Page:The Story of Mexico.djvu/276

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the Spanish forces, had distinguished himself in the war between the armies of Spain and Napoleon. He sailed away from confusion at home, and imagined, very likely, that he was going to settle down to the peaceable monotony of a life in the provinces. He began by calling a Junta of prominent persons in the capital, and among other things proclaimed to them that the Regency of Spain begged the aid of money from their loyal Americans to sustain the war against Napoleon.

Three days afterwards independence was declared in the Grito de Dolores. The viceroy learned that Mexico was not behind the age in revolutions, and that he must call upon his military skill to suppress a formidable rising in its cradle. He ordered all the troops then in garrison at Mexico to Querétaro, increased these forces with rural troops, and sent for marines to Vera Cruz, while he summoned forces from San Luis Potosi, at the north, and even those of Guadalajara, in the west, to hold themselves in readiness.

He further published a decree of the Regency, liberating all Indians from taxation, and put a price upon the heads of Hidalgo, Allende, and Aldama of ten thousand dollars, promising also indulgence to such Independents as should at once lay down arms.

The Mexican clergy allied themselves with the civil authorities on this issue; the bishops excommunicated Hidalgo and his companions, and furious sermons were preached against them in the churches. The Inquisition renewed all the charges against