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Dear Brother: We have nearly completed the circle without finding Juarez, who is about as far as ever, away up in Chihuahua for no other possible purpose than to be where the devil himself cannot get at him.
I have not the remotest idea of riding on mule back a thousand miles in Mexico to find its chief magistrate, and although the French go away and Maximilian follow, I doubt if Juarez can be made to trust his life and safety to his own countrymen. We found Vera Cruz in possession of the French and Maximilian, and we found Tucapiso in possession of local troops in the interest of Maximilian, but they had not the remotest idea where we should look for Juarez. We have just reached here, and shall to-morrow go up to Matamoras to meet General Escobedo, who can possibly fix some date when Juarez will come within reach of civilization.
The truth is these Mexicans were and are still as unable as children to appreciate the value of time. They shrug their shoulders and exclaim " Quien sabe ! " (who knows) and "Poco tiempo" (in a short time), utterly regardless of combinations with others.
Mr. Campbell can deal with none but Juarez and the Eepublican Government he represents, and that government partakes of the characteristics of Mexicans; viz., indecision and utter want of combination.
I believe the French want to leave, but would like to bring us into the scrape. Their scheme of giving Mexico a stable government has cost them $ 200,000,000 of gold, and the whole conception was in hostility to us, to be ready to reabsolve the old Louisiana purchase, where, as Napoleon calculated, our Union had failed. But our Union has not failed, and the French are willing to go, but they are scattered and must collect before they can march for the seacoast to embark. By reason of the everlasting contest between the rival factions of Mexico, the property-holders desire some sort of stable government, and these favor Maximilian. He may attempt to remain after the French go, but I think would soon be forced to go. Then Mexico must of necessity settle her own difficulties. Some think she can, some that she cannot without our aid. This cannot be done without Congress, and on that point I am no advocate. All I can say is that Mexico does not belong to our system. All its northern part is very barren and costly. Its southern part is very good tropical country, but not suited to our people or pursuits. Its inhabitants are a mixture of Indians, negroes, and Spanish, that can never be tortured into good citizens, and would have to be exterminated before the country could be made available to us. I am obeying orders and not carrying out a project of my own, and it is well you should understand it, though I cannot impart it to others.
I don't know what policy the Administration has adopted, but I should deplore anything that would make us assume Mexico in any shape its territory, its government, or its people. Still the French occupation designed in hostility to us should be made to terminate.
- William Sherman