Former Governor Thomas Mitchell Campbell, February 1916
“The breweries didn’t admit their guilt to one single thing. Not to paying poll taxes for poor Antis. Not to making illegal use of their assets to further their political agenda. Not to violating anti-trust statutes. They claim to be as innocent as babes in the woods when they are as evil as those zeppelin airships slipping in at night to deposit deadly bombs on civilians in England and France.”
“The Attorney General did whack them with the third largest judgment ever rendered in the history of the state,” says his son-in-law Clarence Dilley.
“Two-hundred and eighty-thousand dollars? That’s chickenfeed to them. Barely a slap on the wrist. In 1911 alone, the San Antonio Brewing Association contributed more than $100,000 to the Texas Brewing Association to defeat the Prohibition Amendment.”
John smacks his hand down on the Colonel’s desk. “On top of everything else, now we’re subjected to insinuations of wrongdoing at our copper mines.”
“People forget,” says the Colonel, “that the United States remains neutral in the European conflagration. There are no laws prohibiting us from selling Germany anything we choose. And trading originates from our holdings in Mexico anyway. It is tempting. Kaiser Wilhelm’s willing to pay above the going rate in his desire to keep the pace of production of shrapnel shells matched with his army’s rapid deployment of them. American withdrawal from Vera Cruz leaves the port wide open for merchant ships sailing under the German flag.”
John shakes his head. “Even if we wanted to engage in trade with the evil Kaiser, we couldn’t. There’s no way possible to safely extract our copper from Coahuila. President Wilson might have recognized General Carranza’s declared presidency, but what of others within Mexico’s own borders?”