The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 74, July 1970 - April, 1971 Page: 338
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
dova-were kidnapping her spouse for the express purpose of creating
international difficulties between the United States and Mexico.
Jenkins' plea that he, his father, and his wife were all too ill to
endure such an ordeal went unheeded. Instead, the audacious bandits
demanded a 3oo,ooo peso ransom from the Mexican government,
assured Mrs. Jenkins that her husband would be shot if followed,
and then calmly rode down a main street and out of town. Their
captive was mounted on a rickety horse with his feet tied to the
stirrup leathers." He languished for seven days on the floors of caves
and in the underbrush of nearby mountains. As he suffered, an inter-
national incident developed about him.
It was more than the kidnapping of an American official which
brought the two nations so close to hostilities that fall; it was an
entire list of grievances, a list which had been growing since the
19g o overthrow of Porfirio Diaz, dictator of Mexico. Diaz's ouster
had been followed by usurpation of the presidential office, by an-
archy and civil war. This in turn had led to depredations upon
foreign lives and property in Mexico and along the border. Finally,
intervention by American forces had become necessary in 1914 and
Large-scale involvement in Mexico had been avoided only because
of America's growing concern about and participation in World War I.
As a result, wartime relations between the two powers were uneasy
-indeed, less than cordial. Incidents continued to occur along the
international boundary, American access to the vital Mexican oil
was threatened, and it became apparent that German agents were
using Mexico as a base for propaganda, espionage, and sabotage. For
its part, the American general staff kept both plans and men in
readiness for a possible second front in Mexico.'
With the conclusion of the war in Europe, this situation failed
to improve. Although Venustiano Carranza had been recognized as
the de jure ruler of Mexico on August 31, 1917, by 1919 he was
still not able to govern his nation with the authority necessary
to ensure protection of American lives and interests. Counter-
revolutions were brewing everywhere to dislodge him. In Texas
and New York little revolutionary juntas conspired; in the Republic
itself old faces reappeared to dispute the first chief's tenuous con-
8Jenkins to Summerlin, November 7, 1919, File 125.61383/187, ibid.
'Naval Records Collection, Secretary of the Navy, Files C-2-6i to 185 (Record Group
45, National Archives); New York Times, February 23, 1919.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 74, July 1970 - April, 1971, periodical, 1971; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101200/m1/350/: accessed August 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.