Page:The Fall of Maximilan's Empire.djvu/104

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

It does not come strictly within the province of the historian to criticise or express opinions, but rather to present facts in all lights so that individual inferences may be drawn. The execution of the Austrian ex-Archduke by the nation he had so deeply, though perhaps at first unwittingly, wronged, was a subject of most mournful interest to Mexicans and to Americans. It has been said that he sacrificed himself by his blindness in attempting to establish a monarchy in spite of timely warnings of the perils he would encounter in accepting a crown at the hands of an unauthorized faction which did not and could not truly represent the mind and will of the Mexican people at large. In general terms, this is undoubtedly true, but a more immediate and tangible cause of mercy not being shown him may perhaps be found in his terrible edict of October 3, 1865, by which Republican officers captured were executed as bandits. One of the first victims of this decree was. General Don José Maria Arteaga, who had been twice governor of the state of Querétaro; when captured he was in chief command of the Liberal army in Michoacan, but was shot as a robber, together with General Salazar and other officers of high rank. Colonel Don Ramon Mendez, who carried out the decree in their case, was promoted to the rank of general and chief commander in the department of Michoacan.

This was not war, and these facts could not be