The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 42, July 1938 - April, 1939

Book Reviews

The Influence of Border Troubles on Relations Between the United
States and Mexico, 1876-1910. By Robert Gregg. (Balti-
more: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1937.)
Though there is nothing in its contents to justify its title, this
is an interesting, valuable, and useful book. As a study of border
troubles during the Diaz regime in Mexico, which its title implies
it to be, it deserves to place alongside the famous chapter on snakes
in Ireland; but as a study of Mexican-American diplomacy in the
days of Hayes and Diaz, it breaks new ground.
Diaz took office as President in Mexico, and Hayes, in the United
States, both with tainted titles, at about the same time; and each
had recourse to the world-old expedient of usurping rulers-the
bluff, or threat, or actuality, of foreign war, to obscure the weak-
ness of the government's title to its job. On the part of Hayes,
this took the form of refusing to recognize the Diaz government;
a decision aided by Edward Lee Plumb and other American pro-
moters friendly to Lerdo Tejada, the Mexican President whom
Diaz had deposed. Lerdo Tejada had been a great favorite with
the Grant administration; so much so that the Texans' old enemy,
Juan Nepomuceno Cortinas, now Governor of Tamaulipas, and
Lerdo Tejada's sometime "Commandant of the line of the Rio
Bravo," had been permitted for the past seven years to protect
organized bands of Tamaulipas cattle thieves, operating whole-
sale on the Texan bank of the Rio Grande, without protest, hin-
drance, or check from the American federal government. Texans
were angry and thoroughly aroused, and with General Sam B.
Maxey in the United States Senate, and Gustav Schleicher repre-
senting the Rio Grande District in Congress, were ably led. Maxey
and Schleicher demanded an aggressive attitude toward Mexico,
and, with a Democratic majority in Congress adverse to Hayes
and bitter over the manner of his election, were in position to
enforce their demands. The country was undergoing an "economic
depression," and, not having then learned to "spend its way to
prosperity," Congress was indulging in an economy wave. The
army, considered useless, was fixed at 25,000 men; and prospects
for appropriations to support that 25,000 were scant indeed. But
Texas wanted and needed the army, if used on the Mexican
frontier, and Texas held the balance of power in Congress insofar
as army appropriations were concerned. Texas voted the money

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 42, July 1938 - April, 1939. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101107/. Accessed July 24, 2014.