To the People of Mexico
Zachary Taylor

By the General Commanding the Army of the United States of America, to the people of Mexico.

After many years of patient endurance, the United States are at length constrained to acknowledge that a war exists between our Government and the Government of Mexico. For many years our citizens have been subjected to repeated insults and injuries; our vessels and cargoes have been seized and confiscated, our merchants have been plundered, maimed, imprisoned, without cause and without reparation. At length your Government acknowledged the justice of our claims, and agreed by treaty to make satisfaction by payment of several millions of dollars; but this treaty has been violated by your rulers, and the stipulated payment has been withheld. Our late effor to terminate all the difficulties by peaceful negotiation has been rejected by the Dictator Paredes; and our minister of peace, whom your rulers had agreed to receive, has been refused a hearing. He has been treated with indignity and insult, and Paredes has announced that war exists between us. This war, thus first proclaimed by him, has been acknowledged as an existing fact by our own President and Congress with perfect unanimity, and will be prosecuted with vigor and energy against your army and rulers; but those of the Mexican people who remain neutral will not be molested.

Your Government is in the hands of tyrants and usurpers. They have abolished your State Governments, they have overthrown your federal constitution, they have deprived you of the right of suffrage, destroyed the liberty of the press, despoiled you of your arms, and reduced you to a state of absolute dependence upon the power of a military dictator. Your armies and rulers extort from the people by grievous taxation, by forced loans, and military seizures, the very money which sustains the usurpers in their power. Being disarmed, you were left defenceless and as an easy prey to the savage Comanches, who not only destroy your lives and property, but drive into captivity more horrible than death itself your wives and children. It is your military rulers who have reduced you to this deplorable condition. It is these tyrants and their corrupt and cruel satellites, gorged with the people's treasure, by whom you are thus oppressed and impoverished, - some of whom have boldly advocated a monarchical government, and would place a European prince upon the throne of Mexico. We come to obtain reparation for repeated wrongs and injuries; we come to obtain indemnity for the past, and security for the future; we come to overthrow the tyrants who have destoyed your liberties; but we come to make no war upon the people of Mexico, nor upon any form of free government they may choose to select for themselves.

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We come among the people of Mexico as friends and republican brethren; and all who receive us as such shall be protected, whilst all who are seduced into the army of your Dictator shall be treated as enemies. We shall want from you nothing but food for our army, and for this you shall always be paid in cash the full value. It is the settled policy of your tyrants to deceive you in regard to the character an policy of our Government and people. These tyrants fear the example of our free institutions, and constantly endeavor to misrepresent our purposes, and inspire you with hatred for your republican brethren of the American Union. Give us but the opportunity to undeceive you, and you will soon learn that all the representations of Paredes were false, and were only made to induce you to consent to the establishment of a despotic government. In your struggle for liberty from the Spanish monarchy thousands of our countrymen risked their lives and shed their blood in your defence. Our own commodore, the gallant Porter, maintained your flag upon the ocean; and our Government was the first to acknowledge your independence. With pride and pleasure we enrolled your name on the list of independent republics, and sincerely desired that you might in peace and prosperity enjoy all the blessings of free government.

Mexicans! we must treat as enemies, and overthrow, the tyrants who, whilst they have wronged and insulted us, have deprived you of your liberty; but the Mexican people who remain neutral during the contest shall be protected against their military despots by the republican army of the Union.

Z. Taylor,
Brevet Major-General U. S. A. Commanding.


Memoirs of a Maryland Volunteer. War with Mexico in the years 1846-7-8 by John R. Kenly
J. B. Lippincott & Co., Philadelphia, 1873, pages 57-59