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    [Maximilian Affair]. William T. Sherman Autograph Letter Signed "W. T. Sherman" as lieutenant general. Three pages, 7.75" x 9.75", Brazos Santiago [Texas], November 7, 1866. Newly arrived at the coast of Texas, General Sherman writes General Stewart Van Vliet, an old friend and former classmate at West Point, concerning his own involvement in the Maximilian Affair in Mexico. But before getting down to business, Sherman begins this letter by telling Vliet that he has bought him some "Segars" from Havana: "When at Havannah a few days ago, I bought for you a thousand real Segars. . . . [General Daniel] Butterfield asked to send him some. . . . All I know of their quality is they are of Real Havannas, bought at the very factory of Partagas & Co." (The Partagas brand was established in 1845 in Havana.)

    Then Sherman, newly promoted to Lieutenant General of the Army of the United States, gets on to the business at hand: "At Vera Cruz we found the French in possession, but they invited us very politely up to the city which I could not accept because of our Diplomatic character, but if I can get rid of the Diplomatic part I would . . . [illegible] right in to Mexico and find out in five minutes what new . . . [illegible] is attempting-In our hunting for the Govr. of Mexico in the person of its President [Benito] Juarez of whom we thus far have no authentic knowledge." Sherman did, however, think that Juarez might be "up about Monterey & Saltillo in which case I will attend him to the Court, but I have no inclination to go as far as Chihuahua. . . . The French really intend to go and Maximilian will follow. Even these traits among the Liberals so disgust the world & the Mexican People that the Reactionary Party (which begs Maximilian to stay in the Cause of Order) get strength enough to maintain him in authority. Of course, keep these things to yourself."

    As long as French troops remained in Mexico to support the emperor, Maximilian remained in control of the nation. Those French troops, however, agreed to leave on November 13, 1866, but Maximilian did not. Meanwhile, President-elect Juarez was poised to take over, with the support of the U.S. Government. Later, after the French troops left, the Republicans captured Maximilian in May 1867 and executed him in June. Some separation exists along some folds in this letter. Minor tears occur in the center of the letter, but no text is lost.

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    Auction Dates
    April, 2013
    11th Thursday
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