Description[Maximilian Affair]. Benito Juarez Autograph Letter Signed. Two page (front and back of a single sheet), 5" x 8", El Paso [del Norte], May 25, 1866. Juarez is writing to his daughter, relating news of American support for the cause of Mexican independence from French rule. In part: "I will celebrate that you have returned without incidence from Washington and that you have enjoyed the monuments and environs of that notable capital. The political news that my [two illegible words] are very interesting for our country. There remains no doubt regarding the next stage of our work." He tells her that he will be going to Chihuahua, because no enemy remains in that area.
Juarez had been deposed by French forces, which had place Maximilian as Emperor. Juarez turned to the United States for support. Citing the Monroe Doctrine, President Andrew Johnson's administration recognized Juarez's government. Although Congress would not authorize funding for Juarez's army, General Phillip Sheridan wrote in his journal that he "misplaced" some 30,000 muskets along the Mexican border. With American support and growing threats elsewhere, the French began withdrawing their forces in the later months of 1866. The letter we offer is written at time when the tides were turning in Juarez's favor. Emperor Maximilian would be captured and executed the following year.
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