Page:The Story of Mexico.djvu/307

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shade of possible opinion, kept the country in a state of disturbance. The unfortunate precedent of appealing to arms after an election, instead of submitting to the result of the ballot, became so established that the elections were little more than a farce. Pedraza, the conservative candidate, was chosen against Guerrero, liberal, by a majority of two. Santa Anna upon this pronounced in Perote, declaring the election of Guerrero valid. Attacked by the troops of the regular army, if such it may be called, he entrenched himself in Oaxaca, in the Convent of St. Domingo, where he defended himself with the greatest bravery and ingenuity, until events made it useless to contest him any longer, and he was released.

A mutiny broke out in the capital, Pedraza fled to Vera Cruz and thence to New Orleans; flames burst forth all over the city, threatening its destruction, while the populace ran about crying "Viva la Libertad!" The Parian, where great wealth of gold, jewels, and rich stuff were stored, was utterly destroyed. From December 3d for several days the town was given over to pillage, the doors of the warehouses were driven in, and every thing seized. The greatest confusion, anarchy in fact, reigned in the capital, beyond any effort on the part of the revolutionary leaders to restrain the disorder. For more than a month afterward stolen goods from the Parian were openly sold in the public squares. The desolation of the city on the night after the first outburst is described by one of the principal actors. The sack, which had begun in the morning