History of the American Nation, Volume 6

Author: William James Jackman

Chapter 95:
Sensational Political Events of 1912

Attempts to Assassinate Roosevelt.—Shooting of the Former President at Milwaukee.—Roosevelt’s Coolness and Pluck.—His Last Appearance in Public After the Shooting. Punishment of the Assailant.—Expulsion of Lorimer From the United States Senate.—Peculiar Facts of the Case.—No Evidence Incriminating Lorimer.—Verdict of Expulsion in Conflict With Testimony.—The Funk-Hines Incident.—Governor Deneen’s Statement.—Report of Investigating Committee.—Impeachment of Judge Arch bald.—Charged With Selling His Judicial Influence. Found Guilty and Removed From the Bench.—Resignation of Dr. Wiley.—Influences Hostile to Pure Food Law at Work.—Attempt to Expel Senator Stephens, of Wisconsin, Fails.—Nicaraguan Revolution. - Proceedings Against Judge Hanford.—Changes in the Constitution of Ohio.—The Revolution in Mexico.

Under this heading, for it was a crime growing out of politics, may be included the attempt to murder Theodore Roosevelt, which was made at Milwaukee, Wis., on the evening of October 14th, 1912. Mr. Roosevelt was on his way to address a political meeting at the Auditorium and had just entered an automobile near the Gilpatrick hotel, when he was shot by John Schrank an insane man. The bullet struck Mr. Roosevelt in the right breast, but was prevented from doing serious injury by being deflected in an upward course by an eyeglass case and a roll of manuscript which he had in the inside pocket of his coat. The assailant was overpowered by one of Mr. Roosevelt’s secretaries and was in danger of being harshly treated by the crowd when the ex-president said in a loud, clear voice:

"Don’t hurt the poor creature."

This quieted the crowd, which realized that Mr. Roosevelt was not badly hurt, and a few moments later he was on his way to the meeting, while Schrank was being taken to jail. Efforts were made to induce Mr. Roosevelt to abandon the engagement and receive medical aention, but he declined, and delivered his speech to an audience of 10,000 people. During the course of his remarks he told calmly of what had occurred, exhibiting the hole in his coat, the dented eyeglass case, and punctured manuscript. His simple narrative created an intense sensation.

When his speech was concluded Mr. Roosevelt was taken to a hospital and examined by physicians who decided that he might make the journey to Chicago the next morning, provided special arrangements were made for his comfort. Accordingly he was taken to Chicago, October 15th, on a specially equipped train, where, at Mercy hospital, he received the attention of Drs. John B. Murphy, Arthur Dean Bevan, S. L. Terrell, Joseph Bloodgood and R. G. Sayle. Their verdict was that the bullet was buried about four inches in the chest, that an immediate operation for its removal would not be advisable, and that, while the patient’s condition was hopeful, the wound was of such a nature as to demand absolute rest for a number of days. In the meantime Mrs. Roosevelt had started for Chicago, and a day later joined her husband at the hospital. Here they remained until October 21st when Mr. Roosevelt was taken to his home at Oyster Bay, where with one exception, he remained until the close of the campaign. This exception was on October 30th when he visited New York and addressed a monster meeting at Madison Square Garden in the interest of the Progressive ticket. His reception was a notable one and he received many evidences of public sympathy.

It was shown that Schrank had trailed Roosevelt from New York to Milwaukee awaiting an opportunity to kill him. In doing this he had followed Mr. Roosevelt to Charleston, S. C.; Augusta, Ga.; Birmingham, Ala.; Chattanooga and Nashville, Tenn.; Evansville, Ind.; Louisville, Ky.; and finally, Chicago and Milwaukee. He said he thought it was his duty to "remove" any man who was seeking a third term. Schrank denied being a Socialist, saying that he was an independent in politics. A commission of physicians pronounced him insane and, having pleaded guilty to the charge of attempting to kill Roosevelt, Judge Backus ordered him confined in the asylum for the insane at Oshkosh, until such time as he might recover from his insanity, when he was to be brought before the court for further proceeding.

So far as known the wound has never caused Mr. Roosevelt any serious inconvenience, his robust physique and clean method of living, in the opinion of physicians, enabling him to overcome the shock which to most other men would have been fatal.

Although once sustained in the right to his seat in the United States senate by a decisive vote, Senator William Lorimer, of Illinois, was rearraigned on the same charge—that of having secured his seat by bribery—on June 20th, 1911. The direct assertions of Mr. Lorimer’s enemies was that by the use of money and other methods of corruption he had bought his election through the Illinois legislature. A committee of eight United States senators was named to take testimony. This committee consisted of four Republicans—Dillingham, of Vermont; Gamble, South Dakota; Jones, Washington; Kenyon, Iowa; and four Democrats—Johnston, Alabama; Kern, Indiana; Lea, Tennessee; Fletcher, Florida. Thus was presented the curious spectacle of a man once acquitted being compelled to defend himself a second time on the same charge, something unheard of in the annals of modern jurisprudence. But the political bias was so great, and the influence clamoring for Lorimer’s downfall so strong, that all legal procedure was ignored.

Numerous sessions were held by the committee in both Washington and Chicago, 180 witnesses being examined and 102 days occupied in the hearing. The most sensational feature was the introduction by the anti-Lorimer side of dictagraph notes of a confession said to have been made by Charles McGowan to the effect that his testimony in favor of Lorimer had been bought. Milton W. Blumenberg, the official stenographer of the investigating committee, was examined as an expert on the accuracy of these dictagraph notes and declared they were faked. For thus testifying he was held to be in contempt, but was not otherwise punished.

Strong testimony in favor of Mr. Lorimer was given by Governor Deneen, of Illinois, a factional political opponent. Governor Deneen testified that the night before Mr. Lorimer was elected senator the latter was in his (Deneen’s) room at the state house until midnight trying to induce him (Deneen) to accept the senatorship. In order to make it plain to Deneen that this was not done to get him out of the way as governor so that the Lorimer forces might control the state patronage, Mr. Lorimer offered to have both the lieutenant governor and the speaker of the house (two Lorimer men) resign and allow Governor Deneen to appoint their successors, or at least assist him in filling their places with Deneen men. This did not look like logical action on the part of a man who was trying to buy his way into the seat which was offered to a political opponent. It was put in evidence through Governor Deneen that Lorimer on this occasion said:

"If you will accept I will see that the members who are now supporting me vote for you, and this, with the following you should be able to control, will make your election sure."

No evidence showing Lorimer’s connection with anything like bribery was produced. The nearest approach to it was when Clarence S. Funk, general manager of the International Harvester Company, said that Edward Hines, of the Hines Lumber Company, had asked him for a contribution of $10,000 as part of a fend of $100,000 to be used in securing the election of Lorimer. This was denied by Hines, and also by Edward Tilden, the man to whom Funk said the money was to be paid. The investigating committee voted 5 to 3 that Mr. Lorimer was entitled to his seat, the official finding being:

"Resolved, That in the opinion of this committee this investigation does not show that there were used or employed in the election of William Lorimer to the senate of the United States from the state of Illinois corrupt practices and methods."

This resolution, offered by Senator Gamble, was adopted March 28th, 1912. At the same time Senator Johnson offered the following, which was also adopted:

"Resolved, That the testimony failed to show that Senator Lorimer himself used any corrupt practices or means or had any knowledge that any were used."

Then Senator Jones secured the passage of a resolution which read:

"Resolved, That nothing has developed in or by this investigation that justifies a reversal of the solemn and deliberate judgment of the United States senate, rendered during the last session of the 61st congress, holding valid the election of William Lorimer as a senator of the United States."

The vote on all three of these resolutions was the same, 5 to 3, this vote being cast as follows:

Those in favor—Dillingham, of Vermont, Rep.; chairman; Gamble, of South Dakota, Rep.; Jones, of Washington, Rep.; Johnston, of Alabama, Dem.; Fletcher, of Florida, Dem.

The three senators who voted against the resolution were:

Kenyon, of Iowa, Rep.; Kern, of Indiana, Dem.; Lea, of Tennessee, Dem.

On motion of Senator Kern the following minority resolution was then adopted by a vote of 3 to 0; those voting in the affirmative being Kern, Kenyon and Lea:

"That in the opinion of this committee there was a fund distributed in the city of St. Louis on June 21, 1909, by Lee O’Neil Browne, and on July 15, 1909, by Robert E. Wilson, to certain members of the Illinois legislature."

It will be noticed that there is nothing in this minority resolution implicating Mr. Lorimer directly or indirectly. On May 20th, 1912, the full committee submitted both majority and minority reports to the senate. The majority report, signed by Senators Dillingham, Gamble, Jones, Johnston and Fletcher, found Mr. Lorimer was not elected corruptly and was entitled to his seat in the senate; the minority report, signed by Senators Kenyon, Kern and Lea, found that his election was brought about by corrupt means and that he was not entitled to a seat in the senate. The substance of the majority report is contained in the following concluding paragraphs:

"The senate has once solemnly and deliberately passed upon the charges made against him [Lorimer]. Its judgment, after a full investigation and extensive argument, was in his favor and should stand unless new and convincing evidence is produced establishing corruption in his election. This rule is more liberal toward the senate and the people than toward Mr. Lorimer, because if the judgment had been against him he would have been bound by it and no amount of proof would secure its reversal and his reinstatement as a member of this body.

"Absolutely no new and substantial evidence has been produced or discovered on this reinvestigation showing that he was elected by corruption, and we believe that all the rules of law, judicial procedure and justice required that the former judgment of the senate should be held to be conclusive and final.

"There is absolutely no evidence in all the testimony submitted intimating, suggesting or charging that William Lorimer was personally guilty of any corrupt practices in securing his election, or that he had any knowledge of any such corrupt practices, or that he authorized any one to employ corrupt practices in his election.

"We are convinced that no vote was secured for him by bribery; that whatever money White, Beckemeyer, Link, Holstlaw or any other person received was not paid to him or them by any one on Mr. Lorimer’s behalf or in consideration of or to secure such vote or votes for him; that neither Edward Hines nor any one else raised or contributed to a fund to be used to secure his election; that his election was the logical result of existing political conditions in the state of Illinois and was free from any corrupt practice and therefore we must find, and we do find, that William Lorimer’s election was not brought about or influenced by corrupt methods and practices."

The minority report not only insisted that the doctrine of res adjudicata had no application, but declared:

That the evidence obtained established conclusively that at least ten of the votes cast for Mr. Lorimer were corruptly cast, and it named also five other legislators whose votes were sold.

That Senator Lorimer was equally guilty and responsible for the wrongdoing of Lee O’Neil Browne and Edward D. Shurtleff.

That Edward Hines did participate corruptly in Lorimer’s election and that his character was established as one "that looked upon everything and everybody as being purchasable."

That the motive Mr. Hines and Senator Lorimer attempted to ascribe as the reason for Funk’s committing the crime of perjury was too far fetched to be tenable and too ridiculous and absurd to lessen the force of Funk’s testimony.

On the same day these reports were submitted (May 20th) Senator Lea of Tennessee offered the following resolution:

"Resolved, That corrupt methods and practices were employed in the election of William Lorimer to the senate of the United States from the state of Illinois, and that his election therefore was invalid."

It was in this form that the matter was brought before the senate for final action, the adoption of either the majority or minority report of the committee. In the senate at that time were a large number of members whose terms were about expiring and who were to be candidates for reelection the ensuing winter. These men were afraid of hostile newspaper criticism and, under the direction of the Chicago Tribune, the first newspaper to give credence to the charge against Mr. Lorimer, a strong fight was made in the press of the country against him. This resulted in arraying many of the senators whose terms were expiring against him. It was not a question of his guilt or innocence, but merely one of whether it would be most expedient, as a matter of personal political salvation, to vote for or against him.

There was one notable exception. On the first investigation Senator Wesley L. Jones (Rep), of Washington, was in favor of unseating Mr. Lorimer. The evidence at the second hearing was so lacking in anything that would connect Mr. Lorimer in any way with bribery or corruption in any form that Senator Jones was won over and became one of his staunchest supporters.

The matter came to a vote July 14, 1912, when the senate, 55 to 28, adopted the minority report and Lorimer was unseated.

July 11th, 1912, impeachment resolutions were adopted in the lower house of congress against Judge Robert W. Archbald, of the federal bench, serving as a member of the commerce court. It was alleged that Archbald had been guilty of misconduct in his official actions and should be removed from office. He was charged with having unduly influenced the Erie railway which was interested in litigation pending before him, to sell to him and his associates at a nominal price a certain culm bank, the contents of which were later disposed of at a handsome profit.

That the same tactics were employed by Archbald in connection with the purchase of another culm bank at Taylor, Pa., from the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railway, which was also interested in litigation pending in Archbald’s court.

That the same influence was used to secure from the Lehigh Valley Railway the lease of a culm bank near Shenadoah, Pa.

That contrary to the sworn duty of a judge, Archbald solicited and obtained from the attorney for the Louisville & Nashville Railway secret explanation and correction of testimony injurious to the road which had been given by one of its own witnesses in a suit on trial before Archbald.

That, for a consideration of $500, Archbald personally endeavored to induce the Philadelphia & Reading Railway to execute a certain lease to one Frederick Warnke, the railway at that time being interested in litigation pending before Archbald.

That he corruptly attempted to use his influence as a judge to induce the Lehigh Valley Coal Company (the Lehigh Valley Railway) to purchase a tract of 800 acres of coal lands.

That the said Archbald corruptly connived with one W. W. Rissinger, then having litigation pending in Archbald’s court, to embark in a private business enterprise with him. Archbald at the time received from Rissinger a promissory note for $2,500 which was later discounted and which has never been paid. Archbald then gave Rissinger judgments for about $28,000 against various insurance companies he was suing, the agreement being that these judgments were to be paid within fifteen days from date.

That Archbald corruptly attempted to coerce Christopher G. Boland and William P. Boland, interested in litigation before him, to discount a certain promissory note for $500.

That judgment was corruptly given in favor of one C. H. Von Storch, when Von Storch discounted Archbald’s note for $500.

That Archbald accepted from one Henry W. Cannon a large sum of money (exact amount unknown), Cannon being at the time interested in a number of interstate carriers any or all of which were liable at any time to be on trial before Archbald.

That Archbald did wrongfully and unlawfully receive a sum of money in excess of $500, contributed by various attorneys at the solicitation of court officials appointed by Archbald.

That Archbald did appoint one J. B. Woodward, general attorney for the Lehigh Valley Railway, jury commissioner for his (Archbald’s) district.

That said Archbald had at various times sought to obtain credit from, or through, certain persons interested in the result of suits pending in his court, and that he also at divers times sought to obtain from railways having cases before him valuable contracts without the investment of money, or anything of value, in consideration thereof.

On all of these thirteen charges Archbald was found guilty by the house of representatives, and the finding sent to the senate for action. That body named Senators Clark, of Wyoming; Nelson, of Minnesota; Dillingham, of Vermont; Bacon, of Georgia, and Culberson, of Texas, as a committee to investigate. Archbald was defended by A. S. Worthington and R. W. Archbald, Jr. The action of the lower house was approved, the defendant being found guilty on five of the charges and removed from office.

Reduced to plain language the charges against Archbald were to the effect that he sold his judicial rulings and decisions for a financial consideration. This, in several instances, notably the culm bank cases, amounted to a large sum. The culm banks are supposed to be refuse heaps but usually contain large quantities of merchantable coal. It was so with those acquired by Archbald. In one case, that of the Lehigh Valley Railway dump near Shenandoah, Pa., 472,670 tons of coal were obtained. It is supposed that the proceedings were instigated to some extent by the interstate commerce commission which found its rulings in many important cases being reversed or set aside by the commerce court to which they were appealed.

There was considerable of a sensation caused by the resignation of Dr. Harvey W. Wiley as chief of the bureau of chemistry at Washington, March 15th, 1912. Dr. Wiley had made a long and successful struggle in the interest of a rigid enforcement of the pure food law, and had compelled many reforms in the handling of food supplies. In this he was supposed to have the unqualified support of the Taft administration, as he did that of Mr. Roosevelt. As related on page 1625 of this work, it was far, however, from being plain sailing. In 1911, charges were preferred against Dr. Wiley, as the latter claimed, through the hostility of Secretary of Agriculture Wilson and Attorney General Wickersham. At that time President Taft came to the support of the chief chemist, exonerating him from the charges and expressing the utmost satisfaction with his work. But influences adverse to Wiley were still at work, directed by Solicitor McCabe, of the agricultural department, and Dr. Frederick Dunlap, assistant to Dr. Wiley. The latter said that his work was largely undone or nullified by the supervisory power held by these men. He asserted that the fundamental principles of the pure food law had been paralyzed, that interests engaged in the manufacture of misbranded and adulterated foods and drugs had escaped punishment, and that the activities of the bureau of chemistry had been restricted. It could be restored to its former usefulness, Dr. Wiley held, only by relieving him from the supervision of the men who had hampered him in the performance of his duties. As this was done he resigned. In accepting his resignation President Taft and Secretary Wilson both expressed regret at losing Dr. Wiley’s services. Of the earnestness of these expressions Dr. Wiley and his friends raised doubts in a delicate and guarded manner, and the event passed into history as another instance of the sacrifice of an honest, efficient official on the eve of a presidential election at the behest of powerful political interests. Dr. R. E. Doolittle, of Michigan, was made acting chemist to succeed Dr. Wiley.

In 1912 the United States senate was called upon to dispose of a second scandal involving the alleged acquisition of a seat in that body by corrupt methods. This was the case of Isaac Stephenson, senator from Wisconsin. Charges were made against Mr. Stephenson in 1911, but it was not until March 25th, 1912, that the matter came to a vote and Mr. Stephenson was exonerated. In many respects this was very similar to the Lorimer case, the gist of the accusation being that Stephenson had bought his election to the senate. The committee hearing this case consisted of Senators Heyburn, Sutherland, Pomerene, Bradley and Paynter. During this investigation Senator Stephenson testified that his election had cost him $107,793, the money being expended under the supervision of his campaign manager, E. A. Edmonds. The latter had carte blanche to disburse it as he saw fit. Mr. Edmonds in turn declared the money was all spent legitimately in furthering the election to the legislature of men who would vote for Stephenson, for brass bands, lithographs, buttons, advertising and other customary campaign expenses. January 18th, 1912, the Heyburn sub-committee made a report to the effect that the charges against Senator Stephenson had not been proved, and held him guiltless of any attempt to corrupt the legislature of Wisconsin. This was submitted to the committee on privileges and elections, by whom, after a long discussion, it was approved February 10th, 1912, by a vote of 8 to 5. The senators who voted to sustain the report were Dillingham, Bradley, Gamble, Heyburn and Sutherland, all Republicans; and Johnston, Fletcher and Pomerene, Democrats. Clapp, Jones and Kenyon, Republicans, and Kern and Lea, Democrats, voted against it.

Finally, on March 25th, 1912, the matter came up in the senate for action on the report. On this occasion a strong speech was made by Senator Reed, of Missouri, favoring the expulsion of Stephenson. March 26th Senator Jones, of Washington, offered a resolution declaring the seat vacant. This was lost, the vote being 27 to 29. March 27th the report of the committee declaring Stephenson to have been properly elected was adopted by a vote of 40 to 34. Twelve Democrats voted in favor of Mr. Stephenson, and sixteen Republicans against him.

What looked like a war that would involve this country in a serious embroglio occurred in Nicaragua in the summer of 1912 (August), and American troops were landed there, taking active part in the hostilities. These grew out of one of the petty revolutions which are constantly springing up in Central and South America. General Luis Mena, the former minister of war, started a revolution against the government. American property was seized by the revolutionists, and American citizens were in danger of being killed. To protect lives and property United States marines were sent to Managua. This was done at the request of George T. Weitzel, the American minister, and of President Diaz, of Nicaragua, both of them declaring the situation was serious. It was held by the authorities at Washington that this warranted armed intervention. Opponents of President Taft, however, have seized upon this incident to compare it unfavorably with the attitude of the Taft administration in the more recent revolution in Mexico, when the crossing of the border line by American troops was expressly prohibited in orders from Washington.

General Mena, at the head of a considerable force of revolutionists, made an attack on Managua August 10th, but were driven off by the Diaz forces, assisted by the American marines. The defenders lost 14 men killed and 125 wounded. The loss of the enemy was between 400 and 500 killed and wounded. As conditions were apparently becoming more serious, three additional companies of American marines were sent there. A little later President Taft ordered the Tenth Infantry, on duty in Panama, to proceed to Nicaragua, but this was later countermanded on receipt of information that its services were not needed. More marines were sent, however, and at one time garrisoned the principal towns on the coast.

General Vaca, leader of the revolutionists in the vicinity of Leon, captured that place August 17th, and killed 430 of the defenders after the surrender. This caused Minister Weitzel to notify General Vaca that the American forces would be used to restore peace and prevent further bloodshed. October 4th the American marines captured the town of Coyotene, which had been held by the rebels, losing four men killed and having six wounded. On October 6th American marines recaptured Leon from the rebels, losing three men killed. In the meantime General Mena had surrendered and was deported. This ended the revolution. There was some little desultory skirmishing for a time, but peace was soon restored. It was the first time in the history of this government under recent administrations at least, when American troops have taken active part in the hostilities of a foreign country with which we were not at war. It was held in this instance that armed intervention was justifiable in Nicaragua not merely to afford protection to the lives and property of American citizens, but on account of the proximity of Nicaragua to Panama and the serious effect that a long-continued revolution might have on our canal interests.

Efforts were made in 1912 to impeach Cornelius H. Hanford, a judge of the United States district court at Seattle, Wash., but were dropped when Hanford resigned. He was charged with intoxication, misconduct, and corrupt decisions generally, but the specific act which led Congress to proceed against him was the revocation of the citizenship papers of Leonard Olsson, of Tacoma, Wash. Olsson was a member of the Socialists Labor party and of the Industrial Workers of the World. As a witness in court, Olsson had sworn he was not attached to the constitution of the United States. Action to disfranchise him was begun by John Speed Smith, chief naturalization examiner for that district. Judge Hanford cancelled Olsson’s citizenship papers, and Victor L. Berger, Socialist congressman from Milwaukee, at once began impeachment proceedings against Hanford. The hearing was begun June 27th, 1912, and continued until July 22d, when the resignation of Hanford caused further proceedings to be dropped.

Radical changes were made in the state constitution of Ohio at a special election held September 3, 1912. Eight proposed changes were defeated. These included suffrage for women, bond issues for good roads, prohibition of outdoor advertising, appointment of women to certain offices, and elimination of the word "white" from the constitution. Nine important amendments were adopted. These were:

Permitting laws to be passed authorizing the rendering of verdicts in civil cases by the concurrence of not less than three-fourths of a jury.

Enabling the assembly to pass bills over the referendum to propose amendments to the constitution, to propose laws to the general assembly for enactment and also to enable the electors to require that any law passed by the general assembly be submitted to a popular vote.

Enabling the assembly to pass bills over the governor’s veto by a three-fifths vote of all the members elected to each house. Measures which by the constitution require a two-thirds vote on their original passage are excepted.

Permitting the passage of laws to improve the conditions of employment of men, women and children.

Permitting legislation to establish a fund from compulsory contributions by the industries of the state for the compensation of workmen in case of accidents or occupational diseases and of their dependent relatives in case of death.

Making mandatory the passage of laws for the removal from office of public officers for misconduct involving moral turpitude. It is an addition to the usual impeachment proceedings.

Abolishing prison contract labor.

Simplifying the judicial system so as to shorten proceedings and lessen the expense of litigation.

Making mandatory the passage of laws placing, as far as practicable, all appointive officers in the service of the state and the counties and cities under civil service regulation.

Giving cities and villages the right to frame their Own charters, own and regulate their own public utilities and to adopt by ordinance such local police, sanitary and other similar regulations, not in conflict with the general laws, as they may deem necessary. To the general assembly is reserved the authority to limit the power of cities to levy taxes and incur debts for local purposes, to control elections, and, by general laws, to make such provisions for police and sanitary regulations and other similar matters as may be for the general welfare of the state.

Seriously affecting the United States in much the same manner as the revolt in Nicaragua, the internecine strife in Mexico, a troublesome phase of which began in February, 1912, had assumed much more damaging features to American interests that those attending the uprising in the Central American state. In this latter trouble armed intervention was made by the United States forces almost at the start, and order was quickly restored. In Mexico, although the provocation for intervention has been much greater, the government at Washington has contented itself with a series of friendly warnings which seem to be without effect on either the Mexican authorities in power or the revolutionists. The character of these latter is continually changing. As fast as one set of revolutionists comes into power and organizes a government there is another uprising, and the authorities installed by the revolutionists are compelled to surrender or make war on the new lot. As there is a large amount of American capital invested in Mexico, and thousands of American citizens engaged in business there, this state of constant unrest and uncertainty has a very damaging effect, especially in view of the contiguity of the two countries.

At the beginning of 1912 Francisco I. Madero was in power as President, having succeeded Diaz, who had been compelled to resign and flee the country. Almost from the start of his regime Madero was in trouble. There were numerous sets of claimants for his place, and a succession of annoying and disastrous revolutions ensued. At one time there were three distinct uprisings, and three distinct sets of rebels trying to unseat Madero and seize the government. In the northern part of Mexico the leaders of the revolt were General Emilio Vasquez Gomez, General Geronimo Trevino and General Pascual Orozco. These revolutionists were known as Vasquistas. In the southern part Emiliano Zapata was in command, and his followers were called Zapatistas. To a certain extent these two forces operated in harmony, their purpose being a common one—to get rid of Madero. But this did not prevent them from being enemies after Madero was disposed of. In Vera Cruz, General Felix Diaz, nephew of the deposed president Porfirio Diaz, had a revolution of his own. He was not in sympathy with either the Vasquistas or the Zapatistas. What he wanted was to avenge the unseating of his uncle and?restore the Diaz family to power. This four-handed contest between the three bands of rebels and the Federal forces under Madero made Mexico a hotbed of disorder. The principal events of the year may be recorded as follows:

February 23—Manifesto circulated proclaiming General Geronimo Trivino president ad interim of Mexico.

March 2—President Taft issues proclamation warning American citizens to refrain from entering Mexico and from taking any part in the disturbances there.

March 6—General Pascual Orozco proclaimed generalissimo of rebel forces in Chihuahua.

March 28—Arms shipped for defense of American residents of City of Mexico.

April 6—Forty rebels killed near Necaxa, state of Puebla.

April 9—Rebel forces at Jojoutlo, Morelos, routed; 500 reported killed.

April 14—Warning issued by the United States to the Mexican government and to General Pascual Orozco that American life and property within the republic of Mexico must be adequately protected.

April 17—Mexican minister of foreign affairs makes an official statement denying the right of the American government to make the admonition contained in the note sent from Washington.

April 26—Rebels numbering 2,000 completely routed by garrison at Tepic; 220 killed and many wounded.

April 27—Many Americans of the west coast of Mexico reported to be in peril.

May 4—Emilio Vasquez Gomez formally proclaimed provisional president of Mexico with capital at Juarez.

May 5—Six hundred rebels killed near Cuatro Cienegas by federals, under Colonel Pablo Gonzales.

May 12—Rebels under General Orozco routed by General Huerta’s federal forces at Conejos.

July 3—Important positions occupied by rebels under Orozco captured at Bachinuba canyon.

July 20—Train attacked by Zapatistas near Tres Marias on the Cuernevaca line and eighty-four passengers and soldiers killed.

August 12—Two hundred persons massacred by Zapatistas in Ixtapa; fifty-six soldiers and passengers killed on a train at Ticumen.

September 6—Ultimatum served on Mexico by President Taft that if Americans and their interests are not protected by the Mexican government the United States will intervene.

October 16—General Felix Diaz begins new revolution and with 500 men takes possession of the city of Vera Cruz.

October 23—The city of Vera and General Diaz captured by federal troops without a fight.

October 24—Two of General Diaz’ officers tried by court martial and shot.

October 27—General Diaz condemned by court martial to be shot; sentence suspended.

November 12—General Diaz reported to have made his escape to the United States.

Further record of the progress of the revolution will be made in its chronological order in succeeding chapters. It is interesting to note, however, that although the conditions in 1912 were those of wild disorder, dangerous to the lives and property of Americans, there was no attempt made by this government at protestation, aside from ineffectual messages of warning.


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Chicago: William James Jackman, "Chapter 95: 1912 Sensational Political Events of 1912," History of the American Nation, Volume 6 in William J. Jackman, Jacob H. Patton, and Rossiter Johnson. History of the American Nation, 9 Vols. (Chicago: K. Gaynor, 1911), Pp.1906-1912 Original Sources, accessed November 29, 2022, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=KR87X38GNV6HT1B.

MLA: Jackman, William James. "Chapter 95: 1912 Sensational Political Events of 1912." History of the American Nation, Volume 6, in William J. Jackman, Jacob H. Patton, and Rossiter Johnson. History of the American Nation, 9 Vols. (Chicago: K. Gaynor, 1911), Pp.1906-1912, Original Sources. 29 Nov. 2022. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=KR87X38GNV6HT1B.

Harvard: Jackman, WJ, 'Chapter 95: 1912 Sensational Political Events of 1912' in History of the American Nation, Volume 6. cited in , William J. Jackman, Jacob H. Patton, and Rossiter Johnson. History of the American Nation, 9 Vols. (Chicago: K. Gaynor, 1911), Pp.1906-1912. Original Sources, retrieved 29 November 2022, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=KR87X38GNV6HT1B.