in 1584 (the Audience having taken control of affairs upon the death of Mendoza) he was made Viceroy, and held office long enough to give his portrait a place on the walls of the National Museum. He was quickly recalled to Spain to become President of the Council of the Indies, and was succeeded by Don Alvaro Manrique de Zuniga, Marques de Villa Manrique, who ruled for five years, extending the commerce of Mexico with the East, but otherwise failing to distinguish himself. He was replaced in 1590 by Don Luis de Velasco, the son of "The Emancipator." He also ruled for five uneventful years, and was promoted to the viceroyalty of Peru. A monument of Velasco the Second's reign exists in the Alameda of the Mexican capital, the eastern half of which was laid out by him. The growth of the city in that direction is thus shown.

During this somewhat rapid succession of Viceroys, explorations and colonization extended as far north as New Mexico. In 1542 the Spaniards are reported as having possession of numerous pueblos in that portion of the country. A Franciscan friar, Agustin Ruiz, had settled at Paura, and introduced sheep into the country. Capt. Francisco de Leyva Bonillo discovered the mineral wealth of the territory, and named it Nueva Mejico. Antonio Espejo went to the rescue of the good friar Ruiz who had fallen into the power of unfriendly natives, and visited Zuni and Moqui, but meeting with a large number of warriors while on his way to Tiguex or Tigua (now Santa Fe), he had retired to the Pecos and Concha valleys. In 1585 Humana's expedition resulted in the settlement of Paso del Norte. In 1595 Juan de Onate founded a colony near the junction of the Chama and Rio Grande, and about the same time Santa Fe was settled by the Europeans. It had been an Indian pueblo of some importance.

Velasco the Second was succeeded by Don Caspar de Zuniga y Acevedo, Conde de Monterey, and his administration extended into the seventeenth century. He pushed forward the explorations and colonizations begun by his predecessors. He sent an expedition under Sebastian Vizcayno along the Pacific coast in 1596, and another in 1602 which reached a point two degrees north of Cape Mendocino on the coast of California. In honor of the Viceroy, the Count of Monterey, the Californian coast was named Monterey. In Nuevo Leon, the town of Monterey was founded and named also in his honor. Many settlements were made in New Mexico, and in the year 1600 the city of Vera Cruz was, by royal order, removed to the spot where it had been originally located by Cortes, and where it now stands. The Viceroy, Zuniga, was promoted to the government of Peru in 1603, and carried with him the affection of the Mexicans.

Missionary efforts kept pace with—in some cases even led—the colonizing expeditions which especially marked the history of New Spain in the sixteenth century. It is scarcely necessary to state that the wealth of Spain was already materially increased by her American colonies.

Don Juan de Mendoza y Luna, Marques de Montes Claros, was the tenth Viceroy, succeeding the Count of Monterey, and entering Mexico in October, 1603. The next year an inundation of the capital raised the question of the expediency of removing the city to the site of Tacubaya. Nothing was done, however, further than the construction of various dikes and the reconstruction or enlarging of the calzadas  or highways, of San Antonio Abad and Guadalupe, and the construction of the Calzada de Chapultepec. The guardian of the Monastery of Santiago-Tlatelolco, Fray Juan de Torquemada, directed the construction of the Calzada de Guadalupe. The causeway to Tacuba had been rebuilt soon after the Conquest, but under the Marquis of Monies Claros the aqueduct was constructed along this causeway by which water is now brought into the city from beyond Tres Cruces, by the foot of Chapultepec, entering the city at Tlaxpana, and ending abruptly at San Cos me.

Mexico seems at this time to have been but a training-school for Viceroys of Peru, and Juan de Mendoza y Luna passed on to that higher estate in 1607, being succeeded by Don Luis de Velasco, the son of "The Emancipator," who came the second time to rule over New Spain, this time with the title Marques de Salinas. He had resigned the government of Peru, to which he had been promoted in 1593, and had chosen Atzcapotzalco as his residence. He resumed the reins of government in New Spain in time to grapple with the already ancient question of immunity from inundation for the capital. He was a man of energy. He made a personal reconnaissance of the valley, and arrived at the conclusion that by securing some means of egress beyond the mountain wall for the overflow of Lake Zumpango in times of excessive rains (that being the highest of the lakes in the Mexican Valley), all further trouble could be obviated. He consulted with the Jesuit Juan Sanchez, and the engineer Enrico Martinez. The latter proposed what has lately been successfully accomplished,—the draining of the entire valley, the lowest and all the intermediate lakes, as well as the highest,—thus ending for all time the question which has so long vexed Mexico.

It was not deemed advisable at that time to do more than construct a tunnel for the waters of Zumpango, and this work was entrusted to Martinez, and begun at Huehuetoca on the 28th of December, 1608, in the presence of the Viceroy. Fifteen thousand Indians were employed, and worked to advantage by means of shafts and galleries, so that at the end of eleven months a tunnel was completed four miles in length, thirteen feet high, and eleven feet wide. This was, however, as we shall shortly see, but a single incident in the long history of the labors to render the City of Mexico safe from inundation, and leading up to that other question, that of draining the valley for the sanitary improvement of the city.

In 1611 Velasco received the appointment of President of the Council of the Indies, and returned to Spain. He was succeeded by the Archbishop of Mexico, Fray Garcia Guerra, who governed New Spain less than a year, when he died from the effects of a fail received when mounting his coach. The Audience took up the reins of government as he let them fall, and held them pending the appointment of his successor. And, as was usual with the Audiences in such cases, it was called upon to suppress a conspiracy. In consequence, thirty-two negroes were hanged in the great plaza in the year 1613.

The next year Don Diego Fernandez de Cordoba, Marques de Guadalcazar, arrived as the thirteenth Viceroy. He took an interest at once in the schemes for protecting the capital from inundation. Upon application to the Spanish King, Adrian Boot, an engineer from Holland, was sent to inspect the drainage works of Martinez. He reported the tunnel insufficient, and advised that dikes be built about Lake San Cristobal, on a lower level than Zumpango, to catch all the overflow from the higher lake in excessively rainy seasons and to prevent it being precipitated upon the unfortunate city. The dikes were accordingly built.

Under this Viceroy the aqueduct to San Cosme was extended to Santa Isabel (the extension has long since been taken down), and as then standing, consisted of nine hundred arches, and cost about $250,000.

The Marquis of Guadalcazar was promoted to Peru in 1621, and the Audience assumed charge of public affairs until the arrival of Don Diego Carrillo Mendoza y Pimentel, Marques de Gelves, who had scarcely seated himself upon the vice-regal throne before, in his efforts to rid Mexico of highwaymen, he became involved in serious disputes with the Archbishop, Juan Perez de la Serna. Both were hot-headed Spaniards, and the trouble arose over the arrest of a robber who had sought "sanctuary" in the Church of Santo Domingo. The Viceroy decreed the deposition and banishment of the Archbishop, and the Archbishop retorted by excommunicating the Viceroy. The populace took up the matter. The partisans of the ecclesiastic assaulted and attempted to burn the vice-regal palace; but the Viceroy made his escape,—himself seeking the privileges of "sanctuary" until the way was open for him to return to Spain. The Archbishop was also recalled. This was in 1624. Don Rodrigo Pacheco y Osorio, Marques de Cerralvo, was appointed Viceroy, and with him came to Mexico a famous inquisitor of Valladolid, Martin Carrillo, with authority to punish the participants in the commotions of the previous administration.

And now had come the time for testing the respective merits of the engineering schemes of Enrico Martinez and Adrian Boot. In 1629 the rainy season set in with unusual violence. On the 29th of June Martinez, either to prevent the destruction of his work, or through pique at the popular criticism of it, or through spite at having the suggestions of an engineer from Holland preferred to his, closed the mouth of his tunnel. Zumpango accordingly overflowed into San Cristobal, and the latter lake overflowed the dikes, and in a short time the streets of the city were three feet under water; and thus they remained three years, Martinez spending that time in prison.

It would be impossible to picture the results of this inundation. Many edifices suffered total destruction. The population of the city (it had been estimated at 15,000 in the year 1600) was decreased by the death of three thousand Indians and the removal of nearly all the European families. The courts and local legislative bodies suspended their sittings, churches were abandoned, and the mass was celebrated on the balconies and house-tops. People moved from place to place in canoes. The city really became what it had been called before the Conquest, "the American Venice." Its removal to the high ground between Tacuba and Tacubaya was again discussed, and it has been stated that a royal edict was procured directing the removal. But in 1632 the waters subsided, and the royal edict (if any there were) was suppressed. It was estimated that the cost of the removal would have been $50,000,000.

In 1634 the fearful scenes of 1629, 1630, and 1631, were repeated to some extent. But after the rainy season of that year earthquakes opened rents in the ground which caused the rapid subsidence of the waters. Martinez was released from prison and commanded to employ such measures as would prevent any further inundation of the capital. He reopened his tunnel, and so far made concessions to his Holland rival as to rebuild the dikes about San Cristobal as they remain to-day,—two in number, two miles and three quarters, and a mile and a half in length, respectively, and eight or ten feet high by twenty-eight feet wide. The tunnel has a further history.

The Marquis of Cerralvo was succeeded in 1635 by Don Lope Diaz de Armendariz, Marques de Cadareita. Beyond the founding of the city of Cadareita in Nuevo Leon, the government of this, the sixteenth Viceroy was marked by no events worthy of mention. He was just and moderate in his measures, and when recalled to Spain he was made Bishop of Badajoz. He was succeeded in 1640 by Don Diego Lopez Pacheco Cabrera y Bobadillo, Duque de Escalona y Marques de Villena. Only one event of importance occurred during the brief rule of this Viceroy; that was the burning of the buildings on the Cortes estate, west of the plaza, in what is called the Empedradillo, where now stands the Monte de Piedad.

The Viceroy was the victim of the suspicions of the Bishop of Puebla, who had come with him to Mexico. The Bishop had him deposed and sent to Spain on a charge of plotting against the King; and the Bishop himself, Juan de Palafox y Mendoza, more in the capacity of Royal Visitor than as Viceroy, though he is numbered among the Viceroys, ruled New Spain for about five months. In that time he managed to destroy many of the idols that had been preserved in various parts of the city as trophies and souvenirs of the Conquest, therein following the example of Zumarraga, the first Bishop of Mexico. Palafox was a man of learning, but ambitious and turbulent.

He was superseded, in 1642, by Don Garcia Sarmiento Sotomayor, Conde de Salvatierra, who in 1643 founded the city of Salvatierra in the State of Michoacan (now in the State of Guanajuato). A series of notable autos de fe, held in the years 1646, 1647, and 1648, were the distinguishing feature of his time,—a famous victim being Martin de Villancencio, called the Garatuza. When in 1648 Sotomayor was promoted to Peru, he left Mexican affairs in the hands of Marcos Lopez de Torres y Rueda, Bishop of Yucatan, who, though taking the title of Governor of Mexico, is numbered among the Viceroys. By the continuation of the annual autos de fe, established in the reign of his predecessor, he gained a reputation for extreme cruelty. Fourteen or fifteen persons are known to have been strangled or burned by the Holy Office in 1649,—among them a personage named Tomas Trevino, whose crime was that he had "cursed the Holy Office and also the Pope."

Death put an end to the rule of the Bishop of Yucatan in 1650 and he was succeeded by Don Luis Enriquez de Guzman, Conde de Alba de Liste, who was in 1653 promoted to the Peruvian vice-royalty. His successor was Don Francisco Fernandez de la Cueva, Duque de Albuquerque, the annals of whose rule comprise two events,—the execution of many robbers in 1659, and the attack made upon the life of the Viceroy in the Cathedral by a soldier, who was supposed to be insane, but was nevertheless hanged within twenty-four hours. The Viceroy left shortly afterwards for Spain. It was to a later Duke of Albuquerque that the New Mexican town owes its foundation and its name.

Few events mark the history of Mexico for several succeeding years. Don Juan de Leiva y de la Cerda, Marques de Leiva y de Labrada, y Conde de Banos, was the twenty-third Viceroy. His administration (1660-1664) was unpopular on account of the disreputable character of his sons, and his recall was therefore demanded. He was succeeded by Diego Osorio Escobar y Llamas, Bishop of Puebla, who ruled from June to October, 1664, when Don Sebastian de Toledo, Marques de Mancera, became Viceroy. His rule was continued three years beyond the usual period (1664-1673),—proof that it was acceptable, at least to the Spanish government. He was succeeded by Don Pedro Nuno Colon de Portugal y Castro, Duque de Veraguas, y Marques de Jamaica, a descendant of Christopher Columbus. He was a very old man, and lived only six days after taking possession of his office. It was in 1667 that the great Cathedral, almost a century having been spent upon its construction, was completed (with the exception of the two towers) and consecrated. The sacristy had been completed in 1626, and services were held therein for fifteen years. The cost of the building up to the time of the consecration was one and two thirds millions. The two towers were completed in 1791.

Upon the death of Nuno Colon, Fray Payo Enriquez de Rivera, Archbishop of Mexico, a descendant of Cortes by the female line, became Viceroy. He was beneficent and just, in every way exemplary and progressive. He rebuilt the vice-regal palace, paved many of the streets of the capital, built bridges and acequias, introduced water into the town of Guadalupe by means of an aqueduct, and constructed a stone causeway into that religious town,—that along which now runs the railway to Vera Cruz. Numismatists will be interested in knowing that in 1675 the Mexican mint began the coining of gold. At the end of six years (1679) the good Archbishop, tired of the cares of government in Mexico, civil and ecclesiastical, resigned and went to Spain, where he was appointed Bishop of Cuenca and President of the Council of the Indies. But despite these honors he retired to a monastery, and ended his life there.

His successor was Don Tomas Antonio Manrique de la Cerda, Marques de la Laguna, y Conde de Paredes. His reign is marked by the sack of Vera Cruz by the famous pirate, Agramont, and by the colonization of Texas and California. In 1686 the Marquis of la Laguna laid down the reins of government and returned to Spain, where he died twenty days after his arrival. His successor, Don Melchor Portocarrero Laso de la Vega, Conde de Monclova, is known as "the man with the silver arm," because, having lost his right arm in battle, its place was supplied by one of silver. He gave his attention to the colonization of Coahuila, and was the founder and namesake of the town of Monclova. He began the construction, at his own expense, of the aqueduct which brings the water from Chapultepec to Salto del Agua along the ancient route. Such public-spirited generosity as he evinced in this was not unusual at this period, as we shall see. It attests the immense means at the disposal of the viceroys. The salary of the office at that time was $40,000 annually, and it was afterwards increased to $70,000.

The Duke of Monclova was translated to Peru in 1689, and was succeeded by Don Caspar de la Cerda Sandoval Silva y Mendoza, Conde de Galve. A notable insurrection, growing out of the scarcity of corn, occurred in 1692. An Indian woman buying corn, the price of which was very high, had an altercation with the vendor, who was a mulatto. The mulatto struck her and she died. The friends of the murdered woman took her remains to Santiago-Tlatelolco, where there was little difficulty in inciting an uprising of the Indians. In a short time a force of two hundred Indians surrounded the vice-regal palace, and demanded an interview with the Viceroy and the Archbishop. Failing to accomplish their purpose, they began to stone the doors and balconies of the palace. The number of the insurgents increased hourly; piling up the wooden stalls of the market-place about the building, they set fire to them, and the palace and other buildings were damaged to the extent of three millions of dollars. Some of the public archives were destroyed. The Viceroy and his family sought refuge in the Convent of San Francisco. The mob was finally quelled by the efforts of the clergy. The same year the Indians of Tlaxcala rose in revolt, and there was a tumult in Guadalajara over the scarcity of provisions. The Count of Galve accomplished the conquest of Texas (1691), and completed the conquest of New Mexico. He also founded, what is now an important town of the United States, Pensacola, Florida.

In 1696 the Count of Galve was succeeded by Juan de Ortega Montanes, Bishop of Michoacan, who administered civil affairs for a few months only, during which time the students of the University made a tumult, running about the streets and crying, "Death to the Cathedraticos!"—a precursor of the opposition to ecclesiastical influence in civil affairs which was destined to play such a prominent part in the subsequent history of Mexico. The students did no further damage than burn the small buildings in the plaza.

The Michoacan Bishop was succeeded by Don Jose Sarmiento Valladares, Conde de Moctezuma y de Tula, whose wife was the third Countess of Moctezuma, and the great-great-grand-niece of Moteczuma or Moctezuma II. The disturbances over the scarcity of corn continued, and in 1697 auto de fe  was celebrated, in which a gentleman named Fernando de Molina was burned. The reign of the Count of Moctezuma extended to the second year of the eighteenth century.

The reigning sovereigns of Spain during the vice-regal period thus far, were Charles V (Charles I of Spain), Philip II, Philip III, Philip IV, and Charles II of the House of Austria. In 1700, by the death of Charles II, a change of dynasty occurred,—the throne passed to the House of Bourbon. The next occupant of the throne was Philip V.

The Viceroys of the 18th Century

Upon he retirement of the Count of Moctezuma, the Bishop of Michoacan, Juan de Ortega Montanes, for the second time undertook the management of civil affairs in New Spain, and held the position of Viceroy a little over a year. He was then succeeded by Don Francisco Fernandez de la Cueva Enriquez, Duque de Albuquerque y Marques de Cuellar, the founder of the now important New Mexican town of Albuquerque, and its namesake. It was in 1709 that the Collegiate Church of Guadalupe was completed and consecrated.

In 1711 the Duke of Albuquerque was succeeded by Don Fernando Alencastre Norona y Silva, Duque de Linares. This Viceroy established the tribunal of the Acordada  to apprehend robbers; he continued, as far as Belen, the aqueduct begun by the Viceroy, the Count of Monclova, and founded the town of Linares, in Nuevo Leon. He was succeeded in 1716 by Don Baltasar de Zuniga Guzman Sotomayor y Mendoza, Duque de Arion y Marques de Valero, who seems to have made an attempt to comprehend in his own cognomen as many of the names of his predecessors as was convenient. This Viceroy was the benefactor of Queretaro, supplying that town with water by means of a noble aqueduct, still standing and in use, two miles in length, supported upon handsome arches, some of them ninety feet high. This aqueduct is connected by a tunnel with a natural reservoir five miles from the town. A statue of the Marquis of Valero, now shattered by balls thrown by the Republican cannon in the siege of Queretaro in 1867, adorns the plaza of that town. The building of the Teatro Principal in the Calle Coliseo in the capital, and the completion of the Church of the Profesa, at the cost of private parties, belong to this period.

The rule of the successor of the Marquis of Valero, Don Juan de Acuna, Marques de Casafuerte, beginning in 1722 and continuing for twelve years, was marked by the correction of many abuses, and the exercise of much prudence in all departments of the government of New Spain. He was a native of Lima, Peru, and a man of energy and of honor. A newspaper named the Gaceta de Mexico  (Mexican Gazette) was begun during his administration, and continued publication until the year 1807. The town of San Antonio de Bexar, now an important city of Texas, may trace its history back to this period. The Marquis of Casafuerte died in office in 1734, leaving a part of his wealth to public works and objects of benevolence.

Upon his death the Archbishop of Mexico, Juan Antonio de Vizarron y Eguiarreta, assumed charge of the affairs of New Spain. It was in his reign that the Virgin of Guadalupe was officially declared by the ecclesiastical authorities of the Church in Mexico, the patroness of the Mexican Indians, in recognition of her protection during a plague which swept over the land in 1736. It was some time afterwards (1754) that she was by papal bull proclaimed the especial patroness of the Indians. The Archbishop's palace in Tacubaya was built by Vizarron. It is now the national observatory. The prelate-Viceroy also began the church of San Fernando, in the capital, which still stands, though its adjoining monastery is in ruins.

The Archbishop only claimed to hold office ad interim  though his rule extended over six years. In 1740 he delivered over the office of Viceroy to the appointee of the crown, Don Pedro de Castro Figueroa y Salazar, Duque de la Conquista y Marques de Gracia Real, whose brief administration was devoted principally to the fortification of the castle of San Juan de Ulua, which had been built more than a century previously, and is now a strong fortress, and used also as a prison. The Duke of the Conquest died a year after his arrival, and (the Audience conducting the affairs of government for a while) was succeeded in 1742 by Don Pedro Cebrian y Agustin, Conde de Fuenclara, whose monuments are the Calzada de San Antonio Abad and the colonies of Nueva Santander, now Tamaulipas.

Pirates burned the town of Champoton in Yucatan, and a valuable cargo of silver and gold (more than $2,000,000), derived by Mexico from its trade with China, fell into the hands of the English admiral Anson. The first efforts to obtain correct geographical and statistical knowledge of Mexico dates from a decree of Philip V in 1741, directing Jose Antonio Villasenor y Sanchez, as "Cosmographer of New Spain," to collect and digest the necessary data. As a result of his labors, the population of the City of Mexico is given in the year 1747 as 50,000 families of Spaniards, Europeans and Creoles, 40,000 mestizos, mulattoes, and negroes, and 8,000 native Indians.

The Count of Fuenclara was succeeded in 1746 by Don Juan Francisco de Guemes y Horcasitas, primer Conde de Revillagigedo, who managed both to increase the wealth of the country and make an immense fortune for himself during his thirteen years in New Spain, notwithstanding famines which prevailed in Zacatecas and Guadalajara part of this time, owing to the failure of the corn crop.

The fortieth Viceroy, arriving in the country in 1755, was Don Agustin de Ahumada y Villalon, Marques de las Amarillas, an honorable man, who, before he had been five years in the land, was stricken with paralysis and went to Cuernavaca to recover his health. He died there in 1760, and it is considered worthy of remark that he left his widow poor.

The Audience took charge of the government until the arrival of a successor, Don Francisco Cajigal de la Vega, ex-Governor of Cuba, who, though holding office for only about six months, by giving his attention to matters directly within sight of his palace, was able to do much towards the improvement of the capital. He was succeeded the same year (1760) by Don Joaquin de Monserrat, Marques de Cruillas. The principal event of his rule was an inundation in Guanajuato, followed by a sack of the city by the lower classes and the loss of much property. The Marquis of Cruillas was the first to organize a standing army in Mexico, and he ordered the houses in the City of Mexico to be numbered; but whether he is responsible for the present execrable system of numbering in that city or not is uncertain.

After six years the Marquis of Cruillas was succeeded by Don Carlos de Croix, Marques de Croix, whose rule was filled with significant events. He greatly improved the capital, enlarged the Alameda to its present size, and increased the revenues of the government by a tax on tobacco. He issued a decree that the Spanish language should everywhere be spoken in Mexico,—but with what effect may easily be imagined. It was during his reign that Archbishop Lorenzana presided over the Fourth "General" Council of Mexico, in which action was taken closely resembling the Alt-Catholic movement of a little more than a century later. But the greatest event of his administration was the sudden imprisonment by the Marquis of Croix, in June, 1767, of all the Jesuits in New Spain, and the confiscation of their goods. This was under a decree of the Spanish Cortes. The order of Jesuits was rich in haciendas and city houses. The Jesuits were subsequently expelled the country. Many of them died of vomito  in Vera Cruz on the way. Others reached Habana, and finally Italy. Among them was the famous historian Clavigero. The Marquis of Croix carried with him to Spain in 1771 the good-will of the people of Mexico, despite his attempts to force a strange language upon some of them, and his firmness in executing the mandates of the Spanish Cortes against the Jesuits. His successor was Don Antonio Maria de Bucareli y Ursua, Bailio de la Orden de San Juan, and Lieutenant-General of the Army of Spain.

Various monuments to the energetic and beneficent rule of Bucareli are to be found in Mexico. There is a Paseo  at the capital that bears his name. It was planned and executed by him, and was once beautiful, but is now abandoned and fallen into decay. The aqueduct from Chapultepec to Salto del Agua, heretofore referred to, was completed by him at his own cost. The castle of San Diego, in Acapulco, was built by him. There are several institutions existing in the capital to-day which took their rise at the time of his rule. The Monte de Piedad, founded in 1776 by Pedro Romero de Terreros, Conde de Regla, the owner of the famous mines of Real Monte, is one of these. His purpose was to break up the usurious rates of the money-lenders, and to enable the poor to borrow money upon personal pledges. He endowed the establishment to the extent of $300,000. It is now an immense establishment, having survived many seasons of financial depression. It is one of the most noted institutions of Mexico.

The Real Tribunal de Mineria was founded in 1777 for the purpose of stimulating mining enterprises. It now exists as the Mineria, or School of Engineers, in one of the handsomest buildings in the capital. The Foundling Hospital (now known as La Cuna, "the cradle"), in the Puente de la Merced, whose actual founder was Archbishop Lorenzana, is another of these institutions. It is provided that all the foundlings taken under its care shall be legitimated for all civil purposes, and shall bear the much-revered name of Lorenzana as a surname. The Hospicio de Pobres  ("the Poor Asylum"), on the Avenida Juarez, was opened in 1774 by royal order, but through the benevolence of Dr. Fernando Ortiz Cortes.

Bucareli died in Mexico in 1779, and was buried in the Collegiate Church of Guadalupe, to which he had given silver ornaments to the value of $1,000,000, still adorning that interior. A bronze slab in the floor of the west aisle marks his resting-place and records his numerous virtues. He was the best of the Viceroys, and few of them have deserved the good that has been said of him.

Don Martin Mayorga, the Governor of Guatemala, became Provisional Viceroy upon the death of Bucareli, and held the office until 1873, when Don Matias de Galvez, who had also been Governor of Guatemala, became Viceroy. His rule was brief, lasting from April, 1783, to November, 1784, and he was one of the few untitled Viceroys, save that by his energetic conduct of public affairs in Mexico he gained for himself the title of "the Diligent." He gave his attention to the improvement of the police and sanitation of the capital, cleansing the acequias, and paving some of the streets. He obtained permission to rebuild the castle of Chapultepec, which had remained in ruins ever since the Conquest; but his death in November, 1784, cut short that work. After the Audience had administered affairs until January, 1785, his son, Don Bernardo Galvez, was made Viceroy, and carried to completion the work at Chapultepec at a cost of $300,000. He built also the Calzadas de Piedad and San Agustin de las Cuevas, the latter running out to Tlalpam. A general famine, in consequence of severe snow-storms and the loss of grain, in the year 1784, was followed by a plague the ensuing year.

The Viceroy died in the Archbishop's palace in Tacubaya, in November, 1786, and in May, 1787 (the Audience assuming charge ad interim), Alonso Nunez de Haro y Peralta, Archbishop of Mexico, was placed in charge of the government in the capacity of Viceroy and Captain-General, and continued in office until August of that year, no especial event marking his brief administration, save the opening of the hospital of San Andres. He was succeeded by Don Manuel Antonio Flores, who had been Governor of Bogota, and now assumed a sort of military authority in Mexico, whence he is called "Flores, the Soldier." He was succeeded, in October, 1789, by one of the most energetic and best, albeit the most eccentric of the Viceroys.

With the administration of Don Juan Vicente de Guemes Pacheco de Padilla, segundo Conde de Revillagigedo, begins the history of what might be called "the modern City of Mexico." Before his time, despite the efforts of some of his predecessors, the city was filthy beyond description. The plaza was given up to the venders of tamales, tortillas, and fruits. The streets were unpaved, unlighted at night, and infested with robbers. The second Count of Revillagigedo gave to the capital his immediate attention; saw it cleansed, well policed, and its morality advanced. The streets bearing his name, running south from near the west end of the Alameda, are a lasting monument to his energy, and if the story regarding them be true, it furnishes a fit illustration of the eccentricity of his methods.

He was accustomed to patrol the city himself at night, and upon discovering anything amiss, to send for the responsible person, and have it rectified at once. He once entered a street which ended suddenly in the midst of some mean hovels. The Count at once sent for the proper official, and directed him to prepare an open street to the city walk, and have it ready for him to drive through on his way to mass the next morning. It was accordingly done.

The Count was equally energetic in his management of affairs outside of the capital. He established weekly mails between the capital and the principal military posts; re-organized the militia; advanced explorations as far north as Behring Strait; corrected all abuses which came to his notice; and that none might escape his attention, he placed a locked box in a public place, in which petitions, complaints, and other communications might be put, by means of an opening in the top. Thus there was no subject who could not secure the attention of the Viceroy.

It was while the plaza in the capital was being cleansed, in 1790, that the so-called "Calendar Stone" now preserved in the National Museum was found. For many years it occupied a conspicuous place in the outer walls of the westerly tower of the great Cathedral. Its removal to the Museum occurred in 1885. In 1791, in excavating a channel for a sewer running to the Portal de Mercaderes, the Sacrificial Stone was discovered.

The Count of Revillagigedo was calumniated and persecuted, despite his integrity, energy, and wisdom, and retired from Mexico in disgust in 1794. He was succeeded by his chief calumniator, Don Miguel la Grua Talamanca, Marques de Branciforte, a native of Italy and a relative of Godoy, the favorite of the Spanish King. He was guilty of many acts of meanness, among which was his confiscation of the goods of the few French residents of New Spain under the shadow of, an excuse,—the war between Spain and France. It is pleasant to learn that the accusations brought by him against Revillagigedo were dismissed by the Council of the Indies.

The rule of the Marques de Branciforte is noted for a remarkable encouragement given to Art in New Spain. The San Carlos Academy had already had several years of precarious existence. It had begun as a school of engraving, under the management of the engraver of the Mint, in 1779. Two years later it had been enlarged to include painting, sculpture, and architecture. In 1783 royal sanction for the establishment was obtained, and still another two years elapsed before the Academia de las Nobles Artes de San Carlos de la Nueva Espana (the San Carlos Academy of Fine Arts in New Spain) was formally opened. In 1791 Don Manuel Tolsa was sent over to New Spain with a gift of casts from the antique, valued at $40,000. Tolsa was a very eminent architect, and Mexico contains many specimens of his architectural skill. He designed the Mineria (the School of Engineers), and Branciforte began its construction in 1797, and it was completed in 1813 at a cost of over $1,500,000. Subsequently nearly $100,000 were spent upon it in repairs necessitated by the settling of the foundation.

The equestrian statue of Carlos IV., at the initial point of the Paseo de la Reforma, is more a monument to the interest taken by the Viceroy, the Marquis of Branciforte, in art, than to the monarch whose name it bears and for whose memory Mexicans have little or no respect. It is distinctly stated upon the pedestal on which it now stands that the statue is preserved solely "as a work of art." The Marquis of Branciforte procured royal permission in 1795 to have this statue made and set up in the plaza. The understanding was that the costs were to be defrayed by him personally, but they actually fell upon the municipality and some private parties. The design is that of Tolsa, who was sculptor as well as architect. It has attracted the attention of eminent critics, and has been pronounced upon very high authority inferior only to the Marcus Aurelius at Rome as an equestrian statue. There is a tradition that Tolsa's death was caused by chagrin at hearing his work criticized by the people. It is true that he survived the completion of the work only a short time. The Marquis of Branciforte did not remain in New Spain long enough to see his work actually set up. And the subsequent history of this statue—the first important piece of bronze cast in the Western world—belongs to another period. Yet it seems best to recount it briefly here.

The casting was the work of Don Salvador de la Vega, who made his furnaces and moulds ready in the Gardens of San Gregorio College (now the School of Correction), spent two days in melting the metal (about thirty tons) and began filling the moulds at 6 A. M., the 4th of August, 1802. The statue came from the moulds without defect, and fourteen months were spent in finishing it. It was placed on a pedestal in the plaza in November, 1803, and on the 9th of December unveiled with great ceremony. It remained there until 1822. Then the feeling against Spain and everything Spanish was so bitter that fears were entertained that it might be destroyed. It was at first enclosed within a huge wooden globe, but two years later it was removed to the patio of the University. In 1852 it was removed to its present position, and was subsequently made the initial point of the magnificent Paseo de la Reforma.

The conduct of the Marquis of Branciforte, unpopular as it was in Mexico, excited the suspicion of the Spanish government also, and in May, 1798, he was succeeded by Don Miguel Jose de Azanza, whose rule extended for a few months into the nineteenth century. He was an honorable man and a good Viceroy. A conspiracy was discovered and quelled in 1800, called "los machetes," that marks the beginning of the hostilities between the Creoles (Americans of Spanish parentage) and the Europeans,—to ripen in the early years of the nineteenth century into a war for independence. Azanza and the Marquis de Branciforte, after their return to Spain, became the partisans of Joseph Bonaparte in the political affairs of Europe; and this has given to the last Viceroy of the eighteenth century (who had no other title to distinction) the name of "The Bonapartist."

The Last Viceroys, and the Struggles for Independence

The nineteenth century dawned upon New Spain with the clouds of war hovering over the country. The first Viceroy of the new century (the fifty-fifth in the whole long list of Viceroys) was Don Felix Berenguer de Marquina, Chief of the Squadron and ex-Governor of the Mariana Islands. Little of importance occurred during the rule of this naval officer, who seems to have been somewhat Quixotic, for among other measures adopted by him was the suppression of bull-fights. He was called upon to put down an uprising of the Indians in Tepic, and also to deal with a filibustering expedition across the northern border led by an American named Nolan. The leader of this expedition was taken prisoner and executed by the Spanish troops in 1802.

The Spanish government failed to approve all of the measures of Marquina, so he resigned in 1803, and was succeeded by Don Jose de Iturrigaray, whose administration was an active one, but ended disastrously for him. He completed the celebrated Puente del Rey (King's Bridge), now the Puente Nacional on the road from Vera Cruz to Jalapa; and was the patron of the celebrated architect of Celaya, Tresguerras, by whom were built the causeway and bridge over the Laja, whence Gel ay a takes its name. He organized a militia, and so disposed the troops in towns along the coast as to resist such foreign aggressions as were feared would result from the declaration of war between England and Spain. He was a thorough economist, and encouraged home industry and the sale of home manufactures. And as proof of the prosperity of New Spain during his rule, it is mentioned that the Mint coined in 1805, in silver alone, more than $27,000,000 and that in 1806 Mexico sent $31,000 to the widows and orphans of the victims of the great battle of Trafalgar. His administration was marked by two autos de fe, wherein two priests, who were the authors of irreligious books, were executed; and it was at this time that Baron Von Humboldt resided in the City of Mexico, in the house Calle de San Agustin, No. 3, marked by a tablet mentioning the fact.

Iturrigaray dabbled somewhat in repairs of the celebrated Tajo de Nochistongo. But some of his economic measures excited the animosity of those who were not directly benefited thereby, and his administration was brought to an end on the night of the 16th of September (a noted date in Mexican history, as we shall see), 1808, by an event that gave him the title of "The Monarchist." The Audiencia and some of the Spanish residents believed (whether with or without cause seems still uncertain) that Iturrigaray, taking advantage of the condition of Spain, weakened as it was by the invasion of Napoleon Bonaparte, and the absence of Ferdinand VII., was plotting to establish an independent monarchy in Mexico and to wear the crown thereof himself. A party of five hundred Spaniards, hastily organized, with Don Gabriel Yermo, a rich sugar planter, at the head, surrounded the vice-regal palace, killed the guards, captured the Viceroy and his family, took them first to San Juan de Ulua, and afterwards hastened them off to Spain as prisoners. It is alleged on behalf of "the Monarchist" that Yermo, in raising this opposition to the Viceroy, was actuated by purely personal motives. He wished to evade the payment of $200,000 borrowed from Iturrigaray.

To the next Viceroy, Don Pedro Garibay, historians have given the title "the Revolutionist." He was an old soldier who had made his career in Mexico, and was made Viceroy by the Spanish insurgents who had deposed Iturrigaray. He was subservient to the Spaniards, and sent all the money he could get from Mexico to aid the Spanish government in its troubles at home. His rule lasted but a short time,—September, 1808, to July, 1809. The Spanish government, already fallen to pieces at home, was on the wane in Mexico. Ideas of an independent government, of "home rule," had taken hold of various persons, and the subject was being freely discussed. There were those who were not afraid to announce publicly that the cause of Independence awaited only a suitable leader. It was at this time that a mysterious murder occurred in the archiepiscopal palace in Mexico. It was that of a lawyer named Verdad, who has consequently been called the first chief and proto-martyr of Mexican Independence.

Upon the removal of Garibay, "the Revolutionist," in default of a monarch in Spain to appoint a successor, a junta central requested Francisco Javier Lizana, Archbishop of Mexico, to assume the vice-regal office. To devote himself to the functions of the civil office, Lizana gave into other hands his archiepiscopal and inquisitorial powers. He was in sympathy with the Creoles, and exerted his influence in favor of the Independents, whose object he supposed to be better government in Spain and Mexico. He expressed regret for the part he had taken in the deposition of Iturrigaray. He secured a loan of $3,000,000 two thirds of which he sent to Spain to aid in the war against Napoleon and the French. But he refused to honor other demands for $20,000,000 made by Spain upon the treasury of Mexico, seized the property of the Duke of Terranova and the Marquis of Branciforte, accused of being Bonapartists, publicly burned a proclamation of the Bonapartes; and gave orders to apprehend all who were involved in a conspiracy discovered in Valladolid (Morelia), one of the premonitory symptoms of the coming great revolt.

The Archbishop was called to Spain the 10th of May, 1810, to answer charges made by the merchants of Cadiz. His removal was considered as disastrous to the Creoles and their cause. The government of New Spain thereupon devolved upon Don Pedro Catani, President of the Audience, who is called the fifty-seventh Viceroy. He exercised the functions of that office until the 14th of September, 1810, when the new Viceroy, Don Francisco Javier Venegas, ex-Governor of Cadiz, entered Mexico. Two days later the long-gathering storm burst over the country in all its fury.

Their long-awaited leader suddenly appeared to the view of the discontented Mexicans, in the person of el cura  Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, the priest in the little parish of Dolores, near Guanajuato. He was born the 8th of May, 1753, in poverty, and was educated for the Church in the school of San Nicolas in Valladolid. He afterwards became rector of the school. In 1779 he went to the capital, when he took holy orders and received the degree of Bachelor of Theology. He held various livings before becoming, on the death of his brother, cura of Dolores. He was a sort of universal genius, pursuing a great variety of occupations, all bringing him in contact with the people, and gaining for him great popularity in and around Dolores. This was the man to whom has been given the title of THE FATHER OF MEXICAN INDEPENDENCE.

Hidalgo revealed to a chosen few his plans for an uprising of the natives and the overthrow of Spanish rule. He made Ignacio Allende, a native of San Miguel el Grande (now called in his honor San Miguel Allende), his trusted lieutenant in his schemes. The father of Allende was a Spaniard, his mother a Mexican. Although of good family and rich, he had devoted himself to the army and was captain of dragoons at thirty-one. Coming under the influence of Hidalgo, he heartily espoused the cause of Mexican Independence. He gained the confidence and adherence of two other officers of his regiment, Aldama and Abasalo, He was in correspondence with Independent clubs which, ostensibly as literary clubs, discussed the political situation in San Miguel and Queretaro. It was the apprehension of one of these "clubs" and the arrest of its leader, Don Miguel Dominguez, corregidor  of Queretaro, that precipitated the plans of Hidalgo.

Awakened at two o'clock on the morning of the 16th of September, 1810 (the day ever since regarded as the birthday of Mexican Independence), either by Allende or Aldama, and advised that the club at Queretaro had been suppressed and that its leader was in prison, and that imprisonment awaited him in a few hours unless he could save himself by battle or flight, Hidalgo sprang from bed, called his friends to his aid, and with ten armed men captured the prison of Dolores, liberated the prisoners, and armed them with swords. Then celebrating the mass in his church, he revealed his plans to all the countrymen as they came in. By these means by daybreak he had gathered about him a devoted body of men and had fired them with zeal for the independence of their country. All Spaniards in the village were secured, and then the cura  and his followers set out on the road to San Miguel.

Allende's regiment swelled the band of patriots, which had increased in number on the way from Dolores to San Miguel. From this large mass Hidalgo organized his army, taking for himself the title of General, Allende being the Lieutenant-General. In passing the church of Atotonilco, the cura took therefrom a banner containing a picture of the Virgin of Guadalupe (the same banner now preserved in the National Museum), and fixing it upon a lance adopted it as the flag of his army. It gave to the movement the additional enthusiasm to be derived from religion. Shouts of Viva la religion! Viva nuestra Madre Santisima de Guadalupe! Viva la America y muera el mal gobierno!—Long live religion! Long live our Most Holy Mother of Guadalupe! Long live America, and death to bad government!—rent the air. This war-cry now goes by the name of "el grito de Dolores."

The insurgents passed through Chamacuaro, and reached Celaya on the 21st of September, There a further organization was effected. By this time the followers of Hidalgo are said to have numbered between 50,000 and 60,000 men, all filled with the enthusiasm of their leader. As may be imagined, they were wholly without discipline and were miserably equipped. It was decided to march first upon Guanajuato, and on the 25th the army was within sight of that rich city. An order was sent for its surrender, but the Spaniards gathered all their property together and shut themselves up in the Castle Granaditas. The city was attacked, taken, sacked, and the people found therein were put to the sword. It was with difficulty that Hidalgo restored order. He finally appointed a civil government in the city, and established an ordnance foundry and a mint. Thus Guanajuato became the capital of the insurrectionary government.

On the 10th of October the patriot-priest set out with the greater part of his troops for Valladolid, arriving there on the 18th, without meeting any opposition on the road. He obliged the clergy of Valladolid to raise the excommunication leveled at him by die Bishop of Michoacan; augmented his troops by a regiment of dragoons from Patzcuaro, and some of the provincial militia; arranged the civil government of the city; provided himself with supplies; and passed on towards the capital. Taking the road through Acambaro, Maravatio, Tepetongo, Ixtlahuaca, and Toluca (practically the route of the Mexican National Railway between Morelia—as Valladolid is now called—and Toluca at the present day), Hidalgo arrived with a force estimated at 100,000 men at the Monte de las Cruces (near the station of Salazar), within twenty-five miles of the City of Mexico, Camp was made there until the 2nd of December.

Meanwhile the Viceroy issued orders to the Spanish officers to concentrate and oppose the Independents. The ecclesiastics of New Spain, for the most part partisans of the Spanish government, furbished up their spiritual weapons. The Spanish friars preached furious sermons; and the Holy Office, always on the side of Spain, excommunicated Hidalgo and the most prominent of his companions, and only awaited a chance to lay hands upon him in order to otherwise punish him. But when the news of the taking of Guanajuato and the approach of the insurgents reached the City of Mexico, it was seen that Hidalgo would have to be encountered by carnal weapons. The people were seized with panic. Some placed their property in the convents for safe- keeping, and either fled or hid themselves. The Viceroy, Venegas, raised an army of three thousand men, well equipped, and placed it under the command of Gen. Torcuato Trujillo.

On the 30th of October, 1810, the two armies came into collision at Monte de las Cruces, and a terrible battle ensued. Numbers finally gained the day over better discipline and equipment, and the army of the Viceroy was completely cut to pieces. General Trujillo owed his own life to his excellent horse.

Instead of following up the advantage thus gained and advancing to attack the capital, then in a defenseless state,—a measure which would in all probability have shortened the struggle for Independence by ten years,—Hidalgo fell back toward Queretaro. Some of his soldiers deserted. The remainder encountered at Aculco some Spanish troops raised in the interior, and a disastrous battle followed, resulting in the dispersion of the Independents. Allende went to Guanajuato, accompanied by six or eight of his adjutants. Hidalgo fled to Valladolid, with only a few of his men. There he raised another army of about six thousand men, and set out for Guadalajara. The Independents of the latter city were in arms, and, under Don Jose Antonio Torres, had driven out the Spanish authorities. Hidalgo reached the city the latter part of November. Allende collected the troops in Guanajuato; but the force not being sufficient to oppose the threatened attack of the Spanish commander-in-chief, Felix Maria Calleja del Rey, who had by that time a considerable body of well-organized troops, he evacuated the city, and hastened by way of Zacatecas to join Hidalgo in Guadalajara. He reached that city on the I2th December.

Calleja del Rey, upon entering Guanajuato, began to punish the city for harboring the Independents. A friar of the order of San Diego, Padre Belaunzaran (afterward Bishop of Nuevo Leon), went out to meet the chief, and laying his hand upon the reins of his horse, commanded him in the name of Holy Church to desist from the slaughter of the citizens. Calleja obeyed, but not before he had shot fifty of the Mexicans and imprisoned others. Valladolid, abandoned by Hidalgo, was occupied by the Royalists.

In Guadalajara, Hidalgo took steps to organize a government, assuming for himself the title of Generalissimo, and naming a Minister of Grace and Justice and a Secretary of State. He sent also a commissioner to secure aid from the United States; but this officer fell into the hands of the Royalists. He issued decrees abolishing slavery, and tithes for the support of religious institutions, and somehow procured means to reorganize and equip his army and place himself in an offensive position. The Royalists, however, under Calleja, advanced upon Guadalajara, and compelled him to assume the defensive. As before, they made up in discipline what they lacked in numbers. Hidalgo took up his position at Puente de Calderon, where was fought a bloody battle on the 17th of January, 1811. It is said that the insurgent army numbered again one hundred thousand men, and had ninety-five pieces of artillery under the command of Abasalo. The Royalists had not a tenth of that number of men, but succeeded in accomplishing the complete dispersion of the Independents.

Hidalgo fled to Aguas Calientes, and meeting a division of Independent troops under Iriarte, went to Zacatecas. Allende joined him, and they started for the United States to recruit another army. On the 21st of March they were apprehended by a Spanish officer named Elizondo in a desert place in Coahuila, called Acatita de Bajan; taken by a strong guard to Monclova, and afterward to Chihuahua, and imprisoned in the building now used as the Mint. The room occupied by Hidalgo is still pointed out.

A trial was had, and Hidalgo, Allende, and two other officers who had been apprehended, Aldama and Jimenez, were condemned to death. Hidalgo was shot in front of his prison (the spot is marked by an adobe monument, without inscription), at seven o'clock in the morning of the 30th of July, 1811, and the others later in the same day. Their heads were cut off and placed upon pikes at the four corners of the Castle Granaditas in Guanajuato. It was years afterwards, and after the cause for which they had fought and died had triumphed, that the four heads were reverently brought to the capital and deposited beneath the altar de los Reyes, in the apse of the great Cathedral.

Naturally the Spanish authorities supposed that with the victory of Puente de Calderon and the execution of the four great revolutionary leaders, the seeds of revolution had been wholly eradicated. But the old saying that "Revolutions never go backward" has seldom been better exemplified than in this case.

The next leader to come forward was Ignacio Rayon, who had been placed by Allende in command of Saltillo. With a party of Independents he took possession of Zacatecas, and organized in Zitacuaro a junta, composed of himself as president and Jose Maria Liceaga and Jose Maria Morelos as members, for the regulation of the affairs of the Independents. Morelos was, next to Hidalgo, the greatest hero of the Revolution, and a man of even greater ability than Hidalgo. He too was a priest. He was a native of Valladolid, whose name has since been changed in his honor to Morelia. Born of very poor parents, in 1765, no means were at hand for his education until he was thirty years of age, when he entered the College of San Nicolas, of which Hidalgo was then rector. Ambitious and possessed of great natural ability, his progress was rapid, and he won for himself a name as a student and a man of honor. He was admitted to holy orders, and was cura  of two parishes when the Revolution of Hidalgo broke out. He followed his old schoolmaster into the conflict, and by his advice took up his position in the neighborhood of Acapulco. Upon the fall of his chief in the North, he took the lead of the Independents in the South. He was possessed of more military genius than Hidalgo, and managed his campaigns with better success. He has been called "the hero of a hundred battles."

His career as a revolutionary leader, briefly sketched, is as follows: On the 5th of December, 1811, Morelos made the Spanish officer, Musito, a prisoner, and ordered him shot, and then made a triumphant entry into Izucar, where he met the cura  Mariano Matamoras, another patriot-priest. On the 17th Morelos repelled an assault made by Soto on Izucar, and on the 22nd of January, 1812, he defeated Porlier, who had come to destroy him. He captured the artillery and ammunition of Porlier, and in a short time he had swept the enemy from the country from Acapulco to Cuautla, and the Viceroy was for a while without forces or an officer willing to go out and meet him.

With three thousand men Morelos proposed to advance upon the capital, and took up his position in Cuautla. He was besieged for sixty-two days by a Spanish force of double the number of men under him, which the Viceroy at last succeeded in raising. The command was given to Calleja del Rey. The evacuation of the town by Morelos after his long and heroic defense is considered among the most glorious feats in his own history and in that of his country. He went, after his escape from Cuautla, to Tehuacan, and in October, 1812, attacked Orizaba, and captured it after a few hours of fighting,—whereby a large amount of supplies, estimated as worth fourteen million dollars, fell into his hands. In the mountains of Acultzingo he met with reverses; but he recruited his forces, amounting now to five thousand men, and on the 25th of November took Oaxaca by storm. Returning then to the scene of his first military operations, he forced the surrender of Acapulco, after a long siege, on the 25th of August, 1813. This movement of Morelos has been much criticized. It was a mistake similar to that made by Hidalgo when within easy reach of the capital.

The next month Morelos took steps toward organizing the Independent Mexican government. He called a Congress, which met at Chilpantzingo (in the present State of Guerrero). Rayon was a deputy; so also was the historian Carlos Bustamante, with other distinguished personages. This Congress nominated Morelos Captain-General; abolished slavery, and imprisonment for debt; declared the collection of tithes for the support of religious houses unlawful; and on the 16th of November put forth a Declaration of Independence. Mexico was declared forever free of Spanish control, with liberty to work out its own destiny, and with the Roman Catholic religion for its spiritual guidance. For the new nation the name of "Anahuac" was chosen, in deference to the idea which then existed in the minds of the Mexicans, of an Aztec empire bearing that name. The name, however,—which means "near the water,"—was applied to all the tribes who occupied the lake basin of the Mexican Valley.

Before the promulgation of this Declaration of Mexican Independence,—namely, in February 1813,—the Viceroy Venegas was recalled to Spain, where he took the part of the Bonapartists, and was created Marquis of the Reunion. He was succeeded in Mexico by Gen. Felix Maria Calleja del Rey, who for the barbarity committed by him has been called by historians "the Cruel." He pursued the Independents with great energy, and treated such as fell into his hands without mercy, Matamoras, after a career of bravery, was executed by his command on the 3rd of February, 1814, in Valladolid; and many other names were added to the list of martyrs to the cause of Independence. The immediate effect of Calleja's sanguinary measures was a more general uprising of the Mexican people. The entire country south of the capital was overrun by insurgents in little bands, under the commands of such leaders as Vicente Guerrero, Nicolas Bravo, Felix Fernandez (who afterwards called himself Guadalupe Victoria), Manuel de Mier y Teran, Ramon Rayon, and his brother Ignacio. These bands were so scattered as to make it difficult for the Royalists to suppress them.

After the Congress at Chilpantzingo, Morelos attempted to establish a formal government in Valladolid. The city was in the hands of the Royalists under the command l62) ?> of Agustin de Iturbide. Morelos with his troops came in sight of the city the 22nd. of December, 1813. A detachment of his troops under Bravo and Galeana attacked Garita del Zapote, but was defeated, and Morelos was forced to retire to Hacienda del Chupio, and on the 15th of January, 1814, the Independents were dispersed by an attack made by Iturbide at Paruaran.

Morelos fled again to Acapulco, and there convened his Congress. In Apatzingan, on the 22nd of October, 1814, the first Mexican Constitution was adopted. The Royalists, however, followed Morelos to Acapulco, and he with the Congress and about one thousand men fled to Uruapan, and afterward to Tehuacan. Near the town of Texmalaca, on the 5th of November, 1815, the Royalists and the Independents met in conflict. What might have been the issue of the conflict can only be guessed; but it was brought to an end by the treachery of a man named Carranco, serving in the army of Morelos. He betrayed his chief into the hands of the Spanish officer Jose de la Concha.

The "hero of a hundred battles "was conducted a prisoner to the City of Mexico. There his case was made to come before the Holy Office, which, having been suspended in June, 1813, had been re-established on the 21st of January, 1814, to combat the spread of "revolutionary ideas"—political quite as much as religious—in Mexico. The last auto de fe  was held on the 26th of November, 1815. The priest Jose Maria Morelos was thereby condemned to do penance "in a penitent's dress" for being "an unconfessed heretic and an abettor of heretics, a profaner of the Holy Sacraments, a traitor to God, the King, and the Pope." He was then delivered over to the secular arm. He had refused to inculpate any other persons in the crimes of which he was accused. He was taken to San Cristobal Ecatepec, where, on the afternoon of the 21st or the morning of the 22nd of December, 1815, he was shot. Francisco Rayon, a brother of the patriots Ignacio and Ramon Rayon, was shot about the same time in Ixtlahuaca.

The Inquisition had no further opportunity to exercise its power in Mexico. It was finally suppressed by the decree of the Spanish Cortes becoming operative in Mexico on the 31st of May, 1820, a short time only before the final overthrow of the Spanish dominion. In its very efforts to support the tottering Spanish authority it wrought its own destruction. In its treatment of the hero Morelos alone it rendered itself so thoroughly odious to the people that it was impossible for them to rest until they had overthrown the government which used such a hated institution to oppress its colonies.

With the death of Morelos closed the second act in the great drama of Mexican Independence. The administration of Calleja del Rey lasted until the year 18 16. His cruelties continued until the end. Two women of distinction fell under his displeasure and into his hands, and were imprisoned. One was the wife of Andres Quintana Roos, a member of the congress of Morelos; the other was the wife of the Corregidor  of Queretaro, Miguel Dominguez, whose fall in 1810 had precipitated the movement of Hidalgo. So the cause of Mexican Independence was not without its women martyrs.

The succeeding Viceroy entered the City of Mexico on the 19th of September, 1816, was Don Juan Ruiz de Apodaca, called by historians "the Unfortunate," whose misfortune seems to have been that he was called upon to administer the government of Mexico for five years at a critical period, when the affairs of Spain were in a hopeless condition at home, and when the cause of Independence in the New World was daily gaining strength, in despite of the loss of its greatest leader, and that he finally succumbed to the adverse circumstances which were all along too strong for him. It must be admitted that when the government first devolved upon Apodaca, the revolution seemed to be crushed. Following upon the death of Morelos were the defeat and surrender of one after another of the revolutionary leaders,—Manuel de Mier y Teran, Ramon Rayon, and Nicolas Bravo. Apodaca was at first disposed to be conciliatory, and some of the Independents accepted his offers of amnesty and laid down their arms. Some exiled themselves and became refugees in foreign lands. Others, however, retired to the mountains, and there "kept alive the sacred fires of Independence and Liberty." Among these was Vicente Guerrero, with whom we shall have more to do hereafter.

To this period belongs an incident not properly connected with the war for Independence, as it was the work of a foreigner, and intended to gratify his love of adventure rather than to better the condition of the Mexicans. Yet it is much lauded by Mexican writers as the most glorious of the pages of their nation's history, and is compared with the most famous exploits of the Spartans. This was the expedition of Mina. Francisco Javier Mina was a Navarrese who had been educated for the bar, but upon the invasion of his country by Napoleon Bonaparte had raised a band of patriots and pursued a sort of irregular warfare in the mountains. He was subsequently placed in command of a province, and went to Madrid. But he was not in accord with Ferdinand VIL, and attempted to incite a revolution. Being foiled, he escaped to England, where he met Mexican refugees, Mier y Teran among them, and arranged with them an expedition to Mexico to aid the cause of the Independents.

In April, 1817, with a small squadron and a handful of men, Mina debarked in Santander, and marched to Soto la Marina. Here he issued a manifesto announcing the re-establishment of the Spanish constitution, and constructed a fort in which to defend himself against the Royalists. He left therein one hundred of his men with artillery; and with the rest of his small army, evading the vigilance of the Royalists, he set out to join the Independent troops concentrated in the Bajio de Guanajuato. In May some of his men deserted. They were Texan colonists, and returned to Texas, and he was left with only three hundred men. The force left at Soto la Marina was compelled to surrender, and among the prisoners taken by the Royalists was Padre Mier. Mina with his scanty troops encountered and defeated a force of seventeen hundred Royalists in the Hacienda de Peotillos, and took four pieces of artillery, together with ammunition and provisions (June 8). The same month he captured the fort of Sombrero, and defeated the Royalists in San Juan de los Llanos, capturing two cannon, five hundred muskets, and many prisoners. At Jaral (in the State of San Luis Potosi) he captured the hacienda belonging to the Marquis of Moncado, and one hundred and forty thousand dollars left behind by the Marquis in his flight.

The Viceroy at last made up his mind that the astonishing stories that reached his ears of the advance of a new revolutionary chief were based upon facts, and awoke to the necessity of taking steps to check the career of this new enemy. He raised an army in l68) ?> Queretaro, and placed it under the command of Linan, and sent him in pursuit of the revolutionary leader. Mina, however, continued to act upon the offensive, and planned an attack upon Leon; but upon its failure he retired to Sombrero, six leagues distant. Linan reinforced his army, advanced to Sombrero, and surrounded the fort.

For nine days Mina and his men were without food or water; but on the 19th of August, 1817, the plucky Navarrese made a sortie, and escaped to San Gregorio with one hundred of his men, the rest of his army being cut to pieces. He was again besieged in San Gregorio, and again cut his way through the Royalist army; and going by way of Bajio he took San Luis de la Paz and the La Luz mines, captured Guanajuato, and mustering some cavalry went to the ranch of Venadito. There he was assaulted on the 27th of October, and after a desperate defense was made prisoner. He was conducted to San Gregorio, and executed on the 11th November, 1817.

The capture of Mina was celebrated at the capital with illuminations and public rejoicings, and gained for the Viceroy the title Conde del Venadito. The same month Rayon and his whole family were taken prisoner at Patambo, and were not released until three years subsequently. The Royalists did not succeed until the early part of the year 1818 in getting final possession of the forts which had been occupied by Mina's men.

The principal revolutionary leader remaining in the country when the year 1818 opened was Vicente Guerrero. He was born of humble parents in Tixtla in the year 1782, and in his youth engaged in agricultural pursuits. He joined the revolutionary army in October, 1810, and the next year fought under Morelos. In 1812 he was already distinguished for his energy and bravery, and likewise for his clemency to the conquered. He saw all the ups and downs of military life, but was never discouraged. In March, 1818, he saw all the revolutionary organizations dispersed and the war apparently at an end; yet in September he gained two victories over the Spanish troops, and the following month was able to collect the scattered revolutionary forces and reorganize the Independents. The next year he carried on a desultory but annoying war, winning about twenty battles of more or less importance.

Coming at the end of a long series of revolutionary movements, although he had made a more modest beginning than any of the others, it was clearly seen by the wiser men of the country, both Spanish and Mexicans, that the movements of Guerrero were to be fraught with greater consequences to New Spain than any of those which had preceded. The state of the Spanish government at home was such as to give no hope whatever that the seeds of revolution could be rooted out in Mexico beyond all danger of their springing up again and finally growing beyond all control. Attention began to be directed to the growth of the tree in the right direction.

The reader is to be introduced here to Agustin de Iturbide, a native of Valladolid (Morelia), the birthplace of Morelos. He was born September 27, 1783, his father being a Spaniard, his mother a Mexican. Before he was sixteen years of age he had been made an officer in the Spanish militia, and he subsequently served in the Royalist army in different parts of the country with such distinction as to secure his promotion to a colonelcy.

His ambition awoke. A glance at the status of affairs in 1820 was sufficient to convince him that there was no hope of maintaining the power of Spain any longer in Mexico. When the liberal constitution was that year proclaimed in Spain it was evident to Iturbide that a crisis was pending in Mexico, and he determined to gain for himself a higher position in the new order of things than the Spanish government could offer, even if it succeeded in maintaining itself. He attached himself to the ecclesiastics and more politic of the Spaniards, Creoles, and Mexican leaders, and after many conferences a program of action was duly adopted, though kept secret for a time. Independence and separation from Spain were to be secured, but by themselves, not by the already existing party of revolutionists, and by the terms of the compact a Mexican representative monarchy was to be erected, ruled by a king of Spanish royal blood. It was a scheme calculated to conciliate all the various factions in the country,—to attract even the staunchest Royalists.

Iturbide took the lead in the matter, secured from the Viceroy command of an expedition against Guerrero (who was then in the South), and in November. 1820, he established his headquarters in Teloloapam, with twenty-five hundred men. He entered forthwith into a correspondence with Guerrero, which resulted in an interview between the two opposing chiefs at Acatempan on the 10th of January, 1821, and the explanation to Guerrero of the plans to secure home rule for Mexico under an imported Spanish king. Guerrero was delighted, and at once ceded the command of the joint forces to Iturbide; and soon what has since been known as the "Plan de Iguala" was published to the world (February 24, 1821). It caused great excitement in Mexico, and gained favor everywhere. Only the immediate followers of the Viceroy were dismayed. And no offers from the Viceroy himself, of pardon, money, or promotion, seduced Iturbide from his purpose.

In vain the Viceroy raised an army of six thousand Royalists and established it on the road between the City of Mexico and Tlalpam for the protection of the capital and as a menace to the forces of Iturbide. Valladolid, Queretaro, and Puebla were captured, and the capital besieged by the army of the new chief. The Spanish cause grew weaker daily, and the Royalists finally began to find fault with the Viceroy, accusing him of incapacity. Apodaca gave up the struggle. Don Francisco Novella, his chief of artillery, then in command of the forces at the capital, was named in his place, and "the Unfortunate" departed for Spain.

Novella did little in the discharge of the vice-regal functions. It was too late to stop the tide of revolution, and the measures he dictated were without result. The Mexican officers who had previously retired from active service again came to the front, and even Spanish Royalists declared themselves in favor of Independence. Santa Anna became prominent in Vera Cruz; Negrete, Cortazar, Filisola, and Bravo are other names connected with this portion of Mexican revolutionary history. The whole country was in the hands of the Independents, Iturbide secured ample means for a successful campaign against the remnant of Spanish rule still left in the country.

Such was the state of affairs when, in July, 1821, there arrived in Mexico Gen. Juan O'Donoju, the sixty-fourth Viceroy and the last. He found things wholly beyond his control, and nothing to do but to acquiesce in the measures dictated by those whom he found in possession of the country he had been sent to govern. He took the oath of office in Vera Cruz.

The Regency and the Empire

Iturbide met the Viceroy at Cordoba on his way to the capital, and the result of their interview was the famous Treaty of Cordoba, embodying the principal points of the Plan de Iguala. By this treaty, signed by O'Donoju on behalf of the Spanish government, Mexico was declared sovereign and independent; a constitutional representative monarchy was created; and Ferdinand VII. was called to be king. To await his arrival in the country and prepare for that event, a provisional government was organized consisting of Antonio Joaquin Perez, Bishop of Puebla, and two associates, Juan Jose Espinosa de los Monteros and Jose Rafael Suarez Pereda. Many conferences were held and letters were exchanged in which the precise form of government to be adopted was discussed and attempts were made to harmonize the various views held by the different Independent leaders. What are known as "las Tres Garantias"  by which the attempt has been made to summarize the movement of Iturbide and his adherents, were adopted. The Empire was to guarantee to the Mexican people the Roman Catholic religion without toleration of any other; the absolute independence of the country; and the equal rights of the native races and the residents of European descent, or Creoles. It is to these three guarantees, "religion, independence, and union," that the three colors of the Mexican flag, red, white, and green, adopted shortly afterwards, owe their origin.

The army of the Independents, numbering sixteen thousand men and headed by Iturbide, entered the capital on the 27th of September, 1821. Iturbide was hailed on all sides as the "Liberator," and a general jubilee attended the close of the war and the establishment of an Independent government. In the street of San Francisco a triumphal arch was erected. Under it the representatives of the city government met Iturbide as he advanced toward the palace and Cathedral, and tendered to him the golden keys of the city. Iturbide returned them with a characteristic speech, saying that the gates of the city should be closed only against irreligion, disunion, and despotism, and that the keys were returned to their rightful custodians in the belief that they would seek only the good of the citizens whom they represented. At the palace the "Liberator" was formally received by O'Donoju and conducted to the Cathedral, where Te Deum  was sung.

In a proclamation to the Mexicans, Iturbide took to himself the credit of having secured the Independence of Mexico by means of a bloodless revolution, thereby claiming superiority over the great leaders who had preceded him and really prepared the way for him. In the temporary organization of the provisional government, taking place the day after the triumphant entry of the Independent army, the members of the governing board took an oath to support the Plan de Iguala and the Treaty of Cordoba.

A Regency was forthwith appointed. It consisted of Agustin de Iturbide as president, Juan O'Donoju, Manuel de la Barcena, Isidro Yanez, and Manuel Velasquez de Leon. O'Donoju died on the 8th of October, and Antonio Joaquin Perez, Bishop of Puebla, was appointed a Regent in his stead. Iturbide, that he might not fail to show his loyalty to the Church, which was such a powerful factor in the Plan de Iguala, conferred the honorary presidency of the Regency upon the Bishop of Puebla, while he assumed the command of the army.

After the enthusiasm with which Iturbide had been popularly greeted upon his entry into Mexico had subsided, and the people had taken time to think, it was seen that Iturbide's plans were not wholly in accord with the views of the more thoughtful of the Mexicans. The people had suffered too much from the Church and its intimate relations to the Spanish government to allow it so much power in the new order of things, and Iturbide was openly committed to the Church. Suspicions arose as to the motives of the "Liberator," and his disinterestedness was largely discredited. A reaction was natural. Advocates of a Republic came forward and developed strength. The Iturbidistas (the partisans of Iturbide) had control of the army and wielded the powerful influence of the clergy. The first Congress of the Mexican nation convened on the 24th of February, 1822,—the first anniversary of the publication of the Plan de Iguala. Its meetings were noisy. Between it and the regency disagreements arose.

As might have been expected, and as was undoubtedly anticipated by Iturbide, Spain totally refused to ratify the Treaty of Cordoba, and denied the right of O'Donoju to sign it And when notice of this refusal reached Mexico, Iturbide was provided with the opportunity to gratify his vaulting ambition. Among his adherents were the army, the clergy, and a few of the Spaniards. He first secured a demonstration in his favor by the army. Pio Marcha, a sergeant in the regiment of Celaya, was the distinguished instrument of this act. It occurred in the cuartel  at San Hipolito on the 18th of May, 1822. Other cuartels  took up the cry, and it was repeated on the streets and finally announced by salvos of artillery. Then, in a turbulent session of Congress, Agustin de Iturbide was elected Emperor of Mexico (May 19, 1823). If we may believe his own account, his election was greeted with unrestrained enthusiasm, and the air was rent with shouts of "Viva el Emperador! Viva Agustin de Iturbide!"

He took the oath of office before the Congress at once, and began without delay to arrange for the succession to the throne, to provide titles for the various members of the Imperial family and other minor accessories of the empire, as well as to organize the government. On the 21st of June, 1822, he was anointed and crowned in the great Cathedral at the capital, assuming the title Agustin I, Emperor. He made the building erected by the Marquesa de San Mateo Valparaiso in the first Calle de San Francisco (now known as the Hotel Iturbide) his residence.

The reign of Agustin I. was brief and full of trouble. He was ruler of an Empire only less in extent than Russia and China, and had reached the height of his ambition; but he soon experienced the uneasiness of the head that wears the crown, especially a crown that has not been carefully fitted to the wearer's head. He tried to strengthen the party upon whose support he principally relied, by the creation of orders of nobility and appointing to them those whom he considered likely to be influenced by such flattery. He tried to destroy the opposition to him (composed of the old revolutionary leaders, for the most part, who wished either to have the Plan de Iguala explicitly executed or else the adoption of a Republic) by the imprisonment of some of the members of Congress who most freely expressed themselves regarding him. But all this was to no purpose.

It was not for the personal aggrandizement of Iturbide that such valuable lives as those of Hidalgo, Allende, Aldama, Morelos, Matamoras, and hundreds of other patriots had been sacrificed, and blood had been spilt by others in the great struggle that had just closed. The survivors of that struggle determined that they would not permit him to reap all the benefits of the Independence. They decided to assist in the plans of those who labored for the establishment of a Republic.

When, in December, 1822, the opposition to the Empire had grown to such proportions that it became an open rebellion, headed by General Santa Anna, and assumed the definite shape of the Plan de Casa Mata, and was actively supported by such revolutionary chiefs as Bravo and Guerrero, Iturbide was without the means of suppressing the outbreak, and suddenly became aware that his popularity had subsided. He had been for a while the idol of the people; he was now made to feel that he was their enemy, and that there was no way open for him but to abdicate. His Empire was reduced in extent to the City of Mexico. He recalled Congress, after having dismissed it because it was beyond his control, and on the 20th of March, 1823, tendered his resignation.

But Congress promptly refused to accept it, on the ground that it had never voluntarily elected him Emperor. But it just as promptly ignored him altogether, and formed a provisional government, called the Poder Ejecutivo (Executive Power), composed of four revolutionary chiefs, Nicolas Bravo, Guadalupe Victoria, General Negrete, and Vicente Guerrero. The Poder Ejecutivo, in recognition of the valuable services rendered to the country by Iturbide, granted him an annual pension of $25,000 on condition of his fixing his residence in Italy. The Plan de Iguala and the Treaty of Cordoba were declared insufficient bases of government, and were abrogated as standing in the way of the free exercise of the power of the Mexicans to establish a Republic.

Iturbide, on leaving the capital, published a valedictory proclamation to Congress, attempting to explain his conduct, and expressing his hopes that the Mexicans might be happy under the proposed new form of government. After some delay, he embarked in May, 1823, with his family, at Vera Cruz, in an English vessel, and took up his residence in Italy.

Thus ended the First Mexican Empire. The fate of the ambitious Iturbide, whose previous career had been so brilliant, was sad indeed. From his home in Italy he closely watched Mexican affairs. There was still left in Mexico a party favorable to the re-establishment of an Empire. There were many who were warmly attached to the ex-Emperor, personally; for with all his egotism and selfish ambition he appears to have been personally very attractive. With these partisans and friends he was in constant correspondence. But he was misled as to the strength of the monarchical party and as to the true trend of political events at his old home. That the government succeeding his was unstable, he was correctly informed; but that there was a tendency toward monarchy, or that the way was open for him to return to his abandoned throne and former popularity, was untrue.

Still, he yielded to the reports and to his own inclinations, and leaving Italy took up his residence in London. Thence he sent warnings to the Mexican government of the scheme of the Holy Alliance to restore Spanish rule in Mexico, and offered his services to his country. Believing that he had thus opened the way for his return, he set out from Southampton, and on the 14th of July, 1824, he suddenly appeared with a part of his family in Soto la Marina. The Mexican commander of Tamaulipas invited him to land, and then informed him that he had but a few hours to live; that Congress had passed a decree the previous April (upon receiving news, through his letter of warning, of his having left Italy), declaring him a traitor and pronouncing sentence of death upon him should he return to Mexico. In a special session, the legislature of Tamaulipas discussed the advisability of carrying out this extraordinary sentence, and finally decreed that the execution of Iturbide should take place.

Five days after his landing he was taken to Padilla, and executed in front of the church at that place. He met death with heroism, for though a weak sovereign he was a brave soldier. In his last words he disclaimed the treasonable designs imputed to him, and exhorted the Mexicans to observe their religion, maintain the peace, and obey the laws of their country. His body was first buried in the old church at Padilla. In 1838 it was removed to the Cathedral in the City of Mexico and placed in the Chapel of San Felipe de Jesus in the west transept. Upon the sarcophagus enclosing his bones, he is called "the Liberator." Thus the Imperial title he had assumed was ignored, but the actual services rendered to his country were duly recognized.

Under the Poder Ejecutivo, Congress was reassembled, and a constitution was adopted establishing a republican form of government somewhat after the model of the United States. It was proclaimed October 4, 1824, and is known as the Constitution of 1824. It was an important factor in the subsequent war of Texan Independence. An election was duly held, and with the inauguration of the first President of Mexico, on the 10th of October, 1824, the Poder Ejecutivo ceased, and the history of Los Estados Unidos Mexicanos, or La Republica Mextcana  (its literary title) begins.

Contemporaneously, or nearly so, with the events narrated in the last two chapters, the Spanish provinces in South America,—Venezuela, New Granada, and Peru,—by a revolution headed by Simon Bolivar, threw off the yoke of Spain; and Guatemala (never a part of New Spain and only voluntarily united with the Mexican Empire in 1822) severed its connection with Mexico, and set up a separate, independent Republic. All the Spanish American countries were therefore the subject of the attention of the United States, and of the European powers.

The United States had recognized the independence of Mexico in 1822, and were resolved to secure its recognition by the European nations. In the message of President Monroe to Congress in December, 1823, were declarations to the following effect: The American continents, by the free and independent condition they had assumed and maintained, were no longer to be considered subjects for colonization by European powers; any attempt on the part of European powers to extend their political systems to the Western Hemisphere would be considered dangerous to the peace and safety of the United States; any interposition by such powers to oppress or control the governments that had declared their independence and maintained it, and whose independence had been acknowledged by the United States, would be viewed as acts unfriendly to the United States; the political systems of Europe could not be extended to any portion of the American continents without endangering the peace and happiness of the United States, and such extension would not be regarded with indifference.

This is the famous "Monroe Doctrine" to which appeal is made whenever a conflict between European and American interests on this continent is threatened. It had its rise in the events already described, and within half a century after its promulgation an occasion arose in Mexico for the assertion of that portion of the doctrine relating to foreign intervention in the affairs of free governments established on this continent. The occasion will receive due attention when we come to examine the affairs of the country in the time of the Second Empire.

There seems to have been at no time a perfect understanding on the part of the United States of the political condition of Mexico; but the older Republic could be relied upon to sympathize with a country having, by whatever means, secured its independence, and without examining too closely into the character of the government. It was no less ready to recognize the Mexican Republic than it has been to recognize the Empire. The declaration contained in the message of President Monroe was especially gratifying to England, whose minister of foreign affairs had long been urging upon the United States the necessity of promulgating some such doctrine. The news of it, when received in Europe, was doubtless effectual in preventing Spain from making, at the time, any further effort to reclaim her revolted provinces in America.

Early Republic and the Revolt of Texas

Mexican politics, always a bewildering study, was by no means simplified by the adoption of a Republican form of government. It would be impossible to condense the political history of the Republica Mexicana  and at the same time render it intelligible. It would likewise be unprofitable to submit a detailed account of the rise and fall of the various factions that have in turn ruled the country. At most periods of its existence, but more particularly throughout its attempts to maintain a Republic, Mexico has deserved the reputation it has had in the world for revolutions, unstable government, and frequent political changes. But while almost any one of the numberless political intrigues which mark the course of its history might furnish a plot for a thrilling historical novel, there are comparatively few events of more than local interest to be recorded. These will be duly set down in their proper places. The rest of the history of the pseudo-republic (for in view of the facts which must be recorded here, it is entitled to no fuller recognition as a Republic) need consist of no more than the briefest accounts of the changes that have taken place in the administration of federal affairs.

By the provisions of the Constitution, the presidential term was to continue four years, and no President was eligible to immediate re-election. It may be with some surprise that the reader learns, in this early chapter of the history of the United States of Mexico, that so little heed was given to constitutional provisions that there were nine changes in the administration within the first decade;  and this is to earnest of what is to be noted throughout the subsequent history. The reader who would be interested in knowing in every case who is the constitutional President (for the term is used long after the thing expressed by that term has disappeared from view) is doomed to disappointment. This book will make no effort to unravel such skeins. It can only adopt as the basis of its narrative the succession of the Presidents de facto. Many a name on the list furnished us of the Presidents of Mexico is that of a man .who has reached that high position by virtue of a successful pronunciamento, or a golpe de estado, which means the forcible setting aside of the Constitution when found to be in the way of an aspirant to high office. If precedent is of any value in Mexico, there is certainly no reason why the right of any of the later Presidents should be questioned.

The first President of Mexico under the Constitution was the famous revolutionary General, Guadalupe Victoria, inaugurated in October, 1824. His real name was Felix Fernandez, his political or historical name having been adopted out of respect for the great religious patron of Mexico, Our Lady of Guadalupe (thus acquiring for himself religious prestige), and in reference to the success that had attended all the battles in which he was engaged throughout the Revolution. He was an excellent man, despite his appearance in history under an alias. In proof of the honesty of his administration it is related of him that he died poor, shortly after the close of his term of office, leaving his widow to the nation's care. He was one of the few who were permitted to complete their full terms of office.

His Vice-President was Gen. Nicolas Bravo, who was not fully in accord with his chief, as we shall see. It was by no means a peaceful term. The President was called upon to put down two revolutions. The first was headed by Padre Arenas, a Dominican friar, and was designed to re-establish Spanish rule. Its leaders were summarily dealt with. The second was headed by a man named Montano, and involved in it was no less a person than the Vice-President, Nicolas Bravo. It had for its objects the expulsion of the Spanish residents of Mexico, the recall of the ambassador from the United States, the removal of Manuel Gomez Pedraza, the Minister of War and virtual chief of the cabinet, and the extinction of Freemasonry, which was a powerful factor in politics. The revolution was put down by troops under General Guerrero, and resulted in the banishment of Bravo and other distinguished personages.

It was in the first presidential term that the Spanish government lost its last foothold in America. It had up to this time maintained a garrison in San Joan de Ulua off Vera Cruz. It abandoned this position in 1825. It was in that year that the Republic received the recognition of England and the United States.

The principal parties taking part in the election of 1828 were the Yorkinos and the Escoceses. The first was composed of the adherents of the York rite, and the Federalists, who called themselves "High Liberals." The others called themselves Moderates, Conservatives, and Centralists, and comprised the adherents of the Scottish rite. Freemasonry had played an active part in the drama of Independence, but there was an evident schism in Freemasonry, while the whole order was under the ban of the adherents of the Church. The Escoceses, aided by the Spanish residents, elected their candidate for the presidency, Gen. Manuel Gomez Pedraza; but the Yorkinos made an appeal, first to the legislature, and failing there, then to that most powerful factor in Mexican politics,—arms. This changed the whole course of Mexican history, and from that time until 1846 the succession of Presidents was not dependent upon elections. Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna inspired a revolution in Perote, which soon spread to the capital. The city was sacked and a terrible scene of carnage ensued, from which the President-elect, Pedraza, saved himself by flight. It was amid such scenes as these that the term of Guadalupe Victoria expired. On the 12th of January, 1829, Congress declared the election of Pedraza null and void, and elected Gen. Vicente Guerrero, the candidate of the Yorkinos, or high liberals, President, with Gen. Anastasio Bustamante, as Vice-President.

The old revolutionary hero, Guerrero, now for a short time at the head of the government, found himself once more in conflict with the Spaniards. The Spanish residents of the country had taken such a prominent and influential part in the politics of Mexico (and were besides of the Escoceses or Conservative party) that Congress decided, in March, 1829, that the Spaniards must go. They were accordingly expelled from the country. This precipitated a long-meditated scheme on the part of Spain, who still entertained the idea that it was possible to regain her lost provinces in America by conquest. With that end in view a squadron was prepared in Habana and sent out to Mexico. In July, 1829, about 4,000 men debarked near Tampico, and proceeded to capture that city on the 4th of August. Thereupon Gen. Santa Anna, without awaiting orders from the government, fitted out an expedition, and after a series of skirmishes and a few pitched battles, being joined by Gen. Manuel Mier y Teran with regular forces of the Republic, gained a decided victory, and drove the Spanish to their ships on the 11th of September, and they returned to Cuba. It was not until 1836 that Spain recognized the Independence of Mexico, though she made no further attempts at conquest.

Scarcely had the Spanish invaders been repulsed, when Guerrero found himself opposed by the officers of his own administration. The Vice-President, Gen. Bustamante, had been in command of a force of reserves in Jalapa in the campaign against the Spanish, and upon the retiring of the invaders "pronounced" against the government, setting forth the Plan de Jalapa. Guerrero set out with an army from the capital, in December, 1829, to put down this rebellion, leaving the administration of affairs in the hands of Don Jose Maria de Bocenegra, as Acting-President.

Guerrero was over-trustful of Bocenegra and his influence with the troops at the capital. No sooner had he left the city than he discovered that he had enemies behind him as well as before him, and that both Bustamante and Bocenegra were powerful leaders. His troops deserted him for Bocenegra, and he abandoned his expedition and went into the South; and thus, in less than a year, his presidency came to an end. Bocenegra maintained himself even a shorter time, for Bustamante succeeded in reaching the capital; but pending the full establishment of his government, the President of the Supreme Court of Justice, Don Pedro Velez, took charge of the office, associating with himself Gen. Luis Quintana and the historian Don Lucas Alaman. Though this governing board accomplished little, the names of the constituents are placed in the list of Mexican Presidents as succeeding Bocenegra.

On the 1st of January, 1830, Gen. Anastasio Bustamante was inaugurated as President,—not without some shadow of right, it might be said; for in view of the virtual abdication of Guerrero, he was, as Vice-President, entitled to succeed,—of course not examining too closely into the manner in which the vacancy in the presidency had occurred. The affairs of the country were principally administered by the Minister of Relations, or Secretary of State, Lucas Alaman. Congress was very accommodating, and passed enabling acts, declaring Guerrero's government extinct, and the succession of Bustamante legal.

In a brief season of peace the new government advanced many good measures. After that, the usual number of revolutions broke out, and were successively put down, and their leaders punished. One of these was headed by Guerrero, and was designed to restore him to power. The government took alarm at the promised success of his movements, and a dastardly plot was formed for the destruction of this gallant revolutionary chief. A Genoese captain of a brigantine was paid $70,000 to carry out the scheme, and sailed for Acapulco, where Guerrero was staying. The unsuspecting Guerrero was invited to dine on board the vessel, and accepted. After dinner he was made prisoner, taken by the vessel to Huatulco, and delivered into the hands of his enemies. He was subjected to the mockery of a trial, condemned, and on the 14th of February, 1831, was shot in the town of Cuilapa. His body was buried in the Panteon de San Fernando, in the capital; and in the Plaza of San Fernando stands a bronze Statue of this heroic friend of the Mexican people.

It is not surprising that such a cruel and cowardly act as the slaying of Guerrero should hasten the downfall of the government which had inspired it. The execrations of the people fell most heavily upon the Minister of War, Don Jose Antonio Facio, who was supposed to be responsible for the plot against Guerrero. In January, 1832, Santa Anna headed a revolution in Vera Cruz in favor of the Conservatives; and though Bustamante personally led the troops against the insurgents, the latter gained one victory after another, and finally, in November, defeated Bustamante in Casa Blanca, and brought his administration to an inglorious end. Gen. Melchor Muzquiz was appointed Acting-President by Congress on the 14th of August.

Meanwhile Gen. Manuel Gomez Pedraza had returned to the Republic from his exile, and basing his claims upon his election in 1828, but more particularly upon the ascendency gained by his partisans, the Conservatives, seated himself in the presidential chair on the 24th of December, 1832, and held office until a new election could be had. This election resulted in the choice of Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna as President. He at once evinced a tendency to assume dictatorial powers, and to complicate himself with the Church party. He was no less a keen observer of popular events than he was shrewd in intrigue and indomitable in conflict; and noting the fact that his acts were unpopular, he abandoned the presidency and retired to his hacienda of Mango de Clavo, on the road between Vera Cruz and Jalapa, leaving his Vice-President, Don Valentin Gomez Farias, to handle the reins of government and to bear the brunt of the popular odium aroused by his own acts.

Gomez Farias was a man of more than the average ability. He was a native of Guadalajara, born in 1781. He was largely self-taught, and was skilled in medicine and science. He sacrificed his fortune for the cause of Independence, and organized a battalion in the army of Hidalgo. He was a deputy in the first Congress of the Republic, and subsequently organized the State of Zacatecas. When left to bear the burden of the affairs of the nation at such a critical time, he instituted some very wise reforms, beginning with the University of which he was the head, excluding the clergy from teaching in educational institutions supported by national funds. He abolished the system of tithes for the support of ecclesiastical institutions (the first blow aimed at the Church, but afterwards annulled by Santa Anna, who was inclined to coquet with the Church); denied the right of civil courts to maintain the binding force of the monastic vow, thus leaving members of religious orders free to abandon their convents; expelled the Spanish refugees and monks who had flocked to Mexico from Guatemala and Central America; and consigned Bustamante to exile. He was called upon to put down an insurrection, in May, 1833, which made Santa Anna a prisoner. But the indomitable schemer made his escape, presented himself in Puebla, organized resistance to the insurgents, and defeated them in Guanajuato.

The retirement of Santa Anna to his hacienda always augured some new political mischief in which he was to be the leader. It was in this case the plan called "Cuernavaca" whereby Santa Anna was to resume the presidency and assume the dictatorship. A so-called "Constitutional" Congress, installed on the 4th of January, 1835, and manipulated by Santa Anna, refused to recognize Farias, assumed the power to revise the Constitution of 1824, and selected a new President. Accordingly, on the 28th of January, 1835, Gen. Miguel Barragan became Acting-President of the Republic.

The administration of Barragan brings to notice a series of events demanding especial attention, and leading to the independence of Texas and the material reduction of the territory of the Mexican Republic. To this subject, American histories have done scant justice. It is unfortunate that the opportunity here afforded is only to treat it in its bearings upon the history of Mexico. Before the Texans secured their independence, another change occurred in the administration of the Mexican government. Acting-President Barragan died in February, 1836, of a fever, and Don Jose Justo Corro was appointed Acting-President in his place, holding the office until the 19th of April, 1837.

Texas claims scarcely any notice from the historians either of our country or of Mexico until the present century. In 1803 the United States purchased of France a large territory, known as Louisiana, and said to extend from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains, and from the British Possessions on the north to Mexico on the south. Some part, perhaps the whole, of what is now the State of Texas may have been included in this purchase; for Texas had been the subject of rival claims from the time when the French explorer, La Salle, descended the Mississippi River in 1684, and at its mouth took possession, in the name of his king, Louis XIV, of the entire region whence that mighty river derived its waters. Two years later, he set out to explore the country; and French missionaries, following in his track westward, came in contact with Spanish missionaries advancing northward from the City of Mexico. In 1762 France gave up Louisiana to Spain; but forty years later, Spain returned it to Napoleon Bonaparte, then First Consul of France, and he, without taking formal possession, sold it the following year, as we have seen, to the United States. As soon as it was understood that Texas was in the possession of the United States, colonization from the States east of the Mississippi began, and within fifteen years there were nearly ten thousand white people settled there.

But in the year 1819 the residents of Texas awoke one morning to learn that the United States, in purchasing Florida from Spain, had given up Texas to that country in part payment therefor. They had supposed (they stated in a vigorous protest made to the government at Washington) themselves safe under the protection of the government of the United States, and now they found themselves suddenly "abandoned to the dominion of the crown of Spain, and left a prey to all those exactions which Spanish rapacity is fertile in devising," by a treaty to which they were no party. Their protest was, of course, in vain.

In 1821 Moses Austin, a native of Connecticut, but who had become a Spanish subject by residence in New Orleans while that city was under Spanish rule, obtained from the Spanish Viceroy in Mexico, Juan Ruiz de Apodaca, "the Unfortunate," a grant of a large tract of land having a frontage of one hundred miles along the Gulf coast, and extending a greater distance into the interior of Texas. He was to induce three hundred families to colonize there and develop the country. Each family was to receive a square league of land, and for every hundred families he succeeded in colonizing, Austin was to receive a snug little farm of five square leagues. Moses Austin died in less than five months after obtaining this grant, leaving Stephen F. Austin, his son, to carry out his schemes for colonization.

It was two months after he had signed the contract with Austin that the career in Mexico of Apodaca "the Unfortunate" closed. In the preceding pages the reader has seen the changes which took place in rapid succession in "the party of the first part" in that transaction, from a tottering colonial government to a weak Empire, and then to an unstable Republic. When, upon the death of his father, Stephen F. Austin went to the City of Mexico to obtain a confirmation of the grant, the government was in its transition state from the Empire to the Republic. It required months of negotiations to obtain what he wanted. In the course of these negotiations he received the title of "Empresario" (from the Spanish empresa, an enterprise), and was vested with civil jurisdiction over his colonists.

Returning to Texas, Austin set out with energy to accomplish the difficult task he had undertaken. He laid out the town—now the capital of the State and bearing his name—then known as San Felipe de Austin. In 1825, having fully complied with the terms of the original contract, he obtained a second grant, and in 1827 and 1828 he secured yet others. He was thus the means of introducing over fifteen hundred colonists into the country. There were rival empresarios by this time, and one of them got into trouble with the Mexican government, and led his colonists to declare their independence and organize the "State of Fredonia," intending to include nearly the whole of Texas. This came near involving all the colonists in war with Mexico, which must have proved disastrous to Austin's colonies as well as the others. But Austin's colonists proved their loyalty to Mexico by aiding in putting down the rebellion.

In 1830 the white population of Texas was estimated at forty thousand; but instead of being provided with a separate State government, the Texans were within the jurisdiction of the State of Coahuila (south of the Rio Grande and peopled entirely by Mexicans). It was in that year that the tyrannous rule of Bustamante began in Mexico. His attitude toward the colonists was far from encouraging. He repealed laws by which they had been protected, forbade citizens of the United States to hold lands in Mexico, and, worst of all, to enforce his new laws he stationed troops at various points in Texas, and built forts at the most thriving towns of the colonists. He also extended the jurisdiction of his military courts over Texas in the place of the civil authority conferred upon the empresarios.

The colonists were not the kind of men to submit tamely to such tyranny, and to all these measures of Bustamante they opposed themselves most vigorously. An encounter took place at Fort Velasco, one of the forts built by Bustamante, and garrisoned by over two hundred Mexicans. After an engagement lasting eleven hours the Mexicans were forced to surrender, and were disarmed by a body of Texas volunteers (June, 1832). Nacogdoches was likewise taken by the Texans, and thus the clouds of war blew over for a time. But it was deemed best on the part of the Texans that their country, having a population composed almost wholly of Americans, should be separated from Coahuila, and erected into a distinct State. A constitution was accordingly prepared, in form resembling that of most of our States, though of course adapted to Mexican laws; and Stephen F. Austin was sent to the City of Mexico to petition for the erection of Texas into a State.

Gomez Farias was at the head of affairs at the time, and Austin found him unfriendly to the cause of Texas. After long and tedious delays, Austin wrote to the Texans advising them to organize "a local government for Texas as a State of the Mexican Confederation, under the law of the 7th of May, 1824, even should the Mexican government finally refuse its consent," and soon afterwards set out on his return to Texas. His letter fell into the hands of Farias, who fancied he saw treason therein. Austin was overtaken and carried back to the Mexican capital a prisoner. For nearly two years he remained a prisoner, a part of the time in solitary confinement. He was finally allowed to return to his home, in September, 1835. Besides this insult to a commissioner sent to treat with the Mexican government upon matters pertaining to the welfare of his State, other grounds were furnished for the revolt of Texas.

Santa Anna, at the head of the army of Barragan, in April, 1835, set out to reduce certain rebellious districts to submission, and while avowing the strongest friendship for Texas, began to make inroads upon the rights and liberties of the colonists. The inhabitants of the town of Goliad were disarmed, many were impressed into his army, and finally notice was given that Mexican troops were to be quartered upon the town. A spirit of resistance to such acts of despotism grew up in Texas. It needed but one more decisive act of tyranny to bring on the trouble that had long been threatening.

Late in September, 18355, an armed force of one hundred and fifty Mexicans was sent to Gonzales to secure a cannon used by the inhabitants of that town to defend themselves against the attacks of the Indians. A company of Texan volunteers, at first only eighteen in number, but increased to about one hundred and sixty in the course of a day or two, met the Mexicans, and after deciding to take the initiative in the war then clearly seen to be pending, drove them back (Oct 2, 1835). This was to Texas what Concord and Lexington were to the United States. The whole country arose. The Texans rallied around the little company at Gonzales; it grew into a regiment, elected officers, and was the nucleus of the army that fought for and won the Independence of Texas. A few days later, fifty Texans attacked and captured the Mexican garrison at Goliad, took twenty-five prisoners, and arms and military stores to the value of $10,000, and in a few weeks the forts on the Nueces River fell into the hands of the Texans.

In November, 1835, some of the leading Texans met in council and adopted a declaration which admirably expressed the relations existing between the Texan colonies and the Mexican government. It stated that the federal institutions of Mexico had been overthrown, and the social compact existing between Texas and the other members of the Mexican confederacy dissolved; the people of Texas, availing themselves of their natural rights, had taken up arms in defense of their homes and liberties, both threatened by the encroachments of military despots, and also in defense of the Mexican Constitution of 1824, so rudely set aside by the Congress of 1835, which under Santa Anna's manipulation had seated Barragan. Support was offered to such Mexican States as would take up arms against military despotism. The right of the then nominal authorities of Mexico to govern Texas was denied. War was declared against the usurpers of the Mexican government so long as their troops remained in Texas, and the right of Texas to withdraw from the Union during the disorganization of the federal system and the reign of despotism was stoutly maintained. And having assumed this manly position, the Texans formed a temporary government, elected a governor, appointed Gen. Sam Houston commander-in-chief of their army to be raised, and sent Austin to the United States to secure aid for them in the struggle then begun and likely to be prolonged.

The army of which General Houston was thus appointed commander never numbered more than ten thousand men, was never well organized nor well equipped. The arms were mostly rifles and hunting-knives, and written history has never done full justice to the events following the Texans' declaration of war. The wresting of their territory from a nation having a population of eight millions and an excellent standing army, and the establishment of a republic of their own in the face of many obstacles, belong properly to the history of our own country, and are entitled to a high and honorable place therein.

The town of San Antonio had been occupied and fortified by Mexican troops under Gen. Martin Cos, sent by Santa Anna to restrain the rising spirit of independence in Texas. On the 5th of December, 1835, the place was assaulted and taken by about three hundred Texans. By the terms of their surrender the Mexicans were to retire beyond the Rio Grande and not to oppose in any way the re-establishment of the Constitution of 1824.

In his efforts to obtain aid from the United States, Austin found that it would be necessary for the Texans to declare their independence definitively. This was accordingly done on the 2nd of March, 1836. A Constitution was likewise prepared and adopted, and the Republic of Texas began its existence. Upon the very first page of its history is recorded one of the most heroic incidents of modern times.

Santa Anna was himself advancing upon Texas with an army, intending to subjugate the new Republic. In February, 1836, he arrived with one division of his army before San Antonio. Col, W. B. Travis, a young Texan officer, with about one hundred and fifty men, withdrew to the Alamo, a mission located there in 1744 and named after the Cottonwood trees growing in the vicinity. It had ceased to be used as a parish church in 1793 and since that time had become the Fortress of San Antonio.

The events then about to transpire within the walls of the old Spanish mission made "the Alamo" the battle-cry in the war of Texas Independence, and have given the name of "The Alamo City" to San Antonio, the flourishing metropolis of Western Texas. Travis had fourteen cannons of different sizes, and he raised the flag of the temporary government of Texas,—the Mexican colors, red, white, and green, with the figures "1824" in place of the Mexican Eagle on the white stripe. Santa Anna in person conducted the siege of the Alamo. In sending for reinforcements (which never came) Travis wrote, "I shall never surrender or retreat;" and upon the tenth day of the siege, when he wrote to hasten the reinforcements, he stated that he was surrounded by a force variously estimated at from fifteen hundred to six thousand men. Cannon-balls were falling among his men all the time, yet he was prepared to hold the place against the enemy until relief came, or perish in its defense. He kept his word. To those within the fortress he announced the desperate position they were all in, but declared his intention to sell his life as dearly as possible. Almost to a man they agreed to stand by him.

It was at four o'clock in the morning of Sunday, March 6, that the final assault was made and the Alamo fell into the hands of Santa Anna. But the little band fought to the last. Travis fell early in the action, sabered by a Mexican, but not before he had plunged his own sword into the body of his antagonist, both dying at the same time. It had been agreed that when the whole case seemed utterly hopeless to the garrison a match was to be applied to the powder magazine. The Texan appointed to perform this final act was killed with the match in his hand. The whole garrison was put to the sword. Of the brave defenders of the Alamo not one was spared. "Thermopylae had her messengers of defeat, but the Alamo had none."

The same month another fearful tragedy was enacted at Goliad. In the advance of the other division of the Mexican army, San Patricio had fallen into the hands of the Mexicans, and two separate bodies of Texans had been attacked and badly routed. Col. James W, Fannin, in command of four hundred men at Goliad, deemed it necessary to evacuate that place and hasten to Victoria. On the way, at Colita, he encountered the Mexicans, and a fight ensued, lasting all day and resulting in a loss of fourteen Texans killed, and sixty (including Fannin) wounded.

In the night the Mexicans received reinforcements, and when morning dawned the Texans found themselves completely surrounded, and with no course open but to surrender on the best terms they could make. The terms accepted were these: they were to be treated as prisoners of war, according to the usages of civilized nations;  . . . they were to be sent to Copano, and thence, in eight days, to the United States, the officers on parole. Upon being taken back to Goliad they were joined by a party sent out from that place, which had also fallen into the hands of the Mexicans. On the morning of Palm Sunday, March 27, they were all taken out under pretext of starting on their journey home, and every one of them was shot.

This is what a Mexican officer in Goliad wrote to a friend at home: "At six o'clock this morning the execution of 412 American prisoners was begun, and continued until eight o'clock, when the last of the number was shot. At eleven began the operation of burning their bodies. . . . They were all young men (the oldest not more than thirty) and of fine, florid complexions."

Houston had with him near Gonzales less than four hundred raw recruits when he learned of the massacre of the Alamo garrison, and at the same time that three thousand Mexicans were in pursuit of him under the command of Santa Anna himself. Retreating before this overwhelming force, the Texan soldiers had to take the families of the colonists along with them; for to escape butchery at the hands of the Mexicans they were willing to suffer death by any other means. On the retreat, the news of the slaughter of Fannin and his men reached the Texan commander, and he felt that the time had come to decide the fate of the new Republic. The brave words of Travis at the Alamo inspired him to similar utterances. "If only three hundred men remain with me," he said, "I shall die with them or conquer our enemies." He gathered up all the available troops, and then had less than seventy cavalry, about seven hundred infantry, and two small pieces of artillery. Upon reviewing this meager army, Houston remarked, "With these we must conquer or die."

The decisive battle was fought on the banks of the San Jacinto River on the 21st of April, 1836. It secured to the Texans the object of all their struggles. Opposed to them were fifteen hundred Mexicans under General Cos, despite his parole upon his capture at San Antonio the year before. The Texans lost eight killed and seventeen wounded. The Mexicans lost officers of every rank, and over six hundred privates killed and two hundred wounded. Seven hundred Mexicans fell into the hands of the Texans as prisoners, and among them were Santa Anna and his staff. Santa Anna acknowledged the Independence of Texas, and was after a time allowed his liberty, and going first to the United States, eventually returned to Mexico. His subsequent plea in regard to Texas was that his acknowledgment of its independence had been extorted from him under duress of imprisonment.

The Independence of Texas thus secured, the Republic was recognized by the United States, France, England, and Belgium. For eight years it maintained its separate existence, coming into the American Union in 1844 as the twenty-eighth State.

More Revolutions and War with the United States

Surprising as it may at first seem,—though nothing that occurs in Mexican history should occasion surprise,—in the year 1837 Acting- President Corro was succeeded by Gen. Anastasio Bustamante, who, returning from his exile, became President of Mexico for the second time by the election of Congress. Belonging to a party opposed to Gomez Farias, he set out to reverse many of the acts performed by that eminent publicist.

Trouble with France was the first important event of his second administration. It grew out of an exorbitant claim made by France upon Mexico, sarcastically termed in history "the Pie claim" (reclamacion de los pasteles). The whole claim amounted to six hundred thousand dollars, and was based upon alleged damages to French citizens during the Mexican civil wars. One tenth the amount was claimed by a French chef  for pies  stolen by the revolutionists; hence the term, at first humorously applied, but finally adopted in sober history and even used in official documents. To enforce the payment of this "pie claim," the Mexican ports were declared blockaded, a squadron arrived off Vera Cruz under the Prince de Joinville, and that city was bombarded the 27th of November, 1838. The Mexicans themselves destroyed the forts, and to the number of six hundred perished in the ruins.

Santa Anna had returned from the United States, and having hid his disgrace for a while in his hacienda, now came forth to defend Vera Cruz from the new enemy; and finally, on the 5th of December, 1837, defeated the French in a well-fought battle, in which he lost a leg,—but he regained his popularity. The cause of the war was subsequently settled by the payment of the French claim in full.

The adoption of a new Constitution caused various revolutions throughout the country. But they were successively put down. One of them was headed by Gen. Jose Antonio Mejia, a personal enemy of Santa Anna, noted for his bravery and honor. He fell into the hands of his enemy on the 3rd of May, 1839. When he inquired what disposition was to be made of him, he was told that he was to be shot within three hours. "If Gen. Santa Anna had fallen into my hands," he replied, "I would have given him as many minutes." Another of these revolutions had for its object the establishment of a Sierra Madre Republic.

In August, 1840, Don Jose Maria Gutierrez de Estrada, a statesman, resigned his position under the government and wrote an open letter to the President, pointing out the absolute failure of the Republic to maintain itself and provide good government for the Mexican people, and proposing that the republican form of government be abandoned, and in its place an Empire be established with a European prince at its head. Gutierrez de Estrada paid for his temerity by going into exile, but his famous letter was the initial act in the drama which closed with the execution of Maximilian in 1867.

Other revolutions sprang up, and these would not "down at the bidding" of Bustamante and his partisans. Finally, in September, 1841, the party of Santa Anna regained power, and Bustamante departed for Europe. He left the government in the hands of Don Javier Echeverria, who, under the new Constitution was President of the Council, or virtual Vice-President. By the "Plan de Tacubaya," by which name the revolution that had deposed Bustamante is known, Echeverria was superseded within a few days by Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna as Provisional President. But rather than leave the seclusion of his hacienda, Santa Anna preferred to place public affairs in the hands of Gen. Nicolas Bravo, and Don Valentin Canalizo, who executed the mandates of the Provisional President during his absence from the capital.

Bravo manipulated matters with great skill in behalf of his chief, dissolved Congress, and established a Junta de Notables, which decreed, on the 12th of June, 1843, a new Constitution, known as "Bases organicas,"  centralizing the government. The elections held under this arrangement bestowed upon Santa Anna the presidency unconditionally. But the absolutism of the President called forth vehement speeches all over the country, and the result was a new crop of revolutions. They sprang up everywhere. While Santa Anna was engaged in quelling an insurrection in Guadalajara, and Canalizo was in charge of affairs at the capital, a popular movement was so far successful in the latter city (December 6, 1844) as to obtain the imprisonment of Canalizo and his Minister of War. When Santa Anna returned to the capital he found it fully occupied by armed opponents of his despotic government. After an unsuccessful attack upon Puebla, and the desertion of his troops, he set out for the coast, intending to leave the country. He was captured in Jico and imprisoned in Perote, but was subsequently pardoned and permitted to leave the country. He spent his exile in Cuba.

It was the movement headed by Gen. Mariano Paredes y Arrillaga, that produced this overthrow of Santa Anna and his government; and upon the imprisonment of Canalizo, Gen. Jose Joaquin de Herrera, President of the Council, entered upon the discharge of the duties of President, and held the office for about a year. His brief administration marks the beginning of the war with the United States, and was brought to a close by the pronunciamento of General Paredes, then in San Luis Potosi, on his way to engage Gen. Zachary Taylor, advancing with the American army from the North.

Gen. Mariano Paredes y Arrillaga returned with his troops to the capital, and the day after his arrival (January 3, 1846) was declared President. But he was able to maintain his position only about six months. He developed most remarkable monarchical tendencies, and aided by the Spanish ambassador, published a paper, "El Tiempo"  suggesting a monarchy as alone able to withstand the threatened encroachments of the Americans. A revolution, breaking out in Guadalajara in May, brought his administration of affairs to a close; for no sooner had he marched against the insurgents in Guadalajara, than Congress installed Gen. Nicolas Bravo as President ad interim  (July 29, 1846). But another revolution broke out in the capital the next month, and Bravo was displaced by Gen. Mariano Salas, who succeeded in reconciling the various parties in view of the impending dangers from the American invasion. He re-established the Constitution of 1824, organized the national army, and convened Congress for the purpose of obtaining a new election. He also caused the return of Santa Anna from his exile, as a man who could be relied upon to cope with the military emergencies that had arisen. He procured the arrest and imprisonment of Paredes.

When Congress held its election, it resulted in the choice of Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna for President (Dec. 6, 1846). The President, however, went at once to the seat of war, leaving, as before, his Vice-President, Don Valentin Gomez Farias, to administer the presidential office. And during the year 1847 the presidential office was made even more than usually a football. Gomez Farias laid down the office on the 21st of March, and General Santa Anna resumed it for a few days until called to take charge of the campaign against General Scott, when Congress, ignoring Gomez Farias, appointed Gen, Pedro Maria Anaya Acting-President, and he held the office for about two months.

After the battle of Cerro Gordo, Gen. Santa Anna returned and held the reins of government from June until the occupation of the capital by the Americans in September. Upon the occurrence of that disastrous event he set out for Puebla, and resigned the office and left the country, being succeeded in the Presidency by Don Manuel de la Pena y Pena, president of the Supreme Court of Justice, who established his government first in Canaleja near Toluca, and subsequently in Queretaro,—the capital remaining in the hands of the Americans. Congress, meeting in Queretaro, appointed Don Pedro Maria Anaya Acting-President on the 12th of November, 1847, and he exercised the office until the 7th of the following January, when Don Manuel de la Pena y Pena resumed the office until the 3rd of June, 1848. Then, by virtue of an election, Gen. Jose Joaquin Herrera entered the presidency the second time. The war with the Americans, beginning in his first term, was concluded in his second. The instability of the government and the frequent changes in the administration,—twelve in number pending the war,—are to be taken into account among the causes of the failure of that war on the part of the Mexicans.

The war between the United States and Mexico has been recently pronounced on high authority "one of the most unjust ever waged by a stronger against a weaker nation," and it is difficult to find anyone dissenting from that opinion. It arose out of the admission of the Republic of Texas into the American Union, subject to the subsequent adjustment of all territorial boundaries. But it was at the time assumed on the part of the United States that the southwestern boundary of Texas was formed by the Rio Grande, and not by the Nueces River. The Mexicans claimed the reverse, and (the Bustamante government having repudiated the recognition by Santa Anna of the Independence of Texas) had strenuously objected to the annexation of that Republic, and had continued the war against the Texans in a fitful way, though without doing much damage. They claimed that there was a sufficient casus belli  in the annexation itself.

The United States, on the other hand, assuming that the Rio Grande was the proper boundary of the annexed State, took immediate measures to defend it as such. Gen. Zachary Taylor was sent to Corpus Christi in the summer of 1845, with orders to repel any invasion of the Texan territory that might be attempted by Mexican forces; and in March, 1846, he received positive orders from the government at Washington to cross the disputed territory between the Nueces and the Rio Grande. He arrived opposite Matamoras on the 28th of that month. A skirmish took place on the 24th of April, north of the Rio Grande, in which a party of American dragoons fell into a Mexican ambuscade and was captured, sixteen being killed or wounded. In May, General Arista crossed the Rio Grande and engaged in battle with General Taylor at Palo Alto, and was defeated. The next day (May 9) the battle of Resaca de la Palma (Resaca de Guerrero) was fought between the two Generals, with the defeat (as before) of the Mexican General, who retreated in the direction of San Luis Potosi, and was superseded by Gen. Pedro Ampudia.

General Taylor marched his forces across the Rio Grande on the 17th of May, and the invasion of Mexico was begun in earnest. From the 21st to the 24th of September, he was engaged with seven thousand men in the attack upon Monterey, the capital of Nuevo Leon, garrisoned by a force of nine thousand. He met with the same success which had attended his former engagements. General Ampudia was also forced to retire to San Luis Potosi. The brilliant features of this attack were the assault upon Obispado Viejo by General Worth on the first day of the fight, and the storming of the heights above on the following day. The old Episcopal Palace is west of the city, and on a spur of the Cerro de las Mitras. It was built as a place of retirement for the Bishops of Monterey toward the end of the eighteenth century, and now maintains the character given to it during this war by being used as artillery barracks. When this and the heights back of it fell into the hands of the Americans, the surrender of the city was only a question of time.

Upon the defeat of Ampudia, Santa Anna, having then just attained to the chief magistracy of Mexico and left it in the hands of his Vice-President Gomez Farias, took the command of the Mexican forces and set out to check the advance of General Taylor. On the 23rd of February, 1847, the bloody battle of Angostura, as it is called by the Mexicans (known to the Americans as the battle of Buena Vista), was fought, and lost by the Mexican army. Santa Anita returned to San Luis Potosi, whence he was called to the capital to head off the insurrection against Gomez Farias, by the party called derisively the Polkos  because their insurrection at that time was clearly favorable to the movements of the American army, and because James K. Polk was then the President of the United States and head of the American party favorable to the war. It was at this time that the army of Taylor was reduced to about five thousand men, in order to supply Gen. Winfield Scott with forces to carry out his military operations; and the field of war was transferred to the region between Vera Cruz and the capital.

While these events were in progress, an expedition under Gen. John C. Fremont had been made over-land through New Mexico and into California, and under the directions of the United States government the Mexicans of California had been incited to revolt. An American squadron, under Commodore Sloat, arrived off the Californian Monterey on the 7th of July, 1846. San Francisco was occupied the following day, and on the 17th of August Commodore Stockton took formal possession of California. On the 10th of January, 1847, Los Angeles was occupied by the Americans, and the conquest of the territory was completed by Commodore Stockton and Gen, Stephen Kearney.

On the 10th of November, 1846, a force of a thousand Americans had debarked at Tampico and taken the town, it having been abandoned by the Mexicans. On the 26th of December Paso del Norte was captured by a detachment of Fremont's army, and Colonel Doniphan began his march towards Chihuahua, out-flanking the Mexicans in their entrenchments at Sacramento on the 28th of February, 1847, and occupying Chihuahua shortly afterwards.

It was on the 8th of March, 1847, that Gen. Winfield Scott arrived, with two steamers, five gunboats, and an army of over ten thousand men, off Vera Cruz, and landing his troops opposite the Island of Sacrificios at once invested the city, and on the 28th, after the bombardment of the city and San Juan de Ulua for three and a half days, the city surrendered and the Mexican troops laid down their arms. Thereupon the greater part of the American army began an advance upon the City of Mexico by way of Jalapa, and, in general, the route taken by the great Conqueror of the sixteenth century. Santa Anna, with about twenty thousand men, again set out to meet the advancing enemy, and the two armies came together at Cerro Gordo, between Vera Cruz and Jalapa. This famous battle (April 18) resulted in the defeat of the Mexican army and the flight of Santa Anna to Orizaba,—his army, under the command of General Canalizo, retreating to Puebla. Subsequently Santa Anna arrived in the City of Mexico, and by pointing out to the people the perils of the situation, succeeded in raising an army of ten thousand men for the protection of the capital.

The American army advanced leisurely. Jalapa fell into the hands of General Twiggs' division on the 19th of April, and Perote was occupied by General Worth's division on the 22nd. Puebla was taken by General Worth on the 25th of May, and General Scott, following with the main army, made that city his headquarters. Engagements took place on the 8th of June at Puente Nacional, on the road from Vera Cruz to Jalapa, between detachments sent out from Jalapa to reinforce the American garrison at Vera Cruz and some Mexicans defending the road. The Mexicans were defeated.

On the 8th of August Scott marched from Puebla toward the capital. Reaching Ayotla on the 12th, he chose the route south of Lake Chalco, and arrived at San Agustin on the 18th. The next day he attacked the Mexicans in what is now known as the "Pedregal" (stony place), the lava beds south of San Angel and Coyoacan, the battle being known to the Mexicans as "La Padierna." He succeeded in chasing the Mexicans into San Angel. Mexicans attribute this defeat to rivalry between Santa Anna and General Valencia, the commandant at Contreras. A strongly fortified position at San Antonio was also taken by assault by a detachment under General Worth.

Between the American army and the City of Mexico, only a few miles distant, there were a number of strongly fortified positions, defended by the National Guard, composed of Mexicans of high social standing. One of these was the old convent in Churubusco, (still standing). It was attacked by the Americans from all sides,—five thousand or six thousand men under Generals Twiggs, Smith, and Worth. The defenders, numbering about eight hundred, and having six pieces of artillery of different sizes, were under the command of Gen. Pedro Maria Anaya, who had twice been President of Mexico for a few months. The fight was hot until the defenders' ammunition was expended, when, without surrendering, the convent was captured. The reply of General Anaya to General Twiggs, when, upon taking possession of the convent, the latter inquired for the ammunition, has become historic. "Sir," said he, "if there had been any ammunition left, you would not now be here." The battlefield of Churubusco is marked by a monument and the date of the battle (August 20) is annually observed by the Mexicans of that vicinity.

An armistice was proffered by the Americans, and accepted by the Mexicans on the 21st, and negotiations were carried on between commissioners of both nations. The Americans demanded what was finally obtained as the result of the war,—a demand which was indignantly refused by the Mexicans, though the armistice was useful to them in allowing them time to strengthen their position and reinforce their army. On the 8th of September hostilities were again begun, and General Worth led the assault on Casa Mata and Molino del Rey, and after an obstinate resistance by the Mexicans, and the loss of many men, carried both points. The Mexicans fell back to Chapultepec and the western garitas  of the city. At daybreak on the 13th, Chapultepec was attacked from the west by the whole American force under General Pillow, and, though strongly defended, was taken.

The Mexicans disputed the advance of the Americans step by step, and there were encounters at Belen and San Cosme, The incident of the attack by Lieut. U. S. Grant, from the tower of the church of San Cosme, where he had mounted a howitzer, has recently become famous. The Mexican capital was finally occupied by the American troops on the 14th of September. General Quitman took possession of the Ciudadela, and the Stars and Stripes waved over the National Palace, which was occupied by General Scott.

Upon the fall of Churubusco, Santa Anna had fled to Guadalupe, and thence, leaving the command of the army to General Manuel Maria Lombardini, he went to Puebla. He subsequently fled without escort to Tehuacan, and left the Republic without formally resigning the presidency.

The Americans remained in possession of the Mexican capital until after the confirmation by the Mexican Congress, sitting in Queretaro, on the 6th of June, 1848, of the famous treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo (so called because signed in the town of that name on the 2nd of February). By the terms of that treaty, Mexico ceded to the United States more than two fifths of her former territory, and received an indemnity of $15,000,000. The boundary between the two nations was fixed as it now is, save as subsequently changed by the Gadsden Purchase. The American army evacuated the capital on the 12th of June, and the Mexican government was re-established there.

It is worthy of record that the famous treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo is unique among treaties, not only because of the generous terms dictated by a conquering army occupying the captured capital of the nation treated with, but because it was signed on the part of the United States by a man who had no authority for so doing, namely, Nicholas P. Trist, and was accepted by Mexico with the full understanding of that fact. The authority with which Trist had been clothed had expired. But when the time was ripe for treaty he assumed the responsibility, and thus saved the treaty. His act was afterwards affirmed by the government of the United States.

A small monument in the American Cemetery at Tlaxpana, a western suburb of the City of Mexico, marks the burial-place of over four hundred American victims of this war between Mexico and the United States.

More Presidents and the War of "The Reform"

The fondness for revolution inherent in the Mexican people was scarcely indulged during the second administration of Herrera, and the government succeeded in permanently quieting General Paredes, who was defeated in Guanajuato in July, 1848. Herrera's administration was wise, economical, tolerant, and moral, and lasted until the beginning of the year 1851. And it was furthermore notable in this respect: for the first time in the history of the Republic, the government passed from the hands of one President to those of another—both constitutionally elected—without violence. The election of 1850 resulted in the choice of Gen. Mariano Arista (who had been Minister of War under Herrera) as President, and he was legally and peaceably installed on the 15th of January, 1851. He was the most industrious and economical of all the Presidents, pursuing the reform policy of his predecessor.

But the spirit of revolution, already suppressed longer than usual, broke out again in less than two years after Arista had taken his seat. There were pronunciamentos in Guadalajara, in Mazatlan, in Culiacan, and (most formidable of them all) in Orizaba. Arista would not dissolve Congress, and was disinclined to involve the country in another bloody civil war. So he resigned the Presidency and secretly retired to his hacienda (January 6, 1853). He subsequently left for Europe, and died in Lisbon. It is mentioned, as proof of the honesty of his public life, that he died a bankrupt. The statement is a reflection upon other public officers in Mexico.

He was succeeded by Don Juan Bautista Ceballos, the President of the Supreme Court of Justice, who took the oath of office on the 5th of January, and subsequently received an official appointment to the office from Congress. Revolution broke out in Jalisco, and spread to other States. Congress was dissolved by Ceballos, but it reassembled in the house of one of the deputies, and appointed in the place of Ceballos a Mexican merchant named Don Juan Mugica y Osorio. He refused to accept the troublesome gift of the Presidency of Mexico while revolution was rife in the land. The Liberals thereupon, with the object of bringing Santa Anna again into power, secured a demonstration by the army in favor of Gen. Manuel Maria Lombardini, in whose hands Santa Anna had left the command of the army upon his flight from Mexico after the capture of Churubusco. Santa Anna was supposed to be in South America at the time. Lombardini procured his election by the States, and on the 15th of April, 1853, Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna entered Guadalupe-Hidalgo as the President of Mexico, having thus reached that exalted office for the sixth time. He organized his government, giving to Don Lucas Alaman the premiership. Five days later he entered the capital and began his administration.

It was expected on all sides that Santa Anna would restore peace and order to the Republic. The Mexicans were not fully acquainted with the man, notwithstanding their long experience with him and their frequent opportunities for studying his character. He began to strengthen his position by increasing the army and dispensing patronage with a lavish hand. At the same time his government became despotic in the extreme, and he showed no tolerance whatever toward the opponents of his party. So intolerable was his conduct that Alaman promptly resigned. Santa Anna, supposing that the time had arrived for him to secure for himself the Presidency for life, issued a decree on the 16th of December, 1853, declaring himself Perpetual Dictator.

Opposition naturally sprang up in every direction. In March, 1854, rebellion broke out in Ayotla and in Acapulco. Gen. Juan Alvarez and Gen. Ignacio Comonfort were the insurgent leaders in Acapulco. Santa Anna set out against them at the head of four thousand men, and war raged along the western coast of Mexico until July, 1855, when Santa Anna returned to the capital.

Added to this internecine turbulence, Sonora was subjected to an invasion of about three hundred French filibusters under the Count Raousset de Boulvon, who proposed to conquer that State and establish a kingdom there. The enterprise came to grief, and the Count was apprehended and put to death.

Upon his return from the pursuit of the insurgents of the Pacific coast, Santa Anna tried to restore quiet in the capital by the removal of the Conservative members of his cabinet and the appointment of Liberals in their places. But this intended conciliatory action was taken too late, and he finally gave up the governmental experiment as hopeless. At three o'clock in the morning of the 9th of August, 1855, he secretly left the capital, and three days later embarked at Vera Cruz for Cuba.

Thus ended the political career of General Santa Anna. He resided for a while in the West Indies, and then sought a home in the United States. He made overtures in 1863 to the Second Empire; but failing to inspire confidence in his integrity, he was again exiled. After the fall of the Second Empire he planned an expedition against the government of Juarez, but was captured in an attempt to land at Vera Cruz, and was sentenced to be shot. His sentence was, through the leniency of Juarez, commuted to exile. For some time he resided on Staten Island, New York. He returned to Mexico under a general amnesty after the death of Juarez, and died there in obscurity in 1876. The tomb of this able and courageous general, but restless, ambitious, unscrupulous political schemer, may be seen in the Panteon de Tepeyacac, on the hill in Guadalupe-Hidalgo, and his portrait hangs in the National Museum in the City of Mexico.

Upon the flight of Santa Anna, anarchy was imminent in the capital. The most prominent promoters of the revolution assembled quickly, and elected Gen, Romulo Diaz de la Vega Acting-President, and he succeeded in establishing order, but not before the people had sacked the house of Santa Anna and burned his coach and furniture, and paid their respects in like manner to the houses of his ministers. By a representative assembly Gen. Martin Carrera was elected Acting- President, and he was installed on the 15th of August, 1855, but resigned on the 11th of the following month, when the Presidency devolved a second time upon Gen. Romulo Diaz de la Vega.

The revolution of Alvarez and Comonfort, known as the "Plan de Ayotla," was entirely successful, and under the wise and just administration of Diaz de la Vega the country was brought to the wholly abnormal state of quiet and order. Representatives of the triumphant party assembled in Cuernavaca and elected Gen. Juan Alvarez President ad interim, and upon the formation of his cabinet he named Comonfort his Minister of War. Returning to the capital, he transferred the Presidency to his Minister of War; and on the 12th of December, 1855, Gen Ignacio Comonfort entered upon the discharge of his duties as Acting-President. He was made actual President by a large majority in the popular election held two years later, and was reinstalled on the 1st of December, 1857. He proved to be one of the most remarkable rulers of Mexico, and his administration marks the beginning of a new era in Mexican history.

Scarcely had Comonfort begun his rule as the substitute of Alvarez, when revolutions again broke out and assumed formidable proportions. Puebla was occupied by 5,000 insurgents. Federal troops sent against them joined their cause. Comonfort succeeded in raising an army of 16,000 men, well equipped, and at its head marched to Puebla and suppressed the revolution before the end of March. But in October another rebellion broke out in Puebla, headed by Col. Miguel Miramon. The government succeeded in suppressing this, as well as one which broke out in San Luis Potosi, and another, under the leadership of Gen. Tomas Mejia, in Queretaro.

It was by Comonfort that the war between the Church and the Government, so long threatened, was precipitated. In June, 1856, he issued a decree ordering the sale of all the unimproved real estate held by the Church, at its assessed value. The Church was to receive the proceeds, but the land was to become thereby freed from all ecclesiastical control, and become a part of the available wealth of the country, to be taken into private hands. In September, 1856, he received information that certain ecclesiastics, having their headquarters in the monastery of San Francisco, in the City of Mexico, were conspiring against his government. He at once ordered the Federal troops to take possession of the monastery and arrest all the inmates. He ordered the opening of the street now known as "Independencia" through the property, and finally suppressed the monastery and confiscated its property. The decree of suppression was recalled on the 19th of February, 1857, but the attitude of the Church to the Government has continued to be inimical until the present time. The Church party, unable to prevent these aggressions on the part of the Government at the time, subsequently gathered strength by uniting with other malcontents, and was able eventually to overthrow Comonfort and set up a rival government, to be in its turn overthrown by his successor, Juarez, and to submit to further aggression.

On the 5th of February, 1857, the present Constitution of Mexico was adopted by Congress. Comonfort, as Provisional President, subscribed it, and it was under its provisions that he was elected actual President. But ten days after his inauguration, in December, 1857, and his taking the oath to support the new Constitution, the President, supposing that he could gain the full support of the Liberals, and claiming that he had found the operation of the Constitution impracticable, dissolved Congress and set the Constitution aside. He threw his legal successor, Benito Juarez, the President of the Supreme Court of Justice and one of the supporters of the new Constitution, into prison. Juarez was likewise the promoter of Comonfort's measures against the Church, but his imprisonment failed to conciliate the Church party. It was for some such act of despotism as the golpe de estado, the setting aside of the Constitution, "the blow to the State," that the sympathizers with the Church were watching; and they took advantage of it at once.

The almost immediate result was the rebellion in Tacubaya of Gen. Felix Zuloaga and his entire brigade. At once the country was divided between the adherents of Comonfort and the "reactionaries" (reacting from Comonfort's strained efforts at reform) and Church sympathizers. The latter gained in strength daily. Comonfort discovered too late the mistake he had made, restored the Constitution, and liberated Juarez; but without the desired effect. He organized the National Guard and tried to put down the rebellion. But Zuloaga, having received the support of Miramon and others, gained possession of the capital. On the 21st of January, 1858, Comonfort left for Vera Cruz, where he took passage for the United States, and afterward sailed for Europe.

The capital thus left in the hands of the Reactionaries, a Junta de Notables  was assembled, by whom Gen. Felix Zuloaga was elected Acting-President, and took possession of his shadowy office on the 22nd of January, 1858. But though energetic in his military operations, he daily lost favor in the capital, even with his own party; and in December a conspiracy was formed in Ayotla, known as the Plan de Navidad, because proclaimed on Christmas day. By this plan Zuloaga was deposed and forced to seek refuge in the house of the British ambassador, and Gen. Manuel Robles. Pezuela was put in his place. He pursued a conciliatory policy, until he was replaced by Don Jose Ignacio Pavon, who assumed the Presidential office by reason of his position as President of the Tribunal of Justice. He assembled another Junta de Notables  which elected Gen. Miguel Miramon Acting-President.

Miramon was at the head of the Reactionary army in the interior of the country at the time, but returned to the capital, and, much to the chagrin of the Junta  by whom he had been elected, turned the office over to Gen. Felix Zuloaga, who on his part conferred enlarged powers and privileges on Miramon. After an unsuccessful campaign against Vera Cruz, which was stoutly defended by the enemies of the Reactionaries, Miramon returned to the capital, and the Junta  again set Zuloaga aside, and placed Gen. Miguel Miramon upon the presidential throne; and he exercised the privileges belonging to that office until his defeat at Calpulalpam in December, 1860. He then abandoned the capital and left the country. Gen. Jesus Gonzalez Ortega, by virtue of his office as commander of the Federal army, assumed charge of the government until the tangled maze of Mexican politics was sufficiently straightened out to permit the return to the capital of the rightful ruler.

Constitutionally (if we may ever use that word seriously in connection with Mexican affairs), upon the abandonment of the Presidency by Comonfort, the office devolved upon the President of the Supreme Court of Justice. That office was held at the time by Don Benito Juarez, who thereupon became President de jure  of Mexico; and as his cause triumphed in the end over all its enemies, we may discriminate between the two separate lines of the presidential succession to the extent of regarding the line including Zuloaga, Pezuela, Pavon, and Miramon, as the illegitimate line, and those men as Anti-Presidents; and Juarez as representing the direct and legitimate succession, and as the Constitutional President.

But the most curious specimen of the nomenclature adopted in Mexican history is that which gives to the struggle between the Church party and its allies, and the Constitutional Government, the name of the War of the Reform, and has made "La Reforma"  such a favorite appellation. What was thereby reformed it would be difficult to say. If to oppress and rob be to reform, then the Church in Mexico was in process of reformation in those times. But further than the suppression of the outreaching power, wealth, and influence of the Church, and the assertion of the supremacy of the State, no evidences of reform are exhibited in the much vaunted "Reform" period of Mexican history. The Constitutional reforms which took place at that time, and are yearly celebrated in the City of Mexico on the 5th of February, produced no other nor more beneficial result than that.

But the "War of the Reform" had all the bitterness of a religious war, and was the most sanguinary of all the civil wars in which Mexico had been engaged. The parties engaged in it represented all the factions of the previous periods. Conservatives, Clericals, Reactionaries, Monarchists, were the names applied in the years 1859 and 1860 to what had previously been known as Yorkinos, High Liberals, Federalists, and Iturbidistas, and the cause on whose side Santa Anna was always found, whatever might be its name. The Liberalists and Progressionists, represented as far as was possible the Escoceses, the Moderate Liberals, and the Centralists.

Unquestionably, Juarez, who is thus made to appear as a reformer, was the most remarkable man Mexico has ever produced. He was born in 1806 in the mountains of Oaxaca, in a poor little hamlet now bearing his name, but then known as San Pablo, He belonged to the Zapoteca tribe of Indians. Not a drop of Spanish blood flowed in his veins. Until he was twelve years of age he spoke only the Indian dialect in use in his native village, and could neither read nor write. Then, being given a start in life, he was educated for the bar in the city of Oaxaca, rising rapidly both in his profession and in the politics of his country. He experienced all the vicissitudes of political life in Mexico, including arrest, imprisonment, sentence of death, escape, exile, amnesty; and he held the offices of legislator, judge, senator, governor, and cabinet-minister, before he became by popular election in 1857 President of the Supreme Court of Justice in the government of Comonfort, and in the line of the succession to the Presidency in case of a vacancy. Very early in his political career he had evinced a hostile feeling toward the Church within whose pale he had been born and reared and whose ministry he was once on the point of entering. He was the dictator of Comonfort's vigorous measures against the Church.

Upon the flight of Comonfort, Juarez was utterly without support or means to establish his government. Being driven out of the capital by Zuloaga, he went to Guadalajara, and then, by way of the Pacific coast, Panama, and New Orleans to Vera Cruz. There he succeeded in setting up the Constitutional Government, supporting it out of the customs duties collected at the ports of entry on the Gulf coast. It was war to the knife between the President in Vera Cruz and the Anti-Presidents in the capital, and blood flowed freely upon the eastern slope of the Sierra Madre.

On the 12th of July, 1859, Juarez made a long stride in advance of Comonfort by issuing his famous decree, "nationalizing"—that is, sequestrating, or more properly, confiscating—the property of the Church. It was enforced in Vera Cruz at once. A tall church-tower there, now used as a lighthouse, and bearing the name of Juarez, is a fit monument to the famous decree of sequestration. The armies of the two rival governments met in conflict on many occasions. It was at Calpulalpam, in a battle lasting from the 21st to the 24th of December, 1860, that Miramon was defeated and forced to leave the country. General Ortega, in command of the forces of Juarez, advanced to the capital and held it for the return of his chief.

When the army of Juarez entered the capital on the 27th of December, the decree of sequestration began to be executed there with brutal severity. It was principally from the wealth of the Church that the rival government had derived its support. Not only would the Juarez government cause it to disgorge for the benefit of the triumphant administration, but it would punish its crime in harboring the enemy. Monasteries were closed forthwith, and the members of the various religious orders were expelled the country. Within a few weeks the work of demolition began. Jewels and pictures were seized, the latter going to San Carlos Academy. Bells were taken from the towers and sent to the ordnance foundry. Buildings were sold, and many of them dismantled. Streets were opened through some of the Church property, and some handsome edifices were left to decay.

It is said that from the "nationalized" Church property the government secured $20,000,000, without, as subsequent events showed, deriving any permanent benefit from it. It helped to precipitate another war, in which it was all dissipated, and the country was poorer than ever. The face of the capital was at once greatly changed, and if the tourist now seeks a monument perpetuating the glorious Reform let him not seek it in the Paseo de la Reforma  which commemorates it only in name. He may in imagination see the name "Reform" mockingly written upon many buildings now devoted to secular, even in some cases to base uses, whose fronts exhibit sculptured crosses, sacred monograms, and other designs marking them as once the property of the Church. These are the monuments of the so-called Reform decree, and of the fury with which it broke upon the beautiful capital whose pride it was once to call itself a "City of Churches and Palaces."

The French Invasion and the Second Empire

The decree issued by Juarez from Vera Cruz in 1859, nationalizing the property of the Church, was quickly followed up by a decree suspending for two years payment on all foreign debts. The national debt at that time amounted to about $100,000,000, according to some statements, and was divided up between England, Spain, and France. England's share was about $80,000,000. France's claim was comparatively insignificant. All the claims were said to be founded upon usurious or fraudulent contracts,—the French claim being especially dubious. It originated in the claim of a Swiss banking-house, the head of which had become a naturalized French citizen, with the intention, as it would seem, of aiding in the deep-laid scheme about to be developed. Upon the issuing of the decree suspending payment on these foreign debts, the three creditor nations at once broke off diplomatic relations with Mexico, and Napoleon III, of France, proceeded to carry out a plan which had for some time occupied his mind, having been suggested to him by the Reactionary government of Mexico during the period of the Reform, as a means whereby that government could secure its triumph over Juarez.

It was at his instance that a convention was held in London by representatives of the three creditor nations, and on the 31st of October, 1861, the Treaty of London was signed. This treaty proposed the sending to Mexico of naval and military forces sufficient to seize and hold the Gulf ports of entry, and apply the customs duties thereof to the payment of Mexico's indebtedness. No territory was to be appropriated, nor was the right of the Mexicans to arrange their own form of government to be interfered with. Without waiting to learn the views of the United States government, to whom a copy of this treaty was sent with an invitation to join the expedition, the requisite forces were equipped and sent forward to Mexico, arrived off Vera Cruz in December, 1861, and landing, took possession of that city. The allied army consisted of six thousand Spanish and twenty-five hundred French soldiers, and seven hundred English marines, all under the command of the Spanish Marshal Prim.

The Juarez government, apprised of what was about to take place, exerted itself to the utmost to oppose the threatened invasion. Appeals were made to Mexicans to lay aside their personal feuds and unite against the common foe. The army was reorganized and increased, and money was raised for extraordinary defensive measures. And with the object more particularly of suppressing the monarchical party that had long been in existence, and was known to be in sympathy with the French invaders, Juarez issued a decree, in January, 1862, declaring that all Mexicans between the ages of sixteen and sixty, who did not take up arras in defense of the republic were traitors; that any armed invasion of the country without a previous declaration of war, or any invitation to such an invasion by Mexicans or foreign residents of Mexico, was a crime against the Independence of the country, and was punishable with death. Extraordinary powers over the persons and properties of the citizens were given to civil officers, and courts- martial were established in the place of the ordinary tribunals of justice. The severest terms of this decree were speedily visited upon a Mexican officer of high standing. He was arrested on his way to the French camp and executed. But the result of this action of Juarez was the reverse of what had been intended; and the ranks of the monarchical party were reinforced from among those who had formerly been indifferent.

To avoid war, if it were possible, Juarez first resorted to diplomacy, and a meeting of commissioners representing Mexico and the three foreign nations was arranged to take place at Orizaba in April. But in a preliminary convention held in Soledad, near Vera Cruz, in February, the true objects of France came to light, and England and Spain withdrew from the enterprise, which was thereby changed from a Foreign Intervention into a French Invasion.

The object of France—a scheme that had long dazzled Napoleon III.—was the erection of an Empire in Mexico that would be in a manner feudatory to France. It was designed to succor the Latin race in its unequal struggle with the Anglo-Saxon, and prevent the further spread of democratic institutions in the New World. The time was propitious. Civil war was engaging the attention of the United States; and the indications at the time were that the Confederate States would succeed in the struggle. When that result was finally attained, the Confederacy was to be the ally of the Mexican Empire as against the United States government and its enforcement of the "Monroe Doctrine."

Accordingly, when the English and Spanish troops were withdrawn from Mexico all efforts at concealment were thrown off by the French commissioners. Reinforcements arrived, increasing the army to about five thousand men, under the command of General Laurencez. The co-operation of the opponents of Juarez and his policy was invited, and the result was the raising of an army composed of Reactionaries and Monarchists, under the command of General Marquez, an adherent of the late Zuloaga and Miramon Governments. These two armies united and advanced toward the capital. They were defeated before the gates of Puebla in the famous battle of Cinco de Mayo  (the 5th of May, 1862),—a battle in which General Zaragoza was the hero, and Gen, Porfirio Diaz, Felix Berriozabal, and others were participants. It is this battle of Puebla that is annually commemorated in the vicinity of the capital.

The combined armies after their repulse from Puebla retired to Orizaba, where they were reinforced in September by troops from France, raising the invading army to twelve thousand, and General Forey succeeded Laurencez in the command. Forey assumed a sort of military dictatorship of the country, declaring that he had come to free the Mexicans from the tyrannical rule of Juarez, and to destroy his Government.

The combined forces under Forey were able to capture Puebla in May, 1863, and then advanced to the capital, Juarez and his ministers taking flight upon their approach. In taking possession of the City of Mexico on the 11th of June, the French commander appointed a Supreme Council of the Nation, composed of thirty-five eminent monarchists. This Council elected Juan B. Ormeacha (Bishop of Puebla), Gen. Juan N. Almonte, Gen. Mariano Salas, and Pelagio A. Labastida (Archbishop of Mexico), Regents, pending the establishment of such a form of government as would coincide with the plans of Napoleon III.

An Assembly of Notables, composed of two hundred and thirty-one representatives of all but four of the Mexican States, apparently selected without regard to the proportions of population in the several States, was the next step in the direction of the Napoleonic plan. This Assembly, in a meeting held on the 10th of July, adopted a monarchical form of government, and offered the crown to Ferdinand Maximilian, Archduke of Austria. It is significant of the continued existence of the monarchical party that survived the overthrow of the First Empire in 1824, that Senor Jose Maria Gutierrez de Estrada, then in Europe by reason of his temerity in proposing in 1840 such a form of government as was now being established, was made a member of the committee appointed to wait upon Maximilian, apprise him of his election, urge his acceptance of the proffered crown, and hasten his departure for Mexico.

Maximilian represented the Austrian dynasty which had preceded the house of Bourbon upon the throne of Spain. The Assembly of Notables therefore, perhaps unwittingly, revived the Plan de Iguala, and carried out its provisions more successfully than Iturbide had done, though after a lapse of nearly half a century. The selection of Maximilian was made clearly at the dictation of Napoleon III., and it was stipulated that in the event of the refusal of Maximilian, the offer of the crown was to be made to a Catholic prince to be selected by the Emperor of the French. It was probably before the signing of the Treaty of London that the selection of the Austrian Archduke was made by Napoleon III., with the intention of recovering his lost prestige with European courts. "To give an American throne and an imperial crown to the Most Catholic House of Hapsburg would be likely to conciliate both the Papal and the Austrian courts, with each of which the Emperor of France was under a cloud."

Maximilian was the second son of the Archduke Francis Charles of Austria and the Archduchess Sophia of Bavaria, and the brother of Francis Joseph, Emperor of Austria. He was born "Archduke of Austria, Prince of Hungary, Bohemia, and Lorrena, and Count of Hapsburg," and was now in his thirty-second year. He was married to Carlota, daughter of Leopold I. of Belgium. His education had been liberally conducted, and he had travelled extensively. In 1854 he was appointed commander of the Austrian navy, and he subsequently served with great success as Governor of Lombardy and Venice. When in October, 1863, the Austrian Archduke received the formal offer of the Mexican crown from the committee of the Assembly of Notables, at his palace of Miramar at Trieste, he replied that he would accept the same, "when the vote of the Assembly of Notables could be ratified by the Mexican people in a general election, and when the European nations would give him sufficient guarantees that the throne would be protected from dangers which might threaten it."

The Franco-Mexican imperial army had been increased by reinforcements from France, and then numbered about thirty-eight thousand men, under the command of Marshal Bazaine, the ever faithful servant of Napoleon III., who had succeeded Forey, and had occupied all the interior States of Mexico. There was little difficulty in obtaining, in the places occupied by the French arms, such a vote as would satisfy the scruples of the Austrian. The guarantees demanded by him as the second condition of his acceptance were duly given by Napoleon III in the famous Treaty of Miramar, whereby he promised to maintain the French army in Mexico until the army of the Empire could be thoroughly organized. Eight thousand men were to remain there for six years, and the Empire was to be amply protected from the incursions of the Americans.

It was on the 10th of April, 1864, that the imposing coronation took place at Miramar, the Archducal palace of Maximilian, and the Emperor and Empress set out for their new home, A visit was made to Rome on the way, and an interview had with his Holiness Pope Pius IX.; and on the 29th of May, 1864, the imperial party landed at Vera Cruz, and stood upon the soil of the new-made Empire. The journey to the capital was made principally in carriages. In Puebla, on the way, the twenty-fifth birthday of the Empress was celebrated, on the 7th of June; and on the 12th of that month the entry was made into the capital by way of Guadalupe, amid the most enthusiastic demonstrations of joy on the part of the people. A Te Deum  in the great Cathedral gave it the character of a religious demonstration.

A few days later the Emperor and Empress took up their residence at Chapultepec, thus investing with special historic interest the castle which is now a Presidential residence. An imperial court was formed, and the new rulers set out conscientiously upon the work which they hoped to accomplish, and which Maximilian termed "the regeneration of Mexico." He made journeys into various parts of the country, observing closely its needs and devising ways for supplying them. He sought more especially to ameliorate the condition of the six millions of Indians whom he found among the population of his Empire. He also did much to improve his capital The Paseo de la Reforma (that name was not bestowed by him), leading out to Chapultepec, was planned by him, and is a monument to his taste and public spirit.

His government was absolute, but not more so than any that had preceded it, nor than some which have succeeded it. To provide for the succession of the Empire, Maximilian and Carlota, who were themselves childless, adopted Agustin de Iturbide, the nephew of the first Emperor, thus establishing another connecting link between the Second Empire and that which resulted from the Flan de Iguala.

That Maximilian was personally of pure character cannot be disputed. But he had not sufficient strength to devise a strong policy of government and maintain it. And he was altogether unsuspicious of the men with whom he had to deal; and hence he suffered from his over- confidence in one after another, beginning with Napoleon III and continuing down to the petted officer of his army who finally betrayed him into the hands of the Republic. In person and in manner he was exceedingly attractive, and it is no wonder that he found friends who were willing to go to death with him.

The Empress devoted her efforts and her fortune to the relief of the poor and the suffering. The Casa de Maternidad  (lying-in hospital) in the City of Mexico may be regarded as a noble monument of her goodness to the people of her realm, though it by no means marks the extent of her benefactions.

The life of the capital and some of the larger cities in the vicinity was gay during the bright days of the Empire. But the bright days did not last long. The Emperor's efforts to reconcile the various political factions, especially those that composed for the time being the Imperial party, failed to find favor with the Clerical party, the strongest of them all. The Church had demanded the immediate abrogation of the Reform Laws of Juarez, but Maximilian did not (because he could not) yield to this demand. Thus the Emperor found the faction upon which he relied for the greatest support among those who treated him the most coldly.

The Liberals criticized his position in the country, maintained as it was by foreign arms. So that, so far from reconciling the various factions and consolidating them in a strong Imperial party, he found them one by one drawing off from him, and while not openly hostile, doing little or nothing to aid him in his task. He was thus thrown back upon the French army as his only support, while the commander of the French army was the most bitterly hated by the Mexicans of all those who were involved in the second Imperial experiment in Mexico.

The Emperor fell far short of being an able financier, and in the maintenance of the court pageantry to which he had been accustomed, and which he considered a part of the imperial dignity, and in the advancement of his schemes for internal improvements, he exhausted the revenues of the country without developing its resources, and involved the Empire in debt. And Napoleon III was disappointed in finding what he hoped would be an Empire whence his own could derive some financial benefit, a constant drain upon his exchequer. So that what would unquestionably have been, all things considered, the redemption of Mexico, could it have been maintained, was doomed to collapse almost from the very start. But the direct and immediate causes of the overthrow of the Second Empire were from without and not from within, as we shall see.

The Fall of the Second Empire

The actual downfall of the Second Empire began in 1865. In October of that year Maximilian was betrayed by some of his advisers (presumably by Marshal Bazaine, who left no savory reputation behind him in Mexico) into issuing a decree somewhat of the nature of that with which Juarez had attempted to suppress the rising Monarchical party in 1862. The Republican government, fleeing before the French forces in June, 1863, had sought refuge first in San Luis Potosi. It had subsequently gone to Saltillo, thence to Chihuahua, and finally, still fleeing before the Imperial forces, had been established in Paso del Norte. It was in the course of these wanderings that ex-President Comonfort, then a member of Juarez' cabinet, was assassinated.

While the Republican government was maintaining itself as best it might at Paso del Norte, word was brought to Maximilian that Juarez had abandoned the country, crossed the Rio Grande, and sought refuge in the United States. The decree thereupon issued was utterly at variance with the general spirit of the Imperial legislation. It goes by the name of its date, October 3, 1865. It stated that the Republican President had abandoned his government and his country, and that the cause sustained by him with so much valor had succumbed. The character of the struggle was therefore radically changed. It was no longer between two opposing systems of government, but between the surviving government,—the Empire established by the will of the people,—and opposing individuals. All persons bearing arms against the Empire were declared bandits, were to be tried by courts-martial, and condemned to death. "Hereafter," said an army order issued by Bazaine in furtherance of the Imperial decree (and this is advanced to attest his part in the authorship of that decree),—"hereafter the troops will make no prisoners, and there will be no exchange of prisoners." Every one taken with arms was to be put to death. Rank was to receive no consideration. And within a few days the decree was rendered effective in the State of Michoacan upon Arteaga, Villagomez, Salazar, and Jesus Diaz, four most estimable Republican officers, arrested by the Imperialists, debarred the rights of prisoners-of-war, tried by court-martial, condemned, and shot in Uruapan the 21st of October.

The Imperial cause suffered severely by these measures. Some of its staunchest friends refused longer to support an Empire that could be guilty of such cruel injustice, while the hitherto neutrals threw the weight of their influence into the Republican cause. Maximilian discovered his mistake when it was too late to profit by the discovery.

When the war in the United States closed, in the spring of 1865, the government at Washington was able to devote its attention to the disregard of the Monroe Doctrine of which Napoleon III had been guilty. From the time when the first French troops landed in Mexico, the French government had been repeatedly warned that its action would be regarded as a cause of war with the United States; but such warnings were unheeded so long as the United States had more war already on hand than could conveniently be disposed of. But when the war closed, leaving the United States territorially intact, the warnings of the Secretary of State in Washington had a different sound in French ears, particularly as they were emphasized by the sending of an army to the Mexican frontier to co-operate with the Republican troops, if needed, in expelling the European invaders. The French government thought better of its relations to the Monroe Doctrine, and dispatches were forwarded to Mexico, apprising Maximilian of the intention of France to withdraw its arms and its support from the Empire.

It was on the 31st of May, 1866 that Maximilian received word of the intentions of Napoleon III regarding the withdrawal of the troops. His courage forsook him for the moment, and his first impulse was to abdicate and return to Europe. He was dissuaded from taking this foolish step by the courageous Empress, who offered to go to France and plead with the French Emperor in person for the strict fulfillment of the Treaty of Miramar. The very next day she set out upon this mission, and her journey and the result of it are among the most heroic incidents in the whole history of Mexico, and the very saddest.

Arriving in Paris, her first efforts to obtain an interview with Napoleon III were unavailing. When finally she succeeded in confronting him, he not only refused to extend any further aid to the Empire of his own device in Mexico, but treated Carlota with brutal impoliteness. He finally dismissed her by asking by what route she preferred to have the imperial railway- coach convey her out of France. She repaired to Rome and sought the aid of his Holiness Pius IX. Here also she met with disappointments. Her reception at the Vatican was not what she had been led to anticipate. Under the intense strain of anxiety and disappointment she was taken sick. Brain fever ensued, and on the 4th of October she was pronounced hopelessly insane. She was taken to Miramar, and afterwards to Brussels, where she still remains in strict seclusion.

The news which reached the Emperor at Chapultepec of the issue of the mission of Carlota was such as to crush him completely. For a long time he debated with himself whether he ought to make any further attempt to maintain the Empire. He at last set out for Vera Cruz, postponing his final decision until he could receive dispatches expected from Europe. He went no farther than Orizaba, and there spent two months in the most anxious vacillation. He went so far at one time as to forward his abdication to the French commissioners sent to cooperate with Bazaine in securing that document,—that being the easiest way suggesting itself to Louis Napoleon by which he could redeem his pledges to Maximilian and avoid war with the United States. But upon the refusal of the commissioners to accept some of the terms of the abdication, he withdrew it, leaving Louis Napoleon to extricate himself from his delicate position in some other way. Letters received from Europe, and overtures received from the Clerical party in Mexico, pledging its support and the treasures of the Church, decided the question. At the same time General Miramon returned to the country and proffered his services to the Emperor. He and General Marquez pledged themselves to raise an army sufficient to replace the retiring French troops. The Emperor accordingly returned to the capital and made the Hacienda de la Teja, west of the city, his headquarters.

The French troops under Bazaine first concentrated in the vicinity of the capital, where the exchange of prisoners (conducted in a manner creditable to both the Imperialists and the Republicans) occupied some time. It was in January, 1867, that the French soldiers began to retire to Vera Cruz. The embarkation took place in March. Bazaine himself was the last to embark, and his final act upon Mexican soil was to write a letter to the Emperor begging him to abdicate and offering him a chance to return to Europe.

A few foreign officers and soldiers, Austrians and Belgians, chose to remain with the Emperor in Mexico. Maximilian in person assumed the command of the armies raised by Miramon and Marquez. But they fell far short of what had been promised. The promises of funds, with which the Church had been so lavish, were but partially fulfilled, and the funds actually furnished from the treasures of the Church were wholly inadequate for the support of the Empire.

Induced by the strength of the Church in Queretaro, Maximilian adopted the ill-advised measure of leaving the City of Mexico and making Queretaro his capital and the basis of his operations. He concentrated his forces there, and found it, what he himself had termed it, "a mouse-trap "; for no sooner was he established there with his generals, Miramon, Mejia, Marquez, and Mendez, and with the greater part of the Imperialist army, than the Republican forces, hitherto scattered and disorganized, began to gather from the North, and united under the command of Gen. Mariano Escobedo; and about the 1st of March, 1867, the town of Queretaro was completely surrounded.

A siege was begun, and lasted two months and a half. On one occasion General Marquez with a few soldiers succeeded in breaking through the Republican lines and hastened to the City of Mexico to bring troops to the relief of the besieged Imperialists; but he proved false to the Emperor, and attempted to set up a government of his own in the South, with disastrous results to himself and to his followers.

The besieged army in Queretaro had experienced all the horrors incident to a siege, when on the 14th of May a council of war was held to adopt a plan for a sortie to be made that night. It was to be conducted by Gen. Tomas Mejia, and he begged that he might be allowed twenty-four hours in which to perfect his arrangements. His request was granted. Immediately upon the breaking up of the council of war, Col. Miguel Lopez, a favorite of both the Emperor and the Empress from the very day when they entered the City of Mexico, and the recipient of many favors from them, went over to the Republican camp and gave such information as would enable the Republican forces to enter the city the following morning at daybreak.

It was thus that, early on the morning of the 15th of May, a few Republican soldiers, appearing at the gate of the convent of La Cruz, the Imperial headquarters in Queretaro, were allowed to enter and make the guards their prisoners. The alarm being given, the Emperor arose, hastily dressed, and hurried through the city to the Cerro de las Campanas,—the Hill of the Bells. He was soon joined by his body-guard and General Mejia. Miramon was wounded on his way thither, and was made prisoner. The whole garrison at La Cruz, taken by surprise, were made prisoners, the troops elsewhere were thrown into confusion, and though a few guns were fired, the Republicans were soon in complete possession of the town.

As it grew lighter, a survey of the situation from the Cerro revealed the fact to Mejia that further resistance would be utterly useless. He so advised his chief. "Then I am no longer Emperor," said Maximilian, as a white flag was displayed, attracting the attention of General Escobedo. When the Republican commander rode up to the Cerro, Maximilian delivered his sword into his hand.

The Imperialist prisoners were committed to the Convent of La Cruz. In a few days they were removed to the Capuchin Monastery. Juarez, who had returned with his ministers to San Luis Potosi, issued an order for the trial of the Emperor, and Generals Mejia and Miramon. A military court was accordingly convened, under the decree of January, 1862, and sat in the Iturbide Theatre. It consisted of a lieutenant-colonel of the Republican army and six captains of artillery. The oldest member of this court was twenty-three years of age. The others had scarcely reached their majority. One was only eighteen.

The charges brought against Maximilian were treason, usurpation of the public power, filibustering, trying to prolong the civil war in Mexico, and finally signing the decree of October 3, 1865. Miramon and Mejia were tried as accomplices, and although all were ably defended by prominent lawyers, the juvenile court, apparently selected for the purpose of condemning, found them all guilty on the 14th of June, and sentenced them to be shot on the afternoon of the 16th. They were that day reprieved until the morning of the 19th.

In the meantime every exertion was made in Mexico and abroad to save the life of the Austrian Archduke. But Juarez, at San Luis Potosi, refused all petitions made on behalf of the unfortunate prisoner. Maximilian made no appeals on his own behalf, but, absenting himself from the trial, he devoted himself to arranging his private affairs. His only appeal to the Republican government was on behalf of his unhappy companions, Miramon and Mejia. His conduct throughout was such as to win the admiration of all who saw him. He was comforted in his last hours by the report brought to him that his beloved Carlota was dead, and he looked forward to meeting her soon beyond the grave.

At sunrise on the morning of the 19th of June, 1867, the Emperor and his two gallant companions in arms were taken to the Cerro de las Campanas and the preparations for the execution were quickly made. Maximilian yielded the central place, the place of honor, to Miramon, as a tribute to his bravery, and took his own place at the left of the line marked out for the three condemned men. He gave presents to the soldier executioners, bidding them aim at his body, not at his head, and then addressed the soldiers of the Republican army and the immense throng standing in sorrowful silence upon the hillsides. He said: "Mexicans, I die for a just cause,—the independence of Mexico. God grant that my blood may bring happiness to my new country. Viva Mexico!" Miramon echoed his "Viva Mexico'' and the fatal volley was fired. Maximilian, thrown to the ground but not instantly killed, sprang to his feet uttering the most agonizing groans. A soldier advanced, and gave what is called the golpe de gracia  (the blow of mercy), a well-aimed shot that pierced the heart of the Emperor, and stretched his lifeless body beside those of his companions. He was in the thirty-fifth year of his age, and has been lamented all over the world.

The body of the Emperor was carefully embalmed by the order of the Republican government, and kept at the Capuchin Monastery, until, after a delay of several months (unnecessarily lengthened by diplomatic blunders on the part of the Austrian government), permission was given to remove it to Austria. It was taken to the City of Mexico and deposited in the hospital of San Andres. Thence it was taken, on the 12th of November, 1867, to Vera Cruz, where it was embarked on the "Novara," the ship in which the Emperor had begun his travels in 1851, and in which he and the Empress had come to Mexico in 1864. The body was solemnly received in Trieste in January, 1868, and taken to Vienna, where on the 20th of that month it was consigned to the Imperial vault in the Church of the Capuchins. There it now rests.

After the fall of Queretaro, the City of Mexico and Vera Cruz alone of all the important cities of the country remained in the hands of the Imperialists. On the 25th of March, 1867, when Marquez succeeded in breaking through the wall of Republican encampments surrounding Queretaro, and set out for the capital, he was accompanied by Gen. Santiago Vidaurri, to whom the Emperor had entrusted the military government of the capital. Reaching his destination, Marquez assumed command of five thousand of the best troops to be raised there; but instead of returning to the relief of the besieged army in Queretaro, he set out upon the accomplishment of a purpose of his own. He fancied that Mexico was likely to be divided into separate nations, Juarez maintaining his government in one, Maximilian building up his Empire in another. Marquez was anxious to establish himself in a third, with Puebla as its capital. Puebla was at the time in the hands of the Imperialists, but was menaced by Republicans under Gen. Porfirio Diaz, and before Marquez could reach the city it surrendered. On his way Marquez fell in with the army and suffered a severe loss. Rallying his forces he attacked the Republicans again, but after a battle of three days his army was cut to pieces, and he escaped almost alone to the City of Mexico.

Upon his return to the capital Marquez found the Imperialists there so demoralized that had an assault been made the Republicans might easily have taken the place. He superseded Vidaurri, and establishing his headquarters in Santiago-Tlatelolco he raised an army of six thousand soldiers and disposed them for the defense of the city. General Diaz approached the capital, and as soon as Queretaro fell was joined by a part of the army from the North. A siege was begun and lasted several weeks. The occupants of the city, besides suffering from the cruelties and despotism of Marquez' dictatorship, experienced all the horrors incident to a protracted siege, when, the day after the execution of Maximilian, relief came to them in the form of an attack made by the Republicans from all sides, which forced the surrender of Marquez. The following day (21st of June, 1867) the Republican troops entered the capital. Vera Cruz surrendered on the 4th of July.

On the 15th of July President Juarez with his ministry re-entered the capital. It was to the Republicans a day of rejoicing. To the Imperialists it was a day of anxiety. The wealthier residents of the capital were mostly Imperialists, and ladies were generally found wearing mourning for the late Emperor.

The triumphant Republic, however, dealt leniently with the Imperialist leaders. Vidaurri had been executed in the Plaza de Santo Domingo before the arrival of the President. Marquez had a long score of cruelties and robberies, as well as purely political crimes, to answer for, and would have fared ill at the hands of the Republicans had he not escaped out of the country and remained in exile. Nineteen of the prominent prisoners taken at the fall of Queretaro were tried in that city and condemned to death. The sentence was afterwards commuted to imprisonment and exile, and finally remitted entirely. Of more than two hundred prisoners confined in the old convents in the City of Mexico,—the Ensenanza, Santa Brigida, Regina, and Santiago-Tlatelolco,—one only was made to suffer the death penalty. It was Gen. Tomas O'Horan. He had been a Republican and was with Zaragoza in the battle of Cinco de Mayo. His part in the history of the Empire had not been prominent, but all the efforts of his friends, Republicans as well as Imperialists, were unavailing. He was executed at Mixcalco on the 21st of August, 1867. Some heavy fines were imposed in certain cases, but very little property was confiscated. For a time it seemed that peace had at last dawned upon the war-rent country, and that the new era was to be one of good feeling. Lopez, munificently rewarded by the Republican government for his part in the capture of Maximilian, was to the day of his death popularly regarded as a traitor and treated accordingly.

Benito Juarez and Constitutional Government

Not until after the Fall of the Second Empire, and the return of the Republican government to the capital, was it fully understood and appreciated that the contest between the Empire and the Republic was the culmination of a struggle that had been going on since the overthrow of Iturbide, in 1823, between two opposing systems of government. The principle of Centralism had been advocated by the party that was represented by Santa Anna and the later Reactionaries and Imperialists; while the principle of Federalism and popular government had been upheld by such men as Gomez Farias, Melchor Ocampo, Ignacio Comonfort, and Benito Juarez. The adoption of the Constitution of 1857 was a distinct triumph for the Federalist party,—or Liberals, as they came to be called. It meant that Mexico was to be a Republic, not only in name but in truth. The "Reform" measures, however extreme and inequitable they might have appeared at the time of their execution, were now seen to be a part of a program by means of which Mexico might be established as an independent nation and its people be taught the lesson of peaceable self-government. The reactionary revolution which ensued upon the adoption of the Constitution of 1857, and which was known on its defensive side as the "War of the Reform," arrested the progress of the Constitutional reforms set in motion by the Liberals. And the Maximilian Empire was an afterpiece to the War of the Reform, whereby European powers were called in to assist the Mexican Centralists to oppose the establishment of popular government.

While, therefore, the attention of the students of Mexican history may have been diverted to the course of events under the rise and fall of the Second Empire, in the years 1863 to 1867, the true makers of the nation's history were comprised in a small band of Republicans who left the City of Mexico upon the approach of the French army in 1863; rested for a while at San Luis Potosi; retreated to Saltillo, then to Monterey, then to Chihuahua, and finally, in August, 1865, to Paso del Norte. From that frontier town upon the Rio Grande (now known as Ciudad Juarez) Benito Juarez, Constitutional President of Mexico, issued a proclamation declaring that it was his firm determination not to abandon the Mexican territory, but to maintain the Republican government and its struggle against the invaders of the country.

This band of patriots numbered twenty-two men, who had faith in Juarez, and firmly believed in Constitutional government. They were afterwards nicknamed "The Immaculates." Chief among them was Sebastian Lerdo de Tejada. From Paso del Norte the indomitable Indian President watched with grim satisfaction the evil fortunes of the Empire; and, at the withdrawal of the French troops upon which that Empire relied for its maintenance, he directed the consolidation of the scattered military forces of his government, and sent them south to close around the Imperial army in Queretaro. Then he moved his own temporary capital to San Luis Potosi, from whence he returned to his rightful capital as soon as the Empire was thoroughly crushed, and the way had been opened for him by his faithful General, Porfirio Diaz.

While the fortunes of the Constitutional Republic seemed at a low ebb, with the Republican military forces scattered though not exterminated, and the President and his cabinet exiled from their rightful capital to a little town on the banks of the Rio Grande, the term expired for which Benito Juarez had been elected Constitutional President in 1861. And, strange as it may seem, a man was found who could cast covetous eyes upon the presidential office even in the days of its deepest adversity. Juarez himself, at the close of the War of the Reform, was not satisfied with holding the office by his right of succession as President of the Supreme Court of Justice, when the office became vacant by the resignation of Comonfort. He had demanded, in 1861, an expression of the popular will in an election under the Constitution. At the same time General Jesus Gonzalez Ortega was elected President of the Supreme Court of Justice. He had practically abandoned that office while the government of the Republic was itinerant; but he nevertheless claimed that he was the legal successor of Juarez, upon the expiration of the latter's term in the Presidency.

Juarez, however, thought differently, and decided to hold over until a successor could be elected in the manner provided for under the Constitution of 1857. His decision was probably a wise one. At all events, the attempt of Ortega to oust Juarez was without result; and in August, 1867, in order to test the legality of his action at Paso del Norte, Juarez directed a new Presidential election to be held. Sebastian Lerdo de Tejada and General Porfirio Diaz were entered as candidates against him; but Juarez was elected, and his course at Paso del Norte was fully sustained. He began a new Constitutional term of four years in the Presidency the following December.

Probably the measure by which Juarez would have preferred that his administration of the government from 1867 to 1871 should be remembered was his Decree of General Amnesty. But his popularity waned, and when the expiration of his term of office drew near, in 1871, his re-election was opposed by the same candidates as four years previously, and the contest was an unusually exciting one. The election of Juarez was extremely close, and he was not installed in office without a formal protest from his opponents, the protest taking the form of a pronunciamento under the name of the "Plan de Noria."

This revolutionary movement might have eventuated very disastrously for the government of Mexico, but for the sudden death of Juarez, on July 19, 1872. He was in his sixty-sixth year, and had been President of Mexico nearly thirteen years, though a large part of that time exiled from the capital of his country, and opposed first by the Reactionary Anti-Presidents, and afterwards by an Empire of foreign creation. The chief characteristic of his public career was his effort, with the assistance of such men as Gomez Farias, Melchor Ocampo, and Miguel Lerdo de Tejada, to establish Constitutional government in Mexico,—to make law superior to force in that country. His efforts were successful so far as the establishment of the Constitution of 1857 was concerned; but he had encountered many difficulties in making that Constitution effective, and in training his fellow-countrymen up to an appreciation of the blessings of independence, peace, and self-government.

For two days the body of the Indian President lay in state at the National Palace, visited by thousands of Mexicans of every class. Then it was accompanied through the streets of the capital by a vast throng to the Panteon de San Fernando, where a beautiful monument now marks the last resting-place of Benito Juarez. Under a canopy, supported by Doric columns, a white marble group represents Mexico's grief at the death of her greatest hero.

To the same Panteon the remains of Miramon and Mejia were allowed to be removed, a few months after the execution at Queretaro. Within the same enclosure lies the dust of Ex-President Ignacio Comonfort, Ignacio Zaragoza (the hero of Cinco de Mayo), Salazar and Arteaga, two distinguished victims of the decree of October 3, 1865. The tomb of Vicente Guerrero occupies a niche upon one side. And in a mural tomb, closed by a white marble slab bearing the inscription "Sacrificado por la Tirania," lie the bones of Melchor Ocampo, a liberal patriot who was hanged by the Reactionaries in 1863 for advocating liberal movements and for supporting the Constitution that was intended to guarantee to the Mexicans popular rights and a national government freed from ecclesiastical control and military domination.

Porfirio Diaz and Mexico of To-Day

Juarez was immediately succeeded in the Presidency of Mexico by his virtual Vice-President and President of the Supreme Court of Justice, Sebastian Lerdo de Tejada, who was confirmed in his office by a special election and began a constitutional term of four years in December, 1872. Lerdo was a gentleman and scholar, and had been a friend of Juarez, and especially influential in his cabinet throughout the trying period that has been sometimes sneeringly termed "the Government of Paso del Norte." He attempted to continue the policy of Juarez, and in 1873 the "Reform Laws" became a part of the Constitution, and the Sisters of Charity (the last remaining religious order) were suppressed.

The "Plan de Noria" collapsed upon the death of Juarez, and for three years the administration of Lerdo was tolerated if not popular, and the country was quiet and progressive. But as the expiration of his term of office drew near, a strong opposition to his re-election was developed, and culminated in the "Plan de Tuxtepec," in January, 1876. This was put forth in the State of Oaxaca; and General Porfirio Diaz, who had been regarded by Lerdo as a dangerous rival and had been virtually expatriated, now emerged from the place of his exile on the Rio Grande, and not only endorsed the "Plan de Tuxtepec," but became the head of the revolutionary army supporting the Plan. By midsummer the entire country was in a state of revolution, and it seemed that Mexico had gone back to its former days of restlessness and lawlessness.

General Jose Maria Iglesias likewise "pronounced," claiming the Presidency upon a principle similar to that of Ortega in 1865. He attempted to set up his government in Guanajuato. The struggle became tripartite, therefore; and between the "Lerdistas," the "Porfiristas," and the "Iglesistas," it seemed for a time that the lives of Juarez, Ocampo, Gomez Farias, and the other advocates of Constitutional government had been spent in vain. But in the autumn of 1876 a decisive battle was fought at Tecoac, and the victory was with the "Porfiristas." Lerdo fled to the United States, and the "Iglesistas " soon afterwards collapsed. General Juan N. Mendez became Military Governor of the country long enough to be numbered in its list of rulers; but General Porfirio Diaz was proclaimed Provisional President, and in April, 1877 was duly elected Constitutional President for a term ending November 30, 1880. This was with the distinct understanding that he was to be ineligible to an immediate second term, and that the Constitution of 1857 was to be amended to that effect. Consequently he was succeeded on that date by General Manuel Gonzalez, who, out of eight presidential aspirants, was elected for a Constitutional term of four years.

General Gonzalez was not the kind of man to assist in the work of regenerating Mexico and giving it good government. But for the influence of Porfirio Diaz, his administration would have been reactionary, and much of the good that had been done there would have been lost. As it was, certain charges of maladministration and corruption, brought against General Gonzalez and his government, have never been satisfactorily answered. It was a great blessing to the country, therefore, when in 1884, General Porfirio Diaz was, practically without opposition, elected President for a Constitutional term of four years.

With his installation in the Presidency, on November 30, 1884, began a new era in the history of Mexico,—an era of prosperity, of progress, of good government, of real national greatness. This remarkable man, for whom Mexico had waited for many years to complete the tasks which Juarez had begun, was born in Oaxaca, on the anniversary of Hidalgo's "grito de Dolores," in 1830. He inherited some Indian blood through his mother. He was at first designed for the Church, but decided for himself upon a career at the bar. In the arts of both war and politics he received early lessons in the war with the United States and in the revolt against Santa Anna's dictatorial government. He received honorable wounds and promotion to a lieutenant-colonelcy in the wars waged in and around Oaxaca in the interests of good government, and was ready to be made Chief of Brigade when the War of the Reform broke out. The bare record of his military exploits, wounds, adventures, and escapes in that war and in the later opposition to the French Interventionists and Mexican Imperialists, would read like a romance. He was one of the heroes of Cinco de Mayo.

As the Empire of Maximilian fell to pieces, an effort was made by Imperialists to reorganize the government with Diaz at the head of the nation in place of Juarez. But Diaz was loyal to the Republic and to the Constitutionally chosen chief of the Republic, After the fall of Queretaro, in May, 1867, he secured the surrender of the City of Mexico and prepared for the return of Juarez to his rightful capital. He then retired to his estate in the state of Oaxaca. The "Progresistas" made him a candidate for the Presidency, against his old friend Juarez, in 1867, and again in 1871; but he made little effort on his own behalf in either election. When, however, he was formally installed as Constitutional President in 1877, he began to make the Constitution of 1857 effective, and to plan and labor for the prosperity of his country and for the development of its national greatness.

His plans for national regeneration were held somewhat in abeyance during the administration of Manuel Gonzalez, but he improved the opportunities afforded him during those four years to cultivate for Mexico the friendship of the United States and to study American institutions. Hence, when he was re-elected in 1884, he returned to the task of building up the nation with a mind broadened by what he had learned; and he has pursued his task with vigor and with astonishing success.

He at once instituted reforms which placed the finances of Mexico upon a firm and satisfactory basis. The tariff system was revised and immensely improved. Home industries were encouraged, and agricultural resources were developed. Railroads and telegraph lines were established, thus enhancing the facilities for maintaining peace in the land. Immense sums were expended upon public improvements. The prison system was overhauled and improved. The army was reorganized in such manner as to greatly increase its efficiency. Law and order have been established to such an extent that there is no safer country in which to travel anywhere in the world than Mexico. The drainage of the Mexican Valley, begun three centuries ago, has been finally accomplished by the construction of an immense drainage canal,—one of the greatest engineering works of modern times. But probably the work which has most favorably marked the successive administrations of Porfirio Diaz, the work of which he has the right to feel most proud, is the system of public schools, built up out of absolutely nothing, until it is unsurpassed anywhere in the western hemisphere.

All this was not possible of accomplishment during one presidential term of four years; nor was it possible for another man to execute schemes so vast as those which Porfirio Diaz formulated for the regeneration of his country. Diaz himself had the good sense to see, and the leaders of public opinion in Mexico were able to see also, in 1888, that the work of building up a great nation under such conditions as existed in Mexico was not to be served by a change of administration and of policy every four years.

The Constitution of 1857, which had been amended under the "Plan de Tuxtepec" to render the President ineligible for an immediate second term, was now again amended to permit the President to hold two terms in succession; and under this provision Diaz was reelected in 1888 without opposition. In 1892 all limitations of this kind were stricken from the Constitution and it was made in that respect to conform to the document adopted in 1857. Diaz was again elected in 1892, again in 18961 and again in 1900, in order that he might continue the work of developing the national greatness of Mexico, and of securing to his people a fuller measure of the blessings of independence and peace which he had done so much to establish among them.