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    Woodrow Wilson Autograph Draft of Announcement Regarding Pancho Villa. One-page in pencil on lined paper, 5.25" x 8"; n.p. A heavily annotated draft statement concerning Wilson's administration's actions against Pancho Villa in Mexico, which was given to the press. In full:

    "An adequate force will be sent at once in pursuit of Villa with the single object of capturing him and putting a stop to his forays. This can and will be done in entirely friendly aid of the constituted authorities in Mexico and with scrupulous respect for the sovereignty of that Republic."

    Written on the verso in an unknown hand: "Given to the Press Shortly after 12 oclock on Friday March 10, 1916."

    In October 1915, the United States formally recognized Villa's former ally and rival Venustiano Carranza (1859-1920) as the new head of Mexico in the wake of revolution in that country. In retaliation, Francisco "Pancho" Villa (1878-1923) and his paramilitary force attacked Americans and their property in northern Mexico. On March 9, Villa's troops attacked the town of Columbus, New Mexico, killing ten civilians and eight U.S. Army soldiers, wounding two civilians and six soldiers, burning buildings, stealing horses and mules, and seizing guns and ammunition. The Wilson administration received news of Villa's raid late in the morning of March 9 and President Wilson and Secretary of State Robert Lansing reportedly made the decision later that day to take military action against Villa. On the morning of March 10, Wilson and his Cabinet discussed the raid and the appropriate U.S. response. Cabinet members advised that Congress should adopt a resolution calling for armed intervention if the Mexican government did not take action against Villa. Wilson disagreed, claiming that he wanted to avoid a war with Mexico, and argued for a small force to be sent to capture Villa. The President and Cabinet agreed that a small expedition would be sent accompanied by a statement recognizing Mexico's sovereignty that would mollify Carranza. This statement, released to the press on the afternoon of March 10, did not please Carranza, who claimed there was no justification for military action. Nevertheless, Wilson and Lansing ignored his objections and sent a small force of 4,000 soldiers under the command of General John Pershing into Mexico in pursuit of Villa. Even though the expeditionary force was subsequently increased to 10,000, Pershing never captured Villa and ended up fighting Carranza's forces. From the Estate of Malcolm S. Forbes.

    Condition: The document has rust stains at the top and bottom from metal paper clips (since removed) with soiling and uneven toning.

    Fees, Shipping, and Handling Description: Flat Material, Small (view shipping information)

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