In the Heart of Texas

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Slideshow photos from May 4 Texas-Mexico Summit in Austin, Texas

If the book Abraham and Lincoln in Mexico can make it in Texas, it can make it anywhere (to paraphrase Frank Sinatra’s song about New York).

That’s why we appreciate the warm welcome in Austin May 4 at the 2017 Texas-Mexico Summit, hosted by AEM, Asociacion de Empresarios Mexicanos Austin. The event featured 16 stellar speakers who received the book Abraham Lincoln and Mexico as a gift.

“I can’t wait to read this book,” Jeff Moseley, CEO, Texas Association of Business, told the audience as he received the book from Jorge Euran, President of AEM Austin. Euran presented books individually to each speaker at the podium after they spoke.

The book uses original archival documents to examine Lincoln’s support for Mexico as Congressman and President, and it’s in the Lincoln Presidential Library and in a growing number of university libraries. It helps understand historic relationships between Mexico and the USA, and facilitates discussion of how to build better relationships between the two countries.

More than 125 people attended the sold-out Austin event to discuss building stronger binational businesses, including Carlos Gonzalez Gutiérrez, Consul General of Mexico in Austin. The keynote speaker was George P. Bush, Texas Land Commissioner – the AEM Facebook page even has a video of Bush receiving the book

The event featured a panel discussion titled Strategic Importance of Mexico to Texas Trade & Economy with panelists Samuel Pena, Undersecretary for Investment & Industry of the State of Nuevo Leon, Mexico; Bryan Daniel, Executive Director, Economic Development & Tourism for the State of Texas; Jenna Saucedo-Herrera, President & CEO, San Antonio Economic Development Foundation; and Olivia Varela, Executive Director, Laredo Development Foundation.

Other featured speakers receiving the book included Rafael Herrera, Chairman at AEM USA; Adriana Cruz, President, Greater San Marcos Partnership; William Hurley, American entrepreneur; and Raul Allegre, legendary professional football player and sportscaster. Special guests included Jorge Salcido Zugasti, Consul Asuntos Politicos y Economicos, Consulado General de Mexico Austin.

Cindy A. Medina, PR and News Media representative for the Lincoln and Mexico Project (LAMP), arranged for the complimentary books from historian and educator Michael Hogan and spent all day networking with attendees. It’s part of her ongoing outreach to build support for LAMP activities, including speaking to business and civic groups in Austin, El Paso, and other Texas cities, and across the border in northern Mexico.

In January of this year, the Mexican Embassy in Washington, DC embraced LAMP activities, and former Mexican Emb. Carlos Gonzalez-Magallon is helping coordinate LAMP contacts with Mexican consulates across the country. This summer, LAMP will enter a new phase to identify surrogate speakers for events in key cities including San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Washington DC, and New York City.

If you’re interested in becoming involved in LAMP outreach activities, maybe even become a surrogate speaker, just send an email to We welcome your interest and your support.

What is Cinco de Mayo?

Photo credits: Battle of Puebla courtesy of Wikipedia; White House South Lawn celebration with Bush from Time magazine; East Room celebration with Biden and Obama from AP.

People celebrating May 5 in the United States may not know the history of the date, and the special significance in Mexico. Here’s a quick look at both.

In the USA, historians at the University of California at Los Angeles have traced origins of observances in California to the 1860s. Time magazine traces the rise of popularity in the mid-1900s to the Chicano movement. According to Wikipedia, Cinco de Mayo celebrations of Mexican culture and heritage spread from Los Angeles and San Jose to other cities with large Mexican-American populations, such as Houston and Chicago. By 2006, the Journal of American Culture reported official Cinco de Mayo events in more than 150 cities across the USA.

In Mexico, it’s a day to commemorate El Día de la Batalla de Puebla on May 5, 1862, mostly through ceremonial military events. It’s not a national holiday, although it’s a major event in the historic city of Puebla. The battle was an important military victory by ill-equipped and out-manned Mexican troops over French invasionary troops.

However, the victory was short-lived. The French regrouped, captured the Mexican capital within a year, forced Mexican president Benito Juárez into exile, and installed a French puppet monarchy. Historian Christopher Minster has an overview.

Other serious historians, including Michael Hogan, rightfully recognize the importance of the day in Mexico history, and the importance of ensuing events. His book Abraham Lincoln and Mexico examines how Juárez in exile sought and received help from Lincoln as president to oppose the French occupation.

Based on archival documents, Hogan examines why and how Lincoln refused to recognize the French monarchy in Mexico as the legitimate government, and tacitly approved providing military support for Juárez in Chihuahua across the border from El Paso.

US civic and business leaders from Boston to San Francisco raised $18 million in war bonds to help Juárez, and Generals Grant and Sheridan sent more military equipment and former Union troops from the Civil War to Mexico to fight alongside Mexican troops. After Lincoln’s death in 1865, president Johnson continued the support. Eventually, Mexico forced the French troops out of Mexico in 1867, ending European presence in the Americas.

In the early 21st century, US political and civic leaders boosted Cinco de Mayo activities as a way to honor Mexican heritage and traditions. President George W. Bush hosted annual events at the White House complete with Mexican folkloric dancers, and in 2005, the Congress approved a resolution calling for national observances. President Obama continued the tradition of White House observances.

Despite such efforts to pay homage to history, the day in the USA has also become another opportunity for merchants to cash in on ethnic celebrations—not much different than St. Patrick’s Day. As Wikipedia notes, further: “Commercial interests in the United States have capitalized on the celebration, advertising Mexican products and services, with an emphasis on alcoholic beverages.” In fact, Time magazine even ranked Cinco de Mayo #4 on its 2011 list of “Top 10 Drunkest Holidays.”

As the article states: “So much for supporting Mexican pride and nationalism.”

The book Abraham Lincoln and Mexico is in the Lincoln Presidential Library and in many university libraries. It’s available from Barnes&Noble, at independent bookstores, and also available from Amazon in English and Spanish.


Thoughtful Reviews Matter

Thanks to everyone who has posted a review on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and Goodreads for the book “Abraham Lincoln and Mexico.” Thoughtful customer reviews matter because they boost credibility for the book, which Amazon ranks very high for relevancy among more than 3,200 titles about Abraham Lincoln biography and history. Here are excerpts from a few of the 60+ reviews thus far from readers including Lincoln buffs, historians, educators, authors, and students – all with hyperlinks to the actual reviews online. If you haven’t posted a review yet, we hope you’ll do that in the next few weeks.

“As a historian, I appreciate his succinct explanation of the U.S. Invasion of Mexico, Polk’s egregious and premeditated land grab, and the American disgrace of Manifest Destiny, the attitudes and values of white supremacy at the root of the political, intellectual, and moral vacuum gripping the contemporary American character. Hogan’s kind of historical mirror needs to be placed before American faces more often.” – Robert Richter, Goodreads

“Dr. Michael Hogan is a renowned historian who has thoroughly documented this book. His intellectual honesty rivals President Lincoln’s. I was amazed at the remote details that Dr. Hogan wove into the story, and flabbergasted that neither victor nor vanquished gave proper credit to the “Buffalo Soldiers” for their heroic service to Mexico in the expulsion of the French and their mercenaries. Abraham Lincoln is a hero in Mexico for sure. Thank you, Dr. Hogan, for your masterful work.” – Miles Beacom, Amazon

“The world should welcome this very late in coming correction of US history’s most egregious omission. The truth about the land grab known as the Mexican-American War was simply too outrageous to acknowledge. Hogan’s book supports his shocking revelations through careful research quoting directly from original documents, many of which were previously unpublished. Let us hope the true story finds its way to US classrooms.” –Margaret Van Every, Amazon

“Where to begin – I’ve read many references on the Mex-Am War (1846-1848), but this goes beyond it. Hogan speaks to us from a neutral point of view (as well as any man can). This was not a war of defense, but a war of expansion, a war of oppression, a war of manifest destiny. How one of our greatest Presidents before he was a President viewed it at the time & after is the heart of the book. But there are things said here that transcend history and point to our current political situations. Please read this – you’ll find it is relevant to the world today, and it’s a fun read.” – Jon Heron, Amazon

“The Lincoln presidency continues to intrigue and Dr. Hogan has found a little-explored yet fascinating angle with real relevance for today. In a well-crafted and meticulously researched narrative, he sheds new light on the relationship between Washington and the various unstable authorities in Mexico during the two decades following 1846. Like David McCullough’s The Path Between the Seas, this book is essential reading for historians of the modern Americas.” – Carmen Amato, Goodreads

“Having lived in Mexico for the past twelve years, and having read a half-dozen or so books, I considered myself to be well enough informed regarding the history of USA/Mexico relations. However, having just finished reading what Professor Michael Hogan has gifted us with, I find myself somewhat humbled, and thoroughly enlightened. The book’s publication is very timely. Many of us, for far too long, have been misled by the absence of these facts. If there is any justice, and I believe there is, one would hope that how the USA citizenry relate to Mexico and its citizens, will be dramatically altered once these new facts are disseminated and fully understood.” –Niail John Kavanagh, Amazon

“This is a fascinating and fresh look at the early relationship between the USA and Mexico. It completely upended what I had been taught about the US invasion of Mexico, and, its well-documented and new source material illustrates just how brave and principled a leader was the Republican statesman and President, Abraham Lincoln. If you are a seeker of truth, insight, and historical accuracy – or just a fan of Abraham Lincoln – this is a must read. I wish it had been available to me in High School, when I formed so many false impressions of Mexico that later served to devalue and underestimate the loyal and complex giant that is our neighboring entrée to the rest of Latin America.“ –Bajalover, Amazon

“Quintessential read! As a Mexican college student in the US, this book has given me a fresh new perspective to analyze Mexican American relationships, and as a history buff/reader, it has delighted me.” –Luciana Mendez, Goodreads

“Digging deep into the documented record of Abraham Lincoln times, Dr. Hogan builds a solid case to boldly state the truth of how United States acted illegally to take a massive swath of Mexican territory for no other reason than President Polk wanted it and United States could take it. I sincerely hope this valuable book gains wide notice. –D. Grant Fitter, Amazon

“This book really opened my eyes. The Texas history I was taught when I went to college in Texas was in retrospect terribly biased and abridged from actual events. The author has a remarkably unbiased, even-handed view of history. His narrative is carefully researched with an eye to ferret out the truth, not what we want to hear. He bolsters his truth-telling with original documents in an extensive appendix, with translations side-by-side so you can see the full context of the words often that are often parroted out of context by others. If you have any interest in Lincoln, Texas or Mexican history, I urge you to read this book.” –Kerry Watson, Amazon

“Through the extensive use of primary documents, Hogan reveals the insight and intelligence with which Lincoln and his closest associates approached Mexico. He brings to light little known roles played by actors such as Matias Romero, Charge d’Affaires of Juárez to Washington DC, Philip Sheridan, Lew Wallace, and Ulysses Grant of Civil War fame. He also highlights the engagement of the unknown buffalo soldier who fought with and for the republican army of Mexico against the imperial armies of France, Austria and Belgium as they sought to impose their will on Mexico. It is a tale well told.” –Phil Stover, Amazon

“Professor Michael Hogan adds to the Great Emancipator’s legacy with his “Abraham Lincoln and Mexico: A History of Courage, Intrigue and Unlikely Friendships.” Dr. Hogan does an excellent job of clearly and comprehensibly explaining the complex situation surrounding the Mexican/American War and Lincoln’ views and actions regarding it. I heartily recommend this book to everyone interested in Lincoln and/or Mexico, and indeed, to world history buffs everywhere.” –Eugene Brady, Amazon

“What a fascinating book! Very illuminating and refreshing to see history presented so bilaterally. The author’s documentation of Lincoln’s calling out President Polk’s devious and illegal entry into the war with Mexico hurt Lincoln politically, but his integrity overrode political expediency. The comparisons between that war and later wars, between those politicians and later ones, are striking.” –Greg Niemann, Amazon

“As a Hispanic student from Mexico I remember taking Advanced Placement U.S. History during my junior year of high-school. However, the textbook that I read never mentioned some sort of relationship between Lincoln and Mexico. That is why this new insight provided by Dr. Michael Hogan was so shocking and delightfully surprising for me. I would’ve wished to have read this book as a supplement while I was taking the course back in high-school. There are supporting real-life documents for every claim made and if you get the e-book version as I did, it’s very easy to navigate around the documents. Overall, a must read for any student that is currently studying U.S. history and is a fan of Abraham Lincoln especially if you live in Mexico and want to know more about how this courageous president played a crucial role in Mexican politics.” –Alejandro, Goodreads

“Abraham Lincoln and Mexico is the first history book I have read in forty-five years and what a delightful surprise. This is not the history presented to me in the required high school course for American History. An enlightening look at the extraordinary Abraham Lincoln, his analytical mind that searched for justice without aspiring to feed political ambitions. Informative and interesting, Mr. Hogan presents the Mexican American War (1846-48) from a holistic vantage point. So very relevant to understanding the relationship between the USA and Mexico with the misunderstood border. A fresh perspective on reading history! –Ellen Akerman, Amazon

“As the moral standard for our country, Abraham Lincoln was front and center in opposing our annexation of Texas and the subsequent rush to war with Mexico, based on falsified claims, outrageous lies, and over-nurtured greed. Michael Hogan, with deft slashes from his academic sword, annihilates the lies and later misrepresentations of Lincoln’s position as fostered by future lazy thinkers. He then proceeds to elucidate the framework by which the United States became a better partner to their southern neighbor, sometimes at the cost of lives sacrificed in battle to oust another foreign interloper: France. This is an important read for both cultures as well as devoted Abe Lincoln admirers.” –Joel Dennstedt, Amazon

“Dr. Hogan began this book because of a student’s comment that the famous Spielberg movie on Lincoln did not even mention Mexico. Annoyed and exasperated by this omission he decided to explore this gap. Luckily for us, Hogan came up with an all-embracing and well-researched ‘biography’ that comprehensively narrates the turbulent period beginning with the Mexican-American war in 1846 and ending with the fall of the French Empire in Mexico in 1867…allowing every one of us to understand how we got to where we are and where we might be tomorrow. –Mauricomoel, Goodreads

“Michael Hogan twists together the disparate strands of the anti-slavery movement, foreign interventions and rights of self-determination in the mid-nineteenth century, into a compelling narrative about geopolitics and the pragmatic approaches to political understanding required by two neighboring nations. This mix of factual, well-sourced material, along with keen insights into the motivations of the parties concerned, is, surely, how all history books for a general readership should be written.” –Tony Burton, Amazon

“Hogan seeks to correct a number of common views of Lincoln that he thinks are not based on a full assessment of the documents available, many of which he reprints in the lengthy appendix to his book. These documents, along with the extensive bibliography, provide a firm basis for a reevaluation of Lincoln in this area and help to explain why he remains one of the most revered American presidents in Mexico. Like his previous book on the San Patricios, ‘Abraham Lincoln and Mexico’ shines bright light on an important area of history that has remained in the shadows for a century and a half. It is an important contribution to understanding Mexican-American history and a step forward in the journey toward truth.” –jsbeauchamp, Barnes&Noble

“This book is as much about the American leader’s moral objections to the war against Mexico and slavery as it is about his hesitations, his political evolution and the people that surrounded him. Unlike other accounts of the Mexican-American War which have robbed Mexicans, former slaves and immigrant soldiers of their complexity, Hogan reminds us that they were not only passive victims of injustice, but also men and women who rose up against it and fought. Most importantly, this text displays Hogan’s gift as a professor and as a writer: his ability to analyze specific events in order to contextualize broader cultural and political trends of the past and the present. I hope that it will help students confront the U.S.’ historical abuses and temper the negative effects of blind patriotism.” –A.S. Carbonell, Amazon

“Dr. Hogan’s meticulous research brings to light an era of Lincoln’s life often ignored by other biographers. Although Lincoln’s opposition to the war is well-documented, some have dismissed it as political posturing or partisan bluster. The historical record, however, shows us that Lincoln’s opposition came from his personal belief that the war represented a terrible injustice unworthy of his beloved United States of America. This book is apt for anyone interested in Abraham Lincoln, US/Mexico relations, political history or imperialist/expansionist policies in historical context. Highly recommended.” –Christopher Minster, Amazon

“Michael Hogan has unearthed and analyzed a crucial aspect of Abraham Lincoln’s political evolution: His stance towards the Mexican-American war of 1846 to 1848. The annexation of former Mexican lands led to the destruction of the north-south balance of power, which led directly into the civil war. Hogan assembles a well-documented case for Lincoln’s distaste for the aggressive war that robbed Mexico of half its territory. Thanks to this book Lincoln emerges once again as the brilliant statesman that he was and, once again, we see him as a guardian and defender of the most precious principles our republic was founded upon. This book is a worthy read and highly recommended.” –Heribert Feilitzsch, Goodreads

“Michael Hogan has written a valuable addition to the long list of histories about Abraham Lincoln. Hogan addresses directly those who minimize Lincoln’s opposition as primarily an expedient political. Instead, Hogan persuasively argues that Lincoln’s opposition to Texas annexation and further expansion in the Southwest was at the core of his free-soil beliefs. Hogan’s narrative covers the lead up to the war as well as U.S. diplomatic relationship with Mexico during the Lincoln Presidency. Abraham Lincoln and Mexico also reminds us of the complicated history of the US and Mexico regarding our shared border.” –Peter Catapano, Amazon

“Dr. Michael Hogan tells the true and intriguing story of the Mexican – American War (1846-1848) which to this day remains untaught and almost unmentioned in the American high school curriculum. As a student who has studied in both the United States and Mexico, this book was particularly interesting due to its truthful portrayal of the United States. Dr. Hogan uses a variety of vital sources which brilliantly contribute to the powerfulness of the history which is being told. Overall, it is a highly recommended read for anyone interested in the true story of the Mexican-American War or the incredible brilliance of President Lincoln.” –Sofia Gates, Goodreads

“Michael Hogan’s Abraham Lincoln in Mexico is a must read for students of US/Mexico relations. It should be read by all high school students north and south of the border! Hogan, with his in-depth research and his superb storytelling, gives us a timely gem!” –Kristen R. Fry, Amazon

“I never knew about Lincoln’s opposition to the war with Mexico. I’ve read quite a bit of history, and I was quite surprised to learn how much I didn’t know about this era… I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys history, and doesn’t want to be limited by what we learn in U.S. schools.” –Jennifer Silva Redmond, Amazon

Thanks again for your interest in the book and in the overall Lincoln and Mexico Project. Don’t forget to check the official Facebook page for frequent posts related to our activity.

The New York Times looks at the US-Mexican War

Photo credits: Image from NYTimes article courtesy of the newspaper. Photo of Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas (l) and author Michael Hogan courtesy of the author.

Sometimes, the gods bestow gifts on authors by focusing attention on content in their books. That’s what happened this week when The New York Times ran an op-ed piece based on a possible lawsuit by Mexico focusing on the legal issues stemming from the illegal US 1846 invasion, conquest, acquisition, and the controversial 1848 treaty that took nearly half of Mexico’s sovereign territory.

The complete 1848 treaty is in Michael Hogan’s book Abraham Lincoln and Mexico, available on Amazon, which discusses how the US reneged on key treaty provisions before Senate ratification. The effort to consider a lawsuit against the United States is led by Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, the highly-respected founder of the PRD (Mexico’s liberal party) and former presidential candidate. Although the book doesn’t advocate legal action, Hogan and Cárdenas have a long-standing friendship, as you can see by the photo.

As the op-ed points out, “….even if one admits the legal validity of much of the treaty, there are a number of crucial articles — such as those dealing with citizenship, property and the security of 100,000 Mexicans who remained on what became American territory — that have been ignored from the beginning.” The op-ed continues: “The United States owes Mexico and itself an honest reconsideration of its first imperial war, not only in its schools and universities but also in its museums and books.”

In Mexico, the book and the play based on the book continue to receive very positive coverage. Here are two examples:

— Recent coverage includes a lengthy feature article in The Guadalajara Reporter about the World Premiere of the play March 23-25. The play brings to light the friendship between President Lincoln, Mrs. Lincoln, and Mexican envoy Matìas Romero that led to Lincoln’s support for the exiled government of Benito Juárez. Performances at the American School Foundation of Guadalajara were first class, thanks the cast and crew under the direction of Stacy Ohrt-Billingslea, assistant director Tania Romero, and production assistant Paulina Aragon. (Screenshot courtesy of The Guadalajara Reporter.)


— An excellent in-depth feature article in El Ojo del Lago examines Romero’s illustrious career as a diplomat in the USA, beginning with his initial visit to see Lincoln in Illinois just before Lincoln’s inauguration. It also mentions a gala dinner in New York City attended by luminaries including Theodore Roosevelt to honor Romero for his service. History textbooks or other books about Lincoln don’t cover these details, but Hogan found them in archival documents among Lincoln’s papers in the United States and Romero’s diaries in Mexico. (Screenshot courtesy of El Ojo del Lago.)


Heads up, amigos!!! The Spanish Kindle version, Abraham Lincoln y Mexico, is coming!! The official release date is May 13, the anniversary of the date the US Congress declared war on Mexico in 1846. You can pre-order on Amazon at Let’s do it! ¡Adelante!

To keep up with news about the book and the play on social media, click here to visit the official Facebook page, which now has more than 2,500 likes. The page reached more than 30,000 people in the past 28 days, almost 17,000 of whom identified Spanish as their preferred language—another reason to release the book in Spanish. A single post featuring positive comments by former Mexican Emb. Carlos Gonzalez-Magallon about relationships between Mexico and the United States reached more than 18,000 people. The post was based on his remarks to the March 25 Saturday matinee audience for the play at the ASFG.


You can help spread the word about the book on social media by going to the GoFundMe campaign to “Send Lincoln to Congress” and clicking to share on Facebook and Twitter. And while you’re there, we hope you’ll contribute to the success of the campaign.

Best regards, and thanks again for your interest in the Lincoln and Mexico Project.

Student play adds another dimension

Mary Todd Lincoln, Matías Romero, and Abraham Lincoln; director Stacy Ohrt-Billingslea and crew members with Consul General Tanya C. Anderson; Benito Juárez; literary critic Mark Sconce, LAMP co-founder Mikel Miller, author & playwright Michael Hogan, and Emb. Carlos Gonzalez Magallon; cast applauding audience. — Photo credits: Doris Payne Camp

The Lincoln and Mexico Project (LAMP) added a new dimension March 23-25 with the World Premiere of the play “Lincoln and Mexico: The Untold Story.” It opened at the American School Foundation of Guadalajara, the same school that inspired historian and ASFG educator Michael Hogan to write the book Abraham Lincoln and Mexico: A History of Courage, Intrigue and Unlikely Friendships.

The performances also garnered binational support from members of the diplomatic corps from the USA and Mexico, as well as guests from both countries. US Consul General Tanya C. Anderson delivered a strong supporting statement before the opening performance, and former Mexican Emb. Carlos Gonzalez Magallon added his support before the Saturday matinee. The official Facebook page for the Consulado General de los Estados Unidos en Guadalajara also featured the play in a post:

“El jueves 23 de marzo de 2017, la Cónsul General Tanya C. Anderson tuvo el placer de asistir a la inauguración de la producción de teatro de la The American School Foundation of Guadalajara, A.C., “Lincoln and Mexico: The Untold Story”. La obra narra la historia de Abraham y Mary Todd Lincoln, el cónsul mexicano Matias Romero, y un extraordinario elenco de personajes secundarios, todos los cuales influenciaron significativamente la trayectoria de Estados Unidos y México durante momentos clave en la historia de cada país.”

The play, also written by Dr. Hogan, was timed to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the year Mexico drove French occupation forces out of North America. It’s designed to supplement the book as a way for students to increase understanding of the important historical relationships between Lincoln and Benito Juárez. It also brings to light the friendship between Mary Todd Lincoln and Mexican envoy Matías Romero, which facilitated Lincoln’s diplomatic and military support for the Juárez government in exile.

Performances by the student actors—especially those playing Mrs. Lincoln, Romero, President Lincoln, and Juárez—drew enthusiastic support from audiences consisting of ASFG parents, students, faculty, guests from Guadalajara and nearby Lake Chapala, and the news media. One community theater group has already expressed interest in having students perform the play. Eventually, LAMP hopes the book and play will reach tens of thousands of students across the USA as educators begin to use them to stimulate classroom discussions of historical relationships between the two countries. Already, the project is developing and testing lesson plans for the 2017-2018 academic year based on the book.

With the premiere of the three-act play, the overall project now has a way to entertain people while educating and informing them about the legacy of Lincoln’s support for Mexico during the 1840s-1860s. The first way is through sales of the book itself available from Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and independent bookstores across the USA. A second way is through presentations and lectures by Dr. Hogan in the USA and Mexico to universities and civic and political leaders. A third way is by presenting a copy of the book to each member of the US Congress, funded by a GoFundMe campaign that’s already raised enough money to give copies to all 100 members of the Senate.

If you would like to help arrange a presentation in your area, please submit a comment to the blog or send an email to Meanwhile, please help spread the word by going to the GoFundMe campaign to “Send Lincoln to Congress” and clicking to share with your Facebook friends. Thank you.

Mary Todd Lincoln and Mexico

Play poster, plus photo from meeting with (l-r) director Stacy Ohrt-Billingslea; students Tania Romero and Paulina Aragon; US Consul General of Guadalajara, Tanya C. Anderson; and author Michael Hogan

The untold story of how Mary Todd Lincoln helped a young Mexican envoy eliminate the French from North America comes to life in the World Premiere of a play this week at the American School Foundation of Guadalajara. Titled Lincoln and Mexico: The Untold Story, it’s a great way to gain insights about historical relationships between the USA and Mexico.

The play premiere coincides with the 150th anniversary year celebrating Mexico’s defeat of French occupation forces in July 1867. It’s a story of unlikely friendships and intrigue, based on factual history documented in Abraham Lincoln and Mexico published last fall by Michael Hogan, ASFG Emeritus Humanities Chair.

It’s also a play with two storylines—one historical and one contemporary. The main one is the history of relations between the United States and Mexico from 1863-1867; the second, set in modern times, is that of the students and their history teacher, Mr. North, at a small school in Guadalajara. As such, the play also offers insights into how educators can engage students in the learning process.

The play opens in 1863 when the US is in the middle of its Civil War. A 24-year-old Mexican envoy named Matías Romero arrives at the White House. His mission is to persuade Lincoln to support the overthrow of French monarch Maximilian whose armies have taken control of Mexico. Lincoln is far too busy with American affairs but his wife, Mary Todd, intercedes after Romero accompanies her on a three-hour shopping trip. He later meets with Grant and other generals and begins to raise funds to restore the Mexican Republic.

Just on the verge of success, Lincoln dies and Romero’s hopes seem thwarted. Likewise, the history teacher, who is writing this story, fails to find any US research to make his original thesis into a book. Like Romero, Mr. North is similarly discouraged. However, pressed by his students, he makes a trip to Mexico City where he discovers Romero’s personal diaries in a bank vault. He translates the diaries and finds that—even after Lincoln died—Mary Todd encouraged Romero to press on with his cause. He did so and raised over $18 million, acquired sophisticated weapons with the help of Grant and Sheridan, and enabled the Mexican armies to ultimately prevail over the French. Now, North is inspired to complete his own work.

The play ends in 1867 with the Mexican victory, and Matías Romero discussing the triumph with newly-restored President Juárez. While the president is grateful for Romero’s help, he advises him that he should not place the documents relating to the victory or his diaries in the National Archives. It is better that they rest deep in the vault of a Mexican bank until Mexico takes its place among the nations in the world. That time is now, when the 150-year-old story is finally told, and we see Mr. North and his students conversing as the Mexican and American flags converge on stage, and sound of marching music fills the theater.

Other historians and Lincoln’s biographers ignore the fascinating story of Mrs. Lincoln’s involvement, and textbooks in the USA and Mexico exclude her friendship with Romero and the ensuing intrigue. However, the story comes to life due to Hogan’s relentless search for documents to help his ASFG students learn more than what is in standard texts, and his multifaceted script brings it to the stage.

All of it makes a fascinating play, produced and directed and staged by ASFG drama teacher Stacy Ohrt-Billingslea, student assistants Tania Romero and Paulina Aragon, and a cast of dozens.

There are four performances of the play March 23-25: Opening night Thursday, March 23, at 7 p.m., Friday night at 7 p.m., a 1 p.m. Saturday matinee, and a finale 7 p.m. performance Saturday night. Opening night will feature pre-performance remarks by U.S. Consul General Tanya Anderson. On Friday night, Gen. Clever Chavez Marin, noted historian and humanitarian, will address the crowd. Former Mexican Emb. Carlos Gonzalez Magallon will speak before the Saturday matinee.

Multi-national attention for Lincoln book

Photos (clockwise) Javier Palomarez, Michael Oreskes (l) with former Mexico President Felipe Calderon, Fernando Avila Gonzalez (l) with Cd. Juárez lawyers, Eduardo Ramos Moran, Abraham Lincoln book on desk of Sr. Ramos

The book Abraham Lincoln and Mexico is attracting more attention in the USA, Mexico, Canada, and even in Europe. Here is the latest update from the Lincoln and Mexico Project (LAMP):

BREAKING NEWS!! The GoFundMe campaign to “Send Lincoln to Congress” has raised $1,000 from contributors across North America and Europe. That covers the cost of delivering one copy of the book to all 100 members of the U.S. Senate, and we’ll post updates when delivery begins. Thanks to all of you who helped reach this milestone; you can see the contributor names on the GoFundMe campaign site. Now, we’re raising money to send the book to all 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives. We hope you’ll help spread the word by clicking to share the campaign on Facebook, if you haven’t already done so.

We’re also busy working with civic leaders, the news media, and academics. Here’s what Cindy A. Medina, LAMP representative for Public Relations and News Media, has been doing the past week:

  • In Washington, DC, The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, which represents 4.2 million Hispanic businesses in the USA, is interested in the book. President and CEO Javier Palomarez, originally from Edinburgh, TX, has requested a copy, and maybe he’ll invite author Michael Hogan to speak at the Oct. 1-3 annual convention of the association. It’s an important contact because Palomarez is also an informal advisor to President Trump’s National Diversity Coalition. You can click here to read an interview with him about his role as one of Trump’s most vocal critics during the campaign, and how he evolved into “working with the Donald.”
  • Also in Washington, National Public Radio is interested in the book, and Michael Oreskes, Senior VP for News and Editorial Director, has requested a copy. He’s a career professional journalist, with a high profile in both Washington, DC, and New York City. You can click here to see a recent CNN interview with him about his commitment to rebuild local journalism across the USA.
  • In Cd. Juárez, Chihuahua, just across the border from El Paso, Ms. Medina is working with the local bar association to arrange a presentation by Dr. Hogan. Mtro. Fernando Avila Gonzalez, Secretario General Barra y Colegio de Abogados de Ciudad Juárez, is the lead contact, and you can see more about the organization on its Facebook page.

And look at this! Also in Cd. Juárez, leading Mexican businessman Eduardo Ramos Moran is recommending the book to his reading group. He’s el Presidente of Centro Humano de Liderazgo, A.C. (Cehlíder), he heard about the book on his own, bought it, and recommended it in a post on his Facebook page with a shout out to author Michael Hogan. ¿Hablas español? Here’s what Ramos said on Facebook about the importance of the book (hint – he LIKES it, mucho).

Algo que pocos mexicanos conocen es que Abraham Lincoln fue Amigo de Mexico, en su tiempo como congresista fue uno de los principales opositores a la guerra de Estados Unidos contra Mexico, guerra que considero innecesaria e inconstitucional, James K Polk el 11 presidente de USA que proclamo la guerra contra Mexico dijo una sarta de mentiras como que los Mexicanos habian ocupado Estados Unidos, en la anexion de Texas la division era desde el rio de las nueces, pero los abusones extendieron la division hasta el rio bravo, los Mexicanos no teniamos ni para hombres, ni para armas, perdimos en la guerra de 1848, Incluso los Irlandeses donde estaba un tal Patricio se pasaron al bando de los mexicanos y lucharon contra los propios estadounidenses, 13 anios mas tarde en las batallas contra los franceses es Estados Unidos quien le vende armas a los mexicanos, incluso en Estados Unidos ya habia terminado la guerra civil, muchos norteamericanos lucharon junto con mexicanos contra los franceses, ingleses y espanoles, lo que los convirtio en la “American Legion of honor”, esta historia no la ensenan en la primaria Mexicana, excelente libro de Michael Hogan, deberian de traducir esta version para que la leamos los Mexicanos. Este libro revela lo que muchos historiadores no han querido revelar, por cuestiones de conveniencia o tal vez politicas. Es importante destacar que muchos norteamericanos son amigos de los mexicanos, incluso los Irlandeses, es importante leer libros de historia para conocer de donde venimos!!

We’re very proud of the multi-national attention the book is receiving, especially in border areas such as El Paso and Ciudad Juárez. We’re looking forward to increased attention in San Diego and Tijuana, and later this year in Austin, Chicago, Washington, DC and New York City. If you would like to become part of the overall project, and help with contacts and presentations in your area, just post a comment on the blog or send an email to Thank you.