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Slideshow: Welcoming group at Museo Casa Juárez, arrival interview, with Mexican flag display, signing autographs, dinner with Chihuahua mayor, group interview and discussion, site visits, departure group.

Three days of successful events by the Lincoln and Mexico Project (LAMP) in northern Mexico February 22-25 increased awareness of Abraham Lincoln’s legacy of support for Mexico as congressman and as president, and strengthened ties between the two countries.

During the events, historian and educator Michael Hogan presented the Spanish version of his book Abraham Lincoln and Mexico and discussed the book speaking in Spanish. He was interviewed in Spanish by state television hosts and on national radio. In addition, his book was presented in the State Legislative building and each of the state representatives bought a copy.

Accompanied by Cindy Medina, LAMP senior PR representative from Austin, Texas, and well-known photographer Javier Hernández, Dr. Hogan also presented his work at the Museo Casa Juárez, the exile home of the Mexican president during the regime of French puppet Emperor Maximilian. That evening, Hogan met with the mayor of Chihuahua, Maria Eugenia Campos Galvan, at a local restaurant.

The following day, he gave a one-hour lecture at the Archives de Poder Judicial Federal de Chihuahua (State Legislature Archive Building) to a group of professors, archivists, and the public followed by a book signing and discussion that last more than two hours. On the weekend, Hogan met with the head of tourism in Sauz, visited the Apache Museum, and the site of the Battle of the Sacramento River, accompanied by Ms. Medina, Mr. Hernández and his daughter Anapaula.

Before leaving on Sunday for his return to Guadalajara, he presented his work to the local Mason Lodge in Chihuahua. Benito Juárez was himself a Mason, as were many of the Liberal leaders of Mexico who fought gallantly against the French occupation and were assisted in that effort by the moral support of Abraham Lincoln and the financial support of New York bankers who purchased Mexican bonds to offset the cost of the struggle.

The visit was approved by Mr. Raul Manriquez, director of the Secretaria of Cultura of  Chihuahua, as well as Mr. Edgar Trevizo, leader in the Department of la Secretaria. Mr. Carlos Mendez Villa, leading Cultural Archivist who has been an early LAMP supporter in Chihuahua, presented the trip concept to both Mr. Manriquez and Mr. Trevizo and got it approved.

Great thanks to Mr. Edelmiro Ponce de Leon, director of Museo Casa Juarez, for the great invitation to the Museo along with a personal tour, and who participated in many of the news media interviews. During the trip, Hogan also met with Philip Stover, a retired deputy superintendent of the San Diego public school system who is a historian and now lives in the the state of Chihuahua, and who participated in some interviews and events.

You can see a video of one interview and discussion in Spanish by clicking here https://www.facebook.com/vocesdemiregion/videos/1371478162958792/?t=656. And you can see more photos by visiting the Facebook page for the book at https://www.facebook.com/MexicoLincoln/.

By the way, the book is available in Spanish on Amazon, and also available in English on Amazon, along with an English version audiobook.

Honoring African-American Soldiers During Black History Month


Photo courtesy of Library of Congress

Celebrating Black History Month is a great opportunity to honor African-American soldiers who served in wartime. One group that is sometimes overlooked is the original US Colored Troops formed during the Civil War, where they were an important part of success by Union Troops.

Some historians have written about African-American soldiers during the Civil War, notably William A. Dobak in “Freedom by the Sword.” Historian and educator Michael Hogan is one of the few to document the role of the USCT in helping exiled Mexican President Benito Juárez end French occupation of North America. His research of archival documents resulted in a chapter in his book “Abraham Lincoln and Mexico” about USCT troops fighting alongside Mexican troops.

Several key online sources contain more facts about African-American soldiers in the 1860s.

The website for the U.S. Army Center of Military History summarizes the origin and history of the USCT: “With the enactment of the Emancipation Proclamation on 1 January 1863, Lincoln not only declared most of the slaves in the Confederacy free, but he also authorized the use of black men as soldiers ‘to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places.’

The official military history site also states that “Nearly 180,000 black soldiers served in the USCT, comprising about 10 percent of the Union Army’s manpower total.” During the war, these black troops played key roles in several battles, 25 received the Congressional Medal of Honor for their bravery and sacrifice, and several had command roles. According to the website, Sgt. Maj. Lewis Douglass of the 54th Massachusetts was a son of the abolitionist Frederick Douglass. You can read more at https://history.army.mil/news/2015/150200a_bHistory.html

The University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley recognizes the contributions of the USCT along the Texas border: “By May 1865, nearly 16,000 USCT veterans of the 25th Corps arrived at Brazos … where they were assigned to prevent former Confederates from establishing their defeated government and army in Mexico.” You can listen to a 90-second audio history clip at http://www.utrgv.edu/civilwar-trail/civil-war-trail/colored-troops/index.htm

As the Civil War was ending, as documented in Dr. Hogan’s book, many of these black troops joined forces inside Mexico to help fight French occupation forces. “After the war the USCT was disbanded. However, many of these demobilized black freemen, finding little work at home and much prejudice, joined the Americans fighting in Mexico as part of the American Legion of Honor recruited in late 1865 and early 1866.  They saw action in the last battles of the Franco-Mexican War including the battle of Zacatecas, the final siege at Querétaro, and triumphal march to Mexico City.”

Mexico honors the contribution of these troops, and the African-Americans soldiers among them, in Mexico City.

“There is a gravesite in Mexico City where those who fell in this conflict are interred,” Dr. Hogan states. “Many, however, survived and went on to settle in Mexico and have families; others returned to the United States and served in the military or returned to civilian life. They had, in the vernacular of the day, ‘seen the elephant’.”

His book about Lincoln’s legacy of support for Mexico is in the Lincoln Presidential Library and in private university libraries from Harvard and West Point to public university systems in Texas, Arizona, and California. His research documents that the American Legion of Honor had approximately 3,500 men who served in Mexico from 1865 through the final siege of Mexico in 1867. Additional history he has discovered about the Legion of Honor in Mexico, including its African-American members, is the subject of a forthcoming book.

Even more history about the USCT is available on the website for the Civil War Trust at https://www.civilwar.org/learn/articles/united-states-colored-troops






Historians, educators, and more guide LAMP efforts

Photos (l-r): Robert DiYanni, New York City; Janet Heinze, Guadalajara, MX; Gen. Clever Chavez Marin, Zapopan, MX; Heribert von Feilitzsch, Washington DC area; author Michael Hogan with Emb. Carlos Gonzalez-Magallon, Lake Chapala

The Lincoln and Mexico Project (LAMP) is honored that many people have become members of its international Advisory Council, and we look forward to more members in 2018.

The primary purpose of the Advisory Council is to guide our efforts to inform people about historical connections between the USA and Mexico as a way to improve future relationships. We also hope that classroom discussions about US-Mexican relations will lead to a generation of young people with more informed and productive perspectives about both nations. 

Outreach efforts began in January 2016 with historians and educators vetting the manuscript by historian and educator Michael Hogan for Abraham Lincoln and Mexico: A History of Courage, Intrigue and Unlikely Friendships. The manuscript had its origins in a 2012-2013 Advanced Placement US History (APUSH) course Dr. Hogan taught at the American School Foundation of Guadalajara, where students wanted to learn more than what was in the textbooks.

Now, the resulting book is in university libraries across the USA including Harvard, MIT, West Point, Brown, University of Texas, University of Arizona, UC-San Diego, the California State University system, and the University of San Diego, as well as public libraries from New York City to Los Angeles. It’s also in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, was nominated for the prestigious William M. LeoGrande Prize for best book about US-Latin American relations, and every member of the US Senate has received a complimentary copy.

Enthusiastic audiences have attended multiple presentations about the book in Guadalajara, Chihuahua, El Paso, Austin, Los Angeles, and Chicago. And the book inspired a three-act play that wowed audiences in Mexico where it premiered. All of this—the book, the presentations, and the play—forms the foundation for expanded outreach efforts this year, including classroom discussions about Lincoln’s legacy of support for Mexico.

We’re identifying and contacting potential Advisory Council members every week to guide our outreach efforts. The people we’re inviting to join who represent a mix of educators, historians, Mexican consulate officials, history activists, students, and digital learning proponents—all of whom have read Dr. Hogan’s book and support the LAMP goals.

If you, or someone you know, are interested in joining the Advisory Council just send a note to lamp@lincolnandmexicoproject.org and we’ll follow up.  We’ll update the names as people commit, and profile new members a few at a time in the newsletter throughout the year. Here’s the initial list, some of whom the LAMP blog profiled last year:

  1. Ronald Barnett, Ph.D. historian and former professor, Jocotopec, MX
  2. Gen. Clever Chavez Marin, historian and Mexican military expert, Zapopan, MX
  3. Noor Chehabeddine, Advanced Placement US History (APUSH) student, American School Foundation of Guadalajara (ASFG), Guadalajara, MX
  4. Sylvia N. Contreras, businesswoman, history activist, and LAMP PR representative, Long Beach, CA
  5. Robert DiYanni, Ph.D. Professor, and instructional consultant, Center for the Advancement of Teaching at NYU, New York City
  6. Heribert von Feilitzsch, historian, author, and business executive, Washington DC area
  7. Patricia Gonzalez, Director of Inclusion and Diversity, Emory & Henry College, Emory, VA
  8. Emb. Carlos Gonzalez-Magallon, retired Mexican foreign service official, Lake Chapala, MX
  9. Jorge Haynes, retired California State University administrator, Austin, TX
  10. Janet Heinze, international education consultant, Guadalajara, MX
  11. Cindy A. Medina Gallardo, history activist, genealogist, and LAMP senior PR representative, Austin, TX
  12. Carlos Alberto Méndez Villa, Ministry of Culture, Chihuahua, MX
  13. Luciana Mendez, computer sciences student at DePaul University, Chicago, IL
  14. Liam O’Hara, high school Social Studies Department Head, ASFG, Guadalajara, MX
  15. Stacy Ohrt-Billingslea, Theatre Director, ASFG, Guadalajara, MX
  16. Brenda Prado, APUSH student, ASFG, Guadalajara, MX
  17. Mark Sconce, author and retired businessman, Camarillo, CA
  18. Jason Silverman, Ph.D. retired university history professor, Rock Hill, SC
  19. Philip Stover, historian and retired deputy superintendent of San Diego Unified School System, Chihuahua, MX
  20. Isaias Torres, APUSH teacher, ASFG, Guadalajara, MX

The Lincoln and Mexico Project has volunteer coordinators in Guadalajara, San Diego, Los Angeles, Austin, and Chicago. This year, we’re planning to expand to Washington DC, New York City, and Boston. If you’re interested in helping arrange events, and perhaps speak on behalf of LAMP, just let us know. Meanwhile, you can click here to follow our Facebook page where posts often reach more than 10,000 people on five continents.

Best regards, and thanks for your interest and support as we expand in 2018.

How a US Republican President and a Mexican Youth Ended a French Monarchy in North America

Photos: President Abraham Lincoln and Mexican Envoy Matìas Romero

Article reprinted by permission from Alterinfos America Latina (http://www.alterinfos.org/spip.php?article7761)

By Michael Hogan

On April 10, 1863, Maximilian I and his wife Charlotte were installed as Emperor and Empress of Mexico. They came to power at the behest of the Napoleon III who had first sent armed forces to collect on past-due Mexican debts, but then encouraged them to stay and finally to conquer the country. At that time the French Army was the most powerful in the world. Although Mexico provided stout resistance, including an underdog victory at Puebla (Cinco de Mayo), its army was finally overwhelmed by the French who were reinforced by Austrian cavalry and artillery. The constitutional president Benito Juarez fled to the border town of El Paso del Norte to work in a cigarette factory and to put together a government-in-exile.

In May of 1863, he asked his protégé twenty-four year old Matias Romero to go to Washington and meet with President Lincoln to see if he could persuade him to help him raise a new army to fight against the French. Lincoln, of course, had his hands full. May 1-3 was the bloody battle of Chancellorsville. May 19-22 saw the Union troops engaged with the Rebels at Vicksburg, followed in early July by the devastating battle of Gettysburg. The enemy was nearly at Potomac. The timing could not have been worse.

Romero was unable to get an interview with the President, although he did have the opportunity to offer Mrs. Lincoln his rented carriage and accompany her shopping, a trip that lasted more than three hours! It was likely to due to her intercession that he was finally able to present his credentials to her husband as “Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of Mexico.”

As high-sounding as the title was, it was also essentially meaningless. He had no real diplomatic standing since his “government” was in exile. Although Lincoln was sympathetic, his hands were tied. He dared not antagonize the French for fear their army would join the Confederacy which could very well prove an unbeatable combination and defeat the Union forces. Nevertheless, perhaps because of Mary Todd ‘s intervention, Lincoln gave Romero an audience and recognized his standing as ambassador, giving him not only access to the Oval Office but introductions to members of his cabinet, and ultimately to Ulysses S. Grant and Philip Sheridan, generals who would become Romero’s stanch allies in the years ahead. Using a note which Lincoln wrote expressing his friendship to the Mexican people, Romero visited bankers in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and San Francisco to raise money to support an army to overthrow Maximilian and the French usurpers. Over the next two years he and agents had sold over $30 million in Mexican bonds raising a total of $18 million in cash and credits. The money would go a long way in buying supplies and paying troops. But to defeat the most powerful European army they would need something more: they would need rifles and cannons.

Secretary of State Seward objected strongly to giving military aid to the Mexicans. He felt that this would needlessly antagonize the French and bring them closer to an alliance with the Confederates. Meanwhile, young Romero went out of his way to convince other members of the cabinet, as well as Grant and Sheridan, that such aid was essential and that France would rush into the breach as soon as it saw the Union exhausted by the efforts to defeat the Confederacy. Could the US really afford another war? Moreover what France was doing was in violation of the Monroe Doctrine which showed France’s contempt for American policies in the hemisphere. As the Civil War drew to a close, Lincoln decided to placate his Secretary of State by insuring him that no overt military aid would be given to Mexico. At the same time he ignored reports of Mexican agents to purchasing rifled cannon, and allowed Romero to meet with influential businessmen in San Francisco, Philadelphia, and other locations to form Monroe Doctrine Clubs to raise funds, purchase munitions and even levy volunteers.

By the time of the surrender at Appomattox Court House on April 10, 1865, most of those movements were far advanced. In addition, Grant was ordered to send Sheridan with 50,000 soldiers to Texas to both prevent shipment of Southern cotton to Europe and also to cut off the supply lines to the French. Once there, he instructed Sheridan to “lose” 30,000 repeating rifles at the El Paso border.

Although Lincoln was assassinated the following month, Grant and Sheridan continued to carry out his wishes. Both generals encouraged soldiers upon their discharge from the Union Army to join an American Legion of Honor which would form part of the Mexican army and defeat the French at Querétaro in the spring of 1867. On July21st of that year the Mexican Republic was restored.

The legacy of Lincoln is still honored in Mexico today with statues and other memorials. It is a hopeful reminder that our two countries have a history of cooperation and victory as well as one of animosity and conflict as we go forward with a new Republican administration in 2017.

~Michael Hogan is a historian and teacher. He lives in Guadalajara, Mexico. His most recent book is Abraham Lincoln and Mexico: A History of Courage, Intrigue and Unlikely Friendships.


Helping students learn about Abraham Lincoln’s support for Mexico

Photos: AP Capstone students in Guadalajara, Mexico, and statue of Lincoln in Mexico City. Photo of U.S. President Lyndon Johnson unveiling plaque for statue in Mexico City, courtesy of Life Magazine.

The U.S. education system recognizes Abraham Lincoln’s many domestic policy accomplishments, especially freeing slaves and saving the Union, and embeds them in the education curriculum. As a result, generations of U.S. citizens have revered Lincoln.

While most people recognize these chapters of Lincoln’s legacy, many have never heard or read about his pivotal role as an international statesman in supporting Mexico. Here are three examples that are often omitted or marginalized in history books:

1) As a freshman congressman, Lincoln risked his political future by accusing President Polk of misleading the Congress about reasons for initiating the Mexican-American War.

2) As president, he refused to recognize the puppet monarchy imposed on Mexico after the Imperial Army of Napoleon III attacked Mexico and forced elected President Benito Juárez to flee to exile just south of El Paso.

3) As the US Civil War was coming to an end, Lincoln and his generals Grant and Sheridan supplied arms and troops that helped Juárez reclaim the Mexican presidency after Lincoln’s death, thus ending French occupation of North America. Some of the troops were African-Americans whom the Emancipation Proclamation enabled to join the U.S. Army.

In Mexico, Lincoln is arguably one of the most revered U.S. presidents, as discussed in a feature article published in the Smithsonian magazine online. In fact, Mexico honors Lincoln with statues across the country, and Mexico warmly welcomed U.S. President Lyndon Johnson when he dedicated a plaque for the statue of Lincoln in Mexico City during his first visit to a foreign capital after becoming President. And in Mexico, students learn about the relationship and mutual respect between Lincoln and Juárez.

Informing educators, students, and the public in the USA about Lincoln’s support for Mexico is the primary purpose of the Lincoln and Mexico Project (LAMP) that’s based on the book Abraham Lincoln and Mexico. Authored by historian and educator Michael Hogan, the book can be found in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and in several university libraries and public libraries. It has also been nominated for the prestigious William M. LeoGrande Prize as the best book on U.S.-Latin American relations.

The book focuses on Lincoln as an international statesman by using archival documents, many of which are in the 137-page appendix. The content adds another dimension to Lincoln’s legacy, and increases awareness and understanding of his efforts to befriend and support Mexico. Educators in universities, colleges, and high schools are beginning to use the book as supplemental classroom material because it’s a great way to facilitate classroom discussion of historic relationships between the two neighboring countries.

Now, the Lincoln and Mexico Project is reaching out to educators across the USA and offering them a package of classroom materials to evaluate. The package includes a complimentary copy of the award-winning eBook version of the printed book in the Lincoln presidential library, plus a complete set of lesson plans. If you’re interested in evaluating the materials without obligation, just send an email to lamp@lincolnandmexicoproject.org.

Abraham Lincoln and Mexico brings to light that which for too long has hidden in the shadows: The interest, integrity, and involvement of our sixteenth President in the struggles and victories of our southern neighbor,” states Philip Stover, former Deputy Superintendent, San Diego Unified School District, who has also written about Mexico.

LAMP is also expanding its international Advisory Council to help educators facilitate discussion of Lincoln’s support for Mexico. Please let us know if you would be interested in becoming a member. Thank you, and best regards.

Chicago LOVES “Abraham Lincoln and Mexico”

Wow! The three-day book tour Oct. 27-29 by historian and educator Michael Hogan was quite successful in introducing his book “Abraham Lincoln and Mexico” to Chicago. His presentations examined Lincoln’s opposition to the Mexican-American War as a member of Congress, and Lincoln’s role as president in helping Mexico end French occupation of North America.

The presentations also examined the role of Irish-Americans who helped Mexico during both wars, and how US businessmen helped Mexico with financing in the 1860s. Here’s a quick rundown of what happened during the book tour, along with more photos at the end of the blogpost.

At noon on Friday, Oct. 27, Dr. Hogan addressed the historic Union League Club of Chicago to discuss the book and answer questions. The event was hosted by the Civil War Roundtable, and many questions focused on how Lincoln used the Emancipation Proclamation to enable freed slaves to become soldiers in the Union Army and became known as the US Colored Troops. Many of these same troops later went to Mexico to help exiled President Benito Juárez overthrow the French monarchy of Maximilian. It was a fascinating discussion with the audience of civic leaders, business people, Lincoln history aficionados, and educators.

Later in the afternoon of Oct. 27, Daniel Weinberg and Bjorn Skaptason of the Abraham Lincoln Book Shop arranged a live interview with Dr. Hogan on the national Author’s Voice program. The program originated live from the book shop with Weinberg and Dr. Hogan discussing the history of US-Mexican relations before the war of 1846-48, why Lincoln as a freshman congressman opposed the war, and Lincoln’s role as president in helping Mexico although he was preoccupied with the Civil War. You can click here to see the complete archived video.

Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 28-29, Dr. Hogan was one of the featured authors at the Irish Book and Music Celebration hosted by the Irish-American Heritage Center. The IBAM audience was also quite interested in Dr. Hogan’s earlier book “The Irish Soldiers of Mexico” that chronicled the story of Irish-American soldiers leaving the US Army to fight alongside Mexican troops against the invading US troops. Mexico City has a monument honoring the San Patricios, most of whom were captured and hanged as traitors by victorious US troops during the conquest of Mexico.

Many IBAM audience members were also interested to learn more about Lincoln’s support for Juárez in exile, and the role of Irish-American Gen. Philip Sheridan in helping Mexico. Sheridan commanded 50,000 US troops (including 4,000 USCT soldiers) sent to the Texas border to prevent French troops from entering the US and aiding the Confederacy. And he also gave critical military aid to troops loyal to Juárez. Part of that aid included 30,000 new repeating rifles “lost” at the US-Mexican border so Mexican troops could “find” them.

The Chicago events were part of outreach activities by the Lincoln and Mexico Project (LAMP) to inform and educate people about facts overlooked or ignored in other books about US History. Audience members at the Union League Club and the IBAM event bought many copies, and you can click here to order one of the special autographed books directly from the Abraham Lincoln Book Shop.

We really appreciate the help of the many supporters in Chicago who made the October events a great success, especially Chris Lynch, Tom Boyle, and Jimmy Sloan for their hospitality and assistance. Thanks also to Brian Daley of the Union League Club, Cliff Carlson on the Irish American News for their sponsorship, and Luciana Mendez of DePaul University for onsite sales at the IBAM event.

LAMP is an international project, with volunteer representatives in Guadalajara, San Diego, Los Angeles, Austin, and Chicago, and we’re expanding to Washington DC, New York City, and Boston. If you’re interested in helping LAMP in your area, just send an email to lamp@lincolnandmexicoproject.org. Come join us!

Chicago events boost LAMP outreach


Three special Chicago events October 27-29 will feature presentations by internationally-respected historian and educator Michael Hogan discussing US relationships with Mexico during the 1840s-1860s.


Two presentations focus on Abraham Lincoln’s opposition to the Mexican-American War as a freshman congressman and President Lincoln’s role as an international statesman in helping exiled Mexican President Benito Juárez although Lincoln was preoccupied with the Civil War. The third presentation examines the role of Irish soldiers who left the US Army to join Mexican troops in fighting against US invasionary troops.


The first event is a luncheon and discussion Friday October 27 hosted by the Civil War Roundtable, which will focus on Hogan’s latest book Abraham Lincoln and Mexico. The presentation will examine at length how President Lincoln helped Mexico, partly due to concerns that French occupation forces in Mexico might join forces with Confederate troops against the Union. The diplomacy and subsequent military aid helped the Mexican Republican Army overthrow the French Imperial Army of Napoleon III and restore Juárez to the presidency, ending French presence in North America. The private event is from 11:30 am to 1 pm, at the prestigious Union League Club of Chicago, which can trace its roots back to 1862 when businessmen and professional citizens banded together to help preserve the Union.


Later that same afternoon, Hogan will appear live from 5-6 pm on the national Author’s Voice program during an interview with host Daniel Weinberg to discuss Lincoln’s legacy of support for Mexico. Here’s the link to see details of the event, which will include on-air sales of autographed copies of the book. The event will originate at the Abraham Lincoln Book Shop, 824 W. Superior St., Suite 100, and is open to the public. If you can’t make it, you can watch the interview live by going to http://authorsvoice.net/our-programs/


On Saturday and Sunday, October 28-29, Hogan will be at the special Irish Books and Music event. During the two days, he’ll have press availabilities and sign copies of his best-selling book The Irish Soldiers of Mexico based on the history of Irish soldiers who helped Mexico. The history, honored at ceremonies in Mexico City, formed the basis for an MGM film starring Tom Berenger. The two-day event is at the Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 North Knox Avenue. You can get further information from the website at www.ibamchicago.com, or by calling 312-282-7035.


All three events come from outreach efforts of the Lincoln and Mexico Project (LAMP), an international project to inform and educate people about Abraham Lincoln’s support for Mexico. We have volunteer representatives in Guadalajara, San Diego, Los Angeles, Austin, and Chicago, and are expanding to Washington DC, New York City, and Boston. If you’re interested in joining our volunteer project and helping arrange events, please send an email to lamp@lincolnandmexicoproject.org


Thanks, and best regards.