William B. Hale to William Jennings Bryan




William B. Hale writes to William Jennings Bryan about Mexico.


Wilson Papers, Library of Congress, Library of Congress, Washington, District of Columbia


Secretary of State

November 14, 6 pm

I questioned Caranza in the presence ofhis Cabinet regarding the degree of organzization existing throughout the revolutionary forces. His repliespositive but carefully made indicated a unity far beyond anything with which the revolutionists here have been generally credited. He asserts that not only is he in control of all troops in north but that practically every rebel commander throughout Mexico definitely recognizes him as Commander–in–Chief. While communication with the south is difficult couriers are constantly passing and general directions are given and obeyed. Zapata is among chiefs who acknowledge his authority. Carranza claims to command eighty thousand men actually in field. Whether or not Carranza’s claims are fully sustainable, the admitted number of revolutionist troops actually in field duly uniformed and under responsible commanders and the vast extent of territory over which war is notoriously being waged, would seem amply to satisfy the demands of international law for the recognition of their belligerency. Inded on the merits of the case it would seem difficult to find reasons to justify longer withholding recognition of them in the character which in fact they completely possess.
I have not felt justified until today in reporting my impressions of personalities here. On the whole impressions are favorable. There is a total lack of accustomed Latin urbanity and of concern for plausibility. With few exceptions the leaders are plain men, their speech is remarkable for Quaker–like conscientiousness and precision. Carranza is positive character, hu ge, slow–moving of body and mind. He is deferred to absolutely. Carranza might be a somewhat more refined Oom Paul. His capacity for silent deliberation is remarkable, though when he speaks it is with fluency and appositness. The Minister of Fomento, Bonillas, whom I esteem Carranza’s ablest lieutenant, looks and acts like the best type of old–fashioned Philadelphia Quaker. He is a Massachusetts Technology graduate with an American wife and household here respected by all. There is no mistaking the settled determination of these men and their completed confidence in ultimate complete success. At present there is much lack of orderliness in handling affairs. The Government is, so to speak in Carranza’s hat. He stand sin need of more business–like secretaries.


Original Format





Hale, William Bayard, 1869-1924, “William B. Hale to William Jennings Bryan,” 1913 November 14, WWP18173, First Year Wilson Papers, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.