Page:The Fall of Maximilan's Empire.djvu/56

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have prevented the courier from reaching President Juarez, he decided to make sure that the views of the government should become known to him, and then and there, in the tent of the Mexican general, he wrote the following letter, which was immediately forwarded by special courier:

Camp Casa Mata, Mexico,

May 3, 1867.

His Excellency President Juarez,

Republic of Mexico.

Sir:—I have the honor to inform you that by the last mail received from the United States I have intelligence that the Minister of Foreign Affairs of my government has directed a courier to be sent to you to beg, upon the part of my government, that in the event of the capture, as a prisoner of war, of the Prince Maximilian of Austria, His Excellency the President of Mexico may be pleased, through a spirit of clemency and also of friendship for the United States, that the Prince Maximilian may be spared his life should it be in danger. I thus address you because it is my duty to my government, knowing that its courier may not reach you on account of the uncertainties of the condition of a state of war.

With profound respect, I have the honor to be. Sir,

Your obedient servant,

[Signed]F. A. Roe,

Commander U.S. Navy.

Conflicting as were the various rumors—"galley yarns," to use a ship phrase—regarding the whereabouts of Maximilian, it seemed very certain that a crisis was at hand, and Captain Roe reported to