Page:Our Sister Republic - Mexico.djvu/99

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short work of him at any cost; but how soon such an opportunity may occur, is a question for unreliable speculation only.

In 1868-9, an expedition against him, to be under the command of General Ramon Corona, was planned and nearly ready to start, but never got marching orders, disturbances requiring the presence of the troops arising elsewhere.

It is a noticeable fact, that nearly all the local revolutions or pronunciamentos in Mexico,—especially in the states bordering on the sea-coast—are fomented and sustained for the moment by foreign houses, who desire to profit, pecuniarily, by the misfortunes of the country and its inhabitants. When several cargoes of goods from Europe, on which duties ranging from fifty to one hundred and fifty per cent ad valorum are payable by law, are about due at some port, the parties in interest look up some ambitious chief, who will consent to be used by them, provide him with the means to raise the first body of troops at hand in a pronunciamento. He then seizes the Custom-House, and if possible, the nearest mint, lets in the cargoes for twenty or twenty-five per cent, of the legal duties, and levies a forced loan or two, on the merchants within his reach. Of course, he takes good care to give receipts for the amount of the prestimo due from the houses in whose interest he is acting. By the time the Government troops arrive to attack him, he is ready to decamp with what funds he has raised, and seek an asylum in the United States, or some other country. The legitimate Government authorities, on being restored to power, find it always difficult, and generally impossible, to collect the duties on the goods which have thus been