Page:The Fall of Maximilan's Empire.djvu/100

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anxious to save the imperial family in Vienna a terrible grief, this gentleman had offered his services to take a despatch by the shortest route to President Juarez, guaranteeing the secrecy of its contents. Later, on June 1st, Mr. Campbell, then in New Orleans, was ordered to proceed in person immediately to San Luis Potosi, the temporary seat of the Juarist government, in the hope that his presence might not only prevent any act of violence toward the captive prince, but would also ensure his release. Any good effects that might have resulted from such a step were lost by Mr. Campbell's declining to proceed to Mexico, and resigning his post when it was too late to appoint his successor.

Couriers were despatched at different times, bearing to President Juarez messages from Washington of requests for clemency, based upon appeals from various courts of Europe for the assistance of the American government. Queen Victoria and Emperor Napoleon both asked that intercessions should be made, and the substance of their requests was immediately communicated to the Mexican government through Mr. Romero. While the deliberations of the council of war, consisting of six captains and a lieutenant-colonel, sitting in the Teatro Iturbide at Querétaro, were not generally known, it was felt by an instinct common to all that their illustrious prisoner would receive but short thrift. The extraordinary activity of that drum-head court