The Memoirs of William Jennings Bryan

By Mary Baird Bryan; William Jennings Bryan | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XII
SECRETARY OF STATE

WHEN the Wilson administration took charge of the State Department, it found a number of questions left as a legacy by the preceding administration. Mexico was a problem of long standing. After several years of political ferment, another insurrection arose in February, 1913. During the turmoil, Huerta, the head of the Mexican army, took his commander in chief prisoner, and not long after, both the president and vice president were put to death. Then followed the insurrection of the Constitutionalists.

Knowing that Huerta had obtained his office by force, the United States Government refused to give him recognition, and made every effort for the restoration of peace. Our government was particularly anxious about the protection of Americans residing in Mexico, and so far as was possible during a state of war, protected American property interests.

Secretary Bryan was not illy prepared for this work, as in our three visits to Mexico he had learned to know the leading men; he understood the conditions of the country and the temperament of its inhabitants.

The following statement was dictated to me by Secretary Bryan in 1913:


MEXICO

"In dealing with the Mexican situation, we had a number of important questions to consider. The first was whether Huerta should be recognized. A great deal of pressure was brought to bear on the administration by American business interests in Mexico, and much of my time during the first few months was occupied in

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