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Digital History ID 546

Author:   Donaciano Vigil

Annotation: During a rebellion in January 1847 against occupation of New Mexico by the United States, the new governor, Charles Bent, was murdered. In the following selection, Donaciano Vigil, a Mexican who sided with the United States during the war and replaced Bent as governor, pleads for calm.

Document: Fellow Citizens: Your regularly appointed governor had occasion to go on private business as far as the town of Taos. A popular insurrection headed by Pablo Montoya and Manuel Cortez, who raised the cry of revolution, resulted in the barbarous assassination of his excellency, the governor, of the greater part of the Government officials, and some private citizens....

Another of his pretended objects is to wage war against the foreign government. Why, if he is so full of patriotism, did he not exert himself and lead troops to prevent the entry of American forces in the month of August, instead of glutting his insane passions and showing his martial valor by the brutal sacrifice of defenseless victims, and this at the very time when an arrangement between the two governments, with regard to boundaries, was expected? Whether this country has to belong to the government of the United States or return to its native Mexico, is it not a gross absurdity to foment rancorous feelings toward people with whom we are either to compose one family, or to continue our commercial relations? Unquestionably it is.

To-day or to-morrow a respectable body of troops will commence their march for the purpose of quelling these disorders of Pablo Montoya, in Taos. The government is determined to pursue energetic measures toward all the refractory until they are reduced to order, as well as to take care of and protect honest and discreet men; and I pray you that, harkening to the voice of reason, for the sake of the common happiness and your own preservation, you will keep yourselves quiet and engaged in your private affairs.

Source: Senate Document No. 442, 56th Congress, 1st Session.

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