Captain Roe was certain not to thwart the desire nor run counter to the policy of the State Department, however much it might disapprove his taking positive action.
In the history of many a diplomatic tilt it has been found necessary to disapprove publicly a certain line of action taken by an individual officer, however much such action may have been secretly applauded. In this particular case the United States was certainly interested in having Santa Ana's incipient revolution nipped in the bud; should international complications demand it, the officer guilty of over-zeal could afterwards be reprimanded or, if necessary, temporarily disgraced, but the object would have been gained. No single-minded officer would ever hesitate before such an alternative; the only difficulty would be in accurately divining the wish of the government.
The press were somewhat divided on the subject, and, as usual, did not fail to express their various opinions with greater or less warmth. But what was of most importance to Captain Roe was the following paragraph in a memorandum published by the Secretary of State: "In the opinion of the President, Commander Roe has truly stated the character of the transaction which occurred in Vera Cruz, in these words: 'The attitude then of Santa Ana was this: He was on board of an American ship, under the flag of the United States, in a city