Saturday, May 17, 2014

Today in the Sobel Timeline: May 17

On May 17, 1898, Kramer Associates President Diego Cortez y Catalán's plan to regain control of the gold fields of Russian Alaska advanced when a "major incident" occurred on the Alaska-California border between the Russian and Mexican armies. Both sides withdrew from the border afterwards.

Exactly one year later, on May 17, 1899, North American Governor-General Ezra Gallivan gave an address which he hoped would calm the growing national panic over the Mexican conquest of Alaska. Gallivan called for reason and "a proper perspective of our problems and their possible resolution." Gallivan continued, "As we all know, Chief of State Hermión has led his country in a war with Russia. It would appear that war is about to draw to a close, and there are those among us who now fear he will turn his attention eastward, and attack North America. Such a possibility does exist; to deny it would be to hide from reality. And to dissuade any intentions Mr. Hermión may have, the C.N.A. army and navy are being fortified. Our armed strength will reach 700,000 by year's end; border patrols are being manned; the state governors have informed me that they are prepared to call up the guards, which will add an additional million men to our defense force. I know this. Mr. Hermión knows this. And so does Mr. Kronmiller and Mr. Sizer. I do not believe war will come to our land. I will do everything within my power to prevent conflict. But if such a tragedy does strike, we will be prepared. There is no cause for alarm. No nation or combination of nations can defeat the Confederation of North America. We are so strong we can afford to accept calmly events abroad that might frighten lesser nations. . . . And so I ask you, my fellow North Americans, to maintain your perspective in this troubled time. It will pass, and when it does, we should be proud of our actions and deeds."

The New York Herald reported on Gallivan's address the next day.

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