Monterrey, Mexico: Sept. 5, 1865. pp., on a small folio sheet. Previously folded, with short closed tear near old fold at upper right corner. A few other very minor losses, slightly affecting text. Light tanning, an occasional fox mark. About very good. Item #1163
An engaging letter from Monterrey dated September 5, 1865, by Les Bellinger, who reports the situation and atmosphere there after the end of the American Civil War to his father in Eagle Pass, Texas. Business was slow and some merchants were looking to sell up, with fears growing of war between the United States and France in Mexico:
"Mr. P is trying to close the hotel and is probable he will do so in a few days. He says that he has given it a fair trial and is satisfied that it will not pay. He and many others feel confident a war with the U.S. is inevatable [sic] and near at hand.... It is a most unfavorable time to close, since it will be so difficult to dispose of the stock on hand. Some French were in the house the other day and spoke as if they intend to take it for a hospital. But as it is not likely that the Government would like to sustain the damages which would incur, therefore they may not take it."
Of his own business, which appears to have been in ranching and agriculture, Bellinger writes:
"I have seen Mr. Brown. He tells me that he and Tumwalt are the sole owners of the Hacienda, [and] that it is not their intention either rent or sell to other parties but they intend to hire peons and work it themselves.... That you are allowed to tend a portion I presume is an exception.... This place is not much of a market for corn meal since the most of the Americans have left. But there are some private houses which would buy some and give a fair price. Lard is selling at 50c per lb by the quantity - bolled flour @ $9.00."
An interesting perspective of an American expatriate in Mexico, written at a time when the end of the Civil War was allowing the United States to turn its attention to the installation of Maximilian in Mexico by France.