this was because Mexico viewed Her Majesty's government as the only power capable of blocking U.S. expansionist designs on Texas and California. Four prisoners received their freedom through the intercession of British diplomats in Mexico City, and shortly before the release of all the remaining prisoners on September 16, 1844, Charles Bankhead secured the release of fourteen other men claiming British citizenship. Haynes, Soldiers of Misfortune, 233n.
Chapter Fourteen ~ Notes
1. General Gabriel Valencia was a loyal follower of Santa Anna and had played an important part in the ouster of President Bustamante in 1841, paving the way for Santa Anna's return to power. Calderon de la Barca, Life in Mexico, 495-517.
2. Described by one traveler as "moving bundles of rags," leperos were the very poorest members of Mexican society. Calderon de la Barca, Life in Mexico, 91.
3. As a group, the arrieros of Mexico impressed foreign travelers for their integrity and trustworthiness. Waddy Thompson described them as "stout, hardy, and honest men." Thompson, Recollections of Mexico, 36.
4. Cochineal: a brilliant red dye made from the bodies of the female cochineal, an insect native to the tropical regions of Mexico.
5. Green's accommodating French hosts were natives of the Bordeaux region and, according to Fanny Calderon de la Barca, who stopped at the posada in 1839, "wish themselves in Bordeaux twenty times a day." Calderon de la Barca, the wife of the Spanish minister to Mexico, noted that her hostess "gave us a good dinner, especially excellent fried potatoes, and jelly of various sorts, regaling us with plenty of stories of robbers and robberies all the while." Calderon de la Barca, Life in Mexico, 86-87.
6. Green's attention to the spelling of the towns he visited on his march through Mexico was casual at best. The town he refers to here is Acajete.
7. In February 1842, fifty-two Santa Fé Expedition prisoners stopped at Acajete en route to Perote, Green's destination. Most of the Santa Fé Expedition men were incarcerated in prisons in the environs of Mexico City and in Puebla. Noel M. Loomis, The Texan-Santa Fé Pioneers, 128.
8. Pillo: thief
9. Fifty-five Texans captured by General Woll in September 1842 had been incarcerated at Perote. Only one had died; Shields Booker, a surgeon, had been accidentally shot by a drunken soldier a few days before Green arrived. Green, Samuel Maverick, Texan, 212; Truehart, The Perote Prisoners, 182-183.
Chapter Fifteen ~ Notes
1. Green has confused John C. Stevens with Robert Livingston Stevens; both were sons of John Stevens, an inventor and pioneer in the development of the screw-propelled steamboat. After his father's death, Robert L. Stevens followed in his footsteps, making significant innovations in steamboat technology, and in 1842 the U.S. Navy awarded his company the first contract for an ironclad steamer. Known as the "Stevens Battery," it was never launched, in large part because